Tuesday, April 19, 2016

This Week...Beyond Money 4/11 - 4/17

For me, a life beyond money is making choices so that you can live the best possible life, regardless of your income level. Obviously, you have to make a living, but there are many ways to improve your quality of life without increasing your income levels and correspondingly your expenses. This regular post will be some of the ways that we improve our quality of life beyond just trying to make more money.
* I fed the bunnies radish leaves (scraps from job) and leafy tree trimmings.
* I put a scarecrow out. It was some random thing I picked up at a barn sale I go to on their free day. I was thinking of putting it at the curb because it was too broken to sell. However, I loved him, so I decided to find a way to keep him.
* The garlic is looking fantastic. I love growing my own garlic. It is so easy to grow a year's worth of garlic and it's super easy to store as well.

* I made a pasta and veggie dish with cheese sauce. I used sugar snap peas (manager's special), Swiss chard (from my job), radishes (from my job), onions, garlic, celery and carrots. I used a very small portion of pasta mixed in and a load of veggies. I added just a tiny bit of ham for flavor.
* We ate leftovers and items from the pantry/freezer a lot this week.
* I cooked chicken bones and veggie scraps down to stock. I used the bones twice before tossing them in the compost bin.
* I made chicken noodle soup using homemade stock and the bits of chicken I pulled off the bones after cooking. I also added Swiss chard, carrots, celery, garlic, onion, zucchini (dehydrated) and a small handful of green beans (dehydrated).

* We went out for a couple of coffee dates.
* My mom took my sister, Trucker and me out for ice cream when they were in town. It was so lovely to be able to talk with them.

* We went hiking at a local metro park. We also went to a living historical farm on site.
* I am absolutely blissed out while working out in nature. I love learning more about growing plants. Birds fly over us while we work and sing all day. My boss is amazing with animal prints so she points out all the different animals that cross our beds (deer, rabbits, coyotes, etc). Every day when I walk home from work, I am completely happy. I'm sure all this Vitamin D is doing me a world of good.

* I paid off a couple of debts! I paid off a credit card (There was a special promotion, so by paying it off by May, I paid no interest for a savings for $40) and my medical debt. Total, this saves me $75 a month that can go to other things.
* Ray absolutely loves her tree. It is so fun to watch her run, jump and climb up the side of it.
* I cut flowers from the front garden to bring inside. I love having fresh flowers in the house, but don't do it often because of the cost. I haven't cut flowers from my garden in the past, but plan to do so more often this year.

Waste Reduction:
* I composted lots of weird things.

* I am happy beyond words. I love this job. My boss and coworkers are amazing. The work is wonderful. I love working really hard knowing that it is making a real impact. I've always struggled in jobs when I didn't believe in what I was doing. This job makes me want to work harder, smarter, more efficiently.
* I was able to take home some seconds produce from my job. While we would never take anything that could be used for feeding the community, there are some items so damaged that they would otherwise be thrown in the compost bin, such as cracked radishes, or items with excessive bug nibbles. We are encouraged to take those items so that we can talk with our clients/customers about our produce. I brought home several cracked radishes (I cut out the bad spots and sliced them), some parsley (tiny pieces that couldn't be bundled) and Swiss chard (trimmings from cleaning up some plants that had extensive leaf miner damage; since I cooked them, it was no issue). All of this would have simply been composted otherwise.
* I packed lunch each day I worked. Trucker ate for free at his job.
* We had a Spring Kick-off event at the farm this weekend. The day before I got to go out canvassing the neighborhood (and racking up some major mileage). I loved getting into conversations with some lovely people and sharing recipes with a cute little lady down the street. The event was fantastic. It was so wonderful to get to spend time with some wonderful volunteers and fabulous neighbors. A company nearby sent 12 workers there for the day  and they knocked through so many projects.  Trucker showed up for a bit, as did my mom and sister. Overall, it reminded me that there are a lot of good people in the world and that I am very happy that I moved into this neighborhood.

* I packed a tin with a couple protein bars, first aid items and feminine hygiene items and placed it in my car to have on hand just in case.

* Trucker got a great bargain on a folding table (75% off). We are wanting to get into flea markets this year or next, so we are starting to source supplies.

* My blood pressure is much lower than it was. Last year when I was at the doctor and at my physical for my factory job, my blood pressure was technically in Stage 1 hypertension. That being said, I do have a pretty strong case of white-coat hypertension, so that number was probably higher than it was actually. When I tested while relaxing before work (and I always felt quite calm in those early mornings before work), it was around 138/85. Now it ranges from 103/71- 111/76. Not bad at all. The two big changes that I have made have been to significantly reduce stress (Actively avoiding situations that caused stress/angst in the past) and I've cut back to just a cup or two of coffee a day.

* I spent the entire week immersed in our community. Between growing food for people in my neighborhood to meeting chefs at local sustainable restaurants to canvasing the neighborhood, I felt very connected. I am very happy.
* After the kick-off, one of the worker's sent me home with some leftover muffins she had made for the event. She had too many for her family to eat and didn't want them to go to waste. I enjoyed them for breakfasts and sent Trucker with some for him and his boss the next morning.

How was your week?


  1. I love your blog!!! I'm always SO happy when I see a new post. Know that you are appreciated!

    1. Thank you, Patty! I'm so glad you like it! :)


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