Today I Am . . .

by Katy on December 7, 2013 · 19 comments

Chairs before and after

I normally don’t post on Saturdays, but I’m somehow in the mood. Enjoy!

Today I am:

  • Lamenting over having ruined a O.D. Mobler chair in my manky basement. I bought it for $15 in perfect condition in 1993 when I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The wood has been damp, the vinyl is ripped and it’s super dented up. I’m thinking I can be brought back to life, but it will never be what it once was. Crap! (I see that they sell for up to $900 now, so . . . double crap!)
  • Selling both a midcentury typewriter and dining table on Craigslist. Great finds from Goodwill that will find new homes.
  • Turning down an invitation for a goodbye party for a co-worker because it’s being held at an extremely expensive restaurant. The estimate for cost is $40 per person, and will likely be more. I’ll figure out my own way to say my goodbye.
  • Going to Costco to pick up two new pairs of glasses with my eighteen-year-old son. Their youth discount was for “eighteen and under” rather than “under eighteen,” which pleased me to no end. Costco is a super reasonable place to buy glasses, and they took our insurance, which I thought they didn’t. I’ll probably pick up another box of their clementines, as the last batch were excellent, and didn’t dry out immediately like the grocery store ones have been lately.
  • Going to make myself do a big grocery shopping trip to Safeway, as I have a $10-off-$50 coupon. I hate grocery shopping, but I never regret having done it.
  • Thinking we should go to our friend’s Christmas tree farm and cut down a tree. However, it’s really cold out, and I would dearly like to procrastinate this errand.
  • Going to bake up the last of a batch of oatmeal cookie dough. I make a big batch of the dough in the beginning of the week, and then bake up the cookies a dozen at a time for school lunches. This way, they don’t get gobbled up and leave me hanging for school lunch components.

Now your turn. What are you doing today?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

David Jay December 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm

What is manky?


Katy December 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm

“Manky” is damp, filthy, disgusting. Unpleasantly dirty.

Like the “manky old boot” that was a port-key in “Harry Potter.”

You’re welcome. 😉



Jackie K December 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Laundry, laundry and more laundry. My dh usually does his own but he is laid up from knee surgery and cannot do stairs right now. Makes me really appreciate that he does his own when he is he is healthy.

Also doing some reading on minimalism, as I’m feeling clutter fatigue. I need to pare down more stuff. Only problem with that is that it’s dh’ s stuff that needs to be purged. It’s like pulling teeth to get him to let go of the “we might need it someday” mentality.


NMPatricia December 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm

My DH and I just hosted a volunteer Christmas potluck. I chose to do this and use all of our various and assorted plates so their is limited garbage. Same with silverware. Not much prep for us Have to clean the house anyways. And only plates and forks to wash (and some coffee mugs). We didn’t have to buy anything as we used what we had in the house. Feeling good about doing it and saving all that potential garbage.


AnnDenee December 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Reading fb posts
Baking a banana cake (no loaf pan )
Sorting the too small clothes out of my closet
Setting new fitness goals


Alison December 7, 2013 at 5:57 pm

At the moment I’m waiting for a pumpkin cheesecake to come out of the oven. We had some pumpkin purée to use up, so hubby made it while I nursed the baby. Then our homemade pizza is going into the oven for a late supper/movie night now that the kids are in bed. Today we went to look at a used bathroom vanity that was advertised online. Quite nice, but not big enough for our family’s main bathroom. We ate leftovers for lunch, then I did mountains of laundry while my oldest daughter was at a Girl Guide outing to a gymnastics studio (free!) and my husband took my middle daughter to the local science centre (we have an annual membership).


Susan December 7, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I have a question about the going away dinner? Are you honest and state that it is too expensive for you to attend, or do you beg off with the I have other plans? At many going away or retirement dinners I attended, we not only paid our dinner, but we split the cost of the person of honor dinner amongst us ? Do you offer to contribute to that or a gift if bought en group? I am way older, and have some experience in these things. I never want to hurt the person that is leaving. BUT I have changed over the years my thinking on this.

At some level this only comes up if you work a well paying job or have the means. For those who truly are at hardship and not working this is a non issue, there are no going away parties.

In this time of holiday giving, I hope people really think about whom they give and want to exchange gifts with, because not all can afford it or want to do it in work settings. I was brought up that a gift should neither make the giver or the recipient uncomfortable! I have said if someone says, I do not want to exchange gifts, they mean it .Today I think you have to state, lets not exchange gifts, spend the money on your family or yourself. I did that as a manager, as I knew many of could not afford it. Not all have a spouse, two incomes or money put aside I pointed out once. People agreed. One clueless manager wanted us to do a charity family, I said that would be the people we work with, No one here makes over 10 an hour! Clueless. I know that some here do choose to be thrifty, some do not have that choice, it is survival.

About 6 years ago when my 29 year marriage ended in divorce, some of my friends did not get it that I could no longer afford to go out to eat or go to a 60 dollar a ticket play with dinner etc. I lost 70 percent of my income. I went back to work part time, that is all I could find. Some said to me , oh just charge it. Really I said, I have a 9,000 dollar lawyer bill. I for the first time in forever now have had to charge some things on a CC, and that was not the lawyer bill either. I managed to stay on schedule and make the last mortgage payment at age 58 on a 21 year note. I never was late, I never missed a payment. Word to the wise, we never ever borrowed against the house. I do not have a high end remodeled kitchen, good thing, I would not be living here if we had. For I said never would I take out a 2nd note on any house. I am now ” lucky”. No I had a goal and I lived beneath our means and we saved a lot of money… good thing, because it got split in half! One friend who said you are lucky, I said not really, I said we paid off our starter house in 10 years, so not luck,but a habit. I digress. I paid off the CC bill and the lawyer. Bless him, he said pay down the CC first, I can wait. He knew what I was living on and what I had, he helped me get it! I digress a bit, but the real side is, you do not know what faces you in life when you are young. AND never say never or judge those that divorce, it is not always a choice. Happy Holidays to all.


