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Saturday, June 29, 2013

On Keeping Old Stuff

lamp needing tlc
The last time exbf was here to help me, he asked me if he could have one of the lamps in the basement because his lamp beside his bed no longer worked. I have lamps in the basement?  I went down to look a bit later and he showed me that he had brought the two outside. Oh, sure. I thought you meant smaller lamps. You can have one, but let's test it.

Since I have an outdoor outlet, we tested them. He took one and plugged it up, turned it on, and it worked. I was handing him the other to test, but he said he like the one he tried first. Sneaky man got away with the good light bulb in the lamp! Oh, that did not matter at all. 

The lamp above has a future. I will put it in the trash or put it on the curb or sell it in salvage thing or fix it up...hmmm. What to do? It has to be cleaned with steel wool and spray painted. I cannot decide today. It does work and the bulb is good.

Once upon a time, I recovered lamp shades. They sold better on a lamp, even an old lamp since most people were buying the shades for antique lamps. The working lamp above cost me $1 and was in fairly good shape when I brought it home. A $2 lamp might sell a shade that cost $200. Sometimes, people wanted the lamp if it were a particularly nice lamp after I wiped it

He has never made many remarks about stuff in the basement. Others have made ugly remarks. However, when people have needed things, they ask me if I might have it. They are too busy keeping a bare and spare and uncluttered home. Actually, the basement has too much in it because I was no longer able to get down there and work on things. But, I kept bringing things in to work on. Oooops! Little by little, I am getting rid of things down there. But, it is not a high priority.

The basement does not open into the first floor of my house. There is a concrete set of steps in a concrete enclosure from the outside, leading into the basement and protecting the basement from rainwater running into the door.

A woman who jumped on every trend decided minimalism was for her. She got rid of everything but two washcloths and two towels in her bathroom. Since she decided to change like a chameleon with each new trend, she often made foolish choices. This was just one of her foolhardy moves. I probably tend to the heavy side of possessions. I do own about two dozen towels and 40+ washcloths, some for tp I can wash. Some of my towels and washcloths are threadbare, some found, and some bought at thrift stores or yard sales. Most match. How can you go wrong with white?

Most of my stuff leaves one way or another. The basement is about 40' x 30', so it is very handy for tools, lawnmowers, the grill, lawn furniture and assorted projects.

Below is a site and excerpt that exemplifies how keeping excess stuff can be beneficial. I am not doing the same thing he is, but his take is interesting. I do realize that people with a smaller house or housing cannot keep much around.

From Bayou Renaissance Man

This was a page of blogs he suggested. The part below is a very good response. I have always thought that minimalism that purges a life of everything is a huge mistake.  I often wander around the blogs, from one to another. I often end up at this blog. I thought there was more to the response than is here. Go there and see what Bayou Renaissance Man has to say on a number of topics.

UPDATE: I only meant to include one of his posts, about the fourth down in the list:

I am in no way advocating survivalism, just thought the response about what to keep, below, was good.

Ryan said...
Bayou Renaissance Man, Thanks a lot for the linkage!

@ Raven, To me it isn't so much about the amount of stuff you have. Survivalism and or hard money. Alpha Strategy style personal economics tend toward being stuff heavy. It is more about intentionally stocking the right stuff vs hoarding random junk.

A few dozen 2x4's stored off the ground under cover makes a lot of sense if you have the space, however keeping every random scrap of wood you have cut in a decade of projects in a big pile doesn't make sense.

Storing a dozen pair of tough serviceable clothes and boots against an uncertain future makes sense; keeping worn out, torn and stained dress pants doesn't.

Your turn
Do you tend to keep things for future projects or use without being a hoarder? What do you keep that you can really use? Do others ever ask you for things?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Yard Sale Gold

The proof

7.5 inches tall

As I stepped into the yard next door where they were having a yard sale, I hoped to find something. As I was ready to leave with a few things, bought cheaply, I saw this purse, and my heart was pounding and hands trembled. I tried not to rush and asked casually, "How much is this?"
Be still my heart and let me pay for this and get out of the yard before this guy's girlfriend comes home.
spacious, but not as fat as it appears here
He is minding the store for her while she works. He told me she let him set prices.

I forgot to add--the strap is very long like a crossbody purse. However, it had a knot tied in it. I suppose this was the decision of the previous owner. Maybe it came that way.
Whiting and Davis purses are usually gold or silver mesh. Well, they are the ones I have seen, also the black and white mesh. The gold stays gold forever. I have never seen a tarnished gold or silver mesh purse. My little treasure looks as though it has never been used at all. The inside is pristine. The round braided strap is not worn. As soon as I brought it in, I laid it in front of the ac to remove any moisture that it had been exposed to on the muggy day and the night it had remained under a sheet. Then, I put it into a Glad freezer bag not completely sealed.
The body of the purse is gold, scrunched/wrinkled fabric, lurex, I suppose.
The price I will ask for the gold treasure? I think $20. What do you think? I could not locate the purse on their site.

I do wonder if this is a knockoff!
While I have never bought or owned a Whiting and Davis purse, I have purchased the key rings that are like a gold bracelet. They tore up easily, snagged my clothing, and were too expensive to replace. The bracelets did serve a purpose for awhile when I was in school, I wore it like a bracelet with a car key on it. That way, I always had my key on my person, not in the purse that could be stolen. I did not want a person to have my address, car make from the insurance card, and my keys!
Your turn
So, what say you? Excellent price? What should I ask for it? Have you ever owned anything Whiting and Davis? Am I wrong on the resale price?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

FedEx scam now

I received this email with FedEx in the subject line. Who is my colleague with all this money? I will trade whatever he wants, I just don't have money to give him!

