Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Never Thought of It That Way...



The (Other) New 2017 Color of the Year Is...



SW 6039:  Poised Taupe.


Sherwin-Williams just picked this as their signature color for 2017.


Is it tan? Gray? A touch of cream? Or does it have just a hint of purple in there, as well?

Kari Anne at Thistlewood Farms thinks so.  (I do, too.)


She used this color to make over her dining room:



I gotta admit -- it's lovely. Very peaceful, and not quite as brooding as 





Take a look at the full post, for more ideas.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Frugal Hits And Misses: November Report

It's been a few months now since I pledged to let you know when we did well on the Frugal Scale -- and when we didn't. Life and stuff happens...but this month, other than medical issues, it didn't go too badly. 

     For one thing, I kept my promise to myself to see the books and videos we'd collected for so many years go to others, instead. For some interesting reason, we did better on food costs this month, as well. (Was it the scavenging?)

*Listed more than 30 items (books and videos) on Amazon -- and sold 10. Eight books and 2 videos. I only chose the ones that would sell for enough to make a profit...with one glaring exception. (See below.) Nearly all sold at much more than I originally paid for them -- especially the videos.

*Waited until just before Thanksgiving to buy turkey and some other goodies. Another blogger said she'd noticed prices dropped faster just a few days before -- and she was right. Saved about $20 on just the turkey.

*Grabbed some screaming deals on canned soup. For example: Progresso at about 65 cents a can, combining sale price with coupons. Campbell's Cream of Mushroom: 50 cents. (Green bean casserole influence, no doubt.) Chunky Soup clocked in at about 75 cents each. Do manufacturers think, with the weather getting cold, that we're not going to eat soup??

*Bought things we needed, anyways, combining coupons with sales. Chicken feed at 10% off. Dogfood was even better: 15% off. We also stocked up on essentials at Sam's Club. (See below)

*Ordered castile soap on sale from Grove Collective -- and got a Mrs. Meyers cleaning set with it, plus free shipping. These were full-sized bottles of hand soap, multi-surface cleaner and dish soap. If you haven't used Mrs. Meyer products yet, you're missing out: they're gentle on the hands, clean effectively and smell wonderful. The negative: they're very expensive. But not when they come free!
     Why did I order castile soap? Because it's the foundation for any number of budget-friendly cleaning products. I'm looking forward to mixing some of these up, using some of my oils.

*Watched a BUNCH of tv and cable series we enjoy following: The Last Ship, Designated Survivor (this one is new -- and surprisingly good, especially if you liked 24), The Walking Dead, Alone (a 'real' survivalist contest) and Turn: Washington's Spies. The Brick found a number of sites (including geektv.com) that streamed these for free. Not only did we catch up with our favorites -- we watched them with no commercials. Win-win.

*We also saw several football games for free.  More about those here. (I still don't want to talk about Michigan and the Broncos losing.)

*'Scavenged' food several times for free...mostly because I was paying attention. Working on Election Day for the county meant free supper, which was nice. After everyone had gone home, a few of the box lunches remained. I snagged one...even nicer.
      I was appraising at our local thrift shop today, and the same thing happened: a table filled with different kinds of food, and nearly all the other volunteers gone. "Take what you want," said my boss cheerfully. So I did: three boxed salads, two pies (pumpkin and pecan), some rolls and a bunch of cake 'lollipops.'  (The latter looked and tasted suspiciously like Starbucks items.) Lesson learned:  when you volunteer for groups like these, you not only get a discount (which is nice), but you may luck into more things, as well. Our thrift shop often sets out boxes of bread and rolls for customers to enjoy.

*Free pumpkins and squash, thanks to a thoughtful neighbor. (The chickens enjoyed these, though we got some, too.) She got a dozen eggs, in return. A free box of tomatoes from other neighbors added to soup, stew, sandwiches and used to top a pizza.





