Maintaining Minimalism

This morning as I was doing the Flylady zone( the bedroom) I looked around and was pleased that this room is calm and clutter-free.

In Quaker or Amish homes things are sparsely furnished. I was always, in my youth anyway, partial to the Amish look. And of course, as I’ve written we were Quakers for many years and married in a Quaker ceremony. (more on that later this week) 🙂


UK /ˈspɑː US /ˈspɑː


with only a small number or amount of people or things:

. Function rules and there is little excess.

In Japanese homes, things are very minimal and ascetically lovely. For the longest time, I wanted to create a Japanese home with tatamis and low furniture.

For years we slept on a futon in our other house. But when we moved to this house we slept on the futon for a while only to discover (with disgust) that mold was under the futon due to it being on the floor with no circulation. In our other home( the one we built) the bedroom was on the second floor and carpeted.

As time went on, I just fell into stuff.

Then as I rediscovered my love of simplicity, minimalism fell into place.  I still would love a traditional type Japanese home effect but that’s not going to happen here.

But, I also love the Scandinavian look, which is really quite similar in some respects to a Japanese look except perhaps the lines are clean and simple and generally white or a teak wood. I do love white furniture and teak as well.

So my point, in a round- about way is, now having embraced minimalism for a number of years now, maintaining a clean room with little clutter is fairly easy and doesn’t require a lot of time.

I finished the bedroom zone including windows in 10 minutes.

I moved another plant in there in a corner and I’m not sure it will like it there. But I’ll keep it there for a few weeks and see how it is.

Dinner is roast chicken, a veggie burger for B and potatoes from the garden!

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.


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.


Being frugal, what does it mean ?

this is a great post by Froogs. She is an inspiration on being frugal and taking the risks to live more simply.

We have always been inspired to live simply. We were Quakers when we first married and live by many of the queries. We have lived mostly in small houses and even a trailer. But, we have not been wise with money. It’s taken really most of our lives to figure out money and now on the eve of retirement ( for my husband) we will still have a mortgage and will not be free from that. We now work with a budget and save some. But, it’s maybe it’s a bit of a little too late. But we’re determined to make the best of it. Because of my cancer, I can’t really work much, but I do love my little job and hope to continue it. I’m probably adding Velcade to the mix in the next few months so well see how that plays out.

Being frugal at this point is only buying what is necessary. We don’t buy fancy clothes, or house goods. We try and plan for the expenditures. This is the first year we maxed his 401k contributions. It added up but again maybe a little too little too late. But I’m an optimist and will keep plugging away into 2014.


imageimageMinimalism , to me, is having what you need and no more or less. I think it’s defined  in clean spare lines.  No clutter and visually easy on the eyes.

It’s interesting that journey started really when we were first married. B and I were married in a Quaker meeting house. I wore my great grandmothers white dress.( not a wedding dress, but what was called a tea dress, very beautiful with handmade lace).

Quakers are known for there queries which are questions about life really. They speak to the heart of simplicity, generosity, living a conscious life, and non violence. We stayed Quakers for many years. Then after our move from Tucson to Northern California we were about an hours drive from the nearest meeting and lost contact. At the same time zen buddhism started to be very important, and we loved all things Japanese. The shojis, tatami mats, and the no clutter. We meditated, lived very simply.

Later, we built a house, and bought some stuff, not a lot but some. We still slept in a futon on the floor and kept things pretty minimal. Later, we sold that house and moved where we live now. A very small house. Somehow we keep adding too much stuff and I started collecting all things vintage, dishes( my passion), table cloths, toys, on and on. We also had 2 children so there was all that stuff. Then in 2005 I was diagnosed with a blood cancer, and I really couldn’t do much for that first year of treatment. Then after my stem cell transplant when I started to feel better, I discovered fly lady. Her program helped me to with just 15 minutes at a time start to declutter. Then somewhere I just started feeling I needed to get rid of all the things, button collections, extra furniture  on so on. I wanted a minimalist look. In our small house I wanted it to be clear of visual clutter.

I have made great progress. I would like to take it one step further and get rid of a few more things and try to redo our pantry setup, which is covered with a vintage barkcloth. Cute but I’d like a closed cabinet.

we aren’t mortgage free and doubt we’ll ever be , but I try and pay extra when I can. We have ,for the first time an emergency fund and that’s a nice feeling. We are heading toward retirement but its still a ways off. I would love to have the minimal bills as well. I think that speaks to taking minimalism straight into the financial realm. But for us, that’s not now.

But the journey towards this minimalism has been fulfilling and I am thrilled with the results.