Friday, July 31, 2015

A Minimalist - Journal

July 31, 2015 

The last day of July is here and all I can say is " wow " . July is usually my fun month of the year where I go to the lake , do a little fishing and a lot of swimming with a picnic in hand . 

Not this year . July was a mean and hard month to me this year  . It began with me being sick with a virus and I am never sick , especially with a stomach virus , and I did not even go see the fireworks on the forth .

I worked more than I normally do and that was / is a good thing . I did accomplish a few new things on line , learning to sell on eBay is the biggest step I have taken . 

Getting the rental house repaired and rented was another biggie because it had been sitting for a long time because the last couple destroyed it only months after it was redone . 

I also had finished up selling what I had stored in that rental house from an inheritance , I will pat myself on the back for moving / selling all of that furniture in just a few months .

Home was not so good , I had to let things go here to get things done at work but I have made progress in the last 12 days .

The garden had done better this year , I have worked daily this month with some vegetable or fruit , canning or freezing . I do thank God for the fresh food .

Yesterday I took the day off from the world (Okay all except work , I did answer that call because thats my income ) and I did not answer the phones and computer was cut off . I got nearly caught up . I got the dusting and vacuuming done in the living room and dining room and I got the kitchen cleaned and mopped. I chopped and froze cabbage and okra . I dehydrated eggplant and zucchini for chips . I chopped zucchini to dehydrate today . I gathered up things that I feel is clutter . 

Today I have loaded the car with " stuff " and I am giving it away to people I know . I have clothing to food to share , on my way to work today I will drop all of it off at several places .

So on the last day of this month I will have to work ( That is work at my paying job that is not at home ) , this day actually is the beginning to a new month for me .

I will say goodbye July , I will not miss you this year .

By Andria Perry

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Minimalist - Now You Are Bored

I know many people that shop when they are bored . They will walk around the mall at a snails pace looking and touching everything . Buying things that they already have or must get the newest model to keep up with other people  .

But you got a hold of your own mind , yes you were brainwashed , and walked away from the unnecessary shopping trips .

This is a new life and you do not know what to do for fun or with your friends .

Let`s look at a couple of options , some free some not .

The first thing I did instead of the mall was I began going to the park . Most cities or small towns have a nice park , all equipped with walking tracks  . If you and your friends have children this can be great opportunity to take the kids somewhere to  burn some energy as well . The plus side you are still moving and chatting as you did when you were at the mall but in the fresh air and you are not spending money or buying more to hoard .

Movies ?  Now this can be costly if you go at certain times of the day but usually when we are shopping with friends or alone its in the daytime , thats when the matinee is playing and the tickets are cheaper , Toss a pack of candy in your purse to save in that area :) . Make it a girls day out and see the mushy movie that the guys and kids dread .

But that is not the only way to watch movies ! You can check out movies at the library for FREE , bring them home and have a lunch and movie at your place .  And there is the red box instant movie theater , New movies for $1.00 . Each week new movie and new theme  . Ask the friends to bring one item each for the Lunch and do it at each others houses so everyone gets to " go " somewhere for an outing  . No burn out there .

If you think about what you like to do in life besides shopping you will find yourself again and be right back on the track to you . Its easy to allow the marketing of the world to brainwash us but its also fulfilling to break that cycle and become what you once enjoyed . Fun .

By Andria Perry

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Minimalist - My Day Is Like This

Okay maybe I should say it " was " like this . Yesterday I had to go work and I had my home to take care of also ,  this is how my day went .

Coffee and writing . I always start my day writing . After a couple cups of coffee and breakfast of fresh vegetables and fruits , an hour has passed I get up to start my day .

I loaded the washing machine with dirty cloths and got them started washing .

 I washed up any dirty dishes and cleaned up the mess that is in the living room from Tony . I make sure everyone has taken morning medication .

I had a counter full of fresh vegetables from the garden that needed to be chopped and frozen . I chopped okra and frozen two quarts . I chopped a small cabbage and froze it in a quart bag . 

I removed the crisper from the fridge and cleaned it out . I peeled and chopped all the cucumbers and put them in a bowl with a snap lid so that we can eat these as we please . 

I cleaned and sliced an eggplant and I chopped more cabbage , I trimmed the ends on a mess of okra , I stored all of it in a plastic bowls with a snap lids , the eggplant covered in cold water . Now I have my dinner prepped .

I take all the peeling out to the compost pile . And I sweep the kitchen floor .

I removed one load of clothes from the washer , put them in the dryer and put the last load into wash  .

I went outside to feed the dogs , make sure they have plenty of water and to pet them .

