email: okaybyme at gmail dot com

View My Complete Profile

Compost Happens is a personal blog: part family, part garden, part crunchy green eco-writer. I'm Daisy, and I'm the groundskeeper here. I take care of family, garden, and coffee, when I'm not teaching and doing laundry.

Subscribe in a reader

  • The Garden Central
  • Your Garden Show Interactive Online Community
  • Hometown Seeds
  • Live to Garden
  • WormsEtc; composting, vermiculture, and more
  • Rion Greenhouses - modular kits
  • Rose Gardening A great source for pictures and information on roses!

    website metrics

    My Stats

  • Wednesday, December 29, 2010

    Setting goals? Go greener.

    I frequently admit that while I lean to the green, I'm not as green as I could be. While my family is far from no-impact, we do find ways to lower our impact on the planet. If you're setting goals on the green side, here are a few that are easy to implement.

    Bring your own bag. Many, many stores offer discounts when a shopper brings a bag. It may be 5 cents off the total, but if you bring five bags every time you shop, it'll add up. It'll also reduce the amount of garbage or recycling in the house when those paper or plastic bags stop piling up in the corner. For people who forget; make it a fun and easy habit. I keep two collapsible bags in my purse at all times and another in the car's glove box. Buy a pretty one that you'll want to use! It's a mind game, yes, like many other goals.

    Water bottles. Remember my review of the Filtrete pitcher? The family likes it. We're drinking more water, staying better hydrated, and Chuck & La Petite are using fewer plastic bottles. I'm buying a replacement filter so we can continue using the filter pitcher. Filtered water makes good coffee, too. need I say more? Like the BYOBag goal, easy and convenient goals are more likely to continue and become habit.

    Garbage. This one is new to the family, but it fits. The city offered residents a chance to downsize their curbside garbage bins, the ones picked up by the automated trucks. The reward is - it's free, rather than a small charge for the big ones. We chose to take them up on their offer. It'll be tougher in the winter when we're composting less and the bunny litter doesn't go on the brush pile, but we can do it. The real reward isn't the absence of this small charge; the real reward is knowing we're contributing less to the landfill.

    I expect 2011 to be a year of change in many ways. One attitude that will not change is this; we'll take care of our world as much as we can, acting locally while thinking big.

    Labels: , ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010

    Pecan-Cinnamon Cookies

    I know, I hear you. Cookies after Christmas? Well, readers, that's the way my life has been running lately. Sheer craziness, no time to even think or plan ahead. I've had this recipe sitting in the kitchen for two weeks, and I finally made it on Christmas Eve Day. The recipe says it makes 48 cookies, but I cut mine thicker and made about half that. They're delicious.

    Pecan-Cinnamon Cookies
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
    3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
    1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used all-purpose this time)
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup finely chopped pecans
    1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

    In a bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, and the brown sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.
    In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until combined. Stir in the pecans.
    Divide the dough in half and use lightly floured hands to shape each portion into a 6 inch log. Wrap each log in waxed paper and place in the freezer until firm: at least one hour.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Unwrap the dough and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. On a shallow plate, combine the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar with the cinnamon. Roll the logs in the sugar mixture, then slice each into cookies. The directions say make the cookies 1/4 inch thick; I had to make mine thicker. They were crumbling like crazy.
    Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

    Serve with coffee, of course. Or milk.

    Hints: I had pecan halves in the cupboard, so I put them in a ziploc bag and pounded them with a meat tenderizer. It worked beautifully and felt oh, so satisfying.
    Readers, do you use whole wheat pastry flour? I'm finding it recommended by more and more cookbooks and blogs. My grocery store doesn't carry it; where do you buy this kind of flour?

    Labels: ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Monday, December 27, 2010

    Daisy and Chuck's ER Adventures

    It started on a Saturday, of course. Adventures like this never happen on weekdays.

    Chuck hurt himself getting the garage ready for winter. You may have heard the news; he dropped the rototiller on his right big toe. Tough guy that he is, he hobbled into the house to elevate it and ice it and decided he was fine and dandy. After supper, I gently set an ice pack on it and he jumped out of his skin (well, off the couch) at the pain, leading me to say, "Okay, dear, I'll bring you the phone. You're calling the doctor." The nurse on call told him to hippity hop into the nearest ER in case of bleeding under the nail.

