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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Still Working on Christmas Gifts and Other Stuff

How is your week going? Are you feeling like fall is near? We have summer-like weather, here. However, the sun's angle is saying fall is just around the corner.

I am still making Christmas gifts. I finished another pair of earrings this afternoon. I like how these turned out. The design is a Celtic cross inside a heart. 

How about you? Are you working on any Christmas gifts this week?

It's the beginning of a new month, which means I've been grocery shopping. I did pick up some raisins for adding to chutney. The good news is I only spent 60 cents on the small amount of raisins. I also discovered that our wild plum tree has fruit this year, which I can also use in the chutney. I have an apple on a tree in the garden and all of the spices that I need. I'm just waiting for the onions (Cash & Carry in a week) so I can make a small batch of the spicy condiment. 

Yesterday was Senior Discount Day at Fred Meyer. I did get myself up and out early and that paid off. I found gallons of skim milk on markdown for $1.19 each. I bought 6 gallons of the skim at that price and 4 gallons of whole milk at the regular price. The skim milk is not adequate for one of my daughters (due to her history of an eating disorder), so I'll be mixing some whole milk into each gallon of skim. I can use skim milk as it is in cooking, however. While at Fred Meyer, I also found ground beef on sale. With my discount, it was $1.69/lb. I only had enough in the budget to buy 3 pounds, but 3 is better than none. Besides, I still have about 6 pounds of ground beef in the freezer from last spring. 

Our blackberry freezer is now full, so any blackberries that come into our house have been baked into pies or made into more jam. It does appear that we are nearing the end of blackberry foraging for this season. Fortunately, our garden is continuing to produce.

We saved ourselves a small fortune on plumbing work last week. An interior part in the faucet in the bathtub cracked and the water could not be shut off at the tap. We had to shut our water off at the street overnight. The following morning, we were able to pick up the piece that we needed at a plumbing supply and my husband replaced the broken bit. 

We went without any tap water for an evening and the following morning. However, we did still have water. A couple of years ago, I mentioned that I store water in empty plastic juice and 2-liter soda bottles in our garage fridge. I keep 3  1/2 gallons of water at all times, just for this sort of emergency. 2-liter soda bottles and 64 oz juice bottles fit in the door pockets of our spare fridge perfectly. As the water that I had stored was over a year old, I followed the CDC's recommendations for killing bacteria: 

"Boiling can be used as a pathogen reduction method that should kill all pathogens. Water should be brought to a rolling boil for 1 minute. At altitudes greater than 6,562 feet (greater than 2000 meters), you should boil water for 3 minutes." (

3  1/2 gallons is not enough for bathing or laundering clothing, but it was enough for sponge baths, washing hands, and drinking. There are a variety of reasons that any of us could lose our water supply temporarily. Keeping some extra water on hand can be as simple as washing out a 2-liter soda bottle and refilling with tap water, then storing in a refrigerator.

That's what's new around here. What's new in your area?


  1. I LOVE your blog...thank you! Also, wonderful WIN in the plumbing department! We live in the mountains, and have our own well. During power outages, therefore, water is not forthcoming. (In a long term emergency we can generate power.). For years I have stored many 2 liter bottles of water. I put a dropper-full of bleach in each bottle as I fill it. This water is for external use only. When we lose power, we put a bottle of stored water next to each faucet. I have learned to poke a hole about three inches from the base of the bottle and put either the nail used for the hole or a golf tee in the hole. When one needs to wash hands, pull out the ‘stopper’, and the resulting stream acts as a great faucet!

  2. Hi Conni,
    Thank you!
    Now that is so clever for creating a faucet in a plastic bottle. I'll remember that for the future.
    Have a great evening!

  3. Those earrings are gorgeous! And wonderful job on using everything you have/find, such as the apple off your tree!

  4. You are doing a great job with the earring designs. I have done a little of that, but never advanced as far as you did with your designs.

    We keep gallons of water with our emergency supplies as well as some commercial bottled water. We used to have a well, so I understand what Connie is saying about losing power with a well. When she mentioned the hole in the bottom of the bottle as a sort of spigot, it reminded me of scout camp where we did the same thing. I had forgotten all about that until she mentioned it.

  5. Thank you, live and learn.
    I've never lived with a well. I can imagine, though, what a headache it is when the power goes out.

  6. Hi Lili,
    Beautiful job on those earings, looks so professional! I have not tried wire wrapping, but it is on my to do list of things I wouldn't mind learning. I think I bit off more than I can chew, because I continually buy craft supplies at thrift stores whenever I think the price is too good to pass up...including wires for beading.
    We have a plumbing leak in our freezer just months after our 5 year warranty expired. We are fine going without an ice maker, so my husband has to work on retrofitting a shutoff valve from single to dual so we can still have water from the kitchen sink faucet. In the meantime it means having to clear chunks of frozen ice from the bottom of the freezer side.

  7. Oh Laura, I hope your husband can fix your waterline issues soon! The fridge we have now is our first with an automatic ice maker. That's something I know we could live without, if need be. I didn't think about the possibility of leaks with this type of fridge. Good luck to you.

    Thank you on the earrings. This is fun. If you have some wire already, you should just give it a try to see if this is something you'd enjoy. I like just bending the wires to make beautiful shapes, even if the end product isn't something that can be used.

    I understand the buying more supplies than you need. I have lots of supplies bought over the years that never even got used. Good intentions . . .

    Have a great day!


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