Wednesday, September 26, 2007
My family will buy a whole lot of rot - that's a given. But, my aim this year is to even START changing their philosophy of "the more stuff you have, the more loved you must be". So, even if mum gets the terror something completely outrageous and a hat - well, it's a start.
I worked out an area for stockpiling in the laundry. After reading Rhondas blog Down to Earth, and checking out my new favorite forum Aussies living simply - I realised that I kind of already stockpile. Because I am an organised girl by nature, I very rarely run out of things - and because I detest the supermarket, I make a mammoth effort to ensure I only go there once a week.
Sans kids, and because work was close, I thought I'd go and check out Aldi. We'd done it once before we had a clue, with 2 kids, no change for the trolley and no idea as to what we were doing. So, this time, when I went by myself, I had a very good look.
I got 99 cent bread. Pears for $1.99 (Safeways were $3.29). I got cheese, and have chucked it in the freezer (MIL does it, and it appears fine, so that's more of a science experiment really)...
So, I walked out of Aldis (using my green bags :) ) $80 worse off, but I got SO much stuff that I need a bigger area for stockpiling. Mostly stuff like flour, laundry soaker, chips (for G's lunch), UHT milk, sponges, juice....
Tonight I went to Safeway (woolys for everyone else) and found more specials that I could buy, afford in my weekly budget, and stockpile. Massive savings on coffee, tomato sauce etc...
Over the next week or so, I aim to get rid of my wedding dress. I have no idea where, or how, but that space can be used for the vacuum cleaner. And the vacuum cleaners home (which was a big purpose built cupboard with moveable shelves) will be my new stockpiling area.
I have one more *stockpiling* trip to make - we'll go to SPC/Ardmona on the weekend when we go up to G's farm. It sounds an awful lot, but I want to have stuff for both the house, and our camping trailer (which is also stocked, so all we need to pack are clothes) - and G is using it very shortly, so my stockpile will be reduced before I even *pile* it anywhere!!!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
It's certainly a sliding doors week, that's for sure.
In the beginning, I hated being at home. PND probably didn't help that too much, but I so missed work. I missed the drive, the conversations, the day to day *what's happening*.
But, as the years have gone on (Mr 'Tude is nearly 5), I have found that the pendulam has shifted - that I prefer staying home. Not all the time; but full time is not for me. (And by full time, I mean 7.00am till 4.30pm). I miss my kids, I miss my plants and I especially miss my dog.
I miss having that early early morning time to ponder the day and to work out just what is going to happen/change in the house of the wannabe hippies this week. I miss thinking about simplicity and how to acheive it (because, obviously, nothing is simple in the world of a company!!) in my own life.
I can't wait until Friday and I see the kids again - and I also spend a weekend with G's mum - the queen of simplicity.
Oh, and on a quick, happy note - my carrot and snowpeas are sprouting!! I was so very very proud!!!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
541 litres per day for our house. THAT'S HEAPS!!! We got down to 441 on our last bill - I was so proud I saved the bit telling you!!
So what has happened?? Maybe we started to get a bit lax because we HAVE had rain?? Dunno.
My new mission. Get my water bill down and work out where I am using WAY too much water.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Today; it begins.
After reading so many blogs around here of late, and realising just how much MORE I could do - I actually started feeling useless. As in "what the hell am I going to be able to do to make a difference?". Realistically, I realise that it has to start somewhere; but it is/was kind of hard to wrap my head around the fact that, I felt so *proud* of what I had already achieved.
Reading some of these wonderful ladies - in comparison, I've barely gotten out of bed!
This attitude stops here.
It doesn't matter if I'm not organised enough yet to have a stockpile of stuff. It doesn't matter if I don't have the ability to grow every thing I eat. It doesn't matter that, for all intents and purposes, we simply cannot live without any electricity. It doesn't matter that there are still products with ridiculous packaging on them still sitting in my cupboard.
What matters is that I have STARTED. I have STARTED the change. We no longer use plastic bags anymore; and I am now consious of using electricity. Many power points are now off at the power point - a far cry from even a month ago.
We have buckets in every shower and I am known in my circle as *the water nazi*. I am TRYING. Which, when you look at it, is a big thing. The focus has shifted, and the practical parts of that focus has begun. Really, it's a big step.
The point - there is ALWAYS more to do. I am never going to *acheive* *sustainability* overnight - or even in a week. This is like losing weight. It is a LIFESTYLE choice. And, even then, there will be hundreds of ideas out here in blog land that I have never even considered. That doesn't make me stupid; it gives me an opportunity to LEARN.
I've made my choice and I know where I'd rather be - It's time to stop wallowing in all I *should* be doing and get out there and start *doing* it.
No kids this weekend - my *personal* goal is to create an area for my stockpile. Just an area. I have all the time in the world, and all the tools I require.
