It's rainy and gray and cold outside my window. A typical January day. The dogs have been watching for someone out walking their dog, but that isn't happening much these days. Right now they're curled up in one of their beds next to my desk, keeping one another warm.
They will rally when I go to the living room with my cereal and coffee and things start happening. Like when the mailman heads up toward the porch. That is grounds for lots of loud barking.
Oftentimes they run into one another running along the back of the couch, which then knocks them both down to the seat cushions. And if they're frenetic enough, they then end up on the floor in a tangle, which seems to surprise them every time.
I did get out yesterday, delicately dodging the ice patches in the driveway on the way to the garage. I had reached my threshold of "three errands = getting the car out." To the bank, to the place just down the road to get my hair cut, then a little farther down to the grocery.
The photographer comes tomorrow morning, and my one concession was to get my hair cut, on the chance that I can't dissuade him from taking my photo. What woman wants her photo taken after the age of, oh, 35? Actually I never have liked having my photo taken.
I heard somewhere that many Native Americans were wary of having their photographs taken and often refused. They believed that the process could steal a person's soul and disrespected the spiritual world.
I know I have Indian in my bloodline, so maybe I can use that excuse and have it pass muster.
When you set up house somewhere, it is well worth your while to bank at the closest bank, have someone to cut your hair within blocks of your home, and get your groceries just a few blocks beyond. That's how I get by on so little gas and not putting miles on my car. I doubt I've put 2000 miles on it since moving here, and a lot of that was moving here!
Of course not everyone can do that. But if you can, it helps you to live a more frugal life. So does the not going out until you have at least three errands to run. But I know that's not possible for many folks either. Especially not folks who don't work at home and drive to work, or have children to run about.
I've been there, so I know kid raising means lots of trips to all kinds of events and practices and school and such.
To live a frugal lifestyle takes a concerted effort. I no longer just get in the car and head out to Hobby Lobby, for instance. In fact I don't think I've even been in that place for six months or so. Because I'm not buying things right now. I'm saving as much as possible because I don't yet know where I want my life to take me in the near future.
Normally in the winter I allow myself some fresh flowers once a month in the winter months. But now with the Bromeliads, I feel less inclined and still don't feel that I'm going without.
The Bromeliads weren't cheap. They were $17 a piece, and I now have two. But think how much fresh flowers from the store would be. And with the fact that you've got these year round, that makes the argument for real plants even better.
I had planned to force spring bulbs, but somehow managed to forget it again. Maybe next year.
Yesterday someone asked me how to decide what to keep and what to get rid of when you know it's time to take on that task. Plus it's the month of the "urge to purge" syndrome that changing to a new calendar often brings on.
I told her to make three piles, or three areas. One is the "definitely going to go" pile. That pile will be donated.
One is the "definitely going to keep." You've decided you just can't part with these things.
And the last is the "maybe pile." This one is for the things you are still uncertain about. Leave it and look at it as you walk past it for a week or so. I think you can then decide, perhaps grudgingly, what needs to be donated and what goes into the keep category. I'd say try to donate half of this pile or you'll just end up with too much stuff again.
I'm making that Mexican casserole I so love today. Ground beef yesterday was over $5 for just over a pound, because I purchased the 93% lean, and the rest of the stuff was cheap.
I suppose I'll dust the kitchen a bit and get out the mop and mop those dirty floors in there. With the dogs coming in the back door from the yard, and the yard being a sloppy mess for weeks, I haven't felt inclined to mop. Because the linoleum is immediately dirty again.
But I guess I'll make a passable effort, and then touch up in the morning.
It's off to the Keurig coffee making part of the day now. I've been finding some really good deals on K-cups at my local grocery that beat out the Walmart prices I've been getting online lately.
So if you're in a cold, snowing, ice storm part of the country, hunker down and drink coffee and hot chocolate. And maybe spring will come sooner than expected. I sure hope so.