In My Home This Week: Why Plan?

In my home this week:

...I don't know why I even bothered to plan my menu last week.  I didn't serve even one meal from it.  I didn't even use any of the ingredients meant to be in even one of the planned dishes.  I don't know why it all went kaplut but it did.   Why plan? That's what I asked myself this week.  I plan because it is a money saver.  Fortunately none of the meals we did eat were pricey ones.  I just didn't remember my own plan to thaw food for the next day the night before.  So what did we eat?  We ate leftovers of an entrée I made last week and had forgotten and I found in the fridge one day and John bought ingredients to make dinner at home one day.  I pulled a prepared frozen entrée from the freezer another day and we bought a half priced steak as a treat  and had a nice steak dinner.  Oh and we cleared the refrigerator of all leftovers at the end of the week.  We had dinner at church one day.  All in all we had a week's worth of food and never went over budget not purchased too many special items.  So yes, meals were largely unplanned because I didn't follow my plan.

Frugal Friday

A frugal life, built around saving and not spending, often means being very creative.  First attempts might not work but keep tweaking and rethinking and remembering to 'use what you have' and you'll eventually come up with something that is both attractive and pleasing.

Saturday:  I opened curtains just as soon as I got up this morning filling the house with light.  No electricity needed.

Made a breakfast of breakfast sandwiches for us.  I used the last of a box of sausage patties.  I had just three patties but halving the third one netted us each enough meat to fill our sandwich which consisted of toast, cheese and fried eggs.

I rinsed dishes and stacked in the dishpan in the sink.

For dinner our entrée was leftover meatloaf.   I pulled some frozen cooked summer squash and shredded zuchinni from the freezer and made a squash casserole.  I made butterbeans from the feezer ,too. 

I made piecrust from scratch and then filled with three apples that no one was touching.  They had some weird looking brown spots inside, sort of like rust, not spoiled, but it was unappealing.  No one seems to mind those spots in pie.

More on 'Salad Days'

I thought of several things after my post yesterday and then you readers chipped in with some hints that are too good not to share.  So here goes with my thoughts and then your additions.

I generally wash only one head of lettuce at a time unless of course, I'm serving many. For just John and I the standard head will do us for about three or four salads each.  I wait until I'm ready to serve salad for the first time and then I wash the head of lettuce.  I cut off the root end (and if I'm being smart I set it right away in a dish of water or pop into soil).  Then I wash well and set to drain on my drying mat.  While the lettuce is still damp, I cut what is required for our salad.  If I've planned to have salad the next day I'll go on and double up on what I cut up.  I wrap the remaining lettuce in a clean cotton cloth which I keep just for this purpose.  I like old solid cotton napkins and flour sack towels for this purpose.  Then I pop the damp bundle into a zippered baggie and close it and place in my vegetable bin.  Lettuce will keep up to a week this  way, though I admit we seldom have any last that long.

I've found if I'm planning to have salad the next day I'd better not put it on the table.  John will absolutely eat every bit of it!  I generally make a large enough salad that I get about 2 cups and he gets about 3cups.  Lettuce is one thing that is a 'free' food for most diets, meaning you can eat up to 4 cups of it without noticeably impacting your carb count.

More on Homemaking

Tammy shared her routine with us and I thought you'd like to see that comment.

Monday - kitchen day - clean out the refrigerator, quick inventory of the pantry, prep food for the week including baking, then cleaning of counters, floors, and straightening cupboards and drawers as needed.

Tuesday - deep cleaning day - weekly rotation of concentrating on "zones" which include living/dining, bedrooms, bathrooms, porches/garage/car.

Wednesday - laundry day - we do laundry daily, but this is the catch-up day. I do our sheets, rugs, any odds and ends in the laundry room. I also take this day to clean the laundry room and check inventory of supplies.

Planning Convenience Meals - An End of April Challenge

I've been reading a lot about the food services that now box up produce, meat and fruit for a home and sell it at an average of $20/meal for 3 meals.  Not saying it isn't a great idea, especially if you happen to be in a big city with limited access to shopping and must walk or transport food without a car.  I'm pretty sure under those circumstances I'd be utilizing the same services myself!

