Saturday, June 6, 2009

We can probably use those dolls for parts and other challenges of stuff removal

When we got married in 2001 we merged two households. My household included kids and all the things that goes along with kids. I am so bad about holding on to things, otherwise known as stuff, that even though my kids are in their twenties and I have a new grandson, I still have baby stuff from over twenty years ago. I don't know why I hold on to things and why it is so hard to let go.

Recently I took two dolls to a local "doll hospital" to donate them. They told me they could probably use them for parts. I gasped. What! Then I had to step back and remember the dolls were actually my sister's. I had them in storage for years and years. I even had them in my trunk for over a year when I tried to give them back to her and she said they weren't hers. I guess she is finally getting a grip on letting go of things or she is letting go of her memory. :-)

After having the dolls in a trunk for the whole year after my sister refused them, I was standing there in the doll hospital aghast at the idea that these poor dolls would be turned into parts. Time to let go. I have to say it was pretty disturbing seeing those dolls in the trunk for a year. Can you believe that? A whole year went by. Well, I did walk away and let the dolls go. It still tugs at me a little bit.

We have taken so much stuff to a local charity and recycling center that I almost hate to go in there any longer. It's downright embarrassing. So the endeavor to live a more simple life and to rid our lives of clutter has caught me in the clutch of a problem I was not facing, that of holding on to stuff that I should have released years ago so that someone else could benefit. I also think twice about buying more stuff, especially on vacation when I think that a few souvenirs would be nice. So now I realize I have several fronts from which to fight the battle against Stuff and live a cleaner, simpler life...the front of old clutter, new clutter, and finding ways to live in harmony with the natural world.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Simpler and better for your health, really.

real women use reel mowers

I just got done mowing the lawn. I didn't create noise pollution or air pollution or use any electricity or gasoline. I did use my own energy and sweat to get it done using a Scott's classic 20" reel mower.

So how is this simpler and healthier? I didn't have to go buy gasoline. The only tune up my mower will ever need is a blade sharpening occasionally. I got exercise without going to the gym. I got some sun and fresh air.

I can also mow the lawn early in the morning when it's cooler without worrying about noise laws since the reel mower is very quiet. The quietness also allows me to listen to my Creative mp3 player. Some people consider mp3 players to be part of the "too much stuff" we all have. However, since I can easily download musicto purchase rather than buying a plastic CD, I think I have a green solution for my music. Where ever you can cut back on plastic, JUST DO IT is my motto.

I plan to set the blades on the reel mower to one of the higher settings and mow the lawn more often then we typically have. I can count this as exercise and keep the lawn looking good too. And I think it's better for the lawn to mulch the clippings so I if I mow more often, the clippings are small enough to mulch back in to the soil which is also a green benefit. It's better for the soil and will not add bags of grass to the land fill. Green, clean, healthy makes me happy!

I used to think you could only use a reel mower if you had a small yard. We live on a half-acre suburban lot and honestly I found the task of using the reel mower to be easier than using our heavy gas mower. My husband, Brian, and I purchased the mower last summer as another way to be "green" and decrease our environmental footprint. I was surprised to find that I actually enjoy mowing the lawn with the reel mower. It is very satisfying to see the nicely cut lawn and know that the activity was a green as my pretty lawn!

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

The busy-ness of life

Gardens as Les Levandes Bed and Breakfast Inn

As my lack of posting to my blog reveals, life has gotten very busy. I have not posted in a few months. I originally started this blog with the idea of exploring simplicity. My life has not gotten simpler. As I also explored being more responsible in how I live as a consumer on this planet, it seemed to actually complicate things even more. Family life, work life and the chaotic political and economic times has added up to lots of stress and takers of my time.

I am back and have a renewed need for simplicity.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I went for a lovely four-day weekend get-a-way at a bed and breakfast, Les Lavandes, in a small town about four hours from home. It was so peaceful and lovely there even though it did rain for two of the four days. We were away from TV and computers, out in the country where life somehow seems to move a bit slower. I think it only seems that way because there are fewer distractions and one can focus more clearly.

I will be posting again with a great focus on simplicity. I hope that you will join in and add your comments. If there is a kindred spirit out there that would enjoy an editorial spot to blog, let me know. I am open to others blogging their thoughts as part of the OFE team. - Joy

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

There's a bailout coming but it ain't for me...

Neil is back with his own style of social justice music. Check out his "apple" iPod. I believe that would be the all organic version iPod.

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