Deep Thoughts: Grill Igniter

This morning I was going through my emails and I clicked on the newest one from Pretty Handy Girl.  Do you read her blog?  I love it, she is amazing.  Right now she is saving a house that she calls Etta.  You should follow along, it’s pretty cool.

Anyway, her blog post was about replacing your grill’s igniter button.  And my brain just stutter-stopped.  You know those moments when your brain flashes 38 different instances in front of your eyes in 0.4 seconds?  That’s what happened.

The flashes were of me or Denton (mostly Denton because I sort of like my eyebrows, some days) over the last four or five years lighting our gas grill with a twisted up piece of paper towel that’s on fire – me – or lit matches – Denton – to light our grill.

I had somehow blocked out the reasoning behind this curious thing we’ve been doing for years.  And it’s because our igniter button no longer works.  Huh.  How do you forget the reason behind something you do at least twice a week, for years?  Or maybe it isn’t that we forgot, but it’s just something that we’ve grown so used to doing and it’s not irritating enough to us yet that we would do something about it.

Possibly, I could have had the thought cross my thrifty brain that the cost of a new igniter would be upwards of what I paid for the thing five years ago at a yard sale – ergo – it would be cost prohibitive to replace.  It’s a very nice gas grill, but I’m not willing to sink money into a button that would save me 16 seconds twice a week, if it’s going to cost more than I paid for the grill itself.

Do you face these dilemma’s on a daily basis too?  I’m going to go set out my vitamins next to my stove, because it’s the first thing I see in the mornings, so I’ll be sure to take them.  And possibly take a nap.  Good luck with your igniter button.




When your time and sanity are worth more than money.

The windshield on our 1995 Jeep Wrangler is cracked so it is time to get it replaced.  For some reason our insurance isn’t covering this – note to self, check into this – so we are having to foot the bill.

I am ever the frugal queen and checked to see what a replacement would cost.  $99.99.   Plus the cost for the gaskets, which are around $89.00.   After taxes, right about $200.00.  Yay for flat windshields.  But the catch would be that Denton and I would have to spend who knows how long installing this bad boy ourselves.

If you have ever DIYed anything, ever, you know that how long you believe a certain job will take you, you should double it.  Seriously.  Especially if it’s something that you have never tackled before.  I would probably go so far to say you may want to triple or quadruple your time frame.  It’s better to think this way, so when it does take you three hours to remove thirty square feet of carpeting, the tack strips, and 967,452,124 staples you won’t be surprised.  Ahem.

Anyway, I had Denton order the windshield so we could get this taken care of.  But, he called me back and said that he checked with a local glass dealer who installs windshields and the guy will order the windshield and gaskets, and install it for $232.00.

So.  $32.00.  Denton seriously didn’t want to tell me this.  He knows how hard I will pinch a penny.  Until it screams.

But, I have discovered something about myself these last few years.  My time and sanity are precious.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love DIY.  Hayden and I have had some serious quality time together laying the wood floors in our house.  I would even go so far as to say that we are enjoying it.  His words.

But you also have to do the math and be reasonable about things.  $32.00.  I would wager a guess and say that I think that Denton and I could get the old windshield out in about an hour.  This is from watching random people on YouTube who know what they are doing.  So using my fool-proof method, I will double that and say it will actually take us two hours to remove.

I believe that we are perfectly capable of installing the new windshield and gaskets, but would estimate with the doubling that it will actually take us around 3 – 4 hours to actually get it in.  That’s if everything goes perfectly.  Which it probably wouldn’t.

Six hours.  $32.00 divided by six hours of manual labor equals $5.33 an hour.  Divide that by 2 because it would take both of us, you get $2.66 an hour.  For something that I already know isn’t going to bring me or Denton joy and happiness.  No, thank you.

I think that he was surprised.  He kept trying to give me reasons of why we should just have this guy do it.  I agreed with him.  Over and over.  He knows me well after all of these years.

