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 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.)

Franc’s Wildly Successful Life

This is a long piece of writing and I am proud of it. If you don’t want to read it all – here are my take-way points about how my friend Franc lives well on a surprisingly small income:

Mindful Chickens 2/24/2018

1.  We did it!  We called, explained what we thought we needed to do, made appts, were home for the appts, rec’d the estimates about - fixing the gutters and getting the house painted.  I think one of the reasons we usually do it ourselves is because this process is so daunting and time consuming.

The gutter guy is coming next week; we are looking forward to no rivulets when it pours. 100-year old houses built on non-waterproofed rubble foundations, like George Washington, cannot lie about what’s happening outside your basement walls.

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