Friday, November 30, 2007

Sew Crafty Friday

I have continued to work on the baseball quilt this week that I first posted progress on last Saturday.

So far I have sewn a one inch navy blue border around the initial quilt squares. This morning I cut the five yards of backing fabric in half and sewed the two strips together lengthwise to make the large piece of fabric needed for the backing. It is shown in the picture as the beige/brownish fabric.

This weekend I plan to sew another border on the quilt in the same fabric as the backing, get the quilt sandwich made and start machine quilting. The binding will be the same fabric as the navy one inch border. My goal is to finish it by next weekend.

My weekend is going to be really busy. We have a family wedding that will require our presence tonight at the rehearsal dinner and tomorrow for the wedding and reception. The wedding is in a town about 1 1/2 hours away.

I need to do some house cleaning as well..... yes, I will be extremely busy!!!

For more Sew Crafty Friday posts, please go to Waiting for him .

Frugal Friday

Can you tell the difference?

I bought these 4 baby outfits at various shops. Three came from thrift shops. One came from a retail store. Can you pick which one is brand new?

Especially once the retail baby outfit is washed and dried a few times, I don't think you could tell the difference.

So my Frugal Friday tip for this week is this:

There are lots of ways to be frugal without sacrificing your quality of life. In fact many of the things considered frugal make your quality of life better. And it can actually be fun!

When I go to thrift shops, there are lots of things there I wouldn't buy no matter how cheap they were. But if you are patient and look carefully, you can get some really cute items. You do have to be selective!

For more Frugal Friday Tips, go to Biblical Womanhood!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Seven Things About Me Tag

I've been tagged by Mrs. Warmth to list 7 things about me.

1. I'm a little obsessive/compulsive in that I have to check behind myself over and over in certain areas. I check, recheck and double check the stove, coffee pot, iron, curling iron to make sure they are turned off and unplugged. I check the doors to be sure they are locked over and over. At work I check behind my work over and over. This comes from having a mother who worries over everything and it has rubbed off on me. Hope I don't pass this along to my daughter, but I'm afraid its too late!!! LOL. Also I don't want to repeat mistakes of the past and I'd rather check the stove 3 times than to worry about it all day!!!

2. I love piano music, especially when my daughter plays. I guess I just love music. It moves me to another place in time. I can play piano just a little. I took lessons for 2 years when I was really young.

3. I like cats, but I don't want one in the house ever again. I buy a cat or kitten calendar for my office every year and have outside cats that I really like alot. I have a kitten now whose motor runs if you just look at him straight.

4. I love to dance. My husband is a great dancer and we get to go somewhere where there is dancing about once or twice a year. We do a kind of free-style shagging. We never took lessons, just improvise. If I'm alone at home I will dance and sing all over the place.

5. I love things like sewing, cooking and gardening. I guess I'm just a homebody.

6. I love the library. I could spend hours there. I bring home stacks of books to look at while watching tv or eating. I always have to take them back before I am through with them. Its amazing because you can get all the books you want anytime for free!

7. People who don't know me think I'm quiet, but my family knows better!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dollar Tree Update

In my last post I mentioned some items I purchased at Dollar Tree that I really liked. I want to report back on the "Angels" CD. It is wonderful! I am excited that I just accidentally found it. Some of my VERY favorite songs are on there and I didn't even realize it.

Here are my favorites: You Lift Me Up, In the arms of the angel, Tears in Heaven, Over the Rainbow, Angels Among Us, Heaven, Fur Elise, The Wind Beneath My Wings. There are several classical songs on there that are good too.

The bad news is that the Dollar Tree I was at yesterday was in another town. I was working at another location yesterday on the job. Today I went to my regular Dollar Tree, and no Angel CD, No Dayspring planners and No, 5 X 7 notebooks with elastic band and pocket. :o(

I will be on the look out at other Dollar Trees if I am near one because I have some good ideas for these purchases.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Simple Organizing Tools

I pulled out an old composition book from my son's high school days and started jotting down some things I wanted to start thinking about in connection with Christmas planning. The book is kind of ragged and too big to fit in my pocketbook easily so I decided to actually buy one!!!

So today at lunch I ventured into the Dollar Tree for my first Christmas shopping of the year. I even listened to some Christmas music on the way! I love Dollar Tree and Dollar General. You can really find some neat things there. Usually, its not what you were looking for, but something totally unexpected that you'll run across.

Today I was in the market for a small notebook and a new personal planner/calendar for 2008.

I found these.

They would make cute "little something" Christmas gifts. I plan to go back to Dollar Tree, purchase more and make little sets. I have some homespun type twine to tie around them. Other ideas to add to the gift could be a pen, magnetic memo pad or one of the $1.00 cds they have at Dollar Tree. I purchased one yesterday called "Angels". I haven't tried it out yet, but if its good, I'll purchase a few of those too. This cd has some of my favorite songs on it, such as "Angels Amoung Us", "Over the Rainbow", etc. I'll listen to it on the way to work this morning and report back!

The planner is made by Dayspring, which is a company that distributes Christian items usually found at Christian Book stores. They had several to choose from and they were only a dollar. There are scripture verses throughout, with a place for prayer requests, addresses and phone numbers, what the bible says about .... all kinds of things, as well as a calender for September, 2007 through December, 2009.

The notebook is 5 X 7 with an elastic band to hold it together. It also has an inside pocket which the planner fits into perfectly like this:

I have a permanent address book that I usually keep in my vehicle. I don't like to carry big notebooks around with me. Usually where ever my vehicle is, I am, so the address book is readily accessable. I also don't see the need to re-write the addresses into a new planner each year.

These are my plans for the notebook:

For Christmas I plan to have a page for each of the elephant bites I need to eat.

1. A list of all the people who I want to give a gift to, family, friends, neighbors and the mail lady. Beside each name I'll write the things I plan to purchase as well as ideas, if I'm not sure.

2. A chart showing all the people I have purchased gifts for, what the gift is, how much it cost and if its wrapped yet.

3. A list of stocking stuffers purchased for all my immediate family, who the stocking stuffer is for and the cost.

4. A list of decorations I would like to have and what I need to purchase or make. I'm pretty sure we need new tree lights. :o)

5. A list of things to do, such as writing Christmas cards and mailing them, purchasing food for the Church's food pantry, getting new sweet grandbaby's stocking ready :o), etc.

6. A list of the foods I want to cook during the holidays. This would include cookie baking and the menu for Christmas meals. There will also be a grocery list of items needed, after checking my pantry first.

After Christmas I'll just tear the Christmas planning pages out and save them to help me in planning Christmas for next year. Then this notebook will be used for "to do" lists, grocery lists, price lists, menus, you name it.

