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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sluggy's Boring Box Giveaway

Just go here to enter her exciting contest. Follow along as she fills a box for the winner. And, tell her I sent you. I won't get any extra credit, so this is not self-serving. Okay, yes it is self-serving....I want her to know I sent you and I will be her most favoritist blogger KNOW I am kidding.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The # 10 Can and A STORY

food packaging at honeyville

 image from Honeyville Grains

On our group offering free items, a woman wanted to offer #10 metal stuff full of food. You know that I replied. I waited until exbf got to me and we started. He was bf at the time.

was Copied.)  At  least, I Had written tHe post. Grrrr  THe Cap started working on tHis paragrapH.(I wrote tHe first two statements witHout some letters working, like tHe letter between b and d in tHe alpHabet. Plus, tHe H only works as it is written. It is really Hard to write witHout proper use of use at all of some letters. I Had to rewrite tHe first two sentenCes after tHe piCture

I got the directions and we started out sort of late in the day. It got later faster than I thought it would. Plus, he did not follow the directions well. I made mistakes in interpreting them. However, he still made mistakes separate from mine. We argued a bit. He became frustrated but patient. He was still trying to impress me, I guess.

Mind you, these were country directions: when you get past the third stand of trees...; turn on the only paved road and.....; go over two big hills and when you get to the third hill...; turn left when you get to the biggest barn...when you pass the old Baptist get the idea. I like road signs, church names and I don't like to figure out what counts as a big curve when the road is full of curves, just a curvy road in general. Stand of trees? Give me a break. There are trees all over, and I am just trying to hold it between the ditches.

We got to the end of the road and I told him to turn in the driveway. Only, it was not a driveway. It was dusk, almost dark, and it was just a yard. I ordered him to back out, and to spite me he just kept going. He was going to drive across the yard to the driveway and drive out. Okey dokey! Soon, we were mired up to the axle.

Luckily, the homeowners came home because they saw us in their yard. There were three pickup trucks! They were pretty rough looking and I was afraid. These guys were nice as could be. They tried to tell exbf how to get the car out. Finally, one of the guys got in, put the automatic transmission in some appropriate gear and we roared right out of the mire.

They directed us to the right house. The freecycler told me her house was low, below the road. Good Grief! She was in a hollow, about 70 feet or more almost straight down. We were going to have to climb a fence and try to walk down. I told her we would pass on the food since I had knee problems and he needed a hip replacement, that we were sorry.

She was so nice and brought up a dozen #10 cans. I was happy as a pig in mud. Exbf was not happy at all, just grim, but not yelling or fussing.

Exbf drove me twenty miles back up the interstate to home and then turned right around and drove 75 miles back to his home. I did not mean to be so much trouble. I just hauled the cans in and went to bed.

Back to the woman who gave me these. She was talking to us, telling us that the cans had been stored in the shed for so many years that she decided to get rid of all of them. I worried about storing the #10 cans in a metal shed that sits in the sun all summer in the South and in the winters where it freezes often enough but not for long freezes. I really worried.

I gave exbf a can of apples that I opened and put into a couple of gallon bags.  He brought them back last year, saying he did not like them. The hens got those. All the rest happened about five years ago.

All the cans were canned at the LDS place near here, well, in Nashville. The expiration dates were about five years prior to our having received them. Between the bad expiration date and the storage conditions, I worried more.

Several weeks after receiving these #10 cans, I had exbf to open one that was mightily bulging. I handed him the can and can opener and asked him to go outdoors and open it. He insisted he was going to open it right in the kitchen. We argued. It was sort of loud. He assured me a bulging can would not explode all over.

Finally, when I told him "never mind," he went outdoors. I followed him shortly, just in time to see canned peanut butter or butter, forget which, explode all over him and the great outdoors! There hung a yellow haze around the yard for hours. He was covered from head to foot. mostly from hair to waist. He had set it on a retaining wall in the back yard, making the can chest high. Only his glasses saved him from being blasted in the eyes.

The blasted wall remained yellow for days. I think the blast drovc the powder so hard that a hose would not clean it, not that he tried hard.

Nothing was edible in any of the cans. Store your #10 cans properly and don't mess with bulging cans and please watch the expiration dates!

Your turn
Have you ever had any powdered food stored in #10 cans explode in your face? Even worse, has it exploded indoors? Were you laughing too?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wacky Cake Recipe

The story goes that Wacky Cake came into being during World War II, when home bakers wanted to make dessert without breaking into precious rations. A combination of cheaper ingredients – vinegar, vanilla, oil, and water – was used in place of milk and eggs, which not only created a moist, chocolaty cake, but reduced the overall price drastically. Even today, Wacky Cake costs a little over a dollar to make, and is just ever-so-slightly more complicated than using a boxed mix.
Incidentally, Wacky Cake is also excellent for vegetarians, vegans, and kids with dairy allergies. Top it with a little powdered sugar, and you're good to go.

Read more:

If the economy continues on its downward course, this might be a good recipe to have. If I had a limited number of eggs, I would want them for breakfast, not chocolate cake!

Does this sound like a water cake recipe? I don't feel like getting up to get mine.

