primsong: (lunch)
My son was transitioned to buying his own grub recently but thus far has been chowing down on what he started off with as if there was no worry about that.  Then it finally happened:
Son: "We're out of milk."
Me: "You can buy some if you like, I don't use milk."
Son: . . . . . "I really, really want mac and cheese."
Me: "If you have some quarters you can get a box of mac and cheese for about 75 cents."
Son: . . . . . (makes a peanut butter sandwich from his remaining half jar of peanut butter for dinner)

The following morning he gathered his bag of cans to turn in, went to the store and returned excited because he'd gotten a half gallon of milk on sale.  It seems like a small thing, but to me it was a tectonic shift - it's the first time he's grocery shopped for himself, entirely on his own impetus with entirely his own money.  Those can refunds would have been used to purchase soda or pizza before - now he's excited that he has a singular box of mac-and-cheese.  This is good!
primsong: Scan from an old Dr. Who magazine (find tardis win game)
Went to reassemble the bed in our guest room after my son and I wrestled it back into the house from the garage, just one of those basic metal frames. No bolts. Son: "It was wired together, Dad had me cut it apart with my wire cutters when we moved it."

I go fish around in the garage and locate four bolts about the right size. Assemble bed. It doesn't fit the boxspring. What the heck? It's a king sized frame? No wonder it was wired together. Go to Habitat for Humanity to drop off king frame and pick up a nicer queen one for only ten bucks. Yay! While there I notice 2 lovely green chairs and a small table to go with them. Chalkboard sign says chairs are 50% off today. Hm.

Go home and assemble bed, turn around and go back to Habitat. Now I have a new dining set! The chairs were only $12 and the table $14. Gosh I love that place! Woo!
primsong: (four mirror)
One problem with my upcoming dance class at the church is we have no mirrors in our hall, and anyone who has learned any kind of dance will understand the value of mirrors!  I'd been hunting around and found those full-length type mirrors you hang on a closet door were my best bet, but even those often ran $20 and up each - some were over $40.  BUT - God is good.  Went to K-mart today (of all places...I never go to K-mart...) and found they not only had those $20 mirrors, they were on sale - and then there was an additional discount this weekend on top of it.

I got SIXTEEN mirrors - blitzed their supply - for only $5.99 each!  *balloons and confetti*  I have moveable dividers I can hang four mirrors each on so I am SET!  ^_^  I am so relieved! 
primsong: (barbara)
Well, we're still unemployed here so I've been digging into the accumulation of our household to see what we can use up instead of buy more than I usually do. It's kind of amazing how much oddball stuff we have buried in the backs of our cupboards and pantry, being at the tail end of 25 years of being a multi-child household. Scary expired pickles, anyone? Old seaweed snacks? How about rancid nuts? 0.o

I thought I kept up with rotating stuff pretty well, but I've obviously missed a few beats. Found out squirrels will eat old bread and rancid nuts just fine. Didn't try the seaweed on them.
primsong: (mouse gape)
SO...My hubby leans over the couch where I'm reading a book and says "Just got off the phone. I guess I must now count myself among the unemployed." And then while I'm still digesting this news he runs down the hall shouting "FREEEEDOOOOOMMMM!"

0.o

He's been at that company for 22 years and was one of the last two people they had at this location, so he's been a little weary in the saddle but I'm kind of looking around going "batten down the hatches!" and turning off lights, lowering heat, etc. I grew up with little to live on and know all the tricks - he's never been below middle-class. If this drags on a while he may have to learn, but for now let him go bounding across the fields for a bit, he's earned it!
primsong: (rainbow)
Here we are once again - I have mounds of daffodils blooming and scads of work to do outside from scrubbing a winter's worth of moss off my mailbox to picking up all the trimmings from the fruit trees.  I love the scent of spring on the wind. 

My other half just missed the axe at his work, his department has gotten teensy tiny in number and while grateful that he was one of those left standing, he's starting to look for other employment ("I'm not the captain," he reasonably pointed out, "I don't have to go down with the ship.")  I may plant a bit more veggies this year and make sure I take the time to put up stuff in the fall as we may be looking at tighter times than usual, we'll see - on the plus side the last year of paying for private school will be done in June so that may help balance things a bit.

I'm grateful we still have insurance for the time being, I'm moving up our various doctor and dentist things to get as much done as possible while we still have it, just in case. I grew up with very little so I do know "how to do that" if needed.

