I am the family curator.

I’m the one who goes thru 99% of our stuff to declutter and get rid of. Of course, I check with other family members about whether they want something or not. Other things that are in the realm of kitchen, misc, etc I often just put in the thrift store bag and be done with it.

Right now I’m back at getting rid of my Life magazines. I want to have just 2 bins of the best of Life. Kennedy assassination, Martin Luther King assassination, Selma, moon walk, etc, you get the picture. I pulled 6 out to give to the cancer thrift. They are somewhat collectible.: 2 Beatles ones, Arnold Schwarzenegger as a bodybuilder and a few others. i have to decide what to keep and what to let go of.

My son has been getting rid of old comics. For a while we were collecting all kinds from Superman to Justice League. But most just sit in a bin so what’s the point?

Most stuff isn’t worth my time to put on Ebay. Last week I had on a 1950’s slinky, and barkcloth from the 50s too. Lots of lookers but not one bid so I’m giving them to the thrift store instead of trying to relist. The barkcloth is a cool mid century pattern but not in colors I use anymore. Lots of yellows.

I think it’s a balance of what’s really worth keeping and what is just stuff lying around( or in closets, bins, storage areas, garages??

I was reading a really good article over at Food52 about visual clutter and that even when you’ve decluttered and things are pared down it might not be the amount of stuff but the effect of the visual stuff still left.. The person writing the article removed her container of utensils on her counter and put them in a drawer and she said she felt instantly more calm. So,it’s not so much about the amount of stuff( if you’ve decluttered) but the effect of the visual clutter on you of what’s left.

The article is written by Laura Fenton. She also says let FUNCTION be your guide. In other words , as she says, if all the shoes end up in your entryway instead of closets, then put a basket or something to hold the shoes in that area thus serving the function of the shoe dilema.

She has written a book that I think I will order from Amazon as I have liked all the articles she has written.

It’s a process, that’s for sure but I think in the end we all want our living spaces to reflect who we are and sometimes we need to just be the one to curate that space.

Further minimizing…

So, as you know I’ve been going thru more things and getting rid of more things. Sometimes hidden or just in a box or vintage suitcase in my case. I’ve also sold some Waldorf toys.

First off, a few miscellaneous.

So random things in the Heywood, nobody has used. The two candle holders are Hearth and Home and they were cute but they take a small candle and I generally never have them. The glass is probably my son’s but it hasn’t been used so it’s going. ( update, B said it was his from some trip to LOng beach and he didnt care).The hurricane top was because I bought 2 for when power went out and then I bought a spare top. Who knows when I’ll need that so it’s going. The pyrex is going because I have too many.

The Waldorf things include:

Goose girl, oak tree and pond with bridge.

That kangaroo and baby retail for $40.

Both of these sets I sold for $100. Ostheimer toys are all out of stock everywhere and very desirable. But they only took up room in my Heywood drawer so I’m glad that they are going to a good home with young children.

So what have I discovered? Getting rid of things and clearing any space feels great and opens up that space. Even if it’s only one or two things. I love space more than things.

Minimalism is certainly a journey as is decluttering. I think there is a point where it feels just right but I still have things to get rid of. It’s really layers of things and when I get to the next layer, things I didn’t see before, are more visible and I don’t care about them anymore.

Case in point. I bought an Instant Pot airfryer about 2 years ago, maybe 18 months. We had lots of fun with it the first 6 months and then slowly nobody wanted to get it out and use it. If we had a choice we used our toaster oven, which we love. ( Breville). So I decided to donate it and now it’s in the pile to get dropped off at Goodwill. That opens up that whole area under the Heywood. I don’t have anything in there at the moment and plan to only put something there if it fits and the space works.

The thing about decluttering is just start and then just keep going. Little by little, inch by inch, row by row….