Dear Customer!

We have been waiting for you to contact us for your Confirm able Package
that is registered with us for shipping to your residential location. We
had thought that your sender gave you our contact details. It may
interest you to note that a letter is also added to your package.
However, we cannot quote its content to you via email for Privacy
reasons we understand that the content of your package itself is a Bank
Draft worth of $1,000,000.00USD. As you know, FedEx do not ship money in
CASH or in CHEQUES but Bank Drafts are shippable.

The package is registered with us for mailing by your colleague, and
your colleague explained that he is from the United State of America but
he is here in Nigeria for a three (5) months Project as he works with as
Professional Consultant here in the Nigeria, We are
sending you this email because your package is been registered on aa
Special Order.

What you have to do now, is to contact our Delivery Department for
immediate dispatch of your package to your residential address. Note
that as soon as our Delivery Team confirms your information's will take
only one working day (24 hours) for your package to arrive its
designated address. For your information, the VAT & Shipping charges as
well as Insurance fees have been paid by your colleague before your
package was registered. Note that the payment that is made on the
Insurance, Premium & Clearance Certificates, you are to certify that the
Bank Draft is not a Drug Affiliated Fund (DAF) neither is it funds to
sponsor Terrorism in your country. This will help you avoid any form of
query from the Monetary Authority of your country. However, you will
have to pay a sum of $210USD to the FedEx Delivery Department being full
payment for the Security Keeping Fee of the FedEx Company as stated in
our privacy terms & condition page. Also be informed that your colleague
wished to pay having known not when you will be picking up the package
or even responding to us. So we cannot take the risk to have accepted
such payment in case of any possible demur rage.

Kindly note that your colleague did not leave us with any further
information we hope that you respond to us as soon as possible because
if you fail to respond until the expiry date of this package, we may
refer the package to the British Commission for Welfare as the package
do not have a return address. Kindly contact the delivery department
(FedEx Delivery Post) with the details given below: FedEx Delivery Post
Contact Person:

Kindly complete the below form and send it to the email address given
above. This is mandatory to reconfirm your Postal address and telephone


Kindly complete the above form and summit it to the delivery manager on:

As soon as your details are received, our delivery team will give you
the necessary payment procedure so that you can effect the payment for
the Security Keeping Fees. As soon as they confirm your payment of
$210USD, they will not hesitate to dispatch your package as well as the
attached letter to your residence. It usually takes 24 hours being an
over night delivery service. Note that we were not instructed to email
you, but due to the high priority of your package we had to inform you
as your sender did not leave us with his phone number because he stated
that he just arrived Nigeriaand he hasn't got any phone yet. We indeed
personally sealed your Bank Draft and we found your email contact in the
attached letter as the recipient of the foremost package. Ensure to
contact the delivery department with the email address given above and
ensure to fill the above form as well to enable a successful

Yours Faithfully,
Jerry Scott.
FedEx Online Team Management

Can you believe the extremes people will go to in order to convince people to give up money?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Chickens on the Courthouse Step My Horoscope

My Courthouse Step in Front Yard
Cool Bench

I told you that having chickens was frugal fun! Thelma has never been on this bench. I believe Lucy is a bad influence. They are in the front corner of my yard at the retaining wall side, the corner of the yard. They are so precious, just sitting and waiting for me to come closer. I was so excited trying to get this picture. I think I was jiggling the camera. I really don't want them on benches or tables, but still wanted this shot.
Benches in the yard all around the house suit my style. This bench is made from one of the old courthouse steps. My neighbor who died at 94-years-old owned this. Her family gave it to me. The step was originally about two feet longer. I paid a tow truck to bring the step to my yard and DROP it and break it. I was very annoyed but said nothing. I brought the two stones under each end to my yard with my wagon, pulling them along the street and sometimes letting them slide into the road. ACK!
You notice how the step is not on the stones evenly? When my neighbor brought my generator to me, the one I had to purchase while I had no electricity after a tornado, she backed her husband's truck into the bench, scooting the step to the other end. Of course, I did not mention it except to ask her if she ruined his truck.
Charlie could have used a long pipe I have as a lever to even it up, but he had just had shoulder and two carpal tunnel surgeries. So, it sits crooked. Oh well.
My Horoscope Today
I never check my horoscope except when it is right in front of me. Then, I read the other signs to see how many of those fit me, too. Today, only the Virgo horoscope was visible. See?
Your experimental ideas are a little weird to outsiders, but you can tell that you're onto something. Tinker with your routines and see what you learn -- things can change for the better today.

Hmmmm? Weird?

Yes, my no tp, no paper towels, no paper napkins is really weird, especially the substitute tp. Keeping chickens is strange to some people. I do experiment. Shockingly, people say I am eccentric.

Tinker with my routines? Does talking to a new guy count?  We have a long history of talking. So, it has been ten or twelve years since we met. We will see. I really want to believe this horoscope is true.
UPDATE: Talking ended after two days. Whatever!

