Saturday Share: 10 Thrifty Tips to Save Money

How about sharing some easy tips to save you some bucks? Some of these tips will save you some serious bucks.

Unlike some thrifty tips, these are actually very easy to do.

1. Instead of dryer sheets, cut a sponge in half. Soak both pieces in a container with 1 cup of liquid fabric softener and 2 cups of water.

Wring a sponge half out and toss it into your dryer with the wet clothes. When clothes are dry, drop the sponge back into the container. Replace the liquid mixture every 3 months.

2. In a spray bottle, place equal parts white vinegar and water and a few drops of dish washing liquid like Ivory. Use this as you would use any multi-purpose spray cleaner.

3. Use baking soda as a mild abrasive cleaner instead of a powdered cleanser like Comet. Just sprinkle some baking soda in the sink.

4. Have a saucepan with burned food in it? Put a cup of hot water in it, add a few spoonfuls of baking soda, and put the pan on the stove to boil. Turn heat off and let it cool. The burned residue should be easy to wash away.

5. Another use for baking soda is for indigestion. That's what people did back in the day before Alka-Seltzer was invented. In fact, Alka-Seltzer is mostly sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and aspirin. Instead, mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/4 cup of water. Stir and drink.

6. Instead of mouthwash, use 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in half a glass of warm water. Swish as usual. Sodium bicarbonate has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

7. Set your water heater on 120 degrees instead of the factory setting which is usually 140. You'll save a lot of money and also prevent possible scalding.

8. Relieve itchy skin with a baking soda bath. Add 1–2 cups of baking soda to a lukewarm bath.

9. Remove stinky garbage odor. Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your trash bins.

10. Clean fruits and vegetables with a natural solution of baking soda and water. Of course, peeling produce is the best way to remove pesticides, but if that's impractical—lettuce for instance—soak the produce in a baking soda solution for 15 minutes.

Takeaway Truth

It's amazing how much you can save by making your own household products.

Review: Lucifer, Seasons 1 - 4

When Fox canceled Lucifer at the end of Season 3, I wasn't surprised.

In fact, I don't know why I even watched Season 3 because Lucifer aka The Devil had generated to a whiny little girl.

I didn't watch the TV show at all on Fox. I clicked on episode 1 of season 1 after it appeared on New Releases on Netflix.

Most of the first season was screamingly funny. Rather than being a scary monster from Hell, this incarnation of Lucifer was a misunderstood angel who punished sinners.

Yes, he made "deals," but for the most party, he was after the big baddies of the world.

Then he fell in love. My goodness. How love does change a devil.

Latest Incarnation of Hell King

This new vision of the Devil and his followers is based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg.

The original fallen angel is unhappy with his life in hell so he takes a vacation. Where else could he go but Los Angeles. He indulges in sex, drugs, and rock and roll—well, music at least as plays his grand piano in his upscale nightclub.

When a murder occurs outside his club, he apparently "feels" something for the first time in eons. Of course, he teams up with a pretty L.A. detective, and the story starts rolling.

Talented Cast

Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), becomes a consultant to the LAPD. The ensemble cast includes Lauren German as pretty Detective Chloe Decker, Kevin Alejandro as Detective Daniel "Dan" Espinoza, D. B. Woodside as Amenadiel, Lesley-Ann Brandt as Mazikeen, his demon protector, and Rachael Harris as Dr. Linda Martin, his shrink. After all, everyone in L.A., even the Devil, sees a shrink.

When Fox cancelled the series after 1 brilliant season, 1 okay season, and 1 Devil as whiny-baby season, Netflix grabbed it for a fourth season of ten episodes which Darling Hubby and I binge watched.

Season 4 wrapped up loose ends and ended with a scene that could be the end or could be a segue to a new beginning. I guess it all depends on the number of viewers.

The best thing about the series, IMHO, is the music. Every episode has some pretty fabulous music. I know I bought several tracks just because I heard them on the series and liked them.

I look at the 4 seasons as similar to a really good movie that had 3 sequels. The sequels are never as good as the first movie of the franchise, are they?

Takeaway Truth

Definitely watch Season 1 for some inspired characterization, but be warned. That will suck you into the rest of the seasons.

Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

As an author, I'm always drawn to movies about authors, books, and writing.

That was the hook that had me adding The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a 2018 Netflix original, to my watch list. Finally, I made the time to watch this movie.

Short Blurb

In the aftermath of World War II, a writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war.

So Much More To It

When you start watching, you immediately sense the hidden undercurrents in the author's life and in the people she meets on Guernsey.

There's much hidden beneath the surface of the story of a literary society formed during the occupation by the Germans.

With stellar performances by Lily James as Juliet Ashton, the author, and Michiel Huisman as Dawsey Adams, one of the founders of the literary society.

The other quirky members of the literary society are Elizabeth McKenna, portrayed by Jessica Brown Findlay; Eben Ramsey portrayed by Tom Courtenay; and Isola Pribby portrayed by Katherine Parkinson.

Marek Oravec played the German Officer and Jack Morris as the German Soldier. Matthew Goode portrayed the publisher, Sidney Stark. Glen Powell played the American soldier, Mark Reynolds.

That's all I'll say other than watch this movie. It will make you want to walk the woods of Guernsey as it existed 70 years ago, and this movie will touch your heart in so many ways.

Takeaway Truth

I highly recommend this lovely movie, and I hope you'll watch it too.

Most Spiteful Comment Ever

Warning: Toxic Attitudes
I was cleaning out the spam comments folder from SlingWords and came across one I had saved simply because it was so spiteful.

I read it again and thought I'd post it here just as a curiosity. The comment below was left on a book spotlight Thursday3Some post featuring a lovely Christian Romance Author. I won't say the name for obvious reasons.