As to the planner, I'll spend a few minutes writing in dates such as birthdays, vacation days, holidays and appointments.

I like to keep these two things in my pocketbook all the time. I make appointments while at home, the office or at the doctor's office, so its good to keep it with me at all times.

I've tried all kinds of planners including notebooks and expensive leather-like planners, but I've discovered that a simple $1.00 planner and 5 X 7 notebook WORK FOR ME.

For more Works For Me Wednesday tips, please visit : Rocks in My Dryer

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

I'm planning to do a series of posts about getting organized for Christmas. So for Kitchen Tip Tuesday I'd like to give some reminders and tips about planning ahead in the kitchen. These ideas could be used for other holidays or functions. These tips are from an old book I have called "76 Ways to Get Organized For Christmas". Its a little bitty paperback book, but it has inspired me at Christmas time for years now.

1. In your mind review last Christmas's baking and cooking. Did you do too much or too little. What was a hit with your family and friends and what just wasn't worth the effort? Ask your family what they would love to have at Christmas. My husband misses the icebox fruit cake his mother used to make, so I acquired the recipe from his sister and made this for him every year for a few years. It turned out that he would just as soon have an endless supply of chocolate chip cookies and they are much easier and cheaper to make. Each member of my family has a favorite. One always asks for banana pudding and one always asks for cheesecake.

Here is the chocolate chip cookie recipe I use.

Now is the time to eliminate those foods you don't have time for and concentrate of the items you really want to make.

2. Make a list of the foods you plan to make for your family's use and/or for gifts this year. Note the food, the quantity you plan to make, its purpose and where the recipe can be found. Also the time period that you plan to make the item is helpful because some things can be made ahead and frozen. But, some things need to be made the day they are eaten. Cookie dough can be made way ahead and frozen. Some fruitcakes are better if they are aged. But, banana pudding needs to be made right before its eaten.

3. Make a shopping list of the items you'll need for Christmas baking and for your Christmas meal (or meals). Inventory your pantry to see what you already have on hand. Its a little late, but you can spread out your grocery shopping budget over a period of time to avoid that one huge shopping trip.

4. It would be really nice to have some extra meals in the freezer for those days during the Christmas season that get so hectic.

5. If you are entertaining, make a time schedule, plan the menu ahead, and post it so you don't forget to prepare or purchase any of the necessary items. Make a time line of each thing you need to do... from laundering the table cloth to putting the turkey in the oven.

6. Now is the time to get your kitchen straightened out. The best tip I know is to declutter our kitchen counters. The less we have on there the nicer it looks. Store any item you don't use everyday out of sight, until at least after the holidays.

Happy Tuesday!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Getting Organized For Christmas

I've been trying to ignore all the early Christmas decorations, commercials, 24 hour Christmas carols on the radio and people asking me if I'm ready for Christmas yet for a while now. I've always loved Christmas, but I've got a new motto: SIMPLIFY!

With that in mind the first day of December is this Saturday and I do need to do some planning and organizing.

In the past I tried a couple of different kinds of Christmas organizing ideas.

I really like the way Flylady has helped others prepare for Christmas. She advises her readers to get ready for Christmas in baby steps. Pretend you are going on a cruise in December and you have to get everything ready by then! I love that concept. She even has a downloadable Holiday Control Journal.

I also have a book I bought at a library discard sale several years ago called "76 Ways to Get Organized For Christmas". The authors of this book say that getting ready for Christmas is like eating an elephant. Its better to eat the elephant in bites. Christmas isn't a surprise. Its the same day every year and we know about it 365 days ahead of time.

These are the elephant bites listed in the book:

1st bite: Getting organized.
2nd bite: Cutting housework time in half
3rd bite: Gifts and Giving
4th bite: Baking and preparing food
5th bite: Decorating the house and the tree
6th bite: Christmas is for kids, too!
7th bite: Spreading goodwill toward men.
8th bite: Memorable traditions
9th bite: Its over! Now What?

I'll be working on the first bite for a couple of days. I've dug out a leftover composition book from my son's high school days for making my lists. I'll need to mark down certain things on my calendar.

My friends, I think I've become a procrastinator when it comes to Christmas! But, I have purchased a few stocking stuffers during the year. Also I purchased Christmas cards, wrapping paper, tags and bows at the after Christmas sales last year. I do have a few things in my Gift stash. That's a start!

What happened to Fall anyway? All my wonderful Fall decorations are starting to look dull. The pumpkins are melting! LOL. But nature is still in the Fall mode. There are leaves every where. ..... and I love it. Am I the only person who isn't ready to give up the Fall season?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Sewing

I've enjoyed the days off from work and feel almost like a full time homemaker!!!

A month or so ago some one requested that I make a quilt for her 4 year old grandson. I tried to get specifics from her, but all she would say was to make it for a 4 year and to make it boyish. Its getting close to Christmas and I also want to make some hand made gifts for my family, so I decided to get most of it done this weekend if possible. With that in mind the quilt needed to be a simple pattern.

I decided to use another McCall's pattern. Its called "Patches for Chris", is for a twin size bed and is very easy. Click here for the pattern and a picture. I purchased two yards of "baseball" fabric that has blues, red and beige in it. Earlier this week I pre-washed the new fabric and several different blue fabrics that I already had.

Early (I mean 5:00 A.M.) this morning I started cutting out the squares and sewing them all together. It went really fast. Here's what I got done today:

I have to purchase coordinating fabrics for the borders and the backing and also a twin size quilt batting.

I also finished one hand made gift for a special family member this week. I cross stitched all the way to and from Tennessee last weekend and put the finishing touches on a pillow earlier this week. I can't post a picture of it here because said special person might see it, so I'm taking a picture and will post after Christmas. Its for a man, so if someone would like to see it privately to get gift ideas, I could email it to you if you email me your email address! LOL

I can't find my pattern book for the pocket book I made about a month ago. It turned out so good and I was going to make a Christmas pocket book and some for gifts. I have looked every where and its no where to be found! I hope it turns up. :o(

Friday, November 23, 2007

Frugal Friday - A Thrifty Wardrobe

Well the weather here in North Carolina has been anything but normal this year and it seems like the warm weather is just going to keep coming back sandwiched in between cooler days. We've been in the upper 70s off and on for the last 3 weeks. But, I think its going to finally become more seasonable eventually!

So its time to get my closet straightened out and ready for winter. Right now there's a strange combination of summer and winter clothes in there. I'm going to try to get all the summer things out and into storage and then get the fall and winter things organized in there!

