Cast your vote for good [day 22 & 23]

The purpose of doing a challenge is to stretch our thinking and to initiate lifestyle changes for good purposes.  For that reason, I’m not too legalistic with my rules.  The idea is to make good and logical choices.  I have decided to make a small change in my shopping habits for the remainder of this challenge.

the-shiftThe Shift

I’m adding 100% recyclable packaging to my list of approved things to purchase.  Why?  Because it’s near impossible to live this way.  I could do it, but not with a full-time job and being a full-time single mom.  It’s not sustainable.  There are parts of it that are sustainable though.  This process is all about how to make some simple lifestyle changes that have a positive impact on our lives, the lives of others and our resources.  Continue reading

We all need a reason to exist

Trying to fit in when you don’t have the resources to fit in is quite a challenge.  Here’s another journal entry about homelessness in suburbia.

There are so many challenges for homeless people, I can’t even begin to scratch the surface.  What I can do is give people some things to think about.  That’s really all I’m trying to do here.  As humanitarians, what can we do to help?

Wants and needs

I’m quickly slowing down, meaning my life pace.  What’s the hurry?  I have no place to go, no friends to see, no job to work and no house to clean.  Also, moving around, as I mentioned earlier, cost money.  All moves must be well planned.  I have time to plan.  Continue reading

A guide to homelessness: No such thing

Another journal entry from day one of studying homelessness.  That is what I was doing, I guess.  There’s no good politically correct name for it.  If I call it a project, that seems to distance me from anything I feel or learn.  An experiment would make it sound like I’m joining a pack of lab rats.  Posing as a homeless person for 2 weeks will never give me an understanding of what it’s like, as I’m not and I have an exit date.  I’m glad I did though.

What am I doing here?

Again, this is not feeling right.  I can’t quite pinpoint why.  Maybe I shouldn’t have told anyone what I was would be doing.  I have now placed these expectations on myself through this process.  Can I really make people rethink homelessness?  Why not focus on the things I know or things I can do differently, like change my shopping habits or downsizing my material possessions?  What if God didn’t really call me to do this?  I could have made it up.  I make up stuff all the time.  This whole thing feels uncomfortable.  Not from the standpoint of being homeless, but from the fact I’m faking it.  I didn’t expect this feeling.  I guess homeless people should be offended at what I’m doing.  I don’t know, maybe I’m just too close to it right now to be objective.  Is this much different from the guys that did this in the book Under The OverpassContinue reading

The ghost of economic future

I wrote so much while doing this, that if there was a maximum blog length allowed in WordPress, I would clearly be exceeding it.  After I post my journals, which will probably take several days, I’ll open up some discussion on what I’ve learned.  Not only by my own experience with this (which is nothing remotely close to what real homeless people deal with), but topics that my homeless friends have shared with me.

If you would like to know more about helping the homeless community, please take a look at Rethink Homelessness.

Quite possibly the longest day of my life…

A journal entry from day 1 of rethinking homelessness

I’m sitting at Starbucks in a neighborhood I know well. I didn’t want to go too far since I’m worried about my gas situation. I woke up at about 6:30 a.m., well for the last time this morning before actually getting up. What a horrible night! I didn’t sleep much at all. I’m thankful for the clouds this morning as I sit here to write. If I were really homeless, this writing time would more than likely be used for job searching time.

Wow, some guy just hit a truck right in front of Starbucks. Yes, he just drove off, without a second thought. Well, he did pause and look, so maybe that was his second thought. I wrote down his licence plate number. The guy that got hit came out right after and didn’t notice anything. Oh well, back to my sleeping situation from last night.

After frequently waking up all night, daylight arrived. I slowly peeked over my seat to assess my current surroundings. Was it safe to exit the car? The coast looks clear. The car beside me is gone. Had they noticed a person sleeping in the car next to them? I got out of the car and climbed into the driver’s seat. I then noticed I had landed right next to the doggie poop park. Great. How many dog walkers saw me?  Continue reading

coffee paraphernalia [minimalist challenge item #325]

[item] Coffee Thermos

[purchase info] Purchased new

[time in my possession] Approximately 2 years

[last used] Many months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Freecycle

[replacement item] None

[info] I like to have this so I can make a giant container full of lattes to share.  I just don’t do that often enough to even consider keeping this.

pod container [minimalist challenge item #295]

[item] Senseo coffee pod container – stainless

[purchase info] Got from freecycle

[time in my possession] Approximately a year?  Maybe less?

[last used] Never

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Fundraiser

[replacement item] None

[info] My friends have the coffee maker that goes with this.  I don’t use pods, so I don’t need it.  :)

is it wrong to break up a set? [minimalist challenge item #293]

[item] Stainless milk / creamer pitcher and a spoon

[purchase info] Purchased new at a discount store

[time in my possession] Approximately 7 years

[last used] 5+ years ago?

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Fundraiser

[replacement item] None

[info] So this little pitcher has a matching sugar container / bowl that I do use.  So the big question… do you keep it because it’s a set, even if you never use part of it?  The fact that this is a set is making it a little difficult for me to part with,  They were made to go together.  After some careful consideration, I’m thinking it’s okay to separate them.  If someone out there can use a nice stainless mini pitcher, then why should I hang on to it because I have something that matches it?  Oh little pitcher, I hope you find a good home to someone that loves cream, but not sugar.

another coffee vessel [minimalist challenge item #196]

[item] Coffee thermos

[purchase info] Purchased at a thrift store

[time in my possession] Approximately a year

[last used] Several months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] A friend

[replacement item] None

[info] I had two of these, but I was only using one.  Downsizing is good.  Less clutter.  :)

rethinking good in frisco style magazine

Thanks so much to Frisco Style Magazine for rethinking good in their August 2011 arts issue.  No retail shopping for one year has proven to be a great way to rethink no only shopping, but the way we live life.  Here’s a few of the blog posts related to the article if you would like more details.  Thanks again for rethinking good!

What is the no retail shopping challenge? [info]

Back to school [day 58]

School supply update [day 83] 

To Infiniti and beyond! [day 175]

Airing my dirty laundry… and clean laundry [day 235]

My new minimalist challenge [day 266]

Cost analysis, kid style [day 309]

Do you share your household budget with your kids? [day 337]

Continue reading

coffee travel cup [minimalist challenge item #156]

[item] Ceramic latte travel cup

[purchase info] Purchased at a thrift store for $.99

[time in my possession] Approximately 6 months

[last used] Last month

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store

[info] This is just too small for my lattes.