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Monday, April 30, 2012

Organic Pasta Steal...Legal or How to Score a Better Deal

Do you like a good deal as well as I do? Listen up to what I found and how I dickered for a better price. First, what I got:

15 one-pound bags
100% Organic
Made in Italy
Fusilli #27
Made with bronze Plates
USDA 100% Organic
Certified Organic by ICEA
Produced and Packed in Italy
Ingredients: Organic Whole Wheat Semolina
Nov 9, 2014

You just know there is always a place for reduced items in a store? Right? I usually have a look to see what is a good deal and still has a far off date. When I picked up a bag of this, I was impressed but wanted a better price. It was marked down to $1.79. I was going to get it at a better price.

So, I found the manager and told him there were 15 bags on the shelf, that I would pay $1 for each bag and buy them all. He said, "Okay, if you will buy all of them." It was that easy peasy.

Why were they reduced? A checker said I got a good deal, that they did not stock this.  It was sent to them on their regular truck, they so put it on a reduced table. Lucky me.

I do this all the time. The round, plastic table that the chicken's Rubbermaid boxes sit on was gotten this way. The one table in a box was sitting on the display with a reduced sign. I offered to pay less than the sale price and take the last one off his hands.

He laughed at me. I was not daunted! When I pointed out that he had a huge display taking up space and one item left on it when people did not want yard things since it was getting cool out, he looked like he understood and let me buy it for the less-than-sale price I offered. (whew! long sentence) I got a boxed Christmas tree this way.

Try it. You might get what you ask for. Maybe you think I am selfish? Just say so if you do because I don't think

Yes, all the pedigree above was on the bag of pasta. Why is it better made with bronze plates? What is the difference in fusilli and rotini? What was the original price? What is the price of other pasta?

Bronze plates advantage:
"When cooking pasta try to use durum semolina pasta cut with a bronze plated die. This gives it that porous look and is the sign of a good quality pasta. You can tell when a Teflon die has been used to produce the pasta because it has a shiny flat surface." You can believe Italian cooks. I suppose I am not that sophisticated to know the difference. I will just take their word for it.

Fusilli--long, thick, corkscrew shaped pasta
Rotini--short, flattened, twisted pasta
They look the same to me.

The price on the Internet ranged from between $2.69 and $3.99. In the store I found rotini pasta at its most expensive to be about $1.50/lb. None was organic or imported or made of whole wheat.  On the Delallo site, these one-lbs bags are $3.48.

ICEA is the Ethical and Environmental Certification Institute in Italy. Look here for more information.

I really scored on this pasta! And, it is kosher if it matters to anyone. And parve--"Jewish dietary laws considers pareve food to be neutral; Pareve food can be eaten with both meat and milk dishes." Yes, it had the symbol "K"and the word "parve."

The final task lies ahead. I will put these in the freezer for 48 hours, allow them to come to room temperature, and store in Ball one-half gallon jars. When I fill 6 jars, the rest will be left out for use in the next few months. Yes, they will be stored in the dark. According to the use by date, I have 2.5 years to use this and it still be of good quality and nutrition. Yay!

Your turn
Have you ever heard of this brand of pasta? Delallo produces other products, too. Have you ever tried to get below sale price by taking all of the product?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Getting Cozy

looking into each other's eyes

We are cheapskates when it comes to entertainment around here. Exbf was taking a break in the swing. He called me from his cell and told me to come look at the chickens sitting with him. I first looked out the window. I took pictures from the window and then moved outdoors, taking them as I moved, thinking the hens would hear me and come running.

Nope, they completely ignored me. They recognize him as a friend and food-giver. So, when I approached, he and Louise were gazing into each others' eyes. He said she kept turning her head from one side to the other, not making a noise, just looking at his face. She never glanced my way. Thelma is sitting to the right, the blond hen.

There is very deep shade here, cool even when the heat approaches the high 90s. I had to lighten the picture so details could be seen.

Here is the first view I had, looking out the dirty kitchen window. I would have to climb 14 feet up to clean the outside. I clean the inside often. Just above the top corner of the picnic table, you can see the knees of exbf in the pale pants, really just two specs from here. there is a bunch of leaves over his face. The hens' pen is to the left of the picture, barely visible.

He said Pepper jumped up for a minute, walked around, looked and jumped back down, finally pecking around the ground near the end of the swing.

Your turn
Do your hens ever get friendly, seeming to want companionship instead of just food, food, food?

Can you see my blog?

I get the message that there are no posts. It's lonely in I have no clue as to what happened.
UPDATE: It is fixed. Thanks for responses.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Blue and a Bag...Meandering Post

another 25 cent bag from a yard sale last summer

What do different colors do for your mood? Are you ever particularly soothed or jarred by a color? Could you swear certain colors enhance your ability to cope? Keep you sane? LOL...okay, you don't have to confess.
While blue is not my favorite color to wear or even my favorite color, blue has a very strong appeal to me. I am drawn to blue and white. Mama said the color that looked best on me as an infant was a baby blue. She drove me crazy encouraging me to wear baby blue through my teen and college years.

She was trying to get me out of the "RED" mode. That was a colossal fail. But, blue has an appeal. I never associate it with a sad feeling, regardless of Neil Diamond and all the singers with "blue" songs.

However, I have not rejected blue. I just like it in different places--my home and the yard. Blue skies entrance me and soothe me. I always had pale blue bedroom walls. Oh, yeah, I even wore blue eyeshadow, not the bright blue, just the blue that was so dark it looked gray.

