Monday, May 22, 2017

Joining a Choir In Reteriement-Even When You Can't Sing!

I cannot sing. Or rather, I don't sound my best when I am singing. I'm not saying that I sound like a dead cat. I mean, I can carry a tune in church, don't get me wrong. But outside of church I tend to sing with the radio or in the shower. And the kids will tell you that I sing in the car during traffic. Apparently when I was driving around the fourteen lane in each direction Paris Periphique (their version of a beltway). I sang the I Hate Barney song, and then all of Gangsta's Paradise.  

I also cannot read music, although I have thought about trying the piano. Fortunately, God gives us individual gifts. What I lack in music reading and talent I gained in my ear. I can, for example, tell you whether it's Brook Benton or Nat King Cole at hundred paces even if they are singing the exact same song on the radio. Since I went to see the new Alien movie today, I can also recognize who people are behind their large makeup. Be it the Guardians of the Galaxy or Guy Pierce as an ancient shriveled man in Prometheus. 

Brook above, Nat below

I do  love music even though I neither sing nor play, and because of the ear I have blessed with appreciate things like the subtle differences between pianists, conductors and the like. Even though I cannot put it in musical terms much of the time, if ever.

The reason for this out of consciousness rambling is that I recently learned that my recreation center has a senior choir that meets weekly. And sings a variety of music. And-here's the kicker folks--does not require vocal ability. Yep. This choir is just for fun. I first heard about this months ago, and followed up with a few senior friends on Next Door. They had a wonderful time, everyone could join, and they allowed for various seating and standing arrangements as needed. I filed it in the back of my mind for further consideration. Until a later date if you will. Which perhaps is now. 

Recently I was researching healthy aging and the arts of a presentation and came upon a couple studies on the many advantages of joining a choir for seniors. Apparently, singing (especially in a group) can improve "memory, mood, and even physical function" according to this article. The study in mentioned in this article showed excellent outcomes after one year in terms of cognition, lower body strength, and emotional well being. And I can see why. In addition to standing and singing, there is socialization. As part of the singing, the group moves around and stands in different places, learns better breathing techniques in general and our choir even has an "adult snack time".

Now, obviously, joining a choir is not the only way to age well, or learn new things.  But I am the girl who likes to step outside the box. Regularly and often. And I have committed to learn or do one new thing intensively each season, so this sounds like a perfect journey to take this fall (only because they don't meet in the summer).

I mean, I'm not liable to become an opera singer after singing a few weeks. And I certainly won't be the loudest singer in the room. But I'm ready to stretch myself a bit-so that is, it would seem, where I'm headed.

In other news, I'm now watching four, count em four beagles. I've still managed to be at least a tad creative during my house sitting adventure, so it may be time for a picture's post, ya know?

Friday, May 19, 2017

How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation (and a goal and travel update)

So let me tell you, friends and fellow bloggers. That big dog? The one I so often show sitting in his favorite chair just because? I will never call him a whiny baby again. I mean, this is a dog that is happy playing outside and letting me read in the swing for an hour-or even play outside by himself. And he has been known to sit on that chair by the window for a couple hours, occasionally barking to let me know that the big bad mailman has walked across my path. On the other hand, these two beagles have literally, been physically attached to me. I move, they move. And I mean they move with me, right next to me. I even tried to do aerobics or walk back and forth in the house.  I don't know if it's Grandma love, missing their mom or something else, but Grandma seriously needs a break!!!  

All of which is to say daughter is home tonight, and my traditional posting will return. Meanwhile, enjoy a top of my head stream of consciousness post written with a dog on one arm and another in between my legs on the recliner!!

I know, I know. We're retired. We don't have to worry about vacation time, or "weekends" or other things. Unless of course we have many non-retiree friends or family. And I do take joy in living an off the track schedule if you will. Still, the frugal retiree is looking at a few months of vacation-on retirement terms if you will.

Last week, all of my weekly commitments died off. There is no senior college in the summer. My Thursday cooking volunteer gig is finished until the fall. In fact, with the exception of my knitting group (which meets year around but is pretty thin in the summer) there is no other regular weekly commitment I have until fall. That and a "when I have the time and the energy" program that I do at will-craft programs with various populations. They are happy enough to have me do it that they work with my retirement, spontaneous schedule.