*'Found' -- or got on sale -- a number of Christmas presents. The nice thing about cleaning out your shelves and drawers: you find items that you hid earlier, sometimes months ago. Normally that makes me feel like a doofus; having these available for Christmas now does not.
      I also set aside several books from the sale/giveaway pile for giving, and found the Brick (and the girlies) several things at the thrift shop. Now to get these wrapped.

*Got Swagbucks for purchases we'd planned to make, anyways. I've brought Swagbucks up before -- it's one of the easiest ways to earn bonus points while just doing searches and shopping you normally do, anyways. Click here for more info.
     Buy The Mama a gift card for her favorite restaurant? Check.
     Stock up on basics like dishwasher soap and dog bones at Sam's Club? Got it. (Yes, they were on sale, too, with free pickup.)

Earn the Brick a $25 Amazon gift card, by doing all this? No problem.
    It really is that easy.




*I volunteered for a tasting panel. Ninety minutes work, stuffed to the gills with food = $50 gift card!

*Took advantage of Veterans' Day specials. We ate meals at Applebee's, Golden Corral and Red Robin that all included free meals or discounts. ("That's what you get for serving six years in the Navy," I told the Brick. He grinned.)

*A free bagel or coffee discount every time I visited in November.  (Thanks, Panera.)

*Donated bags, bags and more bags of stuff. Mostly books and clothes. It felt wonderful.

*Snagged several items for prizes, rewards and Christmas presents for my piano students. Rocher chocolates: 33 cents for a three-pack. (The Friday/Saturday store.) Stuffed animals for a buck or two each. (Thrift shop.)  90% off makeup kits. (Halloween clearance.)

*Kept the heat turned down -- actually turned off for part of the month. We don't mind wearing socks and sweaters. We're not the only ones, either. And if  it gets too chilly, it's easy to build a fire in the woodstove, or turn on the electric fireplace. (Cheaper, too.)





*Found a B&B package through Groupon for our anniversary...a beautiful log cabin-style lodge up in the mountains. $75 a night -- an incredible price around here, especially during the start of ski season. Interestingly, it's not far from Colorado's areas for:

*Cutting Christmas trees -- we'll get our own this year! $10 each. (We'll get one each for Daughter #1 and her friend, while we're at it.)






*Worked for the election. An incredibly boring job, but the extra paycheck was very welcome.  The Brick also continued to drive bus now and then for a local school district.

*Picked up more little jobs here and there. $50 for restoration work on a duvet, and $20 for restitching some holes and loose seams on an old quilt. Walked a dog now and then. (Brody again. What a cutie.)




*Shoveled out the chicken coop -- not that they appreciated it, the little dinosaurs. But our neighbor got a load of 'dressing,' and my garden greens bed did the same. (The greens are still alive. I don't know how.)

*The chickens are still paying for themselves...sort of. They've been laying fewer eggs, in spite of more protein, more light (inside the coop) and a heatlamp. We barely had enough for our regular customers. But at least we had enough.

*Gave away Daughter #1's canopy bed to one of our little friends. More space for us. Daughter gets our old bed, instead, which she wanted...and Trynity has a bed for her newly-furnished room.

*Packed two boxes for Operation Christmas Child. There's still time to help out with this wonderful cause -- go here for specifics.

*Turned in several boxes of change -- for our Christmas Angel doings.  Every year, we use the change gathered to buy secret presents for people who need it. (I would then use what was leftover to buy the family a pizza.) This year will be gift cards we'll give away anonymously.





Most of these savings are small. But if you keep track of items like this, they do add up to the savings of a frugal lifetime


FRUGAL MISSES

These were unavoidable... except one. 

*I lost money on one of the Amazon sales -- big-time. The shipping amount allowed for one of the books, a trade paperback, was handsome: $16.95. But shipping alone for this book (to Israel) was $22.50!  I'd never shipped an order to the Promised Land, and had no idea. But basically I paid the customer for the privilege of buying my book. (Brickworks has international customers, but we've always adjusted our shipping costs to compensate.)
     I complained to Amazon, and was told to change my price next time. In other words, 'Stuff you.' Lesson learned:  no shipping to Israel -- and I'll take more care to only send lightweight items overseas, so shipping IS covered.