I grab the cooler on the way in and I wipe it out with a wet dish towel . I load it with water and diet Pepsi on top of frozen water bottles I make myself . I put the squash delivery on top .

I make my bed and remove the dry clothes from the dryer , put them on my bed to fold . I then remove the next load from the washer to the dryer . I go back and fold the clothes and put them away .

I brush my teeth and hair , apply sunscreen  . I get dressed in work clothes . 

I need paperwork from ten years ago , I dreaded it but I pulled out the Tub with those papers inside . Lucky me ! What I needed was on top .

I load the truck with the cooler , the paper work , the lawn mower and the gas can .

The second load of clothes are dry , I leave them in the dryer.

Tony drives us to the neighborhood of my rentals , I unload the mower and gas can at my sisters and I go into town .

I take care of business at one place and then we go to take this guy the promised squash , got that done and I dropped off more paperwork to another place. I checked my mail at the post office. 

I go back to the neighborhood of the rentals and I stopped to ask  " Roger Dodger " for the rest of his rent but he was in the shower and I told his wife that I would be working across the street . 

While I was gassing up the mower and getting hydrated he came down the hill , Gave me the same song and dance . 

The tenant came out of the house and told me its to hot to work , I reminded her that its Summer and it`ll be cool in November . I began to mow the grass . 

After around fifteen minutes I seen my Uncle standing by his shop , he had Tony go over there and start his riding mower and made Tony cut the rest of the grass . I did the rest of the trim around the house with the push mower . 

I knocked on the door and got their broom , swept off the steps so that I could spray weed killer on the grass that was growing in the cracks of the steps and around the base of the steps , usually I would leave this up to the tenant but since they are both elderly ladies I will do this weed killing .

I come back home . I take the trash out and  I walk the dogs for 20 minutes and  feed them .

I send out another two grocery bags of fresh produce by Tony . 

I set down to rest at the computer and I check my eBay , I see I have sold a couple more items but I have to wait to make sure no one out bids this person .

I cook dinner as I listen to the T.V. 

After dinner I wash the dishes and I chop zucchini to make chips in the dehydrator .

I take more photographs of collectibles to post free on eBay , I post three more items  .

I remove the clothes from the dryer and fold them , put them away .

Its 10:30 pm and time for my shower and bed .

That is how I spent my Tuesday July 28 , 2015. 

But its a new day and I am sitting here sipping my coffee . I am for the most part caught up on the produce  except blanching the eggplant and freezing those .

I need to vacuum and dust today , I will see if I can make that happen .

By Andria Perry 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Minimalist - Cleaning Out and Giving

We all know that sometimes its good to give , whether it be food or stuff , we will accumulate to much from time to time  .

I give and I give a lot .

So if you still have frozen vegetables from last year what do you do with it ? You do have to have a place for the fresh food that you grow this year .

Yesterday I chose to feed people . Four households . I do have a huge garden and I have been preserving much of it for this coming winter . But as with things you have to know where to draw that line , the line of enough . Fresh or frozen .

The first Family has three but they often have their grandchild with them in the summer , I wouldn`t` call them poor but more like they don`t have as much as others , all of them are paper thin and I feel they do not get enough to eat . I filled the large cooler with last years frozen goods from the deep freezer , well one side was what I cleaned out . I gave squash , okra and turnips / greens this time and later this week I will clean the other side out . I also sent several bags of coffee . I sent the granola that I no longer care for and cereal that I chose not to eat anymore . When I think about giving I always think of this family first and I take them food a lot .

Next was my sister , although she has plenty of food but I took her fresh picked okra and an eggplant .

I have known this next elderly lady for around thirty years and I used to work for her when I had my own lawn care service . She has several health problems most of them are with the digestive system but I know she eats tomato`s and squash so I made sure the tomato`s were big so she could remove the seeds and the squash extra small so the seeds had not yet developed . 

And last . I had taken my sister to the grocery store . I am teaching her to use coupons on a small scale , not for stocking but to get one or two of each item to use for so , so much less . State fair corn dogs are on sale buy one get one free and I had a coupon making each box .75 ( full price is $3.49 each ) . I had bought four boxes for Tony and she bought two . When I dropped her off I seen my elderly Uncle sitting on his back porch . I asked " Do you like corn dogs ? " . He replied with " yes " . After getting my sister`s things in her house I took him a box and his first question " how do you cook them ? " I told him " its easy ! Microwave  " .

I have one more delivery to make today with fresh from my garden produce , someone asked for squash and since he works from 8 - 5 daily in a very busy place I will make sure he gets that squash .

