On being a Fool and a Failure – WWFM

What works for me this week is reading something that helps puts words to my new understanding that POVERTY can mean many things.

Read this book:

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“Our mobile society

encourages competition

and economic aggression

rather than contentment.

Someone who isn’t

climbing the social

ladder is regarded as

a fool and a failure.

We’re taught to climb

to the top of the heap.

What we’re not taught

is that the heap is

a garbage heap”

– Peter Kreeft

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Make Do Mondays – My Living Room

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I found this delightful blog that is hosting Make-Do Mondays and boy-oh-boy, I knew that was one for me to tag onto!

My life is about a big ol’ make-do.  I’ve written before about my inability to spend money…. so we tend to live with alot of ‘make-do’s’.

One of which is my Living Room ( left view and right view from the kitchen):

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The big Make-Do in this room is the sofa and chairs.  Many years ago – more than 10, I’m thinking…we needed something for the basement family room in our other house.  After looking through many options, both new (gasp!) and used shoppes, we stumbled upon this 1960’s four-seater sofa and two armchairs at a garage sale.  They were still in the 1960’s tiled floor basement, just waiting for a new home.

For a mere $125 we loaded them up and were off!  Fast forward 2 or so years when we bought our next home.  No longer relegated to the basement family room, they took front and center stage in our upstairs living room….the punch of color was just right for our 1960’s bungalow home.

So…what started as a Make-Do, has served us quite well for 10 years now….unfortunately the pieces are beginning to show the wear of a bouncy dog and very social cat, and a mischievious young boy…..we’ve been looking for our ‘next set’ for over a year now, but so far….have not found a replacement.

Oh well…I figure for $125 and 10 years of service, I can’t complain about the $12.50 per year this set has cost us!

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Here’s the skinny on the other pieces in the room:

Left Wall:

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‘Orchids’ by Vladmir Tretchikoff ( signed ) – garage sale find…$5

Wall Mirror – inherited when my dad moved away

four drawered oak chest – garage sale – 5 bucks

Cubist coffee and end table – auction sale $10

green shag rug – Home Outfitters – sale priced 50% off..cost me $125

Brown Corduroy curtain panels – JYSK…bought one panel for 10 bucks and cut it in half…had enough for both sides of the window…

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You can hardly see it, but there is another Tretchikoff there to the right of the window named ‘Chrysanthemums’ , also signed and bought at the same sale for 5 bucks…

chrome ball lamp – garage sale $1 with original shade..!!!!!

Club chair – we’ve had this since we owned our retro-shop…The chair cost us $100 and then it was another $300 to re-upholster it, but we’ve always loved it and probably always will!

Oh yeah…the TV unit..a story for another day…but the three piece maple unit set me back $12.50….

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It’s fun to detail all of that…things that we have loved for so many years…with a major renovation coming up, it’s likely that many of those pieces will either be re-used in another part of the house, or sold / given away…kind of sad, but it makes me giddy to know that I’ve furnished my home with unique finds and I didn’t do it on credit!

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Puffy Jacket – Zipper repair – WWFMW

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At least two years ago, the zipper on my black puffy winter jacket went kaput.  Since the jacket was still good, I had great intentions of replacing the zipper instead of spending money on a new winter jacket.

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When the temperature is -30 Celcius ( that’s a big ol’ -22 Fahrenheit) PLUS windchill, a coat like this comes in handy!

Problem is…because of my good intentions to replace the zipper, I’ve been wearing the jacket for the last two winters without zipping it up….I just closed up the velcro tabs, tucked in a long scarf, and for trips in and out of the car, it’s been just fine.

Finally this year, I thought I would get adventurous and went to look at zippers….hmmm…the job of sewing a zipper into nylon would be more than I think I want to tackle….what now?  look for a new coat???  Well if you’ve followed me at all , you know that buying a new coat sure doesn’t sit well with me….

So, I stopped off at the tailor shop and she told me it would be a mere $13.95 for the zipper and $14.00 for her time to do it, but she would give me a discount and do both for $24.

“Thank you very much” I said, and kept walking.

She said “wait” for $13.00 she could just replace the ZIPPER PULL without redoing the whole zipper.  “hmmmm I thought, that’s more like it” but I suddenly had a light-bulb moment.

I stopped off at the fabric store and for 90 cents….(that’s less than a buck y’all) I bought a zipper pull, came home and in about 45 seconds, my zipper was back in operation…

The pull I bought was brown because for 90 cents I wasn’t going to worry about color on a zipper that is under a velcro tab anyway…

The 90 cent zipper pull

The 90 cent zipper pull

The 90 cent zipper pull under the velcro tab!

The 90 cent zipper pull under the velcro tab!

