Monthly Archives: February 2019

Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 11, Issue 11 – February 17, 2019

Greetings, Thrifty Sisters! I don’t know about you, but it seems like in my neighborhood, the snow is not stopping, the wind keeps blowing, and there are always paths to shovel. Everyday. *sigh* This too shall pass, right?

In the mean time we need to keep encouraging each other that spring is just around the corner and finding creative coping mechanisms is critical. This year I have decided to start pulling out favorite summer tank tops and add them to the daily layers. My summer tank tops make me happy. They smell like sunblock and remind me that we are one day closer to putting away the snow shovels. And when it IS summer, I am going to thoroughly enjoy the fact that I don’t need to add my wool socks and sweaters to the daily layers.

With our recent weather, we have had a few days were school has been called off, and even some area businesses closed their doors for the safety of their employees and patrons. One of these recent days is was what I called a blizzard day. So, with the new-found day off, I decided to catch up on some random house projects that had been hanging out on my to-do list.

The following account is called, “Life Lesson Learned on a Blizzard Day”.

One of the items on my to-do list for my Blizzard Day was to fill in some places on the ceiling. We had recently had the track lighting in the kitchen replaced, so there were two large holes that were going to require a couple of layers of spackle. I decided that since I had my step ladder and spackle out, that I would also do a quick tough up in the bathroom around the ceiling fan. Both items seemed like small projects and something that I could probably get done in about 10 minutes. But upon looking at the bathroom ceiling fan, it was pretty clogged up with whatever linty stuff floats around in bathrooms. So, a quick fan cleaning was going to need to take place. I decided that I should do all the fan jiggling around before adding new spackle touch ups. (At this point, I was feeling pretty good about myself, and my ability to foresee potential problems if I did this in the wrong order.) Again, a quick 10-minute project, no biggie. It’s blizzarding outside, and I am excited to be productive.

I discovered that cleaning the bathroom vent can be a simple task with a dry toothbrush. Just scrub away, get in the nooks and crannies, and then vacuum up the linty stuff that falls to the floor. If you are feeling extra spiffy, get your hose attachment out and run that across the fan casing and take care of the last of the loose linty stuff. Seriously, what is all that linty stuff that collects in bathroom fans, anyways?! So, that’s the game plan anyway.

I scrubbed the ceiling fan with no problems, but now my mind wanders. Random thoughts like, wow, I should have put on safety googles, this is a lot of lint, where does it all come from, oh my I’m getting covered in these linty chunks that are coming from the ceiling – well, no problem, it’s a blizzard day, I don’t have anywhere to be right now. Finally, it’s time to gather my vacuum. The last time I ran the vacuum, I remembered that it was not working quite right. But I was confident that the cleaning of the filters that I did last time was going to fix that little hiccup.

Here I am, vacuum in hand, attachment hose ready to go, I flip the switch and this massive poof of fine vacuum dust explodes into the air… in my bathroom. Mind you, the bathroom already has a layer of fluffy linty things all over every flat surface. I look in the mirror and see this cloud of fine powder is still floating in the air, and I am now covered from head to toe in a layer of grey ashen vacuum dust. I swipe my hands across my face and discover just how dirty I am. Oh, no. What a mess!

Time to problem solve. Filters are clean. Belt has been recently replaced. Must be the hose. I pull the hose off the vacuum body, and before I even look into the hose, there are fluffy strands of whatever vacuums pull out of the carpet, hanging out of both ends. So, like any good band kid, to remove plugs up things from a tube-like object, you just blow into it like a brass instrument, minus the buzzing lips, of course! Out from the top of the tube, comes this puff of finer vacuum dust, but the air flow is certainly not going through. So, I start digging on both ends pulling out what appears to be a mass about the size of a bunny rabbit of dust, hair and stuff that never made it to the holding tank and I discover an electrical wire that was lodged in the hose. Well, there is the culprit. After getting that out of the hose, I now head to the patio door and go outside. It’s still blizzarding, and the snow and wind is wild! With the cleaned-out hose, I do the band kid trick again, and blow out the hose. Remember that wild wind and snow? Add vacuum dust to that. I may as well have tarred and feathered myself at this point.

With my newly cleared hose, I now come back to the bathroom and survey the situation. Do you remember seeing pictures of what surfaces look like after volcanoes explode? The grey, ashen covered surfaces… yeap. Mount Bissell left its mark. Cleaning the bathroom was not really on the list of home repairs for that day, but I certainly could not leave that dusty and linty mess – remember the lint from project #1? I vacuumed what I could, I wiped surfaces. All I can smell is vacuum cleaner dust. At this point, almost 2 hours have passed, and I can finally return to the original plan of spackling the spots by the ceiling fan. A few minutes later, that project is complete and can be crossed off the list.

