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Sunday, October 9, 2016

PASSIVE SAVINGS AND THRIFT

Hello dear friends!  I hope this post finds you all safe and dry.  We went from people asking, "is it hot enough for you?" to "do you think it's going to snow?" all in a twenty-four hour period.  Tonight we will probably  have a fire, it's a very chilly in the house as we speak.  I'm sitting here wrapped up in quilts with tights and sweaters on.  It will take some getting used to the cooler weather that's for sure!  I tried to find something Fallish to photograph but the leaves haven't changed yet, the best I could do is a picture of some of our Japanese maples, which is kind of cheating since they are red all year round.
The leaves on the grape vines are starting to turn a pretty wine-y color. 
Befitting of a vineyard, don't you think?

PASSIVE SAVINGS AND SPENDING

A comment made by Dana last week, reminded me of the phrase "passive saving", a term I believe Amy  Dacyczyn of Tightwad Gazette coined.  So much of our savings comes from what we don't do.  I'm always slightly amused by thrift blogs that begin with what they spent money on for the week.  I recently discovered that there's an entire genre of YouTube videos on thrift  and dollar store hauls.  I guess one man's thrift is another man's folly.  When I post about thrifty things I did this week, it is often hard to come up with anything because most of my savings is in what I didn't do, i.e.; I didn't go out to eat, I didn't  spend any money on gas because I didn't go anywhere, I didn't go grocery shopping. etc' ..  In other words the easiest way to save money is not to spend it in the first place.  Not to say that all spending is bad. Hey, no one enjoys a good thrift "haul" more than I, but if it becomes something to just spend money on, where's the savings?  When something is a great buy, it is better to spend the money now, rather than pay more for it later.  This week I intend to buy some turkeys to can because they are on sale for about half the price I usually see them.  And if I ever find a great deal on butter, I intend on stocking up.  Ditto for ham. The clothes I bought at the thrift store last spring on the great end-of -the-season sale for seventeen cents  and put away are nice to where now, rather than paying regular prices.  When it comes to spending I guess you have to ask yourself, "Is it thrift or is it entertainment?", then decide if it is worth it.  I dare say, yours truly included, that shopping can be  a form of amusement.

TAKING STOCK

It was time to for the semi-annual switching of the wardrobe here.  Our house has very limited closet space so, we must pack our clothes away in the attic and bring them out each season (we really only have two, Winter and Summer).  Just seeing everything laid out and taking stock of what I do have is enough to put the brakes on any clothes spending.  Where did I get so many scarves?  Every time  I'm at a garage or estate sale and spot a pretty scarf, I buy it, after all they usually cost less than a dollar, but now I've discovered I have an entire bin of scarves and shawls.  Not to mention all that I've knitted with left over yarn.  I needn't look at another scarf for at least a decade.  I'd encourage anyone that's a recreational shopper to lay out all their clothes on their bed and take a good look.  Get rid of all the things that you never wear, all the unflattering things, all the things that are not "you", the things that don't "go"with anything and the things that are too big or too small.  What you'll probably end up with is a nice basic wardrobe.  Figure out from what remains why you never have anything to wear.  Perhaps it is because you don't have the right shoes to wear with your pants or maybe your missing an entire category of clothes.  I discovered that while I have plenty of skirts and sweaters I have very few tops to put underneath those sweaters.  Make a list of what you need and then don't even venture into the aisles of things you don't need (like the scarves).  Personally, what I discovered is that I tend to wear the same three or four skirts and rarely wear the others.   I discovered that having some tops and bottoms in just basic colors is enough.  To add interest I have a wardrobe of vests and scarves.  The vest can tone down a too wild print or add a little pizzazz to boring basics.  Ditto for scarves and shawl.  But then again, I dress very strangely, so I'm not sure anyone would take my advice. Ha!  I was Bohemian before it was a style trend,  it's  definitely not for wallflowers.  I've noticed that most the ladies in my area wear either jean or yoga pants and tee shirts.  Ah well!  At my age I can be eccentric.  I wish more people had the courage to be who they truly want to be. What a fun colorful world it would be!  Why do we have to take something as silly as fashion so seriously? I think it's one of the reasons Halloween is so popular, it's the one day out of the year when you can truly express yourself in the way you dress.  For me, every day is dress up day.

