Chapter’s End

“I hope you hate your new job!” Gemma’s eyes flashed as she flounced up to me.

I smiled. “I’ll miss you too.” I had heard that sentiment several times over the past two weeks; managers and coworkers alike were upset when I had given notice. While on the outside the statements seem harsh, they are actually the highest compliment one can receive in the restaurant industry.

That is the statement you receive when you are truly loved.

So many people pass through the restaurant industry. Few stay. They become a blip on the radar to the crew who sticks it out long-term. Many times the old-timers don’t even bother learning the names of the new ones. Why bother when they’ll be gone in a few days?

While I’d never planned to stay when I started working at that restaurant, I’d lingered long enough for the crew to get attached. I’d gotten attached, too, so when I turned in my notice I quietly began to say my farewells.

While it was bittersweet to work that last day, this was something I had to do. Now that all of my children are grown, it is time to work on me for a change and for my next adventure I’ve decided to continue my exploration of finance and life. I’ve spent the last two decades actively exploring frugality (most of my life due to circumstances, to be honest). Now I want to see how far I can go in the opposite direction.

The job offer I’ve accepted is part of that process.

This new adventure is a continuation of the experiment I began with the purchase of a journal a while back. I gave myself permission to buy something luxurious to explore the Diderot Effect. I’d taken a good hard look at my home and realized that my personal environment had changed in a way that did not please me. I did not enjoy having my home look like something out of Deliverance, so I decided to change it.

I am still working on that.

I asked myself what I would own if money were not an object and I didn’t have to count my pennies. I asked myself what my ideal home would look like if finances were not a concern, then bit by tiny bit I began making changes, but I didn’t stop there. I also asked myself what I could see myself doing in my ideal life.

Once I adapted to Katie moving out, the answers shifted. I discovered that I needed the face-to-face interaction that a public job provides. Few things give me more joy than watching my coworkers smile when I sing out my greetings each morning. That said, I didn’t see myself remaining in the restaurant industry. I saw myself in a position that not only provided a stable schedule, but provided a larger income and insurance benefits as well.

I start that new job on Monday.

I will miss my old friends, so after that last day at my old job I took the evening to mourn.

Now it is time to move on. I will make more friends starting Monday.

Change can be scary, but change is also the way that we evolve. Like the butterfly, we have to dissolve ourselves in order to become something better. We have to pare down to the bones of who we are deep down and rebuild ourselves from scratch if we want to grow.

Have you ever decided to change your life, to evolve and explore something new? If so, what did you do? Please share your stories in the comments below.


If you happen to find this post helpful, would you consider sharing it with a friend or on social media?  Thanks!

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Pandemic, Hornets, and Floods, Oh, My!

The field across the street from my house.

I’ve spent the day today watching the water rise in the field across the street from my house. They’ve already called and told us to evacuate, so we’ve made plans to do just that.

Hopefully it won’t get that bad, but the forecast calls for it to get in my house about three foot or so. I lived through the Flood of 1997; our current pattern is worryingly similar so I am watchful. Katie’s boss sent her home early and they’ve already started closing store on this end of town.

I just may have to bug out, folks. I’ve set things up so I should still be able to blog through this so all is well.

Just wanted to let you know so you won’t worry.

How do you feel about hypocrisy?

All of us have met that person. The person who claims that “sex outside of marriage is bad” but brags about one-night stands or is constantly in and out of relationships. The one who tells others not to judge even as they are judging others.

Or the one who tells you to throw all of your stuff away just to buy new.

There is nothing wrong with having beliefs. Beliefs are part of what shapes us and makes us unique. Without a range of different beliefs and opinions, this world would be a very boring place.

The problem with having beliefs is when your actions run counter to the beliefs that you state publicly or even say that you believe yourself. They can not only lower your sense of self-worth, they reduce your value in the eyes of others.

How can we respect someone who scolds another for smoking while they’re puffing away on a cigarette? How can we respect someone who preaches celibacy outside of marriage when they have a live-in partner? How can we possibly respect someone who condems the wealthy when they brag to others about how much money they spent to buy a new car or a house?

We can’t.

