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Sunday, January 15, 2017

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

Hello dear friends!  I hope that you are all doing well on this fine Sunday afternoon.  Yesterday my son and daughter-in-law brought the grands for a visit.  Such fun!  And I'm glad to announce that they took our little frozen foundling kitten back with them.  She was intended to be a barn cat, but something tells me that she'll never get there, as she is so adorable and playful.  They're already  spoiling her with toys and special bowls.  Erin, my daughter-in-law, even slept in the guest room with her last night so she wouldn't be scared being left alone in a strange house.  Barn cat? I think not!

Choose Your Own Adventure

As everyone knows that has read this blog for any amount of time, I am a bit of a frugal fanatic.  I have a very good reason to be one, you might say, it is a matter of life or death for someone very dear to me. But that is a tale for another day.  What I've noticed is that people tend to apologize to me whenever they spend money!  I guess they think I'm making a judgement on them.  I am not!  I'm glad there are people out there spending money on expensive clothes, or else I wouldn't have any to buy when I go thrifting.  I'm happy for those that take expensive vacations, my son worked in the hospitality industry for several years, there's people counting on them.   If you have the money and no reason to save, I say go for it!  I happen to have a very important reason for saving money.    Everyone has to choose their own adventure in life, wouldn't it be boring if we were all on the same path?   Trust me when I say, I really am not envious of your big houses, new clothes or cable TV, I love my life just as it is, and my heart is glad for those of you that have those sort of things if they make you happy.   

I love living within the constraints  of a strict budget.  I find it fun and challenging to figure out meals for a month on $150.  Sort of like doing real-life Sudoku.  I find it rewarding to take an old wreck of a house and making it into a home that people stop and take pictures of because it's so cute.  I enjoy designing  a flower garden from others cast off  plants.  I find it adventuresome to create my own unique style from thrift store clothes. I guess what I really love about my thrifty lifestyle is the creativity of it.  I never feel deprived by it.  In short, I love my life and would say it is pretty darn perfect, for me.

Conversely, there's always the thrifty ones that seem to need to apologize for their lifestyle. This past month,I've been watching a lot of YouTubers on their thrifty lives.  And it seems like they are forever feeling the need to explain  themselves.  There's one very sweet gal, that always starts her videos with "this is what works for me and my family".  And isn't that really what matters in life?  For me and my family it's more important to save the money than it is to be concerned with how ethically the chicken I eat was raised.  To my family, buying from Goodwill and saving money is more important than being concerned with how much the CEO earns, or that they don't pay their employees a good wage.  Isn't it just supposed to be a starting position anyhow,  so that you can gain experience to move on to other jobs?   They can always find a different job if they don't think they are being treated fairly.  I can't be concerned with WalMart's policies either, if it's the only store for miles around and it would mean traveling 140 miles to do my weekly grocery shopping otherwise.  We all have to make decisions in life in how we choose to spend our money and time. what we value and don't.  In other words, we have to choose our own adventures in life, what works for one person, might not be a fit  for another.  So don't let anyone make you feel guilty for the choices you make!

MAKE DO

Last week. I wrote about Ran  fixing our refrigerator's crisper drawers that were beginning to crack.  The manufacture stopped making this model, so there weren't any replacements so Ran made some pulls out of wood


 He glued the crack with crazy glue, then attached the pulls to the top of the drawers, thus stabilizing them and keeping them from wracking, so the cracks won't get any bigger.






THRIFTY MEAL

We've been eating a lot of cabbage this week.  It stores well and is one of the cheapest things you can buy, 29 cents/lb., here.  Plus it's good for you.  This week we had it in eggrolls, coleslaw, another batch of the cabbage rolls I wrote about in last week's post,and these Korean street sandwiches, that Ran discovered on YouTube.  Sorry I lost the link to the video, but here's how they're made.

Korean Street Sandwiches

 Toast 6 pieces of bread.  Butter them. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Set aside. Shred about 3-4 cups of cabbage to make 3 large sandwiches.  Shred some carrots. Just like a making coleslaw, or use that coleslaw mix you can buy in the store. Chop 1 small onion finely.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Combine  all with 2 eggs.
Heat a skillet with enough oil to coat the bottom of pan over medium heat.  Spread mixture into skillet.  Cook, compressing mixture with a spatula, while cooking.  Once one side is brown, flip mixture over and brown the other side.  Remove from heat and cut into sandwich-sized pieces. Place onto the toast and sprinkle with a bit more sugar. Spread with a mixture of mayo and ketchup.  Add a slice of cheese, top with the other piece of toast and enjoy!

