Houseplants…An Addiction

I don’t think New England is the most optimal place in which to have an addiction to houseplants, but  it is where I live so…

I have always enjoyed houseplants and have always indulged myself. My husband, does not agree with me on this point, but has given up trying to have an intervention. I usually bring them outside in the summertime and when it comes time to bring them back in, they are usually bigger. He did say once “Aren’t they suppose to die in the winter” I allowed as to how if I left them outside they surely would but that was not my intention.20190913_133837

I do not have nice generous window sills or even sunny rooms in most of the house. My office faces south and it has a window on the south as well as facing west so most of my  plants are happy to stay the winter in there, the fact that my husband doesn’t frequent the room is also a bonus. The fact that my master bedroom has south facing windows and one facing north works for some plants, but I have to be careful of the placement so my husband doesn’t really notice them, I have even snuck in a small ivy plant in the master bath, this was daring on my part. I am not sure the plant is all that happy because it has not really increased in size, but it is still alive, a point in it’s favor.

I will point out that there are quite a few houseplants that I love, but well, they will not live in my house. I have tried, but their deaths are always slow and painful to watch. They look great for a few weeks then they settle in and they just languish, I don’t want to be a plant killer, but when I go into a greenhouse in January and February I want all those tropical plants and throw caution to the wind. With my outdoor gardens I am very careful to buy and cultivate plants that are suited to the place in which I choose to plant them, but when I look at houseplants I rationalize everything. Sure I have bright indirect light! I don’t even have a place to set the plant on. Plants are known to be healthy and purify the air, it sets me to wonder if the plants are doing so much to purify the air that they can’t handle it anymore and just die.

I never really thought my house was dark until I started watching houseplants slowly die in my care. I am beginning to wonder if the plants talk to each other and tell themselves that if they can just hold on until spring it will be okay. I talk to them, I spritz them, I feed them, but you can tell some of them are just humoring me.

I can grow spider plants, Pothos, Christmas Cactus, and Peace Lily with regularity and yes I have a lot of them but I would like a variety as well. I am trying to blame this all on light and environment, but I know that it is also me and the way I care for them. I either shower them with attention or forget about them. Of course, the plants that do well under these latter conditions are the ones that I have quite a few of, so do I stick with those or do I keep trying new ones.

It has been said that houseplants give off an addicting substance that makes you want more and that you will be able to grow anything you want even without a greenhouse. This type of bravado gets me into trouble, I think this year will be different, I will be the best plant parent ever, I will give classes on how to have wonderful, healthy, vigorous plants. Yeah, well, that may be a pipe dream, but what is life without dreams!

I am off to a local greenhouse, I have a coupon and a dream! Watch out plants here I come.

Posted in dreams, everyday life, houseplants, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

First blog post

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The Kitchen Doesn’t Make The Cook

I have lived in a few places in my life in which the kitchen has been less than optimal, but it hasn’t stopped me from cooking. I grew up in an old farm house that had a galley kitchen and my mother was able to feed all of us without losing her mind. Don’t get me wrong I love the looks of a big, beautiful kitchen with loads of counter tops and tons of cabinets, but I have also made a 5 course meal in a kitchen that had a total of five feet of counter top and it was broken up by a sink!

I love to bake and yes, baking does usually take up a bit of counter space, but that hasn’t stopped me from making 12 to 18 dozen cookies every Christmas along with pies and breads. I like to think of the Great British Baking Show, look at what they come up with and they only have a small counter space with which to work. My first apartment was a studio and had a similarly small kitchen and yet I cooked, as a matter of fact every apartment I ever had did not have an abundant amount of counter space, neither did my first house, so why is counter space the biggest thing people talk about when looking at kitchens?

Working appliances are big on my list of things I want in a kitchen and I do lust after some really top of the line appliances, but I do not NEED them. My stove needs to be leveled as it slants a little, but I just turn my pans. I need a well designed space so that my tools are where I need them and I can access what I use regularly. I was baking cookies last weekend and I realized that with the exception of getting all my supplies from my pantry I did not need to walk more that 4 to 6 steps in any one direction in order to cook and cool my baked goods. The kitchen is not large but it is efficient (except my drawer space is lacking) and easy to use and clean.

Kitchens in small restaurants are not large, they are efficient. There are multiple people working in them and if they were too big it would be wasteful. The quarters can be tight but your food comes out and the taste does not suffer because the kitchen doesn’t have loads of counters.

