Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Slippery Slope or Slip?

The jury is still out - not sure if my extravagant expenditures are rooted in feeling less than or healthy enhancement of the self.

I do know I spent a lot of dough in less than 24 hours in SF. Box of hair color $16, chemical free make-up (I know, hypocritical, chemicals in hair dye - just not the really bad ones as the dime store hair dye) - this one hurts to admit: close to $70 (includes $6.50 for peppermint oil to make my own toothpaste) - one bright spot 20% coupon off everything (or not - if I did not have the coupon I would have probably spent ZERO. AND clothes at great consignment store - 3 items total a touch over $200. Haircut $70. (not finished yet) tea, coffee & one meal out, give or take $30.

The good news is a spending spree such as this is only once a year - and if I cost average, not too bad. Could I have made due with what I have? Certainly. Is it worth replaying the "should I take back such and such" or should I just move on. Certainly get over it, enjoy what I got and close the chapter.

Simplicity: the mind sometimes throws "good" ideas into the mix and gets me off track = slippery slope.

Frugality: no - spending money is never frugal, in my book - esp. if it's on sale.

Design: I can go for the self-design aspect - why not look as good as I can? Who sees me more than I do (right now) and not crazy about an unzippy reflection.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Maybe, Maybe Not

On a quick trip to San Francisco, less than 24 hours. So good to change out of dirty work jeans and into clean jeans. Maybe three weeks at the cabin was a bit of a stretch.

Maybe I can handle this trip and not over-react, say, if someone honks at me because I have one foot in the pedestrian crosswalk when the light changes. I kept my composure when someone tapped me on my shoulder & said I was holding the line up at Rainbow Grocery (of course I was NOT holding the line up).

I am enjoying a cup of tea and people watching - it helps to have gorgeous sunny weather. As my current obsession is to color or not color the grey, noticing how many grey-haired woman seem to be walking around.

I have always wondered why, whoever created these crazy humans, it (non-gender) would allow the color to seep out of the body. Why would it want everyone to have white or grey hair. I kind of get the idea of not being so concerned with outward appearances and the idea is to be more concerned with what goes on inside - but what about aesthetics?

I feel there is some sort of unspoken solidarity with other women who do not color their hair. Hmm - kind of throws a monkey wrench in my plans -which could be a good thing. TO BE CONTINUED.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

God Created Hair Color

So I do not have to look like an aging hippie. No offense to those living close to one's ideals and living off the land souls - more power to you. Try as I might, I cannot completely embrace the philosophy. Maybe I have lived too long in the city. Maybe that is a good thing. Maybe it's neither good nor bad, just the way it is . . .

I blame my desire to color my hair on Lyndia. Maybe I could blame it on eating whole foods (rice, beans, vegetables, fruit - all simply prepared) for months.

After a day of working outside during intermittent rain storms, cleaning huge sections of tan oak, broom, poison oak, and other forest "weeds" revealing views of the river previously hidden, I was wet, tired, sore and no energy to cook. Lyndia offered to bring dinner - there is nothing quite like someone else cooking for you, in my book. My supper was freshly caught sole, coated in cornmeal and lightly fried, steamed new potatoes, garden fresh carrots and kale, and a memory I will take to to my death bed: freshly baked buttermilk biscuits and butter - with just the right amount of tang & fluff - and when I say they melted in my mouth, I mean they melted in my mouth.

I know good food when I taste it and this meal surpassed anything I have eaten in an expensive restaurant. I have a hunch most of the food Lyndia prepares is this darn delicious. Even after years of cooking for her family, she still loves the act of cooking - what a virtue - must say I could taste the love in the food. I wonder if she would adopt me.

To send me over the top is another friend who loves food is here for a visit. She offered to bring the food and to cook - does it get any better? For the past few days I have been heartily eating on more great food from soups to salads to meat loaf to smoked fish to roasted chicken. Maybe she would adopt me.

So what does this have to do with hair coloring? As I have gone for months without some of the added luxuries in life - though I have been luxuriating in having my own time - I have a greater appreciation for the items which bring so much joy: I heart food!

I certainly do not need to color my hair, I want to color my hair - something about the appreciation for what can be enhanced - if it can be, and it's not an outrageous proposition, why not?

And I do not want to look like an aging hippie in Paris.

Simplicity: Can foster an appreciation for some things in Life.

Frugality: Does not necessarily mean penny pinching - sometimes okay to choose a luxury item.

Design: My self design side says it is time to spruce it up - enough already of the dirt hippie look.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why I Love the Internet

For almost a week I have been off on a tangent - due to a comment left on a post (insert link later - when I have access to wireless, not the time or patience right now - but for right now: Thank you Beany!). A reference to Your Money or Your Life, Transforming Our Relationship with Money got me thinking You know Jane, you never actually completed all Nine Steps. Hmm, the obvious question Why Not? I had been obsessed with finding the means to take a year off and not working for the man. The bottom line: I am not financially independent yet. What still needs to be researched and developed is passive income to cover all living expenses.

The work to be done is getting this property ready to put on the market. I have been working like a madman this past week clearing, cleaning and revealing the inherent beauty of this property.

My year off is more like putting all effort into Jane, Inc. and my future financial health.

I love the Internet because I am constantly reminded of my goals. And pick up new ways of thinking about things when I read my favorite bloggers.

More along these lines to follow.

Simplicity: Again, a lot of time and effort required to simplify one's life.

