Mary Beth Writes

Vietnam Era Frugal Skills

Len and I are watching the Ken Burns / Lynn Novick Vietnam series on PBS. We’ve watched Vietnam documentaries before and we’ve read many of the books from and about that era – but we are learning so much more than we already knew. It is gripping and exhausting.  I so clearly remember 1968 and 1969 - the years my brother was in Vietnam.

I said the other day that I would write about how my personal journey to and with Frugality started back then, so here goes.

Mindful Chickens 9/19/2017

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. 

Mindful Chickens! Cheep, Cheap!

1. We bought our more-or-less weekly dozen eggs at church from a friend who raises chickens  on her farm. We happily pay $4 for them. The yolks are super yellow because the chickens walk around and eat bugs.

Margaret Fuller - Letting Light In

Margaret Fuller, A New American Life by Megan Marshall

Finalist for Pulitzer in biography and memoir

Margaret Fuller biography by Megan Marshall

Ode to Outside

I wrote the following column September 25, 2004 -- and now I am sitting at my desk September 15, 2017 and it is all just as relevant. Gorgeous day. It's going to be a beautiful weekend. Go outside!

bike

Mindful Chickens 9/15/2017

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:

Dear Friends

September 14, 2017

Zounds and Zowie! Here’s my new website!  It’s taken way too many months and an astounding amount of eye-and-brain-numbing work on Len’s part -- but here it is!

I’m so happy to be finally here. There will, of course, be snafus along the way, but we’ll get it figured out.

Paul Hessert - "He taught us"

Paul Hessert died in the summer of 2001 as a result of injuries from a terrible car accident. His wonderful wife was also seriously hurt, so the memorial service for Paul was not held until September, just a few weeks after 9/11. Traveling was difficult for many of his former students; only a few of us made it to the United Methodist church in Montrose, PA. It was one of the honors of my life to be asked by his family to speak to the congregation as a representative of his many, many students over the years. 

His daughter sent the wonderful photo of Paul. Thank you!

A Memorial to Penny Penrose

Explanation: I went to Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, in Evanston, IL, 1978-1980. I loved seminary and learned there what I would need to know to live my life. Paul Hessert taught dogmatics. I still use every day in my thinking, writing, and living – wisdom, perspective, and courage I learned from Hessert that year.  Several other students were as moved to be in Paul Hessert’s classes as I was. One of those students was Penny Penrose who went on to become a United Methodist minister. Years later we would actually become emailing friends until she died way too young.

17 Minutes of Joy

Written 03/15/2002  

It was late a late afternoon in March and I was sitting at my computer, quietly tapping away. My son was on the other side of the table doing his homework. For several minutes we were both silently focused on our work.

Then my son looked up. I felt his eyes on me. I tried to ignore him.

"Mom?"

I sighed. "What?"

"When I'm done here, will you drive me to the lake so I can kayak?"

It's not SIMPLE life, it's Simpler Life

I can speak to the luxuries and adventures that happen when one pursues a simpler life.

What are things to consider and enjoy?

Knowing oneself well enough to know what you want from your mortal life.

Where to live.

What to drive (or not drive).

What projects to tackle and which ones to let lie low.

What to wear.

How to splurge with joy and not worry.

When to go out and when to stay home.

Friends, company, cats and pups.

How do you design and live your own authentic, generous, rewarding life?