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August 14th, 2022 at 08:01 pm
Sandi Patty has a Christmas song titled "The Gift Goes On" and it talks about how God doing stuff and how it is paid forward.
Today was a non Christmas gift, but truly a gift begetting another gift.
I've written before about the group at church that loom knits hats as well as knits and crochets scarves, cancer hats, and dish cloths which we donate to different places in our community. In the past few years, we have been very fortunate in receiving some monetary donations as well as donations of yarn from people, many not members of our church. We welcome nonchurch members to join us and we have had some who have joined us to help us with this ministry. Last Christmas we were given a sizeable gift from someone who had noticed my posts on the church Facebook page and those groups who received hats and scarves and dish cloths.
Today was another sweet surprise!
A church member told me someone he worked with gave him and his wife a handmade quilt. Knowing full well that quilts are expensive and very labor intensive, he said he felt she should receive something in return. She apparently said no, but then finally said she wanted two things. She wanted whatever change he had in his pocket, and he and his wife could then give a monetary gift to his church.
This gentleman gave it some thought. Yes, he could do both. He reached into his pocket and was sad he only had 38 cents, but he gave it to her. But, he and his wife decided that they would write a generous check to our church and earmark it to our group, Stitches of Love, honoring the lady and her quilting and knitting talents.
An unknown lady was responsible for our group getting money because of her kindness. And hopefully the items we make and donate will cause the gift to continue to go on. My heart is joyful because of this!
July 24th, 2022 at 07:13 pm
There's a slogan about not letting stuff go to waste, something to the effect "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" or something like that. That is my go to slogan lately.
My mom died a number of years ago. She was a quilter and she had all this material she had purchased and never used. I gave it away since I don't quilt. But there are lots of jokes about people with yarn, material, etc. and how much they have stashed. Or hoarded.
I have purchased some material at thrift stores and estate sales. Not huge quantities, but some. My new goal is to use it up before I buy anymore. I believe I blogged about recovering some of my hot pads. I had enough to make a new table cloth for our dining room table. I have sewn cloth bags to use for shopping as well as one for my stuff for my knitting/crocheting group for church. I had looked at bags when we were in England and the cheapest price on a bag was over 30 pounds which was even more in American dollars. I had found some new material at a thrift store that had English symbols like the red telephone booth, and the double decker bus printed on it, and it was $1.99 for it and I paid $3 to make some handles for it. A far cry from what I would have paid, and if it gets worn out by my using it, well, I don't have to regret it.
I have also purchased some other things craft wise like towels to do counted cross stitch on. I like doing that, and I have a couple of friends who like them, so I usually work on them and give them as gifts. But, I am not allowing myself to buy anymore until I use what I have.
The only thing I'm allowing myself to buy is yarn for the hats, scarves, and dish cloths we make in the Stitches of Love group at church. I have used all the yarn I bought originally, so I bought a little more, and am almost through with it. I have been crocheting mostly scarves since we have so many who make hats. I can't make as many scarves as they do hats, but we promised hats and scarves to our Lutheran High School's Student Council for the number of kids they are adopting for CASA. The leftover yarn I make dish cloths and we are donating them to a local food pantry to put in the Christmas baskets. Nothing goes to waste when it comes to the yarn.
I did a small canning yesterday since we had some extra tomatoes. I made lavender jelly earlier since our lavender was really blooming. Some of this is for us, but I use some of it for Christmas gifts. Same with grapes...made some jelly. Some for us, some for gifts. I hate to see food go to waste.
So, are you using stuff up or wearing it out?
June 19th, 2022 at 07:42 pm
I will admit it, I like Pinterest. Too much. It seems to be my go to site some days when I'm not sure.
As a result, I've tried new recipes, tried new crochet patterns, and even found some cool genealogy templates. I like blue willow dishes and I have one very big "board" of all sorts of blue willow. Peter Davison is one of my favorite British actors and I have a board with stuff about him.
I have even searched frugal living on Pinterest. There seem to be quite a few things to pin there as well, but I've noticed there are a lot of repeats.
I can't decide if Pinterest is valuable or a time waster. Hopefully valuable since I tend to get some good info from it.
My latest project was to make an apron using men's ties. It took me two days since I sewed everything by hand. My machine is not heavy duty and sewing through ties would be too much for it. It's kind of cute. I found the ties for 10 cents each so I have 90 cents worth of ties and used some other stuff around here. I was pleased the way it turned out and plan to give it as a Christmas gift for a man who likes to cook, but hates those "girly" aprons.
I will admit Pinterest often tempts to try new things and get involved in stuff that hopefully has some value. It just makes it way too easy to find things. That's a good thing, right?
April 15th, 2022 at 09:20 pm
It's been a while since I've posted. Some is because I didn't have much to say, but the biggest reason is I couldn't do anything besides call up the page -- I couldn't comment on anyone else's posts either. It is very frustrating.
Things are just going along here. DH's ornamental pear bloomed and it is a thing of beauty. It's too cold to plant anything yet, but he's eager and I'm eager to start having home grown stuff.
I continue to work with our church's looming group. Most loom knit hats and I used to, but now I crochet scarves since we give hats and scarves to our preschool and then give scarves with the hats as we have them. We are working to have 110 hats and scarves for CASA for our Lutheran High School's Student Council to distribute. We have 70 so far. We are also making dish cloths for a local food pantry to put in the Christmas baskets. Last year we had 200 made, but I think we may surpass that this year. We already have 124 made. I did make some and put in the Easter baskets for a woman's shelter we gave "Easter baskets" to last week and we usually give some for Christmas too. One lady knits those and I crochet mine. We figure getting something new and colorful is nice in the Christmas baskets.
