Book Report #3

I took World History my junior year in high school. The only thing I can remember is that the teacher, Mr. Bogle, got a lot of flack from parents for displaying a Nazi flag in his classroom.  I don’t remember learning about Hitler’s rise to power or his strategies to systematic take over ALL of Europe.

I still wouldn’t call myself any kind of an authority on WWII history, but I learned a lot from reading My Brother’s Keeper by Rod Gragg. img_7847I checked the book out of the library after hearing an interview with the author on the radio.

img_7846Each of 30 chapters in this book tell the story of an individual, family or church who willingly risked their own lives to protect Jews from the Nazis.

Most of the stories are about Europeans who helped their Jewish neighbors and countrymen. Hiding the Jews in safe homes. Leading them through  wintery forests to safe borders where they would be out of harms way. One is of a teen girl who shared her lunch with a starving Jewish girl about her own age that was forced to work at a labor camp.

People from other countries did what they could too; a Chinese diplomat issued exit visas to every Jew who came to him for help.

img_7845A school teacher from Indiana moved to France where she ran a home where she could minister to sick and orphaned children affected by Nazi rule. Some set out to perform the heroic roles others rose to the occasion when they saw what was happening around them. img_7844When a captured American sergeant was ordered to identify the Jewish members of his troop he ordered all his men to report to the parade ground and explained “we are all Jews”.

All the stories were inspiring. Though the subject matter is dark I found this book an easy read that neither dwelt on Nazi atrocities nor glossed over them. I highly recommend My Brother’s Keeper.


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New Recipe #4 Zucchini Bread

When the harvest was in full swing last summer I stored 11 packages shredded zucchini.img_7735

My intention was to use them in my “go-to” recipe for Chocolate Zucchini bread. With my resolution to try 52 new recipes I took advantage of my stockpile to try a new Zucchini Bread recipe.

I searched my cookbooks and file box and decided on this one. recipe-cardA note on the back indicates I got it from KM. KM and I worked together 30 years ago at a fabric store. There is a possibility that I have made this recipe before but I don’t remember it so it qualifies as a NEW recipe. frozen-zuchinni

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs-beaten

1 cup oil

2 cups shredded zucchini

2 cups of sugar

3 cups flour

3 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

3 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped dates

Mix together all ingredients. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees. Makes 2 loaves.

The simple dump in a bowl technique and tasty flavor are points in this recipes favor. However, the 2 cups of sugar and the dates make it quite SWEET, a little too sweet if that’s possible. That, along with the fact  I don’t regularly have dates on hand mean I’ll probably go back to my old standby Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

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Pantry Challenge Update

Readers, Thanks for watching as I eat down the stockpile of foods in my pantry and freezer. If I weren’t reporting to you on a regular basis I wouldn’t be as mindful of accomplishing my goal.

I did finally empty, defrost, and inventory my freezer. In the process I came across a chuck roast. I put it in the crock pot along with a can of mushroom soup to make a great tasting Pot Roast.potroast_7579

I have 11 packages of shredded zucchini in there. 10 now, since I made Zucchini bread.zuchinni-bread

Most of my applesauce supply is in the pantry but I found a container in the freezer too. It went in my morning oatmeal.oatmeal-w-applesauce

USED UP: chuck roast, frozen applesauce, cream of mushroom soup, shredded zucchini.

Be watching for the Zucchini Bread recipe.

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Thrifted Cleaning Supplies

I recently bought toilet bowl cleaner at the thrift store. It may be a lifetime supply for me but at $5.99 for three bottles it was just 50 cents more than I usually pay for one bottle.

As I put my new purchase away in the supply closet, I spied several other cleaning products that I’ve purchased second-hand.

In an attempt to make my home energy efficient I purchased VERY expensive triple pane windows. They are guaranteed for life but the warrantee is void if any product containing ammonia is used on them. Prior to these windows my window cleaner of choice was Ammonia water. The cleaner the manufacturer recommended only comes in an aerosol can. Expensive and not eco-friendly!