Nothing cheaper than cabbage, carrots and bread!  And it was surprisingly tasty!

AN UNUSUAL PLACE TO FIND BARGAINS

As a washed my little green and cream enamel pan that I use on almost a daily basis, I was reminded to write about the one spot most people don't think about when shopping on the cheap - the antique stores!  A lot of today's antique stores are just glorified thrift stores, most of the stuff sold in them are not true antiques,  They are a great place to buy inexpensive reading material, magazines usual sell for a dollar or two and I find the older issues of Victoria and Country Living much nicer than the newer ones,  the current issues are almost all advertising and pretty lightweight on the content, in my opinion.  Books are also priced pretty inexpensively, and the bindings on some of the older ones are works of art. I always try to replace paperback editions of books I love with prettily bound editions when I can find them for a few dollars.  Things like enameled pans usually are cheaper than those you can find in the stores, and they seem sturdier.  I bought a wonderful cast-iron griddle for a few dollars at one, that is a mainstay in my kitchen.  If you enjoy sewing things like vintage aprons, you can find yardage there for a lot less than the fabric store prices.  Jewelry is another thing you buy inexpensively at antique stores.  I've purchased turquoise earrings for as little as five dollars.  And I'll never understand why anyone would buy new imitations of vintage china, when you can buy the real McCoy for the same price or less. Oh well!  To each, their own, I guess!

THRIFTY THING WE DID THIS WEEK

Most of our thrift has been passive this week, as we haven't gone anywhere, thus not spending money.

I did spend around $20 on groceries; buying milk, bread, bananas, coffee creamer, yogurt, a head of cabbage and lettuce, and some decaf K-cups that were on the reduced-for-quick-sale at $3/12. And a few other items I can't recall off hand (and were probably unnecessary).

Started another wool quilt, like the one I made here.  My dear friend Mary, brings me the woolen fabric sample from an upholstery shop.  They are all Ralph Lauren and Brunschweig and Fils. Should be pretty la-dee-da!

Last week I happened upon some great deals at the thrift store.  They had skeins of handspun and hand-dyed wool for a few dollars each.  The original price on them  was over $20.  However I spent several hours one day just untangling and rolling up one skein.  After that, I lost interest in knitting for a while!

We've been eating a lot out of our freezer, as we try to clean it out.  Makes for some interesting meals.
In the evening we like to use our kerosene lamps and the many candles we purchase at garage sales, it  creates a cozy ambience and saves on electricity. 

We collected fallen branches in our neighborhood for firewood.

Picked up several free pallets for firewood.

I discovered a new-to-me classic movie on YouTube.  It's called Seventh Heaven and it stars Jimmy Stewart and Simone  Simon.  I love discovering these old gems, reminds me of when I was a kid and they had a Sunday afternoon matinee on the the television.  You never knew when you'd find an golden oldie.

 Well that's it for another week at the old Zempel boarding house!  I hope that you all have fun on your own adventures this week. Until next!

Hugs
Jane
 












56 comments:

  1. Look at those cute faces, Jane! That cat will never leave the house.... LOL

    I really appreciate your comments about how others define "frugal." We all have a reason for the choices we make and should not have to explain why we make those choices. For me, while I like my homemade laundry detergent, but, frankly, working and helping my parents takes a lot of time and I really don't have it to make my detergent. So, I try to buy responsibly and inexpensively. We raise our pork and buy beef from a friend. I can. I knit and mend, but I buy my work clothes because, honestly, I don't sew well enough to make my own clothes.. but maybe one day... I prefer my bread, but on weeks when I am chasing my tail, I go to the Dollar Store and buy what they have. It is all about balance, isn't it? And finding what works for each of us. And, now, I will step off my soap box...

    Honestly, you have the best thrift stores ever! Are you still gift box filling?

    Have a great week!

    as ever.. m

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    1. Yay! Matty, I finally got one of your comments to publish! Felix named her Margaret. Pretty regal name for a barn cat, don't you think? No, I don't think that cat is ever going to leave the house. When she was staying with us, she was quite content to be a house kitty. She's a nice one for the youngsters, she loves playing, so she should amuse them.

