Frugalities

Learn to satisfy your thirst with water. If you never introduce children to the junk they will like water. Sometimes we put spearmint, lemon slices, or lemon balm leaves in our glasses for a treat, but mostly we drink plain water. Juice is not a necessity.

I don’t introduce my babies to any beverage but breastmilk until after they’ve had solid foods, and then they may have water. I do not buy juice except when it is called for in a recipe (and just recently for the HM’s vinegar/juice cholesterol reducing concoction- at least, we hope it reduces cholesterol). Very occasionally (primarily at potlucks when somebody else brings them), we have soda as a treat, but nobody gets caffeine until after 13, and even then, caffeinated sodas are reserved for special situations.

One of the Tightwad Gazette’s most brilliant ideas is that the special things in life need to have space around them so that they continue to be special. Keeping that in mind, we do have Russian tea and hot cocoa at special times in the winter, and we make real lemonade occasionally in the summer (lemon juice, stevia or sugar, and lemon balm leaves in water).

Hot herbal teas are taken occasionally for medicinal purposes and also on special occasions (tea parties!).

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The Headmaster and I on a Date

So. How shall I explain that after my posts about why it’s not really necessary to go out on a date with your spouse when you can spend the same one on one time in other, more frugal ways, the HM and I went on the most expensive date of our lives?

I don’t even know how much we spent because I preferred to walk out to the car before the register rang up the total. Whatever did we do?

We went out to a home improvement store to buy new items for our new home- things like showers, bathtubs, ceiling lights, faucets, towel racks, and wood stain. I loathe home improvement stores, this one above all others. I really hate it. I can’t ever find what I want. The concrete floors are crippling to my knees and back. The help has been mostly incompetent (last time they assured us that the bathtub/whirlpool/shower combo we were looking at would fit in the space we have. Tonight they told us it is 12 inches larger).

I don’t think I’m a very fun date at this place. I causually mentioned to my husband some three hundred and 29 times that I hated this place. While we were picking out lamps we kept running into problems. The first problem was he sent me off to look for lamps by myself, telling me (I am sure) that I needed a flush wall mount lamp, when in truth I needed it to be a ceiling lamp. So I spent 45 minutes finding a flush wall mount, and then he showed up and said, well, I guess we can use that in one place, but you’re supposed to be getting a ceiling mount. I told him how much I hated that place.
The next lamp I liked had the wrong size bulbs (I hate this place), or the wrong mounting (I hate this place), , and the dh would recommend one that had all those things, but it was in neon blue with tints of violet (have I mentioned that I hate this place?), but after another 45 minutes of agony I found a lamp that would do (we needed five of them) and five of them were in stock- and then the HM said, and I quote, “Well, but are you sure you want these? We don’t have to make a quick decision. We can always come back another time.”

I gritted my teeth and said lovingly (what are you laughing for? Of course it was lovingly!), “I do not think I have managed to convey accurately to you the depth of my loathing for this dreadful anteroom to Hades or my resolute determination to never darken its portals again, and I will live in darkness in the new house forever if the only way we may have light is for me to return to this realm of Pluto. I want these lamps and they are beautiful to me if for no other reason than that if we own them and take them home today you cannot make me come back here again.”
And he said, “Huh? Did you say something?”

Next we went to the appliance store, which at first seemed to be a Twilight Zone episode where the hapless victim repeats a variation on the same horrible theme and relives it over and over. But after a few minutes the chaos resolved itself and we found a knowledgeable salesperson who took me seriously when I said, “This is what I want and I do not want anything else- it must be 25 cubic feet, in bisque or biscuit or almond but never titanium or black or white, and it must have a freezer on the bottom with an ice maker and it must have either a drink dispenser outside the door or it will not have one at all because a drink dispenser inside the door drips all over everything in the fridge and makes a mess and the kids have to use both hands to get a drink and then they never set down what they already had in their hands so in addition to spilling water everywhere they dump their bar-b-Que chicken all down the front of the fridge and get it on their best dresses so you see an inside deal drink dispenser is a total deal breaker”
And he never blinked, but went to his computer and his catalog and came back and showed me what I wanted (it is an Amana). And then we spent ten minutes on stoves and I have to wait to purchase it because I need to think about whether I want convection or conventional. I do not know, and I can’t have the 1500 dollar combination that first took my fancy, nor can I have the 4,000 dollar beauty that next took my fancy, which is really fine.
So that was pleasant.

