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Home > Archive: June, 2019

Archive for June, 2019

Frugal Yarn Shopping and other stories

June 30th, 2019 at 11:42 am

First of all, I'm going to brag on a couple of ladies at my church. Bluebird generously sent a donation for my church group to buy yarn for the hats and scarves we make and donate to area schools and non profits. These two ladies combined a phone app as well as paper coupons to buy some very beautiful yarn for us to use. When they presented it last Thursday, people said it was like Christmas and they were choosing the colors they wanted to work with. Again, thank you Bluebird for your kind gift. Please know the money is being carefully used. They haven't used it all, so they can go shop again when they can get another big sale.

Our totals for hats as of last Thursday was 1, 142 hats, 33 scarves, and 58 baby hats. Not bad for a small group of ladies. Here it is the end of June so we will be handing out hats before we know it!

We haven't been doing a whole lot stuff other than working around home. DH spent a big part of the weekend watering his garden and then putting mesh around his plants so the chipmunks don't feast. I have been cleaning and trying to get ahead of the papers. Between crocheting scarves and reading, I have also been using up leftover yarn to make dish cloths. Last year I donated a 100 to a food pantry to put in their Christmas baskets. I have 74 completed so far. I know they aren't fancy, but hopefully they can be a blessing to someone. I try to make them with pretty colors even if they are leftover yarn.

About a year ago I bought a pillow kit to embroider at a thrift store. It was an unopened package. I spent many hours doing the embroidery and finally could sew it together. It will be a Christmas gift for a friend who appreciates handmade items. I bought a new pillow form on sale so another Christmas gift is checked off my list.

I sometimes forget how people view money and possessions. We are very careful with our money. I'm not saying we don't spend money because we do, but we save and plan mostly. A friend of ours has a bigger house, nicer cars, and draws more money than we do. Whenever they get new stuff, we rejoice with them because we know they are happy. Sadly, I guess it is one sided. We had saved up to do some things on our house -- we put new vinyl in our sunroom, bought a new storm door, and had some painting done on the outside. In the greater scheme of things, not huge amounts of money -- probably far less than what they probably spent on some new stuff they bought. However, since we have had this work done, she's been snippy. I don't know if she's jealous or what, but it makes me melancholy that they cannot share our joy as we have shared theirs. I guess the love of money is truly the root of all evil.

A little paint goes a long way

June 26th, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Recently we hired a painter to paint the bricks on the front of our house that were trim, and to paint our front door and side garage door. What a fabulous job he did and everything looks so fresh.

Yesterday, I painted the foundation in the back of the house that had been peeling. I had to take a wire brush first to get the peeling paint, but after that and cleaning it off, I painted and what a difference that made. I put a second coat of paint on the shed doors, painted around the front door trim and the side door trim and then the mailbox. I had to repaint the black numbers on the mailbox as well as the light pole and address numbers there, but everything looks so much brighter.

DH hates to paint. I don't mind doing it, but I know I'm not as good as the professional we hired. But, a nice coat of paint sure spruces things up. I had the paint for my little projects from doing them before. I did buy a new brush for the foundation because I didn't want to tear up the good brush that I clean well each time I use it. I guess I saved money by using up the paint I already had and trying to keep things going instead of replacing things.

Thank you, Bluebird!

June 25th, 2019 at 07:35 am

Thank you, Bluebird, for your generous donation to my church's knitting group. We received your check at church. The ladies are thrilled to have more money to buy yarn. You rock!

What a spendy month so far

June 20th, 2019 at 07:50 am

It's been a speedy month so far. Property taxes are due. We pay the whole amount because I'm always worried I'll forget the second installment. License plate sticker was due. And then we hired a painter to do some painting.

But fortunately we have the money saved back. None of these were unexpected.

Plus I'm glad we hired the painter. He did a marvelous job on painting the brick trim on the front of the house and the two doors. They look like new. We had a slight crack in the wall between our master bedroom and bathroom from the house settling and he fixed it and painted the wall and it looks great.

But I hate to say it, I'll be glad when the spending stops. Yikes! I realize some folks live this way -- spending everything they have coming in. I don't know how they do it. I'm not talking about people who are the working poor and they can't help it. I'm talking about people who make good money, but don't stop spending.

