Mary Beth Writes

Mindful Chickens?

We try to be frugal in order to afford our life and attain our goals. 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. 

Mindful Chickens! Cheep, Cheap!

 

This was a heckuva week. Trying to get this website ready-to-publish at the same time as Len’s contract job as well as living our regular life. 

These are some of this week’s Mindful Chickens:

1. At 5:00 one night we remembered we had to leave the house in 40 minutes to walk to a meeting. Instead of driving and buying fast-food along the way, sups was pasta, shredded cheese, microwaved peas, and some of the pesto Len made two weeks ago. This took less than 25 minutes from starting to finish and cost 20 minutes and a dollar.

2. Made a quadruple bath of laundry detergent. Took 15 minutes (including clean up), cost less than $5, will last 4-6 months, and is not toxic to anyone or anything. I use this “recipe” from The Prudent Homemaker. http://theprudenthomemaker.com/make/laundry-soap  I use Fels Naptha soap which is good for removing oil, butter, dirt, and sweat - substances Len and I are talented at getting on our jeans and t-shirts. I cut the bar of soup into small pieces and then pulverize in our 37-year old Cuisinart. And then wash the Cuisinart pieces in the dishwasher.

3. We went to two evening things this week. Walked to both of them.

Flat tire but close to home, no worries

4. The only surprise trip out in the truck was this morning when Len got a flat on his bike and I drove out to get him. See above. A guy on a bike is seldom too far away.

5. I walked around a corner at the grocery store into a huge display of magnificent orchids. Didn’t buy any. Did take pix and then text to a friend who I knew was working hard right then, just to bother her.  Sharing flowers….

What did you do lately to be respectful to too-easily-exploited workers, to preserve the environment, to be mindful of animals – and yet to not break your bank? 

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What's in Vanilla?

I just read a flurry of emails on a frugal website about the rising cost of vanilla and how people are working around that while continuing to live their frugal lives.

Not one of the letters asked these logical questions.

Why has the price of vanilla risen so steeply?

What is happening to the people who grow and process it? 

"One must have sunshine..." Living Life Forward

This is another interview with a person who lives frugally and thoughtfully by design and by default. 

Thanks, Helle.

.....

How I met Helle Koustrup Berry tells you a lot about how she arranges her life.

Mindful Chickens a Month Later

(I just like the bison joke...) 

It’s been a while since I wrote a Mindful Chicken. 

Mindful Chickens are (for people who don’t know why I call them this) about TWO things.

  1. Being Cheap (cheep, cheep).
  2. Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.

___________

ONE – I donated blood. Why is this frugal? A tech checks your blood pressure and temperature. They prick your finger to test for hemoglobin (iron) levels are normal or low.

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. 

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