Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Off to a start...good? Definately a start...

Got rid of 4.8 Ft (cubed) today by spreading the last 3 (out of about 50) bales of pine straw we ordered over the summer. We fancied up out front garden beds, which had previously consisted of some nice shrubs we planted, lost among various weeds which we did not. We are sooo *that* house. We'd also thrown down a bunch in our side yard where grass won't grow. (But about 3 species of invasive vine, will...). The last three bales went under a cherry laurel tree in our back yard. I haven't had much time to do major soring and Goodwill-ing yet. There is a box slowly filling up, but so far the count is based on paper clutter.

Friday, January 15, 2010


A good friend, who is also an international development worker, has been most recently stationed in Haiti. She recommends the following organization for relief donations:

Partners in Health

She had remained in the States after the holidays, recuperating from a back injury.

As for the rest, I am speechless and feel horribly helpless. This morning I saw on Huffington Post that Americans have donated 8 million USD via cell phone donations. I am very, very proud.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

730 in 365 Clutter Challenge

Amy at 'Amy's Finer Things' is hosting, and I am jumping on board. (Annnd all these blog challenges will get me blogging again. Yayz.)

I'm tailoring it to my own specifications. I am a pretty spatially-motivated person. I guess having less stuff would make it easier to clean, but in full disclosure we don't really clean at all. I just last week accepted that we, as two otherwise competent adults, need a chore chart. But my biggest motivator is that I want to see empty space. It's why I love hotels so much. The rooms are just so...blank.

So, I am going with a spatial measurement for my challenge: 730 ft cubed in 365. I want to know how big of a space full of crap I'm eliminating.

And to fill this 730 ft (cubed) I'll pick through the following:

- Paper clutter is a big problem for us- me- so I'm counting 1) the basketfuls of paper we recycle 2) the bagfuls of paper we shred. I'm not counting other recycling because it's not a problem. The old beer bottles don't infilitrate all rooms of the house and find a way to be packed for every move. Also not counting basic household trash. I do have it in me to measure the cat litter, in the name of accuracy, so Imma go ahead and draw that line in the sand reeeaaall early.

- A few months ago we moved a bunch of my childhood stuff from Midwest State, doubling our junk rooms in the house. We have a spare bedroom (guest room) and an converted garage room (we'd like it to be a workout room) that are out of commission now becase they are full of mostly junk.

- We also have random items that are part of the renovations lying around. THose will count too, since once they are put in use they are still out of my breathing space.

Pantry Challenge

I'm going to participate, in my own half-ass way, in the Pantry Challenge that MoneySavingMom and FishMama are hosting. My rule is that at least once a week, we'll use up some food item that has been lurking around. Such as:

- a few nights ago I made Veggie Sloppy Joes with some TVP we've been keeping in the cupboard. I can't remember when we bought it, so I'm sure it's time to be used up.
- I also made this recipe from Smitten Kitchen that used up a bag of dried red beans and some Jasmine rice. Both also with an unknown month of purchase.

Other items I want to make use of:
- a jar of mung beans that we bought for sprouting. We always lose steam and forget to rinse the sprouts, and they rot. if we stay on top of it, it's a good wintertime food source.
- lots of rice (brown and jasmine) and canned beans.
- quinoa. It's been around awhile. I might need more than 10 fingers to count how long.
- cranberries- 2 bags. I wanted to try my hand at canning this summer, but couldn't seem to act on it while the Farmer's Market was going. Act II= cranberry sauce!
- about 8 bags of rice flour. Bought on close-out back when I thought I had a gluten problem.
- 3 half-full cans of powdered cocoa. They disappear and we keep buying more.
- 1.5 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- 4-5 boxes of Red Mill cous-cous with flax seed. Bought on closeout.
- 2-3 cans of pumpkin.
- Several lbs of chicken in various forms in the fridge.

This isn't everything in the pantry, but it's all the stuff I'm tired of looking at.