So what am I doing to additionally fill the time?  As you've probably figured out, deciding what to do with my time is not a major effort.  But losing four regular outside the house commitments that last at least four hours each, along with the lessening of other commitments means I have more flexible time than usual. And since both my adult children are taking the summer off from school before they move to grad school or eighteen semester hours and working full time, I'll have additional time with them. Hence one of my reasons to veg on the sofa on this visit. I'll be back more than once this summer. Probably for much of August, when I'll be able to the play the vacationing tourist instead of the mom and puppy sitter. 

A family trip to the beach in August?

What I'm probably not doing is any serious travel.  I'll plan on the advice of my readers, but weather in Colorado in the summer is to die for most years. And since I've decided that my long trip will be south on 25, to us 60 (I think is the road) to the main road to Phoenix and then to California, I figure a date post August is the best. The question is whether to do that, or to go the Monument Vally route again. 

One of the advantages to off the main drag driving-the very large array just west of I25 in New Mexico.

I am however, planning day trips, short trips north and more. Most with an accent on frugal and fun, since I am upping my travel to the next level this year (all within the US). We have a trip scheduled driving from Denver north to Jackson then to Missoula and home. I've been telling every friend and family member I could that after my solo drive last year I thought that western Montana might be the most beautiful place in the US not on the water I have seen and now I have a group ready to go. Other than that my friends, I am as they say, exploring the local this summer. I've visited the website that shares all the Colorado scenic drives, and my goal is to complete as many of those as possible this summer, starting with Sand Dunes National Park. 

Yep, we have sand dunes in Colorado. Big ones if I do say so myself.

I don't camp, but I can't decide between "glamping" and this adorable cabin. What say you all?
A frighteningly organized friend went through a couple websites and found more festival's than one could visit in a year, bless his heart. The end result?  An overnight trip to Estes park for a wool festival. A strawberry festival in Glenwood springs (I may stay in the springs and never get to the strawberries), Craft fairs. Bourbon and Bacon festivals.  You get my drift.

I also have a lot of boring or normal stuff on my plate. Because that's what happens, even in retirement.  My twenty something son has what I believe to be a rotary cuff issue, and this summer is the time to deal with that, so I may be assisting the temporarily handicapped. Although my money earning is mainly passive, this is the time of year I get to sew up a storm so I have things to sell and give for the holidays and football season (I just bought a pile of Cowboys flannel). I'm doing as close to a zero spend month of June as I am able (knowing that I will need stuff to buy to make money and food), using the guidelines at this blog and adjusting them for a retirement home. And I've promised to join in with group yard sales at the beginning and end of the summer, to encourage me to completely "summer clean" instead of spring cleaning.  I may  look at winterizing my pergola as a final, side job.

This sounds like a pile of stuff to get done in three months. If I've over planned, then I'll pull back, since we all know I have no problem doing that whatsoever. Saying no has become a positive for me, especially as I generally try to have hours outside and with the dogs during all but the hottest weather.

And there you have it, the frugal retiree's summer plans. With one more addition.  All these goals below?  They could get extended until fall because well........I'm me.

Now, as for those goals I so confidently posted awhile  ago?  

Nuff said?

