Saturday, August 17, 2019

Friday Things on Saturday

I haven't actually gone missing. Somehow my rib area and the attendant muscles that run from the front along the side have me in pain. This is muscular not cartilage or an injury, but pain nonetheless.  I'm honestly not sure if I did this overdoing it and moving wrong on the cross trainer or by doing something crazy while I was asleep (I rotated the mattress and am back to the extra firm newness).

Anyhoo, I've severely limited my activity the last few days. I had to stay home Thursday and Friday anyway for a legal piece of mail that needed to be signed for (delivery date unclear) and then today I passed up my opportunity for a day of driving from yarn shop to yarn shop around the state because I didn't want my complaining and occasional whimpering to affect the trip. I do plan to do a few errands today and spend a small amount of time on the machine just to keep the muscles from stiffening too much.

I'm off to do a few weekday things on Saturday thanks to the above soreness-getting some groceries, doing a couple errands, walking or working out. Before I do, a few thoughts and notes from the week:

1.  While I'm not sure what the fitness gurus would have to say about this, I'm only "working out" every other day as of this week. I'll increase the time I'm doing so, get as many steps as I can on the days I'm home and walk when I'm up to it and in the mood in the neighborhood. This meshes with my desire to make my at home days really at home days-as opposed to "at home but leaving for an hour or so each day to work out or do errands". I understand many folks are of the do something out of the house daily persuasion. I'm off the be completely at home immersed in something (or nothing) persuasion, or be out among the world all day.

2.  A side effect of those "completely at home" three day a week goal is that other days will be busier and that is fine. My Wednesdays include a morning church service, working out and then heading to knitting and happy hour.  I just need to remember to take my own food when possible on the busy days, so that I am not hitting up the local Chick Fil A or Which Witch (I love egg salad and rarely make it myself). For the sake of the wallet and the waistline.

3. We are wanting to order in at least once a week and eat out once a week, without increasing the food budget as such.  So I'm taking some money out of the "food at home" and adding it to the "food out". Since we don't want to starve and we do want to eat healthy my solution is to buy almost exclusively in bulk from those sale items on the front page, and cook everything more than double so that I can freeze meals. Tomorrow I'm putting two boneless chucks ought on sale and making Italian beef sandwiches, which I'll freeze. Along with the cheese bought on sale to go with.

4. That one room a day cleaning thing is not working for me cleaning wise-I need to accept it for what it is. Instead, I've mainly moved onto the "doing things as they need doing and mainly doing them as part of something else" kind of attitude-and letting someone else vacuum twice a week.

5. I'm trying really hard to be less of a flitterer when I work on projects. My attention span needs to have at least two things going (one of them portable). But in the past I have had a quilt, a knitting project, a sewing project, a major writing project and more. I've decided for now to work on only my landscape quilt experiment and my practice knitted top. I need to see some finishes in the creative process occasionally, if you know what I mean. Especially as we move to the holidays and gift giving creativity.

6. My son has lost more weight and is cleaning out the tools and such of his former landscaping world. I am eliminating clothes in good condition and replacing them as part of my capsule clothing thing as well as downsizing other stuff. We've been listing them on a couple sale apps and Facebook Marketplace. Today I decided that everything but the bike will be donated if it has not sold by the end of the week. I'm not a keeper and I am more of a "I care about the stuff being out of the house more than making money" type of girl than the opposite. I prefer the stuff out of the house, no matter the method.

7. While I still love traveling by myself, I've realized I don't love DRIVING by myself as much as I used to necessarily. So as I look to more travel for the rest of this year and in the new year (bye bye college tuition!!!), I have one cross country drive (aside from the Texas adventure), one train trip and I'm actually exploring the possibility of a cruise-even if I have to pay a single supplement. I'll let ya know.

8.  One of the sustainability or re-use areas I come close to failing at are "wipes", mainly because of my lack of ability to bend and reach, but also laziness. I have facial/body wipes beside my bed, I use Bona floor wipes on my wood floor and I use the occasional Clorox wipe on kitchen counters and the like. Replacements for these won't happen overnight. I've purchased a bunch of washcloths for the nightly cool down required in the summer, but also I made a basket for recycling of said wipes-to see if I can paint on them and use in collages or use them for paint wipes and the like. Next, to look at reusable covers for said mop.

