Sunday, September 28, 2014

Declutter for fun and profit

One of my ongoing projects is to clear some of the landfill out of the casa de chaos.  Admittedly, it's going, er, slowly.

I had a box of books  ... romances and mysteries from the 1940s that belonged to my late mother.  I've read them, and had no reason to keep them.

Took them off to the national chain second-hand bookstore, which offered me about 50 cents a book.  That seemed just a bit low, so I declined.  

I hadn't had much luck selling books on eBay in the past, but decided to try it again. This time, there seemed to be a demand for the mysteries. So I grouped the books by author and listed them.

The mysteries sold!  I think after the fees are paid that I might clear a little under $2 per book.   So, someone gets reading material, I get a bit of $, and a bit more space in the house.  Definitely a win-win.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Off to the orchard!

  Fall brings one of my favorite activities .... a trip to the apple orchard.

   My family's been going to this particular orchard for, gosh, more than 25 years.   When I was younger, it was a family affair:  my mom and I and my aunts would all head out to pick (and I do mean pick) apples.

Now, it's just DH and myself, and we just visit the stand to get pre-picked apples :)

It's certainly was a good year for pumpkins; they had quite a spread, including some that looked to be also-rans in the biggest pumpkin contest.  We resisted, though.  I can usually find better prices in town.

I was a little disappointed:  No seconds, which I wanted to get for apple butter and applesauce.   And squash prices were much higher than usual, too.  But I did get a half-peck of my favorite, Jonathans, which will make good eating.  And we had a nice drive in the country.

   

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.