Cut the Crap

Stuff can be a burden.  You have to find space for it, you have to clean it, you have to move it, you keep collecting it.  It's amazing how the amount of stuff you own seems to grow to fit the space you have, and even then it usually maxes out your real estate and you are either struggling to live around it or you're constantly moving it around.  I'm pretty sick of stuff.

2017 is my year to purge my crap.  The stuff that I have some odd sentimental attachment to and feel I can release to someone who would ACTUALLY enjoy/use it.  I still love the person who gave it to me.... I just don't have use for the gift anymore.  I don't feel like this is a statement on our friendship/relationship.  If someone was sick and tired of a gift I had given them I HOPE they would turf it out of their life and recycle it into someone else's who needs it.

To be clear... I'm NOT a hoarder.  I don't need an intervention or a team of helpers.  I just need to make it a priority.  I need to be more brutal in my evaluating process.  I know this because every year I attempt to purge and the following year the same crap is kicking around the house.... why did I let this item make the cut last year?  What value did I see in it?  Was I high?  What was I thinking?

This year I'm going to be more brutal with my process, less sentimental.  I'm no longer looking at it as losing things, I choose to look at it as liberating myself from things I don't need.

Item #1....
my waffle maker.

Camping at Home ~ Surviving No Water

Do not let the title fool you.  I'm not having a good time.

We recently had a water holding tank installed here in the woods because of bad water in a well that was running dry.  For the first time in years I was going to be able to drink the water that comes out of my tap.  But with all things, few things go according to plan. The tank was finished mid December and I think we've had running water for approx. 8 days since.  I don't really want to talk about it.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to me.

If this ever happens to you you will need the following:
Your therapist on speed dial.
A decent sized bucket for putting water in the back of the toilet.
An outhouse if possible
A large pot for boiling water for dishes/ sponge baths. (The kettle doesn't cut it)
A crap ton of water jugs to fill at a good friends place or outdoor water tap. Preferably the type with a spigot. You can put them on counters for brushing teeth/cooking/etc.
A wagon for moving these half ton jugs once they are full.
Patience and a sense of humour.

Some other helpful items are:
A large bucket you can stand in while sponge bathing.  All that water that you used to clean yourself can now get scooped into the back of the toilet to flush it when it really needs it.

Small tub on your counter with water in it to soak dishes before you get around to doing them.  It makes the actual act of washing them easier and prevents the waste of people trying to rinse them off one at a time.

Small cups in the bathroom for brushing teeth.  You put a bit of water in the cup and keep dipping your toothbrush to get it wet/rinse it off.

A large bottle of merlot.  Just because.

This whole experience has me thinking about places that don't have clean water, places that are in drought and have to conserve every drop they have.  We really do waste a lot of water. It's also amazing how little water you need if you're disciplined about how you use it and re-use it.

Unless you live under a rock I'm sure you've heard of the fight at Standing Rock. The protest to stop an oil pipeline that would threaten the clean water source for a huge population including the
Standing Rock Sioux near Lake Oahe.  The pipeline is slated to run a mere 800m away from their Territory.
Now everyone knows how important water is, but I don't think people realize the logistics of not having clean drinking water. An experience like this reminds me how important it is to keep our water protected and safe.  We can't live without it.

2016 Sucked, 2017 Won't.

Happy New Year to you all.
I pray it was filled with fun, friends, family, and food.

If it wasn't, don't worry ~ chasing the perfect New Years tradition is over rated and similar to hunting a polka-dotted unicorn ~ it seems like a good idea but it never quite meets the hype.

Our 2016 left a lot to be desired.  My husband had a lot of issues medically this past year, there seemed to be a lot of frustration and up-hill-climbing.  That being said we have a roof, we have food (most of it now being gluten free), and we have each other.  Therefore we are blessed and luckier that most.

The most frustrating things about this past year was the constant feeling that I was just maintaining, never progressing.  The issues of  normal life seemed to stand in front on me like a toll gate to doing the things I love, things that feed my soul, things that relax and sustain me.

This year I have only made one New Years Resolution.  That is to be the best version of myself that I can.  I haven't made any lists of things I want to accomplish or places I'd like to visit.  I just want to be the best "Steph" everywhere I am, in every situation I encounter.  It's very liberating.

One of the many activities I love is writing and blogging.  You would NEVER know if from the past year.  2017 is going to be different in that respect.  I have actually made a commitment to myself to write everyday in January.  500 words.  Everyday.

If you need a kick in the pants like I did check the challenge out here:
My 500 Words: A Writing Challenge

Not all of those 500 Words will appear here on this blog but most of them will.

I encourage you to reflect on what you really enjoy doing and commit to yourself to make the effort to just do it.  Even if it's only for 10 minutes a day, because unlike hunting a polka-dotted unicorn this is achievable and a lot less work.

UPDATE:  In case you feel like I'm the only one hating on 2016 here is BuzzFeed's take on it...

No Waste shopping at Bulk Barn

I recently viewed a video on Facebook of a supermarket that creates no waste.  All of the containers are reusable and you simply fill, use, ...