Katy December 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I explained that I was on a tight budget, and that I wouldn’t be able to make it. I was very clear about the reason.



Mary December 10, 2013 at 9:43 am

When I am faced with a similar situation, I simply say that I have a conflict and cannot attend. The conflict might be another event, or that the budget doesn’t allow it…in all cases, saying I have a conflict is always true.


Trish @ Modern Thrifter December 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm

So sad about the chair. 1st Dibs prices are usually grossly misrepresented, so you aren’t out quite that much money, but I’m sure it still stings.


Katy December 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Oh, I know. But I wanted to use the most extreme example to hammer home my point of ruining something that had value. And by the way, the photo is after I put at least a half an hour into scrubbing paint from the chair.

Sigh . . .



K D December 8, 2013 at 8:17 am

A tip for those that buy eyeglasses where they do not take insurance: My husband usually gets his eyeglasses at Lens Crafters (because his eyesight is very bad and they have the latest in lens, measuring technology, etc.) but we wait for a good promotion. When you use a promotion there they will not process your insurance, you can do one or the other. However, you can submit the insurance claim yourself abd your insurance company will pay. So it is not an either/or situation, you just have to do a bit of work.


PoppyEcho December 8, 2013 at 9:42 am

Thank-you for contributing this.


Sharon H. December 8, 2013 at 10:28 am

I made two batches of kombucha. I decided to start a second batch, because I’m working part time now, and this stuff gives me such a lovely pick-me-up when the afternoon stretches out long. I am doing my best to cut down on soda and coffee consumption.

I made a batch of oat bran muffins. I use the recipe from Elaine St. James’ “Simplify Your Life.” Delicious.

Getting together an order for bulk food & household items from Azure Standard. They’re based in your neck of the woods, you know! Great prices on Celestial Seasonings teas, Charlie’s Soap, and dried mushrooms, for example.

Taught DH how to pay bills online.

Next I need to make some more dishwasher detergent & laundry detergent. I use Charlie’s Soap for cold water wash, but the old faithful Fels Naptha/borax/washing soda blend for hot water wash.


chicknlil December 14, 2013 at 5:13 am

Hi Sharon,
What recipe are you using for your laundry soap & how much per load? I’ve been making ours w/ Zote laundry bars and our whites are slowly getting dingy. When I ran out of grated soap, I broke down and bought 7th generation. I’m washing in warm water and adding vinegar. Thanks!


Jan December 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I’m getting ready to order a new pair of Rx glasses soon. I’ve never had insurance for eyeglasses. Have bought numerous pair of Rx glasses over the years from I have an extra strength Rx, and lenses are expensive! Had my doc check the Rx in the lenses when they arrived via mail, just to be sure. He said it was “right on the numbers.” He was impressed. I priced out my choice of frames (basic) and lenses at an optical chain and it came to about $700. High end frame and lenses for less than $100.

Making a pot of hearty lentil soup to share with single neighbors.

Love the Christmas potluck mentioned above. Blessings.


Jan December 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I just made some lentil soup and shared some of it with single neighbors on this cold snowy day.

I love the idea posted above about the volunteer Christmas potluck dinner. Sound like a great idea.

Get ready to order new glasses online. I’ve ordered numerous pair, over the years, from Never had a problem, and had my doc check out the Rx lenses to be sure they were what he ordered. He said “they are right on the numbers” and he was impressed. I was able to get a high-end frame for my extra strength Rx lenses for under $100. A chain optical shop wanted about $450 for basic, low-end ugly frames and low-end lenses.


cathy December 8, 2013 at 10:45 pm

I made fritters by mashing the last of the Thanksgiving yams seasoned w/ salt, pepper, onion, flour, and some of the last parsley out of my garden (rescued just before temps plummeted and it started dumping snow). My picky, vegetarian teenager approved! Ate some turkey/black bean chili (that’s how I used up my turkey carcass) and finished the last of the T-Day salad greens for dinner. Doing laundry, taking care of a sick kid, enjoying the lull between Thanksgiving/Hanukkah and Christmas, and very thankful we’re warm and cozy inside.
Katy, will you update us when you sell the vintage typewriter and dining table? Just out of curiosity, did you list them on Craigslist instead of eBay because they’re heavy? Just as you published your eBay vs. Etsy post, I’d been wondering what the pros and cons of each were. It sounds like eBay will be best for my miscellaneous things. I assume one can find out online how to sell through eBay. Yes?
Sorry about your Mobler chair. Have you ever checked out Morgan Satterfield’s blog, The Brick House? She has some good info on rescuing MCM furniture. There’s also good advice on the Midcentury Beehive.


Monica December 9, 2013 at 7:23 am

In the past I always used Opticare for my eyeglass purchases (they are in my insurance network). Was always able to find on-sale attractive frames and spend very little money. Went to Costco for the first time this year, and was terribly dissappointed in the service and quality. I have been back there twice to get the frames adjusted. I had to return the first pair I chose because I couldn’t see out of them at all! The service rep didn’t bother to tell me that the frame shape I had chosen would not work with my prescription! The pair I ended up with still don’t work, and I can only use them if I place them on my nose a certain way and don’t move my head! I think a third trip back there to return them and get my money back is in order. I spent several hundred more than I should have there as well. They may be ‘cheaper,’ but I’ll stick with Opticare and there attentive optician’s for a better fitting frame next time.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: