Tag Archives: Made in the U.S.A.

Made in the U.S.A. – ornament hooks

2012-12-20 08 (copy).18.50

We needed ornament hooks in December. It was so disappointing when I went to Wal-Mart and all of the ones there were made in… you guessed it: China.

So I thought I’d check out the paper clips and Bingo! Made in the U.S.A.

It just took a little bending and now I have good, strong, American made ornament hooks.

When I packed away the tree decorations this month, I put the hooks in the same can with them.

Next Christmas, I’ll know where they are.

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Filed under Christmas, Made in the U.S.A., Making Do, Thrift, Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart

Made in the U.S.A. – Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards 2012-5

This is a good time to buy Christmas cards for next year. I bought several boxes at Wal-Mart yesterday.

They’ll probably be reduced even further, but I wanted to choose mine while there was still a good selection.

I chose primarily Religious ones, because Christmas without Jesus is rather hollow.
Christmas Cards 2012-9 scaled

Christmas Cards 2012-10

Fantus and Paper Magic Group cards were both made in the U.S.A.

Christmas Cards 2012-6
Christmas Cards 2012-8

Some of them are a bit plain, so I plan to use Stickles (another made in the U.S. product) or some glitter and glue to gussy them up.

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Filed under Christmas, Ephemera, Made in the U.S.A., Thrift, Wal-Mart

Christmas gifts that make a difference

This has been going around on email, and despite my efforts to locate the author, I must leave it as anonymously written until I learn more.

Most of the ideas in it are quite good and are ones I’ve been thinking about lately, even before it was forwarded to me from a friend.

“Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.”

If I had written this, the last bit would’ve read:

“The birth of Jesus has nothing to do with any of this. Is He honored by all thoughtless, out-of-control spending?

We should bestow gifts that are meaningful and have integrity. Christmas never was intended to increase the strength and economy of a repressive, Communist government. China holds the note to an increasing mountain of American debt. They get stronger as the U.S. grows weaker. Neither our country nor our fellow countrymen are honored by feeding the Chinese coffers.”

You can make a difference this Christmas. Help your community keep jobs.

Please, buy American!

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Filed under America, Christmas, Current Events, Faith, Local Shopping, Made in the U.S.A., Shopping

Floor Fan – Made in the U.S.A.

Circulating fans don’t really do much to cool off a room, but they make us feel cooler. Hence, you can have the air conditioner set one degree higher (not really more than that; I’m not a martyr to the green thing; I just want to be comfortable and still save money on our electric bill), but only when you’re in the room. If you’re going to be in another for awhile, or gone from the house, it makes sense to just turn it off.

If you need a floor fan (and who doesn’t this year?), may I suggest that you look at the boxes to see where they’re made?

This oscillating Lasko fan is one that we recently purchased from Lowe’s. It was $39.00 and best of all, made right here in the U.S.A.

Surprising to me is that I really like the remote control. It’s the first one we’ve had with a remote, and it’s quite handy when I’m sitting at the computer, or across the room and I’m either too warm or too cool. Also, there’s a timer on it, but I haven’t read the booklet to see how to use it.

I think it was the only American made fan on the shelf.

*Update Sept. 10, 2011: This is the easier fan to take apart and clean that I’ve ever had. The cage has little clips all around that quickly release, then easily snap back together after cleaning.

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Filed under Made in the U.S.A., Summer

First Aid products, Made in the U.S.A.

While looking through one of my newest vintage magazines (Ladies Home Journal, October 1942), I was struck – and saddened – by the advertisements for domestic and food products which were all made in America.

Things have degenerated so far that almost none of the domestic items (toasters, irons, etc.) are now made here. Many of the foods at the grocery are foreign, too.

I was shocked to see that most of the regular apple juice is Chinese, as well as lots of the garlic.

What’s more American than apples?

Remember Johnny Appleseed?!

What’s with these companies?

And garlic… how hard can it be to grow our own garlic? Do we really need to import it from half-way around the world?!

So, I’m renewing my efforts to find American grown and manufactured products.

A surprising place to find them is at the dollar store. I’m adding new entries under the Made in U.S.A. category on the right sidebar for the different dollar stores. Today I’m focusing on Dollar General.

While looking for items to put in a first aid kit, I came across these:


First, the band aids, adhesive bandages, sticking plaster or whatever you call them.


They didn’t have Bactine, so I bought this antiseptic spray.

There are American-made products out there – we just have to look for them!

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Made in the U.S.A. – Scotch Tape

3M Scotch Magic Tape

Not all tape is made in the U.S.A., but 3M Scotch Magic Tape is.

It is currently on sale at Wal-Mart for $.75, along with other back-to-school supplies, which makes it a good time to stock up for all the gift wrapping this Christmas.

There are other generic tapes that are made elsewhere and are cheaper, but if more Americans were willing to spend a little bit more, then maybe we could save more American jobs.

I’m thinking about this a lot, since my husband has told twice in the last week that some of the people at his place of work have been laid off.

Please, buy American whenever you can.

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Made in the U.S.A. – Dusting Powder Update

Update on the dusting powder:

While we were out this weekend, I looked again at Walgreen for dusting powder. They have Jean Nate and a few designer perfume boxes – all more than I wanted to pay. The clerk and I commiserated with each other about the dearth of the selection.

Good old Wal-Mart.

Spring Fresh Dusting Powder, Lavender scented

$1.68 and that includes a puff.

And made in the U.S.A.

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Filed under Femininity, Made in the U.S.A., Thrift

Made in the U.S.A. – Green Rugs

When I needed new rugs for the bathroom, I looked around at Wal-Mart for something a little more versatile, something that wouldn’t scream “this crazy lady is using a bathroom rug by the front door”. And I needed them to be machine washable. Our home has carpet only in the bedrooms so, we have several rugs around the house (under my computer chair, in front of the doors, by the wood stove, etc. ) and I like them to be of the same type so they can be used interchangeably.

