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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Quarantine Diary #645 - Granola

Two recent tweets : Someone named Kate Harding tweeted; “What haunts me is that I am not just smart enough for so many people to be this much stupider than me.”

And from Di, Obstinate Hoper; “I’m starting to think of pandemic caution like labor: buckle down during peaks, relax a little between them. Hang in there, folks. It’s a damn long labor.”

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.

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