the most difficult item yet… [minimalist challenge item #195]

[item] Our very well loved trampoline

[purchase info] Purchased used from a neighbor

[time in my possession] Approximately 5 years

[last used] A few weeks ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Very difficult

[destination] Freecycle… after checking with a few friends first

[replacement item] None

[info] Yes, this is the most difficult item yet.  My boys loved the trampoline and so did I.  This photo was taken before we lost our biggest shade tree.  The trampoline just looked out of place without it’s tree surroundings.  The lack of shade made it way too hot to use.  We will miss sleeping on this in the fall and the many fun family times we had on it.  Our backyard is getting an overhaul and my kids are outgrowing the trampoline days.  I miss it terribly.  It went to a cute little girl in The Colony.

it’s hotter than… [daily good photo]

116°?!!??  I really have no idea how hot hell is, but I’m pretty sure we have to be close.  So how is this good?  I find a lot of good in this crazy hot weather.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m tired of it since it’s been over 100° for over a month now.  Okay, here’s my ‘good’ in it:

My mobile thermometer.  I’m glad my car has this temperature feature.  That might not seem like a big deal to anyone reading this, but my car is 15 years old.  I like simple ‘old-fashioned’ gadgets like this, not the complicated computers they have in all of the new cars now.  You can say I’m getting old and I like old stuff, but I love technology, so I don’t think that’s the case.  I just don’t need technology everywhere and on everything in my life.

Southern living.  I lived in Wisconsin and in Chicago, Illinois long enough to know I love living in the south.  I’d rather deal with this heat for a couple of months rather than the snow and cold.  Last time I was in Wisconsin, that little gadget said -17°.

Cool off!  Although the A/C in my car works, it’s not the coldest air ever.  And let’s not even talk about my electric bill even though I keep my thermostat set on 80°.  But we do have air conditioning.  Down in Mexico, only 8 hours away in drive time, there’s many people without this luxury.  They have hotter temperatures than we do… without anything to cool them off.  Sure, you can say, “They’re used to it…”, but really?  It’s good that I can afford, and have… air conditioning.

gracie rockin’ the guitar [daily good photo]

[like… a lot]  Once a month on Thursdays, we go to the nursing home across the street to hang out and sing with the residents.  I love to hear their stories, like Flo who was an incredible artist and painter or Ethel, 99 years old that was a biker chick in her younger days.  Gracie, whom we’ve never met before, joined us last night to sing.  She kept looking behind us because she saw an extra guitar and she kept asking for it.  Finally Steve got up, gave her the guitar and Gracie rocked the house!  She was harmonizing, belting out the hymns with her beautiful voice and playing the guitar like she had been in a band all her life.  Her happiness quickly spread to all of us around her.  I can’t wait until next month to see Gracie again.  I’m thinking we need to find her a guitar, as it’s unusual that we have an extra one.

peacock feather [daily good photo]

[like]  I like, okay, love peacock feathers.  The colors are bold and beautiful, but more than that, they are a sign of protection.  I’ve studied Persian rug art and the peacock feather is a sign of protection.  This particular feather is wrapped around my happy tree.  The happy tree is a dead tree that is stained bright blue and stands tall by my front door.  It’s an art piece that I love to look at every time I enter or exit my house.  Luckily I don’t have an HOA and I have really awesome neighbors.

bird singing on the roof [daily good photo]

[appreciate]  A cardinal sitting on my roof, singing for over 10 minutes.  I got my phone out and opened an app that plays bird sounds and I talked to him.

 

peace and humor are running low [day 350]

When I stated the challenge almost a year ago, a few people asked, “Did you buy a bunch of stuff in preparation to not shop for a year?”  The answer is no.  This was an idea I had when I woke up one morning and I implemented it the moment I thought about doing it.  Preparation for this would have defeated the purpose.  Today, I’m running extremely low on peace and humor, not in the conventional sense, but in lipstick.  I use Bed Head lipstick and the colors are ‘peace’ and ‘humor’.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking.  I don’t wear much makeup, if any at all.  I suppose this is an example of how little I do wear, as I started the challenge with less than a half stick of peace and a little more than half of humor.  We all know that if you don’t have a lot of peace, you definitely need more humor, so at least my ratios were good.  With just a few days left in the challenge, humor is low and peace is almost gone.  In the beginning of the challenge, I kept thinking there’s no way this will last to the end.  I guess I wear less makeup than I thought.

Just for the record, I’m not going to run out and buy any until they’re all gone.  Why?  I’m scared.  Here’s a flashback and it was my first ever blog post.  :)

You simply can’t discontinue happiness…

A couple of years ago, I did a photo shot of a woman and I couldn’t believe how well her lipstick stayed on and looked so perfect. First, let me start by saying I’m NOT a makeup person. But on occasion when I wear it, I usually just wear lipstick. So I asked her what brand it was and she replied it was made by Bed Head.  Continue reading

a picture is worth 1000 things [day 338]

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words.  I’ve never actually tried to type that up to check it, but it seems accurate.  What if we take that one step further… a picture is worth 1,000 things?