RECIPE FROM THE GARDEN

OK, so enough of that prattle.  Last week I wrote about my Australian Butter squashes, they were delicious, but they're a lot of squash for three people, particularly  when two of those three are not overly fond of squash.  So I had some of the puree left over which I made into these wonderful biscuits;
Squash Biscuits

2 C. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 C. cold butter
1 C. pureed squash
2 tsp. honey
1-4 tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the butter until it is a coarse crumb.

Mix honey into squash puree and stir into flour mixture.  Add enough milk to form a soft dough.  Use alight hand and don't overwork the dough, just enough to combine the ingredients well.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a square approximately 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into biscuits. Place close together on a greased baking sheet. (placing biscuits close together forces the biscuits to rise up instead of spread out) Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until the biscuits are lightly browned.

Ran and Jamie love these biscuits served the "southern" way with some butter and brown sugar while they are hot out of the oven.  They do taste almost like a pumpkin cinnamon roll that way.

FORAGING

We foraged for hops, red clover and red raspberry leaves this week.  The hops are growing up the wall on an abandoned building near by and the clover is in the vacant lot a few houses down.  The raspberry leaves come from our neighbor's humongous  raspberry patch.  We dried all of these plants and ground them, along with lavender and  bay leaves to make a sort of incense that we burn for those times when we can't sleep. Hops  and lavender are also good to make a pillow from.  This is an herbal remedy so please do not write to tell me that you are allergic or have some other health reason why you can't use it.  As with all herbal remedies, do your own research and use with caution.  What works for us, may not work for you.

WHY I DON'T DO THESE SORT OF THINGS

Carrying on with the same vein of not taking things too seriously, I thought I'd share with you the "lovely" selfies I took for this post.  I was trying to get a picture of my hat that I just finished.

Too high!

Too low and I have cracker crumbs on my lips.

   Then there were a bunch of pictures of the wall, up my nose, the ceiling and the floor.  I guess Kim Kardashian is smarter than she looks.  What a horrible life it must be to earn your keep by taking selfies!   Anyhow, the hat is an easy pattern from The Gentle Art of Knitting that knits up quick.  I used a ball of yarn from my stash. One more down a million more to go! I used size 4 needles instead of size 5 because I have a smaller hat size, but it's not as slouchy as I'd like, so next time I'll use the smaller needles for the rim and switch to the larger ones for the crown.  And I won't take any selfies!


THRIFTY THINGS WE DID THIS WEEK

Ran made some spoons from the black walnut our neighbor gave us.
They will be part of our Christmas presents this year.

Made sauerkraut  from our $1.49 cabbage. (about 8 pounds )

We made a big pot of red beans and rice and ate that for three days.  Making a big pot of food and not cooking again for three days is my style.  Did I ever confide in you that I hate to cook?

Our neighbor was cleaning out her garage and gave us a bunch of nails and screws that she no longer used.

Foraged for hops, red raspberry leaves and red clover.

Made the aforementioned herbs into a remedy for sleeplessness.

Attended our local farmers market and visited with a lot of people for entertainment.

Another neighbor gave us a gallon of soon to be expired milk for the strays.  They are becoming a neighborhood project.

Started knitting a Christmas present from my never-ending yarn stash.

Basically just passively saved by spending a quiet week at home.


So that's it for this week at the old Zempel boarding house.  I truly hope you all are well and safe.   There's so  much bad news in the world right now, we must remain confident that this too will pass. I hope you enjoyed my bit of  fluff today.  I thought after last week's seriousness, I would just post something light-hearted. Here's a hug for courage!

Jane









46 comments:

  1. You're a redhead! Isn't it funny how you can talk to someone on the phone and picture them. For me they never look the way I picture! Anyway, very cute. I wanted to ask you about burning the leaves as a sleep remedy. Insomnia has been my "friend" for several years. Does you just burn the leaves in a jar or something as you go to sleep? Could you recommend a book for these types of herbal remedies? It has finally cooled off here in GA too but still NO rain. Ugh!

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    1. Hi Angela! I just grind them up and burn them in a small metal coaster. Only about a couple of tablespoons at a time. Just inhale the smoke. I suppose you could burn them and not inhale the smoke but the benefits are more intense if you get more of the smoke. You have to experiment to see how much of a benefit you get from them and what works best for you. I used to have very bad asthma and my mother would make a tent from blankets and burn a concoction known as Asthmadore for it. Later we discovered it was a mixture of Jimson weed and belladonna! Holy smokes! I don't believe there is anything harmful in these herbs, but I would try a small amount at a time to see what the effects are on you. Some say you get a mild euphoric "buzz" from it. I just get sleepy. ANyway, I hope that helps!

