Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mrs. Roy's Favorite Charity - October - Operation Christmas Child

Mrs. Roy will focus on a particular charity each month for the entire month. Mrs. Roy hopes you will join me in supporting these worthy causes. I promise not to lead you astray but to only recommend charities that (1) Mrs. Roy knows do good work, (2) Mrs. Roy knows they are good stewards and (3) Mr. and Mrs. Roy put their money where their mouth is - in other words, we give to them.

Mrs. Roy’s favorite charity for October is Operation Christmas Child, a division of Samaritan’s Purse. These are the shoebox people – they get folks like you and me to pack a shoebox with small gifts and they deliver them all over the world to children who need to know that Jesus loves them. Mrs. Roy and some of her friends get together each fall and throw a party where everyone comes together to pack the shoeboxes. It’s a wonderful charity and Mrs. Roy hopes you will join us in packing a shoebox and sending it to child to make them smile.

There is a link at the top of this page that will send you to the website for Operation Christmas Child. If you don’t want to pack a shoebox yourself, you can still support this charity by making a donation and praying that God will lead them in this work. Mrs. Roy hopes you will follow this link at least once this month and make a donation to this worthy organization.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Mrs. Roy read about some folks out on the west coast who have sold, given away and donated all their stuff until they only own 100 items.  Mrs. Roy's been thinking about that and Mrs. Roy's not going there - for lots of reasons.  One reason is that Mrs. Roy loves her pickle keeper. 

There are some things in this world that just do what they are supposed to do so perfectly, it can't be improved.  This Tupperware pickle keeper is one of those things.  Mrs. Roy bought hers many, many years ago and it has been in constant use ever since.  How does it work, you ask?  Well, when you take off the lid, there is a handle underneath that is connected to a perforated bottom so that when you pull up on the handle, the pickles come up out of the brine without you having to dig for them.  When you let go, everything settles back to the bottom so the pickles stay nice and moist.  Mrs. Roy thinks it's more sanitary than a plain old pickle jar and it's certainly more interesting. 

Mrs. Roy has bought a couple of these beauties in second-hand shops over the years, always giving them away to interested friends or family.  Mrs. Roy checked the Tupperware website and you can buy a new one for $17.00.  Mrs. Roy is not trying to sell Tupperware but was glad to know they still make them.

Mrs. Roy knows there are probably a lot of things we could do without around here and be perfectly happy, but my pickle keeper makes me smile and that's worth more than some extreme political / ecology / frugality statement in Mrs. Roy's book.  So, rest assured there are probably always going to be lots more than 100 items in Mrs. Roy's house and, if you are interested, the pickles are in the frig.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mrs. Roy's Way of Spending Time

Mrs. Roy's way of relaxing sometimes means sitting down at the sewing machine and making something from nothing.  Mrs. Roy has a relatively large stash of fabric pieces given to me by a friend and I'm having a great time working my way through the stash.  It has become a challenge to see what Mrs. Roy can make without having to go to the store and supplement my stash.  When the baby quilt pictured above is finished, it will have come completely from the stash.  It's a perfect blending of Mrs. Roy's favorite ways of doing things - frugal, charitable (the quilt is a gift), eco-friendly by using what I have instead of buying new, and fun for me to work on.

Life is good.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Mrs. Roy had a Sunday School student who came up to me years ago and said he had been arguing with his grandmother about creationism vs other ideas and his grandmother told him to just go ask Mrs. Roy, as his Sunday School teacher, and Mrs. Roy would tell him the truth. So, he asked me, did God create the world in six days like it says in the Bible or over millions of years like some scientists say? Mrs. Roy knew right then and there, with that young boy looking me straight in the eye and expecting me to know the absolute right answer, that God was telling me to put up or shut up - Mrs. Roy had to decide on the spot whether I was going to believe that every word of the Bible was the inspired Word of God or not. And that young boy's soul might be the cost of my lack of faith.