  1. Aim for a basic goal of five dollars daily by passive means.  Not a chance, but I've been driving, helping with a ceremony and had no tablet to be passive on for a few days. Yesterday I was successful.
  2. Begin a new non walking (or at least not walking outside) exercise and health routine.  Again, this is in the works post travel. My goal is to go into the pool two days, due silver sneakers completely seated two days and begin from there.
  3. Finish at least two homemade/handmade gifts. This goal is progressing well. I've made many natural cotton face cloths and experimented with bath salts. I'm also sewing napkin sets (sets of eight for at least four holidays) for each family household.
  4. Write Daily-With Intent. Yes and no. I've written daily but often rambling rather than with intent. On the other hand I have outlines for my handmade/homemade gifting book and came up with a list of starting articles for my frugal/deals blog coming up.
  5. Completely declutter and streamline a room or two. No, no and no. But in June, let me tell you......
  6. Get at least seven hours of sleep a night.  Yes, yes and yes-with help of course. Even when the dogs get me up at seven, I am able to go back to bed.  Right now I am working on eight hours!
  7. Turn my unused stash into at least $400. Making progress. The cotton washcloths are from yarn on hand. Yesterday I did research into small sewing projects and I have a plan in place. I actually think the end amount will be much more than that when I am finished sewing. In a completely monetary move, I'll soon be sharing my items for sale again and connecting with my Facebook sale page, since I know some of my readers appreciate my team items especially.
  8. Complete a rough outline and at least two chapters of my crafting book.  Done.  Sort of.  I have a completed outline and introduction, but the two chapters were handwritten freely so some major typing and editing to go. I am one of those who really likes to right in long hand and then move to Word, even though I cannot read my own writing sometimes.
  9. Take at least one local adventure weekend a month. Planned and scheduled throughout the summer. .This is one area where the no spend June will come in conflict, but the frugal retiree will work it out.
  10. Completely plan my late summer/fall trip. No, but that was because  I spent time and effort and asked for reader input. I have the where on two long trips this year. Now to figure the logistics. Hello Airbnb.
  11. Make two items for my church silent auction. Again, yes and no. I am offering two items, one five trays of holiday cookies and the other  a holiday wine, cheese and chocolate party for up to six people. So I have two contributions but one will not be made. Being the frugal retiree, I normally make all my silent auction items (and they sell well). But this year I wanted to do something different, and since my son in law is a wine guru, I trust him to help me both with wines and cost.
  12. Finish updating this blog completely. Nope. As you can see nothing new has happened yet. It will, and soon. Feel free to share your opinions as I slowly do that.
  13. Aim for a use it up June, in every sense. June is not here, but yes, I'm still aiming. my intent is to pay for my basic expenses and nothing more. Exceptions will be a quick day trip to Estes Park and fabric or yarn IF I decide it's a requirement for a gift or saleable item.  Obviously I expect to fall off the wagon some here. But I want to put money away for fall travel, and a no spend month meshes with my ruthless downsizing plan. Also, this is the time when I am happiest to enjoy the sun, patio, and laze about, where as later in the summer I am ready to go, go , go.
  14. Complete One Online Class.  I'm taking a class on how to draw through the Great Courses Online. It's a two year course officially and I've completed a quarter of the classes, so yes.
  15. Discern how to best spend my time in the fall.  This goal was there because I wanted to rethink how I am spending my time to see if volunteering especially was where my heart and energy are. I really felt over scheduled this spring, and frankly I enjoy going out for evening activities outside of my neighborhood less and less. So I think about this as part of my meditation, but I have decided to give up my evening class and take a day class, and am turning one weekly volunteer activity into a "flexible" program.
What have I learned so far? That goals in my world should be guidelines rather than rules, and that most of these will also become summer fall goals-which is okay.

And so it goes, this hot, muggy, cloudy day in Texas.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Bit of This, A Bit of That......Grandpuppy Version

Today, I left my daughter's house and drove up to my friendly neighborhood Walmart. Ostensibly, this trip was to pick up a bag of vegetables and milk. And I did need those things, as well as a spool of thread.  While I am not a large Walmart shopper, it is what was closest. And though I am not a huge fan, few other places allow me to get sewing thread and groceries and personal product.

 The bigger purpose though, was that I figured I needed to leave my daughter's house at least once this week.  That's right, since I drove my son to the airport I have left the house exactly once-and that was to replace the troubled tablet mentioned in the post above. What's more, I don't feel guilty.

It would seem, friends, that my dog sitting adventure has also become an excuse to do even less than normal. I had intentions, mind you. I could have gone to McKinney trade days, or to the Botanic gardens or even met women from my old church group for lunch. I've done none of that, and I have no regrets.  In fact, I brought this sewing machine, and while I set it up today I have neither experimented with my machine's stitches, nor have I made the sheer kimono top I had intended (in all fairness, I need my daughter to choose fabric).

Last week, of course,  was a different story.  It was a bit of a run around, if you will. I got a dress and helped my daughter try on clothes. I drove my son to and from the airport for his three day visit. I took my kids to the Cheesecake factory. I helped my daughter design her graduation cap (when did decorating your cap become a thing. We of course got our nails done as a family. And last but certainly not least, my darling daughter finished a second college experience and is prepared for grad school in the fall-all while paying her own way, doing an internship and working full time.  Proud?  You bet!

Oh, and only she knows when and where, but apparently there will be a wedding-a real wedding. They've been so long together that I consider Eddie my son in law, but I certainly won't object to a wedding, even if it is at the courthouse!

But back to the lazy week-what have I been doing. Well, besides allowing myself to be shadowed by two beagles, I've been taking them outside multiple times a day for fifteen minutes to half an hour while I read (probably spoiling them for their mom who goes to school and works). I've probably watched more television that I do at home in a month. I've watched the news, I've binge watched TV. I've read three books on my kindle.

I have not been completely zombie-like, though, I promise. I managed to do a little bit of knitting while watching Twin Peaks episodes (in preparation of the new season).  I've managed to outline my crafting book (also while watching mindless TV).    I knitted a few washcloths for my sugar scrub and washcloth kits. I did some designing and planning of menus for the fall-all done while reclining with puppies and watching TV.

