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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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.

...

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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