Free or Cheap Hobbies. We Need Them.

Remember how I sometimes say, “Get a hobby!” in my posts? Like this post where I talk about rumors about me. Java reminded me about the hobbies list I am supposed to be making. Did I ever mention how forgetful I am?

Here are four hobbies for you to explore. I picked free or cheap hobbies ($20 or less) since most of my friends have limited resources. I will make more hobby posts later and add them to this post. The prices I am listing are the cheapest I can find here.

Feel free to add to the list by sending me a message. I’ll add it to the post. I’ll add your name if you want too.

I’ll assume that you have limited access to stores and no Wal-Mart nearby. So I will be using the stores in my small town or Amazon.com as pricing guides.

Hobby #1: Making paper beads

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A bowl of paper beads. All made by me!

Price range to start: Free to about $15

You will need

  • Scissors $1
  • Elmer’s glue $1
  • Round toothpicks (not flat or square) $1.59 or a paper bead roller (I don’t have one because they are about $10)
  • A small piece of cardboard or Styrofoam to stick the toothpicks in while the beads dry (I am going to guess you can find this for $1 – I use what I have)
  • Colorful paper, newspaper, magazine pages, or any piece of paper you have lying around the house
  • Optional: Sharpies or other markers to color white paper so you can make patterns – Sharpies can be pricey but I suggest those to off brand markers since they don’t run when use you run glue over them. I have found Sharpies for about $5 for a basic pack
  • Optional: Judikins Diamond Glaze ($5) to make them shiny. Modge Podge is horrible on the beads as far as long-term goes. While this is optional, I highly suggest it. I’ve also used shellac before. It lasts a lot longer, not that it matters! A bottle of Judikins lasted me a year.

The hobby

Cut strips of paper into triangles (or other shapes), then wrap it around a toothpick and glue the end down, then coat with Elmer’s glue to create beads. You can finish them off with Judikins Diamond Glaze. I suggest this product over Modge Podge as it works in any climate or humidity. I found Modge Podge remains sticky forever when I lived in Tennessee. 

Resources

This YouTube tutorial shows you how to make basic and fancy beads. The thing I like about this video is she shows you all the neat things you can buy to make paper beads and also explains some of the issues you could run into (like not enough glue). The only thing I do differently is that I leave my bead on the stick for a minute for it to dry while I am making another bead. I leave them on the stick until I glaze them. 

In the video above, the basic bead tutorial starts here. If you already know how to make basic beads, shaped paper beads tutorial starts here where she shows tube beads, pointy end beads, ball beads, saucer beads, triangle (or cone) bead, and a double bead.

Section 3 of the video has ideas for decorating your beads and shows all the optional things you can do to your beads. The only thing I disagree with is putting water in your glaze. I don’t like the way it looks or how it lasts. I put on the glaze like I do the glue. This is the section that makes the paper bead hobby get expensive!

I will try to get my shit together long enough this week to make a video on how I make my beads. Or a post. But jennibellie does a much better job than I ever could.

Variation? Plastic Bottle Beads! I am going to try this but it’ll cost a little more if you don’t have nail polish (can get it at the Dollar Store). I am sure you can get creative though!

Hobby #2: Coloring or Drawing

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“Scaredy Cat” By Dotchi Latham

Price range: $1 to $10 to start. 

You will need

  • Crayons, color pencils, or markers ($1)
  • Coloring book or Paper ($1)

Adult coloring books are a lot of fun and run from cheap to OMG! If you have a printer, you can print out pictures to color instead of buying a book.

For drawing, you can use any piece of paper you can find lying around the house. I use printer paper (which was about $3 for the whole pack). You can find drawing tutorials with a quick Google search. You may not be Picasso when you start but keep going! It’s fun to try and it takes my mind off of stress.

Coloring is good for stress and quite therapeutic. Thought I would throw that out there.

Hobby #3: Crochet or Knitting

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A scarf I made!

Price range to start: Starts at $8 but probably closer to $20

This one can get pricey. But it’s a fun hobby and you can use what you make.

You will need

  • A crochet hook or knitting needles (about $5)
  • Yarn ($3 a skein)
  • A pattern. (I would start with something easy like a scarf or a dishcloth)

A lot of the pattern websites will ask you to join the site to see the pattern. I tend to stick with Ravelry as some of the other sites spam the crap out of my email.