I can't help, however, recall that in one of my vintage women's magazines a woman made a suggestion for 'shoe box meals' and these services remind me of that and have made my brain wheels turn.

Now this woman happened to be paid once a month.  In those months in which there was a fifth week she struggled to make her grocery budget stretch.  So she settled down with the calendar, noted when the fifth weeks occurred (twice a year usually in May and November) and then she made out a menu list of meals that she could make from canned foods and basic pantry items only.  She purchased a few extra items during the four week months.  She set up seven shoe boxes with a menu card on the front and into each box she put the components for those meals.   Personally I thought it was a great way to insure a few convenience meals were on hand.

Salad Days

Angela asked me last week to share salad topping ideas.  Well that made me think of all the wonderful things you can do with a bowl of lettuce.  I mean it's basically a blank canvas!

First let's look at the types of lettuce.  I personally like a hearty leaf lettuce.  Romaine is one such, leaf lettuces both red and green, Boston (or Bibb), frisee...I suggest you try any leafy type lettuce at least once.  Romaine is the least expensive and the most easily found.  Often you can find a pack of three 'hearts of Romaine, which is the inner parts of Romaine for about $3.  A proper loose purchased head of Romaine has a lot of coarse dark green outer leaves.  When I mention they are coarse, I do not mean they are tough but they have a sturdiness that is not at all like iceberg lettuce, which is pretty flavorless compared to the leaf lettuces.  Then there are the bitter lettuces, like arugula and endive.  They can be a bit pricey but to add to a bowl of green leafy lettuces the price is somewhat absorbed.  Personally, I'm not terribly fond of bitter lettuces.

So experiment and try different lettuces.  If you end up going back to Iceberg because you like it best, then you've at least tried something new.  Iceberg does have it's merits.  Usually it's quite inexpensive and it's almost always a nice crisp lettuce.  It has less chlorophyll and more water content and essentially is flavorless.  It does well as a finely shredded lettuce (cut very thin with a sharp knife) or torn by hand.

Freshening the Outdoors: The Porches

We've been hearing rumors of change for months now at John's job and some are easier changes than others. It's very easy to get the mindset just now that 'Best spend the money while we've got it," but that is a silly thought, truly.  I am not saying it's best to save it all, either.   I do believe in an old adage Granny used often, "Best start as you mean to go on."    I'm not in the least sorry we've spent money on flooring.  Should opportunity present itself, we'll do more work on the house, though I don't know if we'll actually do what I'd mentioned for April.  Likely that will get done a little further down the road.  It's finding the balance between spending and saving, between making the best of what we have and knowing when it's time to purchase.  It's all about understanding what is priority (for us) and what isn't. 

Like my new cushions for the porch furnishings.  No, it's not necessary, it's nice.  It's a pleasant extra.  If I were going to spend $60-$75 just now I'd much rather put that towards purchasing paper products or stocking up on the vitamins and supplements the doctor has ordered us to take, or plants for the pots on the porch and yard, or even pushing it to a sub-fund for the St. Augustine vacation we've booked.

This Week In My Home: Feeling Inspired

This week in my home...

...I have had a lovely first week of my new homemaking routine and it's gone very well indeed.  I'll say nothing more about it, though.  Starting to sound like a record that won't skip to the next line of the song.   

This week promises to be busy enough.  There are lots of the usual business of living and such and John has extra time off which changes things up a bit.  This next weekend we have a big family gathering and there's plenty to be done in association with that, too.  I want to do so much and only have so much time and money and that's the way life generally goes, doesn't it? 

Not pouting or whining, there's not nearly enough time to spare for that!  I just need to gather my thoughts and make my lists and get busy.

I've had the most fun of late with my home.  I changed a few things that I felt were not just what I wanted.  It cost me little or nothing to change except mostly thought and time.  If only all change could be so easily wrought. 

...I plan my work:

I am nearly done with the bill box for this pay period.  I have a few simple tasks to do to finish that up.  Then we mail off bills, run errands, and shop for groceries.  It always looks like such a little bit written out like this but it takes a few hours of time. 

I have truly done about all the sprucing up I mean to do on the house and porches.  What my focus will be this week will be putting in a few more plants on the patio and perhaps gathering some pretty baskets of flowers for the front porch.  Or so I plan. 