Your turn
Have you made a wacky cake or a water cake? Have you tried many Depression era recipes that have substitutions or leave out items we expect in our food?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pears! Pears! Everywhere!

three in the fruit picker
with the fruit picker, I can reach fruit
17' from the ground
waaay over my head, the size of softballs
second tree, hanging in bunches like bananas 3' from ground

rotting on the ground with fire ants
first wagonful
second wagonful
Do you know what kind of pears these are? The woman said someone told her they were Asian pears. I don't really know pears. 
Remember now the tornado tore up the pear tree within a few blocks of my house? Well, I have found a tree about ten miles from me, too far to visit often and on property of people I must ask for permission to pick. 
I advertised for these and a total stranger offered these. She had her husband set up two ladders for me, not knowing I am in no condition for climbing, and that I had a fruit picker that allows me to reach 17' above the ground.
The husband took loppers and cut the branches that were laden with fruit like bananas in a bunch. He was going to trim them anyway, he said. Both husband and wife helped me carry the bags to the car. Otherwise, I would have not gotten this many.  Actually, I probably only picked one bag of pears. I have to go slowly and be careful when I bend. This man and woman were very fast. So, I called a halt when I realized they were really working hard to help me. Plus, I could barely walk. Or stand.
Now, I have my work cut out for me. I wish I had an apple parer that pares, cores, and slices. Does anyone know the best kind to get? These will be dehydrated, made into pear preserves, and pear sauce (like applesauce).
I hate pears!
But, I love pear preserves. I don't need the sugar. Pear sauce is not so sugary. And, I will see if I can tolerate dried pears. I asked two friends if they would like pears? Half a dozen? So, a dozen pears are gone from the bags. Exbf will take home a dozen or more if he wants them. He will. He likes pears.
Oh, I like store-bought canned pears. I wonder if home-canned pears are as good as store-canned pears. Has anyone eaten home-canned pears? I am the only one in the family who does not love a juicy fresh pears. These are hard as rocks, so I don't know if they are canning stage or not. I certainly will not let a raw piece pass through my lips!
I was bitten by one fire ant.
Now I am hunting free figs and apples!
How about you?
Do you like pears? Pear preserve? Pear sauce? Dehydrated pears? Do you have free pears in your yard?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Just Something to Do"

Finally, after going over several times a day and banging on front and back door, calling into the backyard, and ringing the door bell at least 12 times each trip, I made contact with owners of BlackShe and BlackHe. I parked in front of the house to go up to the door and saw a truck I wanted to photograph.

Oops! The pickup truck belonging to the woman's son was backing out, so I flagged him down? Yes, they were his chickens. No, I did not know they could fly. No, I had not missed them. Hmmm, you think he really cares for them? I don't.

"Why do you have the chickens?" Now, I expected one of several answers:
I am going to fight them.
I am going to sell them.
I am going to breed them and sell chicks.
I just love chickens.

The answer to why do you have the chickens was, "Just something to do." This was accompanied by a weak,  meaningless shrug.

I asked him if he would cut their wings. He said he did not know how. I asked him if I could. He shrugged and said, "I guess so." Cutting a wing would make them vulnerable since they have no secure place to live.

"Are you not afraid a raccoon will get them?" He looked surprised and said he did not think raccoons would come in this far. We are blocks from dense woodsey areas, a half mile from forests.

It was such a fruitless conversation, but one that needed to occur.

The mother works nights and sleeps days, so this must be her day off because she is gone.NOW, I need to catch her today.

"Just Something to Do." The mother told me she throws food out to them everyday. So, it sounds like this is something he is not doing.

Mark's comment, "There goes the neighborhood." is so appropriate when I was talking about BlackShe and BlackHe, but not for the reason it could appear to be. Anyway, I thought it was funny what he said.

My Buff Orphington's are already named, but I cannot get the lady to let me come out or for her to deliver like she said she would when she is coming into town and is going to be two houses down. sigh

Did you ever get an animal/s for 'just something to do?'

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Black Chickens' Encroachment

Egg from BlackShe and egg from Thelma
Encroachment! Pure encroachment! Not only are the black chickens eating my hens' food, drinking their water, but now she is laying eggs in their nest! No, I am not grateful. I heard one crowing the other day, and now there is an egg.
So, it is settled. I have a pair. I just want them gone.! I just hope BlackHe is not fertilizing eggs from Thelma. BlackHe is so tiny and Thelma is so large!
No one ever comes to the door when I go over there to talk with the owners. I cannot catch these birds. They can fly to get away from me. And, they even run very fast.
It is amazing how she figured out where to lay eggs. I wonder if she has laid them in the yard or at her house previous to this. ???
I am not grateful!
Your turn
Do you want to come catch these birds?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In Progress: Another Lamp

You all know I love a good lamp? This lamp has been in my sewing room for the last 25 years, unrestored,  but serving a purpose. It sat by my industrial serger to give me light at night.  (I had forgotten how nice the bottom was. Normally, the text jumps beside the picture, but today? Oh, no! So, a skinny picture follows. And it won't center!)

I took it outside to remove heavy sewing lint from the bottom and  a few spider eggs.

Since there was no great rush, no desire to decorate a utilitarian sewing room, this remained as a very useful lamp.
lighted base

All but one of my floor lamps has a lighted base. There is a foot button that I did not show. The base of these lamps have a little socket for a night light bulb. When this is on, it is like a night light. It adds great ambiance to a room. Usually when I entertain, the base lights holding night lights are on and a 7.5 watt bulb is in the top of all my lamps in the living room. People are quite charmed by the base lights.

Underneath, you can see that someone has removed the light socket. Why? To the far left and bottom, there is the connection to the button that turns on the base light. The lamp shop where I take lamps to be restored, they have parts to replace the missing light.

ugly, cheap, and modern

I have no idea why someone would remove the three-armed top and replace it with this ugly, cheap, shiny part. But, that will have to be replaced! I can pick up a lamp that is has the part I need, maybe the base light, also. However, right now I have no money for this type fun or any inclination to restore/repair this lamp.

base light button

Blogger's picture program just decided to put this picture down here! I realized I had not taken a picture of the button on the base, so I took a picture of it after I had brought it in, sitting on paper in case there was dirt on the little feet. You can also see the base light area better. Also, that is not stain on the glass-looking part. It is supposed to be that way. The base is not as ornate as some I have seen, but it is mine.

I imagine that someone took off the missing original parts because of a short in either, or because the parts were needed for another lamp.

