Is minimalism gone as a trend??

There are quite a few Youtubers doing vlogs about this right now. Has the trend of minimalism died down or is it over? Most agree that it’s not but with a few caveats. During the pandemic with lots of people working from home the decluttering bug really hit many people. Everyone was trying to make their homes more comfortable and enjoyable. Just look at what happened to Ikea’s stock. There are items that I’ve been trying to get for almost 2 years. ( the shoe cabinet).

Trends do come and go and minimalism has definitely been over done by youtubers and bloggers. Yet, having been on this journey almost 10 years now, I think it is an evolving concept. Certainly, I started out needing to create space in my very small house. I shudder to think about the stuff I had jammed into an under 900 sq ft house. Actually our official house square footage with the county is under 700 sq feet. But since we’ve closed in two porches we have added space. Both had concrete patios so we built on that. Still it’s a small house and it was packed. When I started Flylady in 2012 (approx), it was to get a schedule down with homemaking and declutter. But what has emerged is a deeper understanding of what works for me and what I need around me.

Some of this was triggered by relapsing in 2010, 4 years after my transplant. I think I felt out of control and needed to control something so I started with the Flylady zones. Honestly, it was a life saver for me. There’s quite a bit with FL I don’t use or particularly like but the zone cleaning has been a lifesaver and to this day I still do it weekly. Especially, at first, the 15 minute timed sessions. I did this with all the zones until I had cleared out most things.

As all the bloggers and youtubers agreed that minimalism is not just a one way thing. There’s no ‘right ‘way to be a minimalist. My house does not look empty of things but I have only what I use, love or need. And that is always changing. I know there’s more to release, because it is no longer needed/wanted, but, it’s not huge amounts. For instance, I found in the bin under the bed the Beatrix Potter dishes that were both my daughters and sons. They don’t want them( I asked) so off to Cancer Thrift they will go. I checked Ebay and they sell for maybe $20 so not worth selling and when someone finds them in the Cancer Thrift, be excited.

Simple Sunday on a beautiful October day

A lovely walk started the day. We ended up doing 4 rounds since(he who shall not be named) left at 6:45. He must be getting there right before us because he walks about 45 minutes. It’s ok…it’s dark and he is wearing now a headlamp. I wonder if someone said something to him about walking in the dark and coming up on people, which originally was our gripe with him. Anyway, we can’t see him and he’s on his side of the path( our other gripe is him walking in the middle of the path with his dog to his left, which puts him straight at us.) But he is moving over so a big improvement.

This is Gus, one of the kitties. He’s the biggest of all the kitties and very sweet.

The other night I made a delicious frittata and crispy potatoes. This was taken before it was cooked.

I added some of the pickled jalapenos on top and it was yummy.

This morning I whipped up a dish of spanakopita,one of our favorites, and made one freezer container too. I used a recipe from America’s test kitchen so we’ll see. The difference was beating 2 eggs with the feta and adding a bit of sour cream.

Yesterday, I also made borscht in the Instapot and we’ll have some of that too and then I put 2 containers in the freezer.

I’ve been playing ‘crafty’ and pulled out my old loops for making pot holders. This was our craft/handwork project in 4 or 5th grade. I think 4th.

These are 2 of the originals. How’s that for making something that actually lasts. They do look a bit worn.

Here’s the one I made the other day!!! I’m not very crafty at all, but occasionally I like to pretend and do something like this. It’s a bit hard on my hands( arthritis stuff) but I persevered.

This week is the bathroom zone and I’ll do some of that in a bit.

Here’s the back of the truck loaded….where does it all come from.??

Simple Sunday

Things are back to normal around here. All the camping stuff is organized back in Rubi, the linen sheets washed and put back on the bed and kitchen is tidied too.

Our weather is definitely fall like and it’s getting darker earlier in the evening and getting lighter later in the morning. We walked this morning starting at 6:08 and it was still somewhat dark so we used a flashlight. AH was there, (when is he ever not there) and didn’t have a flashlight. ( Jerk!!)

BTW, we did get the laundry room back together before we left for Tahoe. The walls are painted but the ceiling wood still needs to go up and the door isn’t up. That’s because we plan to flip it so it opens the other way that what it was doing before. It looks good. I’ll get a few pictures up this week.

We decided to do Costco this morning because of the coffee on sale( Starbucks that’s $5.00 off) and the sale ends today. We got other sale items too since that is the best way to take advantage of Costco’s prices. We were in and out in 30 minutes, so a record.