9.  My dress may not need to be hemmed, and if so I will cut it along a lace design and have a scalloped edge at the bottom (no fray check needed because of the stitching on the lace). That's what all the dressmakers would have done and charged me an arm and leg. I'll try it with a slightly higher cushioned sandal and see what happens. On the other hand, the son who wore a gray suit with sized forty pant a year and a half ago at a wedding will now need a size 34 pant in navy blue. His expense, but I may have to do the measuring.

And so it goes.....

Friday, August 9, 2019

Its Not a Sewing Room, It's a "Studio"...and Frugal Friday

My so called sewing room is the smallest-non bathroom type- room in the house. By choice, believe it or not (I want to be able to move around the room on the wheeled chair). It is, however, more than imperfect.

This room used to be the adult son's and I had what is now his bedroom. After about six months we jointly agreed to change it out-so that he had room for the dog and to make a kind of "studio apartment" in his bedroom and because of the aforementioned reasons on my end. We moved without doing any decorating-leaving the walls in said sewing room as light green. Not a color I would have chosen to begin with. Add that to a lack of light (I have a giant age-old tree out my window that keeps the house cool, but cuts of any natural son) , and you have a room with not alot of natural light. I supplement/cover for this issue by taking pictures on a white board or white fabric and having one of those lamps that has three natural light bulbs.

The biggie though, issue wise, is that when I moved into said room I was mainly a quilter. Since that time in 2013, said room has become the occasional office. As well as a home to jewelry crafting, art and collage, general sewing, knitting, tabletop weaving, family history scrap booking, art collage, essential oils and the stuff needed to make body products, and writing and general crafts of various types. Sewing room is a pretty simplistic description.

Along with all those crafts, lord love us, comes the inventory. Because really, everything but the writing requires inventory. I've been pretty good on the fabric front. I sold the huge majority of quilt fabric before moving from Dallas (because, six months in storage) and have not gone crazy in the replacing-opting i stead to purchase fabric by project much of the time. of course, all that smartness and semi minimalism has been ruined by the other inventory-yarn, felted wool, watercolors, acrylics, craft paints, card stock and various papers, craft paint, wooden bird houses, jewelery and supplies. Where do I begin-or is it stop!

Getting rid of any of the aforementioned is not a solution. So my weekend and part of next week will be filled with two things:  streamlining storage when I can, and preparing said workspace  for any and all of the crafts.  While not purchasing any new storage containers or tools (famous last words). I'll let you know how it goes when I come up for air!!

Meanwhile a few frugal things in the retirement life:

1. I joined a use it up challenge for fabric items. I hesitated to do this even as I'm getting ready to purchase some unique fabrics for my landscape/art quilts, but I ave some remnants that I think can be put to good use. And work on "fabric and yarn in", "fabric and yarn out".

2. King Soopers has 4x Fuel points or gift cards through Tuesday, including prepaid Master and Visa. I plan to start using these s well as other cards and gather up the fuel points since travel season will be beginning in September.

3. I made my every months list of things I can do, make, bake or enjoy around the house with no or minimal (like thread for finishing) cost. I also updated my list of free and almost free things to do around town, after consulting my town's Facebook page and other sources. Between library activities and rec center activities and just getting together with friends, I always enjoy seeing the list. I wont get to all of it, but it's nice to have and not just from a frugal standpoint. If I ever have one of those rare  "I don't know what to do" or "I need to leave the house for awhile" moments, I have some alternatives.

4. I started the Fall and Christmas "make/buy/go and do" list so that I can budget for gifts and crafts and space out my calendar when it comes to concerts and such.

5. Other than a desperately needed third pair of sandals, I have not spent a cent on clothes. Even though many of those 60 buck shirts are down to nine dollars or less at my favorite stores. I'm not having a no clothing spend moment as such, just trying to hold off and only choose what I REALLY love and need. 

And so it goes on semi-frugal Friday.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Saying No to The Zone

Thank you everyone for your responses yesterday. I especially appreciate Janette's take on the mental health issue because it is very much out of my area. I only had one regular reader who left something profane and said something about how this was not what she came to read. To her, and anyone else, I did make it clear that I would continue to advocate and express on the blog, especially on topics that I consider to be areas of human rights: refugees, racism and the like. Hopefully a blog a month or so will not keep you away.

