Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Saving Christmas (lights)

  Considering that the decorations are already up in the stores, I can talk about Christmas, right?  ;)

Actually, we had an unusual reclamation project here at the Casa de Chaos:  reviving Christmas lights.

Couple of years ago, we discovered that three of the five outdoor icicle light sets we had were kaput.  We replaced two of them  and made do with some other lights. But what to do with the three dead sets?

We were going to pull the bulbs and pitch the wiring, but DH read about a gadget that is supposed to repair light sets ... I was skeptical, but figured if it didn't work, I could always return it.

Well, dang, it worked pretty well.  It somehow repairs the circuits (and I don't understand how, to be honest), bringing those dead sections back to life.
     We did have to replace some bulbs, (well, OK, several bulbs) but now we have three functioning sets of lights. 
    I figure that given the cost of  replacements, we've made back the cost of the gadget, and then some.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Repurposing: Towels

 Had a bath towel that was getting rather "holey" and was sitting in the "I'll do something with this later" bin.  
    Well, it's later ;)  So, a bit of cutting and pinning, and a zig-zag stitch on the hems.  (Actually, the towel in the photo is a work in progress -- you might be able to see the pins holding the top hem.)

Got two hand-sized towels and four nice-size pieces to use for dishrags. 

One of the "new" towels is still a bit worn, so it will be used to clean up messes (or dry off cats).  The other is in good enough shape to use in the bathroom or kitchen.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rack 'em up

   No, I didn't buy a pool table ....  ;)

   Since I'm home for now, I'm doing some of the "frugal-ing" that I haven't had time for.
     One big thing:  Dry as many laundry loads outside as possible.

     Couple of problems, though.  The HOA here doesn't allow permanent clotheslines.  And I only have two drying racks at the moment, which doesn't allow as much room as I would like.

    So, I thought on this a bit ... then dug up a couple of long bamboo poles and the bottom half of a cafe curtain rod.   Placed them between the two racks and secured them with long twist ties.

     Bingo!  With a bit of planning, I had enough space to dry two loads of laundry.

     Now, if the weather will just hold ....

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Breakfast sandwiches

  Trying to get back into a normal routine here ...

These cute little patties are scrambled eggs, cooked in the microwave. (I put a little spritz of cooking spray in each hole.)

 We happen to have a muffin pan made for the microwave, but they could be baked in a regular muffin tin.

The egg patties, paired with some on-sale canned biscuits, and a few slices of deli ham and cheese (already on hand), gave us enough sandwiches  for two meals, for less than the price of one fast-food meal for two. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Decision made: A new chapter

     A big change coming to the casa de chaos ...

     In a decision that turned out to be more emotionally difficult that I thought it would be, I have decided to accept my company's buyout offer, and will be leaving my job.

     A good severance package (which wouldn't be available if I waited for the next round of staff cuts) helped seal the deal.  A bit early, but it still fits into my career plans.

     So, time to batten down the frugal hatches a bit more tightly.  I appreciate the good thoughts as I head into my next adventure.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Decisions to make

Sorry I've been AWOL.

Massive  upheaval at my place of employment, with more to come.  (For starters, the department I work in is being eliminated.) 
In the next day or so, I must decide if I want to apply for a new job within the company or ask for a buyout.
Lots of ifs and no guarantees ..  I could use some good thoughts right now  ...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Today's tips

   If you are in need of a stick to stir paint, a bamboo skewer (the large ones used for kabobs) works very nicely.

    And if your paint can is a bit rusty around the edges, a layer of plastic wrap placed on top of the  paint will keep out most of the rust particles.

  Actually, it's a good idea to do that when you finish  the original job, should you want to save some paint for touch-ups.  (I'm a slow learner ... ;)