Friday, June 25, 2010

Two Jewelry Stories

Story 1
There is so little jewelry; there isn't even a jewelry box. The few pieces are stashed in an old sea shell found at the ocean.

Story 2
There are a few precious pieces of jewelry. Each one was chosen with thoughtful care. The jewelry is stored in a beautiful shell that was collected on an ocean vacation.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Cleaning Memoir

This morning I was cleaning the bathrooms and started to think about when I was 18 and rented my first apartment. I just got paid (I was a telephone operator and received $90.00 a week) so I went to Alpha Beta to buy supplies. I bought 409, Windex, Comet, a broom, sponges, everything I thought I needed. What makes it so memorable to me is that I went over what cash I actually had so I had to put some things back. I was so embarrassed.

Over time I accumulated all the many, many things I needed to “keep house.” I have always liked to keep things neat and organized so I have spent lots of money on organizers of all kind, as well as cleaning products of all kind.

There are stages of our lives: young single girl, young wife, mother, retired lady, and grandmother. At each stage the household needs change as well as the things we think we need. At my first apartment I didn’t have a microwave, computer or big screen TV. If they were invented they were not in the budget of a telephone operator in 1970.

Where is this going? Here it is…if only I had all the money I wasted on cleaning supplies and organizers, I could have a big nest egg stashed. I love cleaning with my homemade cleaning supplies. I got rid of many, many, things and lots of stuff so I don’t need as many organizers. I still struggle to keep papers (of all kind) at bay and things still find their way to my house. However, life is easy and I am getting closer to my beach side apartment.

The circle of life continues.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I recently had a birthday and I didn’t get one gift wrapped with pretty bows. Ahhh! That is a good thing. I make a big deal out of not having things to clean, dust and find a place for. Politely, of course.

Some gifts I did get: my husband put out cash for me to travel in my car from California to Texas, Mom and Dad gave me some money, I also got a pedicure, many lunch dates, and some gift certificates. I am a happy person. My loved ones and friends understand me.

Most adults are happy to give up looking for the perfect gifts. It takes time and money and then the gifted may not even like it. Nobody wants to be the first to approach the subject. If he or she is a good friend they will want to know how you feel. Maybe they also wanted to talk about it, but you can be the brave one.

Writers of simplicity books have pages of ideas. Let’s be simple here. The following list of gift suggestions is short.
*gift certificates
*a lunch or movie date
*money wrapped creatively (the picture in this post shows roses made from paper money)
*gifts of food (examples: baskets of ingredients and a recipe, fresh homemade cookies, mugs with cocoa and marshmallows, homemade salsa)
*a card with a love message inside or a promise for a future get together or homemade dinner
*Any idea of your own

Please comment and give some ideas that you have used.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Collections or Antique Mustard Pots

I have collected antique mustard pots for a very long time. Each one is so pretty or so unique. Last time I counted I had 150. One time they were displayed in a local museum. I was so proud.
Time goes by and we all change. I have. Now my desire is to streamline, to downsize, to start over. Those lovely mustard pots are not going to fit in the traveling RV, so they must go to homes that will love them.

Collections are hard to part with because each one has a story. Collections are fun. When you know someone collects something I bet you want to buy the collector a new collectable. I have a friend that once mentioned she liked music boxes. Well, now she has over thirty years of music boxes given to her as gifts and she doesn't even like them.

It is easy to get a collection going but very hard to get rid of. The biggest concern is that people who gave you the "gifts" might be hurt. To be blunt: too bad. Tell them you did love the item, it served its purpose, it was a wonderful addition to the collection, you will never forget that they put such thought into it, and you even have a picture of it. Now it is time to let go.

This is what I did. My sister has a EBay business. I packed them all up, wrapping each mustard pot carefully so it would not break, packed them in the back of my VW Bug, drove to Texas and gave them to Sissy who will sell them. Or was this just an excuse to go to Texas. I love a road trip!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cleaning Solutions For Home

For years, it seems, I have researched on the internet for “green solutions.” At one time it was hard to find recipes for green cleaning; now there are millions. I love to read them and try different solutions. However, I always go back to the basics. Basics being what I have used for years. They work and are almost too simple.

While at the store, I still scan through the cleaning section to see what is out there. The big corporations are always coming up with something new. Usually the product is just one most disposable for the landfills or has some awful chemical in it as well as the container and the packaging. But everyone is talking about it and buying it “just to try”.

Here are some very simple recipes for cleaning that will eliminate buying what you don’t need. Also your under the sink products collection will be streamlined.


1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup borax, 3 1/2 cups baking soda, mix well. Put it in a clean used jar. You will have to punch holes in the lid. Make one for each bathroom, the kitchen and garage. It cost only pennies.

Note: Keep some Comet for emergencies. For example: you have been gone for a couple of weeks and hubby was cleaning house. You might need something stronger.

Windows, Mirrors and Glass

Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) Put some on a lint free rag or spray from a bottle. Clean as usual. No spots!

Note: If you want to put some in a bottle and store it, the bottle must be dark. The H2O2 will turn to water if exposed to light for a while. At Wal-Mart in the section where they sell samples you can get small dark spray bottles for 96 cents.

Use a microfiber cloth. If there is a stubborn spot you may have to spritz a little water on the cloth.
Use separate ones for general cleaning and computer/TV screens.
Wash in laundry.