Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why I Volunteer Tips and My Frugal Life

I was surprised to see that for a class online I needed to complete Community Service, although not for the reasons most would think. I do not think that making people volunteer is what turns people into community minded people. In fact I believe that our society has used community service as a punishment in court for so long that many see community service as a negative. I most certainly believe that if and when people find the time and desire to volunteer, that they should do so. I also must state emphatically that a service that many of us should do that would make our communities a better place would be to focus on educating ourselves far beyond what is expected in the college levels. We should strive to go further than the bare minimum and learn more than what is required. We should read some of the classics as they will increase the mind and the appreciation of so much. We also should take the time to serve our community by reading our Founding Documents, as these will enlighten us to how our communities should be, and not some altruistic place created by those who think that service without integrity will change anything.

As to my Community Service Essay, I am using a blog as my format of the hours I have served this semester. I will not cease to write and share my lifestyle even though the course is ending. You see I understand that by sharing these tips, others can begin to change their lives and adapt to a weakening economy.

I have compiled several postings of what I do in my community and in the world community of the Internet in the following posts. I do so because a tragedy changed my life and I refused to allow it to define my future or my children's future. We see the accident that my husband had as a blessing as it allowed us to rethink our lives and what we truly desired in life.

As to those who are my inspiration in my frugal ways just look below. I choose to live a frugal life- not a cheap life...even though we are on a restricted income. Please read these two posts to understand why I am on this path, and why I do what I do. My Background, How I Began My Community Service Project.

my oldest son who is in the army

my teens

my sweet husband Bill

last year's annual Christmas picture

2006 annual picture at White Sands

And a special note to the one who is my love that I nearly lost in the accident on January 1, 2005.

Thank you all for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you think!

Photo Montage Frugal Fun and Family Sit Downs

I share with my readers tips to keep the family together while sharing my frugal life. The world is so fast paced that we most often the children are grown before we know it. Time passes so fast that we need to slow down. I share how to make simple meals that unite the family and offer a bit of flair, all the while on my old battered shabby, sheik table.

Here is the table setting for stir fry. We went to San Fransisco years ago and I collected chop sticks some trinkets that make this setting simple and lovely. The items were quite inexpensive even though I bought them before I became a frugal person!(this picture is older but I wanted to share some visuals with what I do with my family)

Here is the setting for country chicken noodle soup here in the farm house.

This is our table from Thanksgiving 2007- once again sharing how one can make simple things to give the family a cozy lovely place to gather and share memories. My daughter and I made the turkey place settings using construction paper and glue. I crocheted the place mats to place the China that was my parents that they bought in 1961.

Board games are a wonderful way for the family to gather and slow down the pace. This is a picture of a game of Risk that we played. We try to play games once a week to have some fun time together.

Cleaning the coolers took on a whole new look when I had the teens clean them before we were to go to White Sands for the day. They were hot so they made some fun out of the work(of course they washed them out when they were done!) They told me that they were cooler racing and my daughter was winning and my son was making sure we all knew he was her older brother!

Some times we set up the ping pong net on our trusty table and play ping pong. The table is a bit smaller but hey- are we playing professional ping pong or are we trying to relax? If you are wondering about what is on the table- let me explain. As each member of the family was born, I added the state they were born in and their name. Along the edge of the table is a listing of all the cities, states and countries that we have lived in. We all were born in different places. Two were born in Germany(in different states) one in California, one in Utah...I was born in Georgia and my husband was born in Texas. I love that the kitchen table joins us each and every day, and look forward to adding my future daughter in laws' names, my future son in law's name and even the grandchildren when they arrive. It has been our mainstay during all our moves, and I believe it is in its final home here in New Mexico!

Even work can be done with some play. We made our gardens tire gardens this year, and here the kids played in the large tires before they were filled with dirt.

As I share tips both in person and on line, I cannot stress enough, how living a simple frugal life brings the family closer. Without expensive toys in our way, my family creates things to do and enjoy.