      Hugs
      Jane

      PS: Yep, a redhead. Actually more auburn. My hair just is a lot lighter at the moment since the sun bleaches it out during the summer. Next year I must remember to wear a hat!

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  2. Hello, Jane!Looks like another wonderful week for you! I agree that the most money we save is that which we never spend! My gal pals at work have decided we want to treat ourselves one day a week with lunch out. We go to a little shop that has hot dogs for, wait for it, 79-cents fully dressed! I take a little drink and lunch out for nearly nothing and we have a lot of fun giggling over our "expensive" lunch out! LOL Snow? Seriously? We'll have a good freeze in the next few days, I suspect, but no snow for us until Oct. 31, if history is repeated... Aren't you adorable in your hat! I love it! Have a great week!

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    1. Hi Matty! I bet that 79 cent hotdog is just as nice as an expensive lunch. Life is what you make it! I don't think we'll get any snow yet, either. At least I hope not! I'd like a few days of Fall. It will reach the lower 30s tonight though, so you can never tell. The weatherman is always wrong. ON Friday it was 81! Yesterday it struggled to reach 50. Quite a change. Oh my aching sinuses!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  3. Oh I love the selfies!! So nice to "see" you! You are a beautiful woman, and you surely don't look old enough to have grandchildren. :D Your hat looks great too.
    Bohemian style sounds fun! I do need to get past the jeans and tshirts stage.
    I may try those squash biscuits. I have one of those squash, sweet tater hating husbands, but even he might go for a pumpkin cinnamon roll.
    We are going to have your pork tonight; it smells so good!
    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for me. I had my checkup, and the dr thinks it is just scar tissue that is causing me trouble. Still waiting on test results, but I am feeling better. Thank you!
    Hugs
    Kathy

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  4. Oh Kathy! I'm thrilled to read that! I'll still keep you in my prayers until I hear the "all clear" signal though.

    Jamie loved those biscuits and he doesn't even like pumpkin pie. Can you imagine anyone not liking pumpkin pie? That's just crazy.

    Jeans and t-shirts are fine if that's your style. I hope you don't think I have anything against it. After years of wearing skirts my legs feel smothered in pants. Isn't it funny that everyone thinks pants are more comfortable. Bohemian style is fun because you don't have to worry about being in style. ANything goes!

    Thank you for the lovely compliments. I assure that after a week of babysitting the two little ones, I am indeed a very old woman! Ha!

    STill in my prayers!

    Hugs
    Jane

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  5. Thrifty living as made you young and happy looking! What a great benefit. We went to the orchard yesterday and just about froze. It will take awhile to develop that thick outer skin for the winter! I would love some of herbal remedy for sleep! Why I wake up at 4 in the morning I'm not sure! We have been stocking up with the sales this past week or so. It will be good to fill the pantry again. Have a great week!

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    1. I know Vickie! It's been quite a change over the last few days. I like to ease into the cold. You know, everyone I talk to seems to be awaking at 3 or 4 in the morning. I was taught a long long time ago that this is the hour that is dear to our LOrd and when we awake at this hour we should pray for all the things that are on our minds. Don't know if this is theologically correct, but it seems like prayer is a good thing to do if we can't sleep.

      Well, at least you will be well stocked with tomato soup! Ever since I read your blog I've been hungry for a bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  6. From Andrea C....golly Jane, you look beautiful! You don't look a day over 30! (maybe even 28). I love your last couple of posts. And especially this one that begins with not spending. I have that Tightwad Gazette (book form) bookmarked on Amazon. Maybe I should get it to supplement your posts! (My husband would probably like me reading it!). Anyway, I love all your ideas and appreciate the hard work you do. We should be moving in a month. But we picked out a second house and dropped out of the first...not lake view but nicer house, modern and open which is my taste these days (and just happens to be 25% cheaper...both are only 6 years old). (and 1/3rd mile from the largest lake out of 3 lakes). Hugs, Andrea

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    1. Hello Andrea! It's so good to hear from you. I'm so glad you will be able to get the home you want and save a lot of dough too! Talk about a win-win!

      A lot of the Tightwad Gazette is pretty dated, I'm afraid, but it was helpful when we were young.

      Wish you still had your blog! I'd love to see your new home. Maybe after you are settled? Come on, give me some hope here!

