Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Frozen water

I pride myself on being prepared for weather emergencies.  Usually.

I had cooked extra foods that can be eaten cold just in case the power went out.  I had charged up batteries for my camera and filled up the oil lamps.  I have wind up flashlights, wind up emergency radios, extra blankets, thick socks for my feet, and other cold weather related emergency supplies.  I believe I was well prepared for a power outage if we had one.

I was not prepared to wake up yesterday morning to no water.  Yes, I did have it dripping but evidently it wasn’t dripping enough.  The pipes froze anyway.

Cleaning and organizing 2015 013

Yikes!  That means no water for coffee.  No shower.  No toilet.  No cooking.  No cleaning.  No laundry.  No canning. I was not prepared.  That is so not like me.  I should have put water into some containers just in case.  I had everything else but forgot about water. I know better.

But in my own defense, in all the 30 plus years I’ve lived in this house, I can remember only twice the water lines froze.  Both times only the water lines in the kitchen froze, not the bathroom.  Both times the water line in the kitchen thawed out by afternoon when sunlight landed on that side of the house.

At first I thought maybe there had been a water line break in the neighborhood and maybe the water company had turned it off in order to make repairs.  I called a neighbor who said she did have water.  So that meant the trouble was in my own water lines.

I waited until early afternoon for the sun to be on that side of the house.  Nothing.  It did not thaw out the water.  I put a small heater facing toward the under sink area.  Nothing.  Well, all I can do now is wait a few days for the weather to warm up and the lines to thaw.  Geeze, now I have to figure out how I’m gonna pay a plumber to check the water line under the house and fix it if its cracked.  I’ve got a few days to think about it.  We are not expected to get above freezing for several days.

Within a few minutes my neighbor brought me water for coffee. I made some right away.

Cleaning and organizing 2015 020Not long later she brought more water just in case I needed some to cook or to take a sponge bath.  Yeah, did that too.

Cleaning and organizing 2015 021I paid a neighbor kid to shovel the sidewalk.  I had him put snow in a bucket which I sat in the bathroom to melt for flushing the toilet.  Snow sure doesn’t make much liquid when thawed.

Since I’m unable to do much of anything without water, I’m using my time for sorting and purging quilt fabric.  I have way too much of it and now it’s time to pass most of it along to someone else.  I started with the storage room.

Cleaning and organizing 2015 010I can’t remember exactly how many times I’ve tried and tried to get my STUFF under control.  Being poor tends to make me a hoarder.  I’m often afraid to let go of something because I might not be able to replace it later.  I am thrifty which also keeps me saving STUFF.  I see value in just about everything.

Anyway, I’m on a mission to try once more to rid my home of all the clutter.  Clutter keeps me from being creative.  I feel smothered by all the STUFF even at the same time I’m viewing the STUFF as valuable craft stock.  Its a constant inner battle for me between keeping and getting rid of my STUFF.

So, as I sort and purge, I’m thinking of my Grandma Mama and how she did things when I was a child.  We had very little back then and we survived just fine.  We were poor but happy.  I want that feeling again.

There won’t be any cooking or canning posts for a few days.  I did find a jackpot of green beans last week before the snow came.

Food and kitchen 2015 158I canned 30 pints and made a hugh pot of green beans and potatoes and cornbread before the snow started.

Food and kitchen 2015 159I also canned 7 pints of applesauce before the snow.  Ladybug and I ate one, she took one home with her, and I ate one for lunch yesterday.

Food and kitchen 2015 155I will be posting on my quilting blog for the next few days about my thinking process and how much progress I make as I rid myself of quilting STUFF.

5 comments on “Frozen water

  1. Erin Brereton
    February 19, 2015

    Hi Anita,
    I apologize for reaching out to you in the comment section but I can’t find an e-mail address on your blog — I’m a journalist writing an article about artisans who create things the old-fashioned way, and stumbled upon your blog. I see you do canning; I’ve been looking for someone who does to interview. The article will appear in a publication geared toward senior citizens.

    I’d love to set up a time to talk to you for 20 minutes or so via phone about your canning work … would you be at all interested in sharing some stories about it with me and appearing in the article? If so, please reach out to me via e-mail at My deadline is next week, so I’m trying to wrap up all interviews by Tuesday — I’d love to include you in it!

    • Na Na
      February 21, 2015

      I added a contact email address on my blogs. I sent you an email.

  2. sarasinart
    February 18, 2015

    You are an inspiration. It’s great that your neighbor will help you out. I hope the pipe gets thawed quick, easy and with no expense.

  3. Jackie
    February 18, 2015

    I am so impressed with your “never give up” spirit! You are a real inspiration to me! I am not able to “do” as much anymore because I am sick and my energy levels are very limited, but I try to do what I can and you are an encouragement! Thank you! I am glad you haven’t quit blogging! I just found you….lol!

    • Na Na
      February 18, 2015

      Jackie there are days when my energy level is very low too. Giving up is not an option.

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This entry was posted on February 17, 2015 by in PREPAREDNESS and tagged , , , .

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