Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thrifty Thursday sucks!

Okay, so I am a little late in posting this. Things and life ya know. Anyway, I think I've mentioned that I needed a new vacuum cleaner. The Eureka we bought last year didn't last a year. Bagless. Bah. Even though it was only around $100, I expect it to last more than a year. Yeah, I've got pets, but why is it now necessary to buy a vacuum that specifically picks up pet hair? Vacuums in the past did, why do we suddenly need to buy a specific vacuum for that? Has pet hair evolved to the point where a regular ol' vacuum won't pick it up? Has hair gotten denser or more of it? Conspiracy I tell ya! It's a plot to convince us that global warming is real.

Anyway, I was complaining about it at work a few months ago (back when I actually had a job) and one of the guys mentioned that he just bought a Kirby from a guy he used to work with who rebuilds them. I jumped at that. We had a Kirby as few as 10 years ago (bought in a pawnshop) and I have NO idea why it didn't make the move to NC with us. I have my suspicions though. Anyway, this is the 4th vacuum that we have bought in the last 10 years. Seem excessive to anyone else? Planned obsolescence.

With no further ado, here is......hmmm, she doesn't have a name yet.

thrifty thurs

My 'new to me' Kirby AND tools....$40. We've been trying to get together for a couple of weeks, and he'd originally told me $70 for vacuum and  EIGHT tools. But $40! AND 3 bags! Got the first layer of pet hair up last night as soon as I got home and let me tell you whut! It's already looking better. I'll get to the furniture in the next few days, but I am THRILLED. It already looks better than it has in over a year.

New bristles on the beater, new hose, reinforced already where they usually break....I am so pitiful to be this excited by a new to me vacuum.

Also finished out my Albertson's stamps with a 5" knife that is like my other one. Again telling myself that it is NOT a $400 knife, we grocery shop there anyway so...

Head over to Leah's for more stuff.

Update on Dana

Dana Westfall lost her battle with breast cancer Wednesday night around 10 PM. I chatted with another old HS friend on Monday or Tuesday night. Dana had an apparently aggressive form of breast cancer. She underwent chemo from August to January 2009, surgery in January 2009, to no avail, although it gave her precious time with her family. She and Wes were HS sweethearts, married 27 years, but together since they were HS freshmen, so that would make it around 32 years or so.

Please continue to include Wes, Travis and Michelle in your prayers. This verse is on our youngest son's headstone, and I continually go back to it when I lose someone.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (King James Version)

16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Thanks for your continued prayers.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Newest Family Member (and Dana update)

Well, most of you know about my flamingo love (pretty weird actually). McDonald's is including teeny beanies in their Happy Meals again. You KNOW where this is going. Yes, I made that woman behind the counter get me one. Actually, I asked nicely and then she made the other woman putting together the meals go into the back and get me one. ;D

Meet Splits. ;D

Newest family member

Dana is resting comfortably, so that is a plus. The family is at the hospital at last report. Apparently it is an aggressive type of breast cancer. I ran across some old HS pics and it finally triggered more memories. She's a real was a very small school so we pretty much knew everyone. But thanks so much for all your prayers. I'll pass it on to her family.

I did some running around today also and found this pretty lamp. $20, which I didn't think was too much. But WHERE to put it? I could probably find a place.


I did find a pair that would look pretty in our bedroom when I paint it...but didn't get a pick. But $24 for a PAIR of cut glass lamps? Not bad at all I thought. DH said he'd consider it. Responsibility and stewardship and all that jazz ;D But I have an interview on Friday so I could be working again (at least temporary) by next week!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thrifty Met Monday

Thrifty Monday again over at Rhoda's Check out her new blog address too. AND, we can't leave out Susan at One day I WILL have an MM worthy of the blog. I love the changes to her deck/porch.

