6th of December

Grateful for a cup of good coffee.

The back story is we had to fast this morning to get the labs done for the insurance. Okay, I can do this but we get to the lab at 8:25 and supposedly we needed some sort of paperwork that B did not download.   So, I was not a happy fasting camper. But a quick stop to Starbucks and all was right with the world. But we’ll have to do it later anyway.

Then we went to the bank to use the coin machine. This is a sealed pot challenge originally started by the blogger’s new life in the country.  

We ended up with $88.78. Pretty good for a year. we still haven’t decided what we will use it on. Maybe part of our travel money.

I’m doing the minimalist game this month. So day 1 is 1 thing, day 2 is 2 things, etc. Not sure I can come up with that amount but I started with the Christmas ornaments I don’t want.  Plus I do need to go thru some old files so that will add some items.

Dinner is a roast chicken and farmers market chard, I’ll saute it with some garlic.

Here’s another amazing picture by my lovely daughter.

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This is a California scrub jay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Sunday

The decluttering count is up to 850. This is since October 1st I think.

My husband cleaned up his office and threw tons of stuff away( yeah B!!!!). Then I had him get the Christmas bins and reduced from 4 to 2. My goal is always to reduce by half. I didn’t go thru the ornaments just cleaned up boxes and threw away some things I know I won’t use.( in thrift store box). ( 3 tree candles, a computer mini tree that lights up, and some other things I threw out(boxes and a leaking snow globe. At one point I collected snow globes but realized this wasn’t for me. I have a few left and when I open then at decorating time I’ll decide whether to give them to goodwill.

So all in all a win-win.

We went to Costco pre-Holiday time and won’t be back till probably after Christmas. I spent @ $300 on just food. This includes beer for B and wine (4 bottles) for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So lots of butter for baking, cheese, cuz it’s cheese, organic tofu, Starbucks winter blend of coffee, mayo on sale( I love that). So all good there.

It’s interesting going to Costco as a non-consumer advocate (as much as possible for us, right now), and seeing ALL THE STUFF! Wow, it is a little overwhelming. It’s important to just get what you need and go. So for instance. I use some mayonnaise and the coupon was for, I think,$2.00 off. So a giant mayo for $4 something. I will get thru it actually as I make egg salad, tuna salad, dressings etc with mayo. So a good purchase.

Dinner is grilled tofu with golden gravy, a salad of kale, spinach, chard, walnuts, and pomegranate things. Plus mashed potatoes.  I was disappointed Costco didn’t have the huge bag of russets.  One of the best freezer meals to make are double stuffed potatoes. We use these all the time. So, I’ll have to wait till next time.img_0496

Exciting news, tomorrow we head up to South Lake Tahoe for B to work and I get to tag along. Lucky me!!! At the condo, I’ll cook some dinner and we’ll do breakfast.  Just simple scrambled eggs and toast!!

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Beautiful Lake Tahoe!!

 

 

the journey towards minimalism

Life is certainly a journey with its up and downs and in-betweens.

For me, I guess, it really did start with ‘death decluttering’ ….ha ha ha.  Before I was diagnosed in the early 2000’s I became obsessed with collecting things from the 30’s,40;s 50’s and 60’s. I had a lot of fun going to estate sales and looking for buttons, Melmac, old fans, dishes etc. I had some really nice stuff. And my absolute love is mid-century furniture and still is actually. image

So in 2005 when I went thru the gut-wrenching process of getting diagnosed( I would not recommend a biopsy of a plasmacytoma in the back with a neurosurgeon using a hammer), I had a very tiny house with lots of stuff.  With a prognosis of 3-5 years survival, I think at some point, I just wanted it gone but it wasn’t right away.

It probably wasn’t until @ 2010 when I relapsed that the idea sprung into my head, that I didn’t want my kids or husband to deal with this stuff. So….it slowly was tossed, given away or donated.  Thus, the ‘death decluttering’.  Don’t wait till it’s too late to purge, and simplify.   Really, really, DO IT NOW.

 

I still have more than I’d like. In October my challenge was 1000 things gone. I got to 700 and then I just didn’t find any more or at least motivated too.  So, it is a journey of discovery.

I guess there is a balance with it too.  I kinda need a couch at this point.  There was a time sitting on the floor was fine but now I’d probably need a crane to get up so that’s out.  Also, I’ve always loved all things Japanese, so I wanted a low table on the floor but again, crane anyone?

Where am I with it all?  I want only what I use and need and fits our house.  We have given away thousands of things and it feels so good.

I am enjoying adding house plants which are adding oxygen and greenery. A win-win….

 

Dinner is leftover wild rice chicken soup and twice baked potatoes with a salad.

 

 

Friday Things

It is another beautiful fall day here in Northern California. There is nowhere else I’d like to live except the coast. But not really, I need mountains and such.  Next week brings rain so it’ll change as it should. Nothing stays the same.

Today, I’ve been puttering around. I made a vegan banana bread. It’s from the blogger Sadia at ‘Pick up Limes’.  It is one of the best banana breads I’ve ever made. She has very beautiful food photos and her recipes are really quite delicious. All vegan.

Then I tidied around the house, and I’m finishing 2 loads of laundry as I had enough to do a small load of white.  As a minimalist, I find it much simpler to do one load a day and a few times a week a second. Fly lady is where I originally got the idea but it’s around a lot of other blogs.

I dusted around the house and watered my plant friends.  Not much decluttering although I did put a few pairs of earrings in a bag for Goodwill.  I’m up to 700 items in October. As I said lots of small things, but they do add up.

At the recommendation of a fellow blogger, I read’ My year of no clutter’. It’s an interesting book which focuses on her hoarding tendencies and anxieties. But I gleaned a lot from the book and would recommend it.

