Questions, Answers and Comments, Oh My!
Since the bulk of the past month has been all about Frugal Boot Camp, I am going to address comments chronologically starting with the first post of the month and working my way through to the last post. I won't be highlighting individual post this month.
I mentioned saving dishwater to water plants rather than running extra water. Sarah reminded me that Granny and Grandmama both had two dishpans, one for washing, one for rinsing. I do remember them both taking those dishpans outdoors and dumping that water on the flowers outdoors. Sarah wisely suggests pouring the water into a bucket to take outdoors.
Saving water was a hot topic during this first post. Gramma D asked me if I'd been told "If it's yellow let it mellow..." No, we weren't. Granny had an outhouse (and for a short time during my growing years so did we.), but that was one area of 'savings' we didn't use.
Both Sarah and Gramma D mentioned Joanna York. I vaguely recall reading her articles in women's magazines. I did a search to see if anything came up but I didn't find a thing about her. I was sure she'd written a book or two but I'll have to look a bit harder to find that.
Janell shared this recipe for peach ice cream she'd tried: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/contest-winning-peach-ice-cream
She also mentioned feeling overwhelmed when reading about the many things people do to save money. She said she often feels pressured to 'keep up'. I have to echo what Vickie had to say: It's very important to choose one idea and work with it. Practice that one skill until you have it incorporated in your routine. And don't dismay if something fails. I can't name the number of things that just didn't work out for me. I didn't give up on the first try but some things others do as a matter of routine were far too time consuming or complicated for ME. And remember that money saving skills change over time. Everything I do today is not what I did 20 years ago to save money. I've found better, more effective ways to save and I employ those. The thing to remember is that you're building muscles as you practice! Get strong with one thing and use that strength to carry you through to the next new skill.
Stephanie asks about tips for growing lemon trees...Anyone have ideas? She lives in North Carolina and will be growing her trees in pots.
Gramma D asks this: Have you ever figured out why you can feel like you have all the clothes you need at the start of a season and a month later look in the closet and moan"there's not a thing in here to wear?"LOL!
Oh yes! It's called boredom! I find what I need is to re-inspire myself, so I play with accessories and look for ideas on Pinterest. Just this week I saw a photo of a coral shirt with turquoise accessories. Now there's a combination I'd not tried. So I took my orange t-shirt this week and wore it with turquoise accessories. It seemed very fresh that way.
Discussions have been centered on many saving things this month. More than one of you are joining me for Frugal Boot Camp. Two or Three mentioned studying money saving skills from the Depression era (there are loads of blog posts from other bloggers...just look at Pinterest to get connected to those).
There is a risk in writing at times that one will espouse something others will find controversial. I touched on one of those areas when I wrote about Diabetes and how it is a genetic condition rather than something a person brings upon themselves solely through careless eating habits. I apparently touched a nerve with many of you who have been diagnosed with Diabetes and you all agreed with my thoughts.
Susie, I hope you hold strong on your decision not to 'try and see if you like' the new medication that concerns you. There is no reason for anyone to risk their bodily health just because a doctor is more of less forcing a medication upon you. I made many controversial decisions based on my personal knowledge of my health history when I was in the hospital last summer. I chose to use older drugs, the oldest ones on the market because I am medication sensitive. This seemed to me the wisest choice because after years on the market the doctors were more than aware of ALL the side effects. One of the drugs the endocrinologist had given me a prescription for was questionable in my opinion. It happened that my insurance refused to approve it and I could not afford it on my own. Three months later lawsuits abounded against that drug due to the harsh negative side effects it had, causing permanent physical damage to many.
Judy asked what plants I had in my pots. Those in front of the back porch are impatiens (not outlawed here and apparently not a problem with any fungus), with sweet potato vine, marigolds, red salvia and coleus. I have one pot of white verbena and another of pink petunias there as well. These all look rather well and recover quickly if they get a little dry as long as I water them deeply. I find it best to water them and let them sit about 10 minutes then go back and water again.