      I know! Why do we feel the need to explain, why we are doing or not doing things? Honestly Matty, I don't see how you find the time to do all that you do, so I don't understand why anyone would need any explanations from you on why you are not doing anything.You work harder than anyone I know! As Henry Ford said, "Never complain and never explain"

      I'm always working on next year's Christmas gifts, but somehow, I'm still left rushing around doing last minute knitting on Christmas Eve. Ha!

      We're going to need a northern outpost for our compound, so we can come up here and buy what we need at the thrift stores once or twice a year! Have a restful (as you can make it) Sunday!

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. I am going to come to your thrift store in the spring when the ice melts and I can stay in your little cottage out back... I have a desire to do that! :) Rain here, so I have busied myself with waxing furniture. What is it about waxing that is so satisfying??

      Stay warm!

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    3. Sounds like a plan, Matty. But if you're planning on staying out back, I would suggest Summer. We could make a grand tour!

      J

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  2. Such cute grandbaby's you have. Thanks so much for explaining with pictures the fix on your refrigerator. We may have to do that soon! I need to watch an old movie and that one sounds great. Have a wonderful Sunday!

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    1. Your welcome, Vickie! Sometimes, I think we should just go back to an old-fashioned icebox, oak never cracks! Remember when fridges had nice heavy metal racks and such? And why can't they make things out of that impenetrable plastic they make packaging out of? You can stop a bullet with that stuff! Ha!

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. Mom's refrigerator lasted so long -unbelievable! Jane your comment is gone from my post on my blog. Not sure why -these things happen I guess. Just wanted to let you know that I didn't do it! Have a great day!

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    3. Happens all the time, Vickie! Was your mom's fridge one of those old ones from the fifties? We had one in the basement growing up and that thing was built like a Sherman tank!

      J

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  3. Just look at those adorable grands! So glad they took the kitten.
    I so wish we had little ones around (to spoil with cookies), but we have only two teens that are nearly grownups. We are praying for another wave of them though. ;)

    Love the sound of the street sandwiches. We are so tired of our usual fare. I'm making chicken and dumplin's today, though, and I've been singing She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain When She Comes ever since I put the bird in the kettle, even if it's not an old red rooster. ;)

    Hope you're having a great weekend! I sure am.
    Toni

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    1. Glad too learn that, Toni! I'm always having a great weekend.

      Eventually, you'll have grands. My oldest turns twelve this week. Yikes! Where did that time go?

      We made those Korean sandwiches with Russian rye bread, how's that for fusion cooking? They're amazingly filling. Enjoy your chicken and dumplings and I hope your allergy is all better!

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. Jane, it's our two grands that are teens. Sorry, I didn't make that clear.

      Thankfully, my face is starting to clear up, now. Yay! I don't understand why I used to be able to knit with wool but not now. Oh well, just happy to know what was causing the problem.

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    3. That's great Toni! I'd have older grandchildren too, if my children would have started their families as young as we did. The twelve year old just announced she wants to be a chemist when she grows up. I waited to have little girls in my family and one of my two granddaughters loves all the same things the boys did! Ha! She likes science fiction, math and science. Oh well! Maybe Violet will be my girly girl.

      My doctor told me you can become allergic to something at any time of your life. I used to love a nice glass of ice cold milk, but now I can't drink a sip without doubling over in pain. But it is strange when it (the allergy) all of sudden happens.

      J

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  4. Hi Jane,
    Tried to post before and it disappeared into cyber space.The grands and the kitten are adorable - a perfect match for everyone. The recipe is very interesting. I have never seen it before, and I look at a lot of cookbooks, so thanks for someting new. Last, I think most people have what is important to them. Whether they are happy or not is another question. To loosely quote Abraham Lincoln: "Most people are as happy as they make up their mind to be." Have a good week.

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    1. I'm glad that you rewrote your comment, Sheila. Blogger!

      I'm curious if that really is a Korean food. Whatever the case, it was amazingly delicious.

      Abraham Lincoln was brilliant. Where are all the statesmen now? That being said, I think some people love to be miserable. Guess they have made up their mind not to be happy. Or is it that their misery makes them happy? Kind of like the chicken and egg question.

