Monday, November 30, 2020

Thanksgiving Road Trip - Destination Closed

Since Princess Three had her friend join her for their visit, we decided that we would take a road trip for part of their stay. It has been so many years since we visited this place together that we thought it would be fun to go on a little road trip.

We checked online to make sure that the spots we wanted to visit were open and off we went. We were very sad after making the effort to visit places only to find that they were closed. I was just for leaving, but the girls wanted to get out and walk around. 

I shared as much as I remember from times I have visited. My father took us to the Fort over 20 years ago when it was an empty building missing doors. 

Now 20 years or so later, it is a bustling spot with a barn, many out buildings, gardens, and homes for the workers along with a cabin, blacksmith, ice house and more. 

Since we couldn't go in, we just had a fun time walking around and taking some pictures. I will share some today and some tomorrow as we had some great photos. 

It was just one stop on our trip, and even though we couldn't go in, we had fun. I wish they had updated the website due to Covid, but at least we got to spend time together! 

Have a Blessed day!

Friday, November 27, 2020

Thanksgiving With Family A Bit Early - Japanese Thanksgiving

Princess Three has a friend. He is attending school out of state. He was able to come home for a few days over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

With a limited time home, they were good trying to spend time with both families. After some discussion, we decided that since our family has always moved holidays to accommodate life situations, our family doesn't have any issue celebrating on different days. As long as we get to be together, we are good celebrating on any day. 

With that knowledge, we decided to celebrate Thanksgiving the Friday before the actual holiday. It would give us a few days over the weekend to spend time together. So Princess Four and I got the house in order and spent the day Friday baking and cooking a full on Thanksgiving dinner. 

We had a great visit and I will share about some things we did over the weekend later. We were able to eat leftovers most of the weekend which no one minded.

Princess Five had lots of homework because we celebrated a week early, all the professors had their big assignments due before the holiday but made it all due while we were celebrating early. Those are some things that happen when having to celebrate early but I had to hand it to her that she focused on her homework and got it all in even when she felt that she was maybe missing out on fun things. It shows her dedication to her education which is impressive. 

Princess One wasn't able to join us due to Covid worries. I am going to avoid anyone for a few weeks to make sure nothing was "shared" at our Thanksgiving celebration and we will celebrate "Christmas" early with the grandchildren once we know we are safe. We were able to have lots of video chats to celebrate with her family and the grandchildren were so cute! 

We put the tree up the day after we celebrated which is how we usually celebrate. We started a fun tradition of listening to Christmas records while we decorate. I was able to find some fun LP's at a second hand store this year. It is funny how each year less and less decorations get put on the tree, but I can't say that it bothers me as I am just grateful for the help putting the tree up. 

Because Princess Four and I were celebrating the holiday alone on the big day, we visited with the other girls on the phone and then adorable Princess Four, picked up some flowers for me and some sushi ahead of time since it is one of our favorite meals. 

Sweet James that makes our sushi, gave us all three rolls free! It was so kind of him to do that for us on the holiday of Gratitude! We felt blessed having him in our holiday! 

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving day!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

A Bicycle Built For Two - Princess Three Riding With a Friend

A few weeks ago I was able to buy this Vintage Sears brand Sportflite tandem double bike at a thrift store. I posted about this here

This past weekend, Princess Three and her friend came down for an early Thanksgiving, I washed up the bike, filled the tires and then they took off on a ride around the neighborhood to make sure that it was in riding shape. 

It is such a fun bike and in fairly good shape considering the age. I bought it to sell but have thought maybe it would just be a fun thing for the family, but considering how little time they spend here, it is probably just better to sell it.

 Have a Blessed Day! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

How To Make Kombucha For Low Cost at Home


I was buying about $60 in kombucha weekly for a long time but finances made it so I couldn't afford to spend that money on it anymore so I looked into making my own. 
I noticed when I was drinking it, I seemed to have better gut health. I used to drink Soda every day before switching to the kombucha and felt I needed something to quench my thirst as I didn't seem to absorb the water I was drinking.

I had limited funds to start the process, so I went to thrift stores and yard sales in order to find flip seal jars. I was also able to find gallon fermentation jars in the second hand stores and yard sales. I never paid more than $2 for any jar. Usually, I am able to find them for around $1.50 a jar.

I was able to put out to friends asking if they knew anyone who had a scoby to start fermenting the kombucha. I wondered if I could make it work. 
I couldn't believe how easy it was to make! Basically, you just boil 8 tea bags and 1 cup of sugar. Bring it to a boil and let it steep until completely cooled.The tea is black, green, or oolong tea. I've used Oolong and Green and both were great.

Once the tea is cooled, you put the 2 cups of start you keep out from the fermented tea, and the scoby goes in and you just put a clean cloth with elastics over it and let it ferment for 6 to 10 days.

You put a few ounces of fruit juice to flavor it into the flip top jars, and then fill them up with the fermented tea. Wipe the tops and put the flip top on and shake. Allow the sealed jars to ferment with the fruit juice for a day or two checking how much carbonation has been created.

Once there is a psst sound coming out when you uncap the jar, you can put it in the fridge to drink for the next few weeks. If you don't fill the jars over full, you don't need to allow the pressure to escape. I pull out the jars every day or two and allow the pressure out. If the jar doesn't have much of a "PSsT" sound, you can leave it out for longer.

It is super easy and I was surprised at that. I really wish I had looked into making it earlier.

the longer it sits, the less sweet it will become.


Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Ten Minute Portugues Kale and Kidney Bean Soup

I've been making Chourico Soup for over 30 years. 

I have a long recipe where I use fresh cut up peeled potatoes, cook down the kidney beans, use fresh Kale rinsed and cut into strips. 

However, being a single mom of five children for so many years, I learned to adapt the recipe to make a great Portuguese soup by modifying the recipe using canned kidney beans, frozen cut kale, and canned potatoes. 

Basically, you just boil the chourico, and dump all the other ingredients into the boiling water and once it is all hot, you can eat it. 

I use 4 links of sausage, four cans of kidney beans, 10 medium potatoes (four cans of potatoes), 2 bags of cut and frozen kale.

The longer the soup sits, the more flavor the soup has as it absorbs the spices from the chourico. The soup can be at its best a few days in. 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Thanks for watching and have a blessed day!

Monday, November 23, 2020

#GIVETHANKS For the Week of Thanksgiving

The leader of our church asked the members worldwide to post on social media this week of Thanksgiving with the hashtag of "GiveThanks" and share with the world at this crazy time of history the things that we are grateful for in our lives! 

Since my blog and youtube channel are called "thesecretisgratitude," I LOVE this message to the world. 

I am grateful for a Prophet that is so inspired as to what will help 'Heal" the world! Join in our Gratitude week by using the hashtag "Givethanks" or share in the comments what you are grateful for as well! Here is a link to the Prophets message on Gratitude.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Looking Forward To Sleep

Princess Four and I have been working hard over the past few days to get all the yard sale / eBay / and local sales stuff out of the house.

I had to wait to get some shelves, so I hauled everything out to the garage for the holiday. I will still post as much as I can online and locally, but I will just have to do it box by box. 

It has been such a blessing having that income at this time. It has worked out so well for me.

I have had an hour sleep in two nights. It is 5:42 a.m. and I am so tired not having slept last night and not well for a few days before that. 

Princess Four was finishing the vacuuming while I posted this so I took some pictures of the finished room and I am going to shower and get to bed. 

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

I Was Up All Night Working and Missed Posting


I have been working so hard on the garage, house, and yard for months now. I had that yard sale a few months back and have been selling items that I pulled in after the sale knowing I could make more selling them online than at yard sale prices. 

I sold enough on eBay and on the local yard sale sites that I was able to pay most of the house taxes using those funds. I have been working so hard on the garage recently that I haven't been listing as much online or the local sites. I have had boxes of items that need to be listed and I have already taken photos of them but just haven't had the time to get them listed. 

With that, I was hoping to finish the garage so I could put all the boxes of things I was working on listing on the shelves. However, Princess Three informed us that she is bringing a guy home for Thanksgiving so that made my plans shift. 

I had shelves that I was going to purchase at Home Depot and when I went to pick them up so I could put all those boxes on the shelf, every shelf was sold and not one store withing 5 hours of me had more than a few shelves! There was only one store in the entire state that had the five shelves that I wanted. I spent about 8 hours trying to figure out how to get the shelves as there was no option to order them online as I guess the stores couldn't reorder them and when I contacted the store that had them, I was told they can't ship things store to store due to Covid and that they couldn't allow me to pay for them over the phone, and since I couldn't order them online, I was frustrated. 

I was happy however that they had the shelves and the store happens to be in the city where two of my girls live, and they were coming home anyway, So I figured she could just use the credit card she has of mine, but then I remembered that her new one is here and hers expired, so she can't use my card. She said she would pay for it but then if I need to return one or have any problems she would have the receipt. 

I finally was able to find someone who knew how to allow me to purchase the item but I ended up applying for their credit card so now I have a store care which I really don't think I will use but at least I was able to get the five shelving units that will make my garage so much more functional.   

So, I was going to share a quick post in the afternoon after being up all night. I took some photos and sat down to post and fell asleep for an hour. Here are some of the photos of the boxes I had stacked up for the past months while I was trying to make money for the house taxes. 

Here are those photos. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

I Found a Treasure Today - Vintage Tandem Bike

I had one of the busiest and longest days in months. I only got a few hours sleep and was up after those few hours sleep. 

I ran errands and will share about some of the things I got done later, but I wanted to share a fun find I found today. 

I was shopping at a second hand store and went to the furthest back section which I don't often view. I saw a tandem bicycle. It was a 1960 sears bike with the vintage colors and seats. I love the back handlebar as it is high like the style at the time. 

I wasn't sure if I should get it as I don't have a car big enough to get it home. I paid for my other items and was going back to look at the bike to see if it was worth buying, when I left the front door to head around to the back, my sister just pulled up and was walking in. I showed her the bike and asked if she would be willing to take it to my house. 

She was willing, so I bought the bike after looking it up online. I think I can turn it around and sell it for a great profit. I could use the funds as I want to purchase shelving for my garage so I can have somewhere to store totes. I am so frustrated with the lack of storage and hope that I can keep working and get my yard and house how I would like them.

I have to say that I would like to get the bike in shape and let the girls take a ride on it while they are home for the holiday, so I may take a minute to get it fixed up in the next few days. 

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Still Working On The Garage One Section At A Time

I have been feeling so tired the past week. I have been working hard at my friends and at my home trying to get things in order for the girls to come home.

I feel more tired than usual but realized I have only taken my vitamins once or twice in the past week. I think things are catching up to me. I need to be more regular at taking them. 

I have been getting lots of things off my "lists" but they aren't all things at home but I have been trying to be able to check something off my list daily. 

I got the drywall / texture done in the garage and then the next night got the primer and paint on the wall! I had planned to get another section done today but I am exhausted and am going to bed in hopes I can get lots done tomorrow. It is a bit crazy that it has taken me 25 years to get to the garage! I should have done this years ago. 

I am now shopping for shelving in hopes that I can utilize the area that I have better and get to enjoy my garage instead of dreading it. Even just finishing the few walls that I have make me happier. 

I started finishing the walls in 2017 and then never got back to it. Here is a post about that. I pray that it doesn't take me another few years to finish the project! If I can feel better, I think I can do it this winter and maybe have less stress with having the garage and yard looking better and more organized. 

Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 16, 2020

It's Been a Long Time Coming - Working on the Garage

I have wanted for years to get to the back corner of the garage. It has been a dark spider dungeon since we moved in. My former spouse wanted the wood pile in the garage. 

The wood pile was put in the garage soon after we moved in. The pile never got smaller than about four feet in height since we rarely use the wood stove. It would just be a home for spiders.

We only had one single light bulb in the garage when we moved in other than the garage door light. It is a large garage. I put a two light fixture in a few years back but it is still dark in the garage and especially in that back corner where the wood has been stacked. About six months ago, I purchase two somewhat decorative florescent light fixtures at a second hand store. I bought them hoping to put up lights in the garage to give it more light. I put up one where the existing light had been and just that one light gave much more brightness in the garage but that corner was still rather dark.

Princess Four helped me move the wood pile to the back yard it opened that area up but it was still dark. My dear handy man came a few weeks back and put in some new wiring and put in that other light. 

I had three holes in the drywall and had to patch that, but I finally just decided to stay up and get the wall finished. I put the texturing on and am so excited to get even a little bit of the wall finished. 

Have a blessed day!

Friday, November 13, 2020

I had a Whale of a Party - 50th Anniversary of a Happy Event

I have shared some posts in the past about something that makes me laugh for years now. I share in this post about a video about an exploding whale that always brings me to a rolling laugh every time I think about it. Here is a link where I wrote a blog post about it

About a week ago, Princess Three told us on a video chat that this week it would be the 50th anniversary of the exploding whale news story! She said they were going to have a virtual party celebrating and sent me a link to the party! 

I got busy and forgot to look at the link. Today, I was working on a project and realized it was Thursday and remembered that it was the anniversary today! 

I looked it up online and found that they were having the virtual meeting / interviews at 7 p.m. pacific time. I asked to get a link to the party and was able to run to the store before hand and pick up some sushi.

As I was checking out at the supermarket, I laughed when I got the total for my groceries, yes it was $111 dollars! I posted yesterday about my 111 moments this week and I have had many of them this week and today, the total was 111, there was 11111 on my receipt, I found a penny on the street next to my garbage cans after the trash men came, there was a penny at the store when I got the $111 total. The sushi has 111 on it, and there were several more 111's today. My sister sent a text about 111's and we don't text all that often so it was just another "in God we trust" and 111 day. 

I ate sushi and blueberries while watching the original cameraman and newscaster talk about the event and how it has "blown up" over the years. 

My favorite part of the video meeting was when they talked about how the boss at the station hired a small four seat plane to fly them in and after the whale blew up, they were covered with smelly pink shiny bits of blood and blubber. They were in such a hurry to get back and weren't all that excited to get into a plane smelling like rotting whale to fly back home, that they left the sound clip for the video in the trunk of the rental car. 

They had to find someone driving towards them and meet them off the highway to pick up the sound clip so they could run the story the next day! 

Looking back, I think they wish they had purchased the rights to the video as they could have for $10,000. A week after they chose not to buy the clip, a news show paid $35,000 for a one time use of the video. Now, they could have sold merchandise etc. It is a world wide video and people stop him daily mentioning the video. 

He got paid $105 for the clip and the sound guy made $117. They have gotten a few trips to events over the years but the 50th reunion was canceled due to Covid. 

The Oregon historical Society have a section on this event and hosted the event. I guess the reporter Paul Linnman has never made any more money on this event. The reporter said one of his sons came home last week cursing the event as people recite the "blubbering" line to them. I can see how being famous for a silly story for 50 years when you are a serious reporter could be a bit annoying. He says he can't go a full day without someone mentioning something about the story.

He wrote a book about the event but said he couldn't just write about that, he said he put other stories within the book every other chapter. He said his agent tried to get publishers to publish the book on a large scale but they wanted him to take out the other "feels good" stories and only talk about the whale, but he felt he wanted to include something of substance. So, I think he self published with a local company. 

It is very amazing that this one story could last and grow in favoritism for 50 years. I just know it has brought me so much joy over the years. I am grateful for it as it has brought me many hours of laughing over the years. Just today, I have chuckled over it just thinking about it many times today. 

I think it was a great day! So glad Princess Three heard about the meeting so I could enjoy watching the new digitized 4K video! 

Have a blessed day!