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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pinecone Research Opportunity to Make Money

If any of my followers or readers would like an invitation to participate in Pinecone Research, send an email to me at and I will forward you an invitation. These are their rules and procedures, not mine. I understand they are taking referrals only. I get surveys with a guarantee of $3 paid to me on a plastic card. Some days, this $3 makes the difference in having a half gallon of milk, or a piddling bit of gas in the car, just enough to get me by for another two days until the first of the month. Sometimes, I actually leave the money alone and have $15 on the card!  I think I make $100/year. It's not much, but it helps. If I do not respond to a survey, I miss money. Often there are two surveys a month, sometimes only one per month. So, I could be making more each year.

I do not get paid for any referral I make to Pinecone.

Pinecone is not a great moneymaker, but it is enjoyable. It is steady. If you blog about the product, you will be dropped as an evaluator.

Pinecone is starting a new program and new ways of receiving compensation. You can still get money deposited on the card issued to you that is used like a debit or credit card, forgot which.  You will not be making minimum wage, but you can answer the surveys at your leisure, where you please, dressed for bed or not dressed, before you wash your hair or brush your teeth, anytime of the day or night.

There is a preliminary household survey to determine what you buy. You will not be paid for this. However, this is how the company determines what survey you will be assigned.

Anyone want to do this? Email me.


One of the funniest, most self-effacing bloggers around, lotta joy from the Witless Relocation Program, wrote a wonderful book, TREADWELL. While I have not read it yet, I have read excerpts which she posted on her blog. I was intrigued.  The copy is a gift for me from a friend.

This book will have to wait until Thursday. If I start reading tonight, I will get nothing done. Tomorrow, exbf will be here to help me and would not appreciate my reading the whole time. Considering my cataracts and the problems I have with low light, I am not sure how quickly TREADWELL will be read/devoured.

I made a cursory attempt to find the excerpts on her blog and was unsuccessful. Go by and see if you can locate the texts.

This is Joy's first book. It will be very successful. Promise!

Your turn
Have you read Treadwell?

Monday, April 29, 2013

I Am Now Officially a Trapper! Best Barter Ever Update

 four foot weeds
in front of the rocks and behind
the shepherd's crook to the left

Update below

mowed, weed eater used, things picked up

Right now, two young men are cleaning up my yard and mowing it. There are limbs, small and huge, that have fallen this winter, along with weeds that sprung up to 3 feet with the last week of rain. Exbf is not, in my estimation, capable of doing what needs doing since he needs a hip replacement. He did everything for me in the yard until last September. But, I won't "ride a good horse to death." Sooo, I cannot bend enough or pull anything.  We make a fine pair!

These guys are not expensive and talk like they will do a fantastic job. We will see. However, they made me an offer I cannot resist. They had spotted my trap--"a coon trap" they declared.

"$5 off mowing for each coon you catch for us."

They will run them, train their dogs, and then use their fur. What for? Beats me. Okay, I went out since they are just raking after part of the mowing. "I pelt them."

"What do you do with the pelts then?"

"We take a load of them up in Tennessee and sell them."

It appears I am now a trapper for pelts. Okay, new job for me. WOW!  I was not aware there was a market for pelts around here. I am fascinated. I want to know more, but they are working.

$5 off each mowing! I am motivated.

Remember, I cannot re home them. The Animal Control destroys them. One officer said he take them to a relative in another county to train dogs. So, there is not much hope for them. Maybe the guys eat the raccoons. I will ask and add the information.

No, today, I paid for the yard work. I have no idea how I will afford it next week.

Note: If you are worried that the dogs hurt the coons, read the response I wrote to lotta joy's comment in the comments section. I just thought everyone knew how coons were hunted.

Your turn
Have you ever trapped for profit? What do you do with animals that you trap? What kind of animals do you trap?

A Few At a Time

5 half-pint jars
I ventured into the thrift store and found six half-pint jelly jars. Of course, I ran my finger around the rim of each jar. One was rough, so I bought only these five. Two of the rings are rusted. I feel that this was a good deal at $0.29/each. For $1.50 I increased my supplies for canning. I already have three dozen of this size, maybe more. That is not many, but I have never had them all full at once for a long time. Since these have straight sides, they are appropriate for freezing, also.
The best part of this is that there are no dead spiders, grime, jelly, or dirt dauber nests in these jars. I store every jar with an old flat/lid and ring or foil or plastic wrap to prevent undue grime when I need to use canning jars.

If I could buy a dozen at this price, the total would be $3.60/doz., not a bad price considering a new dozen of these would be $8.95/doz. or $0.74/jar as opposed to these $0.29/jar.  I am not going to be buying any new boxes of these, but will increase my supplies a few at a time and cheaply. Canning jars are always on my mental list of things to look for when thrifting.

Tonight, I have 6 quarts of strawberries to wash, slice, and lightly sugar. Tomorrow, the sugar will be dissolved and the jars will be clean. I will put at least five more half pints of strawberries to freeze for later consumption.

Your turn
Do you buy used canning/freezing jars? What is the price point you are willing to pay? Do you ever get free jars? Are they ever filled with dirt dauber nests, spiders, crickets, or dirt? 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Houston, we have a problem.