*The Brick's session with kidney stones meant a doctor's visit and pain meds. Fortunately, we didn't have to go to the emergency room this time. What it did mean, though, was a very subdued week. We missed church and the annual Thanksgiving supper at the fairgrounds, but it couldn't be helped.

*The Brick also had to have two crowns replaced. $1900 at the dentist's office...paid back at $265/month.  Just in time, I guess -- the bill for my crown was paid off this month.


Curious about the other months of hits and misses?

October's report is here.

September's report is here.

August's report is here.


    December promises to be a quiet month. Other than our anniversary trip, we have no plans to go anywhere special, except a free concert or two. The Mama will be visiting for the last two weeks of the month. And of course, there are the Seven Fish Dishes.

I'm not complaining.














Sunday, November 27, 2016

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Football (Groan)

    Thanks to the Brick's ingenuity, we've watched several football games in the past few weeks. He's found different feeds, some of them European...which means that they include announcers getting ready, random people in the crowd etc. These are the lull times that normally would be filled with station identification and such. But since we're on the secondary feed instead of the primary one, we don't have to put up with it. There's some strange halts and silences, but we can handle that. 
      We don't have cable, which saves us a bunch. And we don't need it. The Brick hooked up his laptop to the tv screen -- so we can watch the game, just as if we were seeing it on cable...but minus commercials. Oh darn.
     The worst part about this wonderland of defense, offense, field goals and touchdowns is that two of our favorite teams (the Denver Broncos and the University of Michigan Wolverines) both lost -- during overtime. Double overtime for Michigan. 
     I don't want to talk about it. (sigh)

     On the other hand, the University of Colorado Buffs won. The same team everyone made fun of for years...and is now #9 in the college polls.  Go figure.


And Go Ralphie!

12 trendy stocking stuffers from the dollar store!  (Specifically Dollar Tree -- thanks, Brad's Deals)

Christmas dining room twinkles.  (From Thistlewood Farms)

Another celebrity sprints backwards, after making a firm vow to move to Canada if Trump won. Look for this trend to become a flood...Canadians are probably disappointed. (Or relieved.)

Efficiency equals beauty. Another tome from Mr. Money Mustache -- the man doesn't post nearly often enough.

A trip to Thailand.  Gee, I'd love to do some traveling now. (From Retire by 40)

"Octomom" is no more. One of my favorite celebrity trash people is in the past. Darn...but what a relief for her kids. Can she hold out, if she's offered a boatload of money to revert back?

Puzzling over Christmas presents.  This was earlier this year, but still helpful.  (From Surviving and Thriving)

Nine of the most financially irresponsible players in NBA history.  (From Bleacher Report)

Streusel-topped pumpkin pie. Oh my.  (From Good Cheap Eats)



Toward a slow and simple life. A photo-essay...almost like walking in the mountains yourself.  (From Living with Less)

Turkey lessons..from someone who cooked roast turkey 22 times in a row! (From Simple Bites)

I have to try this:



Ten weird discoveries associated with mummies.  Including the earliest-yet Gospel of Mark fragment...found in an Egyptian mummy mask!  (From Listverse)

Nine kid-friendly party foods...not to mention appetizers for Big Kids.   (From our buddette, Betty Crocker) Like these chicken enchilada bites:



The caramel fruit dip caught my eye, too:




A cop is banned from a San Diego 'Day of Transgender Awareness' event -- because others might be put off by her uniform. Turns out not only did she help plan the event...she's transgender herself.
          Yep, that's tolerance for ya.


Have a great week.





Friday, November 25, 2016

Good Food, Recipes...And Celebrations

     The Christmas Goodies blog is starting up again.

Holiday Goodies has been going for longer, but will ramp up, as well.


We'll be featuring stories and some great treats, including that fine old tradition:

The Seven Fish Dishes.


Stop by, and take a look.



Maybe There's More to the Story...

Like this heart-wringing tale about Caleb, a little autistic boy who's prevented from saying his line in the Thanksgiving play, by a thoughtless teacher who grabs the microphone away...




