Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Woof! (Crunch)

Just when you thought it was safe to come out...

32 very funny Doritos commercials -- all featuring dogs!




Charley would approve.

I've done this before...here's another classic batch of dog commercials.  (Subaru-related, these.) Plus, because it was wiped out of the listed post, Volkswagen's 'The Bark Side' Super Bowl commercial:




Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Last One In Is A Rotten Egg...

For all the Californians and Texans who've moved to Colorado...
     You've got two options:

*Drive like a maniac -- after all, you've got four-wheel-drive.

*Weld your hands to the steering wheel and don't go over 35 -- that white stuff is scary in any form. 

And here's what happens...


from LOL Funny via Pinterest

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Relapsing -- And Photos

Oh joy -- the flu is back. 

This time, though, the cough is uppermost, with Misters Fever and Headache making occasional appearances. (As if they didn't have other people to pester...) Chores and jobs have to be done -- but only the bare minimum, and I'm exhausted when they're finished. We're back to essential errands only; haven't been to church or 'leisure' stuff, other than the Brick's birthday, for a month. (I had a heck of a time holding my eyes open during the Brick's birthday supper with the girls and Son #1 Thursday night. Went to bed, once we got home. Embarrassing.) 
     I also commune regularly with the porcelain throne. Does this mean that this nasty stuff is literally trying to get out of my body, any way it can? 

The good news is that our scouting trips produced some wonderful photos for the book-in-progress, Colorado's Mysterious Front Range. They even look slightly spooky...like this one, of Sedalia, Colorado's 'hanging tree.' Ironically, it's in the courtyard of the town's finest restaurant. 

It may take a while to load -- meant for the book, not online.
David Brick photo

I have three days to finish up the photo package -- then it's on to continuing to write. I've already started planning, sorting and positioning. Whoo hoo!


Billy Graham died this past week -- a humble man of God. He would be pleased, I'd think, that at least one news outlet, instead of focusing on his 'accomplishments,' mentioned his favorite foods, instead: lemon cake with lard frosting, and canned pork & beans!
     Rev. Graham was 99.

The art of living simply -- or at least having morning coffee that way.  (From Funky Junk Interiors)

Biggest wipeouts of the Olympics.  You gotta feel for these people.

The USA women's hockey team wins gold! For the first time in twenty years, and over Canada, who had beaten them in two previous finals. It was a well-matched game, though...

A rent-your-own pizza truck!  Stokd Pizza works out of Denver, CO -- a very cool idea, if you're planning a catered event.

A congresswoman claims that most mass shooters are, get this... Democrats. Can you spell C-R-O-C-K?
    Update: When asked for clarification, she issued this:

"I am fed up with the media and liberals attempting to politicize tragedies and demonize law-abiding gun owners and conservative Americans every time there is a horrible tragedy," Tenney said in the statement. "While we know the perpetrators of these atrocities have a wide variety of political views, my comments are in response to a question about the failure to prosecute illegal gun crime. I will continue to stand up for law-abiding citizens who are smeared by anti-gun liberal elitists."

     That's fine...but why make an initial accusation you can't prove? It just wrecks any credibility you could lend on the subject. 
     Frankly, I'm guessing that the student shooters we've been hearing about don't have any political affiliations -- except for some white supremacy group. 

Dining room ideas to stretch your space.  Including the 'cafe corner' below, via the Offbeat and Inspired blog.  (Thanks, Domino)




What you really need for babies. I don't totally agree with her list -- a 'pumpkin seat' (bouncer) and diaper pail were essentials for us. Nonetheless, it's a good starting point, from a mom who's pregnant with her ninth child. (From The Prudent Homemaker)

Two words that may get you a cabin upgrade...and some very funny travel advice, from someone who flies 100,000 miles a year.  (From the Wealth Advisor)

How to clean a front-load washing machine. I need to do this...do you?  (From Hundred Dollars A Month)

Guess what $15,000 detail is included in President Obama's official portrait? (Thanks for pointing it out, Wealth Advisor)

18 personal finance facts about U.S. Presidents.  (From Len Penzo)

Should you co-sign for a loan or credit card? Here's what I think...and why.