So, yes, God did create the world in six days just like the Bible says. Mrs. Roy is not going to start picking and choosing which part of the Bible to believe. For Mrs. Roy, it's all or nothing.  I know God is real and that Jesus is real and that He died on the cross for my sins so the rest is real, too. Mrs. Roy can't explain all of it but I believe it. And I'm thanking the Lord once again for sending that boy and his grandmother into Mrs. Roy's life with that lesson.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Gary over at The Dollar Stretcher recently asked:  Has anyone found a way to program themselves to be happy with what they have?  Mrs. Roy definitely believes contentment is a learned behavior and Mrs. Roy has found some tricks to help me along the way.  Maybe one of these will help you, too.

An attitude of gratitude. One of the best ways to be happy with what you have is to be intentionally grateful. Make a list every morning of ten things you are grateful for, even if you don’t feel very grateful. You may have a flat tire, but at least you have a car. You may not have a steak for dinner, but be thankful you have a can of soup. This exercise becomes easier as you go along so stick with it.

Take an inventory. When Mrs. Roy was going through a rough patch, I would take a mental inventory every time the panic started to swell up - kids are okay, husband is okay, house payment is made, electricity is still on, gas in the car, food to eat today.  Mrs. Roy was boiling our life down to the least common denominator but knowing the basics were taken care of made the “uncontrollables” in Mrs. Roy's life less daunting.

Look outside yourself. Most of us are so blessed. How can Mrs. Roy fuss about not having the latest greatest cell phone when other folks don’t have food?

Stop watching television and reading magazines. Advertisers spend millions making their products tempting. Manufacturers are constantly creating newer, better versions of their products specifically so we will become discontented with the perfectly fine product we already bought. Just don’t subject yourself to the ads and you will be much more content.

Set a goal. If Mrs. Roy is saving toward a specific goal, I am less likely to spend money on things Mrs. Roy doesn't really need.  In other words, Mrs. Roy is more content with what I have and less likely to feel deprived if Mrs. Roy is focusing on the goal.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Take Your Adventures Where You Find Them

Mrs. Roy recently had an adventure in the Japan Air Club Room restroom.  Mrs. Roy is really, really sorry she didn't take her camera into the restroom so there would be photographic proof of this story but who knew???

Here's the story.  Mr. and Mrs. Roy were on a journey and had the privilege of stopping off in the Japan Air Club Room in a foreign airport.  When Mrs. Roy went to the potty, I was greeted by a large, square contraption instead of the usual oval model.  Plus it had a lid.  Now, if you've ever been out of the USA, you know that restroom facilities differ from place to place so Mrs. Roy was immediately wary of this square thing, thinking it might be something other than what Mrs. Roy thought it was, perhaps a bidet or something.  This is one of those situations where it could be really embarrassing if you made a mistake so caution is a good thing.

That's when Mrs. Roy noticed the control panel on the wall.  There were two (two!!) rows of buttons on this control panel and, fortunately, some English along with the symbols.  Mrs. Roy saw that there were options for flush, tornado flush, wash front, wash back, even powder!  Obviously, this was no ordinary toilet!

Mrs. Roy proceeded gingerly but relaxed when skin met warm porcelain.  That's right - the seat was heated.  Now Mrs. Roy was wishing I had brought my book in with me.  Soon enough, the time came for Mrs. Roy to decide which buttons to push.  Mrs. Roy's exact choices might be a little too much information but Mrs. Roy will tell you that I stayed clear of the tornado flush.  And Mrs. Roy decided to forgo the powder; you just never know.

Mrs. Roy came out of the restroom grinning from ear to ear and Mr. Roy enjoyed hearing all about the Japanese toilet so much, he asked me to share with the rest of you.  All I can say is take your adventures where you find them because life is good!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Charity of the Month - September - Modest - part two

Here is one of the testimonials from someone who was helped by Modest Needs.  What Mrs. Roy liked about this one was that the money was sent straight to the tire store so you know it got used for tires!  That's one of the things Mrs. Roy likes about Modest Needs!

