Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday challenge: make due with just a tiny bit less

After hearing a story this morning about one of my advisees, I realized that as privileged Americans, we don't truly understand what it's like to get by on nothing. I'm not talking about having to cut your Starbucks runs; I'm talking having to haul wood and water to heat your home. No matter how poor you are by American standards, most of us truly don't understand what going without means.

So this week, the challenge is to make due with just a tiny bit less. Next time you pull off some toilet paper, put 1 square back. Just try it out...could you do your business without that 1 little square? Yes? No?

It's not about depriving yourself of basic needs, it's just pinpointing what basic needs truly are. Do you need to wipe your tushie? Yes, please! Do you need 15,000 squares to do so? My guess is probably not.

Maybe next time you shampoo, you don't lather rinse and repeat. How does your hair look at the end of the day? I've got $1 that says it looks exactly the same.

And heck, if you find out you do need that extra square, and your hair really does require 2 shampooings, simply go back to your routine the next time. I'm just asking you take a chance that you don't actually need it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

You can judge me, but I refuse to feel guilty

Let me start by saying that with my job change, and Troy's desired career change, things are tight in our house. Some months, they're stupidly tight, but we manage.

Jack doesn't like many veggies, or pasta (any of the gluten-free ones), so with his food allergies (Dairy and wheat), the products he chooses to eat can be crazy expensive. The only gluten-free bread he likes cost $6 a loaf, and he'll eat a loaf a week. The sheep's milk cheese that he enjoys costs about $8 a week. Added to that, the coconut milk he drinks for fat and protein runs about $8 a week.

So, given all that, I refuse to apologize for my actions today. I was at the market to get J's special milk and saw that someone had taped $1 off coupons to half of the cartons. At $3.99 for a half gallon of the stuff, I looked around to make sure no one was looking, and ripped off all the coupons and shoved them in my purse. Sue me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weekly Challenge

I've decided that each Tuesday, I'm going to issue a weekly challenge to myself and others, and I invite you to take part!

This weeks challenge: next time you see a servicemember (military, police, fire, etc) and you're at a restaurant or coffee place, offer to buy them a drink or a meal. If that isn't in your budget, a simple "thank you for your service" is a gift that anyone can appreciate.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Save money, keep your spawn healthy & save their childhood

The other day T-Roy, J Bone, and I were on our way to GG's (Great Grandma C) house. GG lives in a post WWII neighborhood where all the houses were built for service people returning from the various foreign campaigns. They are all pretty small - at least under 1,600 square feet - and most only have 1 bathroom.

I'm not sure how we got on the topic, or who brought it up, but the Troyster and I were discussing how small of a house that is by today's standards. How can a family a four live comfortably in such a tiny house? Well, my baby daddy and I discussed and determined the following:

1) In post WWII people were happy to just be alive, let alone have a house to call their own. They didn't need a McMansion in the best neighborhood to be content.
2) Back then, people didn't have stuff. Stuff wasn't necessary to make you happy; you had your family, your health, and maybe a Buick with giant tail fins in your driveway. Others didn't judge you if you didn't have latest gadget, rather you were judged on how hard you worked, your honesty, and your famous potato salad recipe that was always a hit at the block party's Fourth of July BBQ
3) Kids didn't need giant rooms to house their 53,481 toys, X box, Wii, and lap top. They probably had a few dolls, a bat and a ball, and maybe some coloring books. Why didn't they need tons of toys...
4)...because they got off of their asses and played outside where kids belong. One benefit to this is that obesity rates for 1950-1960 were 9.7% of the American population. Today? Around 30%.

After our discussion, I've made a few decision about my life, and the health of my family.
1) I don't need a giant house. I don't want to clean it, and I don't want to feel pressure to fill it up with junk that I'll eventually donate to Goodwill. I don't have the money, and I certainly don't have the time.
2) I need to stop defining my life and my worth by the cost of the crap that is accumulating unused in my house. "If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy" (author unknown...to me at least and I'm too lazy to Google that shit).
3) Jack doesn't need so many damn toys. He just doesn't. He plays with a handful of them, but mostly chooses to read books, clean the floor with rags, or dance.
4) Jack will never have a TV in his room until he can earn enough to buy one himself. I want him outside enjoying the fresh air and embracing childhood, NOT inside being exposed to crap that is way above his age bracket.

So, maybe I'm weird (I know I am) for shunning things that society tells me I need to live a "better" life . I cook a lot from scratch, I garden, I can (home preserving), I make my own bread, jam, and apple butter. But guess what...I'm ok with that. Finally.

Help me have access to a Trader Joes!

If you're a Kitsap County resident, please fill out the "request a store" petition via this link:

Trader Joe's is awesomesauce, and I miss having one close by.

Caught you being cute

In the car this morning Jack kept asking me for milk. I handed him a sippy and he was quiet for a few minutes. I heard him talking softly, and turned around to see this:
He was holding his monkey in the "cradle position" and feeding him some milk.

Monday, May 10, 2010

As a society, I thought we were passed gender inequality

I work hard to make sure that I'm seen as a equal. I don't ask for, or expect special favors because I'm female. *

I don't play the gender card to get things that I haven't earned. Millions of women before me have fought to make sure I am treated fairly.

Despite all of that hard work, I woke up last weekend to this blanant gender bashing:


*excludes requests for spider removal

Monday, May 3, 2010


There are times in our lives when we hit a wall and realize that the human race isn't meant to do things alone. Our forefathers (and mothers!) had it right - they lived in communal groups and helped each other with food production, barn raising, child rearing, etc. In other words, they asked for help and accepted it in times of need.

I hit that wall recently and instead of the feel of brick on my face, it felt like hugs - big squishy hugs. I'm honored to be a part of a group women that doesn't idly stand by and wait for you to ask for help; they simply offer it with a smile and a few encouraging words. There is no expectation of reciprocity, just kind gestures for the sake of being kind.

Through the end of my days, I'll carry the gratitude with me. Thank you.