Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April Frugal Luxuries

Today is the start of some basement renovations here at the Hammond house. I briefly thought of doing some "before" pictures for a future blog post, but after about two seconds realized that there are just some things that should never see the light of day, and our basement in its present state is one of them.

Just one hour into the project Kellen came upstairs and said he thought he would do the painting now rather than wait until the new flooring went in. I was in the kitchen baking cookies (feeding people is the only part of renos I am any good at!) and I was listening as he and Jay discussed what colour to paint the downstairs walls. I heard Jay say the word grey and almost dropped the pan of cookies on the floor. Kellen sided with his dad and tried to tell me grey was very trendy right now. Grey? In a basement? Thankfully cooler heads prevailed (mine) and I am happy to report we will not have a rec room that resembles the local public school gym. Or a navy frigate.

So while all the commotion and chaos is happening downstairs I think I will focus on pleasanter things and write another frugal luxury post. April provides, completely free of charge, hope in the form of things that grow. Here is my little patch of tulips.




The rhubarb is progressing nicely. In a few weeks we should be able to have our first rhubarb crisp of the year!



Speaking of crisps, here is another frugal luxury - being able to go out to my freezer and grab some fruit from last summer. I try to freeze as many berries as I can when they are in season and reasonably priced. We use them all winter and into the spring for smoothies, pies and crisps. Here is a crisp made with the last of my precious huckleberries.




Drinking a cup of tea out of a cute mug definitely counts as a frugal luxury. Even more so when the mug was on sale for $2.99.




I have saved the best for last. This is in my top ten of all time frugal luxury list. Well, I don't really have such a list, but if I did I know this would be on it. Hanging clothes on the line to dry. I love the rhythm of choosing the spot on the line, placing the pegs on the clothes, and watching the clothes blowing in the wind every time I look out my kitchen window.



So far I am the only one who has eaten any of the cookies. Hmmm...I guess I need to get off the computer and go offer some to the people actually doing the work.

18 comments:

  1. So what color did you select for your basement?

    Our bathroom was painted grey by the original owners, probably to increase the possibility for sale since you can still see the previous color underneath the grey: a very strong burgundy colour. But the earlier paint shows through the grey giving it a lovely purple tinge that I don't want to touch. It's warm and cozy. Happy accident!

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    1. The grey sounds like it was perfect for your bathroom. Trust me, it would not have been for our rec room! The colour we ended up agreeing on is called natural linen. Much better than battleship grey! :-)

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  2. I also love hanging clothes on the line! I haven't had a yard to do that since ~1992, but it used to give me a ridiculous amount of pleasure. The doing of it, you're so right -- selecting the spot, hanging the item, clipping the pegs, just so much pleasure. The clothes are kind of crisp afterwards, but the smell is so wonderful.

    I have one more bag of last year's blueberries, which I am rationing slowly until blueberry season starts again. I feel so frugal and luxurious when I use them! Good luck with the basement work, Kristie, I hope you enjoy it when it's done....

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    1. I forgot to mention the crispness of the clothes when hey come off the line. I love it, but the rest of my family doesn't share my enthusiasm. They complain about crunchy towels all summer long. :-)

      Enjoy your last few blueberries!

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  3. Sean hangs his clothes up so they don't shrink, but puts them in the dryer for a few minutes to soften them up. I wish I had a clothes line, but all we have is a drying rack :(

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    1. Why don't you put up a clothesline? You definitely have enough yard space for one!

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  4. Your tulips are GORGEOUS! I don't have the luxury of green space or a clothes line, so I'm pretty envious!!

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    1. I had clothes line envy in the last place I lived, so I know what that feels like. Hopefully you will be able to move to a place where you can grow things and hang clothes out on a line some day soon. :-)

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  5. Is it because you live "north of 49" that you're able to hang clothes to dry without their fading? My mother had to stop doing that in California - by the time a set of yellow towels had dried, they were white on the side that faced the sun. If she had wanted to "age" some calico for a vintage look, she could have done so easily.
    -- stashdragon

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    1. I hadn't thought about it before, but I think you are right. Being north of 49 means the sun has less strength. However, if I had clothes out for hours in the hottest part of the summer they might eventually fade a bit. But nothing like you describe with the yellow towels!

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    2. Yes, twenty minutes did the trick - dried AND bleached!
      -- stashdragon

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  6. I love your frugal luxuries and your pie looks lovely!! I've not heard of a 'crisp' pie so will go and google it :)

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    1. Maybe it is a North American thing to make crisps. They are a fruit filling covered with a topping usually made with oats, sugar, butter and sometimes flour. They are one of my favourite desserts!

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  7. Oh the smell of line-dried clothes. The memory makes me smile. Grey is a perfectly lovely color for a basement...floor. It covers concrete well.

    Do huckleberries have many seeds? My wife loves blackberry crisp, but it has too many seeds for me. So, more for her. =)

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    1. You are exactly right. Grey is a basement floor colour, not a wall colour. :-)

      Huckleberries do not have any seeds. I don't know if they grow back east though. They have a very unique flavour, but in look and consistency they are similar to a blueberry. So they would probably pass you acceptability test! :-)

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  8. PS - Sorry about the Canucks, at least they made history. When the Capitals won the President's Cup two years ago they struggled through the 1st round and then got crushed in the 2nd. Last year they had the best record in the eastern conference, but got bounced in the first round. Very frustrating. This year they lost 2 of 3 at home, but managed to win 3 of 4 at Boston. They're an unpredictable team.

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    1. Not exactly the way you want your team to enter the history books! :-)

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  9. I think you're right about the vacation...and the no shortage of stupidity.

    About the blackberry seeds, there are so many and they're so small, they get in-between all my teeth. Yuck! Huckleberries sound promising. =)

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