      Thanks for the sweet compliment. I can only wish! All I see when I look at pictures of myself is my grandmother!

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. Well your grandmother must've passed young genes down to you! My blog.....well we'll see. My husband and I have been taking walks at different places and I have been leaving my camera at home. I see good shots but am trying to savor the moment instead. We are happier with the 2nd home we picked out...the other had lake view/front but the house itself was a bit of a step-down. So when a problem in a home inspection contingency missed a date (the seller missed the date to fix something) we took leave! Life has a lot of twists and turns. Hugs,Andrea

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  7. Jane, I agree with all your readers that you are so pretty and young looking. It must be your thrifty living. 😍 Your new green cap is very nice and looks great on you.
    Add me to the group who prefers to wear skirts. I do have some yoga capris that I wear at home only and usually when I am cleaning. I don't think leggings are appropriate as a substitute for pants but don't me started on that. I live in a college town so you can imagine ......
    Aren't those YouTube hauls the craziest thing? I enjoy watching the grocery hails but I have no idea why. Maybe the same reason I eyeball other shooper's shopping carts way too much.
    Now I am off to finish some home jobs and plan this week. I know it will be busy and I intend for it to be extra thrifty too. Have a good new week, friend.

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    1. Thanks Rhonda! Ha! We have a saying "leggings are not pants" which must be said in a very strong Southern accent. I think it was on a YouTube that went viral.

      I don't know why but I sometimes enjoy the thrift store hauls. I always find it fascinating what others choose. Why'd you put the cute sweater up and keep the ugly dress? That sort of thing. I have to watch myself when I'm in the grocery store because I'm always eyeballing everyone's cart. Guess it's a curiosity to see how others live. I like reading other blogs menu plans for the week too. Guess I'm just nosy! Ha! Thanks for the very sweet words! Hope you have some fun during your busy and thrifty week!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  8. Well that sure was a lucky break for you! I bet the sellers are kicking themselves. It's fun but life always has a way of working out just the way it should.

    No pressure about the blog. Time is marching on and after years of work, work, work, it is good to spend some time just enjoying it! I'm waiting for the debates, they should be interesting! This election year has been quite a circus.

    HUgs
    Jane

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  9. Debbie in the U.P.October 9, 2016 at 6:20 PM

    Lovely post, as usual.
    I agree with the not spending. Although, i have been stocking up in anticipation of my Summer job coming to an end soon. Then, i should be home more, spending a lot less. I'm looking forward to it.
    I'm going to try the biscuits; i ordered pumpkin from the local co-op since no-one here sells it. I've been working every farmers market day so i couldn't even buy fresh. And, who doesn't love a good biscuit?

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    1. What? You can't buy pumpkins in the UP? It really is a different world isn't it?

      You're wise to stock up. Before we retired, we tried to think of everything we might need and bought it while we still had a decent income. I even bought DVDs because I knew we wouldn't be able to afford cable. Turns out we are so busy with gardening, canning and such that we rarely have a chance to watch them.

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. Hi, have to agree with others, you look amazingly young! It must be good living. Would love to read on how you stocked up For retirement Jane as husband and I are doing the same, hopefully early retirement in just over 2 years time and I am frantically racking my brain as to what to stock up on now to help us out.Best wishes Vera.

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    3. Hello Vera! WE just tried to think of any costly things we might need in the future and bought it. Things like new laptops, garden tools, appliances, canning equipment etc. Anything that was fairly costly and that was getting old and might need replacing in the next few years.

      We also bought and paid for a new furnace, wood stove and car (which turned out be a lemon) so we'd be all set for the next decade.

      Then there was the little things like downs coats and expensive walking shoes. We bought several pairs and put them on the shelf for later. We also bought loads of food such as 50 lbs of flour and oatmeal. Freeze dried "prepper" type foods just in case our calculations were off and we couldn't afford to eat. Ha!

      We also worked hard to lose weight and be diligent about an exercise routine to get our health in good order so we wouldn't need expensive medical care. I had a lot of dental work done while we still had dental insurance.

      Basically, just start jotting down things that you think you made need to replace in the next few years and do it before you retire.

      Hope this helps!
      Hugs
      Jane

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    4. Oh yes thank you Jane. All makes good sense. A good stroll around with a notepad is in order. I am really excited. Bless you, Vera.

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    5. That's the idea, Vera! You have a few years to prepare so I'm sure you'll figure it out.

