Tag Archives: frugality

April 7, 2017

I won’t be able to think of brilliant titles every day or so, so sometimes, the date will have to do!

Health! It’s been wet, chilly and today there is snow on the ground.  While I enjoyed two walks on Wednesday, yesterday I stayed indoors all day.  Not a great choice and one I need to change.  Today the wind is blowing and I know my coat is not built for this challenge.  On the plus side, I am enjoying my daughters tomato soup (from scratch) full of healthy vegetables, including a whole head of garlic (not just a clove or two!)


Wisdom:  Somehow this moved to the middle part, so I’ll leave it there.  I’m learning to see my life as a process that I move into.  Still working through Designing Your Life.  I’m reminded that life is flowing, changing, and navigating it is a process.  I will never be done with it.

Personal Finances: They are depleting!  I need to start my employment search now.  One of the challenges is the needs of my family.  They need to be considered when I’m applying and interviewing.  I suspect online teaching and being a substitute, or something totally different will be the end result.  We are working hard to eliminate waste in the kitchen – and garbage.



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Filed under Becoming Wiser, GREEN: Money matters that matter., RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas, Uncategorized

Especially for Tracy and Dayle

From Pinterest to my blog,  but here’s the original website.  This is for Dayle and Tracy because they work so hard that they need a good soak once in a while.  And Dayle, perhaps you can use this with your pedicures.  It certainly is making my feet feel nice while I’m soaking them!

My version is pretty much the same as the picture.  But when I got to buying my sea salt, Himalayan Rock salt was a little cheaper, so I bought that.  I also mixed in a little bit of rose scented salt that I got at Community Natural Foods here in Calgary. It’s nice.

Right now I’ve added a little bit to a foot soak, and it feels very good.  So I can recommend that if you are going to be spending some time at the computer, soak your feet too!

Here are some other places to read up on detox bath salts.  You’ll notice that the recipes are kind of the same, so feel free to play.


Himalayan Bath Salts



These are just beginnings – type “detox bath salt recipes” into  your search engine and you’ll find more.

Happy reading and happy soaking!





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Filed under RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas

Two Days of Christmas Fun!

Yesterday I discovered the meaning of “Shop until You Drop!”  I left the house after a pathetic workout and worked out, dragging my loaded and ever heavier carts and bags around town!

The first stage was the groceries – lesson learned:  Stick to the store you know – although I enjoyed the opportunity of wishing old friends a joyful Christmas time.  It still took me forever to get my list covered.  It was the biggest grocery shop of the year – but I got to use $25 of coupons, and all my gift cards are now empty!

Enroute to the C-train, I stopped at the pet shop to check out coal for the puppies.  But, given the circumstances, even this lovely bag of coal is too much.  The other pets were more fortunate – hedgehog snacks and a millet holder for the bird.  Back to the house to put the turkey in the freezer, have a quick bite, and a mad dash to catch the #3 Sandstone.  This is a great bus route – taking you past some pretty cool shopping areas – but I stopped at Brittania – just like I said I would.  What fun I had!

At The Owl’s Nest Books and Gifts I found some pretty neat books, including one that had been translated from the Dutch.  More about that after I’ve read it!  I also hit up the hardware store where I found my long sought after dish brush – affectionately known as “The Quast” pronounced  /kwast/.  Hard to believe someone can get so excited about something so small – but I grew up using these, and it was desperately needed in my kitchen.

So why am I telling you all this?  Because these small businesses – and others like them do something the big stores don’t – they carry the odd stuff.  If you want something different, or unique or special – it’s not likely to be at Sears, Walmart or an other of those big stores with the “low, low prices!”  These small stores help maintain the “bio-diversity of stuff ” that keeps life interesting.

In Woodstock, Ontario I bought some very cool cards – don’t know if I wrote about that.  While the cards were VERY COOL, the sign in the window was even more profound:  “If  you really want to support the 99%, shop in their businesses!”

Yesterday I did both.  Today I was busy,  busy, busy doing other stuff.  More about that tomorrow!  I’ll have pictures and thoughts on the creative process.  Now I have to check my soup and finish writing Christmas cards.

Have a great day!


the Cinnamon Bear, episode #21: “Snowman”
[Originally broadcast 19 December 1937 — 2.74mb, 11:59]
The mysterious note invites the crew inside where they find chairs just the right size for all of them. The Flying Hat carries them to the Land of Ice and Snow to get the Silver Star fixed. They ask the Snowman how to find Nicki Froodle, as Queen Melissa told them. Nicki turns out to be an Elf, and he takes them to see Santa Claus.

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Filed under WHITE: Thoughts, mostly of a spiritual nature

This, That, and the Other Thing!

