Accounts of a woman returning from USA to her parents’ farm in Brazil after several years and starting over. Adventures, new discoveries, old recipes, some heartbreaks, and many lessons.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Wednesday, 1:30 pm: I stopped by Dona Rosa’s fence and delivered pieces of Brazilian style fruitcake (made with prunes, raisins, guava paste, condensed milk, muscatel wine, ground almond ) and puba cake. The last one is made of mandioc roots left 7 days in water to be fermented, then ground, and dripped to dry. I was a little bit suspicious of the puba, as I don’t know I can trust home fermented food. If any weird bacteria gets in? The other package of the same goodies went to my other neighbor who was at home, snoozing. Even though I woke him up, he thanked me for the cake and for an hour conversation we had under a big flamboyant tree. Sunny, slightly windy, and dry day. I felt fortunate to cheer a friend who had his wife away taking care of her hospitalized sister.
Only where time doesn’t cost much is that I can have the priviledge of spending so much of it, in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week. Having times like these, disallow us to take vacations. Our holidays are ingrained in our day-to-day activities. Not that we don’t need rest – but we don’t have the need to go away, to take a trip, to see new places and new people. What we like are these old places with old friends. They are not old friends of mine, as I’ve met them not too long ago. However, for knowing each other’s struggles and victories that have the feeling of closeness. We all agree that the best thing in life is friendship.
If our time doesn’t cost much, I can afford spend more of it. We don’t think of time in terms of investments and returns, but in letting the life goes by beside people that we love.
The big secret of having frugal living is not valuing life like a commodity, of wanting more out of it, to have the maximum profit. It’s the opposite. It is expecting nothing out of life, but to have it pass by.
If I don’t feel I am entitled to possess things, to experience emotions, to collect memories; if I don’t feel I am entitled to have life that is when we start getting life.
As part of my pursue for simple living, I also have chosen to eat less, but correctly. I was tired of feeling sick after gorging, and gaining weight as a consequence. I am not overweight in any sense, but be a gluton seems immoral, in face of world’s hunger. My biggest challenge is to cut down on my expenses on meat, trading for cheaper fruits and vegetables. That’s where frugal living comes in.
As part of my plan to pay less and get the same, I attend to exercise classes for free done at community centers, five times a week.
At 8:00 p.m. I turn off the TV, go to the bedroom for devotionals. I still do other things, such as writing, getting information on the internet, but I don’t surf, as I think it is a waste of time. I end up sleeping early and wake up before the sun. I love it: to beat the sun.
My next project is to use less cleaning products, specially laundry soaps. I plan to use my homemade soap instead, and wash the clothes less often, as my habit is to do several loads a day.
I keep my trips to the town to a minimum, so I can save not only on fuel, but on any risk related to a car accident. Keeping risks to a bare minimum is a great way to save money.
Frugal living also allows me to enjoy times of silence – for being alone is one of greatest gifts we get – and it is still free.