My daughter and son in law return on Saturday, and I'll spend a few semi busy days with the whole family. We'll catch up, go out to dinner and hit the movies for Alien: Covenant. Then I'll head home, with no stops and without heading south for the ocean (more about that and why coming soon).

Meanwhile, I have another day and a half of my current, dog sitting, house sitting schedule and I plan to take advantage of it. but sitting on that patio, reading a book and yes, I'm saying it, working on my tan!

Monday, May 15, 2017

And One VERY Unfrugal Thing.............

So.....some of you may remember my smart phone experience from a month or so back. My phone power button was stuck in permanently in the in position. So every time I powered up my phone, it immediately died. A vicious circle, and since it happened on a holiday weekend, next business day turned into four days.

Now, some might say that it was good to be off the phone for four days, but I had my calendar, my insurance card, my grocery list, and all kinds of things. A hundred dollars later, I am back.

Unfortunately my new technology disaster was not so easily handled. What's more, at the risk of having two tablets on my bill, I handled it completely differently. And I am still feeling frustrated. For readers who don't work on a tablet or Ipad, it's similar to a smart phone in that you press lightly down on the screen to copy or highlight. On Thursday, as I do regularly and often, I lightly pressed with my thumb (remember, I have a frozen shoulder, cannot open my own twist bottles and am generally a total weakling). Said screen promptly broke, making my tablet look like an inkblot.

For whatever reasons, I have not simply sucked it up and moved on in this case.  Call me picky, but I've actually caused damage to technology before. From my perspective, this was simply normal use, on a tablet I purchased last August. And I wasn't willing to pay the one hundred and fifty dollar insurance deductible.  But I needed a new tablet. And for the immediate future, I've decided not to purchase a new laptop.

So I may have compounded a less than frugal disaster to a much greater cost. My immediate solution? I got a new tablet-without calling the insurance company, and am now working on it. After chatting with the young man at the Verizon store, I made the emotional decision to get a new tablet and challenge Samsung directly regarding my old tablet.

This is not the frugal retiree's normal style, I admit it.  At least not with such a costly item. I've written food companies asking for coupons, complaining about products and more. Many, many moons ago my daughter and I took a train trip from Washington to the Carolinas. On the way home, said train broke down in the heat of South Carolina-where we were finally picked up by a bus who refused to stop and allow us to get beverages and got us home 24 hours later. I wrote a long letter and got a free ticket.

This kind of consumer action is not in my normal wheel box. But darn it, I paid six hundred dollars for the thing, and I used it completely as it was meant to be used. So I'm laying down on my proverbial sword, and contacting Samsung directly.

The worse case scenario is that they refuse to accommodate me and I have two tablets. If I fail to get any help, I will eventually fix the tablet and give it to one of my offspring (and probably pay part of the cost, so additional cost to me).  The best case scenario is that Samsung (or Verizon) helps me out with money or some other accommodation. In between those two options...who knows?

Now, admittedly I made this decision in the midst of graduation events, family event, dinners out, dog sitting and more. I am not at home, and have been a little out of sorts (I don't do well any more in large groups and my son and daughter in law have fifty best friends if they have two). At home, my choices would be different. But I'm traveling, working online, working on my book and could not afford to be without this for very long.

And so it goes.  Have you ever lost your mind like this?  Have I lost my mind? Feel free to share, but be kind.

Meanwhile, I've been to a graduation, out to dinner a few times, and spent time with family.  I'm now having a wonderful stay cation at my daughter and son-in-law's house. Tomorrow I'll hit the movies, I may meet a friend for lunch, but mainly I'm sitting on the patio, reading and playing with the dogs. It may not be a real vacation, but hey, it works for me.

Because my friends, I've made other plans. Summer plans, fall plans, even winter plans. And yes, I'll be heading to Arizona and the California coast.

And so it goes this lovely evening in Dallas...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Five Frugal Things-And One Surprise!

