Non-Consumer Mish-Mash — Long Winters, Organized Drawers & Birthday Freebies

by Katy on January 1, 2014 · 20 comments

The Long Winter

It’s again for Non-Consumer Mish-Mash, where I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that.

A New Non-Consumer Advocate Book Club Selection

A fresh book club discussion has started over at The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group, and is already on fire. (Good fire, not snipey/snarky/snippy fire.) Why is the book igniting such passionate discussion? Because this month’s book is Laura Ingall Wilder’s The Long Winter, which apparently is on most reader’s list of favorite childhood books.

Marching to Pa’s fiddle music, twisting hay for heat and Almanzo making a notable appearance. What’s not to love?!

As an aside, the Facebook group just shot over the 4000 members mark. So . . . yay!

Click HERE to read my old Love Letter to Laura Ingalls Wilder blog post.

Looking to Get Organized in 2014? Let Peter Walsh Guide Your Journey

Organizing guru Peter Walsh is leading a 31 Days to Get Organized project that starts today with an edict to organize a single drawer in your home.  In his words: (you’ll have to imagine them in an Australian accent.)

“I’m starting this super, super easy. I want you to spend ten minutes, just ten minutes to tackle any single drawer in your home. I don’t care where it is — your kitchen, your bedroom, one of the drawers in your office, I don’t care. Tackle one drawer only, and get it decluttered and organized. You might just find that the bug gets to you and that gets you rolling, but if not it doesn’t matter.

Thirty one days to get organized challenge number one organize one drawer in your home. Get to it and let’s see how you do!”

I am going to do my best to follow along, although my drawers are actually pretty damned organized. It’s the basement of horrors that’s in need of Walsh’s love and attention.

Click HERE to watch Walsh’s youtube video.

Birthday Freebies Abound

Next Saturday is my 46th birthday and already Ben & Jerry’s, Burgerville and The Pita Pit have sent me e-mails of congratulations and gifts. I don’t think of myself as someone who signs up for every frequent buyer program, but apparently that is a delusion. And with a free ice cream cone, $5 in burger-y credit and a free pita, my week will be both delicious  and somewhat caloric. Luckily, all these businesses are super close to home, so I won’t find myself driving across town to take advantage of the bounty.

What are your favorite birthday freebies that you’ve encountered? Please share in the comments action below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Katy January 1, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Okay, who besides me is geeing out over the original Garth Williams artwork above?

I <3 his illustrations!


Janinne January 1, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Me! Me! I know The Long Winter takes place in the “other” Dakota, but it’s so very illustrative of our winter here in ND. Love it. Love it! Thanks for including it in your post.


Heather Juno January 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Next Saturday the 11th? That’s my birthday! Happy birthday!


Katy January 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Nope, this Saturday the 4th! Happy birthday though!



Julia Park Tracey January 1, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Starbucks will give you a free drink on your birthday, too, if you register your card (which I think you just did, on your iPhone?)


Kathy M January 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Alway love following you and even amongst 4000 it feels so intimate.

Have you changed something? I know longer get your header with the jars, kind of a plain page? I miss your old page but maybe it is just something on this end.

Happy New Year to you. And, early birthday wishes. I am going exploring in Guatemala for a month!


cathy January 2, 2014 at 10:16 pm

I’m having the same problem, but it’s not consistent. Some days I see the old page, w/ the four jars and other days (like today), I just get a plain page, and the font is different and more spread out. Sometimes (also today), I get the plain page when I first go to the blog, but get the regular page when I click on the Replies section. Go figure.


Bauunny January 1, 2014 at 3:29 pm

I love my birthday freebies, but joke that October is so stressful because I am so busy trying not to let any of them go to waste. My favorite is a $10 gift coupon at a local store called Initial Attraction. This year I scored a wonderful pair of gloves there that have a small zippered pocket and are just the right weight. This year I was unable to use all the food freebies but I did get a jump on some holiday shopping with some discounts.


PoppyEcho January 1, 2014 at 4:11 pm

The notion that Rose rewrote or basically wrote, she did so much editing, the Little house books has been rebutted. It was some PhD candidate’s attempt at being clever. When compared to Rose’s own novel based on the memories her mother shared with her, (Young Pioneers) , The little house books have their own voice and are just better.

If I were to write my own thesis on the little house books, it would be about how they are about national identity. (Cultural, not political). Ma exemplifies British, Victoria-type values (obviously America had already been America and not British for 100 years by that period, but the American equivalent was not very different) and the “Indians” in the “little house on the prairie” volume specifically exemplified the opposite values. Pa and Laura are cast as halfway between, and the ideal, the beneficiaries of the best concepts from both.