I hit Goodwill on Friday evening. College Dude was going to play computer games with the guys, so after I dropped him off, I swung back by the GW to dig through the flatware. I scored Oneida, WS Rogers and the two knives on the right side of the bottom left actually match the flatware I bought just before we got married. No silver or silver plate, but at one thin dime per piece, I'll live. I'm gradually getting rid of some seriously ugly plastic handled stuff I have and the flatware with the country blue and the green handles will go with College Dude when he moves out. Or with Snickerdoodle when she goes to college next year. She'll need a few pieces, even living in the dorm. Hmm, need to start collecting dorm stuff for her after I get a list.

Goodwill finds

Anyway, the small Pyrex bowl was $1.99, the pretty coffee mug inside it was 49 cents and the Hello Kitty purse with the 'bling' was $1.99. After all, what is a Hello Kitty bag without bling?

Saturday they were having 50% off so I did go back over at 9 to see if they still had a bamboo box that I saw. I liked it for videos, but decided I'd just take a chance. Should've gone with hubby to run his early errands and I could have gotten it. Oh well. I did go back again that afternoon. Cabinet Man paid Snickerdoodle for the hard work she did last week helping him lay a hardwood floor for a client, so she wanted to shop. Plato's Closet for jeans and a free top (coupon!), then back to Goodwill for their 99 cent jeans for me. Yeah, nothing depresses me more than trying on jeans and bras. So I was out walking again the AM and plan to work up to running by the fall. The jeans were cute and they WILL fit better in 2 weeks and really well in 4 and I want them to be too large by Christmas.So much for a short post. ;D

And for Met Monday....two weeks ago I found a coffee table that I really liked the lines of at a garage sale on Friday. I was taking Caleb for a walk (in hopes of making him tired so he'd stop trying to throw me down the stairs). So there I am, out with NO cash. I asked them to hold it for me for 15 min. We charged home, I turned him loose in the backyard, grabbed College Dude's bike and money and a business card and went over. I paid them for the table, and gave them a business card with CM's business number and my cell on the back. I had to go back later when I'd have a vehicle and a strong back.  This is what I took home.

coffee table before

When I cleaned it up and went to work on the legs, I found 3 of these.

coffee table feet

Being the wife of a custom cabinetmaker, I called him to see if he had any of them. Of course not. He doesn't use them! So I went digging in the garage to see if I could find something to put on the 4th foot. Of course not. Hmmm...I see washers though. Lots of them in several sizes. So I did some digging and figured out a way to use them. Liquid Nails and washers. One leg at a time, I scuffed up the washers, smeared LN on a washer and stacked them up. I used 3 or 4 per leg. I cleaned up the excess around them. Then painted over them. After a few hours, I turned the table over to rest on them and moved it into the garage.


While I was at it, I coined a new phrase....bloggiengineering. You've heard of Aggie engineering (for you Texans out there), Jerry rigging (old WWII term), redneck tech, etc. Well, since bloggers are a resourceful group, I coined a word for our inventiveness. Here's my finished project. It still needs tweaking and fluffing, but I like it and as it was the first thing CM saw when he came in from Denver after a week away, his immediate reaction was what I wanted. He likes it too, along with his 'girlie' chair, the paint colors, all of it!

coffee table after

I also found out on Friday night that the wife of an old HS friend (finally managed to place her also tonight) has cancer. She was hospitalized on Friday night with a high fever that they couldn't get down. It finally broke on Sunday shortly after midnight and she is coherent again. They've been together for wow, I'm guessing 32 years now and she is at the end of the battle. One round of chemo (Aug 2008 - Jan 2009) and surgery in Jan 2009 didn't eradicate it. It spread to her spine, liver and other organs. They really didn't think that she would make it through Saturday night. But she's still here as of tonight. So prayers would be appreciate for Dana and Wes and their kids Travis (19) and Michelle (21). I've lost a father and a child, but I just cannot imagine going through this type of loss. They were so very sweet together in school...of course, in the 1970s, and 80s, there was still an innocence prayers for their families would be greatly appreciated. The next few months are going to be awfully hard.

