To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy and wealthy, not rich, to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart, to hear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never - in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony. - William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

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Monday, June 20, 2016

My Minimalist Journey

I don't blog much anymore.  You would think that since I retired several years ago I would have more time.  The opposite has happened, though.  My husband and I, as grandparents in our mid to late 60's, are full-time raising our 6 year-old grandson, for reasons I cannot get into here.  I never thought I would be a parent at this age, but one must do what one must do.  He brings us unspeakable joy and it is indeed worth all the work involved.  Getting up early, packing lunches, catching school buses, after-school activities, homework and bedtime stories - there we are. I thought these were the "golden" years, haha.  But I would not change a thing.

But on to my story of minimalism.  It is very hard to attain with this lifestyle. I am trying, however.  It has been a life-long evolution.  Many years ago my former husband (who was an antique dealer on the side)  and I used to go thrifting and antiqueing all over the place and collected tons of vintage stuff. We attended every antique show we could.   Our place was packed with knick-knacks and memorabilia. We ate on vintage dishware and I wore vintage clothing.  This was before EBay, Etsy, and all the other websites that sold vintage items.  It was the thrill of the hunt and finding something desired was such a high.

After we divorced I continued to do that and bought and sold on Ebay but soon tired of it.  I started reading about living a simple life.  Elaine St. James was the first author that actually had a practical list of solutions by which to achieve it.  I was intrigued.  In my youth I went on several yoga retreats and I loved the peace and simplicity of those times.  My home surroundings have always been a well-thought out artsy boho style, which I still love, but I have pared down a lot of accessories and wall decor, and gotten rid of excess furniture that we really do not need.  I went through my kitchen stuff and unloaded about half of that.  I have exactly what I need and no more.  I have one set of beautiful hand-made pottery dishes that I treasure.  No more separate plates just for holidays.

Right now we are in a 4-bed 2-bath 2,000 sq. ft. house on a corner lot with lots of lawn, 2-car garage and an in-ground pool.  High maintenance, for sure, but with a 6-year old and two dogs (one large one), we need this space right now.  My goal is to move to a 2 bedroom condo in the future.  The dogs are getting older and when they pass on to rainbow bridge I will no longer need a backyard for them.  It will be easier to find something we like because most condos do not have a fenced-in yard.  The grandson will be older and will not need to be riding his bike up and down the street.  Living in a condo, the exterior is usually maintenance-free, so there is no need for a garage and all the tools that go with it.  I mean really, my husband has half a dozen hammers, a gazillion screwdrivers, and boxes of wires and hardware that he will never use. He might be sad to see it go, but I sure won't.

Oh, and I won't need to pay a housecleaning service.  With dog hair and two "boys" living here I have a hard time keeping up, but in a smaller place it will be easier and I can do it myself.  I like my house to be very clean and with my sciatica it is just impossible.

We will save boatloads of money.  Even with a monthly maintenance/HOA fee, it will still be less than all the people who come regularly now.  Pool man, lawn man, bug man, etc.  All utilities will be lower.  Living here in Florida the A/C is on about 9 months of the year.

Downsizing will mean no more mortgage - YAY!

So that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.  I can't tell you how many bags of stuff has gone to Salvation Army or Vietnam Veterans (I do NOT give to Goodwill, they are not a good charity, google it).  I read many blogs and books about living a simple life in a smaller space and how to achieve it.  I am addicted to "Tiny House" Living on tv.  I could not be happy in only 200 sq. ft but I like to see how it is done anyway, they offer great tips on conserving space and multiple uses of it.  It fascinates me.  If I get any brilliant ideas, haha, I will be sure to share it with you.  Bye for now.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Frustration

One of the reasons I stopped blogging was all the technical problems I was having with Blogger.  No matter what I do, via "settings", "layouts", etc. I cannot get rid of certain things such as checking boxes for reactions (I find it annoying).  No matter how many times I uncheck the box on settings and "save" it comes right back.  I also cannot get the comments box to appear at the bottom of my posts so anyone would not know how to comment.  I have tried that every which way and nothing changes.  I have read that many people have the same problem.  What's up with Blogger anyway, it never used to be like this?, oh right, you can't tell me because you can't comment.  Haha, well I still do occasionally read my favorites.  So hello to everyone I am still out there.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

CATCHING UP


I don't know about you, but I am tired of cooking.  I scan Youtube and Pinterest for inspiration, share recipes on Facebook, look at the glossy photographs in my cookbooks, but inevitably I will be looking in my refrigerator at 5 pm thinking:  "What ever will I make for dinner?"  We are trying to eat healthier using more fruits and veges, less fat and meat.  It makes it all the more challenging.  I do a lot of frozen stuff that cooks fast, like steam-fresh veges.  Once every two weeks or so I make a big pot of vegetable stew.  Sometimes I use the slow-cooker, which is my favorite method, since I can start it early in the day and then just walk away and let it do it's thing, then voila, dinner is ready!  Do you have meal plans or staples that you cook on a regular basis, or do you wing it often like me?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

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