Sunday, December 9, 2012

Finding The Lowest Level

I am not about deprivation. I'm convinced that by "rightsizing" and setting priorities, most of us can live a rich retirement. It's this philosophy that drives my willingness to downsize even though it may mean losing some of my equity in the transaction. In my case, I'm willing to downsize in order to do other things that are important in live.

I am, however, about occasional frugal experimentation.I like to occasionally find the lowest comfort level. I think we often need to stretch our comfort zones to find what's important to us. In my case, I recently did this almost inadvertently in relation to technology. Being extremely frustrated with my cable/Internet provider, I simply let my subscription drop. Without having another choice sitting in the wings, if you will. This means that while I have been researching the various choices, I have also been "experimenting" with life without cable or the Internet in my house.

Obviously, Internet survival is much more difficult. I've managed because I have a 4G phone (worth every single penny I pay monthly), a state of the art library near by, and because daily access is not necessary for my "work". It's been uncomfortable at times (especially as I research the alternatives for leaving my house and attempt to print out multiple pages off the net). In short, next time I'll make sure I have a new provider before I drop the old one.

Our TV experiment has been on a different level. I'll say here that were I comfortable reading and watching the news or TV shows online, my feelings might be different. I simply don't find those things reasonable substitutes for paper magazines or papers or TV programs. I might be able to live with streaming-there's just one small program. You cannot stream the NFL. Or NCAA football. Or NCAA basketball. In those cases my alternative to television would be spending the day in the local sports bar-which could end up costing me much more than basic television costs.

The end result? I'll be looking for a very basic cable package-with fast Internet and wireless service.  I'm still researching companies and packages, and expect that I'll be "back in the saddle" by the end of the week. Another experiment ended.

Meanwhile, I made this lovely table runner and had it listed on Etsy. Let me say that I purchased a half a yard of this bird fabric. I was not in love with it, it was the end of a bolt and I bought it because it was there, with no idea what I would do with it. After a few friends oohed and ahhed (I am by nature a brown person when it comes to neutrals rather than black), I made it into this runner, which sold almost instantly. Since then I have had three requests for the same or similar runners in different lengths. I was finally able to find a couple yards online and will be working with this fabric over and over.

My other custom order for this weekend was a "house divided" table runner and matching coasters for a customer. Apparently her day care provider and her husband root for opposing teams-and the house is appropriately decorated at Christmas. This topper still needs some quilting (especially in the white areas) and will go into the mail with the coasters on Monday. I've also listed it as a custom order on Etsy and my Facebook page. This may be what my brother and sister in law (Rutgers and Texas Tech grads specifically) get as their Christmas gift.

As I mentioned elsewhere, I've gone light on the Christmas decorations this year as we will not be here for Christmas day but traveling three hours away for four days.  After all my travels, much of my decorations are collections, which makes it easy to decorate.  Simply moving my sons German nutcracker collection to the mantel makes a holiday statement, as does the Christmas village (shown here in progress-it takes awhile to arrange).

For the next week I'll be sewing and listing and doing custom orders for half my sewing time-with the other have sewing for myself and gifts. In addition to sewing, my son and I have been working on various canning and food gift ideas and making lists. My daughter has now jumped on the wagon and is making scrubs for all the gals.

Finally, I made this mix and match patchwork Christmas top two years ago. I'm no longer in love with it, but you can never have too many Christmas quilts in this house, so I'm off to layer and quilt this afternoon. I'm thinking snowflake quilting her and there. We shall see.


  1. We have the most basic cable, decent internet and no landline. Works for us.

  2. What cute things you are getting done.BTW I love the Christmas quilt!!

  3. Barbara -- What's the chance that I could get (buy) a table topper and set of coasters, all with the N. Y. Giants theme, in time for Christmas? Would make a great gift for a friend of mine. Do I have to join Etsy??

  4. Tom, I would love to do it. It could be mailed out to you at the beginning of next week. You don't have to join easy at all. My email is below

  5. Linda, I think that will work for me as well. I am comparing both providers and packages this week.

  6. Debby, I am liking them as well. The Christmas quilt was meant to have applies in the blue border. At this point ill be happy to quilt and bind and return to that later if the mood strikes.

  7. We were able to drop our cable TV and just use a (free) over the air antenna. We get plenty of stations and dont miss cable at all. For now we have cable internet for only $20 a month (new promo rate) but I am going to have to call next month when the rate expires and whine about the price in the hope that I can keep my low rate otherwise we may drop internet too (but I will miss it much more than TV!).

  8. I will never, ever give up at home high speed internet. It's a need in this house, lol


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