Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Too long for a comment...

To follow Missy's article up, Frugal Living in the WWII Generation, I would like to leave more than a snippet attached to her comment board. This was an excellent piece to include, and I think our blog actually beat the media over-coverage on this one!

I definitely agree that this style of living should be part of everyone's life somehow--as it looks, at least here in the States, we're going to have to incorporate complete re-use techniques in the near future anyway. Luckily, Missy and I have been exposed to this sort of thinking our whole lives, so it comes easily.

A good point, though, is that there's really nothing wrong with owning a DVD player or any "fancy" electronic device--it's learning how to fix it when problems occur and not throwing it out or sending it away for a cost. Television sets and radios were considered high tech during the first few years of general availability, and those frugal citizens eventually figured out how to repair them. Perhaps it would benefit our generation and beyond to actually find out about our electronics. But then again, TIME to learn is a problem with this day and age...cost of living raises haven't been seen in awhile, people work more, yet prices for everything in life are on the rise! Nonetheless, someone has to know how to fix it...if a repair person comes to the house for a cost, or it's sent away to a shop...

In other words, maybe a good start for our generation is only buy what you know you could somehow figure out how to repair on your own. And if you're unsure of your capabilities, either find friends who do know how...or get used to the reality that you may not have the knowledge and do something about it!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Laugh for a Sunday!

Eco Friendly Kitteh  Hugs Tree
see more crazy cat pics

Frugal Living in the WWII Generation

I thought I'd pass on another great article I found.
This is a beautiful eulogy to a friend who grew up in the Great Depression.
Personal Finance Advice

There's so much we can learn about what is truly important in life (and not just "stuff") by seeing what it's like to live without. I don't mean to romanticize the Great Depression, but those who lived through it learned a hard lesson about wants and needs that most of us today have not learned.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hybrid vs. Gasoline

I came across an interesting article comparing hybrid cars to their gasoline equivalents, and I thought I'd pass it along. Million Dollar Journey

It's strictly based on how long it would take to repay the premium price of a hybrid with the gas savings. It isn't the final word on gas v. hybrid, but it does present the straight up price comparison very well. However, there are still many factors to consider, such as:
-Do you drive mostly highway, or mostly city/in traffic?
-How much would you pay for decreased emissions (aka, 'the green factor')?
-What's the depreciation?
-How much more would a hybrid cost in maintenance?

Personally, I would get a hybrid if my situation were different. We currently have two sedans with decent gas mileage, our primary vehicle gets around 35mpg, our secondary gets about 24mpg. We're finishing off the loans for both vehicles, and plan on keeping them until they fail us. Perhaps when that time comes (please don't let it come for at least another 100,000 miles!) the market will be a bit different and we can consider a hybrid.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Small Tomatoes Does Not Equal Small Plants

I seriously overcrowded my little container garden.
Here's a photo of what my plants looked like 10 days ago:

I took out two of the tomatoes and two of the peppers (leaving one of each) and planted them in some pots I had from a previous attempt at growing things. Look at them now!

The tomatoes took off! The peppers didn't shoot up nearly as much, but they look healthy, too. I'm so glad I fixed it. The good news is the chives are still thriving in the over-the-balcony box. If nothing else, at least I've had fresh chives on my potatoes several times already this year.

Hopefully, the next post will include little tomatoes or little peppers!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kids' Day in Green Bay!

While looking up Green Bay area farmers' markets, I stumbled upon the website for Green Bay's Kids' Day!

Kids' Day is held every year on June 25th (six months from Christmas). It's a fun community day for kids in Green Bay, with lots of FREE activities.

Some of the best picks include: educational programs at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary (and free corn for feeding the geese and ducks), free admission to Bay Beach Amusement Park, free swimming at many area pools, and free admission to the Neville Public Museum.

Kids are required to get a wristband in advance for the events, there's a list of locations to pick up wristbands here.

Kids' Day is MSG because:
1. It's FREE - saving money is definitely wise.
2. It's close - you don't have to travel far to have a blast (think of the gas you'll save!)
3. It supports the community of Green Bay.
4. Wildlife Sanctuary - need I say more?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Green Bay Farmers' Markets

One good post deserves another! Inspired by Di's posting of farmers' markets in the Appleton area, here are the farmers' markets up in Green Bay, and like Di I will post any additional ones I find.

Downtown Green Bay
Saturdays from June 7th - November 1st
7am - Noon
On Monroe St., between Cherry and Pine streets

Broadway Farmers' Market
Wednesday Evenings (I couldn't find the dates, but I know it started on the 4th of June)
3pm - 8pm
On Broadway, downtown Green Bay, between Dousman & Walnut

Oneida Farmers' Market
Thursdays from June 26th - October 9th
2pm - 6pm
Oneida One Stop
W180 Hwy 54, Oneida

Appleton Farmers' Markets.