I have been extremely inspired by the section in the book "Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman" about the author's wardrobe. I pulled my book out this morning to re-read this part. If I could summarise this in one phrase, it would be, "Eliminate and concentrate". Having a few outfits that coordinate and are the colors you love and look good in makes getting dressed so much easier. The author, Anne Ortlund, even lists her outfits, complete with jewelry, shoes and other accessories, in her notebook. She can get dressed in the morning in a flash because she doesn't have to worry about matching up things or pulling one outfit from a closet crammed full of all kinds of things. She doesn't spend much time shopping and she is generous to the needy or friends with the things she "eliminates".

I think most women, and I am as guilty as anyone, have too many clothes. I don't plan or organize my wardrobe well. I'll go into a store and pick something up without realizing that I already have something similar at home. I want to have in mind what I need when I go shopping so as not to get swept away with how "cute" something is, or the fact that a sales clerk says it looks good on me. I would like to have my outfits organized and ready to go at all times.

Every body's wardrobe needs are different. I need semi-dressy clothes for work and church. I wear the same clothes to both work and church most of the time. I need some comfortable weekend clothes like jeans and tops. I need something very dressy occasionally for weddings, funerals or holiday parties. (I don't go to many of these 3, thank goodness!). I need some casual wear that's kind of in between work clothes and jeans.

With that in mind one of my long Thanksgiving weekend plans is to organize my closet.

I purchased a sweater last weekend at a thrift store that I think I can make into at least 4 outfits by combining it with what I already have. This sweater has black, red, camel and cream colors in it. I washed it as soon as I got it home and it washed wonderfully!

Here is the sweater with black pants:

Here is the sweater with a long black skirt and a red blazer:

Here is the sweater with a long red skirt and black blazer:

Here is the sweater with jeans:

I I were going to go shopping for clothes I would be on the look out for some camel colored winter pants and I would then have another outfit!

I think the investment of $2.00 for the sweater is going to pay off, don't you!!!???

Well, I'm off to eliminate and concentrate in my closet!

For more Frugal Friday tips please go to

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Small Town America

Seen recently in a small town in America:

1. We were in a small thrift shop recently with this sign in the window: If there is any thing in the store you need, but are unable to pay for, there will be no charge. God Bless You!

It was touching to see the kindness of strangers. In fact while we were in the store a young mother came in stating that she only had $3.00 and her little girl really needed some pants. The thrift store clerk simply said, "Go get what you need". The young mother was able to leave with a bag full of jeans for her daughter. This is a church thrift shop and the clerk asked no questions and there were no strings attached.

2. There is a small country store in the small town I work in that sells fresh vegetables and meat. Its reputation is for selling a lot of Southern type foods. I drove by yesterday and there was a big trailer load of collards with at least 30 people frantically trying to get their Thanksgiving collards. It reminded me of a bunch of ladies around a sale table at a big Christmas sale! I was expecting to see collards flying up in the air any minute!

Now, if you didn't know, collards are huge leafy green things before they are cooked. I'm also told that they are best after it has frosted on them or if we have had a freeze. These people were serious about their Thanksgiving collards. I also saw some turnips.

I am a Southern girl through and through, but I do not like collards or turnips. Just so you know....

3. On our weekend trip to the Smokey Mountains we stayed in a hotel that was touching a town on one side and a cow pasture on the other side. The hotel had a continental breakfast each morning for its patrons.

There was a man eating breakfast one morning that was almost certainly homeless. It was really cold in the mountains last weekend and I was glad to see that he was inside getting a warm breakfast. He ate a lot! Finally, he got up and looked just one more time at the little cheese omelets and turned and went out the front door. He didn't even have on a very substantial coat!

No one who worked at the hotel questioned this and I'm not sure what they would have done if they had known. I would like to think they would let him eat and go on his way.

4. It can be tough getting home from work around here sometimes. Yesterday I couldn't go home my usual route because of a wreck that appeared to involve a large horse trailer being run into! So I took an alternate, even more rural than usual, route home. I got behind two different farming vehicles at different times. It was at the edge of dark and one of them was a tractor with no lights, etc. Farmers do dangerous things sometimes. I followed him for a while and was finally able to pass. Just a few minutes later I got behind a HUGE tractor pulling a HUGE cotton trailer. It took up most of the highway, so there was nothing to do but slowly follow. Oh well, just a part of country living! I'll take it any time over that rush hour traffic in big cities! I like seeing my usual 2 or 3 vehicles a day or 2 or 3 tractors! LOL.

5. The farm vehicle story reminded me of this. When I was about 9 or 10 years old, my brother who was 5 years older, and I would drive the Massey Ferguson tractor down the highway to a little country store. I would sit on the fender which had nothing but air between me and the pavement! The tractor would go really fast if it was in high gear! No one thought anything about it! I would never in a million years have let my children do that! But it was fun and I remember holding on really tight!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

We have a few recipes that we enjoy which use skinless, boneless chicken breasts. However, the price of these is high, even on sale. When they are on sale for a good price, I usually purchase some and freeze them.

But, sometimes the split chicken breasts are on sale for 89 or 99 cents a pound in our area. They are usually huge and work well boiled and used in casseroles.

One good way to stretch the chicken breasts is to very carefully slice the good boneless breast meat from the bone, remove the skin, and cut the white meat into the size you want.

Then boil the bony pieces you have left, which will still contain a lot of white meat. After the bony pieces have cooked, remove them and pick off all the remaining chicken and return to the broth.

You could make some delicious chicken noodle soup, or freeze the broth for future recipes. My Mama will use chicken broth in her dressing on Thanksgiving. Also here in the South, I could use this broth to make Chicken N Pastry! Yum!

This is one good way to eliminate waste and still get the best cut of meat.

I have several packages of the split chicken breasts in my freezer bought on sale. Yesterday before work I placed 3 breasts on a plate on the counter to thaw. I wouldn't normally thaw them on the counter, but they are so big I knew they would not completely thaw before I got home. When I got home they were still partially frozen, but thawed enough to handle. I sliced away the good white meat and cut the pieces into chicken tenders.

Our supper was fried chicken tenders, rice with gravy and green beans. While the other food was cooking I boiled the bony pieces left over and it is in my fridge waiting to be used later this week!

I know, I know! There are many healthier recipes that use boneless chicken!

For more kitchen tips, be sure to visit

Monday, November 19, 2007

Road Trip to the Smokeys

We had a wonderful time on our annual Smokey Mountain anniversary road trip! I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.

The trip began early Thursday morning with packing. Yes, I waited until the morning we were leaving to do this. My nature is to do things as simply as possible. I only wanted to take necessary items and I didn't want to spend all week worrying about it. We wake up EVERY morning EXTREMELY early anyway so I just got up at my usual time, packed and we got on the road.