And then it was late (after 9 p.m.) and neither of us had dinner and we were tired and not very much less cranky than we had been in the first store (the one I hate- have I mentioned that?). The HM asked if we wanted to go out to eat, and if so, where. I said I did not care so long as it wasn’t a buffet because my feet hurt too much to get up and walk around to collect my food. So we went through a fast food drive-through window. And then the HM realized that we were in his work car where his window never rolls down.
So he turned the car around and drove through the drive-through backward. We ordered exactly the same thing, and it took a little while because the sweet young things working there kept coming to the window to laugh. When the sweet young thing handed out our two Dr. Peppers I help up one of them and asked her (in serious tones), So, is this the Dr. Pepper or the Dr. Pepper?”

And having had as much fun as two middle aged parents of adult, teen, and gradeschooled children should be allowed to have, we came home.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

First, You have to Care.

I was astonished today when a classmate told me how impressed she was with my mannerisms and academic achievements; she was so impressed, in fact, she wanted me to mentor her. This was unsettling. I stumbled and yammered for several minutes about setting goals, not letting pleasure take priority over homework, making it an absolute in my mind that homework *would* be turned in on time, no matter what.
And she smiled and nodded and took notes. And I know she meant it, but I don’t think I started at a basic enough level.

After class was over she mentioned something about her history course. Me, being me, got very excited. And then had to hear her say why she did not see why we had to study history, how she saw no point in it, and thought psychology majors really did not need it…or only needed it if the people in history had psychiatric problems.

It was then I realized where I should have started. Caring about what you are learning is primary; all those other things come much more easily if you actually have interest invested in the subjects.


This was a good reminder for me, too. I am becoming rather burned out with some of my classes (macroeconomics being one. I have had almost all I can take of Consumption Functions and the Maximum Propensity to Consume) and investing less and less of myself in them. This is not so good. A Consumption Function is thrilling; yes, indeed, HeadGirl!
Lest any math-ish people think I’m a complete lost cause, I am enjoying my read of The Road to Serfdom by von Hayek. :-) I suppose that’s less math and more economic philosophy, but I somehow feel understanding von Hayek’s point of view is more important for the average person than knowing how to compute MPC. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself right now as a balm for my savaged ego.

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Painting the outhouse


Daddy, FYG, and FYB painted the outhouse to day. Doesn’t it look spectacularly white? FYB also seems to have painted his boots, although not quite as well as the outhouse. :)
Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Muslim Compound in Virginia

This was going to go in the ‘News and Views’ post, but it really warrents a place of its own. I’m very concerned.

Gates of Vienna is among our very favorite Grown Up Blogs- and they have a very disturbing post here.

“But first: some background on Jamaat ul-Fuqra. The group was founded in New York by Sheikh Gilani in New York in 1980. Its current headquarters is in Hancock, New York, and it has various compounds, or Jamaats, scattered throughout the United States and Canada, notably in Colorado, New York, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia. Most of the adherents are reported to be American-born Black Muslims who follow a strict Islamist ideology.

Sheikh Gilani, you may remember, is the cleric with whom Daniel Pearl had arranged an interview back in January of 2002. Unfortunately, Mr. Pearl was betrayed by his sources, and then abducted and beheaded. Sheikh Gilani was arrested later that month and languishes in Pakistani custody.

So this is the kind of people we are dealing with here. They launder money, smuggle firearms, plan and carry out assassinations and bombings, and conduct intense Islamist indoctrination, including inside American prisons.”

You really want to read the rest.