Will report back. But thank you, all of you - ultimately, your blogs are just SO amazingly inspiring; but sometimes, for a newbie, they can be rather overwhelming.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Today, I had a big *karma* moment. (Ok, so maybe it's not so much karma, but it was cosmic and weird, so that word works for me).
I have probably referred earlier to the fact that *I* (mostly) got us into a bit of debt. Not a *lot* of debt by any stretch; but enough to be annoying. Slowly I was chipping away at it; it seemed to be my constant reminder of just how much CRAP I actually bought. It annoyed me, ate away at me, had me sighing with frustration with myself.
Anyway. This morning, I did the online banking. And, (this is the karmic part) the exact amount my credit card was in debt for - appeared in my NORMAL account. From the government for my child care rebate. Which, I thought I'd already received in my $300 odd dollar tax refund.
The exact amount I owed on my credit card?? Is that not THE most bizarre thing you've ever heard??
So, all day today, I have been thinking. I have been given a *clean slate* of sorts. And it feels wonderful.
Life is not about what you have. It's about how you use and truly value what you have. A new rug could not even come close to the value that a head of broccoli in my vegie patch would have for me about now. A piece of jewellry wouldn't even come close to us having enough rain to declare the drought *over* - but still having the sensibilities to realise how stupid we all were with water. Those things seem far FAR more valuable to me now.
And I feel wonderful for it.
On another note, Phantom of the opera. *sigh*. Absolutely astounding. I walked in there kicking myself for spending so much money on something so frivolous - but walked out knowing I'd spend the same amount next time it was out. It was amazing. So, very VERY glad I went.
Not much going on in the vegie patch - my petunias and bulbs are starting to flower, so my garden is a lovely place to be at the minute. I wish my seeds would shoot - but we'll just wait and see what happens.
A very nice weekend lined up for me - G is taking the kids to his parents farm for a week (it's the school holidays here) so that I can work full time at work whilst my sister takes holidays. Usually I only work 2 days a week - but my sister needs time off too - and I have to admit, I quite like going back into the "life before kids" for a week. By Friday, I'll be dying to see them, but I am quite looking forward to it.
So the weekend for me involves a shopping tour (I know, I know, totally against my whole *living simply* philosophy; but hey, it was booked ages ago, I need a new kettle (BADLY - this one is leaking everywhere) and G's grandmother is in LOVE with newmans chocolates - which is one place we're going. So, for me this year, it will be a lovely day out with a few friends, a wine at lunch and a lovely evening at home pottering about. Then an entire DAY of being in the garden on a perfect 22 degree Sunday.
Bliss over here this weekend.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
After they went to bed, I tortured myself by watching an RSPCA show. I get such a big mix of emotions that sometimes, I'm sure it's not conductive for me to watch it.
But how can people just abandon animals like that?? I have all sorts of words for them, but I'd rather not colour anyones vocabulary too much.
Straight after RSPCA there is some other show about people in hospital. I am very *meh* about people - I figure that, on a grand scale, we bought it all on ourselves. We know that we had a car accident/fell etc. These poor poor animals have absolutely NO idea why they are being left/what is happening at the vet etc...
G finds it ironic that I will be sitting down, either sobbing or cursing (depending on the story of course) - yet, as soon as this human show comes on, I just get up and continue on.
I know I should be more sympathetic - and on an individual level, I am. I am the first to a friends place with something cooked/done should they have had an injury - but as a collective whole; I sometimes feel that us humans deserve exactly what we get.
This poor little kelpie was abandoned last night. That completely throws me by itself. HOW can you pack up your life and leave your pet behind without a second thought?? And THEN come back, because, of course, it's all too hard to DO something about your lack of wanting an animal - so we'll just let him go??
The RSPCA do a wonderful job. Hugh worth can be a little eccentric at times I'll admit, but he's about the only person that has any sort of authority in the world that actually gives a crap about these animals we trap and keep as pets - and a lot of the time, they're not even treated like that.
Now you all know my other passion. Animals. All animals (with the exception of huntsman spiders; I have this horrible phobia of them and have called my neighbours at 1am in the morning to rid my bedroom of it when G was away...) mean more to me than many humans.
Remind me one day to tell you the story about me, 28 weeks pregnant, chasing a guy up the road with a BABY GOAT in a wheely bin threatening to shoot me.... You'll never believe it.
Have a lovely day everyone - I'm off to Phantom of the opera tonight. I know I'll like it and I bought the tickets in March - but these days I feel it's just a WASTE of time - given how much inspiration I have since found that has been sitting around me my entire life. But, it'll be a nice catch up with friends anyway.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
|You Are Sunrise|
You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.