The first stop was to take Dave, our sheltie, to the doggie vacation spot. Its a very nice place out in the country run by people we know. Each little doggie has his own indoor sleeping area with a doggie door that goes outside to his own little fenced in yard. He was way overdue for a thorough grooming and he was scheduled to have that done while there. Normally when we go somewhere over night, my son takes care of Dave, but this time he was out of town as well.

After taking care of a couple of other errands, we were on our way! We left the area we live in by 9:00 A.M. I have always enjoyed going on road trips with my husband and one of the best parts is the trip itself.

This year we really enjoyed the scenery because as best I can tell the fall foliage was late this year in North Carolina. We have been going to the mountains this same weekend for several years and I've never seen such brilliant colors. Usually by this time of year the leaves in the mountains are gone, but even in the mountains there was still a lot of color. The most beautiful colors were in the Piedmont area. I tried to take pictures, but the pictures just don't show the beauty!

This is a picture of some of the foliage as we were traveling down I-40.

Then the most exciting thing happened!!! It started snowing!!! I absolutely love snow, although I'm not fond at all of driving in it! This snow was not sticking to the ground, but was coming down really hard. Driving beside tractor trailers on I-40 going up or down the mountain near Asheville is kind of scary, but throw some snow into the mix and it really gets scary!!! The snow lasted about an hour and was even coming down on the guys mowing grass on the side of the highway. Here is a picture of the snow, but again the picture just doesn't show it all that well.

We spent Thursday night in Newport, Tennessee and on Friday we traveled the rest of the way to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville, Tennessee area. We couldn't check into our hotel until 3:00 so we headed over to the Gatlinburg area and made the rounds on the Craftsmans Road. All kinds of craftsmen and women have shops on Glade Road, a country road in the mountains. We love to browse in many of the shops and each year discover a new one or an old one we didn't know existed. I have to be honest in saying that we don't buy too much in these stores because the prices are pretty high, but always come away inspired.

We returned to the Glade Lebanon Baptist Church thrift shop which is located on this road and found a few more treasures that will be in a future post. I got out the phone book in our hotel room and looked up all the thrift shops in the area and we visited quite a few. We went to the Goodwill Store, Salvation Army Store, a hospital thrift store, as well as the Lebanon Baptist Church thrift store. Would you believe we also went to a yard sale right in the edge of Pigeon Forge? There were 2 other thrift shops that looked great, but we just didn't have time to get there. They are on my list for next year however! These were my favorite shopping experiences on the trip!

We visited two amazing quilt shops! I was in awe at all the beautiful fabric and quilts on display. One of the quilt shops is "The Cherry Pit" located in downtown Sevierville, Tennessee, right across from the Courthouse. Its a big store, packed with fabric and ideas and they teach quilt lessons there.

One highlight of our trip each year is to eat lunch at "The Wild Plum Tea Room" which is located on the Glade Craftsman Road. Its a unique restaurant with interesting food. The lady who originally opened it started out using her own china there. Like most of the stores and restaurants in the area, she set up shop in an old rustic building. Here are pictures of The Wild Plum Tearoom.

We were also able to spend some time with my brother in law and sister in law who attend a square dancing convention, "The Turkey Strut", the same weekend as our anniversary each year. We stayed in the same hotel and shared a couple of meals together.

I got a kick out of the fact that our hotel is located right across the street from some beautiful hills with a fenced in pasture for cows. I felt right at home!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

God's Bounty

Bless us oh Lord,

And these thy gifts,

Which we are about to receive,

From thy bounty,

Through Christ our Lord,


My Frugal Friday tip (yes I know its only Thursday), is to pray when shopping. If we are trying our best to live up to the Proverbs 31 Woman our Lord will help us. When we go shopping we should ask Him to help us. This is a prayer I might say:

"Lord, you know I've got $_____ to spend today and I don't know how I'm going to feed my family on that amount, but You do. Please help me to find the foods and sales that you would have me buy."

Then be on the lookout for the things that He has put there for you!!! You might see something on sale or marked down that you have a coupon on, that you wouldn't have even noticed before.

If we make sure we take the Lord with us to the grocery store we will also be more aware of shopping with integrity. He will provide for us. We don't need to be greedy, just smart! We need to be polite to the other shoppers and the cashiers. We need to put our shopping carts back where they belong. We need to be patient with the other people in the parking lot.

If you are not familiar with "Laine's Letters", please visit her website some time when you've got time to browse. I could spend the whole day there if I had time. But HERE is one letter she wrote about "Fearless Food Shopping" in which she states that she prays before shopping, while shopping and after shopping!

Here are a couple of pictures of God's bounty at my house. My husband picked all these green tomatoes before the first frost we had last week. They are spread out on newspaper in our garage to ripen. There were at least 100 other tiny green tomatoes that were given to our goats. There are also green peppers. We had a bumper crop of green peppers this year!

These are sweet potatoes my husband brought home this week. There are red one and white ones. They are also being stored in the garage.

Yes, God has provided well for my family. My pantry is full and the grocery stores are stocked to the top with all kinds of wonderful foods. There are also local farmers, vegetable stands and generous neighbors.

Thank you Lord!

For more Frugal Friday Tips go to:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Amazon Explained

I received the last volume of the Tightwad Gazette series (Tightwad Gazette II) that I was missing yesterday! I'm very happy with it because it is a hardback copy in perfect condition. Its much nicer than the 2 other volumes that I purchased in paperback in the early 1990s.

Another great thing is the price. It was only one cent! Amazon sets the shipping rate for books at $3.99 so that's a given when ordering any book. The seller makes a couple of dollars on the shipping and that's how they can sell books for a penny.

So I ended up actually paying $4.00 for the book.

Here's my complete set!

I considered purchasing the Tightwad Gazette book which contains all 3 volumes, as well as some additional tightwaddery information, but they weren't that cheap. Since I only needed one it was better for me to just buy it. If you wanted to buy all 3, you would end up spending $12.00 if purchased individually. So in my opinion, you'd be better off to buy the 3 in 1 volume. However, you could compare the prices and do the math to make that decision if you are in the market for these books.

I am a big believer in using my county library system instead of buying books, but there are some that I like to have on hand for reference that I go back to again and again. The Tightwad Gazettes have saved me mucho denaros over the years!

I had been wanting to buy a book recommended on some homesteading blogs called, "The Encyclopedia of Country Living". The library branch located near me didn't have this book, but a branch located in a nearby town did. So my branch obtained it for me and called me when it was in.

My plan was to read the book and see if I thought it was a book I needed to own. I had checked on Amazon for the book and it was expensive. After reading the book I decided I didn't need to own it. Its a very good book, but I don't think I'd go back to it over and over. If we were living off the land like my family did when I was growing up, this book would be absolutely necessary! But at this point in my life I don't plan on raising chickens for food, etc, but some day you never know...... with the way the food system in this country is going, I might.

