Monthly Archives: March 2015

Solutions?

Because of the disasters, including our furnace, we’ve been burning up our wood supply, which is good. Not so good is that we were real close to using it UP this week. A neighbor can help us out if need be and DH found ecobricks, like wood pellets for a pellet stove, but made into brick form.

Another ongoing problems has been bed sheets. DH doesn’t like the sizing and/or feel of the high density polyester in many poly/cotton sheets. I want to buy just  single flat sheets. They’re insanely expensive for good ones and not many show up at the thrift shops which are big enough. I decided long ago I should either 1)Buy hotel supply ones or 2) Make my own.

I’ve been trying to find  84″ wide sheeting material for some time. I think I found it, at theatrical supply companies. Huzzah! As a former theater major, I’m dismayed it took me so long to think of the muslin they use for flats, etc. as a possibility, but it may just work.

The older I get,  the less I’m willing to pay for “designer” names and prices on basic goods. Sheets are basic. Got along for decades without colored, designer sheets. If I want them dyed, I can do it or have it done. One place sells colored muslin, so maybe I won’t even have to do that.

My big “bitch” is that I really only want flat sheets, or to buy ONE and you can’t. I resent being held hostage to the department stores or manufacturer’s financial needs. I have my own: functional first then frugal, always. I don’t care what the neighbors think or much of anyone else, only my husband!

Disasters

One car needed its CV joint replaced, had the appt, it failed 3 days before that. About 2 days after we got it back, the other car developed a problem, check engine light running rough and all. Between the 2, there was not quite $1,000 worth of work.

Okay, the furnace? We had it worked on pre heating season, for a large chunk o’ change. It has an intermittant problem, now. We’ve had 3 service calls and it works fine, for while, then doesn’t.

Today? Today I was taking a shower before going off to my bosses to deliver papers, and the shower drain is apparently leaking, downstairs.

Sigh. April is usually the month for disasters. I can hardly wait for April, I mean there’s nothing left to fail, right?

J

Been Working on the Living Room, some more

we need to paint it, next month. I’ve unpacked 4 boxes of books (about 200) in the past week. Many of them are gone, either to the antique booth or donated somewhere. (DH took 2 bags of books away today.)

We’ve had a frustrating and expensive couple of weeks: the CV joint went on one car, the other car has acceleration problems and a check engine light on. The furnace was repaired, worked, quit working, got repaired (3rd time) then quit working reliably, again.

Because of the above, we’re both grumpier with each other than we’ve been in a while, which of course doesn’t make anything go more smoothly.

I got the contract for the 4th anthology in the mail, we had one story for the previous book that might apply to this one.

I have a work backlog that is truly massive: research/writing, form designing for one job, helping mail 200 pcs for the 2nd, the memoir revisions are ongoing and we’re trying to CLEAR the living room so we  can paint it in April. The contracts need to be signed/returned for book 4. And I’m not sure if anything still needs doing for book 3, I hope not!

My goals this year are to

  1. Get the house clean.
  2. Get rid of the storage unit.
  3. Get the memoir edited and formatted for people to read on a computer.
  4. Start the marketing plan for the memoir.
  5. I’m sure there’s something else, I just can’t think of it right now!

I have been focusing on other things and i really need to hunker down and CONCENTRATE or I’ll never get this done!

None of this is hard, just time consuming!

J

Ongoing and Herbal Frugality

I’m getting rid of stuff, amongst other things, like using stuff I already have. None of this is new, but I’m FINISHING things, and that IS.

I made two new rugs for our bathroom. I have to finish C’s rug, work on the living room rugs, etc. I have finally confessed that I have a hobby: I make rugs.

In the course of this and that last fall, I didn’t grab any parsley, or enough, I ran out. I usually have LOTS, in fact more than I need, but this last fall, I didn’t dry herbs like I usually do, so I ran out.

The price(s) of herbs in the market are just INSANE! If you don’t do any other gardening, growing your own herbs is one of those things that will definitely pay for itself. Herbs cost more than meat per lb, a lot more!

So when I went looking for parsley, I was outraged at the prices I found. The best I found was $41/lb, and that was an unknown brand. What to do?

A bunch of parsley at the same time was .99, so I got 2. I used one in the recipe I needed it for and took the other and put it in a brown paper lunch bag, hung it on a hook in my kitchen and dried it. We’re having pizza tonight, I wanted parsley on it, so I got the bag down.

After I stripped the leaves off the stems, etc. I had 5 grams of parsley flakes, for .99. I have NO idea how to frame this as an equation to figure the $ per lb. I know it can be done, and I should be able to do it, but my brain is just not up to it this second!

Five grams = .011 lbs by the way. So, roughly speaking, it costs about $100/lb to dry your own, bought in bunches from the supermarket, at a guess. Hmm. I would have figured it would be about 1/2 at the most of buying it in little bottles.

Huh!