Monthly Archives: November 2016

Minimalism in Food Storage: refrigerator & freezer space

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/the-huge-chill-why-are-american-refrigerators-so-big/280275/

Because our big fridge broke earlier this year, we’ve learned to live with a 10 instead of 18 foot fridge. Having one copy of the 18′ refrigerator die three months or so after we bought it, we don’t have a lot of faith this one will keep working for long, after these repairs. We’re planning to replace it in the next year. We think we’ll buy a small, 8 foot or less fridge and perhaps a 10 foot or so convertible fridge/freezer.

We get produce from a farm, 6 months a year. The idea has always been that we’ll put aside food during the months we get farm food to help feed us the other 6 months. So our need for fresh and frozen food storage varies hugely.

The used commercial freezer we bought this year works, not as well as we’d like, and it’s a dedicated freezer. It should be nearly empty by winter’s end.

We have decided on counter depth units, as they’re shallower; there’s less space for food to “hide.”

We’re working on our minimalism. This includes making the best use of the farm food, something we haven’t managed.

  • The first year I had no idea how much food we’d get.
  • The second I tried but got overwhelmed.
  • This year I managed at the beginning of the season, but the fridge dying being fixed then dying and being fixed again and other factors made it impossible.

In the meantime, our 18′ 4 year-old fridge/freezer is working again and we’ll use it.

I like the idea of the underground fridge thing, but I think it would likely be expensive and impractical here. (Look for underground refrigerator, it’s a plastic bubble which is buried, with a walkway out of it.) I want a California closet (Not the brand of closet organizers but a form of unpowered food storage.). I would love a root cellar, but that’s not practical here.

We’ll see!

 

Stuff & Minimalism

If you can have a “capsule” wardrobe, stripped down to only the most basic items, can  you do the same for your home?

Why not?

The first answer which popped into my head was that you do more in your home than you do in a given piece of clothing, functionally anyway. Clothes you wear — that’s it. A home you sleep, read, eat, prepare food, garden, play, etc. If you take only 10 pieces of clothing (excluding underwear and outerwear) as your “limit” or 20 if you have winter like we do, then why not 10 items per verb in the list I just made?

So what do you need, minimum to sleep? (static: bed)  changing pieces: sheets (2) pillow, pillow case and blanket. Absolute minimum = 5 for one person, 1 pillow, for 2 people and two pillows, add 2 or 7. With real seasons, double it = 14

What do you need, minimum to read? A book or tablet, ideally, you don’t have to own any of these you can rent them or take them out of the library.

What do you need, minimum to eat? Food and utensils, as needed. If you think about it, you don’t need anything to eat a banana, but eating stew without utensils would be difficult! So, the answer for this one is that “it varies.” Not very successful in terms of trying to be minimalist.

I’m going to mull this notion over a bit.

I’m helping someone learn English. In doing so, I’ve been trying to find the language “short cuts” first. There aren’t many things in English which are always true, but some are. This is a working adult person, not a kid.

The living and stuff thing needs a similar approach. What are the things which are always true, that you always need? Do that FIRST.

We’ll see how it works out with stuff, here.

It seems to me that a beginning can be made by using Maslow’s heirarchy of needs, again. This:

maslow-pyramid

The bottom layer is what your home is about.

Food/eating, water/drinking, warmth and rest are at least some of those basics, so is security and safety. When you add the psychological needs things get more complex.

So, I’m going to make some assumptions:

  1. I’m only talking about STUFF here.
  2. That emotional reactions to STUFF aren’t part of the equation.
  3. The security here is physical security only.

Given those parameters, I’m off to write some notes and thoughts.

 

 

 

Thataway!

I read this short blog and really liked it! You might as well?

https://psycpost.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/7-habits-of-happy-people/

For a long, long time my goal was, “Stop hurting.” Certainly a worthwhile idea. But it seemed “greedy” to want to then be happy? Since I’ve managed the one, the other felt like just asking for way more than I should. This is an interesting notion on that topic. . . .