After finding these at Wal-Mart about a year ago, I bought four and have been very happy with them. Recently I decided to buy a few more but our local Wal-Mart no longer carried them. So whenever I was in a different W-M, I would go to the housewares department and see if they had them.

(Now you’re probably thinking that this crazy lady was going from W-M to W-M just looking for rugs, but I wasn’t. However, when we need things when we’re traveling, that’s where we go. )

We went to Tulsa to see my mother for Mother’s Day. When we needed to get some snacks and stretch our legs, we stopped at a Wal-Mart in one of the little towns off I-35 and eureka! I found them. These newer ones are a little larger and a slightly deeper green but in the same tone, so they’re still okay to intersperse. And instead of $6.00 each, they are $9.00.

If green scatter rugs are something you’re in the market for, check these out. They’re stocked with the runners and larger rugs and not in the bathroom towels/rugs area.

These fit the bill:

1. Although no one will mistake them for Neiman-Marcus closeouts, they look just fine to me.
2. The price is right.
3. When the dog is naughty or we track in mud, I just throw them in the washing machine, then hang them up to dry. Occasionally if I need one quickly, I’ll toss them into the dryer with a dryer sheet for static; but I imagine they’ll last longer if I don’t do that too often.
4. They’re made in the U.S.A. – which really puts them at the top of my list.

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Filed under Made in the U.S.A., Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Shopping, Thrift

Trivial Vicissitudes

Somehow I didn’t think it had been so long since I’d posted. So it was surprising when I saw that the last time was June 2. Yikes.

We’ve been having computer adjustments. The laptop has a soldering problem, which Joe is trying to fix. The internet sites on that particular problem advise against trying to fix it without professional help. But as we are on a tight budget, I’m certainly not willing to pay for repairs.

(Joe thinks he can do it himself, and he probably can. He can fix just about anything from cars to washers & dryers to electrical wiring. And welders. One of our neighbors had a welder that needed fixing and even though he’d never worked on one, she asked him to look at it. He fixed it. He even plays a mean Chopin.

What a Renaissance man!)

After another computer virus on our main computer, we have had to make adjustments in the way it operates, learning new file systems. Actually, Joe figures it out and gives me only the information I need to use it. I don’t want to know all the ins and outs. But it has taken some doing to learn how to scan and use photos.

I am absolutely not superstitious, but that makes 3 mechanical things that have gone on the blink this year and 3 last year. The car I drive is inoperable – no way am I ready to spend the money that the garage estimates, and I even agree that it’s a fair price.

So, the math works like this:

1 broken car + 1 broken laptop + 1 virus ridden system = 3 clunkers – 1 new system = 2 trivial problems

Not having a running car is not a huge problem because I actually like being home during the day. Even before it quit, I didn’t use it much. It was lovely going to town sometimes, but no way do I consider it a necessity. (More on that in a future post.)

Last year bigger things broke:

1. Our 8 year old Amana dishwasher
2. The riding lawnmower
3. Our central air conditioner.

We solved those problems by:

1. Washing dishes by hand. Joe won’t buy a cheap dishwasher and I’m too cheap to buy a good one.
2. Bless his heart, he worked on that old John Deere all summer; he’d get it going and then something else on it would break. So we used our old power mower, the regular kind that you walk behind (it was the smallest one that Wal-Mart sold when we lived in the trailer park and had a postage stamp-sized yard.) When we moved out to the country we bought a used John Deere and it worked a couple of years, then it went caput. He was able to keep it going for another couple of years, but it took a lot of work and finally it just wasn’t going to make it. So with the small one, we just mowed enough to keep the varmints at bay.
3. No way was I going to go far enough in debt to finance a new central unit. (Have I mentioned that I’m cheap? Thrifty is a much nicer term, but sometimes I’m just plain cheap.) But air conditioning in modern life is almost a necessity because our homes are just not built to withstand the summer heat. Especially in Texas. So we bought a new Friedrich window unit (made in Texas) at McNeill’s Appliances in Denton. We looked at window units at Home Depot and somewhere else, which I can’t remember. We prefer to buy American made products and from a local business when we can. Going to McNeill’s was wonderful. It reminded me of the appliance store in That Thing You Do, which is the way Americans used to buy household goods. Click here to watch a trailer of it on youtube. It’s a nice tribute to the year 1964. Tom Hanks did a really good job with it.

We also had two small units that we put in bedroom windows. The surprising thing is that our electric bill went down from previous years. Significantly down. So while it’s nicer and quieter to have central, this was a really good and affordable way to keep cool during these Texas summers, or in other words, May – October. And they keep our home really comfortable.

In the long run, none of these road bumps are even important. They’re inconveniences.

When I think about my widowed great-great grandmother, taking her 5 children by covered wagon from eastern Tennessee to start a new life in western Missouri … well, these trivial vicissitudes are hardly worth mentioning.

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Filed under 1960's, 1964, Denton, Internet links, Local Shopping, Made in the U.S.A., Making Do, Texas, Thrift, Using What You Have, Vicissitudes of Life, YouTube

Made in the U.S.A. – Coke Glasses

Another find from Dollar Tree. All of their glasses are not made in America but these Coca-Cola ones are.

Families tend to be either Pepsi or Coke fans. Mine was loyal to Pepsi. When we married, Joe introduced me to Coke and it’s been the real thing ever since. I just love that burn.

In fact, I put one in the freezer and set the timer for about 1/2 hour. Then when I pull it out and pop a straw into it, it’s slushy and really strong. Wow.

I know all the information about how bad soft drinks are for our bodies, but I just love Coke.

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