It should be a quiet Easter for us, but that's fine. At least this year we can have services and attend which is a blessing.
February 25th, 2022 at 08:48 pm
Recently I saw a little plaque that said, "Queen of Yarn." I feel like that sometimes when I look at the yarn I brought home from church. I continue to work on scarves and dish cloths for our Stitches of Love group. We have promised 110 hats and scarves to two non profits for next year, but we will have far more hats than that. Scarves take a little longer to make than hats. The dish cloths will go to a food pantry to put in the Christmas baskets.
Besides the crocheting, I also recovered two other hot pads with the fabric remnants. So, I have three new to me hot pods. I have been saving the bags the newspaper has come in due to bad weather and plan to make a wind sock out of them for the yard.
Am I the only one delighted when something I buy comes in a glass bottle or jar? I'm so sick of plastic stuff. I recycle everything I can, but I wonder if it truly gets recycled. A lady from church is saving the caps off of plastic bottles to give to some charity that sends them in to make park benches. So, I made a newspaper sleeve to save them in.
I bought a book at the thrift store today about small gardens. If food prices continue to rise, we may need to plant more things this spring and summer and this book supposedly gives ideas on small area gardening.
We lost a lot of money in our retirement investments last month. I'm sure this month will be more of the same. Kind of scary how quickly it can drop.
I think if inflation continues as the chance of even more war and conflict, we will need to tighten our belts even more and continue to looks for ways to reuse things and find more reasonable alternatives.
I am praying for Ukraine and our world leaders.
December 7th, 2021 at 08:36 pm
Sadly I'm a bit behind in keeping up with blogs. The past couple of weeks have been a bit busy, but I'm not complaining one bit. I'm trying to catch up!
We delivered hats and dish cloths after Thanksgiving that our Stitches of Love group made. I am working on researching who we may be making hats for in 2022. We delivered a bunch to our local CASA as well as a women's homeless shelter and to a school.
Our church had its Christmas bazaar. Some things were changed due to Covid, but it was still pretty successful. I baked 26 dozen cookies in addition to some sweet breads and a pan of fudge that was cut and packaged. I also made some things for the craft section.
I believe we sent over 75 Christmas cards. Yes, I know that people don't think that is economical, but honestly, I like doing it and my husband who calls himself a Ludite when it comes to technology so enjoys when we receive Christmas cards back. I'm anal enough that I draw lines on the envelopes because I cannot write straight to save my life.
Fortunately my shopping is finished and we had saved money throughout the year so everything is paid for. Yay!
Two other couples are getting together and we are going to create a British Christmas dinner for Saturday. I looked for a cookbook in the thrift stores with recipes and eventually found one, but between that and doing research online, I found some recipes I thought we could use. I ordered some Christmas crackers which should be fun. I've already told everyone we all have to wear the crowns that come with the crackers.
A friend from church nicely loaned me the newest John Grisham novel after he finished reading it. I read it in two days and was pleased. I had put my name on the reserve list at the library. I read a lot of books but honestly cannot see purchasing a book that I'll read once. That was just a joy to get it so much sooner!
A man at church does not have any techy skills, so I signed him up for his Covid booster. I had gotten him his original two vaccines. Honestly, it is a shame that so many places make it so hard for people to do stuff who cannot use technology. He was in an auto accident a number of years ago and just cannot do the technology due to a brain injury. I did the same for a lady at church too.
Like many, it has been a spendy few weeks, but we have saved the money and figure we might as well enjoy ourselves a little bit. We aren't going into debt.
Hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy.
November 12th, 2021 at 09:14 pm
November is flying by! I feel like I'm on a speeding train or something.
We had our Stitches of Love group yesterday at church. We have made 851 hats this year, 37 baby hats, 46 scarves, 30 blankets, and 186 dish cloths. The hats and scarves will be donated to kids' charities. I am working to make 14 more dish cloths so we have 200 for Christmas baskets for one of our food pantries to put in their Christmas baskets. The blankets we sent to a nonprofit called "Blankets from Ben." We made fewer hats and scarves this year due to Covid and the death of one person. Our group is pretty small, so even having over 800 is an accomplishment.
In other things, I pulled a turkey breast from the freezer yesterday and put it in the fridge. I had bought a couple of them from Aldi and when I went to fix them, they aren't as good as they once were. I wonder if the farm is different where they get them had problems or what, but we didn't like them. I hate to throw them out and honestly, I would be embarrassed to donate them, so I decided I wanted to make some broth. I realized about 5 quarts of rich turkey broth. I plan to make soup tomorrow and wanted some broth and I will freeze the rest and thaw closer to Thanksgiving. As expensive as food is, I just hate to waste it.
Speaking of expensive, our grocery bill seems to be more expensive every week. And it is weird what is missing from the shelves. We are limited as far as grocery stores in my city. We have Aldi and Kroger and Walmart. I don't shop Walmart if I don't have to. Aldi had empty shelves as far as mandarin oranges and applesauce this last week as well as evaporated milk. I didn't want the mandarin oranges or applesauce, I just noticed it when I went to pick up a can of peaches to replace the can I used. Kroger doesn't have cans of red beans. They have kidney beans and Navy beans, but not red beans. They haven't had any beans other than their store brand for years so it sort of limits one if one is shopping for beans. I just thought it was weird what was missing from the shelves. I wondered if it was that way everywhere. Anything in particular not showing up on your grocery shelves?
September 21st, 2021 at 07:13 pm
The past couple of weeks I've stayed busy, but nothing really earth shattering. I thought I was finished canning, but did wind up with some more tomatoes. Then a friend gave us some zucchini which I'm working on using. I made some zucchini relish, and am itching to try zucchini marmalade. We purchased a half share of CSA this summer and there were cucumbers in it, so I made some sweet relish too.
It's hard to believe September is nearly over. DH's 75th birthday is Monday. I plan to bake him a chocolate cake and we hope to go out for supper. I spent some time cross stitching some towels for Christmas baskets as well as crocheting some dish cloths. I plan to make those little baskets up with those and some jams, jellies, and relish.
There was a spot on the news a couple nights ago saying to do one's Christmas shopping early because they think there might be shortages of stuff. I hope they aren't just saying that to put people in panic mode again. Other than DH, my shopping is basically finished. He usually tells me some clothes he wants. We give money to those who do things like cut our hair.
The group at church branched out a little this year and we adopted a group that gives blankets to people who donate organs of loved ones. We made 30 blankets and I mailed them yesterday. We continue to make hats and scarves and dish cloths.
I guess we are saving money because other than the normal stuff like groceries and medicine, we aren't going shopping. There isn't much of anything I need or want at this point, except for people to stay healthy and the Pandemic to end.
September 4th, 2021 at 08:06 pm
Sadly, I think my canning is over for this year. I think we have enough, but I always like to have extra on hand. DH had a good tomato crop, but he grew more heirlooms and they don't produce as many. But they sure were tasty.
A few months ago I found this small weaving loom at a thrift store. Someone donated some rug yarn at church and no one wanted to use it -- a couple of skeins are not going to make much of anything plus it is rough stuff to work with. I decided to use it and make a scrubby for myself. I'm almost finished. I plan to donate the loom when I finish because it is OK, but nothing I really want to use. I did use one of the skeins to make a crocheted basket and one of the other ladies wanted it so I gave it to her.
We continue to work on hats and scarves with the church knitting group. I finished a scarf and had some yarn left over. I saw a pattern using the rings from milk jugs and have been saving a few of them. You crochet around them to make a mini wreath ornament. So, I did that since the yarn was green, then made a dish cloth and used up the rest of the yarn. We have been making dish cloths to donate to one of the food pantries and women's shelter. A friend of mine is involved with the local CASA group and asked if we could provide hats for the kids so that is one of the groups we intend to give the hats to.
I had some yarn left over from a hat and I used it to crochet a small bag to hold soap. I guess you can put a whole bar in it, but on a couple of the frugal sites, you put in parts of bars and then use that to keep the pieces together and lather up. I made myself one a few months ago and it did work. So, the bag is going to a friend for Christmas, but I'm going to include a whole bar of soap with hers. I also crocheted a dish cloth and then a smaller dish cloth and attached it to a scrubby. I'm not making as many Christmas presents this year simply because I haven't had the initiative. A lady and I were talking about this at church. She's a big crafts person and she said lately she hasn't felt like doing much of anything either. I'm wondering if the fact the Pandemic seems to never end and if we are just getting mind weary of it all.
We received some much needed rain here today. DH is delighted because he was worrying about the yard browning. He hopes it will bring it back. I used the time inside to clean and organize the linen closet which I have been procrastinating about. It wasn't as bad I as thought, but I still was dreading it.
The first Tuesday of the month, our Walgreens has senior day where if you are 55 or older, you can get a percentage off of anything not on sale. This doesn't include prescriptions however. But, I often try to make a list of things we use and often are not on sale and save a bit stocking up. It's fall and I'm in my stock up mode anyway on so many levels. Anyway, I'm making my list for that. We don't need a ton, but saving a bit here and there is always pleasant.
April 7th, 2021 at 08:56 pm
Yesterday was a very spendy day for me. A couple of years ago when I renewed my driver's license, it was just the same way as always. A couple of months later, the state decided to institute the "real id" and it was to be done by October 2020 if you wanted to fly and didn't have a passport. Well, Covid struck, DMVs were shuttered, and so we waited for things to open up. Last fall, the DMVs opened up, and DH had to renew his license, and so we got the documents together and he got the real id. I was waiting for things to calm down since there was so much catch up, but then our governor shut down the state again and so I waited. Yesterday I decided it was time. I had a free afternoon. Darn good thing, because it took the whole dang afternoon.
I had read online what I needed and I headed to the county clerk's office to get a certified birth certificate. Cha ching...$23. So, went to the DMV to stand outside for over an hour and then 20 minutes inside before I was getting to see a clerk. I laid out all my paperwork only to be told that I needed a certified marriage license. So back to the county clerk's office and another $23 plus parking. Then back to the DMV to wait in line again. I guess I sort of understand why we need all this stuff, but to be honest, $46 for two pieces of paper to prove I am who I say I am, and it kind of makes me wonder if someone is getting a kick back or something. Oh, well. That's done and I await my new license coming in the mail.
