Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25th, Rudolph Day...

Another month has flown by!  The last couple of weeks have felt really busy, but I couldn't necessarily think of a thing that I have accomplished.  This summer's heat has been dragging me down.  It seems to get harder to endure every year.  Two more months before we start cooling off.  Two more months...

Now for this month's Rudolph Day project.  As you may recall, I am using the 25th of each month from now until Christmas to do something, either craft or chore, to be a little more prepared when the Christmas season arrives.

For this month's project I decided to pull out the cross stitch piece that you may remember from last year.  I worked on it while my mother-in-law was here visiting.  Only two colors, so really simple.

Last year I finished up all the cross stitch and then put it away.  I meant to complete and frame it before last Christmas, but...well...you know... 

This morning I dug it out of hiding.  I washed it, and ironed it.  I left it to dry thoroughly while I rounded up needed supplies and cut backing pieces and padding to fit the frame.  

I added the pearls to the cross stitch, cut off some of the excess linen so it would be easier to apply to the backing board and be less bulky in the frame, and zigzagged the edge so it wouldn't ravel.  Then I gave it another press to make sure there weren't any wrinkles from all the handling.  

I did my best to center the design on the padded backboard, and then carefully taped the fabric to the board before placing it into the frame.  Lastly, I added a piece of white cardboard to fill the frame's inset and give the piece a neater appearance.  Then I taped it in securely so there will (hopefully) be no shifting.  The only tape I had was clear packing tape.  Will it hold?  Not sure.  I may have to redo it sometime in the future.  But I figure the packing tape is still pretty secure on those boxes still left packed since the move six years ago, so...

I took this final photo from an angle to better show the dimension the pearls add.   The lacy snowflake designs and the pearls lend a simple elegance to this piece.  I'm happy with how it turned out.  And I'm really happy that it is complete and will be part of this year's Christmas decorating.
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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dreaded chores and a request...

I really, really, really hate hemming slacks.  Unfortunately, we are a family of short-legged people.  The last time Kasey had a business trip, she needed two pair hemmed, and one of those had a lining.  Tomorrow morning Jared has to head to Dallas for a week of training, for which he was issued five (5!) pair of uniform slacks.  He received them yesterday, but he got off very late.  So I only had today to get all of them hemmed.

To be fair, he asked me to show him how to do it himself.  If we had had more time, I would have taken him up on it, but I knew I was going to be pushing it to get it done myself without taking the time to teach someone else.  Obviously, I should have given lessons to both children when they were younger.  :)

I don't mind sewing by hand, it's the measuring and pinning and cutting and ironing and trying on...times five in this case.  And truth be told, it's mostly the cutting I dread.  I always end up cutting too much and then having to spend time remedying my mistake.  (And yes, I did it again today on one pair.)

I finished very late tonight.  I'm really glad I know how to do it, because there was absolutely no way he would have been able to find someone to professionally alter them on the very short time frame that he had.

If you would say a little prayer (or several) for him to have success this week, it would be much appreciated! Photobucket

Friday, July 22, 2016

Frugal Friday File, week 29...

Nothing has been very frugal this week.  Pet food and vet visit.  Chiropractor visit for me.  Insurance premiums due.  Ugh!


Successes:
1.  Cooked all meals at home, mostly from pantry and freezer as I'm STILL mostly covered by last big stock-up shop.

2.  Instead of baking just enough potatoes for last night's dinner, I filled a whole baking sheet with large baking potatoes and popped them in the oven.  After dinner, I cut all the extras in half, scooped them out, mashed with butter, sour cream, grated cheese, diced onion, salt and garlic.  I refilled the scooped-out skins with the seasoned mash, put them back on the baking sheet, topped with more grated cheese, covered the whole baking sheet with foil and set it in the freezer.  After they are well frozen, I vacuum seal them individually and store back in the freezer to have ready to accompany future meals.  Love, love, LOVE knowing they are in there ready to use.

3.  Chloe's birthday is coming up.  I will be at quilt retreat.  She informed me that I had to make cake pops for her before I leave.  The thought crossed my mind to just get them from Starbucks...6 for $7.50...hmmm, 2 dozen for $30?  Might be worth it...they are a LOT of work.  But I have everything I need, so I'll do it in steps.  I love that she wants me to make them for her, and I never want to disappoint her.  :)

4.  It is TOO HOT to want to leave the air conditioning, so mostly staying at home playing with Rudy.

5.  Still putting off a haircut.  

Keep Tryings:
I broke down and made three (3!) online fabric purchases this week...getting ready for quilt retreat very soon.  It had been almost two months since previous purchase.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  Sunday dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  Sausage and Rice Skillet
Tuesday:  Homemade Pizza -- bacon, pineapple, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno
Wednesday:  leftovers
Thursday:  meatloaf, baked potatoes, brocolli
Friday:  leftovers

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monkey Love...

Sick of posts about Rudy yet?  Sorry.  This is what my life is about right now.  It will stop soon.
But today's post is about his new favorite stuffy, Monkey Love.  What did you think the post title referred to?  Get your mind out of the gutter!

Today Rudy had his first trip to the vet since coming home with us.  He got booster shots, and, like any baby, he is running a little fever and doing a lot of sleeping...with Monkey Love.





Monkey Love is happy for the respite from their regular play:
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Friday, July 15, 2016

Frugal Friday File, Week 28...


Successes:
1.  No pet is necessarily frugal.  Even if they arrive in your home at no cost, going forward they require a lifetime of spending on food, vet care, and grooming.   Our new little guy did come with a price tag, BUT I had money socked away for a 'special budget item' that was enough to cover the entire initial outlay.  

2.  Having the good sense to keep a handy hubby always lands in the frugal success column.  :)  This week I described to Carey something I had seen on Pinterest, and with some wire mesh and lumber scraps (all of which he had on hand), he was able to execute a FABULOUS solution for corralling pup.

3.  Turned down lunch and shopping invitation, and countered with invitation to hang out here with Rudy.  Friend is an animal lover.  :)

4.  Sent hubs to grocery for some fresh produce, but otherwise we are still doing quite well on the supplies I stocked up on two weeks ago.

5.  Our phone service is a rural cooperative.  Once a year they distribute capital credits to members (customers) by applying the balance to your bill.  I believe the amount increases the longer you are customers.  We've been with them for over 15 years, so this month we got an $80+ credit on our bill.  Nice.

Keep Tryings:
We have used a lot of gasoline this week making an 8-hour round trip to visit mother-in-law on Saturday and a 4-hour round trip to pick up Rudy on Sunday.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  Sunday dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  pork chops, sweet potatoes, creamed peas
Tuesday:  *Tex-Mex
Wednesday:  Taco Salad
Thursday:  Goulash and garlic bread
Friday:  ???

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What's in a name...

Just a few of the famous Jack Russells.  Such personable little guys make for perfect camera hams.

Wishbone...the great literature loving dog.



Freddie de la Hay...a JR in literature.


 Jack from The Artist...so adorable.


Buddy from Doc Martin...never gives up on Martin...just keeps coming back.  :)

And who can forget Eddie from Frasier?  I always loved how it annoyed Frasier when Eddie wouldn't stop staring at him.  JRs are really good at staring contests.  Ours was staring at me today...enough that Carey asked, "Why is he staring at you?"  LOL!



We actually considered all of these names for our new little JR, but it just seemed prosaic to use well known JR names.  I like being a little different.  It is worthy of note, however, that three of these five are named Freddie, Buddy, and Eddie.  All suit them.  They lend a touch of the every-dog to these special little guys, and accent the youthful spirit that JRs keep even as seniors.  

I think our Rudy will wear his name well.

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