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News and Views

From NRO’s Media Blog comes a short summary of the Times and the Plame/Miller issue:
“The New York Times editorial board called down this absurd investigation, its reporter refused to cooperate, and its editors and reporters spun the paper’s coverage to portray the White House as a gang of organized criminals…”

From The American Thinker:

The grand jury hearing testimony from Rove, Judith Miller, and others may not be investigating what the press thinks. The Washington Post’s Walter Pincus and the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof have failed to respond to Joseph Wilson’s backtracking from their year earlier interview-based stories about how Wilson had supposedly discovered the Administration had relied on a patently fake document to justify the war, and ignored his report warning them it was fake. This failure reveals their lack of concern for the public’s right to know the truth—that they’d been snookered into making these sensational charges.

But Bob Somerby, editor of the liberal blog Daily Howler, expressed his outrage at the hoax, observing that the Democrats deserved what they got for promoting a fabulist with wild and sensational claims, simply because he, like they, wanted to win the election.

And the NYO Observer has about four pages more. What interested me most is that the missing notes Miller just found and turned over to the investigator were not turned up at the office- no. Miller’s had them all along. They’ve been in her lawyer’s custody. So what’s up with the ‘newly discovered’ angle?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Al Quaeda- Sez the Indepundit, “YOU MUST READ the captured letter from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi (leader of al Qaeda in Iraq). Yes, it’s a long read, and full of Islamic flourishes, but take the time and read it all the way through. You won’t regret it.”

Sez the Headmistress: You must also read the Indepundit’s analysis. Excellent. bonnet tip to Wizbang.

Powerline has more, including the NYT take on it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oil For Food- this remains the largest financial scandal of the last hundred years, If I remember my numbers right. It’s still not unraveled, but this week former French ambassador to the U.N., Jean-Bernard Merimee, was arrested for his part in stealing money from the Iraqi people by accepting bribes from Saddam Hussein. Says Claudia Rosett:

“Merimee’s main trail leads not to the Quai d’Orsay, but to the doorstep of the U.N. secretary general. Authorities at the French foreign ministry have said the allegations against Merimee concern his activities after he retired as French ambassador to the U.N., and they’re probably right. During the period most in question — late 2001 — Merimee was working primarily not for La France, but with the rank of U.N. undersecretary general, as a handpicked high-level “special adviser” for Kofi Annan.

That fact seems to have escaped Annan himself, who, as the French investigation was turning hot, turned up on Swiss TV last weekend lamenting in French that criticism from “these people” (presumably he meant the people who object to corruption at the U.N.) is “unfair” and “hard to bear.” If that is Annan’s bottom line after abundant evidence that his handpicked head of Oil-for-Food, Benon Sevan, was on the take from Saddam, and that his own son, Kojo Annan, sought to profit from the program, then perhaps the case of Merimee will not interest the secretary general in the least.

Bad Timing
But the timing of Jean-Bernard Merimee’s trajectory through Kofi Annan’s list of “Special and Personal Representatives and Envoys” ought to interest anyone who cares about the integrity of top management at the United Nations. “

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Deal on the Iraq Constitution reached
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Leading Syrian Minister Commits SuicideOr was he pushed (sorry, literary allusion to the title of a murder mystery probably only a handful of us have read)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tom Delay’s lawyers wants some answers from Ronnie Earle:

I am determined to put of record the steps taken by you and your staff to obtain a replacement indictment against my client, Tom DeLay during the five day period mentioned above. The first indictment for “conspiracy to violate the Texas Election Code,” charged a crime that did not exist in Texas law. I have filed a motion to dismiss the later indictment on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct and with those subpoenas seek evidence in support of that motion. I will soon file additional motions.

In the meantime, however, it would expedite our inquiry if you would agree to an immediate deposition to answer the questions set out below, and, given the highly public nature of this matter, I believe it would be in the interest of justice.