We had a quiet Easter. We did attend Easter service and DH told me what he wanted for Easter dinner. We were fortunate to find a very small ham, and I mean very small. That being said, it still made for 4 meals, the last was today. DH likes ham a whole lot more than I do. It is OK, but I think from years before my gall bladder surgery of ham and pork making me sick, it kind of reminds me of that. Anyway, we finished up the last of the Easter leftovers today. We did our grocery shopping this morning and other than the normal stuff we buy each week like eggs, dairy, bread, and fruit, we did not need much. That is always good.
I continue to work on making scarves for our church's knitting group. I am about out of yarn and will need to get some. I have some leftover pieces of skeins that I plan to use to crochet dish cloths. Last year we donated over 200 dish cloths for Christmas baskets for a food pantry.
For my last birthday, a friend was generous to make us breakfast. That was better than any other gift I could think of because I certainly don't need anymore "things." So, I have a friend who is having a birthday tomorrow and I'm baking him a cake. He is helping take care of his mother so I doubt if anyone will think of a cake. I already checked with him and he said that would be great.
March 8th, 2021 at 08:54 pm
Yesterday was frustrating. I read many of the blogs, but the site would not allow me to comment, told me try later, only after going through what seemed like a zillion of those recaptcha images. Egad.
The weekend wasn't an adventurous one by any means. Basically stayed around home. DH is a clothes horse. I noticed he has been wearing the same few pairs of slacks over and over and I know he has quite a stack. Well, he said he didn't want to disturb the pile by getting them down off the shelf. But, he has two shelves in his closet and he's tall enough he could be putting stuff on the top shelf. So, I suggested we go through his slacks and then put some on the top shelf. He tried on every pair. He found some don't fit or he doesn't like the way they fit. I will wash them and we will donate them. He had a bunch of balled up shirts he uses for his yard work, so I washed them all and folded them. His closet looked so much nicer and he can now wear other slacks because he can get to them. Of course that made me look at my closet. I went through it and pulled some things to wash so I can donate them too. I threw away three blouses because I had been using them to work around the house and they were just plain nasty. I think straightening the closet always makes me feel like I accomplished something.
We had our first small salad with our Aerogarden lettuce on Friday. I teased my husband it couldn't get mush fresher -- I picked it, washed it, dried, and tore it in smaller pieces for the salad and we ate it.
I have been working on a small quilt project. A few months ago I bought a quilt top that had to be hand embroidered. I finished that and have been working on hand quilting it. I have not quilted before so it was a learning experience. It is a throw, so it isn't huge. I finished it and even with the mistakes, I'm a little proud of it. But, I'm glad it is finished because I want to go back to making hats and scarves for the knitting group at church.
February 8th, 2021 at 12:28 am
Not a whole lot of new stuff to report. Been doing the cooking/cleaning/crafting circuit mostly.
I am spending more and more time in the kitchen it seems because for some reason, we eat. OK, kidding aside. In order to keep things moving along, I am challenging myself to try and do different things. For example, yesterday I made orange marmalade. I had some extra oranges and two extra lemons and a box of pectin and some sugar, so why not? I was pleased with the results. I'm trying to make things that are healthy too. DH loves to snack after supper so I made an apple crumble so the topping was made with oatmeal. Not low calorie, but he doesn't need to watch his waistline and he would eat something sweet anyway, so figured I was helping him eat a little healthier. I made rye biscuits yesterday just to see how they would turn out. We had some with the beef stew I made yesterday and heated up for tonight's supper.
You wouldn't think with just the two of us I would need to clean as often, but it seems we tend to track in way too much stuff. Plus I'm kind of partial to clean clothes and sheets and towels.
As far as crafting I have a big project, well for me a big one started. I bought one of those embroidery kits for a throw that after you embroider, you then quilt. I finished the embroidery part, now I am doing the quilting part. It is a bit pricey, but I am learning something different so I figure it might be worth it. I can only do it so long before my eyes get tired. I loom knit and crochet some too. I have six scarves made for my church group. I'm trying to use up yarn I have and yarn the church has so I don't go out and buy stuff.
I paid some bills today and was pleased we have a bit of a surplus as far as cash. Sometimes I worry that I've forgotten to pay something, but I look back and see we are where we should be. Maybe because we aren't going out and doing a whole lot it is saving us money.
December 18th, 2020 at 09:29 pm
Another cloudy day in Central Illinois. I think this is what makes winter so difficult, the gloominess. We won't mention the cold and the frozen precip, but...
I guess the cloud cover tends to make me feel a little blue. I have no reason to feel that way.
The past couple of weeks have kept me busy delivering stuff for our church's group. In the past we went as a group to deliver hats to schools and non profits, but this year, I did it solo. I delivered hats and scarves to a school, then delivered dish cloths to a food pantry as well as some food and some hats, baby hats to a local hospital, baby and kids' hats to a health care group that works with those in high poverty, hats to our local cancer center, fidget sleeves to a nursing home, and cup cozies, candy, and beverage mixes to our local police department. We didn't make as many hats this year due to not being able to meet, but many of the ladies continued to work at home. Our totals are as follows:
Baby Hats: 132
Dish cloths: 210
Cup Cozies: 72
Fidget Sleeves: 18
I also dropped off some presents to some of our friends. Most were put on their porch. I delivered them when the weather was milder so stuff could sit out for a bit. I finished wrapping DH's gifts yesterday. He loves Grape Nehi in bottles and our local Cracker Barrel had 4 bottles in their gift shop. I will admit, I chickened out. I put them in a gift bag. But they and a few other items are under the tree.
It's hard to believe Christmas is a week away.