      Jane

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    6. Debbie in the U.P.October 11, 2016 at 8:19 AM

      Oops, sorry, Jane. I should've said i can't find the kind of pumpkin i like.

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    7. Oh I was wonder about that. Ha! Was all ready to get a truckload of pumpkins and head for the U.P.. ALways thinking of a way to make a buck. Of course, crossing the bridge would probably deter me. I'm scared to death of it!

      Jane

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  10. Hi Jane! Loved the post and your best, frugal tip of all, not spending. I learned it years ago when we first married and HAD to pinch pennies to get a few dollars worth of goods. Happily it's still working.

    Oh heavens, I love those spoons! I am tempted to knock one of our walnut trees down now and have a go at making some myself. Seriously.

    I have never tried the herbal sleep aid you mentioned, but i've copied your bit about it, and I'm going to as soon as I can gather the ingredients. Thank you so much! Oh, I had a good chuckle over the plea for readers not to write and tell you of their allergies...ha! Good luck with that. In this age of synthetic everything, who isn't allergic to one thing or another?

    Love the hat, and it suits you perfectly.
    Hope you have a lovely week!
    Toni

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    1. Ha! Don't I know it, Toni. I hesitate to write anything about herbal remedies because people can't use common sense now days. Sometimes I want to write "do not breathe without consulting your doctor first"! Guess I did sound a little testy didn't I?

      Maybe a branch will fall of and you can make a spoon. I'm thinking about having a give-away with some of these spoons. When Ran becomes interested in something he doesn't stop. You should see all the fancy handled knives we have now. Oh well, I guess there's worse things he could be doing.

      Hope you have a nice cheery week!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  11. How delightful to see a photo of you. Now I can better imagine the person behind the 'posts.'
    Like you, I think that much of our frugality is found in how we DON'T spend money--and there is always room to improve.
    I wear mostly jeans and knit tops--changing to what we used to call 'pedal-pushers' in the summer. I sometimes switch off to denim skirts. I've lived in houses where off-season clothes had to be stored in Rubbermaid bins--now, if I'm careful to be tidy, our clothes fit in one big closet. I go through and cull the things that haven't worked out well several times per year. I'm getting the picture than even though I shop mostly at Goodwill, there are things I don't need to snatch up simply because they are a 'good buy.'

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    1. Well, every once in a great while I put a picture up because commenters ask for one, but I hate doing it. Like you though, I do like to have a face to go with the blog.

      Oh yes! I all to well understand the urge to buy because it's a good buy. Fortunately for me, I have a pretty loyal garage sale following that just loves all my Talbots and J Jill clothes, so I just resell them. I always say that you really only need 5 outfits and something to wear to wedding and funerals plus a grungy one for hard labor. Unfortunately, I never follow my own advice! Hows the weather in your wonderful corner of the world?

      Hugs
      Jane

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  12. Look at you!! You're beautiful!! And to think you're always hiding. :-)

    We, too, have found the savings in staying home, making do. Jane, thank you for this wonderful blog and all you do to help those of us who want to do a better job of managing our households. Your blog is a wealth of information. And honestly, I love popping in and just visiting with you, wandering about your home and seeing your most recent DIY projects. You truly are such an inspiration. Mindy

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    1. Oh goodness, Mindy! Thank you for the lovely compliments. I enjoy visiting with you all, so please don't hesitate to leave more comments. I love to know who's out there!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  13. Hi Jane! In my northwest part of the country it was one of those dreary overcast rain at times weekends and my #1 weekend project was to plant next year's garlic as is the usual for many gardeners in October here. As I was out between showers and was raking aside some fallen leaves I really felt summer had come and gone in a blink.

    I kind of enjoy some of the articles I read from the newbie savers with their hauls of "bargains". I usually shake my head at the cost and wonder with some how they plan to use all they buy. I think my best humor was a young couple awhile ago who found a restaurant supply to buy their food, along with the fact it didn't appear they had much cooking experience.

    In my changing of the seasons wardrobe so far this fall I got rid of a bunch of shoes. I seemed to have a closet full yet at the same time realized I only wear a few pair continuously and replace them with similar when they wear out. When in the world am I going to use those sparkly heels again anyway? I remember the event they were purchased for and I'm sure it will never happen again. I wasn't as diligent as I should have been but at least got rid of half.

