Category Archives: frugal

Exciting New Hobbies!

GREAT prompts over at Mama Kat’s this week! There were at least three I was ready to tackle, but of course that’s my problem: I want to tackle everything, and just can’t physically do it. I’ve been in constant pain since 2009. I haven’t been able to work since 2011. I’m still battling to get disability benefits.

But even after all that time I still really want to do it all. If it can be done in 15 minute increments and allows me to lie down for twenty out of twenty-four hours I can do it. Oh, and it can’t involve any lifting, pushing, or pulling, or really much movement at all. I’m like a grumpy talking statue – reclining bitch, perhaps? Oh, and I have a bad tremor. It’s in both hands, and it gets worse the harder I try to hold my hand steady.

Keep all that in mind while you look at just a few of the hobbies I want to pick up. I have Pinterest boards for all of them. I’m sure everyone who knows me squirts hot coffee out their nose when they see a new pin from me. At least I’m entertaining!

Crocheting or knitting

DIY Sturdy Crochet Slipper Boots Free Pattern from SMP Craft.

Aren’t these just PERFECT as Christmas gifts for the entire family? I’d only be able to work on them on really light pain days, though. I get a bit “stabby” when the pain is bad, and someone could lose an eye.

raising chickens

Fun way to identify your birds!  Charm Leg Bands are enjoyable to see on your feathered friends...

I did a lot of research on this. I was going to make a dust bath, a sprout-munching area, little jackets for them so they couldn’t peck each other. . . and then I remembered I’m not really that fond of eggs after all.

gardening

Plants for Shade - Shade Plants - 10 Varieties That Thrive Where the Sun Don't Shine - Bob Vila

I used to LOVE gardening. If I had a frustrating day at work I’d get out the hoe, the pruners, or maybe even the chainsaw! I had everything mulched beautifully, edged with brick, and thriving. Of course now I can barely get anything into a hanging basket, let alone the ground. And then it dies in a couple of weeks anyway because I forget to water it. I can remember to feed the dogs and let them out for potty breaks, but adding in medications every four hours pretty much uses up all the brain cells not saying OUCH!

crafts with wood

Love the use of these old crates stacked and mounted with caster wheels

I haven’t given up on this one yet. My husband’s not wild about the idea of someone with a tremor using a table saw or circular saw or whatever is in the basement, but I’ve got such GREAT ideas it’s a shame to waste them!

 

exercise while dangling from big silk ribbons

classes-3

I’ve never really been flexible or coordinated, but this really makes me wish I could give it a try. My neurosurgeon would probably fire me for being an idiot, though (hopefully after he repaired my spine.)

paint rocks

make a whole bunch of these and put them everywhere in the garden

I know someone who does beautiful, intricate paintings on rocks. I’d just like to do little hearts or flowers or inspirational, uplifting sayings. Then I’d leave then all over town where people usually run or walk their dogs so they could pick them up when they’re having a bad day, then leave them for someone else to find later.

sew/quilt

Repurpose an old men's shirt.

This dress is supposedly made from a man’s shirt. I guess if you’re a size zero and buy a men’s XXL shirt it might work.  These sorts of things just sucker me in because of frugality. Few things make me happier than a bargain!

 

refinishing/upcyling furniture

Little Dresser To Cute Cabinet ... gutting the whole thing since she was missing a drawer anyway & added shelving & then open frame doors to complete the look

Yes, I’m the one cruising everyone’s trash the night before pickup. My husband is quite thankful I can’t actually pick up anything of significant size. I did try to talk him into fetching me a free piano last week, but I had to back down after he walked me through our house with a tape measure and proved we had nowhere to put it.

I’ll stop there, but feel free to drop by my Pinterest account next time you need a giggle. I am the most random pinner ever! I really didn’t think Pinterest was going to be a big thing when it started, so I have boards like “Good Ideas” and “Nom Nom Nom”. Yeah, it’s totally down the rabbit hole there, but it’s my happy place. Oh, one more!

making fairy houses

fairy house from oatmeal container, bark, pinecones

I’ve actually done two, but I don’t think either of them survived the winter. Gonna have to research this a bit further.More natural stuff like bark, milkweed pods, and mushrooms? More plastic and polymer clay? Or just twenty coats of polyurethane instead of ten?

Seven Signs I Should Have Stayed in Bed

7qt_lyceum_v2

— 1 —

During my most recent psychiatrist visit I finally admitted I hear voices. No, the neighbor’s dog doesn’t tell me kill people. I’ll be alone in the house (as I usually am) and will hear my husband or youngest son say something random  like “I’m runnin’ down the street to Kroger” or “Are the dogs outside?” or “Are these dishes clean?” His advice? Turn on a radio or the TV. Umm, I READ. So I payed some guy who starts writing scrips as soon as I enter his office for my three-minute visit $35 to tell me to watch TV instead of reading books. This is healthcare today.