Some of the things (including beautiful vintage dresses) you can find in 'dusty ol' bags.'  (From Things I Find in the Garbage)

Have a great week. And don't get the flu!






Beautiful...And Crazy!

     Gorgeous Crazy quilts have just been flowing my way this month. Is it because people start hauling out their precious quilts in the winter season? Or perhaps it's that they have time to decide what to do next. And probably because yours truly wrote a history/how-to book on Crazies, they head my direction, as well. Who knows.



     This beautiful piece came via its current caretaker, Jane Renkes, and her appraiser, Carol Butzke. (Carol is an experienced and respected appraiser from Wisconsin, and a member of the AQS appraisal committee.* More on Carol here.)




Here it is. Try not to drool.




I have permission from Jane to show you these photos and talk about her 'baby.' This Crazy top is c.1895, 69" x 70". It's in remarkable condition, considering the tendency of Victorian era Crazies to show damage from weighted silks.** This piece does have four small areas where replacement pieces were later basted in place -- "likely to cover some water damage," Jane thinks.




The motifs on this piece are incredible. The lilies, thanks to the Language of Flowers, represent purity. (Notice the pink rosebuds? Maternal love. Red roses? True love.) The wide-open fan, besides being a favorite of the Aesthetic Movement (and a favored Japanese design), is also a "flirtation" symbol of welcome. And the butterfly is also a favorite theme of rebirth and resurrection. (Think Easter.)
      From my years of studying Crazies, I am convinced that quiltmakers chose these for specific reasons....usually of love, best wishes and religious and political beliefs, as well as items connected with the people and places in their lives.


Bear in mind, though -- some designs and motifs conveyed negative feelings, instead of positive ones! (See the whole discussion of yellow roses in my books, Quilts of the Golden West or The Stitcher's Language of Flowers, for one example.)

Back to this glorious Crazy top.

Jane plans to back it, doing it in typical fashion for the period, and some minor restoration here and there to preserve the piece. That way, it will be stronger and more durable for hanging and display.

Interesting 'picket fence' border, huh...


Nice Crazy, Jane!!! Thanks so much for sharing.


Yellow roses represented suspicion and betrayal --
 until the American Florists Association changed them to friendship in the 20th century




*AQS is one of my certifications, as well.

**Manufacturers' laws were not stringent during the 19th century. (Or before, for that matter.) Manufacturers realized that silk would absorb up to five times its weight in iron and chemicals -- making 1 yd into 5! These weighted silks swished beautifully, were cheaper...and within just a few years, started shredding and breaking. For quiltmakers who had poured their skills, favorite themes and beliefs into these visual 'scrapbooks,' that reality must have been heartbreaking. Certainly it's why many Crazies stayed in top form -- sometimes finished later on, sometimes not. 
     See my book, Crazy Quilts, for more.
     To have this quilt top in such good condition suggests that the quiltmaker used higher-quality silks, suggesting she/he had a comfortable income. (Or access to them, as a dressmaker.) The more expensive silks were not usually weighted. She also included many ribbons -- one of Victorian era quiltmakers' favorites, because they had two finished edges, so could easily be tacked or basted in place before embroidery was added. (They worked well over higher nap fabrics, like velvets, too.)
     Weighted silks still exist today -- but the law says they must be labeled as such. 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Man Who Saved the American Flag

Think back to ancient times...the spring of 1976.

Two protestors decide to burn the American flag during the fourth inning of a game at Dodgers Stadium. (This was the Bicentennial year; flag burning was trendy then, sadly.) They douse it with gasoline, get a flame going, and...

One of the players, Cubs centerfielder Rick Monday, disagrees with them -- publicly.



Monday played for the A's, the Cubs and the Dodgers. Eventually he became an announcer for the Dodgers, a job he continues today.

He was a good player, even an All-Star...but a great American.




"If you're going to burn the flag, don't do it around me. I've been to too many veterans' hospitals and seen too many broken bodies of guys who tried to protect it."
                                                Rick Monday

Friday, February 23, 2018

Sample Box Bonanza At Amazon

Amazon Prime members, did you know that...