Your turn
Does it seem one animal influences the other for bad? Who reads a horoscope seriously? Do you have a cool bench from something not meant for a bench? Any re-use items in the yard?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


It flew out of the bowl! Really, it did.
Picture not altered to get this color yolk.
Look at the orange yolk of the other egg
at the top of the picture in the bowl. 
Grass or greens=orange yolks=omega-3

My blood sugar was dropping. I was giddy and nauseous. Only real food works for me. I had to have food and now. I did not want more cheese. I had had milk. So, I decided to fix a meal for 2 p.m. that would last longer than an hour: two slices bacon, two eggs scrambled with smidgen of salt, orange juice, and milk.  NO toast.
I always beat my eggs with a mixer. I have two hand mixers in a drawer along with the four beaters to attach. I needed to wash dishes, so one set of beaters was in the sink in a bowl of water. It is the best mixer. The other mixer was quickly deployed because I was so queasy and weak. I cannot find a bowl for beating eggs that is within reach. I would not step on a stool to get a bowl waaaay up in the top cabinet. I could have fallen in this condition. So, I grabbed the short Corelle bowl, thinking I would not turn on the hand mixer full speed. However, there is only one beater of any kind still in the dishwasher or anywhere. Do you think one beater will be okay in the mixer?
My feeble brain thinks it better be okay. So, I put two eggs in the bowl, admiring their orange color. With the mixer turned on low, the beater started swirling the eggs round and round the bowl but the yolks remained unbroken. Faster and faster they flew as I chased them faster and faster with the one beater until one yolk flew out! Who would have guessed that would happen?
There the beautiful egg yolk lay on a dishcloth I had just put there. Thankfully, I had not used this for one single thing. I had just gotten this clean one out, a new one fresh from the dryer. By the time I got back with my camera, the lonely, displaced yolk was oozing liquid gold.
The egg yolk was so sturdy that once I dumped it back into the bowl, I still  could not puncture it as it raced around the bowl ahead of the one beater.  Since I know how that ends, I quit chasing the yolk with the beater. Okay, so I am easily entertained! Finally, I started moving the beater  around the bowl in the opposite direction the beater was turning. That did the trick! It made me feel silly to be chasing that yolk! This scene could clearly be amusing in a comedy.

After scorching one  tiny place on one of the pieces of the bacon, my lunch was ready. I am still puzzled where the other beater could be. But, I am recovering! I waited too long to eat after I knew I was crashing.

Update: Now, two hours later, I found bowls and beaters. I had started to empty the dishwasher, stacked some nesting bowls and took out some of the items in the utensil holder in the dishwasher, and placed them into the bowls. I have to hold onto the counter so I can bend, therefore, not all the dishes are removed at once. In my fog this afternoon, I missed a huge mixing bowl at my elbow, full of utensils and the other beater I needed.

Your turn
Does hypoglycemia leave you in a stupid fog? The fog is not stupid. I am a fog of stupid. I am glad I did not step up on the stool. Has an egg ever leapt from your little short mixing bowl? No?
Mine neither. Do you hate cleaning up broken eggs as much as I do? I would have invited a hen in to dine on it.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Vintage in the Shop: Utility Knife

Inverse side:
Southbridge, Mass
Made in the U.S.A.

Daddy gave this utility knife to me when I married. He used these all the time. He was a contractor--sheet rock, wallpaper of all sorts, paint and trim when needed to finish the job. Paperhanging in hospitals, motels, and some private homes was his specialty, not the other.
The date  made is not on the utility knife. However, since there is no zip code, the knife seems to be made before 1964. I just called the company. It was made in 1968. But, they still don't put the zip code on the utility knife! The same utility knife is still made today. But, it is not heavy, is made from a lighter metal. The screw and hex nut on the back helped to date it. I forgot what he said the fastener material was.
Sure, I need a screw driver to change blades, but lots of things can be used to improvise a screw driver.

You have probably noticed that the blade tip is broken. I cannot remember ever changing the blade. After all, now I only need this to cut tape to open packages, so a butter knife would work. This week, I will buy new blades just because.
I started to post a picture of the newer one given to me about ten years ago by a friend who said I needed a good one. It is green plastic and Made in China and does not deserve a place here. The green, plastic one has a thumb thing to advance and retreat the blade. Yes, it is safer and does not require a screwdriver. However, it will break and is extremely difficult for me to press the little button and hold it while I move the blade. My old utility knife is fat and has a nice hand feel. The new green, plastic utility knife is skinny and causes my hand to ache after gripping it and using it.

The new utility knife is Made in China. So, not only am I using something old that will last,  but also the old utility knife was Made in the U.S.A.
My utility knife from the 1960s is at least 50-years-old. UPDATE: Okay, it is at least 45-years-old. Knowing Daddy, he gave me an old one in 1968 when we bought a home, because girls don't need these things very much. I did not expect a new one, just know Daddy.

Interesting fact: Prior to 1968, Hyde used a letter and four numbers. When they acquired their first computer, it would not take letters and numbers for codes, only numbers, so they switched to all numbers. Maybe Daddy did give me a new utility knife!

I changed the words "box cutter" to "utility knife" in this post.

Your turn
Do you have or use a utility knife like this old one I own? Are you happy with the sturdy knife? Do you prefer older tools in your shop or toolbox?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Colgate Dental Deals

What a deal!