My friend was selling several full-sized pickup loads of lamp parts. I was stunned when I saw the carnage. His uncle loved lamps and bought them, disassembling them and throwing like parts into stacks. Everything was old and ornate, no junky lamps. It was anyone's guess which parts made an original lamp. We estimated there were probably 500+ lamps worth $7000 dollars if they were  assembled but untouched, just assembled. Restored, the lamps would be worth $95K. Completely disassembled=bother to sell. I don't know what he ever did with all the leftover parts he could not sell. All the lamps were ornate and very old. That much we could tell by looking at the individual elements.

My lamp cost me $5 or less. I am sure I grumbled about the new electrical element at the top. It will cost around $200 to have it restored/repaired.

I had a thought! Surprising, huh? I may take my lamp that resides in an antique shop on consignment and another antique lamp and this one to the shop that only restores lamps and sells lamp parts. Maybe I can trade enough to get this lamp repaired/restored for free. Yay me for

Repeat: I am not planning on having anything done to this lamp. Not only do I NOT HAVE MONEY to do so, this is not the right time in my life to do this.

Your turn
Does anyone love antiques? Antique lamps? Can you restore these yourself? Do the electrical work? Maybe your husband is handy? Or, is this all boring work and you prefer newer lamps?
Does anyone have a lamp with the base light? Where are the lamp lovers? 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pecans Surprises--NOT a recipe

My snack

Are you aware of how good pecans are for you? I was not. I just love them. But, I have found information that might convince you to eat more of them for your health. I just know I love them, so I eat them for the love of pecans..

For ten of my first 18 years we had abundant pecan trees on ten acres. Pecans were what we ate when we wanted a snack. We children, four of us old enough to crack pecans, sat and cracked pecans and ate them for snacks instead of candy or chips. Mama made fudge and put a pecan half on top of each square. She scored the fudge, placed the pecan, pushed it in a little bit, and cut the scored line when the fudge had set. That was it. We ate them plain and fresh or had fudge. Mama did not make fudge often enough for us.

This article might convince you to eat pecans like I do, plain, unsalted, and as a snack. Read how they can be a healthful choice for snacks. The article suggests eating 20 halves each day. I eat 12.

In an internet conversation, someone said he preferred pecans from the store, all dried out. Southerners avoid those packages. We prefer them fresh and plump, just after shelling. If you have had pecans from the grocery store in the little plastic packages and don't like pecans, I don't blame you! 

I believe I picked up 70 lbs of pecans one fall, even with my bad back. I gave away most of them. The last two years the trees have been barren. So, I have had to purchase pecans at an exorbitant price. The next time there is an abundance, I will freeze or can them for other years when there are no pecans on the trees I frequent.

Right now, I have placed pecans in quart jars, tightly screwing on the canning lids and rings. They keep better than in a plastic bag. I am running out of pecans. Right now, I have enough for two more days. When I had an abundance of pistachios, I substituted those for pecans. When I run out of pecans, I have frozen chopped walnuts. Roasted, unsalted peanuts are my last choice. All are free except for the pecans I purchased this last year.

Shelled pecans at the Farmer's Market are $9.50/lb, I think. If I get free ones, I have difficulty cracking the shells. I am doing  a little recon as I drive about. Pecans are getting full, and there seems to be an abundance! I am so excited!

Your turn
Are you lucky enough to have pecan trees of your own? Do you have access to free pecans? Any kind of nuts? Are plain nuts are part of your life? No, in fudge does not 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Prepared to Help Others? And, A Kink

Do you ever hear someone talking about needs? Have you ever just perceived someone has an unmet need? Do you want to help people in these circumstances? I do. But, are you prepared? Are you like me and have absolutely no money to help in even a small way? If so, maybe you can prepare like I do.

A woman and four young children expected to receive help with school supplies. The organization had completed that program the week before. She looked sad as her fifth grader translated that information to her. Lucky me! I was standing near her and can speak a bit of Spanish, so a friendly banter with my horrid but very efficient Spanish ensued.

We made plans to meet at noon at a local grocery store. The deal was that I would gather my supplies, based on what I had and what I knew about the needs of a fifth- and first-grader in local schools. I had one hour to get home, gather the supplies, and I was hot, sweaty,sleep-deprived, and had locked exbf out of house! He had come to help me even though it would mean he would be here without me for an hour.

Repeating myself from former posts--For the last six years or so, I have participated in the Office Max rewards, perks from bringing in printer cartridges and toners. I have so many school supplies that it will no longer fit in the Rubbermaid bin.

What they received and Maxperks cost:
four packs of 150 sheets notebook paper--10 cents each=40 cents
two spiral notebooks--10 cents each=20 cents
4 12-packs pencils (48)--10 cents each pack=40 cents
two eraser pencil toppers--out of a 50 cent pack that had a dozen or so
two 24 boxes of Crayola crayons--25 cents each=50 cents
1 box Crayola pencils--25 cents
five folders--1 cent or 10 cents each=50 cents
one pencil sharpener/container for catching shavings--25 cents, I think
one pencil sharpener with holes for large pencil and smaller--10 cents
two rulers, wood with metal edge--1 cent each=2 cents

My cost using Maxperks rewards=$0

Now, can anyone tell me the regular retail price of all this? Since I never buy without a deal, I have no idea. Just estimate

The Kink
The mother's phone does text messages. Yikes, until I got my new phone, I had rejected paying for texting. I have never texted anyone, EVER. So, this was an added stress. Thankfully, the fifth-grader, David, texted me and I could just reply. Since I don't have a QWERTY keyboard, texting will never be one of my tops delights. Thankfully, all I had to type was "yes."

I paid nothing for the help I was able to suppy, thanks to using MaxPerks and shopping all the specials advertised in drug stores and Walmart. Now, I live in a small town and am retired. So, I have the time to do all this. You may not be prepared with school supplies. But, maybe you can be prepared in another way when you hear a need expressed.

