Sunday, July 30, 2006

My Garage Sale Haul

Okay, I'd hardly call it a 'haul,' LOL! But I only spent $1.75 for it all--and there are 3 of those muffin tins. They look very old. I think I could fit one in my toaster oven, which means I could make muffins or cupcakes without using the big oven. But all three cost me just a dollar. They have the word "Kreamer" stamped on them. I don't know what that means, except there's a place in Pennsylvania called "Kreamer." Now, the cookie molds were really a buy at 25 cents each. I did some research and they run from about $5 to $15. I think there are collectors out there. I'll probably hang them on my kitchen wall. But it does get you thinking: the thing you 'just have to have' today, for which you will pay $15 to hang on your kitchen wall, may just be the thing that you put out at a garage sale for 25 cents in 10 years. I used to love all that Victorian clutter. Now I'm at a stage where I want to simplify. (Read: I'm at a stage where I don't want to dust it all.) It's a question to ask any time I want to buy something that isn't completely practical: "do I really want to spend this much on something I may not love in five or ten years?"

Menu Plan Monday Hop on over to "I'm An Organizing Junkie" and join in the fun of "Menu Plan Monday!" I, for one, can't wait to see what others are planning to make this week. I'm sure I'll be inspired. As for me...I'm heading off Friday for a long weekend so it's a very short menu. Mike (my husband) already bought hamburgers and hot dogs, so tomorrow's dinner is almost ready to go. Except for the few ingredients listed next to the menu. "Strawberry" is supposed to say "Strawberry Spritzer," btw. I'm lucky in that I have most of my ingredients already. I'll buy everything here in one day, but I have gotten into the habit of dividing my shopping list by what is needed for each meal. That way, if I'm just not up to shopping (back problems), I can get in and out quickly and have what I need for at least one or two meals. If you can read it, (check) written next to parmesan means to check if my husband bought some. Sunday is homemade tomato sauce day, and he usually picks some up if we need it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

WFMW:carrying stuff

I bought a few of these little baskets at the dollar store. My pantry is down the hall from my kitchen--because, in truth, it was meant to be a linen closet. With my basket, I can carry 5 or 6 things instead of just one or two. But it isn't too heavy for me. I use these all around the house for transporting things that don't belong in one room to where they should go.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tackle It Tuesday: Pots

Not a big project--but not a bad one for someone with a thumb that looks like the Bride of Frankenstein! And it took the flash of the camera to realize the cupboard didn't just need straightened needed cleaned! So I am glad to have that done!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Before that rock hit

I had just come home from dropping my daughter off at work (her boyfriend had borrowed her car) and stopping at one garage sale when that damned rock hit my car. I had spent a grand total of $1 on 2 cookbooks at the sale. I love to cook. I love making up menus and finding new recipes to try. So many recipes, so little time. But I think I only have a few cookbooks that I paid full price for on my shelf. One is by Paula Dean, another by Giada DeLaurentis. Others are regional cookbooks from places I've visited. A few came from garage sales. I use the "Food Network" ones frequently. But I have found with the other books I have that I only pick out about 10% of the recipes. To me that is like paying $10 for something and only using $1 worth of it. Same goes for magazines. This is why I love to buy cookbooks really, really cheap at garage sales. For 50 cents or a dollar, even if I only use a handful of recipes, it's a bargain. And a whole book is cheaper than a magazine! Yesterday's books included a 'make ahead' cookbook. I actually made a blueberry coffee cake. You're supposed to make 2 and freeze one, but I didn't have enough sugar for two. It came out really good. I also made two tuna-fish sandwiches. One I ate before heading to work, the other I froze. You use sour cream instead of mayo, and it tasted pretty good. I'm going to keep the sandwich in the fridge a few days before trying it. If I remember, I'll post whether it was good or not. The second one is a brand-name cookbook. I see lots of things to try in there.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

If it ain't one damned thing...'s another. Mike was using a weeder and a rock flew up and smashed my driver's side window. Nobody can fix it until Tuesday. The upside is that: a)it didn't hit a person (thank God), b)we have other drivers who can get me to work this evening, c)I hate driving anyway, so this is a good excuse and d)we have full glass coverage in our insurance. But isn't life fun?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I did it, I did it!