I hope you've noticed the Amazon Widget located on my left side bar. If my understanding is correct, this is how it works. If you go to the Amazon website through the link on this blog and buy anything, I would get a small credit for it. You don't have to buy the books I recommend. So, if you are planning to buy something from Amazon, I'd appreciate your letting my blog refer you to their site.

I have had good luck with the things I've ordered from Amazon. I've bought several books for a penny, plus the $3.99 shipping and have been very happy with the books.

One of my favorite books purchased from Amazon was a copy of "Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman". The copy I bought has a beautiful blue suede hard cover and is in perfect condition. Its a great reference book.

The bottom line is though, if you can get a book from the library for free, I'd go that route to make sure I needed to own a book first. That's the frugal thing to do!

You may have noticed that the "Google Ad Sense Ads" that I had a while back are gone. I noticed some ads that I wasn't comfortable with on the blog and wondered if there were ads showing up when I wasn't looking that I wouldn't approve of too. So I just got rid of it. I don't want to offend anyone!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

I have been making lots of cloth napkins and so my kitchen tip for today is to give cloth napkins a try!

The napkins are very easy to make from fabric you already have in your stash or can be purchased inexpensively.

Even if you don't use the napkins exclusively, they are so nice to have in your kitchen. Sunday I had company for dinner and had the ones I made in a basket on the table. Each person used one. The only problem is the cloth napkins I had weren't that cute because I had been experimenting with scraps and sizes, etc.

So yesterday I started making some "cute" napkins. These are also made from scraps. I like to make them 12 or 13 inches square in a double layer, but they can be made in single layers and in many sizes. In fact the ones I cut out yesterday are in different sizes because the fabric I had was in different sizes!

Here is one with a farm theme I finished yesterday. I like to make each side different, but coordinating. One side of this one has cows and the other side has cows, chickens and other farm things. I folded it so you could see both sides, but its 12 1/2 inches square.

Here is a Fall/Thanksgiving theme one that has been cut out, but not yet sewed.

I was able to cut out several new cute napkins and will be sewing on them all along this week until they are finished. Some of the trimming, clipping threads and turning can be done while watching tv.

For more Kitchen Tips, please go to:

New and Improved Diaper

I made 2 fitted cloth diapers for my daughter in newborn size shown here. The baby has outgrown them and I wanted to experiment a little with the pattern to hopefully make it more adjustable for his growth and also to fit better. This is why I didn't make a whole bunch of them before the baby was born and I also wanted to make sure she was really going to use cloth diapers!

Well, she is using cloth diapers and doing a great job at it! She has 2 posts on her blog recently explaining all about her cloth diapering experience here and here. These posts are also featured on a website called:

Yesterday I was able to do a little sewing since I had a day off from work for Veteran's Day. So I made one more diaper to try on sweet grandbaby.

This is the outside.

This is the inside.

This is how it will look on the baby.

If I can get the pattern right, I plan to make several for my sweet grandbaby. I used a wash cloth folded into thirds for the soaker pad in this one. My intention is to find some microfiber towels to use for soaker pads because they hold a lot of liquid.

Maybe I can make some from other fabric that doesn't have frogs on it! Actually it doesn't matter what the fabric is because the cute part will be covered up with waterproof pants anyway, but the frogs are kind of cute! I thought it was interesting that the camouflage frogs part is on the inside where it can camouflage any stains. But, so far my daughter says her diapers aren't getting any stains on them. How cool is that?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend's almost over..... and a couple of frugal things

The weekend is almost over again.... No wait, I forgot tomorrow's a holiday at my office. I'm off! Its a 3 day weekend! Whew!!! That was close!

Yesterday was another busy Saturday, aren't they all?

I was up really early and had laundry going by 5:00 A.M. I spent part of the morning listing some books I had laying around on Amazon. That's the first time I've tried to sell any books online, so we'll see how that comes out. I have nothing to lose and maybe can get rid of some books.

I also worked on setting up an ETSY Shop. I've seen these linked to on other blogs and thought I'd enjoy having one. I need to work on some more items to sell there, but lack of time is a problem. Anyway, soon I'll have a "Homemaking Dreams Store" for home made items.

Yesterday's lunch was clam chowder. We usually have some kind of soup, stew, chili or chowder for lunch on Saturdays during cold weather followed by a football game on TV, preferably one that our team wins. Our team started out badly this year, but has won the last 4 games. If they keep this up they might even go to a bowl game. Who da thunk it? :o)

The football game yesterday was a big rivalry game between N. C. State and UNC Chapel Hill and was a nail biter. I kept my mind off it by working on the deer place mats I needed to finish, while my husband kept yelling at the TV. It must have worked because our team won!

I did finish the place mats, so now the set is complete. (napkins, place mats and coasters)

Today has been busy as well. I was up early again! I cooked most of my Sunday dinner before going to church. I made crock pot roast. The way I cooked it was to place peeled and cut up onions, potatoes and carrots in the bottom of the crock pot. I then placed the roast on top of the veggies. I sprinkled a package of dry onion soup mix on top of the roast. I sprinkled just a little salt and pepper through out . I added about 1 cup of water and cooked on high for about 1 1/2 hours and then turned it to low while at church. Before serving the roast I removed the meat and veggies and placed them in serving dishes covered with foil on the stove to keep them warm. I placed cornstarch (about 1 1/2 tablespoons per cup of liquid) dissolved in cold water in the juices left in the crock pot and let it cook until thick and bubbly. This gravy was delicious on the roast!

I also made a chocolate cake before church and left it to cool while I was gone. When I got back from church I iced the cake with cream cheese frosting and placed it in my pretty covered cake plate. I also peeled some sweet potatoes and made Sweet Potato souffle. I needed something green, so I just opened a couple of cans of green beans and potatoes seasoned with ham.

We had some of our children over to eat. All together we had me, my husband, my daughter, my son in law, my stepdaughter and sweet grandbaby.

I took care of the baby so my daughter and son in law could eat without getting up and down. I remember how it was when I was a young mother. When we went to family dinners, I never got to eat with everybody else, because the baby needed attention. So I usually wait to eat if the baby is awake. I enjoy taking care of him anyway! He is growing so fast and is getting so sweet. He smiles and coos all the time.

It is so nice not to be thinking about preparing to go to work tomorrow. Maybe I'll be able to sew some. I also need to be preparing for a road trip we are going on later this week. You see, I'll only work 2 days this week. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday My husband and I will be away on our annual anniversary trip. We'll be in the mountains of Tennessee. My favorite thing is to visit all the MANY craft shops there. But I'm especially looking forward to going to the little church thrift shop we discovered last year. I hope the shop has as many little treasures as it had last time.

