Thursday

Loss and Change


"The real things haven't changed.
It is still best to be honest and truthful;
To make the most of what we have;
To be happy with simple pleasures;
And have courage when things go wrong."
--Laura Ingalls Wilder

~~~

Well my kind friends...a sad event has happened.  
My beloved father passed away a few weeks ago after a brief unexpected illness.
The world has lost a good man who led a good life.
Yet his legacy of love lives on in his children and grandchildren. 

Prayers and good thoughts are always welcome 
Especially now.

Sending love and appreciation to all good souls.





Tuesday

Spring: Art of Frugality (one)




Spring: Art of Frugality

I mended two small holes in an expensive pair of black cotton leggings that Zoey (our kitty) had accidentally torn when trying to climb onto my lap. I did this by using a long, fine embroidery needle and one strand of black cotton embroidery thread. The trick to making these look somewhat smooth was to put them on inside-out and then carefully mend the holes while wearing them. As a result, the repairs are hardly visible, barring very close scrutiny, and now they are perfect to wear around the house and running errands.  I was so pleased with the results that I took two other favorite leggings of mine, with much larger tears, and did the same thing! The mends are more noticeable on these but perfect for working in the garden, or messy projects around the house, or even as pajama bottoms!

~~~

While in the mend and rescue mode, I transformed an old and much worn at the knees pair of yoga pants into bike shorts by simply cutting off the legs.  I now have a cute pair of shorts to wear under a tunic or dress.  Because of the type of fabric, no hemming was necessary. These will be comfy to wear in the warmer weather.

~~~

Mike and I stopped by a yard sale and the ladies there gave us, free, a wireless printer that currently sells for $700 on Amazon!  Mike noticed it and asked about it, as it wasn't marked for sale?  We suggested that they might get some good money for it but they were not interested...they had already bought and set up a new one.  As well, they didn't trust this one as it made a lot of noise when printing. In fact, they didn't even want to sell it, they were just going to discard it because they didn't want to sell a defective product.  I told them that our daughter has a similar model printer and it makes all kinds of noise (and even sometimes shakes, haha) when printing so that may be normal. They still insisted that we take it for free if we wanted it.  We gratefully accepted and took it home.  It was a gamble, still, as we needed to buy $65 worth of ink to even test it. Our logic was that if we couldn't get it working we could give the ink to Rosie as her printer uses the same cartridges.  Well...two hours later it was working like a champ and easily synced with all our computers and devices!!! This was such a blessing as Rosie is getting married in two months and will be taking her printer with her!