      Hugs
      Jane

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  5. Beautiful grandchildren! How nice they adopted your kitty cat! They look so happy with it! I find that living in a cheaper area now, everything is actually priced less expensive here. We have a very nice/large Walmart here with much better prices than the grocery stores. I love it! My husband and son are going to travel to a Costco near Pittsburgh (going there anyway) to pick up stuff. We do miss Costco. These low-paying jobs are the backbone of many high school and college-aged young adults' income. The key to youth being hired is getting less pay...less pay for less experience has always sat fine with my kids! If someone wants higher pay, like you said, move on! Hugs, Andrea

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    1. Isn't that funny how that goes, Andrea? It seems like people that live in costly areas never catch a break. I really don't understand what some state governments are thinking by raising the minimum wage. These jobs are not meant to be a career, just a way to get your foot in the door. Poor teens now days haven't the opportunities to get experience.

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. Yup, plus when the health care rules came into play, my kids hours were all cut to below 40/week (not that they had healthcare from their work, they were under ours) due to these rules! Hugs, Andrea

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    3. I know! Too much regulation. I say let people determine how much they are willing to work for and whether or not they want insurance, but then, I am a Libertarian in the truest sense of the word. (not a Gary Johnson Libertarian, Ha!)
      J

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  6. I have recently found your blog and love it. How are you able to keep your groceries so low? I know I need to do better. Thank you

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    1. Hello and welcome! To keep my grocery costs so low, I grow and preserve my own vegetables and fruits, buy in bulk for the basic pantry items, stock up when things are on sale, make everything from scratch, eat in season, and eat very little meat and processed foods. I have countless entries on grocery shopping and basic pantry stocking up. The key to eating cheaply is having a well-stocked pantry. If you look on my sidebar under the heading "labels", you find quite a few posts on stocking a pantry. The older ones probably have more information than the newer ones. I plan to write more on food budgeting in the coming month. Would it help if I wrote what we I made for meals for a week? What I purchased? How can I help you?

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. yes all of the above would be great-thank you

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    3. OK, I can do that. Today or tomorrow, I'll write a post on how I do my grocery shopping and the thought process I go through to keep within budget. Hope you are doing well on this fine Monday!

      J

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  7. Aww your grandchildren are precious! What a sweet kitty. I doubt if she will be a barn cat either.
    Your frugal living is inspiring to me. I think that if we want something enough, we will figure out a way to make it happen. I love how you make a challenge or game out of frugal living. You don't sit around feeling sorry
    for yourself that your grocery budget is $150/month for 3 people, but you prepare nutritious delicious meals. I'm sure all that gardening and canning is exhausting in the summer, but you know what goes into your food.
    Look forward to your life and death reason for being frugal if you want to share with us sometime. Does it have to do with your husband retiring early? It sounds like he is much happier and healthier, working at home now. Some things are more important than money. My husband is fond of quoting Diogenes "learn to live on lentils,and you won't have to be subservient to the king." At age 49, he is starting to feel like a dinosaur in computer programming, so I really need to ramp up my frugal living skills quickly. I do love your blog!
    That Korean sandwich sounds interesing...for some reason it reminds me of an egg rueban, and since my guys love ruebans, I think I will try it.
    Hope you have a great week.

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    1. Egg Ruebans, Kathy? That sounds interesting. Bet this sandwich would be really good with Thousand Island dressing on it. Thanks for the suggestion.

      The life and death reason is because my son, Jamie has a mild form of autism and a dyslexia, which makes earning a living impossible for him. I need to provide for him once Ran and I are gone. I do not want him to be dependent upon his brothers. However, Ran retiring early has certainly added years onto his life. He was involved in three car accidents (none his fault) before he retired, one fatal for the other driver, and although they were the other driver's fault in every case, I often wondered if he hadn't been under so much stress at work, perhaps they could have been avoided. Maybe his reflexes would have been faster. I don't know, maybe not, but I still wonder. Whatever the case, stress was slowly killing him, he's so much more fit and energetic, since retiring.

      My take on the Diogenes quote is self-sufficiency is the only true path to freedom. Well, look at this, we're half way through the the first month of January! Tempus fugit!

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. Oh wow, I'm sorry about Ran's accidents. Sounds like a scary time. I hope that he wasn't hurt, and I'm glad that he has been able to enjoy retirement. Sending hugs to you. My girl has an intellectual disability, and it has been hard giving up some of my hopes and dreams for her. She is in the transition program at our local college, attending classes and working in the dining hall, but I doubt if she will be able to really support herself. But she constantly amazes me with her faith.
      Anyway I bought some cabbage today, and I hope to try your korean sandwiches tomorrow. Oh I forgot to tell you that we loved your sugared nuts recipe over Christmas too.

