Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Five Frugal Things and Gratuitous Dog Pic

Disclosure:  This is a gratuitous pic of a dearly-loved family member having no relation to the content below.

1.  I set beef to marinade for dinner.  The marinade consisted of juice drained from canned pineapple for fruit salad. (I save the juice from canned fruit - not syrup.) I added Chinese Five Spice, sesame oil, and soy sauce.  I'll have a stir-fry this evening with rice I deliberately cooked too much of Sunday. Frugal Girl is correct - meal planning is da bomb. Having some of dinner completed ahead (the rice, the marinade) makes me feel better about having to cook after a long day.

2.  I made iced tea from bags, setting it on the porch to cool. No need to heat up the fridge.

3.  Breakfast was made at home.  I cooked an egg sandwich with a sliced tomato, a small amount of mozzie cheese, and a thin slice of ham. The egg was free from a friend who raises chickens.  The cheese, ham, and bread were discounted.

4.  I cook for four, but there are two of us. After dinner, I create "TV dinners" (my husband's term) from the leftovers for his lunch. Today's lunch was roasted acorn squash and a stuffed baked potato. The frozen lunch keeps anything else in his insulated bag cool until noon, even in the summer.

5.  This frugal thing may not work for everyone.  My husband had been using clinical strength antiperspirant which severely irritated his skin. Some people believe there is a health risk associated with using antiperspirants, as well. I remembered my frugal and immaculate grandmother used rubbing alcohol instead. We tried it over the weekend. If we were going to end up stinky, we didn't want it to happen during work!  The alcohol worked perfectly for us.  This morning, I patted on rubbing alcohol instead of antiperspirant: healthier and much less expensive.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

I don't generally talk a lot about the weather.  Bruce is in charge of weather monitoring.  Having grown up on a farm, he pays enough attention for both of us and some other unknown folks who blithely head out each day without proper outdoor clothing, boots, umbrellas, and all manner of dangerous weather ignoring behavior.

I just HAVE to say something today.  The old thermometer next to the back door says 63 degrees.  On Tuesday, it read 9 degrees. Please note that my faithful writing companion up top was wrapped up in a blanket warmed in the dryer on Tuesday.  Today she has abandoned me for the backyard.
Here are the sad remains of the hula girl snowoman built by my next door neighbor in my backyard. She didn't ask, I just looked out back and she was building it.  I brought her out some hot tea (it was terribly cold) and asked her why she was building it in mine.  She said, "Your yard is prettier." Uh, okay.

My blog title: Adapt, Improvise, Overcome is a motto expressing the corporate culture of the Marine Corps...oooh rah!

The motto also works well for those who practice frugality or who want to leave a lighter footprint on the earth.

My shower curtain was looking its age of 16 years, so I was keeping an eye out for one on a deep discount or at Goodwill.

You can see the pink hue of my bathroom with the window treatment on the very tall window.  The curtain is a Rachel Ashwell sheet I picked up for a $1.50.  The only thing I found wrong with it was a tiny splotch of white paint that is not noticeable. 

The little dress was $3.50. I already had the necklace.  I got this together about 4 years ago.  Mostly, I am showing this to indicate the delicate pink hue of the bathroom.
I thought I had found the perfect color at Goodwill and took home a shower curtain I thought would match.
What was I thinking?  The hue was far too loud.  I put it through the wash three times with was as loud as ever.

I mulled it over for a few days, hating to give up a shower curtain which was almost perfect.

Holding it my hand last night, it occurred to me to hang it up backwards.  Now it works!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

In the Bleak Mid Winter

In the bleak mid-winter

Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Okay, okay, it isn't soooo bleak...we just have had a blizzard! Up above you see the view outside my front door.
Here's my old-fashioned detached garage and the old pecan tree.  
You can have your hot water bottles, your socks filled with rice and microwaved, your electric blankets or your heating pads!  For all out comfort and warmth while the blizzard howls around your hundred-year-old house, up on the second floor, there's nothing like snuggling up with a mutt. 

And she was quite frugal by costing us nothing and giving us everything. Who rescued who?  

Whenever we have severe weather, I feel cozy up in our room.  The thunder sometimes shakes the house, we've had a very weird earthquake which also damaged the Washington Memorial.  We've gone through hurricanes and tornadoes.  Most recently, we've had a blizzard, but the old Shea house at 256 Constitution Avenue still stands unafraid. 

If she could talk she would say, "I am still here. I am unbowed. I have horse-hair insulation. I was built to last with 2x4's that were really 2 feet by four feet. I was built by a craftsman who cared and a family who loved me, not a developer."

The old Shea house at 256 still has a family who loves her very much. The great grand nephew of the original family lives a block and a half away. His uncle did upholstery for the railroad.  He was a generous man who also donated the land for the old school across the street.  Mr. Shea built the house next door for his mother-in-law.

So just like Mr. Shea did, we shoveled the sidewalks, stamped our feet up the steps and on to the front porch.  We made warm comfort foods while snow and ice fell so hard that we could hear the crystals hit the ground. 

The only thing that I can guarantee that Mr. Shea did not do after this storm was acquiesce to the request of the next door neighbor (nobody's mother-in-law) to take a picture of her in a belly dancing costume (no coat on) in the backyard for an online "Snow Goddess" challenge.  

She is an endless source of amusement without meaning to be, if you know what I mean.