The kitchen space doesn’t make the cook. If you are a good cook and create wonderful meals it doesn’t make a difference how big your kitchen is. The bigger the kitchen the more to clean. Give me a well thought out “U” shaped kitchen any day instead of a big one with an island that is only used for serving or god forbid has the actual stove top built in or the sink. A good cutting board for chopping vegetables, one for cutting meat, one for cutting bread/cheese, a nice deep single bowl sink, some sharp knives and all my tools at hand and I can cook a good meal. I love the fact that my husband will clean up after me at times, but I am pretty good at cleaning as I go.

So yes, those big beautiful kitchens in the magazines and home improvement shows are lovely to look at and I am sure they help sell homes, but they do not make a good cook. Making a meal for your self and/or family and friends comes from the heart and if you need a huge kitchen to do it, I would say that you are over compensating. The act of creating the meal while might be easier in a big kitchen it doesn’t make it taste any better and will take longer if you have to keep walking back and forth.

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I will continue to ooh and aah over those beautiful spaces, but I know the meals and baked goods that come out of my little efficient kitchen will compete with most coming out of any showplace. Working with my space has made me concentrate on the food and the best way to get it to the table to nourish those waiting.

Posted in Baking, decor, everyday life, Home, kitchens, needs | 3 Comments

Independent Bookstores are Jewels

Seeing as my town’s library is yet to open, my reading material is just about exhausted. This is not a good situation and I was not going to allow it to continue.

We have a Barnes and Noble about 10 minutes drive from my house and they have been open for awhile now, but a local independent bookstore that is about 30 to 40 minutes drive from my house just reopened for browsing! I made sure I went this past Friday and it was wonderful. I walked in and checked in with the person at the door and was instructed about the restrictions (sanitize hands, wear mask, 6 foot distancing etc.) none of which were difficult or a hardship of any kind.

This bookstore doesn’t carry the selection that a large chain does, but it has handwritten recommendations from the employees and some more obscure titles along with the Best Sellers. They had to rearrange the area a bit to make it easier on the customers to be able to distance themselves, but their cafe seating was really the only thing missing. You could order takeout, but not sit down. I am looking forward to the time when the cafe is open and I can sit and peruse my books while enjoying, the food, atmosphere and company that true bookstore lovers provide.

Independent bookstores are as unique as their owners with their own personalities and quirks. This particular one was built on the site of an old run down building in a small town, they couldn’t save the building but they copied the architecture, used a lot of reclaimed wood on the inside in their displays and the bones of the building. The owner is a well known author and decided this was something his town needed and I am hugely grateful for it. It is a respite and I look forward to going even if the trip is out of my way. I anticipate maybe finding a new author, a book I haven’t been able to find or some little gift for someone.

This visit included a visit to their “holiday” shop upstairs. I know it is early for holiday shopping and decorating, but the way things are going now retailers need to get their stock out when they can, we don’t know what things will be like next week let alone next month. I found some cute little gnomes for my Christmas collection and had fun just browsing. This was one of a couple of times that while shopping I forgot that I had a mask on and just enjoyed being in the moment.

I love bookstores to be sure and try to visit one whenever I am traveling, but I am usually on the lookout for the independent one that might not be on the main street or looks a little dark and crammed because that is where you find the jewel you are looking for and those stores need to continue to be around.

They have book signings, readings from well known and some not so well known authors, pre-pandemic they held craft classes, yoga classes and trivia nights. They went virtual with as much of these types of activities as possible and you could order on-line for curbside pick-up. I was not able to partake in ordering on-line because, well frankly, I never really know what I want until I see it. I just like browsing and the on-line experience doesn’t do it for me. I believe brick and mortar stores need to exist and provide a service that you cannot have while shopping on-line. So shop small whenever you can and search for those independent bookstores and used bookstores because humanity needs them in order to slow down and appreciate the little things.

Posted in books, everyday life, retailing, shopping, the little things, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

My Love/Hate Relationship with Appliances

Modern conveniences are wonderful, but while I appreciate them there are many things that drive me nuts.