I have no patience for people who do not practice what they preach. While it doesn’t matter to me what others believe or don’t believe, I have an issue when someone’s stated beliefs run counter to their actions. If someone tells me that they don’t believe that women should wear their hair short or use cosmetics, I expect that person (if female) to have longer hair and a clean face. If their hair is shorn to the roots and they’re wearing a cosmetic counter on their face, I am going to lose respect for them.

If we can’t practice what we preach, why should anyone bother listening to us? If we can’t follow the advice we offer, what does that say about us or the message?

Does it bother you when you experience hypocrisy in your daily life? Do you strive to keep your stated beliefs consistent with your actions? What do you do when you realize that your actions run counter to your stated beliefs?

Please share your answers in the comments below.

It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Notes to your Future Self

Katie and I started a little tradition when we defrosted our refrigerator for the first time several years ago. We didn’t know how long it had been since we had defrosted it so sensing an opportunity we each wrote little notes to our future selves (Katie even left herself a gift) and stuck them in the back of the freezer for the next round.

My last note was dated April 16, 2016. In laborious chicken scratch, I told myself that “life sucks but it will get better.”

It definitely has!

So now the time as come to write myself another note. I think I’ll write more in this next one. In the meantime I have a nice, clean, defrosted refrigerator to enjoy.


Have you ever written a note for your future self to discover later? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Maintaining Balance

Back to school season is always a bit hectic around here. A local church hosts a free yard sale that is packed with donations and yard sale discards that would normally end up in the trash while the local clothing closet has a yard sale where you can purchase bags filled with the clothing of your choice for a dollar apiece.

Along with that we have to go to school registration day and make the trip to WalMart for Katie’s and Donavon’s (my grandson’s) school supplies.

Each of these acquisition trips are accompanied with purging. When new clothes come in, old clothes go out. The ones that have been worn into rags are discarded while the items that are in good shape are bagged up and donated to the local clothing closet for them to either distribute among those who need clothing or to sell during their bag sales.

This is one way that we maintain balance in our lives. Since our space is limited, we refuse to allow our possessions to grow beyond what our house can comfortably handle.

What do you do to maintain balance?


Sometimes the Law of Attraction is about following hunches.

I’m following another one. I started another blog about simplifying my lifestyle. Just uploaded a couple of pictures from my kitchen stash on there. Perhaps I’ll gather some new ideas on how to organize and simplify things.

Not only that, but by organizing and simplifying I will be happier as well, enabling me to better concentrate on the more good things I wish to attract.

Not quite sure how it will all tie in, but I’ll figure it out!

I love hypocrites!

I really think they are hilarious! It is so much fun to bait them and let them rant and rave like they are all that..

Religious hypocrites are the best. They go to church and all the other churchgoers think they are such good religious folk…

I know a lot of people like that. The druggies who can’t live without their fix but get praised on the church steps cause “they do so much” for God….

I know some who are gay, and yet have fits when someone discusses homosexuality around them – can we not say “the person doth protest too much?”

I know wife beaters, tax cheaters, thieves – all upstanding church citizens.

Just mention one person who finds happiness outside of church walls, and they get soo hostile, because they are SO much better than those who leave the church – all the while you can hear them puffing on their joint over the phone lol!

One uptight churchgoer I used to know had a roommate who was an open gay male. Just for kicks, I used to have the most gorgeous women go up to this man and ask him to go out just so they could record him saying he was happily living with his boyfriend… I even asked the dude about it myself and he admitted it!

Of course, the church-goer denies that his roommate is gay, and gets all upset at the questioning, even going out of his way to announce every place in the whole entire earth where he has had sex with all of these “women” (like “who cares?”).

Honestly, I have no respect for people like that, but they do amuse me.

It says in the Bible, to let your “yes” mean “yes” and your “no” mean “no.” It also says not to judge in there as well.

I have so much more respect for someone who is open and forthright about who and what they are about as opposed to those pretending to be someone they aren’t. So you’re a queer and u like to do drugs? Who gives a flying flip! Just be yourself, and if someone doesn’t like it, who cares?

What is the point in going to a church that shuns drug use and homosexuality if drug use and homosexuality are what u are really about? Why live a double life? Your church friends can’t come around cause they may smell the dope, but your druggie friends can’t come around either cause your church friends may see them!

