Mary Beth Writes

Mindful Chickens? We are frugal so that our retirement savings will last as long as we do. At the same time we try to consume responsibly so that our choices have the least negative impact on our fellow humans and on our earth and its creatures.  Cheep, Cheap!

 Last week: This has been an askew week. Len was gone three days; we are together so much (neither of us ever had a traveling job) that it’s odd when we are separated. It’s a welcome break, but it does bump the normal. 

1.  Len doesn’t like carby breakfast meals very much and I don’t need them, either, so I rarely fall into French toast, waffles, and pancakes. I made pancakes at least 1500 times when the kids were youngsters - those were my High Pancake Years.

After Len left I made French toast from the end of a loaf of homemade bread, using two eggs because the bread was stale and dense. I was surprised it only needed a few tablespoons of syrup, so in all, it wasn’t a sugary meal. Kept me super-full for 4 hours. I guess that’s why they fed it to lumberjacks?

2. Dial hand soap offered a coupon through my Pick n’ Save shopper card to get an 8-bar pack of soap for free. I asked the cashier if this couple be correct – the regular price is $6.97/pack. It was right and we are set for soap for a while. Len (AKA Digital Marketing Guy) says the “free” deal is likely due to competition from another brand - Dial might be trying to starve out competition.  Whatever… It’s a wash…

3. Went to Goodwill after two days of writing (a sermon) to let my brain cool. There was a brand new and still in the box Dansk 4-quart Dutch oven.  (I could link you to the Amazon where it’s sold for $129.00 – but why would we give Amazon the free ad?) Our 22-year old Dutch oven is beyond stained and pitted because someone whose name I will not mention makes (really good) French bread in a 500-degree oven – which destroyed the pot for soups and stews. I paid $8 for the brand new one!

4. The mass shooting in Las Vegas, which makes news outlets bring up all the other mass shootings, and the media tell us why Congress will do barely anything about it – this gets old and tough and hard to work around. I get sad and then furious. I try to remind myself to slow down, choose what I do or don’t want to do to respond, and then get on with living my life.  Currently, I remind myself of this about 17 times a day.

Out for a walk where there is rain but no bad news

5. Wups. I went to the store to buy milk and salt - and came out with $75 of groceries (including the free soap). Nothing was “convenience” food, everything was an ingredient, most was on sale, and all will be eaten … but boy, this is America, huh?

6. I made six loaves of bread and sold four. It’s a thing I do. While working I listened to Lucy Worsley talk about the life of Mozart during the years he and his family lived in London. They were usually broke and it was tense. So, Mozart was mindful of his chickens, too, I guess. There are lots of Lucy Worsley documentaries about British history and I love them all, especially when working in the kitchen.

THAT WAS LAST WEEK. THIS IS THIS WEEK:

Sun shining on the glassware on Goodwill

1. I fill-in preached at new-to-me church on Sunday. Really nice people. This is a strange side hustle but it helps and it uses my strengths so there you go. I sent them a good thank you note detailing the things THEY did that made the service work smoothly. I know churches like to hear how they are doing. And I want them to hire me back from time to time.

2. My son is getting married in a month and I need a dress. I’ve been looking at the on-line used sites and finding really weird stuff. (No, I don’t want sequins THERE!) So while that’s been an unusual free past time, nothing appealed. This morning on Etsy I found a dress that stopped me in my tracks (well, actually, I hadn’t got out of bed yet, so I guess it knocked me off my pillows?) I sent the link to my daughters, who approve. And then I rec’d back a pix of the dress my grandbaby is wearing to the wedding and WE WILL ALMOST MATCH! How cool is that?  The dress will also work later; it’s not a “single-use dress.”

NOT the dress I am getting

3. At the end of the month (well, before the next month is over, I’m aware we are 11 days into October already…) I go through all our receipts and our credit card bill to see if we stayed inside the numbers we budgeted. We did. (We don’t always). While checking the credit card statement, I asked Len what was the company where they charged us $50 and some change two times in one day and then the next day they posted it back to our account?

He doesn’t know. Is there someone out there “practicing” to use our credit who is waiting to see if we will notice?

We were on the Equifax breach. So that is where the rest of today is going. I am going to find out how to put a freeze on our credit and then do it.

See you on the Other Side. If I learn anything helpful, I’ll let you know.

 

Comments

Max is getting married!!! Can't wait to see the photos of the wonderful celebration!

Yeps! And... there will be no wedding cake. There WILL be wedding pies! He is making a whole bunch of them. I think the first pie he taught himself to make was chocolate silk.. because he wanted your pie..

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Looking for Sincere and Heartfelt Tales

A while back I posted an article about my friend Franc; I talked about how he has created a good life for himself even though he has rarely earned more than $15,000 in a year. (Right here)

This article was satisfying to write. I enjoyed spending time with Franc and asking nosy questions. Yes, it’s a challenge to interview folks and then write about their lives, but I did this often in my 12 years as a newspaper columnist and I like the adventure of it.

Mindful Chickens - Chicago Edition

Mindful? Thinking about what we do around here to be responsible to the world and to ourselves.

Chicken? Cheep, Cheep, Cheap!

 You may have noticed I haven’t posted in a while. There’s been a lot going on – including this pleasure.  Len and I went to Chicago for several days to care for our granddaughter while our daughter and son-in-law went out of town.

Mindful Chickens on an Icy Night

My church has been working for months to organize their fund-raising auction that was supposed to be TONIGHT. But instead we are in the middle of the massive spring storm that is scrubbing the nation from Oklahoma to I don’t know where next. The wind is howling; rain is sleeting into snow over a glaze of ice.

So the auction is postponed until next Saturday evening. I have put in so many hours (as have many other) working towards this event in the past weeks - that being quietly at home not working on it makes me feel as if I won a lottery. 

Two Chickens and a 3-Legged Lamb

Mindful Chickens? We are frugal so that our retirement savings will last as long as we do. At the same time we try to consume responsibly so that our choices have the least negative impact on our fellow humans and on our earth and its creatures.  Cheep, Cheap!

Did you have a nice weekend? Did you get to share a meal or a chocolate egg or a PEEP with a friend or a child or a childish friend?

Other Peoples' Mindful Chickens

I regularly read blogs about being frugal.  I like them because they are about people taking as much control of the quality of their life as they can within the many different circumstances in which people live.  I especially love the letters people write listing what they did in the past few days to be careful and thoughtful about what they spend and how they save.

Retired Chicken Observations 3/22-2018

Two things I have been thinking about lately. Both are related to retirement income and retirement adventure.

1. Last week Len and I went to our Social Security office to sign me up for Spousal Benefits.  It took me several run-throughs to understand what “spousal benefits” are. Since then I have talked to several other people who were also unclear on the concept.

My confusion was this. I was already getting Social Security based on my earnings when I worked (as opposed to what I did when I stayed home and raised kids. But let’s not go there now. Grrrr.)

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