Thursday, September 22, 2011

Enjoying Life

Here is your humble, slightly unclothed scribe, enjoying the fruits of his, and hers, relaxation.
This afternoon going out in the canoe, with Jacqui, and doing some fishing, is actually a reward to myself.
What did I do that I feel it necessary to reward myself? Well I don't mean to brag, and I'm not ... but; because I did a somewhat significant de-clutterisation recently, my life has become a lot more enjoyable.
How has it become more enjoyable?
Firstly, my/our small cabin on the lake looks nicer.
Secondly, not only is cleaning easier-it is actually possible.
Thirdly, and this is the big one-this is the big payoff ...I now have more time for other things.
Canoeing and fishing for example. Now there is time for posting to this blog also.

Another plus was the fish we caught: a nice chubby bass, and three good bluegills. They were a delicious addition to our meal of steak, and squash with apple and cinnamon.
It is nice that the proof was on the dinner plate, so to speak.
This life of Mike's is becoming very convenient to maintain.

My place is small, but it has a lot more space available for living and enjoyment, now that all that stuff is gone. Stuff that I wasn't using. If I really "needed" those things, I would have used them sometime in the last few years. What is really unbelievable though, is that I hauled this crap over 350 miles, over 550 kms, when I moved here.

Jacqui and I also had time to work on both canoes, sanding and painting. We spent the last few evenings duelling it out by playing backgammon and crib. We both won ... we both lost.
We take photographs, as well, so we spend some of our time with those images. It was a bit rainy, on and off , for the last few days, so we chose to delay our camping trip until the week after next.

Now that I have time to do the things I like, I am thinking about what should or shouldn't be on the passions/bucket list.

Back to the fish story. We soaked the fish in brine for over an hour and a half , and we were pleased to discover that there weren't any worms.

Only 51 months to to go until my earliest retirement date of  December 31, 2015.

Feel free to comment, discuss, or ask. Thank you for your interest.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Cleaning

The process slowly continues, one day at a time. This photo of the shirt, underwear and socks, represents today's progress.

Today I got rid of:

2 pairs of track pants
21 pairs of socks
18 T-shirts
9 pairs of underwear

All freshly laundered in AAA condition.

Out the door and off to the Sally Ann they went. At the very least, these items will be torn up, or sold to jobbers to tear up and sell off as rags. Or they will be recycled for manufacturing. Nearly all of the items are made of cotton.

Imagine how many natural resources will be saved, because maufacturer's are able to use the cheaper recycled cotton. Plus all the water and chemicals, and other natural resources, energy for example, that are used in the production of raw cotton will not have to be disposed of, which causes further environmental damage.
I never used to think of things like that, but I do now.

I am an 'accidental' minimalist. I got started out of necessity ... living in a smaller place compared to my previous, palatial home. So I clued in a little and realised most of the 'stuff'' I was maintaining, was costing me time, money & space.

At one time, I had over 40 pairs of underwear! They have weird reality shows about people who collect things in that manner. Even weirder, apparantly, even weirder people watch those TV shows!

I don't watch television. The best things I ever did was stop gambling, smoking and watching television. I believe those things will kill you.

Anyway, the fall clean up continues and I am really looking forward to a winter full of camping, dancing, game playing and cooking with, my best friend, Jacqui.
There will be some other stuff too; going for walks, reading, taking photos, and just sitting and staring into space and wondering 'what if'', and then finding the answers to that question.
Jacqui and I always find an answer, but even if we don't, that would be okay too. We solve most of the worlds problems, snuggled up on the couch, looking into each other's eyes and sipping hot chocolate or wine.

And if that isn't proof of a good happy life ... then consider this:

Today is the 40th anniversary of Greenpeace. I think that is great news!

I wonder: How many people has Greenpeace saved in the last 40 years?
Does anybody know?

Is it 1,000?
Is it 10,000?
Or 100,000 or a million?

I think the 2 best stories in the news this past week, were about Greenpeace and that 3 year old boy that was returned home, in Sparwood, B.C.

But enough about what I think.
When you put your head on the pillow at night ... what do you think about?
Is it something that  is helpful and happy?

We's likes happy stuff ... doesn't we, Jacqui-Mae?

As a friend said recently,
"Be the change".

PS: The above photo also can be seen at flickr here:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs

This is an excellent guide to making life better. It talks about simplifying or minimising your very hectic, busy life.

The author suggests that we focus on our passions. She writes about learning how to focus, how to learn to cut out the distractions and time-killers that prevent us from reaching our potential.

This book is an excellent introduction to minimalist concepts and philosophies.

Her writing has already helped me change my habits to get more value out of my life.

Click on the image to go to flickr.

I Will Get Rid Of This

It's just a matter of time!
Be strong, good soldier.
Click on the image to see more at flickr.