The hose repair kit has failed

You just know I am parsimonious. There are some things I do not want to spend my money buying. I will not replace an expensive hose just because it has a hole. I will repair it cheaply. Hardware stores carry a fix for a hole in the hose. The fix failed.

The problem: the salesman who was going to help me. So, here is the story. Boring? But, I expect it is a too common problem.
This was a very expensive hose bought about 25 years ago. It was in great condition until I regularly had to ask a friend to move it for me because I could not manage the weight. He left it with huge kinks and said I was picky when I asked him NOT to leave it kinked so. Of course, when I turned on the hose, I got no water because of several kinks.
Finally, it spurted from the broken places that had been kinked over and over again by the same person. I went to Lowe's and bought the repair piece that goes into the hose.  I asked a friend to put in the hose repair piece. First, you cut the hole out by slicing in two places and removing a section of hose. Yes, you will lose a couple of inches, but the repair makes it about an inch lost. A hose clamp on each side of the brassy looking piece kept it all in place. The brassy looking fix has a piece that fits into each piece of the hose. The hose clamp is suppose to be put on to tighten on the the piece stuck into the hose. Clear as mud?
One of the hose clamps  somehow slipped off. Well, the water stayed on for two days several weeks ago, not leaking from the nozzle, so I suppose it just blew it loose with all the pressure from the water. Yes, I caught the fail and turned off the water.
I went to Lowe's with a question about the fix. With my eyesight I thought there was a square hole instead of a slot or Phillips head on the hose-clamp screw. I needed to figure out how to unscrew the clamp with the strange square looking hole. I forgot to take the hose clamp to Lowe's/. grrrr. I just went to see what kind of tool I needed and forgot to take the piece. The man said to just throw away the old repair part and get a new one. When I tried to ask him about the clamp screw, he said to just throw hose clamp away and buy a new hose clamp. He tried to lead me to the repair kits and then was going to locate the hose clamp I needed...sigh. He kept insisting that I buy something new, something I did not think I needed. Finally, I just told him I would decide at home...sigh sigh sigh
There are hose clamps in my toolbox! I do not need to be shown how to buy new, overpriced clamps. Can you see the hose clamp on the right side of the hose? I just stuck it back on for the picture and then brought it inside. Can you see how the hose is smaller in diameter on that right side?
There were other things I really needed, so I just shopped, relieved to leave his persistence behind. He was abrupt with me, never let me finish a sentence, and dismissed what I did get out of my mouth. "Just buy a new one. Don't mess with fixing it, just get a new one. Throw that one away. You don't need a broken hose repair kit on your hose."
Folks, you gotta know I have no problems saying my piece. But, this guy was not going to help me at all or listen, so I scooted away.
Back at home, I got the hose clamp in the light. Lo and behold, it uses a slot screwdriver/straight one. I was seeing the recessed place that contained the screw! These cataracts must go!
I still cannot shove the brassy part into the hose. The hose got smaller when it was clamped. So, I believe that another two inches of hose are going to be lost. That is not a problem since I have two 50 ft hoses joined for 100 feet, more than enough to do what I need to do.
Every time I go back and see that guy, I just smile and go fast to get by him before he tries to sell me more things I don't need. It's not like he works on commission!
Whew! It was so difficult not to spend another $6. My willpower was not the problem!  It was almost futile to try to resist this guy.
But, I did.
Your turn
Have you ever had to escape someone who is trying to sell you more than you want or need? 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Chicken ER, Crazy Lady, New Flower

Moments after I discovered it. Dead.
The other two chicks were standing on it and tromping around.  I wrapped it up and gently poked its chest to make it breathe and maybe get the heart going. I could not get its beak open to breathe in its mouth. I put a hand warmer in toilet paper and wrapped it up. Then, I put it in the oven in a pot, sort of an incubator. I guess it really is dead for good. I had read about a frozen hen coming back to life. It appears that will not happen here.
I felt guilty. But, this is the largest chick! The little puff that has a body no larger than a golf ball is alive. So, I am not sure if this one died because it was cold or what. sigh Okay, 30 minutes later, and no resurrection. So, I did lose one chick.

his shirt
A woman at the grocery store became angry because she was told she had to take the dog she placed in the baby seat of a grocery cart out of the cart and out of the store. She threw a screaming fit, threatened the employees and the store and broke the door on the way out. Crazy!

pink iris
The area behind the iris is what was once my carport. This is the first year this color has bloomed.

lavender iris
This iris was here when I moved here in 1977. The pink was some I acquired a few years ago from a friend. Now, I need yellow. I got yellow from a friend, but they died.  Next, I want white if I can dig them or someone will share. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Chicks in the House

three new ones
Today, I had the occasion to go out in the country near the place where I get chicks. They are cheap, only $1. I could not resist. However, I have no idea the sex. In the feed store, the same chicks would be $3. I am cheap. Plus, these have not been vaccinated. That's a plus.

When I came home, I left them in the car for about 30 minutes, knowing they would be warm but not too hot. I could not resist showing them to Thelma and Lucy. So, I put them on the grass in the path right outside the pen. Thelma turned her head from side to side, like the way a dog turns its head when puzzled. Lucy just ran around like tigers were outside her pen.

The next thing I knew, the odd cluster of three chicks were sitting facing three different directions with their tails smashed up together, a three headed chick of sorts. After I ran to get my camera, they had separated a little bit as you can see in the picture.