Teacup

Still To Do List 11/28/16

  • Living Room: caulk & trim paint, as needed. Furniture is being replaced without a plan. Decide about coffee tables. Sell unused table. Add wall art. Bring down round coffee table. Maybe? Bring in Daddy’s rug  — or get rid of it?

to do list 1
New: Start making pattern to reupholster chair.

Long Term: Trim piece against kitchen wall, window trim, stair rail. Replace interior trim on double window, paint/install trim against beam kitchen wall. Mod baseboards. Caulk/paint floor/baseboards. Look at “roller coaster” idea, fix if needed. Move kitchen door? Replacement ladders for blinds. (http://www.fixmyblinds.com) Buy material, shorten the blinds. (Buy a miniblind at some thrift shop to play with to learn how to do this before buying ladders.)

  • Hall: Replace smoke detector (future). Add corner detail on doors (future).
  • Kitchen: Make plan without the Hoosiers and dismantling too-large counter. Install shelves where window used to be. Sell Hoosiers.
  • Dining: Remove crib rail? Candlebra? Reuse the hanging baskets and/or rail elsewhere? Rehang cabinet. Paint drawer units? Paint china cabinet.
  • Attic:Decide what to sell. Get bookcases upstairs and bays built.
  • Office 1:Clear/clean counter & take it upstairs. Remove everything from bookcases move them.  Bring in the dresser from wood shed.  Stack on top of it (same size, and small) the 2nd dresser, currently in the storage. Get sewing machine legs detached from base. Recycle, reuse, or dump.
  • Office 2: Move your office function downstairs.

Cull/Clean (general): Take old window bits to dump. Take stuff for sale either to antique store or to storage so that it’s no longer cluttering up the living room! Clothes & cloth need a serious culling!

Entry: Caulk as needed. Pantry: Add trim and final paint.

Kitchen:  Finish new window/shelf. Final paint on sidelight, new shelf. Remove crate shelves on counter. Find new homes for the pieces stored there or sell/donate or discard.

Laundry: (longterm) Get switch thing set up. Storage bins.

Bathroom: Clean corners, window. Replace caulk as needed. Repaint room. Match trim to the rest of the house. If new gallon is enamel paint and not the flat, paint bathroom? Replace floor and sink and required wall upgrade.

Bedroom: (Cull/Clean) Get tapestry on stretchers. Quilt rehab.

Attic: Get the remaining  base cabinet from kitchen, after fridge rehab. Move the bookcases. Build bays.

Storage: Remove the 2nd Hoosier. Move to smaller unit. Get the 2nd dresser home

Get the windows done. SR door panel 27.5 x 64,

Get the online and computer files cleaned out. (Drafts here = 40 11/30 43 10/11, “Tally” page information (tab, this blog) moved to history 9/17.) Unsubscribed from 5 mailing lists. 11/30.

Wood stacking: 1 2 3 4

Black & white rug: Finish up fabric strips. Cut more as needed. Blue plaid rug

Writing:

  • Memoir retype effort: 62.5% complete (I’m amused that I seem to do this in 3% chunks. I’m not counting or anything, it’s just that the sections are short, and it’s difficult emotionally, especially the first 3rd, so I’ve been doing it until I felt like quitting, then I let myself stop.)
  • 3 stories into novel:  Worked a little on one of the stories, call it 07% 9/20
  • kitchen book: nothing new
  • possible future editing jobs: no good news

Other Organization:

  • All-In-One Organizer: monthly calendar page master design, organize sections, clean up, print, daily page master design
  • Make stickers/stamps
  • Books out, boxes?
  • Canister labels designed. Most supplies procured. Still to do: print labels and use! Various technical issues which need to be resolved:
    • My wordprocessor doesn’t have the right label template.
    • Avery doesn’t let you do a merge for their online template designer, etc.
    • Order the correct magnets. Make tutorial.
    • The simple answer would be to cover the labels with scrapbooking or other paper and print some clear labels to go over them. I may do that, or may not. My last step was always going to be putting clear shelf liner over the label to make it waterproof.

