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This and That

December 9th, 2018 at 01:50 pm

I blogged earlier about crocheting some clothes for a friend's granddaughter's Barbie. Well, they were a big hit, and it seems the dress that has some glitter to it was a favorite. Seems the Elf on the Shelf even wore it one morning to greet the little girl.

Friday I found two skeins of yarn that had a silver cord running through each of them. One was Christmas red and the other was white. I found them at one of the thrift stores we frequent and the cashier asked me what I was going to use it for and I told her for a Barbie, she took off a dollar so I got both for $3. I made 6 dresses for Barbie and apparently that Elf is going to go "shopping" and surprise our little friend. What a hoot. I guess the lavender dress was not the right color for the elf according to our little friend so hopefully the Christmas colors fill fit the bill. Of course I have taken some verbal abuse from the grandmother asking me if I wanted to keep these clothes and play Barbie. All in good fun.

A few weeks ago I found some baby bibs that can be embroidered so I have been working on them. One of the young ladies at church is expecting her second child and I thought I would finish these and give them to her. My only complaint is who in their right mind would decide to have 5 different shades of pink on a pattern? Egad.

Tomorrow night a friend is coming over for his birthday dinner. He was given the choice of our meeting him some place of his choosing or eating here and he said he really wanted a home cooked meal. So, I need to bake a cake for his birthday and he requested meatloaf. It should be a fun time.

We did spent quite a bit at the thrift stores this week. Well for us we did. I think we spent close to $15. Some of that was for yarn for the hats. Plus the yarn for Barbie clothes. DH found a couple of kids' books he wanted for his personal library. He reads to 5 classes and he likes to keep an assortment besides the ones he get from the library. I'm sure if we had purchased these items at retail, it would have been far more.

I did order a music CD for DH for Christmas. We tried to order it from a local CD place here in town, but he said he couldn't get it. I prefer shopping from brick and mortar, especially if they are small business, to support them. I kept checking Amazon and they finally got the CD in. I had some cash back money on my Discover card so I wound up paying $3.50 for part of the postage. My shopping is completed. Yay!

Like CreditCardFree, I finally got to $20 on Ibotta. It seems to take forever since I don't buy a lot of the stuff they give rebates on.

I found 14 cents in a parking lot yesterday. It goes in the wooden box DH has for change. We usually take the majority of the change in in the summer and apply part of it to Christmas and part of it the home improvement fund.

Little Things

December 5th, 2018 at 08:19 am

It's funny how the little things tend to mean a lot.

Yesterday, my coffee maker died. I make coffee every morning. I wasn't happy. DH said he would buy me a new one for Christmas and my immediate thought was what I would do between now and then? I guess I'm addicted to my cup of coffee in the morning.

I then remembered that there was a box in the garage with an old coffee maker. My mom who has been gone 12 years, bought this one and used it a few times and then decided she didn't like it. So, she gave it to me and I have had it in the box in the garage ever since thinking I would use it if mine died. So, I got it out, cleaned it up, and made some coffee. Fortunately it works. I'm not one of those with the fancy coffee makers.

It's funny how something as simple as a cup of coffee means so much to me.

Yesterday I took some cranberry walnut bread over to a shut in. She had mentioned last summer it was her favorite bread. I had made some loves for our Christmas bazaar and had mentioned to one of her sons our bazaar had it, but he couldn't be bothered. She had wanted to support our bazaar and I thought he could then give her the bread, but guess not. So, night before last I made her two small loaves and took that over with some fudge. We had a nice visit.

Such little things, but they do mean something.

Guess I'm Boring

November 25th, 2018 at 11:41 am

Haven't posted for awhile. I guess it is because I didn't think I had much to write about. It isn't that I haven't kept busy; I have. Maybe this post isn't exciting either.

Our neighbor is a dichotomy. A couple of weeks ago she posted on Facebook she wanted a part time job...anything...cleaning, secretarial, etc. Then she leaves for a cruise. Just she and her friends. Her family stays home. When she got home, she posted about all the things she was doing out and about which was basically partying. She and the daughter went out the night before Thanksgiving to have a drink. The daughter is 16 yet she took her to a bar and said the daughter's drink was a virgin. Now she and the daughter are out of town partying with some friends while hubby and son are home. And the neighbor and her friend just got matching tattoos. Guess she didn't need that part time job after all...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not jealous of her life. I am not a party person. I don't drink alcohol simply because my mom was an alcoholic and I have read that it can be hereditary. I don't have a problem with someone having a drink or two, but the getting drunk part, not so much.

