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Archive for June, 2007

Would you do this?

June 30th, 2007 at 01:44 pm

Woah, didn't realise time whizzed by so quickly, been waiting for something interesting to post about, as my daily spending gets mundane (milk, bread, busfare...)

Our local supermarket has one of those noticeboards where people can post ads. Today I was browsing it and I saw the following:

For Sale: Would your little girl like a walking talking Fifi doll? (unwanted birthday present) $20. Phone XXX

Well, I admit I've regifted a few unwanted presents in my time, but I'm usually careful to post them to the other end of the country. Selling a child's birthday gift seems a bit on the nose to me. Or - maybe the parents gave it and the child didn't want it? But in that case why didn't they return it to the shop? There's a story in there somewhere, any writers among us care to have a go at it?

Crafty

June 20th, 2007 at 01:18 am

Today was knit group. I walked in and behold! - a sale. If I had been armed with a credit card I could have run amok snatching up bagsful of gorgeous mohair for only nz$4 a ball. However I controlled myself and sat down to work on the project I had brought with me, firmly telling myself I had plenty in my stash. Even at the table I was not immune from temptation - of a different sort. There were chocolate coated cookies most ruinous to slim figures.

So I made myself some Catch 22 rules:
1. If I resist buying yarn, I am allowed to have a cookie.
2. If I resist eating a cookie, I am allowed to buy some yarn.
3. see rule 1.

My salvation came in the stash box. Our group keeps a box for people to donate their odds and ends, so I dug through and found enough to knit a couple hats for charity (we knit from the stash box for the Women's Shelter). That will satisfy my new project urge for a while.

So I made it through the morning without succumbing to the mohair siren call. On the way home I passed the freebie box outside the Sally Army - and Hallelujah! A whole stack of McCalls magazines, dating from the 50s, 60s and 70s, just chocka with vintage patterns. They are too tattered to sell, but I am having great fun going thru them. I had a sort of cross between a giggle and a sigh when I got to 1972 - I was at high school then, and all the girls were crocheting fringed granny square vests, batik dying skirts and all the rest of it. We thought we were so trendy - if you ever wanted to be assured fashion is a waste of time and money, look back to the clothes you had to have when you were young.

So another no spend day. So long as the freebies keep flowing, the going is easy.

Free tracking

June 19th, 2007 at 02:14 am

I was looking for an alternative to MS Money, as I don't like it very much. I tried downloading pearbudget and a couple other freebies, but none of them would do all I wanted so I am juggling all these little spreadsheets whenever I want to update something.

Anyway, I'm going to check out this Lite version of AceMoney. it's supposed to do everything except multiple accounts, so as I am mainly concerned with my checking account, it might be worth a go
http://www.mechcad.net/products/acemoney/index_lite.shtml

I also found this online tracking site, which means you can enter your data from anywhere, instead of having to save all the reciepts and enter them on the home computer.
www.moneytrackin.com

Stolen!

June 18th, 2007 at 06:05 pm

The money plant cutting my friend gave me a few months ago has been growing really well.Last night I thought it was about time I gave it a bit of feeding and watering, so I stepped out onto the front porch - and it was gone! Not there! Missing! Somebody walked off with it!

It's a shame, because in general this is a good neighborhood - but some people who are otherwise honest don't seem to think it's stealing if they take plants (and books, but that's a whole 'nother story)

I hope they put it in the wrong corner and it brings them bad Feng Shui. I found 60 cents this morning so hopefully my luck hasn't altered.

Just browsing, thanks

June 17th, 2007 at 06:46 pm

The Public Library booksale was this weekend. It was so big, it was held in the basement carpark instead of the usual room. There was a barbecue and coffee for sale. I'm not sure how many tables of books there were, but I was a bit overwhelmed. Instead of the usual ooh-bargains-goody response, I was thinking to myself; these are all the must-have books of yesteryear - do I really need them now? OK they were 50 cents each instead of $10-15, but it's still spending money I could save for something else, and cluttering up my home with more stuff.

In the end I only bought 3 books, as gifts for other people (hint, if your friends don't like 2nd hand books, get some new friends). I am now resolved to become a serendipity reader; I will read the books that find their way into my life, instead of forever trying to find that ONE book that will transform my life. There will always be another bestseller and a new how-to-fix-your-life book.

Actually, I'm now into free ebooks and classics. The Gutenberg Project is great, and stored on my computer they don't take up space. Plus, it is the one way I can read and knit at the same time.

Double good news

June 11th, 2007 at 02:31 pm

Brrr it's winter here in godzone. We have had a good frost for the last couple nights. Hard to make myself get out of bed and the power bills are skyrocketing Frown

First bit of good news; I have qualified under the Healthy Homes scheme to have my house given more efficient insulation. given that my house is quite old and I have a disability and a low income. It will cost around nz$900, and I only have to contribute one third of this.

