Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Questions, Answers, & Comments
Well here we are in another new month...they do seem to come around regular don't they? I am not going to go on about how quickly time passes. It does and it doesn't, if you know what I mean. I like staying busy which makes time pass quickly, but I can be pretty relaxed at times and time seems to pass just as quickly. And the few incidents where time passed slowly, had little to do with boredom and a lot to do with awaiting news in illness or for test results and only occasionally did it slow down for good things...I'd much rather time passed at it's usual pace!
September ended being a pretty good month for me where projects and tasks were concerned. I feel it was a productive time overall and I am happy with the results.
Another happy thing has been the number of comments, especially from long time readers who said it was their first time posting...Thank you! Thank you all for making my ordinary day to day life appear to have some import to others. Thank you for taking time to comment. It means a great deal to me.
Now let's see what you had to say this past month...
My first post for September was Q, A, C on August posts. Sarah mentioned watching an old series pilot for a program called The Family Holvack...I'm not familiar with that program. I looked it up online and there's a pilot on Youtube you can watch. The program is unlikely to come out on dvd though, Sarah, as the blurb below that preview states it lasted less than a season.
Wendi, thank you for taking time to comment. I agree that it is good stewardship to try and live on your income and I like the creativity involved in making a little stretch to cover a mass of things, lol. You made me smile with the expression 'high on the hog'...It is something Granny used to say to me often. I don't mind folks that live high on the hog, as long as they have the income to do it. I am more deeply bothered by those who live on the brink of financial disaster and yet make choices daily that threaten to hurl them down that cliff...
Sarah mentions a wheat shortage? I know the winter crops here were quite good last year and corn certainly was productive this year as well, but not sure how the wheat belt was affected. I did hear of another shortage for those of you interested: hazelnuts, so if you use hazelnuts or are a huge fan of Nutella, you might want to get a jar or three for the pantry shelves. I don't know how pecans will fare this year. I was looking at the tree in the back yard and it looks as though I can forget collecting any of those to sell again this year. It's funny how that works. We've had rain enough but something certainly has affected the crop.
Lady M we didn't see decently cooler temperatures until the last full week of September here. At that point the leaves stopped falling off the trees. The Gingko has six left on it...lol
Joanne, the discount grocery store is definitely for us as well. It seems every time I walk into a regular grocery it costs me about $50 which is roughly about half what I spend for a buggy full of stuff at Aldi!
Afternoon Tea in which I waxed unpoetically about my opinion of commentators on blogs who believe they should be critical. Sarah mentions a blogger who just quit one day due to the negative and hateful comments she received. Who knows how many good bloggers quit for the same reason? And what a shame their ministry was shut down by someone who probably had little interest in following the blog anyway.
Sarah went on to comment about the 'stupidly low' income. In largely rural counties with little industry or business to support the needs of the county, a high rate of unemployement and a mostly aged tax payer base, incomes are low. Our home county voted this past summer to give the employees a 1% raise. It is a laughably low amount, and yet I assure you it was a stretch for the county to come up with that much to give to the employees. Overall, paramedics are not the highest paid of medical professionals (and they are professionals! They worked hard to pass the necessary courses, are licensed annually and have to participate in Continuing Education programs to stay abreast of changes, new procedures, etc).
The hours are tough. Many of the paramedics with younger families work two jobs and even if they work just one, they miss all the 'occasions' from birthdays to holidays. The rate of suicide and depression are high in this profession as is the risk of personal injury and disability.
My husband will tell anyone within hearing range that he LOVES his job...But I can tell you what he won't. The toll of long hours, low pay and the stress of dealing continuously with death, illness and injury are HARD, they take an emotional toll. A few paramedics will tell you that they 'get used to it, it's just part of the job." Those are the paramedics I don't want working on me or my family member when help is needed. I want the ones who care.
Larger metro areas are able to and do pay more, but someone has to man the rural counties as well. With more and more rural hospitals shutting down (as did the one in the county where John works) the Emergency services are the only thing standing between a patient and death on many occasions. I think they deserve to be paid well for their services and wish that more counties saw the service as one area where the worker is truly deserving of the pay.
