Monday, April 25, 2011

Another Meatless Monday!

This weekend was the Earth Day celebration in Grandin Village, where I take yoga classes and visit the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op for neat ready-made dishes at the Happy Belly Deli as well as pick up lovely organic fresh food. While at the Earth Day event, the Grandin Village Farmer's Market was also kicking off the season and I picked up a dozen free-range chicken eggs (he also had duck eggs). I knew that would mean I'd have to eat them fairly regularly till they were gone, so the Meatless Monday meal is an omelet (which frankly is a little crusty because the burner was higher than I usually use and I failed to note that when I was cooking it...still the crusties were also very very good:

The omelet has gruyere cheese in it. Then there's fresh asparagus and a wonderful salad called Alpha Omega from the Happy Belly Deli. It has cranberries in it. I also picked up a Nantucket Cranberry Crumble bar for dessert (ok, more than one dessert because it's pretty pricey calorie-wise!)

I also picked up the season's first fresh Swiss Chard. YUMMY!

I am so glad it's spring and the Farmer's Markets are back!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Earth Day! (Celebrated) & A Winner!

I spent today in Grandin Village - well, part of the day - got a parking ticket (and no, I didn't see a "No Parking" sign, if I had, I wouldn't have pushed my luck on such a day...) and then came back home and with a helpful assistant
drew a name for the contest winner!

Can you read that? (I know it's fuzzy, he was moving fast, trying to get the paper to play with, and knowing I was planning to get it away from him.)

The winner is Sandra! Both of you had great ideas, and by the way, this obviously tells me I don't have all that many folks reading this little blog...which is something I'd love to change...Any ideas???

Friday, April 22, 2011

Contest Continues Thru Friday at Midnight!

But oh, my, I'm so pleased to have learned of the Miss Minimalist blog! Thank you, friend Sandra! That link, btw, will take you to a specific entry, one that just felt so completely satisfying to read!

Don't forget to post a link to a blog to be included in my contest - it ends tonight!

Please note the link to the contest is no longer valid and has been removed.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Decluttering the Clutter Inside and Out...

Things have been a bit frenetic, and they're only going to get more so, as I finish one fiber festival and begin to prepare for two major shows in September, and when my life gets stressful, I hunker down into what I call "survival mode." It's not just keeping my nose to the grindstone, with blinders on, but that's part of it, I suppose. No, more likely it's a retreat to the practices that help me feel as if I've got a little control.

If, like me, the world is getting a bit out of hand (oh, wow, let's talk about earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear accidents, out-of-control oil prices, a third war, a group of politicians that can't seem to get together to do the right things regardless of how painful they are and how unlikely re-election might be, debt crises, oil and electricity sky-rocketing costs, ad nauseum) the one thing I know that keeps me sane and focused is making sure I have some things under control.

Things like:
1. Making smart choices about what I spend my money on: and here, I'm talking making choices that fit your priorities (for example, I do buy yarn and patterns for knitting, because that's the one thing I do that drops my blood pressure quickly and makes me feel calm, it also helps me have gifts that are personal and lovely at a reasonable price).
2. Cutting corners on the things you can: I dropped some very basic services on my cable bill and halved the monthly fee. I know there's another step down I can take and I'm about there in my decision-making process...more savings. I'm choosing to eat less and less meat, making my lunch every single day, and about to start using the bus for at least a couple of days each week to commute to work.
3. Spending my time in activities that improve my health (I'm currently training for a 5K - I'll walk it, but hey, that's exercise and it's cheap amusement, too, plus when I finish, I'll feel powerful and accomplished (not to mention, I hope to keep reducing my medical expenses by choosing to exercise!)
4. Splurging a bit to finally buy my ColorNook from B&N, but I am missing reading, and when I knit, it's hard to also hold a book. In fact, as I'm getting older, I'm finding that holding a book is just plain hard now - heavy. Lying in bed, holding a book is virtually impossible. Listening to books on CD is doable, and I've done it, but it's a little harder to focus depending on who is reading the book. The ColorNook, I hope, will help me reduce my library shelf-space. Fingers crossed, as the decluttering bug bites big every single spring, and I'd LOVE to make a dent in the poundage of books that get moved whenever I do.
5. Continuing to look for new websites that deal with Voluntary Simplicity and the idea of doing more with less. I'm hoping to find good sites that deal with the environment, vegetarianism, frugality (not in a negative way, please), the sorts of values I'm committed to.

I found this one last week and have been working my way thru the archives. But I'd love love love to find more...I've shared some others with you here over the past few months, but I've decided to have a little contest:

I'm giving away a book I found helpful in all this: Use Less Stuff by Lilienfeld and Rathje, it's from 1998, but is still valuable. And B&N indicates that it's out of print, tho' used copies are available. This is a very gently used copy. Here's all you have to do to win:

1. Leave a comment here with a website you've found helpful in the key areas of voluntary simplicity, vegetarian/vegan living/cooking, green living, frugality, environmentalism, fiscal responsibility. That will get you entered in the drawing once.
2. Post the contest on your blog encouraging others to come visit and share their ideas with me. Come back here and post a comment that you've done that with a link to your post. That will get you entered in the drawing a second time.
3. Post the link to the contest to Facebook, and come back here and tell me you did that, too. There's your third time entered into the contest.

I'll draw the winner on my local Earth Day (Saturday) morning - you have until midnight, Friday night (April 22) to enter. Oh, and please make sure when you leave me a comment that you make it possible for me to find you...(in other words, make sure Blogger has your email addy tied to your screen name, or leave a way to contact you if you can (I do have my email addy in the sidebar over there...) If I can't locate you, I'll be forced to draw another name!

(OH...and I promise to try to be here more often - but remember those shows upcoming? Well, I'll have my head down, and blinders on for the next 5 months...if I seem to have dropped out of sight, email, okay?)