I left them on the porch with the box open. It was 72 degrees and windy. They survived an hour out there. They were walking around a bit, but maybe too cold, but not in the wind at all.

When I brought them into the house and was getting ready for them to be warm, I realized the piano lamp I used before is not here to use. Here is what they ended up having for a home.
lots of stuff in a tiny box
First, I put paper in the box. Mine never slipped on newspaper before, so I am trusting this time I will
be so fortunate. Then, I taped a hand warmer on the left wall. They were huddled under the hand warmer, just above the left corner. Then, I looked at them and one was done, on its side but still kicking, not able to stand. I put the two jars of very hot water in their box and they got between the bottles. Finally, out of desperation, I put some foil under my flashlight and placed it in the box. Now, you can see where all three are squashed together in front of the light. So, I suppose they will live.
They have a pimiento jar for water. Oats are in a sour cream lid. I bought chick food from the boy who helped me. It was in the car, so oats will work for one night.
These chicks were hatched on March 12. If I bought hens instead of roosters, I will have eggs every day next winter. Thelma did not lay for about a month last winter. Lucy and Thelma give me more than enough eggs now. But, come winter, Thelma will stop. I don't know about Lucy. When I got Thelma and her now dead sisters, the four laid all winter, rarely missing a day.
In March 2009, I bought 10 chicks so I would have at least for hens. I had 8 hens and 2 roosters. I gave away the roosters and four hens, leaving me with the four I wanted. Just watch, I will have three roosters because I did not plan for them and buy lots of chicks.

I only need four hens for an abundance of eggs. There is only me to eat them. I do give them to people.
taken at checkout counter
At the Dutch Oven Bakery, next to their house, I had a sandwich.

part of the farm where they formerly lived
a freezer converted to a brooder
The door has been replaced with hinged doors with mesh doors underneath. Needless to say, it is plenty warm. It stays on their carport.

inside the brooder, trying to escape us
I asked lots of questions. Last time I was there, the partition was not present. They partitioned the space because they had used the incubator to hatch eggs for someone else.
They are alive and noisy.

Your turn
Raise your hand if you love chicks.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Storage Jars; Reusing Glass

4 ounce, 2 ounce and 1 ounce jars
Since I hate to throw away any glass jar, I have saved my pimiento jars for about a year. Glass is gold. I eat lots of pimiento, so I have about three dozen pimiento jars. I figure I save money by keeping jars. Reusing them is good since I cannot recycle glass around here.

The tiny, one ounce jar is sugar-free jelly jars. Charlie had these, did not want the jelly. Exbf is diabetic and slow eating this. I only have emptied four of them, thanks to exbf. There are another two dozen in a tiny box, waiting for him to take home and eat.

Two pickle jars and a glass Lipton Instant Tea jar were among the glass jars I have saved and stored away today. Today was the day I freed up drawers, shelves, and the counter of about 50 glass jars. "One drawer with one little pimiento jar won't hurt anything" Right. Today, I could not put the hand mixer back in its drawer. The drawer for potholders would not hold potholders.

Now, they will all live in a vodka box from the liquor store, cushioned with the plastic that comes from around tray packs at the grocery. There are still a few in the kitchen. I usually use a jar of pimiento each month. I love pimiento and cheese sandwiches.

So, you think this is a hoarder's obsession? No, these are used and have future uses. Let me tell you.

~store leftovers in the refrigerator--dab of spaghetti sauce that will be a meal on toast
~put a stemless flower or azaleas in these in the kitchen window
~store dry goods on my shelf--rest of the bag of pasta in a pickle jar
~store chocolate chips so they will be safe from me yet say safe from going stale or any bug
~store buttons or pins
~put apple cider vinegar in the bathroom so I could dab it on my fungus-y toe nails (I will throw this pimiento jar away)
~carry a few pecans in the car or lunch for a snack
~send leftovers home in a pickle jar with a friend and not expect the container back

Now, this is the weirdest use of all. Exbf and I were going to Ruby Tuesday for dinner. I hate their tea because it is nasty tasting. I would just rather drink water. However, I filled a one-ounce jelly jar with instant tea. I unashamedly put in my water and confused the waitress. I explained that the tea was nasty and she agreed. I explained I would only drink water even if I did not order the nasty tea. "Besides," I told her, "I am cheap, but I tip well." He did tip well. Okay, so I am cheap. But, the tea is so bad I would not drink it, anyway.

Before you tell me how horrid instant tea is, let me say it is an acquired taste. By myself, I cannot drink a pitcher of tea and was throwing it out at the end of the day. Refrigerated tea or leftover tea is gross, so it was poured down the drain. Besides, I drink decaffeinated tea.

Of course, I save spaghetti jars, all pickle jars, and any glass jar that comes through the door. I must admit that some days I just do not want to wash the jar for whatever reason and occasionally toss one. Maybe every month I discard one jar. 

I even get glass, gallon wine jugs from a friend. However, I have only about six to store drinking water. The tornado that tore up our town convinced me of this need. Yes, someday I will wash those wine jugs and fill them right up with water.

My friend, Donna, said she never throws out a glass jar. She understood my keeping all jars. Charlie does the same. He has a closet full of jars, plastic and glass.

