Time-Sucks and Other Non-Minimalist Joys
Monday Morning Coffee Time: it’s 55F and cloudy after a night of thunderstorms, quite a change from 90F yesterday, and expected to only get up to 60. These 30-degree changes from one day to the next have been occurring with increasing frequency, and it’s not just old arthritics that are complaining about it. On the bright side, today and tomorrow will be good days to transplant flowers, nice and cool.
The Minimalist Woman on a Minimalist Vacation
Last week’s day trip was highlighted by exquisite weather and the calmest waters I’d seen on Lake Michigan in years. The catwalk to the lighthouse in the photo is often closed off due to choppy waters. I’m surprised we didn’t get worse sunburns than we did, though.
For two weeks in a row, there’s been no “serious” post later in the week, thanks to the extra time needed to deal with home and car maintenance matters. Like a lot of folks, we’re in that netherland of old-car ownership, replacing major mechanical organs as they fail because there’s not enough cash on hand to buy something that would be better, and at least we know the history of our particular old vehicle. In the past few years it’s had a transmission rebuilt, some thingy or other replaced so it would pass the emissions testing, the brake line replaced, and most recently the ball joints replaced. There were times during the recent day trip that I wondered if the next curve we took would be the one where the wheels would fall off, so we made getting it fixed a priority.
We do what we can ourselves, but we don’t have the time, expertise, or equipment to do much of what’s needed. We looked at videos of guys replacing ball joints, and realized it was not feasible for us to tackle it. Now don’t get me wrong–I do have some mechanical aptitude, and around thirty years ago I got myself the original Auto Repairs for Dummies book and not only learned to change the oil, I learned how to tune up the car, too. These days, however, I can barely find the right container for the wiper fluid, as everything under the hood looks so different.
It’s the same problem with computers–there was a time I knew my way around them pretty well, then my son took over, then Steve, and now I can’t remember anything at all. When I started using computers back in the 80’s everything was DOS, and interfacing computers with golf ball printers was a common challenge. I do not want to go back to those days. Nasty and stressful. But I’ve become slothful about cleaning registries and stuff like that–so much so I don’t even remember where to begin! Maybe that’s what that icon in the toolbar is for? I’ll check it after posting this.
Anyway, back to the time-sucks, and the next one is a doctor’s appointment later this morning, in which once again he and I will have a 4.5-minute conversation about my lack of good sleep and he will prescribe some other medicine designed to help me but to which my body will react badly. This was one of the reasons I got the treadmill and have also been stepping up house and garden activities. Basically, I’m trying to exercise away whatever is in me that keeps me from achieving nice deep sleep, whether it is anxiety, hormones, digestion, or joint pain. So far I think it has helped more than the prescriptions. I am getting five hours of sleep on most nights now, and occasionally more. Still too much tossing and turning and the night sweats persist, but it’s better.
I’ve been mostly vegetarian for a month now, or perhaps the proper term is pescatarian, one who eats fish as well as a bit of egg and dairy. I think of it as the Bill Clinton diet. Steve’s joined me in this venture, with the exception of eating meat in restaurants. It has been a lot easier to accomplish than I thought it would be. The other night I felt like experimenting, and made black bean and red quinoa veggie burgers which we stuffed into little gluten-free pocket pitas that I also made from scratch. Very tasty and very light.
The garden has been getting a fixup here and there. The front yard daylilies around the porch have gotten too thick had to be radically thinned, and we’re replacing them with more brick edging and pea gravel (all on sale, a real budget operation) in order to keep the maintenance down and improve the flow of air in the summer. I repaired our garden umbrella to get another season’s use out of it, and replaced the boring ornamental grasses in two large pots with a cherry tomato plant and some culinary herbs.
This is the first summer in three years that I’ve spent money on plants, all of $35, including a hanging basket of flowers that I’m looking at right now from where I sit. There’s something humanizing about having a few flowers around. It’s a bit of work, and it isn’t essential on the order of food and water, but it’s one of those things that’s good for its own sake.
One last thing in the nonminimalist good for its own sake category: Steve’s photo of the table I set before a dinner party several years ago was used in an article on table setting in the Huffington Post. This is a perfect illustration that one can be a Minimalist in philosophy if not in aesthetics. Even after getting rid of tons of stuff, I still have the elements for this table setting, plus a couple of others, that can be mixed and matched.
Okay, gotta run now and get ready to go—-! Happy Monday