Today I Am — Zorro, Applesauce & Banksy

by Katy on October 25, 2013 · 27 comments


Today I am . . .

Making applesauce, using the $15 box of Hood River apples from my husband, as well as a box of spotty, bruised, but generally okay apples from my sister.

Thinking about the concept of perceived value after reading about how some New Yorkers set up a booth and sold out of “Certified Inauthentic” Banksy art. This was after the artist Banksy made headlines by setting up his own booth to sell anonymous $60 paintings, when his paintings normally sell for $10,000. I buy a gift at Goodwill for $3, and feel worried I will be perceived as cheap. When in actuality, the gift would have sold for $50 in an antique store. The price of an item is random and haphazard, which is difficult to reconcile.

Missing the recent sunshine, and wondering at what point I should give up and take my laundry off the clothesline.

Laughing with my 18-year-old son, who went in for his senior portraits dressed as Zorro. We normally would not go the portrait studio route, but it’s required in order to get a picture in the yearbook. I was dreading this task, but the photographer loved the concept and had a lot of fun with the task. So far we haven’t ordered any expensive prints, but I was allowed to snap a couple of shots with my iPhone.

Thinking about how the person my son was when he was four years old is pretty much the exact same person he is at eighteen. Loving dress ups, insistent on full attention, enamored with Pokémon and a stickler for truth and fairness.

Proud of last night’s dinner, which consisted of Grand Central Bakery’s olive bread, (free from their Tweets for Treats program) and soup. The soup was made by pureeing the leftover carrots, potatoes and onions from Tuesday night’s pot roast. I then added some extra broth and whole milk and created something wonderful out of nothing.

Pleased to have brought my own glass jar to buy bulk cinnamon, and annoyed that I forgot to buy lemon juice.

Now your turn. What are you doing today?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie October 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Today I am…

Making soup with “Old McDonald’s” stock (made yesterday from an assortment of beef, lamb, and pork bones tossed into the freezer after earlier dinners–EIEIO!), plus leeks, carr0ts, and herbs from my garden, and barley and presoaked dried mushrooms from my local food co-op.

Making bread machine rye bread to go with the soup. (The bread machine was an unexpected and most welcome Christmas gift from a neighbor a few years ago. I’m getting arthritis in my hands and am no longer up to serious kneading.)

Looking forward to fall rummage sale season in my area. Unitarians this weekend, and my favorite synagogue sale next weekend. Woot! Woot!

And I love the Zorro picture. My compliments to your creative son!


Betsey October 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Today I am
1. Enjoying the wonderful cool fall sunny weather (sorry, Katy).
2. Watching my neighbor harvest beans. It takes a lot of skill and stamina to be a farmer.
3. Took my friend from the nursing home to shop for new clothing and groceries. Then we went to lunch with a neighbor of mine and enjoyed the best onion rings in the whole world!
4. Thanked God for all my blessings.
5. Did some bookwork that I’d been putting off, like balancing the checkbook and filing.
6. Planning on going to the $5 movie tonight. The money goes to a small town theatre that has been renovated and we plan on keeping it open.

That’s about it. Enjoyed your son’s picture. What a great idea for senior pictures.


jill October 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm

1. Went for my yearly physical which went well – especially after improving my diet and eating all my meals at home.

2. Enjoying a visit from my son. We are grilling kebabs and having homemade biscuits.

3. Just bagged up and sent a bag to ThredUp to get rid of some clothes we don’t wear anymore.

4. Sold 3 out of 4 listed items on Craigslist. Preparing one more to list.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Becky October 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm

1. Tired because I got up early… and I totally didn’t have to.
2. Relieved because I just finished making applesauce from our own apple trees. I only made 4 pints and 6 quarts so far, still have half a tote to go… may give to my brother instead.
3. Ready to go because as soon as the man gets home from work we are going to the nearby city to drop our son off with his older sister for the evening.
4. Not so thrifty because while we are in the city the kids would like to go to Subway for supper.
5. Anxious to get back home from the city because Dracula will be on tonight! Woot!


