Thursday, May 26, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

inspired by

Gala writes, This week I want to really encourage you to think about what it is you love, & what you love to do. Sooooooooooo...

  • I love cereal.
  • I love organizing - I've been transferring some files (2005 and older) from downstairs filing cabinet to upstairs filing cabinet at work, and it's pretty much my favorite thing to do.
  • I love learning nonviolent communication.
  • I love interacting with people and solving problems. I've been fortunate to get to help customers lately, and brainstorm changes to our website with my co-worker. I like it sooooooo much better than being glued to my desk & computer!
  • I love reading fun books. I haven't done it in awhile. I need a fun book (A NOVEL).
  • I love wearing underwear that matches my outfit, and I'm the only one who knows!
  • I love creating meals that Kaden raves about. Veggies in foil packets on the grill at my parents' house = ALWAYS A HIT. I also made a bitchin tofu scramble this week.
  • I love this blog post Minimalist Packrat: Creating an Empty Vessel

I think that kind of helps clarify where I should take my life...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Doing Nothing!

Sometimes I am in a state of doing LOTS OF THINGS! Like in February and March! When I was taking yoga, painting, and Lent classes, going to Unity every week, and clutter clearing every freaking day! And I Loved It!

Now I am doing nothing! That's not totally true - But I LOVE IT! I am taking a Nonviolent Communication class, and I randomly got some typing jobs that are bringing in an extra like SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS this month, which just like completely blows my mind, I'm sorry to "brag" but it's just so shocking. I don't think this will be a regular thing, so it's going straaaaaaaaight to savings. But it does help buffer our vacation days. But anyway.

I'm also not flossing! I'm not keeping the house clean! I am typing in the sun and getting a sunburn! (not right now, but when I'm working on the typing jobs). We rode bikes to Sizizis, the 24-hr coffee shop, at 5:50 this morning, before work! I felt all aggressive on my bike and shit! I'm not going to yoga! I feel a little "bad" about that because I feel like it means I won't live to be 100 like my plan if I don't do yoga every week. Buuuuuuuut, if it doesn't feel right, it doesn't feel right! I never found a yoga class I liked in Olympia, anyway. But there are more places to try; I'm not giving up I'm just taking a break.

I'm loving Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers, the band I waited my whole fucking life to hear! They're the fucking BEST. I wouldn't listen to it this morning because we listened to it for 3 days straight and I don't want to wear in my neural pathways, so I can keep being excited about it. We listened to free Atlas Sound downloads instead! Holy fuck! I love that man!

I slept on the couch for the last hour or so this morning because my snoring was keeping Kaden awake. Our couch is not a couch. It is a 52" loveseat. It was not a good place to sleep, but it was great because I never got back into deep sleep and then I was ready to hop up when the time came! And then we aggressively rode bikes on empty streets and it was so awesome! And I didn't have coffee but I drank a couple sips of Kaden's and it was Stumptown and it was all nutty and bitchin! Plus one of the dudes working was really hot (he had the biggest beard and braids) and Kaden was like "I knew you'd like him" haha.

I'll write a post about our awesome vacation someday maybe. It was like the best vacation ever and we drank the best IPAs EVER, but you can't get them anywhere but at this brewpub in Whistler. We ran and walked and ate healthfully our whole vacation. Because we're like that. Only thing we bought besides groceries was I got a $12 geode pendant and I luuuuuuuuv it.

It's been sunny this week. It feels like fucking spring/summer finally. Holy shit I hope it stays this way. I'll take a goddamn drought and the hottest summer on the books, ok? SUNBURN!

James moved back to town (temporarily?) and is coming over to drink beers tonight. I swept our back porch (concrete slab) and it looks beautiful.

ps. I'm 28 now.

Friday, May 6, 2011

April 2011 Expenses.

April 2011 Spending

Here is the breakdown of my spending for April. What this chart doesn't show is that I used $368.85 more than my income (including the 33% to savings). That doesn't mean I'm in debt, but I'm still spending from what is leftover in my checking account from before I was regularly adding to my savings.