Photo Montage Frugal Household Items

I share frugal tips on how to make your own household items and toiletries. It is quite shocking how easy and inexpensive it is to make products. One exciting thing to factor in is the fact that these items are organic and natural instead of made with synthetic items.
Here are some of the soaps I make on the farm. I use herbs and spices to create soaps I desire, often from trial and error. My biggest request for soaps is the oatmeal soap, as it is so healing to dry or sensitive skin.

I also make decorative soaps for holidays and to display lovely in a soap dish by the sink. Frugal by no means should be taken as second best!

I make my own hairspray. Once I finished my last bottle of hairspray I washed out the bottle and made my hairspray using one orange and warm water! So simple and refreshing. I store the hairspray in the fridge and my hair no longer is dry and brittle, like it was before when I used store bought hairspray.
When I finished my last bottle of store bought deodorant I cleaned out the container to make my own natural deodorant. Check out the label for your deodorant. Then look up the ingredients on line and see what chemical cocktail you put on each and every day. Living frugally and sharing these tips makes sense and is so safe.

Here are the ingredients for the deodorant: cornstarch- to ensure dryness, the coconut oil to bond the ingredients and the baking soda is to remove odor...that is what all of us need in a deodorant-no odor or wetness. The cost is under $.25 and last as long as regular deodorant.

The finished product.

Here are the items I use to make my shampoo. I cater to each individual in the house and the type of hair that they have. I am a blond so I use items to maintain that color...

Here is the finished shampoo, that I made on my stove. The bottle on the left is the base-it is Castille liquid soap, which you can pick up at most drugstores. I use one teaspoon of this per batch of shampoo so it last a long time.

My tips for personal hygiene products get many responses from women all over the world. We have been trained to be consumers for so long that many people don't realize how easy it is to take care of our daily prep needs for pennies. I stress often that a frugal lifestyle is not one without luxuries or pampering. In fact, I have found the less I spend the less stress I have in my life. Frugal living is quite simply an easy way to live!

Photo Montage Simple Life

Simply taking time and opening a book is one of the greatest frugal tips I can share. I write often about turning off the television and reading. Here is one small portion of the books we have on the farm.

I write how one can make their own gourmet blends of coffee by just crushing pecans and blending it with coffee! You will not believe how wonderful this coffee is!

It is so relaxing to look around at the tranquility of the farm. I write many post sharing how easy it is to slow down, by appreciating the simple things.

I may have to wear muck boots while on the farm and cannot afford fancy Wellingtons, but believe me, I am going to wear them in a girly way!

Simply making coffee in this pot each morn sets the tone for the entire day!

I love replacing the empty canning jars to the shelf to be filled next harvest season.

A tip to get you started living frugally is to read and study those who are living this way. That is why I share my life both on line and in person, as living frugally is easy to do.

Photo Montage Warning Butchered Cow

We raise our own beef. This is the cow before she was butchered. I write my post about the frugal life we lead with everything- including what it entails. When we shop in the grocery we are distanced from the reality of how we live. I am grateful to have my family appreciate that each animal provides for us completely. In addition, our meat is organic and no worries about the label that we see on ground beef in the store(may contain meat from United States, Mexico, and Canada-ugh that is worrisome).

Here the neighbor is teaching my sons how to butcher.

They carefully but quickly removed the hide.

Removing the guts! My sons are goofing on the left in orange and in green hoodie.

Meat for the freezer. We ended up with over 250 pounds of beef.
Many folks that follow my frugal tips were very interested in buying their own farm fresh beef. We seem to be awakening as consumers that organic foods are much healthier.

Photo Montage Geese, Chickens, Turkeys

Here is my second son with our goose George.

Here is a picture of the variety of eggs that we collect. The green eggs are a big hit around Easter and for preschool teachers when they read Green Eggs and Ham.

We raise Dominiques mostly as they are a Heritage breed, and we do try to preserve Heritage animals and poultry.

We did buy some chicks from McMurray Hatchery and here they are in the brooder.

This was our first Black Spanish Turkey hatched on the farm.

Note how big the Tom is to the rooster!

The geese.
I share tips on frugal living on how one can raise birds to provide eggs and meat. It is much easier than many believe. I usually provide tips weekly about the poultry.