PURSUE Happiness

This is what I used as a reminder and still do, when appropriate:

Put Up, Remember, Shut Up, & Endure

When things got really bad, I’d use the “pursuit of happiness” idea, with this as an acronym, to get myself through. I’d remind myself to be greedy and/or fiercely vigilante, that I deserved happiness, it was something I’d wanted and worked for, for decades.

This is for dealing with others’ actions. Sometimes I had to grit my teeth, shut up, and deal. (Often my being able to “deal” wasn’t being able to deal with whatever was going on currently, but a focus on the future, the possibility that things would change at some undefined future point.) I expect this to be true for the rest of my life.

When people have called me “brave” or “strong” I’ve always said that’s not true.

It isn’t true — I am STUBBORN. I use PURSUE to remind myself that stubbornness, an unwillingness to accept that the world is F’d up beyond hope is my “superpower.” It’s my form of being passive aggressive. I put up, shut up and endured, while dreaming not of hurting the person harming me, not of a world where whatever wasn’t happening, but of a world where what was happening here/now was a distant and unimportant piece of long ago.

I encourage you to be stubborn, in appropriate ways. The world doesn’t owe you anything, others don’t owe you anything. But you owe yourself to try and make your future the best and brightest you can. That means not hurting others, not lashing out, not blaming, but getting on with your life with joy — when you can.

It’s what George Herbert said: “Living well is the best revenge.”

Why It’s So Hard

Nov 21, 2016: I wrote this about a year ago. I don’t remember what prompted it. I don’t remember what it was about at all. But I’ve had conversations lately about PTSD. And I keep running into the idea from others with it, that because I cope pretty well I don’t have complex PTSD, or I have a mild case. In both instances my response is: NOT! But I don’t show this stuff or talk about it much, or haven’t in the past. So, the post below is about my PTSD and what I do you may or may not know. This isn’t the more obvious bits like avoiding the news or even the struggle with the house. This is the part that made me scared I was crazy for many,many years.


Just so you know, my “whining” about how hard dealing with all and sundry includes things you probably don’t know about or see.

I’m not going to talk about the pain that goes with PTSD, because that at least I mostly have under control, but it lurks around the corner all the time. It may not be front and center any more, but it’s there.

Almost always when I look off a bridge, cliff, or such, I think about jumping, for an instant. At least once a day, EVERY day, something about suicide floats through my mind. I’d love dearly for it not to be so, but it is.

Also, at least once daily, for an instant I think about something like screaming, smashing my car into a wall, pounding my head into a bloody pulp somewhere, like concrete.

None of this do I do, or hardly ever since I was in my 20s. But this occurs, day in and day out. When folks tell me to get over it, give it to God, or just think about something else, they’re thinking about the big stuff, the PTSD the abuse, etc. because that makes sense to them. But these things flit in and out of my head. Every. Single. Day. If you know a way to make it stop, I’d love to hear it! Especially if  it isn’t an addiction to a set of beliefs, drugs or behaviors. I’ve never found anything that works.

I ignore it, every day. Maybe Shrink-1 was right and I am borderline schizophrenic. I don’t know. I just know this takes effort and energy and you almost certainly never see this.

But it’s there. Do you know what it’s like to be really scared of yourself? Probably not. Aren’t you lucky?

Don’t give me your pat answers. Don’t tell me how “easy” it is with the right attitude. I fight battles and monsters every day you probably don’t know, don’t see, and can’t comprehend. I repeat: Aren’t you lucky?

Either 2 Weeks Late or a Day Early? To Do List 11/20

  • Living Room: caulk & trim paint, as needed. Furniture is being replaced without a plan. Move typewriter stands to their new home (wherever that is). New table purchased. Two typewriter stands to the attic temporarily.

After couch is moved, decide about coffee tables. Sell unused table. Add wall art. Bring down couch and round coffee table. Maybe? Bring in Daddy’s rug  — or get rid of it? Replace: switches and socket covers, as needed.

to do list 1

Cull/Clean: remaining fabric to Jeannies for reupholstery. 
New: Chair is being reupholstered here, not there.