In 1977, I put in blue carpet in the den and hall of this house. It is is a dark blue, sort of like the dark blue handles but not bright, a mixture of several blue shades. It drew compliments. No, it was not shag!  It seemed so cool and still does. I am not the decorator who goes around her house seeing how much warmth she can inject. However, it is warm in punches.

Oh, I have one blue blouse. I get so many compliments about the blouse OR people tell me I am looking good, what did I do to myself--different makeup, face lift....okay, maybe my mother was right!

This bag will probably go to my 11-yr-old granddaughter. She "travels" to her father and cousins, plus spends the night with friends.

Your turn
Do you shop yard sales for reusable bags like I do? How do you feel about the color blue?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Things piling up on my head

Not only is house facing condemnation the first of May, but other things are happening. I cannot elaborate too much as this is soooo stressful.

1--ticket for no tag light. I have to pay for the ticket, not just fix the car.
2--I broke a molar eating corn. Part of the tooth and the filling broke, a huge piece.
3--cataracts are just starting.
4--ocular pressure is too high and may mean glaucoma
5--new glasses are expensive and I must have them
6--botched job on car, not putting on new outer tie rods and parts not being replaced before alignment will cost me over $300. No, original two guys say it is not their fault, so I will have to pay again. Ha! went to another place.
7--two brand-spanking, new tires were ruined by botched alignment and are bald after three months.
8--new tires--over $200.
9--no one will even help me pack my house up to move.

Add all these recent developments to:
1--torn meniscus that needs operation
2--torn rotator cuff that needs operation
3--last verterbrae sitting on bone, L5 out of place and two herniated discs

I feel unlovable.

Dying would be a relief. I cry lots.

Food Frauds

How can I watch my money and still get quality when there are people who would sell dangerous or low-quality food products? This article on food frauds will certainly keep me from buying spices from bulk bins! I know everyone thinks their food supplier would never do such a thing. Well, it may happen without the proprietor or customers knowing.

Your turn
Have you experienced any food frauds? want to impress me?

Have you ever had someone who tried to impress you but failed to do so, giving you the exact opposite impression? Every time I open a new loaf of bread, an image and voice comes to mind. I still shake my head.

What message this guy was trying to convey is still puzzling. We were talking bread. He commented that the first thing he did was to throw out the end piece, "straight into the garbage," he said. "I don't eat the heel of the bread. I have hated it all my life."

When I was ten, I refused to eat that end piece. Now, I eat it! Or, it may be the piece I used for chicken fat and broth. Hens love a piece of bread soaked in the juices from broiling. The end piece may be the piece I break and toss to hens. I definitely do not prefer it.  However, it never goes into the garbage and to a landfill. Actually, I sort of figure it keeps he next slice of bread from drying out.

I was most certainly impressed at his wastefulness, his childish attitude, and his wrong belief that I would agree with him. Sure, I prefer a sandwich without the end piece, but I do other things besides throw it in the trash: feed it to hens, use it in bread pudding, make crumbs or croutons.

Was he trying to impress me with his elevated position? Or, I am a person who does not eat the worst of food?

His wealth? I can afford to throw food away.

His autonomy? My mother cannot tell me what to do.

I am not impressed by wastefulness and certainly appalled when someone brags about it. If I were being wasteful, I would acknowledge the waste, be sheepish and apologetic, acknowledging my wrong. Just so you know, I am not perfect.

Your turn
Have you seen someone and heard anyone who boasts about their wasteful ways? Are you impressed with the boasting? What do you do with the end pieces in a loaf of commercially baked bread?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Books for a Certain Lifestyle

Alternate titles--

Books for a Parsimonious Lifestyle
Books for Creative Living
Books to Feed the Soul

I love learning new skills. Learning new skills has little to do with parsimony sometimes. Saving money cannot be the focus of a life. It can sure help to keep hands and minds busy. The end results from using creativity can be bliss. I think, "I made that myself." Some skills I will never actually perform hands-on, but I will make a good "helper" or "supervisor."
Just Junk~~just my style!
Since I am very parsimonious, this book about making over old things is not a new concept to me. It is a great inspiration. It is a yard sale book. I know it cost no more than $1,  most likely, less.


Reading The Christmas Kitchen will make you salivate!  I had been to a Christmas Village Craft Show and had tasted lemon curd. I really wanted a recipe to make it. But no one knew my desires. My friend, Gwyn, owned an antique shop. She gave me this for Christmas that year, AND the recipe for lemon curd was right there! She had found this in an estate sale or at auction in a box or at a yard sale. It cost her practically nothing to delight me! This is one of the best gifts I have ever received, and I don't collect recipe books. Besides this one, I only own two others recipe books. 

I don't know where I acquired Victoria at Table. Yard sale?

Yes, I read the whole book! No, I will not take up this trade!

Rodale's Illustrated Encylopedia of Herbs
has beautiful pictures with which to identify herbs

My favorite herb book, the most trustworthy. Dr. Tyler's information is all the result of research or folklore. References for all information is with each herb discussed. He is selling nothing and does not put himself to the forefront with his superior knowledge, claiming to know what is best for a single individual or groups. If an herb is dangerous, he says so. If the claims from others are or are not substantiated, he notes that also.
When I was in grad school, I used this as a reference book when we studied The Country of the Pointed Firs. The main character grew herbs and women came for this one herb in particular. I looked in The Honest Herbal and discovered she was tending and distributing abortifacients. Even the doctor sent women to her. The professor was stunned because he had been teaching the book for years and had never seen what I saw.

