Growing up in the 1970’s as Child #8 out of 9 meant I was always one of the “little kids”, always one of the youngest. When my whole family gathered, I always sat at the kids table, always got booted off of the couch for someone older, always wore the hand-me-down clothes. I spent my childhood wishing I was older – like a teenager! I wanted to go out at night with my siblings, I wanted to stay up late eating ice cream with Mother Fran, I wanted to babysit the neighbor kids to earn a little spending money. I seriously remember thinking “when I’m big, I am going to eat cake and ice cream for breakfast”! I knew how to dream BIG.
Those of us who call ourselves frugal have different ways of trying to reach our goal of not spending money foolishly. We have different ideas of what that means and different reasons for choosing to save vs spend money.
The definition of frugal according to Merriam Webster Dictionary is: “careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to : using money or supplies in a very careful way”. For me, being frugal means I don’t spend money foolishly. I plan my large expenditures carefully and save money in advance to pay for them in cash. If I do use credit, I always pay my bills in full each month. I hate to spend money on interest and late fees; it makes me feel squeamish to say the least.
When I did my first Whole30 back in January 2016, I found breakfast a pretty easy meal to plan. Eggs were allowed and encouraged and you can eat as many as you want. So, I ate eggs pretty much every single day with a variety of vegetables and some healthy avocado.
I continue to eat plenty of eggs and am concerned that I will get tired of them as I gear up for my next Whole30 that begins January 1st! Mother Fran told me I was going to start clucking like a chicken if I don’t figure out other breakfast foods!
I have been on vacation for the last 1.5 weeks visiting Mother Fran and Child #7 in sunny Florida. I usually visit in February at which point in time, I am desperate to get away from Upstate NY and the frigid winter temperatures. We didn’t have any snow to speak of when I departed but it was cold and getting away was just what the doctor ordered.
Child #7 works really long hours this time of year so I didn’t get to spend much time with her. I did however get lots of quality time with Mother Fran. We shopped, went to a nature preserve, read in the sun and played lots of Canasta. We watched football, assembled her new patio furniture, weeded the garden and played more Canasta. Mother Fran may be 90 but she still has plenty of interests to keep her engaged. I want to be like Mother Fran as I age!
Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about having written a letter to a friend expressing my gratitude for her having such a positive influence on me when I was growing up? Well I got to see her twice this week and she mentioned that letter a few times. She said it was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to her!
The fact that I not only felt grateful to her but shared my gratitude with her obviously made her day. Not only did expressing gratitude make me feel good, it made her feel good as well. That is a WIN-WIN in my book.
This is the holiday season, don’t quarantine your gratitude! Let someone know how important they are to you. When I get home from my December vacation, I plan on writing another letter to an old boss who was an incredible mentor to me in my early 20’s. She deserves to know that I am thankful for the positive influence she has had on my life! We don’t speak often but I know our friendship is important to both of us and the longer we go without talking, the harder it is to pick up the phone.
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Mappy Chrisukah and Happy Holidays! I hope each and every one of you are spending the holiday season in a manner that maximizes health, wealth and happiness. I will be hanging out with Child #1 and her honey eating yummy food, playing games and enjoying family time. Life is Good in My Little Blue Kayak!
Paddle on my friends, paddle on!
Many of the people I work with in the nursing home don’t seem to have much going on in their old age. They sit and stare into space or at the television screen until it is time for bed or their next meal. Whatever leisure activities they enjoyed in the past either cannot be completed in the nursing home setting or they have lost the interest or ability to participate.
I have worked with some elderly patients in their home as well and some of them are in the same position. They wait for the phone to ring, for their favorite game show or for a visitor to stop by. I want more in my old age! I want to be more like Mother Fran and other seniors who still know how to live life with a purpose.
When I was a kid we celebrated Thanksgiving in the traditional American way. Our family got together and prepared a delicious turkey dinner with all of the fixings. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but thinking back it was a complicated process that all of us engaged in. Think of an orchestra where every musician brings their special talents; knows what to play and when to play it in order to create a masterpiece!
I had some friends visiting from Massachusetts last week and we had a wonderful time! These are the kind of friends who have been in my life for what seems like forever and no matter how mad we get at each other, all is forgiven over a glass of wine or a really good meal.
This friend of mine has a pet peeve bigger then Big Papi’s ability to score a home run in clinch situation. My friend refuses, absolutely refuses to pay for parking. He would rather walk across a bridge, 2 miles in the rain than fork over $5 bucks to park his car.
We jokingly talked about this while driving to go on a hike last week. My honey and I were trying to figure out how to get to a hiking spot we have done many times but we wanted to park at the summit of the hike (where parking is free) vs at the base where parking cost $7.00. Somehow I knew my friend would understand.
I hate shelling out good money on poopy bags for Fenway. It seems such a silly thing but why spend money on squirling away poop? I hit the jack pot over the winter when my honey and I were doing some clean up at her parents and we scored 2 boxes of unused bags that are the perfect size to take care of Fenway’s business. I think I even did a happy dance when I tucked them into the car. I should have plenty of bags on hand to get me through 2017. Yeah!
Did you know:
According to the USDA, the average American throws away over 200 pounds of edible food every year. Yes, I said 200 pounds.
The USDA also reports that over 13 million children under the age of 18 live in households where they are unable to consistently have access to nutritious food.
Think about those numbers for a minute. 13 million children in the US have difficulty obtaining healthy food. 13 million. After contemplating that statistic for a minute, I literally teared up. If you have even 1 drop of empathy in you, I imagine you did too.
Winter is in full force here in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate, NY and that means it is time to make a plan to get the hell out of Dodge. I woke up at 3AM and the wind was blowing hard, as if Mother Nature herself was knocking at my window. The days have been cold and blowy and every time I turn around more of the white stuff seems to be flying around me. I don’t mind snow but dealing with the ice is no fun.
So my honey and I are planning a trip to Florida in February to visit Mother Fran and Child #7. It is nice to have something fun (and warm) to look forward to.