I'm reminded again how good the library is-from a general and frugal perspective. Any library, anywhere is good. My library, and the other library I belong to, have reached out to a new level. My local library has incorporated a "teen Lounge" and has leased space to a coffee and snack shop in the outer lobby. Meeting at the library has new meaning. This week, I carried home many books on canning, Texas gardening, landscaping and small business. Even if I end up xeroxing a lot of pages (which I will), it won't come close to the cost of even a used book. I also left with both fiction reading and a book on CD for when I sew. Someday I may be done singing the advantages of libraries as a frugal gal, but I'm not there yet.
This week was my church youth group's garage sale. They receive piles of contributions, almost all of it good stuff, some of it great stuff. On Thursday, I spent the day pricing the good stuff using my good sense and eBay app on my smart phones (hundred dollar cameras, china tea cups from occupied Japan, sterling silver and so on). It took a full day. At the end of the day, workers got a preview-and a chance to buy. I purchased this sewing box for $25.00 (I did not price it), as well as a really good real leather office chair for my son for an amount I am ashamed to disclose it was so cheap. Today I returned to assist with the clean up and the hauling away (the parish hall had to be ready for tomorrow). I left with a solid wooden shelf, five office boxes of vintage sewing patterns, a four foot tabletop Christmas tree and a few other sundry items. All for somewhere around ten dollars. I regularly help the church in more than one capacity (inreach chair, cookie exchange chair..........) and made this commitment without thinking. The fact that they had good stuff, when I could use it, at a really cheap price was simply serendipity.
One of my retirement "aha" moments comes each morning as I slowly move out of bed at nine (sometimes eight thirty in the summer). I'm a night owl. Tis eleven at night as I speak and If I go to bed before midnight, it will only be because I got up at six am to assist with the aforementioned yard sale. Pre-retirement, between work, kids and life, keeping this schedule would have been impossible. As would the winter day when I jump out of bed, kick up the heat, and jump back in bed with my morning beverage and laptop for an other half hour or so.
As the elder stateswoman in most of my classes, I'm doing even better than I had thought-even as a lazy studier. Especially in my physical anthropology class. While I won't say that I'm a hundred per cent in the groove, I am getting there. That said, spring semester I'm going to take whatever sounds interesting even if it adds a couple courses to the total. If they meet requirements great, but I'm not aiming for that. And I'll adjust my schedule for more free time-I'm retired, after all! I also need to decide if I'm going to school for fun (nothing wrong with that), to increase my volunteer management abilities (certificate in non profit management), or to get a "real, translator" job (German degree)
It's been a painful couple of days, sportswise. Although my football heart is still in DC, I've decided my baseball heart can handle both the Texas Rangers and the Baltimore Orioles (yes, I'm from DC and an Orioles fan-perhaps that explains why the Nationals do so poorly-the Orioles were already there). Unfortunately, the Rangers let me down on Thursday and just sealed the coffin on Saturday. Time to get a bigger bullpen.
It's gotten cold earlier than normal here in Dallas. Normally the kids wear shorts and tanks to trick or treat in. While it's between sixty seven and eighty most days, the nights have gotten down as low as forty. This means at least a little bit of heat some nights. Thankfully it's nothing close to air conditioning in terms of price or the amount of time it's needed. Days are still warm enough to open windows, and the sun warms the house as soon as it comes up.
My grocery shopping this month has been extremely low, and that's a good thing. Although my upright freezer does not need to be defrosted, I decided it was time to use up what was there and do a little organizing before putting away for fall. While it is true that said freezer will have to be refilled, it will be done at my leisure, as always at loss leader prices-and yes, as a semi single gal I really do use my upright freezer. The frozen made in advance Christmas cookies will take up one shelf alone.
My last thought is that I'm reminded how small routines and habits can make us or break us, frugally or otherwise. Packing a lunch on the day I have three to four classes takes me all of ten minutes. Since I have an hour and forty five minutes between some of my classes, this is a time to sit in my car and relax with a lunch that cost much less than anything available. Not only that, but my tuna on whole wheat with v8 and fruit (and occasionally chips) and my single coke of the day is much healthier. This is true even with the coke. One day last week, I had a meeting before school and forgot to pack something in the morning. I ended up driving to "burger row" where I had a Whataburger. Not only did the cost make me sit up, after not having had fast food burger in awhile, the salt was a real shock to my system!