When I hear talk of an herb, I check to see if Dr. Tyler recommends not using the herb. There is a list of references at the end of each herb description that he gives.

I can do needlepoint already, but this must have been a dime or it was free.

I won this one: Housewife Superstar: The Very Best of Marjorie Bligh

Published in 1971

You just know this has some goodies! I have had this book for several years and have not read all of it. It came from a yard sale that the Catholic Church has in conjunction with Oktoberfest.

99 Ways to a Simple Lifestyle has ideas that here, forty-years later, seem revolutionary to some. It has the name or the owner, a nun, and her order.

Revolutionary example: there are ways to substitute electrical devices for non-electrical options. Most of the answers to an electrical device like a electric mixer or electric can opener is just "use a good strong arm."  The solution to not using a vibrator is lots of exercise. 

These are only a few of the books  I own that are instructions on do-it-yourself or simplicity.

Your turn
Do you use any of these books? Do any of these especially intrigue you?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Magazines and Diabetes


Look at my new magazine! This was a one-time purchase using my $$$ on a gift card for surveys. Exbf excitedly told me about a magazine he saw while hurrying past a magazine rack where he works. He told me the name of the magazine and what the chicken looked like, angle from which the picture was taken and a couple of the cover stories. When I went to BAM, I could not walk to the back, so the clerk found it for me.

Only BAM had it. So, I purchased it and rushed home to read it. It only took me 24 hours to finally take it out of the When he came to my house, I showed it to him. He spent over an hour reading the magazine, some aloud to me. He laughed lots and exclaimed he never knew some of the information.

The article, Who's on Top, will explain all about "pecking order."  He showed me all the pictures of egg abnormalities in another article, From Farters to Double Yolkers. You can find out more about the magazine online at Sampling of other articles: Heritage Layers, Ducks, Brooding Chicks, Goats.
I cannot find the information in the magazine, but I think he said there were also two other magazines,  Ducks and another called Goats. Hobby Farms is published by the same company.

Country Living

I got this with It is not the same magazine I enjoyed several years ago. Every page has cute pictures, but it is all about where the consumer can go and buy things. I will be receiving this for the next 11 months! Trash! It's not going to be enjoyable. Oh, many more pages are fully devoted to advertising. Even articles direct the reader to buy the items pictured at Ikea or Pottery Barn. Plus, the format it large, not conducive to sitting and browsing.

Diabetes fog
I don't really know the name for the condition. When I called exbf to ask him to listen to the weather on TV, he was not too responsive. At first, I thought he was just sleepy, having dozed off after work. He would not turn the TV to the weather even when I yelled and got a bit nasty. Soooo, I knew that his lack of a response at my nastiness meant one thing--low blood sugar. I don't yell to annoy him, and don't try to be mean. I just know that if he is sleepy, my being loud will wake him up and get a response about not yelling at him. But, the weather comes on at 5:17, and he kept muttering and weakly insisting he had the right channel. Only at 5:25 did he realize he had the TV on the wrong channel. This is so unlike him. When I called back at 6:15 to hear the weather, he had dinner and was feeling and talking fine.

He was still not making sense except for the fact he had the TV on the wrong channel. I told him if he did not eat I would call the police or his neighbor. Once, I called the police for a welfare check at 3:30 am on a Sunday morning and found that he had been sitting in his recliner since 4 pm on Friday evening. I had been dialing his number since 5 pm on Saturday. Another time I called his neighbor. He has been taken by ambulance to the hospital several years ago. So, I am not unnecessarily panic-stricken.

Well, today he decided ham was a good thing to eat, just a bite. We argued about this. However, he did not make sense. Then, he pulled the stunt that drunks try--talking right and straight. His sentences still made no sense and he still slurred his words. I threatened to call police or neighbor. He begged me not to. I demanded he go eat sugar, honey, syrup, jelly, just a bit.

He got strawberry jelly and ate some. Five minutes later, he finally sounded like the fog lifted and his voice was right, and he could complete a sentence. Before that, he would say half a sentence pause and say something totally out of the blue and not related to the first half of the sentence!

When he was talking normally, he said he had a jelly I gave him, one that looks like a catsup bottle, and squirted it directly into his mouth. Hey, why wash a spoon?--his attitude, I am He finally was alert enough to answer my question about when he last ate--11 am! He said he was not hungry. I try to tell him that is not why he should eat. Am I wrong?

I told him that he can cause enough brain damage that he will have to go into assisted living. Okay, that may not be right, but mental decline can happen to diabetics, especially those who do not take care of themselves.

I know I can get weather on the laptop, but often it is wrong. Plus, Jerry Tracey adds things that make it clear that the rain will only be in certain areas.

Your turn

Have you ever read or seen Chickens magazine? If you read Country Living, do you notice more of the articles direct you to places like Ikea and Pottery Barn? Do you deal with someone who has diabetes and will not eat often enough? Does the person go into this mental fog? Pass out? Lose days at a time?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Free" Table Lamp, et al

This is the first lamp on today's post.
I don't have a "before" shot.
This is the "after" shot.

details on glass and base
I love lamps.
I love free lamps. 
I love free lamps after I fix them.
The framed picture on the wall is NOT that crooked. My crooked shot makes it look even more crooked than it

This is the second lamp on today's post.
I don't have an "after" shot because it has not been restored.
This will be the "before" shot. 

