Friday, October 30, 2009

Bloghopping and Being Frugal

In the old days a man who saved money was a miser; nowadays he's a wonder. ~Author Unknown

So... a few days ago, I asked my blog readers for some suggestions, and I got several.

Anne-Katherine said: "Most of the blogs I follow are dog/pet related lol Not sure if that is something you would be interested in."

LOL, you should know by now that my interests are wide and varied. After all, I write about dog food, poop and training on this blog, don't I? Not to mention cat behavior, vomit and kidney problems. Clearly I have an interest in pets. Bring them on! *G*

I won't have the time to go through them all today, but let me touch on a few. Incidentally, I'm thinking I might start a blog spotlight day on this blog to share new blogs I've found and talk about why I like them. Stay tuned! It probably won't start until after the first of the year (which is closer than you think... holy smokes).

For now, due to time constraints, I'm going to choose one blog from each person... I'll do more this weekend, because bloghopping is so much fun!!

Mary suggested Jill Shalvis' blog, which I HAD to go look at because I enjoy her books so much. I almost didn't get any further than Jill's blog because it was so much fun to read! She's random, which I love, and talked about... well... anything that tickled her fancy. There was a YouTube video, some pictures from a walk she took (by the Truckee River -- so pretty), an excerpt from one of her books, talk about writing and more. So, yep, added to my Google Reader.

Melissa sent me Yes I read It. It's Stupid -- which is a chapter by chapter blog on the Twilight Series by a blogger who didn't see the charm in the series. Now, I read "Twilight" and enjoyed the first book a lot, but never could get in to the rest of the series... and so didn't read it. I figure I'll watch the movies on DVD when they are out. OTOH, I know there are thousands (millions?) of rabid fangirls who adored the series (one of my LASR reviewers can be numbered amongst them), so it's amazing the spectrum of readers for it. The blog author is a hoot, and I completely enjoyed reading the blog -- BUT -- the last post is September 14 so I have to wonder if she's going to keep it up. It's a "maybe" for now. I'll add it to my Google Reader, cuz it doesn't cost anything to do so, but I don't hold on to blogs that don't update regularly.

Dru sent me Mystery Lover's Kitchen which tickled me pink. Some of my fave cozy authors write food-based books, and I like to cook (and eat!) so I was all over this link. And, I spent WAY too much time reading posts and clicking through on the recipes. This one is a MUST READ for me. So, thanks, Dru!!

Maria sent me to Genreality -- what a fantastic writing blog!! It has a diverse group of writers so you get input from every angle. We have Candace Havens, Lynn Viehl, Sasha White, Jospeh Nassise and Carrie Vaughn talking to us about writing. Another blog I could have spent hours on and one I'll plan on reading regularly (I can't say "daily" because I don't have time to read daily). They've even got timely tips on NaNoWriMo, so I know this is a place I'll check out during November's insanity. Awesome!

So... those were my first forays into your suggestions. There are more, so keep an eye open for my comments on them. AND... if you have more suggestions, send them my way! Please! Don't assume I wouldn't be interested because I'm a reader and a writer which means pretty much anything is interesting to me. I've got enough curiosity for fifty cats.


In other news, Dakota has decided she doesn't like sleeping on the couch any more which is a bit of a problem. See, about halfway through the night, my bones start to get achy, so I get up. I stretch and walk around a little until they feel better, but I'm a light sleeper, so can't get BACK to sleep in my bed cuz DH is usually sawing Z's, so I wander downstairs to the couch (which is so amazingly comfy... ahhhh). The dog comes with me, and has always just curled up on the cushion at my feet. The last week or so, though, there is something about the couch that freaks her out. She'll only get up on it under duress and then only sits, tense and worried until I tell her she can get down. As a result, my sleep hasn't been all that great and I'm trying to figure out what the problem is.

Today, I'm shampooing the couch and washing the cushion covers ... maybe there's a smell I can't smell that she doesn't like. Cuz, yanno, I needed a few more chores to add to my list.

BTW, a few weeks ago, I'd talked about making refried beans. I did so, and they turned out great -- though they weren't actually "refried". All I did was cook the beans until they were really, really soft (softer than I cook them just for eating) and then mashed them with my potato masher. I used a bit of the broth I'd cooked them in to get the consistency right, and they are AWESOME. I froze them in 1 cup containers and I've since run out, so today, I'm cooking up another batch of beans to smash up and freeze again. I plan on doing a massive batch at some point, and canning them, but they'll need to be pressure canned and I'm too lazy to dig out my pressure cooker right now, lol.

So--two bags of dried beans cost me about $1 each. Count in the electricity from cooking (which wasn't that long, since I soak the beans in hot water for 2-3 hours first) and the fact that, even after DD and I raided the beans for a couple bowls apiece (so yummy with a little salsa... mmm....) I still had nine 1-cup containers in my freezer. If we hadn't raided them, I probably would have had closer to 14 cups ... for a total cost of about $4- $5 or the equivalent of $0.35 a can. Yay me.

Today, I'm dehydrating sweet potatoes to use as treats for the dog (yes, really -- they LOVE them). If I bought dried sweet potatoes, it costs about $15 a pound. I bought three HUGE sweet potatoes yesterday for $0.79/lb -- So, even adding in the cost of dehydrating (slicing and putting them in the oven at 200 degrees for a few hours) I'm still so far ahead of the game it's not funny.

I'm also making homemade crunchy dog treats. I'll make those first, and then the sweet potatoes, because after I bake the treats at 350 for 20 mins, they have to sit in the warm oven for a few hours to get crunchy, so I get two for one on the cost of the heat! *G*



Dru said...

I don't know about you, but when I added Mystery Lover's Kitchen to my google reader, it doesn't post the latest blog so I keep it in my bookmark.

Jill Shalvis' blog is a fun blog.

Have a good Friday.

Maria Zannini said...

Great idea with the sweet potato treats!!

I'm going to buy one and see if my guys like it. If they do, I'll grow some next year. They grow real well here.

Thanks, Marianne!

Anonymous said...

Let me know how the dog treats come out. Im always looking for new ways of making things for my babies :)

Hope Dakota settles down soon!

Ok some blogs I love :)
This is Martha and Bailey, they are 2 basset girls who live in Scotland. Their owners take them on all kinds of fun trips and always share lots of awesome pics.
Mango, relentessly huge mastiff, who shares his home/estate lol with Dexter a labradude :)
Max lab, shares his home with Tammy (lab), Toffee (maltese), and Tommy in South Africa.

Ok that's a good start lol.

Happy Halloween!!!

Tori Lennox said...

Here's a dog blog from a friend of mine:

And have you visited Chickens in the Road?

Brandy said...

Since you said pet blogs are okay..... The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee!

I ooh and awwww over the blog every day. *G*

WTG with the pinto beans/refried beans.
Have a fabulous day!

Diane Craver said...

thanks for sharing about the different blogs - I'll check them out.

Yummy - refried beans sounds good.