Oct frugal mamas thread - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 09-30-2004, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, not Oct 1st yet...but close enough.

I'm trying to reuse stuff I would normally throw away. Can I use spaghetti sauce glass jars w/lids in the freezer?

What is the best container you've found for freezing food and/or liquid? Bags, plastic containers, glass containers?
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#2 of 37 Old 09-30-2004, 03:35 PM
 
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I re-use the deli containers that fresh saurkraut comes in. This saves my soups, broths and fruit juices and they have their own lid. They are heavy-gauge plastic and I've never had freezer burn. I did not think of using the spaghetti jar. Let me know how that works.
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#3 of 37 Old 09-30-2004, 09:26 PM
 
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I reuse the plastic containers that we get from take-out Indian and Thai food. We can't afford to get take out as often as we'd like but, they're sturdy and we've accumulated a bunch. I also love plastic bags for some things, like sauces and soups, because I can lay them flat and stack them easily.

I'm trying to get away from using plastics, though. I can't afford to replace all my plastics in one fell swoop, but I'm picking up pieces of pyrex with lids here and there when I can.
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#4 of 37 Old 10-01-2004, 10:24 AM
 
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Kleine~ Thanks for starting the new thread! Happy October I was just coming to FYT to find the Frugal mamas chat and wondering how far I would have to dig!
Anyhow, sure you can use spaghetti jars in the freezer! We buy the canned sauce (MUCH cheaper - like 89c/can for name brand) and when a new can is opened, store it in the glass jar, so it doesn't get that icky can taste.

What's everyone doing for Halloween? Frugal ideas? We live to far out in the woods to have trick-or-treaters... although even when we lived in the city, that's one thing I was never frugal about. I always bought Trident kid's flavor gum for the older ones, and juice boxes for youngins, just cause I can't stand all the candy
Older DS is going to be a knight, and after much stressing about buying the metallic fabric for $7.99/yard, I remembered we were given a free tent a while back that has no rain tarp. So I pulled it out, and sure enough it was a beautiful golden yellow and shiny green! Voila! Tunic & cape
For younger DS who is going to be a dragon, I did break down and buy a pattern from eBay (hey, the JoAnns patterns were $12!). So we're using a green flannel sheet from the thrift ($2) for the main part, and now I just need a contrasting color for the tummy & spikes. At least I have a whole month to search the thrifts before I break down to buy something at the fabric store!

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#5 of 37 Old 10-01-2004, 05:50 PM
 
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I went to the local goodwill this past weekend and they had a ton of cheap halloween costumes, some of them new some not. I got a used one for my dd for 0.50! And a really pretty dress shirt from the Gap for $1.00 that eventually one of my girls will fit in.

I re-use spagetti sauce jars all the time.
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#6 of 37 Old 10-02-2004, 04:17 PM
 
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My son is going to be a lumberjack! He has a little plaid jacket, and my mom has an ancient ripped pair of Carhartt overalls at her house. I am going to try and cut them down to a toddler size, give him my nephew's toy chainsaw and send him on his merry way.
This year, we are handing out pop and juice boxes for the little kids. The pop is about the same per unit as mini candy bars, and parents always appreciate it because a can of pop is tamper-proof, and really heavy in the bags so kids are ready to go home sooner.

Pssst, speaking of hallowe'en candy, Tara, could you PM me? I deleted your address.
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#7 of 37 Old 10-02-2004, 06:33 PM
 
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We always seem to be at our friend's halloween party on the 31st, so our solution has been to buy a big bag of cheap lollipops, carve out a face in a really big pumpkin, and then poke a whole bunch of lollipops around the head to look like a crazy hair-do! And then it's kind of a serve-yourself trick-or-treat thing! And surprisingly there's always some left at the end of the night!

As for costumes, Kea wants to be a faerie, so I'm looking around the house to see what I have to make that costume. She'd be pretty easy-going, with some wings and such so we'll see! Wings and glitter, that is!

