Friday, February 27, 2009

Frugal Living

This post is a mish-mash about frugal living.
I have decided to post frugal tips that I have learned or need to learn.
My grandparents lived through the Great Depression and quite a few wars. My grandmother just turned 89 yrs old last week. My grandfather served in WW 2. So did my father-in-law and I can only say that I hope their service was not in vain.
The saying, "use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without" is necessary in these difficult times.
My grandmother has made it very clear that the turn to go farther in debt will only compound the nation's problems and it is going to get much worse. She has deep concern for future generations given the government's decision to create a HUGE debt. I certainly didn't want to hear this, but my grandmother says it like it is.
I think we all need to listen to the wise elders of this country. Let's give them credit where credit is due, folks. They really do know what they are talking about.

It is necessary for this household to make drastic cut backs and I will be spending a lot of time finding ways to accomplish this task.
I called the cable company and cut back to minimal service. Resulting in a $40 savings per month. I heard a few moans and groans from the other residents in this house but after a few weeks, they have managed to adjust. I am still debating on cutting out cable all together.
Playing games, doing puzzles and of course knitting fills in for sitting like a couch potato.

We have also cut back the trips to town. We go once a week now. So if we missed something on the grocery list. Too bad. Chips, tonic, (yes I said tonic. I told you I live in the Appalachian's.....LOL), cookies etc have been eliminated from the grocery list. Once in a while I need something but I must become resourceful and use the noggin' for something other than a hat rack:).
Here's an example: I needed a pot scrubby. So I crocheted this little ditty from Red Heart yarn. Took me 15 minutes and I had a reuseable pot scrubby. The DH just shook his head, however, after using it he said it was the best scrubby we have ever owned. So it's handmade pot scrubbies from here on out. Just toss them in the washer with your towels and it's ready to be used again. This resulted in a $2.79 savings per month.

We purchase nothing unless it's on sale. I found pork chops at a bargain price. My family prefers Shake 'n Bake but I was out of it. No extra trips to the store resulted in creating my own Shake 'n Bake recipe.

One sleeve of saltine crackers put in a ziploc bag crushed fine
Dash of Paprika
Dash of Garlic powder
Dash of Ground Sage
Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and shake
Moisten pork chops and shake in the mix. Bake at 425 F until done. The family loved them so I won't be buying pre-made mix anymore. This cost me 36 cents to make vs $2.69 per package.

I am starting on gifts early this year and I finally finished one Leyburn sock. I made these from the top down. Don't ask me why, I have no idea why I didn't do the toe up version.
But I like them and I think they're going to be mine instead of a gift.
I have plenty of time to make gifts. Right?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend Fun

Anita sent fuzzy toys to the kitties. Here's Aurora in the computer room batting one of them. Guess where it went? You've got it! Right under the cabinet. She worried herself to death to get it back. I crawled on the floor and finally retrieved the darn thing. During the night she dug every single one of the fuzzy toys from the box and lost them somewhere in this house.
Anita, you and Barbara are correct, these little things really are "crack" toys to a cat.

When I got up this morning I caught her in the act of batting a ball of yarn. Noro yarn, mind you.
I'm going to look for those "crack" toys today.

I finished the Crazy for Ziggy socks. They were supposed to be a gift for the DD. She saw they were finished and promptly grabbed them.
She wore them the next day to school with her clear shoes.

Last night was the very last Sweetheart Dance. She was having fun for the camera before she left.
She didn't have a date but her friends included her anyway. One of the dates "adopted" her and included her in the dance picture with his date.
They had dinner at a Japanese restaurant. The kids were calling parents during the meal. Apparently they didn't check into menu prices when making reservations and were caught a little short on cash. Several parents had to meet up with them to give a few more $'s.
Living in a depression/recession is a disadvantage.
Living in the Appalachian's has it's advantages. We live close to 2 other states which means one can trade/borrow prom dresses that have not been seen at one's own prom.
DD borrowed this dress from a friend in a neighboring state and in turn gave her a dress to borrow.
It was a strapless dress but I put rhinestone straps on it so there would not be a wardrobe malfunction at the dance:).

Posing and having fun for the camera.

