Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's Just over that Mountain!

(part of Writer's Workshop at Mama Kat's Losin' It!)

For as long as I can remember, my family has gone camping and boating at one specific lake about 5 hours from our house. It wasn't just our family--it was us, my uncles, my aunts, my grandparents, and all my cousins. As kids, we just couldn't get enough of the water, and hated when we had to come in for the night.

On one particular trip, we were down at the lake for a longer period of time than we usually stayed, so the decision was made to take a day off of boating and just hang around the campground. As a 10 year old, this did not exactly thrill me. So, some time around that afternoon, my cousin and I (who was also 10) were complaining about being bored. Our uncle pointed to a mountain in the distance and said "well then go to the lake, it's just right on the other side of that mountain!"

And we were off.

Several hours and at least 5 different "mountains" later, we still hadn't reached the lake. I'm sure it didn't help that we were forced to take our 8 year old cousin with us in her flipflops, either, but we eventually gave up and turned around.

If anyone ever tells me "it's just right over that mountain!" again? I'm not falling for it.

Lesson learned.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

DIY Fabric Softener

I have seen this idea on so many blogs lately that I had to give it a go. It's so incredibly easy and really a $$ saver!


6 cups HOT water
2 cups hair conditioner (any kind, any scent)
3 cups white vinegar
Big empty container

The ridiculously easy directions:
1. Stir the 6 cups HOT (seriously, make sure it's hot) water with the 2 cups of hair conditioner until the conditioner is completely desolved.

2. Mix in 3 cups white vinegar
3. Pour into container

I will mention that I used dry measure for all this...because my brain was not fully functional this evening. So, although it's probably a bit more for liquid measure, this made about 2/3 gallon for me. So let's look at the price breakdown (and I bought all this stuff at target, so it would be cheaper pretty much anywhere else, because I had to make a valentine's day run):

White Vinegar 16oz: $1.12, so would be $1.68 for liquid measure at 24oz.
Conditioner 22.5: $1.47, so 16oz of that would be about $1.07
Water: Free ;)

Total cost of about 85oz of fabric softener: $2.75, or $0.03/oz.
The fabric softener I buy is the Tide 44oz, which is on sale for $4.47 right now at walmart, making it about $0.10/oz, which would make 85oz of fabric softener bought $8.64.

Total savings: $.07/oz or $5.80/85oz.

We will talk about the fact that I'm frugal enough to make my own fabric softener, but willing to shell out $4.00 for a gallon of Arizona tea I could make myself later.

Also, I haven't used this yet, but I'm planning on using it with the cup from the last tide bottle I bought and using the same amount as I would have from the bottle based on the load. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Adventures in Fostering

My husband and I have been fostering dogs for the past couple months, and have found that we really have a great love for it. Cleo is our only permanent dog and, as we live on base, we have a 2 animal limit--this has worked out well for us, because we can't keep any of our foster dogs or we can't foster anymore. Translation: our crazy house rules are keeping us from owning a billion dogs.

We are taking a little break from fostering because I'm in training with United Way for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children), where I'll be working with foster children instead of foster dogs. While I'm in training, I don't have the kind of time needed to devote to a foster puppy. But, before too long, we'll be back at it!

So far we've had, and successfully adopted out, these puppies:

Blitzen, or "Blitz," a 4 month old Golden Retriever. Cleo had an absolute blast with him and, although he seemed a little too eager to get at other dogs while walking a the park, he was absolutely best friends with Cleo. He's a lover, a soft mouth, and a great dog!

Froggy, a 5 month old Puggle (Pug/Beagle mix). She was born and spent her entire 5 months of life in a shelter, where all her litter mates and mama were adopted. She is the most snuggly dog I've ever seen, and wanted nothing more but to curl up in your lap. When we first brought her home she hated Cleo and her insane energy, and actually got Cleo under her eye. By the end of her time here, she would play for a long time with Cleo before getting annoyed with her!

Lastly, meet Sofia--a 5ish month old German Shepherd mix. Sofia was abused, and spent the first two days here in her crate because she was terrified of everyone and everything. She would sit in there and growl at Cleo when she couldn't even see her, would have to be dragged from her crate to go outside, and as soon as we'd come back in she would run back into her crate and not leave. By the time she left here, she would come out of her crate for long periods of time and play GREAT with Cleo! She was doing so well! Here's a photo from one of her last couple days here:

And, of course, here's our 6 month old Cleo...because she's pretty awesome.