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Archive for February, 2019

I got riled

February 28th, 2019 at 07:41 am

As a retiree, fortunately I can now express my opinion with little retaliation.

Last Tuesday was a school board meeting for the district from where I retired. The district is at 66% poverty rate with some individual schools having some even higher levels. At this meeting, the issue of reapplying for the grant to give every student free breakfast and free lunch came up. One of the board members said she didn't think they should because it doesn't give the district a positive image.

OK, I'm not going to talk politics here as far as entitlement programs and stuff. But having worked in high poverty schools for over 30 years, children cannot control what their parents do. There should not be an issue with feeding kids just because being poor might have a negative connotation.

I commented on the article on the newspaper's Facebook page and I had some current teachers inbox me to thank me because they were shocked at the comment, but didn't want to comment for fear of retaliation. So, I decided to write a letter to the editor pointing out the data for the district and if this board member is unaware of it, perhaps she should either study the data or resign. Egad.

I guess part of this is fueled by a local case where a 2 year old was starved and froze to death in a home while her mother and boyfriend let her. Kids should not go hungry because their parents are jerks.

And school board members should know their population.

Sorry for the rant.

Bags

February 24th, 2019 at 12:29 pm

For some who live in towns and even states that already do this, it won't be a shock, but I guess Illinois is going to have a new tax of 5 cents for plastic shopping bags.

I get why. As a state we need money. And hopefully it will help with the fact there are all these stupid plastic bags littering so many places. Although I imagine people will still litter.

I already have a stash of cloths bags we use when we grocery shop in my car. DH said he needed some for his car so we can get in the habit of using for more than groceries. I looked at the stash of material I have and decided to make some bags.

People who sew often buy material and I hate to admit, I've done this, but mine is basically from thrift stores and estate sales. I bought some to make curtains for our bathroom and kitchen windows and I have some left. I bought some to recover some hot pads. Plus I bought some to recover some seat cushions. I'm not a great seamstress, but then again, I'm not selling my stuff nor am I putting in for a home decorating show, so I'm just using things and reusing things. So, it only makes sense to use the material I have. I had to get creative on a couple of bags, but they are for use, not show.

Anyway, I was busy for a couple of days making bags and I decided to give one to a friend since she has been collecting bags for her grocery shopping. It was kind of nifty material and she put it on her arm and said, "Thanks. They will see me coming at Aldi with this bag!"

That really tickled me!

This and That

February 19th, 2019 at 12:56 pm

Been busy around here trying to get things done. One thing was to work on decluttering. I still have a ways to go, but at least I made a little progress.

On Sunday I begged my husband to help me. I cannot get rid of towels. So, I pulled all the bath and hand towels out of the linen closet and let him go through them. There's a bag of them on the way out. The decent ones will go to the homeless shelter that allows daily showers. The decrepit ones went in the garbage.

I then got rid of some raggedy throw rugs.

Then the kitchen towels. I struggled, but I think I got rid of 5 of them. One of them I was still using. A couple went in the garage to clean up messes and the rest are history.

Yesterday I messaged a friend who had admired one of our chairs that we replaced a few months ago. I asked him if he wanted it. He did and he was over in less than 2 hours. I helped him load it and it is now in his house and he struggles with figuring out how he's going to get rid of his old chair. Better him than me, right?

The last couple of days have been spent house cleaning and laundry. The hardwood floors and laminate were vacuumed, then dust mopped, and then wet mopped. They sure look nice. I'm ready to meet DH at the door telling him he can't wear shoes inside. LOL

A couple of times a year I use orange oil on my kitchen cabinets to clean and preserve them. I think that will be a project in March. I had a brand I really liked, but can't find it, so I guess I'll have to use another type. Our cabinets are 16 years old and I don't think they look half bad. I do think taking care of them has helped.

Well, the dryer went off, so unless the laundress suddenly appeared, I guess I better go get the laundry out.

"Spirit of Central Illinois" segment

February 17th, 2019 at 12:58 pm

Last week my church knitting group was featured on the local news as part of their weekly segment "Spirit of Central Illinois" which features people doing nice things. Here is the URL:

https://www.wandtv.com/news/knitted-hats-bring-love-comfort-to-kids-in-need/article_b5f32a56-317d-11e9-9633-4f4c24614ad3.html

I was featured as was my Pastor as spokespersons for the group. No one else wanted to talk and to be honest, I was scared to death, but the reporter did a good job of not making me look stupid.

So far we have made 458 hats for 2019. A guy at church asked me today where we get the yarn for our hats and scarves and I said most of us buy our own and he was shocked. I said we do get some donations of yarn here and there. He was really surprised.

Usually when we get some sort of publicity we have new people wanting to join and that's cool. Hope that is the case this time too.

Another Snowy Sunday

February 10th, 2019 at 12:53 pm

It snowed this morning. Again. OK, I know it is winter, but I'm tired of it. We had been told by the weather forecasters rain with a chance of dusting snow. Well an inch later of snow, and it was slick because the city crews have not been out.

Oh, well. We came out of church and our vehicles were covered. I brushed snow off of our car and then did a couple others for some of the older members. Two ushers said they would get the cars for anyone who didn't want to walk across the parking lot. I think when these things happen, the goodness of people shine through.

Seems like on the money front a lot is going out. We have decided to invest in flood insurance. We don't live in a high flood risk, but with the chance of a possible flood (experts call it a 500 year flood) and homeowners not paying for flood damage, we feel it is better to save the money. We also have a couple other things coming up such as DH's long term care insurance.