Have I kept busy? I think so. I crocheted two pairs of slipper socks for Christmas gifts for a local charity, have my Christmas cards addressed, just finished crocheting 100 dish cloths for the local food pantry to put in their Christmas baskets, and am now crocheting Barbie clothes for a friend's granddaughter. DH was laughing at me last night when I said I sure knew how to spend a Saturday night...Barbie and I playing dress up.



Grousing

November 11th, 2018 at 02:24 pm

I'm in a bad mood. Let me explain.

I know I shouldn't get so frustrated, but sometimes there are people at church who don't get it.

Every year our church does certain things like we put together Thanksgiving baskets for a local food pantry. And then for Christmas we do Christmas gifts for the food pantry to hand out. All good things. And we have generous members who help out.

Recently we have started helping out a local school. This fall with the approval of the board and the pastor we collected facial tissue and hand sanitizer and pencils to give them to start the year.

Then one of the members whose wife works at this school said they were starting a food pantry and asked if we could donate food for their pantry. And we did for a few months. Then the wife came and told the pastor another church was going to donate too and they agreed since we do a Christmas Bazaar with a major cookie walk, the Thanksgiving Baskets, and the Christmas gifts, we would not feel obligated to give lots of food to the pantry and let the other churches who agreed to cover these two months.

Today we were blindsided because the guy made an announcement without the approval of the pastor or the council wanting us to donate food since the other churches didn't step up.

I get that it is for a good cause. And I don't doubt that the families need it. But when does it stop? I don't like the way he said it to us, trying to guilt us into giving donations. I honestly think if he doesn't stop doing this, we are going to have donor fatigue.

Thanks for letting me grouse and complain. I know it won't solve the problem, but this is a safe outlet for me.

Busy, busy, busy

November 4th, 2018 at 01:41 pm

I haven't blogged for awhile because life has been busy.

My doctor's office called and said that my insurance had told them they would no longer pay for a cholesterol medicine I have been on. The medicine is over $300 and they were paying about $100 and I was picking up the rest. So, I spent a lot of time going to pharmacies asking what the cash price. I have found around here trying to call pharmacies is crazy because they put you on hold and then may or may not get back to you after 20 minutes or more. Anyway, I found the pharmacy at Kroger had the cheapest price in our city. I then was researching to find coupons or whatever to lower my cash price. Good RX had a decent coupon, but the drug company offered an even bigger coupon of $75 off. It brought it just under $300 for a month's supply. The generic stuff the insurance company wants me to take had a bad side effect -- it raises my blood sugar to the point where I am pre diabetic. Although the doctor's office explained why I was put on this other medicine, the insurance company wants me to try three other ones that have similar side effects before they will even consider paying what they were paying. At this point, we think my health is worth more than gambling with this.

I know this isn't the end of the year according to most calendars here in the states, but we are ending our hat making year at church because we want to deliver hats to the kids before the weather gets super cold. So, I spent time going over poverty rates for the local public schools, then presenting this to the ladies in the knitting group and decided on the schools we would "adopt." In the mean time I was also fending emails from a church member who graciously lined up funding to buy gloves to go with the hats. Once we decided on the schools, I contacted principals. Two were easy and responded. One I had to contact over and over. I know they are busy, but it shouldn't take more than a minute to say yes or no and if yes, how many students? Then to line up dates when we can drop off the hats, scarves, and gloves.

I also purchased facial tissue and hand sanitizer for each classroom. Then came the actual counting and sorting of the hats. Last week we delivered hats to three schools and then to two individual classrooms to people who are affiliated with our church and who teach in the public schools. The remainder of the hats will go to a neighborhood organization that helps in a high poverty neighborhood. So, we are cleaned out of hats for this year and what a glorious ministry it has become. We made 1202 full size hats for the schools. We also made a good number of scarves. Plus, every kid who got a hat got a pair of gloves. Good thing, because things are getting cold this week. Here is a photo of some of the hats, gloves, and scarves:



