Monday, November 16, 2009

Mondays, whadareyagonnado.

Today I must be feeling better because I finally see how behind the uh, home maitenance, has gotten while I have been under the weather. The man did his best at holding down the fort, I gotta give him that. Nobody went hungry and we had clean clothes on our back, so kudos to him, kudos indeed. Now that I am running on all cylinders again, I noticed that the oven was so bad it was almost a fire hazard. If one more french fry caught on fire in there, it could be the end for all of us! I'm too polite to discuss the state that my bathrooms were in, here in such a public forum. Yikes!!!
In the past I would have waited until I could purchase a CFC laden chemical bomb at the grocery store; otherwise known as oven cleaner.
Now, I use my two best cleaning friends; baking soda and his awesome chemical reactor buddy, vinegar. Not only are they both always available in my house and cheap as borscht (compared to say, Easy Off), they work great, and not just in the oven. I used the same concoction on my shower floor, too. Now, I am no chemistry major, all I know is full strength white vinegar is a pretty strong acid and the fuzzy baking soda bubbles eat away at grease and dirt while I watch the late show. I also squirt a little dish soap in there while I am at it, what can it hurt? I would certainly feel safer getting traces of my homemade cleaning concoction on my casserole, if I were remiss in the rinsing process, than I would with the chemicals in oven cleaner, egads!
Then, when I am feeling good after laughing all my troubles away, I can get up the nerve to go soak up the mess of all those suppers past with a few recycled rags. Whatever grease and mess doesn't come off the first time probably will come off with some elbow grease after warming up the oven.
If a couple of unsightly marks remain after all is said and done, I remind myself, "Hey, who is gonna look in the oven anyways?" As long as we don't ignite a french fry campfire in there, I am good to go.
I think the refrigerator can wait until next Monday...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ugh, winter.

Normally it's not so bad, and I am doing my best to have a positive attitude, but flu season has not been kind to me, and I am just about fed up with being sick! On the plus side, I have had more time and inspiration for frugal ideas. On the minus side, I have not had the energy to carry anything out effectively. Every time I try to complete a project, I end up flopping on the couch in frustration because I don't have complete it to any sort of satisfaction. So I have to be satisfied with what I can accomplish, and that will have to be enough for now. I made an attempt at a wardrobe refashion; a shrug which I made out of sweater sleeves. My husband received a cheap acrylic sweater for Christmas a couple of years ago and the colour is just all wrong for him. It was way to big and baggy for me, so finally I asked permission to cut it up. It has a nice argyle pattern on the sleeves which really is the only redeeming quality of the sweater. I paired it up with some of the burgundy trim from my Freecycle stash and got it all pinned together. I have yet to drag out the sewing machine. Somehow, in my mind, the machine weighs 1000 lbs right now. I got the idea from Wardrobe Refashion, a girl did it with a cabled sweater sleeves. Too cool. I'd find the link for you, but meh, I don't feel like it right now. I also knitted my husband an ear warmer headband. Well, it was going to be a tuque but let's just say the tension was off a little and rather than frog the whole project, I bound it off and called it a headband. He dutifully wore it all around the house and didn't once laugh at me, even though he looked ridiculous and we all knew it :) Now, that is a good man. The final thing I have been dinkying around with is Plarn. Yes, Plarn.It is yarn made from recycling plastic carrier bags. When I told my mum, she said, "That's nice, dear," in the tone that says she thinks it's the medication talking. Well maybe it was, come to think of it. Still, I have visions of reclaiming the world's plastic bags one at a time and knitting them into, well, plastic bags. Strong, sturdy bags, which could carry home, say, a watermelon, or your beach toys. Maybe a rug, where you could scrape the mud off your boots. Or a built in scrubbie in your washcloth. No more hideous bags in the landfill. Plarn for everyone!
Oh, Plarn, you give a sick girl hope.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Free stuff

I love free stuff. I sign up for free samples, coupons and the like all the time. Just today I received a tampon sample from o.b. in a cutesy little plastic case (which I will use as my emergency purse stash). My son got a free calendar and a cookbook from Wisconsin Cheese. Since this is about the only way he gets mail, it's fun searching the net for free stuff to send him. He is always so surprised when he sees his name on the mail. Some of the best things I have received have been the three free regular size powerbars, free cereal, three bottles of Ensure and now, tampons. My latest fun fad is Hippost. You can upload a photo and send it to whoever you want for free! The advertisers pick up the tab for postage. It takes 7-10 days, and your card will say from Expedia or whoever the advertiser is but, so what? It's cute and fun and a great way to send real cards, not just e-cards. I have been homebound with the flu, hence the slowing down of the posts, but I wanted to share my latest frugal ideas with you.