Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Blogger changes and What I'm reading Wednesday...

Before I start the book talk, I just want to ask if anyone else has noticed that Blogger is making changes again.  One thing I've noticed is that I no longer get comment notifications to my email (though the settings still show that I have that option checked).  I always like to reply to comments in the comment section and also send my reply via email to each commenter.  Apologies to all if it seems like I have been ignoring comments lately.  I haven't had as much time on the computer lately, and hadn't noticed this change before, so have missed quite a few comments, I'm sure.

Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts

I'm reading a new one by Nora Roberts.  I jumped on the library reserve list very quickly and happily found myself very close to the beginning of the line.  I'm enjoying the book.  It begins with a mall shooting by three high school gunmen.  Then it follows the lives of those who were affected by the horrifying event.  

Monday, June 18, 2018

Making it Monday...

A lot of card making going on around here lately, and tomorrow I'm going to have some serious clean up and supply put away to do!

The camp the girls attend gives the opportunity to the kids to send and receive mail.  My kind of camp!  Kasey was swamped lately, and when I mentioned letters from camp recently, she said she wasn't sure she would have time to get supplies together for the girls this year, so I told her I would love to do it.

I made two sets of eight cards.  The first contained four each of the two ice-cream designed cards above.  I used images found on the web and printed on card stock, then layered on colored card stock and used matching washi tape I had on hand, and I stamped 'sweet treats' under each focal image.  I put labels with their return address on the envelopes, and I made labels with likely recipients' names and addresses.  I figured the quicker the job was for them to do, the more letters might go out.  :)  I also included a gel pen of a matching color and postage stamps.  I actually had ice cream-themed postage stamps that went with this set.

The second set (I'm not sure which girl chose which set) contained one each of eight owl designs, along with labels, postage stamps, and a colored pen.  I used to LOVE new stationery when I was a kid.  I hope they like these...and USE them!  :)

You've seen this photo below in the last Frugal Friday File.  I thought I'd show you the progression to its completion.
This was the very start, and it went really quickly.  Only an hour or so and the stitching was done.

I graphed my own pattern for this.  I realize now that I got a lot of his coloring backwards, but still, everybody knows who it is...Rudy, of course!  LOL  I'm having fun playing with these tags.

Here's the finished card.  I made it to send to Chloe at camp.  She and Rudy are a lot alike...full of energy...attention seekers.  I wouldn't say she doesn't like him, but I would say that she gets along better with more laid-back dogs.  So I kind of torment her by sending her cards from him.  :)  

I'll make another tag card tonight to send to Caitlyn.

Last week, I mailed out four letters to grown ups on my list.

I haven't counted lately how many letters have gone out this year, but I think I'm doing really well on this year's 52 letters in 52 weeks challenge.

edited to add:  Tuesday morning I made another card each to mail to Caitlyn and Chloe.
This is the cross-stitch tag card I made for Caitlyn.  I couldn't find all of my floss, and so found myself with limited options.  There was almost no contrast between the two colors of pink I used for the owl.  I stitched the wings with a pink even paler than the body, and I was so unhappy with it that I figured I couldn't make it any worse, so I might as well try something unorthodox.  I used a raspberry-colored sharpie to carefully 'dye' the floss of the wings' Xs.  LOL  It worked beautifully, and really helped the look of the finished tag.  Now, please understand I would NEVER do this on a larger piece of cross-stitch, but the tag was so small, it wasn't a big investment to risk.

This was a quick one for Chloe with just paper and washi tape...yes, the 'Hello Gorgeous' and flowers is a strip of washi that fit perfectly across the card front.  Lucked out there, as I was rushing to get it in the mail.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 24...

1.  Took advantage of daughter and son-in-law's pool, and spent the afternoon playing in it with the kids.  Fun, exercise, and only minimal guilt that they have all that upkeep and expense, and I get to use it for free.  LOL

2.  Worked two days.

3.  I packed a little box of cross-stitch supplies for my purse.  Unfortunately I picked up sharp needles instead of the more rounded-tipped cross-stitch needles.  Luckily there was an emery board handy.  After filing down the sharp needle tip a little, it dulled the point enough to make it much easier to use on the paper tag I was working on, and it didn't split the thread as much.  I know I have cross-stitch needles in the chaos craft room somewhere, so finding a handy temporary fix instead of buying more is frugally making do.

