Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween, Long ago, 2

I titled the last entry Halloween, 1991. Then I found this picture. Nicky was born in 1990, so he's at least 3 in this picture. That would make this and the last photo entry from at least 1993. I'm too lazy to plow through the photo album to check the date. Michael, my oldest, is a zombie here. Check out the white 'bone' showing through the rip in his shirt. It's a stick he painted white. Katherine is a witch and Nicky is a baby dinosaur. Other than Michael's costume, which he did himself, I made the other three. Check my last entry for a better picture of Jamie as a Jurassic Park worker!

Halloween, long ago

My son James will be 20 years old tomorrow. When he was little, he was really into Jurassic Park. So I dressed him up like a JP worker for Halloween. I don't know what became of that shirt, but I did the embroidered emblem on the front myself. It's a matter of drawing the picture, then lowering the feed dogs on your sewing machine and letting the machine stitch in many different directions until you 'fill in' the design. I'm not so sure I'd be so ambitious in this day and age, LOL!
Alas, no more trick-or-treaters in my house. The youngest is 16, the oldest 24. But they sure were cute back in the day, LOL!
We still, however, carve pumpkins! And we're dressing up the dog...pics to come later!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A necklace I made

I was 'into' beading a long time ago but gave up the hobby. Well, lately I've been wanting some costume jewelry to wear to work. Have you priced that stuff lately? A simple beaded necklace can run you $20! Well, I remembered I still had beads and string at home. All I needed to buy were the clasps and jump rings. There are enough of those (and enough beads) to make more necklaces. I also found the coolest clasp. It's magnetic! You bring the necklace around the back of your neck and it just pops together. The magnet is very strong. That actually made it a little difficult to put on the jump rings because the rings and the pliers kept wanting to stick to the magnets. It was also a bit of a pain trying to coordinate the beads so they were symmetrical (the colors match--they just look faded in the picture). I know there are these things you can buy to line up beads, but I don't feel like paying for something like that. I think I'm going to have to find a way to do it on my own. Maybe a piece of styrofoam with a groove cut into it. Anyway, this was fun to make and it was sorta frugal, too. Makes me wonder what other old crafts supplies I have laying around from back in the day, when I really used to do more crafty things. Anyone know an article with a title like "New Uses for Old Crafty Things"?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How much more do you need?

I love kitchen toys. I crave kitchen toys the way some women crave chocolate. Oh...for the record, I actually use them, too. But it gets to the point you have to ask yourself when to say 'enough.' Okay, last week CVS had this great deal where you got full price back on several items via extra care bucks. It was a double-good deal for me because I also had coupons for these items. So the next visit, I got about $15 in coupons to use on anything at all at CVS. I was going to get myself a massager, but after 4 trips around the store I couldn't find it. That would have been practical with my back problems. But when I finally did locate it, I didn't like it. So I start looking at other interesting things. ECBs are found money, after all. My eyes were drawn to one thing in particular: a contraption that makes frothy cocoa or coffee. I love coffee. Frothy coffee would be cool. The thingie would have been free to me. Then I started thinking of all the other toys I have on my counter: toaster, vaccuum sealer, Kitchenaid Mixer, blender, etc. etc. etc. And that's just one counter. I thought of my cabinets, which are running out of room. (Crockpots take up a LOT of space, LOL!) I thought how I've been perfectly content with unfrothy chocolate and coffee for decades. So I put away 2 of the coupons and kept out one $5 one. I bought detergent, deodorant (with a free soap!) and a small package of chewable Tylenol. I had coupons for all 3. Combined with the ECB coupon, I paid just a little over $2 for everything! And the detergent was a big one! The satisfaction of walking out with 3 things for less than I'd pay for one item at full price was much more satisfying than a coffee frother thing. And I still have $10 in coupons.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My son is 24 today!

