Remember when the Christmas began the day after Thanksgiving?

Do you remember when you didn’t start thinking or planning for Christmas, until after Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving was a special day for all to remember what they were thankful
for- God, family, and country. Families that were spread out all over the country could
rarely all get together but they made a big effort to come back for Thanksgiving— for good food, catching up, sharing memories, making new memories with lots of laughter and remembering how much they had to be grateful for.

Thanksgiving was about Thanksgiving and part of that excitement was knowing that everything was going to change overnight as the Christmas season began the day after Thanksgiving.

Stores were open only until 6pm on weekdays and closed on Sundays.

Mom would take us downtown to see the department store window displays, which would then be up. Stores went all out with displays. Each window was staged as a Christmas wonderland with decorated trees, with colorful packages below. The fake fireplace with stockings glowed warm. We stood outside oblivious to the cold as we excitedly watched through the “sprayed-on-snow” that framed the scene as mechanical snowmen waved and turned, trains raced around their track and beautifully dressed baby dolls, with frilly blankets  slept peacefully in wooden cribs.

We were allowed to ask Santa for one present.

Christmas music and the Salvation Army bell ringer outside were wonderful sounds that added to the incredible feeling as we walked wide-eyed down all of the aisles looking at all the Christmas decorations. (No decorations had been available for purchase, until then.) The town’s decorations were also not  turned on until that night at a special “Lights On”event that had people oohing and ahhing as the entire square went from dark to light in one thrilling moment.

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Clutter causes stress, contributing to weight gain, depression, strokes and more.

BABY BOOMERS 
Many Realtors and home builders acknowledge that requests for one story homes are
increasing, especially from Baby Boomers who no longer desire to climb stairs. Making the move to a more desirable one story home can provide a wonderful opportunity to declutter as one downsizes.

JUNK IS EXPENSIVE TO KEEP

  • Money is spent (wasted?) to replace misplaced items that you are unable to find, simply because your home is too cluttered.
  • Maybe you have been storing, in your garage, junk that you don’t need, in order to save a monthly mini-storage fee. However, you are paying huge price to save a $60 mini-storage fee, while your expensive vehicle sits out in the weather, where the hot sun bleaches the paint as the interior bakes. In other words, while your car is rapidly deteriorating from the sun’s heat you are storing, in the garage, junk you don’t use or need and you are paying real estate taxes and insurance for the garage that houses that junk. That is an expensive mini-storage you have attached to your house, partner.
  • Moving companies price by weight not volume. Why pay for transporting something when you can buy something similar in the new location? 

 

Many younger people today are choosing a minimalist lifestyle, finding it liberating and more comfortable by having less unneeded items and thus, more space to enjoy.

Now, imagine for a moment that you have passed… leaving chaos behind for your loved ones who are overwhelmed for months, even years as they must deal with cleaning out the enormous mess you left behind. They may feel resentful  as they must decide what to throw out, what to donate and how to get things sold. While sentimental items are often the most difficult to let go, they can become an albatross to your children who might feel an obligation to keep things like that out of guilt, believing that it must have meant something to you or else you wouldn’t have hung on to them. (
Letting go of your dad’s old bowling trophies doesn’t mean you loved him any less. Professional organizers advise us to take pictures of things that mean a lot to us and then let them go.)

 

  • Physical clutter has been shown to raise levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain and depression. Stress levels rise right along with that heap of clothing on the bed, a chair mounded up with items to be taken to the cleaners or mended before they can be worn again, closets that look like a tornado aftermath inside, wadded up laundry on top of the dryer, old receipts and papers stuffed into drawers, magazines piled high on the back of the toilet, dishes on counters, droopy plants that nobody tends, cupboards full of old spices and pots and pans shoved back in the cabinet that you haven’t seen since you moved in, bathroom closets with hair products you aren’t ever going to use, outdated medicines, cookbooks that you won’t use, newspapers stacked up, leaving surfaces and corners of the room uncleaned for a long while. Frustration mounts when we are unable to locate misplaced items and must spend money to replace them.  We become not only more worried about about keeping the home clean, but also more stressed out in general.  Studies show that people are significantly more likely to not care about putting things away in already-messy environments. However, when they have a clean, uncluttered home they’re more likely to keep it that way.
  • Mentally the cost of clutter can play a significant role in how one feels about themselves.  Clutter creates feelings of guilt and embarrassment. Messy homes leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and can be more overwhelming for those with adult ADHD. Physical clutter is often an outward manifestation of emotions like guilt, along with grief, shame, and fear.  
  • Research shows a direct correlation between clutter and strokes. One of the primary causes of stroke is stress, which can be brought on by clutter and disorganization. Brain scans were used to map the responses of participants as their minds  were bombarded with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile) which limited their ability to focus and process information. The more disorganized (cluttered) the images, the more the sensory overload, drawing the brains attention away from where the focus should be, to stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.   Too much stimuli around us,  such as an excess of things in our home or other environment, drags us down psychologically by constantly reminding us that our work is never done; stifling the ability to think, brain storm, and problem solve, thus, inhibiting creativity and productivity, while making it difficult to relax, both physically and mentally. When one cannot relax, they will not rest well which can cut years off of ones life. 