It was time to use coupons to get a great deal on toothbrushes, mouthwash, and toothpaste. I paid $2.82 for three bottles 8.4 oz. of mouthwash, four toothbrushes, and one tube of toothpaste.
About the mouthwash, the names of the flavors were off-putting. You may notice I bought one of each of the three flavors--Peppermint Blast (blue), Spearmint Surge (green), Wintermint Rush (lavender). I wonder why they have to have flavors, and I wonder why they have to have such names as blast, surge, and rush. I am not of the age that I have to be entertained or impressed by my mouthwash's physicality. I don't even need pretty colors.  I bought all three flavors, hoping I might get one that is not gross.
I paid $2.82 for three 8.4 oz. Colgate mouthwash, four Colgate toothbrushes, and one tube of toothpaste. Retail price was $10.92.
Remember, I supply three adult children, dil, and four grandchildren with toothpaste and toothbrushes. So, this is not too much to buy. I don't have a garage full of dental care products, just half a garage filled. Plus, I will fill six shoe boxes for children at Christmas. My daughter in NYC donated some things I gave her to Sandy victims. So, dental hygiene items are continually being depleted here.
If any of the mouthwash items is gross, mouthwash will still kill, it will not go to waste. However, knowing me, I will just use it and be grossed out.
And, I found a penny on the ground, heads up!
Your turn
Have you had any great dental hygiene buys lately? Any great buys at all this week?

Friday, June 21, 2013


I guess I am dumb backyard farmer! But, the persimmon tree seems to have something with tendrils growing from the same pot. After I got the persimmon trees, I noticed little seed leaves near the trees, but what do I know?
Is this a bean twining around the table legs? I don't know beans from donuts. I could ask the guy who gave me the persimmon tree in the middle of the pot, but he is sort of mean to me. Scary gruff mean.
Here is another pot with a tendril. See the large leaf toward the right? There is a tendril from the left pot, reaching over into the right pot. Also, see the little butterfly-shaped leaf in the left pot? More beans? The center plant in each planter is a persimmon tree.
Your turn
Are these beans? If not, what?

UPDATE:I Don't Understand Garlic with pictures


The only advice I get online, friends or articles, is cut off the scapes. What are scapes? "The curly part!" ??? 
There is nothing curly about this plant. So, is it garlic? Allium? Edible? What's happening? What should I do? People who have not seen it assure me it is garlic and has curly scapes. Nooo, nothing curly.

When my 94-yr-old neighbor died, the family gave me the plants after they took their choice. I would like to make this a part of my edibles if it is edible. It is a beautiful plant with several flowers. So, it serves me well as it is.
Everyone mows it down, so it is a sporadic plant, hardy, returning after each mutilation?
The picture above was taken in the middle of the night.

                                       Taken this morning, amongst the elderberry volunteers.

I love the delicate lavender color. So, what's up with my garlic?

Another thing--I bought some Gilroy, CA garlic to plant. When should I plant garlic. I hear conflicting reports. I live in AL.

Garlic lying down above. See, no curly anything! It was growing up through the elderberry tree/bush. The garlic bloomed and then the elderberry surrounded it. See, no curly. Edible garlic?

Your turn
Do you have garlic that has no curl? Hellllppp!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chickens Are Funny

"Why are you waking us up?"
"We were sleeping."
"What is the bright light?"

Okay, so they are not so funny at 10 p.m. I was very late locking the pen today...okay, tonight. They are walking around, murmuring little, soft noises, confused by my flashlight, initially. I am sure they were quite alarmed at the flash of the camera.
If you have not seen my hens' abode, here it is: a Rubbermaid box. They lay inside and insist on sleeping on top. When there were two, stacked, they slept in the top one and left the bottom one to lay eggs. Even in the dead of winter, they sleep on top of the box. They have a tarp over their heads.
Now, here is the funny part of the hens lately. 
One day, I walked silently around the house to the chicken pen. Thelma and Lucy were standing on the rock ledge of a basement window that is a few inches off the ground. Both were peering into the window. I wondered what could be in a basement that would interest chickens. That window is the only window without a white curtain at the moment. You can see one of the windows in the photo above, not the one they like to look into. Exbf opined that they must have been looking at themselves.


I may put a mirror outside and see if they are interested in looking at their beautiful selves. I have seen dogs and cats show interest--curiosity and fear--in mirrors and their reflections in other objects, but never chickens.


Exbf was here, helping me. He said that Lucy was standing on the rock facing/ledge. This is not a ledge that is so high that it would be of interest in surveying their domain.  I would love to know what chickens think.

By the way
The pine straw (dried fallen pine needles) keeps them from sitting in poop after the first night. It also makes cleaning the top easier. The brick is because the whole thing kept blowing over. Exbf thought the brick would help. He puts so much fresh pine straw in their nest that sometimes I find an egg sort of buried.

Your turn
Have you ever had chickens that showed an interest at looking in anything that reflected their images? Do you think the dark basement and no white curtain made it where they could see their reflection?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Two Friends' Blogs: Help Needed and Giveaway

Kymber at her blog is rallying financial help for MMPaints at Self Sustained Living. You can read kymbers blog for direction to MM's place. I was going to direct you there in a blog post, but kymber knows her situation and history better than I.

Slugmama at Don't Read This; It's Boring has a giveaway. Check it out! You could win. She has a long-running contest where she adds something to a box each week.

Blue Apple?

Will this blue apple  work? (BluApple) Is there a chemist or a fruitologist in the house? I just made up that word!

And, I read:
Using the BluApple ethylene gas absorber, you can extend the useful storage life of your produce up to three times longer.  Government experts have estimated a typical family of four throws away as much as $600 worth of spoiled produce each year.