I've kept busy in the evenings. I have been crocheting scarves to go along with the hats my church group is working on. Last week I finished embroidering a pillow case that I need to sew together to cover a throw pillow. It will be a Christmas gift. I just remembered why I hate using the floss that comes in the kit -- it was horrible -- it tangled all the time. I asked DH to remind me if I ever get another kit, to provide my own floss.

My money saving trip today will be to the library. I'm out of books to read. I've read 64 so far. My goal is a 100.

Re: Soggy Saturday Comments

June 15th, 2019 at 04:19 pm

In my email, I've seen three comments on my blog from today from Wink, CB in the City, and Lucky Robin. However, when I try to go to the blog, it says there are zero and that I'm not logged in and it says when I try to log in, I'm already logged in.

Anyway, thank you, Wink, CB, and Lucky Robin for your nice anniversary wishes! I appreciate them.

Soggy Saturday

June 15th, 2019 at 12:01 pm

This weekend it has been forecast that we can get over 2 inches of rain. If last night and this morning is any indication, we are going to be "soupy." We needed some rain because the ground was getting dry, but like usual, it is either feast or famine when it comes to precipitation.

Today is our 29th wedding anniversary. I posted some photos on Facebook. DH wanted to get married in his mom's back yard under a huge oak tree. We didn't have a lot of money for a big, fancy wedding. Anyway, 4 years ago we had the chance to renew our vows under the tree. It was torn down a couple of years ago for a business to go in. One of my college friends asked why we did the back yard wedding and I said we could either pay for a fancy wedding or put a downpayment on a house and we chose the latter. So, 29 years later, we are still happily married and own our home.

Speaking of the home, when we bought this house 21 years ago, there was brick trim on the front of it. We always thought the color didn't match the siding or the roof, but it wasn't a priority. But, after having fixed up other things that had more importance, we paid a professional to prime and paint the brick. My DH has watched way too much HGTV because he says it "pops" now. It does look a lot better. We are going to have the same painter paint the front door to go along with it. Cheaper than replacing it and it should freshen up the front of the house. We have a savings account we put money in each month and we call it our home improvement account. The painter is getting paid from saved money.

No big plans for our anniversary. We did go through a local Chevrolet Museum. We have different places here in our little town and we decided that since we go to museums when we are traveling, we should also visit the local ones. I never realized there were so many Corvair models. So, I learned something new today.

Greeting Cards

June 11th, 2019 at 08:10 am

CB blogged about getting birthday cards at Walgreens and how expensive they are. No kidding. Butterscotch commented that they are more reasonable at Dollar General and they are. I get most from there, but every once in awhile I want to get a special card for DH. Our anniversary is coming up this Saturday. I spend a lot of time picking out a card not only for the message, but for the printing origin. One thing that frustrates me is Hallmark prints both in US and China, yet the ones from China aren't any cheaper. I figure they are pocketing the bigger profit. Anyway, I search for ones printed in the USA.

I lucked out...with the Walgreens reward system I had enough to get the $5.99 card free. But is it just me that almost $6 for a greeting card is ridiculous?

I write a shut in every week and quit buying stationery from retail places. Seems that many thrift stores have new in box stationery for a fraction of the cost. I figure people bought it, never used it, and it was donated. So, I buy it and use it. I figure I must be one of the few who actually writes letters.

Vintage and Current: What Will Last?

June 8th, 2019 at 12:19 pm

Yesterday DH and I decided to take the day and go to some out of town antique shops/flea markets and thrift stores.

As I wandered around, one thing that came to mind is all the stuff that has some age to it -- a lot of it was around when I was a kid and some even older, and the fact that most of it is in good shape. I realize a lot of has to do with the fact people didn't damage it, but I also think it has to do with the quality of how it was made. I commented to DH that I bet a lot of the stuff that is cheaply made won't be around and we had a discussion on how this cheap, disposable stuff is really hurting our economy in the long run -- landfills are filling up and people figure why take care of something -- it's just cheaper to buy new. I have a few pieces of furniture that are older than I am. As long as they are taken care of, they will probably be around after I'm gone. I have some dishes that are the same way. I rejoice in using them, but I also take care of them. We have purchased some furniture made by local Amish. That stuff should last awhile as well.

So, here's a list of some things that might be around for awhile:

Blue Willow dishes
well made furniture -- some old, some new
pens -- I use refills
metal crochet hooks
quality pots and pans
decent flatware
glass pitchers

Do you have some things you think will be around and not disposable?

