Category Archives: Family

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

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

Cool Weather

Hey yall, good to see everyone again. I’ve been working on some updates and I’m about ready to just update everything and then let the readers point out any thing I’ve missed or messed up. Let me know what yall think of that idea. The updates aren’t enormous, but they are a little more tidy recipe format, and hopefully some of the new recipes we’ve been using.

We are still Gluten and Casein free and hopefully will be for the rest of forever. My kids are still on the autism spectrum, one with Asperger’s and one with ADHD, but they both respond well to dietary therapy and I wonder now if I have celiac sprue, or maybe some other form of wheat or gluten intolerance because I feel better than I ever have since setting gluten and wheat by the wayside. It’s hard, yes, but wow are the results life-changing.

I’m working on some doll stuff. I collect and sew for dolls and I’ve not shared much of that over the internet, but I hope to share more as I’m inspired. I’ll probably get up a subdomain to Frugal Abundance and focus my doll stuff on it. I love to sew and making doll clothes is easy for me, so I’m hoping to put a few doll thing up for sale on the Doll subdomain. If I had daughters who played with dolls I wouldn’t enjoy dolls as much as I do. In my house though, it’s all boys, all the time. Sewing for dolls helps me increase the estrogen level in the atmosphere, even if it’s only vinyl estrogen, every little bit counts.

I’ve been visiting with Anna from Veiled Glory on a weekly basis. We have coffee while my boys are at Karate. I cannot describe the encouragement it is to share an entire hour every week with another christian, headcovering lady who shares the same values and the same desire to serve the Lord while living deliberately. I thank God over and over again for his generosity and grace.  I’m much better able to focus on my goals and zero in on the things I want to do, instead of getting lost in all of my options and not being able to see any specific tree because the whole forest has me overwhelmed.

All is well on the home front. Boys are doing better. Fred’s diabetes in under good control, my PCOS has improved, although I still hope to work towards improving it more. My Granny is healthier than she’s been in years and at last check my cousin is doing very well. The Lord blesses us so abundantly.

Hugs and affection all around. I hope to be blogging regularly, perhaps once or twice a week.


Filed under doll clothes, Family, GFCF

My cousin has Breast Cancer.

My closest cousin has breast cancer.  Her name is Christina.  She has 3 kids, runs an in home day care and is about my age. Here is her blog.

Specifically Speaking

She just found out about it, so if you get a minute, please drop by and offer her support. She’s having a hard time with this and figuring out how to meet all of her everyday responsibilities in addition to addressing this challenge. I know when I’m down that blog comments can really make a difference in how I feel, so I’m asking everyone to please visit her and offer a comment if you can.

You’re in our prayers Chris. We love you and pray for you daily (several times daily as a matter of fact.) Hugs & Love for you and the family.

Thanks Everyone! Y’all are the best!


Filed under Family

Miss Maggie, Miss Maggie, where have you been?

I’ve been to my Granny’s to watch her recover from brain surgery. I’ve also had some really bazaar hormonal reactions to the GFCF diet. Good reactions, my body seems to be growing younger some how. Lost some weight without even trying, still obese, but less so. Got a new spark in my marriage and a big full load of adolescent puppy love for my hubby, have more energy than I have in years, since the PCOS set in over a decade ago, and my hair, well, it’s my favorite side effect: my hair is growing faster than it has since I was pregnant with Jamie, and so little of it’s falling out that all the birds who were using it to make their nests are fussing at me because their eggs are getting cold without my fur to keep them warm.

I had some breast pains, sort of  like when your milk comes in cause the baby cried, and the doctors did lots of tests only to discover that it was because of the hormonal changes. I’m getting closer to menopause, like the last hurrah of summer before the snow flies. And my summer is blooming brilliantly, which is sort of wonderful for a lady of almost 40 whose had some early winter years due to PCOS.

My granny had her brain surgery to remove the brain tumor which turned out to be the size of a grapefruit. It had roots that went down and around, so the surgery was a little dicey, but at 87, she recovered more quickly than women my age, and is now up and around–doing dishes, hanging laundry on the line, walking down to the mailbox, walking the dogs down to the creek, shopping at the Walmart (without the scooter cart, mind you, she pushes her own cart, under her own power). She was in the hospital for just over a week and now has a horseshoe shaped scar on the side of her head, but it’s a pretty scar as they go, healthy, healed up just as pretty as you please, and her hair is growing back nicely. I’m proud of my granny. She says she’s  feeling better than she has in 20 years, feels stronger, has better balance and is just doing so well that we sit around and praise the Lord all day long, because He is the only power that could make all of this turn out so well.

