Minimalism: older and wiser

Most blogs about minimalism are written by younger people. Some quite young in their 20’s. I kinda chuckle at their take on being minimalists for a year or so. Plus, there’s only so many years they’ve got under their belt. That is NOT a criticism. I applaud their courage and journey.

Still, having been on this journey for over 7 years and probably longer at different times in my life, with experience and age does come wisdom. In our twenties, we were total minimalists simply because we had no money to be otherwise. Poverty or lack of money makes minimalism seem petty as it’s really not a choice as such. Yet, we built our little wood couch, used orange crates as bookcases, gleamed free stuff from the dump when we could. We were hippies and loved our simple life. Yet, we were also broke.

Back in the 1970’s, after college, we couldn’t find any decent jobs, so we started our own business, Shiatsu massage and, spiritual counseling( I had just finished my graduate work).  We later opened a bookstore and that was great too but made no money and we eventually closed it.

Most of that now,  I see as part of our life journey but none the less the quips of the popular psychology of ‘follow your dream, follow your heart’ didn’t ever bring us fame or fortune, or a job, but years of struggling. We were minimalists out of necessity.

 

So many years later, after raising 2 children, and being in a different phase of our lives, minimalism comes full circle intentionally.  We had a good number of years accumulating stuff too.

People getting older need to simplify their lives. They need to have less clutter and crap around them in order to be more present in their older years. Plus who wants to burden their children with stuff.  Plus, it makes keeping up with housework and chores easier and more efficient.

We’ve decluttered many times and I’m sure there will be more to come. Moving toward being in ones mid to late 60’s is quite the experience.

With all things, there are many seasons to one’s life.  Living minimally now is so important. We don’t need a lot of extras, just enough.  I think just enough is perfect.9aff9c2e96b462ea1d37c12c64c687dc

 

Simple Sunday on Monday

I guess I missed posting yesterday so here it is for today.

Our weather is spectacular. Mid to low 70’s and sunny. We ate dinner on the patio and it was very nice. I made a mish-mash of things. Leftover asparagus and gruyere quiche, a piece of salmon that was in the freezer, a lone potato and, a big salad. It was different but I got to use up a bunch of stuff. Oh yeah, and a lone stuffed bell pepper.  I called it a success.

We have had a pretty bad issue with rats at night in the chicken coop and they are under our house. We’ve( well, my husband )has set traps and got quite a few but it is an ongoing problem. So first we are not going to put out the compost for the chicken as that’s what attracts the rodents. Then under the house, all the insulation needs taking down.  We did order a sonic thing that is supposed to work quite well to rid the rats.  Since we no longer have any outside cats nor do the neighbors, I think, this is when it started last year. We may look at getting some ferals that have been caught by the ASPCA and spayed. We do have a large barn they could live in.  I guess that may have to happen but we’ll see how the other goes first.  It’s not a pleasant thing but that’s country living , I guess. We actually have never had a problem before so I think it’s the combination of no outside cats and 2 of our neighbors are serious hoarders and their yards are disgusting. I cringe every time I drive by.

Well, this will be a week of some projects. I’m hitting the barn and tidying and cleaning some. Since it’ll be warm I can open the doors and do a little work. Then I will go recycle all the cardboard.  I also have a food bank delivery and a big bag of books for the pet bookstore.

I’m not going to do much if any shopping, but I need some cat food and coffee filters. Next week is May 1st so I’ll try and just use what I have.

Tonight is pasta night so I might make a mushroom stroganoff as I have everything I need.

Tuesday is Taco Tuesday which really is Mexican Tuesday so I have some enchiladas I just made and froze the other day.

The rest of the week still needs some ideas.

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Five on Friday

Well, we were successful in our date to Antique Trove and found 2  boxes/crates.

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The top one is cute as it is my daughters birthday( May 29) and B’s birth year 1950!! Plus on the other side, it says occupied Japan.

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This was my plan for that one and the other is in the front room.

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I haven’t finished putting some cookbooks in. I’ll probably put ones I don’t use a lot but still want to keep like a first edition ‘The Art of French Cooking’ my son found at Goodwill for me.

I am over the moon as I think crates/boxes are so versatile and can hold things if necessary.

Then we had a meh sorta lunch at the deli My sandwich was kinda tasteless. Not sure what it needed but I was glad I only had half.

Thirdly, I made double stuffed potatoes for the freezer. I bought the 15lb bag at Costco for $5.99 ( that is a great deal). So I baked ten but of course, you fill them higher than the plain potato, so I ended up with 10 halves to freeze. The rest of the empty halves went to the chickens.  I plan on doing the rest tomorrow as it is one freezer meal we all enjoy and so easy to reheat.

Fourth, I went to the gym for a quick workout.