While this hobby can be expensive, I can find yarn and crochet hooks at the thrift store for almost nothing. So, while it CAN be expensive, you can definitely make it a lot cheaper by looking for deals and not hoarding yarn. This is the part that actually takes more practice than actually crocheting.

The best part of this hobby is that you can crochet hats, scarfs, and slippers for charities to help out others. Don’t think you can? There was an 86-year-old man who learned to knit so he could make hats for preemies.

Hobby #4: Hiking or Walking

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Price range: FREE! But you can buy things for it if you want.

This is another hobby that can be expensive if you let it. But really, all you need is someplace to walk to, a drink (stay hydrated!), and some time to enjoy it. 

You can drive to a rural area to hike and explore or try out some urban hiking.

You can combine this with photography (use your phone or a cheap camera) or keep a journal or blog about your hiking adventures.

What is your Hobby?

Java Asks “How Long Do You Rest Between Cleaning?”

I have a question … Let’s pretend that you are having a pretty good day not the best but pretty good. How long do you rest in between chores?

I got this text the other day and thought it would be better to go into details on the blog. I answered in text but it’s a shorter answer. Here it is:

Usually I work or clean for 10-30 minutes then rest for about an hour. Not even kidding. On a good day, I can rest for about 30 minutes.

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My longer answer is this…

When I was younger, I had this cleaning routine. My house looked GOOD! I was on top of the world. Now, not so much. I pick my battles with the house. I have levels of cleaning depending on how bad I hurt.

The Lowest Level: High Pain Day

On these days, I have a few lists I follow. Wake up routine, 420 List, and Before You Sleep.

My wake up routine is pretty simple now. I can do it on most of my horrible days. This is done after I go pee and take Jackjack outside to pee. This is done between the time I get up and 4:20 PM (the next list).

  • Get up!
    • Fold your blanket. I sleep in my recliner so I don’t make my bed. This is what I do instead. It becomes the dog/cat bed during the day. At night, they all sleep with me.
    • Feed Pets
    • Water Bowls
    • Scoop Poop (litter box). I’ll be honest, I do slack on this one. I try but some days my shoulders just kill me (have ever since Physical Therapy. I’ve never been the same).
    • Computer stuff (whatever I need to do that day)
  • Bathroom
    • Run a toilet brush around the toilet (usually done while I am in there)
    • Spray the tub if it needs it. (This literally takes one minute)
    • Wipe up your mess around the sink.
    • Empty the trash if needed. (I don’t empty the kitchen trash can though, it’s way to heavy for me.)
  • Kitchen
    • Did you eat something? (I have no appetite. I forget to eat)
    • Start dinner thawing or start it in the crock-pot. Plan what you are going to eat today.
    • Get someone to unload the dishwasher (I’ll explain later)
    • Load dishwasher.
    • Have someone start the dishwasher. (I’ll explain later)
  • Clothes
    • Did you change clothes? (Sometimes the answer is “Nope.” *checks box*)
    • Gather dirty laundry (on laundry day)
    • Look for dirty dishes and take them to the sink.
  • While you can still bend, tidy up the floor. Do it while you can! It will drive you nuts later!
  • Uncheck the 420 and before you sleep list.

420 Pain List

This list is all about pain management.

  • Have you taken your CBD oil?
  • Vape if you need it. 1 puff, wait 5 minutes. Repeat as needed.
  • Have coffee. How’s the headache?
  • Check the counter and sink.
  • Eat something.
  • Gather dishes and laundry. (This keeps me up and moving so I can’t just sit there and wallow in my own misery)

Before Bed or Sleep

This can be done from 420 on. It doesn’t matter when I do it, as long as it gets done.

  • Rotate dishes (someone empties, I load, someone starts)
  • Clean up the sink.
  • Clean the counters.
  • Set coffee pot
  • Set alarms
  • Scoop Poop
  • One Spot. (Put up shoes, purse, backpack, leash, coat, etc. Have it all in one spot so if you have to leave it is right there.)
  • Plan your meal for tomorrow (This is usually a mental thing. I just think, “bean burritos sound good” and that’s it.)
  • Uncheck the other lists
  • Go for a walk with Jackjack.

A note about the dishwasher.