Have a lovely week. I hope to have another goodie to show you on Thursday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Minor Rant on Kids' Clothes

I had to take Sunshine over to school for her summer school session yesterday. Since I had two hours to kill, I headed over to Starbuck's (I rarely go there) to take advantage of their free pastry coupon, grab a coffee and read for a bit. I was sitting outside and enjoying it when it appeared a woman came over to conduct an interview with a teen sitting there. She sat down with her back to me...and the sight pretty much destroyed my appetite for my delicious (it always tastes better when it is free) blueberry scone. Fortysomething, pants too low cut when she sat down and her leopard print thong in ALL it's glory. So I turned my chair around. I seriously contemplated taking a pic with my phone and posting it, along with the address on the various blogs around (LOLcats comes to mind).

I went back over to the school and picked up Sunshine and we headed home. As we were passing the mall, we decided to get off and walk around the pitiful excuse for a mall that we have. Seriously, it's sad. It even rates a mention on Really. Foothills Mall. Anyway, The Limited Too is closing so stuff was 50-60% off, so we stopped in. She had seen a pair of shorts and a top there last week on a trip with a little friend. I've decided that the same people designing clothes for 20somethings (and 40somethings who should know better) are also designing clothes for pre-teens (I refuse to use the word 'tweens'). I couldn't find a pair of shorts that didn't have her bottom hanging out of them or had writing across the bottom, and it was hard to find a shirt that wasn't too short. Unless I bought a bigger size, then the armholes were too big. I did find a pair of gray capri leggings that she loves and a cute pair of flipflops for less than $10. And the prices on the stuff. That's insane. I'll pay $30 (well, not really) for a top for myself, but not for a 9 year old!. I hesitate to do so for an 18 year old. Old Navy used to be a great standby for clothing when Snickerdoodle was young, but this is insane. No wonder there is such a huge market for second hand clothing and no wonder the government is trying to interfere with that particular market also. But I won't go into that here, other than to say I am getting sick and tired of this administration sticking their noses and hands into every single aspect of my life and business. The next elections cannot come around fast enough to suit me. I saw a movie ad the other day that was for a coming movie 2012...something to do with global warming from the looks of it...all I could think when I saw the buildings awash in water and other destruction was, 'That is the US when Obama finishes his first term."

I think I am going to start sewing again and Sunshine will get new shorts. I think I still have the old Stretch and Sew "Jams" pattern to make her shorts from. Heaven knows I still have miles of their sport elastic.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Metamorphosis Monday and Thrifty Monday

I pretty much forgot to take a 'before' of the family room. I decided on Thursday night that with Cabinet Man and Snickerdoodle gone, I could get it painted. So I turned the TV to Burn Notice and Royal Pains, pulled the furniture out and put a base coat. No primer, and it's been a while since they were painted, so I just used a flat finish white paint.

family room before

I had a gallon of Pratt and Lambert that I'd picked up at the landfill recycling at least a year ago and finally got it open. Pretty color, but really close to what was there and I wanted an actual yellow. So I went down to the hardware store on Thursday morning bright and early and found the paint desk. That WONDERFUL young lady looked at my sample, looked  at the bucket and went to work. She added a clear yellow and white. More yellow than the white, but it really worked. So I came home (making a stop at the dollar store for painters' tape and a 2"  brush). I taped up the ceiling and baseboards and started painting. As I got into it more, I decided that I needed to go ahead and do the walls in the kitchen that sort of 'flow' from the family room. It's all pretty open there. So I got the wall that runs BY the fridge (didn't pull it out, just taped the fridge and squeezed the brush behind it). I then got the wall up to the ceiling. I never planned to paint the soffit as pots and pans are up there and the just can't see it. I got the wall on the other side up to the cabinets and the wall that the end of the bar rests on.

