Saturday, November 13, 2010

How Did Get So Boring?

Today I was trying to decide about a new post. And it occurred to me that everything I was considering was boring.
A. Whether I have more name brand items in my pantry than store brands.
B. My hurt finger. By the way it is hard to type without my right pointer finger. I miss all the letters that are hit by that one. Si when U type ut wooks like tos.
C. How it drives me crazy to keep my cell phone email cleared out.
D. Saving money.


I'm not REALLY boring, am I? I read books, I go on long motorcycle trips, I am creative.  I have a diverse interest in music and the world.  And I am a whole lot more. So what is the deal?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saving $$ - Part Three

I was telling a friend here at work about my savings ideas. And truthfully, individually they are only saving pennies at a time. But pennies do add up. Her comment was that it wasn’t worth it to her to take the time to do those things for only pennies. Maybe today’s thoughts can add up to more savings… Dollars instead of pennies.

• Line dry clothing. How long has it been if ever that you line-dried your clothing? I put rugs out to dry or sweaters that cannot be dried in the dryer. And in fact, I believe that we are not allowed to hang clothes out to dry outside in our subdivision. (I need to check into that.)
o Here in Colorado the weather is so dry that overnight blouses and other items are dry, fresh smelling, and it didn’t cost a dime to dry. Also good for the environment.
• Be creative and make your own wrapping paper. Wrapping paper is expensive. When my children were at home I refused to purchase expensive or even not expensive wrapping paper, wrapping the gifts a few hours or minutes before the time to open them and then throwing $5 away. The kids thought it was funny that I wanted to save wrapping paper, tissue, bags, etc. But it just hurt my sensibilities to essentially throw that money away.
o I am thinking other papers that come through the house can be used as wrapping paper or to make gift bags. Fabric bags can be made and then used as bags to carry items or store what was in them originally. Yes, this takes time but so does going to the store to purchase paper and ribbon not to mention the gas in the car. Of course, if we are walking or riding our bicycles we save some money and get some exercise and fresh air. Making your own gift packaging also feeds your creative gene. At least it does for me.
• Make our own mulch and compost.
o A friend of mine made her own barrel composter. It is very cool and turns to mix the materials. I may not make something that big but I believe I am going to try to make my own compost as well as save those grass clippings and leaves to add. When I peel those zucchinis and cucumbers and strawberry tops are cut off I just send them down the disposal. Not any more, I think.
o No cost because I have buckets to put materials in. No cost for the materials. Organic gardening. Savings =
• Here’s an interesting one. Use water from pasta and vegetables to water plants.
o Reuse the water plus I think it must have some kind of nutrients in it?
o I have always known that if you use your dish water to water plants that it keeps the bugs away. They don’t like soap. My grandma used to do that all the time.
• Go to Great Clips or someone who does hair at home. Also color our own hair.
o This is an expensive one. A few years ago I wanted to grow my hair out and give it some more body. I wanted to find a stylist who could make it look great while growing out. So Richard came into my life. He is an artist when it comes to hair and hair color. (did I say hair color as in, MY HAIR IS TURNING GRAY?) There is a price to pay as well. A big price. Eventually I will have to give Richard up anyway so maybe I can wean myself from him now. Savings: Anywhere from $30 to $90 every three months or so.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saving $$ - Part Two

Here are some reasonable things I believe that we can do to save those pennies. It might take a bit of time to convince my husband for some ideas. Some ideas do no directly impact him except for the saved pennies. Some ideas will take him a while but he will come around and then we can be saving THOSE pennies. These things also take organization and planning, but I’ve spent many years practicing to do that.

Tell me what you think….

