30 July, 2010

stalking simplicity

August 1st, being a Sunday, seemed as good a day as any to launch the new 'direction' of this blog; that is, giving it an actual focus, rather than random ramblings, as I have trouble deciding what is 'worth' posting otherwise and then don't post at all.
That focus? Simplifying; doing more with less; reaching for sustainability; eliminating the clutter in our lives (in all areas) and enjoying the journey.

Toward that end we (ok, I) have several goals in different areas.

First is Health! (this is a big one): adjusting our diet to be the healthiest possible. I've started on a Raw Food diet(mostly) and it's been going well. I share with the boys, but until I really have it down I am not having them go raw just yet. Milt is not really ready for raw either, but at least he'll try what I do make! aaaaand then eat a hot dog. :)
With this diet I am hoping to alleviate allergic and autoimmune responses, and so far I have noticed a HUGE difference between eating raw and eating cooked. Of course, I usually eat cheese when I don't eat raw, so I'm sure that is exacerbating the difference. ;)
Another intended effect of this diet change is weight stabilisation. I am 17 lbs above a 'normal' BMI, and it shows. I am 37 lbs above what is normal for me; that is, a fit and healthy size, usually between 6-8 in dress size, which is what I was before my thyroid became weak, sometime between my two pregnancies. (Although, I was a little chubby when I got married; I blame that on access to only really, really crappy food). Still! The health risks, and environmental impact, of maintaining this overweight lifestyle is the opposite of what I want in my life, so I am also focusing more on Exercise!

I finally 'fixed up' my bike (inflated the front tire and tightened the handlebars; wow, I have been lazy!) and am riding almost every day, with Asher in his BoBike mini right up in front. We've both been having a blast, although he is a little big for the mini, so I am looking into getting the BoBike maxi (or something similar) sometime soon. I am also fixing up a three-wheeled bike I found in the backyard, so it will be easier to cart both boys ( or a boy and some stuff? like groceries?) around once that is done. However, it is very, VERY rusted, and I am crossing my fingers that is is still structurally sound. I did discover that the lovely orange frame is actually white underneath. wow. We also go for walks, usually down to the train station (Asher LOVES trains),and I do yoga and belly dancing, which are, and have been, fantastic for my joints. On days that I don't get those two workouts I am really stiff, and it feels so great to get those stretches in that I can get a little resentful if the morning runs away with me before I get to it.

The next area of focus is our STUFF. We want to get our own place (we currently rent a room from my parents; yes, the four of us, one bedroom, although we do have the run of the house, so it's a pretty nice setup) but we are so bogged down with STUFF that I don't want to deal with it! We have about one year to save up a down payment, and in that time I'm getting rid of whatever I possibly can. Our stuff fills out a 2-bedroom apartment pretty well, but it is still just way, way too much. So, anything I can sell is being used to fund a down payment (and to pay down some of our debt), anything I can't is being donated, freecycled, or recycled. I can say that my two big trouble areas are my craft supplies (I have 8 bins of fabric. 8. That's insane.) and stuff for the boys. I have fantastic things for the boys, including montessori materials, but it's getting lost in the deluge of STUFF. Now, I am pretty brutal when stuff comes into the house; if it's plastic or makes electronic noises, I donate it within the week. But if it is wood or natural fibers, well, it gets through and it's getting to be a bit much. I don't want the cleaning of toys (and the arguing about cleaning of toys) to continue eating into our time together. It just isn't worth it. (On that note, know what else isn't worth it? Garage sales. Cragislist FTW! Anything that can't be craigslisted should be freecycled/given away ASAP. Just saying.)

The third area is our community and environment. Milt and I are not 'joiners' but I have been feeling the lack of community now that Asher is getting older and we aren't in Santa Cruz anymore, so we want to plug in somewhere, even if it is temporary. We also want to start making positive changes outside of our home sphere, so we are looking for opportunities to do that as well. Now, some personal things fall into this area:fuel economy, cloth diapers, washing the car on the lawn, but it all fits together into one big picture of how to live the fullest lives possible while making the most impact and leaving the smallest environmental footprint.

So I'll be focusing on these three areas, keeping track and trying to make sense of where we are heading. However it goes, it's going to be amazing.

15 July, 2010

almost time for a party...

Summer's been hurtling along, hasn't it? Unbelievable that it's already mid-July. Adin's 1st birthday is Sunday (!!!!!!) and I am, I suppose, in a sort of denial about it, which is why I am totally unprepared for the party. That is, I have a box of *things* for the party, but food? what? I bought a cake mix, as waiting for inspiration to strike is looking less than promising in that department, although really, does a toddler really need cake? or in our children's cases, cupcakes? I have managed to have an argument already with my mother about the gifting; I feel awkward and tacky opening gifts in front of people, she insists we do it. This is also the woman who insisted we add *more* to our wedding registry, so we wound up with a lot of random (awesome! thank you!) things rather than the essentials we had initially picked. Don't know what to do in this case though.
I am at least planning to do his portraits at the beach, rather than with a professional in a studio, because while I love Asher's 1st-year portraits, his 2nd year pic, that I took in the backyard,is more...him... more honest. and gorgeous. I think I can get equally good photos of Adin, being the gregarious little ball of love and destruction that he is.
Plus I despise *having* to pic a certain amount in this size and that size and the other size and alright I'm still mostly peeved about spending that much on graduation announcements and pictures for a very very low return on investment, if you know what I mean, but enough about my issues.
I've been doing a lot of cleaning and rearranging and throwing out and had a massive yard sale while my mother was in Colorado which is why I am sitting in the middle of a huge mess right now with the knowledge that she will be walking in here tomorrow morning hanging over my head so I need to shut this down now and get back to work, which is fine because the battery is almost out of charge anyhow. alright, back to cleaning. or watching psych. whichever. based on this last paragraph what I SHOULD be doing is sleeping. except that sleep is for the childless, amen.