How to survive till/past 65!
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  1. #1
    Registered User Incognito's Avatar
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    Talking How to survive till/past 65!

    Hi, Frugal Villagers,

    Will I survive, till or past age 65, or not? Place your bets here... (just kidding)
    Offers of matrimony, with or without insurance policies, are politely declined.

    Many of you know of my less than limited circumstances, and what some of my challenges are at present. Here on Frugal Village, we are a group of sincere and supportive persons, with the same goals in mind...frugal living and coping with our challenges.

    I hope to post here weekly with an update of my latest challenges and results, and invite others to do the same.

  2. #2
    Registered User Incognito's Avatar
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    Smile That retirement budget.

    So how many of us have got around to doing that scary retirement budget yet?
    For as we have probably learned by now, time waits for no man...or retiree.
    This week, I redid my retirement budget, and threw away all of my other retirement budgets I'd scribbled out for the past few years...the ones where I didn't know how much my Canada Pension Plan was going to pay me, and where I made a few serious errors in calculation, and so on.

    But this time I think I've got it right. On one sheet of paper, I tallied up all my present income and resources; then my projected income and expenses for the next 5 1/2 years, till I'm 65; plus a few odds and ends of assorted related info.

    And I came up with my budget.
    I can pay my rent, if I can stay in government-subsidized housing, pay for my basic phone, and have a monthly food budget of $100, plus $20 for other variable expenses, for the next 5 1/2 years, till I can collect my Old Age Pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement at age 65.

    So starting August 1, 2013 (this year), I am rigorously sticking to this budget.
    I have also budgeted for medication expenses, Christmas and gifts, household insurance, paid for largely by the GST rebate. (Good and Services Rebate) Canada.

    If God is willing, I plan to make it happen, and this thread will be a record of my journey.

    August Budget:
    Food: $100 (The Plan: potatoes, milk, meat, vegetables & fruits, oatmeal, eggs, chocolate chips...)
    Other: $20 (The Plan: vitamins, toothpaste)

    If I can do some wildcrafting, I may not have to buy the vitamin pills, which cost about $14 a bottle. Some excellent wildcrafting plants for Vitamins and Minerals are: dandelions, purslane, broadleaf plantain.
    There are numerous websites for related information on harvesting these plants and using them in various recipes. I hope to pick a bagful and blanch and freeze them in my freezer. I have a tiny backyard garden, but this years's produce has been compromised by chemical spraying from the railway across the street, so I cannot depend on it. I plan to test a few plants by soaking them in 3 waters first before eating. I also have planted some wildcrafting plants out there, and want to pot some for indoor use through the winter.
    At present, they are also compromised by chemical toxins, so I will have to collect more.
    I cut off the carrot tops when cooking, and set them in a dish of water, and they are growing carrot tops, which are very nutritive...see internet info on that.

    Thankfully, I still have some frozen herbs in my freezer...chives especially.
    I've got 3 little tubs of frozen potatoes, which I blanched and froze a few months ago; they are watery when thawed, but they will make excellent potato soup, until I can buy another bag of potatoes. Prices here are very high now...about $14 for a 20 pound bag. I haven't checked the Farmer's Market yet this summer...their prices are very high to, about $4 for half a bread-bag of potatoes.
    I planted 2 large planters with russet potatoes this spring, and they are flowering beautifully; again, it's the chemical toxins I worry about which have contaminated everything, and they won't be ready yet for awhile. When ready, it is possible to tip the container over on its side, and ease the plant out, harvest a few potatoes off of it, and tuck the plant back inside the pot to finish growing till autumn, then remove the final harvest before snowfall. Next year, I plan to do a bit of hoeing on my flower border, set the potatoes on top of that, and then cover them again and again with leaf/grass clippings heaped on throughout the summer, and harvest them as usual. We'll see.

    God bless and keep us!

    Bye for now.

  3. #3
    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    Incognito - I was pleased to see you started this thread. I will be looking forward to reading your posts and making contributions here and there as you go along. I will be looking up the carrot top concept and already have Dh on board with the dandelion greens and now the purslane and plantain....which are very tasty.