I do have John home for the whole week, so there may or may not be a visit to a DIY store. If there is I will try to buy a few bags of mulch for the existing flower beds and some more landscape blocks so I can put a few more aside for the next bedding area I am making up.  I'd like paint for the patio table and chairs but we'll see.  It will be a big job and require far more paint than the café set!

Frugal Friday: Purpose Driven Savings

.Saturday:  Off to see the Kids!  John asked me the afternoon before what we'd have for breakfast.  I made muffins Friday evening from two bananas that ripened rather quickly.

John likes to stop several times on the way.  I'll say this for his new Yeti cup, the coffee bought in Perry was still hot 2 1/2 hours later when we stopped in Hazlehurst.  He told me to take a sip, and I was shocked.  It was as hot as though it had just been brewed!  John told me he's so convinced over the value of the cup now that he'll gladly spend money on another one for me.  I reminded him we had another one right here at home and I'd just get rid of all the others which don't even come up as a close second to the Yeti.

I brought along a meal to share with the kids: lasagna and chocolate cake from the freezer, a bag of romaine hearts from the fridge.  I'd taken out the lasagna on Friday and put in the fridge.  It and the cake were frozen solid.  I didn't think ice was necessary.  Indeed when we arrived at Sam's the lasagna was still frozen!  We had a rather late dinner since it took over an hour to thaw and heat through in the oven.

Coffee Chat: Symphony Days

Gosh but it's warm.  Tomorrow the temperatures are to be in the 90's.  Time to find some nice cool images of iced tea, huh?

Do come in.  You're just in time for a much needed break and a bit of coffee.  We can take it on the porch if you'd like.  The breeze and shade make for very pleasant sitting these days.  I relish these days of mid-Spring when the temperatures are mild enough as long as you are not working in the sun.  I do love the sound of the birds and the wind in the leaves of the trees.  It's a lovely symphony isn't it?  Fresh and lively.   Different than the autumn song of bass wind pounding upon us and rattling cacophony of dry, dead leaves skittering across the yard.

The variety of bird call this time of year is worth noting.  The Mocking Bird kindly serenades us year round, but one morning this week as I stood on the porch to see John off to work, I listened to a Whippoorwill call from across the field and this afternoon when I came home a quail called 'Bob, Bob, Bob White!'  I've heard a lovely trilling bird call.  I'm not sure what kind of bird makes it but it's common here from spring through the first cool days of autumn, then the bird must migrate from here to somewhere much warmer.  Still it is a beautiful sound.  There are so many lovely bird songs and calls to hear.

For April: My Favorite Things

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things with you all.  The first item I feature is on my wish list.  The others are tried and true items that I currently purchase.

I was in Walmart this past week.  The store was being completely rearranged and I had absolutely no clue where anything was.  I pretty much ended walking the whole store.  I was in kitchen wares at one point and found these canisters by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.  If I hadn't a set of perfectly nice old canisters that I happen to like a lot, I'd buy these in a split second!  Aren't they just gorgeous?

Naturally I'm drawn to the floral ones but the Geo set is pretty darned cute.  I saw them live and up close on Thursday.  I was surprised at how nice and heavy they are, too.  These are quality metal pieces.
The Pioneer Woman 6 1/2 Turquoise Floral Design Steel Tin Canister

Debby's Home Routine

I've enjoyed my new routine thus far.  I felt I accomplished more on Friday and again on Sunday simply because I was interested in what I was doing once more.  Monday morning I accomplished all my work well before time to leave to go to Mama's.   That left me free to work on another project when I came in that afternoon.

Debby share her current routine with us, though she is planning to shake it up a bit.  Her old routine though may be just the new one you require to shake up your old routine, so I thought I'd share.

A new routine sounds nice. I'm also a zone cleaner. My friend loved Flylady and that's where I got the zone idea. I started there and fine-tuned it to fit me. I have daily zones and weekly zones. Since most are probably familiar, I'll be brief.

Good Housekeeping's Book on The Business of Housekeeping

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading Good Housekeeping's Book On The Business of Housekeeping, A Manual of Method  by Mildred Maddocks Bentley, published in 1924.

There's all kinds of advice in the book.  If ever you wondered why so much work in the long ago days this book pretty much covers it.  Divided into five sections, the fifth is on laundry and is the longest and the most detailed. 

