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 3 posts from November 2006 for this blog.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Just got my Ebay recorder -it's a Johannes Adler - for those who are interested - a reputable old brand - says "Germany" - which means pre- WWII?? (Otherwise, I guess it would be "West Germany" - altho the Adler Co. ended up in EAST Germany - so It's hard to tell....)  For anyone who is interested.  But you can see that I have been doing my research in fragments on the internet - all from the comfort of my own home - with the help of an old book on recorders I got for $2-3 -

The upshot is that I have a nice instrument that would have cost me maybe $140 new for $20 including shipping.  And it seems sturdier than the newer one I have - a Mollenhauer - another reputable brand.  It's a bit of a risk - but with Pay Pal there's some sort of guarantee against getting really rooked. 

I say this because I know there are a lot of parents out there with children who are playing or want to play instruments.  Please try to get them the best instruments you can if they are all all serious - because it makes a tremendous difference.  Cheaper instruments are actually harder to play.  And getting reputable used instruments seems to be the way to go - But go with a known reputable brand - and do your research beforehand.  eBay has an nice intro to buying instruments for you to read, too. 

Oh, there is so much music now on the net.  As I have said here before - over the summer I taught myself to play the concertina all with materials I got FREE on the net. (& on a concertina I got for $20 at a thrift shop.)  The concertina needed minor repairs, which even I could do myself - & here again, a new instrument of that type costs $150 or more & are made in China & probably not as good as my Italian one!

There's a danger in Ebay, as you have to bid wisely & not get caught up in a frenzy - There were 2 old recorders I wanted - but they just went out of my price range for now....& you have to watch the bids, especially at the END.  Lost some music that way -  But looking again - I seem to have hit a particularly good recorder period - Hoorah! 

Here I am playing in my group with a $100 harpsichord which Eldon my parnet got - & has also been working on.  The bonus is that you really do get to know your instrument.  And somehow the instruments seem to be grateful that they are being cared for and appreciated.  It's almost as if they have little souls....

Let me also remind you that even if schools have cut back on their music programs - there's still music in churches - & church choirs are great places for kids to learn about music...I sang in one in Jr. High School before going back to choral singing in grad school....

Music is such a GIFT.  I am so grateful now to my parents & all the wonderful music teachers I had growing up - who really gave me the gift of MUSIC for the rest of my life....




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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Have been bidding for some good wooden recorders on eBay & learning my lessons about that.  Watching the prices carefully and getting updates often.  I also did my research on the brands & am bidding on lesser known but reputable makers. (The internet makes research so much easier.)

But I can see how addictive the process can be & so easy to go over your budgeted amount.  I think I will come out to the good - as a new recorder of that quality would be $70 - but - also watch shipping, etc.  (I stumbled onto an Australian site & saw the shipping in Aussie dollars - the U.S. shopping was twice as much...) Also beware getting international goods - I feel better about things in the U.S.

It may hot be so good for other things - but if you know what you are looking for it seems good for hard-to-find items like used intsruments. (And there's a good guide on eBay for those buying used musical instruments.)  My advise is DO YOUR RESEARCH.



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Pennies add up
Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thought we were running out of candy for the trick or treaters - so I broke out the piggy bank - Didn't need to use it & in putting it away counted $5-6 since I started putting in small change a month or so ago - Not bad  - I have also opened a savings account (again) and joined the Bank of America program "Save the Change" which rounds out to the dollar when you use your ATM card & puts the balance in your savings account. (And they match the first $ up to something like $250!) - It used to be so easy to put $ in my little account when I was 10 or 12 - What happened?  If nothing else, the change is almost invisible. But how so I get it into the bank?  Coin star machines? I saw one in a bank back east.  Now that would be easy.  They are all in supermarkets here....

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