I want to get some sort of hand work ready to work on while we are driving. Its about 7 hours to where we are going and I'd like to work on a Christmas gift. I've been thinking that I'd like to give my children, stepchildren, son in law, husband and grandbaby something home made this year. I've already got some ideas in mind.

Now for the frugal things:

1. The cake I made today cost a total of about $1.90. I got the cake mix at Food Lion last week on sale for buy one get one free. This made it $.75. I had a coupon for $.75 off one cake mix with the purchase of frosting. The frosting was on sale for $1.29. So the cake mix was free and the only cost of the cake was the frosting, butter and eggs. It was a hit with my family too.

2. I have a brown blazer that I wear all the time in the winter and last weekend my sweet grandbaby spit up on the sleeve. The tag says "dry clean only". Well I only paid $12.00 for the blazer about 2 years ago and it irritates me to pay the dry cleaners what they charge to clean clothing that I paid very little for to begin with.

So I checked the fiber content and this is what it was made of: 62% polyester, 33% Rayon, 5% spandex, Lining 100% polyester. Well I knew none of these fabrics would shrink and I've washed many slacks and tops made from these fabrics.

So I decided to take a chance on washing the blazer at home, ONLY because the blazer wasn't an expensive piece of clothing (None of mine are :o).

I washed it on the "hand washables" cycle on my washing machine with just a little detergent with a low water level. I took it out, hung it on a hanger to dry outside and it turned out perfect. I might touch it up with a lint brush just a little bit and press it just a little bit, but it really isn't necessary.

I have read somewhere that clothing manufacturers will put the "dry clean only" label in their clothes to protect themselves if there is any question that the article might not launder well.

NOW I DO NOT WANT TO RECOMMEND THAT YOU HAND WASH A DRY CLEAN ONLY item of clothing if its a nice piece of clothing that you paid a lot for or if its obviously not a washable item like something made of wool, silk or cotton that would shrink, be hard to iron or would stretch out of shape. But it might be something you could do with an old piece of clothing or something you purchased from a yard sale that's made from polyester, rayon or spandex.

This is the blazer after being washed and air dried.

I would be very careful about washing "dry clean only" clothing at home, but it worked well on this particular item.

Hope your weekend is going well!

Friday, November 9, 2007

8 Random Things About Me

Bethany Sue, CFO, tagged me to list 8 Random Things About me, so here you go:

1. I was raised on a tobacco farm in the South. I was driving the tractor that pulled the tobacco harvester when I was 8 and wore no hat, had no umbrella and nobody ever heard of sunscreen. I graduated to working on the harvester when I was about 12, not as boring and shielded from the sun at least!

2. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was growing up. That was before I found out I was afraid of big dogs!

3. I was born on George Washington's birthday and when my Mama asked the doctor if I was a boy or girl, he said, "Well, you sure can't name her George!".

4. My first job after the farm was the refund and exchange clerk/telephone answer person at Woolco Department Store. I was supposed to answer the phone by saying, "Thank you for calling Woolco Department Store, we want to be your favorite store, can I help you." By the time I said all that, the customer forgot what they were calling for!

5. Riding in cars makes me nervous. I don't like to drive in unfamilar places or in the rain. My least favorite thing about being a parent was ridng with teenagers learning how to drive!

6. I'm a carb addict. Not sweets, but salty stuff. I could eat Doritos and potato chips 3 times a day! My very, very favorite food is spaghetti. Love it!

7. My middle name is Louise and I was named after my Mama's sister, Louise, the oldest of 11 children.

8. My favorite thing to do is simply to be at home. I especially like to be home in Fall and Winter and being snowed in is wonderful!

I tag Super Mommie and Penny.

Frugal Friday

My Frugal Friday tip for today is don't rush out to replace things. You can repair or make do with many items before rushing out to replace them. We live in a disposable society, but it doesn't have to be that way in your home.

In the early 1990s, I remember reading in the Tightwad Gazette(the first one) about how Amy repaired her cracked laundry basket with paper clips. She went on to describe a whole list of things that can be repaired with paper clips. I actually did repair a laundry basket with paper clips after reading that!

You can use your own ingenuity to come up with ways to repair items in your home. If you've got some basic tools, wood glue, paper clips, duct tape :o), sewing supplies, and access to the hardware section at walmart, you can fix most anything.

My husband is really good at fixing things and we always try to do this before buying new. He has repaired many water hoses, the runners on wooden drawers, his eye glasses, simple repairs on lawnmowers, vacuum cleaners, etc.

He recently found a nice cooler that had been thrown away by someone. The only thing wrong with it was one hinge was broken. He bought a hinge and repaired it. This cooler would have been worth about $20.00 new, and for a couple of dollars he repaired it and saved it from going to the land fill too.

Since the weather is now getting cold, I've been pulling out some of my winter clothes. I love to wear tights in the winter time and have several pairs left from last year. But, wouldn't you know it, my favorite black cable design ones have a hole in the toe. They are in perfect condition other wise. So this weekend I'll repair them. I think I can do a good job on the sewing machine, but if you don't have a sewing machine, many repairs can be done with good old fashioned needle and thread!

Can you wait a little while before replacing it? It is smart to wait a little while before buying that new item. A recent example of this is my broken baking dish. You can read about the lasagna disaster we recently had here. I immediately went out the next morning to try to replace the baking dish. It was a large, very nice baking dish and I had owned it for years. I had no idea how expensive it is to buy a new one until I started looking at them. Well, you can't repair a broken baking dish, but I decided to just wait to find the best price before I purchased one. Well its been about a month and I haven't replaced it and have gotten along just fine using the metal pans and other glass baking dishes that I already have, thank you very much!

Another example: I wanted to buy plastic shoe boxes to put my "Operation Christmas Child" items in. I went to the dollar store and they were sold out, so I was going to go to another store today. When I got home yesterday I noticed that I had some of these at home that were not serving a very important purpose, so I'll just use the ones I have. This saved a little money and helped me to declutter some too!

Do you really need to replace the entire item? Once we had a broken glass coffee decanter. You can find these in thrift shops and Walmart. There's no need to replace the whole thing if you can just replace the part that's broken cheaply.

The most important thing to remember is to take your time and examine all your options before just assuming that you "have" to make a shopping trip to replace something! If after doing this you decide a new one is the best option, then go for it!

For more frugal friday tips go to:

Sew Crafty Friday

I made this pillow as a surprise for my husband, a huge NC State Fan, a few years ago. I thought this would be a good idea for Christmas gifts this year if you are looking for some ideas.