    The nearest hospital is quite close: five minutes by car. The hard part was finding the entrance. The hospital had undergone some major construction projects, and the ER entrance had moved since we were last there in early July. We followed the signs and found the entrance, I dropped off my limping man, and we were in business.

    We can dispense with the gory details. He was treated and released -- after helping the triage nurse fix her computer's loose mouse cord and becoming fascinated by the name of the "tool" used to fix his toe. Mr. Techie and Mr. Word Person all rolled into one, that's my ever-loving husband.

    The next night - yes, Sunday after a Packers loss (sob), I started feeling ill. Suddenly ill, in fact, in such a way that I couldn't deny it; it was obviously my turn to head back to the ER. Chest pains, dizziness, sweating, and more... we climbed back in the minivan for the now familiar ride. This time we knew the quickest way to the entrance, so Chuck dropped me off and parked.

    We reintroduced ourselves to the ER weekend team, Chuck saying "It's her turn tonight!" The nurse remembered Chuck for his help with her computer cart, and the doctor asked him "How's the toe?" as he checked my first round of tests. This may have been a rarity for the ER doctor - getting to follow-up with a patient.

    After being hooked up to all kinds of machines, timing the number of minutes between blood pressure checks, getting medicines by mouth and through an IV, having early evening blood work compared with the late evening blood work, the pain finally eased and I was allowed to go home - with conditions. Follow-up appointments, further testing, I had to agree to all of that before going home to sleep in my own bed. Well, home to call a substitute and then go to school to leave lesson plans.

    The whole experience was surreal. Getting hooked up to so many machines, so many wires. The sheer number of tests done (thank goodness for good insurance coverage). The pacing. It was a lengthy stay (four hours!), but there was almost always something going on. Turning the debate from cardiac to gastro-intestinal and back to cardiac again - my head was spinning figuratively with the for and against discussions, almost as much as it spun literally in the beginning.

    I never planned to be a familiar face at the local Emergency Room. I'd say "Now what? What's next?" but I'm a little afraid of the answer. Let's just keep Chuck away from the rototiller until spring; that'll help.

    Labels: , , ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Saturday, December 25, 2010

    Holiday Mess!

    I must give credit to Judy Jeute at Royal Ranch for sharing this quote first. It fit our day beautifully.

    "One of the most glorious messes in the world in the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly." -Andy Rooney

    Not messy enough? Here, see the big picture.

    Amigo convinced me to leave all the wrapping paper and ribbons out for a while so the bunnies could have fun playing with them. I agreed, on one condition: he had to let me borrow his garbage truck.

    Oh, okay. Seriously? We left the mess to the bunnies until Chuck's parents called saying they were coming earlier than planned. Hectic clean-up time!

    Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. I hope your family had many glorious messes.

    Labels: , ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Holiday Clutter

    Welcome to the O.K. Chorale, our humble home. Instead of the typical home tour with tree and fireplace et al, I'll show you the clutter. It's seasonal and festive, but I must admit the house is really, really cluttered. First, the cards. They go in a basket that's decorated for the occasion. To the left you see a pot of rosemary - or maybe it's thyme. Both are growing on top of the piano, despite the limited light of the solstice season.

    On your way into the kitchen, look up. You'll see these festive little items. Why don't I use the mug for coffee? Because I have plenty in the cupboard, thank you very much.

    To your right you'll see a candy dish that Amigo bought me when he was young and a snowman candle. I don't burn candles often, but this one is in a really cute holder.

    If you're brave enough to venture up to the master bedroom, you'll see presents stacked in a corner. Why? Come on, people. We have bunnies! If we put the presents under the tree, the bunnies will open them before we do. They love tearing paper and boxes apart.

    Even farther into the room, in my walk-in closet, a few more gifts are sitting up high on a shelf. You might notice the lack of fancy wrapping paper. One is wrapped in a re-used bag, but the rest use packing paper or other creative means. If you look closely enough, one gift is wrapped in a map.

    So there you have it, folks, the holiday clutter at the home of Daisy and family!

    I hope your weekend is full of peace and happiness. Merry Christmas, readers.