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My refrigerator is wonderful, keeps food fresh and cold and I can’t imagine living without this modern marvel. I have a basic fridge no bells and whistles. It has the freezer on top with an ice maker. Since it is just me and my husband living in the house we really don’t need a huge one, nor one with a tv built in or a “smart” one that tells me when I am low on things or connects to my phone. It is white, not stainless steel and it has a textured outside so it hides fingerprints. I was cleaning the inside the other day and I again was happy that it had adjustable glass shelves that are easy to clean. So what is my problem with it? Well I may have mentioned before that since I am eating less processed food now, the depth of the appliance is not working. If I push something too far back it will freeze, so that leaves less space to put fresh food, it feels like I have a smaller fridge than I do. I know in some parts of the world people shop on a daily basis for their food so large refrigerators are not needed, but I go once a week, so I am constantly shuffling things.

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I consider myself lucky to have a dishwasher and my newer one is much quieter, it is energy efficient and uses less water than washing by hand. My problem is that if I have more than 2 bowls of cereal in a week, it is next to impossible to not take up 1/3 of the bottom rack. I have a special part of the top rack for stemware which I never use so it creates a problem putting my coffee mugs in it. Again since my husband and I are the only people eating here on a regular basis I wait a bit before running it, then odor builds up so that whenever you open it it stinks.

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My Kitchenaid stand mixer is my pride and joy. I have mixed countless batches of cookies, layers of cakes and many loaves of bread have been kneaded. It is a pebbly grey color and I have a splatter shield(my only addition) and I adore it. Unfortunately it weighs a lot! I have limited counter space and since I do not use it daily, I have to store it in my pantry. Putting it on the shelf involves some major maneuvering and getting it out is the same in reverse. There is no good way to grab it and god help me if I dropped it. I think redoing my pantry is in the cards so that I can store it as well as my blender.

On the mixer front, I do have a hand mixer that has different attachments beside the usual and they are kept in a clear lucite attachment that hooks on like a base, not without quite a bit of pushing and yes slamming it on the counter. The mixer works well and I do like it.

Window air conditioners are things we need and I hate that we need them as I would much rather just use a fan in the window, but climate change. Of course, using an air conditioner adds to global warming and of course global warming means we need air conditioners. They are heavy and difficult to put in and set up and while my new one works well it is loud, if I run it on eco mode it will shut off when a designated temperature is reached and then go back on again when it needs to, but since it is so loud it wakes me up when either thing happens, not a restful night.

My paper shredder has died. This is my second one and I went to go price one at Staples and almost choked. Light use ones were price from 79 to 150. Should I go for a more heavy duty one, would it last longer? I never really thought about how much I would be using it. The one I have now says you can run 7 sheets through at a time but when I did that it barely moved, sounded so bad I stopped it and reversed out the sheets. I could do 3 tops and even then it complained. Should i just rip things up in tiny pieces, do I really need one. The fact that they exist bothers me, why are there people who steal information from your trash? So I guess my problem is with people not the appliance.

My electric toothbrush is fantastic. It did imply that I could replace the batteries when they finally died, but that is not to be. I will end up getting a new one and having to throw it out bothers me. Why can’t I just get new batteries, if I could get the handle apart to see what kind, maybe I could, but I have given up on that.

I think the point I am trying to make with all my complaining about my luxury items is that most of us are grateful to have them, but nothing is ever perfect. Our lives are easier with these items, but we are always looking for the next big thing that will make our lives easier. No machine/appliance is perfect for everyone as we all need/want different things, but we complain anyway. We have so much and yet it is never enough.

Posted in appliances, everyday life, grateful | 2 Comments

People Who Steal Suck

I find the oddest things set me off nowadays. Maybe they always did and now I am just more self-aware, which is another problem. Let me explain.

I have worked in the retail industry from the time I was 13 years old and have seen many changes in those years, some good some not so good. One thing has always been a constant-stealing. That’s right, people have always shoplifted and it has always been a struggle for store owners and managers. One has to be careful not to alienate customers by following them and making assumptions. As a manager I had to tell people not to approach someone until the were almost out the door and even then not.

I never understood how people could take things that didn’t belong to them and feel good about showing them off to people or placing them prominently in their home or in their wardrobes etc. Someone compliments you on those lovely pair of earrings “Oh, yeah I stole those from Macy’s”. This makes no sense.