I still have a lot of gray areas that I'm not sure what to do with. For example, I spent $67 on concert tickets for a show we are going to see in August (damn u ticket master). Does that money belong in this month's expenses, or August's? I am also thinking of integrating several of the 1 and 2% categories. Maybe use "Entertainment" to cover Music, Movies, Concerts, Books. And then perhaps "Personal Care" to cover medical, clothing, classes, home, and recreation (by "recreation" I always mean "the outdoors" which equals "health" to me). Oh and I also just noticed a charge I had in there twice! Wipe $4.66 off that overspent amount! A change I made in the breakdown this month is putting "cash" in for when I get cash from an ATM (except for when I know exactly what I spent it on). I may not always have the receipt for items in this case, and it feels more effective to at least account for that money. Oh man! I also noticed I put double charges in the books area! Knock off another $24.48! This is where I will note that I didn't keep up on my spreadsheet this month and just tried to enter a dozen receipts while checking against my credit card account, and therefore entered some doubles.

Sooooo, how to spend $339 less next month? No expensive concert tickets! No clothes! I bought a pair of everyday use sneakers so that I could preserve my running shoes for running ($25 over existing Zappos credit). I bought a pair of fancy waterproof boots for next winter because they were on a fabulous sale ($49 for Clarks brand). I am very happy with the sneakers, and I know I will be happy with the boots when I want to walk in the rain next winter, to events where motorcycle boots may not be appropriate. And it's worth mentioning that I am also getting rid of 16 other pairs of shoes at this time. I probably still have more shoes than I "need," but I do wear them all with regularity (AND THEY'RE ALL "SENSIBLE"). No books; I can get books at the library. If I take that $171 off, I'm left with $168 over. I spent $135 on a bike this month, that won't be an every month expense! Only $33 over. Now I noticed that I put a $20 donation in April when it really occurred in May. $13! Well that can be remedied by less dining out, easily.

PROBLEMS SOLVED! Can't wait to see how we do in May - with 2 days less income due to a vacation. How cheap can Liina and Kaden take a 4 day vacation for????????? STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT!

ps. I just said "we", but this reflects my expenses only, not Kaden's. We're married but keep our money separate.

Avi Buffalo.

This morning Avi Buffalo blew my mind all over again.

Kaden first heard their Sub Pop single "What's in it for?" on the radio in Seattle last summer. He downloaded it and knew I would love it; he was right. I listened to it over and over, it basically "got me through" last shitty summer.

They are still mysterious to me. They're probably the first band I've listened to that is younger than me. (no, Screaming Females are). They were in high school when the record was made, and it has this sweetness to it. Not to be patronizing, but, it's nice. It reminds me of when I was 13 and I first heard Hanson; they're the Hanson of indie rock (NOT AN INSULT, I was the world's truest Hanson fan). It's a perfect pop album, with some psychedelic sounds. Sounds that would be better for whip-its than for getting stoned.

I was saying this morning, the best thing about it is, you hear it and you know they're never going to do anything again. But then I glanced at their website and apparently they are making a new album, so maybe I'm wrong. The girl singer quit the band to pursue a "solo career" and I bet we'll never hear from her again. Like Kelli Dayton. No one ever heard of her again after she quit Sneaker Pimps. No one ever heard of Sneaker Pimps again, either. (I'm so wrong. Who am I to pretend I know what the kids are doing these days? I'm almost 28!)

Anyway Avi Buffalo's first album is magical, especially "Can't I Know," (aka track 8), which is so dark & warm & mysterious and reminds me of basically everything. You know how it goes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thanks, Universe!

It's definitely time for a Things I Love Thursday!!
  • Waking up happy to get up instead of wanting to stay in bed!
  • Being motivated to jog in the rain.
  • Taking a new route jogging, all around the wonderful neighborhood.
  • Living in a town where it's socially acceptable to turn your front lawn entirely into raised beds and start your own CSA!!!
  • The boss taking a vacation!
  • Planning nothing but free relaxation for our upcoming vacation. We're staying at Kaden's brother's condo in Whistler for free, and instead of trying to "do" everything, we're only going to go to the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver and then STAY IN ONE PLACE AND CHILL. For like 3 days. For my birthday! A week from now!
  • Bike riding.
  • Deciding to make muffins at home instead of going out for coffee on Saturday, like we have for the past several weekends.
  • Deciding to take a break from desperate frantic reading of decluttering books!
  • Deciding to take a break from like everything, including my boring old jogging route!
  • Plans for a date with Kaden at The Oyster House tomorrow nite, after I sell hundreds of dollars (exaggeration!) of Miller High Life Memorabilia to someone from Craigslist!
  • Goo & Surfer Rosa
  • The Small Cool 2011 contest's "Teeny Tiny" entries. SO INSPIRATIONAL! I want to move somewhere tinier right away!
  • Sacred discontent that guides you to new things.

ps. Fifteen days shy of Twenty-Eight Years of Age.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A note on clothing.