Got it?
I have two identical lamps. The first one has only the "after" shot and is the older and cost $6. The second picture is the "before" shot and the lamp (free) is still sitting (lying in a box) in the unrepaired/unrestored state. 

Second lamp (before)
This second one was sitting on a "free table." It had been rejected by many people who saw no beauty or utility in its form.  So, it sat with the plastic ice trays that had been melted somehow and the plastic purse with the broken clasp and handle--such sad company for such a splendid lamp.

I have had this a few years. After it sat inside and on the porch, I finally asked someone to put it in the basement. I did not mean for it to be put on the floor where water has started running in!  So, the little feet look a bit greenish. The urge to kill occurs at these moments.

First Lamp aka Restored lamp (after)
About 25 years ago I found the pretty lamp identical to the ugly one and paid only $6 for it and a similar one. I made so much money from the other items I found that day and dedicated my profits to restoring and repairing the lamp. I hate to say I spent $80 having the finish restored and the wiring replaced on the first lamp. But, it suits me perfectly.

It has not been replaced by newer or finer. I bought a second lamp that day and sold it for the price of both lamps, so you might say the "after" lamp was free, also.
Actually, these were cheap lamps when new, made of pot metal. So, the cheap becomes high end over for me. These may not be your style. They are mine.
The lamp shade was given to me by a friend who wanted a different lampshade on his antique lamp. I was doing a happy dance while trying to convince him to keep the lamp shade he gave me. He bought the lamp from the same lamp shop where I had the restoration work done.

The first lamp, the one in the "after" shot, sports a finial that was on the second lamp, the one with the "before" shot. Some day, it will be taken to the lamp shop where I can rummage through old finials and find a match or something close.

Now what?
I am not into matched lamps at all.  I would probably use the second one in another room, just not in the room with the other. I absolutely know it will be restored no matter where I use it. Green feet are not welcome in my home
My lamps     
The last time I bought a new lamp was in 1968. Those two are gone. Now, all my lamps are from between 75 and 100 years old. My oh my! Those 1968 lamps would be nearly 45 years old now!

How I could afford $80 to restore lamp
That Saturday in June, about 25 years ago I had to drive 75 (150 round trip) miles for 2 hours work. I made sure the appointment gave me time to shop at yard sales beforehand. At each yard sale, I purchased what I wanted and things I did not want that were items I knew would fetch a good price at an antique shop. After I bought everything I wanted, I stopped by the next antique shop and offered them my goodies at a price they could not resist. That is the day I bought this lamp at a yard sale for $6.

At the end of the day, I had made about $200 from my job.  I had another $50 from selling my finds and still had items in the trunk of the car. In the next few days, with little effort, I had collected more money from items bought that Saturday.   I felt entitled to fix the lamp. A shop in another town restores antique lamps, fire hydrants, antique fire house anythings, old/antique Hunter ceiling and table model fans and mining equipment.

Your fans
Is anyone here so enamored of antique fans lamps as I?                          

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Just a Swinging

Louise, Thelma, Pepper
I have cheap entertainment right outside my dirty kitchen window. Look closely and you can indulge in what I love--hens up to something new. Well, they may do this often for all I know. It's cute, but now I will have to clean poop off the swing. Little birds leave enough for me to clean from the swing.

Yes, the swing was rocking gently to and fro. Pepper has her back to me and is not sitting. Exbf said that later they were sitting with tails hanging off, better to keep the poop off the seat.

Update: Ooops! I forgot to show you the swing seat after they got down. Nothing on the seat is poop! Amazing!

Your turn
What are your chickens doing to entertain you or drive you crazy? If you don't have chickens, tell me about your goats, pigs, or llamas, please.

Friday, April 20, 2012

"The Cholesterol Shuffle" Wisdom from Wenchypoo's Old Bat Cave

Wenchypoo gives a simple explanation on how fiber can lower your cholesterol. Oh, you already know? Well, she has an entertaining blog. And, this is not so long.

Eat more fiber! My friends teased me about my touting fiber, suggesting it for all their ailments long before it became chi chi to talk fiber. They rolled their eyes at me and did not care if I saw them. Hello! I was right!

Your turn
Does anyone else get their 50 grams of fiber each day? 

Mainliner's Dream Come True

Don't look so shocked!
Since the late 70s, I have wanted to get rid of these. Yes, I wanted to sell them in a yard sale. However, I think that would be selling drug paraphernalia. I hated to waste them by throwing them in the trash. If I gave them away, I figured whoever wanted them might use them for evil. So, I kept them.

My sewing room is so large that these were never in the way. They stayed with Christmas decorations in a window seat. There were 100 in the box originally. Now, there are 50. Oh, you want to know why I had them? I gave allergy shots to my children and myself.