I actually figured out how to get links in my side bar! Thanks so much to Jenn over at Frugal Upstate, who told me about Blogrolling. It took an effort to figure out what the heck they were talking about, but see? There's my links--all two of them. Hey, it's a start! Thanks, Jenn!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

WFMW: Finding the end of tape

Doesn't it just bug you when tape sticks to itself and you can't find the end? Here's a tip to prevent that from happening. Save those little rectangular plastic tags from loaves of bread. Pop one of those babies at the end of a roll of tape. When you use the tape, remove it and put it back on before you tear the tape, just behind where you are tearing. That way, if it falls back on itself (and you know tape does that just to annoy you), the little plastic rectangle will keep it from sticking!

Monday, July 17, 2006

More on property tax

First, let me say I'm not a 'reverse snob.' You know what I mean--in the way that some privileged few look down on the 'underclass,' I think there are plenty of 'low man on the totem pole' types that automatically judge those who have a lot more. (Just because it's difficult for a camel to go through that needle eye doesn't mean it's impossible--because with God all things are possible.) I don't begrudge rich people their goodies, just so long as they don't think those goodies make them better. "It's what's inside that counts" is always true. Some of the nicest people I have known drive BMWs. My boss (who drives a Mercedes) works 6 out of 7 days a week. She runs two pediatric offices--one here, one in Brooklyn. That means better than an hour commute between the two on a good day--and you can guess there are few 'good' days when it comes to Long Island traffic, LOL! I've never seen anyone work so hard! She's a real sweetheart. Kids come running to hug her when they see her. You can tell she loves her job. Now, this is what I don't get. All that hard work, all that money for a house and property--when the heck does she get to enjoy her home? Her one day off she has to 'catch up' to house things. You could have a wedding with 200 guests on her lawn, yet I wonder if she's ever out there. Her kids are grown and gone. Mine will be within the next 5-7 years, and you can bet I want a smaller house with smaller property. Just enough to enjoy. Am I making sense? Two people in a huge house on huge property--and barely a few hours a week to enjoy it. Why? Okay, part of the house is the practice (which might also explain the high property taxes), but the rest of the place is so big their voices probably echo. Well, to each his own...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Station Identification

I interrupt my diatribe (I think that's the word) on property tax for station identification. This is MOM2FUR...and here's the picture to prove it. Well, some of the fur, anyway. Shadow the puppy, Nutmeg and Melody the Cats. The layout uses elements from "Dinner Party," a free kit from Shabby Princess. This is one of many sites for free scrapbooking downloads.

Property Tax

First, I didn't get the damned stitches out. The doctor says the wound hasn't healed enough. Maybe Monday. But let's drop that boring topic. I went on to look up home values in the area. We are thinking of moving into a smaller home, but I want to stay in the school district until my youngest graduates. We could move to a house valued about the same as ours, but with reduced property tax. That would save some money. But I told my husband I want to get a cheaper house, too. I want to put a nice chunk of change in the bank to live on. In fact, once Nick graduates (in 3 years) we will probably leave the area. I don't want to leave Long Island. It's fricking expensive to live here, but it is my home, where I have lived for all my 50 years and hope to live forever. I found out we can live in a pretty nice area farther east for about $100,000 less than this house and waaaayy less property tax. So there is hope for the future. I found out my house value has dropped by about $30,000 in just the last month. The Boom is going Bust. Who cares? If my house sells for less, so will everyone else's--it all balances out in the end. Okay, so being nosy, I had to look up the value of my boss's home. It takes me 2 minutes to drive to work, but that's the next town over and a little ritzier. A LOT ritzier. I live on a corner lot of slightly less than a 3rd acre and my taxes are about $6,000/year. Not only is her home on a lot of about 1.5 acres...she pays (don't choke) almost $25,000/year in property tax! Geesh, no wonder the woman works 6 days a week running two pediatric offices! (One here, one in Brooklyn. She must spend 4-6 hours a day commuting.) I have more to say about it, but the thumb is hurting. Enough typing. I'll continue this later. Off to take a walk before it gets too hot.