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    3. Wisconsin public schools really bungled it for Jamie. They expunged all his records so he isn't even eligible for any sort of aid. Oh well! We'd rather take care of him on our own, rather than be dependent upon the government. Sorry to hear about your daughter. It is hard. But the one consolation I've found is that these children are the dearest kind of people on Earth. It's as though they've been given an extra dose of sweetness to make up for their problems.
      Glad you liked the nuts!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  8. I too am thankful that we're all different. A much better adventure this way, I think. The Korean Street Sandwiches sound really good! I'll have to try them. I've found some treasures at antique stores as well. We have a couple of large ones here... antique malls with lots of different vendors, so I don't go unless I have time to stay a while and look. I'm getting ready to checking our your quilt link. A wool quilt has got to be a warm and cozy thing!

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  9. I just read your wool quilt link, & let out a little scream. My fiancee is currently building a biodiesel plant for Bad Axe Biodiesel. They may be going there to do some training. It's a small world, I tell ya!

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    1. That's crazy Laurie! I didn't even know they were building a plant there. That truly is a great illustration of it being a small world, no one ever comes to this neck of the woods. Oh! I just read that the estate of John D. Rockefeller was selling some land he owned here. Hard to think of the Rockefellers hanging in Port Austin!

      BTW, wool quilts are extremely warm! Probably wouldn't need heat at all if you had one on your bed down your way.

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. Debbie in the U.P.January 15, 2017 at 4:22 PM

      When i visited my grandparents as a youngster, we were covered in wool quilts. I truly thought i was going to DIE from the weight! (No drama Queen, here! tee hee…) They certainly are warm, though! I'd love to make one some day.

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  10. Debbie in the U.P.January 15, 2017 at 4:10 PM

    What a couple of cuties! Aren't grands the best?
    Nice post! I don't know that i've ever apologized for being frugal. I did have trouble getting into the (more) frugal mode when my husband was let go. Sometimes i'll get a customer who'll say something about not buying much from me. I always say, never tell someone you're sorry for not spending more money! I'm not my target buyer, either.
    Thank you for the antique store tip. I'm going to search out magazines for some art projects and passing around. Have a fabulous week! We MAY get into the 40's this week! You can bet i'll be singing in the rain!

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    1. Hi Debbie! I know! I'm looking forward to walking again without slipping and sliding on the ice! It's supposed to be in the 60s here. We'll see!

      Many people that have YouTube channels and blogs about thrift get a lot of critics that want to question whether their budgets are healthy because they aren't eating fresh vegetables every day or not eating only organic or free-range meat. There are a lot of people out there that simply don't understand that for some people, eating canned vegetables and whatever is on sale is the only way they can survive economically. I've even seen some people say that buying your kids clothes at garage sales is akin to child abuse. That's what I mean by they feel they must apologize and make excuse for their lifestyle to quiet the critics. I don't have that problem because all the people that comment here are nice!

      My grandmother's wool quilts were filled with woolen batting and they did weigh a ton. Well, maybe like twenty pounds. :) Stiff as a board too. I can see that they could suffocate a little kid. Ha! Happy warm days ahead!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  11. Hi Jane, I'm happy the kitty will be a home with lots of love and I don't think it will ever be a barn cat either 😂
    Cabbage is one of our favorite vegetables. It keeps so long in the fridge too. It usually goes on sale around St. Patrick's day. I remember buying 8 heads on that occasion a few years back. I don't remember the price but it had to of been very low.
    I spent the first 35 years of our marriage being ultra-frugal. Now our income is higher and our bills are lower so we don't have to be so frugal. I can't say we are more happy or less happy with more or less money. The only difference is we don't need to think about expenses so much.

    Hope you have a really good week ❤️

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    1. I think for most people once the kids are raised, we can relax a bit and not worry so much about money, Rhonda. When Ran was working we had a very good income and I didn't pay much attention to finances. But you know what? I actually missed it. I think it's fun to live within a budget. I know, I'm weird! Ha! Hope will have a happy week, also!
      Hugs
      Jane

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  12. Your grandbabies are darling. Like you I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of a $150 a month grocery budget as well as the creativity involved in maintaining a thrifty lifestyle. To me it is a lot of fun!

