The Frugal Foursome Rant: An Update

Little and Big, with O. and S. Free fun for all!
Little and Big, with O. and S. Free fun for all!

Shhh. This weeks rant is a day late, and , well, a dollar short…

Last year, I shared a post that left me very vulnerable and open, in a good way. Authenticity at it’s finest, brought to you as many times a week as I can type. What, you want I should lie? Like sleep doesn’t already keep me awake at night…and you, my therapists, you should be able to take it.

Well, it’s time I let you know how the ‘path less purchased’ is going:

Live Lean:

  • Slash the budget and stop the hemorrhage.  As much as I’d like to say we have fully coagulated, even formed a scab, we are still bleeding. Maybe we need that nice, Dr. House to help us. Or Susie Orman. We rarely go out, and when we do, it’s a pizza or the diner—no extravagance here. Despite Ich macht a labent (I’m making a living), the cost of our life is still out doing my income. This keeps my metabolism revving, and leaves me a bit ferklempt (choked with emotions). Our biggest expenses still come from Doctors…because of me, I’m a pain in the neck, chronically and literally, and the best progressive education around, at the Miquon School, for the kinder (the kids). Two things we cannot stop attending to.
  • Cut the cord. Goodbye Cable! Done! And we couldn’t be happier. Savings here, ~$200 per month! We have wi-fi, and we stream, like all the cool kids!
  • Eat home, brown bag lunches, snacks and beverages, avoid quaint coffee culture. This has a steep learning curve. Stopping for ice cream, a bottle of water, c-o-f-f-e-e, snacks, all very difficult. We rarely eat out. We make rice and beans. Beans and rice, rice, with beans, and sometimes beans and rice. Thankfully, we are veggies and love this! No sacrifice! Little and Big, they get hungry, and thirsty, even after our well thought out bag of noshes (snacks and drinks) has been consumed. Oy! When we have nothing for me to bring for lunch, I wait until dinner. I allow myself one cup of coffee out per week. My coffee klatch, dear friends back from our barista brewing ‘Buckaroo days…are well worth every penny.
  • Sell the house—downsize, move, rent. Living life the Manor way. It’s an adjustment for us all. We have no idea whose basement has what of our stuff or how long we will be here. But, we carved a savings of about ~$1200 per month. 
  • Make memories, give experiences, learn to live well with less.  Major improvement! My wonderful machetanum (in-laws) gave us a membership to the Morris Arboretum. It’s like our backyard, without mowing or pruning. We have been there zillions of times and keep finding new things to fall in love with and explore. We are making wonderful memories and enjoying outdoor play together!
Coffee Klatch <3
Coffee Klatch ❤

Lean On:

  • Leave senseless money squabbles behind. Better. ❤ We find ourselves on the same page so much more often than ever before. My Mrs., she has come a long way!
  • Share the burden of stresses that I hold so deep and internal. The Mrs. and me, we kibbitz (talk) more about a lot of things. A stolen moment here, a quick sentence or two there—we’ve even texted each other while on the sofa. The best thing for me, when I hear her laughter. Priceless…
  • Recognize that ‘thrift maven’ may come in stages for those of us that are more ‘spendy’ and less frugal. And with this one, we bicker less. Win, win! Baby steps lead to long strides.
Yarn bombing At the Arboretum!
Yarn bombing At the Arboretum!

Lean In:

  • Control what I can control. I’m trying.
  • Always lead by example. Words I try hard to live by.
  • Keep my ‘cup half full attitude. A veritable Mary Poppins, I am.
  • Work hard and make the time to play hard. We all need more play.
  • Set goals together for a purpose, because some may just find the simple act of saving for savings sake boring. Oh savings! I should only live long enough to be bored by you!

Financial stability, I am searching for you around every corner. I am working hard to have you in our lives again. We will be fine. Things will improve. Time and karma.

