Sunday, February 27, 2011

Respecting Your Husband in Public

Frugal Fix of the Day: Respecting Your Husband in Public

Issue: Helping your husband feel more respected and loved...for FREE!

Have you ever known one of those couples where the wife "fixes" her husband's facts while he is speaking?

Example: Husband is talking to someone and wife sits nearby (or hovers) and interjects random corrections...he says, "300." She corrects, "no, I think it was 279." He says it happened on Tuesday, she corrects: it was more likely on Thursday.

Not a big deal, right?

Except, if you think about it, it undermines him. It tells those around her that she doesn't trust her husband or his facts. It shouts disrespect. And I think it might embarrass him a little...although it seems like most husbands who have correcting wives are kind of used to it...

My husband surprisingly thanked me the other night after spending the evening with a couple who practices this sort of correction, for not doing that to him. This shocked me for two reasons. One, if you know my husband, he seldom complains about or criticizes anyone. He is an amazingly good person who sees little need to judge or criticize others (nice, huh?) and two, and I had never really thought about it made me realize that the reason I felt this particular wife didn't respect her husband had a lot to do with this practice. It did really seem to display a disrespect and distrust for her husband...not to mention being highly annoying! Ha!

I am blessed with a husband without penchant for exaggeration or factual inaccuracy, but he strays from the "true" (read "my") account of facts from time to time.

So, the frugal fix for the day to have a husband who feels thankful, respected and confident, is to keep your lip zipped as a wife when you detect inaccuracy flowing from his mouth in public...and if the information really needs correcting that badly, perhaps wait until you are in private and gently, lovingly ask him if maybe he remembered inaccurately.

As always, I am open to respectful dissent...just a frugal thought for the day...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dishwasher Soap Replaceent

Problem: We ran out of dishwasher soap before I put in my Melaleuca order.

We order all our cleaning stuff (and drug store type stuff) from an eco-friendly company called Melaleuca.

But, I forgot to order dishwashing soap last month and I just squeezed out the last little droplets about a week ago.

At first, I thought my fix would be to just wash the dishes by hand, but that didn't happen.


Last night, out of desperation, I put a mixture of apple cider vinegar and the juice of one lemon (thanks for the wonderful lemons Deb!) in the dishwasher soap dispenser.

And you know what? I think my dishes are cleaner than they have ever been!

Weird, but true. Try it if you're in a pinch!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Food Storage Fix

Here's my frugal food storage tip of the day...

I buy bread flour, all purpose flour and sugar at Costco every nine months or so (or my in-laws or some other nice person does...);

I get the 50 lb. bags.

But, when we used to store it in regular containers with lids, we would get bugs, and there was never a container big enough or just...right.

So, Scott suggested 5 gallon paint containers. And wouldn't you know a 50 lb. sack of flour fits PERFECTLY in one 5 gallon paint container?

These containers can be purchased cheaply at Wal-mart for under $5 and are airtight. We have been using them for a little over two years and have never had a problem with bugs or staleness.

I cannot attest to the food grade quality of the containers, but I have seen a number of sites recommending and endorsing food storage in these containers since we "discovered" them...and we thought we were so original.

I stack the containers three high in the corner of my kitchen next to the fridge. The kids occasionally get them out as "drums" when they get lighter and often use them as stools as well. I love a multi-use container, don't you?
I used to keep rice in them, but I never buy that much rice at a time, so it seemed a bit silly to have like three inches of rice in the bottom of a giant bucket!
Con: The lids are tough to get off until you get used to them...and forget it if you have acrylic nails...

All in all though, a frugal fix for a common bulk storage problem.

Grow it!!!

Ok, seriously, only Martha Stewart's garden looks THIS good:
And here is a picture of the below-referenced asparagus we will be growing...I still have no camera cord, and I know you want a visual...

One of the things we hoped for most at the new house was "to farm"...and by that, I mean "to grow lots of healthy stuff to eat and raise lots of productive animals..." We don't really like to feed and water stuff that doesn't produce anything for us...

But, you know what? We totally forgot about that the last six months with the baby, and moving, and the basic maintenance of life...and, you know, you get into a routine, and farming doesn't really fit into it, so you don't do it.

THEN, on our date night last night (thanks in-laws!), Scott says as though it is a revelation, "Hey, remember we were going to save money by growing our own food???""

"OH YAH!" came my excited response!

So today, I am starting our asparagus patch...because I love asparagus and I don't mind stinky pee...did you know that asparagus has no first year harvest? Interesting no? Here's the link on Asparagus Patch stuff: Oh Martha, I adore you so...

And, because two years is a long time and I'm impatient, I am also growing these "easy to grow" cool weather crops: Teton spinach, Kentucky brown beans, Danvers half long carrots, and Sugar Ann Peas. (Inspiration for "easy to grow" taken from here: Thanks again Martha!

We already have artichokes, radishes and other sugar peas growing, but nothing on a scale that would save us any dinero. We got some free four year old horse poo from a cattle ranchin' buddy of Scott's and our compost is ready to add in!

Here we gooooooooooo (Disney reference--anyone?)...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fix One Setback

Fix One: Master Bedroom Bleckiness

You know, I think lots of people have a room like this...that room that you walk into and go...bleh...

That's our master much potential and space galore...but you know, we throw our underwear...I mean...clothes...on the floor, the kids throw their toys and towels, and sippy cups...oh you probably think we're slobs, but that's OK...I like transparency...I believe the latest catch word is "authentic." That's me..authentic.

Oh, I neaten it up once a month when my sweet mommies from Mommies in the Word meet in there with me. They all huddle close for fear that one of the many mismatched fabrics will attack them...I am especially sympathetic to my many mommy friends with an eye for decorating...I think their time here each month is probably especially challenging, but it grows their character as they work on not judging that's good.

So, anyway, some of the things that make me uninspired are the brass sconces on the wall, the lack of consistent fabric choice (read: random colors everywhere), and my husband's nightstand of horrendousness--the little table itself, but also all the random cords and stuff everywhere--cell phone plug, TWO alarm clocks??? (Why have I never noticed or asked about this strange practice???), the overflowing laundry basket...

Sounds overwhelming, but anything is until you break it down.

Today, I tackled two things...the nightstand, and the sconces...

SETBACK ONE: Did you know it is helpful to your husband when you pull something with wires out of the wall if you remember which wires go where? Because apparently they are not "color coated"....

Please standby...

Why Another Blog?

Why oh why is she starting ANOTHER blog? Surely there are enough would-be bloggers trying to become the next Pioneer Woman, seeking popularity and fame...

But, no, these are not my motivations...well, ok, I like feedback as much as the next person, but I have a nobler goal (well, all right, I had to make one up so I felt better about it, but still...)

This blog is for accountability.

I have a lot of ideas and a lot of motivation and a lot of short bursts.

But very little to show for it lately.

So, I figure, if I have a place to share my frugal fixes, then I may actually get them done!

I have a lot of "issues" here on the Haner Farm--from household decorating challenges to weight loss and food concerns, all of which I'd like to fix, but on a strict (mostly "free") budget. And what a great way to stay accountable by posting those projects and solutions for the world to see (well, ok, for all five of you who love me enough to placate me and become "folllowers.")

OK, off to make a day of it. Today is master bedroom cleanup on my trusty little cleaning calendar, so we'll see what happens.

Stay tuned! And thanks for your patience in advance...