Yes, I devote real estate for the Rubbermaid bin. However, the supplies were free, and I send a box of supplies once a year to my daughter. Several packages sent during the year for birthdays have notebook paper in them along with a gift.  Unfortunately, my stash overflowed into a huge tote bag. Now, with this gift and some to my daughter, the supply will shrink to all of it going into the Rubbermaid bin.

You have all heard of my Maxperks exploits. This is old news. But, the chance to be of help for someone with very limited financial circumstances and extremely limited physical abilities makes me happy. This post is not to say how nice I am.  This post is to show people how to be of help when you literally have nothing to give. Collecting ink cartridges and toner cartridges pays off in many ways other than the physical product.

Yes, I know I could donate to churches providing these circumstances. I don't. Let's just leave it at that.  This woman was falling outside the church donations, and I could help.

Your turn
Do you ever buy with giving items away in mind? What do you stock up on to donate?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bacon for Paper Cuts

A conversation piece

I hate to advertise these, but the reviews are hilarious--men waiting for another paper cut. When you go to the page, find the reviews and read a few for laughs.  You do get a free pig figurine!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Building a Fence Like the Swiss

On DIRTTIME I found a fascinating six minute video on fences in Switzerland. Take a look here.

Yes, two posts today. Don't miss the battery post below.

Free Batteries

You know I am all about free, right? "If it is free, it's for me." Have you checked out the deals at Office Max? Today, with a sale and a coupon, I scored 40 free batteries. Do you have your MaxPerks card yet? If you are a teacher, get a teacher card, and deals are better. Recycle those ink jet and toner cartridges from computers printers or office copy machines.

40 free AA batteries

Office Max had batteries buy one get the second for a penny. You get the rest of the second pack back on Max Perks card to spend later. Since I had MaxPerks credit already from recycling cartridges, my batteries were free--all 40 of them. With an expiration date of 2018, they should be good until then if I can keep them cool enough.

No coupon? You can still buy 2 packs of any batteries, NOT necessarily these, pay for both and still have the price of one pack to spend later. I did not pay for the extra pack, so one cent was all I paid.

Staples and Office Depot have reward cards and similar programs.

FYI: That is NOT my last name on the coupon. Someone heard me wrong when I spelled!

Your turn
Need batteries? This is your chance to score them cheaply if not free like I did. Have you taken advantage of this battery sale yet? Do you have your Maxperks reward card yet? Who is going to crown me Queen of Free?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Magnets Cured My Back Pain!

I went to a dinner at Ryan's, an all-you-can-eat place, if you are not familiar with the chain. I listened through a sales pitch. I am so excited because I thought this was a "snake-oil" type product since about the only thing it did not cure or help was ED and menopause. (Okay, to be honest, it did not claim to cure things like thyroid problems.)

The man had a blanket-type thing that he said was a horse blanket, the type they made for race horses. As I left to get my meal and bring it back to the conference room, I asked him if I could lie on the table on the horse blanket. He said something about something to put in my chair. After I came back with my meal, I asked him twice about the item to sit on. He ignored me because people who were real customers and looked like they really could afford the pads for the bed were talking to him.

In a few minutes he brought a chair pad that covered the chair back and seat. I figured at this point that anything soft would help. After a bit, I asked him if it was supposed to get warm, that the pain was subsiding. He asked the room how long I had been sitting on the chair pad. "Two minutes," was the answer. In about ten minutes, I declared myself free of pain and sat there eating for another five minutes and voluntarily gave up the chair pad.

I showed him how I could walk without hobbling and could turn in a complete circle without limping or wincing. People were very much interested. I knew several of the people there and asked them if I could walk this well last time I saw them. They were all amazed as I. These people have seen me limp for at least four years, and know I was not a plant. The presenter asked me to tell everyone what my physical problems were--last vertebrae sitting on bone (not cushion at all) and doctor cannot figure out why I can even walk, two herniated discs, L5 out out place in spinal column. People were amazed. I did not mention my torn meniscus or torn rotator cuff, since those don't routinely hurt.

Then, I came home and finished emptying the dishwasher without pain. Pain did set in again when I started filling it with dirty dishes. There were lots. I hurt.

I feel like an evangelist who wants to shout the news from the housetops! This is a certain brand that I cannot tell you the name. My back has resumed hurting, but I feel hopeful. I cannot afford the special one-time deal of something like $1199, but I can dream. He said it would be $1599 if I did not fill out the order form there. sigh.... I don't need him to call and try to sell me. I am sold, just cannot afford it.

Exbf listened and wondered if I could get the chair pad and put it on my bed. I was thinking the same thing--just lie on my back on it for 30 minutes and then turn on my side like I always sleep. For $199, my back would not hurt so much. Since I don't have arthritis or poor circulation to contend with or be helped by the bed pad, I think the chair pad might work.

I know this would not cure my back problem and make surgery unnecessary. If I don't have the lower back surgery, I will end up in a wheelchair, unable to walk.

EDIT: As I noted in a comment, the pain does return, but slowly. When I said "cured," it was a temporary cure. But, it gives relief that in immeasurable.

Your turn--"Ethel, help me think."
Has anyone else ever heard of the magnets in the bed-sized pads? Do you believe they work to relieve pain? Do you know anyone who would endorse them or anyone who thinks this is junk-medicine? What are your opinions--good, bad, neutral?

A Dream Deferred

Did you ever want something so simple that it was silly how excited you were? Did disappointment day after day make you more anxious to get your simple desire? Did you have to put on a happy face or happy voice and just wait for someone else?

Well, that is where why I am with getting my two Buff Orphingtons. I was supposed to receive them, delivered here to me on Sunday morning. Then, the woman had problems occur, so I was going to get them today, and yesterday, and the day before. It appears that tomorrow is the day and they will be delivered.

Thelma and Louise are going to be furious, again. Pepper seemed lonely at first as Louise rebuffed her attempts to even stand near them for at least a month.  Before Fancy died, all three slept in the same box. Pepper slept on top of the top box and then finally in the nest box, all alone. My heart ached because she had no one to cuddle with at night.