I love it. Very warm and inviting. The color is just not coming across and since we 'tinkered' with an existing color. It literally doesn't exist.

family room after

The morning sun comes in here and brightens it up, then turns to gold later in the day. Can't wait to see it in the winter. The room looks a LOT better without the dog crate in there too. There are no ceiling lights in the house except for the loft, the dining room/office and the kitchen. The picture is the Texas Hill Country from a gallery Cabinet Man's uncle owned years ago in San Antonio. I've got to get something else around it. I've got some bluebonnets that I stitched years ago that I might put up there.

Then I did the office wall around the bookcase. Cabinet Man made a gorgeous bookcase in there that is about 7' tall and 6' wide. It is wormy maple which had a stunning grain, and holds all our Biblical research books, study guides and Bibles. The bookcase is too big/heavy to move alone, even if empty. And if I emptied it, I'd put the books back in the wrong order and wrong places. Guaranteed. Even if I wrote down the order and shelf. So I took an old sheet and draped it over the corner.

office before

This is after I had done the white base coast. You can see the wall where the bar is, but it looks green for some reason. It's yellow. The office wall has a sample of the green I was going to use. It was a little dark I thought, so I missed in about 2 oz of white.

I also took out a dropleaf maple dining table that is up against the wall. There is absolutely no place inside the house except there. I'm tired of it being a catchall no matter how often I clear it off. So it's in the front room now until I can move it out to the garage. I'd like to see the thing. We've had it over 20 years, not my style or taste, but my MIL gave it to us after buying it from my husband's aunt. I needed it at the time, along with the buffet, but I am just tired of them both. I still have two of the armed chairs that go with it. Seems like the others went in the truck at one end and never came out at the other end of the moves. I might clean it up and put it on CL. It's really still in excellent shape and I have to two leaves.

Anyway, after a while, I realized that I could paint V E R Y  C A R E F U L L Y  at the end of the bookcase and be okay. Since I wanted something next to it, I put a little tv tray table I grabbed at Goodwill a few weeks ago and haven't painted yet. I have a little lamp that I had painted on it along with a doily one of the paternal grandmothers made. Antique Ball jar with an arrangement in it, photo of CM and Snickerdoodle as a newborn in the frame his ragged Bible and pulled up a wicker chair that I redid. No cushions for it, so I pulled out an old falling apart chenille bedspread and wrapped it around a ragged piece of foam, wrapped another piece around two extra pillows I had and voila! A girlie sitting area in my hubby's office. Oops! I'll leave it for him to see, then figure out what to put there instead ;D But it's very pretty right now.

Here's the chair before. I posted on it I believe when I grabbed it. It's trashpicked ;D

chair before

Yeah, it's too girly. I need a leather chair there...hear that God?

chair after 1

I'm late jumping in at Met Monday and Thrifty Monday, but let's go see what else they have. and

PS: I think Caleb has figured out I am suspicious, so he is doing the "Faithful Dog" bit, lying at my feet under the computer table, following me from room to room. I won't let down my guard though...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shhhhhh! He's trying to kill me!

Cabinet Man and Snickerdoodle left for Denver on Wednesday afternoon to lay a hardwood floor. Entire first floor. They'll be home on Tuesday. CalebTheDog's favorite two people are gone.

Thursday I was going up the stairs and Caleb raced me to the top. When I was on the 2nd from the top stair, he reared up and tried to jump on me. He's not allowed to jump, so this was an obvious attempt to kill me under the guise of playfulness. He was fussed at. All was fine for a few hours and then...I was coming down the stairs and he was lying on the stairs, sprawled across them so he could watch for the "Master" to come home. I tried to nudge him out of the way. When he didn't move, I went to step over him and he stood up. Again, an attempt to trip me.

He thinks I don't suspect him, but I do. I was sitting in the chair watching TV and he was lying in the floor. I went to put my feet down and stand up and he was rightthereundermyfeet. Another subtle attempt to trip me.

