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.

 

 

Ending September

It’s almost the end of September and that’s my birthday. Probably why I like fall so much.  Even so, I enjoy the cool nights and warm days. Yesterday was quite warm and I got quite a few things done.

  • Dropped off a load of 4 boxes of food to our local food bank
  • got the paint out to paint the shake shingles but there’s not enough so I’ll need to go to the paint store.
  • laundry 2x. I try and do only a load a day but sometimes there’s enough to do a small white and small dark load.
  • Paid my son’s minor surgery bill
  • waited for the ATT guy to fix the internet
  • went to the gym

Think  I’m going to write down some goals for October just to be accountable.

  1. Paint the shake shingles where we replaced the door and windows.
  2. Buy at least 4 Christmas items, this could be gift cards or a book or item of clothing that might be needed. My son needs new slippers so that’s one.
  3. Garden or be out in the yard tidying up 3 x a week for 15 minutes. We need to clean up the vegetable gardens and my herb garden and plant for fall.
  4. Go on one date with B, could be coffee or lunch.
  5. Help with FOL book and bake sale
  6. Make one new Julia Child recipe
  7. Get my blood work done the 3rd week of October.
  8. Continue to empty one bin and consolidate. Perhaps another round of Life magazines and there’s my children’s Waldorf main lesson books and art to go thru.
  9. ?
  10. ?  TB figured out

 

On my list for today is finally get the outside windows washed. I use the Windex spray bottle that is mad for outside windows ( I got mine at Home Depot). I’ve been using this product for several years as I just can’t get on a ladder anymore. So this bottle attaches to your hose and has a wash selection and then a rinse. It works pretty well. I use to take the screens off and then use a squeegee but now I don’t even do that. It’s not perfect but it’s good enough.

 

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Here’s my little fire from last night sitting out.

Simple Sunday​

Another gorgeous day. The air is crisp and smells lovely of mowed grass and split oak.

B and Z used the wood splitter(rented) for about 5 hours and did most all f the huge oak we had taken down last year. He still needs to do another round with pine. We should be good for wood for 2 years maybe. In the future, we plan to switch to a propane fireplace but that’s aways off yet. Projects are getting done and it ‘s always a nice sense of accomplishment.  I think as we’ve become more minimalistic there’s less to take care of in some cases as we’ve gotten rid of a lot. Around the property, there are still some areas to take care of but it’s mostly garden and drought resistance plants with a little patch of lawn. The barn is ongoing, as it’s always needing to be tidied and decluttered. But it is progressing. I’m going to pare down the Christmas stuff, even more, this year. Right now I have 3 bins of stuff and I ‘d like it to be 2.  My new motto is ONE LESS BIN.  which actually has worked pretty well in all of my storage areas.

The barn is ongoing, as it’s always needing to be tidied and decluttered. But it is progressing. I’m going to pare down the Christmas stuff, even more, this year. Right now I have 3 bins of stuff and I ‘d like it to be 2.  My new motto is ONE LESS BIN.  which actually has worked pretty well in all of my storage areas. I also prefer to decorate with natural things like pinecones, branches, rocks, corn stalks ( for fall) and other seasonal natural things. I use to have lots of fall crap but when I started decluttering I just let it go. I find the process quite interesting from a psychological perspective. It’s as if layers keep coming off.  That’s one reason, I think. KonMarie isn’t just a one-shot deal. If I did that and nothing else, I think at different points I’d feel joy in some things and then later not.

There have been many many things I never thought I’d get rid of a few years ago and now I’m like meh, I don’t need or want this any more. So it is a process.

This week I’m in the living room zone (which we call a front room) (probably from another era), so I had B move my Heywood back under the TV and moved out the dest/table that I had there. It’s one less piece of furniture. Right now it’s on the sun porch, but I’ll take it too the thrift store in a few weeks after I think about could it be repurposed somewhere. It’s kinda a nice mid century looking table but not old. I actually got it at Target like 4 years ago.  So we’ll see. Each week I’m in a different zone, I try and do one thing for the area. Either declutter or just re look at how the space is being used. Of course, each zone gets a deep clean.

I got out the Zojurishi and have a loaf of sourdough baking right now. It’s bread season and I usually start off by using the bread machine and then move on to just using the Kitchen aid mixer and letting it do its thing in a bowl.