Where I put (I’ll explain later) next to the dishwasher… this is the explaining part. I can either unload, load, OR start the dishwasher. I can’t do all three or I will be chair bound for days (or a week) from the pain. So, I have one kid unload, I load, and the other kid starts the dishwasher.

If we have a couple loads to catch up on, then the dishwasher stays parked in the kitchen (it’s a rolling dishwasher) and I will pile all the clean dishes on the deep freezer, load it again, and start it. Later, the kid that unloads can go through and put the pile of dishes away.

How I get shit done!

I’ll be honest, lately I haven’t done so well on this. But I am trying. Mostly, struggling. But still trying.

I do the basics first. That’s the three lists above. If that is all I can do that day, then so be it. That is all that gets done. If I can do more, then I use Motivated Moms to get me going and keep me motivated.

Frankly, four years of chronic pain gets to me sometimes. I don’t have pain pills to help the agony. I have marijuana and that is it. Some days, I push that to it’s limits.

I can’t clean like I could before. So using motivated moms makes me feel like less of a piece of crap. I feel like a failure because I struggle with my house. Having a check list that I can see that I am doing these chores and they got done… and it was EXTRA from my lists, that makes me not criticize myself so hard.

The rest breaks

I take rest breaks every 15 to 30 minutes, depends on how bad I am hurting. And then I stay put until the pain dies down some. That could take 30 minutes or it could take two hours. Depends on how horrible the pain is. 

If my pain is just out of control that day, I smoke and then take a nap. Some days, my kids know that I am going to be stuck in my chair all day. It happens. 

What is your cleaning like? Do you have to take breaks?

50 Questions: My Favorite Recipe

I couldn’t think of my favorite recipe because I like all food. I decided that once or twice a month, I would share one I like. 

I did one earlier but I can’t find it so I am redoing the question. I will link it here if I ever find it again. For #3 on the list of 50 Questions

Today’s choice is Bone Broth. I am not going to go into details about the benefits. You can Google that or read about it here or here. I used this  recipe from Wellness Mama.

Here is what I use

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds of Beef Bones (or chicken or whatever you want. I prefer beef bones and even used baby back rib bones)
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Onions (optional)
  • Carrots (Optional)
  • Cheese cloth (for straining the stuff out) or a metal strainer

I forgot the picture of the next steps which is sad considering it cooks for two days. Meh, I am forgetful.

I use 1.5 pounds of bones per pot. By the way, if this post says anything about a pit, that is supposed to say POT but my phone thinks I am cooking in a pit this week.

  1. Roast the bones in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 177 Celcius, for about 30 minutes to an hour… or until you smell beef and remember you are cooking bones and totally didn’t hear the timer. Either way…
  2. Once it is done, put them in a pot with all the grease.
  3. Add water to fill the pot and add 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar.
  4. Let it soak for a couple of hours or until you remember you are making bone broth.

Adding the veggies!

  1. Chop the carrots and onions into chunks and throw them in the pot.
  2. I also add sweet potato peels, onion ends, yam peels, and anything else like that.
  3. At this point you can flavors like basil, parsley, etc. If you are adding garlic, add it on the last day 30 minutes before you take it off the stove. I have no idea why. That is what all the directions say.

Time to cook!

Bring it all to a nice rolling boil. Some people say skim the bubbles off, some say don’t. You can choose to skim if you want. I always forget to so mine is bubble infused.

After it’s at a rolling boil, I let it boil until I realize I am still cooking and then I turn it down to 2 (low/ simmer) on the stove.

As the water boils off, I heat up a pot of water and then pour it into the bone broth pit. See?! My phone is Autoco-wrecking “pot” to pit EVERY TIME!

Anywhoodles, let it simmer away all day and night and day and night, refilling the water as needed. I also keep a lid on it through the process.

When it’s done two days later -this isn’t from me forgetting I am cooking, this is how long it acually cooks- I strain it all through cheese cloth to get the bone and veggies out. I usually eat the good veggie chunks.

Refrigerate it to cool it and solidify the fat and grease. Then I scoop the fat gobs out because ew.

It will look like this when done

 

This isn’t eye-candy food. But it does taste good! And pouring it through the slatted side helps get more fat out.

Here it is heated up so you can see you won’t be sipping broth and chewing fat globules. 

You won’t get all the fat out

It’s actually really good. You can add salt if you want or other spices. I like mine plain or with a touch of basil.