Frugal Friday

I’ve come in almost at budget food wise. I think it’s right around at $600 give or take a few dollars. I’m using some cash envelopes again for some food, alcohol(wine mostly), and misc. But I’m using a virtual envelope for gas as we don’t do cash at gas stations. Also we plan on going to Costco in July so that will be on the Visa card.

I saw on Youtube a person making the cash envelopes with a laminator and it worked great. I like that they are clear and I can see the money. Overall, the budget looks good especially since there are no annual bills due right now. We only a few UCD payments left but since there’s no interest, I’m ok just leaving it like it is. Still, it’ll be nice to finish that up.

On Prime day, I saw that the bed frame I had in my cart was on sale. A very nice minimalist wood frame. It was 2/3 ‘s off which seemed like a great deal so I bought it and it is VERY nice. B said it was so well designed. The old wood frame we had we got from our neighbor about 24 years ago.!!! After seeing it taken apart I was kinda shocked we kept using it as it was pretty funky:( Well, I guess we do keep things till sort of the end of their usefulness.

Yesterday, I moved all the stuff off the restaurant stainless steel shelves and B moved in the Heywood cabinet. I’m reserving judgement as to whether I like it till the shelves are up. We haven’t gotten the bracketts yet and I still need to paint the shelves after they are cut. It will take 2 coats of paint. It’s funny because the stainless steel shelving looked great empty. I got to thinking that if it was used for dishes, pots, etc and not food it would be fine. But because I had lots of jars and assorted things on it just always looked messy. So we’ll see. I’m planning on streamlining the jars so they are all the same and then when they are on the shelves it will look more uniform. Plus some baking goods don’t need to be out but in a basket marked baking in the closet pantry.

I sold some of the waldorf toys but didn’t calculate the shipping right so I lost about $10. That’s ok, I guess.The stuff is gone and out of the house. Ebay charges so much now. I still have some more stuff to organize to sell(mostly Waldorf toys) but I’ll take a break and get back to it in a few weeks. Still, that’s a few dollars in our account that wasn’t there.

Today, I’m dropping off 5 bags of books to the pet bookstore and then going to Grocery Outlet for some bread and whatever else looks good.

I went to our local farm CSA, and picked up some nice veggies for the week. I spent $27.00. I got beets, chard,lettuce,radishes,zucchini, and some peaches. We are so lucky to have this farm in our town and I want to keep going. I might not need to go every week but at least every 2 weeks.

More stuff gone!

I finished loading the boxes of stuff into my 2000 VW(Buggie) and corralled Barclay into coming with me to the appt for drop off at Cancer Thrift STore.

We ended up with 5 big boxes. Most of this stuff was of some value and I didn’t want to give it to Goodwill. At the Cancer Thrift it will stay local. In the boxes was all the Fiesta Ware dishes, bowls, cups and the red pitcher. I’d say maybe 30 pieces in all. Then the Malloware vintage melmac. That’s a full service setting for 6.Three stuffed animals: a Peter Rabbit, A Pooh Bear and another Teddy. A very nice vintage Pyrex bowl( red) in near perfect condition. The STar Trek stuff and I can’t remember half the stuff which means it was good for it to go.

I’m working on the Waldorf toys and have them on ebay. I’ve had some interest. We’ll see how it goes. I have gotten rid of all the Waldorf dolls previously because they are cloth and that won’t last. Most of the Ostheimer wooden animals I will keep as I like to use them as displays. They are my friends( the bunnies, foxes, cats, frogs etc.) I also have some children’s books I’m not sure yet how many I want to keep.

These are going on Ebay and are already sold.

After this round I’ll probably reassess and see where I am. I do have a bin of both kids Waldorf main lesson books and I want to get that down to 3-4 nice ones and some watercolor paintings.

I’m heading to Sacramento for my doctor appt now. I will update later.

Just got back and the good news is my kappa is 12.3 ,lambda is 9.99 and the ratio is better than last month at 1.24 So excellent news.

We decided I seea hi in 8 weeks( end of August). He thinks I’ll stay in remission quite a while which is reassuring.