While a road trip, even to see family may not appear to be frugal right off the bat, occasional, small changes make a difference. In this case, there was no real sightseeing adventure. The mission was to drive until I dropped, sleep and then drive again so that I could see my daughter, son in law and beautiful grand puppies! To that end:  

  1. I opted for the cheap, local franchise of a national chain (a cut above motel six, trust me), and ended up getting a room with two beds (and double the pillows) for around sixty bucks after taxes and fees. I am an adventurous traveler and have used or will have used bed and breakfasts, airbnb, VRBO, and even looked at house sitting. When it comes to traditional stays though, I have moved from the Motel to the Hotel with all it's differences (more about that later).  Today was an exception.
    Unfrugal is not putting sunscreen on for a sunny, eightee degree, ten hour drive.
  2. I brought my trusty backpack and picnic set, which meant that I could grab stuff from the breakfast bar and bring stuff from home to eat for the two daily meals (I do like to walk and get food in the evening for exercise. Having the picnic basket also allows me to stop and eat wherever the mood strikes rather than at traditional rest stops.  
  3. I shopped from my closet-tentatively. I have a graduation and dinner event while I was here, and I have few dresses that still fit me. Skirts are much easier to alter (or pin) after weight loss, so I have grabbed some nice skirts, tops and shrugs to see if I can fake it. It's the weight loss and clothing issue that may ruin that goal of a no spend June!
  4. I used cruise control to keep my speed even and under control. This is a money saver for the frugal retiree because a. after living in Germany I have a lead foot,  b. I really don't want a 100 speeding ticket, and c. My right leg is the damaged one and too much stepping on that pedal will cost me in money and pain.
  5. I self entertained during those areas where there was no radio by putting Pandora on my tablet. Admittedly I can do that because I have unlimited data. However, I also have decided looking into cost effective audible options. If any readers have thoughts about their experiences with getting books from the library or on, I would love to hear them. 

    And Athena. Two more are missing, if they would just hold still!
As for the surprise, my daughter and her husband fly out Sunday morning for a trip to Napa (hence my dog sitting visit-four dogs are too many to board). Upon walking into her guest room, I saw this lovely display as her early Mother's Day gift. A bed table I have been wanting for awhile, a beautiful journal with my initials and a Mom water glass. 

Happy early Mother's Day to me! !

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Asking the Readers: Where Should My Road Trip Go?

I quickly apologize to anyone who was confused folks. The "stuff" post is coming, but I accidentally published that mess!!

This morning I got up at ten am.  That's right all you worriers. This over scheduled gal slept till ten this morning. Have I mentioned that my top ten of retirement includes a lack of an alarm and allowing my body to be it's own clock?  In all fairness, it's usually closer to nine and sometimes 8, but I am taking my THC in anew form and it's taken longer to start to work and then working longer.

The rest of my day has pretty well followed suit. After my morning time (which consists of crawling into my chair by the window with my can of coke, journal and tablet and spending some time waking up), I had a healthy breakfast of eggs and toast. I then leisurely got dressed, hopped in the car and went to join my fellow knitters for a few hours. I passed on happy hour, coming home to bake some cookies/brownie, feed the dogs and let them out.

I now have a Shepherd's pie from Schwan's in the oven, a blanket on my leggs and a book and notebook in the basket next to me. I've forced myself to walk for fifteen minutes (still getting over the fear of falling and looking for walking alternatives). Later on after dinner I'll do my strengthening exercise, read some more, think about what I need to pack for Texas (suntan time!). Maybe, perhaps, I'll try and watch a little of American Gods, although somehow somewhere I think I should read the book first.

Meanwhile, Texas. Or not Texas, depending. One of the joys in retirement (for me) is to make last minute changes, and so I have done this week. This weekend, I'll be heading to Texas, where I'll spend a week with my daughter and son in law. Then, I'll spend a week being the dog whisperer for four beagles (I'll see friends for lunch, hit the movies and quilt stores, and mainly enjoy the patio and full on relaxation in a house not mine! Finally, I'll hit the beach for a day or two if the weather agrees. Coming from a coast, every so often you just have to see open water. It is what it is.

What I'm not doing is taking a long hill country drive and hitting both Austin and San Antonio, as planned. Why, you may ask?? Well, it's like this.  Recently I joined a meetup called The Crazy Old Bat Society and Booklunch club.  I kid you not. Books and food. It works for me.  They are also planning a trip to San Antonio. At the beginning of November.  Know what else is happening at the beginning of November?  The Houston Quilt show, one of the two biggest quilt shows in the country. My final reason was-Oktoberfest. Because this former German girl appreciates Oktoberfest in one of the most Germanic places in the US.

Which is all fine and dandy. Except that leaves me with two unplanned vacation weeks and budget to use elsewhere (probably in the summer), and another vacation week or so between now and Christmas. 

So my question to my readers is-where should I go and when. I'm looking for two, two week vacations before Christmas. In the US, traveling by car or train. I'm not afraid of heat (added because visiting friends in Arizona and California is certainly one option). I prefer as much man made beauty as nature. And while I enjoy a variety of experience, climbing Mesa Verde or sleeping on the ground are no longer among them.