ilona Watzlawick October 25, 2013 at 1:50 pm

woke up with a headache … which rarely happens … but I think I’ve been stressed over our extended house settlement … I decided to do as little as possible today … so, I fed the cats (they are no respecters of anyone needing a day off), had breakfast, started the dishwasher, took a hot shower, put on a clean nightie and went back to bed … my brother called once, but that’s a good thing, because I always love my chats with him … after that, yep, I went back to sleep and didn’t get up until 2:30 … had to go to the store to purchase a few items for a new recipe I wanted try: CAPRESE LASAGNA ROLL UPS … so, there i was boiling the water for the lasagna noodles when my daughter texts me (we live together) to say she is going out to dinner with her boyfriend and could we do the roll ups tomorrow … okay, I was only committed to boiled water; so, prob … I did a pot pie and one of these amazing doughnuts I get at a local bakery … it’s a powdered sugar delight filled with half cream and half jelly! OOOOOOH! … getting ready to watch a movie I got from the library: THE MILL ON THE FLOSS by George Eliot … I think the library is the best bargain in town … it’s an amazing recycling center when you think about it … how those books and DVDs and magazines are used over and over again … I was reading how in some areas of the country libraries are starting for checking out kitchen equipment which we would rarely ever use and probably never buy … also electrical tool libraries and garden tool libraries …
or you can do a Yahoo! search: the star + kitchen library
I did a print out of the page and am dropping it off at my local library the next time I go there … they have a suggestion box! : )


ilona Watzlawick October 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm

OOPS! meant to say: “so, NO prob”


hmbalison October 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Hi Katy,
When it came time to do senior portraits, I, too, balked at the $$$. We hired a talented student photographer that my husband met at the high school where she teaches. We paid something like $50, and we got my son’s portrait done (multiple shots), as well as portraits of my daughter, a family group portrait (plus dog!), and sister/brother, mom/son shots. The talented student photographer gave me a CD of all the shots, and I made as many prints as I wanted.


hmbalison October 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I meant to write where “he” teaches, not “she.”

And I forgot to tell you that we are having a family over for a dinner party tonight. Instead of buying expensive meat to bbq (my first inclination), we are having a pasta bar instead. I’m thawing out my homemade spaghetti sauce, and I’m going to make a delicious but low-cost blue cheese/onion sauce and a pesto sauce (thanks Trader Joes! I usually make pesto, too, but I have a jar in my pantry and it is pretty darn good)


megyn October 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm

-Helped bring a friend’s kiddo to preschool with my son. I love being part of a babysitting co-op! I have yet to pay a babysitter in 5 years…

-Enjoying some “me” time since we get our free family Friday’s at the YMCA once a month from 4-8pm. And since my hubby is on shift, I get the whole 3.75 hours to do whatever the hell I want for a change 😉

-Devouring the double chocolate muffins I baked last night with the last bit of almond milk that needed to be used up ASAP.

-And since I like sugar, I plan on making my own blizzard at home with my lactose-free ice cream, cheap Joe-Joe cookies or homemade vegan chocolate chip cookie dough. I pay the same amount for all the ingredients which make me 4-6 blizzards as it costs to buy one (well more, if I get a local vegan one).


megyn October 25, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Also forgot to mention that your son is awesome. I had my senior photos done with my CAT. Lots of people thought it was weird, but I didn’t care. Do your thang, Colin!


Lilypad October 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Your son rocks!!


Joyce October 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm

…..Doing extra at work for the equipment technician…(she is home ill and there would be soo much for her to do if left for Monday).
….Excited that I only have 1 more hour of my 12 hour shift to finish
….Glad that I made my applesauce, apple crisp, and kombucha yesterday so I will have free time tomorrow.
….Excited for my sister to come spend the day and night tomorrow.
….Hoping there’s no rain so we can have a bonfire tomorrow.