The local paper came out and did a story on one of our schools that we dropped off to:

https://herald-review.com/news/local/education/mount-calvary-lutheran-s-stitches-of-love-delivers-more-than/article_7af09cb1-c288-5be1-94d2-d9c47e2a1926.html?fbclid=IwAR1wECcBbYYSr_ikcjK6ICLazbYOgpr7Wo9eIRmZ-XsmIeRasLjkIInfmP4#1


The neighbor is helping her mother-in-law declutter her craft room so she brought over some cotton to make dish cloths. I have made 36 dish cloths to donate to one of the local food pantries. I can honestly say I'm seeing dish cloths in my dreams. Here are some of the dish cloths:



Our church is having a Christmas tea for the ladies guild and they are collecting baby items for a local non profit that helps moms. We have been asked to donate baby items so we are now making small hats for this. I don't think my life is going to get any calmer in the next few days, but that is OK. I'm blessed to be able to do all this.

Good bye, Garden!

October 14th, 2018 at 02:24 pm

Looking out in the yard it seems bare. DH has spent the last two afternoons pulling up all the garden plants. It is getting more and more chilly here and there is supposed to be a freeze on Tuesday. We spent Thursday picking anything worth picking since there was a chance of frost then. We lucked out, but it's coming.

My counter was full of bell peppers and tomatoes, either ripe, almost ripe, or green. Last couple of years we have put them all together on the counter and they eventually all ripen. We tried the newspapers in the box, but it didn't work real well or else we didn't check it enough.

We shared some peppers and tomatoes with friends. So, hopefully nothing goes to waste.

It's kind of sad to see everything gone. It was a good gardening year overall and we ate very well. Guess we'll have to look forward to next year.

Is Fall Actually Coming?

October 9th, 2018 at 08:17 am

Here in Central Illinois it has been way above average as far as temperatures. Hot and muggy in fact.

But that is supposed to change starting tomorrow with highs in the 50s and some lows in the upper 30s. DH has been starting to pull up garden plants. Yesterday I asked him to pick all the remaining red bell peppers and I washed and chopped them and put them in a freezer bag to use throughout the winter in soups and casseroles.

I have been working on drying herbs. All that was left was Thyme and we did that yesterday. I used to dry them in the microwave, but now I just have them sit in the sun room. It takes longer, but I think the flavor is better.

It's funny listening to people. We truly are never happy, are we? When spring was coming we could hardly wait until the heat came. Now we are wanting fall temperatures. One of my friends keeps wanting snow and a lot of it. I hope she gets a little for her own sake, but I am not enamored with it. It is funny how in movies and TV how when it starts snowing people get all misty eyed and wondrous. They never show the shoveling and slick streets, but I digress.

Fall may be coming. At least i have my canning and preserving completed.

A little this, a little of that

October 4th, 2018 at 08:22 am

It certainly hasn't been a thrifty week.

However, the spending was planned. Tuesday was Senior's Day at Walgreens. I was waiting to buy different things that we use like allergy medicine to get the 20% off. I also used coupons. So between the regular priced stuff that was 20% off, and the stuff on sale that I don't get 20% off, and the digital and paper coupons, I saved over $80 and spent over $200. I hate to see that big number, but the stuff is what we use each month so I would have bought it anyway.

DH's car insurance was due and once he turned 70, the premiums really went up. But, at least we had the money to pay for it.

A couple of months back I bought some material at an estate sale. The downsizing sale was at the home of a quilter and she bought premium material. I pulled some of it out yesterday and made some napkins and two potholders. I can't even describe the beauty of working with good material. I also cannot understand why people don't hit up thrift stores and estate sales for material...far cheaper than buying retail. I've found so many craft items that way. Granted, I could afford to buy them retail, but DH says I like the thrill of the hunt, and I think he's right.

For Christmas last year I asked him to get me the cheapie Singer that was on sale for $69. I'm not an excellent seamstress, but I can sew a little. I have used it so much and have enjoyed using it. My friend is an excellent seamstress and her machine cost way more than $1000. She can afford it and I'm sure it gives her great pleasure.

Today is Thursday and is grocery shopping day. Last night was clean out the fridge supper. Last week I think I spent less than $30 on groceries total. We didn't need much and I was just buying stuff we use each week like bread, milk, fruit, and chicken. I made a couple of meals from the chicken and lots of broth besides. I used up stuff we had in the freezer and we had a couple of meatless meals too. Today's shopping isn't going to be horrible, except we are buying some extra stuff for the church's food pantry.

