The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


Living #4

Miscellaneous Stuff.

When I was really deep into keeping us on track and didn’t need distractions from the world of products around me here are a few things I did.

Magazines. All those so cute Pottery Barn, Eddie Bauer and Crate and barrel catalogs along with any other clothing magazines went straight into the trash. I just didn’t want the longing to have any of that stuff. I don’t subscribe to any magazines other than ‘Organic Gardening’ and ‘This Old House’ for the same reason. I can keep my life simple without all those way too cute distractions. But, I am human and American and weak so I do have my moments of drooling over the Crate and Barrel catalog…love their kitchen wares.

Grocery Store. Of course it’s best to have a list and a plan, but I can only seem to do that a few times a year. I stick to the outside edges. All the packaged quick foods are in the center, avoid them at all cost. Name brands are the enemy to me. I don’t see the sense in paying more for cleaning products, or food that the off brand does just as well or better. I’m sure I have some exceptions to this like; Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter (I avoid the sugary stuff, which is vital to me now) and low sugar jelly only made by Smuckers.

Here’s a list of items that we have given up at different times to save money.

Soda- I make lemonade out of lemon juice, water and powdered sugar. So much cheaper than buying the mix and no artificial flavors or colors, it’s really good….but I won’t ever be drinking that again… sniff sniff.

Paper Napkins– You can make a truck load of cloth napkins for the same amount that you would spend on a few large packages of napkins, they can be used (by the same person) for the entire day or days if you’re not a slob. Yes, it adds to the laundry, but no too bad. No, I don’t use cloth napkins anymore except when we run out of the paper, but maybe I should give this a go again.

Paper Towels– I still don’t buy these on a regular basis. My rags consist of Clay’s old athletic socks cut open and they work so well, cost nothing and again add to my laundry.

Toilet Paper– No, just kidding.

Cereal- I go through long phases of not buying cereal and then cave to the convenience. But, now since I can’t really eat the stuff, I think we’ll go back to oatmeal and other cooked breakfast meals. We save a lot of milk waste this way too.

New Clothes– My freshman year of college I challenged myself not to buy any new clothing. I made it to my birthday April 8th (why that’s comin’ up real soon now isn’t it?) and I treated myself to some green pants, a t-shirt and cool jacket from the Gap and then went out dancin’ with my best dance partner ever…Claystor! I think I’m going to try this again starting in the fall, cuz I don’t have but one pair of shorts that fit me and hopefully they will be too big given the forced “lifestyle”.

Time to make a change.

I finally went back to the doctor to talk about my blood results. I am nearly diabetic. As the doctor was explaining glycemic values and insulin and cells with doors with keys that are a little bent I just kept thinking, is she talking to me?
Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh is what I kept saying still looking for the person she was directing the lecture towards.

This may explain why I always felt wretched after those glucose tolerance tests while I was pregnant and why I always failed the one hour test. It explains a lot about why I feel drugged after eating like crap.

So what does nearly diabetic mean? Well, apparently my body is leaning towards becoming a type II diabetic if I keep living the way I currently live. If I start eating a strict diet and exercising then I might be able to put off the actual full blown type II diabetes forever or until I’m too old to care.

I eat a lot of good foods already but I add a lot of high sugar sweets to that diet. So no more refined sugars, no more Hot tamales chased by a bag of Reisens, no more cake, cookies, frosting or caramels. Basically my doctor said don’t eat anything unless it comes out of the ground, falls off a tree, walks or swims. Could I eat my children, they walk?

I can do this. It will be a bit of an adjustment especially since I’m making the kids join my plight until I’m really disciplined.

Maybe I’ll loose a bunch of weight and get in really good shape….har! har! har!

This makes my garden’s success much more critical. I put all the spinach and greens in the garden today and a few peas, although I can’t eat a lot of peas.

I’ll keep you all up to date on my new forced way of living. I think it’s good that I have to do this. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. I’m going to be the person at the party turning down the margarita and passing the piece of cake to the person next to me.

Mint Julep Anyone?

I have been dreading and looking forward to this day for about a month. My friend Deborah came over and we painted the heckle jo jeckel color out of my daughter’s room. Unbeknownst to me the color of her room used to be orange sherbet…gag reflex going pretty hard right now…I always thought it was light yellow, who knew?

Now her room is two shades of light green that makes me want to go have a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. It looks like a spring garden party. I need a soft white dress and hat with fresh flowers to wear while I eat my petit fours and sip my Earl Grey just to enter the room. Loverly, just loverly.

How do I find the time? What sacrifices were made? Great God in Heaven let me tell ya…

Ellen is so helpful and she happily set to making lunch for my children and two of Deborah’s children. She made mac & cheese, which is something she does often and quite well. What she usually doesn’t do is add the left over shells from the night before to the freshly cooked pot on the stove and then stick the metal pot into the microwave to heat it up a bit, ZAP! She came quietly into her room where I was busy making her world beautiful and said, “Mom, could you come here for a minute?”. No, she didn’t ruin the microwave, but I was a bit surprised at her fear of touching the pot that was shooting sparks just moments before.

Did I mention the cleaning ladies came yesterday and my house was ‘ting’ beautiful and shiny clean?

Today, the kitchen was Chex Mixed from the pantry to the family room. The baby wore four different shirts because he kept getting wet with I don’t know what, but one time he smelled strongly of some sort of citrus. And since the reheat of the mac & cheese wasn’t so successful there were bowls full of yellow glop as far as the eye could wince.

The bathroom is producing rolls of toilet paper. Yesterday there was one roll, today there are three and one which is shredded around the bathtub.

My daughter decided to turn the bathroom into her staging area for changing into her moments attire. There was the “play outside for 15 minutes” outfit, the “change into more appropriate attire to go to the mall” outfit, the “help Mom paint my room” outfit and the “I don’t really want to wear this so I’ll add it to the heaping mound of clothes already on the floor so my mom won’t wonder what to do with her free time” outfit.

Even though I spent Monday doing laundry, Isaac woke me up at 1 in the morning to tell me he couldn’t find any underwear. So, he went back bed with nothing but what God gave him. With no underwear to soften the blow during the day he changed his pants twice because apparently it’s uncomfortable parading around commando style. At one point he walked through the kitchen with no pants on telling all who would listen that he was still searching for underwear. Tonight as he got ready for bed in front of his family and Ryan Seacrest his striptease revealed…still no underwear.

I’ll get to those tomorrow, today was all about Mint Juleps dahling!