Things I may be buying….

….as soon as this month is done.

(Here’s where I am very bad influence on anyone intending to continue not spending on a long term basis. So go away quickly, if that is you, so that I lead you not into temptation.)

A big metal kitchen garbage can with a lid. If I can find one built like a tank, that is. I suspect this one would only last a week in our house. Recommendations, anyone?

A cheese slicer.

A drying rack. This one is lovely.

A dishwasher. Maybe this one? Feedback?

A new battery for my computer, since it only lasts 20 minutes without a charge.

Malarky. Looks fun, doesn’t it?

The truth is that we have gotten along without all these things for a month, and could do so for longer. So it leaves me a little conflicted….

The amount of time my kids have spent washing dishes leaves me convinced of the rightness of purchasing another dishwasher. There are so many things they could be doing instead of endlessly drying dishes.

The drying rack will help with laundry in the wintertime when drying on the clothesline doesn’t work.

And certainly as a writer, I can justify the purchase of another laptop battery.

But our current kitchen trash can is still functioning, and you can cut cheese with a knife, and our kids already have lots of games to play. Where does ‘quality of life’ turn into sheer self-indulgence?

I suspect that is a question we all have to answer for ourselves…


  1. The game looks like tons of fun. Our family would love it. And as for the new dishwasher, I think you’re due that on October 1!

  2. I love my big simple human trash can. They are expensive but with the 20% off coupon from bed,bath and beyond it makes it more bearable. I buy the trash bags that go with it but also with the 20% off so it comes out about the same as a bag of Heftys. My friend bought the one you linked to but the sensor went out in no time flat. Mine has a foot pedal and also a little hook to keep it open if you wish. We’ve had it over 2 years and it’s going strong. Get the biggest one you can afford. It cuts down on the number of times you have to beg someone to take out the trash.
    Check out consumer reports or for advice on dishwashers.

  3. Sarah Mullin says:

    I think you should definitely get all of it. 🙂 Now to find the money for it all, eh? **hug**

  4. Mary~I love that rack! I just bought a similar one at Lowe’s after fighting for years with my still functioning but aggravating wooden ones. My husband finally said, “Go get a new rack.” after the wooden one came apart for the bazillionth time. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! I will never go back to the old style. I can get way more clothes on this one as well.

    About the dishwasher, I don’t have one so I don’t know but I was drooling over that one so it looked good to me:~)

    Have a great weekend!!

  5. It’s amazing what you can do without and still be shockingly happy. When the floods came through here in the MidWest we didn’t know if we would be flooded or not. So we moved all our things out into storage and stayed here in the house with just a blow-up mattress and a camp table and chairs to sit on and the tv. We kept only what we could grab in and go with in 30 minutes and parked the cars up the hill at night in case the levee broke and we couldn’t get out.

    Well the levee broke (the last one to go in Lincoln County), but we got lucky and our town didn’t flood but people up north of us did and it flooded all around and I was so glad we could still get down the only highway into the city.

    Now I know what I *really* need, and it isn’t much. I need a place to sleep, clothes to wear, food to eat, a home to live in, a car to get to work, and job so I can support those other things. Oh and my beautiful family around me. All else is gravy.

    I am thankful, and life is good. It’s all good and I am truly blessed.

    OH and finally on another thought…have you all thought of composting? I haven’t seen anything about that but it would truly be a benefit to you and if you have a garden well that fits right in. See “Real Goods” for compost info. Also that would be helpful for the chickens. Here we separate our stuff into a) recycle, b) compost, c) burnable, and d) landfill. Also my family isn’t nearly as big as yours you would be surprised at how small the “landfill” bag is if you do that.

    hugs from MO

  6. speaking of drying in the winter… didn’t you post a photo of the very clever clothes rod you hung for drying blankets and such? could you post it again? we moved and i finally have a laundry room – it’s exciting! i’m working on efficient storage and drying options and remembered your rod. 🙂

  7. Eh, feel no guilt. Here is my list and I’m not just getting a battery, I’M getting a whole new computer!

    As for dishwashers, ours died and we refused to buy another. It was only 4 years old. We just torture our kids and make them wash. Surprisingly, my BEST dishwasher is the 3 yo! He gets them cleaner than anyone (maybe because he washes the same dish for 4-5 minutes!) Keeps him busy, anyway!


  8. Oh, and for a cheese slicer, you want the Pampered Chef one. Run far and fast from the wire ones. Cheese slicer worth it. With the PC slicer, my kids can cut cheese by themselves. If they have to use a knife, they call ME!


  9. We have a Bosch dishwasher for our family of eight and LOVE it. We have one that is slightly more expensive, but has buttons on the top, which is awesome for curious hands because they can not reach the button when the door is closed. Our dishwasher is almost completely silent, which is a benefit as well. Good luck!

  10. We looked hard at the Bosch when we were dishwashing hunting, I decided against it as I didn’t like a couple of things about it, but it was a hard decision.