(click on the link for the rest)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oil and gas prices:The United States has an oil reserve at least three times that of Saudi Arabia locked in oil shale deposits beneath federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, according to a study released this past week.
More at Roger Simon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Germany and Japan- comparen and contrast (Japan is privatizing their post office, amongst other renovations).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Is there anything the MSM got right in their Katrina coverage? I am so embarrassed, because even knowing what I know about their biases, their careless handling of facts, I still believed most of what they reported.
Here’s another one, literarlly, gone down the drain: there was no toxic soup of chemicals in the floodwaters of NO. Read the Captain for more.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Alan Greenspan is the Chairman of the USA’s Federal Reserve. He’s retiring. President Bush will be appointing his replacement. This position is arguably at least as important as a Supreme Court position.
See Kudlow for more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Harold Pinter wins Nobel prize for literature. I’d link to one of his works, but this is a family friendly blog. Care to guess his politics? Go ahead, just guess.=)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Painting the outhouse


Daddy, FYG, and FYB painted the outhouse to day. Doesn’t it look spectacularly white? FYB also seems to have painted his boots, although not quite as well as the outhouse. :)
Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Concerning Wolves

Yes, as Pipsqueak and others have said, The Equuschick’s family toured a Wolf Park on Tuesday. The Equuschick was rather impressed with the wolf Marion, who as the smallest wolf in the pack had managed to lead small mutiny deposing Karin, who was then alpha female, and driving her from the pack. Marion promptly took the throne, but was rather less than a benevolent dictator and shortly had to be removed from the main pack for the safety and comfort of her subjects. A modern Machiavelli in miniature.

Here, for those interested, is a link to the observations made of the pack on the day Marion deposed Karin. The Equuschick found it fascinating reading. http://www.wolfpark.org/LOPs/Karin’s_fall.html

The DHM notes: As we have mentioned before, the Equuschick is the most diminuitive in physical stature (though towering in intellect) amongst the Common Room Clan. She is twenty and is able to raid the wardrobe of her 9 year old sister for clothing. So we find young Equus’ interest in the slight Marion’s ability to depose the alpha female rather worrying. We note that the dog Zeus already is convinced that E.C. is the alpha member of his pack. Is this the first step in her plan for world domination? We do not know, but we hope that if posts by the DHM suddenly cease, somebody will Send Aid.

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Muslim Compound in Virginia

This was going to go in the ‘News and Views’ post, but it really warrents a place of its own. I’m very concerned.

Gates of Vienna is among our very favorite Grown Up Blogs- and they have a very disturbing post here.

“But first: some background on Jamaat ul-Fuqra. The group was founded in New York by Sheikh Gilani in New York in 1980. Its current headquarters is in Hancock, New York, and it has various compounds, or Jamaats, scattered throughout the United States and Canada, notably in Colorado, New York, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia. Most of the adherents are reported to be American-born Black Muslims who follow a strict Islamist ideology.

Sheikh Gilani, you may remember, is the cleric with whom Daniel Pearl had arranged an interview back in January of 2002. Unfortunately, Mr. Pearl was betrayed by his sources, and then abducted and beheaded. Sheikh Gilani was arrested later that month and languishes in Pakistani custody.

So this is the kind of people we are dealing with here. They launder money, smuggle firearms, plan and carry out assassinations and bombings, and conduct intense Islamist indoctrination, including inside American prisons.”

You really want to read the rest.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

News and Views

From NRO’s Media Blog comes a short summary of the Times and the Plame/Miller issue:
“The New York Times editorial board called down this absurd investigation, its reporter refused to cooperate, and its editors and reporters spun the paper’s coverage to portray the White House as a gang of organized criminals…”

From The American Thinker:

The grand jury hearing testimony from Rove, Judith Miller, and others may not be investigating what the press thinks. The Washington Post’s Walter Pincus and the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof have failed to respond to Joseph Wilson’s backtracking from their year earlier interview-based stories about how Wilson had supposedly discovered the Administration had relied on a patently fake document to justify the war, and ignored his report warning them it was fake. This failure reveals their lack of concern for the public’s right to know the truth—that they’d been snookered into making these sensational charges.

