Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Disgust

I don't usually use this blog as a place for complaining, airing my disgust with people,talking politics or airing opinions which may offend or irritate others. There are places for that. This blog is not one. This blog is my attempt at focusing on the good/beautiful/enriching things that I find for a bargain or for free. The good things in my life.

Having said that, I need to step away from that mission for a minute.

A Wal-Mart worker was KILLED today when shoppers broke down the doors at Wla-Mart in Long Island TO GO SHOPPING.

Broke them down! For what? A deal on an Ipod? For Christmas. A holiday where we celebrate the Birth of Christ. A man was killed. For cheap crap from China. People in such a frenzy for stuff with no regard for the safety of others. With only the sale on their mind. People kept going, few stopped. PEOPLE KEPT SHOPPING. What have we turned into? What are we teaching our children? This isn't a 3rd world country and these were not starving people stampeding for food to feed their children. These were adults still stuffed from Thanksgiving, beginning the gluttony that has become Christmas giving. To beat their neighbor to the cheap crap made in Chinese Sweatshops to give to their love ones.

With no regard for the loved ones of others.

With more than 200 people waiting in line, literally BUSTING THE DOORS DOWN, it's hard to imagine that this country is actually in a state of economic upheaval.

The madness of Christmas giving reached it's unfortunate crescendo this morning.

It's sickening.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Disney Princess Boots

Today my parenting moxie was tested. Not by something major and earth shattering mind you, but by a pair of Disney Princess Boots.

As I dropped my girl off at pre-school I told her I was going to buy her some boots. At that very moment she was walking by another girl and looked down and saw what I thought were an ugly pair of Disney Princess Boots. She looked up at me with the sweetest little voice and said:

"Mommy, can I PLEASE have boots like those?"

I was non-commital, mentioning that I didn't know where her mommy got them.

Apparently her mommy got them at Marshall's because they were RIGHT next to a pair of HIGH QUALITY black and purple boots that I wanted to get her.

I'm not much of a Disney Mommy. She's never seen the movies, I didn't plan to be a character buying parent (anyone who saw the red Elmo cake I made for her 2nd B-Day can laugh right now if they want.) and I don't like the idea of marketing to children. And I also think most character clothing looks cheap.

These princesses have come into our life through means completely not of our own making-through books she's been given and other girls at school with princess stuff.

Ok, it's not like I think the Disney Princesses are evil or anything extreme like that. It's just that I find the older Disney princesses vapid and longing only for husbands. It actually says in the book that the dwarves asked Snow White to stay because she COULD COOK. (one hopes that at least when she was wisked off by prince charming (who was actually a COMPLETE STRANGER), that she would at least have some domestic help to help her get over picking up after 8 sloppy men for god knows how long!) At least Belle in Beauty and The Beast likes book and gets to KNOW the Beast and loves him when he is a beast!

To my chagrin these princesses are enchanting my little girl.

What to do? I walked around that darn store with the purple boots for 30 min. I called Deanna over this moral crisis. Would I buy the nice sensible high quality boots or would I cave and get the princess boots. I would never choose something like those boots for her and yet, she, herself would be so pleased with them. I never say yes to stuff like this. Am I letting an ideal I don't support into my house on the soles of her feet or am I over thinking this?

I came to the conclusion I'm not any fun anymore and I bought the princess boots.

She loved them. Really loved them.

The only frugal thing about this entire activity is the fact that the Disney Boots actually cost less than the High Quality Purple Boots.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Battening Down The Hatches!

Winter is quickly approaching here and my 76 year old house, while full of charm and high ceilings, is also quite drafty and cold! In an effort to conserve energy and cash I am looking at ways to make things a little more toasty without having to turn up the thermostat!

We have these cute little windows in our closets?!?!? They serve no purpose (although do let in nice light to see with during the day) and they have absolutely NO insulation or storms. Our closets are typically markedly COLDER than the rest of the house. Last night I installed window insulation over them and I can see a difference already! I am also going to do this in the 2 windows in my 3rd floor office. (one of which is very pretty and decorative from the outside but gets ICE on it during the winter!) I probably would not do this on normal windows that everyone sees but if you did, I can imagine it would really make your house warmer. The kit (which I already had from my old house) costs $20 for 9 windows! (Big windows I might add, I was able to cut the plastic in half) And using the blow dryer to help seal the plastic gives a satisfaction that is akin to popping the bubbles on bubble wrap, it's fun!

I'll also be making bean snakes for the doors out of material that I already have. The doors are original to the house but some seem to have been planed to accommodate the seventies shag carpet which once covered my lovely wood floors.

I've added outlet and switch plate insulation to some of the outlets and switch plates on outside facing walls since when I put my hand near them I could feel an actual DRAFT. A package of 8 is under $2. I am planning to finish off the ones I didn't get to last year.

My kitchen is rather new but I noticed there is a gap between 2 cabinets that you can't see but also lets a draft in. I'm thinking of filling it with that expandable foam, Good Stuff, but I may just stuff it with foam packing material to avoid the mess and cost.

I'm also thinking of replacing the weather stripping on the doors but I haven't decided if I'm that motivated yet. I do need paint for the dining room so I guess I'll be checking out weatherstripping supplies while I'm there.