Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thrifting bliss

My Living Room, this evening

Like so many women, I enjoy shopping. Unlike so many, it's the hunt I enjoy more than the buy. Not that I don't like to buy things, but I enjoy browsing, eying, plotting, and planning. I'm not normally an impulse shopper. I used to be, but when I started staying home I was very aware that I wasn't just spending *my* money. My husband works hard and long to put money in the bank account, and keeping that fact in mind helps keep me honest and on budget. A friend in college introduced me to the glorious art of thrift shopping, and it seemed to click with me. I like old things, and diving into a thrift shop brought back of the thrill (and occasional horror or disgust) of those giant black trash bags full of hand-me-downs that we used to get as kids. 

 Today I found myself in dire need of some "me" time. Both kids are sick and the baby had me up every hour last night. I was tired, cranky and running low on general goodwill. When husband arrived home this afternoon I told him I needed a nap and to go out. Alone. I did get a nice nap and then I nursed the baby, handed him to his papa and they went out for a long walk. I went straight for my favorite three thrift stores. About 10 minutes from my home there is a Salvation Army, an estate auction/antiques shop and a local thrift store. Between the three of them I can usually find what I'm looking for. Today I went looking for a large cookie jar or crock to keep my coconut oil in, because I just ordered 5 GALLONS of the stuff. I hope I don't regret that. (But look at that pretty crock I found! That was easy. Finding the space to store a 5 gallon bucket, now that is going to be more challenging.)

When I walked into the first shop (Salvation Army) I did my usual rounds, quickly scanning for those things I'm always on the lookout for: old Tupperware canisters (any color, but especially green), canning jars, Fiestaware dishes, Pyrex anything, pre-2000s Corningware (for a friend), cast iron anything. I found a set of lock-top jars that will be perfect for making ferments, like saurkraut and ginger carrots. $2.99/each, not a bad deal. I pay $0.50/jar for the canning jars, but the lock top will keep more oxygen out, which will help the beneficial, anaerobic bacteria flourish in my lacto-fermented veggies. And there's no worry about the metal corroding in the brine, unlike the screw top caps.

In the estate sale/antiques shop I mostly just browse. I can't go in there with the kids unless I have a buddy to help me watch them. Most of the things there are far out of my price range, not to mention they don't fit my lifestyle. Still, in a back corner they have the "junky" thrift quality items. That is where I've bought most of my Pyrex baking dishes. Today I walked in and started looking around, enjoying the freedom of not having the kids. The first thing to catch my eye was a beautiful, big yellow Pyrex mixing bowl . Sadly, it was cracked. Fine for display, but I'm not big on "look don't touch" things. I kept browsing. Fourth table in, I see IT. THE THING. THE THING I LOOK FOR AND NEVER FIND.

A set of Pyrex mixing bowls. In good shape, the red one is a little faded but overall, the colors are good and not very scratched. The second largest size, the green bowl, is missing. There's no price, just the seller number. I find a nice crock for my oil, and some Corningware for my friend. I almost put the bowls back several times. I knew they would be expensive. But I toted them up to the register anyway. When the owner told me the price I was amazed. $25. Obviously, they had to come home with me. :)
At the third shop I was running out of time and I still needed to go to the ethnic grocery store nearby. I did a quick swoop looking for my top items, and I saw this little Hoosier Glass vase. I received one like this from my grandparent's estate and my sister saw it on Sunday and admired it. The one in the thrift shop was identical and marked $0.69. This has to have been the best thrifting day I've had, bar none.

Monday, January 30, 2012


My sister came to visit me yesterday, which was a special treat in itself. When she arrived, she brought gifts; a half gallon of raw milk and fermented cod liver oil. These gifts would seem a little odd to most of you I'm sure, but to me they were perfect. If you are wondering why, why oh why would I be overjoyed by these gifts, check out the Weston A. Price Foundation; they have a number of articles which can explain the whys and wherefores more efficiently than I can.

I was pleasantly surprised by the cod liver oil. I didn't find it fishy tasting at all. And the raw milk brought me double joy, as I was able to drink a large glass and my eczema has not flared! I had another glass this morning, and it was a welcome addition to my breakfast. I noticed that my usual 11am mood swing (blood sugar related) didn't occur at all, which was a welcome change.

And this is a photo of my living room. How about that train track, eh? That was my handiwork.

That's about all I have to share right now.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Laundry Night

Tonight is laundry night. Laundry folding can only happen when the children are abed, since the littlest one takes great delight in emptying baskets and the bigger one enjoys hopping up to sit next to mama, and that inevitably leads to toppled piles and frustration.

Husband is doing homework, which means I have the TV all to myself. Around here, this is big, exciting news.

Just look how happy that made him! No, just kidding. That would be the Chocolate Chickpea Cake.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I'm really pleased with how "clean" my living room is today. Since the husband and I have been doing an exercise program each evening, all the toys have to get cleaned up. I really enjoy the Christmas season, and I go all out while it's here. But now that it is all over, I'm rather relieved. Back to normal, back to the routine is good for all of us, especially me. 

2011 was a good year for us, we had a baby, husband finished his first B.A., we had a nice beach vacation, and I kept on with the routine. Diaper washing, food preparing, house cleaning (eh, sort of), breastfeeding, baby carrying, preschooler educating. I guess it's actually pretty dull around here, but I enjoy it. 

 Now it's 2012 and I'm excited and energized, ready to charge "once more into the breach!"

"The game's afoot!"