I honestly cannot believe I am about to discuss something housework related here on the blog. Seriously people. Housekeeping is NOT my life. I can list twenty five million things I would rather do (and often do instead of) than housework. I am such a poor housekeeper that my husband used to deep clean the house on Sundays when I would take the offspring to church. Even when I was working part time or less. If I ever do another post on love language, let me tell ya..............

However, some cleaning has to be done. Such is life. I donut want to hire it out, although I revisit that every so often. And I am the only person who is not working at the moment in this house (I don't allow this situation to come into play or affect much, just a few things here and there). Which is why one of my two monthly goals at the beginning of July was to try out the fly lady zone cleaning system and report back how it worked for me after a month.

Unfortunately my vote is no. I understand there are many people who love it, the theory being that your house is divided into zones and you work on one zone each week of the month. I suspect my dislike falls into a few rooms are VERY different in terms of cleaning and decluttering needs even if I move the zones around a bit. I want to expend the same little amount of energy weekly. There are somethings that I feel need to be done more than monthly, but may not need to be done weekly. My weekly cleaning is simply twice a week vacuuming and sweeping of hardwoods (something that should probably be done more often by a woman with two dogs but there you go).

Instead I'm sticking with my own system. Which as they say, is the same yet different. Every day I try to spend the time to bring the kitchen half way back to normal after dinner. We try to pick up as we go, and when I think about it I wipe the bathroom sink at the end of the


Other than that I allot fifteen minutes or so to a room a day. I guess my zones are daily rather than weekly. Today's room was the hearth room-that fireplace space with the small dining table in the middle of it and two chairs on either side of the fireplace. I attacked with the feather duster, I wiped windowsills and baseboards, I changed the table cover, and I dusted the book case with real dusting cloths. And that's it. Next week on Monday I'll dust again, but the other fifteen or so mutes may be spent on something else. And twice a week someone in this house will vacuum and sweep (using a Bona dist mop sprayed with the Bona spray liquid).

Anything other than the above gets included in quarterly or twice a year cleaning (my sister cleans her own areas and works on all the outside beautification). And that's it.

I do declutter, but I only need to do that in my bedroom and the sewing room and each holiday I do the holiday stuff. And that's it. I realize that to many of my readers this would be barely considered cleaning. Many of you deal with the potty daily, even. But so it goes. 

As an aside, I've started going outside in the morning with the dogs, sometime between nine and ten after I've had my breakfast. In my nightgown more than often. It gives me time to read and enjoy the outdoors before the heat comes in now-and I'll probably continue it as long as the weather works, which in Colorado is most of the year. I do have that umbrella for the table for rain, and I'm getting a table top heat to complete the all weather patio until we decide if we really need a Sunbrella or rolling shade

All and all, it's the lazy, crazy dog loving life for me!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Thrifty Craft Store......

...Or is it crafty thrift store? Either way, I briefly ignored my plans to remain home all week and took a foray downtown on Saturday to one of my two "thrift stores for crafters". Be warned, between my excitement and my shopping while photographing, at least half of my photos are partially blurry. Which only adds to the excitement and interest I suppose.

This place takes donations of EVERYTHING, including art supplies. There were partially used tubes of acrylics and oils, and good quality paintbrushes. There where household paint and stenciling supplies. There were stickers and paper craft and yarns and fabric and threads. There were craft books and really, truly, too many things to name. Almost all of the prices were at least seventy five percent off and sometimes more.. brand new scrapbook paper and card stock were ten cents. I bought skeins of wool yarn for a dollar each (matching skeins, actually enough to do a project). This place is fantastic. Fantastic I tell you!! 

I came with a budget and I was good, so I held myself to less than thirty dollars. I tell you what though, I can see myself cleaning out a weekday afternoon, heading back and seriously looking at all the recycled stuff I could use in my projects. Not only that, but this place is in the middle of Denver's art district, so I can definitely see some lunch and galleries on a slightly cooler than 95 degree day in my future!!

Meanwhile, I have to say it. I am extraordinarily depressed and lost as to what has happened to our country in the past few years. So much so that I am actually sitting here thinking about not leaving the house, even for church, and just sitting here and praying and meditating in my own way. There is a root cause, and it's hate. Specifically hate of the other-something our current leadership encourages it seems. I mean really, would you go to YOUR workplace and tell someone to go back where they came from? If not, how can you support someone who does so regularly and publicly and on national TV. I just do not know right now.