So what did I learn on my blizzard day?

  • Don’t forget to check the hose of your vacuum when it does not seem to be operating correctly. While one is also at it, check filters and the belt. Your vacuum will run like a charm when all those things are in working order.
  • Vacuum dust tastes terrible and gets EVERYWHERE!
  • The spackle that goes on pink, and dries white, does indeed do both of those things. I felt a bit sick to my stomach when I lobbed Pepto Pink stuff on my ceiling. After the afternoon I had, I just could not mentally handle anymore “extra” projects.
  • Do clean out your bathroom fans on a regular basis. A dry toothbrush works great for this.
  • Sometimes things don’t go as planned. And it’s ok. Things usually work out in the end, even when you feel like life has covered you in a thick layer of vacuum dust. We are resilient and smart people. Take a shower, put on clean clothes, and hope that the pink stuff you smeared on the ceiling dries white.

And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, enjoy your projects, especially the ones that feel like they blow up! There are things that we can learn from each blunder. There are also take-aways from each Mount Bissell experience we experience. We must clean up the mess, take a shower, put on clean clothes, and hold on to hope. That’s a good Life Lesson Learned on a Blizzard Day. Continue to be kind to yourself and to others. Until next time, keep on keepin’ it thrifty and fun!

Read the Thrifty Sisters, both new and old by visiting or find our latest posts on Face Book .

Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 11, Issue 10 – February 3, 2019

Greetings, Thrifty Sisters and Happy February! If you are in the same boat I am, you might be a bit surprised to realize that the first month of 2019 has flown by. How does time just slip away? Since February is a short month, let’s enjoy every ounce out if it, because March is looming, and my Dad says that March 1 is spring. All of the sudden I am just giddy with the idea of garden seeds and little seedling trays in my very near future!

Speaking of garden delights, how is everyone coming along with eating up all the garden goodies that they put up last fall? Last week, my hubby and I made a discovery that our pantry, fridge and freezer were chuck full of random food items. Items that may have been purchased for a side dish that never got prepared, or other oddities that are just taking up space. So, we began the Pantry Purge Challenge, in hopes of cleaning out the pantry and not wasting food.

When my hubby hit the grocery store last weekend, he only purchased a few items that we would need to help tie together these random items, and a couple of frozen foods, just in case we ran into one of those evenings that creativity was outweighed by the fact that it was well past 8pm, and we still had not eaten dinner. Last week’s grocery bill was low, and we certainly did not starve this past week. And with the left overs, there were plenty of lunch options.

In fact, it was so fun and successful, and since we still have stuff to use up, we are extending the Pantry Purge Challenge to this coming week. Need help getting those creative juices flowing on how to prep those random items in your shelves? Just Google “recipes with ingredients”, or something along those lines, and numerous web sites will pop up with options to plug in an ingredient, and their search engines do the work for you. Here are just a few links to help get that search started for you:

Possibly your pantry is in pristine shape, and you are well ahead of the Pantry Purge. I always love great ideas on how to turn meals that I have already made into something new. Here is a site that has 6 super ideas on how to revamp winter comfort foods that you may have already made:

And before I sign off for the day, I thought I would leave you with one more thought for the day. For those of you who know me, I have always claimed to be a pretty cheap gal. But, maybe cheap is not the word that I should have been using to describe myself over all of these years. Frugal might be a better and more accurate word. Apparently, there’s a difference between frugal and cheap. Frugal means you’re smart with your money. One might prioritize saving over instant gratification. One might do things like shop at second hand stores, buy off-brand food products and possibly prefer to entertain at home, rather than always going out. Living within your means is a good thing, but if you never leave a tip when you eat out and calculate your part of a group bill down to the cent, you may be taking penny pinching too far.

The following link has some great advice for those of us who want to be frugal with their dollars, but still want to live a full life. Some of these are things that I feel each of us already do. But it is nice to have some fresh ideas, or validation that what we are doing is making a positive difference in our lives and pocketbook. It’s also nice to know that you are not a cult of one.

And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, Happy February! Enjoy the creative possibilities that purging your pantry may offer and relish the creative leftover creation opportunities. Continue to be kind to yourself and to others. Until next time, keep on keepin’ it thrifty and fun!

Read the Thrifty Sisters, both new and old by visiting or find our latest posts on Face Book .