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Monday, January 30, 2017

Celebrating Success

I was so proud of myself on Friday. I had an appointment in the morning, lasting until just after noon. I got in my car to drive home, and I kept thinking about picking up lunch somewhere. After about 15 minutes (the drive is about 30 minutes), I changed my thinking from "where could I get something delicious, but healthy?" to "what could I make at home that would be fast, delicious and healthy?" Delicious seemed to be most important!

I did come up with something. And it was delicious. And it didn't cost me anything extra! I made a quick, 2-cup batch of soup with the bulk bin items from WinCo, a piece of cinnamon toast and a glass of orange juice. Easy, healthy and yummy!

I was so pleased with myself about that lunch. I have renewed interest in prudence with our spending. I was watching a video about a woman photographer from the late 1800s to early 1900s. It was not only the story of her photography, but also of her life and attention to detail. I have met my match in her, I am convinced. This woman was so careful in documenting all of her correspondence, all of her expenses and all of her income. Really remarkable. I was inspired by how she took life on, just as it came to her.

Her name was Evelyn Cameron. The title of the video is Evelyn Cameron: Pictures from a Worthy Life. It aired on Montana PBS in 2009, and may be available through your library.

I will continue to be thoughtful with my spending, opting for long-term goal realization over short-term enjoyment. And I'm celebrating my successes, one after another!

When was the last time you celebrated one of your successes? Tell me all about it.


  1. Hi Lili

    I know exactly the feeling you had on Friday, because I had them just last night! After working a 9h shift at the local Walgreens, and doing laundry and chores when getting home, the last thing I wanted to do was cook. However, I warmed up some clam chowder that was gifted to us, and pulled together a salad, along with some bread...dinner was delicious, and EASY! Have a good week!


    1. Hi Lisa,
      Oh, kudos to you, on pulling together diner at home after a long shift at work, all day!!!! And it sounds like the dinner was delicious, satisfying and healthy. You can't get any better than that. Anything you might have picked up couldn't have been better than what you made. Good job!!
      Have a great day, Lisa!

  2. Lili,
    I have a lot of those days that I THINK it would be easier to just pick something up but choose not to. Making it at home is the best frugal option and healthier too.

    Saturday, I made two varieties of soup in crockpots. It was going to be a busy evening with daughter coming home and all the luggage/laundry/acclimating that goes along with it. So bread and butter and soup was the choice. We had our big chicken dinner on Sunday with mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing with plenty of leftovers for the kids to take back to campus with them.

    Lili, do you sometimes wonder if women of today would write their memoirs, would someone be interested in them in 30 years? Maybe that is something to think about. You're ahead already by your blog (will blogs be something to read in 30 years?). I often crave reading about stuff from the 30's and 40's but there's not a ton of that that I can find. Maybe we should do that to keep "alive" the life we lived.


    1. Hi Alice,
      That's awesome! I'm sure the soup dinner was wonderful and just what everyone could want. And of course, a nice chicken dinner for Sunday must have been terrific with the whole family at home. Good job! I know it's not easy to come up with meal after meal, especially when you've been working all week.

      I've thought about that. I think how some of us live now is a rarity in the 21st century. I'm sure that there will be women later this century who want to hear what we've done. Have you watched the Clara cooking videos? I think it was something like Great Depression Cooking, on youtube. She has since passed away, but her grandson made a bunch of videos of her cooking very simple dishes, and talking about what food resources were like for her growing up. If you haven't watched these, they're short videos and entertaining.

      Have a great day, Alice!

    2. Yes, I've watched the Clara videos. I really liked them and many of the meals she made are exactly how I do things today. But that is because my parents lived during the depression era and raised us kids cooking like that. So that's how I cook today. I guess I'll have to wait until I'm in my 90's and then do some videos! I have also found some 50's youtube videos that show you how to make a Thanksgiving meal where the preparation looks like a test kitchen of some sort.


    3. I watched Clara's Depression Era cooking videos when she was still alive, and thought what a healthy person she was in her 90s to be able to instruct in front of a camera. I loved her pasta, canned peas and potato one pot dish, and once bought a whole case of sweet peas on sale so I could be sure to have it often. However, my diabetes concern got the better of me so I stopped.

      We try not to eat out while during errands, but those discounted restaurant gift cards and groupon vouchers are messing us up. So far, 10x this month. I think we're finally tired of that, and now that we got treating ourselves out of our system, I think we can go back to bringing a small snack with us for the road.

      Have a nice day!!


    4. Hi YHF,
      I'll have to check for that recipe, with the canned peas and potatoes. yes, it does sound heavy on the starches, but I may give it a try. I do have canned peas and potatoes to use up! Clara was wonderful!!! I loved her attitude.
      Have a great day, YHF!

    5. Alice, I'll be telling my grandkids, "I know that woman", when you're doing your cooking videos at age 90!!

  3. First of all, congratulations on your wise choice and also recognizing small moments of success. Too often, I think, we just plod through our days without taking a moment or two to think about wise decisions or achievements that we have reached. So good on you for that too. Also, thank you for providing the name of the woman who embedded a new level of frugality for you. Like me, I'm sure your other readers appreciate that. As for my small successes, this week almost every dinner was a situation similar to your Friday lunch situation. Being tired, or working late, or just being in town created a quick thought to buying something for dinner. But I somehow managed to curb those thoughts and still create edible meals. Mind you, one was simply make your own sandwich (PB&J for me, cheese and pickles for hubby), and another was twice making something quicker and simpler than the beef stew that I had originally intended. Yesterday was one of those times. Once company left around 2 p.m. it was too late to get the stew started, so instead I opted to make BLTs. Today (when I will be home all day and no company) I will finally make the beef stew. I find it amazing that i still can come up with many options despite not doing major shopping for a couple of months now. Yep, definitely working though what I have at home. (and now secretly hoping I can keep doing this through to the end of February, with only buying milk and a bit of fresh veggies and fruit!).