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    1. I know! I wish I was better at expressing that. It's really like a fun game. Nothing gives me as much pleasure as making something out of nothing. Hope you have a wonderful week!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  13. Our grandchildren are in their 20s now. It seems like yesterday they were as small and cute as yours. :) Looks like love at first pet between the little ones and the kitty!
    My father's heavy WW2 wool Army blankets sure kept us warm in Ohio. At Grandma's though we had feather beds and comforters...at her sister's the mattresses were of corn shucks and they stuffed their own chickens and ducks down into pillows.. An adventure no matter where we went.
    I couldn't agree more with how you explained being frugal. I always think of it like a game. One I need to win but I don't think of it as drudgery at all. It is just keeping an open mind and watching for any new or old idea to do even better.
    Most of the things in our antique stores here are very costly. There are still bargains though if you look around. But when you consider in the cost of new things even on a good good sale they compare. Don't forget the older pieces are made sooooo much better and out of REAL wood! If they have made it still sturdy after all these years they were made right!! ;-) Also I love buying used things anyway. They have much more character. Even when I look through the racks of used blouses no two are alike. You can't say that for the department store racks where most are the same just different sizes or colors. I can get a blouse that costs $754 and have for 99c Even if I have to pay more it is still a bargain. None of our thrift stores here have as low a price as you state or the things either. There the stores put anything older on line. We used to see depression glass and Jadeite dishes and such..no more. Even older clothes are put aside to sell someplace else or extremely high priced. Yet again with patience we find plenty of great things. Enough home goods and enough fun accessories. I like 1930s and 40s look the best. Definitely a oldish and country garden mix of things. No problem.
    I am sure glad you can buy the older movies on line at least. Or look for them at garage sales and such. The stories are more realistic [well not alll the time! :))) ] and it is fun too look at all the rooms and clothes etc too. I am so glad I started looking years ago. ..and watching them!!
    Better close this book. Jody

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    1. I remember that you love you your old movies, Jody. Isn't it fun when you discover one that you never heard of and it turns out to be wonderful?

      You're right about there being more of a variety of clothes at the second hand stores. More outlet for self-expression.

      Our local St. Vincents has wised up about antiques and now puts hefty price tags on them. Used to be you could get some real gems there. The Bethesda thrift store is the one that really has the bargains, but we have to dig for them, because they have a lot of junk too. I once bought a Hermes scarf there for $1 that I sold on Ebay for over $170. Now, I always check out the scarves. Ha!

      Oh yes! About the wood pieces. When Ran and I were first married we bought a dresser from the furniture store. It was so cheaply made, it fell apart quickly. Then one day we decided to have a look in the antique store. There were dozens of dressers made out of solid oak and mahogany for less than what we paid for that darned dresser. We never bought furniture from a furniture store again, except for mattresses.

      Did you get my e-mail address?

      Hugs
      Jane

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  14. those grandchildren are precious! So glad you shared the picture of them! Hope to see more. I'm so glad to hear KittyKat has found a good home! They will love her there for sure, and I'm with you---a barn cat she probably won't be! LOL You're right about the magazines at the stores and also our libraries give away HUGE STACKS of old magazines once a year when they do some sort of a 'clean-out'...I've found many fantastic old copies of the great old decor and gardening, cooking magazines etc before......the trick is to be there when they put them out because they disappear fast.

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    1. That's a great idea, Debbi! I forgot all about the free ones from the library. Thanks for reminding me! So what adventures are you on this week?

      Hugs
      Jane

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  15. Sweet Grands, and you know that little kitty is going to be an inside home cat. :-) Glad it has a loving home to go to and that you'll be able to see it now and then.

    Great post about living a thrifty life style that works for you and inspires me. Thank you.

    Happy January ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Yeah, I kind of suspected that once they got a look at her, she would become a house pet. Hope you are having a beautiful January!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  16. After a weekend of watching 3 of our grandkids so their mom and dad could get away for a weekend I am finally able to look at my favorite blogs today :) I love your sweet little grandkids and their kitty friend. I'm going nowhere for a few days as we are in the top end of an ice/freezing rain storm at present. My hubby is sick with some intestinal bug so he's not going anywhere either! I recognize your little granddaughter's pajama's as Carter's. I got my 7 year old granddaughter one, in purple, this year for Christmas. She actually asked for footed p.j's. Got them on a half price deal. She screamed when she opened her present, she was so happy. That was fun. I so agree that being frugal is a personal choice for each one of us. I too think it is a fun thing to do and because we need to :)Nannie

