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!

1. Yesterday was 90 degrees. I found the bottle of window cleaner I’d bought at the hardware store recently – you attach it to a garden hose. I washed the outside windows; getting thoroughly drenched as water ran down my arms and I stood in puddles of my own making. It was secret wild matron fun and now the outside windows are ready for fall and winter, which are apparently arriving today.

2. I am experimenting with the bread I make. Usually it’s 1/3 whole grains and 2/3 white or unbleached flour – whatever I bought the last time we ran low. This morning I boiled the last sweet potato, mashed it, and put it in the bread I am making. I’m curious to see how it looks and tastes. I added no extra sugar; the point isn’t coffee cake, just healthy bread. I’ll know in a few hours….

Later... It's good. Very faint flavor, Vitamin A delivered...

3. A friend’s sister went to Puerto Rico a few weeks ago for family reasons. Now she can’t get out and is in some danger of losing her medical technology job at a local hospital.  So first I am grateful for my calm life. Then I told Franc that if she doesn’t get out on the one scheduled flight for today (can this possibly be right? That only a few flights are leaving per day?) – I will write about her situation for my website - to ask others to contact their congress people on her behalf. It’s not a lot, but it’s what I might be able to do to help. Update: She’s in a line of 360 people who want to get on the one plane leaving this afternoon. I don’t know how big the plane is.

Update: She was one of the last 5 people of the 350 people who made it onto the humanitarian flight home. If you have the patience to wait for it, here is a TV report interviewing her. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2017/09/26/chicago-area-woman-stranded-in-pu...

4. I had socks that weren’t comfortable and I put them in my pile of things to donate. Next day I was going for a bike ride and needed something to keep my jeans from messing with the bike chain. Cut off the top elastic ribbing from one pair of socks; fit it over the ankles of my jeans – Voila! Incredible geeky but it works...  

5. Picked and dried the rest of the oregano. Picked nasturtium pods; planning to learn how to pickle them into “capers”. Len made the basil into pesto a few weeks ago. I guess the crops are in. 

oregano, basil, and bread

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I like the mindful chickens!

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Mindful Chickens - The Snickerdoodle Edition

1. When we were sick in January (with flu and cold) Len used the CVS card that I had signed up for last year and then barely used.  He bought several OTC medicines plus a cool-mist vaporizer using that card, which saved us 20%. That was helpful.

2. While I was under the weather I signed up for Starz in order to binge-watch an Outlander season.  After I watched TV for two days I canceled the subscription, thus paying nothing.  This is the third year I have done this.  Why do they let me do this??

Frugal Stuff/ Flu edition 1/22/2018

1. I donated blood Friday morning. This is a free mini-checkup every two months; they take your pulse, temperature, blood pressure, and check your hemoglobin levels (iron). They send your blood to be checked for various diseases such as Lyme disease, West Nile, and Zika.

DO NOT donate blood in order to determine if you have a disease or not. If you think you might be ill, go to a doctor or clinic and deal with it. 

But, if you (like me) need an extra reason to be generous, the screening to give blood is not a bad perk.

Two Piquant Recipes, No Waiting

This is not a recipe blog. You may sometimes wonder what kind of blog this is, but I bet you have figured out we’re not here to cook. Still, sometimes I come across amazing recipes and today I want to share two of them,by referring you to the sites where I found them.

How do I find these sites, you ask? 

Simple. Google the name of two or three ingredients you would like to use up. This takes you to recipes that use those foods; you decide if you want to try them.

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:

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