    Labels: ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    Brownie Mixes in a Jar

    There are two simple brownie mixes on my list; the ingredients for these two are almost always plentiful in my cupboards.

    Angel Brownies

    Ingredients for 1 Quart Jar
    1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar, divided
    1 1/2 cups sifted flour, divided
    4 oz. chocolate morsels
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 cup broken walnuts

    Instructions for Jar:
    1. In bottom of jar, pack 3/4 cup brown sugar.
    2. Pour in 3/4 cup flour on top of brown sugar.
    3. Add a layer of all chocolate morsels.
    4. Put remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar in jar and pack down.
    5. Add remaining flour, salt, and baking powder.
    6. Pour walnuts on top and screw on lid.

    Instructions for baking (include with gift tag):
    3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
    2 extra large eggs
    1 1/2 vanilla

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. While preheating, put butter in over-safe bowl and pplace in oven to melt.
    3. Watch butter closely; remove from oven when butter melts and set aside to cool.
    4. Pour all dry ingredients in jar into large mixing bowl.
    5. Add eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition, and add vanilla.
    6. Pour melted butter into mixture and mix well.
    7. Prepare 8 x 8 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
    8. Pour batter into pan and bake for about 30 minutes.

    If you're serving these at my house, you'll make coffee, of course.

    Blond Brownies

    Ingredients for 1 Quart Jar:
    1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar, divided
    1/2 cup chocolate chips
    1 cup flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup chopped nuts

    Instructions for Jar:
    1. Pack 3/4 cup brown sugar in bottom of 1 quart wide-mouth jar.
    2. Pour layer of chocolate chips and layer of flour, baking powder, and salt in that order.
    3. Top with chopped nuts and screw lid on jar.
    Hmmm.... misprint, perhaps? It doesn't tell me where to put the rest of the brown sugar. I think I'll pack it on top of the flour layer and top with the nuts.

    Instructions for Baking: include with gift tag
    1 1/2 cups butter
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    1. Preheat oven to 350. Pour ingredients from jar into large mixing bowl.
    2. In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool.
    3. Beat eggs and add vanilla.
    4. Pour butter into egg mixture and mix well.
    5. Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients and mix well.
    6. Prepare 9 x 9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
    7. Pour batter evenly into baking pan and bake at 350 for 25- 30 minutes.

    Serve with milk for the kids and coffee for the grown-ups.

    These two came from a book called Brownies in a Jar. It's published by Cookbook Resources, LLC. I don't know if it's still available; this was a gift a few years ago. I use it every December and sometimes in between! Nope, this isn't a sponsored post, either.

    Labels: ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Traveling thrift and coffee

    Morning looks like this in Daisy's hotel room. Another hotel, you ask? I don't get out much, really. The privacy, the lack of schedule pressure, the opportunity to take my time - all make the rare treat of a hotel stay extra special. Nothing fancy, really, just a room with a bed and a good wifi connection. Oh, and coffee, of course.

    Back to the beginning. I had a small but delicious complimentary breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and then looked at the clock. No rush to get to Amigo's school; he would still be in class. You guessed it, readers; I played with my favorite hotel toy, the coffeemaker.

    While the coffeemaker was working, I dug out quarters for the vending machine across the hall. Overpriced, yes, but it had two of my favorites: raspberry shortbread cookies (for dipping in coffee) and original Fritos for a later snack in the car.

    Perfect timing: the coffee was ready!!

    While I dipped cookies in the coffee, I used my Droid to look up the nearest thrift stores. Packed, checked out, and in the car: thrift time! For less than $30, I came out with five pair of jeans and three small gifts, all packaged in my BYO bags. What a great and frugal way to start my day!

    The thrift store? One of my favorites.

    Altogether a relaxing and frugal morning, followed by picking up Amigo at school and coming home. Readers, how do you relax away from home? Shopping? Coffee?

    Labels: , ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Cookie Mix in a Jar

    Every year I like to give my coworkers Gift in a Jar mixes. I have three recipe books for this kind of gift, so the biggest decision is - which mix? Most of the time I choose based on the ingredients already in my kitchen. This year it's a toss-up between two: oatmeal cookies or brownies. Out of four gifts, I decided to give the cookie mix to those with children at home and the brownie mix to those without. The recipes have two parts: the mixes themselves and the instructions to bake them, which go on the gift tags.