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#8 of 37 Old 10-02-2004, 10:46 PM
 
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I've just recently started exploring the tribes. This one looks like it's for me!

The only thing with the glass jars is to careful to leave room if you're freezing liquid, for the expansion. I've forgotten before, and made quite a mess.

As for Halloween costumes--I tend to like the kind that can be used as pjs. A friend has a boy a bit bigger than Rowan and she gave us a pajama set that is a Superman costume, complete with cape. So that's what he'll be this year! It won't be so easy when he's a little older and more opinionated about what he wants to wear.
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#9 of 37 Old 10-03-2004, 10:16 AM
 
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Hey, mamas.
Have any of you found that you find the exact thing you are looking for while thrifting? I mean, just what you wanted or needed. It seems that this happens to me all the time. My most recent: I just heard about the book The Red Tent, and I was dying to read it, and lo and behold, there it was at a yard sale this weekend for 50 cents, along with another book I have been wanting to read. Its amazing, this seems to happen a lot. Anyone else have this experience?
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#10 of 37 Old 10-03-2004, 10:31 AM
 
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Yes!
I put out "there" what our needs and wants are - pray and lo and behold the things we really need show up for free (hand me downs) or I find at goodwill, consignment, etc....

And.. every so often a 'want" is thrown in

On another note, we were out of any kind of food wrap yesterday , so I put the cookies I baked on a plate and then put a glass bowl over them - it actually looks kind of nice and saves money and is environmentally good too!
Warm wishes,
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#11 of 37 Old 10-05-2004, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I attempted to make cream puffs today and I ruined the whipped cream. Frustrating. However, not my point, I was wondering what one could do with the inner dough that gets scooped out of the puff. I had a whole plate full of this stuff and thought that I should use it for something but what? Any ideas?

Also DS wants to be Scoop from Bob the Builder. Any suggestions on how to transform my child into a backhoe?
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#12 of 37 Old 10-05-2004, 08:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe
Also DS wants to be Scoop from Bob the Builder. Any suggestions on how to transform my child into a backhoe?
:LOL
THAT is funny! I got a Bob outfit on ebay, but Scoop will be a little more challenging! Cardboard and spraypaint is all I can offer.
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#13 of 37 Old 10-05-2004, 11:46 PM
 
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Yep, I was going to suggest cardboard and spray paint as well. My dad was pretty good at that. I've been a domino, gingerbread house and a sandwich all outa cardboard.

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
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#14 of 37 Old 10-08-2004, 11:29 AM
 
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Hi..Can I join your tribe? Anyone here have a non-frugal dh/partner? I do!! Aggghhh!! I was raised in a very blue collar family. We didn' t think of it as frugal living.it was just "living". My dh's dad made BIG bucks and they lived accordingly--expensive clothes, fancy house, best of everything. etc. Now dh doesn't make NEAR what his dad made 20 years ago. We are comfortable, but we have to be careful and DH just doesn't "get" it! He goes out to lunch a LOT , buys pricey coffees,orders a pizza for him and the kids when I'm not home to cook supper... ..well he just SPENDS. He gets mad when I get pissy about him spending..He just thinks of it as $3.00 on a coffee..when it's really $3.00 4 or 5 times a week which equals $50.00+ a month..just on frou-frou coffee. Sigh. I find myself living even more frugally..never spending on myself, just to make up for the difference in what dh spends. I know it's a two-fold thing: PRIDE that he can't spend what he wants when he wants to . Not being able to say to a friend/co-worker, "No I can't go out today gotta watch the budget." Secondly: He doesn't know HOW. He's never seen his mom wash plastic sandwich bags to re-use them. Never had to wait for something to go on sale, never bought generic anything etc. It's all foreign territory to him.
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#15 of 37 Old 10-08-2004, 01:07 PM
 
