Monthly Archives: September 2011

Smart Shopping

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In the last few years, as the economy has affected so many, resale shops, thrift stores and garage sales have been a boon to many Americans.  I don’t mind telling you that I buy most of my clothes from these places.  I find wonderful items that are in great condition.  I am not a label person, obviously, but if you are you might be surprised at the labels you can find at these stores.  I also shop at Target for the clearance deals they constantly have.  I have bought lamps for the kids rooms for less than $2.00, jeans, slacks and capris for less than $5.00 and many home items for pennies on the dollar at Target.  If you are wondering why it sounds like I shop so much, remember that we have had to replace everything after the fall of 2008!  That experience taught me to get the most out of my dollar.  Had to…the insurance company never pays enough to replace everything in your home.  Anyway, my mom and I love to go into Goodwill, and several thrift stores in this area.  We actually have three Goodwill stores within 5 miles of home.  Another great shop we go to for clothes is the Assistance League Resale Shop.  If you like nice clothes they have them at really great prices.  Mom and I will get together every once in a while and hit all of them and sometimes find amazing bargains, but most of the time it’s just an enjoyable day out together.

Some great things to watch for in these stores are items needed for prepping.  Before I understood what an All-american canner was, I saw one in Goodwill for $43.00.  I was astounded at how high the price was and passed on it.  Well later I when I found out the benefits of using this canner, I was kicking myself.  I have found dehydrators, sterno set ups, foodsavers, books, VCRs (yes, we still watch those and buy them for .50 most of the time), and even camping gear.  It’s kind of funny to see the things that people don’t want, or find value in, when you look through the stores.  Obviously there’s a whole, whole lot that I have NO interest in.  You have to keep a sharp eye out and know the sections of the store to walk through.

Garage sales are a whole ‘nother tale!  These things can be wonderful resources or a world of hurt…literally!  I have had people snatch things out of my hands, snatch money I’ve dropped, and nearly take me down over a stupid VHS tape of Land Before Time.  The worst cases happen in the giant sales held by church groups.  People line up and wait for an hour or more sometimes to be the first in.  It’s a stampede when the doors are opened.  I try to go a couple of hours later…it’s not worth the pain!  Another good/ bad of garage sales is the pricing.  I have gone to some, where the prices are wonderful.  People are just trying to clear out everything, and make a little spending money. They’re not trying to make a killing.  On the other hand, you have the families who have decided that their stuff is so valuable that unless they make half of the initial value they are not going to sell it.  I went by one last month and the family had tables of old tools set out.  Now I know how a man values these tools, but they were priced way too high.  And I mean way too high!  I could go to Sears and pay just a little more and get something brand new.  Others want you to buy their old furniture for prices that make me gulp.  Really?  That much?  If they have the nerve to price it that high, I have the nerve to state the obvious.

The furniture we bought after the hurricane was not from garage sales or thrift stores, though.  I did go to the different Star Furniture Outlets and bought a few things.  We got some good deals around town due to having the house flooded.  We were blessed by many businesses.  Hilton furniture gave us a high quality bed for our daughter when we bought one for ourselves.  I could tell you others but you get the picture.  I don’t believe that you have to be cheap to be frugal.  Good quality products last a long time and this is what we purchased.  I expect them to hold up nicely for many years to come.  So I guess that’s what guides my buying these days.  Best quality for the least money.  Hey these days what else could be better…except maybe not shopping…nah!!!

Well, enough of my shopping habits.  Hope this finds everyone happy and well.  Take care.

A Proud Daughter of Texas

 

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Community Unity

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A few days ago I was reading a post by DizzyDick about the wildfires in Texas, specifically in Magnolia,  TX.  He shared a story about a woman who took action when it was needed and didn’t wait for the government to come to the rescue.  You can find this post at http://dizzydick.blogspot.com/2011/09/texas-tri-county-fire-story.html .   I hope Dizzy doesn’t mind me linking to this.  Somehow, I don’t think so.  He comes across as a really decent sort of man.

After reading this, I was struck by the thought that this is how things were done, not that long ago.  This was before people got the idea that taxpayers should foot the bill for all disasters.  You do realize that’s what’s going on when FEMA comes in…I know this from personal experience.   The amount we paid for National Flood Insurance was around 400.00 for a year’s coverage.  We were paid much, much more than that after a hurricane flooded our house.  The enormous tally for these payments are on the backs of our fellow citizens.  I’m not saying that we shouldn’t buy insurance by any means, but I am saying that our national budget cannot keep up with these expenses and all the entitlement programs.  Add to those all of the earmarked money for each state’s personal needs and wastes.  We just can’t continue this.  There’s not enough money!

