Monday, November 17, 2008

Back to the routine

In addition to the cooking last weekend, we also filled shoe boxes with little things for presents to be sent as presents to kids around the world. This meant shopping and buying all sorts of little new things like pens and pencils, notebooks, hairbrushes and hair ties,toothbrushes and toothpaste, flashlights and extra batteries, and teddy bears... All that consumer spending felt out of place.

I'm glad to be back home today, baking bread, making jerky, cleaning the chicken coop. I even just sat on the back step in the sun and clucked with my chickens.

Having the birds in the yard with the dogs is working out fine. Mr. Greenjeans made a Bernese Mountain Dog sized hole in the fence so the dogs and cats now check out the chicken coop as well. They'd never been in there before. Of course the dogs think the chickens leave snacks around for them...ewww.

As others have posted, it is time to begin to do Christmas shopping. I feel we need to scale waaay back, but I see Mr. Greenjeans perusing catalogues and thinking about buying stuff. I think we're going to have to have a talk about 'stuff'.


Anonymous said...

I So wish I could let my chickens out of their run, one escaped the other day when DH went out to feed them and visit. Then she scared herself that she was out, and was slamming herself against the side of the run trying to get back in - but she was having no part of letting him pick her up to put her back in. Go figure. But, at least she's not trying to escape every time we open the door any more!

Christmas. Ugh. I have never been much of a rampant consumer, and my kids were raised on stuff like pawn shop video games as presents (both because we were poor and because of the aimless buying thing) This year as for the last several it will be gift cards for the grocery store, home made canned goods, and hand made socks. Oh, and soap, since I made my first batch with that in mind.

Matriarchy said...

We talked to our kids already, and everyone is getting one large gift of the electronic tool variety. I figure I am probably getting one, too, but I was not in that discussion. No pile of extra last-minute stuff that I buy because I feel like I didn't do "enough." The kids are limited to buying $20 gifts for each other and Grandma. When DD15 got a job, she started escalating the gift-giving with her discretionary income. Generous, but it need to get scaled back.

I have one friend I need to talk to - every year she insists on giving us gift bags full of dollar-store stuff that we don't need. Then we feel like we have to gift her family back. She didn't honor my request to stop last year.

Ooo... if she gives me junk this year, I will give her homemade laundry soap in a recycled jug. LOL - she will probably be insulted and maybe then she will stop.

Verde said...

Tinfoilhat, chickens don't seem to have much reasoning ability, do they? We had to put this hole in the fence because we could not get them to go out their coop door, make a turn and go to the yard...OR home again.

I would love to get or be able to give home made socks. Hand crafted soap is really quite nice too.

Matriarchy, I really hear you about friends and neighbors. I too have a neighbor who gives big presents and I had to say something. I already got them something nice and as big as I get my sister but it feels too small in compairison. We had a friendship with a couple that was really damaged by their escalating large gift giving and wanting to be in that whole cycle at a time when we were quite poor. They didn't get it.

I hear you about the last minute crap because you didn't feel you got enough - I have fought that in the past.
-- I love the idea of giving home made detergent in a recycled bottle! If they give the dollar store stuff again, you could do that as a way to explain that you are giving from your values system.

I had really meant that the wood stove was my Christmas present - it was the one thing I REALLY wanted, and got. I don't mind when DH gives me wool sweaters though, and DD14 wants new bedding and DH wants bath towels. Maybe there are practical things family is longing for and that's different than a singing bass wall mount. DH is 56 and never has gotten over wanting toys at Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Husband and just had that discussion. We are gifting ourselves with a night out (hopefully fully funded by selling a bunch of our excess stuff). Siblings and parents are getting donations in their names and possibly some real maple syrup. I'm up in Vermont now so it would be purchased locally and its a nice little treat.

In addition to not wanting to spend a ton of money I also don't want to just give a bunch of stuff to other people.

Fleecenik Farm said...

My husbands family has this secret santa tradition but it gets sorta wonky. They put a 50.00 price tag on the gift and then provide a very detail list of what they want. 50.00! Geesh, It drives me crazy. It doesn't feel like giving to me. So each year I make something knitted and practical and maybe add some homemade jam. it is what I can do and it feel more meaningful to me.

ilex said...

I put my bah-humbug foot down this year and suggested (ok, imposed) a 50.00 cap for commercial goods on each family member. However, I eagerly reminded them that they were free to MAKE something for everybody instead- be it some special food or furniture or some cozy knitted thing. The 50 buck concession is a nod to not everybody being/ feeling handy, even though I've suggested repeatedly that everybody should learn to become handy with at least one thing. Sigh. It's an uphill battle. Small steps, right?

When are we going to evolve beyond the greed of capitalism? When, when, when? In our lifetimes, I hope?

TheCrone said...

I love reading what you get up to and have tagged you for a green meme on my blog. Please don't feel that you have to participate if you don't want too



LisaZ said...

Verde, where are you? We miss you!

RevDrKate said...

Hello roomie! What a great blog. I gave you a blogger award...check it out a couple of posts back on my blog.

Anonymous said...