The Stock Pile Begins

Well, apparently I am at the age when going to Costco to get a membership to start a stockpile is an excellent “date night.”

Cue the giant “L” on our foreheads. It stands for “LOL AREN’T WE COOL?”

Regardless of our standing in the cool kids club, we had been discussing starting a stock pile since, like forever. Like, since we started dating. We weren’t really sure where to start. I am a terrible stockpile kind of person, I am very strict about what I buy and I will not purchase food stuff that I don’t have a plan for using, in it’s entirety, within the week. I know, I know. This is coming from the person who hoards used water jugs, a cat food bag and rocks.

This took a bit of thinking. Obviously, we would need to keep the pile rotating, use old stuff, replace. It would need to be stuff we actually use. I didn’t want to end up with a bunch expired food I didn’t want to eat.

The ball really started rolling right before the wedding when I went with one of my buddies to Costco. I knew about wholesale stores but I thought they were very unpractical for me because (a.) remember, I lived completely by myself for years (b.) I didn’t realize the prices could be a lot better than what I was used to (c.) see above about the whole “use within the week” and lastly (d.) you have to pay to join. Since we were feeding 100 guests, I sent a shout out on my Facebook to see if anyone has a wholesale club card. The first person to reply was an old buddy of mine and he had Costco. This was right around when everyone (at least in America) was shouting about raising the minimum wage (no comment from me, sorry, no politics) and Costco was like, um, did that, k thanks. If you recall, I am trying to put my money where my mouth is and support places that aren’t jerks. Waaaaaaaaaaaallllllllfart. Ahem. Sorry about that. Don’t know where that came from.

So we went into Costco. We fiddled around, mostly I was price checking, taking notes and then I saw…50# of bread flour. My God. For under $15. And then I saw basmati rice. A huge bag. I think it was 15# for $13. I took both home immediately.

Flash forward. We started discussing actual, real things we could use in a stock pile. Stuff for making soap, flour, rice, beans, peanuts, olive oil all of that. I bought those particular items for the wedding food, and we still have leftovers, but are cranking through them at a decent pace. Suddenly, it seemed feasible. I can’t even begin to tell you how much we saved on wedding food, much less the leftovers. We have a deep freezer and we have a basement to store stuff. I bought some containers to long term store the flour and rice, et cetera. We started bouncing items back and forth that we would definitely want in bulk.

Cue our cute little date night, first we walked the entirety of the store, checked prices, and picked out things we would need. Some prices were not so great and some were awesome, so we took our time. We ended up buying birdseed (gotta feed my birdies!), frozen fruit, Jack Daniels (God help me), more peanuts, lots of beans, lady mattresses (think about it), tooth brushes, hand soap, Mexican Coke (as a treat, it has real sugar, not like American), dish soap, cinnamon, peppercorns, quinoa and a few other things. We spent quite a bit, but it is an investment, not a shopping spree. We will use all of these items in due time and they were considerably cheaper. It was really a lot of fun.

Our next step will be getting it organized. Right now, half is in the basement, half is in the garage and some is in the pantry. We’re going to tackle that either on a rainy day or in the winter, whichever comes first and we have time for. So, sorry there are no pictures! Like I said, it’s kind of all over! But, if the zombies come, we’re ready!

My First Crochet Necklace

This is a long post, with a lot of rambling, but bear with me guys.

Before the wedding (sorry, right now everything is either before wedding or after wedding. should I adopt a BW and AW? Ha!) I went shopping with my maid of honor, just a casual affair in the town I used to live in. If you want a really great place to shop and you are in Illinois, Geneva is great. Many of the stores focus on local artists, incredible finds, and unique items. I don’t care if they are all vanity shops (meaning: operated at a loss by rich housewives, you’d be surprised how often that happens) it’s a lot of fun to shop there. As you may or may not be aware, I am doing by best to put my money where my mouth is. I am trying to avoid big box stores and buy from adults. Ahem. Adults who get paid.

However, spending money is really not my best skill. Arguing myself out of buying something? I’m the best. Unless I really, really want it, I don’t buy it. If I really want it, I’ll drop a pile of money on it. So I kind of forced myself to really look around and at least try to buy something. There was a lot of jewelry that was made locally and it was really beautiful, but either not my style or way out of my budget. So I dug. And then I found these babies:

wpid-20140706_134939.jpgthe ashtray was my grandmother’s

Little tiny sea shells! Hold the presses. I love shells. I would wager that I have, hands down, the most privately owned sea shells in the State of Illinois (we’re landlocked aside from Lake Michigan, for you folks not familiar). How? Well my very very dear Great Grandma Bertha Lance (aka Birdie):

wpid-2014-07-08-07.25.19.jpg.jpegshe was a firecracker

I briefly mentioned her in a previous post. This woman was a major inspiration when I was a little girl. I had never met a woman so carefree and so absolutely amazing. Granted, I was probably 6 or 7 when she passed at 90something, but I have yet to meet anyone even in the running as her equal. She lived in Florida with probably around a thousand cats and obviously that fine fellow there. My memories of her are nothing but laughter and fun. She brought me the cool toys, the boy toys that my other relatives wouldn’t get me. She brought me sea shells from Florida. When we’d go down to visit, we would hunt shells, lizards and in general, start a ruckus. She collected creepy clown dolls and did macrame and other crafts. I never had so much fun then when all of us, great grandma, grandma, grandpa and my uncles would all get together and just tell jokes. So sea shells remind me of her. I have several large conch shells, a million sand dollars, two dried sea horses (which now I regret a bit, but I still have them. I was like 5, ok?) and I can’t even tell you how many jars of small shells. Jars. All from our adventures. In her honor, I wish to tell you, the Great Grandma Birdie Joke. It is NSFW. You might not get the slag.

Ahem. Ready?

“I still have my cherry, but it’s pushed so far back I use it as a tail light.”

90 years old, people. 90 years old. Do not discredit older people. They are hilarious.

Anyway, back to the point, sort of, those earrings had to be mine. They were in my price range and I took them home and wore the immediately. Love them.

Back to the necklace portion of this saga, I wanted to have a go at making my own jewelry. I wasn’t planning on moving mountains, I was originally thinking something with like flat metal pieces, kind of like coins, simply crochet into a necklace. That’s all. Keep it simple, stupid. Well I didn’t find any of the type of beads I had in mind, but…

wpid-20140706_140121.jpgjust what i need, more f’ing sea shells

OF COURSE I BOUGHT THEM. DUUUUUHHHHH. I am such a damn hoarder.

So, the plan was like this, string the shells on the crochet thread (it is lace weight 0) using an embroidery needle. Then I chained 20, looped in a shell, chained another 20, repeat til desired length.

wpid-20140706_135115.jpgall my goodies

wpid-20140706_160459.jpgdistance the shells are apart

wpid-20140706_160520.jpgbig stupid looking knot

wpid-20140706_160427.jpgfinished product!

wpid-20140708_174031.jpgmy stupid face, making a stupid face.

I really love it! It will always remind me of Grandma Birdie and I made it. My very first try! I couldn’t be more pleased. Beats the stupid coin necklace I was going to make. Thanks for sticking around for all that! Have a great day!