Enough Is Enough

Enough is Enough!

My exasperation with the cellphone provider I have been using, has finally made me ask: why do I give these corporate thugs my money?
These scurrilous, corporate hooligans will soon get very little, or preferably, none of my money.
I get the internet for free and I have CAA. At the very most, all I need to have is a cellphone and a pay as you go phone card.

I feel better already knowing that I must, that I will, finally get a very firm hand on the ludicrous rates that these 21st century robber barons charge.

Only in Canader you say? Pity, in't it?
Chuck you farley, aiss my kss!

Anyway, now that I'm back to my normally civil, relaxed self, what other alternatives can I think of.
Having a cellphone gives me a certain sense of security.
So that begs the question: what will happen to me if I don't have a cellphone? Will I suddenly die? Will my car all of a sudden break down? Will I get a flat tire and be preyed upon by thugs, beaten and robbed, and left at the side of the road to die a lonely, painful and humiliating death?

I wonder exactly how cruel my life will become for me without a cellphone?
I am resolved. I will throw cellphone security to the wind and risk life without a cellphone.
I will revert back to the old fashioned house phone/landline.

Besides, cellphones pollute the planet. They have to be replaced every few weeks, months or years because they are built so flimsy. Why aren't they waterproof and shockproof?
What we need is an indesructible, cheap cellphone that lasts forever, that can have apps uploaded for FREE, by our somewhat less than generous cellphone service providers, to improve them as required.

Speaking of generous ... exactly how much do these corporate kingpins earn in a year?
I'll bet they are ridiculously generous when it comes to their salaries.
So why can't they throw their customers a crumb, and reduce the rates by a substantial amount?
Instead of saving money by importing these things from some sweatshop, why don't they start right here, right now by cutting the fat at the top?

I wonder. One can hope, can't one?
No matter, one way or another, there is going to be a change in my cellphone habits.

Feel free to make a comment or suggestion or a criticism.

What do you think?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

What a great week. I got rid of three tables, the armoire is emptied and ready to go. A stack of clothes and some other stuff is ready to be donated. What a breath of fresh air. I haven't watched TV for weeks, I don't miss the commercials from the corporate sponsers one bit.

Well it wasn't all heaven on earth. The walk that myself, and my best friend took today was a little short. It was invigorating and relaxing too. Off to work tomorrow again. The week off was really refreshing. The Gatineau Balloon Festival was a joy. Our new tent was a joy.

I really enjoy getting rid of this stuff. Why would anyone need more than three pairs of jeans anyway? If I used them for work, then nine of them would be reasonable. They were just junk taking up space. If they are needed that would be reasonable, but they aren't needed. Maybe somebody else will have a need for them.

Good night, sleep tight.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

I am,
a king,
because, I know how to
rule myself.
Pietro Aretno, May 10, 1537.
Two people that have been an inspiration recently, to me, are-
Amanda Lindhout and Jaycee Dugard
Both ladies refuse to live their lives as victims.
Lindhout recently returned to Somalia to continue her goal of helping people there.
Dugard has published a book, and continues to move forward in her life. Recently, she has been on a speaking tour, describing how she refused to accept the role, or label, of "victim".
These two ladies are proof positive that one person can make a difference.
Thank you for your help, ladies!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

This is the MEC Camper 2 tent that Jacqui and I bought last March 20. Since that time we have spent 15 nights camped out in it. We will be using it this weekend to camp at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival this weekend ... maybe! More than likely we will splurge and spent a couple of hundred dollars on a MEC Camper 4 tent. The Camper 4 offers more square footage. So now we will be the happy owners of two good quality tents.

Our weekend won't be starting until Saturday, due to work/time commitments. It is somewhat unfortunate that we will miss David Usher, followed by Roger Hodgson, but as they say in Quebec-c'est la vie! We will still get to see Roch Voisine and some other very good musicians, in addtion to all the other events that we may enjoy.

Today is a full day. I need to purchase wood for the shelf building project, and the paint has arrived for both canoes. Also on the list is a minimal grocery shopping trip.

Okay back to the tent. Last night would have been my second night camped out on the 1.1 acre lakeside backyard. However, a slightly boisterous pair of marauding racoons, turned the neighbours dog into a noisy doggy. Of course then the neighbour came out to speak sharply to 'Scamp', before taking him inside. So after being roused from my short sleep, I was somewhat awake. After lying quietly for nearly an hour, I retreated to the cabin to get some sleep.

It's a beautiful morning here in Rideau Ferry. There are 120 entries into the last big fishing derby of this summer, so the hamlet is buzzing. The area motels are full, some will have to stay in Kingston or Ottawa, or further afield.

We are off to Gatineau, Quebec for camping, music, fireworks and hot air balloons.
Have a great weekend!

With kindness and respect,