I am down to 34 items hanging in my closet! When I had "fully decluttered" my closet, and purchased my wooden hangers as a "reward" (at the end of January), I had 48 items hanging in my closet. Due to the number of hangers per package, I got only 45, assuming that I'd be better off getting rid of 3 more items than having 3 empty hangers. Without even knowing it, I've eliminated 14 pieces of clothing from my closet since then! Several pieces (3 cardigans and one blouse) went out last week, when I decided to quit trying to force myself to wear them equally to the pieces I prefer.

I was really excited about it and bragging to my husband. He said he doesn't have to count, he just gets rid of whatever feels right. For me it feels right to count, it's how I'm measuring my progress.

Last night, while preparing to fold laundry, I spilled a glass of water between our bedroom dresser and a file cabinet. I didn't want the water to stay stuck under there, so I had to take all the drawers out of the dresser and move it. It was a great opportunity to clean out the dust bunnies from under there! But it was also a great thrill to see extra space in each one of the drawers. We are no longer just jamming as many clothes as we can squeeze in there. It's a depression-era waterfall dresser, in rather poor shape, and my dad has re-enforced the structure of every drawer because they kept falling apart. If we had decluttered sooner, we could have saved Dad some work! They probably wouldn't have broken if we hadn't tried to stuff so much in there!

I can't wait to continue reducing my wardrobe. I have 6 dresses and 7 skirts remaining, and whatever I haven't worn by the end of the summer is OUTTA THERE. I eliminated my one black dress (which I have worn once), since I realized I was literally only keeping it around "in case I have to go to a funeral"!!!! I have only been to 2 funerals in my life! I'll find something else nice to wear if the situation arises. I would like to have the perfect "Little Black Dress", and I'm thinking of going towards one of those fabulous, moisture wicking, wrinkle-free styles from an outdoor-wear company. My main problem is I am short (5'3"), so dresses rarely fall at the "right" place on my legs. But heck, who says there is a "right" place for a dress hem, anyway!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Clutter Emergency!

Clutter Emergency!

So I have this dresser/vanity/nightstand set that is pretty nice, deco-era, waterfall style. At the time of our most recent move, we decided not to bring the vanity from the set with us. A month or two ago, I decided not to use the nightstand any more.

I put them on Craigslist, and said that I might be persuaded to let go of the dresser, too, for the right price - although it is in use right now.

So someone IS interested, BUT they're mostly interested in the dresser, and wouldn't want the other pieces without it. I told Kaden, and he was like "Um, but, we're using the dresser."

IS THIS MY SIGN TO LET GO OF THE DRESSER? IF I GET RID OF THE DRESSER, WOULD I HAVE TO GET ANOTHER ONE, NEGATING "the best minimalist solution is the one you already have?"

I know only I know the answer to these questions...but any other opinions would be faaaabulous.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dreams & Goals or Just Being.

A comment by Jenny of Ex Consumer on Deb's recent blog post led me to a funny realization about myself. Jenny wrote "I can’t fathom not having dreams or goals. Perhaps someday I’ll get to the place of quiet contentment with just being." And I was like - oh - maybe that's kind of how I've always been! My dreams and goals have always been VERY vague, and especially in recent years I've felt pretty comfortable with trusting the universe. I take what I get and I like it! I have never been very goal-oriented, and I always blamed it on laziness or indecisiveness. But maybe it's not always a bad thing! Maybe it's cool to be happy where you are!

Recently, my mom told me that my sister wanted to quit her job and "take the summer off". She is 22, just finishing her 2-year degree after 4 years, and still lives with my folks, never having moved out. I was so annoyed for about a week. Who does she think she is? that's not how the real world works! I prayed to be able to accept my sister as she is. And I finally came to the realization that the choices she has made allow her to be in that position. I made different choices; I moved into my own apartment a month before my high school graduation and worked full time in fast food, because smoking weed was my priority! I don't regret my choices at all, and I'm very, very happy to have adult responsibilities! If my sister does not want to take on adult responsibilities, that's her choice to make.

Somewhat related, I began reading Your Money or Your Life in earnest (I've had it for several months). I hope it changes my life, and maybe someday I can "take the summer off", too!