One of the reasons I am happy to be a “full-time” wife and homemaker is because I have the time to indulge my super-organizational side. I know organization can be an obsession, but I assure you I am only slightly, harmlessly obsessed. Right now I am creating a spreadsheet with all the recipes in all the Cook’s Illustrated and other cooking magazines that I have–which, thankfully, is not too many, but there is a surprising number of recipes hidden in the pages of these issues. This way, if I want a reputable recipe for something I’d like to make, I have a searchable database of what’s on hand—I don’t have to go sifting through dubious internet recipes (I’ve wasted a little too much time and money already going off of recipes published without review or good editing) or sit down and look through all my magazines in search of something that will work. I also don’t have to bother cutting out or copying the recipes I try and want to put into the menu rotation; I’ll know where they are just as I would if they were in my recipe binder (which is probably next up on the organization project schedule . . . I have to weed through recipes that no longer appeal or failed their entry test about every year).

Besides an unfinished cat toy I am knitting (on double-pointed needles!!), I have a few (too many) Martha Stewart-type projects started, but at the top of the list is learning to make botanical prints (an idea from MS herself). I can’t even draw stick figures gracefully, but I can color within the lines, and that’s about all this sort of artwork requires. It has my name written all over it: plants and flowers, tracing with colored pencils which I already have, onto tissue paper which I already have (discretionary spending needs to be cut back after some other little projects I decided to undertake all at once, so. . .). I’ll pass on the details to whoever’s interested, as it doesn’t appear to be on the MS website.

My mom had the perhaps not-so-bright idea, bless her heart, of dropping off her 1980s sewing machine (with manual) for me to learn how to use. I have made a couple of simple things with her help before, as recently as a year ago, but it’s taking me a while to poke through the manual and refresh myself on how everything works. In the meantime I might have messed up the chamber for the bobbin; I started threading the bobbin while the chamber was still open, and as the needle went down it knocked two pieces (not including the shuttle, which I somewhat know how to operate) out of the chamber. I put them back in in a way that made sense and am standing by until I can ask my mom what just happened.

And finally, I have added Southern Savers to the top of my weekly coupon and savings roundup. She does deal lists for various regional grocery chains, matching sales not just with coupons in the Sunday paper but with printables, those found in mail-outs and booklets at the front of the store (which she names and tells you how to find), etc. The “Extreme Couponer” series is a must-read as well. I especially loved the more whimsical (most contain practical advice) cashier profiling post: avoid middle-aged women, they tend to be grouchy and don’t want to mess with your stupid coupons; go for any age male who can appreciate a frugal woman, or apathetic teenagers who will just manually override any problems rather than dealing with an assertive customer. :D

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