• Using those bags we purchased to put our groceries in. King Soopers gives us 5 cents off of each bag we use.
o Bags are already purchased - a 5 to 30 cent plus to us each time we use them.
• Instead of purchasing those little pudding packs, fruits packs, or applesauce, package our own.
o I have the little containers – a package of Jello is 50 cents? Make them up on the weekends for the upcoming week. Instead of spending almost 3 dollars for 4 or 6 packages. Savings $2.50
• Grow a garden. This year we started our garden as usual. Planted were tomatoes, zucchini, spaghetti squash, bell peppers, and another squash as yet unknown to us. Over the 4th of July we had a big hail storm which basically killed our tomato and bell pepper plants. Then the squashes got a fungus. In the mean time we were able to harvest some food. Zucchinis 4; spaghetti squash 2; Unnamed squash 1. Probably just broke even there but we will keep it up because it is a savings most of the time.
• Use cloth napkins. This is a cost savings and good for the environment.
o I already have some cloth napkins as well as fabric to make more. Cost zero to purchase. Cost = laundry detergent. Savings – whatever it costs to purchase more paper napkins.
• Use cloth towels instead of paper towels.
o Same applies to this a paper napkins. It does take more to launder. At least napkins can usually be laundered in the sink.
• Make your own cleaning products.
o I have never really done this, but they say that vinegar and baking soda and alcohol will clean just about anything. And cleaning products are expensive!!
• Walk or ride my bike instead of driving the car.
o We basically live one block from the grocery, the cleaners (to be discussed later), a hair salon, the bank, several other shops. We also live about a mile from a book store, Target, Petco, the library, etc, etc. It’s a town center. Sometimes it is not feasible to walk or ride a bike. But put a basket on my bike and a backpack and I can probably save some bucks.
• Speaking of cars: when running in and out and doing a lot of errands, park the cars in the driveway instead of opening and closing the garage door.
o Not only will it save wear and tear on the garage door, it saves electricity.
• Also to do with cars. Wash them ourselves.
o It takes time but so does driving to the car wash and waiting while the attendants wash the car. It also costs money for whatever we clean the car with and water. But we already have rags to clean and the other items in no way will cost the same amount as the car wash and tips. Not to speak of gas to get there and we get exercise.
To be continued……

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Saving $$

Over the past few weeks my thoughts have turned to saving money in mostly diminutive ways. But nevertheless saving money. Here are some appropriate quotes.

“Cutting Expenses Increases Income”
“A penny saved is a penny earned”
“The safest way to double your money it to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.”

With the big ‘R’ – Retirement looming and pretty much desired, we are wondering how our finances will work. For over 30 years Robert has been socking away money in a savings plan. He also qualifies for a fixed retirement income. I have been able to save an amount about 10 times less than his, but a nice little nest egg as well as qualifying for a pittance of a fixed retirement income. So we will not be destitute or homeless. At least we think not.

Mainly the challenge of saving, recycling, being “green”, and provident is incredibly appealing to me.

Some ideas that I have read about are not appealing. For instance, not using shampoo to wash our hair or using conditioner. Maybe as my hair stays shorter and Robert is balding we won’t need that much shampoo anyway. Not sure that we want to be required to use, as the article stated, a baking soda shampoo and vinegar and water rinse. The upside for doing something like this is that the baking soda concoction will not strip hair of natural oils. Hmmm….. It is also VERY cheap.

There are people out there blogging about living in their cars, utility trucks, campers, and RVs. We have a very nice RV and are considering living there at times before we settle down. But these bloggers share how to inconspicuously “camp” in parking lots, residential neighborhoods, state and national parks. Mostly called boon-dogging. Also not for us. Give us a nice RV park most of the time with running water, electricity, sewer, Wi-Fi, and possibly satellite for TV.

Bragging rights are also being claimed by those who live on between $500 and $1000 a month, some by choice and some out of necessity. The stories I have read are, of course, success stories on paper. In person it may not be so appealing.

My grandparents raised their children during the Great Depression. My parents carried over to a certain degree the lessons they learned from their childhood. Robert’s parents were ranchers who eventually moved to the city and he says they were not even a middle income family. My husband and I by osmosis have been careful in many ways. But not the same as a parent or child who lived through the depression. We are by no means extravagant MOST of the time. (Sorry, everyone makes mistakes and I don’t want to paint myself as perfect.) ☺

I feel excited about the challenge, proving I can do this, and being able to still live well with the things that matter to us. I also do not want to sacrifice the good things we can do to feed our souls and the souls of others because we do not have funds to survive.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Sister!

