Giving thanks

A grateful heart is a happy heart. I’m counting my blessings today… Clean drinking water, warm and dry home, amply stocked kitchen, cup of coffee in hand, plenty of books to read, four days off from work, and a hot breakfast prepared by my daughter. There’s so much to be thankful for. I need nothing. Black Friday deals have no luster, when you take into account what you already have. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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A grateful heart is a happy heart. I’m counting my blessings today…

  • Clean drinking water
  • Warm and dry home
  • Amply stocked kitchen
  • Cup of coffee in hand
  • Plenty of books to read
  • 4 days off from work
  • Hot breakfast prepared by my daughter

There’s so much to be thankful for!

I need nothing.

Black Friday deals have no luster, when you take into account what you already have.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Quatchi having Thanksgiving breakfast
Quatchi likes pancakes

Did I ever tell you how lucky you are?

Fall is here and with it comes heavy rain, shorter days, the need for socks and an extra cup of coffee (or two). This fall I’m thankful for many things. With the current economic malaise, I’m especially thankful for a job that I love when so many people are unemployed or underemployed. This week I stumbled upon a Dr. Seuss classic: “Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?”. Dr Seuss quote: “Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky!” For me, being frugal is about enjoying what I have instead of wanting more. When I think about all that I have in my life, I realize that I am so very lucky.

Fall is here and with it comes heavy rain, shorter days, the need for socks and an extra cup of coffee (or two).

didievertellyou

This fall I’m thankful for many things. With the current economic malaise, I’m especially thankful for a job that I love when so many people are unemployed or underemployed. This week I stumbled upon a Dr. Seuss classic: “Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?” Here’s some Dr. Seuss wisdom:

“Thank goodness for all of the things you are not!
Thank goodness you’re not something someone forgot,
and left all alone in some punkerish place
like a rusty tin coat hanger hanging in space.”

Punkerish place? Yes, thank goodness for all the things I am not.

And then there’s the famous Duckie quote:

“When you think things are bad, when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad… You should do what I do!
Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky!”

What does this have to do with frugality?

Everything. For me, frugality is about enjoying what I have instead of wanting more. When I think about all that I have in my life, I realize that I am so very lucky.

I don’t need anything more than I already have.

How about you? Do you feel lucky?

Doing without, on purpose

My stories today are about doing without in order to appreciate what you’ve got. Our car was in the shop and we got a rental car. The rental car was fine, but it wasn’t our car. There were a few things we didn’t like about the rental car – it was noisy, it lurched when you touched the gas pedal, and it smelled funny. Two weeks later when we got our car back we were elated. We fully appreciated the smooth, quiet ride of our Toyota Prius. We also enjoyed the absence of a funny scent, or maybe we just like the funny scent of our car. A week later we’re still enjoying our car more than before the rental car experience.

My stories today are about doing without in order to appreciate what you’ve got. 

Act 1 – “A hand towel vs a bath towel”

My daughter likes to shower in my bathroom. She likes to wrap herself in my towel, walk downstairs, and deposit my towel on the floor. Eight years of reminders and I still find towels on the floor, but that’s another story. 

I wake up blurry eyed and pop into the shower without checking for a towel. I get out and see a hand towel. It could be worse. It could be a washcloth. I make do and think about moving more towels upstairs. This same story repeats itself every day for a week. Each day I get annoyed with myself for not bringing up more towels, until as some point it becomes comical.

Then one glorious day, I remember to bring up a bath towel. I use the towel and I’m in full appreciation of the luxurious towel. It’s so big and so thirsty. But then I wonder, would I be so bath towel appreciative if I had not used a hand towel all week? I don’t think so.

Act 2 – “Our car vs a rental car”

Our car was in the shop and we got a rental car. The rental car was fine, but it wasn’t our car. There were a few things we didn’t like about the rental car – it was noisy, it lurched when you touched the gas pedal, and it smelled funny.

Two weeks later when we got our car back, we were elated. We fully appreciated the smooth, quiet ride of our Toyota Prius. We also enjoyed the absence of a funny scent, or maybe we just like the funny scent of our car. A week later we’re still enjoying our car more than before the rental car experience.

Want to try this out? You can purposely do without. Try not dining out for a while and then plan a nice dinner out. Hand wash all your dishes for a few days and then feel the joy of automatic dishwashing. Don’t shower for a few weeks and then… just kidding. You get my point.

Have you had this experience? Have you gone without, and later appreciated what you had much more? Please leave your thoughts in a Comment.

Children’s book leaves me counting blessings

My 8 year old daughter picked out a book at her school’s scholastic book fair: How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor. Excited that she’d picked a book instead of the various scholastic craptastic toys, I happily bought the book. My daughter picked the book because of the cute dog. However in this case, you definately cannot judge a book by its cover because this book is about homelessness. As the story unfolds, a moral dimlemma emerges. Is it OK to do something wrong if your intentions are good?

howtostealadog

My 8 year old daughter picked out a book at her school’s Scholastic book fair: “How to Steal a Dog” by Barbara O’Connor. Excited that she’d picked a book instead of the various Scholastic craptastic toys, I happily bought her the book.

My daughter picked this book because of the cute dog on its cover. However in this case, you definitely can’t judge a book by its cover, because this book is about homelessness. The book opens with:

 “The day I decided to steal a dog is the same day my best friend, Luanne Godfrey, found out I lived in a car.”

What a great first line!

The story begins with a mother and her two children living in a car. They’ve been evicted from their apartment, the father has left, and the mother is working two jobs. As the story unfolds, a moral dilemma emerges. Is it OK to do something wrong if your intentions are good? In the story, homelessness motivates a young girl to steal “borrow” a dog, with the hope that the owners will offer reward money, which she can then use towards an apartment. She knows it’s wrong to take the dog, and yet she hates living in a car. She desperately wants a real place to live. And so… well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

What my daughter and I got from ‘How to Steal a Dog’ is the importance of having a home. And that not having a home can drive a person to do something they might normally not do. As I read the book to my daughter there were a million opportunities for us to count our blessings. We read about the family’s plight and then felt grateful for such things as:

  • We’re not embarrassed about where we live and can invite friends over to our home.
  • Where we live stays the same. Our home doesn’t move between back alleys and parking lots.
  • We have beds to sleep on, instead of sleeping curled up in a car.
  • Our home has a thermostat.
  • We have running water and a shower. We don’t have to wash our hair in a restaurant’s bathroom.
  • We have a refrigerator and only use ice coolers for trips.

The list goes on and on… We have so much to be thankful for!

What are you thankful for? Please leave a Comment.