Today was just a pottering around the garden day doing not much of anything. Feeding things mostly, because we were due a decent rainfall this evening. So, out came the blood and bone, and sure enough; down came the rain.
I just wish my carrots and my snow peas would hurry up and shoot already - I know it's only been a week, but I haven't planted anything from seed before, and would be very pleased if it did kick off!!
Everything worked today. Although the terror is coming down with something - whether it be tonsilitis again or just teeth remains to be seen; but he is one of those "oh, the world is ending, I don't feeeeel well" kinda kids - just like his father. So it's kinda hard to differentiate between the world ending and a slight hiccup.
Have organised with my neighbour to go to the gardening Australia Expo down at Caufield on Saturday 6th October http://www.abcgardeningexpo.com.au/melbourne07.php
It will be a feast of learning about sustainable living full stop. It's pretty handy having a horticulturalist as a friend, but there is always more to learn. Josh Burns will be there, as will Graeme; so it will be very interesting to see what they have to say. It will also be nice to go with people who are as passionate (or interested might be a better word!!) as I am. I'm sure G would rather eat glass. I await that day with much anticipation.
Still want to have things....it's just a bit of a "hey, but we dont' NEEEEDDD that" mental correction. And it works. So far.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I am slowly but surely changing my thought processes about things which is good. What is also good is that, living simply, saves money. Money that can be spent on life experiences. Such as travelling around Australia, going overseas with the kids - all sorts of things. But not *things* per se - experiences.
It's funny how, all of a sudden, the focus just shifts. It's not about things; it's about life. Sucking what you can out of it and putting back into the earth as much as you can. I feel much better as a person, and I feel less guilty about the way our society as a whole, is headed. I mean, I realise there is so much more that I can do, don't get me wrong. But, if I focus too hard on all the other things I should be doing, I'm scared I'll lose focus on the things I am doing.
Our pay TV went today. Not because we couldn't afford it, but, because, on principle, it is not something we need, nor is it something that enriches our life. I'd much prefer afternoons like this one - where G, Mr 'Tude and the terror were playing ball together whilst I attempted to rescue my Camellia. I will have to post a photo of it somewhere, but it certainly does appear to be dying a slow death. But that's a whole other topic.
This afternoon cost us nothing. We spent time together as a family and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Definately beats veging out in front of the TV.
That is what my focus is about. Enriching our life without harming (or, at the very least, as little as we can) the environment. I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be - but surely every little bit does help. And it's awesome to see my nearly 5 year old wanting to help me in the vegie patch and helping me bucket bathwater out onto the garden. It means far more to me than any monetary gain.
On a daily note, I did the grocery shopping WAY under my goal this week. Again, thinking simply saved money. I'm almost positive that it will work in all my day to day areas; because I'm thinking about lights on, water, gas, telephone...all the things that do cost money and do cost the environment.
I just feel so proud. Dumb I know, but I'm making a difference and, given where I've come from, I'm very proud.
Monday, September 10, 2007
All sound good don't they? But when they are in excess, they screw ones financial status. And leave your home full of stuff that you are desperate to just have GONE.
Today was a nice day. Me and the terror went swimming, and then off to get Mr 'Tude some new shoes. After searching through savers (my GOD that place was busy!!), Payless, Kmart and Target - can you believe that I found the cheapest pair at Target??? Bizarre, but it goes to show that it does pay to shop around.
Went to a girlfriends house for lunch - she is a lovely lovely girl, but she is still (as I like to call them)a *stuff hoarder*. We are going on a shopping tour together in a couple of weeks and already she's got the lists out and who wants what etc etc.
For the first time ever; I aim to get two things. A kettle and some chocolates for G's grandmother who adores this particular brand of chocolate. We'll see how it goes.
I also got some seeds today and planted some snow peas and some baby carrots. I've just about put the support up for the snow peas; I will finish that on Wednesday. Hopefully the garden will really kick off this year....
I went out for lunch yesterday with some adorable friends that I really don't see even CLOSE to enough of. As we were slovenly sprawled in the sunshine on the banks of the yarra, I wondered how it was possible for 5 such different people to click so darn well. We are all from such different walks of life, and it's truly a blessing to call these people my friends.
I am a shocker of a friend. I am the one who says she will call but never does, the friend that has the very best intentions, but not so much on the follow through. I have been horribly guilty in the past of losing friendships out of, basically, laziness. Another one of my goals is to rectify that.
Not much else to add today - am very tired, so might head off to bed with a gardening mag!!
Friday, September 7, 2007
I find it completely and ridiculously bizarre that I even considered spending $50 on a freaking step. Even more bizarre because I found an old milk crate at work and a bit of chipboard that will cover it perfectly. For nothing. And it was recycled. Bob the builder would think I'm wonderful.
