Thursday, July 19, 2018
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Does Better Gas Mileage Mean More Tolls? What could possibly be wrong with getting better gas mileage? It is supposed to lower our dependence on foreign oil and reduce global warming. And, of course, it will be cheaper to drive a car. So far, so good. Long ago, taxes were added to the price of a gallon of gasoline. Interstate Signage and Pavement Construction (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The federal government added a sales tax and uses it to fund the Highway Trust Fund, which is responsible for repairing interstate highways. States added a sales tax on top of the federal sales tax. They use it for... (Read More ...)

Christmas Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia) How Did Your Parents Teach You to Be Frugal? My mother belonged to a social group that had decided to exchange Christmas gifts. Perhaps it was her Bridge club. It was 1959. My parents were always careful with money. The club had decided to limit the amount members spent on a gift to fifty cents. And, this is where her brilliance allowed her to shine at her Bridge club. Most of the women, I found out later, went to the five-and-dime store and got whatever they could get for fifty cents – a Christmas ornament, a small wooden toy, a plastic comb or brush,... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia The last couple of times our grandchildren have visited, they have been interested in Origami. I learned how to make the flapping bird from my great-aunt, who was a missionary in Japan. But, it’s not the first Origami thing you should start with. I usually start with the cup. My grandchildren now remember how to make that when they visit, rush to make one, fill it with water and drink from it, then are anxious to try new things. This last visit, we made a simple Origami dog, as illustrated in the book, Origami for Children. We glued on paper circles from my hole punch... (Read More ...)

Image by adriennevh via Flickr You’ve spent what money you have this year for Christmas gifts, but the children are starting to get antsy, in anticipation of the holidays. Mr. Bubbles, a children’s entertainer, has provided a number of inexpensive ways to make bubble blowers out of tin cans, string, and clothes hangers, with directions on his site.  (Read More ...)

My dry cleaner just moved. I hadn’t been in a month or so and just went to drop off a pair of slacks and a dress before a business trip. This is the second dry cleaner in that space in the last two years. The previous one lasted seven years and looked prosperous, right up until the end. This one looked bare-bones, appropriate for the economy, I thought. I have yet to find out where they went. Instead, I went looking for the next closest one, five minutes away, downtown in the nearest town. Looking busy, with someone standing at an industrial iron and someone else working at a sewing machine,... (Read More ...)