Monday, August 22, 2011

I've Decluttered, Now What?

I love decluttering. Sometimes I feel like it is my life's work, what I am meant to do. Sometimes it is my favorite thing to do.

But it's the next step that is a pain in my ass, getting rid of stuff. I declutter and everything goes into a pile (preferably in a box or bag) behind my couch, which puts it basically in the walkway between the dining room and living room. Several weeks ago we took the memory foam topper off of our bed. I have a friend I am going to give it to. Weeks after that, I laundered the cover, and put it in a huge garbage bag to deliver. It has been weeks more since then. We also cleared off a bookshelf; have a friend to give it to. It has sat empty for, again, weeks. I also have bags of clothes that have been in the "get rid of stuff" area for months. And some books and DVDs that were borrowed and need to be returned. I have a box of stuff that I was going to send to my friend James probably 8 months ago. It sat by my desk at work, waiting to be shipped. Then James actually moved back to town...and the box is still sitting by my desk. At work.

It's been a weird time the past couple of weeks. I've had a typing job to do that is taking up all my spare at-home time, and besides that I've just been busy, I don't know with what. We spent 4 weekends in a row away from home, which meant at least one of the 5 weeknights spent packing and prepping. This weekend we finally stayed home, but the weather was beautiful and I had to type (luckily on the laptop outside!), so what I'm trying to say is, I haven't spent much time inside the house.

On Saturday night we watched Amelie and I'd never seen it before. After that our house looked perfect, all glowy yellow, before we went to bed. But Sunday it was all hot and bright outside and dark and dirty inside. When I finish my typing job I'll do some real work around there. But I want to take the clothes to Buffalo Exchange in Bellingham. We're going to Bellingham at the end of September.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I am feeling really down today about the state of food safety. I may or may not have mentioned this before, but the past couple years of my life have been marked by a sometimes-near-paralyzing phobia of foodborne illness (something I have been blessed to never have experienced). I am doing MUCH BETTER these days, truthfully, more comfortable eating lots of things without worry, but yesterday both raw hazelnuts and green onions entered my household, and they happen to be two of my longest-lingering fears. Then I spent some time reading FDA Warning Letters this morning and it really freaked me.

SOOOOOOOOOOOO I am going to do a Things I Love Thursday to lift my spirits! Because seriously it's just fear, and most food is perfectly safe to eat when prepared properly, something Kaden and I are very careful about.

Some Things I Love:

  1. Hoppy beers - particularly Lagunitas Hop Stoopid.

  2. Where we stayed last weekend, Crystal Hotel, Portland, Oregon

  3. Havin' a time with my man

  4. The sunny weather we've had for the last few days! (even if it's lousy and gray today)
  5. This new (old) CD we got, Fourteen Songs for Greg Sage and The Wipers. It's more nineties than nineties.
  6. Speaking of nineties, I saw So I Married an Axe Murderer for the first time last week, OMG I LOVED IT. duh.
  7. I made an appointment with a naturopathic doctor for my allergies & asthma, and I'm really grateful for all the subtle changes over the years that have led me to this place.
  8. Reading this book, Natural Acts: Gender, Race, and Rusticity in Country Music. It's pretty academic so a slow read for me, but fucking fascinating.
  • OK, slowly I'll be forgetting to think about contaminated tofu!

  • Monday, August 15, 2011

    Micro Waves

    We had a lightbulb moment this weekend when we realized we may be able to stop using our microwave. SWEET! I am thinking of starting with just putting it in a closet or something for a month. We have kept it unplugged for quite some time now, only plugging it in maybe once a week when we use it. When a friend mentioned several months ago that she refused to keep a microwave, for health reasons, we were really surprised! How did her family live without one? Now suddenly we've found that we might be able to, as well, and it's quite a thrill.

    This summer has been full of amazing mini-vacations (weekends), but I have no particular desire to write about them extensively. They've been fun, rejuvenating, perfect in every way. We've seen some awesome things - a close win by the Seattle Storm, mega-beets in Eugene, an art exhibit on Beauty and Bounty, the Pacific Ocean. I hiked some terrain that I never dreamed of being able to (so now I know I can do anything). And we stayed in a Merle Haggard themed room. We've seen 3 of our favorite bands, and I had the perfect outfit for every show. We've eaten some fabulous meals, especially the ones Kaden cooks. We've drank some delicious beers. I decided to only order IPAs from now on, because every time I try something new it disappoints. Only Hop Stoopid for me! It has 102 ibus.

    In favor of simplicity, this past weekend we stayed at the Crystal Hotel in Portland, since we were seeing a show at The Crystal Ballroom a block away. We have friends in Portland, but decided it would be so much easier to stay right next door to the show - not worrying about where to eat and drink before the show, and how to drive across an unfamiliar city to get back to sleep on someone's floor afterward. It was pretty much the best decision we ever made. McMenamin's is a company in the Northwest that takes old buildings and renovates them into quirky, clean, relatively inexpensive hotels. Many have the option of staying in a less expensive room without a private bathroom, and sharing a bathroom down the hall with other guests. Since the buildings are old and have had many uses, they are like mazes. They're very self-contained places, with restaurants and bars and soaking pools connected, and I love that. They even have jars in the rooms so you can take it to the bar and get beer to take back to your room. We have stayed at 3 different McMenamin's in Oregon, but this was my favorite time. It's right in downtown Portland, and it was just so damn cozy. A little room with just a bed, a sink, and a table (no tv). The walls were painted dark red, with Merle Haggard lyrics and portrait (we didn't pick it, we just got lucky!). We ate at the restaurant, came back and opened the windows and sat at our little table and drank our jar of beer and talked the talk. That was when we discussed eliminating the microwave, and about tiny houses in our future (I say no less than 5 years from now; K says "what about 2?"). We weren't interested in the opening band so we actually got to spend quite a bit of time in our room, which was good, since it was $105. And I don't feel bad spending that because of the quality of the establishment, AND we stayed in an ENORMOUS $60 room in Eugene last month, so it balances!

    Sometimes I feel silly for enjoying McMenamin's so much, because everyone thinks Kaden and I should love them, because they are "quirky" and we are "quirky". But it works for us; I guess we are their target clientele, so it's good for everybody!