Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Perpetual thrift shoppers living on a shoestring and still lovin it

                           Homemade patio fountain

On Facebook today I was looking at a post from a site I follow.  The site talks about growing food not lawns and it extolled the virtues of raising chickens.  One reason: 'It's easy' seemed to offend a lot of people.  People complained it was 'hard' having to shovel chicken manure, getting too many eggs sometimes and not many other times.  Well, yes, it does take some physical labor which squelches that idea of chickens, right there for many people. Chickens do lay a lot of eggs in spring and summer and taper off in winter months.  Hell, I didn't blame them, I wouldn't want to lay eggs in cold weather either. That's why a lot of eggs sometimes and fewer at other times.  Geesh.

I have to laugh at people.  I've raised not only chickens, but goats and rabbits, never finding any of them to be hard to care for.  I've raised large vegetable gardens as well, to feed my family.  Yes, yes, it takes a fair amount of physical labor which seems to be dirty words these days.  By shoveling all that fertilizer, I had one of the best gardens in my entire life, both flowers and food.

Right now we live in the city.  But it is a place where we can have a vegetable garden and lots of pretty flowers, all using a lot of physical labor to achieve.  Last year we trucked in some excellent topsoil to create our vegetable garden.  A small garden, yet it produced more than enough food for our needs, all winter long.  A neighbor behind our fence stopped by to compliment us on our lovely vegetables and since we had plenty, we shared cucumbers and zucchini with him.  He said he was watching us as we assembled the plot and it looked like a lot of work. Uh Huh  Again with the a lot of work statement.

                      Our garden in its infant stage

When I was working in an office, I recall many coworkers saying how they had to get to the gym to workout.  Me?  I simply would go home, change, work in my gardens and relieve much of the day's stress.  Aren't workouts at a gym hard work?  At home, I can dig, hoe and lean on my tool's handles, watch the birds, breathe the air and relax.  I could never do that on a damned treadmill.  I cannot understand paying 'only $30 a month' (by the way, that is over $300 a year to get exercise, when my exercises can produce pretty and useful items, not just sweat and line the pocket of a fitness club.

I understand that some city people cannot have a garden in those worthless housing developments.  Why in hell do you think it's the reason we never would live there?  The Housing dictator people won't allow clothes lines much less something useful like a vegetable garden.  Yeah, I wanna buy a house where a committee dictates to me what I can and cannot have in my yard that I pay for.  I think not.  We did rent a place for three years where we couldn't have vegetable gardens and we gained weight sitting on our asses.  We decided: Enough, and moved to a place where we can have a garden.  Well in the past year, eating mostly our own organic produce, I've lost over 40 pounds and feel great again. Without paying $30 a month so some gym can pay for all that unnecessary equipment.  We aren't allowed to have chickens in the city, but are fortunate enough to live in an older house that was once a farm.  You know, before the city grew and all this progress took over.  The soil is very rich and fertile and we grow some very pretty flowers from seed. 

This is the first year we purchased a small tiller, but much of the soil we have turned over with shovels.  I laugh because as we travel around this city, there are acres and acres of lawns and no gardens.  Why?  The really funny part is people here are often too lazy to even mow their grass.  It's gotten so bad the city counsel has to send city trucks around to check and then mail people letters to mow their lawns.  If not mowed then the city fines them $50 and if still not mowed, the city mows it and charges $100 for that.  How pathetic is it that people no longer have ambition to even mow?  I guess I'm mystified by a generation too lazy to exert much more energy than thumb exercises on cell phones and video games.  Wake up!

                   Flowers in our yard grown from seed

So yes, I laugh at people who have to buy yoga pants and go to a gym, pay gym fees and say 'raising chickens is a lot of work.'  Well, duh! 

                   The vegetable garden as it got bigger

The first picture here is the homemade patio fountain we made ourselves.  I wandered around looking at fountains much smaller costing over $400.  Nope.  We paid $20 for the tiered centerpiece, $50 (a long time ago) for the pump and $2.00 for the bottom piece which is a kid's wading pool.  It looks and sounds great.  So, still decorating on a shoestring and loving it.