I truly believe that someday, maybe sooner than later, we will be forced to go back to the days when communities took care of their own citizens, because the government won’t be able to do so.  The story that Dizzy gave us is a wonderful map to guide us.  Please take the time to read it.  I think it will make you feel proud of that community and maybe spur  each of us to do what we can to help others…at home and afar.

Praying for each of you!  Take care.

A Proud Daughter of Texas

 

DEPRAVITY

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Please tell me that the majority of Americans have a true moral compass.  I just read a report that, in San Francisco, there are men in the gay community who are called The Naked Men.  They literally walk around nude.  There is a battle with these nudists and the city over the need for nude persons to cover public benches before sitting on them, because of germs.  The nudists say that there is a bigger problem with a person coughing near you, than their unclothed backsides, passing germs.  They are also fighting over regulations calling for nudists to wear pants in restaurants!  Wow…that’s something that needs to be regulated??  Some business owners think that the nude guys will actually help business by bringing in tourist traffic.  I realize that this is in California, but, REALLY?

Another story I read about a month ago, was telling of a conference held by a group called B4U act.  This is a group of psychiatrists and other mental health officials who are working to change the world view of pedophilia.  They want to legalize it!!  They are using the same techniques used to make Homosexuality go mainstream, and those worked, didn’t they.  They want to call Pedophiles…get this…MINOR-ATTRACTED PEOPLE!  What an outrage!  When I was young, being a recognised homosexual was an outrage, even illegal, so don’t think that in this world, this can’t happen.  We just keep taking step after step after step into depravity.  No, not all of us, but if we don’t speak up about our beliefs on these matters, we might as well be giving our OK.  Except, now, children are being given In School Suspension for stating, that as a Christian, they believe that homosexuality is a sin.  And this wasn’t in California, but in my own state of TEXAS!!  Wow, what next!  I am so sickened by this.

There are so many other examples of the depravity of our society, but I want to stop with this last example.  We need to do something to make it clear that we stand against these criminal and sinful actions.  Please, please do what you can to stop this before it goes any further.

Thank you,

A Proud Daughter of Texas

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/08/24/mental-health-group-looks-to-remove-stigma-from-pedophilia/

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/middle-class-guy/2011/aug/17/b4uact-seek-acceptance-minor-attracted-pedophiles/

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/middle-class-guy/2011/aug/17/b4uact-seek-acceptance-minor-attracted-pedophiles/

 

Another What If…

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So how do you cook when the electricity goes out?  Many of you have gas stovetops and grills and handle it that way. I guess others just open cans and eat the food cold…that is if they have a manual can opener.  Most people only have electric ones these days.

I remember when the kids were little, one night, a woman lost control of her car in our town and hit a utility pole that held a major transformer.  The houses and businesses in town lost electricity, including our house.  It was only for a few hours, so we actually had fun. We were lucky enough to have a gas stove.  First, I lit several candles and then made hot chocolate for everyone. We all piled up in one bed and had a little party that the kids loved.  It’s a great memory.  We’ve had several little outages due to storms over the years, but nothing at all long-term.  Then we had a hurricane.  Thinking it was coming in west of us, we went east to my in-laws house.  Wrong call!  It hit right where we lived and our evacuation place was in the line of fire too.  Of course we lost electricity.  A major problem we found right off was that  their kitchen was all-electric.  My family had made jokes for a long time about all my hurricane prepping, but boy it came in handy when we had no way to cook.  I had loaded all our food from the pantry, my prep foods and other supplies into the SUV for the evacuation.  Amongst it all I had several small canisters of propane and a burner attachment.  This little gadget came in handy.  It was what my mother-in-law cooked on for a couple of weeks or so.  We had lots of food and juices for the kids and canned goods for everyone.  My mother-in-law always stocked her pantry really well, so between the two of us we ate pretty well.  Not everyone fared as well though. There were a lot of people who HAD to wait in long lines to get MRE’s, water and ice.  Others had to rely on the Red Cross and the Salvation Army to feed them.   So how would you deal with this problem?  Have you thought out a scenario like this?  You obviously don’t have to live in hurricane country to have power outages.