Aside from this it's been a lovely day. I was happy to see my son who struggles sometime with the dark places head out to the lake with friends. I downloaded a kindle book in my recent mystery series. I've knitted and started on a sewing project.

And yes, I might actually go to church this afternoon.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Friday Ramblings

My poor dog jumped off my bed yesterday evening and sprained his leg. He was sitting on his blanket on the bed while I was getting some things done, and when I left I called him to follow me. He does this all the time but he must have landed wrong because there was a horribly painful yelp and he's been limping since. He begged to for a walk but got about five minutes out and asked to turn around. Poor baby!

I just returned from King Soopers (Kroger to the masses) after picking  up my click list order. Unfortunately I forgot a couple things and they wouldn't let me order ready made fajita mix from the meat/deli section so I did have to run in and get a couple things first. Even so, the time savings as well as the impulse buy savings is huge! Every time I don't do this, I wonder why.

After KS, I ran to Joanne's ...........and bough nothing. A frugal move I suppose except for I truly need fabrics and pretty threads for an art quilts/landscape quilts I'm working on  like the one shown. I just couldn't decide what to get, so I am sketching out my plans and filling them with pencil so when I get to the store and go online I have at least a rough idea of what I need. 
Just for inspiration-I plan to make a beach scene for my first try with shells and such.

This is the time of year when I usually begin my intensive annual sew and sell mini extravaganza-or should I say sew or knit and sell. In addition to gifts and contributions for my church annual bazaar sale, I usually do some intensive sewing and then prepare to sell as we get closer to the holidays. Most of it is team related stuff, but some of it is also holiday related stuff-Christmas napkins and table runners, Denver Bronco throws and quilts, scarves and such in the local high school colors. No question that I make money on the  deal, and it is not hard work Just trying to check my motivation here, if you get my drift. I have a one week volunteer gig in September that is mainly me supervising and sitting, so I definitely have some down time to do the knitting part. Whether I have the inspiration is another issue.

I did order both a second bathing suit and pool shoes from Amazon today-my way of acknowledging that any major exercise in the future will be in the pool or on the reclined cross trainer. I'll save my proverbial walking shoes for leisurely nature walks, beginning golf lessons or casual sightseeing at my own speed from now on.

As often happens after one lives in a place and leaves, I realize how much I have yet to see of the Dallas/Fort Worth (and other Texas) areas. Nothing new really. I did pretty well in my 20 years in DC other than not seeing the White House. While I'm in Dallas for the two weeks before my daughter's wedding, I plan to play tourist. To take a hop on hop off bus in both places. To go see the Amon Carter museum of art. And to take my son to this restaurant. Just for starters.

This weekend I begged of my church women's lunch. I'm going to sew, knit, read, enjoy my Weight Watcher' fudge ice cream and fruit with whipped cream, kick up my feet and spend lots of quality time in the house and on the pergola with said injured dog.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Small Time Sustainability

I've just returned from seeing Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on the big screen with some of my gals group. It's not ruining the story to say it's really nothing like any other Quentin Tarentino movie. Also, it was well over two hours-but worth every minute of seeing it if only for the ending.  We try not to do too many of the movie things because we really don't get a chance to talk before or afterward (no one is hungry after popcorn). It was a frugal five dollar Tuesday, but then of course I got popcorn and a drink!  For readers who watch the show Mindhunter, I found it interesting that the guy who plays Manson in this film also plays him in the new season of this show, coming in August.

While I don't talk about it here much (and probably should more than I do) I am an advocate for the planet in terms of my vote and a dozen other ways having to do with trying to persuade others. My primary journey these days, though,  is to challenge myself to be more sustainable on my own. Some are successes, some are fails and some are still to come.

I've mainly made the journey when it comes to single use plastics and paper. I started being intensive about this at the first of the year, and asked for some re-usable items over the holidays.  I now use re-usable shopping bags, I generally don't put my produce in the bags provided but use a separate shopping bag and wash. I have three re-usable mugs and I always ask at any drive through or Panera type restaurant I use (which is rare) if they can fill up my mug instead of giving me a paper cup. And I almost always remember to ask for no straw (I don't really use them, or I would carry a re-usable one in my purse). I use cloth napkins, cloth paper towels, washcloths instead of facial wipes-there's much more to be done,  but it's a habit and I'm on my way. 