Frugality: Though my living expenses are well under one thousand a month, am still investing in the property to prepare to put up for sale.

Design: All my efforts are being put into designing the kind of life that encompasses the ideas of Simplicity, Frugality and Design.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday and Internet and Mental Health

I was not successful in limiting myself to 30 minutes on Monday night - over an hour. Last night it was worse - a drunken St. Patrick's day Internet frenzy (out of control on searching, not alcohol). I would say my time on was over three hours - sure, I found great stuff - but how did I feel afterwards? A hangover from losing myself in all the minutes here, seconds there, a word here, phrase there (I doubt if I even read a complete sentence). The longer on the computer I am, the more my focus gets fuzzier & fuzzier. I feel worse & worse.

What to do about it? Do a posting, if I cannot load picture, oh well - this dial-up thing tests my patience & last night I flunked. Gave up on posting as I could not load picture of my favorite piece of furniture - a brown leather sofa. I had been inspired by one of Beany's posts (The Middle Way) about her evolving sense of her style. Beany touched on some of the things I have contemplated - good old stuff. Later. When I have photos to back up.

Okay, the plan: back to 60 minutes tops on Internet (including email). Internet Diet. Gain time & focus back.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Must say, not the soundest sleep last night - rain hitting the tin overhang, maybe hearing leak inside, maybe hearing bat. And I had stayed up too late stuck on blogs - so many great ones - for example, heard the term Weekend Luddite which I could take on - or better yet, maybe Every Other Day Luddite. But at the end of the day, has my life been enhanced by the hours spent on internet? The answer: No Answer yet.

As I turned on computer this evening, I also turned on timer: 30 minutes.

Will read a book tonight, have the fire going with a mushroom (local), carrot, ginger, rice & tofu soup simmering on top - don't always eat so hippie.

And go to bed early & try, once again to live by Benjamin Franklin's words: Early to Bed, Early to Rise, Makes a Man Healthy, Wealthy & Wise.

Simplicity: This post

Frugality: This meal & double duty on the fireplace.

Design: Lifestyle

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I Admit I Screamed

Wow - not when I see the picture of the cabin with all the junk around the deck on the header photo of blog - sure hope soon I will be able to replace photo with a deck and only one bench.

No, I screamed when a huge bat was flying in the bedroom, not close to the ceiling, away from me, but low in the room, at my head level. Just where he could get tangled in my hair.

We had just turned out the lights, maybe I had even drifted far enough from consciousness when the BF asks me if I heard a noise - what kind of noise? He knew it could be the sound of only one thing: A Bat.

On went the lights and under the covers I went - momentarily - until I could get out of the room. He came up with a plan: put gloves on, get an old sheet & try to get the bat caught up enough so he could get a hold of it & free him (must of been a him) outside. I thought I could be in room when he began the entrapment adventure. But when the bat was flying so close to me I involuntarily screamed, maybe more than once. I was gratefully asked to leave the room. I was no help. The bat's wing span I swear was a foot - at least.

The BF was successful - thank you! - but now he has gone back to the Big City for a couple of weeks and I am on my own. I hope on my own.

One more thing to add to my fear list.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Time To Grow Up (At My Age!!!)

I have been back to the cabin in the woods for a few days. Wow - if it were not for visiting with friends in San Francisco I would have high-tailed it back here after one day of city living. There is a certain edge to being in the city which has its place & I hope some day I can swing both ways without major meltdowns.

Back to the clutter/stuff thing: Picked up a quick read from the library - outlining the differences between a person living with clutter and a hoarder. I do not think I am either one but I can live with boxes and piles of paper around & not get bent out of shape - let alone dishes in the dish rack for days on end.

My new challenge (or revisiting a habit I have tried unsuccessfully in the past to pick up) - wash dishes, dry & put away. Put whatever back where it came from - esp. as most things now have a place.

This whole clutter thing is fascinating to me - whatever barriers get in the way to my freedom I want to face. Kind of the outward clutter being a manifestation off unclear, unfocused thinking.

Maybe I am the only one who did not learn housekeeping at an appropriate age - but time to grow up and get with the program!

Simplicity: Beginning to get idea how much self-discipline involved with this undertaking.

Frugality: Discipline leads to awareness and more conscious decisions = saving $. Will get back to you on this one - not quite there yet.

Design: Who does not like a clean living space?

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Place I Sold In San Francisco The Week Before The Crash

When I got further into looking at my numbers & realized I was working half the month to pay for the "privilege" of owning a place in the city I knew: Not Worth The Exchange of My Life Energy. And, believe it or not, my place was too big for me at approximately 850 sq. ft. I also had the feeling that time was of the essence and I needed to get my place listed ASAP. Little did I know how hard the beginning of the crash would be - the good news is the buyer cashed out stock and paid cash - we both won big time on the timing.

This is my last day in San Francisco for who knows how long - am taking advantage of high-speed internet & ability to post photos - hence this San Francisco Story.

Am so looking forward to being back at my cabin in the woods - great to see friends BUT I had no idea how the serenity of the woods had been working its way into me AND first layers of stress falling off. The catch: would not have realized unless I had my visit to the city. The way things work!

Simplicity: This is the place where the ideas came together of how I wanted to live my life and started the long process of simplifying.

Frugality: I began to see the possibility of riches without being "rich."

Design: This is an example of my design sensibility - started out with more muted colors & then said forget it this is my place & I happen to love orange.