critters ~

I wish I could open the door .... whistle a happy little tune .... and the forest creatures would clean my house.  

Instead, I have found field mice somehow have taken up residency in my abode and need to be eradicated!

They're only cute in fairy tales.

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


2-ply ~

~image from the internet

I just wasted a couple hours of my day watching the show Extreme Cheapskates.  Seriously, some of the things I saw on that show give a frugal person like myself a bad name.  They might be saving money ... but some of the ways they go about it certainly gives them the title to their claims as being cheapskates.  I think calling them tightwads would be more fitting.

Example, the millionaire lady who pees in a bottle so she doesn't have to waste water flushing the toilet.   She claims to being frugal because she then takes it outside and puts it on her compost pile.  Yuck!  I sure wouldn't want to be sifting through her dirt!

Or, the guy and wife who share the toothbrush and dental floss ~ gross! 

The guy who only flushes the toilet after he showers once a week with the bucket of water he collected while showering.  He lets his stinking urine sit in the toilet for a week! Gross!  His toilet works ... he just doesn't want to waste water.

Or the family that uses newspaper instead of toilet paper and they put in a plastic bag to burn instead of flushing .... gross groSS GROSS!!!  I can only imagine how april fresh that bathroom smells ~ because they can't even open the bathroom window because they use the newspaper as insulation in the room too and the window is stuffed with it for 'extra' paper in case they run out.

That's not only being cheap ... it sick and filthy ... that's what these people are.  It's not like these people can't afford the toilet paper ... they just choose not to.

Penny over at Penniless Parenting has a good read on it.

Half the people on that show are just filthy and disgusting and I really can't believe that there is a reality show glorifying their actions.  AND what I really can't believe is that I sat and watched it for over an hour!!!

I think half of that show revolved around these families and their bathroom habits ~ or lack of.

How could I let myself get sucked into that show.  I know one thing for sure, I won't be doing that again.

Now ... being frugal and living frugal to me is a whole different story then what these people were portraying.  To me living frugal is a choice.  We (Dear Hubby) and I CHOOSE to live this way.  We watch our budget and live accordingly.

 Many a family vacations have been subsidized by pitching the change in the jar and saving it for a rainy day.  Even if it meant a tank of gas was saved that way, every little penny counts.  That pocket change can add up quite quickly.

We garden and grow our own vegetables, not because we have to ... but because we choose to.  We enjoy the fruits of our labor through out the winter months from all the canning and dehydrating I do.  Plus, we know what we're eating!  No chemically processed foods going into our bellies.

We live frugally, but we also live clean and healthy!! Or at least try to be that way!!  We try to live quiet contented lives, and try to be as self-sufficient as we can.  If we want something, we budget and save for it.  We live within our means.

AND we use our toilet as intended ~ flushing after each use and we even splurge and buy 2-ply toilet paper  ... so don't call us cheapskates!  We're frugal ... and proud of it :)

Yes, being frugal means you can afford the little luxuries like 2-ply toilet paper if you choose, watch your pennies and save accordingly.

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


crazy craisins ~

As I had posted the other day, my attempt at making homemade craisins (dehydrated cranberries) ...

I did everything the way they were suppose to be done.  Wash the fresh cranberries, put them into a boiling pot of water until the skins cracked, letting out a popping sound, tossing them in sugar (I used a sugar substitute) and onto the dehydrator tray.

I'm thinking that I had too many in the hot water at one time; because only half of them had cracked skins.

After 16 hours in the dehydrator ... those little buggers just were not getting done.

What to do ... what to do?

I was ready to take the whole works and toss them to the birds!  Some days I just feel like everything is against me and I'm running on a short fuse.

Thinking cap time Mel ... think!!!

I'm a pretty frugal person and I really didn't want to waste these cranberries (although the birds and deer I'm sure would have enjoyed them).

I went and grabbed the food processor and tossed them in.  Pulse ... Pulse ... Pulse and I had a slurry of cranberries.

I spread them out on waxed paper and back into the dehydrator.  I decided I would give them 2 more hours of drying time and if they weren't ready by then ... forget it!

An hour later ...

aka. Fruit Leather 
aka. Cranberry Jerky!!

They taste good too :)

Next time I'm going to do this in the first place.  

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.

here comes winter ~

  What a difference a day makes. It snowed again ... but I'm not complaining.  It is November after all.  Maybe this time it will stay.

I'm so happy we FINALLY took the boat canopy down yesterday and put the boat in the garage!  I sure wouldn't have enjoyed doing that in the snow ... not that it was a very enjoyable project to begin with.

