Thursday, May 28, 2015

Frugal Summer Tips

I did my usual every other week grocery shopping yesterday morning. Of course I don't like to go out unless I have more than one errand. I usually wait until I have three.

So first to Cox cable to turn in my DVR that I'd had stored in my closet. They continually said it would raise my bill if I brought it back. 

When I moved to Tulsa, it was part of my "bundle" and the bill would go up if I didn't take it. How stupid is that?

So I figured out a way to lower the bill AND rid myself of the DVR taking up space in my closet.

Then to Walmart. We have Walmart Markets here, which are smaller and only have food. Very easy to navigate. And not as much chaos and children screaming. 

I never allowed my children to scream in stores. One cry of anger over wanting something I said no to, and they wouldn't shush, meant we abandoned the cart and immediately vacated the premises.

This bill, which includes TV, home phone and internet, is almost my highest bill. Except for health insurance.

Then to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription.



This is my TV. Before my divorce, it was our bedroom TV.  

It is never on before 6 p.m., as I work online during the day.  

As you can see, it is weighing heavily on my chest of drawers, and the top drawer won't shut. I've tried to figure out a solution. 

I've stacked books in the center of the top drawer as tight as I could to support it. But they always somehow come loose when I open the drawer.

Got a solution? 


So now let's move on to what we're eating this summer. 

After my post last week on vulvar vestibulitis, and reading all the comments and advice, I am off most processed sugar. My heart is a bit broken, as I dearly love chocolate and sweets. 

And I haven't been drinking my coffee. Yeah, I'm about as with it now as a gopher in a hole with no caffeine consumption. (I totally made up that analogy.)

Got to somehow get this under control if I ever want to wear real clothes and actually sit again. 



I probably get most of my protein from eggs. For supper I might boil a couple of eggs, fix a couple of slices of turkey bacon, and have a piece of toast. I always did like breakfast for supper. 

I like yogurt. I'm sure they add some sugar in there somewhere, but I need the other ingredients in yogurt.

The banana chips will have to please my sweet tooth. And along with my toilet paper order, I ordered some Walmart trail mix along with a toothbrush and some other items. 

I'm not a processed sugar expert, but I'm starting to learn.

Ordering online at Walmart is one of my all-time favorite tips.

The soup. I just love this soup. What I like about this can of soup, by this particular brand, is that it's big. I have half the can one day, and put the other half in the fridge for the next day. 

Good with a sandwich. So for the size and the price, it was the best buy.



Here's where I also get protein. Beans. Particularly black beans. I might make some nachos and dress them up with black beans and veggies. 

The sauerkraut is for when I make a turkey panini sandwich and it is sort of like a Reuben. 

Turkey bacon and sliced turkey in a package. It is about as far as I go in the meat department. I haven't even looked at meat prices in a year. But I'm sure they're over the top.

Moving right along...

We're all gardening right now, so save your egg shells for the garden

And here's another tip with eggs. If you're making a container garden, put one regular uncracked egg in the pot. 

Here's why. The egg will decompose. As it does, it provides the seeds with nourishment. 

Click on the Resource link under the photo to go to the instructions and get the scoop on that.



Another tip: Apparently you can go to the produce aisle and buy scallions, or grow a crop of them yourself, and you're set for life!



(Source)

Who knew? Not me.

Click on the Source link underneath the photo above for instructions for this great tip.


We all know what a pain in the butt ants can be. If you don't have a huge problem, pour out some cinnamon. Watch the ants as they get to the cinnamon. 

When I do it, they get to the line of cinnamon and turn right back around. Some people have told me it doesn't work for them. 

So if that doesn't work, click on the Source under the photo and read the instructions for another home remedy to rid yourself of ants.

While you've got the cinnamon out, your plants love it as well!


You know the drill. Click on the above Source link.

I hate chemicals, so anything I can use that isn't poison is always music to my ears. Don't you just love it when you can use so many things that are right there in your kitchen?

And if hornets/wasps are your problem...


Click on the Source link and find out some nifty ways to rid yourself of those flying pests.

Okay, we've talked a bit about food, garden tips and how to get rid of nasty critters. What tips do you have to add here for summer?

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Java Talk: Society & Single Women Over 40


Today I'm letting a reader choose the topic of our discussion. It's about women who are over 40 and are unmarried. 