Your turn
Do any of you keep jars? Does anyone use store jars to can like the British do? If you are British, do you can food in store jars?

Monday, April 22, 2013 happened like this

I love strawberries. How about you? They are soooo expensive! Right? The delight of eating them year round is something I will pay for when I can, which is not often anytime of the year. Eating local is important to me, so during the season I do try eat local. Buying enough local produce to freeze or otherwise store is beyond my resources.

local strawberries--$12
It took awhile to get these ready for the freezer since I cannot stand long and wanted to do this at the sink. 
irresistible as I worked
After I crushed the strawberries, I added 1/4 cup of sugar and put them in the refrigerator overnight. 

ready for milk on Sunday morning
My favorite way to enjoy strawberries is to put them, crushed and with sugar, in a bowl and eat with a generous portion of milk. Since my milk somehow froze, I put slushy milk on the already chilled strawberries. That was divine.
So far, I have frozen 3 half-pint Ball jelly jars and 1 4-oz jar. Strawberry jelly is out. I cannot stand strawberry jelly in any form because it is too sweet. I have probably tried more homemade and store bought that was all too sweet than most people.
These are the first local strawberries that were fit to eat. Most are very bitter, even when they are ripe. The local strawberries are white inside. The outside is a beautiful red. They require lots of sugar to be edible. I was telling a local farmer about this problem when she told me to try another vendor and pointed him out.
When I mentioned local vs California strawberries, Charlie was angry as I. He swore he would never eat another local strawberry and stick with California. Is it the variety or the fact they were picked too early? The outsides are perfect and look very ripe.
this was very white powder yesterday
taken this morning
NOT dirt
The only problem was that some of them had a powdery substance that was white and looked like it was in the seed holes and cap. I am either eating mold or poison. Which do you think? Since they appeared to have been sprinkled with something, it must be poison. I tried to wash and scrub it off, but finally cut some of it away. You can imagine how strawberries take to scrubbing!
I love strawberries!
One day, when I make strawberry shortcake, I will give you my recipe and post a picture of my homemade shortcakes.
Your turn
Do you eat strawberries and milk? What is the white powdery substance?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Saturday Cows

this calf was very much interested in my presence

I had the occasion to drive out in the country. Lots of cows were ALL lying in a field. Why, I wondered, do cows lie down? It was a beautiful, sunny, cold day. As I drove back into town, some of the cows were standing.

Not only were they not lying down, some had wandered away. I felt very peaceful sitting in the driveway for a few minutes, just looking at cows.
Why do cows lie down? Are they tired? Don't laugh.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Great Nutrition Tool

While I was looking for information for a future post, I found this this nutrition site that I love. As far as I know, this chart tells all possible information for any single food, except for whether your grandmother likes it.

Your turn
What food is the first you will examine using this chart? What information did you find that you did not know?

Friday, April 19, 2013

My Blog Has Died

I cannot read your comments to my blog post and respond. I can, however, read comments on my Comment page even though I cannot comment from there. So, I will keep writing, and, hopefully you will comment. I hate this: I really hate this. HELLLLLP!

Okay, I managed one response. But, I could not respond to Akannie.

Cheer me up and talk to me.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Working It For The Best Deal

How many people look at the ads for just one paper, if they look at all, and buy from their favorite store? My usual Wednesday parsimonious activity is looking over the sale ads for food, ads that come out new on Wednesday. Of course, the ads are good for one week, but one grocery store has 5% off on Wednesday for Seniors. I shop that one if the price after the percentage off is a good deal.

The first ad offered Vidalia onions for $0.99, a good price. Of course, I look to see what everyone is offering this week. All five papers had sales on Vidalias, first harvest of the year. I proceeded to browse ads. I found Vidalias for $0.99, $0.89,  $0.79, $0.69, and finally $0.59! You know where I will be shopping for my Vidalias.

Last year, I dehydrated about 8 lbs, obviously not enough for me. I plan to dehydrate at least 20 lbs of onions this year. I use onions in many things, so paying full price hurts. Working the ads works for me.

This week, milk will be my only purchase other than onions. And strawberries!

My ad-searching ritual saves my money right now and all through the year. I will be dehydrating these. Hopefully, I will not run out of onions and have to buy onions like I have had to do since Christmas.

Thursday note: I did get my milk and strawberries last night AND a 5% discount. Today will be onion day.

Your turn
Do you go over the weekly ads and compare prices? Or, do you go to your favorite store and buy only from their sales? Or, do you live in a place with no sales or few stores?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Curb Shopping: Cokes

Are they good?
6 packs out of 100 on curb
I am all for cheap Cokes, but these may be for soaking cast iron. The expiration date is Sept 2012. YUCK!
When exbf was here last week, he said it looked to neat for garbage. The bottle sort of shone in the sun. They have lots of oak pollen.
After he left, I jumped in the car and drove over. Now, there was a decision to make: get them or leave them. There were stack after neat stack of these in three boxes.
Your turn
Am I nuts? Going overboard? Has anyone ever found Cokes on the curb?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Colorful yard

I am a cheap date, easily amused and pleased.

white wisteria and azalea in side yard
wisteria on back fence

These are some of my favorite scenes and scents. Miraculously, I am not allergic to the fragrance of the wisteria. Most flowers that are so fragrant cause me fits with my allergies. Right in between the white and lavender azalea there is a red bud tree. If I move a little farther toward the side yard, I can see the Yoshino Cherry. It is a happy, flower-filled time in the yard. Cheap thrills suit me.