Joyce October 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Oh I forgot to say that the Zorro idea is fabulous. Many teens go dressed in their sports gear (my daughter wore lacrosse AND soccer gear) so why not Zorro! I love it that he’s expressing himself freely!!!!!


marie October 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Katy, I gave up on the outside drying yesterday. The towels were out for 5 hours and still didn’t dry. 🙁

Today I filed for unemployment. First time in 6 years. ugh.
Posted many things on-line to sell. I’ve been meaning to for months, but the darned job got in the way.

I’m clearing out clutter, lived here 7 years and this is the first major hosing out. Hubby gave me 2 shirts to donate. lol

Researching on-line how to get a job as a housekeeper for the elderly. That seems to be where my mindset is, and love working with them, just don’t want to deal with poop.

Talked to a girlfriend on the phone for 72 minutes, that was a luxury


dusty October 26, 2013 at 4:26 am

You could also check into being a companion for the elderly. A lot of them would just like someone to keep them company for a few hours a day, maybe make them some lunch, etc. You could also drive them to appts, running errands, etc. Good luck.


patti October 26, 2013 at 6:40 am

I have a friend who started her own business “Errands and More” but ended up with just one person per day. She works for them from 10-4 and takes them to the grocery store, doctor appts, hair appts, bridge, etc. They just schedule all their outings for that day. I think this is a great idea… but you do need to check about the insurance on your car, etc. She has been very successful and loves her work.


Jeanne October 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm

…found the flatware that has been packed away for two years!
…had hot chocolate and a monkey muffin with a friend at Grand Central.
…walked back to GC with the dog after I left without my bread.
…had a gloomy day snuggle with the cat while laughing at your son’s sense of fun and fearlessness.
…looked at weather maps thinking about my drive across the country.


Tonya October 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Today I am cozy at home. I finished my library book, cleaned out the pen/pencil holder (the kids trash it, and having it clean is so nice for homeowork sanity), drank coffee, drank tea, and am making a pasta dinner at home. I love how doing little things (like cleaning out the pen/pencil holder) contribute to my mental wellbeing and cut down on my need to feel that I need to shop or do expensive things to escape the mess or clutter. 🙂

Also, awesome senior pic! It’s so great to see our kids grow up into who they are.


Ann Y. October 26, 2013 at 4:20 am

Yesterday and Today I am.. ( had to combine since I was having medical tests yesterday and did not see this until this morning….)
1. Drinking refilled bottles of water from home to get ready for a an ultrasound test.
2. Dropping off old shoes at Goodwill and being VERY good about not buying the two blue willow plates I found because they were not vintage and I really don’t need them. It was tough….I am a sucker for blue willow.
3. Using coupons, loyalty card, and other credits to score at CVS
4. This morning making 24 pumpkin muffins with canned pumpkin I got on sale last year after the holidays for 50 cents a can…score !
5. Getting ready to give my house a good cleaning/loving…..thus saving the money that I would pay someone else to do it.
Katy…loving that I found your blog. Keep up inspiring us !!!


Linda M October 26, 2013 at 4:35 am

Love, Love the Zorro picture!
Today I am:
Making crockpot yogurt.
Cooking a big pot of ham and beans…using the hambone my sister was going to discard with lots of meat on it from a large family dinner she hosted…love freebies…hate that she would have wasted it otherwise.
Unpacking our warmer winter clothing as the weather has really tanked here lately.
Reading “The Zero Waste Home” that finally! came in as a hold I had placed at the library.
Making up small treats in anticipation of trick or treaters coming to the house soon.
Trying to brainstorm things to make cheaply or thrift for Christmas gifts.
Crochet projects started for Christmas gifts.


K D October 26, 2013 at 6:48 am

1. Making pulled beef (pulled pork recipe using beef instead) that I purchased during a good sale at Safeway for dinner. I also threw in some seen-better-days carrots, my husband loves them cooked that way. We will eat the pulled beef on day-old (We Over Baked) rolls, I paid $.50 for six large rolls, the regualr price was $2.50.