Laurie said what I was thinking as I wrote my comments about comments: If you don't have anything nice to say, then say nothing at all. It's a good rule to live by and one I try hard to put into practice. Oh the things I've bitten my tongue over and decided just didn't need to be said! Hers is a lovely blog by the way. Just click on the link and go see for yourself.
Veronika, thank you for taking time to write in. Thank you for letting me know that I've helped.
PatsyL, Coleen, Joann and Pam...Thank you all too. And Pam a special thank you for the Coke points, lol. That was sweet! I was able to renew my Country Living magazine this past month with Coke points.
Afternoon Tea, II Sarah, I never even thought the ironing boards from home to home might be my way of hanging on to that old house. At that time I had an antique wooden ironing board. I don't know what ever happened to the thing. I truly saw a metal one along side the road in the ditch and it hit me that it would make a cool plant stand for the porch, so I came home and took out my much unused metal ironing board and put it on the porch. It's been far more useful there, lol. I have a small tabletop ironing board we use on the rare occasions when ironing is to be done.
Sarah and Pam both chimed in about saving the nest egg indefinetly. I can appreciate the security and peace of mind having a nest egg brings. I also know that there's 'saving' and then there's 'denial'. When Grandmama died, I was shocked at how much cash she had saved. She was one who wore threadbare clothes and never threw out even a single teaspoon of any food. I found clothes with tags that had been put aside 20 years or more and lovely new towels that had never been used. That made me sad. Granny on the other hand, also saved money, enough that Mama never had to pay any out of her own pocket to keep Granny in assisted living that last two years. Granny used to always say that we'd need never worry about her on two accounts: she was not going to go hungry at any time, nor would she be cold in winter. And she meant it! Now both women grew up in the depression era, both had known difficult times and both knew how to stretch a dollar and to put money aside, but their approaches were entirely different. I dare say Granny enjoyed life more than Grandmama.
Athanasia, I agree, a little splurge here and there does no harm. I've found a little enjoyment is reason enough to buckle down once more and get down to the work that generates saving, but no one should be a drudge.
Grandma D, you DO know which cookies John likes, lol. We were discussing retirement again just the other day. I said to John pretty much what you said in your comment. "We're pretty good at making do and stretching things out. I guess we'll manage all right."
Glenda, thank you for stopping by!
Coffee Chat Stephanie, I like the LOOK of magnolias, but my head just can't take the perfume of the flower. I did come across a sweet little old lady several years back who wore a perfume that smelled like magnolias and it was a stunning scent on her, well worth the headache that crept up on me while standing near her. I too re-read old books on saving money that I've read before in order to refresh my knowledge. I have forgotten more than I know at present, but I've been recalling some of those old ways here of late. It has helped stretch foodstuffs and convinced me that I don't need more grocery budget, I just need to think a little harder about how I use the money at my disposal!
Pam, I think I get frustrated with myself most because I have so little reason to give in to self pity. I am truly a blessed woman. I have terrific kids who have great partners and grandchildren who are healthy and well and smart as can be. I have a lovely home that is all my own and come what may, can't be taken from me. I'm embarassed to say how much land we have here on our little homestead that is largely overgrown and unused. I have a loving, admirable husband. And yet, I will let those rotten little thoughts creep in and rule my mood over the most minor things. Yes, definitely one of my continuing sins!
Thank you all for the sweet comments about the desk chair. I am very pleased with it. I didn't realize until the cover was made that I had two tiny areas either side of the seat that connected to the back. I thought it was just the center bar as on a standard office chair. I've decided to just pin the back pieces together and I need to rehem one side that seems determined to hang low and get caught in the wheels of the chair but I am very pleased how it came out. Learning curve for the next time I attempt to slipcover a chair!
Linda, I had a lovely coral door once, but everyone in town who knew the place called it 'the house with the pink front door'! It was a dark brown house with white trim and that coral was just the perfect accent.
