Midweek Musings

I still haven’t gotten my lab results so I’ll e-message my doctor today. My CBC and CMP should have been there yesterday and the light chains today. I can’t remember if this is when he was on vacation. But I’ll check in later.

It’s a cloudy sort of morning but no rain. It is supposed to rain on Friday but I guess we’ll see.  Our gardens would like the drink of water.

I’m just staying home today and doing some house chores and tidying. Yesterday I did more meal prep and made polenta to fry up and a black bean and corn salad. Both are our favorites. I’m cleaning out the freezer so there will be some interesting meals. Last night though we had chicken enchiladas I froze a few weeks ago.  I have a lot of bread that I’ll either give to the geese or do something with.  A fellow park walker gives us free loaves of Truckee Sourdough. So we end up with quite a bit frozen.

My daughter has always an extremely talented artist. From sculptor to watercolors to this cool rock art that everyone is wanting to buy from her.

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Well, off to start my morning routine.

 

 

 

The journey of minimalism!

My daughter found this picture on one of her CDs and I was honestly like ” WHAAAATTTT”!!

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The cats are cute, and the Waldorf stuffs ok but the rest?? What in the world was I thinking or better yet, NOT thinking of?

The cats,, Ollie and Finwe, are just maybe a year old or less so this would be maybe 2005??? I was diagnosed in June 2005, so I know nothing minimalist wasn’t happening then or even 2006 after my Stem Cell Transplant. My recollection is that it was when I relapsed in 2010. It gained speed and momentum by 2012.

I think it was at that point I started feeling closed in and all the clutter was too much. Except for the 2 cats, all that was gotten rid of. Even all the Waldorf play silks. I gave them to some Waldorf family. The desk is gone, and the TV under the silk. I use the wishbone chair as my office chair. It’s a Heywood Wakefield.

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Here’s what it looks like today. You can see my Pinecone ware, a few Catherine Holm pieces. Both, of which if I found reasonably priced today, I would buy.IMG_0480.JPG

This is one of new ‘friends’. It’s just the sweetest fern. Keeping with a minimalist style I ‘m trying to add plants as the decor.  I just love this little plant. I’m not sure if it’ll be happy there as there is not a lot of indirect light.

So one of my strongest suggestions is to take photos of your spaces. I’m truly amazed how I see it differently if I take a photo.

Another is to really remove tchotchkes.  You really don’t need every shelf filled to the brim with useless crap. What I try to do is keep most shelves only half full. In our one teak bookcase that holds our Easton press, there are 3 shelves that are full, no spaces. But as a rule, I try and actually keep one empty shelf.

Another thing that helped so much was getting over ” well, I paid a lot for that Waldorf silk or that Waldorf doll”. It’s past its usefulness. LET IT GO!!  I gave away lots of quite valuable things to friends and thrift shops. Sterling silver, vintage cloths, vintage toys, and so much that I just didn’t have space for and I didn’t want stuffed in bins.  I can’t even remember the number of van loads I took to thrift stores. But it is and was so freeing.

Your space is meant to be calm and healing. With excess furniture, things, dishes ( my weakness), you just can’t find that balance.

I recently redid where I was keeping DVDs that we still want but don’t watch but once a year. The original Star Trek Series, Next Generation, Narnia, Forsythe Saga, and more.  I put the Star Trek in a small bin and put in the laundry room on a shelf. Then the others I removed from 2 drawers and repacked into 2 cute little crates I found at the Goodwill. They’re in a cabinet in the Heywood.

Right now one of my projects is working on photos. I’ve thrown away tons of repeats and just fuzzy or boring ones. But we still have a lot of our younger years that I’d like to get organized. That will take a while. I have scanned some but that really takes time.

One more thing, just start somewhere, then just keep going. It will and does get easier. Plus things are easier to clean and tidying up goes so much quicker.

 

Addendum:

 

So my daughter checked the date and it was Nov/Dec 2013.

This was the worst time in my life( up to that point) as this was when I had the compression fracture which was caused by the myeloma. It was misdiagnosed and then discovered 1 1/2 years later. So that happened around Thanksgiving of 2003. The reason at least superficially was that I had been lifting boxes. You see, I had just been to my first big estate sale and bought an almost complete collection of Life magazines. It was 40 boxes weighing at least 50 lbs a piece.  So I lugged them to my van , then to the barn, then to the studio. It was the next day was when I felt a pop. But it wasn’t till the next morning when I literally couldn’t get up. Why do you ask did I not go to the Er. That’s a good question but answerable. We never hardly ever went to doctors. We used herbs, natural remedies, blah, blah blah. So, when I did go to the NP and she said it was just a sprain, I should have been more proactive.  Hindsight is 20/20.

So that’s the back story….

 

 

DIY plant ladder

So, I got this off Pinterest, 

It was such a good idea to centrally locate lots of smaller plants.

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I’m sure I will move some around as needed or to change up the look. But I really like it and am pleased with how well B made it and without a lot of fuss.

Here’s the other side of my office area

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The Bob Dylan poster for you fans was the original from one of his albums and done by the famous artist, Milton Glasser.

Here’s one on Etsy

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You can still find this album at thrift stores or LP stores. It’s fairly iconic of the era.

Then there’s the Woodstock Life magazines and our ticket .

 

Then the Star Trek poster is one of my favorite things ever. I found this one at a yard sale many years ago. I’m sure you could find one on eBay if you looked.

