Thursday, November 29, 2012

Collect moments not things

collect moments not things

Ethnoteck is a company that makes cool bags. I saw this image on Facebook. Nice message, but maybe not for a company selling "things".

Monday, November 26, 2012

Rule of Reciprocation

I was fascinated this morning as I listened to a report on NPR about the "rule of reciprocation". The story starts out with Phillip Kunz who randomly picked out 600 names from a directory to send Christmas cards to. His experiment was to discover how many felt the need to reciprocate with a card, even though they were strangers. He received over 200 cards!

The report also talked about address labels that charities mail and how that doubles the response of donations. This address label sculpture was done at the Minnesota State Fair two years back by Mary Zubrzycki. I wonder if she donated any money.
Mary Zubrzycki address label art a Minnesota State Fair

Mary Zubrzycki address label art a Minnesota State Fair
Mary Zubrzycki address label art a Minnesota State Fair
 Just last week this HUGE calculator arrived on our doorstep from the Children's Cancer Research Fund with a huge printed padded envelope and a request for a donation inside it. The monsterous calculator didn't even work.

Children's cancer research fund pro bono calculator

I need to stay vigilant to what keeps arriving at our door each day uninvited. That includes you too, you wasteful and archaic yellow pages...
archaic yellow pages
...and the magnet attached to the cover that won't stick to any modern chrome refrigerator.
magnet for plumber

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hotel or Rocket Ship?

This is a good message to reflect on for the eve of Black Friday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Diaries of a teenager

I've always been a big fan of keeping a journal, maybe that is why blogging come naturally. I accumulated notebook after notebook from big adventures to the shopping mall to the awkward high school years. They are just plum full of painful pages of a shy girl. I went through the majority of them and pulled out bits of clippings or photos that I could share with the original owners.  Right then my teenage daughter walked into the room and I told her she could sit in front of me and read anything she wanted. Shrieks of laughter flowed from her. She doesn't know about a time before facebook and texting when one wrote letters and had to TALK on the phone. As she is in her first relationship, I complimented how mature and proud I am of her...... I mean she can actually talk to boys.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Am I a "zipster"?

Zip out of the bored room everyone, there is a service called "zipcar".  For a monthly fee you can use a car anywhere in the world, from a zipvans to bmws. The reservation comes with 180 miles, gas and insurance included. In Minnesota, there is a branch out of the University of Minnesota.

What intrigued me was a story someone told about a neighborhood having one car they all share like a company car. I've always thought neighborhoods should have some type of swap system. Have a computer system to track where the three lawnmowers and two snowblowers are and everyone pays into a community fund to share them. I am idealistic. What if someone destroys three lawnmowers by going over a rock bed? As much as I am excited about this zipcar service, I wonder what is the difference between this service and just renting a car?

We own three cars. There, I said it.
One car has 200,000 miles that my daughter drives to school. One is the Honda my husband drives to work and has the better gas milage and lastly there is the family mini-van that sits in out garage for when we need to go to the cabin or move out kids to and from college. I know we could live with two cars. The van is the least used and least utilized. Could we exist in the suburbs without a van? Stay tuned.....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dirty weather and how if effects "things"

While I toss out the dining room table, and continue to eliminate things in my path, guilt sets in as the dumpster is offered up each week. I contemplate our underground sprinklers and using so many resources to heat and cool our large house. 

The following  30 minute video hit a chord with me as a designer from doing something meaningful to making a difference in the world. The guest Larry Olson is working on branding climate reality to make it "cool" to the younger generation. If you can get past the ten minute introduction chat, then the conversation gets more interesting.

This downsizing process is not just about attaining an economically smart existence, but also a holistic lifestyle.

Video streaming by Ustream

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

John Lennon and Gary Larson had a vision

John Lennon quote for peace
For many years our family did not own a T.V. We traveled around the world with no access to English stations or our accommodations didn't provide one. When we returned home to the U.S, we had no desire to rush out and buy one for many years. My kids benefited from that period of time resorting to creative activities such as reading books and playing outside. The 1998 Olympics compelled us to buy our first television.

This cartoon still hangs on our fridge.
Gary Larson comic about no television
Today I look at my digital T.V and find it hard to re-consider that lifestyle. I certainly know how to live without one and we rarely watch anything on it. Part of me wonders if there will be missed opportunities for the family to gather.  I think about tossing it a lot...but I just think about it.

I would much rather have this on the wall so we could play Wheel of Fortune.
life size scrabble letters on wall

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bread maker gone bad

Here is my bread maker that has been making wonderful loaves for over 20 years, 
including a loaf today.

bread inside bread maker

Here is why I am tossing the bread maker today.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Philip Giordano

Illustrator Philip Giordano created this for a picture book called, "Big Wave" by Davide Cali.

To me the hand is all the stuff holding me back from that lovely house.
Follow the yellow light....

See more of Philip Giordano beautiful illustrations here.

Philip Giordano illustration of big hand looming over small house

Monday, November 5, 2012

A series of fortunate events

Halloween started a whole series of events. My son got rid of his terry cloth robe, 
which gave me the idea that our family could dress like Olympic swimmers.
White terry cloth robes
I then found the medal I won in high school at a track meet. It was rare to get a medal or trophy unless you were at a huge event with lots of competition. I don't remember the race, I don't remember my time, it has no more memories with it and so it will be worn one last time impersonating Ryan Lohcte.
Medal with patriotic ribbon from a relay race
These flaming torches have NEVER been used. If I don't use it, I lose it.
flaming torch decoration
I bought them in my clearance-holic days years ago. One of the reasons I never used them is that it has a honking big adapter plug.
adapter plug
The other is that it makes a loud fan noise and I never know where to hang them. As I looked into the second box I noticed the adapter plug was missing. What? Had I never noticed this? That's it, they are leaving now.
Flaming torches in the box

I went into the closet where I thought the adapter would be and found these candle tiers.
 Having thought I already donated them, I didn't even notice them gone this year. 
metal candle holders
I gathered a collection of the candles I used with them and added them to the box.. I am going to give the unopened tea lights to the yoga teacher next week to burn in class next week. There has to be really, really good karma when you donate to the buddah through a yoga teacher.
candle offerings to buddah
These string of ghost lights stay, my daughter says so.
string of ghost lights
Which led me to toss the three strobe lights and halloween table cloth.
battery operated strobe lights and halloween tablecloth
Which led me to toss some Halloween kid books and face painting, a few scream masks, Jason, Austin powers and the Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes.
halloween decoration donation
Which leads me to another nice donation pile.
Did I mention the winter mittens?
The table plastic protector?
The outdated scanner from an upgrade?
The ironing board holder.
The roll of chicken wire?
and more clothes?
donation pile

All we need is less.


All we need is less.