Now to this clutter sitting in the office . I have gave eBay a chance and I am planning to give it another week . After that these clothes are going to my skinny tenant . Yes they were my clothes and some  are new with tags but I gained 20 pounds and I know I wont wear them again or that size . If I cannot sell them I will give them away .

I would like to add that I DO NOT give to brag or get a pat on the back . I have been blessed with more than enough and I feel God wants me to share . I cannot stand to see food go to waste when I know people who can use it . 

By Andria Perry

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Minimalist - Fresh Food

Being a minimalist is not just about getting rid of clutter and keeping a clean house . 

Its about having what you need and not being a slave , working in the nine to five world , living paycheck to paycheck and never enjoying life . 

Its about cutting back on buying . When you cut back on constant buying you have more money and you do not have to work as hard . You could even retire or change jobs .

One thing I try my best to do is grow my own vegetables , fruits and nuts  and herbs .

Buying and planting fruit and nut trees will be one of the best investments you can make for the future . Buying bushes that bear berries is another way to save for many years to come . The best thing about this is that there is minimal care involved and you pay only once .

Growing a garden does not take much time or money . Buy seeds once  and plant once . 99 % of the time it will rain for the watering of the plants . Fertilize once or twice . Now all you have to do is pick the food that the plant makes .

Once you have a garden making food , thats something you do not have to buy . Money stays in your pocket .

Preserving that food is another step to self reliance , Whether you freeze or can  , the bounty of fresh food you get from your garden  that is money saved . You will have to make one investment in canning jars if you chose to can the vegetables and fruits but the jars will last you forever  .

In June the wild blackberry bushes produced enough berries for me to can a case of jam and  lightly sweetened berries for pies , and I froze many quarts fresh berries .

This month my squash  began to come in and I made a case relish and froze twelve quarts , I have ate fresh squash and I have shared with the elderly .
Now the tomato`s and okra are beginning to come in by the baskets full , what will I make for the winter out of those ? hmm...

This is what I have in my garden this year : Squash , zucchini , bell peppers , tomato`s , okra , cabbage , cucumbers watermelons and cantaloupes . I have wild blackberries . I have apple , pear , plum and peach tree`s . I grow basil , oregano , rosemary in flower pots inside for fresh herbs in the kitchen . I also have mint and sage out in the herb bed .

I have noticed that the may pops are back I have never ate any but I see plenty at the edge of the woods . I plan to try them this year and plant my own next year , if not for the fruit for the beautiful free flowers , You may know them as passion flowers . 

But one of the best things about a garden is walking outside and picking dinner . No reservations required . 

Next month it`ll be time to plant greens such as spinach , broccoli , collards , turnip greens and mustard . I want to try growing beets too !

By Andria Perry

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Minimalist - OCD Or Self Reliant

My explanation to .......

I share my world with whoever wants to read about it . I share tips that have helped me through the years become organized . I want people to know that if they are a hoarder they can become a minimalist instead . 

Part of minimalism is cleaning , just keeping things clean and thats all . You can have stuff and a clean house . Balance .

There has been something that has been bothering me , remarks about how I do things . Today it has happened twice , once from a stranger and another time from this guy I know ( he made remarks several times in one week ) .

Let me say that I do write at another site but socially . I wrote a post yesterday morning about sanity and it really did not have anything to do with cleaning but how people see others and that its not real ,  one of my followers said this to my post " Why do you think cleaning is being sane ? Have you ever heard about OCD ? " . I replied " Yes my sister suffers from it " and thats not all I have known people my whole life with OCD . 

Am I OCD ? Probably . But most people have OCD in one way or another and no one says anything about it till it gets weird .

Next ....

A few years ago this guy made me mad because I was working and he was watching and made the comment " She just keeps going and going and going , can I have her when you`re done ? " I looked at him and had a vision of dying because he had me and I cut my own throat . To me that was rude , I was working so hard while everyone else sat on their butt , why didn`t he ask could he help me ? No he was just being the jerk he is and always will be .

This week I heard near the same from another so called man . He came inside my home and seen I had a pan with pecan cracked ( I had frozen them whole for later and now is later ) , he seen the jars of freshly canned food , he seen fresh picked veggies in bowls awaiting me to put those away , he seen the neatly stacked coupons on the dining room table ready for the next shopping trip . He told Tony " Angie is always doing something , isnt she ? " Tony agreed . 

A few days later he was back and I was in the garden picking food . He made the remark " Its 100° and Angie is in that Garden , why don`t she wait till its cooler ? " . Tony said " I have a doctors appointment this evening " . 