So tell me. If you had a week or two in the US, where would you go?  Forgetting for the moment about money, where would you go and when. I'm open to all areas, although somewhere I would like to end up near the ocean, and I'm not going to list the places I've been, because many places are worth seeing again. Heck, I lived in Washington DC for 20 years and still haven't seen everything that metro area has to offer. In my head, one of these vacations is some stops with an end destination and the other is a circular route.

And there you have it folks, inspire me! And keep it coming!!!!!!

Friday, April 28, 2017

A New Project for the Frugal Retiree??

So today, it's fifty degrees here in the Mile High city-and dropping fast. We expect between three and seven inches of snow.  I expect a low of twenty five or so this evening. That may not sound that cold for many of you. We, however, have had seventy and eighty degrees since February, which means a bunch of plants are probably going to die. I'm just praying I won't loose a tree branch from wet snow. Seriously,  there are ups and downs to living in any place-but living in an area where it dropped twenty degrees in less than half an hour makes life interesting.

A new project requires a new notebook.  Too many notebooks you say?? Never!
Now, Denver is a beautiful town, and like many towns, there are always deals and freebies and fun things to take advantage of. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of ways to find what is out there. And when there is such a page in the paper, or a web page or blog, they are not just few and far between. They are very oriented to young families.  Seriously. I am using a Dallas based web page to find almost every freebie and deal that is not extremely specific to Denver.

Which brings me to a possible project.  Possible I said, folks! For some time I have been considering a web page. Honestly, I'm unsure if it would be a blog or something else. Whatever it is, it would be a "Denver on the Cheap" kind of website. In my vision, this blog (or web page) would have the typical grocery deals and freebies that other pages have.  But it would also be heavy on ways to "do things on the cheap". Like, by combing a Regal gift card purchased through a reward website, using Regal rewards and going to the movies on Friday morning, you could end up seeing the movie and having soda and popcorn basically for free. The blog would be user friendly, fun, informative and more.

Again, this is merely a vision at this point. I have however, put out feelers both on my Next Door site and via some word of mouth and garage sale Facebook sites to test out interest.

Last week, I wrote about keeping space in retirement. Plenty of space. This project would seem to contradict that. On the one hand, I hesitate to take on another project. I'm working on becoming more active on this blog and going back to the roots of Living Richly in Retirement. I'm in the project of writing a Christmas book heavy on handmade gifts and I'm traveling more than I have in the past few years (more on that later).  

If it's a holiday, it's deserving of a decorated cookie. Just saying.

There are other parts of my life as well. I just got these fabrics to make a Star Wards yoga mat bag for my eldest. The peach is for a kimono style top. I'm knitting. I'm taking a drawing class. And the past week I've binge watched a TV series and read a book or two. In other words, there's not much chance of boredom settling in. Oh, and I am slowly baking cookies for tasting, since I silent auction off five trays of cookies every year. 

When your thirty someting daughter askes for peach, mint and anything Star Wars!

New Yarn to play with spa cloths

On the other hand, this is an area where I excel (no false modesty here, oh no indeed).  Most of the time when I talk about frugal finances on this blog it is with regard to general issues that apply to all. Rarely do I get specific, except when I get a request or do the new Five Frugal Things. But trust me, for just an hour a week, I manage to access unlimited freebies and discounts, like my day of freebies. This is a topic on which I know a great deal, both in terms of general cheapness, and local cheapness-for lack of a better expression. And last but not least, I will be giving up my Monday class (three hours of attendance and six hours of homework weekly). Like the one in one out theory of possessions, I am getting rid of one commitment for another. 

Also, for the most part I have avoided monetizing on this blog, for a variety of reasons. I have hosted some giveaways, and expect to host some sponsored content and other types of things here in a small way soon. A blog with different content could, at some point, become monetized if I choose (although that is far from being the primary reason for this new endeavour). It's something to consider.

Meanwhile, I'm letting it sit on the back burner, in my "mental computer" if you will.  As I have time I'll write some articles, see what the demand is, and see if anyone else is interested on co-authoring as I go on this possible journey.

Tonight we're having chicken, and tomorrow homemade minestrone. I have books, knitting, sewing, a TV show or two and dogs and blankets to cuddle with. Add that to tea, hot chocolate, comfort food and wine, and what's a day or two of snow in the overall picture!!

Especially as it should be close to seventy by Tuesday at the latest.