Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 75 (Or: Traci Intelligently Rants)

Over here at One Thousand Days, occasionally we recognize that other people might have something important to contribute to the world, and that we aren't the only ones doing Things.  

Traci Adams, a high-school friend and Facebook buddy, and all around highly intelligent girl, can be found photographing lovely things, spending time with loved ones and perusing the natural world.  And when she's not doing one of those things, she's paying keen attention to social and cultural issues, ideas and yes, even memes.  Who doesn't love a good, relevant meme?

Anyhoo, I'm glad she let me re-post her recent status update, which is FAR more than a status update, as these things sometimes go.  Traci's "teaser" posts, get me thinking, which is a good thing.  Thank you, Traci Adams, for intelligently ranting your way into Day 75 of One Thousand Days!

Editor's note:  I've added links to some great resources for doing exactly what Traci suggests...

Today’s thoughts -

Complain, complain, that is what we do….

I am guilty of this too…. 

But the answers are simple (ok, relatively simple)…

Not enough money? Not enough time? Food becoming scary? Etc……..

1. Buy less crap = more money. We as a generation were programmed by advertising to think we “need” SO much, but… we don’t. NO ONE needs a new cell phone every year, that is just STUPID. No one needs a new wardrobe 4 times a year. No one needs SO much stuff.

2. Grow some food = more money and better health. I am not saying everyone has room for a huge garden and few people have the time and knowledge to survive on what they grow. But supplement your diet with whatever you can, and another benefit, gardening really does relax you and is rewarding.

3. Eat less meat (or none, your call) = more money. Alas the American love affair with meat has gone out of control. The cost to the animal’s health (ie: your health in the long run), the fuel consumption, the food to feed them…. Who wants to eat a zombie cow that is only alive because the medication they are giving keeps them alive?

4. Drive less (or not at all) = more money. I am SO guilty of this…. I LOVE my car….. all of the reasons for driving less are too obvious to state.

5. Turn off electric powered things like lights when you aren’t using them = more money. I really hate to sound like my parents, but if you aren’t in the room, turn off the light….. and don’t get me started on “decorative” lighting….. sigh….. (editor's note:  Check out one of my FAVORITE resources, YES! Magazine, and their article, written by Collin Beaven:  10 Ways To Change Your Life (Not Just Your Lightbulbs)

6. Lastly start trying to shop locally and from real people. Not just food, but everything. These giant corporations are OWNING us. Real people and small local businesses sustain local economies and provide more jobs in the end… The great CEO on high in a tower in NY cares not a lick for whether of not my neighbor has a job or loses their house…. It is also near to impossible to hold them accountable. But if the small corner store is selling you crap…. You stop shopping there and walk two blocks to the better business. THAT is how our system is SUPPOSED to work. We are supposed to have the power to punish bad business via their pocketbook.

These are just a few small things that we should all start to do more…. Or less…. You know what I mean. : )

Thank you for your time…. : )

75 down, 925 to go.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 74 (or: The Battle Of The To-Do List)

Damned to-do lists. I have a serious and I do mean SERIOUS love/hate relationship with to-do lists.

In fact, there's a constant running list of things, projects, musts, life imperatives and other little niggling thing-doodles begging for my attention. And if I ignore them, they eat me up. As much as I want for them not to. And they're my own little brain-worms, so I should be able to make them go away.



How, oh HOW do I make to-do's go away, without actually doing the 3 million things on the to-do lists?

Answer: I don't.

1. Do what I can.
2. Let the rest go.

So there.

Because I'm feeling sporty, I'd like to share my good friend Tom's to-do list. It's a master of a to-do list, and it's exactly the sort of thing that makes me drool a little. Both because I'm totally overwhelmed by it, and at the same time in love with it:

Thomas Edison's To-Do List, as perused by Brain Pickings (which is generally one of my favorite blogs EVER).

Frankly, given the slobber problem, I think John Lennon's to-do list is a bit more my speed ("#4 Marmalade." Oh yeah. That's the stuff - OH! And "HBO guy comes between 3-5" !!!).

John Lennon's Handwritten To-Do List, again, on Brain Pickings .

Day 74 of One Thousand Days I did what I could.

And since I hate them so much, I wonder if a CUTE to-do list would make life better?

Download this cutie over at Noisette Academy (someone has clearly embraced their to-do listing. Someone OTHER than me).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 73 (Or: Organize, Organize, Organize)

Ran across this very succinct article regarding organization, written by Amanda Enaya: Why Clutter Matters And De-cluttering Is Difficult.

The article does a fairly great job of pointing out many of the realities of organization and disorganization.

I'm particularly fond of numbers, and found this little tidbit to be a great numerical representation of the ills of disorganization:

"Clutter is expensive: It costs an average of $10 per square foot to store items in your house and almost 10% of American households rent storage units, spending more than $1,000 annually in rent. One quarter of people with two-car garages can't even get their cars in there because they are storing their junk instead. Twenty-three percent of us pay bills late and incur fees because we have lost the statements.

How's this for a reality check? The average American spends one year of his or her life looking for lost or misplaced items, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers. Get rid of the clutter and you will eliminate as much as 40% of the housework in an average home."

Organization is a very large part of my life. Always has been, always will be.