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That's a tough one. Could you try sitting him down, and saying 'ok, here is what we are saving for, here is the amount of $$ we make. You spend x per month on luxuries, could we maybe cut it down to $25/mo for coffee and lunches, and $50 for clothes?"
Yes, that is basically putting him on an allowance, but try not to word it like that.
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#16 of 37 Old 10-08-2004, 01:51 PM
 
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I am getting creative this month and trying to make as many meals from my pantry as possible before shopping. I am only buying fresh produce. Our natural foods co-op is having a 10% off everything sale on Oct 16, so I am going to stock up on some stuff. They only do it once a quarter. I am really trying to eat better. Hopefully, if I cut out the junk, I can keep the budget the same while buying more organic stuff.

As for Halloween, I got a great costume from the TP for cheap. It wasn't what she originally said she wanted to be, but when I showed her the pictures she really liked it, so I lucked out! I may not get away so cheap next year.

I am lucky with my DH. He loathes shopping for anything but used books. So though he isn't super frugal, he just stays out of stores. He does like to buy junk food at the conveninece store but that is about it.
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#17 of 37 Old 10-08-2004, 02:02 PM
 
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I totally agree with the idea of a common goal - we're trying to be really frugal right now, to save up money for a big renovation to our kitchen and bathroom next fall. When we just feel like we can't spend money, we begin to resent it a little and look at everyone around us and what they're spending on. However, now that we have a common goal and we can see ourselves getting closer and closer to it, it becomes much easier, and we've both voluntarily given up various expenditures and are having fun coming up with frugal ideas for gifts, etc.

A couple of ideas that have helped us along:
- put a chart on the fridge showing how much we want to save and how much we've saved (or how in debt we are, how much we want to get out, etc) and keep updating it so we can see where we are (if it's for a family holiday or something, you can "do it for the kids" but it's still a constant visual reminder for everyone
- buy good espresso and make good lattes at home
- if going out for meals with people is one of the ways you socialize or do work, I've found ordering a small soup for lunch, or an appy, and sitting there with everyone fulfills this need, and I eat my real meal before or after
- make extra meals and freeze them so you always have stuff to pull out of the freezer
- make batches of soup and burrito style sandwhiches for lunches, and freeze
- bake cookies and banana breads a couple times a month and freeze those, so you always have something sweet to snack on when the cravings come!
- popcorn has become a favourite snack, and I make batches for when we're going out with kids somewhere where they'll want a treat - that and a couple of cookies usually appeases them!
- with enough planning, I"m amazed by how much we've saved on our food bills! And then we treat ourselves to a coffee out once a week if we're feeling deprived in some ways...basically we do the best we can without feeling deprived, but I'm just so excited by a new kitchen that I'm willing to go without a lot!

Anyways, I'm sure there are a million other ideas out there, it's just hard if you can't find a common goal with your husband as the last thing you want is him to resent it, and resent you trying to restrict his spending, if that's going to be how he sees it, you know what I mean? Childhood patterns are so hard to break - my dad spends so much money that he does not have on things he doesn't need, and so that's what I grew up with. Every once in a while I really resent J. when he comments on my spending (and he, on the other hand, resents that he feels he needs to pull me in a bit) so it's always a delicate balance with all sorts of other issues tied in - good luck to you, hope you find what works for your family!

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#18 of 37 Old 10-08-2004, 03:07 PM
 
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Hi all, I follow this thread all the time, but since I'm a newbie to being frugal I don't usually have much to add.

I just wanted to offer a suggestion for the cream puff middles - maybe a bread pudding? It might be similar to having used brioche.

As for halloween I am making ds a scarecrow. I will be using a pair of slighly short overalls and last spring's flannel shirt and sewing on some raffia. All I need to buy is a hat and some face make-up. I figure the whole thing will be pretty cheap and I can feel good about having made his costume myself.