Then to the far right is my Heywood Wakefield wishbone table that I use as my desk. I love the birch wood.

My daughter and I had a fun romp to Auburn and went to Target, and then over to Michaels. I got new pinking shears to cut towel rags up.  The lady over at Down to Earth recommended pinking shears to cut rags and then you don’t need to hem. I’ll try it on my linen first and then some old bathroom towels.

Dinner is leftover cheese enchiladas, salad, and some Niman hot dogs that are from their pigs that are raised humanely over on the coast. I think Niman Ranch is over near Point Reyes. I had one the other day for lunch and it was mighty good. They are not cheap, if I’m going to eat meat, I want to eat the best quality and raised humanely as possible.  I don’t don’t this 100% of the time, but when I can I do.

Tomorrow is my oncology appointment. Since I had my labs over 3 weeks ago, it’s really just about touching base with him. He was out sick for my regularly scheduled appt. So this is the re -appt.

I’ll probably ask for labs in 3 weeks since that’ll put me at 7 weeks.  And then see him again in July probably.

All is good right now.

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 cleaning, the bathroom.

We have a very small bathroom. It’s 6×6. Yes, quite small for 4 people although my son is generally not here a lot.  When they were younger it was maybe more challenging.

But using FlyLady’s swish and swipe daily, cleaning is a breeze.  So here’s the cute hack I just came across. You take a toilet brush and set it in a bowl with some bleach, water and I use a little Dawn. You probably could easily use vinegar which I do use for most of my cleaning. But somehow bleach is needed for a few things( like to spray diluted on my shower curtains).

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This is the cute one I found at Goodwill.

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I bought a new toilet brush too.IMG_1287.jpg

 

 

I think this is so cute. So once a day I take out the brush and swish the toilet. I also swipe our pedestal sink and little shelf above the sink. We actually have a clawfoot tub in the bathroom ( yes it does fit) and a shower ring that is made specifically for a clawfoot tub. I do use Kirkland wipes on the floor most days but they’ve been out of stock so I will use a rag washcloth with some vinegar solution.

I also buy the hotel white towels from Costco and use them exclusively.  The washcloths are 24 for like $10 or 12 dollars, so that’s a great deal.

I think having routines creates a simple efficient way to keep your house tidy. Of course, it does help to have a small house like I do. but I think even with a house with multiple bathrooms do a quick daily swish and swipe would help maintain.

When in the Flylady bathroom zone, I then wipe all the shelves and tops of pictures etc.

 

Simple Sunday

Thanks everyone for the feedback. It looks like it’s going along well. I’ve wanted to buy the domain for a while and before it was under christina1952(of course my birth year) but then the tech help checked and said Tahoegirl was available so, I jumped on it.

In April I will have had my blog for 6 years.  It has been lots on my journey with Myeloma and its struggles. Relapse, Remission, Relapse….. drugs…. and about ordinary life.  I do believe that it’s in the most ordinary and simple things that we find the most meaning in our lives.  But it wasn’t till I put minimalism and simplicity together that the bigger picture of an intentional life emerged.

One thing that drew me to Quakerism at 17 was their purposeful queries focusing on simplicity and living intentionally.  I moved on from Quakerism to Buddhism also focusing on simplicity, zen things, and mindfulness. There clearly is a theme too what I’ve sought to be and do in my life. Even educating my children in Waldorf education and being involved in Waldorf things was a focus on nature and rhythms and an uncomplicated life.

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Today is a gym day and then I need to go to Target for cat food and bleach and other misc.

The sun is finally out although it’s still quite cold. The weather is supposed to turn to snow and rain again on Wednesday.

Dinner is an Ina Garten recipe : chicken parmesan,  and then I’ll do a tofu parmesan and a simple green salad with a lemon vinegarette.

 

Simple Sunday

It’s a beautiful sunny day with the temperature in the mid 60’s. Really lovely. But snow and rain are coming back in from Tuesday till forever it seems. Oh well.  We need the rain, I guess.

Today was a gym day. And being Daylight savings, it was kinda empty. Some guy was waiting for the yoga class that (he didn’t know) had started an hour earlier.  I walked at 6:55 to 7:30am. No one was there, which was nice. And tomorrow I’ll leave 5 minutes earlier.  I’ll keep backing it up 5 minutes a day till I get back to 6:30.  But I’d like it to be at least first light.

Then I went to Target to get a spring smelling candle and quite a few dollars later left.

Target is always a magnet for me. I don’t buy stuff I don’t need per se, it’s just I see stuff I was needing to get and then throw it the cart. For instance, I needed some decaf Peets coffee to make in my thrift store find Moka pot. Then I needed some hash browns for a menu item. Then cat food. So you see how it adds up. So, generally, it’s better for me to stay out of stores, which I do mostly. I don’t shop department stores or the like.

Yesterday I was reading the blog ‘reading my tea leaves’, and Erin was mentioning in her tiny bathroom how she doesn’t have any clutter in that room, as the room is too small. And visually it makes it crowded.  I thought a lot about that. And I completely understand as our one bathroom is 6 x6.  I try and keep shampoos and body wash in a white plastic container that you don’t see. But there’s still some stuff that is out like our towels are just folded on a small dresser. So, I guess there’s always room for improvement.

Dinner is a mushroom gruyere frittata and a green salad.