The following information can be found here.
  • Includes 2 Blue Apple ethylene gas absorbers (Last 3 months each)
  • Includes 1 year supply of Blue Apple ethylene gas absorber refills
  • Pays for itself dozens of times over in the the first year alone
  • Average household can save up to $600 per year
  • Prolongs freshness and storage life of produce
  • Put in refrigerator crisper drawers or anywhere you keep fruit
  • Made in the USA
  • An absolute must for vegans and vegetarians
How Does the Blue Apple Work

"Ethylene gas is given off naturally by fruits and vegetables as a signaling mechanism in order to coordinate uniform ripening. However, once concentrated in your refrigerator or other storage areas, the presence of ethylene gas continues to speed up ripening and hasten spoilage.
The BluApple ethylene gas absorber is designed to provide effective ethylene gas absorption for three months in a typical home refrigerator produce bin or storage container. The active ingredient does not "wear out", but continues to absorb ethylene until it has reached its capacity. A One Year Refill Kit rounds out the BluApple ethylene gas management product line, allowing consumers to reuse BluApples and not add them to landfills."

I am not considering buying one of the BluApples, but I wonder if it works.

Your turn
Does anyone have this Blue Apple? If so, does it work? Is there a simpler method that duplicates the action of the Blue Apple?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Overpopulation: How to Call a Kitten Whose Mama Told It To Stay Put

source (at bottom of the source post)

The day may come when you want to remove kittens after the mother is dead or captured by you in an attempt to control too many cats on the premises or the neighborhood. Kittens are cute, but too many can actually be harmful to you and the population of too many cats. I won't go into the dangers.

When my two mother cats were poisoned by a spiteful neighbor, their three shared kittens disobeyed orders and came out of hiding. Three days in a row, they came to me as I returned home, scrambling from under the porch where she kept them. One actually bit my little toe as hard as he could before I figured out they might be hungry. I talked to them and they went away while I returned with cat food, the hard crunchy kind. After I called them in my mama cat voice, they scrambled out on unsteady feet. I had rushed back. I wanted to return with something that they would recognize from their mothers having eaten it.  I figured mama cats might have had cat food breath.

If you need to remove a mama cat and kittens, I would not recommend leaving  the kittens to starve. But, I would not condemn you either. But, their might be a better way if you can follow my advice borne of experience.  Besides, dead kittens under the porch might not be pleasant.

If you trap the Mama cat, you could remove it from their hearing and take her voice from their hearing--move trapped mama far away. Then, maybe the kittens would show themselves if you learn mama-cat-speak. Three little kittens, about a month old, learned to crunch cat food that first time. They were so desperately hungry it broke my heart. Where was mama? Then, I put milk on the food for ten minutes before I brought it to them, and they had an easier time. They learned to drink milk by choking on it as they walked in the bowl. They would not come out on their own or get near me unless I called them like mama after the singular toe-nipping. I did not have a live trap then.

I actually had hidden in the house the week before with the door cracked a bit and learned to call kittens from hiding like their mother did. That is probably the only reason they dared to come and chew my little toe. Sometimes, I called them just to see if I had it right. They looked around, looked puzzled, and retreated as I came near them. 

The kittens having seen me and heard my voice may be the only reason they crawled over my feet for several days as I tried to enter the house. I don't know. They were desperate to get food. Their mamas were barn cats given to me as males! Since I could not see, I believed these friends who probably did not know either, but were looking to dump extra cats. Beware! I was looking for rat and mouse control around the house since I lived near a hospital dumpster. The mothers would not come to me or allow petting, but they did hunt, and I kept food for them, hoping they would stay as feral cats who just liked my yard and under-the-porch housing free from rain and probably warm from the house.

To call a kitten like mama, use a short, very soft trill that is neither high- or low-pitched. You probably will not get a kitten to come the first time. Keep practicing and trying. Sit very still.

As I fed these furtive little balls of fur, I wondered where the mamas were. I did not try to catch them or try to give them a box to live in because I thought the mamas would return. The mamas always took turns nursing. One would lie in the yard while the other mama would fetch grasshoppers for the kittens amusement and to hone hunting skills. The mama were attentive, so I could not figure out why they did not return.

The mothers were dead but I did not know that at first. There was no way I could hope for their return when I figured that out. I did not discover the bodies until a week later, trying to get into the basement, but dying on the outdoor, concrete steps.

The kittens remained feral and part of the growing feral cat population. Eventually, I caught 8 cats, one of whom had 8 kittens that were hand caught since they barely had their eyes open.

Maybe you can develop a mama-cat-voice. Listen to how mama does it if you have non-feral cats that are in the house. Women will probably be able to match the tone better. I have used this method just to prove I could lure kittens out of hiding, so I know it works. However, I did not use my newly found skill for evil. You might not be able to hand-catch a kitten, but you can lure it out so it smells food you provide, especially if Mama Cat is removed and out of hearing. If you feed your cat commercial cat food, provide that first to the kittens, even if it is not appropriate. My theory: They know mama-breath.

How to trill for the kittens. It sounds sort of like a purr. Put your tongue behind your upper teeth. Inhale. Close your mouth. Push air from your throat as you open your mouth just a little bit. Practice.

Your turn
Have you ever learned how to trill like mama cats call their kittens?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Jennifer Aniston Has Backyard Chickens!

I have always liked Jennifer Aniston, and for good reason.