2. Trying the new dry cleaners in town. Everything is $1.99 at ZIPS. I dropped off two items this morning and they will be ready on Monday. I know dry cleaning is not frugal but my spouse wears suits for his well-paid job.

Started a gallon of water in our home distiller. It not only sanitizes it but it filters it for so it is safe and tasty.

Going to soak my fabric shower curtain in bleach to get rid of a bit of mildew on it. We have been using it for several years.

Stopped at Aldi where I picked up a pineapple for $1.59 and a 3 pound bag of sweet potatoes for $1.19.


Rhonda October 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Working on my Halloween costume, using a thrifted sparkly top (3.75), pieces of a vintage prom dress, given to us, actually worn to a prom by my daughter, and now on it’s third costume reincarnation. Adding a fascinator fashioned out of a purple net bag my onions came in and some cool spider jewelry lent by a friend. Arachne the Spider Witch is really coming together!


Carlene October 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I started a new career in August as a media specialist in an elementary school . It has been an exciting, but stressful change. This is the first weekend since I started that I took a whole day to do just what I wanted – nothing worked related or chore related at all. I took a 3 hour nap. Went to the park with my husband and son and played and had a picnic. Now, they are going to play video games, and I am going to settle in with a Sex and the City DVD that came in the mail from Netflix. I think I really needed this. Tomorrow I will be refreshed and ready to go again!


Sandra October 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm

We had our yard sale today and made some decent money, already took half of what was left to SA and will take the rest on my next shopping run. But had a moment today… an older gentleman came to the yard sale an asked if I would sell a bike that wasn’t included in my items. We no longer use it, so I said sure, how about $10, he bought it, and left. Later this afternoon on our trip to SA, I saw someone on a bicycle ride in the road coming towards us, it was a gentleman I see walking around our town several times a day. He ALWAYS makes it a point to wave or tip his hat at me whenever I pass him walking on the street. It still didn’t click in my head when my daughter said mom, that’s the man that bought the bike today. Both our hearts fell when we realized he hadn’t been walking by choice, but because he had no transportation. We both felt kind of good that we said yes to him buying the bike because we hadn’t originally planned on selling it, I only wish that I had given it to him for free. You never know, something that means very little to us, can mean the world to someone else.


Dawn October 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm

That is such a cool story!


Karen October 26, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Seeing your son’s graduation picture reminded me about my children and their senior pictures. I took my daughter to have her picture made, at the place the school required, so the picture could go in the yearbook. Thank goodness the sitting fee and the picture for the yearbook were free. I think they were counting on selling the packages. The cheapest package was $100. WOW! and they were not even that good. Anyway with digital pictures starting to be popular a chain studio opened up in the area to take pictures of families (mostly babies) and they were running a $10 package special. We went and my daughter did say she thought the pictures turned out better.

Two years later I noticed a coupon in the paper with this same picture studio running a $10 package special again. Took child no.2, a son, to the school required place for his free yearbook picture and then took him to the studio. While we were sitting there waiting, surrounded by many babies, he turned to me and said Ann, his sister, told him to be prepared he would be there with alot of babies. LOL Later he did tell me he also liked that picture better.

What I made my children do– all in the interest of saving money. But we are the only people I know who did this. I think it really made them think outside the box.


Amanda October 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Today I . . . slept late because I stayed up too late reading an excellent library book–A Murder in Virginia.
. . . went to church and felt God’s love.
. . . read my mama’s Sunday paper. (with her permission, of course)
. . . walked down to my cousin’s pond with my son and husband to throw crickets in the water and watch the fish jump for them.
. . . pulled together a healthy and delicious supper from my seemingly empty fridge.
. . . and now we’re watching a little tv on the tv I bought used off craigslist with a signal that comes to me free on my bunny ears.
A frugal day of Sunday goodness.


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