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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Simple Things















Ham & Bean Soup with Cornbread
















We use well water!
















My Garden: Better Late Than Never!
Tomatoes, Corn, Okra, Beans, Peas, Canteloupe, Squash,
Cucumbers & even gourds















Improvise:
I don't have a clothes line anymore but I have
a huge deck that works great!
















I love folding my towels on my deck in the sunshine.
Can you smell that fresh smell?

I have been hearing on the news about all of the celebrities going "green". Some of this stuff seems a little crazy to me. I heard on the news that Al Gore, who is suppose to believe in this stuff uses 20 times more energy in one month in his home, than the average household. This blew my mind. I guess to me "going green" means saving money & energy. It means not being wasteful. It means using what we have and not running to the store everytime we have a thought.

I guess I have always been a little thrifty and I don't think you have to spend a lot of money to save money. I have to admit, that since my children are grown, I have enjoyed some luxuries that I didn't have when they were small. But the gas prices, lower paychecks, and grocery prices have really got me thinking. I remember our grandparents saved every container such as margarine cups, etc.- How frugal are we? We go out and buy the "Smart Spin" as seen on t.v.! They saved things like that because they had been through the depression and hard times. They didn't have a choice. They had a rainy day fund. They paid cash for everything. Debt? They would not have thought of it. I have tried to teach my children to stay out of debt and as Dave Ramsey says,"Live like no one else, so you can live like no on else!" Most of us eat out all the time instead of cooking mainly because we are running all the time. We just don't think anything about it. Well, until now. I remember not too long ago everyone wanted a big gas guzzling SUV. Now everyone wants the little car that is good on gas! Being frugal is now popular! Imagine that?

All the talk about going green has got me to thinking more about conserving. It has also made me think of why I am at home. I am a homemaker. I used to have the mindset that I could SAVE more money staying at home, than I could MAKE outside the home, but I have to admit that I have been spoiled. I have decided that I need to think more about this and my part in my home. I have been a single mom before and had to make a living, but I have been blessed for the past 30 years to have a husband who wants me at home. I think this is such an honor and something that shouldn't be took lightly. I can't help but think of Proverbs 31: 10-31. It is my favorite scripture in the Bible and what I have always wanted to be. I loved raising my children at home. There is no amount of money that I could have made that would replace that. Yes, we had to make many sacrifices for me to be able to stay home. My children often tell me how special that eating out was because we didn't do it often. Now, eating out is never a thought.

There are so many things a woman (working outside the home or inside the home) can do to help conserve energy and save money. My 94 year old granny that most of you now know through my blog is one of the wisest women I know besides my Mom.
My granny says she has a certain day, to do certain things. Her house is immaculate, nothing fancy, but she says she doesn't need much. She lives very simply and is one of the happiest women I know. My Pawpaw died several years ago while riding his lawn mower. My granny does not live any differently than when he was alive. I know what you are thinking.....well, she lives by herself. She has lots of time. Yes, that is so true. But they say she has been this way forever. She raised 6 children. I got a little saying from her a long time ago. She said, we all choose what we want to do. If we say we don't have time for something, it is because we choose not to do it. So this has got me to thinking and doing.

Simple things that I can do:

Combine all my errands into one trip a week to save on gas.

Plan my meals and use a list at the grocery store.

Eat at home more. Cook. I try to freeze my leftovers for another meal.

Plant a garden. Instead of buying plants, I started most of my garden vegetables from seeds in January.

Instead of taking a piece of aluminum foil off of a dish and just tossing it in the garbage, I now think to myself how I can save it for another use.

I have also been thinking about the dryer in my home. It heats up my house which causes my air conditioning to run more, if I have it on. I love my windows open, so we don't have our air on too much unless it is in the 90's. I haven't had my dryer on in about a week. I am so proud. I don't have a clothesline anymore but I hung my towels and sheets on my deck across the rail. I love the smell of sheets hung outside. My clothes, I have been hanging on hangers on my screened in porch. What is so funny to me is my clothes get dry faster than if they were in the dryer.