I mentioned in one post making my own cinnamon sugar. Truly I prefer it because it is heavy on cinnamon and light on the sugar. Sarah reminded me of Tartar Sauce. I hadn't thought of that in the longest time, since John doesn't care for fish, but years ago I made and much preferred my own tartar sauce. There are so many things we can make ourselves and save so much over the store bought version. And nine times out of ten, the homemade tastes so good! One of my favorite copy cat type recipes is to use The Tightwad Gazette recipe for Chocolate Syrup. I don't even think Hershey's tastes half as well.
Kathy shared this statement and the two quotes that follow: Some friends and I are praying every night at 9pm eastern for one minute, for our country and peace.
'The idea was developed in Britain in the Second World War, initially from an idea by Major Wellesley Tudor Pole. People were asked to devote one minute of prayer for peace at nine o’clock each evening. He said:
“There is no power on earth that can withstand the united cooperation on spiritual levels of men and women of goodwill everywhere. It is for this reason that the continued and widespread observance of the Silent Minute is of such vital importance in the interest of human welfare.”
When I posted about picture perfect homes, I'd just taken a series of photos of my own home. My purpose was not to share them on the blog but to use them as a housekeeping tool. I use to belong to a group with a lady called "Mrs. Catherine" who shared that she did this and what a valuable tool it had proven to her in better seeing things she'd become blind to. You know how you'll take a picture of your grands or your children and suddenly when you're looking at the photo the messies in the back ground just glare? Same deal. Boy! What an eye opener!
But as you all noted, some of those picture perfect homes are not at all practical. It shows well but would it work well. Christopher Lowell used to say "You only need 18 inches between the couch and the coffee table..." I'd cringe. I think if I went in side ways I might be able to walk between the couch and table if they were that close! John however, loathes coffee tables. We've NEVER had one anywhere except in a den we had in the other house. He says they take up valuable floor space and our living area is not a large one. Now that we don't have a couch at all but just chairs I'd feel foolish having a coffee table. We have side tables suitable for putting drinks down on if need be.
And Rhonda I'd be most appreciative if you'd serve me your pie with whipped topping and not shaving cream!
I mentioned giving plants to Bess and Sam as a housewarming gift and that drew positive comments. I used to do this all the time for newly weds (if I knew they were moving into a home with garden space) or housewarming gifts and it was always a big hit. I'd fill a large thrift store basket with annual six packs and a trowel and packets of seeds and it always went over well. Who hasn't heard an about to be homeowner dream over the garden she'll plant? And if transporting plants isn't possible, garden centers have gift cards...but I'll vouch it's a lot more fun to pack up a basket of pretty blooms and deliver them to a shower than it is to hand over a gift card!
I loved hearing that others of you also felt sure of the house you moved into being 'the one'. I think we do know it when we've found the right house. John was telling me earlier today that he mentioned to a nurse during work that we live in a double wide. "Oh so you're going to build a house..." He said she looked surprised when I told we HAD a house, it just happened to be a double wide. I guess some people still look at double wides (or any sort of mobile home) as a temporary residence, but it's our intent to live in this home as God wills us to do so. My very first married home was also a double wide and it looks as good as it ever did when my ex and I bought it and set it up on the property where it is still to this day. Double wides are built to strict codes, like any traditional house and they have to be set up in a particularly safe way as well.
Susie you did make me laugh about NOT spreading curtains on the lawn near the mulberry tree where birds are feasting, lol. Granny's clothesline was a wire fence line between pasture and yard. Often she'd fuss over birds using Grandaddy's white shirts as targets, lol.
Sarah Lord help us all if the fridge or washer in our house ever starts beeping to remind me to dust it...I take it that you don't have air conditioning in your home? I do...and it makes all the difference in the world in what I can get done! Before we moved into this house however, we didn't have AC, or at least not an affordable AC. We ran it on weekends but only from Friday at 6pm through Monday morning at 6am! Those 12 days a month cost us twice what it costs us here to run it every day. I do keep it set to 77f indoors and it does get a bit warm when I'm busy working.