    Oatmeal, Raisin, & Spice Cookie Mix

    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 cup old-fashioned oats

    Layer the ingredients in the order given into a wide-mouth 1-quart canning jar. Pack each layer in place before adding the next ingredient.

    Attach a gift tag with the following mixing and baking directions.

    1 jar Oatmeal, Raisin, & Spice Cookie Mix
    1/2 Cup butter or margarine, softened
    2 eggs, slightly beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream the butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add the Oatmeal, Raisin, & Spice cookie Mix and stir until the mixture is well blended. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

    from Gifts in a Jar: Cookies published by CQ Products in Waverly, IA

    Disclaimer: no, this is not a sponsored post. I've had these books for years and I use them every holiday season. Ho-ho-ho; enjoy!

    Labels: ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    jammin' with cranberries

    I tried. It didn't quite work. I know what went wrong, though, so I'm going to work on a solution today.

    A package of cranberries + a few jars of orange marmalade (not jelled, remember?) should have made a delicious jam.

    Well, it jelled well and the flavor was good, but I added too much sugar. It was grainy. I think I measured the amount of sugar based on raw fruit and forgot that the marmalade was already sweetened.

    Now what? I have one more option, and one more package of pectin. If I incorporate more raw fruit from the freezer, raspberries or strawberries, it might work. Step one: clean the kitchen so I actually have room to work. Step two: give it a try. What do you think, readers, will it work? I'll let you know!


    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    That which was lost, is now found.

    It was a rainy and windy day in October, not a dark and stormy night, but it was still unpleasant. My fellow teacher and I made it a little more pleasant by going out to lunch after a half day of school. During that lunch I took off my lanyard and dropped my jump drive into my bag behind the car seat - or so I thought.

    As the weekend went on, I looked for the jump drive. It was nowhere to be found. I thought "Maybe it's at school," even thought I knew better. When I got back to school on Monday, my friend agreed: she remembered my taking it off and putting it in my bag, saying "I might need this to get some work done this weekend." So the mystery was yet unsolved.

    I kept looking, started using the back-up files from my hard drives, compiling them once again in a convenient place.

    In mid-December on a truly dark and stormy night, Chuck encountered a surprise. He was dressing himself to clear the driveway of snow, reaching for gloves and a hat, when he dislodged an umbrella standing in the same area of the back hallway. As he reached for the umbrella, something fell out.

    You guessed it, readers. My long lost jump drive!!

    Okay, readers, now it's up to you. How can I make sure I don't lose this again? Any tips? Tricks? Smart remarks? Okay, forget the last one. But seriously. How can I keep my portable memory intact and nearby?


    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Name that bakery item

    I left my labeler out on the table.
    La Petite had too much time on her hands and decided to play with it.

    In case there is any doubt, she made sure we knew what was for dessert after opening the gifts.

    She didn't label the coffee.


    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Pizza! Pizza Crust at home!

    I was craving homemade pizza. Tombstone wouldn't do. Wasting money on a delivery wasn't right, either. But (there's always a "but") - we didn't have any crust.

    Homemade pizza crust is something I haven't mastered yet. I've used mixes with limited success, and I've never made my own. I took a deep breath, reached for Organizing Dinner; 70 Meals, 1 trip to the store. I tried her pizza crust recipe; lo and behold, it worked!

    Pizza Crust
    1 1/4 cups flour
    1/2 packet (1 1/2 tsp) dry yeast
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup very warm water (120-130 degrees)
    1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

    Generously grease a baking sheet, and place on middle rack of oven. In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of the flour, yeast, and salt until well blended. Add water and oil. Mix until almost smooth. Gradually stir in remaining flour to make a firm dough. Cover; let sit for 15 minutes. Generously prick dough with fork. Roll out and prebake at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or just until edges of crust begin to turn a light golden brown. Remove from oven.

    At this point you get to add the toppings. I use a basic marinara or spaghetti sauce, spread thin, with onions and peppers sliced thin and fresh oregano sprinkled generously on top. After that we choose a meat or other special toppings. Basil and spinach make a nice veggie pizza with a little feta cheese. One of my favorite pizzas was the one I topped with fresh pepperoni from the neighborhood meat market. Oh, that was good! The butcher sliced it thin for me, too. Lastly, of course, the cheese. I cover the entire pizza with grated mozzarella (I keep a ball of mozzarella in the freezer; it thaws quickly and grates well while partially frozen) and then supplement it with whatever cheeses we have in the refrigerator. Why, yes, we do always have cheese available. Doesn't everybody?