Fifth,  nothing really, but it’s been a fun week with B off. Next week he’s in a meeting all week so it’ll just be me and my daughter who doesn’t work the first part of the week. My son is at school all day so I don’t usually see him except on the security camera.

It’s wasn’t a frugal week at all. Today was car registration for the Santa Fe and we had to buy tires as well. So pretty expensive. I’m not planning on any grocery stuff ’till May first except cat food when necessary. Ollie is not doing well but is still eating so we just give him food whenever he’s hungry.

 

 

 

Is it finally spring​??

The weather is finally getting warmer and the week ahead looks great. Mid ’70’s. Finally.

I am so ready for nicer weather. I haven’t looked to see what might have opened up at New Brighton but I doubt much. This is their busy time and it’s generally booked. I’m disappointed we didn’t get to go but this week was such a lousy weather week, I don’t think it would have been much fun out in 55-degree weather and raining.

Last night I made a mac and cheese using the Banza chickpea pasta.

If you need to eat gluten-free or just want to reduce your wheat intake, these are mighty tasty. I’m pretty particular about how pasta tastes and these really are good. Try them.

So today, B and I are going to Costco to return an item and them to pick a few things. Then we’re going on a date to the Antique Treasure Trove. It’s a big building where many vendors have booths. We haven’t been in years and i thought it might be a fun date. Then we’ll have lunch a local market, Newcastle Produce.  It’s a wonderful place that really has created a farm to table deli and plus they sell local produce.

I found this great vintage coffee maker at Goodwill yesterday. I’ve been looking for this particular percolator for a while. Score!!!!

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I guess there’s a learning curve as i had a lot of coffee grounds in the coffee. I think I had it percolating too high.  It was delicious though.

 

Rainy Monday

I went to the gym this morning. It’s cold and rainy out. Perhaps it was a wise decision to cancel our coastal trip. It certainly isn’t blue skies and sunshine there or here.

Then B and I went on a lunch date to Nevada City to Three Forks  . 

Oh my, was it absolutely delicious. We shared the Quattro Pizza. Listen, this is a wood-fired pizza, traditional and wonderful.

Then the rain turned to giant snowflakes and it was magical. We were going to walk around some but since neither of us had the right coats or even an umbrella we just left. But it was a great lunch date!!!

Tonight is minestrone from the freezer and grilled avocado sandwiches.

 

 

Simple Sunday

The week ahead looks nice. We are in for some rain tonight and tomorrow.

I skipped the gym today and went to Home Depot with B so we could get a bathroom fan and a few other things.  I want to have him put up another safety bar in the bathroom as well. Mostly because our tub is a clawfoot and sits high. Either we need to change that out as we get older or do some other things( like the bar) to help with stability.

Yesterday was one of the nicest days we’ve had. I fired up the BBq and made chicken and BBQ tempeh. I made a macaroni salad to go with it. We even ate outside, the first this year!!

This week we’re going to go to Ikea too and check out ideas for redoing the counter and sink area of the kitchen.  There’s not much we can do to change the layout because of where doors are and such.  I’m interested in a farmhouse sink and would like quartz countertops. All our appliances are new so that part is done.

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As you can see it’s really just one wall of counter with the sink in the middle. The stove is to the left of the second photo.

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Ikea is great to get ideas from. I’d like to replace the kitchen window to as it is starting to get a few cloudy spots. The cabinets I’d like to replace with something more modern. We can’t really have them as open shelves as we wouldn’t have any place to keep spices and teas and things I just don’t want visible.

We redid the whole kitchen after we moved in. It was gutted and we took up like 20 layers of linoleum. It was brutal work.  So the kitchen is 23 years old. Except we just bought the appliances in the last 2 years.

Other than that, it should be a nice week for some fun things to do.

 

A change of plans…

We headed down to Sacramento at 8:15 am to get to my 9:20 am doctor appt. Traffic moved along well with only a few slowdowns.  We got there around 9:15.

Walked in and the receptionist, who is always very sweet, said “oh Christina, we tried calling but your voicemail was full. ”  Dr. Laptalo is sick today.  Well, okey dokey and off we went after rescheduling. Since my labs came back great again, I wasn’t too concerned about seeing him.  My Kappa light chains went up to 14.1 and lambda went down to 11.4 and the ratio was at 1.26. So that went up too.  But still all in the normal range so I’m a happy camper.

Speaking of camping we are booked for New Brighton next week but now the rain is showing up on Wednesday too.  So I think we’re still going to go but will leave a day early.  Sunday looks ok, Monday shows rain, Tuesday sunny, Wednesday rain.  I guess we will just have to see when we get there. Especially if it’s chilly. The tent trailer does have a heater but I don’t think it’ll be that much fun just sitting in the tent trailer.

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the beach at New Brighton looking toward Capitola Wharf.