Feb 10 2011

the desire to get new stuff [day 260]

After having my house painted, and having everything moved, I was very careful with what I moved back into my space.  I rearranged a few things, but mostly, I purged a lot of stuff.  Unfortunately, because of the weather, it’s all sitting in my garage.  My new “minimalist” approach to my space is nice, but yesterday, I did have the desire to buy a few things.  I didn’t, and I won’t, but I thought I might share what I wanted to buy.

New lamps. I need a couple of more lamps, as my house is still a bit dark.  I wanted some hanging lamps for over my bed for reading lights.  Right now, I’m using a nice looking lamp, but one that doesn’t really fit in the space.  But it’s light, I can see and it will work for now.  I also have a matching set of lamps that were out in the garage and I decided to bring them back in the house.  The bottom is busted out of the floor lamp and I got tired of cleaning up the sand from it.  It’s in a fixed place now, still broken, but not causing me any hassle.

I will still keep looking on eBay and craigslist for one or two more lamps, but I’m in no hurry and I will only buy what I want… pre-owned.

Bedding. Mine is still in perfect condition, but I want a new color.  There.  I said it.  I had a desire to buy something I completely don’t need.  So I’m not, but the thought did cross my mind.  How many times in the past did I want new bedding and I actually went out and bought it?  How many times have I done that with other things?

Door knobs and broomsticks. Okay, so I really don’t want any broomsticks, but I do want new door knobs.  My house is 17 years old, a couple years older than my car.  After having all of my doors painted, I have no desire to put the shabby looking gold knobs back on.  As a matter of fact, I’m leaving them off until I find the ones I want to put on.  I’d rather look at the holes in the beautifully cream colored, satin finished doors than to see them with the ugly brass-gold knobs.  My house is very modern and that’s the last detail item that needs changing.  Need… probably a strong word there.  They don’t really need to be changed, but I want them to be changed.  I’m going to hold out for the brushed nickel ones, looking daily on craigslist and eBay.  I’ve found some, but they were too far to drive.  I’ll probably check the Habitat Restore too.  I’ll also make sure my old ones go to a loving home, a home that likes that style and color.

I’m not going shopping, and the funny thing is, I will probably forget about the bedding, I will get a lamp when I see one I like and I’ll probably get used to the holes while I’m looking for knobs.  By the way, the bathroom door still has a knob, so you can come visit and use the bathroom without it being an awkward situation.  😉

Feb 2 2011

where is she? [day 251]

I still need to get rid of some of my clothing.  I downsized by 50% a few weeks ago, but there’s still a few more pieces I could part with.  I was thinking about the clothing again after a short trip I took recently.

I went house hunting last Sunday, no, not to buy one, but to look for an abandoned house.  I’m part of a photo group that goes to small towns looking for abandoned houses, vacant buildings, old vehicles or anything else that has been left to deteriorate and wither away.  We’re never disappointed.  This last trip to Krum, Texas produced an abandoned house, a school bus, a fire truck and a semi truck, among other things.  The abandoned houses are always left full of stuff, but the things that surprise me the most is the clothing and the photographs left behind.  Who leaves a house without taking these things?

Just to give you an idea, this was the living room, going into the kitchen.

These are pics of the clothing left behind.

The nightgown still hanging on the back of the door…

I always wonder what the story is, but have yet to find one.  I’m led to look at the artifacts, ponder the possibilities and create my own fictional tale.

It’s dusk, the daylight slowly fading away.  The stuffed pig is sad, waiting patiently for the missing woman that should be coming home now.  After a long bath, she will put on the flowered gown.  Where is she?  Rarely is she late.  What was that?  A sound, followed with silence.  Silence that has turned to deafness over the years.  Still waiting.  It’s dusk.  Where is she?

Jul 7 2010

the challenge: day 40 [field trip: grover's abacus]

Today is my field trip with Dave!  We’re going to the local hardware store, also known as Grover’s.  Okay, so I’m a little odd, but this place looked so awesome when we drove by.

Now I know I’m not shopping for a very long time, but it’s okay to look.  Dave needed a few small items to do some work around the cottage.

