Mary Beth Writes

I have some great pictures!  Please click "Read More," then click on the pdf icon to open the story and photos of Franc's front yard. 

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This is awesome.

My grandmother had almost no front yard, but her back yard was spacious. There were trees, paths, a grapevine, flowers of types too numerous to count, berries, vegetables, and even a chicken coop with chickens who would bite my ankles when I was sent to collect the eggs. This was all within the city of Muskegon, MI -- I wish I had photos but alas. I do not. Oh and her house was one of those houses that one ordered from the Sears Roebuck catalog. She was also very frugal.

Muskegon was an hour south from Ludington, where I grew up. My parents would occasionally drive us there on Friday nights - stopping for dinner at the Goody-Goody in Whitehall for supper. Then we would shop downtown Muskegon. I always bought new pencils at Kresge's. I remember the pet department at Kresge's - all those poor birds and turtles jammed in cages. And yes to the Sears catalog houses ... I live in one now! Still a sturdy, logically-laid-out house. I think most of the houses on my street were Sears houses, and at 1400 square feet - we have one of the biggest!

I am sorry that the website was off line for a while.

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How Big IS Grandma? Do You Need More Space?

Our internet service had been goofy all that day; the house alarm system sent a random beep to my phone at 3AM. Waking from deep sleep to “Is there a bad guy coming up the steps right now?” turned into the kind of insomnia that requires … decluttering videos. My heart stopped racing as I watched a mild woman talk about the closet in her laundry room.

How I saved Tens of Thousands of Dollars Lately and also got a New Kazoo

Just in case you thought I stopped paying attention to how to live cheap and well. 

1. For several months we have composted veg and fruit scraps - our weekly garbage reduced by half! We collect detritus through the day in a bowl on the counter, carry it out to a steel garbage can we brought from our last house. I’ve dug some of this collapsed organic stuff into the garden.

Less Lemming, More Living

Last week I posted an essay railing against our North American/western maniacal consumerism. We are so deep into climate crisis and into destabilizing world poverty caused by the oligarchy of the few.  Something has to give. Plus this: If we are living on $50,000 a year or more, we are already earth’s top 1%. Isn’t this nuts? It really is up to us to turn back this crazy lemmings’ march to the sea.

Mindful Chickens/ The "Before its Too Late" Edition 5-14-2019

Mindful Chickens   5/14/2019

Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

1. Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).

2. Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.

3. Paying attention to the constant tumble of dollars and choices.

These are things we have thought, attempted, and done in the past month to live more lightly and frugally on our City Plot of Planet Earth.

We have to change how we live ...

We can’t go on like this.  Our everyday Western/American lifestyle -- is utterly unsustainable. 

Bread, Tortillas, and Chocolate

 As many of you know, I follow a website called The Non-Consumer Advocate, written by Katy Wolk-Stanley who defines herself as “… library patron, leftovers technician, Goodwill enthusiast, utility bill scholar, labor and delivery nurse, laundry hanger-upper, mother and citizen.” She has purchased very little newly-manufactured consumer goods since she joined The Compact; a movement of people who choose to rethink mindless consumption. http://thenonconsumeradvocate.com/

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