I'm glad to report good news in the downsizing my actual self department. I have lost 8.9 pounds in the past three weeks, so that means the holiday weight and a few additional pounds are gone. I will be leaving the warm weather soon, so I will have to force myself to be vigilant about exercise. It happens a lot less naturally in the colder climate.
I have been continuing to take advantage of the many thrift and consignment shops around here. I still shop and buy at regular places, but I'm getting better at finding what I need second-hand. I think that will be economical as I lose more weight and transition to smaller sizes.
Finally, I learned an economical craft tip from my friend. You can make your own quality wool felt for crafts by buying 100% wool garments in thrift stores. Then you wash them in HOT water and dry them.Of course they shrink considerably into a nice soft felt. I found a wool skirt in a large size with a stain on it and did this. The stain disappeared, and I have a nice batch of gray felt for elephants. Once I have completed this craft, I will post a picture.