Every aspect of doing the washing is covered from making soap solutions and the equipment required to detailed instructions of exactly how full a load of laundry should be. While there were many labor saving devices back then such as an automatic washer and a wringer as well as ironers that could do many pieces of ironing in a day's time, it was fully expected laundry would take two full days work. The first day was solely compromised of washing, mending, treating stains, starching and drying. The second day was relegated to ironing. The more fortunate woman had a maid who attended to the laundry.  Otherwise the whole of the household work was shoved into a mere four days a week while laundry took up the first two.

Under the Tuscan Sun: A Book Review

You will rarely hear these words from me, but I actually prefer the glamorized and more fictional movie of this book over the book.  Yes, it's true. 

I bought this book years ago and then let it go from my bookshelves.  I had somewhat forgotten the book and was excited to be able to review it once more.  As much as I want to enjoy the book, I don't.  I find the author's style of writing is very choppy and almost incoherent at times.  I'd like to have known more about the history of the house.  I'd like to have had a better idea of the Tuscan countryside through her story of the renovation of the house.  Instead, there are bits of this and bits of that and never enough of any one thing to give you a complete picture of the house.  I soon remembered why I let the initial copy of the book go so easily from my shelves.  It was not a wrench to part with it.

I did read the follow up book and found it much easier going and more pleasurable reading than I found this initial book to be. 

In my Home This Week: Let's Go Outdoors!

In my home this week:

...I've been busy outdoors the past few days. It finally has warmed up nicely and I've had my hands in the dirt, potting up plants.  And when I'm not outdoors, I'm looking on Pinterest for ideas to use in my yard.  'Tis the season and all that.  I've just asked John for more yard tools for my anniversary present and I seriously believe he's going to give them to me, too!  I finally have convinced him that I'd rather have what I want than another piece of jewelry.  Not that I have a thing against jewelry.  As soon as I want something special I'll let him know.  Not turning down diamonds or gold or pearls.  Nope!

We spent our Shabat traveling.  John had a deep desire to see Isaac and Josh.  He planned this weekend right after we got back from seeing Taylor.  I carried a big slab of lasagna and half that chocolate cake I made two weeks ago.  And of course, I packed a supper to eat on the way home.

We arrived just as they finished up the church egg hunt.  I love Bess and Sam's church.  They are a very friendly bunch of people and they love to open their doors to the community at large.  That's just what they did this weekend, allowing community to come in and hunt eggs with their own children.  They fed them hot dogs after and had a very brief program by the children's minister and that was that.  It was a good time for children who might never hear it otherwise, to hear the story of what we call Easter.

Home Routines

I thought about my home routines for most of last week. I would like to add one item to my morning routine, something that is absolutely key for me and it would be one of the first things I do: shower and dress.  Even if I am going to go outdoors to work in the hot sun.  Even if I am going to be home all day long.  Because I find that mornings when I schlep about in my night clothes, I have to break up my morning to dress for the day mid-way through a job or two and that means I might not get back to finish off something.  At Granny's, we weren't allowed so much as a drink of water, much less come to the breakfast table, unless we were fully dressed and ready for the day.  I'm seeing more and more the wisdom of that rule of hers and I mean to incorporate it into my day.  Right after I get out of bed, open the window and throw back those covers, I'm headed to the shower!

I sat down last night before bed and set down my current routine and what I thought would work better for me.   I wrote out a zone list and realized I liked the principle of it just not the way I've been doing them which was to focus all week long on that one area and then move to the next zone.  I came up with something and think it's just the answer to my need to add a spark to my routine housework once again.

I've found that staying away from computer in the mornings is most helpful though I will go online on John's work mornings because I can run Swagbuck videos at that time.  It's the only time I get to hit at those small earnings.  BUT I always stop running videos by 7am so it shouldn't be a problem to hold off on that.

Frugal Friday: Making the Best of It ALL

Saturday:  I had a miserable night Thursday evening and was so disappointed when, after sleeping but a half hour, I awakened and laid there for the better part of an hour praying sleep would return.  Well, sometimes, a change of scenery is the best thing.  I've turned in bed and lay with my feet at the head and my head at the foot of the bed and sometimes that works nicely and sometimes it doesn't.  I decided last night to take myself off to the guest room. 