From the bottom of my heart I thank all of you for helping at this time. I don't know how much longer my tires were going to last, but now I can soon get them replaced and it's due to your wonderful generosity. I don't know what I would have done without your help. My car is my only transportation to work. Again, thank you so very much for your kindness in my time of need. I will certainly try to help someone myself when my financial situation improves. May God bless all of you!
benben1112 Lincoln (AR) | 2010-09-09 17:22 | Read original request

If you would like to be part of the good work at Modest Needs, just click on the icon on the right of this page and you can start helping make this world a better place today!  They even have their requests broken down by categories so you can find just the right person to help - animal lovers, military folks, domestic violence situations, elder care, and more.  You can find folks in a particular state or who need a particular amount of money.  Modest Needs makes it easy to be a good neighbor.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.  Mrs. Roy loves ice cream.  And Mrs. Roy loves her brother.  One reason Mrs. Roy loves her brother is because he gave me this super easy chocolate ice cream recipe.  It tastes like a Wendy's Frostie.  There are only three ingredients.  You don't have to cook anything.  Mrs. Roy knows you are going to love it, too.

Mrs. Roy's Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

1/2 gallon chocolate milk
1 regular size container of Cool Whip, thawed
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Dump it all in your ice cream freezer, put the paddle in and put the lid on, turn it on and when it stops - enjoy!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Mrs. Roy was reading "Our Daily Bread" this evening and came across these words:
"Glance at any newspaper and the headlines tell you what’s wrong with the world. Watch television, listen to the radio, talk to friends, and you will find no shortage of opinions as to what is wrong on planet Earth. That’s because pointing out what’s wrong is easy."

Mrs. Roy promised when I started this blog that I would try to explain the way I do things.  This is one of those things Mrs. Roy has learned along the way.  We have to pay back evil with good if we are going to succeed in life.  What's wrong with the world isn't all the mean, bad stuff other people do - the problem is our reaction to all the mean, bad stuff.  Why would we want to allow the hatred and meanness of this world to grow and get larger?  Mrs. Roy says stop adding to the bad vibes.

Look in the mirror.  If you want to make the world a better place, Mrs. Roy strongly suggests you start by trying to fix the person staring back at you.  Don't worry; God will help you if you ask Him.

The "Our Daily Bread" folks also gave us some scripture to check out that Mrs. Roy is happy to pass along.  "If in your personal life you’re facing the effects of someone’s evil actions, these Scriptures may be helpful: Prov. 20:22; Matt. 5:38-48; 1 Thess. 5:15; 1 Peter 3:8-17."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Okay, this is really important.  Mrs. Roy loves Tennessee football and Smokey is the Tennessee mascot.  Go to vote for Smokey and, well, vote for Smokey.  Do it often.  The gnomes and I thank you.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mrs. Roy - Retro

Mrs. Roy has inherited this cool blue retro luggage.  There are two suitcases that complete the set but Mrs. Roy didn't have room to put it all in the car this trip.  This is a world-class example of taking care of the stuff you have and it will last forever.  Most of these pieces of luggage are in the bottom of the landfill tonight but thanks to Mrs. Roy's mother-in-law, this one and its sisters were saved and can now be enjoyed by a new generation.  Mrs. Roy is going to be smiling every time I pull these out and pack in them!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Charity of the Month - Modest was started by a professor at the college Mr. and Mrs. Roy attended. Here is an article that appeared in an Arizona newspaper a while back explaining what they do and how they do it. Just so you'll know, they do what they do better than just about anybody else!  You can click on the link to the right to help - PLEASE. 

In an economic downturn, more people may find themselves robbing Peter to pay Paul.

When people have neither a Peter nor a Paul in their life, they may turn to Modest Needs (, a Web-based charity dedicated to the financial needs of the working poor.

Six-year-old Modest Needs typically cuts checks for a few hundred dollars at a time to people facing unplanned expenses or as high as $1,000 for such one-time needs as getting the car fixed.

Site founder Keith Taylor said that though many people have enough money to cover basic needs, their savings can be meager. So when an emergency crops up - long-term illness, malfunctioning air-conditioner, a broken pipe - they can be thrown into a cycle of poverty.