There you have it!

Have a recipe you want to see me make allergy friendly?

Let me know and I will do my best!

 

Disclaimer: All the links on this post are affiliate ad link free. You can click freely if you would like.

How to Remember How Much You Drank

I sometimes forget how many times I filled my 32 ounce water bottle. Was it two or three times? 

Easy way to remember, each time I fill the bottle, I put a hair band or rubberband around the neck. Now I know, just by looking at it, that I drank 64 ounces today (once I finish this bottle).

Thought I would share.

Bone Broth: My First Batch

I got so excited when I read about  Bone Broth (AKA stock). Granted, I don’t think it’s the miracle cure-all that people say it is. But, I was willing to try it since my normal state is undernourished. 

I ended up getting beef ribs because bones are harder to find than I thought. I will have to search the Amish store later. I also had friends tell me to ask at the store as they do have them. But this batch was from rib bones.

Making a batch

I started by soaking the bones in cold water with apple cider vinegar for about two hours. I forgot to set an alarm so it wasn’t exact. It may have been a little more or a little less.

I chopped up what was left of an onion and then about 4 carrots. You don’t have to do this but I like those flavors. 

Then I added the chopped veggies, the bones, and the soaking water into the large crockpot and turned it on high. I let it cook for about 10 hours on high, then turned it to low overnight.

By the next morning it had boiled down so I added more water and turned it back to high until it was a rolling boil again. Then I turned it back down to low for the rest of the day.

Trying a taste at 24 hours

I decided to try a half cup at 24 hours to see how it tasted. It was meh. Not horrible. Not delicious either. I was seriously questioning if it was worth it.

48 Hour Taste Test 

At the 48 hour mark the broth was smelling SO good! It smelled like a heavenly soup with a roasted beef undertone. I had to try it again.

The second taste test was pretty good. It had a nice flavor. I ended up adding some garlic and letting it sit in the crockpot for a couple more hours.

Straining and Storing

I don’t have a huge container so I used a jug I have to store it in. I used a colander to strain all the veggies and bones out and poured the broth into the jug.

I have been storing it in the fridge and it seems to store well. It does have some fat globs floating in there but they are fine once I heat it up.

How is it working?

I have had a cup a couple times a day for the last two days. After the garlic, it tastes MUCH better! 

I do feel more awake. Before you get too excited, “more awake” is actually, “I can play on Reddit more” as doing almost anything still takes too much energy.

I haven’t had a ton of miracle healing but being a little more alert is a nice start.

 My gut isn’t hurting like it usually does. The twisting, cramping feeling that is normal for summertime is now an annoying sensation. That is a nice step up from the pain before. 

Just for those two, I am happy. And it tastes good.

What I am doing next

Next, I will add more gelatin to my diet again. It does help with joint pain. I haven’t done this in awhile because of the cost, but I am going to just grin and bear it next month.

I am going to also try chicken bone broth next. I heard fish broth is good but I’ll just have to trust them on that one. I have never cared for fish broth.

Have you tried bone broth? Do you make your own? Share your story in the comments.

Flintstone’s Meal!

Today I slow cooked some ribs. I am planning on making bone broth since I read it’s good for a lot of things, especially malnutrition. I figured I could take the bones and make it over the next day or two (or however long it’s supposed to cook).

I also have a lot of thinking left to do. I am still exhausted a lot. I have a service dog now too! But that means I have to walk and potty him which means I am in more pain and more exhausted. I thought about working on the blog right after morning walk and breakfast (which is actually noon for me).

So I will be trying that this next week (starting tomorrow). I’ll get a picture of Jack-Jack up also. I am really excited about having him as part of our family.

Appointment Today

I have an appointment later today with my neurologist. I am excited about this because this is the longest I have gone without a seizure.


Today was a chill day. I hurt too bad to continue moving. I slept most of the day. Probably has part to do with the low calories or maybe the shitty diet? Or could be because I sometimes can’t stay awake.

I also think it has to do with the way I am eating. In order to get enough calories each day I am eating like crap. 

So, starting tomorrow, I am going to eat how I want to eat and not worry so much about calories.

  • More water
  • Healthier food
  • Stop worrying about calories


If the doctors are that worried about my diet, they can come to my house and fix my meals… or, I dunno, listen to me and figure out why I have no appetite.

I will update later about the appointment.