Sanford and Son? Or simply thrifty?

Note to self... cutting up semi-frozen chicken to make jerky treats for the dogs when it is roughly 6 degrees outside... well that might be slightly stupid!  Fingers are not loving life too much right now, but in the morning when I snuggle my boys after the come inside on a too cold morning and give them a treat that I know is healthy and not full of chemicals.  It will feel amazing!  They will know I love them, I will know that I have made a difference in the quality of their lives.

Tonight Hubby and I stopped at the grocery on our way home, needed the chicken for my boys, and a few random groceries.  Hubby was craving some chili to help him warm up on these cold days. I know I don't make it enough, but he loves it! I am fairly sure that I have written before that I am trying to focus on feeding him good healthy, home made foods.  I want to get back to basics.  Not making processed junk that possibly has more chemicals than foods.  I am still trying to figure out the chemicals necessary to make milk good for three weeks.  I actually can't think about that, it makes my brain hurt worse than it already does.

So my list involved the exterior of the store, I wish they had the bread flour that I was looking for, and I would have gone to another store, but I was pretty wiped out. So I bought another brand, not my favorite, but it will do for this grocery cycle. We bought a few junk items, we are not that enlightened yet, but very few items that had multiple  "non-recognizable as food ingredients." There are still a few processed frozen ingredients, I am struggling to balance a crazy work schedule with the life I want to live.

The shocking thing.  As we checked out, I was playing a game I always play in my head.  Guess the taxes. We live in a state that loves to tax everything, we have sin taxes if there is the slightest bit of sugar or flour in what you buy.  Usually I end up so angry, the taxes are usually at least $10 for a $100 shopping trip.  Today... less than $4 for $145.  Seriously?  Who would have thought? By slowing things down and doing them the way we used to... I am saving money?

All of these things appeal to me.

Tonight I was asked... Does your yard look like Sanford & Son. Well no, not always.  I do currently have windows waiting to become a green house back there.  And my freezer out back needs to be sanded and painted.  My garden beds are pretty sad right now, I didn't beat the weather to clear them out.

As I was thinking about that, I was thinking about what matters the most to me.  My family, my fur babies, my home, my gardens and my skills as a home maker.  Ironically the person that asked me, I have known since I first discovered that part of me that longs for a simpler time.  My Greek landlady inspired me in ways that defy words. 

Those two years were very critical to who I have become.  The quiet act of living life, the peaceful afternoons, the fiery conversations over dinner followed by ouzo. The beauty of a garden, the power of the presses making olive oil, simple kitchen just outside the main living areas to keep the temperature more even inside for the family.

I can still remember the raised garden beds of the neighbors house. Pappas handing up carrots to my sister, he all dressed in his black priest garb, she too young to understand and being frightened.  I remember being encouraged to dry my own grapes for the first time.  The sweetness of those raisins is something I will never forget.  I will forever remember Mammas encouraging me to work on the needle point that I was so unskilled for, curious and shocked that a girl of such an advanced age did not know how to make a simple tapestry.  After all who heard of a girl over 10 that could not do basic needlework?

Maybe it does look a bit like that.  Maybe my boxes of supplies for the soaps I make, or fibers that will become a beautiful yarn for use in a piece of clothing... maybe those would seem the same.

I am really okay with it.  My yard will not have straight rows carefully mowed into it.  But when I am canning my harvest, sharing with friends and loved ones, I will never utter the words... I should have mowed more carefully, or made sure my flower beds (no I don't plant those, fyi) were more beautiful that any others. 

My time and energy is finite.  I won't waste minutes on things that have no value.  I am a suburban country girl.  I wash my body with fine soaps that I have made, my wash cloths have been made with my own two hands.  I clothe those I love, and my quilts will wrap you warm as you drift to sleep.  My food that I have grown will nourish my family and my messes... well they are mine alone.

I am proud of me.  I am proud to be married to a man that can truly appreciate those eccentricities and nurtures them.  Maybe the long hair, long skirts or jeans and Birkenstock's should have given it all away... hmm... maybe... Thank the Lord he brought me a husband that cherishes those things, encourages and loves me smudges and all!

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