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.

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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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.

We have to change how we live ...

We can’t go on like this.  Our everyday Western/American lifestyle -- is utterly unsustainable. 

Bread, Tortillas, and Chocolate

 As many of you know, I follow a website called The Non-Consumer Advocate, written by Katy Wolk-Stanley who defines herself as “… library patron, leftovers technician, Goodwill enthusiast, utility bill scholar, labor and delivery nurse, laundry hanger-upper, mother and citizen.” She has purchased very little newly-manufactured consumer goods since she joined The Compact; a movement of people who choose to rethink mindless consumption. http://thenonconsumeradvocate.com/

The Money for Our Brother is Raised

We got the balls rolling!

Irony of the universe here.  I have written a lot this week but none of it turned into writing I wanted to post on this website.  Just awkward, mawkish, rambly writing.

I was hard-thinking why I do this and it wasn’t self-pitying thinking.  (I know how to do that, too, but this wasn’t that.) 

Then late yesterday afternoon Helle said Our Brother needs help and the total of what he needs is more than she could support him with. I said I would think about it.

April 15th is a Rough Day for Many

Here’s something I bet many of you of the “white privilege” class are not aware.

I sure wasn’t thinking about this until yesterday.

Monday is April 15th. All of us know what that means, don’t we?  Ha-ha. Time to get our taxes posted or an extension applied for!

Know what else it is?

Utility cut-off date.  Monday is the last day for people who owe money to their utility companies to pay those bills. If they don’t, their heat and lights go off Tuesday.

Mindful Chickens – Carrot & Grape Oatmeal 3/23/2019

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.

... 

1. I’ve spent hours lately working on two self-inflicted writing projects. One is about the Midwest in the 1600-1800’s. Why do I care? I don’t know but I’ve been working at it for a long time and I still am.

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