Velcade, Round 6, shot #3.

Done!! 6 months of Velcade. 3 weeks on one week off.

I get labs Friday and then see Dr. L next week. Where it goes, who knows.

Tonight I have leftover vegetarian chili and IP polenta.

Tomorrow is Dex Thursday and I don’t walk. I’ll tidy the house and continue to do this next layer of decluttering. This round is sponsored by Ann Patchett whose New Yorker article really hit home. I’m getting rid of all my Fiesta Ware except the red. I like the red and we use it at Christmas and Valentines day. I plan on giving it all to Cancer Thrift Store not Goodwill. I just feel better giving it to them as the money stays local. Anyway, it’s a lot. The other thing is all my kids Waldorf toys( ok, not all of them:), but quite a bit. If they don’t sell on our local facebook they will go too. We have the Live oak Waldorf school here in Applegate( about 3 miles away). So far no one is interested. It’s interesting to go to another level when I’ve decluttered so much and so much was valuable. navajo rugs, vintage fans, dishes, books etc, antique silver( yes, silver).

But this is what I want:

I want our small home to be a true reflection of minimalism and where we are at this point in our life. Even though what I’m getting rid of was only on 3 different shelves,that’s 3 too many. I’m not interested in making a buck off Fiesta Ware. So what?? It’s nice but that’s it.

What about you??? Are you deciding who you are in your life right now?? And what you have reflects that.!!!

Frugal Friday

I think overall it was a frugal week. Costco was a bigger shop at $600, but $120 of that was non food, and $20 was wine. So, that meant food was $460. Plus, the coffee, bread, flour sugar, etc will last to the end of July.

My food budget is still $600 . but with Costco at $460. I think I will end up slightly over. But that’s still $140 left. I spent another $30 at Safeway so the balance is $110. We don’t need anything immediately so I can see what veggies we might need next week.

At Costco I bought a box of large tomatoes and one night we had stuffed tomatoes and they were delicious. I made Julia Child’s Sole Meuniere with Dover Sole I got at Costco too and man, it was delicious.

I’ve been decluttering odds and ends from the barn( again) and have decided to sell the Robin Egg Blue mallow ware Melmac.

It’s really a lovely set but I just don’t have any use for it. It would make a great picnic set or a dinner set for someone with a vintage trailer. I’m going to list on Ebay first. I also have a Star Trek console that lights up and I’m going to list that too as it’s just been kicking around the barn.

We decided to hold off selling the tent trailer this summer as one of us may want to sleep out there and we thought that on occasion there might be some campgrounds we’d take that too. We’ll see, nothing is set yet , and we’re flexible. If we don’t use it all in the next 6 months then next spring we’d sell it.

I submitted my LLS reimbursement for May so that should help next month. It covers our health insurance so that’s a big deal. We wouldn’t be making it on just SS without that LLS grant money. I am grateful to all those that donate to LLS so they can help so many people with blood cancers. It is a gift for sure.

Overall, I think it was a frugal week. No unnecessary spending, just essentials.

How to do a morning home reset.

The concept of a house re-set is from the Youtube vlogger minimom. She just recently stopped doing her youtube channel and she is missed. A honest, forthright person who is a minimalist and has 2 young children. She talked about a morning reset and an evening one. So I’ve adopted the idea as a house reset in the morning.

Basically, you go thru each room and pick up whatever doesn’t belong there and put it away and tidy each room. You’re not really cleaning as such, just being sure things are where they belong and the room is ‘set’ for the day. I don’t do an evening reset myself as by that time everything is done except maybe emptying the dishwasher which B does.

I usually start in the bedroom. I make the bed, tidy any books I’ve been reading and take out the laundry basket from the closet.

This is looking out to the north side of the house where the iceberg roses are blooming.

I keep one orchid in this room on the crate that was mounted on the wall. I put B’s collection of Dylan books inside the crate.