Frugal Week Linda P, Linda S, and Lena: We have the Andro Terro things. They aren't traps but have a liquid that the ants feed off of and carry back to their colony. Well those things freak me out! The ants start coming in to get the stuff and you'd think it was a frat party the way they arrive, lol. I dislike poison sprays but will use them now and then for immediate help if it's too bad. Mostly I just keep an eye out for scouts and kill them as I see them. John says every time I do that ten more come along to grieve the loss of that one, lol.
Frugal Week II Where I mentioned we'd bough a keyboard...What a pleasure this has been to me! And yes, I am less and less rusty as I practice. I have settled, for the time being, to using an Old School Hymnal for music selections. I am apparently drawn to hyms from the late 1700-mid 1800's...More history! John on the other hand is learning to play songs by chord and ladies, he's good. Sort of makes me feel a little bit envious of him. He not only can pick out things by ear, he's been working on some of the songs he's written or been playing for years. He sounds like he's playing about just at first but usually within 15 minutes I find I'm humming along and know exactly which song he's playing. That man has talent!
Sarah, the sort of storage I need is for CDs, records, files all bulkier items... I do utilize some of the space under the guest bed and have used between mattresses before for extra linens or quilts.
Frugal Week III Sew Blessed Maw, thank you for stopping in and commenting! I so appreciate that you took time to visit. I realize this post isn't the first you've commented on either...
Susie, I love that your stove is from 1956. Do you have it because it's old, or because it just won't quit? lol Grandmama was so careful of her things that she had the same fridge and stove for over 50 years. After Grandaddy died she replaced them with newer more modern things that didn't last her 7 years. Such a shame. I like that Cranberry Crockpot Chicken recipe too and I've yet to make it in the crockpot, I use my oven as well. Yummy! I recently made it again. I think that's a long time keeper recipe.
Pam, I did start planning and prepping and generally changing up my meals and it netted me a considerable amount of time savings. In fact, this past week, I only spent an hour in the kitchen once and that day I managed to set Challah rising and make a cake and frosting as well as the meal I was preparing for that day. Lighter dinners on the day we have big breakfasts, less fussy breakfasts on the majority of mornings, planning for supper and making sure we have sandwich fillings prepared ahead have all worked magic.
Lislyn, I would put the boxed mixes and non-canned items in some sort of storage container. My local hardware store has the food safe storage buckets which is one option. You could use a plastic storage bin as well. I would do so to prevent both pest and moisture damage to my items in pantry storage.
I need to spend some time restocking my pantry. It's looking mighty thin overall. This is on my list for the coming month.
Thank you for your prayers, and for yours Athanasia. My knee is stiff at times but overall is much much improved!
Athanasia My violets are in the northeast end of the house, in the kitchen sitting (aka breakfast) area where there are four big windows letting in light. They do rather well, but neglect on my part is the rason they seldom bloom. I'm trying to remedy that. I have four violets rooted that I must pot up.
Frugal Week IV Thank you all for your kudos on the little garden bed. I do plan to put a plant in that broken pot, Dale. I want to use flowering kale for the fall/winter and perhaps eventually use a sempervivum such as Hens and Chicks, if find affordable ones. I had even thought of perhaps planting moss there. We'll see how my plans work out in future. I'm jumping ready to start the overgrown rose bed now, but that shall prove to be a huge amount of work. I might sustain myself by working on the empty beds in between hard labor in the rose bed, just to keep my spirits up, lol. Would you all like to see how the bed looked just a few days later...The cool moist air really encouraged the plants to take off and bloom.
The ayes have it for pheasant feathers in my back door wreath.
Linda S Kingsland is a coastal town in Georgia, near the Florida border. It's where my son is stationed with the Coast Guard at present. And yes, I do often pray for things I need. Sometimes, it's not so much a prayer and just "Oh I wish I could find 'x' " and then I find it in a thrift store. I always feel sure that God heard me those times as well!