I don't know where the time has gone but it's flying fast and furious these days.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's a Goody Kind of Day

It's a goody kind of day. Look what arrived from Anita.
She doesn't like to use dpns so she sent them my way. Four whole sets ranging in size from a 2-5. Little furry balls were included for the cats that reside here and if you notice Anita, the blue one has already been snatched by Miss Aurora. She is meowing in the room guarding her prize.

It's difficult to see but if you look on the left she included chocolate kiss stitch markers. They're adorable and if you don't have any of her wonderful talent on your WIP go here and check out her markers. They are a must have item.
Anita is so sweet that she and Jazzy included treats for Mr. Bettis & Co. The little treats are for Miss Molly and Miss Gypsy. The bigger ones are for Mr. Bettis (which will be swallowed whole). Thank you Anita and Mr. Bettis sends big sloppy kisses to you and Jazzy. (He just loves cats, you know. LOL)

A yarn shop was having a 20% off sale. The DH had a little money stashed and he gave it to me for Valentine's Day.
After 24 yrs it has finally hit him that gifts such as a salad shooter/swiffer/broom just don't make the little woman happy on Valentine's Day (now to work on him for the rest of the holidays:).
I snatched this lovely yarn @ 50% off out of the trunk sale. It is Aruacania worsted for the DD a sweater.

I bought this magazine and the DD chose this pink Aruacania sock yarn at 20% off for the Marlena socks in the magazine. It's a Cookie A pattern and I'm anxious to cast on.
Thank goodness Anita sent those dpns in the nick of time:). 'Cos everyone knows I don't have needles..........LOL

Next I found this yarn and it is so soft. It will grow up to be a baby surprise jacket. I have a feeling I'll get two of them out of this yarn.
I stepped out of my baby color range box for this combo.

The DD went along on Saturday and sang (in a rather obnoxious manner) in the car. She chattered and sang throughout the 4 hour car trip and the DH laughingly stated she was easier to take when she was younger. She slept back then.
That statement only prompted more singing and more chatter......LOL
It was fun and we had a good day.
When we arrived home the DD whipped up heart sugar cookies to put in the cookie jar. I'm still lovin' this cookie jar.
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

To All of My Friends


Friday, February 13, 2009


This is a post about a way of life.

I was born and raised on a farm in the Appalachian Mountains.
I went squirrel, turkey and deer hunting with my dad & uncles. As a young girl I watched as my grandmother and mother canned squirrel and vegetables. I learned to sew, knit and crochet when I was very young. My mom sewed our clothing when handmade clothing was not in style. We weren't poor, we were frugal. We speak with an Appalachian twang and yes I admit to saying crick instead of creek:).

I was teased as a child for being of Native American heritage and for living on a farm. Two strikes against me. Add in homemade clothing and that was a third strike. But we were taught to hold our head up high and be proud. We did.

My dad worked a hard life delivering milk and working on the farm. He left for work at 2-3 am and worked until ?? We never knew when dad would be home for dinner. He even worked on Christmas Day in the wee hours of the morning so he could be home in time to watch us open gifts on Christmas morning. Milk was home delivered back then and that meant holidays too.
My parents worked to provide a decent home life and encouraged us to get an education. They taught us

strong work ethics and good moral values.
There is a program coming on tonite, The Children of the Mountains. It is a program about Appalachia folk and it is a must see.

My husband is one of those hard working Appalachia folk. He was in masonry for 15 yrs and then went to a delivery truck driving for a soft drink company and then an ice cream company. Jobs have always been scarce around here yet our roots are in the mountains.
Just like my dad, my DH lugged heavy cases of product in and out of stores working 12-16 hour days. He was salary paid. Sadly the heavy work load took it's toll on his body. He suffered a severly fractured back at work a few years ago. Due to the extent of his injury he is no longer permitted to drive a delivery truck. He was told by the insurance company that he has no skills. Quite a blow to a hard working man trying to provide for his family.
My husband's boss is a decent man and he created an office position for him. Appalachia folk stand by one another.

My DH told our kids not to follow in his footsteps but to get a good education and get out of the area to find a good paying job. He gave up so much to make certain that our kids have a better life and he is so very proud of them.

