Thursday, May 30, 2013


Is it stuff or is it nostalgia? 
west morland chicken

A chance to capture a childhood memory or an artifact of the past.

Therma-dial heating pad

Renesting of items my mother nested in.

Wooden vintage dresser

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The key to happiness is nothing

This article in the Huffington Post outlines 5 tips that I have re summarized for one to experience joy.

Lets see how I have done so far in my journey on a scale of 1-5 (5 being best).

1).  Rid my desire for instant gratification.
I score a 5 in this department. The more I toss, the more I scrutinize what comes into the house.
It took me a year to find a purse. You won't find me swapping it out soon.

2).  Life takes planning, don't relay on carpe diem.
This tip says to have the majority of your schedule planned with sprinkled days of spontaneity. I am a planner so I give myself a 4.

3).  Stop following the herd.
My whole journey to this point was because of this notion. Suburbs, mini-van, cup-de-sac. I have rejected the whole theory, but I need to give myself a 2 because I still live here. Ugg.

4).  Be selective in my news consumption.
I score a 1 here. I scan internet news headlines, but should probably spend the time on the excellent Wall Street journal that hits our driveway each morning.

5).  Remind myself to be less egocentric.
Dobelli explains that being present includes both knowing what you can and cannot see. I do this at yoga, so I give myself a 2.

My points total 14 which gives me an average of 2.8.

I just need to leave this house and read the morning paper.
Self-help class complete.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Adoption of hedgehog

It's harder to watch my kids downsize, than clearing my stuff.

As of tonight hedgehog, (a favorite childhood stuffed animal) will be donated.

Hedgehog stuffed animal

Monday, May 27, 2013

Add a box to get rid of a box?

The concept is nice. Pass on things to others with a neighborhood donation area. Do we really need to build a free box in order get rid of our stuff? What will FIT into this size box?  See entire article on the treehugger site and learn how to build one here.

a box to share items you don't need with others

Sunday, May 26, 2013

She's got my back

No visit to Minneapolis is complete without a stop by the host's favorite landmark.

With the power of sisterly support, we rung the bell to find out who, why and how long.

With no answers, we left with these clues:  a dog chain and a pink elephant.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bad people are welcome here.

I was sent this email today from one of my concerned siblings and it was labeled "bad people".

Here is what it said:

"Just a note. I have heard bad people read obits and rob the houses of those listed in the obit during the funeral. You may want someone to stay at your home all day or at the very least turn on the radio loud.......??????"

My response is this:

Dear bad person,

I will be leaving all our doors open and unlocked today as we lay my mother to rest.
If you have room to take the tan sectional, I would be willing to send you a check for $100.
All I ask is that you stay clear of the triple chunk brownies.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Way of Zen downsized into one page.

“From the sky, everything looks small, but from the ground, everything looks big. In all of life, nothing is fixed —everything depends on perspective.” 

 “We feel that our actions are voluntary when they follow a decision and involuntary when they happen without decision. But if a decision itself were voluntary every decision would have to be preceded by a decision to decide - An infinite regression, which fortunately does not occur. Oddly enough, if we had to decide to decide, we would not be free to decide” 

 “When we attempt to exercise power or control over someone else, we cannot avoid giving that person the very same power or control over us.”

 “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” “Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury— to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.” 

 “Since opposed principles, or ideologies, are irreconcilable, wars fought over principle will be wars of mutual annihilation. But wars fought for simple greed will be far less destructive, because the aggressor will be careful not to destroy what he is fighting to capture. Reasonable - that is, human - men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life.”

 “You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”

 “We think that the world is limited and explained by its past. We tend to think that what happened in the past determines what is going to happen next, and we do not see that it is exactly the other way around! What is always the source of the world is the present; the past doesn't explain a thing. The past trails behind the present like the wake of a ship and eventually disappears.” 

 “Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.” “To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.”

Monday, May 13, 2013

Transforming a 420 square space

A reoocuring theme in all these videos is that you don't bring along "stuff". Furniture is from resource Furniture. This bed pulls down without spilling a bit of liquid from the cup.

250 square apt foldout bedsThe wall moves to reveal two guest sleeping beds from Resource furniture.
250 square apt foldout bunk beds from resource furnitureThis is my solution to getting rid of my dining room table. It is tucked underneath the kitchen counter and called the Goliath table from Resource furniture.

250 square apt fold out dining room table from resource furnitureIt pulls out and you assemble the top. All the chairs stack in the closet.
250 square apt fold out dining room table from resource furniture
Just like that you have seating for 10 and extra room on the couch. 

Pull down the screen to reveal your own drive in theatre screen.
250 square apt pull down tv screen
You have to watch the video to see the inventive "private room".

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The secret to successful downsizing: donate often

Here is my downsizing secret. 
EVERY time one of these donation cards come in the mail, I reply yes. 
Sometimes they come three a month. 
I ask myself, "Can you fit all this stuff into the small house you want?" 
The answer is always, "Nope".

Now even a bag or two is enough to set out.

These suspenders came from the hope chest. 
The reality is there is no hope any of our boys will ever wear them. 

I am not sure what this tool is used for.

It was pulled from the sheetrock and has been hanging for the last four years.

I had to attach a photo of what the contraption was for the next ocd organizer.

There are never any hard feelings when children toss in shirts I gave them.
(kids don't know the value of a juicy lucy these days)

Sometimes I put out a container and see if I can fill it before the truck comes.
No, I don't sort the clothes into white, light and dark

This was my dumbest impulse purchase of 2012. 
One salad was spun and it's out the door.

In the old days we used to sell things on Ebay.
When the zombie CD is only going for 1 cent, it's time to give it away for free.

Not all things get donated.
I have been known to offer up a table or two for my daughter to let out steam during finals.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Phone home

Once upon a time there was a house with many views.
sunset house made of old windows and doors

A place to solve problems piece by piece.
sunset house patio made of remnants of wood

Dreams developed into reality.
sunset house black and white pictures being developed

Windows captured color.
sunset house view from inside

Treasures lined the trophy wall.
sunset house trophy wall

Abandoned objects found new purpose.
sunset house old metal bed frame as canopy

Survival was based on fresh bread and chocolate. 
baking homemade bread

Nighttime would be spent reading novels by candellight or
sunset house lit by candles

sending signals to E.T.
sunset house glow in the dark

To see more on this sunset house in West Virginia go the the Old World Grange tumbler site.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The happiest person

The happiest person I know owns one shirt, one pair of jeans, and now one patch.