When I saw this bottle of PRO FORMULA window cleaner, I was delighted.

window-cleanerEspecially after  I checked the list of ingredients, no ammonia! no-amoniaIts a concentrate so this bottle will give me 25 gallons of cleaner for $1.99.  Can’t beat that!

You can tell by the mauve cap that this can of Woolite Upholstery cleaner has been around since the 80s. wooliteEven so, the $2.99 I paid was well spent, as I’ve used it on my car and home upholstery.

8 oz. of Formsby’s Furniture cleaner retails for $5.49. I got mine at Goodwill for $1.99furniture-cleaner

As a matter of fact this whole collection of cleaning supplies have Goodwill stickers on them. I wonder if that’s just a coincidence or if other thrifts don’t carry cleaning supplies.

I imagine I have thrifted other cleaning products too. These are just what’s in my supply closet at the moment.

The large supply of cleaning clothes you see in the background of my photos were once towels that I thrifted too.

Have you ever picked up bargain cleaning supplies from a thrift store?

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Book Report #2

I browse the book shelves while I’m thrifting. I seldom purchase books. I know from past experiences that book collecting can get out of hand. I do see things that I’d like to read, then I check the book out of the library. That was the case withimg_7581

This book was written for parents or teachers of small children.

The author encourages readers to give little children plenty of exposure to the natural world around us. Going through the seasons she points out what to look for and answers questions a child might pose.

I’m not a parent or teacher but I still gleaned several tidbits of information from it that I can use when I lead my Nature Walks.

Once again it is a small book, only 150 pages but I did read 2 books in January putting me ahead of schedule in goal of 12 books in 2017.

Which do you do most? Use the library?, or do buy books to keep in your personal collection?

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Resolution update

You already know I’ve been working on hats and mittens. green-being-cutIn addition to these I made 11 other hats.

img_7559I finished a tote bag too. After filling it with groceries I took it to the neighborhood food bank.

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Mega- Thrifting

I took advantage of the MLK day sales and spent the whole day thrifting. In 6 hours I traveled 35 mile, visited 10 stores and spent $49.06.

So what did I purchase?mlk-haul

I bought 4- 99 cent sweaters at Goodwill. 2 of them were donated to the Union Gospel Mission along with socks, emergency ponchos and shaving cream.for-ugm I recently saw a youtube video on upcycling sweaters into mittens. I used the green sweater to make 3 hats and 2pair of mittens. These also were donated to UGM.img_7551

Even though I don’t need any more polar fleece, I’m a sucker for a good deal. I picked up three pieces in colors that will compliment colors and patterns I already have. They were half price I HAD to get them.img_7497Arrow is 5 months old now and we have started Obedience School. One of the things we need for class is a Long Lead. I found a purse handle at St. Vincent de Paul for 50 cents that I sewed onto some webbing (from a previous thrifting excursion). They cost $35 retail, mine came to $1.50 and took an half hour at the most to make.leash-makins_7460She also got a toothbrush, tooth paste and a travel water dish.for-arrow

At the pet store tooth paste is $8.99 and the bowl is $3.99.

I kept a navy blue sweater for myself I also found a pair of pants,  NEW with tags originally marked $26.00. I paid $6.00.pants

In the near future I hope to make both pants and shorts from this bolt of light blue brushed denim $8.00, I COULDN’T pass it up. img_7476There’s probably enough fabric for a third project as well

As if it hadn’t already been a productive day I found 26 cents too. A quarter at Value Village and a penny at Goodwill.


Do you take advantage of SALE DAYS at the thrift stores?




Posted in Arrow, DIY, found money, refashion, Second Hand Shopping, Sewing, thrift store shopping, thrifty fixes, thrifty haul, Trash to Treasure, upcycle | Tagged , , | 3 Comments