Wednesday, September 18, 2019


NOTE:  I just realized now that I showed you the outside of the pillow a while back!  See I'm brain dead!!  At least you can see my pillow form this time, LOL!!

Ages and AGES ago G gave me a pair of sweat pants that were too big.  They were here favorite sweats but she has been losing weight and they were huge on her.  She asked if I could just "cut off the leg" and make her a bolster type pillow.  Just cut off the leg?  Nope.  The pants are tapered and it would make one funny looking pillow!  So I cut and pieced until her beloved camo was front and center.  I also added a zipper so can wash it as needed.  I had never made a "bolster" type pillow before but felt pretty certain that a standard pillow form wouldn't work. 

So, using the measurements of my pillow cover I made a form using some old stabilizer.  It stuffed it and then attempted to stitch up the final seam.  Well, it shredded to bits!  I wrapped it in painters tape to hold together while I tested the fit and went to the store to pick up some muslin.

The muslin re-make worked great and my first bolster was a huge success!  At least one thing has gone right lately...

Back on August 2nd my Dear Dad was admitted to the hospital after a fall in which he hit his head.  An hour after being admitted on "observation status" my dad began exhibiting the symptoms of a stroke.  I told 3 different people at the nurses station what was going on.  The nurse came into the room and called the doctor.  The doctor's response?  "We did a CT scan.  There was no stroke, no fractured skull and no blood clot.  We will do a swallow study tomorrow morning.  He's fine."  Oh, he had also lost the ability to swallow about 30 min prior.  This in an 86 year old man, with a history of TIAs, and head trauma who had suddenly become unable to swallow properly, had severe pain in his head, was slurring his speech and couldn't control his left arm.  They didn't investigate until around noon the next day when they did an MRI.  The result, he had suffered a stroke.  Dad was left with residual deficits that we hoped would resolve with therapy  He was sent to a wonderful rehab facility.  While he has made some progress, he is not yet able to care for his physical needs or walk without significant assistance.  On Friday, September 6th the insurance company informed us that his last paid rehab day would be Sunday, September 8th!  I have been in a FRANTIC attempt to get him coverage for the Long Term Care that they transferred him to on September 9th.

I am ANGRY, overwhelmed, sad, scared and guilty that I didn't push even harder when I noticed the symptoms.  Maybe if I had carried on and threatened they would have taken my observations more seriously.  I KNOW my father's "normal" and there was definitely something wrong!  Maybe they would have done the MRI right away and been able to give him the "clot busting" drug within the "golden hour".  Or, maybe they would have shut me out simply because I became forceful.  It is a VERY thin line that health care workers have to walk when their loved ones are under another medical professional's care.  In my dad's case, that line was disastrous.  While his stroke may not have been prevented, the deficits may not have been as life changing had he been treated quickly.  Unless he makes more of a recovery my dad will not be able to come home...and that is a cryin' shame!  Believe me, there has been plenty of crying...

Needless to say, my frugality and budget have been blown.  The past few days I have tried to get back on the wagon.  I have scanned a bunch of receipts.  I was also given some food that wouldn't be eaten.  I had to place a "pantry" order at Amazon and I was able to use $10 in discounts, a $5 gift card and $43 of American Express points to pay...leaving a mere $14 out of pocket.  There are so many other "frugal" things I want to incorporate, but there is no time...and when there is time there is no energy.

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Divide and Conquer...

Recently I came across a GREAT deal on "bandaids".  While 300 pieces may seem like a lot for most families, for a home with a very "hands-on" geek, a food service manager and an almost 8 year old boy...this will probably only touch the tip of the iceberg!  While the deal was terrific, having that many bandages in one spot wasn't practical.  I could easily store the bigger box in the linen closet on the second floor, but the majority of our "boo-boos" happen on the first floor...and there was no room in our tiny powder room for such a big box.  So what did I decide?  Divide and conquer!

Using the copier function on my printer I made a color copy of the front of each box.

These copies will fit perfectly on the front of "Invitation" size envelopes.

A swipe of my glue stick and they are neatly attached to the envelopes.

I separated the contents of each individual box, leaving half in the original box and putting half in the corresponding envelopes.

They fit perfectly in what I believe to be an old Ferrero Rocher candy box.

Which fits PERFECTLY inside the wall cabinet in my powder room.

Not every bulk purchase is a great deal.  However, the large size does not have to preclude the purchase, as long as you can "divide and conquer"!


Saturday, July 6, 2019

No More Wrapping Paper!

Years ago I sewed up some Christmas gift bags for my family.  This past year I purchased the above fabric and added to my collection of holiday bags as our now-larger family needed more!

Last week,  as I contemplated Dear Grandson's upcoming birthday, I decided that our family needed additional cloth bags that could work for birthdays, Father's Day, Mother's Day, etc.  I am tired of spending money on paper wrapping that will only get ripped to shreds and thrown out, especially now that we are on a fixed income!  I searched and searched online for some type of "celebratory" fabric in Blue (grandson's favorite color).  The fabric I liked was all EXPENSIVE (at least in my mind).  On Friday Dear Hubby took me to my favorite quilt store.  I found this fabric.  It is "celebratory", check.  It is "blue", check.  It is "patriotic" which will work for all members of this family! 