I am not talking about the desperate who might steal to feed their family, still wrong, but their are different forces at work here. I made blueberry muffins the other day (really good) and I reached for my new package of muffin cups, count of 60, sustainable brand etc. These packages are always very lightweight and I purchased them quite awhile ago and had not yet opened them, so I brought them out of the cupboard only to find the box completely empty. So I purchased an empty cardboard box, basically. Should I have checked it, well I will next time, but why should I have to? There are people who will say that companies build loss due to theft into the pricing of merchandise. It is the cost of doing business, so the cost of doing business is because people suck?

Imagine if people didn’t steal then would prices be lower? Businesses have to figure loss into their business model? I suppose there will always be dishonest people and the rest of us have to pay the price, literally and figuratively.

Now that supermarkets and places like Target have self-service registers they are inviting theft, but figure by doing away with cashiers they will still come out ahead. My supermarket has self service registers as well as individual scanners so you can scan and bag at the same time and pay as you leave. Don’t even think that everyone is scanning every item they put in their bags. I refuse to use either kind of self-serve register as the store has done away with jobs and I am not their employee. I don’t see prices going down with doing away with jobs.

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The good customer is again being ripped off by the people who think that it is no big deal to take things without paying for them because”it is the cost of doing business” and now some stores are making it easier for them to do just that.

When I managed a larger store I had to train cashiers on how to search products for things that were hidden in larger items, such as comforters etc. Now you know why when you go into Home Goods and pick out a comforter the zipper is closed with a security tag. I used to find all manner of items lost in the folds of packaged items. Socks stuck in the toes of shoes, jewelry in handbag pockets, infant clothes in boxes of pots and pans, need I go on? The lengths that stores have to go through to protect their business is ridiculous. So next time you pick up an item whose packaging that is 4 times larger than the item or impossible to open thank all those people who think it is okay to take what isn’t theirs.

I myself will be checking my muffin cups from now on.

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Posted in retailing | 3 Comments

Things That Have Worked

I started my organizing journey a few years ago, by reading two books “Small Moves, Big Change” and Marie Kondo’s book “The Art of Tidying Up”. I went to work applying different things from each book and I can now tell you that some of these items have changed my life ( I know pretty dramatic) in an extremely positive way and others have fallen flat.

I now fold my socks instead of rolling them into balls, as I always had. Marie Kondo was right, the elastic isn’t stretched and I can fit more into my sock drawer and I can see them all. On a side note, I have no idea why I have so many socks, but since they fit in the drawer I will not worry and will be able to get rid of them when they fall apart.

I have not started folding my other clothes with her method and I think that is partially because my drawers are not as deep as the ones she uses and I really don’t have as many clothes.

I don’t get rid of books as she has suggested. I do have more cookbooks than I use and I always donate fiction that I purchase to the library after I finish reading them or give them to someone else to enjoy. Every year I winnow down my cookbooks, but just as with my gardening books, these are reference material so they stay.

I won’t go into all the things I did not do from her book as I felt her methods were a bit extreme and finding joy in everyday items that you need is just a bit hokey for me. I use things until they are no longer useful then I either recycle, donate, upcycle or trash the item. I feel that quite a few people took her advise to heart when that book hit the market and there was a glut of stuff either trashed or donated mindlessly, that to me is counter productive, because many of those people will later go out and repurchase those items because they themselves have not changed their habits. This brings me to my other book “Small Moves, Big Change”

I read this book from cover to cover before I started enacting anything in the text. I learned about breaking down a problem to it’s smallest action and went from there, so this is what worked:

I found the fact that when I came in my front door I walked into the kitchen, took off my coat and hung it on a chair. I hated having the coats all piled on the chairs, it was messy and it stressed me out. I walked right past the front hall closet so why was it so difficult for me to open the door and hang up my coat? The smallest thing was to just close the front door and hang up my coat, it took the same amount of time. So I made a concerted effort to do that before I walked any further into the house, this took about 2 weeks until it became habit and I didn’t have to think about it. Kitchen remains coat free 4 years later.

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It bothered me that I didn’t have a better handle on our bills, I had let things slide and had even had a few late fees. This was not like me, so I looked for a trigger (something I do regularly) that I could attach to my paying the bills. I food shop every Monday for the week so before I leave the house I pay the bills that came in during the week. I now have a better handle on what is due and when, as an added bonus I found that I did less mindless spending. I also incorporated paying my bills on line through my bank so I get a clear picture of my accounts. No late fees, no stress and up to date accounts for 4 years.

