Mary Beth Writes

Mindful Chickens are (for people who don’t know why I call them this) about TWO things.

  1. Being Cheap (cheep, cheep).
  2. Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.

ONE – I’ve mentioned this before but in light of the news that Walmart is squeezing out MORE American dairy farmers, I am going to say it again.

We pay approx. $8/gallon for Organic Valley milk. https://www.organicvalley.coop/  (Organic Valley doesn’t know I exist, no one is paying me to say this.)  Farmers join the co-op and thus have a say in what happens, the farmers are paid enough to produce products in sane and healthy ways.

This week I read about dairy farmers shutting down in Kentucky because Walmart is building a milk processing plant in Indiana that will only buy milk from mega-cow farms.  “Since 1970, more than 90-percent of all U.S. dairy farms have closed due to low milk prices and industry restructuring. Recently, a corporate decision by Walmart led to the shutdown of a three-generation family-run dairy farm in Kentucky. We followed the Coombs family as they’re forced to sell off the last of their dairy cows and try to make sense of what’s ahead.”  https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/show-me/video/-hard-to-believe-it-s-over-how-a-decision-by-walmart-led-to-the-end-of-an-american-dairy-farm-1266951747600

(Mega-cow farms house thousands of cows. Most of those animals will seldom if ever graze outside in a field; they are fed corn with additives such as vitamins, antibiotics, and powdered protein made from slaughtered animals or fish (fish!). A cow is a ruminant – an animal designed by nature to eat grass and turn it into milk and meat which is, blessing to us humans, protein for the rest of us. To feed a cow corn is to give her a stomachache - and she has four stomachs to ache! Also, the ponds of manure from mega-cow farms is a gigantic ecological problem.)

So even though one can buy milk for less than $2/gallon – we don’t.  That extra $6 per week is my vote for farmers who can make a living, cows who don’t suffer, milk that is healthy, and my best hope for my granddaughter’s world.  

PS: I dare you to taste test! Drink the $1.86/gallon milk and then taste the Organic Valley (or some other organic dairy farm from wherever you live). You can absolutely taste the difference!

TWO –For a long time I have suspected my Medicare gap insurance would pay something towards exercise classes for people over 65. I finally called and - Lo and Behold! - I am entitled to a YMCA membership! Cool! 

THREE – I cut Len’s hair. Well actually I cut all of his hairs. I can do one haircut, which is to make all the hair on his head approximately the same length. If he uses enough hair gel (he calls it glue) you don’t see the sticky-up parts too much. Actually, his hair goes akimbo no matter who cuts it, so that when I do the deed it saves an hour of his life (he went for a bike ride) and some $.

FOUR –  My limited number of capris were wrinkled, sweaty, and dirty. I either had to buy new capris or do the laundry.  Did the laundry. Sometimes it really is that simple.

FIVE – Not cheap but very mindful: One of our (adult) kids is a mandated reporter because of their job. (Mandated reporters are people who have regular contact with vulnerable people and are therefore legally required to ensure a report is made when abuse is observed or suspected.)

This adult child of mine plus all the professionals in their office called DCFS in Texas to report the child abuse of children being separated from their parents and kept in cages. 

Comments

Mary Beth's picture

My chickens, in the photo, are sideways! Just call me a cock-eyed optimist...

Love part FIVE and calling DCFS in Texas to report child abuse of children being separated. We also switched to organic milk some years ago. My mother's family are still dairy farmer's in Neenah area. Thanks for explaining the meaning of the mindful chicken tag line too!

Loved all five, but especially number 5 -- bravo!

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Mindful Chickens - the "It's been a while" edition

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.

...

Mindful Chickens in Canada

In case you don't already know... My husband and I did a 15-day road trip to eastern Canada.  Kurt Vonnegut wrote “Unexpected travel is like dancing lessons from God.”  The plan was to visit Nova Scotia and Newfoundland – but then Hurricane Dorian changed that. Stories and photos at my website. https://www.marybethdanielson.com/

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

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.

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