It has been pretty warm and humid here in Central Illinois. Yesterday it was around 90. Today it is supposed to be in the 70s before it goes back up. It should give the a/c a break for a day, anyway.



Thrift Shop Treasures

September 30th, 2018 at 10:43 am

DH and I hit thrift shops each week. We have 4 favorites, but there are some others we try to go to once a week. And we are fortunate that most of our thrift shops are really nice and reasonably priced on most items. This last week we only purchased a couple of items for a friend and she paid us for them. We didn't find anything for ourselves, but it was fun looking.

I have a friend who sort of turned her nose up buying stuff at thrift stores which I thought was weird since she would buy stuff at flea markets and antique shops. But, I guess she's come over to my side. I found some brand new, unopened craft items and she was thrilled to pay me for them.

Last week we went to a small town and stopped in the thrift shop and I found a brand new pair of flats for $6. Decent shoes that should hold up and I was pleased to get them. I have worn some sneakers this summer I snagged for around $10 last year. They were like new. I'm not going to buy shoes just for the sake of buying shoes, but if I find something decent and affordable, I am going to get it.

I have really found some amazing craft items. I snagged a pair of pillowcases last year for 69 cents that they had tucked the embroidery floss in with them. I embroidered them and they are on my bed as I type. I found another set last week that hadn't been opened for $1.50. That will be a nice winter project for me and I still have some of the original embroidery floss left over. I get a lot of the yarn for the hats I loom for church. It is brand new with the sleeve still on it. It works great since it is usually one skein of this color and one that -- not enough to make anything big, but great for hats.

DH found an amazing shirt the other day for $2.25. It is a dress shirt and in excellent shape. He is a clothes horse so I can't complain when he finds a good deal like that.

Some of our friends have given us a list of things to look for and about what they would like to spend. It gives us something to look for and helps them out too.



I sometimes struggle with buying stuff I do not need. So, I am really working on that. I am not saving money if I buy something that I don't need. I'm would be just shopping for the sake of shopping and I do not want to do that. I have to have a place for something or a use for it before I can buy it. I had gotten rid of a bunch of shoes at the beginning of summer that were worn out, so I didn't feel guilty buying the shoes. The yarn goes for the hats so I don't go crazy buying it, and I take the hats to church every two weeks to add to the stash when we meet. I have some pillowcases to replace so once I get these new ones finished, the old ones will either go in the trash or maybe I can recycle them into bags. I saw something on Pinterest. We keep cloth bags in our cars for grocery shopping.

But, each week it is like a treasure hunt at the thrift shops!

The Care and Feeding of Friendship

September 29th, 2018 at 01:56 pm

Lately I've noticed that so many don't seem to understand that being a friend often means putting a little effort into it.

I'm almost to the point where I am staying off Facebook because of the rabid political posts on both sides. I still email and I do Messenger. And I'm one of those old fashioned folks who writes letters and cards.

However, I've noticed that other than two people who are honest to goodness friends, I'm the one who does the reaching out. And to be honest, I'm weary of it. If I don't call, write, message, or email first, I don't hear from them. Most then respond, but then nothing. Yesterday it all sort of hit me all at once. There are a couple of people who we email at least once a day. But, I didn't hear from anyone yesterday.

I'll admit it, my feelings were hurt. It didn't have to be a message the size of a small book. And I had emailed in the morning like I almost always do.

Today, I didn't email. I figured I would wait and see. This afternoon one did respond and basically blamed me because she hadn't received a message from me. Really? I'm the only one who can start?

I just don't understand, I guess. I thought relationships take some effort on both ends. And I'm just feeling like I'm being taken for granted.

I don't want to lose friends, but I'd like to be the recipient of a message that wasn't a reply to mine. Guess I'm picky.

In The Mood

September 20th, 2018 at 07:59 am

I'm not talking about the Glenn Miller piece either!

It's funny how so many things revolve around how we feel about something. I know I have really been in the mood to can and fill up the pantry with home canned items as well as things that are on sale. I know by the middle of the summer when stuff starts coming on, I really am in the mood for canning.

I have also been working on Christmas gifts. I like to have them finished before Christmas. I'm not a person who handles working under a deadline that is stressful. I've finished all mine and I'm making some for a friend for her stocking stuffers.