Happy fall to you all. I love hearing your solutions and suggestions!
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#19 of 37 Old 10-08-2004, 03:13 PM
 
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nankay--I don't know if this will work for you, but it did for a friend of mine. She and her husband both have hobbies they like to spend on, but she is a lot more disciplined about spending than he is, and she got really, really tired of being the "budget police" in the family. So they agreed to set up three accounts. Their joint account could only be used on shared expenses and things they agreed to buy together (ahead of time). So groceries, utilities and mortgages, and also things like a sofa or a rug for the house, that they both wanted. Then they each had their own personal account for their personal spending money. Then they both sat down together, figured out the amount that needed to be in their joint account every month, how much to be put aside for savings, and then split what was left. Since they worked together on the process, it was easier for her husband to see why it needed to be done and to be comfortable agreeing to it, and she no longer feels like she's always sacrificing and being the "bad guy" at the same time! Luckily, her husband knows and agrees that she's better with money, so she's in charge of their joint account.
That said, if your DH isn't willing to do something like this (after all, it's only fair that you each get to spend the same amount on fun[even if you would rather save yours for later than spend it as you go]), it may be that he thinks that if he doesn't know the specifics of your financial situation, he doesn't have to do anything about it. However, if he values you and your marriage, it should mean something to him that his spendthrift ways hurt you emotionally.
If possible, make saving and living frugally something that leads to a goal--not just living within your budget, but saving for something specific, even if it's small, like a night out without the kids, or having a party for friends. Eventually, he may even find he enjoys the challenge!
What do some of you do to fight that "I'm deprived" feeling?
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#20 of 37 Old 10-08-2004, 05:44 PM
 
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Halloween costumes - our local neighbourhood had a costume swap. My ds (almost 3) will be a lion this year!
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#21 of 37 Old 10-08-2004, 07:56 PM
 
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My husband is a major spendthrift, too! Has honestly caused major marital difficulties. But we're working on it. I don't "feel deprived" because I've always lived frugally. DH on the other hand, has folks who were never rich, but always bought whatever he wanted. They still do, it drives me NUTS! I don't see how he can look at their spending habits as an adult, and it not drive him nuts that they have no savings, no retirement, etc.
I hardly have any good suggestions, except for showing him how well you live on little money. I have to lecture him every once-in-a-while when he has his new weekly big-spendy item he "needs" to buy. I also am getting my own savings account, as he was just withdrawing all the money I was saving in our joint account.
Another weird thing about not feeling deprived, and being used to the frugal living lifestyle, is that my dad (who was not living in my frugal family growing up) is visiting us right now, and as my b-day is coming up, so he wants to buy me something while he's here. He saw my DH sweeping the carpet (very small house ) and bought us a vacuum cleaner today! woo-hoo! I thought this was a great b-day present! Extravagent really. But he insisted that was for the whole family and not just for me. He took me to Walmart to buy new clothes, but I just couldn't find anything there that wasn't of crappy quality and overpriced (well, I only buy clothes at YS's and thrift shops, so anything over $5 is over priced ). Hey, maybe I should have him take me to a thrift!

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#22 of 37 Old 10-13-2004, 07:06 PM
 
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Do any of you mamas use a menstrual cup? I am wanting to buy one, but of course, want to know where (if there is anywhere) I can buy one on the cheap? I haven't seen many on eBay. Any other suggestions?

Busy canning applesauce over here... Hope everyone's having a good Autumn!

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#23 of 37 Old 10-13-2004, 11:46 PM
 
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I went searching for a divacup at the local HFS yesterday, which is apprently a retailer. I asked a girl, but she was new and had never seen it on the shelves. Suppose I should just order one from the web site and will have it just in time to get PG again.
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#24 of 37 Old 10-20-2004, 11:16 AM
 
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Anyone subscribe to or have read The Frugal Environmentalist http://www.frugalgreen.com? I am wondering if it's work a look. Of course it isn't available anywhere close to me...

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
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#25 of 37 Old 10-20-2004, 12:36 PM
 
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I have a diva cup, I bought it a few months ago when some wahm site was having a sale. I forgot who know though.. possibly post a spam post asking in natural home and body care??