It was a little higher priced than I would have liked, but it was PERFECT!  I also picked up some cording for the ties.  I still have to finish the ends of the cording with shrinkable rubber wire wrap.  For now they are kept from fraying with tape.  Unfortunately I only had enough fabric and cording for 4 bags!  Dang, I REALLY under-estimated!

Dear Hubby has volunteered to take me back to the quilting store some time this next week.  This time I will look for cheaper fabric, even if it isn't blue!  I have enough "celebratory blue" for Dear Grandson's birthday and can always use other colors of fabric for the rest of the family.

All in all today was a GREAT sewing day!



AGES ago my dear daughter-in-law asked me to use an old pair of sweat pants to make her a bolster type pillow.  She said, "Just cut the leg off, stuff it, and sew it shut."  No.  I just can't bring myself to do that.  The leg tapers, and once she begins using it how will she clean it? 

So, as you can see above, I cut the applique off, squared it up, added fabric to top and bottom of it and added a zipper on the back! 

Here it is all finished!  For stuffing I tore apart an old pillow.  I made a "sock" type bag out of some interfacing I was given for free.  When I tried to stitch it closed the interfacing began to shred with the pressure of pulling it tight.  What is the mother of a MacGyver type geek to do?  I grabbed masking tape (not duct tape, sorry Mac) and wound it around the form!  I've taken it in and out of the pillow twice and it is still holding it's shape nicely! 

The pillow is the perfect combination of support and squish.  I've already wrapped it up for her birthday at the end of the summer.  I sure hope she likes it!


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Book Bag Caveat...

Dear Hubby and I took our grandson to the public library for the first time on Saturday.  We allowed him to get three books.  However, there was one condition.  I would give him a tote bag and all of his books were to be kept in the bag unless it was physically in his hand being read!  That way, if the books needed to be returned on a day when he was at his bio-dad's house, we could find them to return!  He agreed to this caveat. 

While I could have given him one of the bags Dear Hubby collected over his working career, I felt a new "library user" should have a new, age appropriate, book bag.  I found a piece of fabric left over from his camping quilt and some black web strapping.  Perfect!  In about 30 minutes I had a finished book bag.  I was going to go with the traditional "longer than wide" tote, but could visualize him dragging it on the ground, ripping the bag and damaging the books in the process.  So I made the bag wider than longer.  Even the big books fit comfortably lying on their bindings.  The straps are short enough that he can carry the bag in his hand or on his shoulder if he has read lots of books!  Now to get him into the habit of reading, somewhat difficult in this age of electronics!  Even though his electronic time is limited, he would rather do a thousand other things than pick up a book.  How I hope I can change that preference!!  Maybe the new bag will help???  Fingers crossed!

It was a quick project and he seems to love it!


Tuesday, May 28, 2019


With Dear Hubby's retirement coming in a few weeks, I am beginning to ponder different "trickle income streams" that could make our day to day living a bit easier.  I was AMAZED to see the myriad things that people list on eBay, that actually SELL!  First and foremost, I came across numerous listings selling empty blood glucose testing strip containers.  The most recent "sold" listing was for 25 containers at $10.99 with free shipping.

I have a large shoe box FULL of these containers as they seemed just too "useful" to trash.  I use them to hold insulin needles and also Skittles candy in my purse (in case I have a low sugar spell).  In my craft room I use them to hold broken sewing needles and broken pins.  When the container is full I simply duct tape it shut and discard with my trash.  I have used them in my travel sewing kit to hold pins and hand sewing needles.  They could be used to hold matches when camping, a small sewing kit, and even a container for Geocaching!  The uses are ENDLESS!

This morning I listed this lot on eBay (Please excuse the marred desk top, it's on my list of things to fix).  We shall see if they actually sell.


Friday, May 10, 2019


Stirrers.  Not something I have ever really thought about...until J asked if we could buy some "reusable" stirrers.  "Why?", I asked.  "Simple, Mom", he said "when we use several spoons in a day to stir our coffee, we end up running out of spoons before the dishwasher is done running."  Hmmm.  Good idea! Now don't suggest I have him, or any other member of my family wash the one spoon.  I've had a hard enough time getting everyone to place what they have used in the dishwasher, or on the counter if the dishwasher is full or running.  Baby steps, baby steps!

When I had enough points to completely cover the cost I ordered these from Amazon.  But where to put them?  I wanted to keep them near the coffee maker, but those drawers are all full.  I searched my sewing room for somerhing to put them in. We all know how crafters tend to keep empty boxes, jars and containers in case they would become useful, LOL.  I found an empty container from my glucose tablets.  I had no trouble removing the label, but the tamper proof seal was stuck on good.  After washing the container thoroughly I used a bit of washi tape in different colors to cover the threads.  Then I used a nicer washi at the base of the threads.  My P-touch label maker and a bit more gray tape completed the project.  I'm happy with the results and I know J will be happy to see stirrers when he makes his next cup of coffee!