Here is the caveat, and there is almost always a caveat with me.  If you had given me this scenario 15 years ago, we would definitely be doing this ourselves.  Money is a big factor.  Saving even just $32.00 would have been a big deal back then.  So if you are in a place where spending the day with someone you love, even if it’s doing something that you know you are not going to enjoy and it saves you some moolah, go for it.  You’ll learn something new and save some money at the same time.

Just try not to kill one another.


When you can’t find your heating pad…..

Make your own.

IMG_3204It has been one of those mornings.  Up before dawn, with severe cramps.  My daughter has been cursed with this lovely gift most of the women in our family inherited.  We have a special heating pad for days just like this that wraps completely around her body, but it’s MIA today. It’s this one.  If you’re ever in this situation and you can’t find your trusty heating pad, here is a simple solution that actually works.

IMG_3202Find your oldest, softest pillowcase…..

IMG_3199Pour in a few cups or 10 of rice…..

IMG_3203Roll it up like a burrito…..

IMG_3201And microwave for a minute to a minute and a half.  It will stay toasty warm for at least an hour.  Reheat as often as you need.

You’re welcome!



Jewelry and Makeup Armoire.

Last summer I found two of these Mirrotek Jewelry and Makeup Armoire’s on one of my thrift store jaunts.  Last Summer.  I just now put them up in mine and my daughter’s rooms.  sigh.

But, enough about my procrastination habits.  These things are awesome.


Of course mine didn’t come with installation instructions, most of the things I find out and about never do.  But it had these weird arm things that go over the top of a door.  I immediately took those off.  I knew with Liv and myself that it would never stay up on the door with just those things.  We had a reason to call her Destructo Girl when she was little. Poor little thing, she is her mother’s daughter.  And things that would hang beautifully on other people’s doors and never fly off because of someone slamming a door – well – those things had to come off.


You can see that the back of the armoire has two holes in it, up high near the top.  This is where my father’s ingenuity comes into play.  I absorbed his ingenuity through osmosis.

I went out to the garage and grabbed a couple of these.


Drywall anchors people.  It’s what people like me and my daughter need in our lives.


I sank them into the wall at the height that I wanted to hang the armoire and then I sank a couple of screws into them.  Not all the way.  I wanted the screws to stick out slightly to hang the armoire on.


Next, hang up the armoire!  Tada!  It’s not crooked on the wall.  Promise, just my non-skills with my camera.


I love these things.  I transferred the jewelry that I have collected over the years into it and stuffed those jewelry boxes into the donation pile.  Yay for not having things on my dresser.

I love the clean look of it and that’s one less thing on the dresser to call to other random things to come and join it.  Does this happen at your house?  If something sits out on my flat surfaces, other things join it until you can’t tell what your dresser looks like?  Maybe it’s just me.

What do you think?  I hope you find one at a yard sale!

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Fix it Yourself and Save Some Moolah.


My beloved Jeep Liberty is now almost 12 years old.  It gets horrible gas mileage (always has) and it has more than a few scratches here and there on it’s poor body.  But, I seriously don’t want to replace it.  It has served me well and I have no intentions to buy something new.  I have issues, I know.


I hate it when something doesn’t work right though and this past week my rear door wouldn’t open.  It’s very hard to load groceries or haul something home from the thrift store if you can’t open your back door!

YouTube to the rescue.  Don’t you love YouTube?  What did we ever do before we could watch someone do something, that we don’t know how to do and voila – now I’m an expert too.

I looked up Jeep Liberty Rear Door Fix and found a relevant video.

As usual though, in my world nothing happens like it does on TV or the internet.  Apparently his Jeep isn’t a 2004, because my switch wasn’t in the same place as his and it took a lot more swearing and wrench throwing to get it done.


After realizing that ours was different, we – ahem, decided to remove the entire back panel to see what was what.



Lo and behold, we did have a switch, BTW, if you have a 2004 Jeep, ours was located inside the space up to the left.


You flip the switch and ta-da, your door will now open.


Yay for doors that open properly and husbands who are willing to be mechanics at the drop of a hat.  (Even when they would rather play guitar or PlayStation).

Now I can go get my groceries for the week and maybe stop by my local thrift stores!

What have you fixed yourself to save some moolah this week?