~~~

Our favorite rose bush was looking sparse and hadn't yet bloomed so I used my kitchen scissors to cut up two banana peels very finely...then buried them in a shallow hole (3-4 inches) about 12-18 inches away from the bottom of the rose bush.  Because Id cut the pieces so finely they started breaking down right away and within less than a week we saw the bush revive with new green and then our first rose buds of spring  (late for where we live). The potassium and other minerals are evidently beloved by rose bushes!

~~~

I have long saved the hard rinds from Parmesan cheese in the freezer to add extra flavor.  When making a minestrone soup (based on left over Swiss steak gravy) I popped one of the Parmesan rinds into it and it actually added that much needed pop it was missing.

How are you practicing the art of frugality this week?



Thursday

The Art of Frugality This Week





~  This week wasn't as frugal as it could have been.  Mike went out of town for work for several days. I drove up and stayed with him for a couple of nights. We enjoyed a frugal sort-of mini vacation...going out for dinner with a nice group of friends in the evenings and visiting afterward was very relaxing and interesting.  I brought food from home for me to eat for my own breakfast and lunches while he was at work and then we ate dinners out as a treat. 

~  Once we arrived home from our out of town trip we went into frugal mode again, eating from the freezer and pantry and making homemade juices by using up the slightly wilting greens and not so crisp cucumbers that had been left in the refrigerator. 

~  Went through my vitamins cupboard to inventory and organize what was on hand. The goal is to use up the oldest vitamins first before they expire.  I found several surprises in the back of the cupboard (purchased during BOGO sales, tucked away and, embarrassingly, forgotten). These will save us having to restock this month on some items that were getting low.

~  Along the same lines as above...I'm also in the process of going through all our skin and hair care products with a similar goal in mind. I found two new bottles of shampoo under the sink (more forgotten BOGOs).  I am taking a hard look at my poor system of keeping inventory of our pantries and thus brainstorming new ways to do this better!

~  Created a new frittata recipe by crumbling a small bit of feta into two beaten eggs, added a shake or two of finely ground Parmesan, cut fresh parsley (that was beginning wilt) a bit of black pepper, garlic and onion powder, and baked it in a very small cast iron skillet.  It came out lovely and, along with a salad, actually provided two nice meals for me when Mike was gone! It was born of my trying to eat up the last bits and bobs that were in the fridge. 


How did you practice the art of frugality this week?


Sunday

The Art of Frugality



"Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance...thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste...if a man could undertake to make use of all the things in his dustbin, he would be a broader genius than Shakespeare." 

~ G. K. Chesterton

---

Being a long-time reader and admirer of blogs such as Blue House Journal Coffee Tea Books and Me and The Prudent Homemaker ... I am inspired to contribute my own frugal-accountability-list to their ongoing, knowledge-rich and generous offerings.  Many, many times I've been inspired and encouraged by the posts and comments found in their (and others) consistent offerings.  After partaking in silence for far too long, it's now time for me to give back a bit and contribute my small voice to this idea choir.
----------------------
This is how I practiced the art of frugality this week.

~ We stopped by our favorite farm stand down at my dad's house and bought a flat of strawberries for $6:00.  Marked half-price, they were considered seconds due to being a bit misshapen ... what I refer to as "charmingly imperfect" ... haha!  I froze about one third of the flat and then we mostly enjoyed them plain ... we also added them to smoothies ... and made our own version of strawberry shortcake (using cubed pound cake from the freezer in lieu of shortcake). We also found huge bunches of kale and parsley for $2 and .50 respectively for juicing and some misshapen (but yummy) Roma tomatoes at 4 for $1 each to dice up in our daily salads.

~ Transformed a few orphaned hot dog buns into garlic breadsticks by trimming off the rounded tops and edges using a serrated knife...buttering...and adding garlic salt and a sprinkle of dried basil.  After popping them into the toaster oven they were a perfect, crunchy aside for Mike's favorite pasta meal.

~ Canceled our Netflix account as we never really watch much from it.  I thought we might as we cut the satellite cord about a year ago...saving at least one hundred dollars per month. We use Apple TV,  Roku or our computers to watch any shows we miss or for Mike's sports. I thought we would have an adjustment period but I can sincerely tell you I have not regretted it once. I tend to listen to podcasts as I putter around the house...or watch old mysteries and the like should I be in the mood to sit and watch something specific.

~ Sliced and dehydrated oranges from my dad's trees. They had been in the produce bin of the refrigerator for a while and needed to be processed. I use these in several ways...ground up in the food processor they add vitamin C to a smoothie...they are also pretty when used to decorate cupcakes and cakes...and of course they offer a rustic look to garlands and other homespun decorations for various holidays.

~ After stumbling upon a charming juice bar (tucked inside a pretty little flower shop) down the road, I became inspired to pull out our neglected juicer. I've been making our own juices of parsley, kale, cucumber, lemon, ginger and apples. We stocked up on organic lemons, apples, cucumbers and ginger for very reasonable prices when doing a much needed Costco run.  I haven't done the math yet but...at nearly $7 for a similar (16 ounce) juice at the juice bar...I know we are definitely coming out ahead! My hopes are that ... by reviving my juicing habit ... I will still be fitting into the dress I fell in love with (and bought) for Rosie's wedding this summer, haha!


How did you practice the art of frugality this week?



Thursday

Intangible Vision

~~~~~~~
Appreciation mode has set in on this rare rainy day.
For?

Gifts and blessings hidden in plain sight.
Prayers made ... prayers answered.
Optimism.

Above all...
Love.
Both given and received.

Pray.

The Awakening




Even as an intermittent blogger I haven't published much these past few years.  I could write my long list of reasons but it's sufficient to say that I had been left quite inner focused and with a lack of worthy things to contribute. 

During that time I have continued to be very uplifted and inspired by all of your lovely blogs and sites and wish to extend my gratitude for their continued existence. 

While I'm not sure in which direction this new awakening will lead, or how often I will publish, I must confide that, in an unexplainable way, I feel that I'm being led to once again add my humble voice to the chorus of helpful and enlightening wisdoms. 

 "Tiny drops of water make a mighty ocean, tiny grains of sand a beach."

I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised that Frugal Luxuries has returned from Hibernation.







The original "FRUGAL LUXURIES" ~ Based on the books by Tracey McBride ~ Established 1993

A warm Thank You to all kind souls and kindred spirits who generously take the time to leave a comment...your encouragement, trust and support are deeply appreciated...please know that we read each and every message and will respond as time allows.

~~~

Frugal Luxuries
is a registered trademark.


~~~


"FRUGAL LUXURIES: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul" was written by Tracey McBride and published by Bantam Books, NY, in 1997. It was the first of its genre to synergize the elements of simplicity, frugality and gracious living.

After more than a decade, FRUGAL LUXURIES has never been out of print and is now more relevant than ever.

"It's our hope that a new generation, faced with a teetering economy, will also find this information helpful and enlightening."



Sending Good Thought to Our Special Band of Kind and Kindred Souls!

Frugal Luxuries Book I

Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons Book II

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