Finally, Thelma allowed Pepper to dust bathe with her. Louise never allowed Pepper that closeness even though she and Thelma wallowed around together. To the end, Pepper would flinch when Louise raised her head while they were eating.

Therefore, I am getting two hens so the newcomer won't be lonely. Besides, I have read that Buff Orphingtons  are docile and easily bullied.  With two they will have a companion without always hanging around the fringes of fun, food, and cuddling.

Louise showed a side of her I never knew. She pecked Thelma when Thelma pecked Pepper. It was almost as if Thelma was being chastised for having been so bold to peck without permission. I had always thought Thelma was the alpha hen. Nope.

When I brought Pepper home and put her in the pen as I let the other two out of the pen, Louise just went nutso. She tried to get through the chain link of the fence, squawking and pecking at the air. This went on for about fifteen minutes. All the while, Pepper was struggling to get out of the pen through the chain link. Louise chased Pepper for about a week. It's a wonder Pepper even stuck around

Do you ever sit around (figuratively) and try to get into your chicken's/animal's mind in order to make them mentally and physically healthy?  I wonder if Louise was upset because Pepper was in her pen. I wonder if the two new hens will run away if they are not put into the pen for a bit.

However, I am still convinced that the two new hens need to be put in the pen so they will at least know where they live before Louise gets mean and chases them away, out of my yard.

Am I over thinking this?

Coupon Bonanza

One has already been used

To my great surprise, I received papers with coupons inserts. Rather, exbf brought newspapers but had removed all the excerpts for me. They were all from the previous Sunday paper. He has never been against my using coupons, but it seems he is becoming even more interested and helpful. From these eight sets of insets, I got these coupons. There about 20 inserts in all. Some Sunday papers have more than other Sundays.

These have to be used by Aug. 19, 2012, and each is to be used with 2 cartons. So, I will not be able to afford to buy 18 cases of Coke. Tomorrow, I will go and offer these to people in the grocery store as I use one coupon for two cartons.

As I uploaded the picture, I heard on Dr. Oz that the #1 thing to give up to avoid pancreatic cancer was sodas! Now, this is the cancer I fear the most since my father and his mother died of pancreatic cancer. Bummer. My doctor said that with that history, I would develop pancreatic cancer but about 20 years later than my father since I don't have his bad habits. Except he was slim, never overweight. So, at around 85-years-old, I can expect pancreatic cancer. Bummer! I was not aware of this fact and thought I would pass along some information along with my coupon bonanza news.

That news from Dr. Oz sort of throws a wet blanket on something I enjoy. I was already severely curtailing my intake of processed food and nitrates/nitrites. And, yes, I am trying losing weight.

However, I got lots of coupons in groups of 8. All are being used wisely and only if they are something I use or can change to use with the lower cost.

Your turn
Do you ever get an unexpected bonanza of coupons without having to buy more papers? 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Correction: "That Daddy Doesn't Have Any Pajamas On"

My almost two-year-old had just seen the Burt Reynolds centerfold on the back of the bathroom door in a dress boutique where I took her to use the bathroom. It came out in April, this was May, and she would be two in July. So, just 21 months old and talking very well.

I had never seen the Cosmo centerfold before then!

I answered her, "No, he doesn't"  She never looked up at it again. I had to make sure it was really him, so I looked when she could not see me looking. NOPE, not a stitch on, just a strategically placed hand/arm.

Edit: Mention of Helen Gurley Brown dying and mention of this centerfold is what brought this on.

Hey, I just won 11 Swagbucks for googling that picture, only the second time I have seen it.

Edit: John shared this-->
I thought the link would be easier to follow without having to cut and paste.
Your turn
Have you seen that picture?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Scales Died: Recommendation?

another broken item!

Since I married in 1966, I have used the scales my ex bought in 1965. They are finally failing. Actually, for the last 20 years, they have been failing, needing adjusting back to zero all the time.

Can scales be repaired? For a long time, my less-than-youthful eyesight has struggled to see the small numbers on the scales. But, rather than buy new scales, I just endured the struggle to see what was once so easy to see. While I have not shopped for scales, for years I have wandered by the displays. Now, I wonder if there are scales that do not use batteries, electricity or any electronics. Does anyone else have a good or bad experience with a certain brand of scales? These are Detecto.

Buying used is iffy. But, no used scales have appeared at the thrift stores or yard sales. So, that settles that!

These scales are sort of tippy, with no support toward the edges, so getting on them carefully was always necessary. The adjustment is on the front edge, not on the top. That little broken place was nothing necessary for measuring weight. It broke so long ago that I forgot what was its use.

Right now, I am trying to lose weight to save my life. So, these are a real necessity. I need daily monitoring of my weight to lose. I know me. I know my limitations. Even when I was a perfect weight, I weighed every day...okay, most days. After each of my three babies were born, I weighed daily for three months until I was the perfect pre-pregnancy weight. Any other time I have tried to lose weight, I weighed each day.

Yes, weight-loss specialists say to only weigh once each week. However, I know me.  Even if I did weigh once each week, these horrendous scales would be frustrating.
By the way, I have lost 5 lbs in one week! It is all on my Losing It: Weight Loss with Disability. One of these days, I will add exercise! Right now, I am barely capable of doing what I do which is not even sufficient to care for me and hens.

Speaking of hens, the woman bringing them to me called to say she would bring them tomorrow!

Your turn
Help! What brands of scales have you used that you would not recommend? Which ones would you recommend. I know a doctor's balance scale would be great, but I cannot afford one. I have wanted one of those for years. I need reliability and a low price and mechanical.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I Am Expecting

Tomorrow................................................................Two Buff Orphingtons!

Friday, August 10, 2012

New Cell Phone: Great Deal Persistence Pays Off

pretty RED phone bit the dust

Have you ever determined that no matter what, you will get what you want at the best price? Do you hold out and suffer to get what you "need?"  I am determined, if nothing else!

