I have a new hobby blog

Click the pic to visit my new Springfield Dolls hobby blog.

It’s about dolls. Springfield dolls to be exact. Springfield Collection dolls are an affordable alternative to more expensive 18-inch play dolls such as American Girl or Gotz.

You can find my new blog at Blogspot. Springfield Collection Dolls.

Let me know what you think.


Filed under Dolls


I wanted to let everyone know that I am adding new recipes this week. I’ve already added a few dozen and hope to add more over the week. You can find the new stuff by going to the What’s New page.

I am not yet prepared to respond to blog comments because I am currently in the recipe zone and feel I should strike while the iron is hot. Thank-you for understanding.


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Fred is officially disabled

Just thought I’d share, for family members who visit my blog and folks who might be wondering about what we’re up to. My hubby of 24 years, Fred, is now officially disabled. His back is so bad he can’t work now so we’re applying for occupational disability through the RailRoad. He has 3 disks that have slipped and progressive debilitating arthritis  or something like that. All I know is that he hurts an awful lot, poor guy. So anyway when we get the disability our income will be about half of what it used to be when we worked full time and we’ll probably have to move. Already we’ve missed a house payment, which is terribly humbling, but that’s the nature of the beast. We’re seeing if our house loan can be refinanced with one of the Obama plans for lower interest rate so people don’t lose their homes. If we lose our current home we’ll move closer to my folks and get the kids closer to their church.

We’re kind of philosophical about the house. We love our house, but it’s just a house and if the Lord needs us elsewhere, well, we’re not going to argue with Him. That never gets anyone anywhere. And it’s not like anyone has died or lost a limb or become blind or deaf. Not that those are impossible to overcome, just that it’s easier to move than it is to adjust to never hearing or seeing again, easier to move than learning to use just one hand or one leg. It’s just a house, a material object and those can easily be replaced. People, arms, legs, ears and eyes aren’t so easy to replace. Our home really is where our heart is, not where our house is. Hearts are eternal, houses are temporal.

I’m not sure what the Lord has planned for us, but I’m interested to see where He leads us and how he provides for us during this challenging time.


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GFCF Homemade Hamburger Magic

It took a bit of testing, but I am pleased to share a great success from my gluten-free casein-free, autism-friendly, frugal kitchen.

Homemade GFCF Hamburger Magic Mixes (aka hamburger helper)

There are 3 of them:  Hearty Beef & Gravy, Italian Style & Stroganoff. They are all 3 easy to prepare and provide 4 hearty servings (not 3 skimpy servings like regular hamburger helper). You prepare the mixes in your own kitchen and they they can be cooked as your leisure. My kids LOVE these, and Fred likes them too. I think they taste good, but even better they are very quick and easy when you’d rather do anything but cook. If anyone makes them, let me know what you think.


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Frugal Fat Loss

I’ve uploaded and updated my Exchange Plan Diet and the 15 Challenges of Successful Christian Weight Loss. Along with many other goodies, they can both be found on the new page

Frugal Fat Loss.

You’ll also see PDF files of all the informtion and some new menu planner helps for planning a healthy diet. There are dietary exchange lists, similar to the ones used by Diabetics, food plans including a variety of calorie, protien and carbohydrate combinations and bonus plans for petite frame women and those who are metabolically challenged.

As always, this information is provided for free with Christian love and kindness. Enjoy!


Filed under Budget, Frugal Fat Loss

Making the Best of It!

This is my healthy-eating-manifesto. It doesn’t cover gluten-free or casein-free, it’s just the standard American diet, made as economical and as healthy as I know how. Eventually I’ll write more about GFCF stuff, but for now I’m updating all my regular recipes for regular cooking because most of my readers are looking for ways to make their regular diet more nutritious without costing an arm and a leg. The article is linked below. It’s in PDF format. I believe I’ve edited out most of the kinks but if you find some typos please let me know.

Making the Best of It!

Moving from a fat-filled, sugar-laden stupor to a leaner, healthy lifestyle. 

For epub and mobi versions go here.

Please comment on this article here. Any tips along these lines you’d like to share are also welcome. I really wanted to get this article finished and published before I worked on the rest of my site. Making the Best of It! is like the premise that I want to base my site on. With it published it’s easier for me to maintain my focus on the goals I’m trying to accomplish. Hope you enjoy it, and even if you don’t, please let me know.


Filed under Budget, Family, Food, Grocery Shopping, Low Cost Foods

Comments on updates, here please

I am updating FA right now and OE (or OFE) should be up and running now too. The updates to FA will take the rest of the week and perhaps a little longer, but I’m working on them non-stop so things should be orderly before too long.

I considered redoing my website on a blog the way so many of them are now. It would have allowed for comments on each recipe, but then I looked into the cost of these packages and it’s beyond me. So in the interest of saving money I’m keeping my basic format of  a single recipe per page and easy naviagtion via a recipe index (or several, as the case may be).