Hope everyone is having a very pleasant end-of-March and a nice Spring Break as well! 
primsong: (zucchini)
Finally got our summer boarding college student moved back to her college which means I no longer have someone permanently installed on my downstairs couch and can sell it at last.  We have too much furniture, as I have a tendency to bring things home from estate sales and then keep them because I have kids that are at that "about to get their own place" stage who might want my extras.  Two couches in the room in question is one too many, so this one being the one the kids have agreed isn't something they personally want away it goes, I hope.

Main problem is it's one of those weighs-a-blinkin'-TON hide-a-bed sofas, even if it is in good shape. And the upholstery has gotten nubbly. SO, I figured "Hey, I can fix at least one of those problems" and went after it with a little battery-powered sweater shaver. 

Me: Yay, shave off the nubbles! Get ALL the fuzz-balls!  Woo!
Shaver: You expect me to shave an entire COUCH? Oh look! Nubbles! Om-nom-nom!
Me: Oh yeah, you can do it! That's one entire arm, let's go for the back!
Shaver: Om-nom...ack, spit, spit. This thing is HUGE! Seriously! I'm just a little hand-held sweater shaver! You know what a sweater is, right?  Om-nom-nom.... agggghh.... Turn me off and unclog me again, if you're going to insist on battling an epic battle with a mere pocket-knife you gotta give it time!  Okay, okay...(pant, pant). I can do this...I can....!
Me: Go, little shaver! You can do it!  Nub-BLES, Nub-BLES, Nub-BLES! Rah, rah rah!
Shaver: Om-nom-nom....

I still have two cushions to do but it's looking pretty perky compared to what it was before. Now if I could only attach anti-gravitational devices to it it would sell lickety-split.  I'll have to settle for that other form of anti-gravitational device called a "cheap price" or possibly even have to dial it up to "free" if necessary, but I'm on my way.
primsong: (lunch)
Oy vey. Another huge pan of apple crisp is in the oven, another friend has been filled with tea and biscuits and sent off with a bag of apples and another batch of windfalls are in the apple bucket.  Have I mentioned I have APPLES? 

apples apples apples

Soooo many apples. They came in early this year too, the bees obviously did a good job this past spring. 
More fruity pictures under here. )So - what are your summertime-only jobs?  What does your yard have too much of?
primsong: (notice)
I've just been pondering the concept of the 'five love languages' (i.e. Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch) - mine is essentially 'service', something I'd generally already known - that I feel loved when people help me out or work alongside me - with a bit of Affirmation sprinkled in occasionally.

Whether or not I get gifts, big or small, really isn't that important to me, which is what brings me to greeting cards.

My mom, for instance, LOVES getting a nice card. She really takes to heart the words printed on it, notices the effort that went into choosing it for her and keeps them. She tucks them into her books as bookmarks, for instance, because they make her feel loved.

I...er, keep them around a while but if they don't have something significant like a genuine handwritten letter inscribed on them worth reading again later they get tossed. The ones I keep are the handmade, hand-drawn ones in the same way I would keep a work of art. I have almost no use for mass produced cards. And near as I can tell, neither do my immediate family members - only my son keeps his, and then only if they had a good joke in them.

SO - I'm thinking of sounding it out with my family to consider not buying cards anymore. They're so expensive, and so often they're bought last minute and presented out of guilt. Let's free ourselves from a needless modern ritual, perhaps... I would rather have someone send me a random thing in the mail because they were honestly thinking of me than to get a pile of mass produced cards that mean no more than remembering to say "Have a nice day" when you see them at the store.

Thoughts? Are greeting cards important to you? Do they convey love? Or do they make you wish the person hadn't wasted money on a card? Is it an important part of connection in our lives, or a useless gesture? There are no wrong answers.
primsong: (fireplace)
Finally got around to restocking my home-made firestarters this morning, which mostly involves hunting through rooms and cupboards to track down all the melted little candle stubs at the bottoms of various votive holders, etc. Add any broken tapers, the very last of a bottled kitchen candle and melt over low heat until kitchen becomes lovely and fragrant with all those nice-scented waxes warming in a pan. Mmm.

I saved up a small number of paper egg cartons, whacked into two-egg-cup chunks, to pour the wax over. They work great, and you can even add chunks of dryer lint or a small pinecone to each cup if you want. Pretty straightforward way to use up old candles, but thought I'd share in case anyone hadn't run across it yet.
primsong: (lunch)
I just made up a little batch of this as part of my cunning plan to shred the chicken I have in the crock pot and make up some chicken tacos for dinner tonight - thought it might be worth sharing, not only so I have it in a handy place here, but also as I'm probably not the only person out there who is into lower sodium than commonly found in any storebought mixes. (no sugar or filler either, as a bonus!)

2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 - 1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Stir together to blend, store in something airtight. 2 Tablespoons of the mix flavours about 1 lb. of your choice of meat (or tofu, I suppose).

