Monday, February 25, 2019

Oscar, We Salute You!

 Once again, our world has been deluged with Oscar, including the good, bad and just plain weird.

Were you surprised by the winners...and losers?  

The 2019 winners are here.  Congratulations, Green Book! We thought this movie was wonderful...although Viggo Mortensen should have won for Best Actor. (That guy was AMAZING.)

Black Panther won a well-deserved spot for Costume Design. (Also amazing. The fights were good, too -- but you don't give Academy Awards for fight choregraphy. Too bad.) At least A Star Was Born won for a song. (Poor old Lady GaGa.)
     I still think A Quiet Place was cheated out. Then again, who in Hollywood listens to yours truly.

The 2018 winners are here, as well as previous years. Some surprises in those years, too. I don't think many people thought The Shape of Water would win in 2018. It's a curious movie -- amazing in some ways and strange in others. It wasn't a moneymaker -- The first weekend of Black Panther's earnings beat out its entire run.

And here are  10 embarrassing Oscar mistakes. Oops.

 If you're a costume admirer, you'll also enjoy the sexiest Oscar dresses of all time, all 27 of them. Surprisingly, most are not nearly as revealing as some shown on the red carpet. Ample proof that  'suggestion' can often be sexier than actuality.

Now, to watch some of the award-winning movies I never heard of before this.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Back On My Feet

Friday afternoon, I was walking to a restaurant when I slipped off a curb; wobbled, and *BAM* landed on my hands and knees in the snowy parking lot.
    My balance is somewhat uneasy nowadays, thanks to a nagging ear infection. Darn it.
Thankfully, I fell right in front of a rowdy group of guys, coming out after lunch. They scooped me up, found my glasses and asked in concern if I was okay.
    "Just embarrassed," I muttered. 

The strange thing: other than the usual bruises and stiffness, the accident seems to have done my knee some good! It actually feels better than it has for a while. Is that possible??

At least it wasn't as bad as this. (I hope they lived.)

This will be a strange week, in some ways, activity-wise...but I'm definitely picking up speed in the "Department of Progress." And that is wonderful. Hopefully you're gaining some feistiness back, too.
     By the way:  visits to the blog are up considerably! Thank you, Gentle Readers, for spreading the word. It's much appreciated.

So what does the 24-year-old ISIS mom thinks she deserves, for all her violent tweets against Americans? "Therapy time" -- which the U.S. would pay for. (P.S. She wants to return to America with no jail time, too, now that she and her child have run out of food.) The official response from the State Department: "No way."

Weird developments that accompanied historical events. Like a European town's memorial for...a latrine. (They thought it was a war grave.) Thanks, Cracked, for the history lesson. Ya liked those?

Here are twenty more.

A whole boatload of ways to subtly mess with people.  (From Quora)

"Losing arguments with your wife after she has brain surgery." A very funny commentary from Jim Gaffigan.

From the Department of "Really?!?," the strange case of the guy who finds a woman inside his house, wearing his wife's clothes. Apparently she moved in, kids in tow, while he was at work.

Analysis of a Viking warrior's grave: the warrior was female.

A number of interesting Viking-related discoveries have been made in recent years, including a sword found by an 8-year-old in the muddy edge of a Swedish lake;   and a jewelry find at the site of a Scottish fort burned by Vikings.

If you're not into Viking stuff, try:

Thirteen bizarre items washed up on beaches. ...including giant squid and a robot hand! Kewl.

Everything you've practically ever wanted to know about various celebrity wills and estates.  I understand...I'm nosey, too. (From The Balance)

Did you know that Swedish crown jewels were stolen last year? Nope, me neither, but one of the guys who did was just sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison.

For the Coloradoans who read this post:  CU's 2019 Shakespeare Festival lineup. *Gasp,* men are playing the 'male' parts, and women the 'female' parts! Of course, back in Shakespeare's day, young boys played the female parts. Go figure. 

'How we pulled off a no-spend weekend, even in the dead of winter.' (From She Picks Up Pennies)

Some good bookmarks on this blog to read -- when you've got time.  (From Budgets Are Sexy)

Ten cents a year for 99 years -- that's what the Obama Foundation would pay for the Chicago waterfront park land it wants to build on. (So far, a judge has ruled that Protect Our Parks, a group opposing it, has a right to continue their lawsuit.) Sounds amazingly similar to other Chicago political shenanigans over the decades -- they're famous for it.

Prices have doubled in Haiti, after weeks of anti-government protests. Wonder why we haven't heard more about this?

Politicians with high bank balances. Sadly, there's a lot of them on both sides of the politicial spectrum. How did 15 of them make their money? Go here.

High-end IKEA dresser hacks.  Great decorating ideas for less $$. (I wish I'd seen that bathroom cupboard version before we remodeled.)

