Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Snail Mail Challenge

Katy over at The Nonconsumer Advocate has issued a snail mail challenge. All you have to do is agree to send out at least one snail mail a week - note, postcard, package, whatever so long as it is delivered by the USPS. (Well, unless you live in another country, then your local postal service would do it - you get the point.)

Mrs. Roy and Fifi are both going to take up the challenge. Actually, it won't be much of a challenge for Fifi since she's pretty good about snail mailing anyway. But let's just say we are both getting into the spirit of the thing. If you look back at this previous blog post, you will see that Mrs. Roy has been a snail mail lover for a long time.

We also got good news from the postal service yesterday - all their stamps from now on will be forever stamps, so you can buy stamps now and use them, well, forever. Mrs. Roy doesn't know why they didn't think of that earlier. So go ahead and buy yourself 52 forever stamps and get ready to go postal with Fifi and Mrs. Roy and Katy! Maybe we will start a new snail mail revolution!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Snacks

Grandmother's Step Stool

Mrs. Roy's grandson sits on this stepstool whenever he visits.  It puts him right at table level.  Mrs. Roy herself sat on this stepstool in Grandmother's kitchen back in the 1960's.  Mrs. Roy smiles whenever she sees this stepstool sitting in the kitchen because it is part of our family history.  Mrs. Roy loves traditions and this stepstool is a great one. 

Mrs. Roy supposes some folks would call this "vintage" and Mrs. Roy has seen reproductions that are pretty pricey.  Mrs. Roy is so glad Grandmother never got rid of any of her stuff.

So this Christmas morning, Mrs. Roy's grandson will sit on a seat that has held the rears of at least five generations of Mrs. Roy's family.  Life is good.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Mrs. Roy's Way

This is Mrs. Roy's favorite Christmas ornament.  We got it in 1996 to commemorate our trip to the Atlanta Olympics.  It plugs into the tree lights so that every time you turn on the lights, it plays the Olympic theme song.  Lots of folks have ornaments that play Christmas carols but not too many of us have the Olympic fanfare blaring through the house each December.  Mrs. Roy's way may not be exactly normal but it sure makes me smile!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mrs. Roy's list of good things

As a fire blazes in Mrs. Roy's fireplace insert, heating our house instead of using the electric heat, Mrs. Roy came across a list of 20 positive trends.  Wow!  That's a lot of good news! 

1.  We are safer.  The number of violent crimes dropped 3.5% in 2008, burgleries are down 43% since 1989, property level crimes have dropped 25% since the early 1990's and auto theft is down 42% from 1991.

2.  We use less energy.  Like burning wood in our fireplaces instead of using electric heat.  Per capita use of electricity in the US is down 9% from 1979.  And from 1970 to 2008, the amount of energy needed to produce a dollar's worth of goods and services has dropped 53%.

3.  We are generous.  Americans gave $300 billion to charities in 2009.  Wow!

4.  Mass transit use has increased by 38% from 1995 through 2008.

5.  We live longer and feel better.  We will live an average of 10 years longer than our parents and people over 50 have less stress, anxiety and worry than those under 50.

6.  Young people are smarter about taking care of themselves.  Less smoking, less drug and alcohol use.  Hooray!

7.  Networking using technology - computer dating services, social networks, etc. - have been shown to increase our likelihood of being happy by 9%.

8.  We are hooked up.  Wifi is getting more common, even on airplanes, and is free more often.

9.  Marriages are lasting longer and divorce rates are going down.

10.  We recycle approximately 800 tons of stuff each and every day.

11.  The total acreage of forested land in the US increased during the last thirty years and forest ecosystems are remaining intact.

12.  Our air is a lot cleaner than it used to be - pollutants like sulfur dioide are down 59% and concentrations of carbon monoxide, lead and oxygen dioxide are below the federal standards.

13.  8.9% fewer people died in auto accidents in 2009 than the year before.

14.  We grow more of our own food.  Seed sales are increasing and canning equipment sales have gone up 30%.

15.  Between 2002 and 2007, hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped 23%.  Public policy laws restricting smoking in public places is thought to contribute to this decline.

16.  We wear our seatbelts more.

17.  Bees are making a comeback.  This is huge since we don't know why they were dying off but we need them for farming and for honey.

18.  Breast cancer declined by 2% per year from 1999 to 2006.

19.  We are exercising more. 

20.  Being a positive thinker results in less heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure or diabetes among women in a 2009 Heart Association study and had a positive impact on grades, class performance and the immune system of students in a 2010 study.

Mrs. Roy read all this cool stuff in the goodneighbor magazine sent by our State Farm insurance agent.  Thanks, Ralph!

Friday, December 3, 2010

McGladrey Classic

Mrs. Roy would like to thank Davis Love, III, and his family and friends who hosted the first annual McGladrey Classic PGA tournament at Sea Island recently.  Mr. Roy and I were able to attend with our son who lives over there.  It was a great weekend and a great tournament.

For Mr. and Mrs. Roy, it was also frugal fun - Mr. Roy had enough hotel points for us to stay two nights free.  Plus the tournament passes were free with a military ID and we were able to take a guest so our son got to join us for free.  Then there was a military hospitality tent where they gave us free drinks, sandwiches and cookies with our military ID.

Mrs. Roy appreciates Davis Love, III and the McGladrey Classic honoring our veterans this way.  And my thanks once again to Mr. Roy for serving our country and keeping us free.  There aren't enough free tickets to make up for what you've done for us.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mrs. Roy's Charity of the Month - December - Salvation Army

As you may already know, Mrs. Roy focuses on a particular charity each month for the entire month. Mrs. Roy hopes you will join me in supporting these worthy causes.  Mrs. Roy promises 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.

The Salvation Army is one of my favorite charities.  We probably all recognize the red kettles that appear outside stores during December and Mrs. Roy hopes you will keep an extra dollar bill in your pocket to slip in the kettle each time you go by. 

The Salvation Army is one of the oldest charities in the United States and has a fascinating HISTORY.  

One of the best things about the Salvation Army is that they don't pay their people much.  They use the money we give them to help the people they are supposed to help.  The national leader of the Salvation Army makes less than $50K annually - contrast that to the Red Cross Chairman who makes several million each year in salary! 

Locally, the Salvation Army is in charge of the Empty Stocking Fund in conjunction with our local newspaper.  Each Christmas, they allow parents in need to register their children to receive toy gifts.  A lot of those toys are donated by motorcycle riders who have a HUGE charity toy run in December.  Last year the Salvation Army was worried because they had nearly twice as many requests for help as the year before.  But you know what?  The bikers donated twice as many toys as the year before!  God is so good to take care of our needs.

Mrs. Roy encourages you to be a part of the wonderful work of the Salvation Army folks as they help others this Christmas season.