Last night I was coming out of the lighted bedroom into a darker hallway and he'd left his slobber chewy there...misstep which could easily have led to me falling and hitting my head on something.

The final straw came immediately afterwards when I was heading down the stairs and he rushed past me to fling himself down the stairs. ANOTHER attempt on my life. I called Cabinet Man and told him that if he comes home on Tuesday and finds my lifeless body at the foot of the stairs, and Caleb is standing over me with his slobber chewy in his moth...he'll know what happened. I have walked him, throw that stinkin' chewy for him, walked him to the park and throw his tennis ball until he was too tired to chase it. Made sure his water bowl is full with clean water, fed him...washed his bedding and this is how he repays me? Attempted murder.

Look at that face. Sooooo flippin' innocent...


Cabinet Man laughed and said that oddly enough, he could see Caleb standing over me with an expression that says, 'What?!"

If you don't hear from me for a week or so, and the story of a 'freak' accident makes the rounds on the ''ll know the truth. Please do not let me go unmourned....

Another pic of the murderous thug.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I could use some suggestions

I trash picked this window screen ages ago and it has sat in the garage. There were actually two of them and one has been painted pale blue and is over the sofa in the den.

Sunshine's bedroom only has one window--for that matter, there is one window per room in the whole house except the living room, where there is a picture window and a narrow window so you can see the front door. Anyway, I have some old windows that I was thinking about mounting on the long outside wall with no windows. Until I realized, uh, 9 years old. Infinitely bad idea. BUT, I have the screen. I scrubbed it up today and I won't repaint it, but I will paint the screening. It has some rusty places on it and I have some hammered silver rust inhibitor paint (I LOVE the landfill recycling!) so I'll use that all over the screen.


Please ignore the unmown yard (it's not Friday yet) and the bucket that held soap I cleaned her with).

Now, I'd like her to be able to use to like a bulletin board or something like that to put pics on, but I've not the faintest clue what to use to stick things on. I COULD stick a piece of corkboard on the back, but her walls are pink and it looks rather cute with the pink wall showing through.

Any ideas? I'm stumped on this one.

Cabinet Man and I went to lunch yesterday at Washington's.'s an old burger and beer joint here in town. It's been here at least 25 years as we went there when we lived here before. I should go in and take regular pics of all the stuff hanging up, but this chandy caught my eye.

Chandy at Washingtons

Here's a close-up. The place is usually dark and, as usual, I'm using my cell.

washingtons chandy closeup

The light holders look rather like flowers. I was sitting there eyeing it and suddenly told CM, "I'll bet that would look great with the prisms cleaned up, more added and painted white." And usual, I got a cocked eyebrow, then he turned around and looked up and saw what I did.

I can so see that all cleaned up, shined and hanging on a porch. Wouldn't that be amazing and gorgeous? Maybe when I win the lottery I'll go in and make them an offer. Oh wait, in order to win you have to actually PLAY the lottery, right? Sigh. Oh well. But maybe, someday....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Garage Sale Finds and Freecycle SCORE!

Okay, unless you are actually PLANNING on going to a garage sale, don't go for a morning walk with money in your pocket ;D Okay, so I didn't get to the sale that I WAS going to...I only had $10. And for a grand total of $7.25, I got 11 valances. 10 of them were cream colored. They are poly, but that is okay. 16" long. I put 3 of them up over the kitchen window, 5 of them over the picture window in the front room and two of them will go over the narrower window. The last one is a green and white check. And since I have thrown two green and white tablecloths over the sofa in the loft, it works! I got two pretty little glass boxes and a handful of fishing rods and one reel. Cabinet Man has promised to take Sunshine fishing this summer and he looked them over and said that he can put them back together and get at least 2 rods out of them. I'll use the others to decorate with. Maybe frames?

garage sale 0711 

Cabinet Man used to have several rods, including one that had been his since childhood. Operative words there? USED to. When we lived in NC, he looked out back one day and Specialist and College Dude were sword fighting. Using the fishing rods. Yeah, they were in trouble.