Blogger is still giving me fits. One person emailed me because she cannot comment, but it seems she is having problems with her computer/blogger like I am.

f you try to comment and cannot, please drop me a note at

Sunday, April 14, 2013

An Unwanted Picnic Guest

In another post I showed how to make a mosquito trap. You can also purchase traps for all sorts of insects. But, I am too cheap to purchase something I can easily make.

So, here is a plan to get rid of bees and wasps. The comments are good, too. I have tried none of these, so let me know if there is a plan that just does not work.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Comment Moderation Is Depressing Me

When I started comment moderation, comments came to my contact email. So, I went through each email laboriously, eliminating all the spam and publishing the rest. That worked...sometimes.

Sometimes the "published" email went to my comment page in the blog. Sometimes "published" comments went directly to the blog post. It took me a while to realize the comments did not always go to the post but got stuck on the comment part of blogger.

Now, I have had a new problem lately. People just were not commenting at all. Why? I was sad, wondering where people were. Was I that boring or irrelevant to everyone?

Then, today I wandered onto the comment page, not expecting anything, just inspecting every part of my blog. Lotta joy, Pamela, Kristin, and Leigh, to mention a few have been commenting and have been ignored. Only lotta joy complained/commented. However, since her comment was stuck in Comment Hell, I was not aware. Her comment did not come through my email. I don't know why some comments go to the comment page and others go to my email account. It is baffling. Does anyone know a reason this happens?

I am going to take comment moderation off and eliminate anonymous comments this weekend. Can I have lots of comments so I can figuring out what is happening. I have a theory--people who follow me via email have their comments sent to my email. People who follow on my blog might have their comments stuck on the comment page.

Do me a favor or three--1) comment, 2) tell me if you follow me of my follower list, 3) tell me if you follow via email. Please. That way, I can figure out what is going on with comments.

I can assure you that if I take moderation off and you comment on a post that is old, I may never see it unless it is present on my comment moderation page. I will see with this little experiment. Thanks everyone.

If you cannot comment and have it show up immediately, please notify me at I am struggling with this blog because some features do no work, so bare with me.

Do you have an opinion or knowledge of why my comments show up in two different places for me to moderate?

Found: ZOTE

pink and white ZOTE
Made in Mexico

Seven years ago I heard about ZOTE and how it could be grated for homemade detergent or used to rub the bar on stains. However, I have never found it in any store in this small town. A few days ago, I found the pink bar and purchased one. Yesterday, the white bar was added to the inventory at the store, so I purchased the white one.
The scent is overwhelming, much like some US detergents. Right now, I am in the midst of a major allergy attack brought on by handling, smelling, and sitting next to the two bars. Of course, my system is overloaded with pollen right now.
ZOTE bars are a whopping 14.1 oz or 400 grams. It is a brick-sized soap bar. NOT kidding. Walmart also had ZOTE soap flakes in bags. The bars are $0.98, not a bad price, I suppose.
I doubt I will ever grate the bar for homemade soap. I doubt I will ever use it to pretreat a garment. So, that is my review. If you have allergies, avoid this. I am suffering right now.
Your turn
Have you ever used ZOTE for a pretreat bar or grated for detergent? Do you find the smell overwhelming? Does the scent cause an allergic reaction? 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Historical Inflation--Comparing Purchase Power

Use this handy, dandy calculator to figure the differences in purchasing power by comparing years.

My allowance in 1956 when I was about nine-years-old was $1. I paid for 2 Krystal  hamburgers and Coke. Then, I walked my three younger siblings across the street in downtown Jackson, Mississippi, where I paid for my movie ticket to see a double feature, news, and cartoons. My younger siblings who had their own money wanted candy in the theater, but I convinced them not to buy any expensive candy because we could get a candy bar for a nickel during the week. In 2011, according to the article, it would take $8.27 to purchase the same items today.

 Two hamburgers, Coke, and movie? No! I would need more than $8.27 to get the same thing.

My parents gave us the $1 in anticipation of sending us to the movies. I managed to save $11 in a savings account.

Your turn
Do you remember when Coke was a nickle? What did you have in mind, like my dollar, that meant something to you long ago?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dandelion and Turnip Green Salad and Bean Soup Recipe

turnip greens, dandelions, and tiny turnips
We did NOT eat dandelion greens, just flowers.
Blogger dictates this picture will be first.

Tiny, tender turnip greens from my little garden, dandelions from my yard, and teeny turnips made for a salad from the yard. I did not eat anything because I was overtired, hot, and too stressed. So, the report is from exbf who ate the salad. He had Kraft Italian dressing on the salad.
He bravely popped a dandelion into his mouth. I could tell he was overcoming a bit of trepidation. He made a face. I told him maybe he should pull the green off the flower. He said even though the green was bitter, it was good, that the yellow had no flavor. There was no use explaining vitamins and minerals.
Little raw turnips are good, according to him. I suppose I will be saving those to cook for him or to dehydrate. Okay, I might try one. But, turnips are on my no-eat list. 

bean soup with turnip greens
Blogger also dictates that the picture will be here,
not centered.

