A journey towards minimalism.

I love everything about being a minimalist. I value the focus it has given me in my daily life.I love the simplicity it has brought me and how my life is less stressful. We’ve gotten rid of many many things and the things we have kept are useful and beautiful( almost).  My favorite quote is  by William Morris :imageWe still have areas in our house and barn that need work and I’m glad really ,as it gives me a focus. Minimalism has helped us become more frugal and questioning all our purchases and keeping the budget in line.

Right now I’m recovering our 1950’s Heywood Wakefield dining room chairs. I like the simplicity of the off-white canvas I’m using. It’s really painters drop cloth but heck it works. I’ll post a few pictures soon.

My journey with minimalism has evolved as all things do. I know in the different levels of decluttering I’m less emotionally attached to things and where maybe a year ago I wouldn’t have got rid of something, now it’s easier. I value open space more than things and only really keeping what we use or value.  It’s important to me to have a goal or something I’m focusing on and striving toward minimalism fits me perfect right now.

As all things in life, we change and what we hold dear changes to. But some things do remain constant. My love for my husband, children, family and deeper self-principles. Such as being honest, simplicity( Quaker value), and things that really are the same as when I was 18.  It’s funny how deep inside I think we all retain some of who we were and valued at 18. maybe not but, for me that’s true.  Of course, I’m not the same person as such, I’m older, wiser( ok that’s questionable) but hopefully a little.

Well, if you’re starting out on you own minimalism journey, declutter, make space in you home and life, and simplify. And just keep going. Reprioritise what you value. Stay close to nature or at least get out in the wild once in a while.  Okay, enough.

Book review: ‘Still Here’by Lara Vapnyar

http://www.bloggingforbooks.com/books/view/9781101905524

‘Still here’ by Lara Vapnyar is about 4 Russian friends who all immigrate to NYC to start new lives. I liked the characters in their own way but the story just didn’t really grab  me.

Vica is married to Sergey and have a troubled marriage. She’s a radiological tech and he’s in finance but can’t hold a job.  He ‘s trying to create this app ‘Virtual Grave’ so as to keep the digital stuff a person did in life ‘alive’. Really he wants to just make a lot of money, as creating apps do that if they’re in the market. The other  friends are Regina, and Vadi. Regina is married to a hugely successful man who happens to develop Apps. Vadik is a computer programmer who works there.

It weaves in and out of their lives and their issues.

I would call the book fair. It’s not very compelling and the plot is just the problems in their lives and how they deal with them.

If you like social media issues and the relationship issues, you’ll like this book.

This book was given to me by bloggingfor books.com in exchange for my honest opinion!

 

Friday Stuff

It’s been a long week. We started the  re- fi all over again and emailed the required stuff. what a PITA….. Now, we will have to pay some closing costs which in the previous one it was all included. Who knows what they’re doing. But we got a slightly better rate with this Harp re – fi.   I had checked with our CU, but after an hour she determined our original loan was Freddie Mac and not Fannie May and since they only worked with Frannie May it was a wash. What a waste of time. Well, we shall see how it goes. Our goal is to have an affordable payment as B heads into his last stretch before retiring.   I hate having to do this but , it’s that or sell. So, onward we go.  Who know maybe we still will have to sell, but that’s not part o of the plan yet.

I took off the seat covers on my Heywood-wakefield chairs and now am ready to recover.  I have some barkcloth I could use or I think I’m going with a canvas( painters drop cloth). It’s off white and sturdy.  The last time I did these was around 8 years ago. So I got some good years out of those covers. So I’m going to pop into Home depot to get that drop cloth. I have one I did buy and used for another chair but it was fairly thick  so, this time ,I’m going to get one a little thinner.

I went to Costco yesterday and did  a pretty good shop. Kept it under $200 and got some dinners that are easy. Turkey burgers, black bean burgers and  some frozen pizza.  I’m not too sure about the pizzas but I thought I’d try and at least that might keep us from getting Round Table which is usually a $30  take out.  Sometimes  even cooking a homemade pizza is too much and a frozen just might do it. We’ll see.

Then I popped over to the Koffee Klatch. I told them I already had plans for the meeting week, and for the book sale week.My sister is out that week, so I’m out. I will do a couple of gift baskets and donate those.  Now that Applegate’s hours are cut to 16, it’s really only a matter of time before they close the branch. Especially since circs will drop even more with very lousy hours. It might take a year or two, but I’m guessing there is a plan.  Well, I’m done with it and it’s really a shame how poorly this library system is run, in my opinion. Of course, I don’t know but compared to the system my daughter works in it seems so.  And the people where my daughter works seem quite genuine, not like Placer where you thought you had a friend but not really. Oh well, I enjoy the lunches with these ladies and will continue to go.