    My Mom who lives in Ontario was just complaining today about the high cost of potatoes. She too is alone and doesn't eat many but likes to add them to her homemade soups and stews.

    I am looking forward to learning a lot from you and reading future posts!




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    Moderator ladytoysdream's Avatar
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    We are staring retirement in the face. Hubby retires early next spring, and I am worried. I have run the $$ numbers more than once. Not pretty. But he wants to retire and he will work part time. It will work somehow, someway.

    I plan on a good size garden next year. I am hoping the chickens play a decent part in some part time money and some cheap entertainment. I have 2 female good mommy rabbits, one very willing Mr Bunny and I hope for a few $$ from the babies. Mr Bunny is currently in solitary confinement.

    We have a few plants, like a strawberry patch and 4 nice rhubard plants. I have 4 small blueberry plants. I did plant some veggies in big buckets this year, my mini garden. I can get some stuff from the cousin's garden. She always has extras. My plan is do some jam soon from the fruit from last year, in the freezer. No sense adding more. Use up what I have.

    We paid $ 8 for a 20 pound bag of early red potatoes just dug.
    Nothing beats new potatoes

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    Registered User Incognito's Avatar
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    Here's a popular book with some money-saving ideas...especially on raising rabbits:
    "Possum Living" by Dolly Freed

    Well, today I picked the rasps again, picked one lettuce leaf, and soaked them in several waters to detoxify them. And I ate them...just a bit of a tingly feeling so far. Hopefully, I can figure out a way to be able to use some of my garden after all.

    I understand just what you mean about the early retirement. I did not expect to have to retire early...I have always been a non-smoker, non-drinker, and been very athletic, with lots of fresh air and outdoor activities, bikeriding instead of having a vehicle, and all of the usual health conscious living habits. But my 2007 flu shot crippled me both sides, head to toe, a form of paralysis which has persisted for the past 5 1/2 years despite my best efforts to overcome it. I have made some gains since onset, which I'm very thankful for, but due to the huge change in my abilities, I've lost most of my self-employment as a private music teacher (over 25 year career). The health care system in Canada failed me during onset and throughout the past few years, hiding behind their wall of silence, and wait and see, so I am still struggling with all of this without a diagnoses or treatment for the pain and crippling. The illness and crippling effects have been bringing my prospects to a slow halt, and so I'm faced with early retirement. Thankfully, I saved money over the years, squirreling it away in my savings account. But it's not very much, compared with the cost of living, and I don't want to go on social assistance.

    That leaves me with my own resources, and such government resources as are available to me. Early retirement will cost me a penalty of 36% of my Canada Pension allotment, but I felt I had no choice but to register early, and begin drawing at age 60, which they will begin at the end of January 2014.

    One good thing about all of this is that it makes a person get very, very serious and careful about their money, and their spending. We are fortunate to belong to a website like this, where people take money and their circumstances seriously, and approach the challenge with personal responsibility. With all of the tips and suggestions from each other, and the positive emotional support, we are in a good position to succeed in our challenges.

    This winter I plan to make space on my kitchen table, and on top of my china cabinet hutch to try to grow some edible plants indoors...especially dandelion, purslane, plantain, since they are at the very top for vitamins and minerals. But there are also many other useful edible plants, which are considered weeds, but are highly nutritive...pigweed (vitamins), lamb's quarters (vitamins), mallow (makes marshmallow). I figure if these plants are almost impossible to eradicate from lawns and the wild, I should be able to grow them indoors with less light...we'll see...actually dandelions, plantain, and a few others don't mind the shade, and dandelions are less bitter when grown in the shade.
    One of my favourite dishes is meat and creamed potatoes with greens on top. I want nothing more. And I've used them for omellettes, muffins, soup, and they are delicious. Just be sure that nobody has been spraying any pesticides or herbicides on them. And as one of my herb books states...Propagation: One small root of dandelion will ensure dandelions forever, so if you can only yank out part of a root in a healthy spot, it will grow just fine.

    CPR was out poisoning again at 4 AM today, just after I got up to boil my water. Just a few more months till winter, and hopefully they'll clear out for good by then...in fact, I hope and pray they will clear out long before then.

    My disposition has been very poor this summer, what with all of this stress, but life is all about coping with challenges, so I'm thinking that I need to escape my toxic environment more often, and maybe life will seem sweeter then.

    On a good note, I got a discount and refund on my household contents insurance...$27. I noticed that they had increased my limit amount, and also inquired when the age discount began. Guess what, it began 9 years ago for me, but my insurance company was not going to let on that they knew it, though they've had my birthdate info for 30 years already. So, people might want to check out the particulars on their own policies, since you never know what they've added, or failed to subtract from your total.

    Another little thing for Canadians, we have discontinued using the penny in our sales currency, so nowadays our sales totals are rounded up to the nearest figure. It pays to have a calculator when shopping, and even to do it in advance if using the sales flyers...because a few cents over and over again throughout the years adds up to a few dollars in the end, and that's enough to buy...milk or potatoes, or what-have-you.
    I don't believe that we have to be miserable, just because we have less money to work with during early retirement; but noticing where the dollars and cents are going, and stopping the flow when possible, can be a satisfying endeavour.

  7. #6
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    Incognito thank u for starting this thread....u are so inspiring..the food prices in Canada are ridiculous..so I think about that when I complain about groceries....

    we are almost 50..and have no life insurance or retirement.......and as much as I would like to be debt free it will not happen....

    I worry about us a lot....life insurance is something we have to have..

    and as much as I would like to say we will make it I worry..
    I am very frugal hubs is not..

    bless my daughters heart.....she buys my clothing on clearance and it is very nice and name brand......this si for mothers day , birthday, and Christmas... I bet she has at least 10 outfits put up for me this fall and winter... and that helps me so much..

    hubs kids do nothing for us..

    this fall i have to get our beater car fixed and start to save for a new one....

    I am thinking about doing some gardening next year not a lot....but this year I did none..my heart was not in it...


    I want to go back to work...
    we need the money but I do not know if my heath will let me...

    it is long and complicated...

    good luck on your journey....

  8. #7
    Registered User Incognito's Avatar
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    Smile Inspiration comes from many places

    It's another week, and I have about $65 left on my 'Food and Other' Budget.
    I got quite a few groceries last weekend, so now I have some grains and vegetables on hand again.
    Yesterday, I mixed some oatmeal, bran, sunflower kernels, whole wheat flour, white flour and cooked Red River cereal together, and made 5 huge loaves of whole-grains bread. Everything went well, and the bread turned out fine.


    I've come to realize that my big problem with the toxic air in my neighbourhood is coming from CPR, the town's constant spraying that drifts into my home, the farmers constant spraying, the aerial spraying and the neighbourhood spraying for dandelions. Seems even though I have a registered buffer zone, people are doing it at night (2 AM, 3 AM, 4 AM, even...) to avoid detection. So, now I know what I'm up against, and unless I contact the department of Health, I have no real recourse. So, on Saturday, I started wearing an air mask when I'm outside in the immediate neighbourhood, and only removing it when I get into breathable-air territory. It helps. I've been wondering if I'm being deliberately targeted, because I've noticed vehicles slowly passing by for the past few weeks and staring at my unit. Well...whatever. Seems to me, we'll meet face to face someday in the cancer ward, if they don't smarten up.
    I decided this past weekend to detach emotionally from this problem, and just go on with my life. And I thank God that the weather is much cooler now, so I don't have to air and cool my unit as often.

    And instead of feeling devastated about my lost garden, I'll just enjoy it's beauty, and buy my vegetables and fruits this year. It can't be salvaged even by soaking the produce in several waters...so when I finally realized that, I accepted what I couldn't change, and moved on emotionally.
    The weeding is all done now, and I am waiting for the birds to finish cleaning up my cherry trees (there are still a few cherries left), and then I'll prune them and mow the lawn again. And take some pictures of my beautiful, highly-toxic garden.
    Somehow it reminded me of:
    "and in the day that thou shalt eat the fruit thereof , thou shalt surely die."


    Practical Gains from Watching Some of Those Reality TV Shows:
    This summer, I started watching several tv shows which have been somewhat inspirational or motivating:
    1. "Till Debt Do Us Part" by Gail Vaz-Oxlade (some of these shows are also available online); I'm not actually in this type of debt-situation, but it helps me none-the-less, because of the clear-cut goals, and the disciplinary tactics in achieving them. Plus, I can learn by watching others while escaping the personal humiliation they are going through for all to see. That alone is worth $5,000.

    2. "Master Chef"... committment to excellence, while observing the attitudes that win and lose in the situation; also, the show is exposing one of my personal faults of eating my baking ingredients...chocolate chips, etc., instead of using them in a sensible recipe which would make them go much further. Now, when I reach for the chocolate chip tub, I see the blazing stare of Gordon Ramsey looking askance at me.

    3. "The Amazing Race Canada"...accepting new challenges, no matter how exhausting or humiliating, learning coping strategies. And I don't have to struggle to find directions to places, leap off bridges, or shovel coal either.

    4. "Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls"...realizing that no matter how difficult my life is, it sure could be worse if I had to do the kind of stuff these people are expected to do. I shake my head at this show sometimes, because one of the first things I learned as a Canadian living in an unforgiving climate, is that you take precautions to protect yourself from injury...you don't race up mountains risking a heart attack or stroke, and rush down them risking a broken leg or neck...you watch what you are doing, stay warm and pick your route and pace, and keep your mind clear and focussed...and there are other things to eat besides WORMS, and if I had to eat worms, I'd wait till I got my fire going, and then cook them on a hot rock...should taste more like chow mein noodles after that. But, Spartanism and sadism aside, it's still a good show!


    5. "The Following"... see what happens when you follow a cult? SO, DON'T GET INVOLVED IN A CULT!!!
    And watch the lifestyle, to escape the consequences, and so somebody else doesn't start seeking revenge.
    And maybe I'm not going to watch it anymore, if it doesn't start having more good than bad in it!

    6. "Under the Dome"...it's clear to me that 'the pink stars are falling in straight lines' because it's like the movie 'Chronicles of Riddick' where the attacking forces are seen as stars which are coming in formation to the world about to be conquered. And it looks like this show is going to be dragged out to the bitter end, before the facts are revealed that it's really aliens who've placed a dome on a certain spot on Earth in order to test it for possible habitation, for themselves, as they escape their own stricken planet...the dome being necessary, since they can't actually breathe our own air, but would have to live on Earth under domes with their own type of air...
    Sorry...this last tv show is nothing more than pure imaginative speculation...without any real reason for watching it, I'm just staring idly at the tube, unwinding after a busy day, too tired to turn it off.

    A few weeks ago, I gave up coffee, and after the first few days, I haven't missed it at all really.
    I switched to drinking hot tea with cream and sugar a couple of times in the morning, and iced tea with lemon and sugar once or twice in the afternoon, and I'VE LOST ABOUT 6 POUNDS, and feel much better. By the way, this winter I started some seeds indoors...tomato and basil, and used coffee grounds mixed with water to water them, and they stopped growing for about 6 weeks, didn't even develop the second set of leaves; I kept wondering why they weren't getting any bigger, and then started watering them with plain water again, and they started growing leaves at that point. So, thinking back to the times I was told that coffee stunts your growth, or makes other changes in your hormones, I can say it sure proved true for my plants.

    I am presently reading:
    "The Old Man and the Sea" by Earnest Hemingway
    This is one of my favourite books in my book collection, and it always makes me grateful for all that I have, and as I read through the account of this man's struggle and loss, and his acceptance and undefeated attitude, I gain new insights each time.

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    u inspire me so... Thank u for sharing your journey..and yes dang it will mourn your yummy garden for you..I found 1 little wild strawberry this week in my yard I washed it and enjoyed the tiny bite...

    hugs to u my friend..I would love to meet u one day on this journey...

  10. #9
    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    That is something I need to do as well incognito....cut out coffee. It is so expensive and not healthy at all. I just dread actually doing it though! I LOVE my coffee.

    Sorry to hear about your garden.




  11. #10
    Registered User Incognito's Avatar
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    Hi y'all! (My, that seemed natural...even for a Canadian.)

    This past week, I've been working on making a spareroom mattress out of my former sofa cushions. So far, I've got most of it done, pieced together, and sewed...just have to piece 2 small side pieces together now. It has been a real exercise in patience, what with the lugging of the materials, and the painstaking sewing, and my thread keeps twisting itself no matter how I untwist it. But it feels comfortable, and I got the dimensions right, so it fits my spare room bunkbed space. I saved the rest of the fibrefill stuffing for making pillows and cushions, and I'll save the foam pieces and make cleaning sponges out of that.
    Needless to say, my spare room is presently an awful sight, with all this going on, but as soon as the mattress is done, I will be sorting through blankets, and putting the bed to rights, then tidying the catch-all cubby-hole, and giving the room a good vacuuming and dusting...which it really needs.
    I've also noticed that my tv seems to be going on the blink...I don't know if it's because of the need for dusting everything, or if it's had it's day...anyway, so far, I still have sound on it, and if I have to get another one, they are usually available at our town yard-sales, and on the ads.

    I also figured out how to make my own mattress more comfortable...now that it has developed that little sag in the centre. I placed a flat pillow under the mattress, just under the sag, and now the mattress is flat again, and I've slept like a baby for the past several days.
    And saved myself a few hundred dollars by not having to replace the mattress.

    Being cooped up a lot this summer has been very difficult, but I'm trying to focus my attention on things that need doing, and thereby get some enjoyment from that, and I can still sit in front of my windows and enjoy a cuppa while looking out at the scenery and my garden. The birds finished off my Nanking cherries, but they don't want to pick off my raspberries (too toxic, I guess), so I went out there twice and picked them off (haven't eaten them, but didn't want them messing up the back yard patio). They are really beautiful this year, and so far I've picked over 2 quarts of luscious dark-red ripe ones. I'd really like to get out there and prune bushes, and mow the lawn, but am still waiting for a reprieve from the workers across the street and all the toxic chemicals. They're still at it.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    It has been a sad week...what with the awful news of those two little boys smothered by that African rock python. My heart goes out to the mom, and pray for God to sustain her. It seems to me that we don't realize what the wild animals are capable of until tragedy strikes. And then the ones who make their living off them come on the media and do their damage control, because their first concern is to protect their own business interests. A radio show nearby featured one of these discussions...the announcer didn't even know that tarantulas are venomous. After researching some info on the internet, I found the topic about the Florida python hunt, and took a good look at that, and quite a few other reports.
    Along these lines, this past winter, we had problems with the odd timber wolf and coyote following school children in our vicinity, and staking out schoolyards. So, it comes down to the fact that wild animals are essentially wild...and without controls, can and will pose a danger to humans. For too long, they've been allowed to breed and encroach on farms, cities and towns without controlling or culling, and now they've lost their fear of man. And we have been lulled into a false sense of security around them, to our own undoing.

    My dad was a hunter, trapper and fisherman, one of the best. He supported himself and Mom, and us 10 kids with these skills, as well as doing hard labour in the mines and forest sawmills. He was calm and courageous around wild creatures, and from doing everything alone in dangerous situations in 'the bush', developed respect and awareness of the capacities of the wild creatures, and was always prepared for anything. Isn't it something how we can go years without truly realizing or appreciating all that our parents actually did for us, but when we start thinking it over, the challenges they faced and the dedication and sacrifices they made just to feed and clothe us, and keep a roof over our heads will amaze us more and more.

    Nowadays, my thoughts often turn to my parents, and the various aspects of their character, and their training of me.
    I've needed to go deep into my own roots, to find counsel and strength for help with my own life's challenges.
    And although they were only human, with faults and failings, I know I'm blessed to have had them for parents.
    The thing is to tell them so while you can.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Budget is going well; still have about $45 left for the month.
    Had a problem last week when I called MTS to get more long distance phone cards. Had to call 3 different departments, and all of them told me NO, they don't send them out...which I think is terrible for customer relations with them. LD phone cards saved me $40 last year, so my phone doesn't have a long distance plan on it any more.
    I just shake my head sometimes at the way businesses do things...and then they pay consultants hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve their business, but won't listen to the customers needs and wants. Phooey!