14 bean soup mix in the pot with no water
The mixture of beans never looked good to me. It does not sound good at all. But, I asked exbf if he wanted vegetable soup with beef or bean soup with ham. I put the Brown's Best Soup Mix Beans in a pan to wash. With all the different beans before my eyes, I may have left a rock. I followed the recipe on the bag.

1 lb BB Mixed Beans
3 qts water
2 tsp salt ( used 1/2 tsp)
1 ham hock (left out)
1 tsp chili powder (used two shakes of the chili powder bottle)
1 cup chopped celery (used two ribs)
1 cup chopped onion (used bunch of green onions)
1 large can tomatoes, diced (used small can and should have used two)
2 Tbsp lemon juice (forgot this)

I forgot to heat ham for him, so with his approval I dropped some cold pieces in his HOT soup.

Critique from exbf:
Too much celery (he hates biting celery) He says biting celery is like biting a bug. (no, he has not)
Beforehand, he told me not to put much chili powder.
He said I might as well leave out the turnip greens because he could not taste them...sigh. If I ever make this again, I will put turnip greens in if I have them. He does not think about nutrition!

THEN, he said it was good, taking a quart jar of bean soup I offered for lunch or dinner at his house. The rest, about a quart is more soup than beans. I will cook other beans separately and add to this with another can of tomatoes. Frozen in bags, the soup will be here for his lunch or dinner.

After soup and salad, he then had cantaloupe. I found a cantaloupe that was $1 after a coupon. I was very self-satisfied, thinking I had made dinner from free beans, served leftover ham,  and salad from the yard.

Your turn
Have you ever eaten turnip greens raw or in a salad? Have you ever eaten a dandelion?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Homemade Mosquito Trap

Since  I have seen mosquitoes as early as two weeks ago, this information I found is none too early. I will make these by the gross!

The amounts are converted here for ingredients. This is close, but I don't think it is too far off to negatively effect the outcome--trapping mosquitoes.

1 cup warm water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 heaping tsp yeast

A suggestion from me: tape around the top of both bottles to secure them. Mosquitoes can squeeze into tiny places even if they cannot find their way out of the huge opening of the bottle top.

This will be exciting if I can trap a few that want to feed from me. I think I will secure one in the car, too.

Dengue fever, spread by mosquiteos is reported in the Southern US. I read a post about making a mosquito trap and cannot remember where. If you know, I will refer everyone the site.

Your turn
Have you ever had a commercial or homemade mosquito trap? Did yours work? Did I get the conversions close enough?

Saturday, April 6, 2013


There are several projects around here that will not be done if I have to pay one penny for assistance. I do have to buy four screws. All the tools, sandpaper, and paint are here from other projects. I went to one yard sale today, and found something I must fix. One project is preventing further decay. Another involves trash picking and reusing a table top. The other is from the market today.

Yard sale towels

two thick towels

I saw the pink towel first. Nothing was priced at this yard sale, so I had to ask. $1 is good. Nothing priced puts me in a bad mood! She offered there was a really pretty one and showed me the white one, saying it was $2. No, it is not pretty. She kept insisting. Finally, annoyed at no prices, I told her that the pink was the prettiest. I did not say the white one had ugly fabric on it. Believe me, this fabric is not pretty in person. Plus, it is very stiff and has pleats.
"I'll give you $2 for both of them."
"Well, that's better than nothing."
I paid her, thanked her, tossed them in the trunk and left. The pink one has been used and has a stain that most likely will come off. The white one has never been washed and was made in Canada. There was a heavy, paper tag that had never  been wet.
Both need washing. The material will be taken off the white one.
Price: $2

I was cruising for trash and found a 48 inch table. The woman who cleaned house at the location brought it to me for $5. But, she would not take the money. I pevailed; she took the money. The table top was absolutely falling apart, so exbf and I managed to rip it off and stuff it in the trash. It was crumbling and water laden...yuck...and moldy. Table legs always come in handy. I have had these for about two years.
At least 20 years ago, and maybe more, I bought this table for $10 at a yard sale. Right now, this top is lying on the ground, minus the legs that eventually gave way. The legs were just wide pieces of aluminum, flat and shaped to fit under the edge of the top, curve in to the center where the umbrella could fit, and then curve outward to the ground. Last summer, someone put something heavy on one side instead of centering it and the legs were irrevocably bent.
The legs went to the recycling place along with coke cans. I let the top fall on the ground and KILLED grass. Ack!
Since I know the Pythagorean Theorem, I can determine where on here to put the legs. And, I have a square. I will mark this to get it right, but may need someone else to put the screws in or at least drill the screw holes so I can attach legs to top. Yes, I know a string would help me to get the legs on square--no math needed. But, honestly, how many times does a person ever get to use the Pythagorean Theorem when she is not in a field that is math-y?
All that this needs is top sanded and painted and the legs attached.
Price: Free

The back of the grill is rusted. Okay, I noticed more of the grill is rusted. Silly me bought grill paint several years ago, the kind for high temperatures. I don't think I need it for this, but I will use it. Now, I wonder if the gas tank needs painting. Will rust make that leak?

 This wasp attached to the drop-down table on the front of the grill needs to go.

