Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Slice of Life: Laine's Letters Style

I was feeling a bit discouraged yesterday, so I popped over to Laine's Letters for some inspiration from the archives.

Wow! Her happiness in adversity always stops my pity party cold! I like the way her letters reveal a slice of daily life, so I thought I'd borrow her style for today's update.

1. Ran all my errands in a row yesterday to save gas, including dropping off flowers at school. We ate our lemon poppyseed whole wheat muffins in the car so we could get an early start. I am still baking from the supplies I bought at the Mennonite store. Who knew $25 in flour and seasonings could stretch so far? I have had a hard time converting my recipes to whole grain flours, but the Internet is full of new ideas to test.

2. Used a Target prescription transfer coupon to earn $10 gift card. When Target prints one of these coupons, I hit the newspaper recycling bin to search for extras. One year I earned $80 over the course of a year's transfers. (I have checked my price book, and Target prices are as low as nearby pharmacies, so we are not paying extra to fill them there.)

The following month I will switch the prescriptions to Kroger, so that when Target runs another promotion later in the year, I can use the coupon to transfer them back again. Transferring a prescription only requires a phone call.

3. Searched the mega pottery store for finishing touches for husband's office. I refuse to pay $20 for a fake plant!

Instead I broke off some leaf clusters from our magnolia tree and put them in a basket with a dish of water. I will replenish the cuttings weekly until I find a silk plant at a yard sale. I did discover a beautiful handblown crystal pitcher (store price tag $58) for only $10. My mom and I will use this as a wedding gift next week.

4. Began a new novel about a real-life homesteading woman.

The author wrote her first two books while her children were in school during which she completed her college degree over 7 years time.

Take note: pioneer women made use of the hot stove by doing all the day's baking in the morning after breakfast, so why am I doing mine in the afternoon? Also, they covered the outdoor laundry area with a brush roof for shade. I might start hanging my darker clothes under the carport to prevent fading.

5. Summoned enough energy to give the house a quick pick-up before my husband walked in the door.

I polished the coffee table and turned on some lights and music. The stormy gray weather made the living room look like a haven. I could tell he was pleased when he stepped inside.

The same procrastination had spilled over to dinner preparation. At the last minute I sliced some herbed turkey sausages (frozen after a grill day), sauteed them with onions, garlic, and chopped fresh tomatoes from the garden. I poured the whole pan over some frozen goat cheese ravioli from the salvage store and steamed some green beans on the side.

6. At the end of the day I felt so much more satisfied than the way I began.


Mary Ann said...

I really enjoyed this post. I love Laine's Letters too and have been visiting her site for several years now. She has such a cheerful and practical way of writing as well as hundreds of great ideas and recipes. Aren't those Mennonite/Amish bulk food stores great? We don't have one locally, but whenever I am in an area that has one, I stock up! They always have hard-to-find items at reasonable prices.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea for those magnolia leaves that won't have you changing them out each week. Buy a small amount of glycerin (drug store) and mix with water. Cut magnolia stems and hammer the ends so that it breaks up the fibers allowing it to absorb liquids more easily. Put stems in glycerin mixture. Leaves will turn a rich brown and will not be brittle bythe time the mixture is all gone. These will last a long time and look charming in pottery,etc.
Love you blog! Connie

Meredith said...

Maryann, you hit the nail on the head. Laine is CHEERFUL! That's a quality I need exhibit more around the house. I was raised in more of a doom and gloom environment!

Connie, I am getting out my bottle of glycerin right now. I had some left over from a previous project. Thanks so much for the tip!

mothersong said...

If you can't hang your laundry in the shade, turn everything inside out. In fact, I wash everything inside out, as well, then hang it out. Keeps clothes looking new much, much longer.

mothersong said...

If you can't hang your laundry in the shade, turn everything inside out. In fact, I wash everything inside out, as well, then hang it out. Keeps clothes looking new much, much longer.

I also love Laine's website and letters. I am trying to be more positive. I would like to say that it isn't working very well, but that would be, well, negative.


Anonymous said...


thanks for the inspiration and the book suggestions!

mom to 6 in PA