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June 10, 2008

And now a little good news! Winners!


Congratulations to the winners of the Big Pile O' Books Sweepstakes!

Pile #1 Winner: Lynn G. from Fresno
Pile #2 Winner: Hannah M. from "I don't know where"
Pile #3 Winner: Danielle M. from Seattle

I love to do give-aways so check back soon to see what new and strange pile of stuff I am mailing to some lucky winner.

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An Update On Not Doing Anything

My little pledge to myself to stop buying all nonessentials for the rest of 2008 is going great. It's working in four ways:

1) No stuff except food, supplies and perishables coming into the house, so there's no clutter!
2) No shopping = less money spent = sigh of relief
3) It's the best way to feel "in control" of my personal economy
4) I have more free time since there's nothing to window shop, want, or purchase!

Usually on Saturday or Sunday mornings I go to Target at 8 a.m. and walk up and down every aisle. This has been my version of entertainment, I guess, a way to get out of the house and feel like you're part of humanity (not just a hermit or a commuter) and you don't have to dress fancy to do it.

But last weekend I just went for the few essentials and didn't buy one single thing off the list, which is kind of an accomplishment like OH WOW I MADE COLD FUSION. No need to walk all the aisles, and my trip cost me less and took less time. I went home feeling pretty happy. I used that extra time to lay on my bed with all three cats and finish up a book I've been reading. It was decadent and totally free. The cats are enjoying this new twist ... more time to sit on me!

I know I need to focus more on tiny things like that, little happy accomplishments that remind me I'm the one driving the car of my life. The needling worry I sometimes fall prey to is like a parasite just chomping away at my contentment. I think these past few days (weeks?) I was feeling more worry because I started listening to the news again in the mornings. Old habits die hard, I guess. This morning while getting ready for work I didn't listen to any news, just puttered around in the quiet and it was nice. I'm much less stressed out from the gitgo when mornings start without all the troubles of the world.

Little changes. C'est good.

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Another yard sale?

I can't believe I've pared down as much as I have and still have anything left but of course I do. Usually I keep an empty box or shopping bag in the corner of my closet and anytime I see something in the house I can do without I put it in the box (yesterday it was a silver drink mixer thingy, you know like the old James Bond shakers? I bought it back years ago when I was married and have never once used it. Apparently I don't need any silly measuring device to make a good gin and tonic!) Anyway, I decided to keep the yard-sale pricing stickers and tags and a sharpie nearby so that every time I see something I can do without, I will immediately price it and put it away. When the box or bag gets full, it goes in the garage for later.

Come to my next yard sale and you can get a never-used cocktail shaker for a buck and change!

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There's a woman at work who I've become friends with, she's awesome. Her name is Corey and she's about my age and she's really smart and funny and it makes work so nice having someone you can laugh with nearby.

Yesterday we were talking about our upcoming birthdays, within a month of each other, and we were both saying how nice it is to be this age (meaning: not 22 and scared to death you're running out of time to make something of yourself). Things aren't so crazy on the inside, always trying to please people.

"I honest-to-God cannot believe I've gotten tired of trying to make everyone happy but it appears I am moving in that direction," I told her. "Maybe it's the metaphorical part of me drooping south with the physical parts? Keeping my boobs company I guess."

She laughed. Then she said, "It feels like out of nowhere you find options, things you wouldn't have considered in the past."

I love that.

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Speaking of Options

One of the things I'm doing right now is sifting through my pantry to use what I already have. On Saturday I found a bottle of Asian Ginger Sesame salad dressing in the cupboard so I decided to open 'er up. It smelled amazing... but I didn't want to make salad for dinner. So I took some chicken out of the freezer and thawed it, then put the (mostly) thawed chicken in a pyrex pan with the salad dressing to marinate for a while and later I put the pan in the oven and baked the chicken in the dressing. I think I baked it on 350 for about 40 minutes. IT WAS AWESOME. The chicken was tangy and sweet and tender and yummy and I had it with rice (also found while exploring my pantry) and green beans. I'm not much of a cook, so a pan of baked chicken in salad dressing probably doesn't sound revolutionary, but for me it was a nice change.

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And finally.

Do you remember Victor, my oniony friend? It seems I have a knack for finding growing things in my cupboards:


After I took the picture I stuck them in the dirt out in the garden, maybe I'll be able to grow a potato crop where the watermelon crop of 2008 failed to flourish.

Hope, and spuds, spring eternal!

Posted by laurie at June 10, 2008 9:28 AM