Monday, April 21, 2008

What's New at the Homestead

Can you believe a month has already gone by since my last post? A WHOLE month?!!! Unbelievable! Between the blasted flu hitting us all pretty hard, and then life's demands, I hadn't had much time to think of blogging. I decided today, to take a break and record what has been going on at the homestead.

We have been looking at numerous ways of saving money. Our shopping trips have become more exciting since we've been matching up coupons and rebates. I no longer dread watching the register, but instead, I love knowing how little I am paying for things. Our last CVS and Rite Aid trip was a good example. My combined purchases included:
  1. 2 boxes Raisin Bran Crunch
  2. Aquafresh Extreme Clean
  3. Samy Mousse
  4. Total Complete Whitening
  5. 2 Glade Plug-In's Scented Oil with warmer
Total cost of the above items (after coupons and rebates) was 79 cents!

Another good buy at CVS was 5 Sunsilk 24/7 and one Sunsilk shampoo for a total of $3.18 - that's less than what we paid for the last bottle we purchased at Walmart. My DD loves the 24/7 so the cost difference pleased all of us.

As we have been watching the cost of things increase, we have been limiting the amount we were able to spend on items like shampoo and other personals. We had informed both children that they won't be able to buy those brand name items - but store brand, unless they want to pitch in the balance. I know it sounds harsh, but being brand faithful can be very expensive. Now that we are shopping at CVS and Rite Aid, they no longer have to do that, because this breaks down even cheaper than store brand!! Sadly, we avoided both stores because they were more expensive than Walmart. Or so we thought!

Yesterday, we put together a very primitive solar oven made from cardboard boxes, aluminum foil and newspaper. We sat a piece of glass over top (it needs cut down yet) just to see what potential the oven might have. Without reflectors, a fitted glass or a good sunny day, the oven reached 130 degrees. We sat it out just before a rain storm - so the sun was poking in and out of heavy clouds. As soon as we get through the cloudy week, we should be ready to really test the oven. We'll have the glass cut down to fit correctly, and the reflectors will be finished. I can't wait!!

I put the humming bird feeder up on Saturday. I'm expecting to see them any time now. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to seeing them again. Speaking of birds, we have been blessed with a real treat. For the past month or so, we have been able to watch a pair of doves set up their home in a tree outside my kitchen window. The way the nest is, I can't get a picture where one can make out the dove sitting, or the baby. It's sad that I haven't been able to photograph it, but I'm thrilled to be able to witness something so cool. Isn't nature wonderful?

For a little bit of fun, I joined the SockMadness 2 competition. I decided with a little bit of push, I could use some of my stash up, and have fun along the way. I was thrilled to be able to make it to round 3 before I was knocked out. I might have even made it to round 4 had the flu not knocked me down and put me in bed. You know it had to hit the hardest just after the 3rd pattern came out. That's ok though, because I really needed to start focusing on getting things done around here. It was a cool diversion though. I made 2 very nice socks and I'm on my 3rd pair - getting ready to turn the heel on the second sock.

Zombie Socks designed by Sheryl Giles for Round 1

Reversai Socks designed by Janine Le Cras for Round 2

That's all the time I have for today. The rest of the news will have to wait for another time. Have a lovely, lovely April day!

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