You can order a sample box, then get a credit for that box on regular purchases afterward? 

I'm a big fan of free stuff, especially when it applies to dog items or groceries. And Amazon's offering a particularly nice box of snacks and entrees for the canines in your life. ($11.99, free shipping...and a $11.99 credit on regular dogfood after that.)



This one, too:

Dog Food and Treat Sample Box (get an equal credit toward future purchase of select dog food and treat products)

Yes, cat food sample boxes are available. (These got particularly high scores in the reviews.)




There are also women's daily beauty sample boxes:  
      (Just one pictured -- more are available)




And a nice-looking nutritional product sampling. (Hmmm...maybe for Christmas stockings or gift baskets.)




Remember: whatever you pay, you get back as a credit to be used on general purchases in that category. Not bad.

     I'm not an Amazon Prime member yet, but have been flirting with trying their 30-day free trial. Maybe this is a good reason to go ahead with it. Regular membership is $99/yearly (or $499 for up to 10 business users), and includes free shipping, access to movies/tv series...and a bunch of other stuff.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Snow!!!



(Charley wouldn't be so sure, either.)


Truffles, on the other hand, is experiencing snow for the first time. Whoo hoo!





Thanks for sharing, Youtube (video) and Pinterest.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Frugal Hits & Misses: February Report

What did we do in February? Other than Tucson -- and a lot of that trip is in a haze, thanks to the flu we brought back -- not much. We ate mostly out of the freezer and pantry. We cancelled out of several commitments, including some events for the local quilt museum, and our church Worship Team. (You don't sing well when you're coughing.)
      I didn't even read a lot, which is pathetic. Just didn't feel up to it. 

What I did work on were a host of little research jobs, plus prep work for the book. This week, I finish off getting the photos ready. Next, I start writing. I also have an increasing teaching/appraising schedule for the next few months -- and, of course, continuing to work on getting the house ready to sell.

Plus Daughter #2's and Son #1's wedding on June 5!

FRUGAL HITS
(Yes, this is a little early...but I had the time to write it now, and won't later.)

*Three mice caught! Including a big one that I suspect was our main offender. Now, if we can only get the others...



*Split the costs of the Tucson trip with Daughter #2 and Son #1. They were champs about paying their share of gas and food expenses. (I brought some extra food and a crockpot, but other than snacks, we didn't use it.) Once again, we stayed with friends...which was very, very kind of them.

*Did NOT go to the doctor for this flu business. He would have said: 'It's a virus, rest up and get over it." The Brick is more optimistic in this area. I like our doctor -- it's not that. It's just that I've heard this little refrain once too often. And I HATE paying good money, just to hear him say it.
     I also had a skin infection of some kind -- shingles, I'd guess, although in my nightmares, it was some weird flesh-eating bacteria. (I thought I'd kept this fear quiet, but the Brick said I talked about it in my sleep.) Thanks to regular applications of calomine and other lotions, THAT'S almost cleared up, as well.
     I do need a physical -- which is okay. (And the Brick just got another root canal, though it was on a tooth that was already 'crowned.') Fortunately, we still hae money in our HVA account.


Sooo glad The Walking Dead is starting up again...zombies are the spice of life.

*Did two appraisals while in Tucson...and a few more after coming home. 

*Finished up two restoration jobs. A third one is next on the list.

*Used up the bonus bucks from buying gift cards in December. 

*Did very little grocery shopping. It's easy, when you don't feel like eating much -- you stick with basics like milk, bread, eggs. I'm still interested in saving money in this area. It's just that neither of us was that hungry.
     The surprising bonus on this? I definitely have lost weight! My knee is feeling considerably better, too. (The Brick thinks that's a side benefit on the weight issue. He's probably right.)


It still feels weird to buy eggs.

*Watched a LOT of videos, including the full JAG series.  Cleaned out the collection, and donated extras. (Or put them up on Amazon to sell.) Hey, you have to do something, when you can't think clearly. Even the mediocre ones seemed more profound, while viewed in the company of Mr. Fever.

