Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week Ending 22 Oct 2017

Each week Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker shares her frugal accomplishments from the previous week. These weekly posts are some of my very favorites to read – both Brandy’s posts and her readers’ comments provide a great deal of inspiration and encouragement for me.

Last week I was able to incorporate a few money saving ideas that I haven’t used in a while (marked with an *), as well as a couple of new (to me) things. I also made several big ticket purchases, one of which was a bit annoying (but I got a discount, so WOO!) and one of which is SUPER exciting to me and will save us money in the long run. Plus that item was sorta-kinda free; read on to find out what it was! Continue reading

Prepare Anywhere: Morale Boosters

As you may recall, I am currently working on a nonfiction book entitled Prepare Anywhere. The anticipated release is September of this year, with the hope that it will be available during National Preparedness Month here in the USA. This project came about because of my passion for helping people get more prepared no matter what their season of life or their ZIP code. While I enjoy reading fiction where folks have rural compounds and pantries the size of my bedroom, and I’ve gotten a kick out of watching reality shows where the family is building a castle, the truth is that’s just not attainable for me – or for a lot of folks.

Due to the military lifestyle, I’ve lived in areas where preparedness was a necessity; both when I was a child and now as a wife and mother. It can be overwhelming to look at some preparedness checklists and feel like you have to do it all, all at once, or it just isn’t going to be “right”. I really enjoy helping folks break those checklists down into more accessible chunks, and this morning I got a reminder on social media of one fun way of doing just that: storing morale boosting foods. Continue reading

Mid-ish Week Wrap-Up

I had a lot of fun writing up my “wonderful Wednesday” post last week; so much so that I thought it would be nice to do a midweek round up again. I can’t guarantee I’ll do one every week, but I’ll try. (On that note, what day do you consider to be the “middle” of the week? I usually think of it as Wednesday, since that’s the middle of the traditional work week – but I haven’t got a traditional work week. Even when I worked outside the home, I was in retail management, then property management, so my schedule wasn’t a nine-to-five, Monday through Friday gig. But I digress….)

Here’s some stuff that will hopefully give you a smile or something to ponder from my week thus far:

First of all, who can resist cute puppy and kitty pictures – especially when there’s so much negativity on ye olde interwebs these days? I give you – Courtesy Cute Dog Photo:


She looks a little downtrodden, doesn’t she? In her defense, we had just gotten back from the vet’s office. I’d share what she had done, but trust me, you don’t want to think those things. Don’t worry, though – it’s a routine procedure and she’s not ill. Feeling violated, yes, but not ill. (And for those dog people out there, she’s a five-year-old Lab and Fox Hound mix, adopted from a shelter a little over four years back. She has the lab “woodle”, not the hound bay. As she will tell you quite passionately, she is a goooo oooo oood girl who likes to goooo in the Subaru ru ru.) 😀

What are you reading and crafting this week? I’m about halfway through Give Your Child the World now (just started the North America section) on Kindle, and I’m a very few pages into Heat & Light. That one seems like something that I’ll need to really dedicate quiet time to; I just don’t feel like I’d be able to read it in earnest at the kids’ activities so it’s been waiting patiently in the book basket for a calmer time of the week.

If you haven’t already noticed the Blogroll tab here on my site, I’d like to encourage you to go check it out. The blogosphere is chock full of amazing people – I bet you’ll stumble across a few that you’ll enjoy reading as much as I do. I’m adding to it whenever I find blogs that I enjoy, so keep refreshing when you head to that page. For online reading this week, I’d recommend:

  • The 40 Bags in 40 Days decluttering challenge at White House Black Shutters – As some of you may know, this is an annual decluttering challenge that has been going on for quite a while now. This year the challenge begins in March; seems to me that it’s the perfect time to pick back up when one’s new year inspiration might be petering out a bit. I particularly liked the list of non-stuff things to declutter, as that’s what I’m personally working on these days.
  • A friend liked an interesting article on Aleteia today, making it pop up on my Facebook feed. It’s entitled Why a pro-choice woman joined a group of religious sisters for the “Walk for Life”. I enjoyed it because it speaks of friendship, love, unity, dialogue, and the ability to compassionately agree to disagree. I hope to see more folks coming together like this in the coming weeks and months, drawing on what we have in common, rather than continuing to allow ourselves to be divided over our differences. We can still be on our respective sides – whatever they may be – and be kind and respectful, as the women in this article showed about each other.
  • Speaking of love and respect, here’s another one – this time over at Literary Mama. It’s a piece called The Fall which shares a mother’s trepidation as she explains to one passionate youngster how things didn’t go their family’s way during the election. Beautifully handled, Mama.
  • Lastly, when it comes to stories, we’ve all got them to tell. I’ve been reading Gregory Patrick’s Mad Man Knitting blog for a while, and I’d love for you to head over and visit him as well. Even if you’re not a knitter, you’re in luck – he’s got a fine way with words for those who aren’t crafty, and a husband who crochets, for those “hookers” amongst my readers. He’s also got a new book coming out that promises some stories that really get into the background KNITTY-gritty  of how he got where he is today. (I’m sorry – I couldn’t resist that one.)

One last thing before you go: a friend and I have been discussing locavores and what kind of things one could source locally – and what ONE item we could individually commit to buying from local sources. Some folks are in spaces where they can grow larger gardens and raise livestock; others, like me, are in situations where livestock isn’t authorized but container gardens are. If you’re not already hyperlocal, can you think of something that you could source locally, and will you commit to doing so – maybe for one month, maybe for a season or a year? I’d love to hear from you in the comments on this, as I’ll be sharing some of our efforts in the coming months on just this matter. First I’ll bring some posts in from my old blog so you can see what we’ve done in our current area, but once we get moved and settled, I’ll share what we can come up with in our new region. I must say that the technology of today makes PCS’s (Permanent Changes of Station) exponentially easier for military families; I’ve already connected with the local homeschool group, figured out where the farmers market meets, and gotten info on a town food co-op that sources as much as they can locally. It’s going to be interesting how our garden changes as well, since we’ll be reversing our climate type completely for the fourth time since 2008!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Beginning Canning Resources

Last week I had the opportunity to assist with a jam making class for a ladies’ night. My co-teacher brought jam making supplies and explained the basics of how to make grape jelly from grape juice; I brought in two canners and a small collection of books and magazines about canning. Below is the list of resources I took to the class, as well as some other items that I mentioned to the ladies in attendance. It is my hope that posting this on my blog will serve them (I told everyone not to bother writing any of it down – easier to post it here!) and my readers. Whether you’re looking for supplies and resources for your first attempts at canning or you’re ready to advance your skills, I’m sure there will be something here of use to you!

Books: Continue reading