To elaborate on the comment I left for Missy a couple of days ago, I'd like to pass on some addresses of Farmers' Markets in the Fox Valley area. Each has a variety of fruits and veggies, so wherever you happen to be you'll find a great selection.


Appleton Downtown Farmers' Market
College Ave. (Between Appleton St. & Morrison St.)
Every Saturday from June 21st - October 25th (No Market Sept. 27, 2008)
8:00am - 12:30pm

Festival Foods - Both Locations
1200 W. Northland Ave. (In front parking lot)
Every Wednesday from June 11th - October 29th
8:00am - 1:00pm

W3195 Van Roy Rd (In front parking lot)
Every Sunday starting July 6th - October 19th
8:00am - 1:00pm

Jim's Produce Farm Stand
5280 N. Richmond St.; Corner of Hwy. JJ & Hwy. 47 (Northside Citgo Parking Lot)
Open everyday from June 1st - October 31st
10:00am - 6:00pm


Sleepy Hollow Farm Stand
W6121 County Trunk KK (Kwik Trip parking lot)
Open everyday starting June 30th - October 31st
10:00am - 6:00pm


Wagner's Market Stand
310 N. Main St. (Corner of Hwy. 54 & Hwy. 47)
Open everyday from June 1st - October 31st
8:00am - 6:00pm

There are probably a few missing, as well as in the Green Bay area which I am unfamiliar with, so if anyone comes up with other locations, please let me know and I will post them!

Monday, June 9, 2008

How come everything's a green trend?

I was listening to Wisconsin Public Radio last Saturday morning; a show called Calling All Pets.

The guest was author Hannah Holmes, who discussed her latest book Suburban Safari. The basic synopsis of the book is that there's a world of wildlife in your backyard, you just don't know about it.

It was fairly interesting, but I couldn't help but laugh when the guest mentioned that you could increase the wildlife in your backyard with a trend called "freedom lawns." A freedom lawn basically means you don't put any chemical insecticides or fertilizers on your lawn, and allow a natural variety of plants and bugs.

Freedom lawns? Seriously? Do you know what I call it? A YARD! My parents once again prove to be on the cutting edge of the trends! We never put anything on our yard. My mom's philosophy was that if you waste money making grass grow faster, you have to cut it down more frequently. (And she likes dandelions, thank you very much.) Apparently, not dousing your lawn with poisons is a new concept to some people. That's just too funny.

(A quick footnote: I believe that Holmes was mentioning freedom lawns in jest as well. Less chemicals=good for nature. That's not rocket science. She was doing it and discovered it had an eco-trendy name.)

"100 Thing" Challenge!

Are you up for it? A growing phenomenon has been attracting new believers since last July, when a blogger guynameddave came up with the concept on his site.

We actually came upon a reference to the article not more than a week ago through Time Online, after dave announced he'd be rebuilding the site to show his progress towards the 100 piece goal. I personally think it's a fantastic idea, though a little bummed that we haven't heard of it sooner. It seems to have fallen into our hands at the right time, as we are trying to make sense of unused items to make way for baby.

As far as our own personal revisions, clothing isn't too much of a clutter issue, it's the rest of our junk sitting in a closet that is. Realistically, we don't make use of most of the stuff. Those items have just been getting shuffled back and forth to make room for more junk that's never used. So with this in mind, I'm going to spend most of my time this week making a list of what's important to our family. Whatever doesn't fit on this list,'s going to be hard. I'll let you know what happens along the way.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Speaking of Gardens...

I should probably first share with you that we’re expecting in November! With this news, this awesome twosome decided to get back to our “roots”. Getting back to the way we were both raised, on garden-grown foods, living off the land more successfully and permanently. Not to say we haven’t been kind to the environment already, because we have both kept childhood practices in tow, but now that there’s someone else to think about, it’s about time we solidify our choices and stand by them for good.

With that in mind, we were able to discuss our options and secure one of the gardens at my parents’ house. In it, we will have a full selection of foods we can eat now and foods for baby! Squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes fill part of baby’s list, while we’re going for peas, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and musk melons. Huge list, but I know my appetite will be just as large for these healthy home grown items once they’re ready. We will also provide some pictures along the way as the growing season develops.

In addition, I will be posting about the other various decisions we’re making about our little one before he or she arrives this fall. Yay!

Monday, June 2, 2008

My First Container Garden

I planted a container garden a few weekends ago. This is my first one, so I'm still learning about it. The plants didn't die yet, so I figured I could put up a picture.

The left is bell peppers, the center is chives and the right is grape tomatoes. I'm afraid I may have crowded the tomatoes too tightly, but we'll see!

I'll continue to post as the garden progresses. Here's hoping I'll be enjoying fresh veggies soon!