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    1. That's always a good thing when you can make your granddaughter squeal with delight, Nannie! They look like really cute pajamas. Foxes are very trendy at the moment. Hope you had fun with your grands. It's tiring, that's for sure, but oh well! we can rest later.Seems like little ones are in constant movement. If only we could bottle that energy. Hope your ice doesn't last too long. And that your husband gets better quickly. I think whether I needed to or not, I'd be frugal because as you said, it's a fun thing to do! Stay warm!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  17. Your grandchildren are adorable! So glad the kitten will have a good home. It sounds like she is well on the way to being an inside pet and not a barn cat. Loved reading "choose your own adventure". So true and I think we even make different decisions about where we spend our money at different stages of our lives. I know that now that I am retired, I have time to do some things that were not feasible when I worked. I have always sewn and made all my clothes for many years. I no longer make clothing but I am the "mender" for my daughter's family. It seems like that is something most people no longer do - or have the ability to do. It seems as though I come home with at least one article of clothing to mend each weekend. It's definitely an advantage when shopping for clothing at a thrift store. So easy to sew a ripped seam or replace a button. Your wool quilt sounds wonderful. Those wool samples are a real treasure. Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Hi Shirley! Yes, she's a good fit for the little ones, a very playful and adorable cat, if ever there was one. Mending clothes is becoming a lost art, I'm sure your family appreciates it. Which reminds me, I need to resew the buttons on my jacket. It's shameful how I let things like that go. Some of those woolens have price tags on the samples for $400 a yard! Can you imagine? Must be some highfalutin sheep that wool came from! Hope you have a lovely week!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  18. Hi Jane! I always find it too bad that people apologize for their thrift or choose not to disclose it feeling that it would not be accepted but I know I've done it myself. I tend to take the quiet route. A good example happened recently in my workplace. There was a lot of excitement about a new coffee shop that opened up nearby and I listened to a number of exclamations of "they have real homemade cookies!!" as the reason why the place was so wonderful because "nobody does that anymore!!". I just silently shook my head as I thought about the snickerdoodles (one of my husband's favorite cookies) I had made the night before sitting in my lunch that day. In addition to thrift I have found I enjoy the peace of packing a lunch because most people go out.

    I agree with your estimation of antique stores as being great as a potential bargain spot and the more I thought about it I was disappointed to realize all but one are gone in my area which is too bad. When I think about it they were all run by older people who formerly held estate sales as their main business and when they retired their stores closed.

    Your refrigerator fix is really smart. I have a produce drawer in my 2 year old refrigerator that now has a crack in the handle and when I checked a replacement drawer is $78 and Lowes told me that was a low price for appliance parts. I decided to put off replacing it and now after your post I think I'll take a closer look at it. Just another sign that your posts are valuable to us. Oh, and by the way, you have adorable grandchildren. You are a lucky grandma. -Sharon

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    1. I am indeed, lucky, Sharon! And they are two of the sweetest little tikes ever.

      $78! for a drawer? Looks like it's duct tape time! Ha! Did you know that they make cute duct tape now days? I saw some with gnomes on it. I've been wracking my brain searching for a reason to buy it, it's so cute. Unfortunately/fortunately Ran is too much of a handyman to allow a duct tape solution.

      I think with the advent of Ebay and Etsy antique stores are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Too bad, they were always fun to poke around in.

      Yum! Snickerdoodles! They are wonderful to bake, if just for the aroma! Hope all is well and you are enjoying your evening!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  19. YOur grandchildren are adorable and that is one very lucky and loved kitty who has found a wonderful forever home! :) You and your husband amaze me with your creativity and you skills. I love the drawer pulls he made. The look so nice and sturdy. I was tickled to see you replace paperback books you love with hardbound editions when you find them a t a great price. I do the same thing. ;) Enjoy watching that show, I really liked it!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the movie, Debbie. That was a new one to me, and I thought I had seen every movie Jimmy Stewart ever made. Wasn't Simone Simon adorable?

      There's just something special about a beautifully bound book, isn't there? It as though the writing has more importance. Hopefully one of my grandchildren will love books and I can pass them down.

      Hugs
      Jane

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  20. Dear Jane,
    Your grandchildren are darling! Such cuties! I would never want them to leave.
    Those drawer handles Ran made look great!

