Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Shopping List- and a confession-

So, here it is ...the approved shopping list for California.

1. a cast iron skillet. we have a old cast iron dutch oven that does double duty as a skillet sometimes, but we miss our old trusty cast iron frying pan/skillet. I hope to find a Goodwill/Salvation Army to find this before we go, if not I will state that this is an acceptable deviation from the Compact. Bacon on teflon just doesn't work you know?

2. Underwear for me and the kids. Ok, I am not a big person, but finding decent undies in Asia is a non-starter... which is funny cause you know they are all made here.

3. Bra for me. Again, no bras in a 36 A here in Asia, unless you like LOTS of padding. Not my style.

4. New work shoes for Jeff. His have been resoled 3x and don't take a shine anymore. They are 10 years old, it is ok to replace these.

5 . Some wine, cheese and maybe some other "western" food items that are harder to find in Singapore like good BBQ sauce.

6. My big expense. I plan on spending a fair amount of money at scrapbook stores. This is directly linked to my pending book and will be sent to the design team at Far Flung for their use in the production of layouts and projects for the book. This will be covered by the advances I get for the book and is one of my exceptions that I pre-designated before taking the compact.

Now, my confession. I fell victim to a drive by magazine purchase. I walked by, saw a magazine I like, and well I bought it. No guilt attached, I am not perfect, I fell off the wagon to the tune of $6.00. BUT, you know, once I got the magazine I looked at it and it wasn't all that. I have passed by the same stand and turned down other magazines, this was the first one I fell for and it didn't satsify me. I didn't feel inspired when I read it, I did not feel like it was a worthwhile expense. So, lesson learned for me. Sometimes instant gratification (ok most of the time) isn't worth the long term cost. I feel stronger in my pledge to walk by the next rack and just keep going.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Age 41

So, it was my birthday yesterday and I turned 41. It is hard to believe that frankly the day didn't bother me. Well, I had a pretty cruddy morning, but not at all related to the age thing. I guess 41 doesn't seem like a big deal. I am who I am, what I am and the age I am. I don't think I would go back and do anything over again. My life has been pretty fantasic, I have had some pretty crappy things happen, but some pretty wonderful things too. I guess it all balances out in the wash.

Last night I specifically asked for no gifts from Jeff. We spent our evening out having dinner with a girlfriend Jennifer (our friend Haitham, her boyfriend, wasn't able to make it as he was working on a Sunday Night). We drank a couple glasses of Champagne. Drank an excellent Pinot from New Zealand, ate a wonderful (and expensive) dinner. Not frugal mind you, but totally within what the Compact means for me. we dined out enjoyed ourselves did not purchase un-needed items, ate a dinner that we could afford-BUT WON't DO AGAIN FOR A VERY LONG TIME (it was that expensive) and enjoyed an evening with each other. A very nice very perfect birthday celebration.

So, at the age of 41 I wonder if I should be more insightful, should I have a new fount of knowledge to draw on? Should I be able to recite my times tables so that my children can learn them from me? Should I live a life more peace filled? should I learn to stop and slow down? Should I learn to sometimes say no. even to myself? Sure. Good Goals. I will work on those.

but, today as I am now 14,966 days old, I think I am just going to chill out and get my stuff done before I go on vacation.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


So, January 16th. 16 days into my second month of the Compact. So-as you all know, the first month was not that successful. I fell of the wagon and bought things. Christmas gifts, the whole shebang. Januaray, to date, while not perfect has been much better.

We finally cleared out all of the second hand clothing we have been storing waiting for either the kids to grow into them or for us to be able to use warm weather clothes. Over the last 2 weeks, proabably 50 items of childrens clothing went to the Salvation Army.

I went shopping. Three times. I went and bought a printer which was a pre-planned exception for my pending book deal and I also bought some photo albums to store pictures in for a online class I am taking. I just did not have the time or ability to try to find the albums I NEEDED used. As a scrapbooker I will not use magnetic albums and the albums needed to be big enough to store the 10000 pictures I am sorting. I don't feel bad about the purchase- of course I wish I could have found them new but some things are just harder to find here I guess. The last shopping purchase was at Made With Love and was scrapbook supplies. But these are again for the book and are packaged up and ready to ship out to my design team in order for them to use as supplies for layouts. I only kept 10 sheets for myself. The rest went to the team.

Good progress. I went to Borders the other day with two other ladies. I walked around, browsed the books and walked out. No purchase. I also then later went to a different bookstore to look for said photoalbums... looked at a magazine that I have a particular affection for...almost bought it... started to rationalize..I could use this for the book, there is an article here..... but realized- I DONT NEED IT! It is just extra clutter. It is stuff I don't really want.

Not getting any easier, but it is doable. The big challenge will be in California in two weeks. This is our annual trip home and we purchase our years worth of underwear, socks and the like for the kids and family. I also tend to shop for "fun" things. The goal is to get the required items and no more.

Always a challenge!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

How's the compact going for you?

so, I am 1 month in, and Decemeber was well, a non-starter for me. As mentioned above, I fell off the wagon very quickly when it came to Christmas presents and things. Bought a few magazines even. But it was a start in a mind shift for me. I have always tried to live simply, I used to be proud of the fact that my "valuables" the stuff in which I placed worth, could fit in my car and move to the next place. As I grew older, the accumulation of stuff takes over, but I could still fit stuff into a pick up truck.

Of course now two children, a career, a family, a household I never want to get back down to that level of spartan again, but at the same time I am starting to appriciate what I have, what I need and what I want. More stuff was cleaned out this week. I am giving away my old hiking backpack and we tossed a few suitcases that were beyond thier prime. The rest of the kids clothes that we were waiting for the kids to grow into have been sorted and the clothes we can't use are in the donation pile.

So far, 9 days into 2007 and I have made only one purchase, one that I had been planning on all along and that is a new printer for photos... this is directly related to a book deal I am working on and is a needed expense. I got a free IPOD shuffle with it and would love to upgrade to a new stereo system (as our has died) but I will keep my eyes out for a used one.

I have walked by the magazine racks...and kept walking. Walked through the mall and felt no desire to purchase. The second month so far is going much better and I am pleased.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year and Resolutions

Today was a great day. Jeff and I celebrated our 11th anniversary last night by having dinner at our favorite restaurant here in Singapore "the Cellar Door". We had a wonderful meal, with a great bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir, hand imported by our friend Scott and saved for a special occasion. We were home and didn't even try to make it to midnight before crashing and waking up at Midnight to hear the neighbors celebrate.

Today, we took the kids down to Sentosa Island for luge rides and lunch. The kids love riding on the cable cars to get to Sentosa, so after the luge the ride back up the hill on a chair lift was like double the blessing for them. Each kid really enjoyed the luge trip down the hill so much, we did it twice. We still had two individual rides left, but knowing the kids were at the end of the good kid phase Jeff gifted the rest of the ticket to someone who stood in line.

I sorted through more kids clothes this week and gave probably 15 pieces to Nancy to send to her family in the Philippines. Another 60+ went to the Salvation Army. I need to go back and count the items out the door since I started my seven things pledge, but I can honestly say I feel good about giving away items I don't use and clearing out my house at the same time.

The compact pledge for 2007 starts today. I sort of did it in December with a few slips. The goal is to do better in 2007. In fact, I am going to extend my pledge to 12.31.07

A few clarifications on my pledge.

I will buy new undergarments and clothing items in the USA for the kids when I am there in January. I will buy new underthings for me, but I will not buy new clothes for myself.

I will be purchasing a few new 'technology' items in the next week, but these are directly linked to a work project.

I will NOT buy any more magazines. No matter how shiny and flashy they are I can and will resist.

I will also pledge to do a better job of caring for my health, perhaps spending a bit more on food items, but planning out family meals and sticking to my shopping list.

I also resolve to do my part to make the Earth better by being a better person. I plan on being more patient, more loving and more kind, living less destructively on the earth by reducing my consumption, to devoting more time to friends and family, to rediscovering those things that make me smile and living the year to the fullest.

Peace and Happy New Year.
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