Originally, I thought I would use them for shooting glue into bubbles on wallpapering jobs. I am the daughter of a contractor who just listened a lot. But, I knew that syringes were used for putting glue under wallpaper when there was insufficient glue. Mark just told me that people who repaired guitars used syringes that had no point. That's probably what I heard Daddy talking about! Maybe not since Daddy had to pierce heavy vinyl wallpaper and Mark said glue went into small cracks, so there was no need to pierce anything.
About the wallpapering, in the 70s I charged friends who insisted I wallpaper for them and take pay and would not take no for an answer, a small amount and took three times the length of time for the job that a professional would.  I guaranteed the wallpaper pattern would match, and that the wallpaper would not fall off the wall in my lifetime.  I knew how to butt seams and how to lap them, cutting off excess to still have a matched pattern. I was good at what I did. This was not something I wanted to do professionally! Thirty years later, one friend said the wallpaper looked as nice as it did the day I finished. Nothing has gone amiss due to my ineptitude.
Then, for the last 40+ years the syringes sat in the sewing room because I thought and still think they would work for wallpaper. Finally, two weeks ago, I decided enough was enough. They were all repacked into a smaller box and sealed up. I suppose the paper is intact so that they are still sterile since the bottom syringes had never even been removed. The box has never been touched by anyone but me.
A prepper group was talking about purchasing medical supplies. HA! Now, I know I can save them for someone else who might need them instead of tossing them or figuring they could be used for glue in wallpaper. I know for a fact I won't be taking allergy shots again, but I might use them for some other injection for myself or hens. Besides, the box is half the size of a small cardboard shoebox and no trouble at all. No, I am NOT prepping or hoarding. They were just leftover.

Update: "Shooting up" and to "mainline" is injection of drugs/anything directly into the vein.

There must be a finer guage than these that hurt less!

Your turn
Do they still call the crazy people who shoot up, mainliners? Do they still call it shooting up?  Have I lost my cool by not knowing the right terms?  Do you, did you ever give yourself injections of anything that was legal? If it is/was illegal, maybe you should use my email address at the head of the blog for that kind of confession. I am just giddy the cc went through on the first try this time.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

AWOL and Worried Sick

I have not meant to be gone so long from my blog. I have rarely read other blogs and even less rarely commented.

Plus, I cannot post pictures since I am out of space and must pay for more. supposedly, I can delete pictures and post others in the space freed by the deletions. Yeah, right! I could not delete anything.

Next move: Go ahead and bite the bullet and pay $5 to Picasa for Blogger picture space. I sold something, got $5 and gave it to exbf in exchange for using his credit card. Three times I tried and no confirmation of any kind.

Next move: go ahead and bite the other bullet and go to new Blogger. I did. Now, I try paying twice and no picture space. No confirmation of the credit card being used or accepted by blogger/picasa.

Moves getting trickier: Since it was five times I tried to use the credit card, maybe waiting the 24 hours for it to kick in is all I need, thinks me! exbf called and his cc had not been used at all since he last used it. so, it did not go through. that 26 hour waiting period failed to yield an answer I liked.

Once I got to new Blogger, I can see everything is as it was. So, am I supposed to go ahead and get new/old format back by configurating it all again? blogger seems to indicate I should format. If anyone knows, h.e.l.p!

I have taken so many pictures to post. I feel so discouraged.

Plus, the people, officials all, are no longer responding to me about the house. that means I have 10 days left.

And, I have another two scrambles on hand that may also involve attorneys. the stress is unbearable!

AND, the left shift key is wonkier than before. at least, then it never worked. Now, it is not even dependable not to work. So, I leave the text as it is.

Local friends are disappearing. You know--I might need a friend and that might involve someone at least listening. However, one friend that I did not know really cared has appeared as invaluable. but, I cannot involve this person in more talk or help. I don't want to glom on and be like a barnacle.

Now, right now, I am going to try the cc numbers again. exbf knows I carry this information around and trusts me never to use it without permission.  I have never told him a lie or used it without permission. Okay, just once for $6, and I called and left him a voice mail. He laughed and told me not to worry about that amount without asking. He got the $6 the next week, laid beside where he sits, so I would not forget.

If this attempt to add/buy picture space fails or succeeds, I will update the post.

I need bunches of answers for the questions below. Even if you say, "I don't know," I will feel like I hve been heard.   Am I sounding pathetic or not? LOL

Update: success--receipt for picture storage space has been received. I still have Blogger questons below!

Your turn
How is new Blogger working out for anyone who has gone to it?
 Did you have to reformat?
Has anyone tried to pay by cc to get more picture space? Never mind. It's worked out.
Does anyone know of another place for free photo storage?
Is there anyway to get photos from my computer Kodak Easyshare program to blogger without going through Picasa?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Happy Cows Frolic

Okay, so the "c" will not make itself into a capital "C." How could that be? I want to start a sentence with cows. Never mind. Here is some good, cheap entertainment. It won't cost anything but your time and will warm the cockles of your heart.

when my hens have been cooped up too long, they run headlong out of the pen across wide open space and "fly" a bit, just barely off the ground, over and over but definitely showing great joy. so, the "w" and the "s" refuse to be caps.....grrrr.

ecstactic cows in the UK are released from their winter housing. Now, the "e" will not make a cap. Yes, I am sitting on the shift key. So, watch some cows while I try to figure this out.

Your turn
Do your farm animals act happy when they are released from confinement into the open air? Does this give you a warm and fuzzy feeling and make you never want to eat meat from a feed lot? could this capital refusal have anything to do with the milk I spilled onto my keyboard? some things will cap and others won't.

Friday, April 13, 2012

90 Minutes to Save Your Life

Or, you could save the life of someone you love. Watch this video on the blog Frugal Zeitgeist. My blog is about parsimony, right? So, how does this video fit? Watch it and see how your diet, particularly the sugar, can affect your health and your wallet. No, it does not mention money, but we all know that poor health affects our wallets in so many ways. Please pass this along through your blog or just send the video via email to friends.

Even though I glommed onto the fiber issue, it is not the complete video, just a tangential part.