Another problem that comes up with outages is the heat or cold.  My father-in-law had already bought a generator in preparation for the hurricane.  But they didn’t have a window unit a/c.  They were lucky enough to find one in the day or so after the storm, but boy was it hot!  When he was able to get the a/c unit, we all slept in one room and closed off the living room to keep it cool.  You do what you have to in these circumstances!  It was so nice to get cool at night.  We also didn’t have hot water for baths in the house, but they had a travel trailer that had a bathroom and the water was heated by propane.  I really didn’t need the hot water though.  Since the a/c wasn’t on during the day, a cool shower was a really, really big treat.

The generator came in handy in other ways too.  The refrigerator was plugged in every day, for a few hours, and kept the food from spoiling.  We were also able to watch some news on the TV, since it was hooked up too.  I can’t stress how vital that one piece of machinery was during that ordeal.  Also, several pre-filled gas cans were important because it was impossible to get gas without electricity.  Sadly, we heard many reports of several families who had their generators stolen.  It would probably be very smart to find a way to secure them to something sturdy.  I know most of you know this but I have to say it anyway.  Please never use a generator in a garage or in your home or you will die from carbon monoxide poisoning!  Come to think of it don’t use charcoal that way either.

I was thinking about this today and decided that it was a good subject to bring up on the blog.  I certainly hope that none of you experience a long-term power outage, but it does happen more often than most people realize.  So please think ahead and put some things together in case you ever find yourself in this position.   It won’t hurt you and it may even save you someday.  At the least it will make your life more comfortable.  Take care.

A Proud Daughter of Texas

By the way, a solar generator can be bought or made and although it will cost a bit more up front, there is no need for gasoline!  You can find many examples on YouTube.

Our Other Children

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I love dogs!

Growing up, we pretty much always had a dog or two.  I was that kid who always found the stray dog that I wanted to bring home.  My mom loves to tell of a time when my family was at a shopping center where there was a family giving away puppies.  Of course, I had to go look at them.  They were precious, as all puppies are, and I found one that was not quite up to par with the rest.  I got a big NO when I asked if we could have it.  It about broke my young heart to leave that puppy there.  I was convinced that it needed me to take care of it.  Well, I cried for quite a while that day.  Not bratty crying, but the real heartsick crying of a very young teenage girl.  The memory will always be with me.  Another time, when I was in high school,  some friends and I were out at night, riding around and we saw a puppy by the road.  I went straight home and got my dad to go out there with me to get the poor puppy…when we got there, it was quite a bit larger than I remembered, but I was able to talk Dad into taking it home with us.  I’m sure my mom was really happy with him that night.

Three dogs now reside with me.  After our first dog, Honey, died, my husband and I always had two dogs…one mine and one his.  Of course we loved them both.  We didn’t have children until our early to middle thirties so those dogs were surrogates for us.  We doted on those dogs.  My mom even jokingly called them her granddoggies. We sure didn’t realize how much easier they were to take care of than kids.  And remember, dogs don’t argue with you!

My dog, now, is a sweet Westie named Molly, and boy is she an independent little thing.   She really loves to watch for squirrels.  She’ll sit forever, quivering, while watching a squirrel and waiting for just the right moment to pounce. We call her our Dumb Blonde though.  She really is a bit ditzy.  But it makes her more loveable.  My daughter has a piebald Miniature Dachshund named Bailey.  She is so tiny!  Sweet as the day is long.  One of our older friends told my daughter that Bailey was one ugly dog.  Talk about getting feelings hurt!  That dog is her baby doll.  Poor thing has very little fat on her so she freezes all the time…yes, even in Texas. When she was a little baby, she loved to snuggle under the covers, right along our bodies.  I was always afraid we were going to fall asleep and roll over on her.  She’s small enough that we’d never have noticed.   Our third dog is a shared dog for a change.  I decided that we needed a large dog to guard the house, since we are now alone.  Her name is Emma and she’s an American Staffordshire Terrier, like the dog on Our Gang.  She was such a cute little puppy!  She’s white with black spots, but as a puppy she looked like a little piglet, all plump and pink.  Her nose was almost all pink at that time and her ears flopped over just like a pig’s.  Well, now, other than the way she eats, there’s nothing to remind us of a pig.  Her nose has filled in all black now, thank goodness.  She’s a beautiful, big dog and we have grown to love her very much.  Boy, does she fulfill the scary thing.  Most people mistakenly think she’s a pit bull.  They don’t realize she’d lick them to death.  It’s really funny to see Emma lying down, napping, and then all of a sudden, little bitty Bailey jumps right on Emma’s head and starts pulling her ears!  Emma just rolls over and gently plays with her.  It does get a little dicey though when Emma decides to grab Bailey by the collar.  We are paranoid that she’s going to choke her someday, playing that way.  The kids from church love to come over and visit the dogs.  A couple of our boys are brave enough to go in the yard and roll around with them.  Several adults like to visit them, too!