Friday, July 14, 2006


I'd say it's about 90% better. I can type with two hands if I don't do it too long. Stitches come out tomorrow. I went to the pediatrician I work for and she changed it from a big, bulky wrap to two small Band-aids, which helped immensely. I think most of the pain was caused by having my hand in an unnatural position for almost a week. I can move my hand now--just have to watch I don't press my thumb into anything. I will be glad to be able to tie my hair back, put on an apron, chop an onion, wash my hair with two hands (try doing it with one hand--geesh)...funny how we take something as mundane as a hand for granted. Especially the lowly left hand, LOL!

Monday, July 10, 2006

ouch, pt 2

I can't believe a small injury can hurt this much. Remind me never to break a leg.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Thursday i decided to add an extra can of tomatoes to my pasta sauce. Long story short 'cause it is hard to type: stuck can lid, miscalculation, thumb....ELEVEN STITCHES. No nerve damage, thank goodness. But it hurts a lot. Ultracet is niiiiiicccce stuff. Thank goodness for insurance...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

It is most unfrugal...

...when the freezer pops open, no one knows about it...and everything thaws out. Of course, this is the old fridge where I keep my meat to make more room in the freezer half of the fridge upstairs. At least I was running low so there isn't a huge loss. But it's still money down the drain. I can't remember when I last was down there, but it's been a few days and I'm about the only one who uses it. Stupid thing must have popped open. The waffles are okay, but I can't take a chance on the meat. Damn. Oh, similar tales have been told. I think there's a story about freezers over here, but I can't find it. Whoever it was that blogged this, she has a bunch of kids and if anyone uses the freezer they have to call a witness to prove they closed it. But we don't have that many kids and we're all on different no one is home half the time to bear witness. I think I'm going to keep the meat upstairs and the cheap stuff like vegetables downstairs from now on!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday

I love this site. You make your own customized to-do lists. I have one for every room of my house, plus one for other things I have to get done. You can edit your lists, too. It's very easy, and it's free!
It's not so much that I need a list to show me what to clean in a room. But a list helps me do it in a more orderly fashion so I'm not zig-zagging back and forth, wasting steps and time. And I hate housework, so anything that helps me with it is great, LOL!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Some Gave All

This is a tribute to one of our fallen heroes, Marine Staff Sergeant Kendall Damon Waters-Bey, of Baltimore, Maryland. Kendall, age 29, was assigned to the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, Camp Pendelton, California. He was killed in a CH-46E helicopter crash in Kuwait, on March 20, 2003. He leaves behind a loving family that includes his wife and a son from a previous marriage.
Rest with the Angels, Marine Staff Sergeant Waters-Bey!

Tackle It Tuesday

I've been meaning to straighten up the two cabinets. Glad to have Tackle It Tuesday to motivate me! (BTW, the hutch is a garage sale goodie. Cost me $40. It was red and blue and it took me a whole summer to paint it--'cause I hate painting, LOL. All the blue and white plates and about 1/3 of the cookbooks are garage sale babies, too.) PS--Sorry the picture is out of focus. I don't know why that happens sometimes. I really need to read my camera's manual a little better.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Last night Mike & I had dinner at another couple's home. Nothing fancy--just hot dogs, hamburgers and salad--just the way I like it. Sue & I were talking about various things and we got on the topic of walking. I used to love to walk before my back problems got worse. Then it started to make me feel bad. The trouble is that, although I play with my dog in the backyard, use the stairs throughout the day and do the general 'life' things that keep you moving, I was still getting pain in my legs. Numbness, I should say. As in, I can't feel my feet. I think what is happening is that I'm 'favoring' my back (it's called "Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction," btw) but the rest of me is going to Hades in a picnic basket. She told me her mother is in a very bad way because she did pretty much the same thing I'm doing--she became more and more sedentary because of pain. I don't want to be like that. I don't want to end up in a wheelchair because my legs decide to stop working one day. Damn it, if I ever had the money--I'd like to do some traveling, and I ain't doing it in a mobile chair. So this morning...I leashed up Shadow Dante and went for a short walk. Now my back and my legs hurt...but at least I did it. I'm going to try, try, try to make the noble effort to do it almost every day! Now...I wish I had a jacuzzi to soak in... (Oh...and obviously Shadow is bigger and has all his shots up to date--so he's street-ready for walking. And at least I don't have to worry about him pulling me too hard.)