What type of life is that?!?

Gosh, people – be yourself and tell the rest of the world to fuck off! If you think it is so wrong to whore around or do drugs – then quit doing them yourself before looking down at others!

What makes a person have such low self esteem that they think this group or that group is necessary for them to survive? If you’re worried about salvation consider this: Jesus hated hypocrites, and membership in a church is not going to help you if you aren’t practicing what you preach. Much better to be honest and forthright than lying and sneaky…

I know one guy who chats with me constantly about how he hates men who abuse women, yet he abuses his significant other constantly. Calls her stupid and dumb and threatens to kick her out constantly, then relents cause “she isn’t able to survive on her own cause she has mental issues”. Her offenses? She will disagree with him on something. For years I have wanted to tell her that she can escape, but she isn’t ready. She reminds me of myself when I didn’t think I could ever master something as big as an escape, much less living on my own. Oh yeah, this dude is a “real asset” to his church as well…

Do we see a pattern here? Are all church going people hypocrites? If so, count me out, cause it just makes me sick!

I Hate the Housing Projects

Some people must truly be miserable. Truly miserable.

Those people are the ones who cannot be happy for a person’s accomplishments, but have to find fifty reasons why they made the wrong decision.

I detest people like that.

I know some. Couple of them actually.

Okay, I am not rich. After an illness forced me into the projects about 4 years ago, I promised one day I would escape. And I did. Now I have managed to buy a mobile home. I own it, free and clear.

I am delighted.

What do I hear from these people? I hear how much “better off” I was when I lived in the damn projects, how much “better” the schools were in the hellhole I left, and how I’m going to “regret” this decision…

I wanted to call these people some serious names. I really did.

I am proud of where I am today. Damned proud!

So I don’t waste my money on stupid crap like televisions and video games. So I don’t see the pleasure in owning a bunch of trash that you have to make paths to wade through.

So frickin’ what!

Whatthehell, so I gotta be like them in order to be happy? Live like a rat in a cage kissing the asses of the government, worried that I will get evicted if a friend lets an animal set foot on my front porch?

Worried about who visits me and when, or did I remember to report that twenty bucks I made the other day, and OMG don’t open the damned door for the sunlight, cause the freaks will just barge in without knocking!

Can’t own a pet without selling your soul, and if that pet gets too big to meet their precious regulations too bad – get rid of it or be evicted…

I hate the projects.

True, it has it’s place. Its place is for people who can’t afford a place of their own, who are physically incapable of taking care of themselves, whose only income is a couple hundred dollars in child support or a disability check, or the retired ones who know they have no where else safe to go….

The projects are great for that. But for the free-spirited soul, who loves to go where she wants to go and do what she wants to do — hell no!

Do you know that they can force you to rearrange your house if they don’t like how you fix it?

And these morons think they are better than me with their multiple car payments and mortgage that will outlast how long they will be alive – they think I’m stupid for wanting the freedom of my own place.

Fuck them.

Fuck them all.

The Small House Book Has Arrived!

Finally, the day I have been waiting for:  Jay Shafer’s Small House Book  arrived in my mailbox!

I must say, Jay likes his books as small and high-quality as he does his houses!  In the book he gives basic building plans plus a treatise on small house living.  I will describe more when I finish the book.

As I was reading the book. a friend stopped by with a visitor from Hawaii, and she talked about how reasonably priced the Amish are for constructing in this area.  I became amused when she said she didn’t have running water when, after a couple of questions I realised she had a pump pumping her water from a cistern, that she classified “running water” as water from a public utility system!

Ahh, and here I thought I had met another person willing to sacrifice!  Truthfully, I doubt they would have understood the years my “running water” came from a creek, carried in buckets to care for household needs! used

Pleasure of a Job Well Done

The lawn is mowed, my neighbors have said hello, so now I can sit and relax a touch before my daughter arrives home from school.

It feels quite warm outside, but the thermostat says that it is only 66 degrees.  I am just glad I have one more chore out of the way for the day.  It feels so good to have something finished and not staring at you waiting to be done, sitting there like a silent accusation.

In my neighborhood two of my closest neighbors are single women, so I don’t feel so alone.  It’s like we all stick together, you know?