t2

Friday, September 14, 2012

Traits of a Tightwad- Prioritizing Time

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."
Whether or not you have any religious affiliations, it's hard to disagree with the sentiments in this passage in Ecclesiastes.
A time and a place for everything.

One of the things I like about the frugal life I lead, away from the rat race of the corporate world, is that much of the time we just live our life in the moment, spending time doing things we enjoy, with no pressure to go any place by a certain time. Just living. Enjoying. Relaxing.

But then there are those insane, crazy, hectic days and weeks when there is so much to get done, lots of pressure and staying up till 2 am trying to finish everything (ok, I cheated, you know already that I stay up till 2 am nearly every night regardless), because it has to be done. Right now. No procrastinating.

Because nature doesn't wait.


I have to say that when it comes to frugal living, this is actually one of the hardest things for me. A trait that I sorely lack.
I'm a huge procrastinator.
I always find other things I'd rather be doing.

Having 3 little kids at home with me full time, 2 of whom don't nap (for the record, I had to say that Ike's sleeping has gotten much better now that he finally is able to skip his nap without being a miserable wreck), and 1 who wants to be held or nursed much of the time that she is awake, makes it so easy to find excuses about why not do something right now. There always are about a million reasons why not now.
And I use them.
(And that's why laundry is an issue of mine... Speaking of which, I have laundry that needs to be hung up.)

But it's a problem.

Because I can decide to push off making a new pocketbook. I can push off fixing my solar cooker.

But you know what happens if I push off harvesting and preserving?

Things rot.
Spoil.
Mold.
Shrivel up and die.

Its a now or never situation.

It's kind of crazy how the summer's abundance all seems to come to a peak at the same exact time, all needing to be dealt with simultaneously. Which is how I end up needing to preserve 6 different things all the same day.

And for some things, its not really such a big deal if I don't preserve them. Because, fortunately, I live in a place where there are wonderful things like greens to forage year round. So if I skip harvesting and preserving my purslane, it's ok. I have plenty of other greens to use at other times of the year.

But other things grow only one time of the year, and don't have a good substitute that can be harvested the rest of the year. Like grapes. And capers. And olives.
Their growing season is limited.
And if I don't pick and preserve them exactly then, I blew my chance. It'll be a whole entire year until I have another chance. And that usually means that either I'll have to go without something I like during the year because of my procrastination.
Or I buy it in the store, and it's much more expensive.

Wine and grape juice is one such example.
We need wine and grape juice every week.
So either I make my own wine and grape juice and spend very very little on it (sugar and yeast are pretty much my only expenses involved), or I pay a lot of money to buy store bought stuff.

Which is smarter?
Making my own, of course.
Which is why I push myself to pick grapes and sort through them to take out the rotten/buggy ones, and then wash them, and mash them, and mix them, to make my own wine. Even if there are a million things I'd rather be doing.
Because now is my chance.

Now is "a time to harvest and a time to preserve".


I have been procrastinating a bit. We already made 2 large batches of wine, but I have so many batches of grape juice that I need to make and bottle, and haven't done much yet. And if you see in the grapes above, they are already starting to get old on the vine, there are already a bunch of grapes that need to be tossed because I let them sit too long because I procrastinated.

Today and yesterday, I pretty much spent all day processing and preserving the food I got. Some the grapes that I picked myself. Some produce that someone gave me that wasn't in the best of conditions, that needed to be cooked/prepared immediately, otherwise it would become entirely unusable.

So this is what I did.

Went through a million olives, checked for bugs, and prepared for pickling. (I'll include pickling instructions in a week or so hopefully.)


Chopped up a bunch of pears, removing all the icky parts...


Made pear sauce, and strained grapes for my grape juice...


Turned some of the pear sauce into pear fruit leather.


Here's some of what I canned so far today. 8 cans of tomato paste, 6 cans of grape juice.


I then will be canning the pear sauce and a lot more grape juice...

When nature calls, you stop, drop, and roll. Cease doing whatever it is you're doing, harvest and process those delicious foods, or else you'll completely miss out on your chance to forage those stuff.

Prioritizing time, making time for things that need to be done first, and pushing off the things that can wait? That's a very important tightwad trait.

Are you good at prioritizing? Or are you a procrastinator?
Are you a forager or gardener or something similar?
Harvesting or preserving anything now? What is it?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share This