    Your "selfie" was actually a pretty picture. Have a wonderful week! Sharon




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    1. Hi Sharon! Thanks for reminding me that it's time to plant the garlic. I have a bunch of daffodil bulbs to plant too. We had frost last night so I guess it's time. Been slacking lately!

      As a shoe-aholic, I understand your dilemma. I too have lots of high heels from my former life. They're so pretty it's hard to toss them. Even if I wanted to, I never wear heels anymore because I'm fairly tall and when I wear them, I usually taller than most of the men (I think men are shrinking). A long time ago I bought some t-straps from El Naturalista in brown and black and those are the two pairs of shoes I wear most often. And I also have walking shoes. I need to keep reminding myself that is enough!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  14. Funny, this Saturday I did just that - brought out the fall/winter clothes, unloaded the closet and got rid of anything that didn't make me smile looking at it. I too have too many scarves, I usually just wear the same 3 but at a quarter a piece they are too tempting to pass up. As a "reward" I had my self convinced that if I had finished that chore and the remainder of the cleaning - I should allow myself some much deserved time at a huge thrift store I hadn't been to in years. By the end of my tasks I had no interest in buying another scarf or something else to dust. You summed it up perfectly - thrifting has become entertainment.
    Love the hat - and you seriously barely look at day over 30 - I am convinced your moisturizing routine works :) Ran made beautiful spoons. You both are so talented!
    Have a wonderful week! Hugs,Jen

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    1. Hi Jen! Nothing like a good look at what you have to make you realize that you don't need anymore things. I think it's a good thing that we have to store and bring out our clothes each season. It's like discovering them all over again. There were some things I completely forgot about. Wearing a different scarf each day is going to be a goal of mine this Fall.

      OH thanks for the dear compliment. I don't think any 30 year old has those wrinkles under her eyes, but I'll take it! Enjoying your blog!

      Hugs
      Jane


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  15. My earlier comment must have gotten eaten. Anyways, you look as young as a college girl in that hat! You redheads always seem to have such gorgeous complexions--lucky gals!
    The spoons Ran made are beautiful and look very useful. It would be a pleasure to cook with them.
    Things here in CT are cooling down quite a bit. It's such a nice change from weeks and weeks of non-stop air conditioning. Hope I feel as positive about the chill when winter comes. Speaking of winter, have there been any predictions about the severity of the upcoming one?
    Happy Fall, Sue

    Sue (I'm the one who spent a few years living in Michigan at MTU)

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    1. Thanks Sue! There has to be some compensation for having red hair.

      Ran and I have been discussing a give-away with some of his spoons. So stayed tuned!

      We've had frost, but today we are supposed to be in the lower 70s. This constant yo-yoing of the temperatures sure is playing havoc with the old sinuses. I've read that we are supposed to have a very cold winter with little snow, but other reports say the opposite. Even the old woolly worm is in neutral territory. His stripe wasn't too wide or too narrow. I'm hoping for warmer with lots of snow. Here's hoping that we have a perfect season!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  16. Dear Jane,
    You are a beauty! Lucky Ran. :) I laughed when you described your selfie-taking results. I have done the same thing. It's always a grim experiment.
    Funny that you mentioned The Tightwad Gazette. I was a subscriber to that newsletter when it was still a newsletter - waaaay back in the day. And I have never forgotten how she said being thrifty was more about not doing things, like NOT going to McDonald's, etc. That always stayed with me.
    Well, it seemed last week like I was doing so well with my grocery shopping and I am making improvements but last night I decided to look over the past month and see how much I'd spent on food (including last minute stops for things and all those breakfast sandwiches that will be the death of me) and I spent $608! That is for just me and my two daughters who are with their Dad half the time. So, not so good. I'm glad I took the time to review things because now I realize I need to rein in the incidental trips to the store as well as I have the planned trips to the store! It's an ongoing learning process, right?
    It's chilly here in NH too. Fall is underway in earnest. I spent the weekend getting the house buttoned up for the winter and trying to resist my usual nightly hot bath (we're in a severe drought).
    Hope you are staying warm and well!
    Cheers,
    Dana

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    1. Hi Dana! Isn't it always those little incidentals? Today I spent six dollars on just two items; French bread and cream cheese! Since I live in a remote area, I'm at the mercy of our over-priced local store. That's why I try to buy in bulk and have contingency plans, so I don't have to spend money there. How I hate it! They even charge 59 cents for using your debit card. Great way to promote goodwill with the locals and tourists. I always told the boys to write down everything the spent for a month, even if it was a penny for the bubblegum machine. Pretty sobering when you discover that you spent over $100 on fast food or thrift shopping.