I did decide to spend some money on household stuff. I wanted a new cutting board and some new towels and rugs for the bedroom. Kohls had a coupon for so much off, then $10 off if you spent over $50, and everything was on sale. I had a $20 Ibotta refund, and then I also had some money on a gift card from a return I made after Christmas. I looked at the bill...before sale prices and coupons, the total would have been $165.93. After coupons, sale prices, Ibotta credit, and gift card, we paid $31.01 for one cutting board, 2 rugs, and 2 bath towels, one hand towel, and one wash cloth. I know I spent money, but I sure liked saving some as I did it. Hopefully that will be it for spending for awhile.

I pulled some chili out of the freezer for supper. Cold, snowy days make me appreciate chili so much more!

Mr. Cheapskate

February 7th, 2019 at 08:23 am

A couple of days ago I went to give blood at a local church. I knew one of the ladies and she was knitting a dish cloth for their "bread ministry" which is if they have a visitor come to church, someone visits with a loaf of bread and a homemade dish cloth to thank them for coming. She said they only had two people making the dish cloths so I volunteered to make some for her. I told her I would give them to a mutual friend to give her. So, I proceeded to make ten dish cloths.

I dropped them off at our mutual friend's house yesterday. He's a nice man, but I've decided my husband has him pegged correctly. He says "He gives cheap a bad name."

My friend had a good paying job. He gets both Social Security and a good pension. He owns his house outright and the same with his car. But he hates spending money. Any money. Any time.

I get wanting to save, but it has almost become a sickness with him. Almost every piece of his furniture is hand me downs. I know, because one couch was ours and that was over 20 years ago when we gave it to him. He was showing me his new bookcase. He said he found it in someone's garbage and pulled it out. I'm all for recycling, but this bookcase is plastic and cardboard and it was dirty. It won't hold up, but it was free.

One of our thrift shops is run to benefit our Lutheran school association. They are very picky about what they put out and will throw out stuff. Apparently our friend is dumpster diving to get things at the thrift shop. I can see saving money, but never buying anything nice and bringing home other stuff. A lot of the stuff he's bringing home isn't nice. As cheap as my friend is, apparently he isn't too worried about dirt and smoke smell.

I think it has become an obsession with him. And it scares me. I know his mom is frugal as is his brother who is a CPA. But they purchase things -- they just don't go crazy. So, when does it become more than saving money and a sickness?

Weather, Crafting, and Organization

February 2nd, 2019 at 12:50 pm

What an interesting week!

Monday I went to Kroger to pick up my prescription. It is the one medicine my insurance doesn't cover and they have the cheapest price. I have a coupon from the manufacturer for money off, but still have to pay over $250 for it. I had to wait a bit so I decided to pick up a couple of things while I waited and holy cow, did things get crazy. I bought my items and took them to the car and came back and in that short bit of time, the parking lot went from calm to crazy. People were circling looking for places. I went back in to get my prescription and while I waited, there were people who would get a card and almost run, throwing things in the cart. Really? Nothing was happening yet weather wise. The Polar Vortex wasn't even on our doorstep yet! Egad!

DH and I did a few errands on Tuesday and came home and stayed there until Thursday. Tuesday night the weather got colder and Wednesday wa the extreme below zero wind chills. Fortunately we did not lose power or have pipes freeze. We were happy to be home and safe and felt sorry for those who had to get out in it.

I've been looming and crocheting trying to use up yarn that I have purchased for the hats and scarves I'm making. DH and I cleaned house on Wednesday so that kept us busy and gave us some exercise too. DH normally goes to the mall to walk, but he didn't want to get out with it being so cold. So, not the same exercise, but better than sitting around.

We have been enjoying our Netflix subscription. I turned to DH last night and said who would have thought 20 years ago we would "stream" movies in our house. I remember thinking the VCR and tapes was pretty darn cool years ago and now you just sit home and the movies come to you.

We did spend some money today. We took our cars to the place where you wash them yourself. We did both cars to get the salt and grime off until the next go round. We also went to a flea market and I found some things to use as Christmas gifts and they were either 50% or 75% off. Last year I collected lots of little items and wrapped them up individually and gave them to a friend so she had 25 gifts to unwrap from December 1st to the 25th. She really liked it so I wanted to do it again this year. I don't want to give her junk just to give her a gift, but things she might use. She likes Curirier and Ives stuff and I found two trivets that were still in the containers. That will be two gifts and she can use them on her table for hot stuff. I found a box of Christmas mugs like new and it was 75% off.

I'm still doing the Ibotta thing and it is slow going, but hey, it is free money. I guess doing most of our grocery shopping at Aldi keeps me from cashing in a lot, but we also don't buy a lot of the things they give you cash for.

We had our weekly date night last night. We had gone to the bank and DH doesn't carry money in his wallet, but all those plastic cards like his license and loyalty cards. I saw he had a Cracker Barrel gift card and I suggested he use that when we ate out. He said he didn't think there was much money on it and I said well, whatever it is, it isn't helping him by staying in his wallet and even if it is 50 cents, that 50 cents. We went there and ate and when he ran it through, there was $4.70 on it. For a $22 meal, that was $4.70 he didn't have to spend out of his pocket.

The other day we were watching one of those daily programs where they have snippets of different things to improve your life and this one gal was talking about organizing your pantry. I always perk up when those things come on because my pantry is overcrowded and I clean it out and try to organize it, but it never looks wonderful. Anyway, this gal was talking about getting these containers and doing this and that and when she showed the pantry, there were like 4 or 5 things on a shelf. Really? Yeah, it looked tidy, but not a whole lot of cooking going on there. That's how she wanted it to look. I'm going to say it out loud, my pantry will not be looking like that.

I saw an article claiming January was the best the DOW had since 1987. I'm not really sure of that, but guess we will see when we get our financial statement.