Next, I do the bathroom reset. Empty trash can, swipe the sink and swish the toilet bowl. That’s usually all I do. We only each have a towel and those are on hooks.

I use two of my pinecone ware mugs for Q tips.

The front room usually only needs a pickup of anything that might have been put on the table. This doesn’t happen too often unless there’s a project going on.

My office area can get messy with papers but i put them in a crate that I really love that has a hinge. So I can open and close it.

This is my “office” box.

The kitchen also is just reset so everything is off the counters, breakfast dishes done and in the dishwasher. If I’ve been making bread or cooking , all that gets cleaned up and things put away.

Overall, the reset may take me 10 minutes, maybe 15 depending how the kitchen is.

Having become more minimal is definitely a key to a simple clean house that doesn’t require lots of hours of work to maintain.

Right now I have my VW loaded with another load for the thrift store. Stuff just adds up and how I look at what I need changes so things get decluttered.

Velcade, Round 4, shot #2.

I drove down to Rocklin yesterday and had my shot. I was out again by 10:20 and it went well. Sometimes the injection stings some and yesterday it did. Other times I barely feel it, so who knows.

From there I drove up to the Walmart in Rocklin which is right on my way home and picked up my order. They didn’t have the propane bottles we needed for camping so we’ll need to get them somewhere else. Then I went into the nursery side and bought 2 clay pots and 2 orchids. For some reason getting clay pots now is like winning the lottery. They only had 2 on the shelf. Oh well, I’ll keep checking but Home Depot also didn’t have any.

I took my Dex after lunch and rested. Geez, Dex is so weird. Oh well, my daughter made a nice stir fry with tempeh. It was good. Yesterday I experimented with making jasmine rice in the Staub and it came out great. I love my Zojirushi rice maker but wanted to try this as an alternative. The nice thing is that it is half the time . 15 minutes on a boil and then 15 minutes rest. The other method is an hour. It’s nice to have the alternative.

Today is just take it easy and do a few things. I want to air out the bed covers on the line. And move a few more things around in the closet.

We finished the bedroom painting it looks amazing. I’m very glad I screwed up and started the touch up as I wouldn’t have really know how bad it was( well I guess that’s relative. )

The stove hood debacle continues as it wasn’t working unless the bathroom fan was on which I said”No way, am I putting up with that”. I said hire an electrician, people do it all the time. But he managed to get it hooked to something else?? and now the bathroom fan isn’t working. Did I say just hire an electrician??Well, he is pretty handy and always figures out a solution. We had most of the wiring was redone when we moved in but there were some that the guy didn’t do for some reason. ( he wasn’t a real licensed electrician although he did know a lot).

I hope the tar paper can go on the garden shed before we leave on Sunday but the shingles will need to wait. Most of the trim is going on too. It looks good and I think we will like the extra storage.

I have another Goodwill run to make tomorrow but i will have my daughter help. Last with her helping it went really quick plus I couldn’t lift the monitor anyway.

Tonight my son cooks and I’m not sure what he planning. Maybe I’ll check the freezer but I know I have lots of salad stuff.

Plus, the most exciting thing this week is he gets his Covid shot tomorrow. Hurray!!!!

Simple Sunday on Monday…

Somehow between painting and other things the day got away from me. I did get another wall in the bedroom done. What a difference it makes. I told B that it must have been longer ago that it was painted than I originally thought. It is looking very clean and crisp. Then I got inside the ONE closet we have and it was a mess. I tidied and moved some things so it looks better but today I plan to take all my canning jars out and put them in the barn in a box. I’m not planning on any canning this year except maybe salsa and tomato sauce so I can put them in a bin out of the closet.

This coming around from the door side to the window side where I’ll paint today. The contrast is startling:( I like the grey trim but wouldn’t do it again as painting over dark colors is a two coat job. I’ll just stick to white.

The yard is filled with lots of flowers and this geranium is a new one. A bright red.