Today is my sister, Rebecca's birthday. She was born 26 months after I was in Terre Haute, Indiana. I won't say how many years ago. :) I have been told that when my mother was pregnant I told her it was my baby and I named her Becky. My baby Becky. I don't remember that but I like thinking that I knew the baby was my sister. At one point Becky decided that she wanted to go by her formal name and somehow she did it with everyone calling her Rebecca.

I remember answering for her when we were kids so that she didn't have to talk for a long time. I remember that she used to "borrow" my clothes to wear and that once she altered my favorite dress so it wouldn't be too long since I am taller than she is. Our tastes are different in many ways. We are different in many ways. But the history that we share and the love we have for each other makes any differences unimportant.

WHY I LOVE MY SISTER by Janice Marie Dayhoff Ottley

My sister makes me laugh. At times she will say some pretty outlandish things which just crack me up!! If I wrote them down here it probably wouldn't be funny at all. But I can hear the inflection in her voice and her way of saying things and it just kills me. When we are able to be together we get to talking and sometimes we laugh so hard we cry. Every-once-in-a-while I so need a piece of Rebecca sarcasm.

My sister stands by me. As I said previously, my sister and I don't have the same tastes or opinions. But somehow that doesn't make any difference to us. We have differences, we get over it. We need each other, we are there for each other. Emotionally, if in no other way.

My sister is a very mothering person. She counsels me, she gives suggestions, heck, she even bosses me around, just like a mother. I don't care. It just says that she cares about me. She is the actual mother to 9 children: 7 sons and 2 daughters.

My sister is VERY creative. She sews, quilts, crochets, paints, cooks, etc, etc. I and my family have been beneficiaries of her creativity over the years. One year she embroidered a picture of a vase of white daisies for my home. I loved it and it hung in my house for over 20 years. When I moved to Colorado it didn't fit in any more, so I gave it back to her and now it graces her home. It just goes to show what a great job she did on it because it looks exactly as it did the day she gave it to me.

And, bottom line, Rebecca is my sister and my friend. A long time ago we said that if both of our husbands passed away and we needed to go into nursing homes that we wanted to go into the same one and share a room and talk to our hearts content. I don't know if that would ever happen. But if someone wants to embroider a picture of two old ladies in rocking chairs, chatting, and crocheting, you can call it 'Sisters" and I'll buy it.

Happy Birthday, my Baby Becky. I love you so much it hurts.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Reunion in Moab - June 3-6, 2010

