Big Breath of Relief

I wanted to thank you again for your generous help with my expenses right now. Of all things, I never expected Eric to set up this page, or for you guys to be so generous.

I hadn’t told anyone but due to the long winter (we still need heat even today cause it is chilly), my electric was in danger of being shut off. Now it is not, all thanks to you.

I have no words to tell you how relieved I am, and how much I appreciate the help.


I look forward to telling you guys everything about what I am facing, and I am sorry that right now I can’t. As soon as they say I can though I will start sharing again but please be patient. Not only do legal things have to be sorted, it takes ages to work these things up anymore. I can only tolerate short spells in front of screens and need help getting my scratches translated and online.

But I will not quit.

That said, thank you. You have taken huge worry off my mind while I get things sorted.

Thank you so much for your help during my current challenge. You are awesome!

Tears and Gratitude

My friend Eric West has brought tears to my eyes today.

As you know I was hurt last year and things have not been going well. I’m still recovering and it looks to be a long road ahead.

Eric is one of the friends with whom I have kept in touch with. His support has meant so much to me, and now he’s stepped up to do even more.

I don’t know what to say. Thank you doesn’t even begin to touch anything he has done over the past year and this…I am speechless.

He explains what happened a lot better than I can right now, so please, read his post.

I don’t want you to think I am asking for anything. Your comments and support mean more to me than all the treasures in the world, but his post explains my situation better than I can.

Eric, I’m sorry. Wanted to write something touching here but I’m crying to hard to manage. Thank you just isn’t enough.

Hugs to all,
Annie

Thank you so much for your help during my current challenge. You are awesome!

The Case of the Clogged Sink

One of the fun things bout brain damage is that you tend to do some really stupid things. My latest stunt saw me pour grease down my kitchen sink instead of tossing it in the trash like I should have.

Of course, I didn’t realize my mistake til the next day cause I’m brilliant like that. The poor drain was clogged completely. It was if I had poured concrete into the sucker.

It was ugly outside and my head was throbbing so I really wasn’t up to walking to the store. Scratch that. I was broke, so I had to come up with a fix using stuff I already had. Yeah, I was hurting and the day was nasty but I woulda walked if I would have had the cash.

The first thing I did was fill my hot pot with vinegar and set it to boil. While waiting I dumped some salt, baking soda, and a healthy dollop of dishwashing liquid into the sink drain. When the vinegar boiled I dumped that on top and watched it bubble. I felt like I was making a witches brew with all of the nasty stuff floating round in that thing.

After about thirty minutes (didn’t exactly time it, just came back after a short nap to ease my aching head) I attacked that sucker with a plunger. It opened right up after a few pumps. I rinsed the sink out well and now I’m boiling some more vinegar to pour down in that puppy to make sure I got it all.

I not only managed to unclog my drain but to de-scale (is that the right word? I can’t remember) my hot pot.

Boo Yah!

P.S. Sorry bout any goofs. Katie wasn’t around to help with this one and I wanted to share before I forgot about it.

Thank you so much for your help during my current challenge. You are awesome!

Update

Hello!

Sorry for not writing.

It seems that I am going to have some lasting issues from the knock in the head I took last year. Been trying to learn how to cope and plus get things sorted.

Right now I don’t know what the future holds. Katie and I have been talking about this. We are thinking that in time it may be best to move back to one of my old haunts, one with a regular bus line and more things to do. Haven’t decided yet (finances are a big thing) but if I get that sorted may help in my recovery, or least make things easier while the rest works out.

As of right now I’m not sure when I’ll be writing regularly. Not sure if I’ll ever be to the point where I can make books again but I’m going to try.

You know me, I don’t quit but I have to figure things out and the figuring is hard.

But for now I’m still here and i’m still fighting. Thank you for hanging with me on this.

Thank you so much for your help during my current challenge. You are awesome!

The Water Heater Hack

Our water heater has a little problem. The high-pressure release valve occasionally leaks now due to age. It isn’t affecting our water bill so rather than bug the landlord I hacked it so that it no longer drips on the bathroom floor.

To do this I took the drainage hose from my old washing machine, attached it to the overflow valve, and stuck the other end in the bathtub. When the valve acts up, this allows the water to safely drain away.

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We move the hose to a bucket we keep nearby when we bathe. Water that collects in the bucket is used to water the plants and stuff.

Eventually I will have to ask him to fix the heater but for now this works.

Have you hacked something lately? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Thank you so much for your help during my current challenge. You are awesome!

Should You Throw it ALL Away?

A common refrain among minimalists is that you should throw away all of your excess in order to free up your life for other things but what about the things that you know that you will use?

For instance, say you purchased a small stockpile of paperclips when you caught them on sale. You actually use paperclips, but the amount you have is enough to last you for several years. Should you eliminate the excess to the point where you only have a small amount to last for a couple of months?

