Day One Living Without Spending Money or Using Energy: Thanks for Nothing Month


| 1/10/2014 10:03:00 AM


Tags: Annie Warmke, Ohio, Blue Rock Station, simple living, rural life,

“Thoughtfulness takes practice.  Just for today I will be thoughtful in my approach to those around me.”

in the kitchenThis past year we have tried to make it a time of spiritual renewal, and my hope for the new year definitely includes more opportunities for growing spiritual connections and restful fun. 

The beginning of a new year should allow time to rest and review the year.  For us at Blue Rock Station, it is also the beginning of THANKS FOR NOTHING month.  Each year we try to challenge ourselves with an entire month where we spend no money, and avoid using energy.  This is our third year of this practice - and we find ourselves looking forward to the pause, rather than feeling challenged by it.

Each year we try to push just a bit harder, so rather than creating a menu for the month (and going shopping that last week of December), we decided to use what was already on hand - and clean the freezer instead of shopping.  Normally the 31-day menu would be in place well-ahead of January 1st, and all the food stored.  This year, however, we’re eating completely out of the freezers and larder.  The only thing we purchased was a stash of cheese for Jay (he hates my goat cheese), and some fresh fruit to go with the bounty of fall apples still in the larder.

Going a month without money requires a bit of advance planning.  For some reason, the animals on the farm don’t share our commitment to the spiritual growth that comes from doing without.  So on Tuesday I decided to pre-pay for some chicken feed at the hardware store in Duncan Falls, just in case I ran out before the end of the month.  The grain storage bins only hold four 50 lb. bags and those chickens are eating like frat boys at an all-you-can eat buffet.  The hay guy, who is also prepaid, will probably need to bring 50 bales before the end of the month - it’s going to be bitter cold so the goats and llamas are going to need extra feed to keep warm.

Cleaning and Sorting

After chores, our neighbor from a nearby ridge, Tom Winland, came by to visit.  Jay and I were in the midst of cleaning out the freezer and sorting everything according to categories - cheese, milk (saved for when they are dried up while I’m in France), meat, fruit, leftovers and miscellaneous.  Tom sat and watched, drinking a cup of hot tea made from water heated on the wood stove.  cup of coffee




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