Recently a friend went to view “her”, the new Spike Jonze flick about a man who falls in love with his OS (that would be computer Operating System for those of you as technologically illiterate as myself). After hearing my friends thoughts on the movie (double thumbs up and a box of Kleenex later) my wee little brain began whirring….what about a little something for the ladies? Below is my creative compilation comprised of components from my kitchen cabinets. Viola! Movie release date Spring 2014.
An open letter to retailers:
Hello out there – anyone listening to the consumers? I DO NOT want to buy markers and notebooks and backpacks in July!!!!! I don’t want to see them in your flyers, littering my mailbox with unwanted thoughts of the back to school madness. Your one day only sales that pressure me into buying things long before class lists are ready because now I am wondering: if you are doing this in July does that mean it will all be gone by late August and I will be facing isles of Christmas wreaths and Menorahs when instead I need protractors and pencil cases?
Why when teachers and parents and children have just started to dig toes into sand dunes, are busy splashing in pools, and summer camp has just kicked off for the season, do you think for any reason that we want to be lining up for crayons and calendars?
Do you know what I want to buy now? Bathing suits and flip-flops and fun things that float in the water. You know – all the things that are harder to find IN THE SUMMER than Jimmy Hoffa’s body. PLEASE – stop forcing the seasons to change months ahead of time. Let us, the poor consumers, have a rest. Let us enjoy the sunshine and saltwater for the brief time it lasts.
Trust me, we will be back – we love your ten-cent pencil cases. But we don’t love them until school starts.
Sincerely your very tired and in desperate need of a break from your onslaught of marketing gimmicks (and in need of sunscreen and a beach towel) consumer,
I should state up front that I am not a quad fanatic, dirtbiker, or Dacar Rally participant(although that last one may have to be added to the bucket list because it is VERY cool). I am however a big fan of the “road less traveled” lifestyle. The kind of life lived wherein friends and family simultaneously find themselves both shuddering in horror and desiring to try on some of your choices.
To date I have lived in 24 homes, 2 countries, and 7 states. My choices are not for the faint of heart – in fact some days I am not even sure if they are for me – but life is short and the world is big. To many friends and family we are the wild things. The take chances and hopefully land on our feet people. To others we are just plain crazy (not entirely sure they are wrong in that assessment). To myself I think, “Wow – only 2 countries? When did I get so boring?”
But what about those who have forsaken the path altogether? They are not on the well-worn nor the less travelled. Instead they are bushwhacking their way into adventures that even those of us who walk on the wild side are shy to go.
There is a whole other subculture that I envy and whom I want to emulate when I one day pluck some vestige of courage out of the mountain air. It’s a lifestyle that requires throwing off every expectation of what is “normal” and forging ahead with a boldness that is often mistaken for irresponsibility (okay, that can really be a fine line to walk).
These are the off-road, beating new paths, wild folk who can live in real freedom and toss what the world thinks out the window as they head into the next adventure. Ahhh..sweet freedom. Which path do you follow? Are you a straight and narrow kind of traveler or, to quote some beloved pop culture sci-fi AKA Star Trek, do you yearn “to explore strange new worlds; To seek out new life and new civilizations; To boldly go where no man has gone before” ?
“Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to
decide.” ~Napoeon Bonaparte
Where will your next adventure take you?
UNABASHEDLY WANDERING THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED.
I poached this fun game from http://www.showmyface.com .
Want to play along? All that’s necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. Feel free to explain or not explain. For more information, try clicking here. (clicking here will magically transport you to Show My Face’s page where you can read more about her and how the game originated)
If you play along in your blog, please add a link. Please link back to both my page AND Show My Face.
Okay, not quite our dead but we are in the midst of a great purge of unessential extras. A family of five can rack up a lot of extra “stuff” in a very short period of time. My son can actually accumulate a roomful of items in a matter of minutes. It’s a gift. And not a good one.
Purging the worldly goods is cleansing for both house and soul. For ourselves it is easier to function, work, and create when the clutter is no longer taking up both time and attention. For our home, it is easier to upkeep when there are not mountains of things to move in order to clean, repair, and maintain.
This year we are doubling our purging efforts due to the combined annual spring cleaning coupled with an upcoming move. The more we get rid of, the less I have to pack and carry. It’s simple mathematics really. Cleaning – accumulated riff raff * stuff + charity = happy + me
This year we asked ourselves a new clean out question. How many ways are there to get rid of your stuff while still maintaining sanity and being ecofriendly? Turns out quite a few.
GARAGE SALE: Well this one was first for us and I can now tell you it is a great way to meet people, get rid of stuff, make some money, and hang with the neighbors all at one time. We partnered with a couple of neighbors and held the sale between two driveways. Garage salers are early birds so we held our sale from 8 to noon and we still had a few people show up by 7:45. Yes, in the morning. It’s a lifestyle choice.