The kitties are growing and lots of fun to watch although they are little terrors when running thru the house. Little Cherry got spayed on Thursday so now they are all done. They all have such unique personalities.

All the garden stuff is winding down and we have been cleaning up the yard/garden areas. My daughter does most of it but I try and do some everyday. I must have made 8 jars of pickled jalapenos. Hey, if you haven’t tried pickled jalapenos in eggs salad , give it a try it was delicious.

Last evening we had a BBQ. The first in months with the weather so hot plus fire danger. I did some burgers, veggie burgers and chicken. I plan on using the chicken tonight in some ramen. It was fun and it was nice to sit outside with the lovely weather.

I have a load in buggie to take to the Goodwill tomorrow. Included is a small very nice old dresser that has carved acorns on the handles. I’ve loved the little dresser but now I don’t have a use for it so I’m going to pass it on to someone who has space and can use it.

This week in Flylady we’re in the living room zone. We plan to take out the window cooler and I’ll wash the windows. I might look around or take some pictures to see what can be rearranged or decluttered. BTW, one of the BEST tools to see how things are in your space is take pictures with your phone. It really is eye opening.

Simple Sunday

Because of the smoke and unhealthy air quality the pool has been closed both Friday and Saturday. It’s smart they do that when it’s so bad you can’t see 100 yds. Well, since all the die hard swimmers will be enmasse on Monday, I’ll wait and go on Tuesday and it’ll still probably be busy. That’s okay, I’m swimming because #1. I love it and always have, #2 it’s good for me, and #3 just because.

Yes, I just checked and it’s closed this morning but there isn’t lap swimming till 11:30 am and then it’s only an hour and a half so I haven’t tried to do a Sunday.

My son is still undecided about the Van but I think I will talk with him and just say, it’s really served it’s time but if he wants then we will have to sign title to him. Then he will need to do insurance etc, repairs. I’m not sure he really wants to take that on.

This week is two flylady zones, the LR and the entry ways. This should only take 15 minutes each.

I made one more jar of pickled jalapenos for the fridge( so that makes 3 jars in there). I looked up doing it in a water bath and it looks easy so I may do a few of those. We opened the one 3/4 full jalapeno jelly jar and Wow!!! It is delicious!!! I may do that this morning but I’ll see how I feel. The biggest part is deseeding and deveining the peppers. Then cutting them up and waiting for the sugar and vinegar to come to a full boil. So somewhat more involved.

I was experimenting making corn tortillas yesterday. I did one batch with a tablespoon of oil and one with just the hot water. I think the one with the oil was slightly better. I pressed but still didn’t get quite as thin as I’d like. Any tortillas makers out there with hints?? I remember the nurse at UCD who was hispanic, made tortillas every day for her kids and she said just keep trying till you get the feel for the right consistency. I ordered some Bobs Red mill masa harina so I’ll try that when it comes.

I got an email from Recreation.gov saying that Nevada Beach was now closed thru the 16th. That is part of our reservation window. So we either need to cancel or modify. I’m going to wait till next week to modify and maybe something will improve. It’s really for the best they keep people out because people are stupid and do stupid things.

Simple Sunday

Our skies are still smokey and the sun is a red orb in the sky. It did clear up yesterday afternoon but it’s back in this morning. We had a good walk though although ‘he who shall not be named was there’. My God!, He is always there. I don’t think he’s taken a day off in the last year. Even I, OCD that I am, try and take a rest day.Oh well, he doesn’t bother us(right??after all that)… and does stay out of the way.

I went to Safeway to get the rest of the camping food for B and Sachi. One night spaghetti with garlic bread, the next night tofu burgers. It should be easy for them to handle. Then we went to Starbucks to get a pound of coffee ground for the press. It’s easier than trying to grind a large jars worth of coffee. We shared a tall Italian Roast coffee.

I finished the bathroom zone. I had bought new shower curtains last week so I put them up. With a claw foot tub, our shower needs 2 curtains to go around the ring at the top. I replace them about 3x a year due to mold issues. This time of year with everything so dry there isn’t much of a problem but in the winter it is more so. Still I cut the bottom off @3 X as well and wash in bleach.

I ordered the new Rosamunde Pilcher’s book.