While our room had felt warm-ish, the guest room was cool, so much so that I not only pulled up the quilt on the bed, I piled another one atop that one.  I slept very nicely until I heard John shift in his chair this morning.  At some point during the night he also couldn't sleep and so he sat in his recliner and covered himself up to sleep.  Again, it's cooler in the living room than our bedroom.  I've no idea why this is so because during the majority of most days our bedroom is quite cool.

We had bagels for breakfast.  I have two left, after making up a third to go into John's work lunch for tomorrow.  We'll eat those in the morning and I'll have nothing but the packets of yeast left to toss away.  I'm taking the saltines to Mama on Monday.  She does not ever use yeast so no need of taking her that.  For the one who asked, we do not have a food pantry nearby.  The few I do know of, only accept cash or gift cards and no real foods.   The yeast is only about 49c at Aldi, so no big loss.

Daily Tasks

I've thought long and hard about this business of routines and about what I want to do in my home on a daily basis.  I have already shared my morning and evening routines.  Some of the tasks on this daily list are included there.  I am not repeating them but merely showing that this is done daily.

There are not many tasks on my list of daily jobs.  This is because I hope to do some weekly and monthly jobs each day, as well, but these chores do allow my home to look polished even if I haven't done anything more.

I've enjoyed reading about your routines for morning and evening that you've shared.  One mentioned never going to bed with dirty dishes in the kitchen.  I followed Flylady for years and I agree with this 100%,  but I discovered even with just two of us at home, if I didn't put a stop time on kitchen work, I'd be doing it at bedtime, too.  So for those last couple of items each evening, I choose to set them in the kitchen and deal with them in the morning.

Morning and Evening Homemaking Routines

I said I've been revamping my routines and that part is certainly true enough.  In fact, I'm still working on those cleaning charts. I thought I'd share my morning and evening routines.  These haven't changed much in the past few years but they are really what keep my home neat and nice and helps me to focus immediately on the bigger picture each day.  It's all little things that, once done, just make life simpler.  In a pinch, doing a morning and evening routine can be the difference between a house that is pretty much company presentable and a disaster zone, so if I am ill or not able to devote a full day to cleaning, my home is still ready for hospitality.


Un-make the bed.  This sounds counter-productive doesn't it?  There is a reason to do this! I throw back the covers on the bed and let the sheets air.  This is ideally done for at least 1 hour.  I sometimes do make up the bed after 20 minutes, and occasionally John sees the unmade bed and decides to make it himself, but most mornings I let the bed air an hour.  This helps keep the sheets fresh all week long and it allows the bedding to completely dry in case of any dampness from perspiration during the night.

Open the curtains.  Opening the curtains each morning lets the sunshine pour into the house.  It is ideal to also open windows and let the house air for a few minutes.  This is a habit I mean to incorporate with my new routines.  However, opening the curtains is a signal to my brain that the day is well begun.  There's something about those open blinds and curtains that makes me feel ready to face the work of the day.

Making Do: Outdoor Cushion Renewal

My old patio chair cushions were really showing wear last year.  They were faded and starting to fray in areas.  I'd patched them in the past but this time, I knew they really were done when the season was over, so I planned to buy new ones.  However, I was looking at the old cushions and it occurred to me to reuse the filler form and make new covers using an indoor/outdoor table cloth I'd purchased last year at Aldi for $4-$7 I think.  I'd bought two, meaning to use them as curtains on my front porch to block the sun but honesty they seemed a bit busy to have such a big space of pattern stretched out.

Well there was the fabric I needed.  I had enough fabric to make four cushion covers and a small tablecloth for the café table on the back porch.

I used the old cover as a guide and the form as my pattern.  I allowed for 1/2 seam allowances on the cushions.  I positioned two of them so the front of the cushion was on the fold of the fabric but couldn't do all four that way. 

In My Home This Week: All I Have

In my home this week...

...I am determined to once again give all my best to my main vocations, that of making home productive and pleasant, and nurturing my writing work here on the blog.  I've been sailing along of late without any real plan or focus.  Well this cannot go on.  I'm enjoying life just fine but I'm missing that deep satisfaction at day's end when I settle down to rest.  I am too conscious that I might have worked harder in the home.  I am bored with the content of my mind.  I have already spent too much of the day with games or in mindless pursuits and it's just not working for me. 