We have a 'history' of fencing in the family. When the kids were little, we used to watch Highlander: The Series. Starring Adrian Paul. Darn. I can't get pics but here's the link. Serious eye candy. Anyway, our kids used to watch it with us. Still don't see a problem with it. Anyway, I went to pick Snickerdoodle up after school and one of the cafeteria aides stopped me and said that my daughter had gotten into trouble that day for fencing in the cafeteria. With a fork. I asked her who won. I don't think that was the response she was expecting. So I explained that we watched the show as a family (unless the kids were playing). She asked me if I was concerned about the 'violence' in the show. My answer.

"No, not at all. They know it is pretend and not real. However, the lessons that they take away are very valuable. The character is a good man struggling in a day to day world. He is doing his best, but there are people that he encounters that are looking for trouble. My kids learn NOT to go looking for trouble, but to be ready when it appears and that self-defense is always acceptable. Good and bad are present in the world and we all have choices to make. So no, I am not worried about the violence. Frankly, I'm more worried about their exposure to moral equivalency and political correctness."

When I went into the classroom to pick her up, I told Snickerdoodle's teacher what the aide had said to me. I told her we watch Highlander. Mrs. C said yeah, he can put his boots under my bed any time. i\I loved that teacher ;D

Now my freecycle score. We have a resin table and chairs on the back patio. I have 4 metal chairs in the garage to paint and make cushions for. but was waiting to decide on the color. I was on freecycle last night and saw a listing for a rattan table and 4 chairs. I emailed him as fast as I could and I was FIRST! He had 30 responses and I was FIRST!

Freecycle ultimate score so far

freecycle ultimate score 2

The back on one chair needs to be repaired. I just HAPPEN to have a rattan beach mat that I pick up a few years ago at Pier 1. I've used them to keep the glare of the sliding door glass, but didn't work too well. Anyway, I can use that to repair the back on the chair! The tabletop has been replaced at some point and I wonder if I want to put lexan on there now or just paint it. I'm thinking of painting the table itself white and each chair a different soft color. Aqua, yellow, green and peach. I'll have to see what is out at the dump, etc. I'll do this set carefully. Sand down, probably using the liquid sander. Talk to Cabinet Man about replacing the plywood on the seats, fix the rattan back and paint them. Then onto the back patio. I'll have to decide on how to store them in the winter. Probably the garage, but I have to clean that out better too. I am SOO excited. I've already posted the green resin set on freecycle and probably need to CL it also.The rattan set will be a Met Monday by the end of the month.

Cabinet Man is doing work for a couple and they asked him if he could disposed of a huge corner desk...perfect size for a shop bench so it came home with us...all 400 lbs of it. AND they bought a new flatscreen TV and gave us the old one. Picked it all up today with the help of some sweet young men who are now in the den watching the new TV and eating pizza and having a beer. They moved the desk out of the house and to the shop, the TV into the truck, to the house. Old den TV upstairs, TV upstairs is going home with one young man and new to us TV in the den. Those suckers weigh a ton, but they are up for it.

All in all, a VERY successful day weekend! Wow, was it just the weekend? Scoot over to Rhoda's and see other goodies!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Joining in quickly for Leigh at Bloggeritaville. (Is that not one of the funniest blog names?) Anyway, I figured I had shown my stuff at Rhoda’s on Monday. Then I managed to get a little cash in my pocket this AM. Dropped #2 daughter off at summer school and made my way to the hospital thrift store. SURPRISE! Everything was 50% off today! I’m annoyed that tall woman grabbed the pretty black mirror that I was on the way back around the display to grab…it was so pretty and I am a total and complete idiot for not grabbing it as soon as I saw it…but I was hoping the dress would fit. Anyway, it was only $3.50! Well, here is what I DID snag for the grand total of $11 and some change.

