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Archive for June, 2012

Lemonade anyone?

June 17th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

In the Midwest, we had an early spring or should I say summer with high 80s in March.

One thing hubby likes is lemonade when it is hot. I don't mind making it and I'm amazed that some think it is a lot of work. I guess if I were making gallons at a time, it might be, but to make a pitcher of it ever couple of days isn't that big a hassle. And finding lemons on sale is a bonus!

I don't have fancy equipment. I bought this little squeezer a couple of years ago for $1 and it is handy because it fits right over the pitcher.






Lemonade:

4 small lemons or two medium to large lemons, squeezed. I roll them on the counter a bit to try and get as much juice. I also wash them before I cut into them.

1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on tartness of lemons)

4 cups of water

Stir and serve chilled.

DH loves it!

Twenty Two Years Ago

June 15th, 2012 at 08:35 am

It was on a hot Friday,June 15th evening 22 years ago DH and I said, "I do." And we did!

Today is our anniversary. We married on a Friday night because it was more convenient, and very reasonable.

We decided that instead of paying for a lavish wedding, we would go on a nice honeymoon and have money for a downpayment on a house.

We wore clothing that we we already had. We married in DH's mom's backyard under gigantic oak trees, and then had a small cake and punch reception at a small community center. We stayed the night in the house we had purchased -- our first night together because we had not moved into together prior to the wedding.

Do I regret not having the white dress and large wedding? Not really. The people who mattered the most came to the reception -- the wedding was just immediate family. I think most girls dream of the lovely dress and fancy stuff, but in the greater scheme of things, I preferred spending money on paint and curtains. Those things I saw every day.

I asked DH if he would do it all over again and he said, "Yes!"

Gift giving and buying "used"

June 14th, 2012 at 08:57 am

When I was a kid, there wasn't a lot of money for new things. I kind of resented it because I didn't understand that there just wasn't the extra. But, my folks were smart...they bought second hand to save money and usually "traded up" when given a chance. Besides my dad working for a soda pop plant, they ran a used furniture store. I remember going to auctions, sales, etc.

Fast forward a couple of decades and here I am scouting flea markets, second hand places, and garage sales. I've found some good bargains too. I feel that not only am I saving money, I'm also "recycling" things by giving them a new home.

One friend of mine loves the same things and since we both collect a certain type of dishes, we are always on the look out for the other's pattern. Neither of us minds that is has been used.

Recently I've found some like new things and I'm tempted to purchase them for gifts. I guess I don't get the idea of someone thinking they are too good for used things. I'm not talking about abused or chipped stuff. I'd rather have a really nice dish that had been enjoyed before than a piece of junk purchased new.

So, what's the opinion of the SA folks? Is it OK to buy a like new item to gift?

Pantry Popurri

June 12th, 2012 at 01:34 pm

Our pantry and freezer appear to be pretty full. I thought I would try to start using some of the stuff in both before going back to the store.

I used the last of the potatoes last night for mashed potatoes. I have kept leftover potatoes -- mashed and roasted-- so I thought I'd make potato soup for some lunches. I diced onion and celery and cooked them down in some olive oil. I then added some broth and then the leftover potatoes. When the mashed potatoes dissolved making the broth thicken, I then added about a cup of milk and heated it. Since all the potatoes were already cooked, I didn't have to simmer. This morning in another pot I made a small white sauce of butter and flower in another pot, added the potato soup and it thickened. It was pretty good for lunch with a sandwich and we have enough for another lunch too.

Before I made the soup, I used some of the roasted potatoes cup up in a frittata with eggs, cheese, and some other leftover cut up vegetables. It was a pretty good supper too.

Tonight's supper is using chicken that was in the freezer for oven fried chicken, cornbread, and rice, with a salad.

Fortunately I keep a well stocked pantry or some of our meals could be inventive, but it is always nice using what we have that I probably bought on sale.

I love healthy, frugal eating!

