Are You Priced Out of The Housing Market?

Record-breaking news here in Maine: Housing sales are up 23 percent from a year earlier and the median price went up 8 percent. The median cost for a home in my county went up to $325,000 from $307,000 a year ago. When I bought my house in 2009 it was after the housing bubble had crashed. I rented my entire life up until age forty. Are we in a housing bubble now? Time will tell, but the reality is that if you can’t afford to buy a house, it’s not a good time to buy. This post is for those of you who may believe that you’re throwing your money away by renting. 

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Why Frugal People Pay to Join AARP

I was so excited when I turned 49 1/2! It meant that I could join AARP and get an AARP card! WHY would I be excited about getting older and flash something that isn’t, as one person pointed out to me, “a badge of honor?” Because I think it is! Not only that, but it’s what frugal people do to save money now and in the future. For starters, if you have AT&T for your mobile you save 10% on your bill and 15% on wireless accessories! After factoring my annual membership fee I’m making money right away! More importantly AARP lobbies to keep Social Security and Medicare strong, drug prices low and advocates for many other things that DO affect your wallet. I also get their monthly publications that highlight important things like how to deal with ageism in the workplace.

I know many of you are thinking that you want nothing to do with AARP because it means you’re “getting old.”

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Staying Alight in the Dark Days

As a young girl in the 1970s I had no desire to be in Ice Capades nor was I into ice skating at the rink, however, when I sat down in the hair dresser’s chair around age nine I told her that I wanted a Dorothy Hamill haircut*. I felt so edgy with my new do, especially when wearing my “Buffalo” shoes and my newly pierced ears!

Anyway, when we had an early morning ice storm a little over two weeks ago I had an appointment for my routine mammogram. This was shortly after having numerous jabs over a period of a few weeks as well as my annual eye dilation to check the spot in the back of my eye that hopefully won’t ever turn into cancer. Wayne had driven me to my appointment and we made it there and back safely. I was so elated about the fact that my mammogram didn’t hurt at all. I turned to Wayne before I got out of the car and said smiling: “I’m done being poked and prodded! ” It was a great feeling.  “I’ll go check the mail.” Likely beaming, I stepped out of the car in my non-edgy Timberland boots, and, feeling like I was walking on air, was briskly and harshly schooled.

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Vintage Recipe: Frugal Portland, Maine Duchess Potatoes

While the world is abuzz about the Duchess of Sussex “stepping back” from her royal duties (seriously, though, I didn’t see that coming and apparently neither did the Queen!) I’ve stepped back in time and from the fancification of Duchess potatoes with this simple, frugal 1915 recipe found inside a Portland, Maine elementary school book. All that is required to make these tasty little puffs are three ingredients plus salt and pepper for seasoning.

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2020

I’m smiling in this photo I just snapped because it feels good to do it since I haven’t been doing it enough lately! 

I learned in the past month that I have something called hypercalcemia and most likely have hyperparathyroidism based upon my calcium and PTH (parathyroid hormone) levels on two different blood draws. As I mentioned on my Instagram yesterday I’ve had numerous blood tests done in the past few weeks, will be doing a 24 hour calcium test next but then have to wait until mid-March for my endocrinology appointment (we have an endocrinologist shortage here in Maine, apparently) to have further testing, diagnosing and possible referral for surgery.

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A Bright Bedroom Makeover

Yes, I’ve just completed another thrifty “makeover” for our bedroom! This time I wanted bright colors to help offset the prolonged darkness of the short Maine winter days. I also ended up returning the heavy wool blanket we bought online last year because it turned out to be falsely advertised as being free from mothproofing. The label on the blanket stated otherwise, in another language! Sneaky!! To the merchant’s credit they took it back past the return date once I explained why I “waited” until then. Before I share the specifics of my thrifty purchases for the newest vintage makeover, here are past snapshots:

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The Lawrence Welk Show: I Celebrate “Schmaltz” this Christmas

I wasn’t planning to post anything until after the New Year but feel moved to share this. Last night Wayne and I watched the 1972 Lawrence Welk Christmas special, and we actually watch Lawrence Welk on Saturday “nights” (5:00 p.m.) when it’s on Maine PBS. I’ve had a rough week but watching this last night was so helpful in rekindling the Christmas spirit. Unapologetically*, here are the top six reasons why I think this show is balm for the soul:

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Chipmunks are a gift!

Here is our Christmas card everyone! A special thanks to my dear little friend, Cider who is presently underground in torpor until the spring. I’m so happy to have and share the gift of chipmunks in my yard with you all. I would greatly appreciate it if you would answer a few questions in my comments:

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Christmas Fairs in the Country

We opted in for out of the way for today’s Christmas fairs and festivals. There are all kinds of events in the greater Portland area and Kennebunkport is having their epic Christmas Prelude, but battling crowds and partaking in parking fiascos are NOT my thing. It was a beautiful morning with a fresh dusting of snow on the trees as we drove out to Bar Mills and then Limerick for fairs inside charming, historic buildings.

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