Apparently “multi-family sale” is a hot ticket on the garage sale circuit so if you can join forces I highly recommend this approach. This is recycling at it’s best. Our sold items are now “new to you” items for our customers and we get to know that things like the baby stroller and toddler toys are going to receive more love.
If you want to make a party of it, along with bringing in some extra coin, I would recommend having the kids set up a coffee/lemonade/muffin stand to address your customers potential snack needs. And definitely a pitcher of mimosa for you and the neighbors.
DONATION CENTERS: Super ecofriendly and charitable way to rotate goods. There are oodles of organizations that would love to take your unwanted items off your hands. Our extra clothes, toys, household items, and furniture made their way to the Salvation Army via the back of my truck but if you don’t have the means to get your stuff up and out many places will come and get it for you. Make sure that the things you are donating are in fair to excellent condition. Some things really do need to go in the garbage.
Along with feeling good about giving our items to a good cause comes the added bonus of a tax write off. If you donate don’t forget to get a receipt! Here is a quick tip-of-the-iceberg list of places you can contact to donate your own household items:
- Salvation Army
- Boys and Girls Clubs of America
- American Legion
- Local churches and religious organizations.
You can do an online search or check the phonebook (yes, some people still use them) for local branches and other non-profit organizations. FYI – you can also donate cars, boats, and even houses if you are in a really big purge mode!
FREE: We had a couple of big items that we didn’t want to keep, didn’t want to pack, and didn’t want to donate. Right…..so what did we do with them? We opted for a “if you can move it you can have it” approach with friends and neighbors. Everyone wins and we can still “visit” our stuff.
RECYCLE CENTER: Some items have been used to death, literally, so we had no choice but to throw them out. Instead of tossing them in the trash can we separated by plastic, paper, etc. for disposal at the local recycling center. Less waste for everyone. Plus who knows? Maybe in the not too distant future we will be driving a car made from my old planters.
SWAP PARTY: While we didn’t go this route it is definitely something I want to try in the future. Get a group of friends and their stuff together and everyone can switch out their old items for “new” toys, clothes, and gadgets. When we try this it will be a potluck and swap. Hmmmm, maybe a nice way to get some new serving dishes….
So, now we have cleared our stuff to let creativity flow and floor space appear. Take a look around your own place and see what’s needed and what’s holding back your happy. Then find a fun, easy way to get it out of your home!
p.s. – If you don’t recognize the quote from the post heading you need to download Monty Python’s Holy Grail immediately. Your life has been missing something. Go. Do it. Now.
Below is a “reblog” from the DailyOM. Madisyn Taylor wrote this great piece about making connections within your community and as a gypsy soul with lots of experience in landing in new neighborhoods I can attest to the truth in her article. Her words can be applied to any community we belong too – clubs, writing groups, business groups, – really anyplace that people come together. Step outside of your comfort zone and reach out to those who surround you. Create those bonds that nourish the need we all have to connect.
Links that Last: Creating Community
“Creating community is an important part of receiving the support we all need to navigate through life.”
“Since the modern Western lifestyle can isolate us from one another, it is often difficult to forge meaningful connections. Self-protection and mistrust prevent us from reaching out to neighbors and peers, and we consequently feel like we don’t truly belong anywhere. Yet creating community can be as simple as reaching out within our own neighborhoods. To form the bonds that eventually solidify into long-lasting friendships, we must first be willing to rise above the walls of suspicion and doubt dividing us from the individuals who inhabit our neighborhood, block, or our building. We are taught from childhood to fear those we do not know, but community is as much a part of survival as safety. When we take a proactive approach, we can harmoniously unite our neighbors and build a network of support that contributes to the well-being of all involved.
Your overtures of community needn’t be complicated. If you are new to your neighborhood, sending letters of introduction to your closest neighbors can ensure that their curiosity about you is partly satisfied. Consider telling them a bit about yourself and how you plan to positively contribute to your locale, even if it is something as straightforward as planting attractive flowers in your window boxes. Or if others have recently moved in nearby, schedule some time to welcome them to the area. By doing so, you can calm any misgivings they have while demonstrating that your neighborhood is a nice place to live. It is much easier to meet people while outdoors, so try to take frequent strolls or sit on your stoop or porch if you have one. Say hello to people who pass by, and you will likely get to know your neighbors speedily. And one of the easiest ways to build a sense of community is to organize neighborhood projects and events that bring people together in service or in fun! .
Even if you have little in common with your neighbors, your proximity to one another can offer a wonderful opportunity to pursue new friendships and working relationships. You may not see eye to eye on matters of spirituality, politics, or lifestyle issues, but each of you understands that community helps people feel connected. As you grow to know and then to like one another, the city or town where you reside will truly become your home. “