If you could see me now, you’d laugh.  It’s almost 10 pm in Calgary and my bread is still rising.  There is no way it is going to make it into the oven tonight.  I’m   out of bread – hence the making of it – but the day got away from me.  I got up later than usual and then spent time looking for two things I needed – a ball of yarn and my new $52 ear plugs.  While looking I also tidied up a bit – until  I found the stuff I needed to find.  (The ear phones for my i-pod were parked in plain view on my dresser)

Then I invited my dad and my brother (who drove out here from Toronto at break-neck speed) for breakfast.  This entailed the grinding of grain, the mixing of muffins, and a very delayed cup of coffee.  On the flip side – my home is much cleaner than it was before.  It amazes me how the impending arrival of guests speeds the cleaning process.

I should have mixed the sponge before we went shopping – but I didn’t.  That was the mistake.  I just sat and chatted and showed off the menagerie.  We made our plans for the day and set off.

Thanks to the presence of the van, I picked up my new winter boots at Sears, we picked up auto parts for my brother, yarn for me, and ended the run at Value Village.

I love Value Village, but today it was a tad disappointing.  Here I was – with a vehicle to bring home something big – and there was nothing I wanted.  Everything fit quite nicely in my shopping bag.  Oh well, I probably have enough stuff anyways!

As we waited for Leon to make his purchases (2 pairs of shorts) Dad showed off his past Value Village finds – coat, shirt, pants, … and I realized something about my own attire.  My jeans were a gift from my sister.  My shirt was a gift from a friend.  My shoes were from Value Village in Ancaster.  My family is a walking advertisement for “new to you” clothing.

As people are preparing for the major shopping event of the year, I am grateful that somehow we didn’t really get sucked into the new, new, new (well except for underwear and socks)

I was going to write some more, but it’s really cold in my computer work area (even with my biking leggings – from VV) so I’m going to end it.  Since I haven’t posted a recent picture of me – I’ll do that.  (My TOPS weigh-in was 224.5 tonight!)

  Well, it’s morning now and my bread is out of the oven.  I guess something didn’t get done last night, and I’m missing a whole paragraph of brilliance that didn’t get saved.  Not only that, it was supposed to post automatically while I was at the gym this morning!

Life is full of surprises, not all of them pleasant. Kind of like shopping at Value Village, actually.  One day you find a great pair of shoes that fit like a charm.  But you never find the winter boots you really need.  But God, with His great provision (and sense of humour) provides a great deal at the mall. You go looking for a top to go with a lovely skirt from a friend (Thanks Hedy!) and you find a dress for the same price.

On that note, I’m off to work, and to enjoy the surprises God has in store for me today!  I’m sure I will enjoy them!


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Filed under GREEN: Money matters that matter., Uncategorized

Fancy Pantry!

It’s been a long time since I canned – at least 3 summers went by without me opening my canner. In fact it came very close to being relegated to my pot garden.  I have a collection of old cooking pots that come in handy for all kinds of things.

Tomatoes Inside!

The tomatoes have been brought in for the winter.  I’m wondering if they will come back next year with a new set of blossoms.  In the meantime I’ve got a lot of baby tomatoes that need to get read and I’d like to have them ripen on the plant if I can.

Anyways, one of my canners still remains as a canner and this summer it got used twice.  Several years ago I read a book called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  One of the summer pages referred to a book called Fancy Pantry by Helen Witty.   It’s a wonderful book with all kinds of recipes (not just canning and preserving) but I enjoy the preserving session the best.

There’s a reason why I’m writing about this book.  While visiting Get Rich Slowly, I read about a Canadian Finance blog, http://canadianfinanceblog.com/ which I promptly checked out!  While checking their reading list I came across a book by the folks at Wisebread, http://www.wisebread.com/  (Am I ever doing a lot of name-dropping here!)

The book is called 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget and it reminded me of why I loved Fancy Pantry so much that I had to go out and buy it this year from a vendor on Amazon.ca.   By just tweeking things a little bit, I am able to enjoy condiments that very few are able to enjoy – unless you invite me to dinner of course.

So far I’ve pickled some grapes (Tarragon Pickled Grapes)  and made some Peach Jam with Brown Sugar and Rum (I sprung for the Appleton’s with this one).  I think the grapes will make an appearance at Thanksgiving, but the jam is already being enjoyed!

It doesn’t take a lot to live large when your budget is small.  Trying out a new recipe or adding a different ingredient to an old stand-by can make life more interesting.  Even a single stem of daisies does wonders!

I know that the Calgary Public Library has one copy of Fancy Pantry and none of 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget, but there are other books that can help you enjoy life when you’re on a diet.

Have a lovely day and enjoy the changing colours of the leaves!


