Being cheap never felt so good!

We had an emotionally difficult weekend, mostly due to exactly what caused this rant. And while I left it so vague to drive the point home to anyone who may not have thought about the place for technology in a still-polite society, it was "inspired" by things going on in our home life. I'm sure, you, dear readers, know your manners, though. Please don't take the rant personally. It's all part of purging the toxicity.

All that turmoil aside, as emotion settles into goals for the future, we had an incredible, quiet, cozy, satisfying {. . . you get the point, right?} weekend. No going out to fancy restaurants or expensive movies, just quiet time at home with hobbies and each other.

Funny enough, our hobbies are frugal approaches to luxury goods. Chemical-free, naturopathic medicine from the fancy health food store? Nah. Healthy snacks all wrapped in hermetically sealed bags shipped from California (or who knows where) that line the upper shelves of the grocery store whispering, "Buy me! I'm good for you! I'll make you feel good about snacking!" Yummy! But no, thanks. Just how long have you been trapped in that little plastic bag? Micro-brewed beer at $5 a pint? Hmmm, yeee. . .nope.

Charlie started a bock beer, this time experimenting with adding a little rosemary. {If you grow rosemary you know it's one of those things you can never use up.}

I put the elderberries into watered down Everclear to preserve their beneficial properties, now I just need to shake it up everyday until it's time to strain out the pulp and save the liquid for cold and flu season. At that point I'll divide it into 2 bottles, add honey to one and leave the other unsweetened. We used Honey Gardens Apitherapy's elderberry elixir when our house got the summer cold that was going around; it was amazing! C took it as he started feeling the aches and never got the full-blown cold. I took it the day the cold hit full-force and it was gone the next day. M was too young for honey, though. At $12 a bottle {and you use one 4 oz. bottle a day} we aren't really in the position to keep buying it, so this {I hope!} will be a more frugal fix.

I took the peaches and apples in the fridge that we kept forgetting about, peeled 'em, sliced 'em, and stuck them in the new old food dehydrator. {We found one at an estate sale that has a thermostat and a fan in it! Super fancy! Out goes the old new old one!} No little plastic pouches to toss out, either! In fact, the natural packaging {read: the peels} they came in went straight to the chickens as a sweet treat that will become poop to nourish the fig trees.

When everything is all said and done, the beer is in the bottles and we're chowing down on some sweet dried fruit long after the oppressive summer heat has dissipated into a cool, reinvigorating fall, we'll still have these skills. The metaphorical black cloud will lift and we'll still have each other. We'll toast the life changes that reminded us to focus on the good things all around.

Cheers to being cheap! It never felt so good!


Barbara Bechtel said...

do you have a book you can recommend for your home made elixirs? i am looking for a jumping point to start off from when making medicinals. Thanks!

jgoode said...

I recommend dehydrating watermelon. cut it in thin strips like fruit roll-ups and let it dry forever. It is so sweet and yummy!

Wolfie and the Sneak said...

Barbara-I don't have a book, I'm just learning about different herbs as I go. I'll ask my friend Anna what she uses as a reference, though.
Jennifer--that sounds so good! I'll try watermelon next!

Barbara Bechtel said...

Thank you! I appreciate your help! I usually end up googling stuff as I go but I like to add a good reference if I hear of one...

My decidedly not-natural sis told me about elderberry extract for the sniffly stuff and now i'm intrigued because as a family, we're plagued by sinus-y problems, especially when we get colds. i know that elderberry extract dries up the sinuses and phlegmatic problems (mmm, doesn't that sound yummy) so I'm excited to have a natural alternative.