Upon hearing what my husband did for a living when he fractured his back and was heading into surgery, the surgeon looked at my husband, patted him on his shoulder and said, "I have a great respect for men like you. The kind of job that you do takes it's toll on the body. Men like yourself pay the ultimate price for the work that you do and yet receive so little in return." These are words my husband will never forget.
Appalachia living is a tough life and the hard working people who live here work long hours for very low wages.
Please say a silent thank you to the hard working folk of this great country. They are the ones who will turn this country's economy around and if anyone else takes credit they're only pursuing a vote in a future election.

I am proud to be from the Appalachian Mountains.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Laid Back Sunday

My BFF gave this cookie jar to me for Christmas. It's a Longaberger pottery cookie jar and I love it. She knows I collect cookie jars and enjoy baking cookies. This is perfect. I especially like the lid that seals in the freshness.
She also gave me an I Love Lucy calendar called Best Friends. A little stuffed black sheep was also in the gift bag and it has taken residence on the shelf in the bathroom.

So have a cookie while you finish reading the post. I'm eating one for you, Di:).
It was warm and sunny here today. The temp went up to 61 F. I cracked windows and enjoyed the sunshine. The dogs ran in and out a zillion times but it was okay because it was warm and it was an excuse for me to go out with them.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Knitters are the kindest and most generous people that I know. Beauty from within extends to their knitting. I appreciate each and every one of you and I hope to meet up with all of you at some point and time.
I received a box last week and I knew I had not ordered anything. Imagine my surprise when I opened the box. The most beautiful shawl knitted just for me and a lovely note from Grace. It brought tears to my eyes and I quickly put the shawl around my shoulders knowing it was a supportive hug from Grace.
I wear this every evening and I can feel the warmth of a knitter's hugs. Thank you so much, Grace.

Chan is the inspiration for these socks. I saw them in her project list on a knitting site. I had this lonely skein of Noro Sock yarn and I promptly dug around for needles. As you can see I had to resort to a circular needle. My dpns are in UFOs somewhere around here. I think I need to finish those socks in progress:).
I cast on yesterday and I cannot put it down. I am addicted to the surprise color play in this yarn and pattern.
They are softer than I imagined. When these are finished I intend to break the piggy yarn bank and purchase another skein. I MUST have another pair. The DD claimed these already.

My DIL and Son are the proud god parents of a new little boy, Otto Benson. So this baby surprise sweater was quickly knitted for little Otto Benson. Congratulations to all!

Otto Benson's father grew up next door and he was my son's childhood friend. Those boys managed to keep their mothers hopping with their antics and pranks:).
Like the time Son and Son's childhood friend wrote their names on my house foundation in GREAT BIG letters with pieces of coal. Needless to say they were given a bucket of soapy water and brushes to remove their names. BOYS! lol
They were 5 and 6 yrs old. Those boys were a handful but left childhood with fun filled memories and a lifetime friendship.

p.s. I have some serious catch up blog reading to do.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

We Are The Champions!

The Steelers are Champs once again! The DH and the DD are ecstatic about the game. If they're happy then I'm happy so this was a good thing. Finally. The first good thing this year. Go Steelers!
Grumbles about the half-time performance. It was less than stellar. We did enjoy the band.
The DD has a gift and talent of music and more than once I saw her wince through the "performance." She was also grumbling about being bored approximately 2 minutes into the performance and was counting the seconds for the next 10 minutes of it. I must admit, I did the same.
Mr. Springsteen was good back in the day but there comes a time when a singer needs to recognize when it's time to retire.
But thankfully it only lasted for 12 lo-o-ong minutes then it was back to the game. YAY!!!!!!!


GO Steelers GO!!!!!!!!! Mr. Bettis ready and waiting. I had a piece of Steelers fleece and I tied it as a scarf around his neck. Although he is not cooperative for clothing (he and Sissy have a lot of the same traits) he's looking mighty dashing at the moment.
It took 20 minutes of following him and putting up with his jumping etc to get this one photo.

Homemade chili and cornmuffins are on the menu for the game. We're going to my parents to enjoy the party. The DH is thrilled. They have a big screen tv and apparently watching a game on a big screen is the best.
I don't get into football quite as much as he and the DD but I join in the fun anyway:)


Enjoy the game if you're watching it. If not, enjoy the day anyway.