Category Archives: The Frugal Musician

The Frugal Musician falls off the wagon


We had The Big Event in June and in addition to falling off the frugal financial wagon, I also fell off the composting, recycling and reusing train as well.

As the date of The Big Event approached the rapidity of money draining from my resources was only matched by the  pouring out of effort and energy to get our house and grounds in good order to host 40 people. Everything we did in the house and in the garden was something that should have been done YEARS ago, so I’m not whining about spending monetary resources on stain for the deck, paint for the bath and upgrades to fixtures and the like.  I know everything could have been done cheaper, but not as fast as it had to be accomplished.

It bothers me that we had The Big Event and didn’t recycle plastic, glass and aluminum. It bothers me that in the week before TBE, I didn’t compost my vegetable scraps or put out my coffee grounds and eggshells to dry for mulching the tomato plants.

On the upside, I washed and plan to reuse the big aluminum serving pans with the nice fitting plastic tops we bought and I had enough plastic cups, utensils, paper plates and napkins to host another Big Event.

And this time the house and grounds will be in order and time, effort and energy will be intact for maximum enjoyment of the hostess!


The Frugal Musician gets transparent


For the third weekend since December 18 we’re snowed in. Great masses of the white stuff pile at our driveway and ribbons of windblown snow weave around our window panes.  I have never seen snow like this. It would be remarkable and enchanting but my enthusiasm for it is tempered by a solid dose of winter work woes. When the weather is bad, Boyfriend’s work closes and he goes unpaid. It’s winter and most bands tour sparsely and close to home during the cold months. And I rely on touring to make a living.

This scenario is not new and each year I try my best to prepare for it. Unfortunately, in January, I lost what I considered my “day job”. I was a public relations gal for a regional act and it took up nearly all my time. The pay was good, contributing nearly two thirds of my income. So I was rather shocked when touring didn’t let the group to renew my contract for another year.  Then panic set in followed close on the heels of despair, discouragement and downright despondency.

Deriving an income from music and those who make it is tenuous in the best of times.  With that in mind, I keep an emergency fund quickly accessible. I am lucky. But the next few months will be some of the toughest I’ve ever experienced.

I’ve decided to share this and share it now after pondering my situation for over a month. I didn’t know whether I should talk about this sudden change of affairs or simply keep it to myself and let people continue to wonder what the heck is wrong with Tammy.

Transparency is a big deal.  I am the strong, silent type, always more content to bear whatever comes along with the stoicism of a monk and the full recognition that The Universe knows what it’s doing. I may not understand it, but I trust that this is how things are at the moment.

 It occurs to me a blog is a web log and perhaps I can share my scary moments and triumphs on this new journey with you. After all, you’ve always been so kind to read and comment and I value your friendship more than I can say.

So here’s to transparency and the stinky smelly side of slap me in the face reality.  It’s like a rollercoaster here right now. Hop in but remember to keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times and don’t exit until the ride has come to a full stop.

Ready, Set -GO!

The Frugal Musician is a home body


Dragrace and Kronk 019

Each month I set aside a certain amount of “spending money”. Sometimes my spending money lasts an entire 30 or 31 days and I have a bit to add to my alotment for the upcoming month. Sometimes, as is the case this month, I’ve had to dip into my spending cash for necessities like gas, groceries and mailing packages.

It’s August 14 and I am technically out of cash. Not really. I have savings and I have checking, but in my mind, when my little spending money envelope is empty, it is empty. I do one of two things when this happens. I either side hustle some plants from my yard or I opt for a weekend of piddling around the house.

Piddling around, in the southern dialect, simply means hanging about not really doing much of anything. You can be piddling around in the yard, piddling around in the kitchen or piddling around the neighborhood. Nothing is within walking distance here in lovely Marion Hill, so I will be piddling in the kitchen and piddling in the yard. And piddling upstairs in my sewing room, since the weather has cooled a bit and it’s bearable up there.

I have sewing projects, cooking projects (picked apples from Mr Lundie’s trees day before yesterday and my butter peas are coming in ), writing projects (just finished a new booklet about band organization and am designing the cover), reading projects (Herbology is my new interest) and I’m in the middle of a most excellent Jane Austen read. I have plenty of magazines and art projects to keep me busy as well as the garden and yard.

I am grateful to have a home and garden that I love- a place that provides me with peace and solitude and serenity.  Whether your home is a house, an apartment, a condo, a tent, trailer or teepee, I hope this weekend you’ll find it an enjoyable place to be.

The Frugal Musician and Simple Abundance


This is one of the books I stumbled across 4 years ago as I was asking the universe to lay before me books that would illumine, enlighten and make me feel not so alone in the world.  I encourage everyone to seek out this wonderful daily guide to self discovery and peace.

I am so glad I found this book and have bought copies for my mom and sister and friends.  Sarah seems to nail down the pecularities of women’s souls and substance.  From frugality to mindful living, she covers it all.

The Frugal Musician has a problem with paper…



I am a record keeper. I keep calendars as part of my daily work. I can tell you how many shows I’m working, who is where and when they’re supposed to be there and how much money they’re making.  I also keep a daily work  journal, which I call a Daily Book. The Daily Book helps me track progress on projects, helps me keep ideas in one place and also doubles as my incoming call log. Each night when I close my office, I write my to do list for the next morning in the Daily Book.

I have a problem letting go of my calendars and Daily Books. I always feel like I will need some piece of information hidden deep in the crevices of one of them from three years ago.

I realized this weekend, this constant parade of paper was its own brand of clutter.

I set aside two hours and carefully went through my old Daily Books to glean any information I might need.  I found VERY little info that I really needed. And nothing that I could not have lived without.

I then tore out the pages in the old Daily Books and shredded them to make paper mulch for the garden.

And I do feel better.

Do you have a paper problem? I’d love to hear about it. That way, I know I’m not alone! Maybe we could form a support group!

The Frugal Musician wants to be a hound dog



Kronk the Dog got up this morning at 11:30am, walked in my office, noticed it was raining, turned around and walked back to the bedroom and got back under the covers.

I was already in the midst of an ultrafrantic day, juggling several different projects and writing proposals to hopefully land a little more freelance work when Mr Kronk made his morning appearance and disapperance.

As he walked out of the office I thought, “I want to be Kronk.”

If it’s raining when he gets up, he simply goes back to bed and waits on the weather to improve or for breakfast to be served whichever comes first. Speaking of breakfast, he eats at his leisure, not at a desk or standing at the counter in the kitchen while talking on the phone.  He has his morning constitution without special running pants or shoes or an IPOD.  When it’s sunny, he plays and romps and sniffs and rollicks with rocks and balls.  On a particularly busy day, he’ll escape the fence and go running with wild abandon through the neighborhood until his ride shows up- that’s either Chris or me, and he hops in the car, tail wagging with a big grin on his ole hound dog face. “I did it again!” his gleeful eyes seem to say. “No bamboo-deer- chainlink fence can contain the mighty dog I am!”

He’s never sad or worried about where his next meal or his next buck might come from. He’s not caught up in the stock market mess or the mortgage meltdown. He is content and happy and right with the world.

I envy him.