First, he took me to a store named Abacus, a place I’ve heard Elizabeth talk about many times.  This is an art store, a high end art gallery, with some really awesome and unique pieces for sale.  Now I would be lying if I said it never crossed my mind to buy something, however I knew I wouldn’t, even without the challenge.  The blown glass bowl I really liked was almost $400.  That’s nowhere even close to any budget money I have to spend on miscellaneous stuff, nor would I be able to live with myself if I did make the purchase.

I didn’t take photos in this store because they don’t allow it, and I respect the artist’s creations and rights to their designs.  (I did get one of the front display window, although I don’t think it represents the contents of the store very well)  But what Idid I do?  I got inspired and got some ideas for art projects.  No, I’m not going to copy their stuff, but I did get some ideas on a ‘trash’ project I’m pondering.

Onto Grover’s…

First of all, Dave is a regular here , and we have backdoor privileges.  This is the most organized, well thought out hardware store I’ve ever seen.  If Home Depot was like this, they would need cots for guys to sleep over.

Every aisle was color-coded, extremely organized and easy to find anything you’re looking for.  They had an entire aisle of just sandpaper, and don’t get me started on the giant spinning rack of nails and screws.  If there’s a hardware store in heaven, it will be like Grover’s.  The guy working there thought I worked for one of the manufacturers since I was taking a lot of photos.  Once e realized I was just a weird tourist with a camera, he said to take as many photos as I like.

Here’s the sign I saw on the way out of the store…

Although I’m not sure that’s quite accurate, a version of that is probably good.  How about this.

“If you didn’t come in here needing it, you still don’t need it.”

Grover’s Abacus:  art & raw materials.  This is one abacus where not buying anything adds up to a higher level of creativity.

Jun 12 2010

the car wash [day 17]

I just couldn’t take it anymore.  My car was so messy and dirty!  Time to take it to the car wash.  Yes, I know what you’re thinking… “…isn’t that a retail place?”  I suppose it could be considered that, but hear me out, then you decide.  It’s retail, but I was not buying ‘stuff’, I was buying a service.

As I was driving to Qwik Wash in Frisco, I realized I was passing about four other car washes to get to there.  I’ve been taking my car to Qwik Wash for about 6 years now?  I had to stop and think about why I keep going back there.

Two reasons immediately came to mind.  Reasonably priced and great service.  In a society where companies are always cutting down on the labor force to save money, this place has plenty of employees.  Not only do they have enough to provide good service, but they seem happy to be there.  I did a little homework on the company.  They’re a small, local business.  I feel good supporting them as a place that provides many jobs in our community.   They have two locations, so it’s small, but they have big hearts for helping the community.  They support local fundraising and I also found out they have been a drop point for food drives.

When I pulled up to get my ‘regular’ wash package, they asked if I wanted to upgrade.  I said no (mostly because I’m too cheap to pay for that), however after ringing me up, because I have been a loyal wash and oil change customer, I got a free upgrade.  They take good care of their loyal customers.

All of the reasons I have mentioned to this point are enough to keep me going there, and anyone that knows me, also knows I will be their best advertising.   One more thing though.  As I was looking around, my car was clearly the oldest one coming through the wash process.  After all, this is Frisco, Texas, land of the American Dream X2.  (in future blogs, we’ll call this ADX2)  It amazes me how they can clean up my 14 year old vehicle to where it looks much newer than it is.  I’m also one of the few people that embrace door dings, as it adds character to my car.  (I actually met a friend through a door ding!)  I’m quite sure my vehicle is more work due to its age… well, and the ages of my kids who trash the back of it.  They clean my car just as well, if not better than, the brand new Mercedes next to me.

It made me happy to know that my old car represents what I believe in.  I don’t have a car payment, so no debt.  I’m content with what I have.  I was having a conversation with some people at work a few weeks ago about winning the lottery.  What would we do with the money?  I’m not sure how it came up, but I said I would not buy a new car.  I got some completely crazy looks, but it’s true.  I’m happy with what I have and I could wash it myself, but I feel like I’m supporting a business that is good… AND I’m not buying more stuff.  I do most things myself, but this is something I treat myself to about once every three months.

What did you decide?  Is this okay or should I be washing my car myself?