Other than the dirty window, you probably don't know what this project entails. Right? Well, it is the window on the grill lid/top. If there is a remote chance one drop of rain, one tiny drop of rain will fall, I cannot use the grill! If a drop of rain contacts the hot glass, the glass will break. I was considering selling this one and getting another. Of course, I cannot afford another grill.

One day, it hit me: replace the glass with metal. I felt so happy and smart, really late smart after fretting over this window for over 20 years. I can even put foil over the window until then. Did you ever feel really dense when a solution just came like an epiphany and smacked you in the head?

Cost: nothing going forward since the paint was bought a long time ago.

Tomato Plants
 Tomato plants (5 inch tall) at the market were only $0.50. At Lowe's they were $2.98. These should have gone in the ground today. But, they are in the car after their hour in the sun. There is always tomorrow.

These four projects are on my plate. Right now, I will wash the towels. tomorrow, I will put the tomatoes in five gallon buckets. The rest? We will see.

Your turn
Did you go yard saling today and find treasures? Transplant or plant anything? Found anything trash-picking? Have a project to refurbish something (grill) so it will last longer and look nice?

Cost: 2 x $0.50=$1.00

Friday, April 5, 2013

Cast Iron Cookware Restoration Part II

vinegar has been working (two skillets and lid)
I started the restoration quite awhile ago.  Finally, a month or so later, I am going to work again. This is where I am today. The skillets and lid above have been in the tub with two gallons of vinegar. Today, I am adding another two gallons and more cast iron.

two skillets and a lid
a better angle to see the pot lid shaded from the sun

The pot lid was not submerged in vinegar. You can see at the bottom of the lid where it is sitting in a skillet. There is a great red, nasty-looking scum. 

another two--(pot and lid and skillet)

The pot at the right was given to me in 1981 by a friend. I think the skillet at the left is the one I use with the pot lid to cook in. Well, before I burned several chicken breast to it. They were charcoal. I lay down for just a minute on the couch and awoke to stifling and blinding smoke. When I cook now, I do not lie down. I added these to the tub and filled the pot with a gallon of vinegar.
The pot was supposed to be free of rust. However, I can see red rust through the oil in places. I have not used it since I 'finished' it. So, this will have a run through the vinegar bath.
3 skillets and a cornbread fish  pan
When I add a caption, blogger moves my picture!
Blogger has made a decision on the lines!
These four have been on the grill since last summer. They should have been cooked today, but I have clothes on the line nearby. The tiny skillet, back left, is one I have had for maybe 40 years. The other three were given to me. I gave Mark a skillet for cleaning two for me. I know I started with the tiny, 8-inch skillet, the pot and lid and a deep skillet and a shallow skillet. So, I had four pieces and one lid for years. I bought the Lodge lid for $5. The rest were given to me on Freecycle in a load of free stuff.
I have 9 skillets, two lids, and a pot.
I am leaning over here with hair and sweatshirt hanging in my face,
both in my way.
My 10-inch skillet is still in the house. Only the bottom is rusted, so I cannot tell the difference in its cooking ability. Now, I am off to the store to buy two more gallons of vinegar. That will make 8x$2.38. It is worth it to not have to pay to have these sand-blasted at $50/hr. Plus, this will make the job easier for me or whoever uses steel wool on them. I must remember to buy steel wool or find mine. After this next two gallons, I will finish by covering with water any of the cast iron not submerged in water.
Stay tuned for the next episode of "fun with vinegar."
I will keep my original four skillets and one more, the pot, the two lids. The rest is going to be sold. That makes four skillets I will sell.  That will mean one pot, two lids, the 8-inch skillet, the 10-inch skillet, three large skillets all will live in my house.  One of the large skillets is very deep, so that serves as a pot sometimes. I have used it for beans and a roast.
 Someone said on jambaloney's post that covering with water would work to loosen the rust. I remembered that a skillet full of water had no rust below the water line.
Your turn
Has anyone used just water?  Do you treasure lots of cast iron? Yes, I do not need all this!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Redneck Turtle Burgers

Okay, this is something I just had to show you. It seems all the meat has controls on the blog messed up. Deal with it.

And, here is the recipe.

Just another bacon idea below.

Your turn

I am speechless. What about you?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

...and the doctor said....

Yoshino Cherry on a gray day

Today, a  miserable, chilly, rainy, glum day, I had a doctor's appointment. My urologist was a friend before I started using him. I have had a heavy feeling, pressure, where my bladder is located. Today's appointment was to investigate the problem.

That did not happen today, just made another appointment to have it done. About 15 or 20 years ago, the doctor discovered a large kidney stone, still lodged in the calyx. He said it might remain there for the rest of my life. He said that happens, that it was not a problem and might never be a problem.

Keep your fingers crossed.

I will have a sonogram of my kidney. He will look inside my bladder to see what might be there. It sounds like a fun time. Right? I wanted to improve my social life. So, here we go. May 1 will be the day. Fortunately, it is an afternoon appointment and exbf will drive me there. I can drive myself, but I will be soooo nervous. Maybe I will just be brave and go alone.

Why am I so nervous over two quite simple procedures, neither of which will hurt or will require any mind changing pain relief?  Because he said the word. . . 