 

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Thank You so much Su, from EthanEvelyn.com! #FabFridayPost
Thank You so much Su, from EthanEvelyn.com! #FabFridayPost
Pass the Sauce #AgentSpitback #Linky Party
Pass the Sauce #AgentSpitback #Linky Party

Straight from the pen of Big

Big, My Mighty Girl
Big, My Mighty Girl

Little and Big are always up to the most amazing things at school. These two mommas are constantly blown away by what they are learning and how truly hands-on their experiences are. I’m gonna kvell (ooze with pride) now a bit over Big and the art of persuasion.

Get a load of these two letters she brought home:

One for the Mrs. and me:

image

One for Little:

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Now that is my Mighty Girl in Action.

The Mrs. and I agreed, and so did Little. Onward! Keep up the amazing job #Miquon teachers. You rock! Keep working the #Miquon Magic!

 

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Timeless, retro PLAY: We all need it!

Meet the Lego's
Meet the Lego’s

Plato said, “You can tell more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” You know what, Plato (sounds a lot like play-doh?), I couldn’t agree more. One of the greatest things now going on in our apartment is P-L-A-Y! I know this is in part due to the amazing progressive school the girls attend, The Miquon School, where I often long to restart my education from the beginning, in nursery school, or even kindergarten. My kinder have it so very good at this magical place where childhood is literally hands-on fun. The kids enjoy learning by doing, exploring, experiencing and well, playing. Independence is vital; curiosity is encouraged; respect for all is absolute. This isn’t just a community; it’s a diverse shtetl for greater childhood development and collaboration!

domino

So, I digress and kvelled a bissel about the magic that takes place daily at our school! Nu! This enchanted, natural, outdoorsy place has an effect that is phenomenal on kids (and their families too). Why? Let me tell you. We live in a crazy, fast paced, over-connected, yet very dis-connected culture. It’s scary how little we really relate to each other now, despite all our techno advances in communications. I remember a time when you met a friend for coffee to ‘tawk,’ or just went to the bathroom in your own home without having to bring your iPhone along. Maybe that ages me more than my now gray-mop of a hairdo. But it’s true. I also remember the delight of receiving a letter by snail mail. No acronyms—all real words, handwritten with intent. How about seeing a photo in print, holding it, watching the colors fade over time. Enough!

jackAbout my kinder and play. The things that they are doing together are absolutely thrilling to me. The hottest stuff from our holiday haul: Classic dominoes, an antique porcelain American Indian doll, who of course, we said was Kaya’s kid-sister (yes, American Girl Kaya), a weaving loom, Lego’s, the original Spirograph deluxe set, and Jacob’s Ladder (yes, the one rumored to be in the tomb with King Tut himself!). Color me silly, but this is the stuff I played with a few too many moons ago. No batteries, no noises, no electronics (not that there’s anything wrong with them), no drones, no bones about it!

 

The giggly-fun that Little and Big have when setting up the dominoes, deciding whose turn it is to tap an end, and starting it all over again. Allo of our right cerebral cortexes are humming the happy dance. Their play is about discovery and the experience. It’s incredible.

jacob

Try if you can to get Jacob’s ladder from the Mrs., who has been dominating that little wooden wonder since the first unwrapping. One night, Big got a hold of it, figured out how it works, and went along to teach the Mrs., Little and me how it works. The gears are spinning in these brains. Curiosity isn’t killing any cats around here. It’s contagious.

 

And Spirograph! How many pens have we been through! The pleasure is all ours! Now, in true Mighty-Girl spirit, we can whip out the snap circuits and Big and Little rush to the floor to get started. Playing with circuitry, light switches, transistors and diffusers, building fans and lights…bring it on and add some more! My little Rosie Revere, Engineers (love that book) can’t get enough. We look around us and easily apply these newly constructed pieces to the ceiling fan, the volume on the radio, the lights. Voila! Questions, inquiry and thoughts are flowing…

 

Most important to this whole equation, I see my bubelah’s growing up to be innovative and creative, critical thinkers who will always love learning. Doctor. Lawyer. Engineer. Who cares? This Jewish momma will not be kvetchin’ or hockin’. They can become whatever it is they want to become, and they will work hard because they know and feel intrinsically that learning is an ‘F’ word—F-U-N. That is pretty damned amazing!

 

As play is concerned, it’s a wonderful time to be a kid. As the world is concerned, well that’s another post altogether.

 

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