It isn't up yet, so I hope it's ok.
Today, I bought an awning for over the west-facing picture window. It was a great deal at a bargain shop for only $189.99 (plus tax). It's not one of those cute cottage awnings you see in 1950's neighborhoods. It's more like one of those patio or deck awnings, the retractable kind. This one reaches out 8'2", which is perfect for keeping the blazing summer sun from hitting the picture window AND providing a canopy for our picnic table.
I've found that indoor window treatments just don't cut it when the sun hits that picture window. While they help a little, so long as the sun hits the glass, heat builds up like a greenhouse and it still gets dispersed from behind the shades and curtains. It's best to avoid having the sun hit the glass altogether.
Before, I just hung up a piece of fabric outside and rigged it like an awning using rope and stakes. That little bit really helped keep the house cooler, even if it did look silly to passersby. Neighbors thought it was clever, but I'm sure they'd rather see something a bit more decorative.
Anything to cut down on energy costs! Besides, we only have one window in the house that can hold an air conditioner, and that's in the bedroom! Casement windows stink! Give me double hung any day!
Now, I need to find a meat grinder. I'm pretty sure my dad gave me one. Ground beef is rather expensive here these days, but I can get london broils or roasts on sale and grind it myself more cheaply. After my poor mother lamented on not being able to afford 93% lean ground beef, I told her to just buy beef on sale and grind it herself. She was able to find two london broils at $1.59 a lb with hardly any fat. Dad ground it up and she's a happy, frugal camper.
My garden is all in, except for the possibility of some herbs. My flowers aren't in yet, but they're next. I'm just glad all my veggies are in. I don't hold out much hope for my corn, though. I didn't get one good ear off of my corn last year. I did learn from my neighbor that sweet corn needs plenty of water.