Sniffing produce bags: I've learned the hard way to sniff too. If I smell something spoiled I put it back! It seems if that spoilage is to the point of being wet and it touches any other item in that bag it all spoils rapidly! Ditto for the mold on citrus fruit and onions that can set in. I have found it I discover spoilage here at home washing other pieces of fruit or potatoes well will prevent it's spread but no, I won't buy spoiled bits at market. Just today I was looking over the bananas at Aldi. Lately I've bought green bananas and found they got very soft inside while still looking very green out. I happened to gently squeeze a green banana today and realized it was soft...Here I'd been thinking I was doing something wrong here at home! No apparently it was already soft inside. Needless to say that I bought no bananas today.
Yes, copper is in. Stainless steel appliances are going out. They have now introduced a series of new metallics which Bess and I frankly fell in love with. One was called Sunset Bronze. And yes, brass colored door hardware is in again and oil rubbed bronze is going out. I still like the brushed nickel for doors but prefer nice shiny silver for bath fixtures. In the end, buy what you like for your house if it's all yours and that's all it likely will ever be and buy what's in if you're revamping to sell and the old things have to be replaced.
Our Aldis are not in strip malls. The two I've visited (Centerville and Macon) both are freestanding new build stores. I prefer the Centerville location. It gets a good amount of traffic and is off a main roadway so their stock is rotated frequently and more and more items have been added as the interest in the store is great. The one in Macon is a little off the beaten path and doesn't seem to get the same amount of traffic despite it's being in a big shopping area near and near another grocery. I like Aldi and like their products for the most part. My list of things I won't buy there is very short and it's more that they just don't carry that item than that I dislike their brand.
Rose shared this: I stayed with a friend this week - she made me breakfast. I egg mixed with one mashed banana. Fry the batter as per a pancake....
I've just made one for my son and he ate it with Greek yogurt and honey. It would make 2 smaller pancakes ideal for a dessert...serve with whatever you fancy. I've got overripe bananas in the freezer thinking I'd use them for a cake but now I've been given this recipe, banana pancakes it is. I can't believe that I've never heard of it before. Just had to share this healthy, frugal and delicious 'recipe'! Oh, the only stipulation my friend made was that if you make double it must be 1 egg and 1 banana per portion. Doubling the recipe mix doesn't work.
Mama has tried these 'pancakes' and assured me they are very tasty.
I too have tried several hints from Heloise in my home. I also love to read the WWII era magazines with all their hints for ration coupons, etc. We didn't have things as hard here as you all had it in England, but there were shortages and rations to deal with so there are many helpful hints for 'making do' in those old magazines.
Marion, I enjoy Dorothy Evelyn (D. E.) Stevenson's books. I have to share that this week I moved a stack of books that were in front of other books and found I had quite a number of her books on my bookshelf. Thankfully not one of them was one of the four I just purchased!
I do read and follow gDonna's blog. For others of you who haven't yet discovered her: http://gdonna.com/
Pam thought of you and wondered if Harvest was ongoing...
Lana love your Mom's quote "We'll make it be enough..." reminds me of what Granny used to say when she'd have all 7 of us grandkids at once. Some one of the parents always asked "Will you have enough to feed them all?" and Granny always said "We'll make out..." and we did. Yes, I like that "We'll make it be enough..."
I can't tell you all how great it is to hear that you're happy over all the extra posts. It's been 'extra work' too but it helps a lot to be inspired to write things. I'd love to promise that I will keep this up but I know too well that when inspiration falls so do the posts. I get a little sick of 'hearing' myself all the time when I feel dull and boring, lol. But thank all of you for reading, for commenting and for encouraging me. I'm happy that Frugal Boot Camp seemed to be something we all felt we needed. And I thank those of you who kindly shared how my ministry of sharing from my home has helped you. I do appreciate that so much!
Now that is it for comments this month. Boot camp is very nearly finished up. I have two more books to review and am a tiny bit sad to see Boot Camp end this week. I'm looking forward to August comments!