In the past I would have said yes but time and maturity has caused me to reconsider this. If you are settled and don’t plan on moving any time soon (and you have the space to store the excess) you could keep the excess and use them up. Of course, you wouldn’t buy any more paperclips until your stockpile was used up.

Now that I’ve decided that I just want to settle down I’ve changed my viewpoints on minimalism. Items like clothing and office supplies tend to build up around here because we receive hand-me-downs frequently and I like to stock up on office supplies during back-to-school season. Instead of eliminating all of the excess I now keep the items that I know we will use – and I make sure that it actually gets used before I go out and purchase new.

This helps reduce the amount of stuff that gets tossed in landfills as well as saves us money. Occasionally when our clothes threaten to overgrow our closets (we have several spendthrift friends) we thin them down to fit within the space we have allotted, but we don’t buy new unless we wear out the things we already have.

This is not a license to start filling your home with organizer totes, however. To make this work you have to be militant in the fact that you won’t buy new until you use up the things that you have, plus you have to be honest with yourself; if it isn’t something that you will actually use, you have to let it go.

How do you deal with excess items that you know you will use? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Thank you so much for your help during my current challenge. You are awesome!

Frugal Toothpaste

The toothpaste of choice in our little house is Pepsodent. It is American made, and at 98 cents a tube it is the best bargain around these parts.

While a single tube will last us for months, to stretch it even further I routinely brush my teeth with salt, baking soda, or plain water. Katie isn’t interested in being that frugal, unfortunately.

When the tube gets low I cut it open and we use up every last drop before we buy another one.

How do you save money on toothpaste? Please share your story in the comments below.

Thank you so much for your help during my current challenge. You are awesome!

The Laundry Compromise

Even though I don’t mind going to the laundromat I really hate spending the money so I’ve been brainstorming ways to save on this necessity. The simplest solution would be to acquire another washing machine but as of yet I have been unable to locate one at a price I am willing to pay (read: dirt cheap). While I will continue to look, in the meantime I’ve worked out a way to wash my laundry and save money too.

Every few days we gather up our dirty clothes, wash them out by hand, and hang them up to dry. Larger items like towels, comforters, and bed sheets are saved up and washed at the laundromat.

This has reduced our laundry expense significantly but sometimes we cut it even more by washing some of the larger items by hand as well. We don’t enjoy doing that so it doesn’t happen very often, however.

What creative ways do you save money on your laundry bill? Please share your story in the comments below.

Thank you so much for your help during my current challenge. You are awesome!

The Annual Closet Purge

At the end of every year my daughter and I take an evening to perform a ritual we call the annual closet purge. We go through our closets and remove everything that fits these criteria:

  • no longer fits properly
  • we no longer wear or want
  • completely worn out

After we finish going through our closets, we dig through each other’s discard pile and keep whatever we desire. This gives a second life to our clothes. Once we’ve picked through the discard piles for what we want, we toss out the worn items and divide what’s left for distribution among our friends.

This little ritual helps us to not only keep our closets under control, it allows us more variety in our wardrobe without having to go shopping at a store.

Do you have a similar ritual? Please share your story in the comments below.

Thank you so much for your help during my current challenge. You are awesome!

How to Discover What is Truly Important

A lot of websites (including mine) talk about how simplicity and minimalism can help you to achieve the life of your dreams. These methods help you to eliminate the unimportant in order to focus your energy. However, what they don’t help you do is figure out what your dream life is. Since many people believe that large amounts of wealth, travel, and material things are what they want they simplify their lives to pursue this stuff, only to realize once they achieve it that they still aren’t happy.

Fortunately there is a litmus test that can help you to figure out what it is you truly want in order to be happy.

Imagine that you are sitting in the doctor’s office. He has just told you that you have a disease that will kill you. Maybe not tomorrow, or even next year, but in time this disease is going to end your life and there isn’t a single thing you can do about it.

Close your eyes and imagine this. Really feel the emotions, embrace the knowledge that you are going to die. What do you want to do in the meantime?

Whatever that desire is, that is what you want deep down in order to be happy. The answer may surprise you.

You may realize that you want to travel. You may want to jump out of an airplane or visit the Grand Canyon.

Or you may just want to sit at home, relax, and just enjoy the rest of your life with your family.

I’ve done this. It helped me realize that I already have the life of my dreams, sitting here in my tiny home. Oh, I would like a bit more money but just enough to make life easier. I don’t need a million dollars–I just need enough to pay my bills and buy a few extras until I am forced to clock out.

I don’t need to travel the world. I don’t need to write a novel. I just need to relax and be thankful for the life I already have.

Every single day is a gift. Once you embrace the fact that your days are numbered it puts everything in perspective.

If you’re lucky you won’t ever be faced with a terminal illness but the fact is that we are all going to die. The question is whether you will spend your time dying…

…or living.

How do you want to spend the rest of your time in this life? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Thank you so much for your help during my current challenge. You are awesome!