My Year of No Buying… April Fools!

Sorry about that. Also, Happy Easter and Felices Pascuas!**

bird-nest-eggs-blue-158734.jpeg

Last week my favorite puertorriqueño gave me a couple of suggestions, including that I jump on the “Year of No Spending” bandwagon and give details.

“It is going to be very funny if you do,” he wrote.

After considerable thought, I decline. First, I have a tendency to focus on a task to the exclusion of everything else, including sleep and common sense. Second, I foresee having to spend a bundle on certain home replacements in the future.

Case in point: I awoke one night thinking cats were fighting outside my window. No, it was the fan of my furnace screeching. It has subsided, but it’s only a matter of time…

However, I am intrigued by the idea of tracking my expenses. I did that 2013 in order to create a better budget on a “frozen” salary.

I have done a month of low-spending.

And a few years ago I followed a Canadian blogger who challenged herself to live as cheaply as possible. Each month she posted the results as a spreadsheet as well as a tally by category.  As I recall, she ended one year with less than CA$5,000 in expenses. I admired her experiment and wished she’d left her blog up for future reference. She had some oddball tricks that couldn’t be done by just anyone, such as moving across Ontario one summer to an off-season dorm room and being paid in food to babysit a young relative. But she also had great tips on simple one-bowl meals and entertainment.

So maybe I could track my spending and add it to my monthly updates. (And yes, I know the March update is due. But it’s a holiday!)


** Note to anyone thinking of telling me that “Easter” is derived from a pagan goddess called Esther (the nemesis of a god named Fred Sanford):

Everyone knows the English liked to apply their old words to new things; e.g. the North American orange-breasted robin is a delightfully musical thrush named after a shrill, squeaky flycatcher native to Europe and Africa.  (The photo above is of a North American robin’s nest and its distinctive blue eggs. It’s a free-use WordPress photo because the nearest nest appears to be in the upper reaches of my maple.)

Outside the Anglocentric view, the words for today’s holiday are variations on “Passover”,  such as Pascua in Spanish.  Even in English, the Resurrection of Christ is called “The Paschal Mystery.”

If you feel the need to argue, let us focus on food names. We can ramble at length about squashes known as either courgette, zucchini, calabacita, OR zapallito. But do NOT get me started on turnips, Swedes, and rutabagas!

Advertisements

The Factory is closed but the work continues…

I went to the Young Human Factory yesterday. The custodians and technical staff are making repairs and updates while production is down.  I did a few things, like data entry and uploading a letter of recommendation. But the heating system isn’t working properly – I covet those open-tipped gloves of Bob Cratchet – so I left after a few hours.

Today I’ll drop off some paperwork and bring a few things home. I had a dream once of Separation of Work and Casa, but the dreams of innocent girls whither in the chill of reality.

 

Unresolutions for 2018

In keeping with not-ancient tradition, I have a short list of resolutions I reject. In 2018, I won’t…

…hit the gym more. Thursday I withdrew my YMCA membership reluctantly because of the great staff and great facilities, but the 45-minute drive after work is terrible. Let’s see what exercise videos and hand weights can do.

…stay on trend. The public library is full of books I haven’t read, my wardrobe is  professional if not inspired, and everyone is too mesmerized by their phones to notice mine.

…try a new hobby. Until I cross everything off the Big To-Do List, hot yoga and parasailing must wait.

What about you? What are resolutions you just won’t make?

 

 

 

End of Year Threats, erm, Resolution Ideas

It’s that time again when friends forward all sorts of intriguing ideas about how to improve oneself in the New Year. Decluttering, trying a new hobby, building a need-only budget, replacing one meal a day with a colon-cleansing smoothie….

They make me want to revive the practice of The Unresolution: declaring what life improvements will be discontinued. My former co-workers promoted it at their year ending parties. (My favorite was when M’e the Fashionista declared she would no longer attempt to like jazz.) Continue reading

First Day of Spring

I had plans for today: sleep in until 7, be at church by 8, and afterwards head to the Factory for a few extra hours of work.

Instead, the birds woke me about an hour before sunrise. After a quiet winter, the cacophony is atrocious: squawks and chirrups, with only a few warbling notes to add a pleasant sound. The birds grew louder because they flew closer. By the time I crawled out of bed, there were grackles and redwing blackbirds having a party in the backyard. Continue reading

Spring Cleaning & Lent

I know it’s not Spring. In fact, a beautiful layer of snow covered everything just a couple days ago. But if I don’t start now while it’s cold, I’ll never get it done when it’s warm and the garden beckons the weeds call me out to rumble.

Last week I spring-cleaned the bathroom. That involved exploring the depths under the sink. The collection of lotions and other concoctions surprised me. Truth is that I put things there that I seldom use, like hair gel and the fragrant body cream that someone gave me for Christmas 2012.  Out they went!  The bathroom doesn’t look any different, but it’s better inside.*

Lent, which starts next week, is rather like Spring Cleaning: no huge make-over of body or habits, but some straightening out on the inside.


 

*This weekend it’s the laundry/utility closet. Space is tight and there’s little room for anything but lint and dust, but I suspect when I start pulling things out, it’ll be like unpacking the Tardis.