Here is her email: I often feel a lack of support/empathy, even from friends, who happen to be married or in long-term relationships. Maybe there are others who find it difficult connecting with women in like situations? It's a feeling of "not fitting in" somehow, or being out of step. Not sure where I belong, so I tend to withdraw into solitude - you know? People can be completely oblivious to the pain you hold within.

***

According to the US Census:

1. Women by far will marry less than men after a divorce.
2. The less education a person has, the less likely chance of them remarrying. Men, by approximately 2 to 1, are still more likely to remarry than women across educational categories.
3. White women followed by Black women are the least likely to remarry.  Hispanic followed by Asian women have the best chances of remarrying.
4. The older you get the worse it gets.  Women 46-64 have a 19 in 1000 chance of remarrying while women 65 and older only 2 in 1000.  Men are 62% and 143% more likely to remarry than women at these ages, respectively.

Source: National Center for Family & Marriage Research. (2012). Remarriage Rate in the U.S., FP-12-14.

***

Many people like being married. The stability. The comfort. The traveling together. 

So what are your thoughts? If you're married now and something happened to your husband, would you want to remarry? 

If you're single or divorced now, would you like to remarry? 

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tips On Your Housewarming

When you’re moving into your brand new house, you’ve no doubt got plenty on your mind to worry about before you can even begin to think about having a housewarming party. The period of time after moving can sometimes be the most overwhelming with all of the unpacking that needs to be done. If this is your first time moving into a new home and throwing a housewarming, you may be doubly overwhelmed. But remember, everyone at your housewarming is looking out for you and wants you to be happy on your move-in, so get together your support network and get help in throwing a great housewarming party. Housewarming Etiquette If you’ve never thrown a housewarming before, you may not be totally up on the proper procedures and protocols for a housewarming. Here are a few minor things to keep in mind while you are setting up. Housewarming Dos
  • Definitely greet your guests at the door! This may mean designating tasks to friends and family who are helping you out, but you definitely want to be at the door to thank the guests who are coming to welcome you to your new home.
  • Provide food and drinks, but don’t do anything too over the top. Stick to finger foods, though make sure there is plenty of everything so people can have as much as they want. You can also offer more substantial dishes, but be sure to position lots of trash cans around the house. As people are walking around inspecting your new home, they won’t want to carry their paper plates and cups with them everywhere or accidentally leave them in some room, so make sure they have plenty of places to get rid of trash.
  • Do make sure that the living area is clean and that any unpacked boxes have been stored out of sight. Try to have enough unpacked that your home at least looks inviting and presentable.
  • Do provide both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, unless you and your guests do not drink alcohol.
  • Do put on music and provide comfortable sitting areas.
  • If kids are invited to your housewarming, do provide an area that is specifically for the kids like the basement or backyard, depending on the weather. Set up a TV with a stack of movies, video games, toys, etc. Do hire a babysitter to attend to keep an eye on the kids. Do allow the babysitter to put out a tip jar if he or she wants to.
  • Do send out invitations with specific information: time, address, phone number, whether or not kids are allowed, whether or not it is a potluck, whether or not gifts are welcome, etc.
  • Do send thank you cards!
Housewarming Don’ts
  • Don’t put up decorations. This is a party but unlike a Christmas or wedding party, it’s not typical to hang decorations as they will obscure your house, which should be the focal point of the party. You should be excited to show off the newly decorated rooms and hear your guests’ feedback.
  • Don’t go over-the-top on food, drinks, or entertainment. But do decide if you want it to be a potluck in advance and say so on the invitation.
  • Don’t expect gifts. While it is customary to bring a small housewarming gift, it is not considered mandatory, so don’t get disappointed if people don’t bring gifts!
  • Don’t be rude if people show up with children even though they weren’t invited. If you can, find some space where the kids will be comfortable watching a movie while they wait. If it’s really not possible, gently suggest that the party is not set up for kids and you think it would be better if they figured something else out.
To Have or to Avoid the Registry? There is some debate these days about the etiquette of having a gift registry for a housewarming. General consensus says that requesting housewarming gifts from your guests are only appropriate in the following cases:
  • You did not have a formal wedding or you skipped the registry. In this case, people may have wanted to give you gifts anyway and will be excited to finally get to do so.
  • This is really your first time being on your own and you are having a hard time getting together all of your furnishings.
  • You are having a hard time getting everything you need to get for personal or financial reasons. For example, if you’ve recently gone through a divorce, you may have lost some of your furnishings as well as some of your financial security.
  • You request that those who want to give gifts instead make donations to an account to help you buy furnishings.
  If you do decide that you want to have a registry, you should be sure to list it on your invitation and to explain the circumstances of your having a registry. For example, some people who might find it impolite to have a registry might be more understanding once you explain that you did not have a wedding registry and so never received many of the basic furnishings many people acquire at that stage.   Similarly, if you do not want to receive gifts, make it clear on the invitation that those who do want to give gifts can instead make donations to an account you have set up. Whatever you do, you should be certain to show your gratitude for any kind of gifts and absolutely send thank you cards! Starting Off on the Right Foot Your housewarming is all about starting off right in your new home and neighborhood. Be sure to invite your new neighbors and old friends and don’t be afraid to ask for help! There’s nothing like getting together for a party as a community to make you feel nicely welcomed.
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A Very Lush Patio & A GoFundMe Account