*Purchased photos for the upcoming book, but got them on sale. I need more, but we'll be making a few trips this week to get those. (Thankfully, the Brick is an excellent photographer.)

*Sold a book and video...and the first issue of O, Oprah Winfrey's magazine.

*The Brick's birthday celebration was modest -- in great part because neither of us felt up to whoop-tee-do celebrating. I did make a cake, and got a very nice buy in a present from Amazon. Other than that (and Valentine's Day too, frankly), we didn't do much.

Maybe a Bigfoot birthday cake next year? (Pinterest)

*His big birthday splash was a lunch stop at Red Robin. We used his free birthday burger, plus the bonus bucks expiring soon. A nighttime supper was covered by our friends...and I suspect that the upcoming supper with the girlies to celebrate Dad's birthday will be on them. That's how they usually do it.

*A lovely bunch of flowers, from my piano kids.  (And a few lessons given.) Picked up two more piano students, as well.

*Continued to make our loan payments in mid-month, saving on interest.

*Bought some rocks for our growing collection -- at wholesale prices.

*Saved on Valentine's Day chocolates...by buying them at after-Christmas prices. This pillow was a bargain, too. (For the girlies, of course, who are one of life's greatest pleasures. The Mama got one, as well.)


FRUGAL MISSES

*Sales tax paid for 2017 -- plus the property tax for 2018. Necessary evils.

*Wasted food on our Tucson trip...because we ate out more. (Or had Son #1's grandma cooking for us. I'm grateful, since I was so sick at the time, but a little embarrassed.) A few dozen eggs and some milk had to be thrown away, along with some fast food leftovers. (Fortunately, I'd brought mostly canned goods along, which are fine.) Some stuff left in the fridge had to go, too. (A negative from no longer having chickens -- you waste more.)
     We've been slogging through the bread, but most of it was used as breadcrumbs for the Brick's birthday Sachertorte.  So that was ok.

*The dogsitting job committed to this month was cancelled. The clients got the flu... and no, it wasn't from me. We're not the only ones struggling around here. (It should be rescheduled in mid-March.)

*Paid for our own dogsitting needs -- for both Charley and our granddog, Karma. They were well cared-for while we were gone, which was important.

The twosome, doing what they do best -- snoozing
Upward and onward.

Here's last year's report for February -- or check out what happened last month around here.










Monday, February 19, 2018

Feeling A Little Catty Lately

I've been collecting feline memes...time to clean out the file folder. (Don't tell Charley the dog.)


'Hey, we help wherever we can...'









Anyone else thinking Jabba the Hutt on this one?




And finally, for the literalists:



(All images via Pinterest)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Happy Birthday!

       Mr. Fever seems to have moved out, finally. His cousin The Cough is hanging around, and seems to be encouraging their mutual friend Sally Ear Infection to move in. Lots of nasal pressure, as a result. At least I'm feeling a little better. That's good -- because I've got a lot of work to do this week. 

The Brick is improving, too...just in time to celebrate his birthday this week. Usually we go somewhere swanky, or take a trip. Not this year -- we're just grateful to be reasonably upright. We'll probably have supper with the girls and Son #1, and I'll make the Brick a Sachertorte. (His request)

It's supposed to snow the next few days. [Update: just started, about 11 p.m. Sunday night.] Yet another reason to rest up, drink lots of tea, catch up on reports... and work on the book. 



And here's the way to deal with white stuff...Full bore!



Seven haunted hikes in Colorado.  (From Out There in Colorado)

Comments on former President Obama's 'official' portrait, including possible clues to what's hiding in all that greenery. Did you know that Monica Lewinsky's dress actually made an appearance (albeit a shadowy one) in Bill Clinton's official portrait?

Eight hours on a plane flight with a screaming child. For those of us who have experienced similar stuff...enjoy. Update: it's okay -- the kid has a 'disability.' Which the entire flight had to endure, thanks to his parents. Yep, no problem.

The 65-year-old who missed her cruise ship...so swam out to meet it. (She used her handbag as a floating cushion.) There's more to this wacky story than the bare headline, though.

