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!

 Last week: This has been an askew week. Len was gone three days; we are together so much (neither of us ever had a traveling job) that it’s odd when we are separated. It’s a welcome break, but it does bump the normal. 

1.  Len doesn’t like carby breakfast meals very much and I don’t need them, either, so I rarely fall into French toast, waffles, and pancakes. I made pancakes at least 1500 times when the kids were youngsters - those were my High Pancake Years.

After Len left I made French toast from the end of a loaf of homemade bread, using two eggs because the bread was stale and dense. I was surprised it only needed a few tablespoons of syrup, so in all, it wasn’t a sugary meal. Kept me super-full for 4 hours. I guess that’s why they fed it to lumberjacks?

2. Dial hand soap offered a coupon through my Pick n’ Save shopper card to get an 8-bar pack of soap for free. I asked the cashier if this couple be correct – the regular price is $6.97/pack. It was right and we are set for soap for a while. Len (AKA Digital Marketing Guy) says the “free” deal is likely due to competition from another brand - Dial might be trying to starve out competition.  Whatever… It’s a wash…

3. Went to Goodwill after two days of writing (a sermon) to let my brain cool. There was a brand new and still in the box Dansk 4-quart Dutch oven.  (I could link you to the Amazon where it’s sold for $129.00 – but why would we give Amazon the free ad?) Our 22-year old Dutch oven is beyond stained and pitted because someone whose name I will not mention makes (really good) French bread in a 500-degree oven – which destroyed the pot for soups and stews. I paid $8 for the brand new one!

4. The mass shooting in Las Vegas, which makes news outlets bring up all the other mass shootings, and the media tell us why Congress will do barely anything about it – this gets old and tough and hard to work around. I get sad and then furious. I try to remind myself to slow down, choose what I do or don’t want to do to respond, and then get on with living my life.  Currently, I remind myself of this about 17 times a day.

Out for a walk where there is rain but no bad news

5. Wups. I went to the store to buy milk and salt - and came out with $75 of groceries (including the free soap). Nothing was “convenience” food, everything was an ingredient, most was on sale, and all will be eaten … but boy, this is America, huh?

6. I made six loaves of bread and sold four. It’s a thing I do. While working I listened to Lucy Worsley talk about the life of Mozart during the years he and his family lived in London. They were usually broke and it was tense. So, Mozart was mindful of his chickens, too, I guess. There are lots of Lucy Worsley documentaries about British history and I love them all, especially when working in the kitchen.

THAT WAS LAST WEEK. THIS IS THIS WEEK:

Sun shining on the glassware on Goodwill

1. I fill-in preached at new-to-me church on Sunday. Really nice people. This is a strange side hustle but it helps and it uses my strengths so there you go. I sent them a good thank you note detailing the things THEY did that made the service work smoothly. I know churches like to hear how they are doing. And I want them to hire me back from time to time.

2. My son is getting married in a month and I need a dress. I’ve been looking at the on-line used sites and finding really weird stuff. (No, I don’t want sequins THERE!) So while that’s been an unusual free past time, nothing appealed. This morning on Etsy I found a dress that stopped me in my tracks (well, actually, I hadn’t got out of bed yet, so I guess it knocked me off my pillows?) I sent the link to my daughters, who approve. And then I rec’d back a pix of the dress my grandbaby is wearing to the wedding and WE WILL ALMOST MATCH! How cool is that?  The dress will also work later; it’s not a “single-use dress.”

NOT the dress I am getting

3. At the end of the month (well, before the next month is over, I’m aware we are 11 days into October already…) I go through all our receipts and our credit card bill to see if we stayed inside the numbers we budgeted. We did. (We don’t always). While checking the credit card statement, I asked Len what was the company where they charged us $50 and some change two times in one day and then the next day they posted it back to our account?

He doesn’t know. Is there someone out there “practicing” to use our credit who is waiting to see if we will notice?

We were on the Equifax breach. So that is where the rest of today is going. I am going to find out how to put a freeze on our credit and then do it.

See you on the Other Side. If I learn anything helpful, I’ll let you know.

 

Comments

Max is getting married!!! Can't wait to see the photos of the wonderful celebration!

Yeps! And... there will be no wedding cake. There WILL be wedding pies! He is making a whole bunch of them. I think the first pie he taught himself to make was chocolate silk.. because he wanted your pie..

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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.

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 “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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