Thrift store score

The dark blue shorts have Elmo on the hem (missed that in the shot) and are for my great-niece. I gave her a Tickle Me Elmo at Christmas so I guess we have a theme. The tropical shorts were for Sunshine. $.50 for the two pair. The large tropical on the left side is a skirt for me. $1.50. The floral on the lower right are HUGE pillow shams. Not sure if I got them for the fabric or to actually use them as pillows. One of them might actually work for a cushion for the wicker chair I painted yesterday. I’ll show that when I decide on what to use for cushions for it.  The blue and yellow is a rectangular table cloth that, again, might be used for fabric or as it on the patio table.  Seven sterling silver spoons for $.60 each (not sure where the other one is). The white they are on is another rectangular tablecloth. Matches perfectly with a round one I have for those ‘decorator’ tables. Not shown is the wood wine box that I got. No idea what will happen to that, but for $.50? Why not?

Now surf over to Leigh’s and see what else is around!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jon and Kate Plus 8 vs.18 Kids and Counting

With all the drama and all the headlines lately concerning the Gosselins, I got to thinking. Yeah, I know. Dangerous.

Anyway, I was channel surfing last night and came across 18 Kids and Counting, aka The Duggars. Could there be a more jarring comparison than those two families? I’ve not watched Jon and Kate. No interest. I’ve seen a few of the headlines here and there (they are really hard to avoid) but it just wasn’t on my viewing radar. But from what I’ve heard and read, it’s been a train wreck. He can’t keep a job (like he’s got time with the number of shows that are scheduled!) and she’s an overbearing shrew. Emphasis on shrew. TLC seems to have provided them with everything from a tummy tuck for her to a million dollar, eco-friendly (of course) home. At least one book deal (isn’t that kind of like giving Britney’s mom a book deal on parenting?). Kate seems to require bodyguard(s). If she wasn’t high maintenance before, she sure is now.

This couple had 8 kids in about 5 years (or less.Told you I haven’t followed closely). That is enough to strain ANY marriage, and oh, let’s put it on national television and pimp out our family! That sounds terrific!  I seem to recall that the Gosselins were in the media as soon as she gave birth to the six.

Then contrast the Duggars. 18 Kids. Whew. That translates to a LOT of diapers and wipes. And it appears she has breastfed them for at least a while, so I’m surprised her breasts don’t follow her on the floor. Okay, not nice. Sorry. I just know what mine are like after 5 so I am extrapolating ;D

Anyway. The Duggars had to have something like 15 kids before they made the news. Apparently TLC originally contacted them due to the ‘freak show’ thing they thought was going on. But it seemed like by the time negotiations were over and filming was going on, things changed. TLC crew began to respect and admire the Duggars. I’ve watched it off and on…mostly some of the specials. And read the bio on their website. They are VERY savvy business people. They started businesses when they first married that would continue to generate money. They bought land to start out on and continue to live on. Self-employed entrepreneurship. They’ve done most of what they had on their own. They built that terrific house themselves. It took 3 years. I understand that furnishings and appliances were given to them, but they paid for and built the house as they saved for it. That’s impressive.

I get the impression that the Duggars are in control of the show and content. Their kids come across as remarkably ‘normal’. Not by today’s ‘standards’ of normal, but the standards around when I was a kid. My kids are normal like that too. The parents love each other and that’s quite obvious (other than the numerous progeny, of course. They are courteous and respectful to each other. The KIDS are courteous and respectful.

I’d suggest to TLC that they have the Gosselins go to the Duggars for counseling. I’ve heard people say that Mrs. D is an overly submissive doormat. That is NOT the impression that I get at all. I think she is a very strong woman and an excellent role model for wives and mothers. Frankly, I see her do a few things that I wish I had known when my kids were little. J-B is a strong man (the hairspray bit on last night’s show was a riot). But there is no doubt that he is the head of the household in all ways. They have cheerful, loving hearts and generous spirits. I’m not saying that they are perfect. Behind the scenes is probably absolutely wild at times. There is no way that it couldn’t be. But the family obviously loves each other and see the show as a ministry. The Duggar kids are mostly older than the Gosselin kids, but they seem less demanding. They are bright and articulate kids. I get tickled watching the interviews with them. They’ll fumble for words or over explain it, but they are comfortable with themselves and their family. The Gosselins could learn a lot from them. Like, less materialism and more spirituality in their lives.