  11. Why spend the money on Malarky when you can make your own? Try it! Making your own version won’t limit the number of players, either. We’ve made our own versions of lots of expensive party games.

  12. So put Malarky on the family christmas list. I would say the cheese slicer could be the same way, but I have a cheese slicer (It came as part of my handmill) and I love it. The handmill also julienne’s veggies and mills a nice salsa.

  13. We have had a Bosch dishwasher for 7 years. It has been wonderfully quiet and cleans like a dream. They are more expensive, but you get what you pay for.

  14. A generous person donated that trash can to our church kitchen.
    With many volunteers at various events, many could not seem to figure it out.
    Then the sensor broke in less than a year. I wasn’t there during the discussion about warrantee and taking up space in such a busy place, nor do I know the current whereabouts of fancy container.
    I noticed at the last dinner I worked that we have returned to plain old garbage bins and can liners.

    I may have to buy that clothes rack. My first wooden one is left from my college dorm room days, and zip-tie holding it together was put on when youngest son was a toddler.

  15. Meh, Malarky’s only ho-hum with my family. But we were WAY into Balderdash when I was growing up–the old version, that is, where it’s nothing but defining words. No other categories.

    We found Malarky wasn’t “cerebral” enough to keep us engaged and enjoying ourselves.

  16. I’d also recommend the SimpleHuman trash cans – they are amazing. We got when when our Labrador kept getting into the trash can and this kept him out; yet, it’s simple enough for our 2 1/2 year old to throw things in it. Love it. If you need a Bed & Bath 20% off coupon, email me and I’ll send you one – I have about 20.

    We got a Miele brand dishwasher when we built a house 1 1/2 years ago in Australia (I’m assuming the brand is also available here). It took about a month to break it in, but then it was wonderful. The best feature was there was a third rack right at the top just for your cutlery – you lay it out flat – rather than having a basket. That means you have the entire bottom rack for dishes. If you’re wondering about the handwashing to dishwasher water usage ratio, we did a lot of research into this. These days dishwashers are extremely water efficient and a lot of the studies show that, on average, people use more water handwashing dishes than using a new dishwasher.

    Love the drying rack.

  17. My Dad (and my brothers may have helped) made a cloth drying rack out of PVC pipes a few years ago after our old wooden one fell apart. If you have handy people and can find the pipes cheap (or have sufficient parts of pipes sitting around unused), it may be a cheap alternative to buying a new rack.

  18. I second that on the type of cheese slicer to get, although not limited to the PC model. I think that type makes more economical use of the cheese and is definitely less dangerous than a knife. As far as a trash can goes, I have found that the more working parts, the more likely it is to break. My criteria are: large enough to only need to be emptied once a day, but small enough to be easily attended to by middle size kids so that it can get emptied regularly and before it starts to smell too bad. As far as what helpful tools and equipment to get, that just depends on how much time you want to spend doing which things and how you want to spend discretionary funds once food, clothing, and shelter are adequately dealt with. No morals involved. No extra points for depriving yourself. There are lots of examples of people of all standings in life having faith pleasing to God. The Biblical injunction is to work and have enough left to give some to help those who really need it (ie, circumstances beyond their control.)

  19. Granted, I don’t have 10 kids, but I do have two now all grown up with grandkids and grandpuppies, to boot. I live in northern Maine and do use an electric clothes dryer, but we also have a wall-mounted wooden dryer for wet gloves, hats, towels (from drying the dogs), etc. We’ve had it for years and, although a bit scorched from the woodstove, it’s wonderful. Take a look at:

  20. Oh, Nancy H, Thank You for that link to Lehman’s!
    Two younger sons have moved into off campus apartments, and they both miss my 25 year old cast-iron griddle for cooking grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Well, now I know what they each will be getting as Christmas gifts!

  21. We bought Malarky last year with great hopes too, but it’s turned out to be a bit of a bust. We’ve played it with several different groups of people, all of whom are creative and intelligent (with some ph.ds in the crowd), yet we always seem to spend *forever* clarifying the rules. And even when we’ve got them set, there are bunches of loopholes that make the game sort of unfair/no clear winner. Just so you know. Maybe you’ll figure it out better than us, but we sort of gave up the last time we played.

  22. I am in the same pickle. I find that as the month is ending that my thoughts on what we need versus what we can live without has very much been challenged this month.

    The only thing that I can say about the dishwasher is to please try to buy it from an independent appliance dealer. My husband’s family own an independent appliance store and you will get much better customer service and generally a better educated staff. Plus, I just like helping small business owners. Just my 2 cents, but, of course, I have skewed view on the subject.

  23. I don’t know if you live near an IKEA, but this drying rack slips behind my dresser 1″ space when folded and holds two full loads of laundry if I use hangers around the edges too. I just love it. Best part..$19.99!! Frost from Ikea