    The Organizing Dinner blog posted the same recipe recently. I can vouch for its simplicity; try it! The fun part is choosing toppings. Yes, I live in Wisconsin; our pizzas always have plenty of locally made cheese. In my house, it also has home-grown oregano, brought in from the deck to live on a bookshelf for the winter. In the summertime - well, I think I'll wait until summer to post this again. I'll share my ideas of fun with farm market produce on a pizza crust.

    No, this is not a sponsored post. Nope. Just a hungry day and a solution to my dinner dilemma. Enjoy!

    Labels: , ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    Thrift ideas: it's not always obvious.

    Yes, that's right; the wooden case says "Pete's Wicked Ale." It's full of baby board books. That's okay; baby Audrey is only 12 months old. She loves her books, but she doesn't read the labels on the book"shelf" yet.


    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Thursday, December 09, 2010

    Taking pleasure in the small things

    The week ended the same way it began - badly. I spent the drive to Chicago alternating napping and checking email on my phone, trying not to entertain too many work-related thoughts because I felt like I was rocking uncontrollably, hanging on for dear life and wailing "Where am I going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?!"

    But after a simple veggie burger and fast food fries for supper with a little Andes mint custard for dessert, my stressed-out stomach began healing and my outlook started facing up and forward, not down and back. Eventually we dropped La Petite at the spare room that was her destination and checked into our treat, a hotel room.

    That's where I began to count my blessings in the form of simple pleasures.

    -a lumbar pillow, just the right size to rest my aching back while I read a book in bed

    -in-room coffee maker, a personal favorite

    - and a little hazelnut flavor to make it go down smoothly.

    With simple pleasures like these included in my overnight stay, all must be well with the world.

    Labels: , ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Tuesday, December 07, 2010

    Chuck's Black Bean Soup

    He heard it first on Wisconsin Public Radio courtesy of Zorba Paster on Your Health. Then he went online and found another variation that wasn't quite as spicy. Finally, he made the recipe his own. Yes, like me, Chuck likes to play in the kitchen and modify recipes to fit our own family tastes. He served this as part of Thanksgiving dinner, but it's a great soup for any cold or dreary winter day.

    Chuck's Black Bean Soup

    2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
    3/4 cup white pearl onions, peeled
    1/2 cup diced celery
    1/2 cup diced carrots
    3/4 cup green bell peppers
    2 Tablespoons minced garlic
    3 (15 oz.) cans black beans (He used Bush's regular, plain style)
    1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans
    4 cups chicken stock
    2 Tablespoons taragon vinegar (can substitute another vinegar if desired)
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
    Garnish: chopped green onions, sour cream

    1. Hear 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium/low heat.
    2. Add onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic to the oil and simmer slowly for 15 minutes. Keep heat low wnough that the veggies don't brown; be careful not to burn the garlic or it will be bitter.
    3. While you cook the veggies, pour the garbanzo beans into a strainer and rinse them under cold water. Set aside.
    4. Pour 3 cans of black beans into strainer and rinse under cold water.
    5. Measure 3 cups of the drained and strained black beans into a food processor or blender with 1 cup of chicken stock. Puree on high speed until smooth.
    6. When the veggies are ready, pour the pureed black beans, the whole beans (black & garbanzo), the rest of the chicken stock, and every other ingredient in the list (down to the liquid smoke) to the pot.
    7. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 50-60 minutes or until soup has thickened and all the ingredients are tender.
    8. Pour mixture into crockpot and warm for 4 hours.

    Chuck notes: Steps 1-7 can be done the day before and refrigerated overnight. He and Amigo did that Wednesday evening and warmed the soup in the crock pot while the turkey was cooking.

    My opinion: delicious. This one's a keeper. So is Chuck, for that matter.

    And in other news, the winner of the Lulu photo book was Kim Moldofsky! Kim, I'll send you more information soon. Congratulations!