    I agree with what you said about doing what is right for you and your family. Everyone has their reasons for the choices they make.

    One thing I have been doing at my second job (library assistant) is helping to cull the collection. Any old books that never circulate and don't have other, intrinsic value are "weeded" out and sent to our library book sale but I am allowed to claim any I want first. I have been able to add some real beauties from the 1930s and 50s to my shelves at home this way.

    I'm trying to think what I've done that was thrifty but the past few days have been hazy as I was home sick with a bad cold. I am very grateful to have paid sick time at my job! I did manage to make some bone broth out of turkey bones saved from the post-Thanksgiving sale turkey I had bought. That's all I can think of aside from cooking from scratch and using homemade laundry detergent.
    Hope you have a peaceful and creative week.
    Cheers,
    Dana

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    1. Yep, they are my little doll babies. How nice that you get a supply of free vintage books, Dana! Sometimes it is hard to think of what we did that is thrifty because everything we do is thrifty. Hope you are feeling better!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  21. I have friends who take out books from the library they don't intend to read. Ones that are not circulated as much now but are the true classics. The libraries told them if they are taken out so often they are kept but if not they are eliminated. After a while they all found their libraries did not have many of their favorite good books. So they try to help the situation. Oh the libraries have the latest novel by many well known authors but not the basics. Neither did any of the lending libraries they could ask for copies from. I used to think I would chuck many of my books cause I could find them at the library at any time. I checked...it was not so! Still you can't keepThat Many books! although I wish I could. :-) Also many of the classics are being abridged and so the full content is left out sometimes changing the story line. Or the intent of the story is lost. Little Women is one of them. Our rules for the junk stores was changed years back. They are ordered to throw out any book before a certain date. They could not be sold or given away. Because the books were printed with lead in the ink back then. They said children might eat the page and gets sick, so good bye to the older books we used to be able to pick up. I wonder how many kids ate page of theirs or their parents books? I notice some antique stores still have older books but I seldom see any older books of any type at used stores. Again I hate to give the older ones away...but again it is best to give them to someone who will treasure them than to keep them and not share them and let others enjoy the information or story.

    I know you have explained it some but I still can't understand how you can store things in your little house. Like your canners and juicer and dehydrator, empty canning jars and supplies. ETC! Do you have enough counter space to keep them out? You use them so often. I only have30" of counter space on each side of the sink and your house is small too. Many things can be stored weird places but those in use so often need to be close and easy to access. :)

    You mentioned another place you liked your little community of tight people. If you ever moved that would be lost and Jamie too would loose that kinship. Every place we could live has its good and bad points. Your area gets Cold but it must Warm your hearts to be among like minded good hearted neighbors. Sarah

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    1. That's very interesting, Sarah! I did not know that old print contained lead. It's a wonder us oldsters survived childhood! Guess I better treasure my older volumes. Estate sales are great places to find classics too.

      We are blessed to have an attic in this little old house, where I store my canners and dehydrator. This is embarassing, but during the summer months when I'm in full canning mode, the canner sits on the floor in the living room or worst yet, on top of the stove. My husband built a long wall of shelves in our upstairs landing about 5 feet high and 6 inches deep and 8 feet long that I use as my pantry for canned goods. I have to admit the first time I put all of our canned goods on the shelves, I held my breath, that was a lot of weight! Each time I use a jar, I wash it out and place it back on the shelf, toward the back, upside down so dirt won't get in it. We also put shelves in the little closet under the stairs. I do most of my dehydrating out in the garage on a makeshift table made from two sawhorses and an old door. Where there's a will, there's a way!

      Port Austin is a wonderful little village and we really do have a sense of community, especially in the winter when only the true population is here. In the summer it's a busy little place, we get so many tourist and summer residents. But that makes it exciting. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  22. Jane, I'm a little late to the party, but I just had to thank you for mentioning the Korean Street Sandwiches. I made a couple for lunch today and whoa Nelly, are they delish! It was such an unlikely combination of ingredients, but they sure come together in tasty way. I used the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpTL8pif-Tc
    Gosh I wish I knew how to hyperlink! Anyway, thanks for a great Saturday lunch!
    Sue

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    1. That's probably the link my husband saw, Sue. Aren't they good? And such inexpensive ingredients. It's a win-win for sure. Have to admit I was skeptical when Ran said he wanted to make some, but I'm glad he did! Have a lovely weekend!

      Hugs
      Jane

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