And my sad prediction for the future is that the Duggar kids will continue to grow up, start their own families and be a blessing. I predict the Gosselin kids will end up in therapy (at the very least) and we will see them in the future…bar crawling, rehab, teen pregnancy wouldn’t surprise me. Multiple marriages for Kate wouldn’t surprise me either.

The contrast is remarkable…and telling.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thrifty Monday - SCORE!

I'm joining Rhoda's Thrifty Monday. I 'needed' a pretty pitcher for the lemonade I made today. I used to have a pretty curvy one that I got at Macy's on sale ages ago for less than $10, but broke it a few years ago. So off I went to Goodwill. Ugly pitchers were everywhere. Not a pretty one to be found.

So I was looking through Goodwill flatware and found a silver fork...and snagged a plastic bag of 'kitchen stuff". I glanced at it and saw a cheese grater, and a chopper, and for $2.99, thought that was good.

Got home and tore open the bag to wash it all and thought, wait, I need to take a picture. Arrange it and realize...all the pieces are Pampered Chef...and look awfully new. So off to their website I go.

Ladies, I scored around $60 worth of PC for $3.00! The chopper is $29.50, the egg slicer is $10.50 and the cheese grater is $19.50! I am SOOO excited!

Then I toddled (well, drive) over to Saver's to see if they have a pitcher and find one that might work...and it reminds me that I have a Toddy Maker at home. I've not used it in several years, but you use them to cold brew coffee. Supposedly less caffeine when you do it like that, and I drink decaf (Cabinet Man claims I am only drinking it for the color and smell--pooh on him. They are based in Louisiana when I called several years ago to replace the plugs and the customer service people are so very nice). So I went into the laundry room, grabbed the box and pulled the container out and washed it and it is perfect. So, a really thrifty score (free!) in my laundry room AND Goodwill.

I just realized that my new 'free' knife counts as a score also! Albertson's has them periodically. You know the kind. Certain weeks certain pieces are special prices, you can get 'extras' for them, etc. The Christmas glassware was pretty, but I was patient and scored a lot of it after Christmas. They very seldom have anything I want. But this time, they have knives. Thomas Rosenthal Group Professional Knife Collection. For ever $10 you spend, you receive a 'stamp', and so many stamps equals something. Sort of like the S&H Savings Stamps (Lord, I've not thought of those in ages!)

Anyway, after barely missing out on a knife giveaway at Pioneer Woman (I was the number AFTER the one chosen), I put aside my wish as we do have decent knives and I have a hubby who actually knows how to sharpen them and does. Well, last week we had enough stamps. I got my knife! And this is it with it's glorious 7" blade.

I love it. So now I am saving my little stamps to get either the smaller one or a utility knife. I need to clean out my knives Hm. I have a knife block, but wonder if I can get Cabinet Man to make me someplace to store my knives. I use old cereal boxes to make 'sleeves' for them to put them in the drawer. Our little ones are grown up and the littlest one knows not to mess with the kitchen knives. And now I am trying to decide if my $37 knife actually cost me $400! Well, no. We would have had to buy groceries anyway and it did take a while to add up to it. I'm not sure if we'll spend enough to get the second knife before it is over....but I'm still happy :D

So I had a very successful thrifty weekend...without even trying! So now, off to Rhoda's! Go on now...scoot!

PS: Has anyone noticed what a lame spellchecker Blogger uses? What dictionary are they using?

PPS: My new header picture comes by way of my very talented cousin Tina. She went to France again and I got these pictures. Next year "we're" going to Italy!