"When I hear you say there is blood in your urine, I need to investigate because it might be CANCER."
I explained that the blood stain might not have been from my bladder. He smiled. He is so nice, so nice! Believe me, I am all for finding out what IS causing this pressure. I just hope it is not cancer or my fatness.
Well, that was my lovely day. The hens did not get out until 4 pm. They were thrilled. They had dry oats and ham for breakfast. 

snack time
Now, they can see better. I think that's why chickens go to bed before dark--poor eyesight. LOL I always chop their carrot so they won't use so much energy trying to peck it apart. They will eat a whole carrot if it is chopped. Otherwise, half the carrot is left.
Your turn
Has anyone had this examination of the interior of the bladder done? Does the "C" word strike terror in your heart? 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Single Mother During The Great Depression: My Memaw

My mother's father was shot in 1920, six months before my mother was born. My grandmother was left with a three-year-old girl, a five-year-old boy, and a baby yet to be born (my mother).  The year before, my grandmother had a four-month-old boy die.

When my grandfather was killed, my grandmother moved in with her mother, "Maw," as my mother called her own grandmother. Maw lived on the "Old Home Place," ninety acres that her grandfather had bought when he came over the mountains from North Carolina into Mississippi. (By the way, my great-grandmother was a college-educated woman.) My pregnant grandmother had security and a place in the fabric of the times.

So, there were two women (one pregnant), two toddlers, and a farm, all alone. As it turned out, their security was short-lived. My grandmother's sister married a horrid, violent man who managed to cheat my ggmother out of the property on which she had lived all her life, all they had in this world. By this time, the five-year-old boy was a teen, helpless against a ruthless man.

Mama told me with much bitterness, sorrow, and shame of seeing her teen brother guiding the plow while her mother pulled it... like a mule. Her eyes filled with tears and her chin trembled because of this painful childhood memory. I was a teen when she told me. Later, I learned as an adult that my uncle, aunt, and my mother laid all the problems squarely at the feet of their uncle who took over the property and put them off the land.

When Mama wanted a short coat, my grandmother showed her how to shorten a long coat. When Mama needed a new dress in high school, my grandmother went to a store in a larger town and asked for credit, something not done in that time, not for a store bought dress. The store owner was a lifelong friend of my grandmother. Mama got her dress and my grandmother sewed for people to pay the store owner. My grandmother could sew, but Mama was probably like many young girls, wanted a new, store-bought dress to wear for a fancy occasion. Besides, I remember it was something my grandmother could not make, maybe a sweater knit.

When Mama was in school, her mother worked at the school cafeteria. The school or the cafeteria allowed my grandmother (Memaw) to take food home that was cooked and not served that day. Mama said that there were days that was all they had to eat at home for their dinner. "I don't know what we would have done if she could not have brought home food." By this time, they were off their ninety acres of land and my great-grandmother had died. The widow was alone.

Mama, with pride in her voice, told me that the only thing they ever took from the government was one pair of shoes. They had it hard, she said; they were not poor, she said. They managed. I took this conversation with my mother at face value, but now, almost sixty-years later, I wonder. Maybe Mama did not want a young child, me, to worry and fear the past might reassert itself.

Mama's sister, my aunt, said everyone was poor, and they were poor before the Depression, so it was sort of a nothing event to them. My aunt said they suffered no more when the Depression hit. It's funny how two daughters raised four years apart in the same home could view such a watershed event and come to different conclusions.

My grandmother never remarried. I often wonder why. Mama played it like devotion to her own father. Maybe that is a child's fantasy held onto into adulthood. It is possible the security of my ggmother's home made it unnecessary to find a husband. Plus, her own mother was getting old enough to need someone with her since my ggmother's own husband was dead.

They always had a cow to milk and chickens for eggs and meat. They raised some food, not sure what. Of course, they had an outhouse. They heated and cooked with wood. Mama told me about going to the spring for water and being bitten by a Water Moccasin, also called a Cottonmouth.

Since I am older and single, I think about the fact that my grandmother and great grandmother did not have utility bills or rent/mortgage to be paid every month. They did not even have a reliable car for many years after the father was shot. Will I be able to survive?

My uncle volunteered during WWII, leaving three women to fend for themselves. However, when he went to boot camp, he returned with one of the last new cars manufactured until after the war. He had gone to boot camp and returned with a pocketful of money and surprised my grandmother. He wanted them to have a safe car with no repair problems while he was gone to Germany and could not help them.

A few years ago, I talked to my cousin, the son of my uncle in WWII.

"How did he manage to afford a new car?"

My cousin knew. "He gambled."

What did he play?

"Craps and poker."

"Did he cheat?!"

"Of course, he did!"

Okay, now, no tsk-tsk from anyone. My uncle provided for his mother when he was still a boy/young man going off to war. Since he would be gone for four years, he could not be available for car repair or even advice. He did not trust anyone to help his mother.

This story extended a bit beyond the Depression, but it was my grandmother's hard life. My mother joined the WACs (Women's Army Corp) and my uncle joined the Army. Both sent money home to their mother. My uncle cared for his mother the rest of her life, along with some help from my mother and aunt.

I don't think a single, older woman like myself with no support system will fare as well as she did as things get harder now.

Your turn
Do you have tales of single mothers during the Great Depression? How do you think a single, older woman today would fare in the future.