Monday, October 29, 2012

Questions and Thoughts-Frugal And Otherwise

Quick thoughts on this Monday evening, along with a few questions:

  • Sometimes you just gotta sit down with the square screen. Between glimpses of Dancing with the Stars, the eastern weather, Judgement at Nuremberg and part of All the Presidents Men, anything and everything constructive but left by the wayside.  I have no regrets, not a single one.....
  • Folks on the northern part of the eastern seaboard, learn from those of us who have lived on the lower half. Just because that big storm last year actually turned out to be a little storm, well that doesn't mean you don't turn around and run for the hills the second time. Or the third time. Or the fourth time.  As anyone on the Georgia,. Carolina or Florida coasts well know, you may well  pack up and bug out ten times on false alerts. But the one time you decide not to go, you get an Andrew, or an Ivan. Or a Sandy. Hunkering down is not a reasonable hurricane or tropical storm solution-especially when you have days of notice.
  • I'm making my home maintenance lists. You know, the "We can do this ourselves" list versus the "Call a Professional-Now" list. I had thought small tree and bush removal would be the former, but I'm now convinced it will be the latter. Unfortunately  more and more items are wandering over to that secondary list-including anything having to do with any outlet or switch.  Now I remember why I pay that three bucks every month to Angie's list.
  • I would really love to hear recommendations for non aerobic exercises for folks who cannot get down on the ground. I've found some Utube exercise programs, including one for seated yoga. I'm having a darned hard time doing it on my own. It may be time to look for another solution.
  • In a similar vein, is it wrong to have a double standard when it comes to that "S" word?  I consider myself much too young to be in need of a senior center. On the other hand, they have lots of low cost exercise programs for those of us who are shall we say, less flexible (and always will be).  I refuse to use a cane, even on gimpy days. But I am not above taking the senior discount at movies, or looking for senior freebies and benefits. Ah well, just call me fickle
  • This is one of the few times that I am actually happy I no longer live in Virginia.  Still, almost every area has it's own set of natural disaster/emergency issues and Texas is no different. We have the occasional tornado warning (or tornado), and the occasional ice storm. More importantly, we have really severe thunderstorms and extreme heat temps. Often, two or three of these issues intersect. I've been trying to figure out how to prepare for both financial and other emergencies. I'm already a stock up shopper. I know there are other things I should be doing in general, be it having a better first aid supply or keeping water on hand. The smartest choice is probably a small generator, or it would be if I were staying in this house for a long period of time.
  • Deep cleaning and so called "decluttering" or "downsizing" brings me no joy. I am not a fifty fling boogy or  "33 thing" kind of gal. I imagine it must be much easier if you are a part of the simplicity movement  and or are bothered by stuff. I love my stuff and have no desire to loose it. Which probably means after this yard sale my decluttering days are done.
  • I'm praying and discussing about tithing-for the first time in my life. I understand lots of the folks who wander through here are not regular church goers or members. To those who are, this would be absolutely the first time I have made this commitment-and already both my brain and budget are screaming no, no , no.  This is a leap of faith in every sense. I'm happy to hear thoughts on this from anyone-made the commitment or not.
  • Do I have to soak beans if I am going to make slow cooker soup? Obviously not a bean person here! Normally I make them once a year (usually using the leftover ham bone), however I have been slowly trying to add more beans to my life and repertoire. It helps though, if you now how to prepare them first.
  • Finally, in a for women only comment, can i just sing the praises of vitamin E.  Men, this is where you want to cover your eyes or ears. As a voluptuous woman who regularly and often has what can only be called boob sensitivity or achyness in the ahem area or under the arm, a single vitamin e tablet has worked wonders.  Now, maybe I'm the last to find this wonder cure, but can I just say "wow".
  • And now, I'm off to bed. Yesterday it was fifty and tomorrow it will be eighty-oh joy.  That alone is probably an argument for the ole pneumonia vaccine.


  1. Barb,
    I don't know what kind of beans you are using but I, myself, would soak the beans overnight. We had chili at our daughter's house last week. She soaked beans overnight and I'm not sure how long it simmered on the stove, but at 7 o'clock, they were still crunchy.