If you have any sports fans on your list, all you have to do is use their favorite team's colors for the fabric on the pillow and cross stitch the name of the team and their mascot for the front. No special pattern needed. Just use an alphabet pattern of your choice.

It can be any sport and it can be for a college team, professional team or even a local high school team.

I have a couple of guys in mind who would like one of these this year. We are going on a road trip next weekend and I would like to have one to work on while riding in the car. We'll see!

Oh, I almost forgot, it doesn't have to be a sports team pillow. My son doesn't care a fig about any sports teams, but loves to hunt. So I have made him camouflage pillows and pillows made with deer fabric. So let your imagination go to work to come up with a pillow theme for your guys!

I also did some sewing earlier this week that I already posted, but here are 2 mini wallets I made last Saturday again!

For more Sew Crafty Friday ideas go to:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Being Prepared Day 2

Yesterday I posted about how I had prepared as much of our supper as I could before I left for work and it was a great success. When I got home everything was ready to go and I had supper finished by 6:00 P.M. I get off work at 5:00 and have a 20 minute drive, so that's pretty good! It's especially nice this week with the change back to standard time. I would like to continue doing this especially during these shorter fall and winter days and while we are adjusting to the time change.

So this morning I have done as much toward tonight's meal as possible too!

Tonight I am making "Baked Pizza Mac" from the 2007 Fall Kraft's Food and Family magazine. We have plenty of salad fixins left over from last night's meal or I can open a can of green beans.

Here's the recipe:

Baked Pizza Mac

1 can (8oz) pizza sauce, divided
1 pkg (7 1/4 oz) macaroni and cheese dinner, prepared as directed on package
1 lb ground beef, cooked, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove and set aside 1/4 cup of the pizza sauce for later use. Combine prepared dinner, two-thirds of the meat, the remaining pizza sauce, egg and seasonings.

Spoon evenly into 9-inch pie plate. Top with the remaining meat and reserved 1/4 cup pizza sauce; sprinkle with cheese.

Bake 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each.

This morning's work:

I made my own pizza sauce using an 8 oz can of tomato sauce with seasonings. I stored this in the fridge in a covered plastic container. Its good that the seasonings get to know each other today anyway.
This is the pizza sauce recipe I use. I got this from Hillbilly Housewife:

Pizza sauce (for one pizza if you are making pizza)

1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Italian seasonings
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp olive oil

Just put in a bowl and mix well. It does not have to be cooked.

Then I got out the macaroni and cheese box, the basil and garlic powder and placed on the counter. I got out the pot for making the macaroni and cheese, the frying pan for browning the ground beef and the pie plate. The magazine with the recipe is also open to the correct page on the counter.

I checked my milk to make sure it was still fresh and made sure I had plenty of margarine for the macaroni and cheese dinner. The milk I am using is the milk I bought on sale at Walgreens a couple of weeks ago and froze. It is working out great. I took it out of the freezer and placed it in the fridge to thaw out. The milk contained shivers of ice and was delicious. You do have to shake it after it thaws to mix it back up because it tends to separate when frozen. It is staying fresh just as many days after being thawed as it would have been when first purchased. (so far)

My hamburger was frozen so it is in the fridge thawing. It should be thawed by the time I get home. If not I can finish thawing it in the microwave.

I also want to note that the original recipe specifies all "Kraft" products. I didn't use Kraft products unless I had bought them on sale with coupons, etc. Cheese is cheese to me. My store brand mozzarella cheese will do just fine. The Kraft brand macaroni and cheese dinner is probably better than the store brand that I bought, but by the time I mix all this other good stuff into it, I don't think it will matter!

One last note: I use store brand spices. Most of mine were 2 for a dollar, and no more than a dollar. These can be purchased at Dollar General, Walmart and on sale at drug store chains.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

The time changed back to standard time this week, so you know what that means: Everybody's body is still on day light savings time. I was dog tired when I got home yesterday and it was already almost dark!

So my kitchen tip is to prepare everything for supper that can be done ahead of time before leaving in the morning. Even if you are staying at home all day, this would prevent those end of the day doldrums!

This morning I planned my supper which will be pan fried cubed steak, rice with gravy and salad.

Even though these might seem like simple things they will make a difference tonight.

Here's what I did:

1. Unwrap steaks, rinse off and place in a covered bowl in the fridge.
2. Put the flour for dipping the steaks in a covered bowl and set out on the counter.
3. Got out my frying pan, making sure it is clean and ready to go (not in the dishwasher)
4. Got out my vegetable oil.
5. Got out the rice. I could have measured this and the water for it, but didn't this time.
6. Got out the pot that I'll be making the rice in.
7. Got out the lettuce, prepared it for the salad by rinsing it and cutting it up and placed in a covered plastic bowl in the fridge.
8. I ran out of time, but wanted to prep the carrots, bell peppers, etc. for the salad. I did check to see what I have on hand for the salad and can now prep it while the steak and rice are cooking.

I hope this will make a difference when I get home today!

For more Kitchen Tips go to

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Saturday Sewing and Eating

I was able to sew some simple projects today and do a little cooking! I made the 4 napkins and coasters with the deer/natural theme I have been planning to complete.

This is my cutting mat, rotary cutters, candle and diet store brand cola. I was all set. The cutting mat and one of the rotary cutters was a birthday gift from my sister a few years ago. I can't imagine sewing without it now that I've gotten used to it.

Here is the fabric about to be cut.

These are the finished napkins and coasters.

I cut the place mats out and they are ready to sew as soon as I can round up some quilt batting. I have been using my left over pieces so much lately that I'm not sure I have enough to finish the place mats. I may have to purchase some more!

These are two mini wallets I made to match the pocketbook I made a couple of weeks ago. I have already filled these up with "stuff" and put them in the pocketbook.

This is what our lunch looked like today. This is a pork loin purchased for 50% off. I just seasoned it with salt and pepper and roasted it in the oven, but intend to try some other tastier recipes next time. (Thanks Penny for the new recipe:o) This is a typical Southern meal, pork and black eyed peas, and very easy! I'm thinking about purchasing a couple more of these before the sale ends to freeze.

The roast sliced beautifully and I made sandwiches from it for my son's lunchbox tonight. I've been trying to put more homemade foods in there instead of just the standard ham sandwiches and chips. I know he appreciates the variety! I would!

Saturday Plans

Good Morning!

Its a crisp Fall day here and I am loving it! My trusty indoor/outdoor thermometer says its 47 degrees. We've had 2 windy days. I love to hear the sounds that the wind blowing makes in Fall and Winter. My husband took down our Fall flag temporarily to prevent the flag pole from breaking or the flag from tearing! We were being pressed between Hurricane Noel and a cold front and the result was wind! But we had no problems and now it looks like the Hurricane has turned into a Nor'easter and will be blowing our Northern friends around this weekend. The weather man says we might have our first hard freeze next week.

