Decorating Nonsense

The furniture is moved and the floors are washed. The tree is up but not yet trimmed. The two silk Flores de Noche Buena aka Poinsettias are in the bedrooms. And bits of pine tree and cones are placed in various places so that their scent makes up for the tree fakery. Continue reading

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Yes, Emily, There Is Hypocrisy

One of my faithful readers (and oldest friends) knows that I dislike when children misuse the word “hypocrisy”. For example, a young man who was falling deeper into drugs informed me that his father couldn’t say anything to him “because he used to smoke pot”.

I eventually convinced him that someone who quit drugs was not a hypocrite. The key to enlightenment was the Beastie Boys’ Fight For Your Right with its key phrase “That hypocrite smokes two packs a day.”

But this op-ed was by a grown woman at the New Republic, of all media. Emily Atkin wrote Al Gore’s Carbon Footprint Doesn’t Matter

The key phrase is “climate change advocates who don’t live a carbon-neutral lifestyle aren’t hypocrites because, FOR THE MOST PART, they’re not asking you to live a carbon-neutral lifestyle. They’re asking governments, utilities, energy companies, and large corporations to increase their use of renewable energy so that you can continue to live your life as you please, without contributing to global warming.”
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Simple living through going cold turkey!

I’m fascinated about how different paths lead people to live more simply. Recently a friend shared a link to the Market Watch interview of Canadian blogger Cait Flanders, who went on a two-year shopping ban.

As longtime readers may recall, I participated in a month-long “no spending challenge” with a friend. Like Flanders and the majority of her co-participants, the friend who initiated the challenge wanted to change her habit of unconscious consumption. Continue reading

An unpaid part-time job

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I had an epiphany of sorts when I started considering a part-time job: It’s very difficult to schedule around my full-time job.  My colleagues who moonlight set their own hours; e.g. driving for UBER, making items they sell online, housecleaning, etc.

I decided to wait until a couple of months have passed at The Factory. Then I can re-assess whether I truly need additional income. And whether I’ll have weekends free to do so. (At the moment, no. The only reason I’m not typing away at yet another web-based tool  is that I’m awaiting a reply to an e-mail I sent an administrator; re: log-in problems.)

In the meantime, I began to fill in my schedule with writing, exercise, and housekeeping. Before long, I discovered that the hours dedicated to my health regimen – from preparing (and freezing) nutritious meals to swimming – will take 10-15 hours.

There’s a part-time job!

An inside job

I have written very little since my last check-in. I had guests, visited family, and started an intensive paper-taming project. How intensive? I had to “rest” the shredder until special-ordered lubricant arrived!

The weather inspired me to tackle this dreaded task. I started sorting files and editing content during record-breaking heat.  On rainy days, I hole-punched, created dividers, and labeled 3-ring binders. As I finish this project, flood watches are in effect. (Thankfully, I see no sign of locusts.)

The objective was to create a time-saving system for handling important paperwork like medical records and legal documents. However, the bulk of the files contain newspaper clippings, acceptance letters, and oh-so-many unpublished pages!

I wanted to rebury them as soon as I unearthed them – as I’ve done many times before – because they inspire strong emotions. Continue reading

Review: Video about Tiny Homes

“The studio changed my life. It made me realize that I didn’t want to waste money on stuff — I had no place to put it — and that I didn’t want to spend my life putting stuff away, cleaning and working to pay off stuff.” – Felice Cohen, author of 90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet (. . . or More)

Here is the 5-minute story of Cohen’s micro-apartment that went viral. It’s a small part of Kirsten Dirksen’s documentary We the Tiny House People: Small Homes, Tiny Flats & Wee Shelters.

I recommend this documentary for anyone interested in how simple living and the small-home movement continues to take shape through the United States. I appreciate that producer Dirksen didn’t focus on one region, but ventured to different areas – even offering a look at a French “cave home” and Spanish construction.

The reasons for living small varied, but most related to involuntary simplicity. Out-of-reach prices drive the movement and building restrictions threaten it. However, it struck me that New Yorkers had the clearest philosophy of tiny homes: living in micro-space is the trade-off for other lifestyle aspects. I laughed to hear that Manhattanites normally store their laundry in the ovenContinue reading