Well, off to do the Flylady chores.

Dinner is Friday night pizza. ( I think)!!

 

 

Simple Sunday

Well, after a whirlwind Saturday,cleaning ,do camp laundry, shopping for a few things at our local Holiday Market, today, I’m still cleaning.  It’s catch up. I’m making a loaf of bread too and planning our meals this week.

Everyone should be back home today from camping. My son goes back to work today and B has to work tomorrow. Also, my daughter heads back up to Truckee to the library. I have a load to take to Goodwill express today or tomorrow. Plus, if I need to pick up any groceries. Mostly, I think we have enough stuff. the garden is giving us some tomatoes but not enough to really freeze a lot so I may call a local produce shop to see if I can buy some ‘uglies’. These are the tomatoes not pretty enough to sell but great to can.

Good news/ bad news on the refi.  Somehow the people working on the refi got canned or left, so the loan having sat out in limbo for so long isn’t valid. But the good news is ,after finally speaking with someone,the rate will go down slightly and that means the payment will too.  I wish we didn’t have to do this but with the interest rate going up in October and considering retirement numbers we don’t have  a choice if we want to remain here. We do want to stay in our little house.  There’s not a lot of places we feel drawn to and where we do (Capitola) we would never be able to afford.  So, I think this is a good move for us.

I guess hindsight is 100% accurate since what has happened , happened. I certainly would do things way more frugally. Anyway, done is done.

It’s hot here again and our pool is a green liquid.  So no jumping in the pool….

Well, off to switch laundry and finish the kitchen.

Just keep Walking update

We are in year 4 of walking every day. Today marks day 74.  Since being off chemo, I am walking more. Probably it adds 3 extra miles a week.So that’s good.

I still enjoy our morning walks and checking to make sure Hobbles the duck is there, Ugly Goose and checking on little runty Canada goose.  He’s more like junior now as he has feathered out and looks all grown up.  Such excitement in our little park.

 

Random thoughts

It’s been a great week camping here. We’ve been bike riding and of course, walking every day. We have a nice rhythm going with coffee in the French press, then walk out to the lake, home for camp breakfast, then figure out the day’s schedule.  Tonight I’m going to try pizza in the Lodge. I watched a youtube and it looked fairly easy.

Tomorrow our daughter returns with the border collies. It’s been fun to have them here. Then Friday I’ll head back down the ‘hill’ and get home to take care of chores.

It’s been one of the best vacations I can remember. Well, you can’t beat Santa Barbara or Capitola but still Tahoe is quite unique. If anyone is ever visiting and needs some ideas let me know.  Speaking of visiting my sister from Connecticut is going to visit in October with her 3 adult daughters.Not sure what has prompted this except she has had a difficult yea with a diagnosis of  interstitial( not sure if that’s correct) lung disease.  Anyway, they are staying in a hotel( thank you) and only staying 5 days. Not sure what to do in that time but heck, if she wants to do that , OK.  she is always quite helpful and fun.

We’ve had absolutely no communication with the bank o the refi despite me now calling a different person. I guess we are done with them. I’m going to check with our CU if they do the HARP, otherwise I’m going to check with Wells Fargo.

That’s it in my world.image

Back home for a day.

I got back home Friday and then today I’m leaving for Tahoe again. It’s my son’s 22 birthday. Not doing anything special since this camping trip has added up. We did get him and REI gift card, a backpack stove, and $100 cash, so I think that’s plenty. I’m not sure what he wants as his special dinner or cake. it may have to wait till we’re all home.

I’ve been non-stop trying to keep up on things. I changed the pool filter but the water is still green. I guess it’ll have to wait till B’s home. Plus laundry, cleaning, going over to take care of the neighbor’s cat….  that’s another story in itself.

 

Well, my daughter will be driving home with the dogs today.She is probably going to hit serious traffic. I’ll probably be okay as most people will be driving the opposite way. Except for near Sand Harbor Beach where the traffic to get in was backed up for miles. I’m guessing I will be in that till it clears. But I hope not.

I’m getting stuff out to the car and should be ready to roll by 10am. I think.

On another note, I’m having the worst time with Ynab. I guess I’m going to cancel for next month. It seems everything is balanced and then its way off from what I have. Budget wise it is not helping since I’m just frustrated trying to figure out what their  amounts are doing and how that’s not matching what I have.  yesterday it was all balanced to zero. today its like off by -$1600 . So that’s not good nor accurate.  Well, I’ve had it so, It’s not easy to cancel, as you’ve got to email them.  But I’m better with just paper and pencil. it’s only $5 a month but if I can’t figure out the errors , it’s not worth it.