November 29th, 2020 at 08:45 pm
Hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving. It was a quiet one here, just the two of us. Our Pastor asked if we had a quiet one and I said, especially since my husband doesn't talk very much when he's eating. Pastor laughed out loud and said he was a kindred spirit.
I can't say we've honestly saved a lot of money the past few months. It seems although we aren't going anywhere on short trips or anything, other things have come up. Unexpected dentist bills and I needed new glasses -- mine were five years old and it was time -- I wasn't seeing very well. Currently our governor has said no indoor dining and although some places are offering tables outdoors, I don't like to be windblown or get super cold while trying to eat, so we aren't even doing that. We did some of the take out last spring when he instituted this rule and honestly, by the time we got the food home, it just wasn't as good, even if I reheated it. So, I'm on KP until further notice. I know our grocery bills have gone up because I have been trying to make different things so we don't get bored eating the same stuff. We did have a wild outing last week -- our grocery store choices are limited here in our city so we drove 45 minutes to Springfield and went to a large store where they have other things that our stores do not carry. It was kind of nice finding some things we like that normally cannot get. I have gotten more creative as far as reworking leftovers. I try to cook things that make more than one meal not only to save money, but also so I can save myself some time.
My Christmas shopping is finished. Other than a few items I ordered online, most were purchased locally. I know a lot of people love the online shopping and convenience, but I guess I'm old enough to not care for it that much. Plus, I like to support local retailers. I just mailed over 50 Christmas cards. That was an ordeal -- addressing them all. For those I don't see either in person or on social media, I wrote letters in the cards. The U.S. Postal system ought to be pleased I bought so many stamps, right?
I have one more delivery for our knitting group at church. We made over 1,100 hats this year. Yes, that is less than the past couple of years, but honestly, the fact we hit over 1000 with the fact we didn't meet for months is amazing. Most of the ladies worked at home on hats. Three schools were "adopted" and we also made 130 for a local group that puts together packages to send to soldiers. We included scarves and also bought 130 tuna packets to go in their boxes. We made some to give our cancer center for them to put out for patients to take too. We made over 200 dish cloths to go in food baskets that one of the food pantries gives out for Christmas and we also gave some to a women's homeless shelter as well as took some food there too. I need to sew buttons and beads on to some fidget sleeves and drop them off at a couple of nursing homes. So, take that Covid 2020 -- you didn't stop our group, Stitches of Love! Our ladies' group at church isn't having their holiday bazaar. We normally sell cookies by the pound and usually make quite a bit of money that we use for missions as well as other baked goods and gently used Christmas items. So, it was suggested that we donate the money we normally would have spent making the cookies and baked goods to the ladies' group so they have some money for some of the missions they support. So, other than some baking I plan to do to share with friends, most of my big Christmas stuff is done. I do need to wrap and mail two packages which I hope to get done this week. But, I have the stuff already so that shouldn't be an issue.
I finally decided to go through two piles of papers in my area. I call my little room the bear room because I have some teddy bears there. I used to collect them. I gave away three fourths of them, but I kept some that had the most emotional hold. So, instead of my office, it's the bear room. I have a bad habit of letting papers pile up thinking I'll get to them later. Well, later was today. Yay! Lots went to the shred pile and some to recycling and my pile has diminished.
So, that's what I've been doing. Nothing exciting, but it is the day to day living we all experience, right?
November 15th, 2020 at 08:04 pm
Hats, hats, and more hats! At least that is what it seems. We had our final meeting for the church looming knitting group last Thursday. Our totals are as follows:
Baby hats: 132
Considering we don't have a huge group and that many were hampered due to the Pandemic, I thought that was a goodly amount of hats and scarves. The school district we normally give the bulk of the hats to is on remote learning so we are dropping some hats off, but are looking for other places that can use the hats immediately. We have been creative. One group is another church that puts together boxes to send to soldiers. We have been making hats and scarves in military colors (as requested by the group that does the boxes) and I will drop the 130 hats and the scarves off as well as some food to put in the boxes from our group. Some of the hats will go to the kids who are a part of the court appointed children's advocate since their workers see their kids in person. We did give some hats to a high school that is doing hybrid learning; the principal is a friend and I asked if he could hats and he said yes and gave me a count of which kids he figured would honestly wear them and needed them. We plan to give hats and scarves to a woman's shelter as well as the healthcare center that sees low income families. The whole purpose is to provide something new for these folks and hopefully help them get through the winter. The local TV station has already started the yearly coat drive so hopefully they will have hats, scarves, and coats for the winter. We also are giving hats to the local cancer care center for them to put out for people to take and use. And the baby hats will go to the local hospital for the staff to give to parents to take home and use.
I need to get into church and count the dishcloths. We were given a bunch of dish cloth cotton from another church and another lady and I worked on making those. We will give them to a local food pantry to put in the Christmas baskets. Hopefully all the knitting, looming, and crocheting will provide things for our community this year.
Throughout the year I worked on different Christmas gifts too. I did some embroidery on some towels for a friend who likes towels. Instead of Christmas towels, I did winter so he can use them for more than just Christmas. I also embroidered some napkins for friends who the husband is an amazing cook and they like to have the family over. I crocheted a bookmark for a friend in her favorite color. Another friend likes crocheted dish cloths so whatever yarn I have left over from this and that, I make a bunch to give him.
It's a very blustery day here. It's in the 40s temperature wise, but the gusts of wind make it seem far colder. Glad I can sit here at my computer in a cozy house and drink a cup of tea while I write my blog. Hope your day is going well as well.