Yesterday he stopped by again and I was mowing the acres of grown up grass on the riding mower . I felt someone watching me as I worked and I looked back at the house and he was on the deck staring , I waved and continued working . This was the reply to my work today " She never stops , look at her go " . Exactly " watch " me work , I had 2 acres of tall grass to mow , alone , in one day .

A real man would have stopped me on the mower and took over , to help me mow the three foot tall grass , A real man would have came out to the garden and helped me pick the food . A real man would NOT have just watched .

Everyone knows Tony has been sick for years . But not one " MAN " has stepped up and asked ME if I need help . 

So am I OCD ? NOPE . I am just getting things done that has to be done , keeping food in the house to eat not just for today but all Winter . Cleaning the house so its not a pig pen . Mowing the grass to keep snakes and other wild animals away . 

Doing what a woman has to do to make it in this world . No one knows how tired I am before eight pm every night , they just think I continue to go and go and go .

And now I have to wonder  " Where have all the men gone ? "

By Andria Perry 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Minimalist - Mojo Is Back

July has not been kind to me at all . I would be two steps ahead and then something would knock me back three steps .

But that is life and I dealt with it and now I am getting my energy ( Mojo :) Back .

I do believe its harder being a 24 /7 caretaker for an adult than it is taking care of a child . Older people are set in their ways and when they want something or to do something " its right now " . When I want to stay home and get things done here , there is sure to be an announcement of what they need to do . That has been my life the last half the the week , past . Or many years .

But ........ I did get a few things done while naps ( off and on all day  in front of the T.V. ) were being taken in the living room  :)

First was the pantry , things had been moved and put here and there . Stuff was sitting in the floor that did not belong in that room . Dusting needed to be done as well as sweeping . I can say that this room is successfully clean .

Next  . I made it to changing the bed sheets , I do have to say I am buying me another fitted sheet for the king size bed , I inherited this bed and I did get a set of sheets with it , several flat sheets and plenty of pillow cases . One fitted sheet will not work . I like to strip the beds and make them right back with clean sheets . I don`t like to wait till the sheets wash and dry .

After going into town for Diet Pepsi , one of those I have to have for the day  , I got busy in the garden , All I heard all day was " the garden needs picking " and I repeated many times " I will pick it late this evening when the sun is setting " .

I did and it takes around an hour , maybe more . I gathered many tomato`s , squash and okra this time . 

While I was picking the garden my dogs sat patiently waiting for me . Yes waiting for me to play with them , run with them or just walk with them . 

After I brought the food in the house and washed off my arms ( okra breaks me out in a rash but goes away of I wash soon after picking ) I grabbed Harley`s leash and when the dogs seen the purple leash they both were jumping around and barking . Happy .

So after a day of cleaning , waiting on people and  back breaking food picking in the garden , I had my hour to play with my dogs . They love it when I run and they are by my side . I think they know I will give them a treat when I have to chain them back up . I hate to but its for their safety , soon I will put the fence up . 

Now back inside and its dark outside .

 I gathered up all the recyclables and took them out to the can to be hauled off next week and began to cook dinner . 

After dinner I wash all the dishes and I sweep the floor , I had intentions of mopping but it was already eleven pm so I put it off till today .

I washed all the vegetables and fruits I picked and laid them on a clean white towel on th counter top to dry . Today I will be chopping and either canning or freezing most of it for another day . 

I am in hopes of getting more photo`s up for the eBay store today as well as cleaning the office where the things are stored for the moment . The grass HAS to be mowed today !

By Andria Perry 

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Minimalist - The Paper Trail

Running your own company means keeping up with receipts and that means so much paper to be filed aka organized . Its just as important to keep up with outgoing money as it is with incoming money.

Back when I first began running any company I would just put all of it in a bog box and worry about it all in April when I filed taxes but that did not work because it would take me a week just to separate all the receipt into categories .

I asked my CPA was there a better way and he told me to put every days receipts in an envelop . I tried for a couple weeks but found that I was doing the same thing just in envelops , he had no idea how many I had to deal with .

Next I came up with my own filing system I bought a small but deep flip top clear storage tub . I took out the box of envelops and I labeled each Gas - Office - Materials , Etc. until I had enough envelops to cover what I could use on taxes for the company .

When tax time came I still had to figure all the receipts and sometimes I would just sit in the floor and scatter them all around me . 

Once I had a visitor and she suggested that I do the receipts monthly and all I had to do was put my paper work together in April . I did try this . But when the year was up I discovered I wasted more time than I did when I would do them once a year , only a couple days work instead of twelve days , back to my plan of action . 

Last night I sat down and filed receipts for my rental business .

I do pile them on the dining room table and then I simply take out my clear storage tub and I file each in its appropriate envelop and I am done in minutes .

I did something else last night that I have been neglecting , I cleaned and filed my coupons in the binder . I do not plan to coupon shop this week but if I see something that will be free or dirt cheap and we use it then I know I have the coupon for that item and how many . ( Coupons are money because the store accepts them instead of dollar bills ) . Yes I do save my food receipts and yes I did keep up with what I spent and saved and I was amazed how much I got free with coupons . Yes I do buy the Sundays paper for those coupons but I also deducted that amount from savings and I was still amazed .

Now I just need to get the office cleaned up , another business is sitting around in here , Ebay and Etsy . But this room is a whole story by itself !

By Andria Perry

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Minimalist - Journal

July 23 , 2015 

I cannot believe a week has passed already . The plan was to clean up the house that I had neglected while working , not just working but with a deadline .

That did not happen . Instead the a/c went out during the hottest week so far this year . I had to hang blankets over doorways to block out the room so that the small window units could cool a few rooms till the part came in for the a/c . I had to keep the house dark with the curtains closed to help with the colling of the house .

I slept by day for the most part and did what I could in those few rooms by night .

I did keep the kitchen clean except for mopping the floor and I plan to do that this evening . 

I did keep the clothing washed and dried , I did this at night so that I could open the laundry room door and let the heat from the dryer escape .

I also " HAD " to can and freeze my vegetables from the garden .I reversed the process , I would chop and soak the vegetables (that required a salt bath to soak )that were going to be relish early in the day instead of soaking all night , when night came I cut the over hood fan on to suck the heat out as I boiled and canned . 

I wanted to clean up this office because I do have the eBay items that I have up for sale in here and its driving me mad that they are not organized And I wanted to vacuum and dust the house . 

I think I am stuck in the reverse day and night thing , I will have to change that , somehow .

I reckon life throws you a curve ball every now and then and I just have to deal with it , after all I still have one week before my next busy work week gets here so maybe I can get the home , garden and lawn under control in that amount of free time . Oh and I almost forgot my eBay and etsy store needs some attention , I have 20 free listings on eBay I should make sure I take advantage of that .

Sometimes I think " maybe I should just give up all these different jobs and get a nine to five job ", then it hits me that I am the boss at most of my jobs now and that I do not think the nine to five people could handle me :) 

I often wonder how other people in my line of work deals with home and work , if they are minimalist in this hoarding world ? 

By Andria Perry

A Minimalist - Saving Money

July 22 , 2015 

Being a minimalist means I am satisfied and I do not have the urge to shop for more and more and more stuff . But we do have to eat . 

I use coupons to shop for just about everything and Today I added to the stock pile things I got for free or dirt cheap .

I do have to say that none of its really for me except a couple items and thats the usual , I tend to make sure everyone else is happy . When they are happy they are quiet and when they are quiet I am happy .

I have two dogs and I have to make sure they are also happy so when I use coupons its not just for people but for the dogs too , they really enjoy their treats and snacks . A plus is they will mind me no matter what for a doggie treat :) By using coupons for their feed and snacks I can save that money for the fencing so they can run free , right now they cant and stay safe .

The reason for two transactions was that I simply forgot and after I seen the store coupon in the green advantage flier , I took advantage of that sale and the coupons that matched .

Store of my choice is Publix grocery .This is what I got on sale and the coupons I used :

Transaction One

2 - Red Baron Pizza`s $4.99 on sale buy one get one free - No coupon = $4.99

1 - 6 pack double rolls of quilted Northern toilet paper $4.99 on sale buy one get one free - Used .55 mft. coupon = $1.95

3 - Pedigree dog snacks $4.00 on sale buy one get one free - Used $3.00 off of three mft. coupon = $3.00

8 - Hunts pudding 4 pack $1.00 - used $1.00 store coupon = Free

-$1.07 senior discount ( love the children check out girls :)

Total before sale and coupon was - $38.07

I paid $10.91

Transaction two :

6 - State fair corn dogs $3.49 on sale buy one get one free - Used $1.00 off store coupon = . 75 each 

2 - Smuckers Magic shell chocolate $2.29 each - Used $2.00 off two store coupon AND $1.00 off two mft. coupon = $1.58 for two 

Total before sale and coupon was - $26.39

I paid $6.95

Now lets total those together for the grand total .

Grand Total was $64.46

Grand total I paid was $17.86

I love coupons and saving money means I do not have to work as hard to buy  the junk food for everyone in the household . As for me I picked squash , tomato`s and okra today from my garden , cost ? a little sweat .

I am making life easier one step at a time . 

By Andria Perry