My oldest son is 24 years old today. Hard to believe that 7 lb. 11 oz. kid is about 6 feet tall, LOL! He's a great kid. So smart it's scary. And the first one to offer help before you ask him. Mom-and-son activities these days are either watching Alton Brown, of "Good Eats," or playing Scrabble. I'm happy to say the win-win ratio on the game is about even. His taste in music is closer to his father's--heavy metal, dark and brooding stuff. (Me, I'm into just about anything that sounds good, but Ella and Nat top my list.) I have two books on order for him, both of which are funny. Michael has a great sense of humor, a little on the edgy side but not mean-spirited. We are going to his favorite restaurant for dinner--Catfish Annie's. And everyone is off from either school or work so all 7 of us get to go! Oh...and I made him a popcorn cake. That's basically a popcorn ball recipe pressed into a buttered cake pan, then turned out onto a tray. I haven't had one in years. My mother used to make them. Boy, did the smell bring back memories of my own childhood! I hope Michael likes his cake!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Coupons in surprising places

When I got to Ohio last week, I was waiting (forever) for my bag to show up on the carousel. Okay, so about 8 million black bags go by and I don't see mine. I have a red ribbon on the handle. Do you know how many people put red ribbons on their black backs? I was beginning to think my bag hadn't made it off the connecting flight in Baltimore. The carousel stops and the lights go out. I'm tired of standing...well, my back is killing me. So I decide to sit down and wait until the bags start coming around again. I spot a Sunday paper scattered over some seats. And I'm looking...and I'm wondering if...and I think people will think I'm nuts...and I decide I don't care. So I walk over to the scattered paper and...find THREE coupon inserts!!!! So, not only do I have the ones back in New York, and the ones my mom will give me from her paper...I have a 3rd set. Talk about serendipity! Dang, I think I'll have to travel on Sunday more often and do a treasure hunt through the airport to see if anyone else left the paper, with its coupons, behind! Sometimes, I'm more than...sorta frugal.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I'm baaaacck

Not that anyone even notices that I've gone. I experienced my first real hailstorm and tornado warning in Ohio. It was so cool! I was reading in my room (my mother's guest room, I mean) when I heard something like rocks hitting the house. So I go out and tell my mom I think we're having hail. Suddenly, these big chunks of ice--about the size of golf balls--come pouring out of the sky. Thousands of them! BOOM BOOM BOOM! The wind picks up like nuts and trees start bending. We were watching the news and a tornado alert comes for the area. We actually went down into her basement (which is finished) and watched TV there for a while. Then we went back upstairs when the sirens stopped. Except they kept starting and stopping. It was kind of annoying. My mother's grass was completely covered with hailstones and you can't see the lawn for the leaves that fell off the trees. Boy, it's times like this you're glad you're safe inside your home. I felt sorry for people driving--it was about the end of rush hour. Even more, I feel sorry for anyone who was walking. OUCH--imagine getting hit by hundreds of golf balls!I remember one small hailstorm on Long Island when I was a kid, but nothing like this. And it's my first experience with a real tornado warning. I thought it was pretty cool, but of course we also took precautions. Anyway, the next day they said a county to the south and east of where my mom lives was hit pretty hard with a lot of bad damage, including flash floods that almost buried cars in the streets. Anyway, it was an interesting experience...noisy, too!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Off to Ohio

I'm leaving in about an hour and a half to visit my mother in Ohio. I've been nervous about the trip because I'm always afraid I'm going to forget something important. Nothing like my toothbrush or shampoo; my mother sells Avon, LOL! I'm talking about my prescription stomach meds, or my heat pads (for my back) or my wallet. Or I'll forget to leave instructions for my daughter on how to take care of my animals while I'm gone. This is why I love this: http://www.tadalist.com/ For the past month I've been adding things to the list as I think of them, some vital, some just things I want to bring. I just printed it up and I can check things off as I go along. I've written about this site before (it's free, of course!) but I can't say enough about how much it has helped me. Like everyone else, I have 18 projects going on, on top of just life itself. My mind seems to be going in 2,000 different directions. These lists help me focus and stay on target. I have one for cleaning every room of my house, LOL! Well...I'll be back in a week. Mom's got homemade vegetable soup for dinner tonight. Trust me, nobody makes vegetable soup like my mom! Boy, am I looking forward to that! Have a great week, you few and wonderful faithful readers!