So what do I mean by this?  If you own a camera, you can snap a memory of anything you see.  With digital photography, there’s no extra cost for taking a lot of photos like in the film days.  Isn’t life all about people and relationships?  Our society says it’s more about materialism.  Wouldn’t it be better to have a photo of your child at Disney World versus having those ridiculous mouse ears laying around?  Has anyone actually ever worn those after the plane ride home?  Instead of buying souvenirs or mementos, snap a photo if you need something to remind you of that moment in time.

Mouse ears… $19.00

Other souvenirs… $136.00

Cleaning person to pick up all the junk you’ve accumulated… $175 a month

Memories with your loved ones?  Priceless.

grass for my yard gnomes [day 328]

Anyone who knows me, knows I love my outdoor living space.  My backyard is one of the reasons I bought the house I live in.  It’s small, but it’s one of the few houses in Frisco with trees.

I’ve been fighting with my yard for 4.5 years now.  There’s so much shade, I can’t seem to grow any grass.  In Wisconsin, I had to shovel snow.  Here, I shovel mud.

My yard guys said they have a solution.  Fine fescue grass.  The price was awesome and having some grass will keep my yard from eroding, and me from being the ugly neighbor.

They seeded yesterday… right before the rain.  I hope it didn’t wash away.  My yard gnomes, Caron and Diane, really need a nice yard.  I’m starting to loose hope… having grass might not be possible.  Astroturf?  It might be in my future.

fast waste [day 315]

I love pretty much any condiment, mustard, ketchup, sour cream, grape jelly, salsa… you name it.  I’ve been referred to as the condiment queen.  This is a problem to me in the world of fast food.  There’s so much plastic and paper waste associated with it.  I looked up condiment packaging and found a few eco-friendly alternatives.  For me, this brings up a bigger question.  The word “ECO” is used a lot these days.  I’m glad people are coming up with eco-friendly options that are much better for the environment, but here’s my question.

Should we just be content with using products that are a little bit better for the environment or should we be trying to scale back our use of disposable products?

I’m trying to do both.  I’m not always successful as you can see in the photo, but those were given with my meal, not upon request, but just assumed I would eat them all.  I’ve cut way back on the fast food consumption over the past year.  Meals are supposed to be a time of fellowship and relaxation.  If my lifestyle needs fast food, I need to make some changes.

My ideas were validated a few days ago by the cost of fast food.  My 2 boys and I went to Sonic.  I’m usually all over the price shopping part of eating, but this day, I decided to let them order whatever they wanted.  They both ordered modestly, as did I.  Almost $18.00 spent and the kids were still hungry.  A few days later, we went to a sit-down restaurant.  This time it was me and the kids, but we brought a friend along as well.  Including ‘good’ food for all of us, one beer and one dessert, the total was around $35, including the tip.  There’s a price for all that packaging, not to mention the nutritional value of fast food.

Also, I’m not sure why, but the magic number of napkins seems to be 6.  Why do I need 6 napkins with a sandwich?  Do I look that messy?  If they give out 5 extra napkins per person, with an average customer count of 450 a day, that’s 2,250 napkins that go in a landfill.  And that’s just napkins.

I’m not saying I will never eat fast food again (although I’m leaning in that direction), but I will be doing it even less now.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat fast food either.  We should all be aware of the effects of it though.  There are times where the fast food meal is not a bad idea, but doing it regularly will cost you a lot of money, aid in destroying our earth and eventually will break your heart.

la, la, la, la, la, la, la.. catscratch… [day 297]

 

One of our favorite cartoon shows is Catscratch.  Every time they see it or think about it, they want a cat.  My kids have been begging to get a pet.  With our lifestyle, a dog just won’t work.  My friend just adopted a kitten, which of course got them thinking about it again.  My kids have been good with their chores, so I’m pretty confident that they’ll help with a pet.

This is Zuri.  She’s up for adoption at the Frisco Humane Society.  Here’s her story:

This is one precious girl! Zuri leans up against you and purrs purrs when you scratch behind her ears or down her back. She’s a laid back beauty with simple needs – good food, cozy bed and loads of loving! She, her sister and her probable mom were jammed together in a small crate and left at a vet’s office. Zuri is more than content to perch on the back of your couch and watch the world go round – she’s not super imposing nor a crazy girl – lower play level. She gets along with other animals. Zuri is so sweet and will let you carry her around. She loves to be petted and has a great purr!

Zuri is the sister of my friend’s new kitten.  We’re going to pick her up today.  I found used cat supplies, a place for a litter box, but I’ll still need to get her something to scratch on.  Off to work and to get Zuri a little later today.  :)