My comment on his blog:
"This is probably the single most powerful piece of information I have ever viewed or read concerning health. It is better than Supersize Me.

I think this is the single most important piece of information I have ever seen/read/heard. It bears out what I have said about fiber for the last 50 years. Of course, that is not the point of the video, but an important aspect of it.
My friends say that 'Linda thinks fiber cures everything.'
The information on sports drinks is astounding. This is a brilliant presentation and the best use of 90 minutes ever."

When I was svelte, my eating habits supported my lean appearance. Now, I get discouraged, eat for consolation, and generally don't treat my body well. However, many, many aspects of my food intake are exactly what he recommends. You don't need to reduce your fat intake after this video, so no problems there. LOL

The video is filled with technical slides/charts/language that you do NOT have to understand. Just follow what he is trying to get across. He explains it all.

For the love of your children, born and unborn,  and others, please watch this!

Clues: metabolic syndrome, obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol, atherosclerosis, gout, cirrhosis/hepatic issues, sugar, hfcs, etc.

Your turn
Raise your hand if you watched the entire video.
Will this change your eating habits?
Do you know someone with whom you need to share this?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Vintage in the Kitchen: Muffin Tin

USA Ekcology Silver Beauty T120-12
This is yard sale vintage. I did not own it 30 years ago. They were well-used before I acquired them and used even more in my kitchen. Actually, my mother might have given me this muffin pan in the late 70s....not sure. But, if so, she found it at a yard sale. 

You can read more about it here, an etsy site. She is selling two for $19.95. I don't remember the price, but I can guarantee you that I did not pay more than $1 for this, possibly less.

The pan is from the familiar Ekco brand. I am beyond impressed with the deep embossed letters on my muffin pan, unlike the stickers we peel off our pans or the slight engraving that we might find, engraving that is so shallow it can wear off easily.

When I use items that are so ancient, well-used, I wonder about the person who acquired the item first, wonder who she was, who were the children that ate the foodstuffs, muffins or cupcakes, in this case. My mind wanders to the loving mother and her bright-eyed children. Sue, I believe, shared the story of an ancient celery crisper that came from the home of a woman she knew well.

By spending $1 or less, I have (1) a quality product, (2) I spent less money, (3), it did not have to be produced, (4) it did not use more natural resources, (5) did not have to be shipped, (6) supported an underground economy. This is all green and frugal, appealing to my parsimony.

Your turn
Have you ever seen this particular pan? Own one? Or, any pan so distinctively marked? Do you ever wonder about former owners of vintage or merely pre-loved kitchen or farm items? Can you share the most nostalgic item you own in your kitchen?  There is bound to be more good stories amongst my readers.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Here Comes Peter Cottontail and Suzy Homefaker

Pink Dogwood

In the front yard

This stinking little tree is no larger than it as when I planted it twelve years ago. Yes, I am standing there, looking down at it. I thought I had a different view so you could see how minuscule the tree really is. It has never had over four blossoms. I may have a generous memory! There are two gorgeous blossoms this year. The twin to this tree is over twenty-feet tall. This tree is under an oak. The other pink dogwood tree is in full sun with no competition for soil nutrients.

Suzy Homefaker
I love this new blog I found. She has so many bunnies, much prettier and more expensive than mine. Suzy Homefaker is hilarious. She is such a vamp. However, since this vamp role is tongue-in-cheek, and she does not take it seriously, it is fun, not painful and embarrassing. Take a look at Suzy Homefaker and her bunny collection. You will love the way she dresses.

Your turn
Do you have a stubborn pink dogwood? How is your Easter going?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Good Friday

Bunny hiding in the Hosta

First, continuing the bunny theme. Seriously, I do not collect bunnies! I was able to buy this cheaply on my birthday as a present to me. It had not had a file used on the connections. It is made in sections and somehow "glued" together. I love this bunny.

Good Friday
A church in town invited people to a steak dinner on Good Friday. I arrived on time and sat with my friend and another friend that has had a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  The meals were served on disposables that looked like "real" plates. My steak was about 8 inches long and an inch thick, and blood red inside. My friend had a steak that was about 5 inches long, skinny, and thin. Since I could not eat the bloody meat, I Just started in on the 8 inch long potato that was about 4 inches in diameter. My friend had an even larger potato.

I protested that my steak did not need more cooking, saying with a good attitude that I would just put it in a covered iron skillet and put it in the oven for Saturday. HA! In a few moments a really thin, well-cooked steak appeared. I ate that and brought home the other steak and half the baked potato. Guess what I am having today, Saturday.

When the dinner was over and prizes all handed out after a drawing, they told us there was more. In a shopping bag were "Go plates." My friend hogged the one with four brownies and would NOT give me one. The guy with TBI claimed the one with three HUGE baked potatoes, so that was that. The people who were church members and brought the bag said to me,"You can have the rest." Then, both friends looked shocked. Hey, you were adamant that you wanted what you wanted! I am nice, so I offered to trade for a brownie. No deal! They were still miffed!  They got over it.

extra plate

There was: an extra go-plate with steak, green beans (under steak and potato!), baked potato, and roll (removed already). This is after I dropped it while it was still in the white shopping bag.

Here are my leftovers. I had eaten the roll and all the green beans.

Plus, I had a go-box with a dozen yeast rolls, another go-box with a quart of green beans, and the first go-plate above, and we all got a little gift bag with candy, a nice pen, and church material. The candy is eaten or saved for exbf, the pen is in my purse, and church material is in the trash. They then presented us with a Bible. Since I had several editions/translations of the Bible besides two with my name engraved, I tried to give it back. Nope! They insisted they had plenty. So, that will be donated.