      Amy's advice stayed with me too. Of course, back then I didn't have any money to go anywhere, anyhow. Nothing like being poor to keep you from spending money. Ha!

      I didn't know NH was in a drought. It has been a strange year weather-wise everywhere, hasn't it?

      Thanks for the lovely compliment! You described the experience perfectly, "grim". Picture taking as a whole is a nightmare for me, people always say, "why are you doing that with your face?", when I think I'm having a pleasant expression.

      Hope you are staying warm also!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  17. From my experience, your selfie turned out great! Love your comment about saving money by not spending it. I am always amazed at the items people purchase because they are on sale. It took me a while to realize that just because something was on sale for xx% off, if I didn't need it or expect to have a need for it in a reasonable time frame, it was not a good purchase for me. Fall finally arrived in Virginia a week or so ago. Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year so I am just soaking up these wonderful days. Happy Autumn!

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    1. Hi Shirley! I guess it takes time to learn that lesson. Glad you are having a nice Fall. The weather here still hasn't made up it's mind what season it wants to be. Happy Autumn to you too!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  18. Hi Jane,
    Please forgive me for not posting to your blog sooner. I am finally coming out of the flu fog and can think clearly (ok, some in my family may debate that) again. ;) I giggled reading your thoughts on thrift store shopping and it becoming "entertainment" because I am so guilty of that very thing. And I might have a slight scarf addiction (2 big bins full plus a bunch hanging up) and yes, I blame the thrift stores. ;) We won't even mention the purses or the books...oh my, I need therapy! And yes, I also watch thrift hauls and wonder why they would pick one thing and put back the much nicer thing...strange that.

    You husband does such beautiful work on those spoons as do you with your hat. What a talented team you make. Thank you for sharing the recipe for the squash muffins...I was just trying to figure out who to tweak one of my recipes to do this with some leftover acorn squash and here you go saving me the trouble. Thank you!

    Be blessed!

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  19. Glad to read that you're feeling better, Debbie! And I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one with a scarf addiction. Ha!

    Hugs
    Jane

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  20. howdy! so glad you stopped in to check on us. We are home and fine and we do have power here, so many still dont. It was an awful storm. I love your cute had "selfie"! I cant do those hardly either. I try with hubby and we end up laughing so hard the picture ends up even worse! ha ha LOL The beans and rice sound good---I like to make up a big pot of stuff like that as well...and then use it for a few days....just change up the side dish or vegetable or what ever. I love to make big pots of chili in the fall an winter...guess it might be time to make one!

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    1. Hi Debbi! Glad that you are all safe and doing well!

      Ugh! Selfies! I always say if you want to feel bad about yourself, take a selfie. But then I say that about all pictures. Ha!

      I hate to cook, so making something once and having it for a few days is heaven for me. It's nice to be able to do that again. In the Summer there's so much prep work involved with all the garden produce it seems like I'm a prisoner to the kitchen. Hope you are enjoying Fall! I couldn't get over how Fall-ish it looks down your way. The leaves are just starting to change colors here!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  21. The squash biscuits look so tasty ♥

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    1. Give 'em a try, Summer, you'd be surprised how tasty squash can be when you add sugar. Ha!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  22. Thanks for the insight, Jane. I enjoyed your comments on this and the last post. My family have enjoyed a lot of closeness due to financial hard times on top of health concerns. God has strengthened our relationships and our faith. Also He's helped us to learn allot of skills.
    Your hat looks lovely on you.
    And the squash biscuits inspired my daughter and I to bake some pumpkin rolls for breakfast. I can't wait to make the Alsatian roast for Sunday dinner. I think I will cook it in my electric roaster.
    Tell your husband the spoons are lovely. The most beautiful spoon I own is one my husband carved out of black walnut.
    Have a lovely week!
    Blessings,
    Leslie

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    1. Some of my happiest memories were when my children were small and we were very poor, Leslie. I think it was good for the boys to learn early on what was important in life.

      Yum! Pumpkin rolls! Pumpkin is one of my very favorite flavors and I go a little crazy with all the pumpkin flavored products. I even bought pumpkin flavored whipped cream and pumpkin Biscoff (which was wonderful on cornbread).

      Sounds like you have one of those wonderful talented husbands too! We are so blessed!

      Hugs
      Jane

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