Right now I’m reading from the library, ‘unstuffed’.  I was going to buy this off amazon but it seemed to indicate some Christian things in it so I didn’t. So far I haven’t seen much in that way except a bible verse.  If a book starts including the Christian stuff especially related to minimalism, I quickly close the book.  It may all be fine and good for them to think Jesus was a minimalist, and yes I’m  pretty sure in 20BC there weren’t any Walmarts around so, yeah, not owning much there.  Not to be judgmental, but it is all relative and one does need to think about these things. Anyhoo, so far I live her ideas and it’s a good read.

 

UPDATE:  The book becomes a little more and more evangelical as it nears the end.  by the last chapter she’s really trying to tell us that only by turning to God can we find Grace. Because He is perfect.  And we are not. So that will help your decluttering journey.

Well, as an atheist, and someone who was a Quaker and a Buddhist previously, I can say with some certainty for me ,There is NO God.   Is he up on a cloud somewhere?  Is he in another dimension? For me, living a life of balance and simplicity is about being here in this life and living it fully and wholly.

Well, my sister will arrive in Sacramento tomorrow and we’ll see her Sunday. Should be a nice day although not as warm as today.

Clearing more Clutter

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This quote really says it all.

I’ve been removing more little things that are just clutter. Old pictures that are duplicates( like @ 200), old pens, those old family books I mentioned in another post and more.

I’m up to 600 items. Of course, 6 pens is only 6 little items, but I still count them.  I also count stuff I throw away like old files and papers and junky little things. I figure it’s all part of decluttering another layer.

One of the most helpful things I’ve done is take pictures with my iPhone and then look at the space.  This has been very helpful in really seeing the space from an objective view.

Right now, I’m trying to work on my desk area. My desk is a Heywood Wakefield double wish bone table that I have the one leaf folded down against the wall. I have my printer, 2 plants, an orchid, my Mac book and then a desk organizer for bills etc. That’s the problem area. I need to figure out a way that this stuff isn’t so visible.  I also have a bin that was on the floor with files and that too looks too messy I realized after looking at the pictures. I think I might try getting some magazine holders and see if that works.

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I took off the wall folders so that looks better. Then I moved the file box to my Ikea cart. So, I’ll take another picture and see if that looks better.

A Minimalist’s day

Often my days are about doing daily simple chores and going about my life.

I never overload my schedule and even when I worked at the library l kept my schedule simple and unburdened. Now it is even more so as I don’t have a go-to job.

I start my day with getting dressed even down to my walking shoes. I drink a quick cup of coffee that was prepared the night before and then is on an automatic timer for 5:30 am.   If the dishwasher needs emptying I’ll do that.Then I head out the door and drive 1/2 a mile to our park and walk for 32 minutes. Then upon returning home, I get more coffee and then write my list for the day and what I want/need to accomplish. I include simple things like dust, prep for dinner and what we’re having, budgeting stuff, gym, etc.  I browse thru the news and some blogs.

Then I’ll do a few quick chores, like make the bed, take out the laundry, swish and swipe the bathroom. I don’t have young children but both my adult children live at home so there’s always some extra things(dishes, laundry,) that might need attention.

If I’m going to be baking bread like today I start prepping thing and get my starter ready and then the dough. Or if I’m making my delicious maple granola, I’ll get out oats, maple syrup etc.  Otherwise, I wipe down the counters and make sure they are clear and uncluttered. Plus I do this in each room. Our house is tiny so really it doesn’t take but 10 minutes max.  But it is by having minimalized our things that it is a quick process.

I  am amazed at how simplified my life is since embracing minimalism.  It is so true, less is more.

The rest of the day is either going to the gym or whatever chores might need doing. If there’s a project I’m working on, I may do it after lunch. RIght now, I’m still working on the barn decluttering so I may go out for a bit to do that. I prep for dinner between 4-5 depending on what I’m making.  I also usually read for a few hours and then dinner.  After dinner, we might have an outside fire and talk about the day or current events. I go to bed fairly early 9pm or so. I might read in bed for 1/2 hour but generally lights out by 9:30 or 10.

Dinner tonight is chicken noodle soup and homemade bread.

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Simple Sunday a day late….

We had a lovely Sunday. It was beautiful out, not too warm, not too cool.

I finished painting the front door. I finished painting the shake shingles the other day and then B painted the sunporch wood that he replaced.  He worked on a ton of wood, moving it and cutting it. In a few years we’ll probably switch to propane stove but for now, we have a lot of wood.

I cooked a whole chicken for Sunday Supper plus mashed potatoes, tofu, and that mushroom golden gravy. It was yummy.

We watched Wonder Woman last night and it was great. A female heroine that is tough and beautiful.

Today, I’m in the kitchen zone but I actually did most of it yesterday so I only needed to mop the floor and clean the stove top.  I might turn on the self-cleaning oven later this week.

1 load of laundry almost done too.

I managed to gather another 50 items to toss or give away. Lots of little things but hey it’s more out the door.  My goal is 1000 items by Thanksgiving.

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Also, we had very strong wind picked up yesterday evening and as a result, there’s been a terrible fire over in Sonoma ( wine country).  Many homes and business lost.  I had just said to B that I’m going to update our emergency packs the day before.  So today I’m going to the barn and get an empty bin and write on it what goes in. Mostly this would be  for photo albums and our lock box with important papers.  I have 2 other packs with things like toothbrushes, first aid kit etc.  I guess timely with what’s going on and necessary.

Tonight I’m making a cauliflower cream cheese soup and homemade bread and a spinach salad. I haven’t made cauliflower soup, so I’ll post how it is tomorrow.

So, other than that just puttering around the house and garden.