— 2 —

I went to a small retirement luncheon for someone I’d worked with since my very first day out of college. I’s gone to the wrong location of the restaurant (oops, disabled person makes mistake – one of the many reasons I’m not able to work) so I zip over to the correct location, expecting to catch them at the end of their lunch and just chat a bit. They’d waited for me before ordering, which was incredibly thoughtful, but clearly not the retiree’s idea since I was shocked they weren’t sitting with empty plates in front of them and her response was, “No, we just sat and stared at each other for half an hour.” I gave momentary thought to not giving her the retirement gift I’d had specially made, but it was only momentary.  But when she opened it, she offered to pay me for it. It was a retirement gift. How insulting is that?

— 3 —

I had someone close to me call the national Suicide Hotline and get put on HOLD. Yes, I recognize it’s a volunteer support group. Yes, I would volunteer if I could, but many days I don’t think I could dredge up something positive for someone going through horrible stress with no light at the end of the tunnel. “You’ll go to Hell if you commit suicide” really isn’t helpful if someone feels they are already there.

— 4 —

This nest is 100% empty. I really thought John would be homesick, would occasionally spend the night at home over the weekend, but no. Even though there’s an industrial fan that sounds like a jet engine outside his room and he has to wear earbuds the entire time he’s in his room he stays there. And he eats at The Ville Grill, affectionately known by students as “The Veeg”. Now I can’t imagine eating there. And my house is full of all this STUFF! I used to be able to blame it on the boys, but I can’t anymore. Minimalism, here I come!

— 5 —

Trying to follow the latest season of American Horror Story, but I’m having problems. Between the remake of “IT” (which I haven’t seen and will never see – because Stephen King doesn’t watch that crap, either. He just cashes the checks and keeps writing.) and the creepy clowns in AHS-Cult the futures of every person who went to Clown College is pretty much in the toilet. Clown College is (or was) a real thing. Makeup techniques, costume design, stunt work, and body language and facial expressions that can be seen from the furthest seat away in the big top. I guess they can work the fashion runways – the looks are close enough.

— 6 —

How was I able to get up at 3:15 am, blow-dry and curl my hair, but on makeup, get dressed, check email, eat my breakfast, give the dogs a potty break,change a diaper/ breastfeed a child/put them back to sleep all without turning on a light for two decades? Now when my husband is up, everyone is up. The TV is on, the lights are on, the dogs want their potty break while he’s in the shower. And if I’m up late because of the pain the lights in the bedroom must stay off. Even the lowest setting on the dimmer switch in the master bath is unacceptable. I have constant bumps and bruises from simply not being able to get in and out of bed at night!

— 7 —

Don’t EVER buy anything from a store called POSTERMAN. Hopefully it’s just a local thing, a store here in Louisville in Mall St. Matthews. HOPEFULLY. Because my 18yo bought his dad a poster there (what a sweet boy!) at the beginning of August, and the owner is still refusing to refund him the over $150 he was overcharges for the poster. The owner admits his mother (who is elderly enough to say “my son is on a long-distance call”) runs the shop and does not give receipts. Hmmm. Although I was nothing but polite and professional when I called, he insisted I had a “bad attitude”. Then I put my phone on speaker and it soon left my hand. I’ll be camped out at his kiosk tomorrow awaiting his arrival. He insists our BANK took the money. Seriously, don’t fuck with a woman who’s constantly in pain and has lost her thought:speech filter.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

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Back to School With a Trapper Keeper!

No, this isn’t a sponsored post. I’m just a school-supply nerd with vivid memories of my favorites!

One of the Mama Kat writing prompts this week involves sharing a Back to School memory. I have a lot of good memories, because I always loved school. One from my own childhood is pretty special, though. It’s a great example of how well my Mom knew me and how much she sacrificed for her kids.

Anybody remember the first year of the Trapper Keeper? I had to look it up, but it was 1978, so I would have been in the third grade. I think that was the year I got glasses and had my hair cut short. NOT a good look for me.

This was the original Trapper Keeper. There were commercials constantly as summer waned. A Trapper Keeper could hold all your folders securely, so you didn’t have to worry about leaving homework behind. And the folders (purchased separately, of course) could be organizer by color, would be secured by the three plastic rings into the Keeper, and were designed so papers could only be removed in one direction. With the Trapper Keeper’s velcro flap this ensured the safety of all that homework.

This was the Holy Grail of Back to School supplies. I practically drooled at the though of all that organization and security at the tips of my bitten nails. But I never asked for it. I knew we didn’t have much money – but neither did most of the kids at my little country elementary school. And there was always my brother. He was three that year, but I think the first words he ever spoke were, “I want”. So I just kept my mouth shut. If I got crayons and pencils and notebooks for school he’d insist on having the same thing and more.

But Mom knew, somehow, how much I wanted it, and the Trapper Keeper and “sold separately” folders went in the cart. I was a proud kid walking into school that first day, and I think that binder lasted two years!

Want to hear the weird thing? They still sell them!

This is what I’d buy today. Purple with a touch of gold. And I’d decorate it with the symbol of “the artist formerly known as Prince”. And believe it or not this sucker is still over priced! Ten dollars for a plastic binder at Target. And the folders are still sold separately. Thanks, Mom!!

 

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