She is one of my favorite authors. Will see if I like it. I have no qualms about returning a book if I don’t like it. I’m sure Amazon doesn’t want you doing this often but I have when I’m not happy with a book or a purchase.

This coming week will include swimming 2x, my labs on Friday , and taking Buggie in to check this wiring issue. The running lights on the left are not working and even after changing the fuses and bulbs it’s still not working. So we need to get it fixed as we drive out in the near dark at 5:45 am and the lights are not on. The brake lights work fine though. B needs to try and reschedule his IGIV for sooner as he is really feeling the fatigue. The anti-rejection drug he is on is causing his immunoglobulins to drop too low. Unfortunately, he will need to be on this drug a while so this is the treatment. At least it works. The cost is shocking at $41,000. Really?? I guess you’d just die if you didn’t have insurance.

I’m thinking seriously of painting our floors in the front room and bedroom white. I’ve always wanted white floors, very Scandish. But it would require some logistics as we would need to do half or a third at a time so we can access the bathroom and my daughter can get out of her room. Plus what I read is that it takes at least 2 coats maybe 3. We’ll see how it goes when the weather is cooler. It’s too hot now to do anything.

I think what I’ll do first is go to the Benjamin Moore paint store and find out about paints that can be put on a floor. Is it just regular paint and then a coat of varathane over it?? I’ll check.

Simple Sunday

We are still in heavy smoke and the air quality is very unhealthy. We did walk this morning but with masks. I’m guessing tomorrow will be just as bad but maybe some wind will come in, let’s hope.

I made the ice cream cake yesterday . It was delicious and such a clever idea to use ice cream sandwiches.

I also made a huge batch of chile rellenos with hatch chiles that are coming in from New Mexico. It’s labor intensive as you do need to flame broil the chiles, then put in a plastic bag, then peel off burnt skin, then ,make egg whites, then mix egg whites with the yolks that have been whipped, then dip the stuffed chiles in the batter and then fry. By that time you are exhausted. And I still have another bag of chiles ready to do….

I think there’s 3 left from this batch.

We decided to do Costco today since I want to swim tomorrow. It’s probably going to be busy but that’s just the way it is there. That way we won’t need to go back till September maybe before our Tahoe trip. It’s always the coffee which decides it.

Flylady is the kitchen zone. Since Costco is trumping( geez I don’t like that term) that, I’ll need to do that tomorrow after swimming. I actually started it the other day by doing the stove hood and cleaning all the stainless steel but I’ll still do a go around.

The book I ordered from Amazon showed up finally. ( late by a few days). It’s okay. It has some good ideas but most of the apartments or houses are pretty glitzy and not too rustic. I’ll go thru it again and take some notes. I would have like to see more small spaces like our house which is more make do with what you’ve got rather than remodel and gut and then remodel with fancy stuff. Still her concept is valid and overall the book has beautiful pictures.

This coming week is pretty mellow. Not much on the docket, appt wise. So nice to not have to do something every week. I’ll try and swim 2x and then of course do my daily walk. I plan on getting more Hatch chiles if I see them at the store so that would mean another batch of rellenos. We’ll enjoy them in the winter if they last that long.

We’re getting tons of peppers in the garden, some tomatoes but not a lot, and we replanted some squash plants. I’m hoping to get some zucchini by September. Otherwise, the garden wasn’t a great producer this year but we do have nice herbs going ( basil, chives, thyme, oregano,mint, etc. Plus there’s some chard to pick which I’m going to do this morning.

Simple Sunday

Happy Lammas Day, the pagan celebration of the first harvest.

A very nice Sunday morning walk. Temperature around 70 degrees so not too hot at all. Yesterday we even sat out under the umbrella for half an hour and it was not too too hot. Today and all week it stays pretty much the same : around 93 degrees as the high.

Our water bill came in almost $40 less so we clearly have been watering less. Still high but that’s MV water.

Yesterday I did a bunch of cooking. I made a yummy ww bread in the Zojirushi( well the dough) since I bake it in the oven. Then I made homemade pie crust and a goat cheese quiche.

OOPS, who took a bite of the crust to test it???

This was the leftover cream and goat cheese mixture so I added some homegrown serrano peppers and it was delicious.

Delicious. I also put in brown rice in the zojirushi rice maker because we are having a rice salad tonight for dinner. I’m almost done with August’s menu.

This morning I’m making the pickled refrigerator jalapenos. I may see what else I can prep for the week. Maybe some chicken and / or baked tofu.