Except it isn't true.

Mom (Amanda Riddle) said he was supposed to say "gobble gobble" at the end. So did 'Dad,' Kent Squires. They were adamant that was his line.

Well, it wasn't.

Another attender took photos of the program and put them on Facebook:

Oopsies, Caleb isn't even listed at the end of the program. In fact, he wasn't supposed to say anything at all. See why here. 
     He wasn't one of the final speakers. (My guess: he saw the kids standing in line, and decided to join in. And since he wasn't bothering anyone standing there, why not.)


Contrary to what the edited clip above suggests, he DID say lines. Here's the full play, if you're curious:


Look at about 6:00 for his line. Again at 7:17 and about 8:11. Sometimes they're yelled...sometimes you have no idea what he said. But he DID say lines. More than some of the kids. Even though they weren't in the script.
    He enjoys himself wandering around in the background, wiggling, swinging up and down on the back fence, sticking his fingers in his mouth, etc. etc. But the teachers (and the audience) obviously can handle that -- including his enthusiastic yelling out phrases during the song. Special needs kids do that on occasion. Perfectly normal. And the teachers (and audience) realize that.

So, at the very end of the play...could the teacher have noticed him, and waited just a second? Would it have hurt anything for him to say 'Gobble gobble'...or whatever?
    Of course not. My guess is that she wasn't sure what he would yell in the mike, or she was hurriedly trying to conclude the program. Other kids enjoy yelling in the microphone, after all. (We know a little boy who got a kick out of turning the lights off during services...the assistant pastor's son!)

But to paint this teacher as a heartless, cruel person?  The principal certainly didn't think she was maliciousalthough he said things could have been done differently. (And they could have.)
     Kids with autism don't always understand. It's not their fault, it's just the way autism operates. The Brick drove a special needs schoolbus route for years, and still has a soft heart for kids who need a little extra help. Both of us feel strongly that these kids should be treated just like other kids. Note word choice here: not as SPECIAL, but as NORMAL. No special treatment. Treated like other kids.

But for his parents to act this way, considering that they KNEW he wasn't slighted during the presentation? In fact, it looked to me like extra allowances were made. A lot of them.

UPDATE:  Turns out there were a LOT more allowances made than even I thought...be sure to read this article from Appalachian Magazine.)

Why does this bother me? Because over the years, the Brick and yours truly have met up with parents of challenged kids who argue that their child shouldn't be treated differently than anyone else...then promptly start demanding special privileges for their little dear. If denied, they not only threaten to sue, but don't hesitate to march to the local newspaper, news station, etc. to give their side of the story -- and nothing else. We've seen this so many times, I've lost count.



I'd say Caleb's parents should be the ones making an apology.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Words, Words...

They can mean so many things. 
      Even when something's left out -- or in!

Have fun fooling around with words this holiday weekend.






Things to do in public Funny Picture to share nº 14280:
         
(Werk on grammer and speeling in your free time, wile your at it...
       Now that's me playing with words!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving, American-Style!

I know... you Canadians already had yours. 


Have a great, restful day.


Many of the photos on this blog come courtesy of Morguefile.com... we are thankful for them.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Coming Home for the Holidays

Christmas cake's in the oven;  pecan pies will happen later today. (After all, it's midnight right now.) Turkey's thawing, and I'll start peeling potatoes in the evening. (The girlies love mashed potatoes so much that I have to cook at least ten pounds worth.) 
     So at least the food area is making progress.

 A few things got cleared away, a bunch more books listed for sale on Amazon, and more appraisals need to be sent before I head for bed.
    The Brick's doing better right now, but the kidney stones definitely haven't passed yet. Pain comes and goes. 
    Our girlies, plus our new son Keith, will be here for dinner on Thanksgiving. Coming home -- I love them for making the effort. We'll eat too much, talk a lot, then watch Plymouth Adventure -- which they enjoy making fun of. Loudly.





I don't care -- it's just nice, having them home. 

See if you don't get a lump in your throat from this 'coming home' story...






Amtrak made its own heartwarmer, about a little stuffed dog who also wanted to go home.
     See it here.


Wow.  (sniff)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas -- Several Frugal Ways (Part II)

Hopefully, you've read the earlier post for budget-saving Thanksgiving and Christmas plans. How about some more ideas?

*Make your Christmas presents -- in the kitchen. Like these recipes from Country Living magazine.

If you're drooling already, recipe's here -- makes a nice Thanksgiving dessert, too.


Tins (from discount stores, dollar stores -- or the thrift shop) keep items fresh and in good shape.  (Which means you could make some of these now, like this Christmas cake! ) While you're at it:

*Start a new tradition, foodwise. It could be as simple as brussels sprouts on the Thanksgiving table (something Daughter #1 started at our house), or as elaborate as a Sachertorte, a deep chocolate cake fresh from Vienna.

*Another possibility: a fancy-pants dinner -- but prepared at home, not out to an elaborate restaurant. Even if you serve lobster and steak, even if you pay full price, it will be less expensive.
      For decades, our Christmas Eve dinner has been seven fish dishes, from an Italian custom celebrating the seven sacraments. (You know -- birth, baptism, marriage, etc etc.) I budget for it throughout the year -- and pick up sale items. (Like the jumbo shrimp I just bought from Sprouts: $6.99/lb, and the cans of lobster bisque found at a discount store: a measly dollar each.)
     Last year's menu is here.  This year's menu will be coming up at the Christmas Goodies blog...you can sign up to follow it by e-mail, or become a follower.

*Sew something -- quick. Unless you're really fast, it would be difficult to whip something up for Thanksgiving. (If you want to try, go here -- a few blocks for pillows or placemats should stitch up quickly.)
     There's still plenty of time to do a Christmas project. Like these free pattern links, courtesy of McCall's Quilting. (You'll have to open an account -- but it's free.) Use them for your own decorating, or give them as gifts.




P.S. A Hanukkah wall hanging is included in the links, too.


*Here's an even faster idea: choose a specialty fabric and make napkins! Any good fabric shop will have an interesting selection of pumpkin, Pilgrim, snowman and Santa prints -- and many are on sale during Black Friday weekend! One yard of fabric can make 8 napkins. (Cut 9" x 10" rectangles, turn the edges over, and quickly stitch by hand or machine.)  For more ideas, try A Thrifty Mom in Boise's comments and instructions.
 
*The same fabric can be used to cover your existing pillows for home dec accents -- then used for other purposes after the holidays. (A yard can be wrapped around the pillow, with the ends of all four corners knotted together in back.)
     Or buy pillow covers: as little as a few bucks each (and free shipping!) on Amazon.



I ordered this and  'Merry Christmas' above for our house: 4.95 total, including shipping.


Reading about other people's plans for the holidays will give you ideas, too. Like this one, from Diary of A Stay at Home Mom.



Happy Thanksgiving to you.  Relax and enjoy...




Sunday, November 20, 2016

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: It Isn't Thanksgiving Week -- Is It?

Naaah. I have too many appraisals to get done, and a house to clean. Can't be that time already. 

The Brick is having some pain: kidney stones, we think. Fortunately, he has this week off from driving schoolbus for field trips. 
    Do I have time off, as well? See above.




Monday morning update:  The Brick is still in a considerable amount of pain.  (Doctor's appointment this afternoon. Update:  Kidney stones, all right -- just have to wait them out. Or through, as the case may be.)
      Meanwhile, we had our own blood-and-gore event: Charley finally caught the mouse that has been hiding upstairs the past week or so. This little stinker's favorite hobby was to zoom back and forth under the fireplace bricks while we were watching tv at night. (Unnerving, to say the least.) He ignored all the traps the Brick set out, but they were finally his undoing: one caught his leg this morning while Charley was chasing him. (I'd thought someone had stepped on a squeaky toy, for a minute there.) A few enthusiastic shakes by The Faithful Dog, and Mr. Mouse was ready to be thrown to the chickens. 
     What a mess...but I'll choose that anytime, instead of the nightly Mousey 500. 