Maybe fear SHOULD motivate your financial outlook.  (From I Pick Up Pennies)

Have a good week. Stay upright!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Frugal Hits & Misses: February Report

What a month. What a winter, really.

After the excitement of Christmas, I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything. I haven't been blue, exactly -- just not motivated or enthusiastic. It was difficult to get anything done but the basics. 
     A vacation is in the planning -- it may help. Meanwhile, more snowflakes are drifting down as I write. Snow is great -- we always need the moisture. I keep telling myself that.

Castle Rock, where we live, is a thousand feet higher than Denver. We often get snow when they don't.
(Sometimes it's vice versa.)

(Note: this list got posted early -- because I didn't have time to do it later. )


*Didn't go out to eat while the Brick was in North Carolina. Oh, I wanted to...

*Our fruit and vegetable needs were helped out by canned and frozen stuff -- particularly some small packs of mandarin oranges I'd gotten for about 25 cents each from the Friday-Saturday store ages ago. I also got 8 peppers, green and red (5/$1) and three-packs of romaine lettuce ($1 each) from them.  We need these crunchy salads right now, to balance out the heavier meals. Bacon bits help, for some reason. Both the Brick and I are really craving meat above most other foods. (Okay, maybe not peanut butter cups.)

You sweet thing, you.

     We ate quite a bit from the freezer this month -- partly because it was getting overcrowded; partly because it was snowing outside, and the roads were slippery...and partly because I was too tired to schlep to the grocery stores. The sales weren't that great, either. (Shame on you, King Soopers and Safeway.)

*A $3.99 marked-down bouquet of roses, snagged as a 'welcome home' present for the Brick, lasted for nearly FOUR weeks! Ironically, way longer than the beautiful bouquet of roses and alstromeria he got me for Valentine's Day.

*More $2 videos from the library used bookroom, including multi-DVD sets for The Maltese Falcon, Season #2 of House and a five-pack of James Bond movies. (These still sold as $2 each!) Several were used as birthday presents for the Brick. I also continued my usual pattern of checking out and requesting books from the library for current writing and research. We also watched nearly all of the Wallender series, which was wonderful. I love our library.

*Made the Brick's birthday cake myself -- from the last of the now-frozen carrots in the back-porch cooler. It was good, too. Here's the recipe.  Both the Brick and Son #1 are big fans of carrot cake -- it was the featured 'groom's cake' at our wedding. Son's and Daughter #2's wedding, as well.

*Free Black Panther ticketsUnfortunately, all four of us fell asleep during the movie -- a telling review. (I did enjoy the wonderful costumes and fights.)

*Sold some books, plus a couple of videos. Always nice.

*We're in the 'household sharing' plan of Amazon Prime now. This let us see movies and series, including Stargate: Atlantis and Liam Neeson's terrific The Commuter.  We're also getting into Justified. (I know -- this 'cowboy in Kenucky' has been doing his thing for years. But we just found it.)

*Two petsitting gigs. These are part of a swap that will cover our dogs during an upcoming vacation.

*Finally got a haircut!  $6.99 at Great Clips.

*A 50-cent sweater for Daughter #2 from our local outlet mall. (Actually, it was a penny more.) Bought a few other things during my recent mystery shopping gig -- all bargains.

*Kept paying our trailer loan early each month -- and putting a little extra on principal. This wouldn't add up to much...right? That extra, over time, has covered our payments for at least four months ahead. If something went really wrong, we'd be okay. Nice.

Our baby

*Free birthday burger at Red Robin, thanks to the Brick's birthday this month. We also earned a free burger from previous visits. Red Robin has a great special: use its rewards card, and every 10th burger is free!

*A $10 bonus at Outback...along with using up a giftcard. This finished up our Christmas bonus restaurant cards. (The Brick's leftover steak was featured in next morning's breakfast, sliced thin and stirfried with onions, mushrooms and peppers.)

*'Free' Valentine's candy. (Actually half-priced Christmas candy in disguise.) Yes, Daughters who read this blog, once again your mama fed you previous-holiday candy. And you enjoyed it, too.

*99-cent packages of cookies and chips. Also, multiple pkgs of York peppermint patties, peanut butter cups and other 'pogeybait' for marked-down prices -- courtesy of the Friday/Saturday store.

*I did a few appraisals, some restoration work and piano lessons. The usual.

*Some mystery shopping, as well. Not sure I'll continue this -- it was an awful lot of work for a $5/per store payoff.

*Daughter #2 and Son #1 went to Tucson without us. This annual trip is their stock-up on rock specimen's for their online store, Phenomenal Gems. We often go to Tucson, too-- but both felt we weren't supposed to this year. (Last year, we both got terribly sick from flu we picked up while there.)
     Phenomenal Gems is a wonderful shop -- and it's filled with bargains right now, thanks to the trip. Take a look.

