The males in my family preferred to have short hair. Their hair is thick, curly, and they still want a butch. I purchased a pair of clippers when my boys were young and found that I actually enjoyed cutting hair. My nephew even got in on it. I called my sister-in-law whenever I was getting ready to cut hair.

I cannot imagine how much money I saved, since two of them like their hair cut once a month. I thought they would outgrow this, but my oldest still comes over for a buzz.

The secret was the vacuum attachment that I purchased to go with the clippers. It sucks the hair into the vacuum while you are cutting it. No more itchy noses or necks. That is not something you can find at a barber shop.

Clippers with a vacuum attachment.

Clippers with a vacuum attachment.



Many people are sad in the winter when there are not as many hours of sunlight. I am just the opposite. I keep the curtains to the southeast closed in the mornings during the hot summer days. At noon, I close the west curtains, and shut the northwest curtains around five. It keeps the sun and heat out of my house.

Unfortunately, it also keeps the light out. The tree to the south of my home is full of big leaves and is providing wonderful shade, but it makes it difficult to read in my office without a light during the hot months.

I needed a new office, just for reading. When I was without a computer for a month, I got out a small bookshelf and loaded it with the reference books I use every day. I put a few files on it that I also use regularly and set it under my kitchen table next to the patio door. It is out of sight, and so far, my granddaughter has not noticed it.

When I received my new laptop, I set it up on the kitchen table and I have good reading light in the morning. Late in the afternoon, when the sun moves to the backside of the house, I open the curtains to the southeast and work on my desktop in my office.

Sometimes all we need to do is move a few things for a fresh perspective.

Summer office.

Summer office.



Last May I shared that I am an “Unplugged Grandma,” (see I don’t have anything against technology, it’s just children can have a blast with a jar of buttons, if you let them use their imagination.

Since my last baby was born over 20 years ago, I routinely research the age-appropriate activities for my granddaughter. I learned that bowling is a good game to play with her now that she is two.

I didn’t want to go buy a bowling set and I came up with a frugal alternative. My son has been buying Powerade to make it through these hot days. (I refuse to buy it, and make a homemade alternative from a recipe I obtained from Debt Proof Living) I asked him to save his bottles for me.

I only had five bottles the next time she came over, but I got out a musical ball that was already in the toy box and we decided to bowl.

I set up the “Powerade bottle pins”, went to the end of the hall and rolled the ball down.

My granddaughter bowled differently. She ran down the hall, dropped the ball on the “Powerade bottle pins” and knocked any still standing over with her hands.

We both had a great time and didn’t spend a penny.

My granddaughter bowling her way.

My granddaughter bowling her way.



I am a simple cook. My mother, on the other hand, reads cookbooks like I read novels. She is always looking for new recipes and brought some amazing macaroni and cheese to the family reunion in June. The best part was it was cooked in a Crockpot!

I rarely get recipes from magazines because they always call for some special item that will only be used once. Many times, I don’t even know what the item is!

I asked her for the recipe and then we talked about modifications. Here is the modified recipe.

Mom’s Modified Mac and Cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni

½ stick of butter

6 c. shredded cheese

3 c. milk

2 beaten eggs

Cook macaroni. You may cook it the night before if you stir the melted butter in it to keep it from sticking together. Layer the macaroni, 5 c. cheese, eggs, and pour milk over it all. Top with the remaining cup of cheese. You may add salt and pepper to the layers and paprika on top. Cook on low for 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Mac & Cheese in a Crockpot.

Mac & Cheese in a Crockpot.


I learned a painful lesson last July 4th when I tried to make a red, white and blue dessert. The strawberry cake was to be the red portion and it was delicious. The fresh blueberries took care of the blue portion and they were wonderful. It was the white portion that failed.

In a moment of laziness, I decided not to make frosting and sprayed Ready Whip on top of the cake instead. It looked pretty with the ruffles from the slits in the tip. Only it didn’t last. When I got the cake out a few hours later, the whip was…well…whipped.

We all can learn from my mistakes! My friends recommend this recipe for Cool Whip frosting,

A cake frosted with "Ready Whip."

A cake frosted with “Ready Whip.”


I shared how I stored watermelon to make it last longer last year around July 4th. This year, I came up with a different approach.

There are two types of watermelon eaters:

  1. Those who like to get a big chunk and eat it with their fingers. (They also enjoy watermelon seed spitting contests!)
  2. Those who prefer it cut up in bite sized pieces.

The second category covers the ladies, who do not enjoy watermelon juice running down their chins, and small children, who don’t mind the juice, but are prone to choke.

How do you prepare watermelon for a crowd consisting of both groups?

  • Cut watermelon into fourths and slice.
  • Put one-fourth of the slices on the rind ends in the bottom of a large bowl.
  • Stack two more of the fourths around them, standing on their rinds.
  • Cut the last portion into bite sized pieces and place them in the center of the bowl on top of the slices.

Guests may choose to get a spoonful of pieces or just grab a wedge.


Serve Wedges and Chunks

Serve Wedges and Chunks


It was at the fair, when the carnival was in full swing, and it was my first year working at a food stand. We ran out of chopped onions and my boss surprised me by dumping some dehydrated diced onions in a bowl and covering them with water.

My husband is not a fan of onions. I like the taste of onion and have come up with a compromise…


Dehydrated diced onions.

Dehydrated diced onions.

Some people do not like onions because they upset their stomachs. Others seem to smell like an onion when they eat them. But dehydrated diced onions, found in the spice section, will not affect you the way a real onion will. I use them in place of an onion in my recipes.

On the occasions when we are having a group over and I want diced onions, I just add enough water to cover the dehydrated onion for a few hours. They will soak up the water and are a good substitute for hot dogs and hamburgers.

Condiment bowl with relish and re-hydrated dry onions.

Condiment bowl with relish and re-hydrated dry onions.