Top-rated slow-cooker recipes, from 2-10 servings.  (Thanks, Betty Crocker)

Homemade chicken potpie -- in 30 min. or less!  (From Taste of Home)





Ten people who richly got what they deserved.  (From Listverse)

What if the government made a basic cash payment to you for two years -- just for the heck of it?  Finland's doing it for a selected group, just to see what happens. (No fair applying to move there.)

A thousand-year-old oak falls in Wales. Part of Offa's Dyke -- and an important historical marker.

One hundred-plus free quilt patterns to try.  (From Sewing Support)




Bits and bobs for February -- a lot of musing, done amusingly.  (From Hundred Dollars A Month)

100-plus years -- and still going strong.  A look at local centenarians, from the Prescott, AZ Daily Courier.

Skimming, scooping, rinsing and slanting -- a food-stretching classic from yours truly.


Have a good week. Happy Birthday, David dear. I love you.



One (Hidden) Benefit of A Snowstorm

Start this up first.




Now:


All you need is a Wookie as copilot...

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Quilts: Cutting Up, Showing Off and Respecting the Tradition?

Back a decade or so, when we lived in town, I had a quirky neighbor. She was the only older lady I'd ever met who proudly displayed her nude portrait in the hallway -- and painted every single wall in her house a different color. Her perennials garden helped supply mine, and she was equally generous with advice and comments about everything from women's rights to...
     Quilts. 

Mary would search for old (usually 19th century) tops, quilt sections and finished quilts -- then cut them up and resew them into stylin' jackets, tops and skirts. The resulting garments were quirky, colorful and, I'm sure, fun to wear. She charged a lot of money for them -- and she got it.

Which drove me absolutely crazy. 

I was an editor then for Quilter's Newsletter Magazine -- a publication that not only celebrated quiltmaking, but tried its darndest to preserve old textiles for future audiences. How could these quilts be studied and admired in the future, if they were parading around on someone's backside, instead?

Mary and I had many conversations about this. (We were, after all, friends, and willing to listen to each other, even if we disagreed.) She believed that her garments were actually increasing respect for the old quilts...not lessening it. She argued that she was making good use of damaged or unfinished pieces that would have been thrown away, anyways. And to her credit, she occasionally allowed me to purchase some quilt tops, to preserve them. (An 1890s Ocean Wave top I bought from Mary hung in our foyer...and had to be included in the house sale, at the insistence of the buyer back then. I still miss it.)

Now comes along Emily Bode -- also doing her part to commemorate quilt history by cutting up antique textiles. Or so she says. Her work, like my friend Mary's, features basic garments enlivened by the colors, fabrics and patterns chosen by the original quiltmaker. Did Emily use only damaged or unfinished textiles to do this? Based on the amount of yardage needed, I doubt it. (Mary's sure didn't.) Did she do any research about the original quiltmaker...or even the pattern and its history...or whether that piece had any special cultural or historical significance?

Emily, you may believe you're some kind of iconic trendsetter. But people have been doing this to antique and vintage textiles for centuries. You're just the latest.



This smacks far too much of the same "what's in it for me" approach shown by Gloria Vanderbilt, whose varnished quilt bedroom was all the rage in the 1970s, Emily's in this mode for her benefit -- and no one else. Using handmade 'artisanal' fabrics and fabrics is trendy right now. She is smart enough -- and aware enough -- to take advantage of that interest.

What about the textiles who have disappeared forever, because of this?

Don't give me a big story about honoring tradition, Emily, and expect me to believe it. I don't.

Calvin Klein has been featuring antique quilts in their backdrops -- then arguing that it's honoring these pieces. (After the company sells them, of course.) Klein's latest collection, via Raf Simons, was a strange mix of hazmat suits and firefighters' jackets, with some printed fabrics jammed on top. Are trendy people REALLY going to wear these? (My own question: will Klein himself wear them? He's rarely shown in anything but basic suits, jeans and cowboy boots.)

