Friday, October 31, 2008

Thrifty Friday

For those of you who are into living frugally, you can probably appreciate saving 80% on your day's shopping as much as I can.

It all started with a $30 gift card I got a month or so ago for free from Rite Aid, my local neighborhood pharmacy. All I had to do was transfer a prescription from my former pharmacy to the RiteAid Pharmacy to earn this free gift card. It cost me absolutely nothing to do; the meds were the same price at both pharmacies, so this was found money in my estimation. Free money is almost always a good thing!

(If you're interested, RiteAid is continuing this promotion nationally until November 30, 2008. You can transfer up to 3 prescriptions and earn 3 gift cards, a total of $120 in free money. Well worth the effort, if you have 3 prescriptions. You are also entered in a weekly drawing for a chance to win a year's worth of free gas. Keep your transferred prescription with RiteAid and your name will be re-entered each week. Check it out here.)

Back to today's shopping trip: I saved the gift card, and combined that with today's specials on items I needed to purchase anyway, which included several buy-one-get-one-free specials and in-store promotions, and my total cash outlay today was only $12.o6 out of nearly $60 worth of merchandise. Why pay 100% when you can pay 20%? That's pretty frugal living.

Everyone's looking for ways to save today. If you have a tried and true method for trimming your monthly expenditures, post a comment and I'll add it to this blog. We'll call it "Thrifty Measures" or "Frugal Living," or some such thing.

Enjoy, and have a blessed day!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When the Frost is On the Punkin

Okay, no eloquent prose here. I love autumn. I think it's my favorite time of year. Some would see it as an ending and, indeed, it is. The winding down of long, leisurely summer days, vacations, heatwaves, activity; the preemptor to the coming winter when life lay frozen in its midst.

To me, it is comforting, like warm blankets on a cold night or a tender hug. I can almost feel it wrap its strong arms around me and hold me close. A dear friend coming again to visit for a season, reminding me of friends and family and special moments. Stirring in me a childlike glee as we marvel at the majesty unfolding before us. We walk in the crisp autumn air, kicking at piles of damp leaves ever growing at our feet, gazing wordlessly as the green of summer fades to the vibrancy of autumn hues: gold and red and orange, all shades in between. We dance as God would have us to do as we delight in His handiwork.

I woke this morning to greet my dear old friend, Keats' "season of mists and yellow fruitfulness," as our first frost lay lightly on the grass outside my window. The crisp air filled my nostrils, the leaves were at their glorious peak; my heart and spirit stirred. Autumn brings nature's last hurrah before the winter settles in. It calls us to gather as the squirrels their nuts, the farmers their harvest; we gather close family and friends, and memories, and we anticipate getting together again and all the things we love to do in the fall: sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows and telling funny stories, lighting cozy, warm fireplaces and snuggling together, walking in the woods, kicking at the leaves, opening our homes to kin and guests, family all the same, giving thanks, and some would say football.

Fall is the most special season for entertaining human folk and, as James Whitcomb Riley surmised, angels.

"When the Frost is on the Punkin"

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!... I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

James Whitcomb Riley. 1853–1916
(Louis Untermeyer, ed.
(1885–1977). Modern American Poetry. 1919. )
Have a blessed day!

Wordless Wednesday - Evening Autumn Sky in East Tennessee

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vintage Cartoons

We found these vintage cartoon/poems among my late uncle's possessions as we sorted through the remnants of his and my aunt's estate. I've never seen anything like them before, and find them most interesting, if not entertaining.

I've tried to research their origin to no avail. I've seen similar cartoon pages, but nothing quite like these; and most of the ones I've run across have been printed in black-and-white, with or without poems, mostly without. They probably also pre-date these quite a bit, perhaps the early 20th century.

So, where did these cartoons come from? Some sort of book or magazine? When were they published? By whom, and who is the artist/poet?

Why did my uncle keep these (besides the fact that he apparently kept EVERYTHING, down to dime store receipts and operator manuals from appliances long since discarded)? Did he find them personally significant, some sort of commentary on his own life or emotions? Did he just find them humorous, nothing more? Could it have been my aunt who saved them, and not my uncle? If so, the same questions apply.

If anyone knows anything about the origination and history of these or similar cartoon pages, please comment. It's a mystery I would like to see unraveled.

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Freebies for the Thrifty-Minded

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Enjoy, and have a blessed day.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Your Kingdom for a Gallon of Gas

Most of you who know me know that I am only in my early-50's. I've worked hard to get here, and I am glad to be the age that I am. It comes with certain scars, but also with some degree of wisdom, experience, and grace borne simply from having maneuvered the seasons of my life thus far.

That being said, I am not anxious to rapidly advance in age; time moves all too quickly as it is. I'll patiently work with it and wait it out, even though there are still some perks ahead it seems. Well, I've already joined AARP, as its qualifying age was lowered to 50 many years ago, and one need not even be retired to join. Some restaurants offer senior discounts, most of which start at age 55 or 60, so this looms in my not-so-far-off future.

Many grocery stores, too, offer senior discounts. Kroger, for instance, offers seniors age 60 or older a 5% discount off their grocery bills every Wednesday. No ID required; no verification requested. None of the red tape in which I would assume one becomes entangled when applying for, say, Medicare. A happy event to be afforded an additional 5% off your grocery bill . . . unless you are without question or the raising of an eyebrow mistaken for 60.

Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback when I saw the senior discount ring up on my register receipt this morning. I am so far from 60! I didn't know whether to be insulted or grateful for the additional $4.14 discount. Obviously, the young man behind the register must have granted the discount to my husband who accompanied me on the shopping trip, and not to myself, for I have been told I don't look a day over 45.

Yes, I estimated, the discount was for my poor dh (who is 2 years my junior); he is surely the one who looks 60. I, therefore, accepted it without comment and with the poise of a barely early-50's woman. And although dh didn't mind the affront too much, he likened the aging of humanity to save a dollar to the trading one's kingdom for a gallon of gas!

Have a blessed day!