My dh is thrifty but not, he will buy anything that is on sale even if we don't need it!! Especially dvds eesh! The running joke around here is dog food is on sale why don't you buy some? (we don't have a dog) But if it's something we NEED and it's not on sale he won't buy it :.

I love yard sales he hates them . How is everyone doing?
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#26 of 37 Old 10-20-2004, 02:12 PM
 
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Hey everyone~ Glad someone bumped this up ... I was just thinking this morning, of doing the same
We're doing alright. The Albertsons had a 25c/lb. sale on bananas, and they sent us these coupons in the mail for $5 off of a $30 purchase. So we bought ALOT of bananas . So I'm up to my ears in them. I used up all the freezer boxes, and finally got brains about me, and measured them into ziplocks to freeze flat.

I'm also procrastinating on putting up the rest of my apples. I did half of them. But it took *forever* b/c my apple peeler/slicer/corer/thingy is missing a spring and is a pain to use. I did make some pie filling with some, but the syrup was ridiculously thick (anyone else ever done this? any suggestions?).

I am sending in my mail order form for a diva cup today, since I found it's quite a bit cheaper than the Keeper cup. I didn't find it on sale anymore, but it was $28 (i think) from the company.

I'm getting that w/ B-day money from my folks, as well as a soymilk maker. So both should save LOTS of $$ in the long run

Oh, one more thing - for my B-day, DH wanted to get me a saw ( how romantic...). So I suggested he not spend any money and just clean the house! He agreed, and on the morn of my b-day, he's sitting on the couch reading a new book about his car. I asked about it, and he says "You didn't want me to spend money on YOU for your birthday, and I had money saved up, so I bought this..." AAAGH! Where the heck is the smilie for strangling someone!? Well, this will do... :

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#27 of 37 Old 10-20-2004, 03:31 PM
 
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So, Dready, did he at least clean the house?! :
Since you now know that he'll spend the money anyway, maybe next time you can get him to give it to you so you can "enjoy spending it yourself", save it, and if he asks about it, tell him you're enjoying planning how you'll spend it and haven't made your mind up yet!

I just emailed a bunch of my friends with an idea for Christmas. A lot of us exchange gifts every year, and my DP and I usually make something for this, but this year I asked if everyone would like to pool the money we would normally spend on each other and send it to Heifer International. I was thinking, even being frugal, we spend somewhere between $15 and $30 on gifts for friends, and if all of us got together, we might be able to buy some family out there a milk goat. And some of my friends, who aren't particularly frugal, spend a lot more than that, so if they put in what they really would spend, we might even get to buy two goats! I called it a "gift to each other of love and time". (Since we then save all the time for shopping, crafting or cooking, wrapping, etc.)

I'm interested in the Diva Cup, too--thanks for the info. I will have to see if it's available around here and if it's better to just mail order it ... I like to support my local stores, but within a certain price range! Although I haven't had a real period yet since B was born--I guess tandem nursing can do that for ya!
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#28 of 37 Old 10-20-2004, 06:21 PM
 
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dready, I would have strangled him and then looked for the smilie later : That sounds sooo much like my dh grrr.
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#29 of 37 Old 10-21-2004, 04:02 AM
 
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I know I hate being the budget police in this family too! Something that might work for you guys would be to set up an allowance. My dh gets $20 a week to spend on pops, coffees, a mag etc. That way he's not feeling deprived, we're staying on track and I'm not the bad guy.

Anyway just wanted to add....great thread! Very inspirin to see a frugal tribe thread!

Right now really trying to stay in grocery budget. Getting so burned out on food and cooking!
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#30 of 37 Old 10-21-2004, 11:41 AM
 
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Subscribing.

Hey all. I had no idea an October thread started...sigh. I need to "visit" this more often.

I'm still reading and getting many ideas.

Abby
2BMamaof3 is offline  
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