I am absolutely thrilled with all the plants that came up in my containers from last year. We have had tons of rain, which made the entire patio garden so lush and green.

I was so afraid that winter temps would kill the plants in the containers, but most plants have come back.



Charlie is a bit curious. If there isn't a cat or squirrel to bark it, he just noses around and sniffs. 

Speaking of barking, which I DO NOT allow my dogs to do for more than a few seconds, the man who lives alone behind me, who I've never met, has been calling security in the wee hours of the morning for a year now. Surprised they haven't kicked me out.

I don't know what his problem is. Don't they think I'd know it was my dogs barking when they're sleeping peacefully right next to me?



But Sunday before last, I was awakened to loud pounding on my door. I threw on a robe. The dogs were of course barking then. 

A man stood on the porch. I didn't have time to grab my glasses. Should I open the door? I did, and he was the security company. Said the guy behind me called and reported that my dogs had been barking for hours and wouldn't stop.

I told him that that man, who doesn't have the common decency to come around and talk to me, has been doing this time after time after time. And it is not my dogs. 

Of course by then Sammy had woken Charlie and his wife next door. So he wasn't too happy either. I've stopped Charlie from confronting the man before. He's a youngish guy, from what I understand. 

But Charlie said next time he sees him out while he's walking Sammy, he's giving him an ear load. That if it were my dogs barking, our walls connect, so they would surely hear barking themselves. And they don't.



I called management the next day. Talked to the temp manager about it. She didn't know what to do. Said to call the police if I think this is harassment. I told her they'd tell me to tell her to deal with it, which of course she doesn't want to do. 

I told her the fence at the end has been falling over due to a tree planted smack on it since I moved in, and they've been promising they'll fix it. But that never happens.

I said I've got things in front of it, but if Charlie spots a cat or squirrel, he may just scale the thing and end up in that man's yard. And if he hurts my dogs, there will be hell to pay.

She said she'd try to talk to him. 



But it's just like the whole back wall, which you notice I don't show, that has been eaten up by termites. Several feet up from the ground the boards on the wall are just mush. It looks terrible. 

But they're not willing to do anything about it. So I guess it's their problem.

The corporation that owns this place and a bunch of others is based in Dallas. I guess if they want things to fall apart, and then have to pay more in the long run, it's none of my business. Seems a shame though.

All they would have to do with that fence is take down the last section, put about three pickets inward toward the man's yard behind me, to give the tree a little more room. And then nail the section back up on that. 

That would not solve the problem in the long run, as the tree is pretty big. But it would help in the short run.



Well, the first morning glory bloomed last week. If you haven't been reading long, you won't know the significance of that. 

The first week of July 2012, on a Sunday afternoon, I was making lunch. I was living in the little rental house. I happened to look up at the window that overlooked the back yard, and I saw a bright purple morning glory way out back.

I left my lunch fixings, grabbed my camera, and took off to get the first morning glory photo of the season. My first summer in Tulsa. 

I tripped over a piece of landscaping and fell. I managed to protect my camera, but I fell one way, then lost my balance and fell back the other. I had never broken a bone, so I didn't know quite what the damage was.

I broke both sides of my right ankle. And there I was without a phone, steps to get up to the porch, and my bones sticking out at a crazy angle. 

I crawled on one knee and on my stomach up the steps and into the kitchen. Through the kitchen into the dining room. From there to the hall, and into the bedroom where there was a phone. 



I called my daughter, but she was in the middle of an open house, and said she'd called her husband. They lived in a nearby town, and he had to take the children somewhere before he could come to my aid. So I sat there leaning against the end of my bed for about an hour. 

Had I known the severity of the injury, I'd have had the good sense to call 911. For when he got me to a critical care clinic, they just called an ambulance and sent me to a hospital anyway.