So, I’m here, I’m back at my computer, and hope to update weekly. Next time I write it will be about the boys and how they are faring on the diet, and how our family has adjusted to it.

Thanks for all the support. Hugs & Love–M


Filed under Family, GFCF

The woman I want to be . . .

I have been reading a book called Calorie Queens and have found it especially encouraging. It’s about a Mother/Daughter team who looked at the problem of weight loss and figured out what it would take to finally be successful at it, which they were. Their before and after pictures are amazing.

The basic premise is to decide who or what you want to be, and then behave in the way that a person of that size (or demeanor) would have to behave. For instance, a woman who is lightly active, middle aged and weighs 125-pounds, eats about 1500 calories a day and probably walks a few times a week. Thus to become a 125-pound woman who is lightly active I would have to eat 1500 calories a day, and walk a few times a week. If I’m not willing to do the behavior, then I will never have the results. If I want to be sort of woman who always has a clean kitchen or bathroom, then I have to be the sort of woman who spends time–daily–cleaning her kitchen or bathroom. For the kitchen it would probably be more like several times daily, not just once a day. Without doing the behavior, the results won’t come.

So I’m thinking up what kind of woman, what kinds of character traits, I want, and then considering if I’m willing to the do the work to acheive those goals. I don’t know for sure yet. But here is my list of brain-stormed goals.

I want to be the type of woman who . . .

  1. Sees her doctor regularly for all the tedious maintenance details that come with aging.
  2. Takes her pills on time, every day, twice a day.
  3. Almost never eats processed sugar.
  4. Isn’t tempted by chocolate, maybe even the kind of woman who never eats chocolate, maybe I want to be allergic to chocolate.
  5. Weighs 125-pounds, or 150-pounds would be nice too.
  6. Plans meals every week and sticks to the meal plans.
  7. Wakes up at 6am and walks for 1 hour, 5 days a week, and then comes home and bathes and starts breakfast and then school.
  8. Goes to bed by 10pm.
  9. Bakes bread every week.
  10. Makes cookies and muffins for my kids.

There are probably more I’ll come up with. I’m not honestly sure if I’m willing to the work to acheive these goals. I already am the type of woman who makes her bed every morning and seldom watches TV, and homeschools her kids inspite of the difficulty. So I know some things that I once considered impossible (like the homeschooling and bed making) are simply a part of my daily routine. Maybe some of the other goals can become like that too. I’m not sure . . . much to think about.


Filed under Budget, Family, Health

Snack Tray

Snack tray with dates, carrots and dry pineapple chunks.

This is my new toy. It’s a plastic snack tray that has 3 compartments. There were several colors available (blue, white, green) but I chose red because red stimulates the appetite, as do orange and yellow. Think of every fast-food joint you’ve ever been to, all the colors are designed to make you hungry and eat more. Red, yellow and orange everywhere you look. I figured I could use phsychology in my kitchen just as effectively as the big guys. The tray cost $1 at Dollar General and it is revolutionizing my kitchen.

I have teenagers, well 1 pre-teen (almost 12) and 1 teen (15). They are hungry children. They are slender children. They need food, lots of it, all the time. I hate cooking for them more than 2 or 3 times a day. There are always leftovers in the fridge and fruit in the fruit basket, but they want to graze like cattle, instead of preparing a complete, hearty snack themselves.

We are currently in famine zone, meaning we have enough for bills, and little else. So right now I’m going through my food storage, picking out things I’ve bought during times of plenty, and using them to best advantage. In the past my boys wouldn’t eat dried fruit, I think because they didn’t get their Gluten/Casein buzz from it. That has changed though. As a matter of fact, both boys are expanding their appetite horizons which is wonderful for me, because it makes cooking easier.

So, I’m filling our snack tray every morning, and then the kids have snacks all day long, without needing my help or input. Probably most kids in their teens are able to do a lot of their cooking for themselves, but my guys have been slow about it. I’m happy to report though, that my asperger’s boy has started helping me in the kitchen every single day for our evening meal and any baking I may do. It is sooo much easier to cook when I have a helper. This just started the past week, so it’s big progress for us. Actually every single week we seem to have a little progress, sort of out of the blue, and it’s like there’s a bunch of catch-up work going on, in the life-skills department. Praise God for his grace.


Filed under Family, GFCF, Health, Homemaking, Low Cost Foods, Pictures