Following the stars is not my thing. However, what they have in their backyards might be interesting. I was not sorry I clicked on the article. 
You can be sure she will only be drinking coffee and watching, not doing the dirty work. But, that's okay.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cool Summer Dinner

Cool eating
Romaine, radicchio, tomato, cheese, turkey, dressing
Too much dressing even for me.
Yellow squash and shredded carrots were put in post picture-taking.

sweet corn
Not supposed to be yellow!

white grapes, blackberries

Wednesday was such a torrid day. Okay, the heat index was 94. It was not the heat that hurt so much; it was the humidity. Add in no ac and no windows to open, and it is so miserable inside. The one 5000 BTU ac far away does not cool six feet from the front of the ac, so 25 feet to the kitchen the air is heavy and oppressive.
I baked the  free turkey late the night before, bagged the wings, legs, and thighs for exbf. The breast is mine and stays here. The corn had to be boiled, heating the house but only for a short time. Plus, I did not have to stay in the room.
Corn was $0.50 for each ear. The only way I could get it in the small, square Corelle pot was to break it in half. I had eaten most of mine before I took the picture. Often white corn is sweeter than yellow. I don't know why.
These blackberries were about ten-cents apiece. I paid $3 for less than a cup of blackberries. AND, the blackberries were on special, marked down from $5.49 for the tiny box. It was a splurge that I may regret later this month.
Dinner was painless and delicious. Oh, after we did lots of hard work--hard because of weather and our failing physical prowess, we had an ice cream cone from Burger King for $.50. I told him I wanted to get a bag of salad from the store and he might as well just sit in the car. After corn, bagged salad, tomatoes, milk, talking, waiting for printed Internet coupon, and whatever I did, he called me, asking what I was doing, saying that I had been in the store for 25 minutes. He has never, ever in 7 years we have known each other has he called me while I was shopping and he was waiting!  Shopping in a cool store seemed like a luxury compared to going home to no ac!
At least the turkey breast will last me a week!
How is cooking for you right now? Hot? Do you cook ahead so you won't have to cook in the heat of the day? What is your favorite cooking keep-cool method?

Sugar, sugar, I love you

Three times as sweet

Domino Sugar in the four pound bags was on sale this week for $1.99. I was not impressed. Sugar at $0.50 is not an impressive price, not at all. THEN, I saw the $0.50 coupons in the Red Plum ad of June 2, 2013. AND, the store where the sugar is on sale doubles coupons.
Now, I am excited. $1.99 - $1.00 = $0.99 - 5% for senior day + 9.25% tax. Okay, I am never sure when the 5% comes off. However, I paid $3.20 for 12 bags of sugar. So, $2.97 before tax for 12 lbs of sugar is a great price--less than a quarter/lb. for sugar. Is it ever this cheap price in bulk?
The ad stated there was a limit of 3 per visit. Okey dokey. I can do that.  Multiple trips is never a problem since I live less than a mile from this grocery. I won't get my senior citizen's 5% discount other days, but that is okay. The discount was $0.15, so I won't lose much. I have four more  coupons thus far. Exbf brought me about 40 Sunday inserts. He makes me soooo happy.  
Do you want to take advantage of this deal? My store is Food World. They were recently bought by Belle Foods. Go to to see if there is a store near you, using the store locator. Get the coupons for June 2, 2013. You are all set.
Now, I have to get the Ball canning jars washed and dried. I do get ants occasionally. Plus, I really don't want to try to bake at Christmas and be faced with bricks of sugar.
Your turn
Do you have a store owned by Belle Foods near you? Got the proper Red Plum ad?  What do you pay per pound for sugar in bulk? What good coupons and sales have you been able to pair up lately or ever?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Curb Shopping

3 pots on the curb

It's not much, but I was happy. These pots have been on the curb for several days. I passed them going to Lowe's and on the way back. They sat in buckets that held sheet rock mud, stacked one inside another.
Finally, today, with exbf in car on the way back from Lowe's, I came to a screeching halt right in the road, popped the trunk and ran (as well as I can run) and pulled out these three. I did not bother pulling to the curb, turning off the car, or explaining what I was doing. He is accustomed to my scrounging around in people's trash.
The one on the left is my favorite. The middle one is the kind that has its own reservoir, and the third is a hanging basket that just needs its wires reattached.
This is the time of the year for finding planters. Don't you think so?  I hope to find a table for outdoors. 
Your turn
Have you found anything good on the curb lately? Ever?  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

25 Things That Have To Go

25 two- ounce jars of jelly for diabetics

Did you expect a list of items that I am purging from my home? Not the jars, just the contents must go.
All these were given to me by Charlie who did not like them. I don't like them. Exbf refuses to take them home to empty them. So, they have sat on my counter in a cardboard box for a year while I beg him to take them home, even if only a few at a time. I am sick of the box. I want my counter back.
Sure, I could put these in a cabinet, but I never suspected it would take him this long to take them home! He dug in his heels on this. I am sure I could unload them on someone who would appreciate them. But, I want the jars! People do not return jars anymore, not even Ball jars when they get the product inside for free!. Sad.
So, I will open all of these and put them in two larger jars, Orange Diet Marmalade in one jar and Strawberry Jam in the other. These were made in France and Austria. hmmm So, exbf will only have two jars instead of 25. heh heh heh. I am tricky like that. I dread this chore tonight! Okay, this stuff is nasty, so it will go to the hens and see if they like it. YUCK
Why do I want two-ounce jars and so many? These will be little samples of my jelly-making. People exclaim that they would love to taste whatever strange jelly I am making--red clover or Jamaica Banana Pineapple Mango Rum Jam. This will be my contribution to assuage their curiosity.
Also, I want to send samples of spices I dry to my daughter.
These will fit nicely in a bottom drawer and be useful, convenient, yet out of the way.