Quoted Verbatim

"I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

"American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

"This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women."

Website link deleted by SlingWords.

Wow

Of course, I did not respond to his comment. I just threw it into the spam folder because reading it told me the man has some severe problems.

Perhaps he was hurt by a woman, but to classify every American woman in the way he described them is obviously wrong.

He asked what man would want the kind of woman he described. No one of course.

However, the way he described a woman can be interpreted in a different way that, I suspect, may be more accurate than his cultural viewpoint.

Leave hate & prejudice behind. Be a better you.
The Flip Side

What man would want a confident, assertive, self-assured, strong, smart, non-judgmental woman who knows what she wants in life and is willing to work hard to achieve it?

What man would want a woman who raises her children with those same values and beliefs and teaches them to respect all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, and all the other superficial differences people have?

Millions upon millions of real men.

Takeaway Truth

There really are a lot of haters and prejudice in this old world. It's a shame they can't direct all that energy toward something positive.

Trying New Computer Keyboard

My output today is minimal because I'm trying a new keyboard.

Actually, it's an old keyboard—old as in I bought it a few years ago, tried it, and gave up.

This is an Adesso PCK-308UB - Tru-Form Pro Ergonomic Contour TouchPad USB Keyboard Black with Hotkeys.

As you can see by the picture, it's ergonomically designed, with a split-wave key layout. Another thing I like about it is that it's got a great touch.

I spent years of my life typing on typewriters (Yes, back in the day of Conestoga wagons, right?), and this keyboard has a great touch to the keys that's reminiscent of typing on a typewriter.

Why Did I Give Up On It

If it's so great, and exactly what I wanted, why did I give up on it? Expediency. I was in the midst of writing a book with a tight deadline when the keyboard arrived.

There's a learning curve involved just because of using the mouse touch pad. It slowed me down when it came to highlighting text, cutting and pasting, and the fine mousing skills needed when manipulating images. I just didn't have the time to learn it.

Now that I've got a ton of books to write in the next few months, I'm spending a huge amount of time in front of the computer which translates to increased muscle spasms caused by reaching for that mouse.

So I decided to try it again. I'll be slower for a while, but I can certainly type faster with these keys. I love the fast typing where your fingers literally dance over the keyboard. The spacing of the keys is just perfect. The faster speed should make up for the slight slowdown in using the mouse pad until I'm used to it.

Takeaway Truth

There's a learning curve to everything so I'll just follow my own advice in such matters. "Suck it up, buttercup, and get on with it."

4 Secrets to a Joyful Life

Want to know the secrets to a joyful life?

1. Avoid being snared by the trap of regret.

Whether it's regret about something little like you didn't clear your To Do list yesterday or regret over something big like you didn't get into the college of your choice, regret is a killer.

Disappointment is natural, but wallowing in disappointment will kill your soul.

2. Avoid postponing happiness.

When you think, "When I reach this goal, I'll be happy," you're just postponing happiness.

3. Adopt the attitude that happiness is a choice that comes from within, not from external circumstances.

You can be happy right where you are, day in and day out. Be happy when you’re typing away on your first draft of a book or working at the Evil Day Job. Be happy when you’re pulling weeds from the garden or having dinner in a 5-star restaurant. Be happy when reading a great review or a lousy one. It's within your power to choose happiness.

4. Live today.

Not yesterday; that's gone, and nothing can call it back. Not tomorrow; no one knows what tomorrow may bring. Be happy right in this minute.

Takeaway Truth

Be present in your life in this very moment.

Dog, A Human's Best Friend

Frosta the Wonder Dog is now in Doggy Heaven
Darling Hubby and I were making a list of dog names the other day.

Sadly, not because we were going to adopt one. Our present lifestyle makes having another canine companion impossible.

{Big sigh.} I miss having a dog. Since I can't have one in real life, I've begun creating dog characters in the books I write.

I have 4 romances to write in the next few months, and I'm happy to say each story will have a dog.

It's as much fun creating a dog character as it is populating a fictional world with people. The first time I wrote a dog character was in Last Christmas, Book 1 of Small Town Texas Romance.

Meet Friday

Friday, all prettied up
A young dog that's part Blue Healer and part something else was rescued from the side of a Texas road and taken to the vet clinic in New Estacado, the fictional town that features prominently in the Small Town Texas Romance series.

He was christened Friday by the volunteers at the clinic because that was the day of the week when he was rescued.

Injured and frightened by the rough start he had in life, he's healed but limps because of the damage to one of his legs, and he's skittish around people.

Like Annabelle, the heroine of Last Christmas, he's slow to trust, but Rick Lassiter, the new police chief in town is just as determined to befriend the dog as he is determined to win Annabelle back.

About Last Christmas, Book 1 of Small Town Texas Romance

A love story that's not just for Christmas.

Last Christmas, Annabelle fell in love at first sight with a mysterious stranger.

After a week of unforgettable passion, he walked out of her life.

A year of heartache, accompanied by the dirty tricks life can serve up, finds Annabelle back in her hometown, determined to forget the man who still haunts her dreams.

Who should walk into her grandmother’s Christmas party? Why the man who seduced her, lied to her, and betrayed her! He has a new name and a new identity, but his effect on her is as old as time.

Rick Lassiter wants to woo Annabelle back to him.

Unfortunately, he has two big problems. He can't explain the past, and the sweet-tempered, passionate woman he fell in love with has a will as strong as his and a desire to make him pay for breaking her heart.

Fortunately, Rick meets Friday, and everything works out, but it might have turned out differently without Friday.

Takeaway Truth

I like what Will Rogers said about dogs. "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." ~ Will Rogers