Someone took a closer look at the 112 anti-Trump protesters arrested so far in Portland, OR. Guess what:  35 of those people weren't even residents of the state! Another 34 didn't vote -- at all. Only 25 of the protesters arrested actually voted. Hmm....  (from IJR)

Donations to the Clinton Foundation plunged as Hillary Clinton's campaign faltered. I wonder why? Her fees from giving speeches went from millions to 'only' $375,000. Ouch.

Pets who LOVE Planet Earth II.

Fake news isn't the problem, says Snopes.com's managing editor -- it's more that "people are looking for someone to pick on." Speaking of fake news:

Facebook picked up a bug for a while that declared its users dead!

Ten lessons learned from ten years' experience.  (From The Simple Dollar)

Did you notice the secret message that flashed between Abraham and Sasha on the first episode of this season's The Walking Dead? I sure didn't, the first time around -- on the other hand, I was too grossed out by what happened after that. If you're a fan, take a look here: it's subtle, but meaningful.

Homeless men and women...as they would like to be seen.  A photo essay with captions that will make you think.

15 easy ways to make money for Christmas...and other times of the year.  (From Moneysaving Mom)

VanGogh's long-lost notebook is said to have reappeared in recent years. Or is it really a fake? (From Artnet)

Little Miss Madam the chicken.  We have one like this...we call her Mrs. Bossy. (From Our New Life in the Country)

Another unfortunate dissolves in a Yellowstone hot spring -- because he and his sister were foolish enough to try "hot potting." Really sad.

15 ways to dress up your candles. Christmas presents, anyone?  (From Hometalk)

Chicken mini-turnovers. (From Mennonite Girls Can Cook...I guess they can!)



Ten gifts for people who already have a lot.  (From The Simple Dollar)

A 'modernist mantel' -- for those who don't have a fireplace. (The Apartment Therapy post includes a lot of things for sale, but I'm guessing you can figure out the insanely cool PVC wreath in this, among other things.)



A man turns 15 -- and his son 5 years old on the same day. (They look a LOT older, by the way, for good reason. Hint: the son graduated from high school recently.)

Six ways to tell if someone is lying...advice from former CIA officers.  (Thanks, Parade.)

Speculation on the Wild Hunt.  I'll let you figure this one out for yourself...but it's weird.  (Listverse)

Weird (and a little creepy) facts about the Titanic.   (Yes, this is one of my interests...)

"What I'm Wearing For Fall."  Goofy, but inspiring.  (From Emily Henderson)

A Belgian home/workshop -- simple, basic and cobbled together mostly from scavenged and hand-me-down items. But it sure doesn't look it... from Dwell.

Clean up and condition your leather furniture with a simple ingredient: olive oil! Wow.  I plan to try this on our old-but-loved leather couch. (From The Tattered Rabbit)

Conditioning a Leather Couch to make it look new again


And not to be outdone:  The 12 Stinks of Christmas. Oh boy.




Happy Thanksgiving -- have a great week.





Getting Ready for Thanksgiving AND Christmas -- In Several Frugal Ways


Yes, I know Thanksgiving is four days away. But it seems almost unreal...like that big holiday with the C-word that's coming down the pike in about a month.

That doesn't keep me from doing it as frugally as I can:

*Double-check the paper goods -- I'll haul out what I bought at the end of last season for 50-90% off.  (Tuesday Morning is FANTASTIC for finding deals like this. They have higher-quality matching paper plates, too. Even their everyday pricing is good. Make a note to stop in on Friday to get Pilgrim/Thanksgiving stuff for next year.)

*Check the grocery ads.  One blogger advocated waiting to buy until the last minute for Thanksgiving -- she argued that was when food prices suddenly dropped, especially for turkey. By golly, she was right this year! Both Safeway and King Soopers not only have turkey on sale, but potatoes and frozen pies have magically dropped in price. Some baking goods, too: butter, eggs and cream cheese. Even ice cream and soda are cheaper. Go figure.

*NOW check available coupons. Several match up with the extra-low grocery prices. (Go here for a start.) Are they out? Get a raincheck.

*Think about NOT buying any holiday decorations. I know -- it's tempting to splurge on lights and those leeetle tiny houses that will make your mantel look sooo cute. Can you go without for just one year, and use what you've already got, instead? Then if you're still in love, pick up those items after the holidays -- but for much less.

*What's outside that you can use, instead?  Thanksgiving is perfect for a centerpiece of pine cones and fir branches -- especially when you add tiny pumpkins, some pomegranates, a head of flowering kale, or those mandarin oranges on sale. (About $1 a pound at my stores.) Include some fall leaves sprinkled in for an autumn touch. Go here for more. Yes, this works for Christmas, too.

*Wrapping paper and ribbon are cheap, colorful and a great source for decorating.  Cheap, that is, if you get them at the dollar store, with coupons, or on sale. (Which they are right now.) Tiny boxes, wrapped and interspersed with fir branches and tiny lights, will really glow by your front window. (Or wrap real presents, and save yourself the extra trouble.) Wrap the framed pictures and paintings you already have hanging. Tie a series of bows on a plain straw, grapevine or greens wreath.
     Or try this:



Another idea source: any of the '1000-plus' tutorials on Pinterest. Mesh ribbon wreaths are especially stylin' right now.

*Christmas cards? Maybe yes, maybe no.  Don't send any cards at all. (Gasp!) Or send only to out-of-towners, consider sending e-cards, instead -- or use postcards.
The Frugalwoods are advocating sending 'business' Christmas postcards -- and they've got proof it's not only cheaper, but really cute.
     Sadly, our expenses for these are decreasing. I send cards primarily to uncles and aunts -- and we've lost quite a few older relatives in the past few years.


Part II's up!  Go here for more.




Saturday, November 19, 2016

I Must Be Hungry...


 













This one started it...


And finally...




It's been a strange weekend. Neither of us feels in tiptop shape, so far. I did some work, then we watched a whole season of TURN and cracked pecans. (The Brick wants his "pa-eye" for Thanksgiving -- it's gotta come from somewhere!)  Back to the regularly scheduled program soon...

Stop Motion At Its Best...Or Worst?

I don't know whether to be creeped out by this...or thrilled.

See what you think.


Coraline stop motion is super creepy

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Snow

Gray clouds pushed over the horizon when we woke up this morning. Chilly air, too. I cut up the last pumpkin for the chickens before it froze. (The chickies were unaffected, pecking and shoving each other around, but headed straight for the coop when the wind picked up.)
    Charley the dog loved the brisk air, jumping and leaping. He took time out to yell at the 'evil' doves who persist in hanging around on the telephone wire. (Shame on them. This is his yard!)

I shivered back into the house, Abby the dog close on my heels. Time for an extra pair of socks, and checking the forecast.

One flake, then another. Eventually, it turned into:


A cozy bed on a snowy afternoon

Our first big snow of the season.  'Big' is relative -- the mountains have been having snowfall for months now. Finally we flatlanders can experience it, too.

Guess I'd better go make some soup. (Maybe this, instead.) Or a snowball sundae.
    What the hey -- maybe this, too. After all, it's starting to accumulate.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The New 2017 Color Of The Year Is...

Purple. Deep, dark purple, otherwise known as SHADOW  (#2117-30)



This one's a big contrast from Benjamin Moore's 2016 choice. That was SIMPLY WHITE!

But wait...it changes, depending on the light.


Makes it much more interesting, not to mention versatile.
(Yes, it's the same paint in both photos.)

Apartment Therapy's got some suggestions how to use this deep, dark color... but I'd say you really need light to pull it off successfully, like the strong uplighting used in the staircase photo. Plus windows. Lots of windows. Otherwise, it's going to feel like a cave in your home of choice.

A Strange Experience

    Sunday lunch was barely finished when the text came. 'We just pulled into Castle Rock,' it read. 'We'll wash off the ...