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I had gotten into a bad habit of not putting away my clothes at night and just throwing them in the corner to deal with later, what a waste of time. When I went to bed my husband was usually already asleep so I couldn’t turn on the lights. On nights when we had nothing planned I would get ready for bed well before I was planning on sleeping, I brushed my teeth, washed up and changed into my pjs. This left me with the 2 minutes it took to put my clothes away, I will admit my new closet organizer has made it even easier. No clothes piles for 3 years.

The clutter on my kitchen counter after dinner faced me in the morning, yuck! When we finish dinner I load the dishwasher (I know that I am lucky to have this) and clean the pots and pans as well as wipe down the counters and stove top before I watch television or read etc. This was a bit harder because there are times that I am just too tired and after making dinner the thought of cleaning was too much, but the dishwasher was always loaded. Seriously this didn’t take more than 10 minutes. My husband has been helpful in this because he doesn’t mind cleaning up. Clean kitchen for breakfast for 3 years.

The point I took from this book was to break down a problem to it’s smallest parts and work on changing that small part until it becomes a habit. It was also important to not try more than 2 of these habits at a time. You are making lifestyle changes not just cleaning up an area of the home. I still have different areas that I would like to work on, so I need to break them down.

Decluttering and organizing has become a big trend, but I feel if people don’t recognize and change the habits that got them there, it will continue to be struggle for them and they will just end up treading water.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Mother of the Groom woes.

Being the mother of the groom is a very different experience. My daughter was married 11 years ago this past month and while I let her lead the way in many choices they had a budget and chose the things that were most important to them.

My son is now engaged and we hope September 2021 we will not be under pandemic strictures. My daughter-in-law to be is a lovely young woman and wants a more casual smaller wedding and has made some fun choices already. They are paying for it themselves with the exception of the photographer, for which we are footing the bill, as the pictures are very important to me and after the day is over that and our memories are what we have left, so it may be a bit selfish on my part, but I wanted input.

Her mother lives a few states away and is not super excited about the wedding itself. Don’t get me wrong she is excited that they are getting married and likes my son, but thinks they ought to save the money and elope. That was upsetting to my son because he wants her to have “her” day. I warned him not to get in between daughter and parents. To him it seemed as if she was not at all interested in helping plan, I thought it could be that she might be a bit embarrassed because they were not offering to help monetarily in any way.

I am trying to walk a very fine line here. I did go with her to pick out her dress, just the two of us which was strange with masks and social distancing, but I was touched that she asked. I made sure she took pictures to send to her mother who was not with us, but I got the feeling that her mother just didn’t care one way or the other. It is awful, I have never met her or her husband and already do not have a great feeling. I have helped her with finding a venue as she is not from the area and was unsure about where things were and pricing. She has finally decided on colors for her attendants, unfortunately it is my favorite color so will have to choose something else as far as color. I have told her that it is her mother’s choice first and I will follow, but again getting nowhere with her moving forward. I know it is a year away but I have a hard time with dresses and they usually need tailoring, but I guess I will just have to wait. I am not a patient person.

As the mother of the bride I could get things done, but now I am at the mercy of others and it is not sitting well. I can’t push, I keep saying that this is their wedding and they need to be happy with their choices. The fact that so many people pushed their wedding back because of COVID they have had to do things a bit sooner than they would like because of availability. So certain things have been nailed down and I am feeling less anxious about things. It goes against my personality. I am organized and just waiting for others to get things done stresses me out.

Have any of you been the mother of the groom or a bride with a pushy mother in law to be. I need help, I don’t want to come off as controlling and/or pushy. Anyone?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Outstanding Blogger Award

  1. Are you more of a morning or an evening person (morning lark or a night owl)?
  2. When was the last time you ate out at a restaurant? If it was before lockdown, have you missed it?
  3. We hear a lot about bad habits, but name one of your good habits?
  4. What emoji do you tend to use the most (if any)?
  5. What makes you happy?
  6. What is your favourite music genre?
  7. What was your favourite game as a child?

I want to thank Sandra Madeira for nominating me  for the outstanding blogger award. I will try to answer these questions as honestly as possible. I have listed people I have nominated below, but because I seem incapable of figuring out how to notify them other than tagging them, I guess this is their notification. It is a diverse group and I hope you will seek them out even if I can’t figure out how to link them.