Long Term: Trim piece against kitchen wall, window trim, stair rail. Replace interior trim on double window, paint/install trim against beam kitchen wall. Mod baseboards. Caulk/paint floor/baseboards. Look at “roller coaster” idea, fix if needed. Move kitchen door? Replacement ladders for blinds. (http://www.fixmyblinds.com) Buy material, shorten the blinds. (Buy a miniblind at some thrift shop to play with to learn how to do this before buying ladders.)

  • Hall: Replace smoke detector (future). Add corner detail on doors (future).
  • Kitchen: Make plan using both Hoosiers and dismantling too-large counter.  Not feasible?Sell one Hoosier. Install shelves where window used to be.
  • Dining: Remove crib rail? Candlebra? Reuse the hanging baskets and/or rail elsewhere? Rehang cabinet. Paint drawer units? Paint china cabinet.
  • Attic:Decide what to sell. Get bookcases upstairs and bays built. Sell magazine table?
  • Office 1:Clear/clean counter & take it upstairs. Remove everything bookcases and get them moved to the attic.  Bring in the dresser currently in the wood shed. Stack on top of it (same size, and small) the 2nd dresser, currently in the storage. Get sewing machine legs detached from base. Recycle, reuse, or dump.
  • Office 2: Move your office downstairs.

Cull/Clean (general): Take old window bits to dump. Take stuff for sale either to antique store or to storage so that it’s no longer cluttering up the living room! Cull down glove, scarf, hat collection, as appropriate. Clothes & cloth need a serious culling! Sold bookcase!

Entry: Caulk as needed. Pantry: Add trim, final paint.

Kitchen:  Finish new window/shelf. Final paint on sidelight, new shelf. Remove crate shelves on counter. Find new homes for the pieces stored there or discard.

Laundry: (longterm) Get switch thing set up. Storage bins.

Bathroom: Clean corners, window. Replace caulk as needed. Repaint room. Replace trim to match the  rest of the house. If new gallon is enamel paint and not the flat, paint bathroom? Replace floor and sink and required wall upgrade.

Bedroom: (Cull/Clean) get couch downstairs. Put chair here, not living room. Get tapestry on stretchers. Quilt rehab.

Attic: Get the remaining  base cabinet in. Move the bookcases in. Build bays.

Storage: Remove the 2nd Hoosier for the kitchen.Get at least 5 boxes out and deal with the stuff in them. Move to 10 x 20 unit. Get the 2nd dresser home

Get the windows done. SR door panel 27.5 x 64,

Get the online and computer files cleaned out. (Drafts here = 43 10/11, 46 11/20 “Tally” page information (tab, this blog) moved to history 9/17.)

Wood stacking: 1 2 3 4

Black & white rug: Finish up fabric strips. Cut more as needed. Blue plaid rug

Writing:

  • Memoir retype effort: 62.5% complete (I’m amused that I seem to do this in 3% chunks. I’m not counting or anything, it’s just that the sections are short, and it’s difficult emotionally, especially the first 3rd, so I’ve been doing it until I felt like quitting, then I let myself stop.)
  • 3 stories into novel:  Worked a little on one of the stories, call it 07% 9/20
  • kitchen book: nothing new
  • possible future editing jobs: no good news

Other Organization:

  • All-In-One Organizer: monthly calendar page master design, organize sections, clean up, print, daily page master design
  • Make stickers/stamps
  • Books out:2 to the dump’s swap shop, 1 to a neighbor
  • Canister labels designed. Most supplies procured. Still to do: print labels and use! Various technical issues which need to be resolved:
    • My wordprocessor doesn’t have the right label template.
    • Avery doesn’t let you do a merge for their online template designer, etc.
    • The magnets I ordered are too big. They’ll be used on the fridge, but I need to order the right ones.
    • The simple answer would be to cover the labels with scrapbooking or other paper and print some clear labels to go over them. I may do that, or may not. My last step was always going to be putting clear shelf liner over the label to make it waterproof.