I’m a happy camper, I just wish I had looked into this two years ago!!

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Holiday House Tour

I know so many of you have a different philosophy on decorating than I do.

My philosophy = see how little I can spend….( of course, it would be easiest to just spend zero and don’t decorate at all, but there’s no challenge in that!)

Not that there is anything wrong with spending money to make your house beautiful and inviting….me, I just get the heeby jeebies when I think about spending  money on things that once I’m gone, have no value….it’s just the way I roll.  So my little tour will highlight some of the fun, interesting and creative things I’ve done around our home for the holidays!

First of all, welcome to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

That is directly north of FARGO, North Dakota.  yup, THAT Fargo.

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That’s lookin outside my dining room window, and no, I’m not going outside to get a shot of the house from there….this obligatory front door shot from inside the house will have to do ’cause I’m not going out in the minus-something-freezing cold tonight!

This is a recent acquisition for 99 cents.  It is VERY plastic, but for some odd reason, looks oddly 'real'....

This is a recent acquisition for 99 cents. It is VERY plastic, but for some odd reason, looks oddly 'real'....

I highlighted this beady wreath in last year’s tour….I was even more excited to see a similar one at the Craft Store this week for $24.99.  I paid a buck for the beady stuff at a yard sale last year and just wrapped it into a wreath-sort-of shape.  The bow I added this year….it came on a gift I got last year.

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From there, I’m highlighting a new little corner that I’ve set up over my buffet….normally the cat eats on there (because the dog eats all her food if I leave it on the floor, that’s why…) but in recognition that my shots would certainly need to be much more staged, I removed it (the cat food… yes we are a long thought away from that already, I know…).

I found the snowman last spring at a GoodWill store for $4.99

I found the snowman last spring at a GoodWill store for $4.99, and the smelly sticks were a birthday gift from my sister...( oh, you can probably see some of the cat food on the buffet...oh well...so much for staging!)

Where was I?  oh right…In a previous post about my new mistreatments, I did say that I would get a shot of the dining room all prettied up, so here it is.. (so, the wall color is going to magically become that soft taupe color like you see in the carpet and the bottom of the drapes…mmm that’sa gonna be nice…!)

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The sideboard on the right side is adorned with this little Christmassy display

The Santa and his mailbox were in an auction box, so technically, they were 'free', the Santa Stars I made, the garland was free from my dad when he moved, and I do believe I paid 50 cents each for the votive holders

The Santa and his mailbox were in an auction box, so technically, they were 'free', the sled was a gift from my sister-in-law, the Santa Stars I made, the garland was free from my dad when he moved, and I do believe I paid 50 cents each for the votive holders

Moving along, I have had this garland (is that what it  is called?) for years…I hosted a party-lite party and I think I used up some ridiculous hostess ‘credit’ for like 50 bucks on the thing…it found a home this year over our kitchen chalkboard…

(yes, I still need bulbs for the office..now 3 out of 4 are burned out, it is getting dark in here...)

(yes, I still need bulbs for the office..now 3 out of 4 are burned out, it is getting dark in here...)

I gone and done did spoil myself this year…..these towels were $6.99 at Home Sense, so I treated myself!

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I updated my hallway display this year….

The garland was purchased at Salvation Army for $4.99; I made the two stockings last year; the fishbowl was a 10 cent garage sale acquisition...the fluffy snowman was a secret santa gift.

The garland was purchased at Salvation Army for $4.99; I made the two stockings last year; the fishbowl was a 10 cent garage sale acquisition...the fluffy snowman was a secret santa gift. I don't really remember getting the Christmas Tree balls, but in all liklihood they came out of an auction box at some point over the past 10 years...

My previously featured Garland:

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has been updated with some gold ribbon, and a couple of feathered birds that I thrifted for $2.99 this week:

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I picked up this ceramic carolling family at GoodWill for $2.99

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And our tree. …

Every year I pull this tree out of the rubbermaid tub and I HATE it.  But every year, I tell myself that there is no good reason on earth to go spend money on another one when we ALREADY own one.  We start hanging the decorations and the lights and the shiny garland, and bit by bit, OUR tree emerges.

If you squint and turn your head sideways, it does quite nicely!

Notice the REPURPOSED tablecloth being used as a tree skirt; and my Mother in Law was getting rid of some fabric, so FOR FREE, I whipped up a few drawstring gift bags as our first attempt to stop using wrapping paper this year...

Notice the REPURPOSED tablecloth being used as a tree skirt; and my Mother in Law was getting rid of some fabric, so FOR FREE, I whipped up a few drawstring gift bags as our first attempt to stop using wrapping paper this year...oh, and we've also wrapped some paper and ribbon around a PRINGLES can, and it's ALREADY holding dad's gift from #1 son!

