Outside My Window ...
Towards rhythm and beauty ...
I am thankful for ...
Super chasing bubbles
But so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically. -Henry David Thoreau
Super chasing bubbles
I go to our local Farmer's Market, held outside in the town square, almost every Saturday from May until October. I've been missing going out and looking at the vegetables, touching them, trying to decide what I want to eat this week, looking at the flowers and spices, talking with the farmers. Well, I saw in the paper that they were having a Thanksgiving Farmer's Market today from 10 am - 2 pm held inside the sports coliseum, so of course, we went. We had a great time - we saw many of the "regulars" and a few new people. We tried samples of local cheese, roasted brussels sprouts and chestnuts (YUM!), chicken noodle and minestrone soup, and pumpkin almond bars.
They were selling turkey, beef, chicken, eggs, spinach, apples, sweet potatoes, potatoes, salsas, ornamental and squirrel corn, garlic, turnips, honey, and cheese and there were several craft/art tables too. I came home with ornamental corn (I mentioned that I was a preschool teacher, and I use the corn as a tweezing activity. I wasn't looking for him to give it to me for free, I was just having a conversation, but then he said to just take as much as I wanted for no charge! I took two and thanked him!) honey, garlic, eggs, and sweet potatoes. I was tempted to get some cheese curds, peach salsa, and a pair of earrings, but I resisted the urge.
So while still basking in my naturalness, I decided to go to the mall. LOL. Those people that know me know that I'm not a big fan of going to the mall, but I wasn't in the mood to go home yet, and it was close and it had been a LONG time since I'd been to the local mall. I ended up getting some great deals - a plum pullover sweater at JCPenney for $3.43 (with tax) and 4 shirts and a pair of socks at Old Navy for $5.82. When I can get those kind of prices at the mall for new clothes, then I don't feel quite as guilty for spending the money and shopping isn't quite the torture that it usually is for me.
I must admit that I went shopping a few weeks ago and it WAS pretty tortuous until right near the end when I ended up in Gap Kids (which I haven't been in in probably 5 years) and I was looking at the clearance rack, and they also had an additional 30% off that day. I ended up buying 9 pieces for $60.03. It is all for the Simple Kids for Christmas presents. I felt pretty good about that deal too.
So in case you are worried that I live a completely natural, simple, organized life all the time, I don't all the time. I'd like to do a better job with it, and I write about it here to motivate myself, and to write down the things that we are doing in case it can be helpful to anyone else. But I have days when I'm stressed out, days when I'm completely disorganized, days when the house is a mess, and days when I don't feel like cooking, and days when I am crabby. Hey, I even went to McDonald's today!
We tend to stay with the same daily jobs for awhile, but I know that many families change it weekly or monthly. We tend to change every other month or when it seems time.
A view of my kitchen from the back door.
Pantry door is behind the back door.
View of the pantry door - to the left of the dishwasher.
So I cleared out the pantry and found a new home for all of the things. Next I cleaned out a linen closet that I wasn't really using. And I started storing food, or as people tend to refer to it these days, I started stockpiling. My first goal was a week's worth of food, and then a month, and finally 3 months. I've seen people a lot of people who build their stockpile with coupons and spending very little money. I didn't do that. I'm not saying it is a bad way to build your stockpile - I just knew that it wouldn't work for us. Part of the idea to moving to a more self-reliant, provident life also meant eating more natural, simpler food, and many of the coupon items were for ready-made boxed food, food we didn't eat, or for name brands that I could get cheaper when buying the store brand.
So what I did was make a list of the vegetables that we eat on a regular basis (corn, peas, beans, and carrots), the fruits we eat on a regular basis (applesauce, pineapples, tomatoes - diced and sauce, and peaches), meat/protein that I could buy canned (chicken, tuna, beans), pasta (we like elbow, egg noodles, spaghetti, and penne), cereal (we eat oatmeal) and other things that I would need to build meals (brown rice, chicken and beef broth) condiments & sweeteners & sandwich stuff (ketchup, maple syrup, honey, peanut butter, jam) baking supplies (flour - wheat and white, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, chocolate chips, yeast, vinegar, molasses) spices (minced onions, basil, oregano, garlic powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and Worcestershire sauce.) and paper items (toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags.) For vegetables and fruits, I buy about 2/3 canned and 1/3 frozen.
Then I went to Aldi's to price out the items, and to Kroger to price anything that I couldn't find at Aldi's. I tend to buy almost everything for our stockpile at Aldi's, and then do my weekly shopping at Kroger and just a few items that I couldn't find at Aldi's. Weekly, I buy milk, eggs, and yogurt, some of my produce (I limit it to two types of vegetables and two types of fruit), and some meat if it is on sale, and generally chicken and ground turkey. I buy my organic produce at a natural food store.
Then I made a list of each item and how many I needed to have a three month supply (or a week supply of dairy and produce) and then a bunch of sheets that had the same items listed but a blank quantity. Then I can just look at the shelves and decide how many of each item I need to re-stock and write it in the blank spot. Then I take the sheet with me shopping so that I know how much to buy (I can also then, if I really want, figure out exactly how much I'll be spending on food this month. I did do this the first couple of months, but now I can pretty much tell how much it is going to be.)
I use the pantry upstairs to hold a couple weeks of canned food and the linen closet for the rest. I store the paper products in the garage, and the frozen vegetables/frozen fruit and baking supplies in the freezer. I also keep a month worth of meat in the freezer (8 pounds of ground meat, 8 pounds of chicken breasts, 8 whole chickens, 8 turkey breasts.)
"St. Martin's Day (or Martinstag or Martinmas) is November 11, the feast day of Martin of Tours, who started out as a Roman soldier. He was baptized as an adult and became a monk. It is understood that he was a kind man who led a quiet and simple life. The most famous legend of his life is that he once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying of the cold.
That night he dreamed that Jesus was wearing the half-cloak Martin had given away. Martin heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clothed me."
Daily - Afternoon Routine (Family)
Planning Binder (stored in tote bag)
To start your Household Notebook, begin with the basics: planning and time management. I put in my monthly calendars, any additional schedules, seasonal activity lists, my file folder, journal, etc.
Faith Binder (stored in church bag)
This binder contains church magazines, proclamations, brochures, handouts, talks, etc.
Phone Binder (stored in phone book drawer)
The Phone Binder is a place to put class rosters, take-out phone numbers, club directories, emergency phone numbers, etc.
Family & School Binder (stored in file crate)
Family is where the heart is--and deserves its own binder. This binder tracks information needs of family members and family life:
Families with school-aged children will want to add a school divider to hold:
Housekeeping Binder (Stored in file crate except for chore checklists)
The Housekeeping holds information central to house and home. Cleaning, entertaining, decorating and household storage information are stored here. Consider these ideas for the Home Management divider:
Food Management Binder (Kept in the kitchen)
In the kitchen, this binder helps plan meals, create menus, and track inventory in pantry and freezer. Use this section to hold grocery shopping lists and price lists, weekly menus, etc.
Money and Finance Binder (Kept in file crate with the exception of the bills/purchases list)
Use this binder for information to help keep track of household finances with budget pages, inventory sheets and household information. Here are some examples of the kinds of information that can be included behind this binder:
Health and Fitness Binder (Kept in file crate with the exception of food journal)
Organize family health care with a Health and Fitness divider. Have a medical emergency? Grab the Health and Fitness Binder on the way to the Emergency Room. Visit to the pediatrician? Use this section to record illnesses, medication and medical history. Types of information to file in the Health and Fitness binder include:
Travel and Activities Binder (Kept in file crate)
Time for fun! The Travel and Activities binder covers the extra-curricular activities that make life worthwhile. Hobby, church, club, sports, volunteer, vacation and travel ideas are included here. These sections will vary from family to family, but here are some ideas:
There are so very many reasons why we craft. We craft out of necessity, we craft out of love, we craft for pleasure. And we craft, sometimes, to bring a little peace to our lives, to our hearts, and to our everyday moments. Taking that just a step further, we can - and do, like so many crafters before us - turn our crafting into peace for the world beyond our homes. The simple act of creating something with intention and heart - for someone in need, can have a beautiful effect on the lives of others. We can, indeed, do something to create a more just and peaceful world...all with the simple, mindful and crafty work of our hands.
And here is Super, Jelly Bean and Flower.