July 10th, 2020 at 10:30 pm
The week is starting to wind down. DH is out in the yard. He's mowing since it is a tad bit cooler and less humid. We had horrible heat and humidity last weekend and most of this week. He spent some time watering his garden before the mowing and we had a few tomatoes to pick! Most were cherry, but homegrown is homegrown, right?
There's something gratifying about going to the garden and getting a few things to use. I pulled up some onions that I'm going to use for a meal. I will be getting some herbs to add the spaghetti sauce tonight. It's my canned sauce, but I think fresh Basil tends to add to it although when I made it, I had cooked it with Basil.
Yesterday the looming group church met for the first time in months. There was a small group, we sat at a table each so it was like more like ten feet apart, we wore masks, used hand sanitizer before we sat down and used it again on the way out. The church hired a lady to come in and sanitizer the tables and chairs for every group that uses the room. But, it was so fun to catch up and visit with people. Many have been working on hats and scarves and they brought them. Our totals are as follows:
Baby hats: 54
I don't think we will make as many hats this year as we did last year, but we aren't in a contest nor are we trying to break records. Another church had brought us a huge amount of dish cloth cotton so two of us have been making dish cloths. We are going to donate the lot to a local food pantry to put in their Christmas baskets. This year I think we will have enough for every basket to get one. I know it's not a big thing, but I would think if I were on the receiving end, it would be nice to get a little surprise like that.
DH has had some tooth problems, so we are trying to have foods that don't aggravate his tooth. Lots of soft stuff. Glad I canned applesauce and tomato sauce last year. I know any money we are saving on food now will be more than taken and then some as he has a root canal and a crown, but that's why we save on other things.
I went to the Chobani site and did the "contact us" and asked for coupons. They are very generous with coupons and encourage me to write in each month. Talk about wanting to keep customer loyalty.
It's been great that our library has opened up. Not entirely, but I can still go and pick out books. I missed reading when the library was closed. I hate to buy books for my personal reading. I tend to read a lot and don't want to buy books that I will only read once. I finished book #58 last night.
We went to some thrift stores. I found a box of nice greeting cards for next to nothing. They were older, but that is fine. Made in the U.S.A. Yay!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. DH is almost done with the yard and I have the biggest share of the house cleaned. A good way to start the weekend off!
July 7th, 2020 at 04:15 pm
It's hot and I don't handle heat well. DH went to the mall to walk so I actually had control of the TV remote. I was messing around and saw a show about paying off debt on Crackle. Crackle is a free streaming service so I figured I would check it out.
It was pretty interesting. Kind of reminded me a little of Gail Vaz Oxlade's "Till Debt Do Us Part." I wanted to check out the host who is CEO of Chegg which I had never heard of before. Apparently Chegg is some sort of educational resource for folks so it makes sense the person wants to help 20 some year olds with their debt, especially those with student loans.
Here is the website for the show and it looks like there are different sites to help people with information: https://www.goingfrombroke.info/?fbclid=IwAR1DHCSs9TemEo58GMFlpMX2FoRlIfplR6yOKhlXhohc1vVHrd6jHDTQgZA
Other than that, not much new or exciting. DH has been seeing the dentist and there is a root canal and a crown in his very expensive future. I'm reading book #58 so far this year besides doing the crocheting and looming for church and keeping up with housework around here. We've had a few cherry tomatoes from DH's garden and some onions.
June 10th, 2020 at 09:53 pm
I haven't blogged for awhile because I simply don't have too much to report. Just doing stuff around here and sheltering in place. I finished everything on my initial to do list so I'm starting another. Many of the things on my original list were things I had to do outside. I don't like working outside due to allergies and I get sunburned very easily, even with sunblock. So, when I finished everything I needed to do outside, I was ready to celebrate. It included painting the shed door, painting the sunroom door, and of course cleaning my car which I wrote about earlier.
I have my year's worth of green beans canned. I do it every April and May. Usually I can get fresh green beans on sale, but not so this year. Only one week did the grocers have them on sale and that was when things were still wild, so I didn't want to buy too many and look like a hoarder.
I have continued to crochet and loom scarves and hats for our knitting group even though we haven't been able to meet. Hopefully things will calm down before long and we will be able to meet.
I've come to the point where I make a bunch of lists. Maybe it's because I need to feel like I've accomplished something.
Our library finally decided to offer curbside pick up, only books they have, no interlibrary loan. I checked out 6 books last Friday and have read 4 of them already. I missed being able to read because I had basically read through what I had at home.
I wish I could report we are saving money big time, but it seems like groceries have gone up. Plus, when we do get something curbside, DH wants to give a bigger tip because he knows the restaurants and servers are struggling. We aren't going broke by any means and we figure they need the extra money.
I have only ordered once online for something and it was frustrating because it was to be shipped in 2-3 days (I paid for shipping) and it took over 2 weeks. Fortunately it wasn't anything that would spoil, but it was discouraging.
Our thrift stores opened up about a week ago with limits to how many could come in and we have to wear masks. We went through the 4 that were open. I did score a brand new case of wide mouth canning jars for $6 (name brand) and thought that was worth it. DH found a like new shirt he wanted. So, that made it fun at least that we found something.
Well, just thought I'd pop in and say howdy! Hope you are all doing well.
May 3rd, 2020 at 09:30 pm
Our weather pattern has been weird. We get one or two decent sunny days and then 4 or 5 rainy, dreary, cool days. Not good for the garden, that's for sure.
