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The Best Things in Life are Free

January 31st, 2012

You’ve no doubt heard the quote, “The best things in life are Free”. I find this to be quite true, especially when it comes to cat toys. I’ve always wondered why people spend money on cat toys when a milk ring or bottle cap is so entertaining for them.

Our cats LOVE milk rings and lids, but we don’t get milk rings that often since we get raw milk from a local farm in half gallon mason jars. In the winter, the farm lets the cows go dry, so during this time, we purchase milk from another small local dairy. The milk isn’t raw, but it’s low-temperature pasteurized and non-homogenized. If you live in NE Ohio and don’t have access to raw milk I’d highly recommend seeking out Hartzler’s milk.

The cats love the winter because we have a glut of milk rings and milk lids. They absolutely love the big fat lids from the glass milk jugs and have a grand old time batting them around the house (Dexter is especially fond of them). We always save a few to last us throughout the year.

I suppose if I had to pick something that was akin to a milk ring for me it would be the library. You will always find a big stack of books on my table that I get for free. Spending time working in the garden is also something I enjoy that’s free (unless you count the cost of seeds). When I think about it, the things that bring me true joy are usually the things that cost the least!

What things do you enjoy that are free?

23 Comments to “The Best Things in Life are Free”
  1. louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife on January 31, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Playing with the cats (why should they have all the free toy fun?! :) ) and dog; walking in the woods or at the beach with the dog; and, the library – I’m with you on that one.

    One other free thing I love: sleeping. It’s not just something I do because I have to, I actively love sleeping – snuggling down under the heavy duvet, cuddling into my always warm boy, having the cats cuddle into me as their always warm hot water bottles and having very vivid dreams like my very own private cinema… Bliss! :)

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  2. Andrea Duke on January 31, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I don’t get raw milk, but get it from Snowville, which is in SE Ohio. I have heard a few people say they love Hartzler’s and I wish ours was packaged in glass.

    Now what do I enjoy for free?

    Spending time with my 7 year old, he makes me laugh at least once everyday.
    Playing in the dirt.
    Crazy as it is, I enjoy cleaning, which is free, since I don’t buy chemical cleaners anymore :)
    Talking to people that interest me.
    Seeing new things that give me ideas and inspire me.

    Reply to Andrea Duke's comment

  3. daisy on January 31, 2012 at 9:20 am

    That milk bottle reminds me of when I was a kid. We used to have delivery to our house in Chicago. Can’t drink milk anymore though…

    The library would definitely be on my short list. As well as long walks on trails, watching the colors at sunset, and snuggling with my boy when he gets up in the morning.

    Reply to daisy's comment

  4. risa on January 31, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Watching the clouds chase each other across the mountain.

    Reply to risa's comment

  5. Denimflyz on January 31, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Enjoy this morning’s blog, Suzie. Wonderful photos of Dexter. Its the same at my house, bottle caps, canning rings, toilet paper rolls or an occassional vegetable peeling in the mouth and down the hall.
    Free things are: Library, and finding wonderful, perfectly good items in our garbage dumpster, like two pressure canners, a 15qt and a 4 qt, and a set of beautiful kitchen knives and a new Crockpot, never used, just a few weeks ago. My idea of bliss….
    Have a wonderful “free” weekend.

    Reply to Denimflyz's comment

  6. tj on January 31, 2012 at 10:21 am

    …Our source for raw milk passed away years ago and sadly we don’t have another source nearby. And our lil’ cat loves to play with the milk rings or bottle caps. It’s so funny to watch her bat ’em, twist & jump about the kitchen, makes me laugh every time. We have a big older cat that once in awhile will sit and watch her play and the look on his face is priceless. He’s equal to a crotchety ol’ man so you get the picture. :o)

    …I too love life so I relish in the little things. Such as sitting on the screen porch early on Spring mornings drinking my morning coffee and watching the birds visit the feeder. Walking thru the woods. Visiting Chiot’s Run. I love the sunshine streaming into the windows. Snow. Letting my chickens out late in the day to pick & scratch. The sound of rain. And of course gardening too. Really, the list could go on and on… ;o)

    …As always, love your photos!

    …Enjoy your day!

    …Blessings :o)

    Reply to tj's comment

  7. Caroline on January 31, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Our cat loves milk tabs, too! It looks silly, but every time I open a bottle I toss the ring onto the floor, and she comes flying after it.