With that being said, I will be moving some plants around today. I have several Aloe plants on my front porch that I divided from the Mama plant last spring and which have gotten pretty big. I need to keep them inside through the winter in order to keep the line going. These plants started from one Mama plant that my deceased former Mother-in-Law gave me many years ago. Most of my houseplants stay inside year round. I have several African Violet plants and some plants that were gifts during a sickness or death in the family that I like.

I'm already doing the normal laundry with one load in the washer and several piles on the floor. I'm planning on hanging out a couple of loads since the weather is supposed to be sunny. My days of hanging laundry will be limited from now until next spring, so I need to take advantage of the weather. I hung out 2 small loads this week before going to work. It was quite chilly out there at 7:30 A.M.! Also our time will go back to standard time tonight so it'll be almost dark when I get home from work for a few months! :o(

My son will be coming home from his night shift in a few minutes and will be going to bed for a few hours, so I need to do my vacuuming before he goes to sleep. I find that by the late afternoon I'm a little too tired and unmotivated to get any heavy vacuuming done. I'm a morning person by nature and that's when the most work gets done at my house. I'm just not motivated at night usually.

I've got a bunch of sewing ideas in my head. I haven't done any sewing in a whole week! I still plan on making some of the mini wallets and must make the place mats, napkins and coasters that I received a request to do.

I bought a boneless pork loin that was on sale for 50% off and am planning on roasting that today and also making some black eyed peas. I hope that the pork loin will provide meals for us for a couple of days. It weighs 4.44 pounds.

I have made "some" menu plans for this week. Some possible dishes are:

Home style macaroni and cheese
Beefy One Pot Dinner
Chicken Enchiladas
Baked Pizza Mac
Saucy Tomato & Pepper Steak.

Some of these recipes came from the Kraft Food and Family Magazines I received. I'll let you know if they turn out to be family favorites. A recipe has to meet the following criteria to be considered a family favorite: Tasty, frugal, easy, and quick to make on a week night!

I purged my coupons already this morning! I removed all the coupons that expired on October 31st and am ready for tomorrow's Sunday paper coupon inserts and CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid sales papers.

I also remembered to mail off my Walgreens' rebate form and the rebate form for the $5.00 Tylenol Rebate. I was a little shocked to realize that the Walgreens coupons I got last week that are good on my next shopping order are only good for about another week! I've got $16.00 to spend at Walgreens this week. Lets hope they have some good deals on things we need and use around here!

So there you have it! My day is going to be spent at home, where I've already lit a Fall smelling candle. I hope I don't have to go anywhere! If I'm able to get some sewing done, I will post the results!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Frugal Friday

If you missed my Frugal Friday post last week, please check it out here: The Frugal Fridge

This week’s Frugal Friday tip:

I think there is a quote that says, "If you take care of the little things the big things will take care of themselves". Or, "If you take care of the pennies the dollars will take care of themselves".

So my Frugal Friday tip for today is to take care of the small things. Looking back over this week I can think of many "little" things I could have done to be more frugal.

1. I paid county taxes one day late on our vehicle. Interest - $4.93. What’s so bad about this is the tax office is located right across the street from my office and I was actually in there the day before paying taxes on behalf of my office. AAARRRGHHH!!!

2. I returned library books late. Late fees - .50

3. Bought lunch at work instead of taking it 2 days - $8.00 (I could have at least bought something off the dollar menu, but was burned out on the dollar menu items and home made sandwiches!)

4. Waited until my vehicle was near empty to buy gas, Gas went up .20 per gallon this week in my area. If I had filled up a couple of days ago I could have saved $5.00. (Of course this could have worked in my favor, you never know when its going up or down, but I kind of knew it was going up..... Hubby told me.)

5. I’m sure we could all come up with some things we could have done more frugally!

That is a total of $18.43 that could have been given to my church or used to buy food for my church’s food pantry! This is not a huge amount but you can see how it could have been a much larger amount easily. Paying one credit card payment late will cost you $40.00. Can you tell this has happened to me before? Never again!!!

Its plain to see that disorganization and procrastination are the culprits in the lives of many people who have money problems.

My plan is to get back into the habit of organizing my week. This means writing down on my day book the due dates for things that incur late fees, such as library books and taxes. I also need to plan what I’ll be taking for lunch as well as the menus for the week.

Also the bill box at my house is in total disarray! I need to file stuff immediately!!!! If this had been done I would have seen the tax bill that needed paying!

I already have a strategy in place to keep our regular bills paid on time. I have listed all of the bills, their due dates and amounts on an index card which fits in the front of my check book. I can glance at it each week to see where I stand.

So lets get organized and stop procrastinating! That’s definitely one way to save money without pain!

For more frugal tips please go to

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Small Town America

I had jury duty a couple of years ago which wasn't too bad because the office I work in is located right across the street from the courthouse. I wasn't chosen as a juror but was there for the questions asked by lawyers, prospective jurors coming in with their doctor's notes and various excuses.

After the first twelve names were called the lawyers began to ask questions to see if they wanted to keep these people as jurors for their trial. I thought it was kind of sneaky for the lawyer to ask this question: Do you have a bumper sticker or personalized license tag on your vehicle and if so, what does it say? This is a really good way to find out a lot about a person's religion, politics and a whole host of other things, without coming right out and asking. Some of the answers were funny and immediate cause for that particular prospective juror to be dismissed!!!LOL

So this week I was on the look out for bumper stickers and personalized license plates that reflect the kind of people who live in my rural area and small towns near my home. I also saw a couple of neat church signs and heard a new post office story.

Here are some of them:


My Child is a Mastermind

NC State DAD :o)

This is Cotton Country

Lucky 13

Semper Fi

I'd Rather Be Driving My Tractor

UNC Chapel Hill

NCSHP, NC Finest (Highway Patrol!)

Half a baseball stuck on the back window made to look like it was thrown there and stuck.







(Proud of car)



(Avid Hunter)



Lost? Try G.P.S. God's Plan of Salvation

He who throws dirt loses ground!

God loves you and me.


Two men in front of me in line: One says to the other one, "Been fishin lately?". The other one says: "To ______ with fishing! The last time I went fishing I had to have surgery to get a fish bone out of my throat. If I get a bone in my throat again, it will be a chicken bone!".

Have a great Thursday!

She's Here! Victoria!

Its been an exciting week! Victoria arrived on Monday and I kept her brother for 3 days. Only bad thing is that today I am home from work ...