Mary Beth Writes

1.  We did it!  We called, explained what we thought we needed to do, made appts, were home for the appts, rec’d the estimates about - fixing the gutters and getting the house painted.  I think one of the reasons we usually do it ourselves is because this process is so daunting and time consuming.

The gutter guy is coming next week; we are looking forward to no rivulets when it pours. 100-year old houses built on non-waterproofed rubble foundations, like George Washington, cannot lie about what’s happening outside your basement walls.

We hired the painter who was 2nd cheapest. Why? Because he enthusiastically talked about paints now available and how one kind (I dunno) will really help to cover exposed exterior nail-heads.  You could see he was intrigued by the possibilities in his job. About 15 minutes after he left we got a call from him. He was in the parking lot of the apartment complex behind us, with questions about the back of the garage. 

We had forgotten we had a back of garage. So had the other two estimators.  When you don’t know who to go with, go with the person who seems to like what they are doing?  It’s not the whole answer (we got a recommendation, too) but its part of how to rely on others.  Price is important, but not the only criteria.

House won’t get painted till summer. If all goes well, I’ll share his name.

2. You know those tiny bottles of spritz cleaners they give you when you get new glasses?  That no one actually uses and they clutter that back of your bathroom closet?

I love that stuff. I started cleaning my glasses every morning at my office job; it was part of the “girding ones loins for this day” routine. I now have two bottles, including one here on my desk.

The chemical is simply Isopropyl Alcohol - and I refill the bottles when they run out.  I also use them to clean mirrors, chrome, phones (spritz the cloth, and then wipe down the phone) – and  Len’s glasses (Len’s lens).  

I just looked up the formula.  3 parts alcohol to 1 part water, plus a drop of dish detergent.

Who knew there was a formula? I just use the alcohol.

3. We saved our budget and our lives in the regular, boring, incremental ways by cooking from scratch, using more vegetables, grains, and fruits than meat, eating at home. Reusing reusable items - plastic bags, glass jars, packing boxes and materials for mailing eBay stuff and a birthday present.

I read the article you probably read this week about the dangers in spraying/spritzing cleaners into the air (not too worried about the glasses cleaner). So I cut two empty milk gallon containers into small buckets with handles – to use to clean upstairs and downstairs.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180216084912.htm

4. Since the beginning of this year I have eBay netted (after purchase cost, fees, and shipping) enough money to make a difference. I listed four new things on eBay yesterday; I think the coolest was this mid-century vase. It’s Harris Potteries, Chicago.  If no one buys it, I’m cool with keeping it.

5.  Huge Frugal Strategy…  We are intentionally not complaining about the weather. This is Wisconsin, urban, nearly March i.e. not exactly gorgeous. But we go for walks and hikes anyways (Len’s going out on his bike right now). We shush each other when one of begins to complain.  Keeps us from “having” to get out of here; saving us hundreds of dollars.

On a long walk yesterday I saw a soaring hawk, and heard (didn’t see) Sandhill cranes. I was less than a mile from a slough; I might walk there today to see if they are back.

6. I emailed my reps to add my voice to the demand for gun safety laws. Some other day I will tell you about how, when I was a young teller in Chicago, I was held up at gun-point twice.  

I bet very few Republicans have stood at the wrong end of a gun – except  - “On February 11, 2006, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney shot Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old Texas attorney while participating in a quail hunt on a ranch in Riviera, Texas.  Both Cheney and Whittington called the incident an accident.”

What have you chosen to do in the past few weeks to save money and uphold your values?

 

 

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!

Comments

I just finished making and canning my second batch of sofrito.It's a herb mixture used extensively in Puerto Rican cooking and just about anything else I make. I make enough to last a long time so I always have some on hand. I also love how it makes the house smell as it's simmering on the stove. When it's Jared up and cool I store it in the freezer.
Mary Beth's picture

Yes! I want to know how to make sofrito. I will call you - maybe we can so a blog post...

That picture of the turkey is beyond awesome! Since we are on vacation, not a great week to talk about being frugal. Hmmmmm. But, we did make our own trail mix for the plane ride ! That counts!

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Frugal? Road Trip to New Mexico

If our finances were stretched we wouldn’t have gone to New Mexico. We are doing fine despite the advice that says one ought to retire with a million dollars in the bank. Imagine that.

1. We and, at this point, about half the nation, have had our Covid vaccines so we felt safe and ready to see something new. However, we traveled to a place where they had worked WITH the effort to fight this pandemic. This limited our choices and is the #1 reason we didn’t go to the Badlands. How we spend $ is our power.

The Mindful Chickens are Wordy Today

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

  • Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).
  • Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.
  • Paying attention to the constant tumble of dollars and choices.

This is my collection of wise choices and dastardly schemes from the last two months.

ONE: Our electric toothbrush/water pick would no longer hold a charge but a new one costs more than $100. Len took it to the battery store where they replaced it for $15.

Mindful Chickens - Plastic & Hunger 12/20/2020

I went for a walk on Wednesday and saw this mitten on a sidewalk. When I was at the same spot on Friday, it was still there, so I brought it home because it is a hand-knitted kid mitten, ya know? Any knitters out there interested in making it a mate, so that we could give it to a kid in my community or your? It's 7" from top to ribbed bottom. 

...

The point of “Mindful Chickens” is to spend less money while being mindful of the environment and our human values. We can try, right?

Holy Mackerel! Mindful Chickens 12/12/2020

Yamiche and Weijia licking out the mackerel bowl this morning.

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I said I would write “mindful things” we did this week. The agenda of “Mindful Chickens” is to spend less money plus be mindful of the environment and our other values at the same time. Sometimes, one of those purposes wins over the other, but we can think before we spend, right?

1. I cut my hair. This is not a particular skill of mine, but I can do it well enough to not look like the Pittsburgh Paint Dutch boy.

Who Let the Chickens Out?

Mindful Chickens i.e., being frugal and living by our values instead of by blithering consumerism is how this blog started. Yet I seldom post lists anymore about choices Len and I make that hit that marker because I can tell from who follows me that this is not why most of you are here.

But today I have a lot of things I want to accomplish. Preparing the Light Posts takes me a long time so I am not going to do one – I do plan to be back at it Monday.

7-6-2020 Mindful QUARANTINED Chickens

(Thanks, KJR, for the funny fluffy chicken photo!) 

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

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