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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Health Insurance when you are laid off

Pals, I was reading letters at a website I look at often. A woman wrote that her 62-year old husband had been unexpectedly laid-off from his job. She said she didn't know where to begin to think about health insurance (and a lot more).  I talked to Len.  Man, we have been here.
This is what Len wrote. This answer is too long to post on someone else's website so we are sharing it here. 
...
Says Len:
You are in a difficult situation.

Mindful Chickens - Frugal Stuff 1/11/2018

1. We bought a car!! We bought our (former) 2006 Mercury Milan and 2004 Ford Ranger around 2006-2007.  Len is a very good vehicle dad – they lasted this long. The truck is still reliably chugging along; we sold it to a neighbor. However it became apparent a few weeks ago that the Milan could no longer take care of itself. Sigh. 

We talked about what kind of car we wanted in the past few weeks. Len did on-line research, finding cars we might like to try.  We decided we would spend part of two days test-driving these several makes of cars.

"Must-Haves" 1/10/2018

A friend (Thanks, Carol) tweeted this.  

“The term “must-haves” is profoundly unsettling to me.”

For those of us trying to live both frugally and thoughtfully – Yup!

I looked into the website she was responding to; it was coupons for:

Mindful Chickens 12/27/2017

1. Update: Only giving and receiving food items with our (adult) kids on Christmas was as fun as anything.  (http://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/not-buying-presents-christmas-what-fresh-hell) Receiving MY OWN PERSONAL BUTTERSCOTCH PIE was astounding!  In order to enjoy my whole pie without dying of Adult Onset Gluttony, I have made a pie chart (hah) which is on the counter next to the fridge. I am enjoying one piece of pie per day, which means I should be done next Monday.

The Chicken is Thinking 12/11/2017

1. We either squandered $60 this year or saved $30 today – depends on how you look at it. (Ahhh, the prism of life metaphor…)

Len’s lost his job last spring but soon enough he found his next job (he’s a serial worker); he now works mostly from home.

Guess who should have called the insurance company two days after he lost that job? Argh. We’ve been paying car insurance on the basis of a daily 40-mile round-trip commute he doesn’t make.

How to Save Hundreds on Fresh Herbs!

This probably never happens to you. You buy fresh cilantro (or parsley or basil or whatever herb you think you need) at the grocery store. You come home and stick it in the vegetable drawer in your refrigerator.

Two weeks later you throw away the plastic bag of green slime.

It occurred to me several months ago to ask the Internet how one ought to store fresh herbs. 

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