    I also learned something new about beans on Stephanie O'Dea's blog "A Year of Slow Cooking" about how raw or undercooked beans can have a toxin if not cooked to a high enough temp. Do a search for basic or traditional chili. A link is tucked in the cooking directions. Soaking should help them cook faster and softer in the crock pot.

    By the way, what time is dinner?

  2. I only cook pinto beans, but I do them in a slow cooker without soaking first. I prefer the flavor of them cooked that way as opposed to soaking. Cook on high for about 6 hours. I have found that cooking on low doesn't work as well.


  3. Barb,

    On tithing - that's a tough one. I do not donate money to a church, but I give my time and some money to a couple of organizations that help people. I understand that churches need money to stay in business, but I am not inclined to give the recommended 10%.

    On beans - no soaking required when using a crock pot. The slow cook method basically serves the same purpose.

    On exercise - swimming, but I think you already do that. If not, you should try it.

  4. Barbara, I suggest you look at the book "Strong Women Stay Young" by Miriam Nelson. It is on the science and practicalities of weight training, and she includes seated variations for almost everything -- and there is no getting down on the floor. It is an excellent resource.

  5. Barb, you are a woman after my own heart...a Denver fan, an Episcopalian, frugal but not super minimalist, & a laid-back retiree. I've enjoyed your blog for awhile now; but don't always post.

    As for the beans, I'd soak them first.


  6. Barb,

    We do tithe here using a combination of time and treasure. Seems to work for us. Mind you it is mostly me doing the time portion.

    God bless.

  7. After reading the other comments, I will have to try just using the crock pot without soaking first. Getting a hunger for ham and beans.

    I just remember the first time I took a pot of chili to work for the annual chili lunch. Soaked beans as I always did. At lunch the beans were still crunchy. Got reminded every year.

    But whether they realized it or not, I got the last laugh. A couple of years later I browned some hamburger and added some cans of 4 Star Chili and called it Cincinnatti Chili. They loved it!

    For those of you who don't know, 4 Star Chili is a chain of fast food restaurats in the southern Ohio/Kentucky area.

    Tithing - our church suggested 5% to church and 5% to other charities and organizations.


  8. Suzanne, thanks foir your input. I'mm still working on the bean issue, the answers seem to be half and half. As for the swimming, actually I do not-I do walk in the water. what Im looking for though is non aerobic exercise, and I think I found it in the book Jackie mentioned.

  9. Jackie, got the book today. Iam seriously going to try it out!

  10. Pam, I think Im gonna soak...

  11. Florence I can see how some churches would do the five and five. In my case my churches sponsors a habitat house, a homeless shelter, two low income after school and outreach programs and an aid hospise. So a large portion of my church tithe will go to "social servies"

  12. there's a pbs program and I think she has dvds on amazon - Sit and Be Fit I think it's called. haven't done it myself but on an exercise forum I frequent it's mentioned often for people who are having health problems or an injury. also lee holden has qi gong shows on some pbs stations(again my city has crummy pbs shows mostly kids) but his are expensive- but he does have a 7 min freebie '7 minutes for health' qi gong on youtube - it's one of the shorties from his 7 minutes of magic dvd andit's all standing. I enjoy this one. his 'qi gong for seniors has his mom sitting and she also has some stretching workouts on that same website think that's it- her name is karen holden. any search will pull them up. I still think they're pricey but some people have been able to get their library to interloan them(mine only does books). also classical stretch is good(but pricey)_ and some of hers she goes to the floor. if you search miranda esmonde-white breast cancer workout you may find the link to where has 2 free workouts posted - one is for rehabilitation and the other for after recovery - I haven't tried either but I have lots of her other stuff but others have done them -with and without breast cancer -and said they were nice for the shoulder /chest area. I don't have the link handy but soomeone posted 5 of her other workouts on youtube and her daughter has some essentrics workouts posted -short freebies - of stretches. there's also 'yoga for the rest of us' by peggy cappy but I think they probably go to the floor. someone recently did 'spoga' that's available on amazon and I think and it's chair yoga...

  13. Susannah, Sit and be fit is actually to easy for me. She doesn't work with weights for example, or "work up a sweat", which is what I'm looking for.....I want to maily sit, but I want to "work out" ., and I dotn do well with dvds..


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