I was to have surgery that day, but I believe someone got shot and that put me on the back burner. They sent me home to wait till Friday for surgery.

I didn't get that shot of the morning glory until many months later. On July 13, which fell on a Friday, I had surgery to put hardware in my ankle to hold everything together. I'd been in a wheelchair my daughter rented all week. 

That surgery wasn't much of a success, and the physical therapy landed me with a stress fracture. So I just quit the whole mess and walked with a cane and a steel boot. 



Fast forward to November 2014, I had surgery again to take the hardware out. With a different surgeon. There was other damage that they could not fix. But I'm doing much better. 

I showed the awful $1300 brace they formed to my foot, which was more painful than any help toward walking. But the surgeon knew if I got pulled over wearing the steel boot, which I'd been doing over two years, then I would be in trouble. As you are considered too incapacitated to drive with that on.

Today, if I don't walk very long, say maybe a block, I can wear my good sneakers with Dr. Scholl's padding inside, without a brace. I have far less pain than I did from 2012-2014.

If I go out and walk in a grocery store, and bring in 4-5 sacks of groceries, I have to lay low for 3-4 days because of the pain. But I'm still very happy to have what I have back. 



I haven't mentioned my ankle in a while. Seems there's always something else. But on that front at least, I have much less pain, and I'd call that surgery a success. I can now drive without the boot, but I don't go far.

There will still be days I have to wear a steel boot that comes up to my knee. But it's so much better than it was! I'm grateful every day for that. And for all of you, who gave me over two year's worth of encouragement to keep on keeping on.

Doreen of House Honeys has set up a GoFundMe account for me and the pupsters. So those of you who have emailed, wanting to help, can contribute there if you wish. Thank you, Doreen, for your kindness.

No one ever thinks things will slide down to the point where they need help. But we all must worry about that very thing happening. We never know what life will serve up.

If you would like to place the widget on your own blog, email me or Doreen and we will give you the code for an HTML widget if you're using Blogger. 

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Tweak It Tuesday #143

Last week on Tweak It Tuesday...


Living The Gourmet made goat cheese tarts.


So Much Better With Age showed her elegant French-inspired living room.


A Mother's Shadow put together a fruited spinach salad.


Sunny Simple Life showed her city garden planted on a budget.


Junk Chic Cottage upholstered this pretty frilly bench.


Bargain Decorating With Laurie showed this still life vignette.


Whispering Herbs created this lovely tabletop vignette.


Ms Toody Goo Shoes cooked lime-cilantro sweet potatoes.


While I Linger sewed this sweet ruffled purse.


Southern Seazons did some changing up of her kitchen island.


The Bewitchin' Kitchen served up Jerk Chicken.


Must Love Home has her screened-in porch ready for summer.


Butterfly & Bungalow harvested the prettiest peaches from her yard.


Tarnished Royalty redecorated her breakfast nook. Don't you love the brick wall?


My 1929 Charmer set a pretty table with her some of gorgeous dish collection.


Honey & Roses came up with a chopping board hack. Aren't they cute?


Itsy Bits & Pieces brought this bouquet of lilacs in from her yard.


Little Vintage Cottage redid this cute piece of furniture.


White Spray Paint has a pretty patch of zinnias blooming in her yard.


Let's see what you've tweaked this week.


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More Affordable Tiny Homes

The other tiny homes I showed yesterday were beautiful, but out of a lot of people's price range. But look at this one by Sears...


This is 14 x 24 square feet, and $7999.00. So a much cheaper version. Probably meant to be a glorified garden shed. But hey, it definitely has possibilities!

What do you get for this? Well, it is a shell. If you are a handyman or carpenter and knew a plumber, this would be doable. And I don't think I'd want the garage door there, unless it opened up into an outdoor room.

Remember the old Sears Kit Homes?


Here is this home today. Less than 600 square feet, just about perfect.



Definitely cute and a little bigger than most tiny homes. For two people, I'd think it just about right. Maybe a tad tight. But for one, perfect.

Above is The Lowell from Park Models Direct. One bedroom, one bath for under $30,000.





Plain, but with the appliances, which is a plus. You can paint the cabinets. Small, but reasonable.

This Park Model Home is called The Crossett, at 256 square feet.


I like this one because of the open feel of the home. I'd ditch those window valances though!



This one goes for closer to $25,000. Has a lot of possibilities though.

See anything you like here? That you can imagine living in?

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