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Archive for December, 2010

100 items in 100 days?

December 11th, 2010 at 06:51 pm

I just read of a very interesting challenge idea
100 in 100

I think it would be a great way to purposefully downsize. Once you get past de-cluttering all the junk that tends to pile up, you need something to get you past the hump and back into downsizing. 100 items donated or sold for donations might be a cool way to do it.

Not that I am past the junk phase right now. I was at one point, then I stopped de-cluttering once the easy pickings were gone.

I have been trying to move back in the phase of de-cluttering again. And I fear that point.
Or if money doesn't pick up I might sell and keep the profit....

sorry if that isn't very nice, but the EF is nearly gone and no job in sight.

Still spoiled

December 10th, 2010 at 06:36 pm

I discovered as a teen that I am a spoiled person. No my parents didn't really spoil me, they never had enough money to do so. And my life hasn't always been easy.

But in general, I get what I want, or else I want what I get.

Somehow I learned not only to be grateful for what I have, but to not pine over what I don't have. (much). Which lead to me giving the attitude of spoiled brat as a teen on occasion. After all what kind of person always gets what they want? A brat. So I must be one (and in truth at times I could/can be one)

A typical teen lament is over getting cash from their parents to pay for some event or item. I never really had a complaint. Not that my parents gave me money. I never really thought they should.

Another is over asking parents for some fancy item for Christmas. In general I got what I asked for, though I only asked for things I thought were in the price range they could afford, and I kept my request to one or two items. (though I was known to tell them to replace one item with another...I distinctly recall several major moral dilemmas over if that constituted asking for a third item since I knew Mom would try to fill any want she knew of)

Occasionally a want would arise that didn't seem to eb being fulfilled. Usually sooner or later the item would fall in my lap. Sometimes literally.

I still find that sort of situation. While friends lament lack of cash for things. I find clothes fall in my lap (recently in a bag of girl clothes - which I don't need - I found 3 pairs of pants for my son, who really needs them).

I wanted a few interesting books, one of which my mother found and asked offhandedly if I wanted.

I needed a gift for a 'Dirty Santa' exchange, I found the one and only item in our house that wasn't passed on to the goodwill soon as I realized it wouldn't be used. And traded it for the perfect gift for the next Secret Santa thing. (my husband hangs on to things forever, I generally feel if I don't want it today, someone else will benefit sooner by my not holding it)

I have so much 'stuff' and so many odd things just work out perfectly I really do feel pining away after things is a big old waste of time, and counterproductive.

Oh I have my moments, I still would love a bigger house, and wouldn't it be nice if my husband had a nice well paying job? And I really could use a maid....

but in general I am very happy with what we have, and I am certain that anything we really need will pop up sooner or later, generally right after I have gotten used to doing without.

As a young teen I found this prayer on a card or coin or something......

God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change (including what I do or do not have)
The courage to change the things I can
and the Wisdom to know the difference.

It really spoke to me then, and continues to do so.

Homemade Christmas

December 9th, 2010 at 08:30 pm

So in light of our lack of money we have been doing some smart things.

One is to look for more homemade presents for Christmas. We always did something simple for the various teachers and scout helpers. But this year we are also trying to make homemade items for the kids and for the extended family when possible.

It isn't really easy. I am terrible at gift giving, so having to not only think of something, but think of something simple enough for the kids to make is really really hard.

So far we are looking into making a flannel play set for EL, and a leather case for a scrapbook and pencils for JC.

Many folk will be getting beaded 'charms' (hanging things for backpacks or whatnot. Some will get ornaments, others simple embroidery.

Sometimes that is a perfect fit, like the music teacher who will get an embroidered ornament with a xylophone on it. For others it will be a generic Christmas thing. Not sure if they will like it, but it will be a token of our gratitude. I figure most of the folk working with kids will like it.

Most local folk will also get fudge. (I have been told it is the highlight of Christmas for some folk, though two don't like it and wont get any. I have been tweaking the basic recipe for years, and folk never seem to complain.

Extended family is hard. Grandparents usually like homemade kid stuff, but... nothing particularly perfect comes to mind, and cousins certainly wont appreciate it. Which is why we wont be going %100 homemade.

With only a few short weeks till Christmas we have no ideas for the boys. I would like to have something homemade for them like the older girls will be getting.

I keep debating with myself about if the baby really needs anything. She wont notice not getting anything, and she certainly doesn't need anything. But the older kids will notice.

We will still do stockings with basis for all, some playdough, toothbrush, animal crackers, and I might do fruit or nuts, maybe a small toy.