Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bright idea: A calling card

 I stole this idea from one of my neighbors. 

 She dropped by to ask if we'd keep an eye on things while she and her family were out of town.  When I asked for her cell phone number, she handed me a little business card with hers and her DH's numbers.

 I thought that was kind of cool. (And much easier to keep track of than a slip of paper, LOL!)

 It certainly would be easy enough to do -- just download one of the free templates out there, fill in whatever information you need to give out, and print on card stock.   Presto!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Saving on prescription drugs

     I wanted to pass along this Web site I recently discovered that does the comparison shopping for prescription drug prices.

    It seems pretty easy to use. Plug in the name of the drug and your ZIP code, and it will return prices for at least some of the pharmacies in your area.  (One of the stores in my area wasn't listed.)

  Oh, and it does do generic pricing, and can point you to coupons from the drug makers that might bring the cost down even more.

 The drug price I checked looked accurate, but I can't guarantee that all of them are up to date ... so best to call the pharmacy before you get that script filled.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I'm just saying ...

  It would have been nice if my home state's health department would have issued its salmonella warning about cantaloupe before we'd already eaten one and three-quarters of another .  Ah well, at least no one got sick.

 (BTW, that isn't a nationwide recall.  Just Indiana and Kentucky. Don't want to scare people unnecessarily.)

This kind of stuff tends to happen here at the Casa de Chaos.  We once got a warning about a recall of ground turkey ... after we'd already eaten it.  (Fortunately, I'm pretty careful about making sure meat is completely cooked.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Repairs on a shoestring


Had a pair of those "outdoorsy" pants that had a piece of elastic in the leg hem so you could cinch them at the ankles.

 The elastic finally gave out, but I didn't have any on hand that would replace it.  So to rescue the pair of now-droopy pants, we pulled out the stash of shoelaces.  Amazingly, there was a pair that matched color-wise.

I threaded them through the hems, then reinstalled the little cinchers and tied the laces off.   Thought I would  have to trim them, but they fit perfectly.

(And I'll be nice and skip the jokes about loose ends ....)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My odd bargain

     One thing I've learned is that bargains can pop up in the darndest places.

     Case in point:  We finally used up the industrial-size bottle of hand sanitizer that we use to refill the various small bottles in the car, house, office, etc...   Unfortunately, my favorite warehouse club didn't have any, so I've been hunting.

      We happened to swing by the household cleaner aisle of the big-box hardware store the other day, and found lots of sanitizer.  They had 44 ounce bottles of the stuff ... the catch was that they were refill bottles for commercial dispensers.

     But they were 50 cents each!

     So, you'd better believe I grabbed a couple of those babies.  Took em home and poured one (and half another one) into the industrial-size bottle.    I may have to call my friend, the teacher, and offer her the rest for her classroom ... unless I want to start bathing in the stuff.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Bright idea! Kitty litter holder

      I was looking for a covered container to keep some kitty litter in.  (Not keen on lugging 40lb bags of pine pellets around.)

 But I couldn't find a small tote or covered bucket at a price I was willing to pay.

   I was looking for something else in the basement when I came upon a solution:  A foam cooler!

   I popped in a kitchen-size trash bag, filled it part way with pellets and popped on the lid.


(I still may spring for a plastic container, but this will do for now.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Garden report: Drought edition

  We are harvesting things from the garden here at Casa de Chaos, but the drought and ungodly hot temperatures have really taken a toll.

    My romas, which got a head start, are growing to normal size, but the other tomatoes, which should be, oh, tennis ball size, are more like golf-balls.  

   The yield is way off, too.  Right now, I've gotten about a dozen tomatoes ...

The green beans didn't produce much after the first pick, but started flowering again once the 100+ temps broke. My biggest problem right now is bugs ...  

     My peppers, I fear, aren't going to produce.  They're flowering, but no fruits.  And at least two of them are dying.

     I have a pickle-size cuke and lots of flowers.  The eggplant is flowering, but not much going on.  The basil, however, is growing wonderfully.

     I'm hoping that with the temps cooling down some, things will pick up again. (and a delayed first frost would be nice, too).  Otherwise, I fear there won't be much for the freezer this year.



Monday, August 13, 2012

Menu Monday: Mom's Ham-Bean & Sausage soup

   This is one of my late mother's recipes.  It's a good way to use a ham bone, and while I can't say it's heart-healthy, it's darn good!

1 ham bone with scraps

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 lb smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch rounds

1/2 pound northern beans (or 2 15 oz cans)

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

(optional) 1/2 head small cabbage, shredded

Put all ingredients in large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. If using dried beans, cook until beans are done. If using canned, cook for about an hour.

At this point, pull bone from soup and pull off any scraps (which will go back into the pot.) Discard bone. Add 1/8 teaspoon of salt if needed. (I find the ham and sausage add enough salt, but YMMV)

Bring soup back up to a boil and add dumplings, cook until dumplings are tender (15 to 20 minutes).


2 eggs

2 cups flour

dash of salt

Mix flour, salt and eggs in a bowl until eggs are absorbed. If needed, add water, a little at a time, until you get a soft dough that can be pinched off.

The broth will thicken up quite a bit with the addition of the dumplings, almost like a stew.

Serves 6-8

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Things that make you go ... Hmm ...

       Milk was on sale for $2.58 a gallon at the supermarket (not my usual go-to place, but didn't want to drive out of my way.)
       But half-gallons were on sale at 4/$5 ... equalling $2.50 a gallon.

       Hmm ....

Monday, August 6, 2012

5 small zucchinis, and how they grew

Five small zucchinis, purchased on markdown for $1.25. Here's how I used them in several dishes:

1 went into a stir fry (along with lots of other fresh veggies.) The result made 1 dinner and a couple of work lunches

1 went into a loaf of chocolate zucchini bread. (Ahem ... see previous post.)

1 was sauteed with a couple of potatoes, onion and garlic to make a side dish for dinner.

2 were the stars in a zucchini/black bean/ tomato/rice dish that also made 1 dinner and a couple of work lunches.

Not bad for a buck twenty-five!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

July freebies

Another interesting month.  It stikes me that some of this stuff isn't all that good for me ...

1 dozen eggs

4 Milky Way bars (FAC)

2 pks Skittles (FAC)

1 2-liter Pepsi

2 bottles Lipton tea

1 Starbucks Refresher

1 Meow Mix wet food

1 personalized pen (which I ordered last year and had given up on)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mixed metaphor

I love browsing the sales flyers. I never know what I'm going to see, like this gadget.

I dunno. I suppose this has its uses, but it looks darn strange to me...