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Friday, March 28, 2008

A Reminder?

Please don't forget this? Tomorrow night, 8p.m. your time! And while you're at it?

Would you light a candle in honor of a friend's son? Lee left this plane a year ago tomorrow. Please honor his memory this way?

(you'll probably be lighting a candle anyway, right?)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Interesting to Say The Least!

What Sallee Means

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.
You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.
You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.
You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.
You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Freedom from the Extraneous!

While catching up with pal, Pam, today (and last night at Knit Night, the Barnes & Noble edition) I discovered a new holiday that is so in keeping with my plans and thinking these days....Discardia!

Now you don't really have to do anything to celebrate this holiday, but I love the idea that you can release old ways of thinking and behaving as well as freeing up "stuff" to go to another "home..."

This focusses my plans for 2008 really well. Pam has been inspiring me to do something I desperately need to do, decluttering my environment, as well...

So - I'm jumping in on Discardia right now! SIL is hoping to have a yard sale in April - it's been an entire two years since our last one, so I've got to get busy here!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Certainly IS My Preference!

Melanie you do find the most fascinating quizzes...and the answer to this one? PERFECT!

You Are Cinnamon Flavored Gum

You are daring, active, and a little outrageous.

You crave adventure and novelty. You like to mix things up.

Your personality is extra spicy and larger than life.

You love to have fun, and you are passionate about everything you do.

You're definitely a fiery person, and you don't back down from a fight.

Most people love your fire - but you can be a bit too intense at times!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Earth Hour

See that new banner up there----^

Hmm...turning off the lights on March 29, 2008 for one hour - from 8-9 EST. What could we achieve with that kind of reduction in power consumption?

I'm game, are you?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Story of Stuff...

If you're not familiar with this, take a few minutes (there are 7 parts, and you can see each of them in order by going to the first one here...

What a great piece of work this is! A clearly understandable explanation of how our economy works (or doesn't work, actually). I'm on my way to The Story of Stuff for more...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Just Call Me "Contrary..."

What's going on here? Suddenly it's popular to be frugal, to grow your own food, to make your own clothes, to *gasp* conserve!

I remember "back to the land" the first time around in the '70s (and I don't think that really was the first time). I remember the Green Revolution (the first time). I also remember gas lines and the Oil Embargo, other recessions, and How To Prosper During the Coming Bad Years (he's written some new ones, including one published this year, but I'm kinda betting it's the same old "we're-in-crisis-buy-gold-it's-the-only-REAL-money" mentality, just repackaged, what do you think? Oh. I think I'll keep my money in my pocket and not send it to him to find out!).

And I realize, yes, I do, that the 20-and-30-somethings can't begin to have my frame of reference at all. After all, having lived more than 1/2 a century really should have some kind of benefit to it - getting older surely isn't a piece of cake!

But since I'm bringing up Howard Ruff, and the doom-mongers, I'll try to remind folks of some basic economic theory - what goes up is probably gonna come down, and while it's not a lot of fun to ride that particular curve of the rollercoaster, you know what? It'll come back. The general trend is upward. With smaller steps backward over time. In short, we are so much better off than previous generations.

What I find truly fascinating is the propensity of the human animal to resort to knee-jerk behaviors when things start to spiral downwards: stop spending, start making everything yourself, grow your own food, do your own work so you don't have to pay others, head for the hills and build a fortress, stock your doomsday pantry, and my personal favorite, begin to "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Especially tell everyone how you're going to do it and isn't it the coolest thing ever? "Less is MORE!"

What has me shaking my head is this: Why now? Why not two years ago? Why not ten years ago? (Oh and I guess we really did, some of us, do it 9 years ago with the turn of the century!) Why not use the voluntary simplicity principles, the green living methods, the make-do philosophy even when times are good?

(Well, okay, I know the answer to that - it's not a lot of fun, it's not the American Way. Shopping and spending is soooooooooo much more joyful!)

Or is it?

I have a blast buying second-hand - and most of my furniture is. A lot of folks think you have only two alternatives: keep what you have or buy new (and green).

You have a third choice: take over someone else's items they no longer want - sometimes they even turn out to be antiques and they don't know it (you have to educate yourself if you want to do that well, of course). Over the past 20 years, I've feathered my nest with other people's cast-offs...most of which are either collectibles or antiques. You can't get a lot greener than that (because when you do this, you keep things out of landfills).

I have a friend who finds wool sweaters at garage sales and frogs them for the yarn.

Everyone can learn gardening with a few pots of herbs - you might enjoy it so much you start a garden of vegetables. Then perhaps even plant a fruit tree.

When things like that start perking away in your head, you stop tossing stuff. I'll admit that I'll never be accused of being a "minimalist" - I keep things that might come in handy (not quite as much as my parents did, but still...)

I guess my point is this: Just because we're in tight economic times, there's no reason to panic. We'll come out of it. We always do - even The Great Depression! And if you truly believe in the principles of "less is more" then practice it all the time. Not just when things get tight.

There really is something, too, to the idea that consumer confidence can push us into a recession - that doesn't mean I think we should all run out and charge up the credit cards - in fact just the opposite: get the debt down as fast as you can, just on general principle. But fear is a nasty thing, don't let it eat you up. If you need something - or really want it - and you can afford it, won't break the bank to buy it, then do. But try to do sensible, sustainable purchases: buy locally, or from small independent producers, buy things that for the most part have a long life - except for electronics, I guess! - and buy with cash not a credit card.

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without? Do that every day. All your life.

You'll have a lot more in the long run.

Monday, March 03, 2008

I'm Not Surprised!

Thanks, Melanie as I was pretty sure this was true, but it's cool nonetheless to prove it!
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?