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!

1. Yesterday was 90 degrees. I found the bottle of window cleaner I’d bought at the hardware store recently – you attach it to a garden hose. I washed the outside windows; getting thoroughly drenched as water ran down my arms and I stood in puddles of my own making. It was secret wild matron fun and now the outside windows are ready for fall and winter, which are apparently arriving today.

2. I am experimenting with the bread I make. Usually it’s 1/3 whole grains and 2/3 white or unbleached flour – whatever I bought the last time we ran low. This morning I boiled the last sweet potato, mashed it, and put it in the bread I am making. I’m curious to see how it looks and tastes. I added no extra sugar; the point isn’t coffee cake, just healthy bread. I’ll know in a few hours….

Later... It's good. Very faint flavor, Vitamin A delivered...

3. A friend’s sister went to Puerto Rico a few weeks ago for family reasons. Now she can’t get out and is in some danger of losing her medical technology job at a local hospital.  So first I am grateful for my calm life. Then I told Franc that if she doesn’t get out on the one scheduled flight for today (can this possibly be right? That only a few flights are leaving per day?) – I will write about her situation for my website - to ask others to contact their congress people on her behalf. It’s not a lot, but it’s what I might be able to do to help. Update: She’s in a line of 360 people who want to get on the one plane leaving this afternoon. I don’t know how big the plane is.

Update: She was one of the last 5 people of the 350 people who made it onto the humanitarian flight home. If you have the patience to wait for it, here is a TV report interviewing her. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2017/09/26/chicago-area-woman-stranded-in-pu...

4. I had socks that weren’t comfortable and I put them in my pile of things to donate. Next day I was going for a bike ride and needed something to keep my jeans from messing with the bike chain. Cut off the top elastic ribbing from one pair of socks; fit it over the ankles of my jeans – Voila! Incredible geeky but it works...  

5. Picked and dried the rest of the oregano. Picked nasturtium pods; planning to learn how to pickle them into “capers”. Len made the basil into pesto a few weeks ago. I guess the crops are in. 

oregano, basil, and bread

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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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