Note: I got this as an email response:  "A present is the recipient's to do what he/she wants to do with it." In the South, returning canning jars is a cultural thing. We know to return jars, especially when the giver of the canning states so when the jar is given. If the jar of food is given as a Christmas gift, it is nice to return the jar. 
Your turn
Do you find that people don't return your canning jars? Do you do like I do and just not give anything to those people anymore? 

Use Non-Fat Dry Milk To Help Your Garden Grow

put it in your garden
Would putting milk in the garden be wasteful? I know most of you don't like to waste food. Sometimes, it happens. Sometimes waste occurs inadvertently. We don't mean to waste our food bought with our hard-earned money or sweat of our brow.

Even though this tip may seem wasteful, it is not. Using milk in the garden should help your food production. Around this house, there is an abundance of instant non-fat dry milk that will never be used up even though I use it for a milk substitute in recipes all the time.

Use Non-Fat Dry Milk:
Control the aphids around the garden.
Prevent tomato diseases.
Help with storing seeds.
Cleaning houseplants.

For more information, read this.

How do I get out of this Google profile that has changed my name?

Your turn
 Have you used non-fat dry milk in your garden? Have you used it in your garden in another capacity?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Spank Your Tomatoes and Give Them an Aspirin

I am all for producing more tomatoes. Spanking tomatoes is a very novel concept for me. I know it helps almond trees. Since I have no idea how to put a video on my blog, forgive the amateurish link to videos.

And, give them an aspirin:

Obviously, I could not figure out how to post a video. Maybe it is not me; maybe it is Blogger.

Your turn
Has anyone ever spanked their tomatoes? Given them an aspirin? What were the results?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Can You Identify This Mystery Plant?


When I was at Lowe's, I passed the trees and was stunned by one  8 foot tree. Filling the pot was a low-growing plant, some sort of ground cover, it appears. None of the people who knew plants could identify it. The bare spaces are where the workers pulled a few plugs for me.
Does anyone know what this is? It is no more than four inches high. Most is two or three inches tall. It does not appear that it will become taller. In response to a question, it has no distinctive scent.
No other tree had this ground cover. The workers all warned me that it might take over, to be careful. Since there are only tiny oak seedling in the front yard and weeds, can this be bad? I doubt it.

UPDATE: Even though I think Wendy identified this in a comment below, if you have any thoughts, please add a comment. Thanks.  
Your turn
Any guesses? Any suggestions?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Giant Chicken and Other Pictures

On the way to Moulton, AL
on the side of the road for no apparent reason
Closeup of Alley Garden  happy sign

curtain rods for tomato stakes
green tomato
decorated bucket for planter
Alley Garden

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sex Amongst the Persimmons

No, not amour in the woods. Ron sent me this information in comments on my last post about the persimmon tree gift about needing male and female persimmon trees in order to have fruit. There are very good pictures that are almost pornographic.  Persimmon trees don't have to be paired off. The situation is sort of like chickens--You don't need a rooster for every hen.

Gifts: Persimmon Trees and Squash plants

Persimmon trees, four, I think
sixth area
He took a shovel and with one scoop got about a dozen trees, all growing at the base of these larger trees. He had the pots below all ready for me and asked how many I wanted. Four seemed like enough. It gives me room to kill some of these below. He even potted the tiny trees.

baby Persimmon trees
Remember the Alley Garden? One of the guys at the dinner asked me if I wanted persimmon trees. Yes, I did. He asked for my number and said he would give it to the guy with the persimmon trees. I hesitated to give him my number, but only for a second. Then, a guy called and told me he was a friend of this guy that owned the apartment complex. That was a shock--that he owned the apt building.
Below, are pictures from this guy's gardens. He has garden plots all over the place. I just had to take pictures of the home where my persimmon trees lived before I got them. I did not capture half his garden spots.

beans in first garden


 second garden
third garden
 muscadine vines
4th garden area
 grape vines? fifth garden area
Now, I need to learn how to grow persimmon trees. Although I have picked persimmons and eaten them all my life, I know nothing about anything special they require. He said to leave them in the pots for about three years. Sounds good to me.
three squash plants he gave me
See the blossom on the right. I saw that, thought it was a yellowed leaf and it was dying. The cataracts need to go. I love squash. He said he germinated too many seeds and was just giving these away. Nice. Thanks!
When I told him I made pepper jelly, he said he did, too. He loves pepper jelly, so I will give him some of that since he  asked for it, so at least I know he will like it. I had offered to buy the trees, so he said he would like jelly.
He promised me a yellow Canna. I hope to get a cutting from a muscadine vine. 
Your turn
Has anyone grown persimmon trees?  Any advice? Do you love to eat persimmons as much as I do? Have you ever accidentally eaten an under ripe persimmon? Isn't his place beautiful?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Red Clover Jelly and Freezing Eggs

I was struck by the beauty of this bowl of clover.
So, I put it up before the jelly photo.

One day, I saw red clover growing right beside a road with very little traffic. I found a recipe for Red Clover Jelly. The next time exbf came, we went and picked clover. My white clover is only three to six inches high. This had stems that were about two feet long. But, it was clover.

The plan was for both of us to pick about two quarts. Exbf got much more than I, but I decided we had a gallon because I was hot and tired. The non-latex gloves I wore were suffocating my hands. When we got home, I asked him to remove all the bits of stem and all the green he could. He finished in record time, I thought. Later, I found my clover stuffed by my chair and all wilted because I forgot to give it to him. He kept asking if that was all, and I assured him it was. Oh well.