But Bob Somerby, editor of the liberal blog Daily Howler, expressed his outrage at the hoax, observing that the Democrats deserved what they got for promoting a fabulist with wild and sensational claims, simply because he, like they, wanted to win the election.

And the NYO Observer has about four pages more. What interested me most is that the missing notes Miller just found and turned over to the investigator were not turned up at the office- no. Miller’s had them all along. They’ve been in her lawyer’s custody. So what’s up with the ‘newly discovered’ angle?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Al Quaeda- Sez the Indepundit, “YOU MUST READ the captured letter from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi (leader of al Qaeda in Iraq). Yes, it’s a long read, and full of Islamic flourishes, but take the time and read it all the way through. You won’t regret it.”

Sez the Headmistress: You must also read the Indepundit’s analysis. Excellent. bonnet tip to Wizbang.

Powerline has more, including the NYT take on it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oil For Food- this remains the largest financial scandal of the last hundred years, If I remember my numbers right. It’s still not unraveled, but this week former French ambassador to the U.N., Jean-Bernard Merimee, was arrested for his part in stealing money from the Iraqi people by accepting bribes from Saddam Hussein. Says Claudia Rosett:

“Merimee’s main trail leads not to the Quai d’Orsay, but to the doorstep of the U.N. secretary general. Authorities at the French foreign ministry have said the allegations against Merimee concern his activities after he retired as French ambassador to the U.N., and they’re probably right. During the period most in question — late 2001 — Merimee was working primarily not for La France, but with the rank of U.N. undersecretary general, as a handpicked high-level “special adviser” for Kofi Annan.

That fact seems to have escaped Annan himself, who, as the French investigation was turning hot, turned up on Swiss TV last weekend lamenting in French that criticism from “these people” (presumably he meant the people who object to corruption at the U.N.) is “unfair” and “hard to bear.” If that is Annan’s bottom line after abundant evidence that his handpicked head of Oil-for-Food, Benon Sevan, was on the take from Saddam, and that his own son, Kojo Annan, sought to profit from the program, then perhaps the case of Merimee will not interest the secretary general in the least.

Bad Timing
But the timing of Jean-Bernard Merimee’s trajectory through Kofi Annan’s list of “Special and Personal Representatives and Envoys” ought to interest anyone who cares about the integrity of top management at the United Nations. “

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Deal on the Iraq Constitution reached
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Leading Syrian Minister Commits SuicideOr was he pushed (sorry, literary allusion to the title of a murder mystery probably only a handful of us have read)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tom Delay’s lawyers wants some answers from Ronnie Earle:

I am determined to put of record the steps taken by you and your staff to obtain a replacement indictment against my client, Tom DeLay during the five day period mentioned above. The first indictment for “conspiracy to violate the Texas Election Code,” charged a crime that did not exist in Texas law. I have filed a motion to dismiss the later indictment on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct and with those subpoenas seek evidence in support of that motion. I will soon file additional motions.

In the meantime, however, it would expedite our inquiry if you would agree to an immediate deposition to answer the questions set out below, and, given the highly public nature of this matter, I believe it would be in the interest of justice.

(click on the link for the rest)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oil and gas prices:The United States has an oil reserve at least three times that of Saudi Arabia locked in oil shale deposits beneath federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, according to a study released this past week.
More at Roger Simon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Germany and Japan- comparen and contrast (Japan is privatizing their post office, amongst other renovations).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Is there anything the MSM got right in their Katrina coverage? I am so embarrassed, because even knowing what I know about their biases, their careless handling of facts, I still believed most of what they reported.
Here’s another one, literarlly, gone down the drain: there was no toxic soup of chemicals in the floodwaters of NO. Read the Captain for more.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Alan Greenspan is the Chairman of the USA’s Federal Reserve. He’s retiring. President Bush will be appointing his replacement. This position is arguably at least as important as a Supreme Court position.
See Kudlow for more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Harold Pinter wins Nobel prize for literature. I’d link to one of his works, but this is a family friendly blog. Care to guess his politics? Go ahead, just guess.=)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments