Waste Not, Want Not

Growing up during the Great Depression, my late grandparents were the original recyclers and frugal beyond measure.  They believed absolutely everything deserved a second chance at a new life, from a piece of string to an old pair of shoes. Perhaps it’s time to learn from an old saying, “waste not, want not.”  Our grandparent’s penny-pinching philosophy may be worth another look in today’s throwaway society. Below is a list of “How To” tips from a booklet I found among my grandmother’s possessions, Household Hints, dated 1950.  Some of the suggestions are worthy of a second look even in 2013.  Others are a funny glimpse into the past.  You decide. How to Be a Wise Housewife Fluff … [Read more...]

House Tried to Kill Me During Move

I’ve moved eight times in twenty-two years of marriage.  That’s a grand total of 3,987 boxes to unpack, 50 pieces of battered furniture, 45 missing cartons, 15 damaged appliances, 2 wrecked cars, and one lost pet.   I’m as unlucky as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. This time my house tried to kill me during the move. Let's Move! For our latest and hopefully final move, we found a perfect house only two miles away.  This time our move would not be dictated by my husband’s job.  “Let’s do this,” I said to my husband after viewing the ideal home at an open house.  “It’s perfect.” Moving day swooped down on my household, as swift and predictable as daylight savings time.  “Oh.  My.  … [Read more...]

Artificial Christmas Tree Attacks Couple

This article was contributed by guest blogger, Camille DeFer Thompson. Revenge of the Faux Fir It took us years to reach this decision.  Our garage already overfloweth with boxes of ornaments, Costco trash bags stuffed with fake garland, its needles protruding through the plastic like some galactic being, struggling to break free, and tangles of multi-colored exterior lights dangling from nails above the workbench.  Where, we wondered, would we store an artificial Christmas tree? But last year, we finally tired of shivering through the Home Depot tree lot to pick out just the right Noble or Douglas, with no more than one bad side that could be camouflaged against the wall, to adorn our … [Read more...]

2014 New Year’s Non-Resolutions

Since New Year’s Resolutions are usually forgotten by January 2, I decided to try something different.  Go ahead and laugh out loud at my interpretation of 2014 New Year's Non-Resolutions Stop clicking a button or link that says “I agree” before reading all the terms and conditions.  You might be giving away cash or a kidney. Got high blood pressure?  Heart disease? Eat more Brookside dark chocolate covered Goji berries with raspberry from Target.  Antioxidants are good for you. Learn how to play the harmonica.  Who knows?  You might be the next Dan Aykroyd, Steven Tyler or Bob Dylan. Encourage your family to go to the gym often.   You need more quiet time. Watch all the … [Read more...]

Woman Ditches Spanx – Goes Commando

Let’s face it. Ladies undergarments were not designed with comfort in mind. Not much has changed since the invention of the corset that was meant to give a woman an 18-inch waist.  But the undergarment I am going to rant about is Spanx or shape wear, like the old fashioned girdle. They tout the motto, “No matter the occasion or season, we’ve got a shape to keep you looking great from all angles!” But at what price? I heard of a case where the mother of the bride was stuck inside a full body Spanx for five hours. If Spanx’s motto is, “Spanx is here on your big day,” where were they? It slims and lifts, but is it worth it? Holiday Party My big moment came to prove the claims made by … [Read more...]

Christmas Tree Taunts Us

Our artificial, odorless, eight-foot tall Christmas tree taunts us year after year.  After a decade, assembling the three sections of the Rocky Mountain Pine is still as complicated as solving a Rubik’s Cube.  I fantasize dragging it to the nearest dump and lighting it on fire. Man Vs. Christmas Tree “Time to put up the tree,” says my husband, grabbing the kids by the arm.  “You want to help too?” he says, looking at me with squinty eyes. “Nah, I’ll just watch,” I say. I avert my eyes as my husband struggles with our tree like a wrestler performing an over the shoulder arm drag.   Plunk.  It hits the ground, green needles fall like dandruff. This year more of the hinged branches … [Read more...]

Not Too Late to Listen to Feisty Side of Fifty Interview

I had a blast being a guest speaker on the Feisty Side of Fifty radio show, Dec. 13.  We discussed Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Woman.  Mary Eileen Williams, the host, asked fun questions about my story, "Hair Gone Wild."  You can pick up a copy of the book or read it on my blog.  The publisher, Dahlynn McKowen, told listeners the correct way to submit stories for future books.  It was a relaxed, enjoyable interview.  If you missed out the first time, click on the link below. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feisty-side-of-fifty/2012/12/13/not-your-mothers-book-on-being-a-woman … [Read more...]

How to Rewrap Christmas Gifts

As Christmas barreled towards me like a supernova, my armpits got as sweaty as the Shoe Bomber going through customs.  My fear, receiving a present that I despised and having to fake my approval.  Opening a gaily-wrapped box with yards of ribbon heightened my anxiety to Code Red. Last Christmas, my family watched with baited breath and I tried to camouflage my true feelings. “Oh, thanks.  What is it?” I said. “It’s that thing you asked for,” said my son. I didn’t have a clue if this was something I had wanted as a gift.  I understand that I’m difficult to buy for at birthdays and holidays.  I don’t wear a lot of jewelry.  I have bottles and bottles of perfume on my bureau … [Read more...]