I simply must attend – primary week in New Hampshire

I know I haven’t written all week, BUT it’s primary week in New Hampshire. Between that and teaching my college classes, I’ve been a little busy. So what’s the big deal with primary week you might ask?

It’s when all hell breaks loose on the campaign trail and we, New Hampshire residents, are treated to a non-stop carnival (and if you live for politics like I do, you enjoy every minute of this.) Here is just a sampling of what’s gone on in the last week.

I went to a town hall event with John Kasich. I like this guy. Not going to vote for him but wouldn’t be *that* unhappy if he won. I was able to tell him about the time he specifically addressed my daughters and told them “don’t do drugs.” It made a lasting impression.



Drove 30 minutes north and met this amazing woman: Gloria Steinem. Who (surprisingly) gave me great parenting advice.

I told her that I had two young daughters and I taught at a college where there were young women and I was dismayed because many of these women (my daughters included) seem to take the progress women have made for granted. They aren’t involved in politics. They don’t realize the threats that some of these politicians are making. These women haven’t seen the struggles and they haven’t seen the repression that their mothers have had to fight through. I told Gloria that it made me very sad for them because they could easily lose what they take for granted with something as simple as a vote.

Gloria looked at me. “Don’t worry,” she said. “They will get angry about their own issues in their own time.”

And that there is some of the finest parenting advice I’ve ever received. Leave them alone, sure go ahead and guide them, but these young women will find their own way. I sure did when I was younger. My fight (and anger) with these young women is done. They will rise up when the time is right. We all have the same goal, it’s now being passed on to a new generation who will most certainly step up when the need is great.


When the Steinem event was over, I walked up the street to see this amazing guy; Ted Danson (although everyone already knew his name) who talked about the environment and conservation. He gave me huge encouragement to keep fighting the Kinder Morgan NED pipeline. (In fact, that’s our button he’s modeling in this photo.)


Because it’s primary week, the entire state is FLOODED with reporters and news people.

The girls met MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.


And they met MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.


In fact, we got to sit at a table behind Chris Hayes and watch his live show.

all in with Chris

And we even saw this guy – Vermin Supreme. He’s a performance artist that comes out (and runs on the ballot) for every primary (each year he switches his party – I think he’s a Democrat this year. ) His platform is good oral hygiene and everyone gets a pony. You either love him or you don’t. Marc loves him. A little offbeat but he’s one of the reasons why primary week is so completely fantastic.



Oh and finally, I bumped into this guy. Can’t exactly remember the name, but I know I know that face. :-) (and yes, the focus is on the right person.)


And we still have until Tuesday to go! So you see, even though I haven’t been writing, I’ve been busy. I’ll be back next week to take up where I left off, but for now, you’ll have to excuse me, because no doubt there’s an event somewhere that I simply must attend.

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join her on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lesson 1367 – Online Auctioning – lesson 4

As you have more and more auctions on eBay, you begin to get a sense of what sells and what doesn’t sell. You also begin to create a large pile in your home of “things that didn’t sell, but that I don’t know what to do with because they are still worth something.”

This can be a kiss of death for many households. Your house can easily get overrun with eBay discards. (Trust me, I know.)

The best thing to do is set some boundaries. When an item of mine doesn’t sell I evaluate it.

Did it not sell because it wasn’t seen? Sometimes things I *know* would sell just don’t get picked up. If that’s the case I relist the item as is at the original price.

Did it not sell because my price was too high? If so *and* if I think someone will bid, I relist with a reduced bid amount. Often I go down $5 or if it’s a lower priced item, I’ll cut the price to approximately half. After all, I’d rather have a few bucks in my pocket that that really cool vintage tape measure sitting in a corner of my office.

Note: I’ve had a few items that started at that “half-price” price that eventually went over the price I initially asked for in the first auction. It’s all in who wants what when.

Did it not sell because it won’t? This one is a tough call. It’s usually one that’s made after you get a “good feel” of eBay. Some items just have a hard time selling on eBay.

If you did a Hail Mary with an item and listed it to see if someone, somewhere would bid on it and they didn’t – make the decision to cut your losses. Create a donation pile and once a week, move that stuff out of your house (or give it to someone who can use it.). Don’t obsess about how much money you *might* be losing, trust me, there will always be more stuff to sell. If you stick with eBay, it will all come out in the wash anyway.