I’ve been buying some more things for the prepper pantry. Yesterday I bought some extra cans of tomatoes, cannellini beans and some Herdez salsas that we like. I think the rising food costs are just going to keep rising and so I want to get some stuff now before the real increases start this fall. I don’t plan on going overboard and spending $1000 again but just the stuff I know we use.

We finished a good series on PBS mystery theatre, Tennison. We both liked her character of a young police woman in 1973? or 1972? Not sure the date but the music is great as well. Now we have to find something new. We only watch an hour or so of TV in the evening so a series lasts a while. Well, we stream it with Amazon Prime as we don’t have cable.

Flylady zone is the Entry Ways and dining room. I don’t add the dining room here as that is part of my living room zone. So I just do both doors to the house, sweep up, tidy plants, wash the windows if needed.

Simple Sunday

It’s been a long week for no other reason than the unrelenting heat. Now we have smoke in the air from the fires so the air quality is lousy. It looks next week is a repeat.

I haven’t seen any lab results since my doctor is in Europe for 2 weeks. th forgot to call Friday to talk to the nurse so I’ll do that Monday.

We went to marijuana dispensary to get B some gummies and the THC patch that Donna over at Retirement Confidential mentioned. He put one on yesterday and didn’t think it helped much. Maybe today he can add another piece. He cut it in half so maybe use the whole one?? I don’t do the marijuana stuff even though I’d probably like it. I think the last time I ever smoked pot was the late 70’s. My drug choice is wine. i’ve never had hard liquor either maybe gin like 50 years ago. Wait , in college I did like Tequila sunrises.

I’m doing some cooking this week end. I cooked up some sourdough bread cubes for a panzanella salad I plan to make, I put some bacon in the oven to cook, and I plan on making a peach blackberry pie.

My new heavy duty pie pan from King Arthur showed up so that’s why I’m into doing the pie. I’ll let you know if it does crisp the bottom better than the glass one. It’s supposed to so we’ll see.

Not the prettiest crust but it tasted good!!

On the Frugal Friday note, I’ve failed on the grocery front. I think I’m going to be at $800 so that’s $200 over budget. Probably the Costco trip tipped the scale so I’ll just try and adjust next month. I bought a new pair of Birkies so that was a clothing item. I don’t budget clothes as we spend so little on them. My guess is between the two of us less than $200 a year. The last time I bought Birkies was 5 years ago, so they do last. My Merrills I’ve had for almost 2 years. So I just figure it goes in the monthly budget when needed. I have tried having categories for things and it doesn’t work for me so I keep whatever extra money for those is things in our ‘other’ savings which is different from our EF.

I paid the next installment of UCD and that leaves only $450 left. I was going to pay the full amount but figured this way we can use that money I would have spent on a project. I’d like to get a gate to put near our carport so we can walk in thru the garden. That would be @ $75. I also want to order a window for the sun porch and take out one of the french windows so we can open the window up and down to let the breeze in and eventually add another window cooler next summer.

This week is Flylady’s LR zone. I’ll do that tomorrow although I already did the ceiling fan. I’m going to have my daughter help move my Karastan in and lay it down so I can decide if it’s going or I’m keeping it. This is an antique wool rug. The edges are pretty worn and has lost quite a bit of carpet. Weirdly, this happened after I had it professionally cleaned. I think the guy didnt know what he was doing and ruined it. It was even still damp after he returned it and it was after that the edges started pulling out. The colors are beautiful( to me). My kids really dislike it mostly because it has been a dust catcher for years when it was on the floor. Even with constant vacuuming there is dust probably in the fibers. I wouldn’t pay to have it cleaned again as it’s not worth it. But I thought it might be fun to have it down in the summer as the colors are summery.

Update:

After opening it up I realized it doesn’t fit at all anything in my house, plus it was making me sneeze, so I listed it on Market place. If no one is interested I’ll give to goodwill if they will take it.

The kitties had fun running around on it.

Simple Sunday …and so glad that the Robert E Lee statue is gone.

Yes, these civil war statues of monumental size ( very big, towering) do represent the what the south was trying to perpetuate: the SLAVERY of BLACK people. No matter how you look at it the civil war was about trying to PRESERVE a way of life and livelihood. Keeping BLACK people slaves did just that. No matter about the idea of taxation or that the North was somehow complicit. What matters and why taking down these statues matters is that they REPRESENT that slavery and that conscious of WHITE supremacy.

