Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Plain Speech - Speak Softly, And Carry A Hand Gun

The Amish are nothing if not consistent. Plain dress, plain worship, plain speech. It’s the last one I’m trying to tackle at the moment, and I don’t mind telling you that I’m a-gettin’ mah butt whooped. See, I’m not someone who speaks plainly (sometimes candidly, but that’s another matter altogether). Over the past few years, I’ve been sucked into all manner of Decidedly Un-plain Speech (shut up, grammar police): I’ve said yes when I meant no, gossiped, said things behind some people’s backs that I wouldn’t say to their faces, told fibs (okay, and a couple of whoppers), held my tongue when I should have spoken up, and started fighting passive aggression with (you guessed it) passive aggression. It’s created more problems than it’s solved, so what if I just… quit it? What would happen if I:
· Actually said what I meant? “No thank you, I’m not a big fan of Brussels sprouts and tomato aspic.”
· Avoided gossip? Oy – I may spontaneously combust.
· Always spoke of others as if they were in the room? (I ask you – where’s the fun in that?!)
· Told nothing but the truth? “I’m late because I was watching “The Real Housewives of NY”. And that sweater makes you look like a hooker.” (Hmmmmm…… gotta figure out how to NOT say things too…)
· Refused to get sucked into other people’s messed up dynamics? Hey – just because you’re a passive aggressive control freak busybody doesn’t mean I have to play along. I have my own ego-mania with narcissistic tendencies to deal with.
Well, I’m going to give it a try. OK, tries. If someone doesn’t stab me, hey – it just might be a good thing! Now, about that sweater….

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Viva la Difference!

A few years ago, in a fit of DIY Craft-astrophy Syndrome, I had the bright idea to paint our kitchen cabinets a vibrant, glossy, apple green. We have had to live with the results for five years - Marty even pretended not to hate them (why I married him, people!). So, the hubby and I have been thinking about getting new cabinets (actually, it's more me going, "I WANT NEW CABINETS OR I'LL DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE!!!!!"). Of course, it's never as simple as waltzing into Lowe's, choosing the goods, and slappin' 'em up there. Oooooh no. First, we have to get permission from the co-op board. Then we have to order samples. Then we have to decide on a look. Then we have to do the order. Then we have to hire a contractor. Then we have to demo & and figure out where Sebastian and I will hole up until the project is finished. Then (and here's where it gets REALLY good) we have to have two walls ripped out to replace the wiring, have the kitchen counters and plumbing moved up by one inch, rebuild the walls, put in the cabinets, and clean up. THEN I will have my new cabinets. So, I just opted for this:

Bilious Apple Green Cabinets.....

To this!

Simple AND thrifty (under $18!). And fancy. This will tide me over until The Great Kitchen Renovation, and was such a great reminder that a simple coat of paint can completely change the look of a room for a ridiculously small sum. AND, if you hate it, you can just start again. And again.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Turning Thrifty

I haven't ever been what I would call a "spender", but I won't lie to you and tell you that I'm super thrifty either (hey - wasn't thrifty the new forty? wait.... that's something else.). Well, Dear Reader, I aim to do better! I call it "The Economy Sucks Motivational Project", and Part 1 is (cue dramatic music) a SPENDING HIATUS!

Have any of you ever done this? I got the idea quite a while ago from some article in a magazine. A family of 4 went on a four month spending hiatus, purchasing only absolute necessities (food, insurance, strappy sandals deodorant, etc). It was so neat to hear how creative they got, using what they had on hand which normally might be wasted (the cotton from the Tylenol bottle, for example) or going without. Being as my life is decidedly more challenging with the hubby gone, I'm aiming to stay on the "fun challenge" side of this as opposed to "self-imposed hell". We'll see how it goes! I'm going for one month, wish me luck. And send presents.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Death By Clutter?

This happened a while ago, but, being somewhat behind in my odd news consumption, I just heard about the woman who was found buried under clutter in her home in Las Vegas 4 MONTHS AFTER HER DEATH. Wait - it gets worse - search dogs had already gone through the house, and her husband was still living there! GAH! Read about it here.

Clip from "Hoarders"

If you've ever watched the show "Hoarders" (and if you haven't, you totally should), it's easy to see that there's a thin line between your eccentric Aunt Dolly and her creepy marionette collection (that takes up four rooms and a quarter of the kitchen), and compulsive hoarding worthy of reality TV. Like any other mental illness, it manifests itself in varying degrees of severity, ranging from an irrational refusal to get rid of outdated documents to full on every-room-crammed-so-full-of-stuff-the-house-is-condemned compulsion. Here's a website that explains the ins and outs of the disorder.

I was surprised at how common it is - some experts believe it's about 1% of the population (that's a lot, ya'll!). I know at least two hoarders personally - one even sleeps on a small piece of foam beneath their desk because they can't open the door to their bedroom for all the clutter. I actually lived with a hoarder for two months while rehearsing a show in Boston (that was fun), and vividly remember having to inch through the small paths carved through mountains of papers, magazines, and other clutter to get from room to room. She also liked to talk. A lot. Fun.

I suppose I'm like the "anti-hoarder" - I'm readying bags for Freecycle as I write this. It must be truly awful to be so deeply attached to stuff that you can't tell where it ends and you begin.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Final Post for Lifeclectic!

AND it's a topic near and dear to my heart - simplicity and de-cluttering! I'm going through such an I'm-ready-for-my-horse-and-buggy-now time, completely overcommitted. Um... didn't I promise myself I wouldn't be here again?! (the answer to that question is yes) But THIS time I mean it! Here's a link to the post. And some Amish photos from my trip to Lancaster county a few years ago - BONUS!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lifeclectic #8

Sebastian will be TWO on Thursday! We celebrated with immediate family and a wicked good cake - he really enjoyed it (as you can see).

It got me thinking about birthday parties for kids, and managing their expectations. Whatever happened to eight close friends, cake, silly hats, and some games? Time to stop the insanity, ya'll. Here are my thoughts (such as they are) on the subject!