This was most clearly brought home last Friday when I had a hard talking to myself.  I'd not slept well Thursday night and that always makes it a bit harder for me to focus.  I spent the bulk of the early morning hours when I'm normally most productive, looking at what appeared to be an overwhelming number of tasks.  I played a round of games on the computer, read emails, gazed at the housework, determined I really ought to do something and did nothing much for another hour or so. 

Eventually, I just pulled myself up by my own bootstraps and got busy.  I forced my attention to stay focused on each job I laid my hand to, instead of wandering aimlessly from this to that and finishing nothing.  In the end, the overwhelming work and an onerous task took up the better part of the remaining morning hours, but then I was done and it was but 11:30am.  I looked at the clock, thought of what I might do for leisure then focused instead on making cushion covers for the porch chairs.  At 1pm I stopped for lunch and went back to work at 1:30.  At 2:30pm I was all done and ran up a quick little café tablecloth in a spare five minutes.  THEN I headed to computer to work on blog post.  

Frugal Friday: In Bloom

Saturday:  We were up early this morning and left the house early, too.  This is not our typical Shabat day.  We headed to the Pawn Shop Sidewalk Sale.  John has wanted to go for years but was never able to attend for one reason and another.  I heard the television ad Tuesday and told John about it. 

So off we went Saturday morning which was a beautiful cool sort of morning.  We had to park about a block away.  I'd no idea this was such a huge big deal but it apparently IS.  We bought a pair of gardening gloves, another old saw (John bought two at the antiques mall just a week ago), a few really good tools.  I found a 5 ft. tall windmill to put in one of my flower beds.  We also bought an army cot which is for the grandchildren.  I could put two toddlers on the cot or 1 bigger grand child.  I was planning to buy a child sized cot but the idea of having them outgrow it didn't appeal to me.  We'll look for more but at least now I have one. 

We came home and I made dinner here.  We bought a steak at Aldi on Friday.  I've been experimenting with the Aldi beef.  I really do like the butcher shop meat and The Fresh Market meats but the cost is really prohibitive on any cut but hamburger and chicken breasts.  Bess had told me how much she likes the Chuck Roast.  I tried one a few weeks ago and was impressed with it's tenderness and how tasty it was.  I'd like to have had a larger one but they just don't package them any larger.  So this week we bought the sirloin steak and a rump roast.  The sirloin weighted 1 3/4pounds.  That's big enough for four servings for us.  I cut the steak and put half in the freezer and cooked half.  It was really tender, surprisingly so, in my opinion. 

Eating On A Tight Budget: April's Basics Challenge

I pondered options for this  month.  I could set a dollar amount and do as I've done in the past three months making out a menu for two for 21 meals at that set point was one option.  Frankly I've proven to myself I can do it and I was ready for another challenge. 

I looked over two wartime thrifty meal plans in vintage Woman's Day magazines and contemplated following one of those for a week, though I wasn't sure it would be half so 'thrifty' as it was considered then.  I do admit though that it's an intriguing idea, despite the liberal use of liver sausage in one of the menus.  Pretty sure John wasn't going to be on board with that!

I kept coming back to doing a basic ingredients challenge.  I'd said once before that you could make just about anything with the same basic ingredients just by changing up the seasonings and adding in a few minor ingredients.  So this challenge is about basic items in the kitchen and creating a variety of meals from them.

In my scenario, I'm taking a chicken, a bunch of celery, a bag of carrots and a bag of onions and I'm going to show how those same ingredients can be used in a variety of ways to make different meals.  Now this is far more economical than you might think, because while I'm not limiting anyone to just one chicken or one bunch of celery, etc., several of the meals can be made from just that one chicken. 

Pot Roasted Chicken may not be something you commonly think of but I've made this on more than one occasion.  You can do this in the crockpot or slow roast in the oven. I leave the chicken whole and then chop some carrots, onions and celery and place them around the chicken. I have often added potato chunks and apple chunks to the pan and it's really delicious! 