As my son says, it is "om nom nommable".
primsong: (doctorsheep)
Elleth has made a fine collection of Middle-earth Dreamsheep, for any of you Tolkien fans who may want to snag a few.
:-)

Here at home, I'm incredibly pleased that we finally had the old aluminum-and-glass sliding patio doors replaced with vinyl ones - my uncle does this sort of thing for his job and he's been low on work (like so many folks out there) so we had him come in to take care of it, he's amazingly fast and very detailed in his work and I am so happy with them! I can't believe the difference in noise and temperature already. Yay! We switched out all the old windows in the house when we first moved in nearly six years ago but ran out of money before we could do the two patio doors, so it also feels like it is a lingering project "done at last!"

Of course, when one thing works another breaks to make up for it. My dryer is suddenly dead so I'm hanging laundry and hoping for clear weather, and then my little car's breaks went gronk so I'm having to drive my big station wagon while we figure how to fix it - and it's the kind where you can almost literally watch the gas gauge go down as you drive. All together now - Money makes the world go 'round...

Apple Tyme

Aug. 10th, 2010 11:47 am
primsong: (flower)
Heeeere comes harvest....!

I admit to getting a bit weary of picking blueberries, but they're winding down... bringing in some squash and beans, that's easy - pattypan squash are cute. But APPLES. Oy.

After putting off Applesauce Time for two weeks by making pans of apple crisp with the windfalls, I think it can't be put off any more. *rolls up sleeves* Time to get them done before the plums and grapes arrive. At the rate I'm going I may entirely miss the blackberry season too, as it arrived a couple weeks early this year - too...much...froooot!
one an apple, two an apple, apple apple apple argh )

Still, free food is free food, and this year I even get to give my college kid and her friends a bit of basic canning lessons, for sauce and apple butter.

What does your area sometimes produce just a bit too much of?
primsong: (flower)
I've been trying to do some gradual switching away from consumable paper goods this past year as one of our little economizing things - kind of like more hanging out the wash to dry when I can, changing to cloth napkins (love them!) and the switcheroo on ladies products to washable flannel ones (super love them!). This time it's hankie time. Bought a nice lot of vintage handkerchiefs on Etsy that were being sold as 'imperfect' because they had little pulls, spots, etc. that made them less than desirable for collectors.

As I told the lady, I didn't mind them being less than perfect because I wasn't looking to collect or frame them, I wanted them "for hankies." She wrote back that she loved the idea and had decided to set aside some of the ones she'd been selling in a little basket "as hankies" herself.

I have two little baskets of them so far, looking for some more. We really like them now that we're used to them, they don't disintegrate in your pocket when you wash your clothes for instance, last better and are softer and prettier than kleenex. We figure we'll still use tissues when we're sick as germ-containment but otherwise I'm now wondering why we didn't do this sooner, they're so... nice!
primsong: (yay)
I simply love some of the stuff I come across at garage sales and such - in this case it's a computer hutch! It's beautiful and matches my maple kitchen cabinets, which is a Fine Thing as my comp is right at the end of my kitchen, I am sooo happy. We had to replace a couple bits but that turned out better than expected as well ) It even has a light at the top. Yay! I feel so spoiled, I would hug it if it weren't a piece of furniture.

I was just looking around my house earlier and mentally identifying all the stuff we got from yard sales - there's quite a lot, I suppose if I were one of those folks who "MUST have it new" my house would be pretty spartan (or I'd be in significant debt). Looks good to me - I'm grateful for my mom raising me to appreciate how used can be good as (or better) than new.

It's an interesting mindset, the 'new' thing. My daughter, [livejournal.com profile] starbells, has an excellent artistic eye for clothing and told me one of her classmates admiringly asked her where she got her clothes. She said "Goodwill" and the other girl was both shocked and dismayed. "My mom won't let me shop at Goodwill, she says the clothes are germy."

I just have to roll my eyes. As if her 'new' clothing shipped from companies in China and handled by who knows how many people before her would be germ-free, lol! When my mom was in real estate for a while, she mentioned meeting a woman who said she wouldn't buy a 'used' house, only new because she didn't want to sit on a toilet seat someone else had sat on. I mean...good grief...

But then, germs hold little terror for me, and I love a good treasure hunt - plus now I get to hunt more often as my Etsy shop needs feeding, a nice bonus. Each to their own!
primsong: (beach)
I've found something wonderful for, well - personal care for us gals, but it's so cool I thought I'd point the way in case others are interested...

Gents skip it - you'll have no use for these, but yippie-skippy for ladies )

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