Monthly Archives: January 2017

Making Life Easier

I think people often feel powerless in their lives, given that decisions made hundreds, or thousands of miles away can affect them directly. Recently a large company announced several of its stores will close  soon. One of the stores is about twenty miles from here. The decision was made at the main office hundreds of miles away.

But each of us do have the power in our everyday lives to make life easier for ourselves and others. This occurred to me one day as I bought stamps at the post office. I enjoy the outdoors, so I like to buy stamps with a nature theme. (Picky–yes!)

This particular instance the clerk asked if the flag stamps would be all right. I hesitated, wanting to indulge my preference, but aware of the growing line of customers behind me. Then the thought jumped to mind: “Make life easier–for the clerk and the people behind you.” So I told the clerk, “Yes, the flag stamps are all right.”

It’s true this is a little gesture.  Little gestures are things within the power of each of us to do, on any day.  Whether it’s putting aside a preference so people can get waited on quicker, allowing someone in the checkout line to go ahead of me,  keeping my mouth shut when I want to give someone a piece of my mind, or any number of other instances, I do have power–power to make life easier for myself and others. I need to remember that when I start to feel powerless and as though I have no influence.

©P. Booher

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Friday Photos

pine-tree-bare-limbs-sunshine-and-creek-in-wintercreek-at-bridge-where-we-feed-the-fish

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The Abby Chronicles

Here I am, ready to write my story!

Here I am, ready to write my story!

Chapter II

I Meet the Furnace

One day I went to use the litterbox. I heard a Roar from this huge box-like Thing behind my litterbox. I didn’t know what to do; I had to use the box, but the Thing sounded as though it was going to attack me!

Fortunately the older human came into the room. She said the huge box-like Thing was called a Furnace. She said although the Furnace was loud and noisy it wouldn’t hurt me, and it stays in one place; it wouldn’t reach out and pounce on me or anything like that. She said the Furnace keeps us warm. Since I am Abby and I am courageous, I used the litterbox.

The older human is right. The Furnace is loud but it provides heat. The Furnace is Good!

©P. Booher

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Thrifty Cleaners In The Kitchen

  • Vinegar
  • Lemons
  • Baking Soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Ketchup
  • Table Salt

That sounds like a grocery list, right? How about a list of cleaning supplies?

A good and easy way to save money is : buy products that can be used for more than one purpose. All the products on the above list are cleaning items too.

White vinegar is a good cleanser and disinfectant. I use it in the laundry rinse water; it cuts soap residue.  (It does the same thing when I rinse my hair with it after shampooing.)  I also use white vinegar to clean the toilet bowl. Usually I pour about 1 cup in the bowl, let it set for at least 15 minutes, then brush. There’s no harsh chemical smell, and the vinegar gets the job done. White vinegar in hot water makes tile floors shine without any harsh smell, and there’s no danger to the paws of a resident cat or dog who strolls across the floor before it dries.  Vinegar is an alternative cleaner for people  bothered by the fumes from some manufactured cleansers. Plus, it costs less!

Lemons are also a disinfectant. They are good to use on countertops around food items.

I sprinkle baking soda on the carpets before running the sweeper. Baking soda is another good disinfectant and deodorizer which doesn’t have a harsh odor to it. I use baking soda in hot water to clean a variety of surfaces. I used to buy clay kitty litter.  I sprinkled baking soda on the bottom of the pan before adding the litter.  The baking soda helped the litter absorb odors longer.

I use cornstarch as a dry shampoo and as talcum powder. It’s effective and costs much less than products bought specifically for that.

Ketchup, good old American ketchup, isn’t just to put on hot dogs, hamburgers and french fries. No, ketchup, along with table salt, has a surprise in store for a homemaker who needs some copper-bottomed pots cleaned. Check out this link: http://www.thesquirrelseye.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/the-great-ketchup-experiment.

Beside the cost savings and the effectiveness of the above products, all these items are readily available.  Try them out and see what you think!