"A single mother making $27,000 a year - which is nothing - who would not qualify for any state or federal help because she makes too much money is our ideal applicant," Taylor said.

Taylor said the idea stemmed from his college days and how family and friends helped him out financially when an unexpected expense cropped up. If he were wealthy one day, he recalled thinking, he would help those in similar need.

"Then it occurred to me that the people who helped me those two or three times I needed it weren't wealthy, they were just kind," he said.

People in difficult financial circumstances may post their hard-luck stories on Modest Needs, where visitors may choose to contribute (donations start at $1 and can range into the hundreds). When enough money is donated to meet an applicant's need, Modest Needs sends a check to the individual, organization or business that posted the plea.

Anna Schaefer, 54, sought the generosity of strangers in May when she found herself and her two sons, ages 19 and 14, facing eviction. Months before, she had moved to Phoenix from St. Paul, Minn., because doctors thought the warm, dry weather would help her recover from car-accident injuries. Just before the move, Schaefer was faced with a $1,000-plus car-repair bill.

"That set us back," Schaefer said. "Then we get down here and I thought I'd get a job real easy, and my 19-year-old, too. We haven't. We didn't know the economy was going to do what it did. I started to panic, and I couldn't pay the May rent."

She posted her story on Modest Needs and read other stories. There was a Colorado mother of two small children who had lost her job and was about to be evicted. "So I sent her $10," Schaefer said. "I thought, what am I doing? You need to put food on your own table, but I hoped to pay it forward and that it would come back to me."

Schaefer watched as the online contributions to her request grew. Within a week or two, strangers had donated more than $1,000, covering her late rent.

"I continue to give," she said, although she still doesn't have a job and lives on disability checks. "You have to when you read the stories."

Four years ago, the organization was receiving about 300 requests for aid a month. Now the organization receives about 250 requests a day. Taylor said the economic downturn has resulted in an increase in applications, but also donor support.

The organization gave out about $1.48 million last year, up from $370,000 in 2005. This year, Modest Needs expects to give away more than $2 million. About half of all applicant requests that meet the qualifying criteria are funded.

Income of applicants must be above the poverty line, making them unable to get other assistance. Applicants must prove their financial needs and situation by e-mailing such documents as pay stubs and bills.

First-time mom Christina Tonelli, 40, of Tucson, was overstressed and financially strapped with a sick newborn. Within 20 days of applying to cover a $574 hospital bill for her daughter, Sofia Tonelli-Pepe, Modest Needs sent a check to the hospital.

"It was such a quick turnaround," Tonelli said. "It's an amazing organization, and to think it's just a couple people here and there donating a few dollars."

Donors are able to read the applicants' stories and later can receive follow-up testimonials from the people they helped. Tonelli wrote to her donors: "You have made a big difference in our monthly budget and have lightened our load so we can concentrate more on getting our daughter healthy and strong."

Although many of the requests on Modest Needs are to cover bills and repairs, some are for acquisitions, such as a breathing apparatus or glasses - or in the case of 20-year-old Tucson resident Nicholas Jansen, a bicycle.

He doesn't have a driver's license, and even if he could afford a car, the part-time custodian at a non-profit agency said he couldn't afford the gas.

"I've been using public transportation, but the bus system is just not as reliable as I need it to be," Jansen said. "If I need to get somewhere at a certain time, the bus would make me late. With a bicycle, I could improve my on-time ability."

Jansen said he watched for a week, but no one chose to fulfill his request even though he submitted the documentation showing that his mother, his brother and he were disabled and living on a fixed income in the same house.

"Then one anonymous donor completely funded the entire application," Jansen said. "I nearly fell out of my chair. The bike is in great shape. And I got it from a place that will do free service on it for a lifetime. It's inexpressible how grateful I am. I would love to help someone else out this way someday."

Taylor said that's the idea.

"It's not about helping people with these short-term expenses," he said. "It's about inspiring people to be the philanthropists we all have it in us to be."

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