And one final stunning revelation:

*Found a penny in a parking lot!


*The aforementioned petsitting gigs. It was for our neighbors -- some of the nicest people in the world. Their cat is on the shadow side of 15, though, and going downhill. For a while there, I was averaging cleaning up 3-5 poop and/or throwup 'accidents' a day. This got old really fast.

*Our vacation. More on this soon. Actually, it belongs in both the Frugal Hits AND Misses categories.

*Paid the first half of the annual property tax. Thanks to putting the house up for sale soon, we shouldn't have to do this again.

I may not be as specific on goals as Mavis on Hundred Dollars A Month...but she still inspires me to get my act together. (So do all the 'no-purchase' or low-purchase comments on this post.) It's also encouraging to realize that a lot of people have trouble being motivated in February. No matter -- March and spring are coming. So, unfortunately, is a heck of a lot of work on the house. 

Here's last month's report -- and here's February's report from last year.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Drink Til You Believe

....or so this glass suggests.

Here's a big batch of unexplained Bigfoot photos for you to ponder while you're drinking . Some are obviously fakes...others, I'm not so sure.

Hey, I believe, anyways.

Care For A Free $50 Walmart Gift Card?

Go to my other blog for details -- basically, Bush's Beans is giving away ten $50 cards -- and only through Walmart. Snag a buck coupon while you're there, as well.

You only have until Friday the 22nd to enter, though -- so don't delay.

Keeping On

The Brick's birthday, successfully enjoyed. (Except for a few suppers out, still to come.)

Projects, all in various stages of completion. We've got so many balls in the air right now.

Don't drop anything!  Charley & Ruby would love this...

Chilly and often dreary.  (Unusual for Colorado's general blue skies)
All sorts of 'incidents and allegations,' Jussie Smollett and otherwise. It's weird when I hear all about it -- and I don't even watch Empire. Not only that -- someone somewhere will be asserting that it's not a hoax. It must be 'true' because it's happened to someone somewhere else at some time in recorded history.    After all, fake accusations have NEVER happened before.
                                                                What a mess.

Thanks,, for expressing it so well.

The rest I'm getting isn't good -- tossing, full of strange dreams. The Brick says I'm kicking a lot. 
(I'm sure you've gone through this at times in life. We all do.)
I keep reminding myself:

Upward and onward.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Happy President's Day!

Thanks, Giphy.

Hey, you celebrate your way, we celebrate these president stick props. 

Amazon's got them, if you're interested. Oriental Trading's version is a lot cheaper...and includes President Trump.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Keeping On Keeping On

Cold weather...spits and spurts of snow. Lots of work. Several projects. Sometimes just continuing is best. Something exciting is coming -- but I have a lot of work to get done first. Meanwhile:

'How I paid my way through college -- with a dorm-room barbershop!' Maybe you're not planning to open a business like this (I'm not!), but it has some intriguing lessons included with the basics.

'How I saved tons of money during my baby's first year.' A LOT of helpful advice from The Frugalwoods.
One of the three wolves relocated to Michigan's Isle Royale to hunt moose walked back to her old home...via an ice bridge.

A sword from the Middle Ages -- found, still sticking up, during a sewer excavation in Denmark!

The importance of feeling (at least a little) uncomfortable, for growth.  (From Financial Samurai)

Foreign spots (25 of them) that accept U.S. currency.
More than $11 million extra in a teenager's bank account?!?  For a while, at least.

Mom and Pop Walton really DID love each other. Michael Learned explains...

A look at the old year -- and the new. The Queen of Fifty Cents shows effectively why careful attention at thrift stores and sales saves you -- big-time.

If the government sent regular payments, would those recipients look for and get a job faster? Finland's results probably won't surprise you: No. Why should we be surprised? It hasn't worked that well for welfare, either...

A British marine takes on an obstacle course -- by jet-pack!

Have a great week. Keep up the good work. (I will, too.)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day

More Valentine's decorating ideas from

Friend Bert sent this wry celebration of the season...

Have a wonderful day.    P.S. David, Girlies and Son, I love you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Cinnamon Heart Biscuits for Valentine's Day!

Take just a few minutes to make these for breakfast or a quick dessert. They're faster than cinnamon rolls, and give a flaky, tender reminder of your love to your family. (Or yourself!)

The secret is how you roll the dough. See below. 
     And thanks, Add A Pinch, for mentioning these. Her recipe is here.


Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Use Add A Pinch's biscuit recipe (self-rising flour and cream), OR:

2 1/2 cups flour
5 tablespoons of butter, cut fine
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
sprinkle of salt
     Mix together quickly with your hands. Slowly stir in:

1 cup milk

Until you have a soft dough. (Add extra flour if it's too sticky.) 
Turn out on a floured surface, and LIGHTLY fold over six times. Press or roll out in an oblong shape -- as thin as you can make it. (It won't be - much.)

Melt or soften a stick of butter. Have brown or white sugar, and cinnamon nearby.

Brush the butter on the dough, then sprinkle heavily with sugar and cinnamon. Now here's the trick:

Roll the dough, starting on the left, toward the center -- then stop.
Now roll the dough, starting on the right, toward the center -- then stop.

Cut thick slices and place on cookie sheet -- bake for 10-12 min. 

Frost with confectioners sugar mixed with a little milk. Serve hot.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Monday, February 11, 2019

Monday Stuff on the Way to Other Stuff: Up And At' Em

      The Brick is home. (Lovely.) Working on some stuff. Finishing other stuff.  Nose to the grindstone, I guess.
           Not much else to say -- some weeks are like this. 

Let the Crafting Chicks tell you how to do this -- click on their name fir nire,

Better those flowers than THIS...right? (Thanks GIPHY for expressing it so well.)


House poor to debt free in three years.  (From Making Sense of Cents) They should have paid more attention to something like this:

An incredible tiny home, designed and built by a single mom and her teenaged daughter. All right, girls!

The University of Iowa must let Christian student groups back on campus. A very interesting ruling...particularly when you read why.

Five frugal things for your food budget.  (From Living Richly in Retirement)

Ten 'unsolvable' unsolved mysteries -- disappearances.

Virginia's blackface scandals . If we're going to punish everyone who did this, though, there is a very long list of celebrities who also used blackface, including Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel.
    Not to mention Laura Ingalls Wilder's father. (Look it up.) Then again, she's no longer considered worthy of an award honoring her work...

The Lost Ship In the Desert.  A very strange California lost treasure legend. (Be sure to read the comments on this post -- making it extra weird.) Plus:

A story from a man who said he had actually touched the ship.

A Knights Templar tunnel, only rediscovered in 1994.

A personal look at experiencing Michigan's Polar Vortex. Just a look at the Eben Ice Caves video on this post is worth it, though I wonder: does giving someone a name -- particularly a dramatic one -- make it sound more eventful?  (From Misadventures of Widowhood)

"It's never a mistake to stand up for what you believe in:" VP Pence. I admire the heck out of this guy.

Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles. This sounds terribly exotic. Really, all you need, though, is peanut butter -- and some loose peanuts. (I'd use almonds.)  Thanks, Hundred Dollars A Month.

Aliens? Creatures from another planet? Check out these strange intruders. (From Moving with Mitchell)

A 22-foot long iconic Western painting...found stashed in a janitor's closet. (From Artnet)

A man plans to sue his parents for giving birth to him without asking his permission first. I am not making this up. He should talk to the guy who had to be evicted by his parents -- maybe they can form a hate group or something.

The blue-skinned people of Troublesome Creek.  (From Atlas Obscura, one of the stranger places on the internet)

'Stained glass' windows -- with fabric, hot water and cornstarch.  (Thanks, Dresden Lane, for this unusual idea.)

A man plans to sue his parents for giving birth to him without asking his permission first. I am not making this up. He should talk to the guy who had to be evicted by his parents -- maybe they can form a hate group or something.

"We're living on 10% of our Silicon Valley income." A good reminder that money isn't everything -- time and freedom are much more valuable.

The head of a crypto currency exchange has died -- but no one else knows how to access his password to unlock customers' accounts. This seems impossible -- but $190+ million is at stake.

Ten best protein-rich foods to help you lose weight.

Polar vortex essentials -- how to stay warm, no matter what.  (From Survive and Thrive)

A lock of George Washington's hair? $35,000...$35,763.60, to be exact, via Alexander Hamilton's family line. Note: the Father of Our Country was a redhead! (Or at least auburn)

Keep a failure resume -- it not only keeps you humble, but helps you do better (or at least take a different approach) the next time.

Chicken gnocchi soup. A copycat version of Olive Garden's. Oh my.  (From Creme de la Crumb, via Thrifty Mom in Boise)

Have a good week.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Think About This...

Would the world be a better place if we asked questions, and actually bothered to listen to the answers...rather than trading insults?

I think so.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Sole-ful Comments

So that's what happens to all the socks that disappear in my laundry room...

Shades of this Orphaned Sock Quilt from Pinterest:

(If you know the maker, comment on this post -- I'd love to give credit where credit is due.)

Monday, February 4, 2019

Quilting Silliness

Quilters can be a wacky lot. Here's proof, starting with a Groundhog Day mention:

True, true...

There's more truth here than you think...