New Coffee Commercial

June 11th, 2012 at 07:12 am

Have you seen the new Maxwell House commercial where the main character is holding a glass mug and gives it to someone to replace a paper cup and says something along the lines of we are fully capable of brewing our own coffee at home?

Way to go, Maxwell House!

I take coffee with me when I go to work in a Thermos. At home, I fix it so I can enjoy it.

A gal I work with was bringing her coffee with her, purchased at the local gas station. She told me it was only 99 cents. I asked her how often she buys it and she says every day. She then moaned about how tight things could be on certain weeks. I mentioned that if she buys coffee 5 times a week that is a least $5 a week and $20 a month. I think the coffee is 99 cents and then tax so it is probably over a dollar. I try to snag my coffee on sale and I bet I don't spend $20 a month on coffee. And I brew it at least 6 times a week.

They don't call it the latte factor for nothing!

Home Improvement Expenses

June 7th, 2012 at 02:51 pm

Ever since I've been out of school for summer break, I've been trying to get some projects taken care of. Last week I cleaned the garage. I decided it was time to replace the miniblinds that came with the house when we bought it 14 years ago. For the past 14 years, I've washed and scrubbed them when I cleaned the garage, but they are so soiled, they looked bad. So, I thought I'd splurge and replace them.

I haven't purchased blinds for awhile and I can say I had sticker shock, even for the cheaper ones. I didn't want fancy ones, just basic blinds.

After visiting two home improvement places, I bought two blinds (one store didn't have the size I needed), a quart of exterior white paint, a pint of interior white paint, a brush, a furnace filter, a can of Pledge, and 4 caps for wheels for a wagon. We spent nearly $60 on this and I can say I was shocked. These are just little projects and $60 in less than 30 minutes! Ouch!

I painted the trim on the garage door and the regular door to the garage, and hung up the blinds. So, two more projects are completed. Last summer when I painted the trim, I used the paint I had bought about 12 years ago, but alas, the paint came to an end last year. I figure doing a little trim paint here and there not only freshens up the trim, it also protects the wood from the elements.

The caps are for the wagon I painted. Years ago my mom gave my husband a wagon to haul stuff around the yard. It has sat in the weather for these years and it was pretty ratty looking. I took a steel brush and tried to get the peeling paint and rust off of it and then I painted it with some paint I had purchased previously. It looks better, but it will never look showroom new...it is starting to rust out in spots, but I figure anything is better than having it look so bad.

I think I know why folks put off projects...not only because of the work, but also because of the expense. I realize this isn't a huge amount of money, but it seemed like we got so little for what we spent. But, I'm trying to look at it as an investment in our house by maintaining things.

Sorry, wrong number...

June 4th, 2012 at 01:37 pm

The phone rang at 5:30 this morning. I don't know about you, but whenever it rings really early or really late, it makes us worry.

It was a prank call. I wasn't really happy about it either.

There's an older man who often misdials and leaves messages. If I answer the phone I tell him nicely he has the wrong number and he always apologizes. If he leaves a message on the machine and it sounds like he's expecting a call back, I usually call him back to tell him he got the wrong number and other person may not be returning his call. I don't believe he is misdialing on purpose. I know if it were my dad I would appreciate someone treating him with respect.

I think this other call is just a string of pranksters...a couple of months ago we got a call after midnight, it came up "private caller" and it was some gal screaming in the phone wanting to know if my husband was the baby's dad and if so, she was going into labor and he better get to the local hospital. After the annoyance of a late night call, I had to chuckle over that one...I got a lot of mileage out of teasing DH over it as well. They've called during the day and left similar messages about the baby and so on and do forth.

I am not worried about my husband having cheated so it's mostly an annoyance, but I'm not sure why folks like to make prank phone calls, especially early or late. They are sly enough to make sure the number doesn't come up on caller i.d.

Maybe I should be prepared for the next one...I have a whistle and I know how to use it!