What I call the boat canopy is actually a 10'x12' portable carport.  You know the kind ... with the big heavy metal poles connected with nuts and bolts and covered with a heavy plastic, held on with bungee cords.

Needless to go into anymore detail ... some projects I just don't think are husband and wife projects.  This is one of them!

The wind yesterday didn't help the situation either, except for possibly drowning out my thoughts that were spilling out of my mouth at certain moments.  Good thing Dear Hubby is hard of hearing.  He kept saying, "what?"  and I'd say, "never mind."  But internally, I was growling like an old sow bear at someone messing with her cubs.

It just never fails.  He always waits to the last minute to do this project. AND it's always cold, wet, damp and windy when he does!!!

GrrrrrrrrrrARGGGHHHH !!
I've thawed out since then ... I'm mo' betta now :)

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


craisins & the yearling ~

My house smells like cranberries!  I was given a dish pan full of fresh cranberries that were just harvested off the marsh - next door to my daughters place.

I never attempted to dehydrate them before ~ turning them into Craisins.  Now I have four trays going and going and going and going.  Wow... these little buggers take a LONG time to dry!  They have been in the dehydrator 12 hours already.  Of course, I had to google and see how long they take after I started this project.  It said that they can take up to 18 hours for drying time.  Geeze, if I had known that before starting I might not have done it.

I glanced out the kitchen window and what should I see ~ the little yearling is there eating the last apple off the tree.

This little guy has been coming into the yard for a year now.  It's been a loner for some time.  I'm thinking that it's Momma may have been eaten by the wolves or hit by a car early this spring.  

Whenever I see it I go outside and talk to it.  It's starting to get used to me and losing it's fear of me :)  He knows he's safe around me.

I went slowly down the deck steps talking to him.  Then I just stood there and let him approach me.  Talking softly to him all the time.  If I use the zoom on my camera he gets nervous.  So I take off the zoom and wait.  In the span of about 10 minutes he works his way closer.

Yes, I'm talking to you ... how long are you going to roll that apple around in your mouth?  Did you bite off more than you can chew?

Don't be cocking that ear at me.  I'm not going to hurt you.  I might even give you another apple one of these days from my hand.  How would you like that?

Another apple?  
Oh how I wish I had an apple in my hand!!
This is the closest he's ever been to me.

Sorry little one ~ next time I promise I will have a treat for you.  I bet you would just gobble up some cranberries or better yet some craisins.  Just keep coming around and we'll have our little chats.

It's just a matter of time ... I think I'll have him eating out of my hand.

This is just another reason I love living in the north woods!

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


arachnophobic ~

Warning: If you have a morbid fear of spiders ... skip this post.

My neighbor had posted this pic on FB of a spider that was on her mom's house.

She said it was a Wolf Spider.  It was in the outside doorway where her Mom just finished taking down Halloween decorations.

Here's one that I took a pic of awhile back that was in our work shop.

It was in the bottom of a two gallon bucket.  These spiders are huge!  I searched them out and found that they aren't venomous ~ but apparently can inflict a wound that could require medical attention ... okay.

The neighbor thought it was pretty neat to have it there.

I dumped mine out on the garage floor and whacked it with a board!

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


'shrooms ~

I rode along this morning with Dear Hubby on his trap line.  It was a nix on the fur harvest but a beautiful bounty was to be found.

When we were getting ready to leave the cabin he had asked me if I had my knife on me.  "Yeah ~ why are you asking?  Doesn't everybody carry the three essentials with them?"

Here's a pic of my 3 essentials that are in my jeans pocket always ...

... little bottle of nitro, my blade and good ol' Chap Stick. I think my knife is the most used of the three :)  Chap Stick coming in second and the nitro is just for looks.  (I wish)


Dear Hubby tells me he saw something the day before that might interest me.  He said as soon as he saw it he knew I'd be wanting of it.  Okay ... now I'm intrigued.  We drive down the road and he pulls over and he tells me to look to the north.  

Oh!  How well he knew I would love this find.


It didn't take me long and I had my trusty little blade just a slicing away those beauties into my possession.  


I know ... just when you thought I was done with the mushroom post.  It is November after all.  BUT oyster mushrooms like cool weather and will fruit right up until it freezes.  So now is actually a good time to look for them.  

The only wildlife we saw today were a few ruffed grouse and this small group of mallard ducks:

It's time for them to fly south.

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.