Memorial Day 5.28.12

Goofy Girl

In these modern days of doorbuster sales events, sometimes it’s hard to remember that Memorial Day actually serves an important purpose in the year of the American.  The percentage of total population serving in current wars is down to .5% present day, so being alienated from the culture of injury, loss and longing is easy for many people.  Many of us forget that living among us are war veterans who will never receive adequate compensation and care for the emotional and physical injuries they’ve endured.

All we have is our time and our good intentions (since our coffers are bone dry these days), and as the people of our small, Maine hometown came out of the woodwork almost instantaneously this morning for the Memorial Day parade, we listened to the orator of the morning implore civilians to give service in the spirit of those .5% currently serving, or those who have served before, if not for anything but simply the life changing events they have witnessed and taken part in.

We can only hope, then, that our leaders are taking care to keep our men and women safe from harm unless all possible alleys of diplomacy have been tried first.  We can only hope that consumption and greed as a cultural phenomenon of epic proportions in the late 20th and early 21st centuries do not guide elected officials’ wartime whims.  We can only hope that we wouldn’t send our flesh and blood, America’s young minds, across the globe to be wasted on a battlefield in efforts to secure crude resources that, ultimately, have a limited stock.

These hopes may be dashed somewhat easily in a world where water is a sellable commodity, where the last truly justifiable war happened over 50 years ago.  If we ask our soldiers and sailors to make the ultimate sacrifice for us, shouldn’t it be for a just cause and not a staggering, aim-anywhere strike against an adjective or a noun like ‘terror’ or ‘drugs’?

A craft blog, as this probably must mostly look like, is not usually a place for these types of reflections.  But today, looking out over the Memorial Green, dotted with the 50 waving flags (and counting) donated by families of service people killed in action, there really is no place that isn’t appropriate to give our thanks to those who deserve them, and our most severe scrutiny to those in power who wield the fates of men.

Two Weeks in Pictures: 5/16/12

bean boot shaped pick up truck, preferred vehicle of Mainers

Phew phew phew.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks, as illustrated by my lack of sharing ‘a week in pictures’ for two weeks.  Here’s a short update.  #1, working for an icon of Maine certainly has its upsides (as shown above).  You’ll maybe remember these awesome duck boots that I listed in my Etsy shop a few days ago.  Is there anything more comfortable than slipping in to (or climbing behind the wheel of) a Maine hunting shoe?  I don’t think so.

goofiness runs in the family

I’ve rather withdrawn from the world, lately, and am working pretty hard to get back in to it.  It’s especially easy to recharge when I’m hanging out with the littlest goofball, aka my niece, aka such a funny, independent, defiant little three year old.  She’s finally decided to call me by ‘my name’ which is “Chuvvy” (pronounced CH-uh-VEE) which is damn close enough to Audrey but way funnier.  Dad was laughing randomly last weekend and when I stopped him he said it was because he realized I was “Ant Chuvvy” or anchovy, which suits me just fine.  The whole family is one goofy laugh away from the madhouse.

present for moominmother

Of course I was up there, visiting, to deliver this present above which I, of course, forgot on the side table by the door when I left.  Mom is still waiting for her Mother’s Day present but a sneak peek never hurt anyone.  I picked it up at The Big Thaw which was quite fun, despite it being upstaged by a freaking gorgeous day in Southern Maine.

Bath Salts T-Shirts

We worked hard over an infuriatingly simple Yudu machine to make these pretty wonderful Bath Salts t-shirts.  I have them for sale in my Etsy shop for $10.00 if you want one, or if you’d like to hear our music you can visit our Bandcamp page.  We played a show on Saturday night with The Outfits and Nuclear Boots at Bayside Bowl.  It was pretty fun, despite not being able to hear anything I was playing probably due to inexperience because I could have just asked to have my level turned up.  There’s also the surreal feeling post-show that fills you with doubt about your creative adventures, even if friends and non-friends are approaching you and saying ‘wow, awesome!’  Sun was much needed on Sunday (as shown in the previous entry) to repair from a crazy Saturday full of craft fairs and on-stage exhibition.

J. Crew Dress, beautiful white seersucker

I also when ‘thrifting’ on Sunday and got very thrifty, indeed, when I found this J.Crew sun dress with its original tags.  It’s on sale in my Ebay store now, and the bidding is at $6.50 currently.  There’s nothing more rejuvenating than finding a good deal and passing it on to those who it might fit a little better (certain parts of me refuse to fit in to a 6 anymore.  Pshaw.)  It’s white seersucker, which let me just say, it’s probably my favorite fabric as of late.  The lining is 100% cotton, too, and the whole thing is a flowy, airy piece that I wish I could squish my gazongas in to but oh well, right?  Better not force a good thing.

Truncated, brief two weeks in pictures – but better than nothing.  Yeah!

Sunny

little feet

This weekend was long… and stressful, if you get right down to it.  Recharged on Sunday sitting on the front lawn with K. and soaking up some vitamin D.  Despite her penchant for throwing toys, food, and anything else she gets her hands on on the floor (then walking away) she’s the best de-stressor.  Let’s sit in the grass and take pictures of our feet all. day. long.

Occasionally Extreme

A serious haul for under $25.  This would’ve been under $20 if it weren’t for that damn Meow Mix.  Cat’s gotta eat, y’all!

Sometimes my friends, family, coworkers, etc. give me a hard time because I get a little excited about coupons.  Let me be crystal clear – I’m an occasional couponer, and I’m not that extreme, and I only buy things that are useful or healthy for us.  Here’s the rundown:

-I don’t waste time clipping coupons.  I buy them for pennies at The Coupon Clippers so that I can search through their stock to find coupons that are relevant to me, and not a bunch of stuff they’re trying to market to people who don’t understand that $1.00 off four frozen pizzas still frigging costs too much money.