    Sometimes it feels like a challenge to discover free things, but there are so many! The library is great. So is exploring nature (woods, beach, etc.), discovering new cities, public art, going for a run, flying a kite, and especially digging in the dirt.

    Reply to Caroline's comment

  8. Lona on January 31, 2012 at 10:44 am

    They look like they are really entertained by the milk caps. LOL! Sort of the same thing with kids. When mine was small they would rather play with boxes or pots and pans than the toys. LOL!

    Reply to Lona's comment

  9. Traci on January 31, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Hiking in the state park near my house. I count my blessing every time I’m there. The beach and beachcombing. I’m a mad sea glass collector – it’s very therapeutic.
    And I am also a huge fan of the library.
    I have to say as well, Dexter is the long lost twin of my cat Clementine. They look almost exactly alike! I have to send you a picture.

    Reply to Traci's comment

  10. Rick on January 31, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Our cat love the little plastic bag the news paper comes in on Sundays. We tie it off so she can’t get inside (and suffocate) and it keeps her entertained all day!

    I love the library too, my biggest problem is that giant pile of free books isn’t free when you forget to turn them back in on time!! :)

    Reply to Rick's comment

  11. Donna B. on January 31, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Hahaha! Dexter’s SUCH a cutie. ♥
    I have similar free things that keep me sane – toilet/paper towel rolls for seed starting/collars in the garden, milk jugs for winter seed sowing, almond milk/orange juice cartons for makeshift concrete block makers… and if we buy a plastic bottle that can’t get reused we fill it with treats and peanut butter, shake it, and give it to our dogs to play with! [Along with that goes the empty peanut butter jars! Dogs are addicts, I swear…]
    I try to at least use everything to it’s fullest, that’s why I’ll buy products that come in glass jars/bottles, I find they’re the best for storing veggies I intend to freeze! I’ll never run out of containers… hee hee!

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  12. Marcia on January 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Skating outdoors. My neighborhood park has a corner that gets converted to a skating rink every winter. I love skating out there after dark when I can admire the twinkling lights of downtown. It`s a magical moment.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

  13. Sincerely, Emily on January 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Oh what fun Dexter is having. Love it. Cinder loves to play with dried spider plant leaves. It is so fun to watch her.

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  14. kat on January 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    i like pictures of dexter, who looks like holden, on the internets!

    Reply to kat's comment

  15. itchbay on January 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    So true! Mr. Bob prefers twist-ties, hair elastics, and whatever bit of plastic or wax paper he can find in the trash.

    Reply to itchbay's comment

  16. Allison on January 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Well geze! I get that very milk you have pictured and never thought about giving my kitty the caps to play with – she’d LOVE IT!

    And I just stopped at the library today on my lunch break and was waiting for them to tell me I surpassed the # of items allowed to be checked out!!

    Reply to Allison's comment

  17. DeeDee on January 31, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    No raw milk & no cats,but the boys & I were laughing at the cats playing with trashthe in the (dreaded) pet store the other day!(we had to get salt water for our inherited fish tank!)

    Reply to DeeDee's comment

  18. Brenda on January 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm


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  19. Sofie Dittmann @thegermanfoodie on January 31, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    OMG, i LOVE the one where you can see the cat in the background stalking “the prey”! :)

    Reply to Sofie Dittmann @thegermanfoodie's comment

  20. angela on January 31, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    He is the cutest thing!!! We have 3 cats in the house at the moment. Adorable!

    Reply to angela's comment

  21. Darlene on January 31, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    The things I love that are free…?

    Watching the birds,(and deer), at the birdfeeder
    Having my 3 cats keep me company in the garden
    Listening to and watching a baby or toddler laugh…is there a better sound?
    The joy of seeing a garden grow that I planted and eating the results!!

    Reply to Darlene's comment

  22. Lauren on February 1, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Dexter seems having the time of his life with his toy.

    Regarding your question, I guess it is seeing the kids going out of school on the last day of school. Their facial reactions are priceless.

    Reply to Lauren's comment

  23. Angela on February 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I love the pics of your handsome Dexter! My cat ignores almost all the toys people buy for her and would rather play with pens and my headbands. Something free that I enjoy is access to my public library–it’s a great library and I like reading a variety of books before deciding if one needs to be part of my permanent collection. We’re newer to gardening than you are and have just begun learning about seed saving. Now when I look at seeds in my veggies I see dollars saved in terms of seed packets, better-quality produce, and the benefit of growing future veggies suited to my micro-climate. Nice, thought-provoking post!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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