Sunday, August 30, 2009

Restoring the Balance

It's a family project to reclaim our house from chaos. We're not there yet but I see a glimmer of hope on the horizon and have plans to start Flylady maintenance in the future. Oh how happy I will be when my home is only 15 minutes messy. It's getting closer.

We have a garage sale date set and half of our garage is slowly being filled with things we've decided to boogie. What we don't sell is getting dropped off at a charity immediately afterwards.

I'm getting excited about a few little decorating projects that I had given up hope of ever doing.
I've got curtains, shelves, stenciling materials, etc. that I have bought just sitting around unused.
I will be overjoyed when I finally feel like this weird box of a house starts to resemble something I created for our family. I can imagine a haven instead of a house. It gives me pleasure to think about it.

On a completely different note, I've been thinking lately how my stockpiling, hoarding and overbuying leaves me feeling kind of spoiled and irresponsible. On one hand I like getting things we need for the least amount of money so we have it when we need it. On the other hand I am tired of always having excess stuff and spending my husband's hard earned dollars on things we might not need for six months. Am I being of a good steward of our finances by buying too much now for the possibility of saving later? I don't know what the answer is but I am ready to clean out some cabinets and pantry space and buy only what we need.
It reminds me of a novel by Dorothy Allison that I read a few years ago called "Cavedweller". In the novel there's a young mother who mistakenly thinks she's dying so she takes to buying two and three of everything so that her family won't be faced with lack when they are dealing with her loss. She spends her days calculating their list of needs and shopping for them and spending more than her husband makes so that she can feel safe that she's leaving them well provided for.
Am I doing the same thing by hoarding bottles of shampoo, boxes of pop tarts, and kleenex?
I think I'm ready to start running out of things on purpose.

I hear my husband marshaling my children to their chores. I must get back to it also. We work and we play together as a family. And that feels good.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Mystery Can Game edition 2

I do like a bargain. And for a nickel or a dime I'll take the chance on what I'm buying. Plus, it's fun to discover the mystery lurking inside the unlabeled can.

This unlabeled five cent can called to me from the clearance cart.

I needed a side dish for our spaghetti dinner. Hmm, what's in the can?
Mmm, applesauce. We had a side dish and enough for a lunch box portion for Big Girl. Five cents well spent.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A New Set of Goals For My Family.

Chaos has descended on my home this year. Recently I took a quiz that asked me if I liked where I live and I answered "not really." I am surprised by this truth. We have a nice house. We have nice neighbors. We're in a cute suburban area that fits us with everything we need in close proximity and our kids are in great schools. So, what is my problem?

I have no goals for myself anymore other than the things I feel like I must do just to function on a daily basis- make beds, do one load of laundry and keep up with the dishes. Everything else- Everything is in utter chaos and the worse it gets the more discouraged I get. And this chaos is terrible for everyone- including my pets, one or two of which have started using the toy room and foyer as their personal litter box.

So, I can't concentrate on doing frugal things right now other than doing the things that come automatically to me anyway: Use coupons for what we buy anyway, buy generic, and use what we have up before we replace it. You won't be hearing about a fabulous new bread recipe, coupon, or craft that I've discovered because I am starting from scratch again.

Tomorrow my most likely candidate for the litter box issue is going to the vet for a check up and to get shots. He's getting a collar with a tag and a chance to rediscover the wild outdoors of our backyard. I think he'll like being an in/out kitty.

Right now I've got laundry and dishes to do and then I'm going to go pick up in the cat pee problem areas and see what needs to be scrubbed up. Sigh.

If you don't hear from me for awhile it's because I'm busy climbing out of chaos. To hopefully emerge happier in a a home that we all enjoy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Parenting Files: Back To School

School starts tomorrow for both of my kidlets.

It's been busy around here gathering paperwork, buying supplies, and getting clothes together.
Today I spent $25 on two kids hair cuts. I am not talented enough to do it myself and Hubby should not attempt it again either after the last butchery he did on my baby boy. ; )

Even using coupons and stockpiling- I still ended up spending about $30 just on Little Guy's school supplies. The teacher wanted a lot of clorox cleaner, hand wipes, and anti bacterial gel and that added up. It would be a terrible thing if an errant germ were to escape alive.

It's going to be an adjustment getting the whole family up and ready early in the morning when we've gotten lazy this summer about sleeping in until 8:30. I think my kids are both ready for school though. I'm looking forward to seeing them both blossom this school year. Is it wrong that I'm confident that our teachers will love my children (even if my little boy is a little too exuberant sometimes?)?

It does make me a bit sad that my little baby girl is already losing teeth and going into first grade. I still sometimes see a a glimpe of the pie faced three year old that I loved so much. But, that little face is changing into a curious and sharp minded individual's face. And I can't help but love that too.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What I've been up to.

We're counting down the days until school starts next week. We've been a busy bunch.

In the last week we've traveled by Amtrak train to visit friends in Kansas City. It was part of a celebration for our finally potty trained Little Guy. He loved riding on a real choo choo train.
Our trip was blissfully uneventful where I got to do a lot of girl chat with a good friend and the kids were equally entertained by her two little ones. We ended the trip with a visit to her and her husband's sporting goods store to get shoes for the children.
Let me say this as a friend of a small business owner- if you can afford to shop at a local business and you appreciate their great customer service and quality products, please do so.

This week we've spent a lot of time at the grocery store shopping for rebate stuff. I am stocked up and am sick of grocery shopping.

We spent some time yesterday at the new Citygarden in downtown St. Louis. It was wonderful! And all free! Be sure to bring a lot of cold water and snacks. And maybe a blanket to lay on while the kids splash away.

Tonight we're taking a picnic to an outdoor concert. It will be the only one we've managed to get to all summer. My music loving hubby is very excited.

Next Tuesday everyone heads back to school and I am so looking forward to having a new routine. I know I'll miss the kids but I think we're all ready.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Good for a laugh if not frugal inspiration.

Need a laugh? Want to see some strange frugal hacks?

Try My personal favorite is the sports bra made from men's underwear.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Can anyone tell me why the generic mac and cheese was .37 cents a box and the Kraft kind was $1.09?

I know that the Kraft is superior but is it .72 cents better? It's just noodles and powder for heavens sake?

I'll be stocking up on Mac N Cheese during this rebate deal that starts in a few days.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Please Help!

When I was two years old my Uncle Leroy was shot and killed by man named John S. Martin while he (Martin) was robbing a gas station. I don't have words to describe how this has touched my family. I have exactly one memory of my beloved Uncle and I remember how happy I was to be with him then. He was my Grandma's only son and her pride and joy and having him taken from her at such a young age (he was 23) was more than a devastating loss. He was a wonderful brother and son and I am sure he would have been an excellent father.

Uncle Leroy's killer is up for parole in a few weeks and I need your help
. John Martin has never apologized or shown any remorse for his actions. We have no reason to believe or hope that he has been rehabilitated.
Could you please find it in your heart to sign this petition to keep him in jail?

Keeping a Killer Behind Bars