This week:

  • Someone purchased a purse and then told me they didn’t have the funds to pay for it. I relisted the purse and it already has a few bids on it. The auction ends soon.
  • I had a bunch of McDonald’s employee pins that I had listed for $9.99. No one bid, but I did notice that quite a few people looked at the auction. When the auction was over I relisted the pins at $5.99 – they already have a bid.
  • I had listed a vintage Christmas tree topper that didn’t get a bid. I’m fairly certain that that item will bring in some money so it’s being set aside for *next* year’s holiday season. (Yes, I do hold onto a few things, usually in the seasonal category.)
  • I had a vintage deer pin set. From the time I took the pins out for the photo to the time I sat down to write the auction the mama deer lost her green rhinestone eye. The set has been listed twice with no success. I suppose I can go out and buy a rhinestone to replace the eye with, but you know? For me it’s not worth it. The set is already in the donation box. Done and done.
Mama without an eye

Mama without an eye


I had a student in one of my eBay classes who had bought one of her kids some expensive wool blend long underwear while they were vacationing in Switzerland. The set had never been used and was still (many years later) in its original packaging. She listed the underwear at a high price (after all she had paid a lot for it herself.) The item didn’t sell. She listed it again, it didn’t sell. She listed it again and again without lowering the price (and incurring eBay fees each time.)

I’m not certain, but I can make a pretty good guess that that set of long underwear is still sitting on a shelf somewhere in her house because she can’t let go of how much money she spent on them.

Part of working with eBay is learning to move on. Unless you want to have piles of stuff in the corners of your house (again trust me on this one) you’ve got to figure out when it’s time to let go.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

Leave a comment

Filed under eBay

Lesson 1366 – Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Barbecued Ribs

Okay another pressure cooker recipe. This time my husband, Marc and son, Griffin decided to make ribs in the cooker. They made this decision in part based on this pressure cooker ribs video. Combine that video with the fact ribs were on sale at our local grocery store, and by watching me they knew that no one was going to die using the pressure cooker anytime soon and it was a done deal.

The recipe calls for you to braise the ribs in apple cider and vinegar for 32 minutes at high pressure in the cooker. Then you take them out of the pressure cooker, put them on a baking sheet, cover them with barbecue sauce and bake for 15 minutes. Continue reading


Filed under Recipes, Tiny house cooking

Lesson 1365 – Identifying Chronic Lyme in Your Family



Honestly, I am getting more and more people contacting me (which, by all means, please ask your questions.) about strange symptoms their kids are having this winter.

Last night a mom told me about her son who had tested positive for Lyme disease in November/December, was treated with one round of antibiotics and is now having some knee/joint issues where the knee is swollen and hot. (First comment – ticks are usually not around in these months and so if you test positive in December, chances you are have a full blown infection that’s been there for some time. Second comment – a “round” of antibiotics (typically 2 weeks) is probably not going to do anything for Lyme disease, especially if it’s set up shop in your body.) Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Lyme Disease

Lesson 1364 – Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Lesson 3

Lesson 3 in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is all about creating budgets. (This follows Chapter 3 in his Complete Guide to Money book – which I saw at Costco this week for 12.99 – just sayin’)

20160126_090747I thought I was pretty good at making a budget (in my head) but when I sat down and put it on paper I realized that I had a little work to do. Dave tells us that the first month, your budget will not work.

Huh! I was going to prove him wrong. I was going to be an A+ student in this class. I took my anticipated monthly income and *before* it was deposited in the bank I sat down and allocated funds to bills and expenses. I even set aside $100 during the month for “Mad Money.” My goal was to have about $500 extra at the end of the month to put toward our debt. Continue reading


Filed under Financial Peace University, Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1363 – A Year of Nothing New

Kristin Skarie is a friend of mine whom I met through my son when she did workshops at his college. Like me, she also loves to do life experiments and one of her finest was going a year without buying anything new. It can be done,  she’s even written a book about it! Here’s Kristin to tell you about what she learned when she didn’t buy anything new.


Hello and thank you Wendy! In 2010, I made a decision to buy nothing new for a year. A friend had shared her recent nothing new experiment so I decided on the spot to give it a go – no preparation, no stocking up, no plans. In many ways this was an answered prayer to remedy a BAD 2009 (don’t ask!) and it gave me a welcome distraction – an active, positive focus on the pending adventure. Continue reading


Filed under Life Lessons

Lesson 1362 – Online Auctioning – lesson 3

For the most part, once you have listed something on eBay everything is pretty much automated. People bid, a winner wins, that winner gets notified and payment usually happens, sometimes before you’re even aware that the auction has ended.

This sold for $15.

This sold for $15.

However, there can be a few little bumps along the way.

Questions – sometimes people will want to know more information about your item and they will send you a question through eBay. You’ll receive a notification of the question by email but when you look at what you are selling on your “My eBay” page, you’ll notice a red text box on the auction line indicating that there is an unanswered question. Most of the questions are straight forward – Does the pocket have a zipper? Can you tell me how wide this is? Are there any markings on the bottom? Continue reading


Filed under eBay