Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose

Been trying to clean some of the landfill out of the casa de chaos. In between the pitching, I found a way to repurpose a couple of items:

My sewing room/junk room's window was in need of a new sheer curtain. I happened to have an old one from the living room, but it was about 3 inches too short. I realized that said curtain had a very deep hem. So I undid it, and gained enough length to cover the window. To be honest, I wouldn't use it in a more public area of the house, but it works for this room.

My cloth napkin collection is growing. Yay! But what's not so great is that it's outgrown the little container that was holding them. But, my SIL gave us a gift basket for Christmas --- with an actual basket large enough to hold the napkins! (I may swap it with the basket I use to for my pot holders. Not that the darn pot holders are going to stay put ... or should I say, be put back.)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Free pancakes, anyone?

It's that time of year again ...

If you have an IHop in your area, the chain is celebrating National Pancake Day on Tuesday with its annual offering of a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes.

The event is a fundraiser for Children's Miracle Network hospitals and local charities, so please leave a donation.

And don't forget to tip your server ...

Here's the link: http://www.ihoppancakeday.com/pancake-day-details.html

Friday, February 24, 2012

A cluck, cluck ... er, not here

Maybe it's because we're heading into spring, but I'm seeing lots of articles and forum posts about raising chickens in the backyard.

The idea of fresh eggs is quite tempting ... but I can think of several reasons why this isn't a good idea here at the casa de chaos:

1) I don't have a fenced-in yard. Don't want to chase escaped birds down the street ... though it might amuse the neighbors.

2) The homeowners' association might get a bit testy.

3) I don't need a feathered alarm clock to wake me at dawn.

4) Don't want to invite the area coyotes into my yard. (My neighbors are quite nervous about the resident coyotes ... this might send them over the edge.)

5) My vet bills would go up. If they saw chickens outside, my cats would likely get concussions from running full speed into the windows.

6) And the real reason ... once the hens were too old to lay, there's no way on Earth I could turn them into dinner. (I know ... I'm a coward. If I had to be self-sufficient, I'd have to be a vegetarian.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Am I crazy, or what?

I got an odd look when I mentioned this to someone ...

Occasionally, I'm blessed with a gift card for gasoline, be it from a credit-card
rebate, or a survey, or a gift.

Now, it's tempting to just use the card and get the free stuff. But a $10 card
doesn't go all that far. (Let's get real: a $25 or $50 card doesn't go all that far

So, I used the latest card like a high-value coupon. I got $10 in gas using the
gift card. Then I bought another $10 worth of gas. So I have $20 worth of gas
in the car, but only paid $10 for it. To my way of thinking, I just cut the price of
gas in half ... if it's $3.50 a gallon, normally, I just paid $1.75 a gallon.

I suppose I can play with the numbers any way I want, but what counts to me
is that my wallet isn't being bitten quite so hard (and is going to be bitten a lot harder if what I'm reading is true.)

Friday, February 10, 2012

In case you're wondering why your grocery bill is going up

A recent story brought this bit of cheery news ...

According to the Wall Street Journal, stores have raised the prices of private-label nonperishable food by 5.3%, compared to a 1.9% increase for goods made by national brands. Store-brand versions of perishable goods rose in price by 12%, compared to 8% for name brands.

Apparently, part of the problem is that shoppers are becoming loyal to store brands (for reasons other than price). Some stores are also upscaling their house brand and raising prices accordingly.

The old rules still hold true, it seems. Gotta pay attention to prices (and keep looking for tricks to keep costs down).

The full story

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mopping up

My steam mop died recently.

This was bad news for me, because I hate mopping the kitchen floor. Anyway, I've been trying to find something to use (preferably something not too messy) until I decide about buying another steam mop.

(I'd really prefer new vinyl flooring ... unfortunately, they don't make self-mopping vinyl just yet.)

I was thinking about buying one of those "Wet-Jet" mops when I got an idea. I kept the cloth "pads" from the steam mop ... really, just a piece of towel-like fabric with a couple of pieces of Velcro attached.

I wrapped the pad around my sponge mop .. and it fit. I took out my handy bottle of vinegar/ water mix, sprayed down a section of the floor and mopped. Spray, mop ... repeat.

It worked reasonably well. When one side of the pad got too dirty, I just flipped it over. And it's washable!

I just realized that I probably could make more pads out of old tube socks. Hmm.

I'd still rather have a self-mopping floor. Gotta work on that...

Friday, February 3, 2012

January freebies

It was an eclectic month ...

AmLactin lotion
Invisible Glass wipes
20-oz Coke
16-oz bottled ice tea
2 bags sweet chili Doritos
3 packs football cards
1 oil change
1 car wash
Mega-red fish oil
1 hot chocolate

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What a mess!

Some times it's good to buy in bulk ...

But it's not good when a 200oz bottle of laundry detergent falls off its perch and spews its contents all over the floor ...

I found a 4-foot-wide (and spreading) puddle of gooey liquid in front of the washer and dryer. Won't repeat what I said -- this is a family friendly blog.

Fortunately, the floor isn't carpeted. But I still needed to clean up the mess.

So, if you're ever in this position, a dustpan is a good tool to scoop off the top layer of liquid. (Fortunately, DH was handy to clean up said dustpan before I used it.)

I scooped the liquid into a smaller, empty detergent bottle ... it filled almost the entire 50-ounce container. (And yeah, I know there's an ick factor for some folks, but I'm going to be using that detergent for something.)

In a stoke of luck, there was a basket of rags and rugs nearby, all set to go in the washer. I used the rags to mop the rest of the goo off the floor. (Why make more laundry? Besides, some of those rags could stand to be pre-treated, LOL!)

I popped the dustpan and the bottles into a bucket to clean off the goo ... in a last bit of recycling, I poured that soapy water into the commode.

If nothing else, I have the cleanest floor in town ...