Archive for the ‘Frugal living’ Category

Chickens & Quail

October 21, 2009

Our chickens, Millie, Henrietta and Esther.   What funny ladies.

Millie is a Barred Rock and the other two are Buff Orpingtons.  They are all loveable chickens, especially Millie. 

They all free range in our backyard and give us great eggs. Wherever we are in the back yard, the ladies want to be there also.  Right under our feet.   This is a form of slowing down, the need to be watchful of not stepping on any of them.

Being raised in the city and on a military base for most of my life, I never imagined the joys of having chickens.  They are quite comical creatures.  When my husband and I come into the backyard, they look up from wherever they are and run as fast as they can to us.  Watching a chicken run that fast always generates a smile and chuckle from us. 

Chickens love to free range and eat all the bugs, grasshoppers, slugs in the yard.  We use to have a nice array of bugs in our yard but they have taken care of those critters.  Our yard attracted all sorts of insects because we never used any type of insecticide and we try to keep things natural.  We had frogs too but I think the chickens got them too.  Now the only place that has insects and frogs is our front yard.  Which is perfectly fine with me. 

We have a rather large compost pile in the backyard that the “ladies” would love to have access to.  We went from three pallet compost piles to one large one, made also with pallets.  The ladies “assisted us” with this move.  While we were shoveling compost in our wheelbarrows, the chickens were scratching away also, eating all the worms, grubs, insects to their delight.  They would even fly up on the full wheelbarrow and scratch inside it to make sure they didn’t miss anything.

Chickens are easy pets.  My husband built them a nice coop and every evening they go into the coop without any prodding and go right to sleep.  They do not like being outside when it is dark.  The few times that we were “late” closing up the coop, they were looking out the window of the coop waiting for us.  I think they just feel more secure locked up at night because we all know most everything loves chicken.  🙂

What Frugality means to me

August 1, 2009

Frugality is much more to me than saving money or reducing debt.  It’s my quality of life.  It means spending a little extra time getting things done and just stepping back and enjoying life in simpler terms.

Yes, I do love to save money but saving is really relative person to person.  We all know the person that “saved $40” while buying that $100 purse.  My version is can I pick up a purse from the local thrift store, Craigslist, Freecycle, WalMart, etc under $10.  There really are nice ones to be had from these avenues and who cares what brand name it is.  When people use brand names, it always bothers me.  It really does.  Who cares!   

Frugality to me means taking the time to do very simple things like line drying my clothes.  It only takes a few minutes but I find it relaxing and I just love to do this.  It is my time.

Frugality to me means accepting other people’s versions of what is frugal and deciding if that would be acceptable to me.  Some things are and some are not.  I don’t have to tell anyone that I won’t be following their example.   It is only about what would work for me  and my family.

My husband and I make a very good living but I know we could weather any storm if our circumstances changed.  We are pretty quiet about our finances but when we pay bills, we keep track of the amounts going to different utilities.  Just because we can afford to pay our electric and water bills doesn’t mean we want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on them every month.  Why work so hard to pay the utility companies?  

Forget peer pressure.  It doesn’t make you happier.  Usually miserable.  I like what I like and you can like what you like. 

Sometimes I think people’s version of the “good life” is money, fame, material items, drinking, traveling, cars, boats … you get the idea.  Is that really the good life?  I would beg to differ (for us).  The good life to me is spending time with my family, making homemade items that are good for us and more nutritious, not impairing my senses by overdrinking, enjoying local events, enjoying good reading material (romance novels just don’t cut it), waking up early every morning and enjoying birds singing and the day beginning.  I could go on and  on. 

Many moons ago, I was the type of person, rushing to work, always working late, spending money always eating out, never seeming to get ahead, never able to put money away or have time for myself.  All I can say, I will NEVER let myself become that person again.

I do my work and leave.  My personal/family time is more  important that my job.  I cook at home, bring my lunch, have no debt because I refuse to get burdened by that beast again, have a savings, live simply and really don’t care what other people think.  

It took awhile for me to get it but I am much happier and at peace with my life.  If I died today, I could honestly say … I don’t know what I would say.  I love life!  So let’s not even go there.  🙂

Yes, it is important to me to remember those in need, locally and worldwide.  We volunteer our time every month and it just helps us to keep things in perspective and keep things real.

This truly is our frugal way of life and it is the real “good life.”