Meal and Job Plan Susie I had chicken and dressing on my menu plan the first week of this month because a friend of mine was making up packets of it for her college bound son. It just plain sounded good to me! As autumn comes closer and school starts I always start thinking of Chicken and Dressing simply because of a good childhood memory. It was the first cold crisp day and possibly Labor Day weekend. Daddy was home mowing the yards. Mama was off work. She took us out to buy school supplies in town and when we came home she made a chicken and dressing dinner to put on the table. Granny and Big Mama came to have dinner with us. Each year in September I start to think of that lovely day. We lived in a big old home out in the country, a fine house with lots of windows and tall ceilings and I recall it was just a really nice day. I think we were newly in that home, as the dining room was later moved into the big main hallway and the original dining room was repurposed as a cozy den. Anyway, me and Chicken and Dressing in September go a long way back, lol.
Meal and Job Plan II Not sure which anonymous commented. There are several and most of you sign your name as a rule, but about the outfits: I worked with just two main items a brown pair of jeans and that Chevron stripe Maxi skirt. I found the Maxi skirt is woefully limited in usage, but have been pinning ideas of how to wear it on my Pinterest board. I also worked with a pair of brown jeans that I wear only occasionally. Turns out that they can be real work horse pants but I don't really wear them a great deal. I wish I could figure out how to pin some of those photos to Pinterest but without uploading them to thie page I don't know how, so nothing to share much there. I was just plain tired of the whole thing after two hours. I took some things from my closet to donate while I was working and made note of things I'd like to have as well to complete a few. Here are just a couple of the many I photographed.
The green shirt is longer than shown. I was trying to photo the pants so I'd know which I had with that particular look. I paired it with a cardigan there but also have a sarape type wrap and a leather coat that could go with that outfit.
I still have gray and black pants as well as jeans to piece out into outfits yet. Perhaps one day this week I'll go back to the closet and work with what I have.
I will tell you that I played it safe with most of my choices. Katie is less prone to be safe. She takes out everything and mismatches it on purpose just to see what the effect is. She could take my closet and and it's contents and have me in a new outfit every day for the next six months just switching things about. She's good like that. I'm trying to let myself be more adventuresome. I think the whole matchy matchy thing was just something we were taught in our generation and it's stuck hard to me.
Pam! Mama told me she'd found sugar for 99c for four pound bags as well. I wish I'd come across such a sale. I'd have filled both my sugar bucket and the empty extra bucket I have with sugar! Good for you!
Meal Plan IV Manuela, I am not the least surprised that you want cereal for supper after dealing with packing all day long! I'm not moving and too often that's all I want at day's end. It's a good thing John asked to have our bigger meal midday or he'd feel ill used where meals were concerned, lol.
Linda S, lol, not a lumberjack but a paramedic. John's lunch bag is just big enough to hold salad, 2 sandwiches and 2 light snacks to hold him for a full 24 hours. Often when he comes in of a morning from work he's been up for most of the night and is pretty hungry. So I've learned to have a Grand Slam sort of breakfast for those mornings. Though I promise it sounds like a lot of food, it's not so much. If we have pancakes we aren't eating plate sized stacks, just two smaller ones. I will cook him an egg, skip it myself, and we'll have some sort of meat (bacon 2 slices, or sausage 1 or 2 pieces depending on how thrifty I feel that morning, lol), so it's not a HUGE meal but a big one. I did discover a couple weeks ago that eating a lighter dinner on those days at midday is more than acceptable.
Pam, We have our smallest and easiest breakfast each week for Shabat (Saturday) mornings. I usually have bagels or muffins or something of that sort. Unless of course, John is coming in from work on Saturday morning, then we do big breakfast. That's only once a month, though.