 

 BENEFITS  OF LETTING GO OF THINGS NOT NEEDED  

  • Better emotional health. Letting go of things we really don’t need provides more space and allows for a well organized home making it easier to find things, to clean, with less to dust or move to dust and safer if there aren’t objects to trip over.  Simplifying your life will make you calmer, healthier, happier.    
  • Money made from stuff you don’t use can fund other purchases, put some extra money in your pocket or pay for a great vacation.  According to Tim Luke from HGTV’s “Cash in the Attic,” the average household has $1,000 to $2,000 of potential cash in items that no longer have any value to the owner.   Closets and cupboards bursting with possessions that you think has no value at all, might be worth big bucks to those who want or need them.  The amount of money you’ll make may pleasantly surprise you. Canadian Kyle MacDonald identified people who valued his stuff more than he did. Starting with one red paperclip, Kyle then bartered item for item until he ended up with a two-story farmhouse. 
  • There are those eager for virtually anything that clutters your house, garage, or storage unit, including aluminum can pull tabs which sell on eBay or you can donate them as Ronald McDonald House wants them.  Natural disasters such as a hurricane, tornado, fire or flood, also present opportunities to give things to people who can use them. Doing something small may not save a life, but it can change someone’s life.



AN ACT OF KINDNESS TO HELP SOMEONE WHO HAS NO WAY OF REPAYING YOU HAS EVEN GREATER REWARDS: 

 

  • Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: Matt 6:19 KJV
  • Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.  Luke 6:38 
  • It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35 
  • Sell whatever you have and give to the poorMatthew 10:21
  • Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. Psalms 41:1

GREAT THINGS HAPPENED TO THESE PEOPLE WHO SHARED

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Enjoy a cleaner, clutter-free home by sharing things you don’t need with those who do need them: How to quickly get rid of off of the things you don’t need and feel great about it.

Posted in Baby Boomers, clutter, Declutter, Disaster, Downsizing, Food, Get Rid of Junk, Grandkids, Grandparenting, Great ideas!, Oklahomans helping Oklahomans, stress, strokes, weight | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fish Smell in House? Do Not Ignore It

The most popular post on this site has been
looking around the house for that fishy odor
and the related posts (below).

Based on stats we can tell that there are many people who smell that
horrible fishy smell in their home and are searching for an answer.

Please take the time to read that link above.

If you ever smell that vile smell we urge you to begin looking at all things electrical-
outlets, light switches, ceiling fans, light fixture, tvs etc. (If you smell it
soon after you turn on something look closely at what you turned on as a possible suspect.)

Several people have shared with us that they have had this stinking problem but
were embarrassed to tell anyone and quit letting people into their home. It is important information that we all need to share with others. By sharing it you might save the life of someone you love.

 

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FREE Classified Ads and Online Stores! (Tulsa area and U.S.)

BUILD AN ONLINE STORE FREE

After you get your store  draw attention to it with Facebook, Craig’s list, Twitter.

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CLASSIFIED ADS
Useful tips and advice for writing your classified ad:

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LOCAL  ADS FREE  (MEET AT BUYERS BANK TO GET PAID IN CASH…PLUS BANKS USUALLY HAVE A POLICEMAN. )

Don’t forget to draw attention to your item with Facebook and Twitter to let friends and family know what you have for sale.

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NATIONWIDE   (WIDER AUDIENCE: MIGHT SELL FASTER AND FOR MORE MONEY)

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Freebies, Great Deals, Great ideas!, Making Changes, Money Found, Oklahoma, Oklahomans helping Oklahomans, Things to see and do in Tulsa | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Can of Tuna

4 Ingredient Tuna Casserole
Cook one package stuffing mix according to package directions in 11 X 7 baking dish(can also use 2 quart casserole dish).
In separate dish mix:

  •  1 can cream of mushroom soup, chicken soup or any other cream soup)
  • 1-2 cans of  tuna
  • 1 can of peas or corn.

Put on top of stuffing mix and cover with bread crumbs or whatever topping your family likes. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
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Tuna Tetrazzini

¼ C. margarine
¼ flour
¼ C. diced onions
1 small can sliced mushrooms (or a few fresh)
1 C. light cream or half & half (milk will work but isn’t as creamy)
1 C. chicken bouillon (1 cube in 1 C. hot water)
1 Tbsp. white wine (optional but gives best flavor–I use a chardonnay)
½ tsp. seasoned salt
½ C. shredded cheddar cheese
2 (7 oz) cans tuna-drained
2 C. spaghetti – cooked and drained
1 Tbsp. dried parsley

In a microwave safe casserole dish, melt margarine. Add onions (and fresh mushrooms if using) Cook ’til onions are transparent. Stir in flour. Add cream, bouillon, wine and salt. Cook on high 5 minutes. stirring occasionally. Mixture will thicken. Fold in cheese, (canned mushrooms if using) tuna, spaghetti and parsley. Cover and cook on high 3 – 4 minutes or until heated through.