So, there you have it from WINTERPEG.

If I owned a nicer camera, I would take alot more overall room shots, but I don’t, so this will have to do….

Just a reminder, it’s SO NOT about the gifts, it’s SO NOT about what you spend, it’s about the memories you create and the remembrance of the one who came over 2000 years ago….I’m SO NOT religious, I’m SO NOT into cramming this down anyone’s throat, but I do challenge you to look at the season a little differently this year….

I spent alot of time thinking God wasn’t relevant because RELIGION kept me blinded.

If you don’t believe the documented history of Jesus Christ, is it because RELIGION is in the way?

Don’t let that stop you from exploring a personal relationship with HE WHO CREATED ALL…and that includes you.  He made you, and loves you … in fact he loves you too much to leave you where you are today.  Don’t let me or anyone else get in the way of exploring what that means.

All righty then….in the interest of keepin’ it real, because that’s what we do around here, I need to get off my computer and get back to real life which looks more like this on a regular basis:

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The Blessing of Honor

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I attended a brunch last Saturday where each table hostess was asked to ‘decorate’ her own table in a way that reflected her personality and/or in a way to bless those who would be sitting at her table.

I’ll post about my table another time, because to stay true to ‘Notice the Celebrate Small Moments’ at Chatting at the Sky, I took time to notice this table:

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This lady had used china that her mother gave her, a tablecloth and napkins that her mother had made, and had various pictures of her parents and other treasured momentos around her table.

Because I love anything ‘old’, I asked her about her table, and she told me how special this table was to her because her and her mother, never really got along… This table was her way of honoring her Mother, even tho’ things had not always gone smoothly, of taking a moment and sharing things that were dear to her mother, of letting by-gones be by-gones and celebrating the hospitality that perhaps, in some way, she wished her own mother had been able to show her.

It was a beautiful display that healed hurts through the simple act of remembering, and choosing to honor and bless instead of curse.

A good reminder for all of us through this holiday season…..who is the hardest person in our life to love?

Who could we ‘do without’ for very personal reasons?

What hurts could heal if you chose to honor and bless them?   

hmmm….something to think about….stay on this post for just a moment and think those questions through for your self.  How could you CHANGE the course of holidays to come by a simple act of blessing?

It is a choice which you have the power to make….


What Works for Me – Wednesday

Every Wednesday, Shannon at ‘Rocks in my Dryer’ hosts a blogging carnival where anyone who wants to join in can leave a tip or helpful hint for everyone else.  This is the first time I’ve participated!

My tip for this week involves Laundry Softener / Dryer Sheets.  I’ve not liked the perfuminess of bounce for some time, and I hate how expensive dryer sheets of any kind are.  For a long time, I was tearing my Costco sheets in half and that seemed to still work pretty well.

I found this ‘greener’ brand at the Drug Store and I hate it….

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….I think I might try to exercise their Product Guarantee, but they likely won’t honor it without a receipt, and really, who keeps the receipts for those sorts of things??  I’ll probably try anyways…maybe they’ll let me trade even up on something else.

However, in my quest for all things greener, I decided to try one of the ‘recipes’ out there for homemade fabric softener.  So here is what I tried last week for the first time:

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It was easy now that I have all that old hair conditioner sitting around!

I taped the ‘recipe’ right onto the top of the pail so I don’t have to go looking for it.

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It seemed to work fairly well on the umpteen loads of laundry that I processed last week.  One or two sticky socks but I was mildly amused and pleased with the outcome.

Anyhew, that’s what is workin’ for me!

Bloggy Art Awards

Nan has given me this great award!

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Art Prize and Award

“This prize has arisen from the daily visits that I dedicate to many blogs which nourish me and enrich me with creativity. In them I see dedication, creativity, care, comradeship, but mainly, ART, much art. I want to share this prize with all those bloggers that entertain me day to day and to share this prize with those who enrich me every day. Doubtlessly, there are many and it will be hard to pick just a few, the people I will name today deserve this prize, as do the very long serious list of bloggers I also enjoy to read, but I will name the first 10 and will leave the rest of the work to all the bloggers that visit other’s blogs and are nourished by them.”
The rules of passing on this award are as follows:

– post award in your own blog: [Post who gave it to you] (http://nannybird.blogspot.com)
– indicate its origin and a link to the site: [Arte Y Pico from Uruguay ](http://fazendoarte67.blogspot.com)
– give it to 5 blogs that you enjoy. [That are creative and inspire you]

My choices are:

http://realworldmartha.wordpress.com/
http://peacockchic.wordpress.com/
http://lentilsandrice.blogspot.com/
http://www.messythrillinglife.blogspot.com/
http://modobjectathome.blogspot.com/

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