My pretty, beloved RED phone bit the dust, literally. I suppose I dropped it one too many times. See the top left corner. That is where a chunk is missing. I opened my flip phone and pieces flew off. It was quite spectacular. The screen went crazy! There were blocks on the screen with all sorts of function menus. The ATT symbol on the cover was upside down and right side up at the same time. Finally, everything went black on the screen and I mourned a little bit.

Then, the phone rang. HA! I can receive calls. Then, I tried calling Charlie back. However, I could not see who called, could not see my address book, no a thing.

I wanted one of the 4G phones that I could use for a hot spot for my computer, and then I could give up my Internet access. However, the figures did not give me a deal that was no more than I pay now. There was no way I coul swing that. Oh well.

I haunted Walmart, day and night, talking to employees and customers near the pre-paid phones. Only Sprint and Boost are truly unlimited. Neither of those services works here. sigh...

At the corporate store I was treated so rudely that I determined to leave ATT for good. The woman's actions are caught on camera at corporate headquarters. Her demeaning words were heard by a head employee. Soooo, I called ATT to complain. AND, I assured them I was heading to Walmart for a prepaid phone. The woman wanted to know what she could do to keep me. I was livid but controlled and told her that nothing could dissuade me.

Finally, I told her my terms and got what I asked for. I was not unreasonable, demanding a 4G phone with texting and such. Oh, how I wanted this to happen. But, I wanted a perfect ending, not disappointment. I wanted a better deal for less! I was truly willing to go the Walmart for a prepaid phone.

I have certain things in a phone I want: flip phone, place to hook a strap, and a Samsung product.  Yes, I want something I cannot tear up. But, I figured that was my problem, and I should protect my phone. Oh, yes. One thing I was not willing to give up was my 9,999 rollover minutes. Yes, 9,999 is what I meant to type.

She suggested the Rugby II.  I will show it to you. I also got such a good deal on my package that I added 200 texts for $5. Of course, I lose the number, block the number of the first person who texts me: I am sitting at the corner of X avenue and Y street, waiting for the light to change. Or, I am bloated today and so depressed. ACK!

Go here and see it in action. There is a little play arrow, just like for a video. You can see the metal loop on the back where I can hook a strap so I will be able to hold onto it. I have injured both hands and sometimes I am a butterfingers. The back screws on so that it is tighter and the back and battery will not fall out if the phone is dropped. A coin will work to loosen the screw. It is built to military specs.

The representative on the phone said all the employees were called to a meeting to introduce new products. The guy came in, talked, went into a rage, and threw his phone like mine against the opposite wall. Then, he picked it up and showed them how it still worked. This phone has military specs. It resists noise, vibrations, dust, humidity. Guys in the field use this. It can be used as a walkie-talkie if the other person has the same phone.

I had seen this phone when I got the RED phone. It turned me off. It felt just like I was holding a piece of a tire, all soft, kind of masculine in design.. I don't have to have a pink phone with crystals on the case.  Right now, I would not care if it felt like a rubber tire. Then I did. The Rugby II is a little larger than the cute RED phone. It is a little heavier. But, the wire loop at the top back makes this easier to keep safe. I think it has a GPS chip, not sure.

Be persistent. Stick to your guns. I had to go two weeks with a crippled, almost useless cell phone. But, in the end I got what I wanted at a price I could afford, less than what I now pay for services.

The reasons I got text capabilities? I can get weather updates in case of a tornado. Text messages use less bandwidth and can get through when a call cannot. For two days after the tornado here, I could neither send or receive a cell call.

The message today: Persist. Don't spend more than you decide to spend. You will get a deal if you search.

Your turn
Have you ever had to run a hard bargain to get your desire? To get a better deal? To get an upgrade in service for less money? To not give in to the pressure to buy something you really want but cannot afford (4G)? Give me some good deal stories. Entertain the still puny-feeling, not-feverish woman. Oh, did you watch the phone video of about 30 seconds? Has anyone else got a Rugby II? Get in touch with me at my email, and I will get you a deal, too!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Memories and Food

Is there any food from your childhood that brings back fond memories? Do you feel closer to a parent or relative when you eat certain foods? Do you ever wonder why you ate certain foods? Do other people wonder why you eat those foods, thinking they are strange or gross?

Pineapple sandwich

When I was a child, we ate these. We all took them for lunch and were thrilled. I taught my children to love pineapple and Miracle Whip sandwiches. Believe me, Mama never put so much MW on my sandwich. I did not put this much on my children's sandwiches! However, I was not feeling well, sort of blah,  and just put too much. It is best if you cut this sandwich in four squares before attempting to pick it up.

As a child, it was white bread for sandwiches. Now, I use whole wheat. This loaf was abused on the way home. If the bread were still fairly square, the two pieces of pineapple cut in half would have nested together nicely.

This is simple, but I love my pineapple sandwich. I indulge infrequently. However, I bought the small cans of Dole pineapple in 100% pineapple juice this week with a coupon. I can make two sandwiches with the $0.38 can. The fresh pineapple I ate all last week was delicious, but I would never put it in a sandwich.

My daughter said people in Miami, Missouri, and New York are fascinated and grossed out by her pineapple sandwich which she still loves.

I did not feel well earlier, and I have an elevated temperature right now!

Your turn
Have you ever eaten a pineapple and Miracle Whip sandwich? Any pineapple sandwich? Are you grossed out? Turned off? Got a simple food memory to share.

Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight

aren't they sweet?

They are in their Rubbermaid box, all settled down. Louise stretched her head out to look and see what I was doing. Just closing the door, Louise. Settle down! Can you see how subdued Thelma seems?

Not so sweet!