All in all, I have brought home enough meat and potatoes for at least three days, five if I tried to stretch it. Okay, I got a week's worth of meat/potatoes/beans/rolls/brownies if I were desperate.
I am not desperate, and I am a
I DID NOT know there would be preaching and an attempt to convert us. Nor did I know the music and singer would be so loud I was hurting. The minister of music had the microphone in his mouth and the amp turned up, blasting his oh-so-sexy singing of church songs...not impressed. The two church members at our table defended the blasting microphone and amp--"It's always like this, even in church."

He repeatedly reminded us to "close your eyes." Nope. Did not.

Most astounding statement of the year (maybe in my lifetime) was voiced by music minister--"Heaven is not filled with good people. Heaven is filled with converted people. You don't have to be good to go to Heaven. " OH. MY. GOSH!  That explains

In my church, Good Friday, was a non-holiday.

Life's short, so I ate dessert first! No pictures of dessert! It was a square of something that had a base of Cool Whip. Yummy!

Your turn
How did your Good Friday go? Mine was very non-religious despite the church atmosphere.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bunny, Potato Blossoms, Reuse Idea

outside by the fence

I don't think I would ever decorate the yard like some people do for Easter. I am too cheap. But this little guy greets anyone who comes to my home. He was free, too. Look at the yellow carrots on the plant container. He can stay out here a few days until Easter.

blossom on potato plant

This is a very pretty flower. I saw it all the way across the yard. I am not sure why a potato plant blossoms since the potato is underground. I read that the flower will make potato seeds. Now, I will try to figure out when to harvest the seeds. Do you have any experience with potatoes, blossoms, and seeds?

reuse of ? Can you guess?

I watched people being handed forms to fill out. I could not figure out what held the form. Puzzled, I looked closer. Someone had a clever idea to reuse ring binders. The fronts and backs had been neatly cut off, saving the entity the expense of buying dozens of clipboards. This idea could be used in schools when children need a solid surface on which to write if the teacher is handing out papers. It will also corral papers for each child, maybe even long enough for them to get the papers ALL into their backpack.

My children could have used these when they were coloring on the floor. Often, I would buy one themed coloring book and tear out pages for all three children. One Christmas, Halloween, or Thanksgiving coloring book was enough. We did not have the Internet from which to copy pages!

Your turn
Still, does anyone have any of the figurine planters? Has anyone gotten seeds from potatoes? Can you think of a use for these recycled binder covers? 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Feels Like Home

Bunny planter with sprigs of sweet smelling clover from my yard

Do you remember these planters that were also an animal figurine? This one was very old and free. You know I love the price. It sits in my kitchen window. It makes the place feel homey to me. I don't ever remember anything like this sitting on my mother's kitchen window sill. Maybe I saw these in the homes of aunts or grandmothers when I was young. It feels familiar.

Although the bunny is a symbol of fertility, and some people use them to "advertise" less-than-lovely themes, I still take them for what they are, symbolic, YES. But, they are symbols from a time-gone-by when all of nature had meaning.

Somehow, this little girl, new as she is to my home, sort of completes the window sill.  Even though she was meant to hold a plant, she just gets little snips of flowers.

Your turn
What do you have in your home that feels-like-home or familiar, whether you remember it or not? What feels-like-home that you wish you had? What in other homes do you see that makes the house feel-like-home, even if you don't want it in your home? 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, Cheap Decorating, Affectionate Laundry

$89 antique table, $1 bunny, $3 tea cup and saucer, 25 cent dish

I must examine that table and see if it is really dusty around the edges. If so, that comes from not being able to attend to it.  The table was a steal 20 years ago. I love how there is a flower inside the cup.  This is me, cheap and, at least it is cheap and pleases me. There were two pictures on the table that I removed for this shot. It looks rather unbalanced! The fringe is from a floor lamp next to the table.

On to the topic at hand--do you like pbj sandwiches? I would celebrate if I had any jelly. National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day was yesterday, but it's not too late to celebrate. Ooooh, I just remembered I have jelly!

Do you really know what your laundry does when you are not around? It was a windy day, so they mixed it up.

Your turn

Are you decorating at all for Easter, even just a bit? How do you eat your peanut butter jelly sandwich? What is your laundry doing when you are gone? 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Warning: Chicken Talk

Pepper is not as abused as before, but she still gets pecked occasionally. Even when no one pecks or looks at her, she eats warily, head thrust waaaay out, so she can withdraw and be out of reach, I suppose. If Louise looks or walks her way, she runs for her life. I really hate she feels threatened so often. She gives me an egg six days out of seven. She continues to sleep atop the boxes. Thelma and Louise sleep in the top box and the lower box is left for egg laying.

Only Thelma and Pepper are laying right now. About once a month Louise gives me an egg. I suppose her laying days are ended.  She can be a pet. I mean, how else is Pepper going to know her place if Louise doesn't peck her occasionally. I suppose that some would eat Louise. It's not that I am overly fond of her or anything. I suppose it sounds mean of me, but I wish it had been Thelma or Louise or even Pepper that died instead of Fancy.

There is no telling who did it. It is probably a group endeavor, but they have dug a huge hole right in front of the table where I go to look in for eggs. Remember, their blue Rubbermaid boxes sit on a table. So, now I have to try to straddle the hole  to look for eggs. This is not easy on my back and knee. I just wish they would not dig so many holes! 