We spent last Thursday through Sunday morning with our daughters and their families in Moab Utah. The first thing we noticed was how much the kids had grown! We had seen all the grandkids except Leslie's over the internet and Skype but we were still amazed at all the clear talking, the walking, the hair!!
We had a really fun time together. Of course, being outside practically the whole time is always an issue: heat, bugs! But just to be together and talk and experience the world was so worth it. We appreciate the sacrifice they all made to be there.
Amanda did a wonderful job organizing it all. We really appreciate that.
Here's a few pictures for you. Don't we have handsome group? The only one who didn't seem to make it onto my camera was Ryan, Beth's husband. But I'll find a picture somewhere.
I also didn't get a picture of the huge water fight on Friday. That was interesting! There were those who wanted to squirt other people but didn't want to be squirted, those who loved to be soaked, those who sacrificed themselves to get wet so that other people could be happy, and those those who enjoyed every part of it.
If I can find some good pictures of the rodeo I will post those, but mainly Alexa and Jessica took pictures there and they were taking people pictures.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Tomorrow, May 31st, 2010, some fans of facebook have designated as "Quit Facebook Day." Last week or so I read that that leaders of Facebook admitted that they have made mistakes on Facebook. There have been changes made in the past that I have not agreed with on facebook. Some parts of it are irritating but at least you can hide them. There are also little tips that you need to find out about to be able to interact on your home page. A big concern is privacy and what evil people will do with your information and/or what stupid people- masquerading as friends - might do with your facebook account which THEY think is funny but it is not.
I am a facebook fan and I think that it can be a good thing. At least it has been good/fun in my life. I feel like I know some members of my family better - extended especially. We have had a couple of tragedies in our family and the word was gotten out via facebook. Seeing and posting pictures is a big one for me. I have really enjoyed sharing pictures and viewing pictures which other people have shared on facebook too. Many times in my status field I have put scriptures and other thoughts. A couple of times I put a mind twister there to see what people would comment or how they would try to figure it out. That interaction has been fun. We also have friends living all over the world who have facebook pages and it has been fun to keep in touch with them even though they are thousands of miles away.
Overall I really like using the computer for many aspects in my life. It is such a huge part of how I communicate, how I share and receive information, and how I express myself.
Evil, manipulative people try to ruin everyone's ability to use the internet. I have had friends who have been affected negatively through hackers. And, of course, there is always my mother who isn't that up to date on computers although she does do email. She frequently reminds me of the dangers of facebook, blogs, and other internet activities. And that gets me to thinking about what could happen. Because bad things do happen via the computer/internet and I don't want to have that experience.
If I am very careful, allowing only friends to see my profile and pictures on facebook. If I share only limited personal information there. Will I be safe? We don't even post about traveling until we arrive home so that no one will check out our empty house.
So am I being naive by participating in these activities? Because this computer age is not going away.
Besides I enjoy the benefits of being on the internet.
Is is dangerous to even post a picture?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day May 9, 2010

Robert and Spencer sent me flowers for Mother's Day this year. Sara sent a great CD with my favorite hymn on it, "Come Thou Fount" and Jessica's graduation picture. We Skyped with Jared and Beth. Talked to Leslie, Sara, Spencer, and Amanda!
It was a very quiet day with great talks at Church and a restful afternoon.
I love being a mother. My family is most important to me. I am also grateful for all the women in my life who have mothered me. I love YOU!!

AND Happy Birthday to Amanda on May 9th. Every few years her birthday falls on Mother's Day. The Sunday after she was born I was scheduled to speak in Church. Ended up I was still in the hospital. Some people will do anything to get out of giving a talk!!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Bayeux France Cathedral

Robert and I walked over from our hotel in Bayeux to the cathedral one evening. It was a rainy day and walking through the cobblestone streets towards the spires we could see in the distance was quite romantic.
As we walked through the cathedral to learn of it's history and read the titles of the past bishops and other VIPs buried within it's walls we couldn't help but be amazed at the ages that it had stood there as the center of life in Bayeux.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

We Went to France and Belgium

When we first flew in to Paris we rented a car and drove out to Normandy to tour the historical D-Day beaches. It touched our hearts and made us proud to be Americans.

This poem was written by Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D. from the Canadian Army. It was written during a battle in WWI and is a lasting legacy of that battle in 1915. After burying a friend he sat in the back of an ambulance and penned these lines.

In the nearby cemetery, McCrae could see the wild poppies that sprang up in the ditches in that part of Europe, and he spent twenty minutes of precious rest time scribbling fifteen lines of verse in a notebook.

On the day we visited the American cemetery this poem came to my mind and while out of an earlier war and not written by an American it somehow seemed appropriate as we walked among our fellow citizens who died in Normandy beginning in 1944.

Names of the fallen wall.

Youth Rising From the Sea

This is not a poppy and the poem is from WWI and we were not in Flanders Fields but it seemed appropriate

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scare heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from falling hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Really? I Mean, Seriously!!??

This photo is of me on Omaha Beach in Normandy. April 2010.

I am totally shocked that it has been 6 months since I posted anything.
Time for a change with that. I have been swamped with life in general and it's about all I can do to come home and put some dinner on the table and do some laundry.
Maybe I can turn over a new leaf?

But not tonight.

It's 9 p.m. and I believe I should go to sleep.