DH has decided to try and plant a few more tomato plants and when he was digging in the yard found a wire. He quit immediately and will call about having Julie come out and make sure it isn't anything bad. We can't see where the wire goes. Doesn't seem to be coming from our house or the neighbors nor does it seem to be a part of the electrical boxes. Better to be safe than sorry.
I have been trying to get a few projects done around here, like everyone else. I decided I can officially start on making some Christmas presents. I already had the items, just need to work on them. It gives me hope anyway.
I have run out of library books and basically am rereading some books we have here. A friend left a sack of books on my doorstep, but I have read them already and it was too soon to try and read them again. Some of them were the ones I lent her.
Is it just me, or are you seeing an increase in your grocery spending? I am finding some things are going up. We aren't eating anymore than we did. Don't want to get on that snacking bandwagon. I think part of it is the stores aren't running big sales either. Guess they are just trying to keep up with demand. So, we aren't spending as much doing other things, but are spending a bit more for the groceries. Guess it will even out.
March 26th, 2020 at 06:41 pm
The weather here in Central Illinois has been nothing short of gloomy until yesterday. We actually had an afternoon of sun after a morning of pea soup fog. DH got a chance to go out and work in the yard which delights him. He found two baby bunnies in the front yard. They've since moved which is good. He will be planning his garden and hopefully when it warms up, planting a garden and he doesn't like bunnies to use it as their personal buffet.
Illinois has been ordered to shelter in place since Saturday night. Two days ago I suggested to the Facebook group that our subdivision has that maybe we could do a zoo with stuffed animals for kids to see in windows since yesterday was supposed to be nice. One lady took the suggestion and ran with it so to speak...she made a list with street names and which animals, and it was nice seeing families going out with the checklist looking for the "zoo animals." This was not my original idea; I saw it online somewhere else. The best thing was people who normally never say anything would shout a hello if you were in the yard.
I guess one bad thing is I can see some neighbors who are not following the shelter in place order. People can still go to work if their place of employment is considered essential and that's not what I'm talking about. It's seeing people going to other people's homes and having people over or going shopping for non essential stuff. It angers me because it means they are doing this and however many other folks are doing it which is going to extend the outbreak as well as the sheltering in home.
I've kept busy doing cleaning and some crafting. I don't have the ability to make masks. So, I've worked on other items for donations later when this passes.
I think our grocery spending has increased some as some items have sort of increased. Last week there was so little bread at the store we wound up paying $4.50 for a loaf of organic. Granted, it was tasty, but, that over $2.50 more than what we would pay for a loaf. Last week the grocery stores were slammed and there were empty shelves in so many areas. When we went this week, there were many items there that were not there last week, including toilet paper. We didn't need any so we passed. Figured let those who were without get it. It was weird seeing the yogurt aisle riddled though. We eat yogurt for breakfast and although we found some for our breakfasts, not the kind we normally get, but oh, well. Guess it means we are having to be more flexible. As we walked by, we saw the ice cream case was pretty empty. I wonder if many of us will have put on weight once this is over. LOL
Hope you are all staying safe.
March 8th, 2020 at 08:04 pm
I really like the show "Home Town" on HGTV. I guess one reason is the hosts seem like nice people. But another reason is they work with a variety of budgets. And both Erin and Ben seem to be the kind to not only use new stuff, but reuse and repurpose other things. I like watching that kind of thing and it seems I am spending a lot of time looking for ways to do just that.
As many of you know, I belong to a knitting group at my church where we loom knit hats and scarves and give to schools and other non profits in our area. We gave to 4 schools last year as well as the hospital for the preemies, and then a bunch of baby hats for one of the clinics here in town as well as a social services group and a woman's shelter. One of the things I do with the smaller bits of yarn is crochet dish cloths and I made and donated 125 of them to a local food pantry.
Besides that, I've been making those market bags and giving those away to my friends as a way to use up bigger pieces of yarn that there isn't enough for a scarf or hat. It keeps me busy (and off the streets LOL). Seriously, I just like making sure I can use up the things we have.
I saw on Pinterest how to fold newspapers and make bags so I've made a few of those too. Our comics section is printed on heavier paper and I'm thinking these would make great "gift" bags for thinner things.
I recycle what I can, but I also reuse as much stuff as I can. I seem to have a fetish for glass jars; I have all different shapes and sizes. I like them for storage as well as for leftovers. Plus we won't even mention my love affair with canning jars.
I make my own laundry detergent and have been using the same plastic jug to store it in. I figure I'm saving money as well as not contributing to using more plastic bottles. I also have smaller glass jars with some of the extra laundry detergent in it.
We eat a lot of chicken around here and one thing I do is pound the chicken breasts to tenderize them and then flour them. I hate using a new bag each time, and read a suggestion about using a bread bag. What a great idea. Granted, it is still using plastic, but I figure using them for something else helps.
I'm collecting those mesh bags that fruit and vegetables come in to make a scrubby. I don't have enough yet to make a decent one.
I reuse envelopes that mail comes in. Some I make lists on, and some I just use to store things in. We collect cancelled postage stamps for a mission at my church so I keep an envelope with those in it. We also collect coupons from the paper inserts to send to some military folks and I use one of those reply envelopes for those.
For years I've used cloth napkins and I go through a ton of kitchen towels. I do use paper towels for stuff like raw meat, but I have cut down on the paper towel use a lot. Most of my friends as well as my hubby know if they want to give me something for Christmas or birthday, a kitchen towel is appreciated.