  1. I stay up late but I love the quiet of the morning.
  2. My husband and I enjoyed a nice lunch outside this past week, we haven’t eaten out as much, since the pandemic started(saved money), but outside seating has been nice.
  3. I feel like I am an organized person, but flexible enough to be spontaneous.
  4. The laughing one
  5. My children, love talking to them and sharing their day even if they are far away and all grown up.
  6. Give some old time rock n’ roll!
  7. Scrabble

Rules of the award

1. Provide the link to the creator’s original award post. (very important: see why in step 5)
2. Answer the questions provided.
3. Create 7 unique questions.
4. Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the awards’s creator, nor the blogger that nominated you, can be nominated.
5. At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award!

This award was created by https://coltonbeckwithrpc.wordpress.com/

My nominations are:

LA ,Waking up on the wrong side of 50

The G Sandwich

Bournemouth Girl

walkercynthia, making peace with the wrong side of 40

Brendan Birth, Blind Injustice

TJ Fox: Sharing the Experience

Kally MiddleMe

CARAMEL, Caramel (Learner at love)

Tails Around the Ranch

dfolstadt58, Life and Random Thinking

My questions are as follows:

  1. What have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?
  2. Where is your favorite place to vacation?
  3. What is your favorite season?
  4. Why did you start blogging and is it the same reason you continue?
  5. Do you come from a large family?
  6. What was your best(maybe not favorite) subject in high school?
  7. Which would you rather read, fiction or non-fiction?
Posted in Blogging award, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

How Do I Help Someone With Depression?

Mental illness has become a little more mainstream, meaning that people are more willing to talk about it. The stigma is still there, but people are more aware. This is a good thing so that those suffering no longer need to in silence.

I myself, do not suffer in this way, but some of my family members do and it is frustrating not being able to do anything to help. When medication doesn’t work or needs to be adjusted you can only be there, hold their hand and talk and hope and pray that it is enough. I might start to study it so that I can at least learn how to help those that I love.

man in black shirt and gray denim pants sitting on gray padded bench

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Depression comes on sometimes suddenly, sometimes just seeps in and before you know it, the person is in a ball crying and you are helpless and hurting. I know that I have to remain calm and urge the person to talk it out and think about the positive things in their lives, this in itself is a challenge because they seem to be able to find only the bad.

With all the publicity of removing the stigma of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems I have not heard of anyone helping their families on how to help. I need to know how to help or at least how not to make it worse. I think of myself as a fairly strong person, but after dealing with a loved one in the throws of a really bad depressive episode I am spent, thinking that I can’t do enough to remove the pain. As a mother you want to protect and make sure nothing bad ever happens to your family, all the while knowing that is beyond your control.

person in black pants and black shoes sitting on brown wooden chair

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I am going to do my best to educate myself and if any of you out there know of a good resource, please let me know. I am scared and tired of feeling helpless. I need to take positive steps.

Posted in depression, emotion, grief, listening, mental health, speaking out, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Putting Thought Back Into The Choice

Last week I wrote about choices and I was thinking about it when I happened on an HGTV House Hunters episode where the clients commented on the size of the closet. It was the size of one of my kids bedrooms! She assured the realtor that it could not possibly hold all her clothes let alone share it with her husband. Now I live in the New England area and unless you are getting new construction you are not going to get another windowless bedroom masquerading as a closet. I thought about that woman and the choices she has to make everyday in order to get dressed for her day. Does she start 2 hours before breakfast? By the looks of it she doesn’t want to make choices so she just buys a new outfit everyday. Not only was this conspicuous consumption, wasteful and egotistical it was just a waste of precious time.

People talk about how little time they have to relax with their family, well if you didn’t saddle yourself with so many options maybe you could grab another hour a day to relax. I love nice clothes and used to work in the fashion industry so I am not a stranger to wanting nice things even the newest styles, but since I do not going into an office or a work environment I really do not have the reason to buy a lot of clothes. Hell, my last job required a uniform. When I need something new I really look for something I love, that fits well, is made well and from a company that echoes my values or I buy second hand. Taking all of these factors into consideration I have something that I love and will wear often, thus cutting back my choices, yes, but the choices I have left are ones I really like.