Second bit of good news is I am getting a tax refund of nz$380 - so that will pay for the installation of the insulation nicely Smile

Looking forward to lower power bills

Expensive

June 7th, 2007 at 01:54 am

Goods news is I got my scarf back. And I have another interview tomorrow.

Sad news is an old school friend's brother has died. I went to look for a nice card - I cannot believe the prices. Just a blank with a nice picture so I could write inside cost up to nz$5. Well, how to do the decent thing as a human being without drinking milkless tea for the rest of the week? I have got Publisher so could make my own card, but
i) I don't like the cheap look of paper compared to heavy card
ii) I guess so many people have switched to making their own or sending ecards, that's why they're getting more expensive.
Then I thought of making some stationery with a pretty border and writing a sympathy letter instead. I turned up a webpage of quotes and found a Chinese proverb that says:
You can only go halfway into the darkest forest, then you are coming out the other side. I added some lines of my own about my memories of him, and went to print it -
oops, run out of ink. When I went to the computer store, the guy said for some reason the cartridges were hard to get lately. Bye bye nz$18.
Compared to losing a dear brother, it's nothing to complain about.

All that effort wasted

June 6th, 2007 at 02:07 am

A while back I picked up a jersey in a thrift store for a dollar. I unravelled it, then spent the last couple weeks knitting myself a lovely warm bright red scarf. Today I wore it for the first time, and got some compliments. I thought I was pretty smart for a dollar.

And now I've lost it. Agghh, I must have left it in the lecture theatre. I was right! It's all Shakespeare's fault!

sigh, 16,000 students on campus. Will it fall into the hands of an honest one who gives it to the lost property office? Or will I see my scarf wrapped round someone's neck at the pub? Will it wind up draped around a lamppost, or used as a lampshade in a hall of residence? The possibilities are endless.

Fortunately I still have plenty of the red yarn left. I'm thinking of knitting a beanie, or maybe a bag.

It's all Shakespeare's fault!

June 5th, 2007 at 09:14 pm

One of the great things about living in a college town is there are regular open lectures by all sorts of visiting professors, to which members of the public can go - for free.
This afternoon I went to a talk on Shakespearean acting by a performer from the London Globe. It was fantastic. Not only was he a mine of information on the history and language of the times, he was also wonderfully entertaining. We were in fits of laughter - the Globe is now definitely on my list of places to visit when I take a trip to England.
I came out and had a dry throat, so thought I'd go to the Student Union for a cup of tea. Only a couple of years ago you could get a decent cup of coffee or tea for a dollar. Now - they've all gone upmarket and the barrista charges you nz2.80. I could live with that, but they also have these huge tempting slice of chocolate fudge, ginger crunch, and all manner of luscious muffins. So I wound up spending nz5.20. Agghh - that could have gone to my trip to England!
The groundlings in Shakespeare's day would never have stood for it - they'd be rioting and hurling nuts. Now all these wellmannered intellectual students study Shakespeare from texts and they don't realise how revolutionary he actually was! I was fascinated to hear the speaker from the Globe saying the hiphop artists are the true modern Shakespeares.

Apple pies

June 1st, 2007 at 01:59 am

"Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness." - Jane Austen

So I made a pie for dinner from the neighbor's windfalls. Very good and I am very happy. My mom was great at baking pies and we had them a lot. We grew our own gooseberries and rhubard, there were brambles growing up the lane, and an old abandoned orchard at the back of the yard. I remember when mom was going to bake an apple pie sis and I would run thru the long grass to gather up the windfalls, chasing away the squirrels and rabbits. Sometimes in the winter, if it was just getting dark, we would see a fox slipping along the hedge. When we took them home, we would watch mom to see if she could take the peel off an apple in one whole strip - she was very good at it. The pastry was made from wholewheat flour and she used maybe half a cup of brown sugar - sometimes she put dried fruit in as well. We seldom had icecream or cream with it, just homemade custard. It was a pretty nutritious dessert, looking back.

I used to love making pies with ds. You get a math lesson with all that measuring and weighing, a science lesson with the chemical changes, and a lesson in nutrition all at the same time.

Moms - save our rising generation from the threats of obesity, diabetes, and the loss of precious domestic skills! Don't take them to McD's for a lump of fried sugar that is falsely labelled - feed them real apple pies and show them how to make them! Then, and only then, will our civilization rise again!

slips into Winston Churchill imitation... We shall bake to the end, we shall make pastry in the kitchen, we shall place pies in our kids lunch boxes, we shall make apple pies with growing confidence and growing strength, we shall defend our homemade desserts, whatever the cost may be, we shall control the amount of sugar, we shall plant our own apple trees, we shall ignore advertising in the papers and on the TV, we shall save money in the process; we shall never surrender.