A Frugal Entertainment

We can’t really do this frugally anymore because of where we live. However, when we did live near an airport and/or the base flight line, one of our children’s favorite outings was to take a picnic lunch and watch the planes land and take off.

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Cloth VS Disposable

There is nothing more spiritual or sanctified about using cloth. Using cloth does not make you a holier or better mother. But there is a substantial cost savings. If you prefer to make up that cost elswewhere by saving money someplace else, that’s fine. But part of getting control of your budget is actually knowing where the money is going and where it could be trimmed. You’ll make better decisions about trimming if you are informed about costs.

There is a much confusion in some circles about the cost of cloth vs disposable. A consumer magazine once did a study comparing the environmental costs of the two options, and they concluded that they were about the same. I have my doubts about that since you can use a cloth diaper about 200 times, and then you can use it for other things, too. But I never used cloth diapers for environmental reasons. I used them strictly for economic and health reasons (some of my babies had bad skin reactions to certain disposable brands). So long as you don’t have to have the fanciest, most expensive brand name in the latest cloth diaper model, then cloth diapering is a significantly cheaper route- and it does not actually take a whole lot more time than disposable if you can organize your supplies.

We have had two in diapers at the same time. Using cloth versus disposables made the difference between eating and not eating. I’ve never tried to argue somebody into cloth diapers when they used disposable just because they preferred them, but when somebody says there is no significant price difference, then I speak up, because I know that is not true, and I hate to think of somebody struggling to make ends meet making such an expensive decision based on bad advice from the researchers in some lab. The foundations of this post were written a decade ago when a parenting forum I was on featured somebody saying just that- that there was no price difference between the two. After I wrote the earlier version of this post, she went back and checked and she said she’d been mistaken- she’d misread that study on environmental costs and thought it was talking about economic costs. People had believed her about a topic where her claims obviously did not make sense because she was saying something they wanted to believe.

You can get *good* cloth diapers for very reasonable prices. Don’t buy the cheapies in the grocery or department store. Put the word out that you are interested in doing cloth, there’s a good possiblity that someone will give you the diapers they never used. You can call a diaper service and ask if they have diapers you can buy. Diaper service diapers are, in my opinion, the very best. They are thick and absorbent, and they will often sell you their used diapers at very reasonable prices. You can check out garage sales, thrift shops, and consignment stores.

I have used cloth diapers with all of mine (not exclusively, sometimes we used
disposables), and I think the most I spent on diapers is about twenty dollars for
four dozen diapers and diaper liners. I bought them at a yard sale from a lady who had surprise twins and just couldn’t face cloth. Her diapers were great. I found the liners to be more of a nuisance than an aid.

I promise you don’t have to have the most expensive brands and a dozen different ‘diapering’ accessories. Those baby catalogs really go to some people’s heads. We used plain rectangle shaped cloth diapers, diaper pins, and vinyl pants (look for these at the thrift store). I carried plastic grocery bags with me to keep wet and soiled diapers in (with Pip, yes, I even used cloth diapers to go places. Money was especially tight. With others I used disposables when we were out and about).

Cleaning them isn’t as complicated as some have made it sound, either. I’ve written two posts about laundering with cloth diapers. You can read them here and here.

Revised and edited for entry into the August 4, 2007 edition of Frugal Fridays

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Death Toll In Pakistan Rising; My Prayers Falling…

This is grim, and the grimmest thing about it for me personally is the soupcon of cynicism, the accent of doubt and suspicion caused by overmuch relying on the accuracy of the MSM before. I hate that. I want to pray for these people made in God’s image, grieving their dead, binding their wounds. I want to pray that God will bind their hearts, that they will find some small comfort in the barren desert of mourning and the slow, painful process of rebuilding. But even while I try, that niggling doubt seems to me to be a hindrance. I want my heart to be in it, but it isn’t really.
We will want to do other, tangible things, too, to help. But there again, we look at our limited funds and the unlimited need for all kinds of help, and we feel overwhelmed. We even feel a little resentful because usually benevolence is a joyful duty to us, but every doubt caused by previous reckless MSM reporting adds an unpleasant heaviness to that formerly joyful burthen.

MSNBC is reporting that 20,000 people are dead in Pakistan, and there may be another ten thousand. It’s horrible. That’s roughly the amount of our entire county to put it into terms I can picture. But between the Tsunami, the grossly erroneous reporting of the Katrina disaster in NOLA and various other MSM misdeeds, a small part of me is wondering, “But what if that isn’t true?” I don’t want to invest the angst, the emotional energy, the draining effort of tracking down information and sharing it here only to learn later that it’s all exaggerated. Or made up. And I am ashamed of that. While I can’t help but remember all the times the MSM has manipulated my emotions before, I also can’t help but thing- but what even part of it is true? There was an earthquake. It was huge. There are certainly grieving families. Whether the dead number ten or ten thousand, does it really matter that much to the parents who have just pulled their daughter’s lifeless body from the rubble of a collapsed school building?

Meanwhile, according to an email I received, the residents of Beaumont, Texas are still suffering horribly from the effects of the hurricane- many are still without power.

