Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

Pam's recounting of how her ancestrally thrifty habits have helped her in modern life in ways none of her foremothers could have imagined!

Showing 2 posts in the Emergency category for this blog.
Pioneer Woman & First Aid
Sunday, May 06, 2012

Now, I am not advocating these measures - just want to TELL you all what happened to me last week & how I dealt with it ....

I have been having allergic reactions on my right hand/arm.  Went to the allergist & she prescribed some cream and added another antihistamine to my regimen - Ok - swelling, itching went down. (The Caladryl my hubby bought me helped a lot, too...)

THEN I woke up on Friday with two purple blisters-type lesions on my middle finger & it was all swollen. To make matters worse, i had a ring on that finger, which was cutting off circulation, & was now too tight to get OFF.

Called the nurse hotline of my HMO & they told me to go to Urgent Care, which I did.  Arrived MUCH too early (my fault) - & had to wait from 12:30 to 2PM (They have a lunch break?) Then I waited some more & finally saw a doctor who confirmed what I thought & said the ring had to come off - but they didn't have the right tool - then I was directed across the street & down a block to another building - & they didn't have the tool, either. They wanted me to go to the OR - but knowing how OR's run & that I was not on the point of dying, I would have to wait another 3-4 hours - so I just drove home AND

After some trying, I banged the ring open with a hammer! (I have had silver rings which have broken in the back by themselves when I DIDN'T want then to - so....) I then opened up the ring with a screw driver - AND THEN I lanced the blood blisters or whatever they were with a pair of nail scissors I had heated on the gas stove to sterilize!  Then I washed it all in hot water & applied an antiseptic ointment & a large bandaid -

The doctor at Urgent Care actually CALLED me to see what had happened - which I explained to her & told her that I would watch it & if it got any worse, I would go back to the doctor.

Well, it is a few days now, & it is all healing up nicely! The Urgent Care doctor did make an observation that helped, asking me if I gardened - which I do, a little - perhaps I was reacting to something in the garden (or the pesticides the gardeners apply)....So now I am looking for gardening gloves!

See - sometimes being PIONEER WOMAN & applying a bit of first aid WORKS!  We all have to know some first aid in case of emergencies, too - no?


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How to Live After Losing a Job
Thursday, March 27, 2008

More and more people are worrying about losing their jobs - and even though I am a bit more stable nowadays than I was in many years of artistic "freelancing" in which I was ALWAYS losing a job(s) - I thought I would look back on what those years taught me.  What DID I DO?

  • Sold stuff- I had yard sales and thinned my vintage clothing and costume jewelry collection.  I recycled my can and bottle collection when I needed a few bucks for gas.  I sold old books to used book stores.  I sold anything lying around, like my ex-boyfriend's motorcycle engine.  I sold the old junker of a car when I got my new(er) one. I even tried to sell blood (not good at that).  You get the idea.  You have a lot of $ hanging around in extra stuff, and the only cost to you is your labor - and you will have lots of time on your hands.
  • Got funny jobs - I did promotional "modeling" - and handed out coffee and samples. I was a spritz woman in a department store.  I sold Mexican flowerpots. Look on craigslist under miscellaneous, and you can pick up $ to supplement your unemployment ins. money.
  • Oh - of course - get your unemployment $.  Follow the rules.  Notice that you can make up to a certain amount and not jeopardize your benefits, only make them string out a little longer...
  • What aid do you qualify for?  Check out local clinic(s) - food plans.  Also see if whatever professional or other organizations you have been a member of can help you out if the going gets really BAD. (I was helped by my church, a local clinic and an artistic organization...)
  • What can you now get for free?  I was able to qualilfy for free medications through the drug manufacturer of my medication - check out yours.
  • Or - get your meds through Walmart's $6 generic program, even if you have to switch meds (many are interchangeable). You can even do this by mail.
  • If you need a break - take an inexpensive vacation, like a weekend camping trip.  All you really need is a tent - the rest you can fake...
  • Make your hobbies pay - I made $ appearing at Ren Faires - which was a bus man's holiday - as I got to camp on the site, too! And they are always in lovely places.
  • Do chores for others - I picked up $ ironing once - Maybe you could clean a friend's house - haul something - garden....
  • Institute immediate austerity measures and count every penny.  Empty the penny jar if necessary. Remember, change is money, too.  And don't pay for anything you don't have to. Look for free entertainment - stay home and watch movies on TV -
  • Do surveys, sign up for survery research (good up to about age 50, then you are over the hill).
  • Write articles for sites like to make some pocket $ - Good practice and you can say you have been writing, which sounds legit...What do you know about?  Share it?
  • Teach/tutor.  You can do that informally - or though an agency.  It helps to have degree(s) for that.
  • Babysit?? Mow lawns?  (Remember the old days)  Cut someone's hair?  Turn up a hem or mend???
  • You can even go to a pawn shop and take your jewelry and valuables in for "protective custody" for a while until things improve.  They only give you 10% of the value - so don't let them keep the stuff - that's how they make $.  My instruments used to go in and out.  But I always redeemed them.

I hope this will give you some ideas that normally wouldn't occur to the more or less middleclass.  But I assure you, go on in the underground economy all the time. Oh, that's another thing - look around and see if there are any "underground economy" outlets (yard sales, sidewalk vendors of organges, swap meets) you can use right now - they are usually a lot cheaper than even Target....



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