See the black chicken in the tree? There are still two of them. They eat all my chicken's food! Drink their water! I open the hen's pen gate every morning and put food in there. They eat for a bit and then run out into the yard. Several times during the day, I find them eating at their own pace. NOW, the black hens go in and eat. It is hard enough for me to get enough food for my own two!

The black chickens are here every morning. Tonight, this was 7:45, and they were still in my yard. All day long they are at my back door, in the hen pen, just annoying me. The neighbors who own them are the only ones in the neighborhood who have a right to complain about my chickens. So, I don't want to even nicely ask them to keep the hens at home. I warned the mother that the hens were escaping.  Like I said, she is just disgusted with the hens even being there.

The mother who lives back there does not want them. Neither do I. I don't know if they are hens or roosters. The son does not care for them; he just wants them. He had two huge red roosters in pens and got rid of them, so no more crowing in the morning. Then, he got a dozen of these little black chicks. He got rid of all but two of them--the bane of my existence right now.

Where are the raccoons when I need them?

I would be horrified if my hens got in another yard. But, they are not concerned. If I take them like she suggested, I would try to catch them in a trap and take them, now my property, to someone else.

What would you do now?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Love Spice--All You Need is Love

This was on Lena's counter. She says there is more--directions--on the back. Lena loves yard sales. Her realtor mother had a consignment shop.

Today, I lost weight again.  We had some food for dinner that was meant for chickens, today. The ears of corn were the only ones we have ever gotten that were not really good. It was a little dry and tasteless. I only had a three-inch piece so exbf could have some for his lunch tomorrow. The tomatoes were meant for my hens.

The cantaloupe had one little hole, poked most likely after it went to market. I cut that out and the hens loved the seeds. They will eat all the cantaloupe left in the peeling. I cut all the cantaloupe in cubes and sent it home with exbf. I don't eat cantaloupe. It was very fresh, just not salable.

I paid for the chicken, but it was on sale. The broccoli was so expensive that I only bought a little. But, it was so tender.

Keeping expenses low while helping the environment is my goal....always! I did dry one of three loads of clothing because of exhaustion. Panties were hung on the line outdoors for the sunshine benefit. Nightgowns and blouses are drying, hanging in the doorway.

Of course, we did not eat out!

Your turn
What did you do today to keep expenses low and to help the environment? Eat any chicken food?

Just Another Manic Monday

You can read all about it here. Skip the weight-loss stuff and get right to the meat of the matter.

My poor hens were accidentally left locked in their pen all day, then locked out for the night. Am I losing it?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Free: Soup, Apples,Garlic, Bag

Three bags of soup mix. See the windows in the bags?
On Thursday night, I go to a church that serves a dinner for anyone in church or town. As the nutritional quality of the dinner has declined, the number of people has declined. The people who come now are a lower SES (socioeconomic status). Most have not finished hs and are elderly. Only a few of us have attended and/or graduated from college or have been in professional careers.

Since exbf was going to come here on Thursday, I asked if we could have our big meal at lunch and go to the dinner that evening. He agreed. My author friend was there, and my friend Lena. we all sit together. About halfway through the meal, we were given bags with bean soup mix. Exbf is not going to cook. Fred did not want his. Soooo, I got three bags.

The Vacation Bible School children made these bags of soup mix and wanted to share with us.  Ummm, I know where little kids have had their hands and can imagine how many beans were rescued from the floor. (Linda, take a deep breath.) Since the soup beans will be rinsed and boiled, I expect a good outcome. 

The bean soup mix was in a paper bag with a plastic window and little metal tabs to close the bag--impressive. The children had written a Bible verse. Some of the children had to be five- or six-years-old, while others were ten-years-old, judging from the handwriting.  On the back of the bag was a recipe:

The directions looks easy enough.

There are navy beans, kidney beans, green split peas, and barley to equal two cups. I measured it.
All these were in a quart storage bag. Maybe someone can clue me in on the beans if I got them wrong.

This is a very small bowl. Notice there a six bouillon cubes. I have never put more than one in a gallon of soup, so I will not put six in a half gallon! Even if they are low sodium, this is excessive. I have lots of pimiento jars where the other five will reside for another time.

I am going to put a half pound of free, cooked, very lean ground round in this. When I mentioned maybe I would, exbf was very emphatic with his approval. The man likes his meat.

When we went to get produce for the girls, the guy said he saw me coming as he was bagging these up. Exbf picked out three or four for himself. So the rest will either go in the dehydrator or be cooked as pie filling, which I will eat in a bowl with no pie crust.

Blogger won't allow me to put a caption. This is an elephant garlic a vendor gave me while I was discussing garlic growing with him at his booth at the farmer's market at the Fest Hall. He told me I could plant ""this one" as he handed it to me. Now, when do I plant?" Can I plant in a container?

At the festival on Friday night, our local Ford dealership was handing out bags.

Your turn
Do you know what kind of beans those are? I know there is barley, too. What did you get free lately?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Triple Sweet: Lamp Makeover

Chopin lamp
Are there any other lamp lovers out there, reading this post? Do you just buy inexpensive lamps because you can afford nothing else? Do you buy cheap lamps because you prefer not to spend more money than you must? Do you buy lamps for their goofy or quirky or elegant style? Does a lamp ever speak to you? Can you see good bones and possibility?

This lamp has been a conversation piece. No, some people don't like it. I do. Friends think it is weird, and I don't care. When I bought it for $1, it was Pepto Bismol pink and the "gold" part was rusty.  A coat of white paint did the trick along with a little "gold" paint. The electrical part was not painted gold, just the part above the white base. 

Since the lamp was $1 and the gold paint and white paint were from other projects, I have only the initial purchase invested in my lovely, quirky lamp. Sweet! The wiring was good, so that saved a bit on the makeover. Plus, there was a good bulb in the bargain. Double Sweet. That almost makes the lamp free! A friend hated the lamp shade that came with his new lamp, so he gave me his new shade. Triple Sweet!