I also made spaghetti sauce for Sunday Supper. One is a meat sauce and the other marinara. I’ll boil some thin spaghetti and make a salad.

Today was a gym day. I went alone as my daughter wasnt feeling great.

 

 

A fall day!

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday.

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Looking good for 67!!! I love you.  I made an apple pie with apples from Machado’s orchard which is just down the road in Auburn.  It came out good. I think I should peel the apples next time but it still tasted good. His request for dinner was Sub sandwiches so I made a big cheese one for him with pickles, pepperoncini, and other things.

Only 3 more years till retirement!!!!

Well, we were out walking at 6am. Still darkish but it gets light pretty quickly. I was going to go the gym but I think I’ll just go tomorrow on my regular day and just do some odds and ends today. B is splitting wood with the wood splitter and my son is trying to fix the brakes on his Subaru.

Our weather is so nice. Things are turning golden as they do here in the foothills. We don’t have the colors like back east but we do get variations of yellows and oranges and the Chinese pistachio tree turns a brilliant red. Also, liquid ambers turn shades of red too.  The mornings are cool but afternoons are lovely. We started having our afternoon wine by a fire in the fire pit so that’s always nice.

I took down a shelf in the tiny bathroom because they were getting rusty around the edges.( they were a stainless steel). I tried to clean it but it didn’t work. So they held our white hand towels and wash cloths and the water pik. So having taken it down, it looks way better. Less visual clutter. so I’m not going to replace them. But I bought 2 hooks to hang hand towels on.  So by reducing those shelves, it opens up that space. I also priced out a new bathroom cabinet as the one in there came from a yard sale when we moved in here. So it seems a good time to replace it with something nicer and it’ll spruce up the space.  I priced one out at Lowes and it’s anywhere from $40- $100.  The one I liked was @ $70.

Tonight I’m making some wild salmon with rice and I’ll grill some tofu too.

 

 

One empty shelf or one empty drawer

I love the sound of one hand clapping and I love one empty shelf or drawer.

I’m not sure where I first read that on a minimalist’s blog but it totally captivated me. Now in every dresser, there is at least one empty drawer and in 2 of my bookcases, there is one empty shelf.

It feels good to have that room on those 2 shelves. It lets the space breathe.  The one larger bookcase in our front room does not have an empty shelf, but 3 shelves hold my fiesta ware and 3 shelves hold our Easton press books, and 1 shelf holds my cookbooks and 1 shelf hold photo albums. I may have to re- look at that bookcase and redo the Fiesta ware.

Today is a quiet day with just some puttering around and menu planning for the week.

So far I have:

Sunday was Sunday supper (or something to roast, or bake for leftovers during the week) I did a lovely whole organic chicken.

Monday is pasta night so I might do a mac and cheese or just a simple pasta with butter and parmesan.

Tuesday is taco Tuesday and I’ll use some of the left over chicken and do soft chicken tacos.

Wednesday is Whatever Wednesday so ???

Thursday is crockpot Thursday and I have an organic pot roast to cook. I’ll throw in some potatoes and onions.

Friday is Friday night pizza. so some sort of pizza.

Saturday has been Sammie Saturday but now with the cooler weather, I think I’ll make it soup night.

 

BTW, didn’t see the weird park guy today, but I did carry my pepper spray.  Also, B is gone this week up to the North Coast, so I’ll be walking alone. So if I see the guy I’ll turn around and walk the other way and then the same when I get near him on the other side. The park path is a .5 mile circular path.

 

Simple Sunday

It’s going to be an active day today. We need to drop off a load at the Goodwill Express( hopefully they’re taking donations). Then back home and take a load to our local transfer station which happens to be only a few miles away.

Then I’m going to the gym with my daughter and then home to do some painting.  It sounds like a lot but it should all flow and that’s good by me.

Not too much frugal here since we’ve been going to Home Depot and Lowes for stuff. Yesterday was getting the wall stuff( insulation, Tyvek, and a piece of siding that matches the rest of the space.  That’s the wood I need to paint and it’ll probably take two coats.

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the new floor!

IMG_0865 That’s the wall that will be painted white.

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The new door.

So, in the end, I think we will end up @ $1000.  Today B will put together the desk and bookcase. Since I’m painting that wall where the bookcase will go, it will just sit off to the side.

Well, I’ll update a little later with some new food recipes I’ve tried.