I just happened to look out the window and they were digging a hole and flopping around right in front of my swing, AND it was right where I like to sit. So, now it will be muddy, and I will be staggering around trying to sit in my place that I like!

Do you know how hens signal danger to each other? There is a steady buk buk buk buk buk about once a second. The hens stand very still. Once, a raccoon was very close. They all made the danger sound and just stood there. I suppose they know they cannot outrun it.They did try and managed to outrun a dog that chased them. What a ruckus they raised as they ran.

Sunday morning, just about sunrise, I was still awake. So, I fed the hens so they would not have to wait until noon. I had put cornmeal into some chicken scraps and chicken broth and fat. Overnight in the refrigerator, it hardened. So, in the used paper plate, it had hardened. I put it down and Pepper jumped to one side. Louise landed in it with both feet. I suppose she was demonstrating her dominance. Silly hen.

Tonight, about 6:30, still light but approaching dusk rapidly, I hear one hen buk buk bukking danger. I told Charlie I had to go and ran to the door barefoot, not ready to do battle and give chase to anything. There was Thelma on the porch rail, right close to the door.

"What is it?"  I looked around. She murmured.  "What is wrong?" Another murmur. "Are you hungry? Did they send you for food?" Another murmur. "Okay, I will be right out. I have food."

I hurried and put on my shoes and got a bit of dry oats. This took less than a minute, so I expected her to be still on the rail or at least in sight. No, as I round the back of the house, she was nowhere to be seen. I continued to the pen, talking and calling to her. She was already in her blue Rubbermaid box with Louise. They cuddle even though there is room for four big hens. Pepper was on top, as usual. I feel sad she cannot cuddle. I should have gotten two hens instead of one.

When they saw I had a food container in my hand (everything in my hand looks like a food container to them) they poked their heads our farther and stood up. I threw out the oats and they flew down to eat. When I last saw them, they were eating like mad.

Last Saturday, I was sitting here, sleep-deprived and hot, wanting to doze in the chair but trying hard to stay awake. The window was up half an inch. I kept hearing a scuttling noise, not a regular sound but intermittent. The sound didn't seem important; I never checked to see what it was. Usually, I do see what a strange noise is that close to the house.

Later, I went out and just happened to notice a box of tomatoes on the ground, tomatoes for the hens. It had been ravaged by the hens. Now, I wish I had peeped out the window to see was helping herself.

Chickens are so smart. I think they just act dumb to throw us off.

Last Wednesday exbf was outdoors and checked for eggs. I think this is like camp for him. He loves to be around the chickens once a week. He reports to me the cute things they do. However, he wants nothing of chickens at his house permanently.

Anyway, he told me that he checked for eggs after Louise had been on the nest for awhile and left. But, he said the egg looked deflated. Now, I was in pain and sleep-deprived crazy. But, this I had to see. The egg looked like a deflated balloon.When I lifted it up by the edge, lots of liquid was underneath. It was definitely a soft-shelled egg. That day, I increased their egg shell ration. Actually, I had been remiss in giving them crushed egg shells for about a week. Bad me.

Your turn
Hmmm, I published and this part was left off.
Do your hens dig lots of holes and right where you don't want them. What do they do that amuses you? Do you eat the ones that don't lay? Do they ever give the danger signal? Do you have a bully hen? What else are your hens up to lately?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

CVS Unadvertised $5 Gift Card


My parsimonious and broke self converged to snag another good deal. Only I was not so broke as I was the other day. My SS check came on the 29th for some reason.

Part of my sleep deficit problem lately is that I have been out of Natrol Melatonin (OTC) for over a week. My aged body decided to slow down on producing melatonin and thyroid hormone, so I take both. So, finally having money to went to CVS to get the Natrol Melatonin, 3mg with B6. It was ~$10. 

As I was dragging myself to the store door, I remembered I had not swiped my CVS card. Okay, there is a tall red machine where you put your CVS card and let the squiggly red lines read the bar code. HA! The machine spit out three coupons. One said if you met the pharmacist, you could get a $5 CVS gift card. Soooo...

I hauled myself back to the pharmacy and asked them if there was a catch. The pharmacist heard me, came over, and introduced himself, signed the coupon and told the cashier to give me a card. Voila! $5. My hair color, Nutrisse Garnier, is on sale for $4.99, so I will spend it on hair color.

Now, going to make a purchase at the pharmacy may have been the trigger for the machine to spit out this coupon, so if you try to duplicate this, maybe you should take any purchase to the pharmacy to check out.

If they only had electric carts....sigh.

Melatonin information--Natrol is the best brand, in my opinion. I get the one with B6 because B6 mellows us out. I get 3 mg and take a whole one or a half, usually a half. With tax, I paid a few cents over $10 for 240 tablets. That is at least 8 months and possible a year, depending on how many I half.

CVS orders Natrol Meltonin 3 MG B6 for me specially because they quit carrying it. I love CVS  because they are so nice in my store. I was not paid to say nice things.

Nature Made melatonin is on sale at CVS, BOGO.  I did not compare the price because I would have had to get it off the bottom shelf and then do math in my head.  If it had B6, it might be just as good as Natrol, Take only 1mg to begin with.

Your turn
Has anyone seen this advertised? Has anyone gotten this $5 card? Any good deals out there we should know? Do you ever take Melatonin for sleep?