When emptying my trash, I try to put all the trash into 1 large trash bag, compacted, instead of wasting several trash bags and replacing them with new ones.

We do not purchase paper plates & cups anymore, unless it is for a special occasion or trip.


We do not leave unnecessary lights on in our home.

I know there are many other things that I could do to save money and conserve energy. But this is just a few of the things I have been thinking about. I can't go out and buy solar panels and all the other things the celebrities are doing, but I can do little, simple things. I just want to do more. Yes, we live a great life. We are very blessed. We have a nice home and nice cars. We have a boat on the lake. We are going on vacation this year with our family. My family is blessed with their health except my son who needs prayer. There are so many people hurting. Their homes are being foreclosed on. There are people that can't find a job. This could be us and I want to do my part to prepare for that rainy day. Thanks for letting me ramble a few of my thoughts.

8 comments:

Michelle said...

Valerie,
Your thoughts are very uplifting, and you are right. We kind of get stuck in habits, and what is 'easy', but you know, if we know we are really helping ourselves, and the environment, and saving money, that is such a great feeling! I have to admit that now, I really AM thinking about what I am going to do before I do it, and what options I have. I have always worked outside the home, but my husband and I have always had a very good life...nothing luxurious, because we are only middle class workers, but God has always blessed us, and provided for us what we 'needed'. He also has allowed us to help others when we saw the need.

Thanks for your post. You are truely an inspiration!
Michelle

Alice Grace said...

What a thought provoking post! You have always been dedicated to being frugal and as your Mom, I am very proud of you. I think it is God's will that we be careful about the things He has blessed us with. Thank you! Now, I want a clotheline!
Love
MOM

G'G'ma said...

Great post. I'm really concerned about the young folks who have no idea about saving...foil, plastic bags, leftovers to the freezer, mending clothes and on and on. Our society has the "wants" mixed up with the "needs".

About the clothes line, I would love to hang out my wash but living in a woods makes it impossible. Have you ever tried to get wild cherry droppings from the birds in the trees out of white sheets?

Amelia said...

Every little bit does help in saving our world. We needs to be good stewards as God as directed.

I, too, am afraid our younger generation does not care enough to be frugal. Most of them think about today only and not about what tomorrow may bring.

Have a great weekend.

Amelia

quiltingnana said...

your ideas are refreshing. I, planted some veggies this year. I haven't done that since my children were grown. I even planted herbs and lettuce in pots on my back deck instead of flowers - cucumbers make nice vines!

We also started using cloth napkins and have really cut down on the paper towels...they were a habit that got out of control.

We decided to raise the temperature in the house for the air conditioner and open the windows on days there is a breeze.

We also changed all light bulbs to compact florescent. We have noticed a difference in our electric bill.

I, too, am from a thrifty family...I still have my grandmothers' buttons...both grandmothers!

Susie said...

Very interesting post. We're also doing many of those same things to conserve money and/or natural resources. As we get a bit older, it seems the simplest things bless us the most!
hugs

paula, the quilter said...

Since today was laundry day, I hung out everything but hubby's jeans. I am so glad I don't live in an area with an HOA that prohibits a clothes line. Since I ride my bicycle almost everyday to work (10 miles round trip) I DO plan my errands for when I drive the car. I am currently knitting some dishcloths. It started out as a crib blanket, but frankly was too heavy being crocheted of 100% cotton. I frogged the whole thing and was going to donate the yarn to Goodwill when I thought about dishcloths. Voila! I have my Christmas gifts going.

KrisinTN said...

I have been thinking along these same lines lately! I've really been trying to cut costs since I'm not bringing in a steady income. It is extremely hard when you are going cold turkey. I have also been turning off the air, opening windows, and cooking a lot more than I used to. This morning I've already made banana bread because I had a few bananas that were going bad and I didn't want to waste money. Money, I hate that word, it almost is a curse word to me....