Here is an assortment of succulents that were just taken out of the green house.

This is the water pond with a yellow water lily. My daughter bought goldfish so their in there too now. Last time we had goldfish the raccoons had a fish feast so it’s been a while and she is covering it at night.

Barclay has been working on getting the new stove hood up. Everything in this house is more complicated and he had to fix the wiring in the attic. But it’s done and the hood should go up today. We really needed a new one the other was just gross. I’m guessing stove hoods have a life expectancy since there is grease involved even though I clean it diligently, it’s never really really clean.

The roof is on the shed so now it’s only the doors and trim. The roof felting and roofing will be put on later.

Next Sunday we head out for our first trip in over a year to Capitola. It’ll be great to see the ocean and just camp. We do plan a few walks in Santa Cruz but mostly just hanging out. Gayle’s bakery is at the top of the list too. I don’t plan to over do the food as I figure we can go to the store( Nob Hill and/or Trader Joe’s ) and get stuff. I plan our basic camping foods, spaghetti, tacos, and whatever else looks good.

Last night I made this delicious dinner. This was from The Washington Post, Eat Voraciously Newsletter called Tortilla Espanola with two Aiolis. Of course, I didn’t read the 2 aiolis right so it ended up one with the smoked paprika and basil in it. Still it was delicious. I added a little Manchego cheese and I think that made it even better. I evened flipped it out of the cast iron pan. I have a picture but it’s on B’s phone. I’ll try and put it up later.

Five on Friday

Finally, it’s 2021. I’m not sure how great the year will be but I’m hopeful. I start Velcade mid month, as expected. I asked about getting my shots in Rocklin which is about 25 minutes away, and he said sure that would work. Mercy ( or Dignity Health),has a satellite facility there and it will make it easier. Unfortunately, I’ve fractured another rib so it’s smart that I’m starting now. Fractures, in case you don’t know about Myeloma, are one of the damaging aspects of this cancer. I’ve had multiple rib fractures, so I know what it feels like. Unfortunate, to have it happen right now and also quite painful. It limits how much stuff I can do around the house. With rib fractures there’s not much you can do. If it’s a vertebrate or another bone they can some intervention. Oh well, I’m just glad it’s not a vertebrate.

We had a fun New Years eve with sub sandwiches from our Holiday Market. We watched the newish Starsky and Hutch and it was fun. We didn’t crack the champagne but will today.

Budget wise, I came under $800 on groceries including holiday food and alcohol. This is the lowest I’ve had since the pandemic started and I was stockpiling every month. Into January I’ll try and keep it between $700-800. That includes food, non food, and alcohol.(mostly wine and some beer). I’m planning a Costco trip mid month so we’ll see how much that adds if I add in prepper stuff. I’m not planning to but will stockpile a few things like coffee, Rosarita veg. beans, TP, and a few other things. The rest is just stuff we need like cheese, fish, bread etc.

I’m starting another round of decluttering. Mostly this is paper stuff. I’m going thru all our old receipts, medical things and throwing away anything that isn’t needed. Also, little stuff in drawers, like old pens, screws etc. It probably won’t add up to a lot but I’m motivated to do another sweep. I also started a bag for the food bank with food I know we’re not going to really eat. ( I see you canned chicken:) ). There’s nothing big I’m decluttering like furniture since everything we have has already gone thru multiple layers of decluttering. Still, I always like to look at things from a fresh perspective.

I’ve made up my monthly meal plan.

I’m renaming Wednesdays, Pasta Wednesday since that will be my Velcade/Dex day. It’ll make it easier for the others to cook if they know what the plan is. 🙂 I also dashed out to Target to get one of their simple calendars. I loved the one from last year but they didn’t have quite that style. It’s funny how such a simple thing like a minimalist calendar is so hard to find. I checked all over and the nicest were like $20 and up. Even on etsy they were expensive. So Target had just what I wanted for $5.00. It was pretty empty just like I hoped.