-I don’t mind not using coupons that are expiring, unless they’re something we really love.  LIKE BEANS.  These Goya coupons were expiring and I still have four more to use before the 20th. Yikes.  It literally costs 5 cents for a coupon to expire, I’m not gonna upset my life just to get to Shaw’s so that I can get some weird new energy drink for $1.50 off.

-Shaw’s doubles coupons.  Therefore, coupons that are $.50 or greater ($.75 cent ones are common, and equal $1.50 off!) are ideal.  $1.00 coupons are only awesome when Shaw’s has a dollar doubler promotion, which you can find at their Facebook page.  You can ‘double’ $1.00 coupons ($2.00 off!) up to four times on orders of $15 or more.  That’s technically $15 worth of groceries for $7 if you do it right.

-Double up deals.  Shaw’s routinely marks down items, and sometimes you have coupons for them.  I generally don’t use a coupon unless I can get the item for 50% off or more.

~~~

Here’s the info on today’s haul, from left to right:

-Meow Mix ‘tender centers.’  The cats have been ravenous lately and they’re seriously addicted to Cat Mcdonald’s like this crap.  I’m a bad mother.  Still:  $5.49 reg. w/$1.00 off coupon, plus $1 doubler coupon.  Sale:  $3.49

-Dole Real Fruit Bites (yummy dried mangos to keep me from eating chips at work):  $0 (looks like this didn’t even appear on my receipt – what the heck?!  moral dilemma.)

-YoCrunch Greek Parfaits (breakfast at work):  $1.39 each w/$.55 off 2 cups.  Double to $1.10 = $1.68 for to, or $.84 each.

-12 Freaking Cans of Low Sodium Goya Beans goodness!:  $1.29 each x 12 = 15.48.  I had 3 $1.00/4 cans coupons, plus 3 $1 doublers, for $6.00 to equal $9.48.  That’s $.79 a can.  It’s like it’s 1994 again!

-2 Dole Pineapple Chunks cans (good for cooking with meats, on salads, or as a snack and full of potassium and vitamin C) are $.99 each.  I had a $.35 off 2 coupon, doubled to $.70.  $1.98 – $.70 = $1.28 or $.64 a can.

-2 Welch’s Juice Jugs.  Damn, these are gonna make good tequila mixer!  Mango Pineapple – totally bad for you, but mixed drinks are my only vice.  At least the only one I’ll share here!  There were on sale for 2/$4.00 ($2.00 each).  I had a coupon for each one that was $.55 off (doubled to $1.10) so these bad boys were only $.90 each when they are regularly $2.50 when not on sale.

-Vlasic Sandwich stackers!  We use these at work to wrap in lunch meats and dip in honey mustard.  Thea and I named them ‘tickles’ because she usually does turkey and pickles.  I personally prefer salami tickles.  In any case, they are normally $2.89 but they were on sale 2/$4 plus I had 2 $.55 ($1.10) off coupons – so each of these ended up being $.90, too!  That’s almost $2 off regular delicious pickle prices.  Suckers!

-Dole pineaple juice – 6 cans in a package.  These are also good for mixing with alcohol, and because they’re individually packaged it’s not like you gotta drink a bunch of piña coladas in one night – you can pace yourself.  These are $2.79 each regularly, on sale for $2.69.  I think my coupon for this was $.55 ($1.10) so $1.59 after all that – not the best savings, but still so refreshing when I want a girl drink.

So basically, the total check was going to be $39 and some change and I paid $23.62 after tax, deposits and coupons were calculated for a savings of 41%.  What’s more, all of this is stuff we like and is good for us (minus my disgustingly indulgent cats, and those sugary juices) and those beans will last FOREVER.  Plus I’m going out again to use the rest of the bean coupons since Goya is basically our favorite.

This all looks way more complicated than it really is, but I get it – I look totally crazy.  But when you don’t qualify for EBT and you’ve chosen the career path of ‘starving artist’ it certainly helps to be dollar savvy!

Duck Boots

crowning achievement… today

Gettin’ lucky with tan and navy duckies.  There is also some vintage pyrex and a cookie press in need of some photographing to share with the world.  I went thrifting at lunch, again, and had to stuff some tortilla chips in my mouth to keep from passing out.  When I came to there was a bag full of goodies and a serious dent in the bank account…

totally worth it

Saving for a Home Can Make You Do Crazy Things

I’ll miss you, mustard tiger!

It’s no secret that J. and I are kinda tired of paying rent every month, even though our landlord is a pretty cool guy.  We’re cool, too, and flushing money down the hole every month without building equity is too much.  So last September we started a savings account, and planned on a certain contribution every week which would put us at our down payment goal at the end of three years.  It hasn’t even been one and I’m obviously impatient… so I’m starting to sell awesome things that I love, because I would love it even better if we had a basement and a little yard and no one living below us, even though our neighbors are pretty cool, too.

So up on the Etsy went my favorite mustard yellow bowling bag, circa late 60s early 70s, Escort brand.  I tried to price it fairly, also noting that there was a certain dollar amount I’d have to get in order not to feel sadness (fleeting) shipping it up to go to some other home.  There’s that word again!  Reminding me that even though it’s goin’ to someone else’s it’s contributing to the one I’ll have one day and that’s a-okay.

We still have two years and a couple months to learn, save, plan and worry but it’s not a bad start learning to make some sacrifices in order to reach the real goal!  You can click on the big, pretty picture or here to view the listing in all its humble glory.

Many uses, … AND it looks like a smiling face!