Mary Beth Writes

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

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

3.  A chicken whose name was Chanticleer
Clucked in iambic pentameter
It sat on a shelf, reading Song of Myself
And laid eggs with a perfect diameter.

Richard Maxson  (


1. Our daughter “made us” download the free app Marco Polo. It allows you to make and post a short video to a site that you mutually open to a few designated others.  So we now have a site for Len and I, and our daughter and our GRAND-DAUGHTER!  This is so much fun. We make a short video of our cat meowing, we post it. Later in the day or week, at their convenience, they can show her whatever we have posted. Our daughter videoed the baby chatting and waving around her spoon while eating breakfast; they live hours away, we don’t often get to see her reigning over her small world from her highchair. She gets to see us waving like goofballs also. I’m sure there are many other ways to use this app; I am loving this way of making, seeing and keeping short family-centered videos.

2. Ahh … September. We had an unexpected influx of two dozen peaches. We talked about whether we should freeze them, can them, or dehydrate them – and then Len made a cobbler. There were two peach smoothies.  I ate peach oatmeal every day this week.  I guess September is Be Here Now for peaches.  

3. We needed ice cream for the peach cobbler. I drove out to the store and I ONLY bought ice cream. Seldom do I go into a grocery store for one thing and come out with one thing.

4. Another September (and harsh weather is around the corner) moment: Some of the windows in this house are crank-operated windows. The wood framing between the exterior and interior of these windows (what you can see from the inside when opening the windows) was either never finished or the finish wore away. In any case, we had windows in early stages of disintegration.

Len varnished that middling area with leftover varnish (from some other project) that he mixed 50-50 with paint thinner (mineral spirits). This does not make anything look different but the protection will help the windows last past us. Untreated bare wood frequently exposed to weather needs to be coated or painted unless you have an intentional plan for it to split, loosen, and dry out.

5. We are just back from Chicago. We watched our grandchild while our daughter and SIL went to a concert.  One of the things we did with Little Her was go for a walk around the tennis courts that are across from where they live. I spied a new tennis ball on the ground in the parking lot so I put it in my pocket (there were no tennis players around). I guess I was thinking I could bring it, later this month, to our grand-dogs in Madison.

Got home from the walk, put the ball down on a table, spent an hour putting the baby to bed and then we crashed, too.

This morning, getting ready to go on an adventure with Daughter, SIL, and The Baby – my daughter suddenly asked, “Why is there a tennis ball in my purse?”

Little Her gave it to her mommy.

Have a good, thoughtful, frugal week!







Laughed at G.. putting the tennis ball in L..’s purse. Peach cobbler - yum. I absolutely adore peach oatmeal. I never heard of Marco Polo. Awesome use of it! Love the picture

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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:

Making (a little) Sense of Medicare by Len Lamberg

Friends learned recently that they are facing imminent retirement with the accompanying medicare and insurance decisions - that have to be made now and made right. They asked how we figured out what to do. I asked Len if he could write up what he knows in plain English - and thought this would take him 20 minutes.

This took Len several hours over several days.

Our friends say this makes more sense than anything else they have read so far.

Mindful Chickens - Clucking at the Stock Market

I started this a month ago. Time flies…

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 values and values.

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