We burden ourselves with choices that we do not need to make. Why do we do this? Have we been conditioned to never be satisfied with what we have? Are we always competing with others as well as ourselves? The US is a consumerist society so we as consumers are the driving force behind what is made, imported and sold in this country, so maybe we should make the choice to be educated consumers instead of just bulk consumers. We all have choices to make and yes I am privileged in the sense that I can spend more time and money buying things that are more sustainable and ethical, not everyone has that kind of choice, but it is a vicious circle. People who are living from paycheck to paycheck and having to buy clothes for instance that are not expensive because that is what they can afford end up with cheaply made garments that don’t last and have to be replaced again and again. In essence their choice determined the next 2 choices. We do not need as much as we have, but we have every right to have it.

As far as the HGTV client goes she bought the house with the largest closet and took over one of the bedrooms for her custom shoe and handbag shelving. Does she ever repeat an outfit? I found it deeply disturbing considering the state of the world we are living in, just thinking about fashion and climate change that someone has that many choices when there are some that have none.

Choices are all about empowering us to get what we want and where we want to go in life and some are just that-a choice. Some choices are more important and hold more weight in the grand scheme of things than others, I am not saying that we need to just stop making choices and going along with what we have, but I would like to think that people are putting thought into what they buy and not just pick things up because they are pretty, the newest model or something that is being touted on social media. Let’s pull together and put thought back into the process.

Posted in choice, closets, conspicous consumption, consumerism, everyday life, marketing, needs, shopping, sustainability, Uncategorized, wardrobe | 1 Comment

Just Make a Choice!

When presented with options to replace something I have been using and have been happy with I actually consider changing. Why do I think this is? Am I always looking for the next big thing? I am always wondering if something would make me look younger, thinner, less lazy etc.

I have perfectly good skin care products that I have used for years, they have less packaging, are cruelty free and are at least partially plant based. My skin looks pretty good although since I am getting older it is a daily fight. I read about new products and scientific breakthroughs and wonder if I should change things up, why? I am not spending a ton of money on these products, I spent a lot of time researching them to begin with and have been happy. So I hear about a different option and start second guessing my decisions. This is just stupid on my part.DSCN0314

In 2007, I bought a hybrid Honda Civic and I love this car and now that I am not driving as much since I retired plus lockdown I know I do not need a new car. I will say that I am a lover of nice cars. When my husband needs a new car I will probably get his old one because it is in better shape and as I said before I do not drive as much anymore, but boy it does not stop me from looking at new cars and all the options available. They do not make my particular model anymore and I am sad, but to be honest it has probably stopped me from upgrading, because the available choices I do not like.

I am not sure if it is options that pull me in or the thought that there is always something better out there. You know, the grass is always greener. Lately, I have made a concerted effort to change my retail habits. I do more research to not only find items and companies that align with my values but, also to really assess whether or not I need the item in question.

Going food shopping has become rote in some ways, I buy the same products from the same companies over and over, I don’t have to think about them. I have already figured out what works for me, why reinvent the wheel. Occasionally I have taken my husband shopping with me and leave him in the cereal aisle to get two boxes of cereal and I can do the rest of the shopping before he decides. He stares and says”There are so many options” and he gets analysis paralysis. I have done all the trial and error and know what he likes and doesn’t so I do not have to waste my time on it. I will say that he hasn’t come with me in a VERY long time. He likes to research things when he decides we need something but it is usually a large ticket item, everyday choices are left up to me.

Choices are just that-a choice. People are always searching for the newest and best when what they already have is fine. People don’t want fine. Companies spend a lot of money on getting new customers even if it is at the expense of those that they already have. How many times have you seen a product on a shelf that is new and improved and sitting right next to the original? If a product is the best then why make anything else? Do companies have to keep coming up with new products to stay in business? I would argue that certain industries do not need to, but when you get into tech that is always evolving and improving. Some tech companies (apple for example) feel the need to put out a new model every year even though it is not much of an upgrade.

I have decided to make a choice. I am not going to change anything that I am currently using unless it breaks or stops working,  and who knows I may go with the original or go without, that is my choice and it didn’t really use up too many brain cells. My skin looks pretty good and nothing is going to make me look thinner if I do not lose weight, and the only way I am going to get motivation is to just get up and do it.

Posted in choice, consumerism, everyday life, habits, marketing, plastic surgery, shopping, skin care, supermarkets, Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments