Thrift Haul

Helping Hands isn’t far from my home but its not along my regularly traveled route so I seldom shop there. Recently I had to pass it so I stopped in for a look around. I’m glad I did.Helping Hands I like the store for several reasons, it is one of the most organized thrift stores I’ve ever been in. Their prices range from reasonable to very good. The money they raise supports missionaries in Peru. Here’s what I brought home, all for $11.26.4-5-17 helping Hands $10

3 pair of jeans,4 button down shirts,1 pair khakis and 1 belt will be donated to Union Gospel Mission.UGM

the forth pair of jeans was badly wore from tattered jeans

and I turned them into a grocery tote bag. I filled it with groceries to give to my neighborhood food bank. This will mean they save money on bags.tote8451

The hoe will replace the one I received last summer from a freecycler (it has a broken handle).hoes handle

The two pieces of polar fleece will be used for more hats. fabricI have no use in mind for the fake suede but at 25 cents for 1 1/4 yard I couldn’t pass it up. I may or may not come up for a use for it.

Scattered, cluttered, unorganized all describe me and my surroundings. Hopefully these binders will help corral some of my paper clutter. 3 bindersLeave me a comment if you’ve found anything GOOD at the thrift stores lately.

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Holey Socks

One of my resolutions for 2017 is to complete the many unfinished projects in my sewing room.

For some time whenever I came across a sock with a hole in it I tossed in in a to-be-mended box. box of socksFrom the size of my collection, this has been going on for YEARS. There are probably as many socks in the box as in my drawer.


  1. A darning egg. I inherited one from my Aunt. A lightbulb works just as well.bulb & egg
  2. Sports weight year. I have darning yarn I picked up while thrifting, but since darning is a lost art I suspect it would be hard to find retail.darning yarn & scissors
  3. A darning needle
  4. Scissors
  5. A subscription to Netflix (or similar source of entertainment)

I recommend that you reinforce you socks when they become threadbare. blu7858It’s a lot easier than reweaving when actual holes have developed.IMG_7856

Slip the darning egg into the sock and use a large needle to weave in yarn. You don’t want to tie a knot in the yarn or it will be uncomfortable to wear. Just weave the tail of the yarn into your patch.over weaving

I’m happy to say that after three months of darning while I watched all four seasons of the Dick Van Dyke Show my to-be-mended box is empty. It was interesting to see that in several episodes Laura is shown darning while she and Rob talk.

What do you do when your socks wear out? repair or replace?



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Book Report #6

I’ve been under the weather for several days so I’ve done more reading than usual.

I pulled a book from my own collection. One I purchased at a thrift store of course.

I love reading Christian biographies. My greatest heroes of the faith  are those who followed God’s call to go into all the world and preach the gospel.*

poking-holes-in-the-darknessPoking Holes in the Darkness is an autobiography about how Judy and Jim Parlier moved to Papua New Guinea to live among a stone aged tribe.

When they arrived in their village no one would say Judy’s name although they quickly learned to call her husband Jim. It was months before she learned that the word jud-ee had an undesirable meaning in the Managalasi language. Eventually a woman explained what her name meant and gave her a new name Jaki.

Little by little as they lived with the Managalasi people the light of the gospel poked holes in the spiritual darkness the people lived in. Before leaving her home in New Jersey, Judy was confronted by someone who said, “those people have their own religion, they’re happy as they are– why do you want to change them? The truth is that the people’s lives were ruled by fear. Everything in their culture revolved around appeasing spirits.

A break though came when Judy, who had been mocking their belief in ancestral spirits attaching them, found herself under satanic assault when she broke a taboo. She overcame the enemy in the name of Jesus. From then on  instead of trying to convince the people there were no spirits, they began to teach them that there is power to over come Satan in Jesus.

The Parliers spent twenty years living in the jungle. They made a Managalasi alphabet, taught the natives to read and translated the New Testament into Managalasi. When other villages wanted to learn to read and learn about God too, Jim equipped native teachers to evangelize their own people.


*these include; Hudson Taylor, David Wilkerson, Gladys Aylward, Elizabeth Elliott and Bruce Olson.

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Book Report #5

The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Dossthe-family-nobody-wanted

This biographical work tell the story of how Carl and Helen Doss ended up adopting 12 multi-racial children.

After the Dosses learned they could not have children of their own the adopted a baby boy Donny. A while later when they attempted to adopt a sibling for their son they learned that there were a host of couples waiting for each white child.

The Dosses were firm believers in one race “the human race” and were more than willing to take a minority child even when the adoption agencies of the day (1950s) were reluctant to place children of color in white families.

The family grew by as many as three children at a time but all the while Donny didn’t have “a boy my size”. Each  attempt to find a boy Donny’s age came up empty, but in the process a new baby or toddler was placed with the family.

There was opposition from all sides.

A social worker  asked “do you really think you can bring a dark-skinned child up to your social standing? Don’t you realize it is more likely that the same child will drag his parents down to the subjugated minority group?”

Carl’s own mother said she would “never allow a black girl to call me grandma!”

Carl seemed a bit reluctant with each addition but when he was offered a pastorate on the condition that they adopt no more children, he stood his ground and told the church board that the size of his family was no one’s business but theirs and God’s.

The children themselves were unaware of any racial differences. When they played Cowboys & Indians, a Native American  Cowboy chased after a blond brave.

The book is full of touching stories  as well as those of trial and tribulation in the Doss household.

The family came to the national spotlight when Life Magazine ran a story about the one family united nations.



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By Popular Demand

After posting about giving homemade preserves as gifts I had a request for my Peach-Raspberry Jam recipe.

2 cups seedless raspberry puree (from about 4 to 4 1/2 cups raspberries)

2 cups finely chopped peaches

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon Fruit Fresh or ascorbic acid

1 box (1.75 ounces) powdered fruit pectin

6 cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon butter

  1. Combine the puree and chopped peaches in a large, deep kettle. Stir in the lemon juice, fruit fresh, and powdered pectin. Stir to blend and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Bring the fruit mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat. Let the mixture boil for 1 minute. Add the sugar all at once, then the butter. Stir to blend and bring back to a full rolling boil. Continue boiling for 1 minute.
  3. fill jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe the rims with a hot damp paper towel and fit jars with lids. Screw on bands just to fingertip tightness.   Place jars into the hot canning water and lower the rack. Add more hot water, if necessary, to bring water to at least 1 inch over the tops of the jars. cover the canner and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle but steady boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat, remove the cover and let jars stand in the water for 5 minutes. Remove the jars to cool. Do not tip or turn the jars.
  5. Enjoy!

Don’t be shy if there is something specific you’d like to see in my blog just let me know.

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Frugal Gift Giving

This week I had two gift giving occasions; my friend Kira moved into a new apartment, and I took a hostess gift to Jerry & Monika’s when they hosted a Bible class.

For both occasions I went shopping in my pantry, which is full of homemade preserves, made expressly for this purpose. I’m always on the look out for unique recipes so my gifts will  be more interesting than what you would typically buy from a grocery store.

Jerry & Monika’s hostess gift included: Salmonberry Jam, Dandelion Jelly, Blackberry-Basil Jam and Raspberry-Peach Jam.

Kira’s Housewarming gift: Blackberry Syrup, Dill Relish and Christmas Jam.

I didn’t have boxes that were the right sizes so modified what I had to serve the purpose.


from this


to this

I used the same thrifted,”All-purpose” gift wrap on both packages, (There was no chance of the two recipients seeing the other’s gift.) My gift tags were handmade by simply layering the gift wrap with red & white paper.img_7991

I’m always on the lookout for gender neutral, all-occasion gift wrap while thrifting so when a gift giving occasion arises I can shop from my stash instead of the Hallmark store. I do the same with ribbon, my collection includes of just about any color imaginable.

As for the preserves, I did have to purchase pectin and sugar. Jars, lids and labels were all thrifted. Most of the produce was free for the picking, either growing wild or from the garden (for these gifts peaches and cranberries were purchased). The cost of those ingredients spread over the number of gifts I’ve given makes each gift monetarily inexpensive but comparable to high-end gourmet treats.

Please share your frugal gift giving ideas in a comment.



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Book Report #4

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramseytotal-money-makeover

In 1984 I purchased a brand new car. I took out a 60 month loan. An aversion to debt was instilled in me from childhood. I wanted to pay the loan off as soon as possible, so I always made bigger payments than were actually due. Every year I got a statement with the loan balance. One year the dollar amount was low enough I knew I would be able to pay it off very soon. I continued to make my monthly payments and some extra until by my calculations I was able to make that final payment. I walked into my bank, money in hand, and told the teller I wanted to pay off my loan. I broke into tears when the she gave me the pay off balance. I was crushed. Poor teller, she didn’t know what to do or say. She got a loan specialist on the phone to talk to me. That was when I learned that I should have specified  that the additional money be applied to the principle. In a few more months the car title was transferred to my name and I drove that car for 11 years.

I started listening to The Dave Ramsey Show because it was on during my daily commute. Though I am not the average American with debt up to my eyeballs, I found the show very inspiring and entertaining.

I’ve given The Total Money Makeover as  graduation and wedding  gifts because Dave offers very practical money advice. 2-diWhen I found a $2 copy at Deseret Industries I purchased it thinking another gift giving occasion may come up in the future. When I brought it home I decided to read it myself.

Reading the book is very much like listening to Dave on the radio. I could hear Dave’s voice as I read about the “Baby Steps”. Along with Dave’s advice on becoming debt free are numerous testimonials from listeners/readers that have achieved  financial freedom by following his plan.testimonials

If you’re in debt, this book offers a common sense plan to work your way out. I also recommend giving it as a gift to people starting out in life so they can avoid debt.

We are not through February yet and I’ve finished 4 books, I hope I can keep up this pace.

You may have guessed that my next report will be on The Family Nobody Wanted.


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