Apr 5 2011

pineapple oven mitts [minimalist challenge item #47]

[item] Pineapple oven mitts

[purchase info] Purchased new at Ross

[time in my possession] Approximately 6 years

[last used] 6 months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Given to a family in need

[info] I have more of these than I can use at one time.  Not needed.  Cute pineapples, but not functional at all.  The floppy tops get into the food and they don’t protect well from the heat.


Mar 28 2011

the affects of effects [day 306]

It starts when we’re born.  Accessories.  “My daddy is the best” and “My mom is better than your mom” on our shirts, iconic pacifiers, hair bows in more styles and colors than Baskin Robbins has flavors, complete ensembles of coordinated clothing, all in large quantities.  When did babies become fashion statements?  Aren’t they cute enough already?  I see a lot of people talking to parents with small babies and hearing more compliments about the clothing than the kid wearing them.

It continues through adolescence, expanding to toys and games.  I have boys (thank you God) that don’t care much about fashion and will probably need future therapy for their lack of stylish clothing options.  They do however have accessories.  They have Nintendo DS’s that have lots of games, a universal charger, a fancy light sabre stylus and headphones, all packed inside a custom case.  Society says, “You need more” and we respond by buying more.

Into adulthood now, and I’m not exempt from this.  I might not have a lot of fancy, trendy clothing but I do have some nice things in my house.  Most from eBay, craigslist and thrift stores, but nevertheless, lots of things.  Accessories.  I have decorative things that serve no purpose other than to sit there and look nice.  Now I’m an artist of sorts, so this is an important topic.  I love to create things, but with a purpose.  Much of my art is chaotic, but has meaning and purpose behind it.  The vase sitting on my shelf, not so much.  I’ve been sucked into the American vortex of more is better.  I created this photograph several years ago.  This has many meaning for many people, but I see it as how we become background fixtures in the sea of stuff we own.

Continue reading


Jan 17 2011

airing my dirty laundry… and clean laundry [day 235]

I promised you dirty laundry, so here it is.  There’s actually more of it, but this is my basket.  My kids have one upstairs too.  So why an I showing you this?  I have no idea, other than it seemed like a fun title for this blog post.

I was thinking a few days ago how ridiculous it is that I have as many clothes as I do.  I have a relatively small closet, at least considered small by Frisco standards.  It’s a walk-in for skinny people.  I thought, “What if I got rid of half of my clothing?”  Helping my friend move back into her house, and helping her purge clothing from her son’s outgrown wardrobe, was the final push I needed to do this.

I decided to do it.  Get rid of half of my clothes.  Going into this, I had no idea if this would be easy or difficult.  Will it feel like a sacrifice?  Let’s see…

Let’s start with my closet.  I have approximately 278 pieces of clothing in there, so I will need to purge 139 pieces.  The first pass through the closet yielded 84 pieces of clothing.  Not bad for a first pass, but still a pretty long way to go.

The second pass, which was a little bit difficult, yielded 28 pieces of clothing.  This pass felt a little bit like a sacrifice, but when I thought about it, most of this is stuff I don’t wear anymore.  This batch included my pair of mismatched shoes, as they’re too small and hurt my feet.  Sad about those, but it makes sense to pass them on.  These will go to the first person that asks for them (size 7.5), as the thrift store would pitch them in the trash thinking they need exact matches.  Continue reading


Dec 26 2010

shopaholics are cute :) [day 213]

I had to go to the grocery store for a couple of things, and as I was walking through the store, I found something that seemed a little off.  Shopaholic wine glasses.  Cute, right?  Not so much.  The definition of a shopaholic is “a compulsive shopper“, also known as “compulsive shopping disorder“.  A person with CSD will buy things they don’t need, cannot pass up a deal on anything and will go into debt to support their habit.  How is it that we think this is cute and should be announced to everyone?

Would we give an alcoholic friend a shopping bag saying they’re an alcoholic?  Cute gift?  I’m pretty sure that would be a disaster.

Too much of anything, even good things, is bad.  Addictions are serious business.  There are intervention programs, rehabilitation programs and usually some life adjustments to prevent relapse.  So why is it that shopping addictions are socially acceptable and encouraged, while drug addicts, sex addicts, gambling addicts and pretty much all other addicts are supposed to kick their addiction?

This makes no sense to me.  Shopping is legal, where drugs are not.  But then again alcohol is legal.  No theory there.  Shopping supports the economy, so maybe that’s why this is okay.  If your addiction gets you in big time debt, just file bankruptcy.  It screws up your credit, but at least you don’t have to pay for most it.  Seriously?  I have a problem with this.  I’ve had debt, and I paid it all off.  I don’t do that anymore.

Shopping will give you a temporary high, just like most other addictions, but with long term affects if you really have a shopping addiction.  Shopping is not bad, but if you or  a friend have a shopping problem, don’t make fun of it, do something about it.  Happiness is not found in the bottom of a bag anymore than in the bottom of a bottle.