Monday, October 5, 2015

52 Weeks to a Simpler Life – Tip #5 – Downsize Your Living Accommodations

This week Tip #5 is about where and how you live. Once again, the action required to fulfill this tip is not something that you can do instantly. It will require some serious contemplation, analysis and planning. Once you know, first, if you want to take this action and, second, what you want to actually do, you'll need to create a plan of action.

Contemplation, Consideration & Analysis

To get off “start,” the first thing you have to do is look around and contemplate or think what it would be like if you actually left your current home (this applies to a business, too), and moved to a smaller accommodation in a different location. There are numerous things to consider (the consideration part of this process) to take this action. Here are just a few:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Photo-of-the-Week #231 One Instant In Time, Sparta, North Carolina, August, 2011

That's all it takes to change the course of your life. Just one Instant in time. In this particular instant, actually, a couple nights before I took this photo, I was driving this car. I finally found this particular car and bought it less than a year before in September of 2010. I had already acquired my South Dakota license plates and left as soon as I put them on the car for Rapid City, South Dakota to complete my official residence change and obtain my South Dakota drivers license. This car was destined to be the “toad” (RV slang for the car towed behind a motor home) for the motor home I was shopping for. And, in one instant all my plans changed.

Yes, you're looking at a totaled 2002 Ford Focus that had the low mileage, the exact door, seating and cargo configuration, the five-speed manual transmission, the engine and other features I specifically wanted. It even had a satellite radio receiver installed. It took me two months to find this particular car. I downsized from my 1996 Cadillac Seville STS, one of my favorite cars of all time. I had 256,000 miles on the old Caddy. I bought it with 104,000 miles on the odometer. The Focus was about 8 years old when I bought it and only had a few thousand miles over 50,000 on the odometer. Then . . . READ MORE

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up – October 3, 2015

Happy rainy Saturday if you're anywhere in the east. To my friends and readers in the west and southwest, if I could pipe this rain out to you, I would. I know you need it worse than we do here in the east right now.

I trust your week was good and you had some bright spots in a week that left quite a number of people in grief. Of course, the grief I speak of is that which made the current sensationalism news headlines in Roseburg, Oregon. My heart goes out to all those families and friends who lost loved ones. One reality we have to keep in mind is that grief and such terrible events are not exclusive to those that make the national media. There are negative and even horrific things happening somewhere, both here in the U.S. and all around the world, everyday.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

2 Live Freely Survey Results

I am revealing the results of the short survey I ran for two weeks back in the end of August and the first week and a half of September. While the total number of survey participants wasn't overwhelming, there were quite a number more than I actually anticipated. And, considering the statistics on surveys like this, the indication is there are a lot more readers than I estimated. In my book that's all good.

I was anticipating a typical bell-shaped curve. Actually, all three curves somewhat resemble a bell-shaped curve. However, the interesting thing is the peaks of the curves, as you'll see in the three bar graphs I've prepared, are skewed a bit past the median point in the scale toward the higher end. That is gratifying.

Monday, September 28, 2015

52 Weeks to a Simpler Life – Tip #4 – A Simple Wardrobe

This is week number four of the 52 Weeks to a Simpler Life challenge. I hope some of you have accepted the challenge I presented in Tip #1, one of the hardest challenges to undertake, going through everything you own and eliminating everything you are no longer using (or may never have used) and are storing – just in case, one day, you may need whatever it is. We all know that someday will most likely never come along, but our pack rat nature has us saving “stuff” just the same. If you've chosen to take on Tip #1, keep at it. Believe me, the payoff is well worth the effort.

This week I'm going to hit on another major area too many people are strapped with. Not to be sexist, but this will probably impact the ladies more than the gents, because women are most impacted by the fashion industry.

While there is definitely a male fashion industry, if you go to any kind of department store for any economic demographic, you'll see a significant difference. The women's section is usually two, three, four times larger than the men's department and sometimes takes an entire floor.

Some men can get by with next to nothing and wear it for years. Other men have walk-in closets full of suits, shirts, ties, sport jackets, blazers, slacks, casual clothes, many pairs of shoes, etc. Of course, this is probably more common for women, because the fashion and advertising industries target women.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Photos-of-the-Week #230 Fish n Chips – Mmmmm! Coos Bay, Oregon, May 2015

I'm not going to deny it, I love food! As a matter of course, since I live a simple, minimal and frugal lifestyle by choice, I enjoy a simple menu with foods I can easily keep and prepare in or outside My McVansion. BUT, I will splurge from time to time when the occasion calls for it. And this occasion called for it.

This order of fish and chips was so good, I almost forgot to stop and take a picture. Those two large pieces in the back of the tray are the remains of several large pieces of deliciously breaded and fried, hand cut fish. I believe she told me they used halibut. The cole slaw was homemade and very fresh. The tartar sauce is also homemade. Unfortunately, as seems to have become the standard, . . . SEE AND READ MORE

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up – Saturday, September 26, 2015

It's been a busy and semi-eventful week for me. How about you?

A major part of my week was consumed with the eBay and Craig's List sales that closed. Then the chore at hand became the final packing and weighing and preparing the items needing to be shipped. Once the PayPal payments came in, it was time to print the shipping labels and postage and schlep the packages to the post office. I had one CL item I had to ship, another item was picked up (late one evening) and I have two others I'll meet the buyers when I'm going to be close to their areas for another reason.

Of course, I also was keeping up with creating, what I hope, have been some interesting blog articles for you. And, I've been going through the storage area to separate “stuff” that will ultimately be trashed. And, here I thought I got rid of all the trash when I left the ranch seven years ago. Naw! I only thought I did.