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Filed under GREEN: Money matters that matter., RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas, Uncategorized

I Want! I Want!! I Want!!!

Well, isn’t that what gets most of us into financial or physical trouble most of the time.  I want this.  I want that!  That looks good.  Mmmmm! I can just taste that now! I’m following my nose!

But before I get onto this mornings soapbox…

(I took these after getting home from the gym yesterday.  The sunrise was glorious and I’m sorry I slept through it this morning!)

Yesterday was payday where I work.  We all have a fresh supply of money and I joined the crowd that was spending it yesterday morning.  But before I even left for the gym I had paid my bills, stashed my savings, and fed my debt.  Because it’s a routine, it works well for me.

But let’s get back to the wants!

I mentioned earlier this week that I was reading Hyndeman’s Naked Millionaire.  One of the exercises she suggested was to make a list of wants.  What do I want?  What do you want?  Never mind the nebulous ideas of a better life, a better job, world peace and so on?  Have you ever sat down and wrote concretely about what it is you want?  I haven’t.  So I began…

One of the things I want is a wallet. It has to be green.  It doesn’t, on the other hand have to be new, and I’ve been checking out Value Village every time I go.  I’ve also been watching the wallets that I see at work when people are paying for their groceries.  There are some really nice ones out there.

So… now I want – or would like – (somehow that sounds less demanding) a green wallet, preferably leather, not from COUCH, with a spot for change, cards and a cheque book holder.  (I won’t put cheques there, but surely there must be notepads the right size to fit that spot? If there aren’t I know how to make some)  I don’t want it to cost more than $50 either.  My purse didn’t cost that.

I’ve been looking on the internet, googling images of green wallets.  My next stop will be Ebay and Kijiji.

Another thing I would have liked to have was a GPS.  We have done some geo-caching in the past and I lost the one I had.  Bad move, but that’s what happened.  I’ve borrowed from the library on occassion, but it’s not quite the same.  I’ve checked prices here and there but there wasn’t enough room in the budget to get one.

However, in October we head to Toronto for a wedding and a new area for caching.  The wanting of this gadget became even greater. There’s a geocache quite close to my mom’s kitchen window and it is my goal to find it!

The brainwave came while I was riding the bike.  Why not check out Ebay or Kijiji and see what’s listed?  I was very nearly late for work.  BUT… someone was selling a Garmin etrex for $35.  I bought it.   It was delivered to me at work, and I intend to find a geocache this morning!  I’ll post pictures later!

In the meantime, why not take some time and think about what it is that you would like to have or do or become.  Define it clearly and concisely.  Find pictures if you can.  Tell people.  Who knows, maybe they have just what you’re looking for just taking up space in their life when it would be so useful in yours!

I’ll end with a new title for this post:

I would like!

I would like!!

I would like!!!

Have a glorious day!  I’m going for a walk with Pam.  Maybe Tracy will want to do something – a cheap movie or something? But I’m looking forward to my day!


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Filed under GREEN: Money matters that matter., WHITE: Thoughts, mostly of a spiritual nature

Revisiting the Snowball – things that niggle!

There are many little things in life that niggle.  They’re not big things.  It could be  a spot of clutter on the bedside or coffee table.  Some small thing that someone says or does, that just pops into your head as an annoyance.  In and of itself, it’s not a big deal, but over time…  I think they are like icebergs, or maybe a pimple – with just a little bit showing – and a whole lot of negative attitude or stress underneath.  Do  your niggles look like these?  Kind of cute aren’t they?

I thought I’d throw in the picture so that you could give your niggles faces too.    I have many niggles in my life, most of them clutter related.  Every once in a while I hear something that wakes up dormant niggles – negative things that people have said way back before the dinosaurs, and I see how they are still influencing me right now!

But, having said all that, I have a small debt that is niggling me right now.  Part of the problem is that in the last month or so, MR. M. C. Sears has been escorting me around town.  He’s gained some weight during that time, that’s been frustrating.  Of course, he’s back in his dresser drawer again, but …

I had a plan, and until this blip in the line, it was going well.  I had another look at what was going on and decided it was time to tackle another smaller debt – one that doesn’t have the opportunity to sneak out and get bigger.  Right now it is quite small – $260 or so.  Paying it off quickly would free up another $60 per month that I can apply to the other debts.  That’s what I’ve decided to do.  Get rid of another small niggle so that I can focus on the bigger issues in life.

And now that I’ve got this off my chest (This post too qualifies as a niggle!) I can get back to what I should be doing – writing my paper and sending it in!

Have a wonderful Canada Day!

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Filed under GREEN: Money matters that matter., Uncategorized, WHITE: Thoughts, mostly of a spiritual nature