    The weather here has been quite cool for the time of year, so I've been enjoying that.
    Everybody have a good week!

  12. #11
    Registered User Incognito's Avatar
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    Last edited by Incognito; 08-13-2013 at 04:28 PM.

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    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    What a great sharing of your journey. Funny that even though we are all living different lives, there are so many similarities!

    Don't know if I missed you mentioning it, but have you ever sprouted different beans - so nutritious and easy!

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    Registered User Brat's Avatar
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    Incognito: I am so enjoying your posts...They have so much information..I am retired and have moved from the country to small town america..I watched the farmers spray there crops around my home and kill all the blackberries, and my apple tree..Here in this small town at least they are farther away from my yard..I was able to get several tomatoes for juice and soup this winter..none of my neighbors spray there yards..One of them was teaseing me about my dandelions..I was picking blooms one morning early..He wanted to know what I was going to do with them..I cooked them up for dinner that night and took them a few of them..They liked them so we will be doing a lot of yard picking..lol..

    Keep your post going..I am learning so much..Thanks

  15. #14
    Registered User Incognito's Avatar
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    Cool and it's another little problem...

    Hi Maui,
    Nice to hear from you! Yes, I've thought of sprouting beans and have tried the white beans; it's impossible to get any other kind here, and they are extremely expensive. I have a few kidney beans from a trip to the city store.

    Hi Brat,
    Thanks for your post!
    I was very uninformed about the qualities of dandelions till this summer, when I researched the internet on the subject and found abundant information and recipes. Why are we killing this incredibly beneficial plant??? We should all be out there digging it up for our health and meals. But then the pesticide and vitamin companies would go bankrupt. And the health care system would have fewer people with asthma and other serious illnesses.

    ^^^^^^^^

    Yesterday I had a brief reprieve from air contamination, so I got ready to mow my lawn...only to discover that my lawn mower wouldn't start. After mulling over various alternatives all night and trying to remain calm and positive (and not go to pieces about it), I decided to try a different extension cord. And it turned out that my old extension cord is burned out. I felt the cord near the end and heard the wire crackling where it was broken inside, and slit it apart and found a burned out spot in one of the wires. Unfortunately, this cord is ancient, so I've just bought myself a new extension cord ($20 for a 50 foot cord, plus tax). I might have tried cutting off a section of the cord, and attaching it to a new plug end, but a new plug end costs about $8, so a new extension cord is the best decision, I think. At least, it's not the lawn mower...

    At this point, I have $11.70 left on my variable expense budget, which should be enough for 1 jug of milk and a small bag of potatoes, or some bargain-bin apples or bananas. I got a very good deal on lean ground beef this week and bought 2 family packs of it, and divided and packed it into 16 bags for the freezer. I usually fry it in my cast-iron pan, then divide it into 4 pieces (giving me 1 piece for supper, for a total of 4 suppers), so this deal netted me 64 pieces of meat, which is enough for 2 months. I paid $2.79 a pound, and spend about $41.50 in total. Usually, it costs at least $2.99 a pound on sale, so I've saved a few dollars here.

    I eat as much protein as I can...I crave it constantly because of my illness. My body is always fighting to strengthen my muscle fibers, and without enough protein I am much weaker. So on my budget, my priorities are meat, milk, eggs, whole grains, etc.

    Note to self (as per lawnmower/extension cord object lesson):
    When trouble comes, remain calm; and if you can't remain calm, become calm again, as soon as possible.
    Keep your head, and think it out; there's usually a solution.
    Here are some of the possible choices:



    OR


  16. #15
    Registered User Brat's Avatar
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    I think you made the right choice on the electric cord that you use outside..You can never get a repair to seal good..I am not one to throw things away but that was a good choice..This way you won't get hurt..

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    Last Post: 01-24-2005, 08:18 PM
  3. wait till you see this one! ;o)
    By mommy2three in forum Family
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-17-2003, 03:49 PM

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