Not that everything has always been organized, rather, organization has ALWAYS affected me, influenced me, and been something that I focus on in all areas of life - one might call it an obsession, were one so inclined to put a label on

I remember, as a child, that my mothers pantry had open shelving. Now, this isn't unusual, many pantry's have open shelving. However, what I'm sure was unusual, was my 7 year old hatred of looking at mismatched cans, boxes, labels, housewares. Hatred. One of my first room-mate situations blew up in a million pieces on the first day, when the room-mate moved all of the pantry items onto an open shelf in the dining area. Instead of using the cabinets in the kitchen...AAAAaaaaagggggghhh! I moved out that night. Organization interruptus.

And then there's the work-space. I. Can. Not. Work. If. It's. Not. Square. Organize to look like this:

First, make things square. THEN work.

And my refrigerator magnets? Boy-child likes to tease me by ruffling them up. I, of course, notice immediately, and SQUARE THEM UP. Little maniac.

I have a friend who invites me over to her house in order to be amused as I square up her coffee table. It ALWAYS happens. Sometimes I don't even know I'm doing it.

All of this, and I can happily say that I'm now applying these a more direct way. I'm helping other people to learn how to be just as obsessive as I am! Or, at least, I'm applying my obsession to their spaces, to give them a newly launched organizational space. I organize, for folks and businesses, and I can probably attribute this little bit of newness to my Wild And Crazy One Thousand Days efforts (that is, the attempt to make better things happen in the world - for myself, for others...).

73 down, 927 to go.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 72 (or: The Lazy Cat's Lazy Lesson)

Everything I need to know I learned from the cat. Or from the 14 year old boy-child, but that's another posting altogether...

Lessons from a lazy cat:

1. Purr Make a joyful noise! Sing, hum, listen to someone singing or humming. Bask in good vibrations. That purr is a soothing technique. Of course, in nature it's designed to sooth a victim which will soon be in the cats belly, but as it applies to humans, it's a lovely concept, so PURR!

2. Drink the cream and eat all the boring food pellets as if they too were cream. That is to say, luxuriate in your life, in the treats and in the mundane as well.

3. Appreciate those who give to us. Practice gratitude. The hand that scratches our ears and furry bellies, the person who fills our bowl with cream (or pellets), the person who cleans up after us or just makes our lives bearable. They're gifts, and we should wrap ourselves around their ankles when they're trying to reach the bathroom in the middle of the night.

4. But not too much... Lest we forget that much of what we have in our lives, we've hunted for in the tall grass, and isn't handed to us in a platter, don't be afraid to self-congratulate, and luxuriate in our own tongue baths. What I mean to say: Neither depend too greatly on others nor give others the power over us. Be just a little bit aloof.

5. Nap No explanation needed here. Rest is good. Napping is good. That's why they call them Cat Naps.

6. Find the sun spot. This relates back to that cream thing, above. Find, in each day, the place where it's pure enjoyment, warmth and relaxation.

7. Find the soft spot. There's almost never a reason (unless it's medical) for discomfort. Fix it if it ain't comfortable. Find the pile of fresh laundry, the freshly made bed, the towel dropped by the 14 year old boy. Find that place and stay there for as long as possible. Or at least until the vacuum starts and you feel an overwhelming urge to climb the nearest tree and cower in its branches.

Lazy Cat Practicing Life Lessons

72 down, 928 to go.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


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Day 71 (Or: More About The Hood!)

Day 71, Continued!

Just in case you haven't already seen the ream of pictures and information from the Boy-Child's and my house building adventure, you can check out the loveliness here!


Day 71 (Or: Throw Another Party!)

I've said it before, some Days are just a no-brainer.

Boy-child and I live in a charming CHARMING neighborhood. Our neighborhood is the old-fashioned kind, where neighbors share sugar, and recipes, and chat over the fences. Where kids (35 of them on two blocks connected by two public trails!) play capture the flag, hide out in the community tree fort, create block-long hopscotches and bike/skate/scooter in circles for hours. Parents yell for kids at dusk, and living rooms are frequently filled with 7 or 8 children for game nights.

14+ households abide along a two block stretch, and, perhaps because many of us partnered to build our houses with Habitat for Humanity, or perhaps because we're fun-loving, family-minded individuals, we've grown into a community which cares for itself. Blessed, we are.

Day 71 of One Thousand Days, we hosted the 2nd neighborhood Block Party BBQ of the season, and it was delightful! There were kids, party lights, seafood skewers, chocolate-mint-raspberry cake, and lime-ade, and LAUGHTER! We decided to petition the City for speed bumps and "Slow - Children at Play" signs, and have plans for creating a neighborhood food garden. Yay team!

If you've never done this before, I highly recommend it. After all, if we can't rely on our neighbors when the zombie apocalypse hits, we're pretty much screwed.

71 down, 929 to go.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 70 (Or: I'm a WHAT?)

Of all the things that I DON'T want to be known for...

I've been given the label "Yard Sale Lady."

Because I've held or participated in a ridiculous amount of yard sales in the last month and a half. I've lost count of how many. 4? 5? Ridiculous.

True, the house is emptier, and the storage has room And yes, I'm a great sales-lady. And, alright, I agree with you, I'm a hoot to hang out with, hawking wares.

But YARD SALE LADY? Argh. Quick! Somebody pay attention to all of the other things I do. No - not "Crazy Cat Lady." NO! Not "Weedy Yard Lady." NO no no no no. NOT "YARD SALE LADY!"

Okay. One more yard sale. Next month. For a client. And that's it!

From now on, I'd like to be known at "Art Lady," or "Design Lady" or maybe "Organize Lady" or even "Monkey Lady."

Thank you.

70 down, 930 to go.
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