I taped the top part and either sprayed the lamp or painted it with a brush. After 20+ years, I have forgotten. The memory of painstakingly applying the gold paint with a cheap artist's brush remains. There is a "before" picture somewhere, taken before the digital age.  Just think Pepto Bismol and rust and you have the right idea.

Right now, the lamp is not in use. I am packing it for the day I have a place for it. Forced downsizing will not cause me to give up all I love. Someday....  Now, you must understand I have sold many lamps. That is another story for another day. 

This lamp brings to mind The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Can anyone tell me how this lamp reminds me of the novel? I call it my Chopin Lamp. 

Miracle Whip has a site where people tell how much they love MW or how badly they hate it. Share with me how you feel about this lamp, especially if you hate it. I can take it because I have my Big Girl Panties on.

Your turn
Do you just hate this lamp? You cannot hurt my feelings by saying so. I asked a few other questions at the beginning of this post? Where are the lamp lovers amongst my readers?

Fiber Is My Game

Okay, it is on my other blog, the one where I talk about losing weight. I posted on the wrong site.
Go to:

Losing It: Weight Loss With Disability

Or, look in the list of blogs I follow on the left hand side of Practical Parsimony blog.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Losing weight on Aug 2, 2012

Weight at start of day: 255
Now, this is a lot of weight. Thankfully, nurses keep starting the scales at less than 200 lbs. I have to tell them to shove it above 250.  I am 5.7"

What I ate
at home:
12 oz whole milk

1 lean hamburger on bun
Salad: 2.5 cups of Romaine, radicchio, carrots, tomato, Italian dressing

Diet Coke Caffeine Free in can

Thursday night dinner at a church:
2 hotdogs and 1 bun and two packet of mustard
unsweetened tea
10 fries dipped in catsup
fruit salad: fruit cocktail, marshmallows, mandarin oranges,vanilla pudding. (nasty and did not finish)

2 free cookies at grocery store ( just won't go down this aisle from now on!)
one cup of milk with Instant Breakfast (used only half of IB recommended)
grapes, apple, banana, Miracle Whip fruit salad

Exbf was here, so I got more exercise and was on my feet more than usual.

Biggest accomplishments:
Today, I had no cheese--yay for me. I drank half the milk I usually do. I eat too much cheese and drink too much milk.

This is not perfect, but I guarantee you I can lose weight eating like this. I sit too much--a killer. Tomorrow, I will walk around the house in the yard at least once!

I cannot figure out to make a separate page for this. When I do, I will move all this weight loss(saving my life) information.

Be sure to read:
 A Tisket, A Tasket: A Double Pie Basket that I posted earlier today.

Your turn
How did you do today? What was the biggest or hardest accomplishment?

A Tisket, A Tasket: A Double Pie Basket

Double Pie Basket

I don't have any Green and Yellow Baskets. However, I do have some handmade ones, all natural colored.

My friend Bill Kelly from Rainbow City, Alabama, makes these from beginning to end. He cuts the white pine from the forest, cuts the trunk into boards and then cuts the strips for weaving.  I have known him and his wife, Cora,  for about 30 years. We did craft shows in Huntsville with the same spot next to each other for about six years. This year was the first year they have not been in the Blooming Festival in Cullman.

If these baskets are not in sunlight, they remain this pale color. The darker strips are heart wood. Bill said the only care of these in to let them sit out in the dew overnight. They need just a bit of moisture in the night about once each year. But, you must bring them in before the sun shines on them.

This basket is called a Double Pie basket. As Bill explained that women carried two pies to church and socials, so they needed a basket to hold both pies. Now, these plates were easier to get to than my pie pans. But, you can see the size of the basket. I have used this basket, not for two pies, but for several dishes to take to potluck dinners.

This holds my bananas

Bill and his Cora gave me this basket when I earned my first degree in 1993, my BA in English. It is perfect for holding bananas. I keep a wooden banana slice and a mango that I got when I went to Mexico.

Today, I was taking them outside the clean them. It started raining, so I could not clean my other three baskets.

NO, I don't like Longaberger baskets at all.

More about Bill. He is 82 now. He met Cora when he was 15 and walked several miles each evening to see her. He knew how many fence posts there were in his nightly walk. He laughed and said he got tired of walking and married her over the objections of both families when he turned 16.

Your turn
Don't you like knowing a little of the history of crafts persons from whom you acquire handcrafted items.  Do you know how to make baskets?  Do you know Bill or Cora Kelly? She was on the ciy council about 15 years ago.

August 1, 2012 Is The Beginning

I must lose weight before I develop diabetes.
I must lose weight to live longer.
I must lose weight in order not to develop cardiovascular disease.
I must eat better to lose weight.
I must eat better to look younger.
I must eat better to have healthier skin an hair as I age.
I must eat better to not develop other debilitating illnesses.

In this vein, I will post everyday, probably in a page on my blog. When I get it done, I will notify you so that if you are interested in the mundane things I eat and do each day, you may follow along. I know what works for me. I just have to do it.

Your turn
Want to join me?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Bread


I found this recipe--The Frugal Girl and love it even though I have not tried it. I borrowed her picture, too.  It looks delicious! She has lots of pictures as she mixes the bread. The recipe originally came from  Simply Made Home . Frugal Girl changed some things from the original--pan sizes, I think. I have printed it below.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Printable Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups zucchini, finely shredded
2 2/3 cup flour (the original called for whole wheat, but I used white)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, oil, sugar, honey, and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Stir in the shredded zucchini.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and baking powder.
Stir zucchini mixture into the dry ingredients; mix just until combined.
Divide between four small greased loaf pans or one large greased loaf pan. Bake small loaves for 25 minutes and bake large loaf for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool loaves in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes; remove from pans to cool completely.

You can serve my Zucchini Casserole and have this Chocolate Zucchini Bread for dessert.

Your turn
Has anyone else had this? Do you have any other zucchini recipes?