    1. Hi Jayne,
      You know, if there is a time of year to forgo grocery shopping, it's right now, in the middle of winter. Prices are so high on everything, this time of year. There just seem to be no deals that make me want to go grocery shopping. So your plans to try no to shop much until the beginning of March will save you quite a bit of money.

      Great job on getting through such a busy and hectic week, without stopping for takeout! That's one success after another!

      Have a great day, Jayne!

  4. Lili,
    Congratulations! It is hard for us after church we always want to eat out then. We came home and had pea soup. Our favorite coffee shop is Lofty Coffee we made coffee at home and went to a another beach as not to be tempted we get coffee their a couple of times a year. We are trying to eat at home more Still a work in progress :)When we eat out we split a plate and normally have leftovers. We do carry meal
    bars or a piece of fruit in our purses so this helps.
    Have a great day.

    1. Hi Patti,
      Oh yes, after church is a hard one. We typically don't get home until about 1. Then have to make some lunch just feels like work in a time when I don't want any work. Yesterday did go well for us. Everyone got their own lunch. One daughter had a coupon to use at Value Village, so I took her there right after church, and by the time we got home it was about 3 PM, so I just made myself tea and a croissant (gifted to us) with homemade jam. And that was enough for me for lunch, as I knew dinner was not far off.

      My son and his girlfriend are still in that phase where they eat out about once per week. But they always split a meal, and find decent small family-run restaurants that are reasonably priced. There is usually enough food for 2 people, with one entree.

      Going to the beach, this time of year, is such a wonderful way to have a coffee "out"! That sounds so pleasant, especially when the beaches are not crowded and the weather is not too hot for you, there!

      Have a great day, Patti!

  5. Similar to everyone else, I know ... but Thursday I squeezed in time to throw together crockpot ham and potato soup (while I was making Thursday's dinner ... ) and Friday when I came home from work, the delicious smell greeted me at the door. Such a good feeling. :)

    1. Hi Kris,
      Oh, good for you!! Yes, it is such a great feeling! It's almost like having a live-in cook!
      have a nice night, Kris!

  6. Yes! I agree we need to celebrate those small successes.

    Saturday night we had another large family (they have 7 kids) over for dinner. They are very dear friends of ours & they will be moving out of state this summer, so we want to spend time with them while we can.

    I knew that Friday I'd be traveling to see my mom & dad & I wouldn't have time to do anything towards Saturday dinner. Saturday I knew I had an afternoon meeting. So I really, really wanted to hit the easy button, take the stress of preparing a meal off of my already hectic schedule. I thought about ordering Papa Murphey's pizzas or even going to the store to buy the ingredients for homemade pizza, which I would have had my daughters make.

    In the end, I decided to avoid any more expenditures this month & figure out something to make with what I had on hand. I ended up filling the crockpot with black bean soup on Saturday morning and then making a big pot of taco soup right before our guests arrived Saturday evening. My daughter & son made 2 slab apple pies and 24 corn muffins. They also cut up oranges and apples. The other family brought a veggie tray.

    We had a lovely time and everyone loved the soups. I had enough left over to freeze for another meal. It's been my goal to get some meals frozen for when I'm out of town on a trip in February. So yay! Melissa

    1. Hi Melissa,
      That's fantastic! What a feast. I am certain that your guests enjoyed every morsel. Not just because it was delicious but also it was homemade. When I have been invited to someone else's home, and they cook a nice meal like that from scratch, it makes me feel like I am special in my host's mind and heart. It's a gift to give to your guests, to cook a meal at home. You did a great job, Melissa!
      I hope that you are enjoying your evening!

  7. I checked and our library system doesn't have Evelyn Cameron: Pictures from a Worthy Life or anything else about her. She may be more famous in the west than in the east. I am going to look around a little more. I love reading every day diaries from the past.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Follow this link and you'll find the Evelyn Cameron website. There's a lot on this site, but n this page is an excerpt from one of her diaries.

      She was originally from England, and came here as a new bride, to Montana, not knowing a thing about setting up a household, or living in the wild west. She went largely unknown until all of her glass plate negatives and diaries were discovered in someone's basement, sometime in the mid-1900s. Anyway, I love biographies, and especially about women who have pioneered in any field. I find those sorts of biographies to be very inspiring. I hope you enjoy the info that you find through that website.

      Have a nice evening!

  8. That is great, Lili. I love it when I have a victory like that when I want to eat out, but opt in for food at home instead. WTG! Now, I will have to check out the Evelyn Cameron website too as that also interests me. :) :) :)

    1. Hi Belinda,
      I hope you find the Evelyn Cameron information interesting. Most of what is on that site is about her photography. But the little bit about how detailed she was inspired me. The page I linked to featured a page out of her diary, and the site said that they would update that diary page from time to time.

      Have a great day, Belinda!


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