As I have said in an earlier post, my daughter and I live in a house next to our church building while I am trying (and failing) to find a job.  The dogs are not allowed in the house, so my son and I put up fencing and built them a yard right outside our door.  They have a covered porch under which they have their dogloo on a deck.  The yard has an amazing old oak tree giving them great shade.  But my dogs are inside dogs and I miss having one or two sweet, fuzzy little puppies sitting with me while I watch a movie.  I miss watching them wrestle or chase a racquet ball down the hall.  They are wonderful company and I can’t wait to get a house so we can enjoy each other again.

This summer they were assaulted by fleas.  Not having them in the house all the time, I didn’t realize there was a problem, until I noticed a bad spot on Emma’s back, over her tail.  When I looked I found fleas everywhere.  All three dogs were covered!  So I went to our vet and got a treatment for them called Comfortis. The fleas fall off within 30 minutes of dosing the dog.  Amazing!  For one month, for three dogs, the cost was well over $40.  I was lucky that the vet gave me samples for the first month!  It’s not cheap to have dogs, but I feel a responsibility to do right by an animal in my care.  It’s really sad that too many people don’t take their pet’s care seriously.   On a funny note, they all had matching pink argyle doggie coats last winter because they had to stay out in the cold.  It was too cute.  That poor little dachshund needs a full body fur coat on top of her own though.  I made a tent over their dogloo and put a heat lamp in there, up high enough that they couldn’t get burned.  They were okay.

Well I’m sure you’ve heard enough about my dogs.  I sure do want them inside though.  Maybe I could ask for all of you to seriously pray that I can find a great job, and then a place to buy, so we can all reunite!  By the way, no place will let me rent or lease with Emma.  She’s on the no-no list of all the rentals.  That’s just one small reason I want to own my own place.

I hope you all are blessed with pets who share your lives.  Take care.

A Proud Daughter of Texas

ADDITION:  It’s almost 7:30 this morning and I’ve been proven wrong!  The dogs were barking pretty loudly, so I looked out the window at them and Emma was throwing herself against the fence and barking.  I figured it was a squirrel or some critter, so i went out on the porch.  Well it wasn’t an animal, it was a guy walking in the yard.  When he saw me he headed the other way.  She’s doing her job!  Gotta give her an extra treat today!

What An Arrogant Man!

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I am new at this and don’t know the ins and outs of the legalities of using a photo found online, so I decided to remove the photo of Mr. Obama and the servant carrying his umbrella.  Find the photo by using this link http://www.politico.com/blogs/click/0911/Obamas_umbrella_holder_falls_short.html

Isn’t this an inspiring photo of our president?  I saw this yesterday and had to sit on my thoughts to make sure I didn’t overreact.  My first thought was, “Wow this reminds me of the painting by Jack Vettriano, called the Singing Butler”.  It didn’t take but a second to realize that this photo was our intrepid president Barak Hussein Obama. My second thought was about the arrogance it takes to have a servant hold an umbrella for you, especially as a man.  I’ve never seen a photo of any president in my lifetime having his umbrella held by a servant, when his hands were empty.  I’ve seen president Bush holding his own, though.  I’ve seen Mrs. Ford holding one for her husband and there’s a photo of Ronald and Nancy Reagan walking with umbrellas being held for them, while carrying briefcases…these are somewhat questionable.  Maybe there is a photo out there.  Probably, but I can’t find it. It really doesn’t matter to me, because what I’m getting at is an attitude that this president seems to display over and over.

I expect our elected…get that?…ELECTED officials to be one of us.  Our nation is a republic, not a monarchy.  It turns my stomach for our officials, whatever their political party, to act as though they are royalty instead of servants of the people of this country.  You may think that this is just a little thing, but I don’t think so. This act is one of many, that gauge whether Obama’s lofty words, about making all people equal, match his actions.  We can see that they do not.  This is just one example.  We can see the extravagant lifestyle he and his family have lived in our White House.  The evidence is abundant showing that he wants to live a life far above the rest of the citizens of our country.

So what are we going to do?  Will we sit back and let this behavior continue for another term?  Or will we do all we can to get this man and his machine out of the White House?  Please think about this seriously.  If we all sit on our backsides and just complain, we are doing NOTHING!!!  You are smart enough to figure out ways to fight against this man’s re-election.  So I beg you, if you agree with this post, get out and fight for the America we love.

A Proud Daughter of Texas