My fellow appraisers, whom I respect deeply, are of all sorts of opinions about these developments in the Land of Quilts as Decor (and Costume). Some are outraged. Others are philosophic about it. (After all, it has been going on for a long, long time.) Still others suggest that this may actually be a good thing: that younger collectors may fall in love with textiles, and start to use them as they were originally meant to be. Heck, they may even start to make quilts themselves!
    My friendship with Mary, so long ago, makes me skeptical of motives -- but willing to listen.
    As long as proper respect is shown. (And frankly, I don't think it is right now.)


To make life even more interesting in the quilt world, Michelle Obama's newly-unveiled portrait (which really doesn't look much like her, but oh well) features our former First Lady in a long gown from Michelle Johnson's 'Milly' collection. Supposedly the designs on it were inspired by the African-American quilts from Gee's Bend.


There's been so much controversy about these quiltmakers over the years -- first and foremost, that they gained very little from their notoriety, since their colorful, fascinating quilts had already been sold to (and marketed by) an older dealer -- and a white man. He is the one who has benefitted financially, not them...though he has been occasionally shamed into giving them slightly more money for appearing during exhibits and such. I am amazed that Wikipedia's entry on the quiltmakers of Gee's Bend leaves this out -- but not surprised. Like the Underground Railroad quilt idea, it's one of the dirty secrets of the museum world.

What does surprise me is that so many proponents of Black American culture -- Mrs. Obama included -- continue to take advantage of these women by promoting the Gee's Bend idea without honoring the actual quilts and their makers.
        Sad. Don't they do their homework?

A Gee's Bend quilting bee 2005  (Wikipedia)



Flu alert:  Although Mr. Fever and his buddy The Cough continue to share our lives, we do both seem to be getting slowly better. I can almost breathe freely now. Almost. But I have this overwhelming desire to nod off at times...like during breakfast. Or at the critical part of a movie. 
     A few minutes snooze, then I'm back in business. But it does feel a little awkward, to suddenly wake up and find the Brick staring at me. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!

....not that we feel like celebrating that much.

Thanks to Mr. Fever's reappearance throughout the day, I run out of strength quickly. The Brick and I enjoy seeing who can cough the loudest and longest, too -- to the point that we've both bruised rib muscles from all the hacking. I drag myself to get work done. Then I drag back to the couch, or flop on the bed for a nap. Exciting, huh.

Some shrimp with a chicken-rice mix, and a heart-shaped pan of brownies -- that's about all the excitement for today. (Oh, and the first kiss in weeks...which was wonderful.)

Happy Valentine's Day, my Sweet Davy.





All Valentine's messages via Pinterest -- borrow one for your own use, as well, if you like.

The Holiday's Afoot!

If you are a big fan of His Nibs -- I'm sure you can find some good Holmes for these today. 

(By the way, I am too.)




(From Pop Sugar Tech, via Pinterest. The sillies.)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Multiple Sources of income: What Can You Do to Earn A Few Bucks?

Developments in the Land of Flu: 
No fever yesterday morning, which gave me foolish hope. I staggered around, did some errands...then went right back to the fun stuff, including coughing, aching, nausea, etc. This morning, the fever reappeared, right on schedule. Oh goody. The Brick is not much better -- we spend a lot of time sleeping and trying not to gripe at each other. 
    At least I got the smelly, rumpled bedclothes changed, and a load of wash out on the clothesline. Nothing like fresh air to take those stale odors away.
    Still not eating much; food just doesn't sound good. If I come out of this with weight lost, that would be wonderful!




It's about this time of year when Christmas bills have (somehow) been paid, property tax is due -- and the bank account is looking a little empty. You may not be looking for a full-time, or even part-time job...but it would be nice to add at least a few bucks to the sugarbowl. 

Or -- you're looking for a consistent way to have income come in, even when you're not actively at a job. Although I had practiced this before (my family is famous for picking up 'little jobs here and there'), I didn't even know the technique had a name, until I read about Robert Allen's 'multiple streams of income.'  (He does get a little pushy about promoting his own books, kits and expertise in this...but I still think he has a point. Just don't think you have to buy his stuff in order to do it.) 



