Thursday, February 2, 2012


This green froggy bank has been with me since 1968.  It looks very MOD don't you think? 

On the window sill in the laundry room -
iron, bank, rubber duck and  marbles.

Today my little bank sits proudly in the laundry room window and collects coins, and sometimes a dollar or two, that get left in clothing.  As clothes washer for the family this is how I make a bit of extra cash.

Like many people I have talked to recently, I can see that I take money for granted.  Not that I have piles of the stuff around the house.  I just always seem to have enough to meet my needs.  There have been times in my life where I counted (and recounted) every penny.  These days I just whip out my debit or credit card and get on with my life.

Then there was Tuesday.  Tuesday, two weeks ago, when I was out shopping doing my serious stocking up of paper products and such.  Please don't leave when I tell you - I was at Walmart.  On this day they had the best price for the items I needed.  I was very careful to buy American made.  As I neared the checkout area a sweet voice came over the sound system. "Attention, Walmart Shoppers, we are sorry for the inconvenience but at this time our service is down and we can not take credit or debit cards.  Again, we are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause."

Hello?  Help?!

I looked at a few of my fellow shoppers, we were all looking around like we had just heard that Elvis was in the store looking for backup singers and wanted to meet each and every one of us.

Disbelief is a weird thing.

I slowly started for the front of the store.  As I walked I heard the announcement again.  They were still sorry and they were still unable to accept any form of payment except cash.

I had a few dollars on me but not enough to pay for this afternoon's work.  All the price checking and looking to see where things had been made would be for nothing if these guys couldn't get their computers up and running.  They couldn't.  Word got around through the shoppers - there was an ATM connected with the bank that was in the front of the store and for a small $3.50 fee I could get cash, pay for my groceries and leave.  Or I could just leave, afternoon wasted, gas wasted to get there and I would have no Kleenex in my house.  I decided that the ATM fee was worth it, got my money (I did great I got enough for all my purchases except one item - for a moment or two I thought I was a genius).

Sad thing was when I looked back in the store there were carts left all over the place.  Are we becoming that much of a cashless society?  Where does that leave us when computers are down? 

That moment or two that I considered myself a money genius vanished when I realized:  I am not prepared.  I really don't have supplies at home.  If I had had to leave the store that day it would have made our lives a bit uncomfortable.  What if a neighbor had needed help?  How can I help anyone if I can't help myself?

Coincidence time:  Sometime during that week a blog I follow, Mockingbird Hill Cottage (yes, I started following her because I love the idea of naming our house  - another story for another day).  Anyway, Claudia at MHC is working with 4 other bloggers and they are doing a series on Thrifty Living 2012.  It's interesting how different folks are making life work within their means. 

A week or so later I also found Rhonda at Down to Earth (a blog about simple life).  Rhonda is teaching me how to stock a pantry, really stock a pantry.  Not the one extra roll of paper towels, a few bags of pasta, and a few cans of tomatoes and soup that I had been happy with for the longest time.  To really stock up, to be prepared - to be ready at all times to take care of the people I love.

All of these blogs have me looking at homemaking in a whole new way.  Not in the June Cleaver pearl earrings on while I vacuum sort of way but as a member of society who makes the world a better place because of the way I live.

I didn't mean to go on forever.  It's just I'm on the verge of learning things new to me and I wanted to share.  I'm also exhausted from working in the garden and I need sleep.

Tell me, do you just live day to day - or are you ready for anything come what may?

It's Thursday, join me at ColoradoLady 's Vintage Thingy Thursday to see other vintage treasures. 



jeanne said...

Your post is a great reminder of how little we think of what's to come. I am going to visit the blogs you mentioned to get inspired.
How sad that the world stops when the computers stop. Sigh. I'm glad you were able to pay for your items.

Love the frog. He is a treasure.

Hugs, Jeanne

Coloradolady said...

I love the frog...he is soooo cute!!

I can just imagine what a mess that was at Walmart...especially if you were at the one closest to you and me...geesh what a mess!! You sure left me today with something to think about!!

LV said...

My day certainty was not as exciting or frustrating as yours. I moved and cleaned one of my bedrooms all over. Today, I may not be able to do much. House cleanings is too hard of work.

TexWisGirl said...

i, too, have lived thru life counting every coin at the check-out line to see if i would have to put back the can of corn. these days, i whip out my debit card and move right thru. i'd have been in much the same situation as you. and, no, i don't stock up.

Antiques And Teacups said...

Very good post. A few years ago...uh, almost 20...a woman had a newsletter called the Tightwad Gazette. It was fabulous! Somewhere in 3 moves I have lost my saved newsletter collection and have indeed regretted it during the last 2 years. There is always room for a more considered and careful lifestyle!

Annie said...

I don't use a debit card, but I always have credit cards (which are paid off every month), some cash, and my checkbook with me when I go shopping. My grown children never carry cash! My parents had to count every penny, so that idea rubbed off on me. I've very careful spending, maybe too much so!

Denise :) said...

After the tornadoes came through in April and knocked out power for the whole Northern part of the state, we made some significant changes to how we do things, what we're prepared for, and what we keep on hand. I can't stock too much (there just isn't room), but we *do* keep several freezers at the ready. I'll be checking out the blogs you mentioned. Thanks for the reminder that there's always room for improvement!! :)

Nani said...

I love the frog bank! I do think it might be a good idea to have a bank by the washing machine, although it's just my husband and me and I never find coins. I just lose socks.

I am guilty of not being able to exist if I time traveled or if there was a major blackout. I never have over $20 in my purse. Honestly though, that makes me feel safer when I'm out.

jeanetteann said...

Cute little frog,and a very good cash making idea. I could just visualise the caos at Walmart with all the full carts everywhere. Lucky you had cas available,a lot of people haven't, which would be awful. I suppose though,we have all been without at sometime.
I must say I am lucky enough to be an organized person and have just written a book about it (link on my blog) I think it is just about getting a little help and you won't know yourself. It's nice isn't it? having bloggers willing to share their skills. I love blogging and the wonderful people we meet.

Thank you so much for your visit and kind comments. xx jeanetteann

A Cozy Cottage in the City said...

Sorry to hear about your Wal-mart experience! I hate it when stuff like that happens! :( On a lighter note - that little green frog is just too adorable! :) Happy {belated} VTT to you! Take care and enjoy your weekend!


Dixie said...

love your vintage thingy... cause I love frogs... my youngest daughter is terrified of frogs..I have no idea why... but she hates all my little frogs here and there, inside and out.. and the live ones drive her crazy!

and the Walmart thing... I have one response to that... check book!

Rebecca said...

You have brought up some very interesting thoughts that I am going to really ponder!

catmint said...

interesting thought provoking post, anything that questions our mindless consumerist culture must be a good thing.

Barbara said...

We take so much for granted. We drove into a motorway service station some time ago when the traffic was jammed and immediately there was a power cut. So no cash tills working. People were pleading to just be able to be handed something and they would leave the money and did not want change.
Impossible, tills down so not allowed to sell. Hard for hungry people.

Impossible to go to the toilets in the dark too!