Saturday, June 07, 2014

It's the weekend! 50% chance of thunderstorms! Whoo.

I think this is our third washout weekend in a row. I really should return the beach umbrella.

Once again I've lapsed into blog silence because I come home from work with no words left. I think about things to write about all the time - usually while doing something else, far from a keyboard. I wrote a whole essay in my head about minimalist living, and where I am on the minimalist spectrum, while reading Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify on my Kindle. (Kindles are a minimalist's best friend, of course.)

I've concluded that I'm approximately as minimalist as I am plant-based; I share and believe in and support both concepts, but I'm not all-in to the extreme (yet). Miss Minimalist takes it to the max; she and her husband sold all their possessions and moved overseas with a couple of duffle bags. I don't have any urge to do THAT, but Miss Minimalist DID make me think about the many things I've held onto and moved with me in the last few years that I have never used. I have some heavy blankets, for instance, that I used once when I had guests in Asheville, but now that I'm back in FL, are just taking up a big plastic tub at the back of the guest room walk-in closet. They should be donated to charity, and that space reclaimed. I don't need "some" - I need at most, ONE spare heavy blanket, and this would be true even if I win the lottery and move back to AVL someday.

Like a lot of people raised by children of the Great Depression, I was raised to hold onto things, because they cost good money and waste is a sin. I can still hear my dad reciting: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without." It was his mantra. (Of course, after my mom passed away it took me an entire summer to clean out their little 2 bedroom retirement villa; they didn't really do without anything. My daughter has her grandmother's Corning casserole dishes and many pieces of cookware, thanks to their taking care of everything and never needing to replace it.)

I've been re-evaluating my possessions over the last several years (moving and major remodeling projects are a great time to do this) and have downsized considerably, but somehow, there is always more Stuff. Nobody would ever mistake me for a minimalist, but I have used several of the techniques in this book on my own. I used to have a massive yarn stash, for instance, and then realized that it wasn't making me happy and instead filled me with regret and guilt about money spent on projects that never happened. I sold off the best of the stash on eBay a couple of years ago and gave away the rest. I do still have a yarn stash, but my smaller and re-evaluated stash is yarn that I truly want to use. I went through this process with books as well; I still read a lot and buy many books, but now I think about whether I really need a paper copy, or would an e-book do the job? I've discovered that while I want cookbooks and knitting books in paper format, everything else works quite nicely on the Kindle. I have empty shelves now, and really could get rid of a bookcase or two, if I had something else to put on the wall where they stand.

I bought a couple of cookbooks for the Kindle, but when I wanted Happy Herbivore Light & Lean: Over 150 Low-Calorie Recipes with Workout Plans for Looking and Feeling Great
I bought it in paper format, because I believed cookbooks and knitting books work better in paper. I do like the lovely color illustrations, and prefer the format of a paper book, because it is a little awkward at times to read a recipe on a Kindle while cooking, but was struck by one of the advantages of an e-cookbook: when I'm at the office thinking about what I want to pick up at the store, it was nice to pull up the cookbook on my Kindle and check the ingredients list for a dish. Now, the book is home on the kitchen counter. So there is that.

So I'm feeling the need for another major cleaning binge, and later I'm meeting with a professional house and pet sitter. My daughter graduates from Nova University with her master's in developmental disabilities at the end of the month, and I don't want to board the dogs at the vet's if I can avoid it. Last Thanksgiving was far too stressful for Murphy, and Sophie has never been boarded and is terrified of the vet anyway, so it would be a miserable weekend for her. I think a pet sitter is the way to go, so I'm meeting with one that has been in business here for well over a decade, so he can meet the dogs and we can talk about the arrangements for their care. They'll be much happier here in the house - a little bored, perhaps, but happier.


Anonymous said...

I've used pet sitters and boarded- I think my dogs much preferred the pet sitters. If you can find a good one, they can really alleviate everyone's stress.

When we moved from a 4 story house into our condo, I went through major downsizing, but clutter has crept back in- although I do my best to keep it out! It's amazing. Weaving & knitting books I still buy, but recipes I keep in Paprika manager, which syncs between all my devices.

I think I'll go clean off my bathroom counter....


KatyaR said...

Ooo, I just downloaded the Paprika app--wow, how did I miss this. Maybe this will motivate me to cook more. LOL

We are having lots of rain to, I think it's in the forecast every day for the next week except for Tuesday. Fine with me--we are in such a drought that all rain is welcome.

Gae, in Callala Bay said...

Pet sitters - mine are 'amateurs' - neighbours and very good friends who happen to love our dogs, and are generously willing to adhere to Ace's twice daily medication schedule.

We had a great day with these friends yesterday celebrating Ace's 15th birthday with a leg of lamb, and the official announcement that if Ace wanted a nibble of lamb, Ace was allowed to be indulged (and Fred as well of course!). Much hilarity, and two slightly over-stuffed dogs, but no ill consequences.

I firmly believe that dogs do better cared for in their own 'territory', familiar surroundings, familiar scents, their own bedding and so on. Even more so when they are in their senior years.

Gae, in Callala Bay

Catherine said...

Yes, I think it will be MUCH better for the dogs to stay here with a sitter than be in a scary cage at the vet. The staff adores them and Sophie is a favorite, but they do go home at night, and that's a lot of hours of scary. They will stay here.

Anonymous said...

I'm a tool user. And hoarder, to some extent. I am considering getting rid of my furniture, but that will still leave me with a thousand books and knitting, weaving, drawing, painting, and sewing stuff. If I get rid of my stashes and start over, there's a chance that I'll become a mediumalist. My shit makes me happy.