Sarah, I love your statement: "The other day we had burritos for lunch. Hubby loved it. I told him he would never have another like it. It included so many odd leftovers but together they tasted so good!" We have leftover meals like that as well and it's impossible to recreate without those exact same ingredients in the exact same proportions. And just very occasionally we have meal that John will say "You could lose that recipe," usually after he's eaten his fill and I'll look at him and say "You're in luck! There was no recipe, just an unhappy alliance of leftovers!" lol
Natalie I start my menu plan with the fridge first...Are there any leftovers I need to use up? Then I make menus based on what is in the freezer/pantry and add only the few ingredients I might need from the store. I try to shop only every other week, especially if there are no remarkable sales on anything, so if I need a key ingredient, I move that meal idea over to the next week and purchase what I need for it when I'd normally shop.
I follow the Betty Crocker cookbook recipe for Challah Braid. My cookbook is older perhaps from late 1970's to mid 1980's.
Inspiration from Another Blogger Liz shared this bit of sound advice from her early married years
"It's not how much you make it's how you spend it".. Another bit of sound advice!
Jill I've seen those frantic couponers. "I have to use this now it expires tomorrow!" I point out that they'll print more about the next sales cycle, lol. I prefer to buy any item I need on sale. Obviously I'm getting it for less when I do and if I can swing a deal (coupon/sale/reward) and get an item free or very low cost (laundry detergent for a year for $5 for instance) and money back, too I am stoked! If not, I will buy just enough to last me until the next sale comes along.
The problem with Walmart for me is ME. I am tempted by so many things! That's not the fault of Walmart but my own weakness. John and I used to go in regularly and we'd spent about the same thing each time. We started calling it our set point and made it a game to try to lower our setpoint. Now we seldom go in but when we do it's usually only about $12 tops. I have not stopped shopping at Walmart however. They do have good prices on items we use and can't get or don't care for at Aldi. I have been shopping online. It's easier for me because I am super focused on my list of needs and I loathe looking at multiple items online. I usually wait until I have a large enough order to net me free shipping.
By the way ya'll check out Jill's blog as well. Just click on the bold name link above.
Pam said this "I started doing many of the things I'd done when my kids were young." Yes, back in the days it was necessary to survive. I do many of those things now because it's a savings for us. And she's perfectly right, how can you beat the wonderful aroma of air dried laundry?
Sarah I didn't know how to spend less in the desperate days except to cut the grocery budget hard and go without...but these days, I find spending less requires more discipline. There's a little extra, let's spend it! After all those years of struggle it's hard not to over indulge our wants now and then. Fortunately for me, the necessity of working towards retirement spending levels has helped a lot!
Sarah also shared this motto "Eat Well-Act Your Wage-Enjoy Life" from a blog she likes to follow. Click on the link and see it for yourself.
Dale said to just go to Pinterest.com and type in Money Saving Tips in the search box. It's really that easy...
Kathy said : "I feel the need to stock up and deepen my pantry. So when I see a good sale, I buy more. " I think we all experience those inner urgings. I've had it a good bit lately myself and I am working on replenishing my pantry back to former levels because of it. I don't know about Kathy but when I find myself feeling that urge, I take look at my pantry to see what areas should be restocked. I think mine is partly seasonal, since I don't can, I stock up. But I also sense this urge when things are not going well economically.
New Fall Wreath Sara shared that Target had banners and table runners in burlap in the dollar section at Target...Anyone get those? I didn't see them in the nearest store when I was in.
I went out to the shed to look for last year's fall wreaths so I could put one on the front door but couldn't find a one...Now where did I put them?!
Apple Peelings Jelly Sarah this is not the new tip I learned. That related to saving at Target and how to use the cartwheel program if you didn't have the sort of phone you could download apps with. I posted this item immediately after finding it in Southern Living magazine.
Sad but true story: Years ago I saved a huge batch of apple peels and cores to make jelly. I boiled it all up and strained it through cheesecloth and left the stuff in a dishpan (my largest container) on the counter while I ran to pick up one of the children. When I returned I found the kitchen spotless and clean. The dishpan of juice was gone, too. My oldest daughter, in a fit of deciding to help me, had cleaned the kitchen....and poured out all the apple juice. I could have cried, lol! John eats the peels so we seldom have any on hand to save.