I’m glad that both the Lee and Stonewall Jackson are gone and good riddance. Hopefully, with all the protests since George Floyd’s murder we have move forward a little.

The heat is unrelenting here in Northern CA. Last night we didn’t get below 80 degrees. Very tough and can’t really do a whole lot. We should drop back down to the 90’s this week sometime.

I went to Safeway early and then the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for B. Apparently, while doing TOO much, he pulled a muscle or it’s sciatica is stressed and he’s in pretty bad shape. He went to see a PA but that was a waste so I want him to go back and see his PC on Monday or Tuesday. All he’s doing is taking pain meds and laying on the couch. Not good. Plus pain is the way the body says something’s wrong, do something. Well, Fuck this, it’s always something!!

The Flylady zone is the bathroom and I’ll do that in it a bit. I actually did most of it yesterday but I didn’t do the shelves.

I haven’t been cooking at all. It’s too hot so we’ve been having sandwiches and cold pasta salad and whatever we can put together. Today is the same. I have no motivation to cook, so probably some sort of sandwich or salad again.

I walked this morning and it was warm but not overpowering. AH showed up after I had done one round so at least I had one without him. It was nice.

This week I’ll go to the pool once or twice. It’s a ways to go but the swimming is so great that it’s worth driving 20-25 minutes. I don’t go do anything else even though I ‘m right near Winco etc. I decided early on, when I’m swimming that’s all I’m doing. No stacking errands on top. So far that has worked out.

I sold another book on Ebay. For now that’s all I’m going to list. It’s kind of a pain for a $10. sale. Still a few bucks is a few bucks that goes in the travel fund.

Well, better get a move on then.

Happy 4th of July!

There are some great articles over at the Washington Post about 4th of July and it’s meaning to Black Americans. Quite fascinating. Plus the whole connection of slavery tied to our independence day. Definitely worth reading. There’s also a couple of good articles on Republican assholes trying to block any Critical theory information being taught in schools. Suppressing knowledge ,it seems, is what Republicans do best. At least most of the Confederate statues have been removed from public lands. Having such constant reminders of slavery and oppression must have been so hard for so long for Black Americans.

anyway,I have the digital subscription and it’s totally worth the price, if you want the news that is informative and FACT based.

We did a nice walk this morning although there were a few clouds so it seemed quite muggy. Generally, our humidity is quite low so the heat isn’t quite as oppressive. Tomorrow is Monday, so it’s a no walk day but being a holiday, we may walk anyway.

This week is the Flylady kitchen zone. I’ll start on that later after breakfast. We’re getting so many eggs from the girls, I can’t give the eggs away quick enough. So this morning I scrambled a dozen but since there’s another 2 dozen in the fridge. It’s still overwhelming. Still, there’s nothing like your own fresh eggs.

I need to do July’s budget. Our water bill came in thru the roof. But hopefully next month will decrease a little. Then I had an unexpected dental copay that I thought I’d paid for. It’s these things that throw my budget. Plus, I had an unauthorized purchase on my Visa so I had to cancel that and I have 2 bills I know of on that card so now I have to call and put them on a different card till I get the replacement which they said would be 10 days or so. What a pain.

No appts this week which is so great!! Last week I had my eye doctor appt and that went well. No change with the macular pucker.

I’ve sold a few more Waldorf toys to the lady who bought the others on Ebay. She has young children and I’m glad they are going to where they will be loved. I also gave my son a whole box of Waldorf toys to give his boss who has a young child. I didn’t want to deal with listing any of those. So more stuff gone that was just in boxes. i don’t have tons of clutter anymore but there seems to always be misc stuff that needs to be dealt with like the Waldorf toys. I am keeping most of the little wood animals as I think they are cute and I do put them out. Right now I have out the 2 bunnies, the frog prince and another frog. Why frogs?? Because right now they are croaking ALL night long in our pond. It’s frog mating time and boy, can they be noisy.

It’s too hot to BBQ so I ‘m not sure what we’ll do for 4th of July celebration. Maybe a big salad.

I leave you with the kitties…

Guster ( Gus) on the left, next is Smudgerton, Bean, and cherry blossom also known as Hissy Princess.

Mamakat is still totally neurotic about yowling at the kitties. I’m ready to give her to the ASPCA.( almost).