I continue to search for ways to reuse things. We shop at thrift stores a lot for things. Most of my kitchen dishes and plates were bought preowned. I figure I'm saving money not only by doing that, but also by not using one use items like paper plates. I have a couple of cast iron skillets that I use frequently. I have one of those splatter ware lidded pans that is oblong that I use for a lot of baking and cooking. It was my grandmother's.
So, what do you you reuse or repurpose to help save money as well as our environment?
February 23rd, 2020 at 09:17 pm
I've been trying to use up stuff from the freezer and pantry and only buying things we use each week like milk, eggs, fresh fruit, and bread. I know it has made a big difference in our past few grocery bills plus we are using what we already had. Once a week it is what I call buffet night where we have a little of this and little of that from previous meals. I just hate to see food go to waste so it's a good way to clean out the fridge.
Although we don't live in a flood plain, we bought flood insurance last year and this year's premium came due. So, I'm trying to cut back on spending a little bit on other stuff so it doesn't make our checkbook balance go down far too much. DH read that so many places have had floods that have never had the problem before and regular home owner's insurance doesn't cover it. I really feel insurance poor some days, but hopefully we will never have to use any of it.
I continue to work on hats and scarves for my church's knitting group. We haven't been able to meet for the past couple of months because every time we have a meeting planned, we've gotten snow or ice. So, I work on stuff at home. Another church gave us a bunch of crochet cotton so a couple of us are also making dish cloths. I made 125 of them last year to donate to a local food pantry for them to put on their line for people to take if they wanted them. I used leftover yarn for them and someone had given me some crochet cotton too. Hopefully with the three of us making them, we can have about 300 made for Christmas baskets this year. I know it isn't a big thing, but a new dishcloth is kind of nice.
I had purchased some yarn and it is very thin. My fault -- I didn't look closely. It would take three strands to make a hat or scarf. So, I've sort of put it to the side. Well, I was browsing Pinterest which I swear is dangerous. I saw a knitting loom pattern to make a market bag which is one that isn't totally solid. So, I followed the pattern and have made two, using up this thinner yarn. I am thinking maybe I can make these for gifts to add to packages for Christmas. They go quickly and don't take a lot of storage so maybe this is something someone could use. Plus, another use for the yarn.
I did crochet myself a doily out of some crochet thread I had purchased a few years ago at at thrift store. I have made 4 book marks out of the remainder of the thread. One more thing I used up.
And an update: A couple of weekends ago I talked about the neighbor girl and her mom letting her play sports with a 103.5 fever. Sadly, the girl wound up in the hospital for almost a week not only because of the fever, but she couldn't move her arms and legs and ached all over. She's home now, but I can't even imagine the pain and expense that caused. Plus, the fact she could have infected everyone else she came in contact with.
January 12th, 2020 at 08:36 pm
It's been a busy week, but not horrific. We celebrated my birthday last Sunday and had a wonderful dinner in a town about an hour away. It's always a challenge because we often get horrible weather around my birthday, but things were mild. It was nice and the food was delicious.
We had a good server. We think she was a college student. She was efficient, but not overly friendly. Since we are basically older folks, I wonder if most servers see us as those folks who eat early and want a bargain and are bad tippers. DH always leaves a generous tip, especially if we get good service. We know they are struggling and need good tips since most restaurants do not pay minimum wage or more. We chuckled on our way out as she was shocked when she saw the money (DH pays cash) and that he said keep the change and it was far more than she expected. We know one couple that no matter what the bill, they leave around two or three dollars. Most of the time, that isn't even 15% and they are the kind that want special treatment and often try to wheedle a free cup of coffee or dessert.
We had our knitting group meet this week. We are up to 272 hats already. We had a lady from another church come and give us a bunch of yarn that her church can't use. Her church makes lap afghans and they use just regular yarn, not the sports yarn, or thick yarn, or any of the fancy yarns. She also brought a bunch of dish cloth cotton yarn. I used a lot of that to make dish cloths to donate to one of the food pantries to put in their Christmas baskets last year. Another lady saw the dish cloth yarn and said she would help me make dish cloths too so that's a good thing.
Last night we met with two other couples for supper. We have been taking turns hosting. The hosts provide the main dish and one or two other things and then we all bring a couple of dishes. We feasted on roast beef, potatoes, carrots, green beans, homemade French bread, cherry pie, and apple cake. We had a delightful time until it was time to leave. It has iced and then snowed an inch over it. Driving home was not a pleasure, but we did get home and were grateful for our safety.
A couple of weeks ago I fixed a beef roast (one of the buy one get one free offers Kroger had awhile back) and had roast and broth left over. I made a large pot of vegetable soup. DH asked me if I was planning on feeding an Army. I said no, but I wanted to use up the roast and broth and the carrots, plus then I had other vegetables in the fridge that needed to be used up and so it took off from there. We had two meals from the soup and I froze the rest. Meal #3 is tonight -- I have it heating up in a Crockpot. There's still a package in the freezer for meal #4.
Recently I was doing some of my amateur genealogy and ran across a person's email on the findagrave site for a person who may or may not be a distant relative. We have since been corresponding back and forth and sharing what we have learned. She lives in Nebraska and is about my age. It's pretty cool overall and we are distantly related. That was like getting a present for me. I love doing research and when I find something like that, it just thrills me.
Hope you all have a wonderful week!