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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The Choosing Season

“Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price.”  (https://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-...)

The Arrows of Yore

I have a weird dark closet in the back of my soul. In it are critical things people have said to me in my life. I rarely consciously think about those old cuts and criticisms, but they are tucked in back there and sometimes I remember them uneasily.

Here are some of my particular arrows of yore:

“Can’t you do anything with her hair, Dorothy?” Dorothy was my mom. My dad liked his daughters’ hair to be curly and orderly, mine was straight and flyaway. I think I was in my 40’s before I realized OMG I do not have “problem hair”… whatever the hell that is.

Make Persimmon Cookies; Don’t make a Persimmon Life.

We are new subscribers to “Imperfect Produce” which is a service that delivers imperfect (duh) but safe and flavorful veggies and fruit to your house. This helps to keep “imperfect” produce from being wasted. (https://www.imperfectproduce.com/  I don’t get kickbacks from them.)

We are open-minded about trying new things to eat so when they included a pomegranate – cool. I enjoyed pomegranate, raisin, and walnut oatmeal I invented for myself.

Buy Angry

Frugality is a tool and a weapon. You can use it to be powerful.

What?

Frugality and Privacy

 “If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product.”

When one of our kids was 8-years old, Len thought it would be fun to let that kid drive his car. I swear - though I doubt you will believe me - no drinking was involved. Len just really believes in our kids and sometimes this turns into bigger adventures than one would expect.

Did I mention the car was in the garage so it needed to be backed out? Also, the child in question was too short to adequately reach the pedals.

Mindful Chickens – Up North Weekend Edition 9/24/18

Mindful Chickens are (for people who don’t know why I call them this) 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 little things like bugs and crumbs, dollars and daily choices.

Several years ago our son and his wife decided that they were going to set a goal to visit every state park in Wisconsin. There are 50 state parks and they only have a few more to go; what a cool way to claim where one lives.

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