Posted in Easy meals, Food, Military families, Oklahomans helping Oklahomans, Saving Money, Veterans | Leave a comment

Leftover ham?

Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Casserole

2 c. Cooked rotini or elbows (to stretch I put 3 c.)  Add a tablespoon of butter or even butter spray, while cooking,  to keep noodles from sticking together.
1 1/2 c. Cubed cooked ham or more (I usually get a ham steak)
1 pkg. frozen broccoli spears, thawed and drained
1 c. milk
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese ( divide in half )
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. In a 8X12 inch baking dish, combine hot macaroni and ham. Arrange broccoli spears down center of dish. In a small bowl, combine milk, soup and 1/2 c. cheese and the seasonings. Pour over casserole.

Bake, covered, at 350 for 30 min. or until heated through. Top with remaining cheese and then bake uncovered for 5 min. or until cheese is melted. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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Here’s an easy one that works in the crockpot or the oven either one. I don’t have amounts for ingredients or cooking times for it. I almost always make it the night before in the crockpot, put it in the fridge and turn it on high by noon to be ready for supper at 6:30. I would say to bake it covered at 350 at least an hour so the potatoes are cooked. You can vary the amount of ingredients and number of layers to fit the number you need to feed. Three good layers makes enough for two of us a hearty supper and lunch the next day.

Crock Pot Ham & Potatoes

Layer 3 times in crockpot or casserole dish:

  • Sliced potatoes
  • salt & pepper
  • thinly sliced onion
  • slivered ham (I’ve also used chunks of leftover baked ham & it works great)
  • shredded cheese (cheddar, colby or marbled)

After all layers have been made, top with a can of cream soup.

Posted in Easy meals, Food, Military families, Oklahomans helping Oklahomans, Recipes, Veterans | Leave a comment

Need ideas for that chicken that’s in the fridge or freezer?

 

4 Ingredient Chicken Bake
Cook one package stuffing mix according to package directions in 11 X 7 baking dish or a  2 quart casserole dish). In separate dish mix 1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup (or any other cream soup), 1-2 cans of  chicken, and 1 can of peas or corn. Put on top of stuffing mix and cover with bread crumbs or whatever topping your family likes. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

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Awesome Chicken Casserole

This is a great Casserole that the whole family loves, even a certain very picky two year old.
1 Box rotini noodles
1 block of cream cheese
2 cans of cream of celery, or chicken
1 can of milk or until desired creaminess
3/4c. Parmesan cheese
2 cans chicken/ or left over chicken, chopped.
Garlic powder to taste. I love garlic, so I put in a good bit.
Onion powder, if you have it.
Two stack of Ritz crackers

While cooking pasta, heat your cheesy cream sauce in microwave. (all ingredients except chicken and crushed crackers.)
Mix well.
Add red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt to taste.
Carefully stir in chicken. Chunks are nice.
Combine mixture to noodles. Put in dish
Add crushed Ritz crackers on top with thin shavings of butter.
Put under broiler until crackers are browned, and butter is melted.
For a nice filler, I will sometimes add broccoli too :) Very yummy.

 When you cook the noodles add a tablespoon of butter or even butter spray to keep noodles from sticking together.
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Chicken and Rice

Chicken pieces
2 Tbsp. butter
1 lrg. can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. onion soup mix
2 c. water
1c. rice

In a 9×13 pan pour in melted butter. In a bowl mix soup, water and onion soup mix. Pour over melted butter. Add 1 c. rice and top with chicken pieces (can be frozen)
Cover with foil and bake at 400 for about an hour or until the chicken is done and rice is tender.

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Chicken Divan

1(10 oz) pkg frozen chopped broccoli
1½ – 2 C. cooked, diced chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ C. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip (Mirc Whip gives this a wonderful tangy flavor)
1 tsp. lemon juice
½ – 1 C. cracker crumbs
1 Tbsp. melted butter
¼ – ½ C. shredded cheddar cheese

Cook broccoli in microwave and drain well in colander. Place in sprayed casserole dish. Put diced chicken over top. Combine soup, lemon juice and mayonnaise, mixing well. Spread over chicken. Sprinkle cheese over top. Combine cracker crumbs with melted butter. Sprinkle over cheese. Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes.
(You can put cooked rice under the broccoli if you want this more like a casserole)

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Country Style Mac
One package Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner (original style)
2 Tbsp. diced onion
¼ C. margarine (in addition to amount needed to make mac & cheese dinner)
8 oz can whole kernal corn-drained
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1½ C. cooked, diced chicken
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 C. dry bread crumbs

Prepare Mac & Cheese dinner as directed on pkg except use ½ C. milk. Put into 2 qt. casserole dish. Saute’ onion in 1 Tbsp margarine until tender. Combine corn, soup, chicken, onion and parsley with prepared mac & cheese. Melt remaining margarine. Toss with bread crumbs. Spread on top of mac & cheese mixture. Bake at 350º for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Posted in Cheaper and healthier than packaged, Easy meals, Food, Military families, Oklahomans helping Oklahomans, Saving Money, Veterans | Leave a comment