4.  I've been making a real effort to drink water.  I've only had two Cokes this month.  

5.  I had some yellow squash in the fridge that needed to be used.  Carey picked it out at the store for me, and they were all covered in blemishes that were somewhat woody feeling, and I was afraid it might have an unappetizing texture after cooking.  Honestly, I was tempted to sneakily chuck them in the trash. Instead I used a potato peeler to remove all of the skin and then put them in a favorite cheesy-squash casserole.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  Quiche and broccoli
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey's
Monday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Tuesday:  pork chops, baked sweet potatoes, squash casserole
Wednesday:  sausage, peppers, and rice skillet with green beans
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  *pizza

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 23...

1.  Having breakfast for dinner last night saved me making a trip to the grocery store, and the eggs were free from a generous local chicken keeper.

2.  Received an email notification from the library that Season 3 of Outlander, which I've been on the reserve list for, is ready for me to pick up.  Weekend binge watching ahead without a Showtime subscription fee.

3.  Our phone/cable/internet co-op is going to be deducting 20% from our bills going forward.  It will be considered a dividend payment, and will be reported to the IRS at the end of the year as such.  Seems kind of an odd way of giving a discount (must have tax benefits for the co-op), but even after taxes will still keep money in our pocket.

4.  Filled up while I was in town taking advantage of 10¢ per gallon discount.

5.  I faithfully use a windshield sun shade when parked outside.  My car has a black interior, so the shade definitely helps the interior temperature and makes it easier for the a/c to cool down after being parked.  It also helps prevent damage to the dash and upholstery from sun damage over time.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *sushi
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  Greek Tortellini Salad
Tuesday:  leftovers
Wednesday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Thursday:  breakfast for dinner
Friday:  *Tex-Mex

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Seven random thoughts on the 7th...

1.  My blog has gotten repetitive and boring with only What I'm Reading Wednesday and Frugal Friday File posts lately.  Fingers crossed I will have some time soon to be able to get out and about and have time to write about it!

2.  We have hit 100° F (38ish C) and continue to hover around there for the past week or more.  Ugh!  So hot.

3.  The heat makes me do impulsive things to get more cut my hair off:
4.  Our public library is undergoing a big building project.  I don't know how it could get any better, but I'm looking forward to seeing the planned improvements.  The big news this week is that they are also changing its name.  Now that's going to take some getting used to.

5.  On my way to the chiropractor today, I got stuck in stopped traffic for a good thirty minutes as a work crew was putting in a stop light on a two-lane section of the highway.  I came home a different way, but still had construction delays.  It seems every route to or from our home is undergoing construction at the same time!  Our county is undergoing extreme growth (2nd fastest-growing county in the U.S.)

6.  Speaking of growth, the empty lot next door to us has surveyor's stakes up.  We may have construction right on our doorstep soon.  :(

7.  Today is my Catie-bug's birthday!  Thirteenth...a teenager.  She is away for the week, so I had to text my birthday wishes...but that's a fitting method for a teenager, no?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Trees by Conrad Richter

I finished this one.  It is an old book...originally published in 1940...and the first of a trilogy.  It's about the settling of Ohio and cutting down the old-growth forest.  I have a piece of my family history somewhere, that says my great-grandmother remembers her childhood in Ohio before the old-growth trees were all cut down, so this was of personal interest to me.  I also found the 1978 television miniseries on DVD at our library, and watched it this week.  I will probably read the other two books in the trilogy.

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

I just started reading this one.  It has been on my Kindle for awhile.  I want to read it before I watch the series.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 22...

1.  An ebook sounded interesting on Amazon, and was on special for $3.99.  I checked the library website before shelling out any money...score!  I had to get on the reserve list, but there are five copies, and I'm 7th on the list, so it shouldn't be too long.  I can wait.  

I also checked the library for another book that I wanted to read.  It's an old book, so hard to find, and the library didn't have it.  I couldn't find it anywhere at a reasonable price, so I bought the Kindle version.  But when I was checking the library for the book, I discovered that they DID have the 1978 miniseries based on the books on DVD.  Fun weekend viewing.  :)

2.  Picked up two new days of work this week.  I cannot believe how often my phone has been ringing.  On Tuesday I was in the middle of an appointment with my primary care physician.  She asked me if I was still working, and I replied I had not worked this much since I left full time, and I am pooped!  At which point my phone (which I had silenced) vibrated loudly in my purse.  She jokingly asked, 'Is it work?', so I looked down at the phone, and indeed it was.  Oi vey!  

3.  Carey also worked an extra three days filling in for a co-worker.  He's pooped too!

4.  I made a birthday card for my friend, Pam's, birthday today.  I'm working in the town where she lives today, so we are having dinner after I get off.

5.  I packed a lunch to take to work today.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *baked potato
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  Chicken & Broccoli Pasta
Tuesday:  *barbecue
Wednesday:  roast, potatoes, carrots
Thursday:  *burger
Friday:  *dinner out for a friend's birthday

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)
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