    Labels: , ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Monday, December 06, 2010

    Baby turns One!

    The best toys, of course, are the simple playthings.
    A handful of curling ribbon.

    A lap full of tissue.

    Here, grandma, this is fun. Want to share?

    Happy First Birthday, little sweetheart!!

    Labels: ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Friday, December 03, 2010

    Buy nothing day? Buy locally day?

    Almost. I almost made it through Black Friday without buying anything. I avoided the craziness of the midnight and 4 AM openings; in fact, I avoided the big box stores altogether. Chuck and Amigo went to Kohls in the afternoon to buy a few things, and I got nominated to pick up bunny food after my other errands.

    I mailed two packages (one a catalog return, the other Sun-Lovin' Rat headed home to Ontario) at the postal outpost inside the drugstore. Then I headed toward the pharmacy and found out that due to renewal regulations, I couldn't pick up both of my prescriptions. Instead of saving the time and gas of making one trip, I had to go back later. How much later? "You can pick up the other one at the earliest.... tomorrow," declared the pharmacist. Growl. He had the courtesy to let me know that next month it'll probably work out to renew them together. Whew.

    After the pharmacy came a mini-grocery trip to supplement the leftovers in the house and pick up bunny food. Produce is outrageously expensive right now. Makes me wish I had a greenhouse and could grow my own!

    So that was Friday. I didn't face the madness of Black Friday, but I didn't join the "buy nothing" crowd, either. Independent to the end, that's me.

    As for Saturday: I saw signs and notices in our newspaper asking people to "Support Small Businesses" and "Shop Local" on Saturday. Upon further review I realized it was part of a national movement. La Petite had a few places in mind, boutiques in our small and lovely downtown, so we planned an afternoon there. I offered to pick up the tab for our beverages,since there are several nice coffeehouses along the way.

    Alas, it was not to be. She got some bad news (an unsuccessful job interview), and wasn't ready to leave the house. Chuck did his share to keep me home, too, by dropping a rototiller on his big toe. The right foot, of course, making the drive to the ER my responsibility.

    Well, local shops, I'll be back. It might not be on the sponsored day, but I'm loyal. I'll get there.

    Labels: ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Thursday, December 02, 2010

    Holiday shopping the thrift-y way

    I admit it. I've been growing greener every year with my holiday buying. Wrapping, too, but that's another story.

    Two years ago I gave reusable shopping bags to everyone on my list.
    Last year most extended family members received anti-static dryer balls.
    This year: I'm not sure. Cloth napkins? That would work for a few of the folks, but not all. Gifts in a jar? That would be a good start; I usually give these to the people who work closely with me at school. Homemade jams? If I have enough, that could work.

    Think. Think. Think. Thank Winnie-the-Pooh for this inspirational thought. Think. Think. Think. While I'm pondering the options and considering keeping my pocketbook and philosophies loaded with green, take a look around the blogosphere for others with thrifty gift ideas.

    The Elegant Thrifter has authored and published The Find; The Housing works book of decorating with thrift shop treasures, flea market objects, and vintage details. Check out the blog for ideas and techniques and frugal fun.

    The Thrifty Chicks update infrequently, but when they do, it's worth reading.

    Leah at Suddenly Frugal champions all things lean and green. Recently she gave advice on maximizing the value of your holiday spending and how the US Postal Service keeps the season green.

    Sonya at Dime Store Thrift posts great finds and creative ideas and even has her own Etsy shop for selling her thrifty creations.

    If you're more bargain cyber-shopper than thrifter, go to Her tag line "Having it all with less" accurately reflects her personal philosophy and her posts are full of bargains and humor.

    Meanwhile, I continue to think, think, think. I don't have a green theme gift yet; maybe this is the year I won't find one that works for all. While I ponder the possibilities, I'll slice up last year's holiday and birthday cards for reuse as gift tags. At least I'll feel useful that way.

    Labels: , , ,

    Digg! Stumble It! add to kirtsy

    Search & Win

    About 1 in 5 child deaths is due to injury. CDC Vital Signs


Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

    Copyright, 2003-2008 by OkayByMe. All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval without written permission from Daisy, the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review. In other words, stealing is bad, and if you take what doesn't belong to you, it's YOUR karma and my lawyers you might deal with.