My new challenge for the next six months is to try and be more sustainable when it comes to shopping an errand habits and most importantly, being more sustainable in terms of fashion and some household products. This includes buying less clothing that is better quality, developing a coordinated wardrobe only of things I like and will wear (that inventory  is on it's way) and most importantly, buying from the used market whenever possible. This includes my local thrift stores, local consignment stores, and yes, online thrift and consignment on occasion. I'm also going to work on re-using outdated not donatable clothing as much as possible be it for rags, up cycled art or whatever. It works well that I am starting this challenge as I work on my year around capsule wardrobe and do my inventory. Onward and forward.

Yesterday I chatted with my daughter. She's decided because of the effort and organization and possible weather that rather than hold her wedding in the backyard, she would rather have it else where. This has added a cost of about two thousand dollars, but I think it is a better solution. They have chosen a venue in a historic square in McKinney Texas where they can be outside, but go inside if the weather is bad. They have a DIY option for decor, which works well as we have been collecting ideas and items. At forty, they had chosen to pay for this wedding themselves, but with my daughter having been doing advanced schooling with no income for three years, they've agreed to accepting help. Since there is no rehearsal dinner or other traditional stuff, the other mother will pay for wedding food. I'll buy my daughter's dress and contribute money-and probably contribute more when she's not looking.

Meanwhile, I need to get on the stick with the dress hemming I guess!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Six Frugal Things

I finally had a one on one dinner with my son this week. While it doesn't fall under the "frugal" heading as we headed to Texas Roadhouse, it's something we don't get to do that often with various schedule issues. I'd like to say we can do this once a month but I'll be happy with every six weeks.

At lunch today, we had a couple interesting conversations. One was on hobbies, and how many of us find our interest waxes and wanes and we don't necessarily have the passion for "one big thing" any more. I definitely fall under this umbrella. While I still knit, quilt, sew and occasionally draw, sometimes I do none of them for a week-and sometimes I spend a day doing all. I find myself more interested in doing things with others (In small groups rather than large most of the time), and quiet times like reading. Obviously I'm still expanding as I am in the process of teaching myself to do art quilts and fabric decoration (see below), but my "creative" hobbies often take a back seat to other parts of life which are either more social, or more relaxed, depending.

Meanwhile, a few frugal things this week:

1.  I broke my no summer style clothes spending fast - which may not seem frugal as such. but as many of us from very warm weather climates know, dress are always the coolest thing to wear. It's 94 out and these dresses were on deep sale as well as being buy one get one for five dollars. I'm now back on the no clothes until fall band wagon (that clothing inventory shows I have total of five long sleeved tops including the  casual ones and one heavy cardigan). Exceptions will be accessories to go with wedding dress if needed. 

2.  I'm still looking at ways to hem the wedding dress but I've decided it's a keeper even if I have to pay for hemming-the darned thing was only sixty dollars. I may even be able to cut around a layer of lace with small scissors and use fray check leaving a scalloped egg. Which would be the ultimate frugality considering I will never wear this dress again.

3.  After thinking the larder was bare, we have somehow bought almost nothing in groceries this week. I bought some additional chicken, we had enough ham to make a ham and pasta salad this evening and I added some fruit and lettuce. This will admittedly probably mean a big shop next week for fill-ins. And maybe some pre-cooked chicken and burgers to avoid the stove.

4. In another ode to the library, I am sitting here with at least six books on mixed media and art quilts, as well as a group of books bought from the library sale for pennies. While I may have gone to the kindle dark side for regular reading, I've yet to turn down an almost free book in any form and for crafts and other instruction I prefer a large "real book".

5.  Except for a senior lunch menu item and a single drink at happy hour my entertainment and enrichment for the week has included books from the library, three free classes at three health clubs (thank you Silver Sneakers), playing with craft supplies on hand, knitting at my local independent book store and other no out of pocket costs. Next week should be more of the same with the exception of the food to go with my five dollar movie fee when we go see the new Quentin Tarentino movie on Tuesday.

6. Frugal because my time is equally valuable and I am trying to limit online time: I have removed myself from almost all of my "deal" websites, as well as their attendant emails. I am still big on saving money but I appreciate calm. I kept the best website/app (KrazyKoupon Lady) which I can go to without being emailed. I have apps for the places I shop the most so I can get rewards and I use a couple shop through sites. Other than that, I prefer to make my money saving about not buying, re-using and up-cycling and cut down on digital time.S

Happy Weekend Everyone!