P. Booher

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Friday Photos

On Fridays I plan to post photos of the beautiful scenery around here.  This is just an example.

creek-and-woods-in-winter

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The Abby Chronicles

Author’s Note:

I first made my starring appearance in BlogLand over at TheSquirrelseye. Mom Sue posted some pictures there, and I look pretty and sophisticated, as befits a cat of my caliber, if I do say so! Check my pics out (as well as a lot of other cool pictures and articles at: http://www.thesquirrelseye.wordpress.com. Now I’m here at Country Ripples, and I plan to stay!

I decided to write my story–doesn’t everybody have a story? Anyway, as a rescue cat I am blessed and want to let everybody know it!  So, here’s my story.

abby-ready-to-write

Here I am, ready to write my story!

Chapter I

My History

I don’t remember much of my life before “Mom Sue” brought me into her home. But then, cats are supposed to be mysterious, right?

“Mom Sue” named me Abby. I guess I was “abandoned”–whatever that means–when she found me, so she named me Abby. But the other day I overheard the humans in my new home talking about Abigail In The Bible. The humans said Abigail In The Bible was courageous, and I’d like to think of myself as Abigail the Courageous rather than Abigail the Abandoned. After all we cats are a courageous lot. We take on dogs twice our size when we have to; we live off the land by catching mice, chipmunks and birds; we dodge cars, hawks, mean humans and coyotes on a regular basis.

I also think of myself  as “Abby the Blessed”. You see, when Mom Sue first brought me into her home I was in a bad way. I was coughing a lot, and I’d been hit by a car. I have sight only in one eye, and hearing only in one ear, so I didn’t dodge that car. Mom Sue, Dad Fred, and the younger humans fussed over me and gave me lots of love. They gave me medicine (yucky-tasting but it worked), and wrapped me in blankets. I even heard Mom Sue praying for me when she was holding me and petting me when I was so sick. I must have been really sick because Mom Sue was so relieved when I started feeling better. I’d felt so bad I didn’t bother to bathe. Then one day I started grooming myself. Mom Sue was so happy she took a picture of me!(http://www.thesquirrelseye.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/abby-is-bathing) So I figure I can call myself “Abby the Blessed” because I was close to using up my ninth life before Mom Sue saw me and took me in. Now I can do the things a cat should be able to do.

Different times I heard Mom Sue and the rest of her family talk about me.
For awhile they thought I was a feral cat. But as time passed they changed their minds. I heard them say, “She had to have been somebody’s pet.” I only know that when Mom Sue put a collar on me ( she said it was to keep those hateful fleas away) I didn’t mind. It was no big deal. Neither was going in a carrier. I knew what the litter box was for, too. I did miss it a couple times–keep in mind I have just one good eye. But Mom Sue and family were patient. They cleaned up my messes and kept showing me where the box was until I got it.

P. Booher

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Saving Money–Flexibility Helps!

As I thought about saving money, it occurred to me a useful trait to have is the willingness to be flexible.

What do I mean about being flexible?

Flexibility allows yourself to look for other options. It means saying to yourself, “I think I want or need (fill in the blank). Do I really have to have it? Can I get along without it? If I still need it or want it, can I use something I already have to fill that need or want? If I don’t have that choice, can I wait for awhile to save money to buy it? If it’s going to be on sale, can I wait until then? Are there less expensive options out there that will give me what I need or want and work just as well?

A practical example is shopping at thrift stores. The thrift stores in my area generally feature clothing, purses, household goods, furniture, decorations (seasonal and year-round) books, music, toys and electronics.

A former co-worker told me she routinely bought work pants at a thrift store; she got what she needed without paying high prices.

Years ago I bought a sweatshirt at a thrift store. The tag on it was a well-known, good quality brand. I was happy to pay just four or five dollars for it. Had I paid full price at that time, I would have spent twenty-five dollars. I was thrilled to get such a bargain! I still enjoy wearing it. Although that time I was aware of the brand, usually brand names don’t mean that much to me; in clothing, I buy whatever fits as long as it’s not expensive. That’s an example of being flexible.

Purchasing food is another area where the willingness to be flexible instead of just automatically reaching for national brands can give you some extra change when you leave the store. For example, store brand canned vegetables work well in homemade soups.

Flexibility works in many different buying categories. Money saved in one area means more money available for something else. It’s certainly worth trying!

P. Booher

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