Why don't we all do that? I mean, I'm more than realistic in the sense that (well me ATM anyway!!) we need to buy some things. But we most certainly do NOT need to buy all - especially not when perfectly good materials are sitting around at work doing nothing. (For those that care, I work for my father, and I did ask if I could take them...).
Tonight is a very quiet night - I'm buggered for some reason and tomorrow is shaping up to be another busy day. I want to get out into the backyard and give that some TLC and I want G to dig me a hole for this crepe murtle to go into. I'd dig it myself, but it's riggghhhttt near the water thing and I have this knack for digging and hitting things I shouldn't. So, I shall happily play little wifey on that one.
I have this urge to get a worm farm started. It's like I simply MUST get a worm farm and I simply MUST start reducing our waste. I mean, we're doing ok already, as our council is pretty good in that respect. We've been recycling food waste through our council for a good 2-3 years now, and so far so good. But, now I am a little more edumacated in the ways of both gardening and sustainability - why should I not use it myself??
Not much else to add - work was busy today which is great. On a better note - Mr 'Tude has FINALLY started wanting to use his fine motor skills.
Mr 'Tude has this thing going on, whereby, if he hasn't tried something before, it's simply *I caannn't* and he walks away. *I can't* refers to anything; whether it be undoing the velcro of his shoes, putting his jocks on, or even doing up his seatbelt. It is now time, now that he is interested in doing it all by himself, I simply must take advantage of it. So, he's been dressing himself and putting his shoes on and doing them up etc etc - and today, when I picked him up at kinder, I got the BEST suprise!!
Mr 'Tude drew a face. It even looked like a face. Talk about a proud mummy moment.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
It's made out of offcuts of some metal stuff called Unistrut, an old BBQ that still worked, but the frame was broken, and bits of stainless steel lying around at work. There is another section that is still in the trailer - that is our pantry. The pink tub is our sink - that drawer pulls out and the tub is (obviously) removable.
Tomorrow is an entire day at home with the tinlids (except for food shopping early on) - and it's meant to be 18 degrees. Bliss!!
Sunday, September 2, 2007
This weekend was spent doing just that. Pottering. The kids love being outside - if I have my way, they'll not know what a Nintendo is until they are at LEAST 15.... but they love just being when they're outside.
We did the fathers day thing this morning - I went rather *simple* as is my mantra - I did some photos of the kids into some frames and got them both to do some painting. Next to their photo is their painting. Both G and their poppy loved them. The kids got poppy some chocolate, and G some boxer shorts, plus what they made at kinder / daycare.
I found this excellent plane at Flemington market the other day (I will take a photo at one point to show you) - made entirely out of cans. It's a bit of a novelty present, but I figure it fitted in well in my new *simple* way of thinking - and it gave G a smile.
He had a great day with the kids. It's finally now; through the fog of sick children and babies (which, whilst I love my own, I get SO much more out of toddlers!!!) that I realise how lucky I am. I have a husband who thinks the world of us, who would do anything for any of us, two boys who are healthy and happy - and a lovely little garden for pottering around in.
What more could a gal want??
I spent this afternoon in the sunshine with Mr 'Tude turning over my front yard mulch etc, whilst my husband watched his beloved Roos and the terror had a nap. It was a lovely afternoon and it's a nice feeling to know that I'm giving my son an interest in his surroundings. Hopefully the turning over and the left over bathwater will help brighten one of my azaleas up a tad. It's friend is about 1 foot away from it and is BOOMING - yet this one just looks not well. I fed him and pruned him (no hope of flowers this time) and gave him most of the bath water. Hopefully there'll be a change for the better in the next couple of days.
Mr 'Tude is very taken with my vegie patch. Every day we simply must go and visit and check to see whether anything has grown. Obviously, a day is a long time in the eyes of a 5 year old - but in the eyes of a 30 year old, it does tend to get a bit.... ambitious to think that A. they'll even GROW and B. will grow in a few days.
I've been trying to "think simply" this week. Just lots of little things are coming to me in all areas of my life. Instead of buying new, I'm starting to look at recycled. Given I come from a family of recycling gits who wondered why on earth one would play around with their rubbish and go to all that trouble of sorting... - I think I'm doing pretty well. We've been thinking about camping bunks for the kids and instead of just going out and getting them - I have/will get some off Ebay for the grand price of $30. So, I save money - AND I'm reusing something someone else no longer wants.
I'm in a big debate mode at the moment. The kids get their photos at daycare this week - but they are not there a day together. Their photo together is very important to me - it's about the only photo I can ever get of the two of them looking 3/4 happy. So, obviously, I would like it to happen. The way in which this could happen is to put the terror into daycare tomorrow if there is a spot. Sounds good - but OH the guilt!!
Otherwise, it'll be a HELL of a workout with the digital camera.