I am interested in input in what you would like to see in a budget cooking website and any old-favorites you’d like to see again. Also, any doll enthusiasts, I’m always happy to hear from you too.  I’ll have time over the summer to do more work, and I plan to take advantage of that to remake things into a cohesive whole.



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Where are you?

I’m in real life, not on the internet. I have 2 teenage boys on the autism spectrum who need a lot of hands on parenting and a lot of help with homeschool. I am babysitting my 18 month old granddaughter for 10 hours a day. In addition my grandmother is nearly 90,her main care-giver, my aunt Linda is 60,  my parents (both in their 60’s) who used to live in Minnesota have moved nearby and my only sister is going through chemotherapy for rectal cancer. I cook 3 meals a day, because we are still on our gluten free diet and it takes a lot of cooking to maintain it on a budget. Fred has diabetes and I have PCOS. I’m 41 years old this year and to tell the truth my plate is full. Now I expect that in the next couple or three years that things will settle down. Our granddaughter will eventually start public school (her mom, an adult foster child of my grandmother’s, feels that public school is the best choice, and I defer to the mom, because God made her the mom for reasons that I don’t  have to understand, all I have to do is trust God). My teenage boys will grow up and start college, get jobs, or in the case of my oldest son, perhaps agree to a program that will help him develop independant living skills, and then eventually attend an institution of higher education.

Fred’s back, which was terribly injured earlier this year, is much better, he has been back to work for several months, but his back will eventually give out again, and when it does we’ll be retiring. Perhaps sooner than later. At that time, I’ll have more time to devote to all of my favorite interet projects. Until that time though, I have to maintain the  projects and relationships that I have in real life. For the time being, that takes all of my skills, all of my energy and all of time. If there was more of me to go around, I would devote more here, but there isn’t, so I have to adapt as best I can.

I have many thanks and much appreciation for all of the people who have been so kind and faithful over the years and hope to spend more time with you all when my schedule changes and my kids grow up. Until then, there are many, many quality sites online that can provide information on a variety of subjects, that for the time being, I cannot.

Hugs & Love all around

Maggie 🙂


Filed under Family

I can’t think up good titles any more

Fred is home from the hospital and has been for a few days now. The day after he came home Kia’s  (rhymes with PIE-uh) mom Carla, went to the emergency room and they kept her for 3 days. She had strep throat and the sack her heart sits in got infected. Gross isn’t it? Also there’s been more snow and more expected in a few days.

So anyway, we kept Kia for those days and had a lovely time. It’s pleasant having Fred home for the most part, except I do want to smack him around a little bit now and then, only I don’t do that of course. I just think about it from time to time. and then I remind myself how worried I was while he was gone and so I feel better.

My oldest son, the Asperger’s one, has had wheat this week and even with his digestive aids he’s having a hard time and being mean to everyone and yelling a lot and fussing about things that seem inconsequential to me. He is having an episode I guess. I will have to make sure his grandparents don’t give him any wheat this weekend, or he won’t be tolerable. As it is, I am hiding from him so he can’t find me and fuss at me. He’s 17, has the social skills of an 11 year old and is terribly angry at me for reasons I don’t comprehend. Sigh. The meaner he is the more I fantasize about smaking around his father. How’s that for messed up reasoning.

Oh well. This winter has had more stress than normal for me and doesn’t seem like it’s going to lighten up any time soon. On I plod. Heavenly Father grant me the gift of grace. Amen.


Filed under Uncategorized

Short Update

1. We have much snow. More than any year I can remember in my lifetime.

2. Fred has 3 herniated discs in his back. He has been at the hospital since Tuesday evening. He will come home today. I have missed him and will happy to get him home. He won’t be able to go back to work for a while so we’re getting all the disability and workman’s comp stuff figured out so we can still make ends meet.

3. The boys are at my folk’s house and are happy to be out of the house. I am doing all the snow shoveling myself and remembering when I was a teenager and had to do it all the time when I lived in Minnesota. I kind of like to shovel snow.

4. I have a new granddaughter named Kia (rhymes with PIE-uh). She is now almost 9 months old and I have been watching her during the day which is a wonderful thing for me to do and makes me very happy. Fred and I have decided that grandchildren make us feel successful and wealthy;  like we’ve done well in the world. Kia has curly red hair and she is beautiful.  Her mom, Carla, lives not too far away and works as a private nurse so I get Kia every week day and we have the most fun playing with girl toys and singing silly girl songs and terrorizing her teenage uncles. It’s a good life.

5. I have been sewing. A new light blue jumper for me and a new light brown jumper for Kia. It’s a little big for her, but she is growing like a weed. I will make some more for Kia too. I find it very fulfilling to make jumpers for her and she looks so pretty in them. I will share pictures soon. I have lots of pictures to share and hope to do so eventually. My intentions are always good but my work ethic is slow.

6. I still intend to blog on headcovering eventually. It’s just a matter of the discipline to do it.


Filed under Uncategorized