Past Post: Targeted clearance

Just a brief note.  Lots of nasty weather in my area today.  We're fine so far, just lots of thunder, lightning and rain.  There are tornados to the south and far northeast of us.

Wanted to thank you for prayers on behalf of grandson Zach.  He is diagnosed with a common condition that is related to a viral infection NOT a bacterial one as first feared.  He should be fully recovered in 7 days to 5 weeks.

Penny Ann Poundwise Post from April 2007.

When Are Impulse Buys Good Things?

Yesterday as I wandered around Target excitedly looking for those CLEARANCE endcaps on the aisles, it occurred to me that some might not see my habit as a frugal thing.  After all I went into a store specifically to look for bargains, without a list, without a plan and without a limit.  And I spent money on stuff.  Isn't that being a spendthrift?  Isn't that what I'm not supposed to be about?   Shouldn't I feel guilty for the money spent? 

Past Post: What Are You Really Worth?

Monday, April 16, 2007

How Much Are You Worth?

"I deserve it..."  "I'm worth it..."  "It's only $5..."  "I've had a bad week.  I should treat myself..."

Excuses, excuses, excuses...I've used every one of them, have heard them used time and time again by others.  All these little catch phrases usually are heard just about the time money is going to be spent in an area where we know beyond a doubt we can't really afford the expenditure.  And I'm willing to bet that, like myself, you haven't stopped to figure out what you're really worth, what you really deserve.

When we stop and consider what worth or value we place on ourselves, what we deserve from our lives, do you consider the bottle of nail polish or lipstick bought at the department store counter as representative of that value?  Or could that $30 be better applied to your debt load or saved towards a much dreamed about vacation? Perhaps you, like I  myself once did, think $5 here and there doesn't add up, but I had a powerful object lesson in those 'little' amounts of money. 

Iced Tea Chat

Yes, it's warmer here now and the pollen is settled enough that we might have tea on the porch if you'd like.  Just ignore my mess there.  I'm planning to go get flowers for pots later this week.  I'd thought it would be easier to work on them if they were all centrally located.  And ignore that pile of things there.  We're going to be moving the steel cabinet off the back porch.  John has decided he could use it as a surface for storing things at the back of his shed where he means to put a concrete pad and a lean to roof.  I had hoped when I bought the thing to dress it up in fresh paint and use it as a sort of potting table and storage, too, but it didn't hold up well to the exposure of being outdoors and gradually just began to look hideous.  It spoils the ambience of the back porch when it is looking spruce and not piled up as it as at the moment.

If you tiptoe over you can peek at the nest.  Yes, the little bird is back to nest there once more.  I've no idea why she's so enamored with this back porch.  She's had the most rotten sort of luck nesting here but I guess that little bird has a deep faith that at some point she's raising a family here to a successful conclusion.  And so the cabinet is empty save that coiled extension cord and her nest.  She's used the cord to anchor the nest by the way.  I know because when I'd planned to move it, the whole lot shifted and I just gently pushed it back into place and went away.  I wasn't sure it was a fresh nest but John told me when he came in that he saw her sitting and said hello to her.

This Week In My Home: Changing Pace

This week in my home...

... I was reading Rhonda at down---to---earth this weekend and she wrote "making the most of what we already have"... Well there was the phrase I'd been waiting on as my theme for this year.  Did you notice?  I put it in the header right under the title.  I replaced the 'Retirement Remedies' tag with Making the most of what we have, because really, isn't that what we're doing, regardless of whether we're retired, hoping to retire soon, starting over or just beginning?  I knew that if I were patient new inspiration would come along and so it did.  Oh! be sure and follow that link above to Rhonda's post that inspired me.

We had a nice weekend.  The rain that was promised as an all day, all out stormy affair on Friday produced nada/zilch here.  Delorise said they had a 1/2 inch and she's only about 20 minutes northeast of me.  Such is weather life.  This stormy day was meant to encompass ALL of the state from one state boundary line to another.  Nope. 

I'm certainly not sad about that since we didn't grocery shop and run the bulk of errands until Friday.  It was a little cool in the morning hours but warmed up to a nice temperature.  It was supposedly 82f outdoors but not even the AC believed it, as it was off for long spells of time between cycles.  I am not complaining!

In My Home This Week: All Routine