Sunday, October 20, 2013

Minmlist game, wk 3

This week, I purged a set of 27 pretty disparate items. The week largely started with things from my office -- which has already been pretty trimmed back, but quickly spread to everywhere else in the house.

Day 1: Three encased coin collections
Day 2: Two book safes, camping spices

cayenne pepper Laughter is the best medicine.

Day 3: Two carabiners and a stitch plate
Day 4: Male-to-male stereo cable, tupperware container, would-be micro camping alcohol stove
Day 5: Racquetball racquet, baseball glove, xkcd 'compiling' shirt
Day 6: Two Japanese-style lanterns and a Chinese wall hanging
Day 7: Express shirt, compression sack, extra bike helmet

With week four starting tomorrow, I expect I'll start paring back my wardrobe a bit and possibly hitting my hiking and camping gear again.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall in Seattle and making butter

We had a late night yesterday due to us having company over. While the boys usually get to bed between 7:30 and 8:00, it wasn't until 10:45 or so that they finally got to bed. So this morning, we had some deviation from our normal Sunday. Andrea got up with the boys and let me sleep in, and we traded a bit later. After playing downstairs and outside for a while, I decided to take them on a walk. They got on their scooters and we went down toward the village, stopping by the tennis courts so they could play on the turtle and enjoy the fall leaves:


Jacob: "Dad, my cheek itches. No, the other one."
Reed: "My nose itches. Both sides."
For a full two hours, we walked/rode scooter, played in the leaves, went to Serendipity for a snack and play time, and made our way home.

After getting home, it was already past noon, so we grabbed some lunch. The four of us then got in the car, grabbed a few necessary groceries, then went to Discovery Park. I've been wanting to go for a long walk around Seattle's largest park for a while. It's been too long since I've been there. We took a different route through the park than usual, exploring different paths altogether.

This was the second largest walking stick Reed used.
 After perhaps two hours walking, the boys and I made our way to the beach while Andrea went back for the car. By now, Reed was getting a bit chilly, so he got an extra layer.


And we made it to the beach where we played; looked for crabs, sticks, mud, and other goodies; and we got our feet wet.


Finally, we made our way home. Earlier, when at the grocery store, we picked up a pint of heavy whipping cream. I decided today we would try the experiment of making our own butter, so I filled two small mason jars halfway, sealed them and we started shaking them like crazy.


Of course, I can't make homemade butter without bread to go with it, so our bedtime snack was straight-from-the-oven bread with salted, freshly-churned butter on top.

Today was a great day.

Minimalist game, week two

Last week's kickoff of the minimalist game was an easy reduction of seven items, but this week, we doubled to two items per day.

Day 1: LexisNexis badge, MTU student ID
Day 2: Flag and geek patches
Day 3: Motorcycle pants, another hemp necklace
Day 4: Helmet cam case, captive bead ring
Day 5: Two blaze orange bandanas from my hiking gear
Day 6: Flint for fire starting and a set of bamboo flatware and chop sticks, both also from hiking gear
Day 7: Bump keys, glass picture frame with MTU post card

Admittedly, my jetsam this week is pretty small stuff: it could all fit into a small box. Yet save for the motorcycle pants, these are all things I've had for a minimum of two years, though some of them go quite a ways back -- my MTU ID goes back to around January 2001.


I'm already looking forward to next week. After the first week, I had a bit of trepidation about turning up the heat and getting to 90 items by November. As it stands, though, the only difficulty will be finding the time to go through my things.

The more I get rid of, the more less I find I need.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Starting the minimalist game

Today is the conclusion of week one of the minimalist game that I am doing with Carrie, et al, in which we're getting rid of progressively more unnecessary items from our houses. A brave few (Rachel, for example) are doing the full n items on day n for a total of 496 items in 31 days:


Most of us, however, are taking the more moderate approach of one item per day in week one, two items per day in week two, and so on. I've been a bit of a laggard in keeping up, as most of the weekdays I didn't get home until 7:30 or later. Nonetheless, the set of items I'm eliminating from my life are as follows:

Day 1: One-Minute Mindfulness
Day 2: SanDisk Sansa MP3 player
Day 3: Linksys WRT54G router
Day 4: Pair of PJs
Day 5: hemp necklace
Day 6: Virago
Day 7: Leatherman

The sale of my Virago, I think, takes this week's prize as the biggest big-ticket item to be sold or discarded


The remaining goodies have been laying around the house unused. I suspect before too long, I'll have to resort to further culling my hiking and camping gear, which is already reasonably minimalist.

See Rachel's blog, The Thirty One Day Minimalist, for a month targeted at 496 items to purge.