PASSIVE INCOME FIRST

How can you make your savings and investments earn even more, without you having to fool with them all the time? Interest rates are supposedly going up soon -- this may be the time to pull that money from the savings account, where it's been gathering dust, and put some of it into a few CDs, instead. 
   
Think about index funds -- something Warren Buffett said he would invest in, if he were to start over. I'd heard plenty of of quiet investors recommend these. (Bigmouths like Jim Cramer are busy trumpeting the latest 'in' stock -- then running for cover when the market falls.) Although I fool around some in the regular market, by far, I depend on my Vanguard index funds. They do well in good times and bad; that's the nice part about them. 

Pay as little interest as possible on what you owe. Paypal Credit is a shining example here. As long as you make the minimum payments on time or early, you won't put out a lick of interest. If your credit card offers a similar program, take advantage of it -- but make sure you've got enough for that big payment at the very end -- before the interest starts accruing. 
      Another surprisingly easy way: make your loan payments in the middle of the month, instead of the end. You can pay exactly the same amounts, but the interest saved will mount. I was amazed at how much.

WHAT'S NEXT?

A mix -- sort of passive/sort of active.  You'll have to do some work at first to set these options up. But once in place, everything should run smoothly.

Loan money to someone (or a website, like crowdfunding) that you trust. Easier said than done...but there are people and places I will always take a chance on. Charge a reasonable rate of interest.

Write an e-book. Promote and sell it, via a simple website. (Lots of ideas here to get you started.)

Bring out a book someone else wrote -- with their permission, of course. Ditto above.

Sell your writing to someone else. The Simple Dollar, for example, is always looking for good stuff.

Yes, you can always start a blog, then solicit advertisers, etc. Obviously, I believe in this -- because I've been writing for mine for more than ten years now! I can tell you, though, that it's mostly been my nickel you've been reading it on -- I do it for love. (and you, Faithful Readers.) I've made a few bucks on the sidebar ads over the years -- but not much. We've done far more business through the Brickworks website. (Which is STILL up for renovation. Discouraging.)



NOW THE BIG ONE:

Active Income. Set aside your 'real' job, for now. (I'm assuming you have one -- but if you've just been laid off, or are still searching, the following ideas gain even more importance.)

*Can you do something else 'on the side?'  The Mama always said you should be able to do at least three things well...then you could get a job anywhere, using one of those skills. 

*Figure out what you're good at -- then get even better at it. Is it typing? Then practice a little every day, until your speed and accuracy have increased even more. Is it construction work? What are you better at, than everyone else? Take all the free or reduced fee classes you can, read books, talk to others in your field. Practice, practice, practice.

*Tidy up. Clean clothes, hair and body always speak well for you. Use a basic haircut that only needs a trim every other month or so. Polish your shoes and boots. (I always do this in situations I need confidence in -- I figure the smell of bootpolish speaks for me.) Classic clothes (get the best quality possible, if needed from the highest-end thrift shop) will do more for you in the long run than trendy ones.
     It's easy to cut back on this, particularly when your funds are short, or you're not feeling well. (Believe me, I know.) But we humans are still terribly dependent on first impressions. This helps.

*Get business cards. These are critical. (Keep them generic enough to cover more than one business.) Then possibly brochures, as well. Vistaprint has incredible sales, and they let you keep your templates on file. 

*Now on to the website. You really do need one, if you want to be perceived as professional. Yes, a blog can do this for you, as well. Start with the freebie versions first, then expand.

*Now advertise yourself -- and you don't have to pay extra to do it, either. 
       *Contact a business, and offer your services for free. 
       *Craigslist lets you post ads for free. So does 'NextDoor,' a social app that lets you talk to neighbors all around your 'hood. This has been far more useful to me than even Craigslist.
       *Start a Facebook page. Daughter #2 also actively uses Instagram and Snapchat to promote her business and show her inventory. 
       *Put out a sign. It must be large and simple enough for someone to read it from a slowly-moving vehicle. Make it crisp and to the point -- or country-cute.


*YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO INTO DEBT TO ACCOMPLISH THIS. If there's any bone I have to pick with all those entrepreneur 'You Can Be Rich' speakers and writers out there, it's this one. If you can afford the book -- or the kit -- or the plan -- and you honestly think it's workable for your situation, then by all means, go ahead. You can usually borrow the book from the library, though...or get enough, by watching an infomercial, to figure out what they're promoting. But you don't need their program in order to do what works best for you and your family.

     You're a smart, resourceful person -- figure something else out.




Finally, we're on to what I'd call The Quirky Stuff: ways to make $$ that surprisingly add up. Many of my ideas here have been pooh-poohed by others...but I know they work. I've tried them, or seen others do so. 

*Housesitting, petsitting, errands and other 'looking after things while the family is gone' jobs. These demand excellent credentials and references -- but once you've got them, word of mouth often gets you more work. I have enjoyed my petsitting jobs quite a bit. 

*Sell flowers, cuttings, baby plants or garden vegetables out of a red wagon out front -- and an honor jar. My grandma used to pick weeds from the ditches, bundle the daylilies, chicory and Queen Anne's Lace attractively -- then market them as 'wildflower bouquets.' She did okay with them, too.

*Teach a skill. Teach piano to kids (which I do), or hold Spanish sessions. Other options: cooking, basic sewing, writing a resume (or a good college essay paper), car repair. 

*Repair something. Youtube is full of instructional videos to fix your coffeemaker or sewing machine -- the Brick just used it to help him replace the shocks on the Outback. (He did a great job, too.)

*Sell your handiwork.  A nicely-made quilt...or a cake. (If you can do cakes for special occasions, even better.) Crocheted scarves. Offer mending and repair work on textiles. Cater a small party...or offer to be the cook/waiter/barperson, using their food and liquor.

*Keep animals or birds that pay for themselves.  For years, our chickens furnished us with eggs and meat -- plus more than enough eggs to sell, to pay for their own feed. My farmer parents always had an extra steer or pig raised, for meat or sales. (And if I could have persuaded the Brick to let us keep a pig here, I would have!)
     Our friends down the street keep bunnies. (They also sell iris -- which the bunns' manure keeps lush and thriving.) We also had rabbits for quite some time. 
     I would like to say that Charley contributes in this way -- but alas. However, he is a great patrol dog at keeping predators away. 

Just a pretty face...and a big bark when needed

*Work when someone else is sick, or on vacation.  If you can fill in for that short time period -- and you pick up skills quickly -- many fastfood and retail establishments would be thrilled to have you. Or pick up a week or two of temp work during the holidays. Doing that for Tuesday Morning earned enough to make this month's property tax payment.

*Be willing to take on something nasty. Scrubbing toilets? Shoveling out stalls or chicken coops? Picking up dog doo-doo? Taking care of sick children? There will always be people desperate for these services -- and they usually pay very well. Put on work clothes and plastic gloves, keep music handy...and go to it. You can always take a shower later.

*Offer something no one else does.  Ironing? (The Mama often did this for other people, while I was growing up.) Complaint letters? (I am thinking of starting up a service doing this -- I'm very good at it.) Rides to the airport -- or the grocery store, for someone's Aunt Tilly? (You could deliver the groceries, too -- or sit with Aunt T. while her family gets the groceries, instead.)  Pay monthly bills? (Only with a sterling reputation.) How about holding someone's place in line? (The Brick saw this happen during his recent $500 escapade.)

And, of course -- 

*Sell things. Either your stuff...or stuff you found at the local thrift shop or garage sales.  Or offer to sell someone else's stuff, in return for a percentage of sales. Or swap what you don't need, for what you do. Like blogging, people fuss a lot about this -- and it does work. But I seem to accomplish more with other tactics. 

Moolanomy's got 462 ideas in multiple income sources that you can benefit from, as well as plenty of links to other people's thoughts on the subject. His post is long -- but well worth reading, especially in chunks.

I hope this has given you some ideas...by all means, mention more in the comments. (The monthly Frugal Hits & Misses reports should also give you an idea of our activities in this area.) 
This is a bright, complicated world we live in -- but the resourceful person will always get by. And thrive.