I think of it all and can only plead with God on the behalf of the devastated, and on behalf of myself and my cold and weary heart. I want to feel more, to trust more, care more than I do right this minute. Thank God that I am not the only participant in the prayer process:

Rom 8:26-27
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints
(King James Version)

Rom 8:26-27
And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for {us} with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to {the will of} God.
(New American Standard version)

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Sunday Hymn Post

Very dreadful quality recording of ordinary people singing this hymn This is the tune that I know, and I think the quality of this is just right. You can learn the tune, learn which words get which notes, and then you can turn it off and sing it yourself without feeling inadequate. =)

When my love to God grows weak,
[or When my love to Christ grows weak]
When for deeper faith I seek,
Then in thought I go to thee,
Garden of Gethsemane.

There I walk amid the shades
While the lingering twilight fades
See that suffering, friendless One,
Weeping, praying there alone.

When my love for man grows weak,
When for stronger faith I seek,
Hill of Calvary, I go
To thy scenes of fear and woe.

There behold His agony,
Suffered on the bitter tree;
See His anguish, see His faith,
Love triumphant still in death.

Then to life I turn again,
Learning all the worth of pain,
Learning all the might that lies
In a full self sacrifice.

Words by John R. Wre­ford

Cyberhymnal has two other tunes which I don’t recognize. Maybe you will.

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Sunday Hymn Post

Very dreadful quality recording of ordinary people singing this hymn This is the tune that I know, and I think the quality of this is just right. You can learn the tune, learn which words get which notes, and then you can turn it off and sing it yourself without feeling inadequate. =)

When my love to God grows weak,
[or When my love to Christ grows weak]
When for deeper faith I seek,
Then in thought I go to thee,
Garden of Gethsemane.

There I walk amid the shades
While the lingering twilight fades
See that suffering, friendless One,
Weeping, praying there alone.

When my love for man grows weak,
When for stronger faith I seek,
Hill of Calvary, I go
To thy scenes of fear and woe.

There behold His agony,
Suffered on the bitter tree;
See His anguish, see His faith,
Love triumphant still in death.

Then to life I turn again,
Learning all the worth of pain,
Learning all the might that lies
In a full self sacrifice.

Words by John R. Wre­ford

Cyberhymnal has two other tunes which I don’t recognize. Maybe you will.

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Snips & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails

Little Boy While Babysitting:

Do you want me to pretend that I’m an airplane pilot breaking the sound barrier? Then there will be lots of loud noises and explosions. Do you want me to do that? Huh? Huh?

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The Human Race Is Against My Religion

That is perhaps a rather cynical thing for The Equuschick to say. She shall endeavor to be more charitable in the future. She has a head cold, you see.

The Equuschick’s dog occasionally leaves a bit to be desired in the Intelligence Department, but getting out of his condundrums gives him something to do. (The HG calls them, Crossword Puzzles for Dogs. Mental stimulation, don’t you know.) Having gotten his 21 inch rawhide bone stuck in a metal cake pan on the floor, he then proceeded to walk around the cake pen intently three times to see what could be done about it. He rescued it, eventually. The Equuschick said “Mommy’s so proud!” And DHM said “Grandmommy is puking”, and Zeus lumbered off lopsided with his bone in his mouth and laid down on his carpet to chew it, and domestic tranquility reigned.

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Sovereignity of the People…

I’ve just started reading Friedrich von Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, which discusses the serious implications of having government-planned economies. I’m not very far into it yet, but so far it is excellent.

He has an interesting quote from de Tocqueville that I thought was particularly impressive…He talks about a “new kind of servitude”:

…the supreme power…extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate to rise aboe the crowd. The will of man is not shattered but softened…; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stuefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock fo timid and industrial animals, of which the government is the shepherd. – I have always thought that servitude of the regular, quiet, and gentle kind which I have just described might be combined more easily than is commonly believed with some of the outward forms of freedom and that it might even establish itself under the wing of the sovereignity of the people.

The emphasis is mine.

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Snips & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails

Little Boy While Babysitting:

Do you want me to pretend that I’m an airplane pilot breaking the sound barrier? Then there will be lots of loud noises and explosions. Do you want me to do that? Huh? Huh?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Human Race Is Against My Religion

That is perhaps a rather cynical thing for The Equuschick to say. She shall endeavor to be more charitable in the future. She has a head cold, you see.

The Equuschick’s dog occasionally leaves a bit to be desired in the Intelligence Department, but getting out of his condundrums gives him something to do. (The HG calls them, Crossword Puzzles for Dogs. Mental stimulation, don’t you know.) Having gotten his 21 inch rawhide bone stuck in a metal cake pan on the floor, he then proceeded to walk around the cake pen intently three times to see what could be done about it. He rescued it, eventually. The Equuschick said “Mommy’s so proud!” And DHM said “Grandmommy is puking”, and Zeus lumbered off lopsided with his bone in his mouth and laid down on his carpet to chew it, and domestic tranquility reigned.

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