Our shopping wasn't very extensive. We probably spent less then $20 and that included stopping at an A & W and having two frosty mugs of root beer.

Today we went to the library book sale they have each month. I signed up for the library's summer reading club and was given a certificate for a free book. I suggested that DH look for a kid's book since he reads so many to different classes, but he couldn't find anything he wanted. I couldn't find anything I wanted and so we gave the certificate to a retired pastor we knew who was there -- he and his wife are nice folks, but they struggle on making ends meet. I'm sure he will make good use of the coupon.

We also hit our local thrift stores today. Again, not a lot of shopping. I did buy two American flags, not the tiny ones, to have on hand. Each Memorial Day we put a flag on my husband's father's grave and so I have one for the next two years. It was fun looking and at one of them I got to visit with a friend, so it was more of a social gathering than anything.

Baking for the Sale

June 6th, 2019 at 08:18 am

Once a year my church does an annual rummage sale. There is also a bake sale. Yesterday I spent some time in kitchen baking some small loaves of sweet breads and two 7 x 7 pans of carrot cake. I actually did 3 carrot cake, but one I kept for DH. I haven't made carrot cake for awhile so he was very pleased and when he got home from walking, he wanted a piece right then. I'm glad because I wanted to make sure it was good enough to donate.

A month or so ago we had some clementines that weren't moldy, but had started to get a little shriveled. I decided to search for a recipe to make orange bread. I figured there was one out there and there was. I tried and DH loved it. Hopefully the folks at the sale will feel the same way since I made some for the sale.

Here's the recipe in case you are interested:

Orange loaf

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 T orange zest
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, zest and juice. Add dry ingredients slowly until mixed. Add to greased pans and bake at 350 degrees until toothpick comes out clean. Brush with glaze after you take from oven.

I made the small pans and started checking them after 20 minutes. I think a bigger loaf is closer to 40, depending on humidity and oven temp.

Glaze: 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Blend together and brush on top of warm bread.

Gas Tax and Day to Day Stuff

June 2nd, 2019 at 11:34 am

I live in Illinois and doubling the gas tax is just about a sure fire bet. The General Assembly has passed it, so that means our gas tax will double to 38 cents a gallon. Ouch. I understand that we need it for roads and such, but if the legislators hadn't allowed the powers to be to take money from the original road account, I think we would have been in better shape and had more money.

Fortunately DH and I don't have to drive to work so our driving is for appointments as well as things we choose to do. But I worry about those people who are already having a time of it making ends meet and now this.

The Governor is also wanting to legalize Marijuana so I imagine that will go through with flying colors. I am torn on this issue. First of all, if it is legal, then maybe people won't treat it like they did when there was prohibition. Yet, I'm also worried we will have people using it and driving and being a bigger menace on the roads. Of course, maybe they won't be driving with the higher gas tax.

I just feel like all Illinois is wanting is more money. I understand why we need it, but I also wonder if there are ways to cut some of the spending like we have to do in our own personal budgets.

I do think DH and I will do a little less driving. We enjoy going to some of the area towns to visit. We may not go as often. I don't think the towns will miss us horribly, but I'm sure every dollar we spend helps their economy. Get enough people going and spending, it does make a difference. Perhaps I'm just too simple minded on the whole tax thing.

In other news, DH's garden is growing. He has some small green tomatoes on a few of his plants. If we could just get less rain and more sun, it would sure help. So many of the area farmers are struggling to even get their crops in. And so many in the heartland are facing the devastating effects of flooding. I picked some lettuce and a couple of green onions yesterday to make part of a salad tonight. I really like having fresh from the garden vegetables.

A couple of weeks ago I planted the end of celery in a pot. It is growing. I had to put it in a tall pot because last year when I did it, a bunny decided it was for his buffet.

I bought a weaving loom at a thrift store a couple of weeks ago. One can make scarves and other things. I finished my second scarf. I paid $5 for the loom and I feel I did OK with it. I like learning new things and I can actually use some different yarns with it that it is easier to weave with than crochet with so I feel that is good stewardship.

Aldi had blueberries on sale this week so I bought extra and made some blueberry jam and canned it. I think it is my favorite type so I was excited about that. A friend is kidding me about filling my pantry, and yeah, I do that. There's a satisfaction to having stuff in the pantry when I want it, especially knowing what's in it like the jam.