My resolutions are to do the compact, to start vermicomposting, and to do more with my time.


Monica January 2, 2014 at 6:21 am

Rose Wilder Lane’s house in Danbury, CT is at the end of my street. That is where Rose collaborated (via mail) with Laura in the editing of the novels, including this one. Laura even visited the house once. I grew up reading all the books so often, I practically have them memorized! I consider it a lucky fluke to live so close to Rose’s last home.


Katy January 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

My grandparents were neighbors of Fred Rogers, A.K.A. “Mr. Rogers.” I have an autographed picture of him.


Monica January 3, 2014 at 7:47 am

Love Mr. Rogers. Just watched a documentary about him on PBS, “Me and Mr. Rogers.” The wisely scheduled its viewing here in CT a few days before the Dec 14 anniversary…What a wonderful influence he had on so many of us! Try to see it if you can. Since I watched it, whenever I feel myself getting annoyed about something or someone, I think, “what would Mr. Rogers do?”I wish we had his quiet, gentle example in childrens’ programming today. It just doesn’t exist in our fast-paced world anymore.


Kim January 1, 2014 at 4:47 pm

My favorite birthday freebies-
1) Sephora gives you a free product if you have signed up for their beauty club.
2) Godiva Chocolates gives you $10 to spend on purchase greayer than $10. I get the candy bars which seem to be on sale every November. I use them as stocking stuffers.
3) Nodles gives you a free entree for your birthday.
4) LaMadeleine give you free pastry of your choice. Coconut cake- yummy!
I never go to the mall but do to have a special birthday swag time since all 4 of these are near each other in the mall!


NMPatricia January 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Don’t think of the calories. Think of the walking and calories burned on the way. Happy Birthday.


Rebecca January 1, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Red Robin gives u a free burger on your bday and Culvers a free sundae


Valerie J. January 2, 2014 at 3:25 am

Ha! Just got done printing my birthday freebie from Perkins that I can add to my pile of freebies – Kohl’s 10.-, Sterling 5.-, and free hot beverage at McD’s. I’m thinking an outing in celebration may have to be planned. 🙂 Happy Birthday to you!


Van January 2, 2014 at 6:54 am

I love the advise to do ONE drawer at a time, one I had to learn the hard way. I used to try to tackle everything at once and then all the clutter was out in the open and too overwhelming to tackle. The mess would remain for days… will check out his challenge, thanks for sharing!


Diane C January 2, 2014 at 7:55 am

In honor of your birthday, I vow to declutter…nothing!

Er, that is nothing in my own home. However, I do volunteer at the library. Apparently, a lot of people thought that Dec. 31st was a good day to donate all of their unwanteds in exchange for a tax receipt. The donation bins are overflowing and there are bags and boxes everywhere. I’ll be spending the morning with a crew of volunteers, trying to clean up the mess.

If I may soapbox for a moment: People, the library loves, loves, loves getting your gently worn books. They cannot use your old, dirty, broken-down post-garage sale rejects. Nor do they have a place for old magazines, ten-year-old computer tomes, partially completed crossword/soduku/wordfind/whatever/ books or your kid’s colored-in coloring books. Ditto for ancient dictionaries and encyclopedias. Your twenty-year-old-highlighted-college-textbooks as well. If it looks like it should be recycled, then please recycle it. Don’t burn fossil fuel taking it to the library and then force volunteers to burn their time and more fossil fuel taking this stuff to the recycling center!

Thank you for letting me get this rant off my chest.


emmer January 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

poppyecho, you can read many of Laura’s monthly news columns and her later, unedited book, the first four years, and get a feel for what her basic style was. very different that the little house books. rose had multiple widely read, even best-seller books and was a journalist with the san francisco call-bulletin. she also was a war correspondent and wrote for many magazines, such as redbook. in the late 60’s she edited and wrote for a boxed set of America needle arts history and patterns for woman’s day (some of which strongly has the flavor of the little house books). rose’s own letters suggest irritation at her mother’s repeated requests for her editing help when she was busy with her own self-supporting work. laura’s limited finances caused a push to publish the books, but rose had periods of very shakey finances, too.
whoever wrote/edited them, they are a happy chunk of our national psyche…and so detailed that during my “back to the land” period in the 70’s, I taught myself to make cheese, butcher a pig ( yes, my kids batted around a pig bladder “ball” and roasted the curly tail, make head cheese, green tomato “apple” pie (and my hubby thot it was apple also), and much more.


Marjorie Jones January 2, 2014 at 3:21 pm

I am sooooo excited about this book! Its silly how excited but this is one of my favorite books and always inspires in my frugal ways each time I read it.


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