I poured a quart of boiling water over the clover, covered them with Glad Wrap and placed a salad plate over them to keep them under the water. The directions said to steep the clover overnight. I think I left them steeping for a week.  Don't do that.

one quart of red clover juice/infusium
Now is where I deviate from the plan. I did not like the blah color in the jar. So, I took about six mulberries and squeezed in a coffee filter. I got color!

squeezed these, one day's "harvest" of mulberries

Now, I have juice that has been filtered once and it seems like it needs filtering again after sitting for a week and having mulberries added. I want perfectly clear jelly for this project.
Blogger does not want a caption under this picture! It keeps moving the picture when I try to add a caption! Above is the process of straining the juice again in order to get really clear jelly. I put a coffee filter stuffed into a quart jar and used the cup in front to dip the juice from the Corelle pan on the right. Every time the juice clogged the filter, I changed filters--three times. The lemon juice is measured to the left.
As I cooked the jelly and it was almost done, I took the jars from the boiling water and placed on a towel. In the meantime, I put a towel into the pot I used for the water bath they needed.  Above, the three jars are resting on a towel and are boiling. I just hope the steam did not ruin the camera! By using this pot, I heated a quarter of the water as I would have used in my regular water bath canner.
The pint needs to be a standard jar and ring. The half-pint jar has the only fruit-patterned lid I can find from the dozen jars I opened. I have the rings, but cannot find the lids. The gingham lid on the 4 oz. is cute, but I usually just use this for storage since it is not Ball and I don't know how trustworthy it is.
These are not as pretty as the clover.
The clover juice was sort of golden with no hint of pink. This is slightly pinker, but it has not jelled yet. 
Ingredients I used:
two quarts of clover, about
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 pkg Sure Jell in pink box
1 2/3 cup sugar.

This is the recipe I did not follow.

I finally got the chance to get exbf to test the jelly. He says it is a light flavor and delicious.

Eggs in the Freezer
two 4-oz. jars with two eggs each
The last egg post, I showed three jars I put in the freezer. The next day while I was beating eggs for breakfast, I prepared two eggs and put them in a jar in the freezer. That make 4 jars last week + 2 today=6 jars in the freezer. My goal is 36 jars, so that is 30 jars to go. If I can freeze only 16 eggs each month (freeze 4 eggs each week) for the next four months, that will make 4x16= 52 eggs or 26 jars.  I need to freeze more than that! We will see.
Unfortunately, I had to toss some eggs. I scrambled some for the hens, gave some away, and only have about 8 eggs on the counter instead of three dozen. As you can see, two dependable hens are plenty for me. Now, I need to keep up with using them, freezing them, or giving them away before the hens take a winter break..

I think the places online called for putting 1/8 tsp sugar or 1/8 salt in the eggs. I am not sure why this is called for. From now on, I will put the 1/8 tsp of salt in the two eggs I freeze in each jar. Maybe.

Your turn
Have you ever made red clover jelly? Tasted it? What's your favorite  jelly do you make? What jelly did you make last? 

Have you frozen any eggs yet? 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Coffee X 30; Coffee Dummy

Alabama National Championship Coffee
Red Diamond
30 canisters

And, I don't even drink coffee! But, I love a good deal and pass them on to friends.  Coffee was so cheap at 7:45 am this morning at Walmart. These are 11 ounce canisters, each for for for... for...(building suspense)


The first thing I did when I found the cart of coffee was to call Charlie, the coffee fiend, who said he would take 20 or 30, so 30 it is. Exbf said he had enough coffee to last two years. Daughter will be getting five of these. Everyone is good for the money, so no problems there.
A cashier said people were buying these for Christmas presents.  Alabama football fans are crazy for anything Alabama. I cleaned out one cart of these, but there is another cart full of coffee for everyone else.
Coffee Dummy
When I found the cart of coffee, I was not sure if the price was good. I asked people in line where the cart was sitting, "Is $1 a good price for this coffee?" I got a universal affirmation. Some of the people looked at me like I was crazy for asking the question.
Then, when exbf came, I said I supposed it was a year old already, and worried it would not be good for 2013. He sort of laughed and told me the 2012 National Championship was decided in January or February of 2013. That's odd. So, the coffee was not old at all. Silently, I wondered if Red Diamond slapped the label on old coffee. Noooo, I did not mean that. Don't sue me, Red Diamond!
The last time I made coffee, that I can remember, was in 1971 when I made instant coffee for my Daddy when my parents came to our house for Thanksgiving. It was so strong he could not drink it.
I don't know how to work a coffeemaker. Ex-husband did drink coffee, either. He would order it if we went out, but had no interest in drinking it daily.
For about 30 years I kept a jar of instant coffee for company. Finally, I threw away a very old jar. Company wanted fresh-brewed coffee...oh well, not in this house.
I can remember the last cup of coffee I had and that was only the second cup in my life. It happened 39 years ago on the way from Memphis to here, right outside Memphis in Mississippi. I stopped and bought coffee because  after too little sleep, I was seeing double cars approaching me and had three little children in the car. I forced myself to drink the coffee, black, of course. Cream or sugar would make me throw up!
Back to the Subject
Charlie is good for this money. He will call me when he spots similar deals. All the coffee will go in his freezer, I suppose. 
Your turn
How is this for a deal? You can all give me a pat on the back for being an eagle-eyed, astute shopper and a good friend to share a good Have you ever found coffee in abundance and so cheaply? Would this be welcome in your household?