economy

It’s a S.H.E.L.L. Fund

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I’ve been a bit single minded, focused only on my self lately. This is nothing I am proud of or ashamed of, it’s just that there’s more to life then my problems. I share them in hopes to help others as well as myself , but depending on a person’s frame of mind (that day), my issues may seem irrelevant. I can’t help that and I can’t care.

But I do care about many other things in the world besides myself and my struggles. And today I am going to share a cause that is very close to my heart.

You probably know I have Siberian Huskies, and if you didn’t know, here’s their web site: Batman and Ice. My dogs are family dogs, they were purchased from a breeder and never suffered one day of their lives; pampered and loved, spoiled almost rotten. They are minimalist Gods.

Ice and Batman

It wasn’t until I met Kristen that I learned about all the abused, neglected and abandoned Siberian Huskies out there in our towns facing certain death. Kristen is an awesome lady and a true-blue advocate for the under-dog, for those dogs left to die, those who are abandoned and for those who have suffered beyond any of our worst nightmares.

When Kristen was a full time nurse, she began to rescue, rehab, and place Siberian Huskies with loving families. She found that working with the dogs was where her heart was, it was her passion. At that point she made a life changing choice. She gave up the security of a regular paycheck and all the other benefits of full-time employment. I’m not certain if she had any support for her decision. It was a bold move with a completely unknown future – that decision took a lot of courage.

(more people should follow their hearts)

Fast forward a several years, Kristen founded the non-profit Siberian Husky Emergency Life Line fund (a non-profit 501c3 tax-exempt organization) and in addition Kristen now owns and operates a boarding kennel she was able to purchase last year.

Please take a moment to look though her site, and learn about the many dogs up for adoption and those who are still in rehab. Many of my dogs’ friends were adopted directly from the Shell Fund Rescue. They’re all absolutely awesome and beautiful creatures who have adjusted wonderfully and are now living in loving homes.

Jagger, Niko and Lucas

Kristen’s expertise and continued dedication for the health and welfare, and placement of these abused Siberian Huskies is incredible and unwavering. If I been more educated before buying my dogs I would have certainly look to the Shell Fund first.

Here’s my plea:

Since this is the holiday season, please consider donating even 5.00 dollars to help feed and care for these homeless Siberian Huskies. Your donation is a tax write off and it would mean the world to me if any of my readers could show some love to this worthy cause. I know times are tough for everyone, and unfortunately in poor economic times donation are low.

Please help if you are able, really any amount is better than nothing. Maybe you could skip your latte today and help save a life at the same time. I would love that! Your small donation will help nurture these beautiful creatures until they are ready to be placed in loving homes.

Nothing would make me happier. Cheers!

“The greatness of a Nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” -Mahatma Gandhi

I know Kristen will be surprised when she reads this, I didn’t ask permission. So Surprise Kristen!!!!! :) I hope this helps!



Everyone struggles.

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I woke early, did yoga, froze at the dog park and then made my way to the office.  The picture below is what I did when I first got to the office today.   I am sending it to my son in Boston, who won’t be home on Turkey day.  I hope think it will make him laugh happy.

Note to my son.

Then I ate lunch.  Well not really, because I graze.  I eat a little for a while then stop.  Today it was the veggie burrito bowl, without the slimy vegetables.  A meatless dip of sorts;  black beans, guacamole, rice, lettuce, a little white cheese, hot salsa  and chips.  Yum.

It’s good (most of the time) to be your own boss.   I get my work done when I know it has to be completed.  Sometimes I work really long hours, other times I have the luxury to do as I please.  Today is one of those days.

Earlier while at the dog park this chilly morning I had the pleasure of speaking to a woman whose husband is an investment banker.  She explained to me how tough the economy has been on his investment firm and how that they personally have had to cut back on their vacations.  She let me know they lived in the most expensive neighborhood in my town.  It was nice to hear this point of view.

I toyed with the idea of telling her that actually we lost our home and were living in my mother’s house, but I think that may have made her feel like a total jerk.  So I just listened.  She went on to tell me that she hoped that her children would learn something from their hardship.  Their “hardship” being that they weren’t going on as many vacation this year as in past years.  Her kids are 8, 10, and 13.

Bora Bora

On Wednesday morning at the dog park, I spoke to a young man who just left the Marines.  For some reason, I was very nosy.  I kept asking him questions.  I wanted to know what it was like, what he did there, how it effected him, and how he was adjusting back in the states.  I apologized and told him, “I’m so sorry. I don’t mean to interrogate you, like this is any of my business.”  He responded, ” No, really it’s okay, talking to people like this really helps.”

He was a sharp shooter.  He told me that every single day he would see suicide bombings, mostly children blowing themselves up, because, he said, “they believe in Allah.”   He told me that news never reaches the states, and there’s so much more.  He also told me about getting shot from friendly fire.  It was a bullet  from a  .50 Browning machine gun.  He went on to explain all about the BrowningMG and its bullet size.  Then promptly he dropped the topic of his injury.

Far left .50 Browning machine gun bullet

So I met two new friends.  I was open to both of them.  Their stories enriched my life in some manner.  I can feel judgement is trying to find it’s way into my head, but I am not going to let it in.  I am not going to try to figure out anything I heard, anymore than my either of my dogs would try to figure it out.

I played at the park with people who were there.  And those moments are gone.  Only now exists.

And right now, I am thankful, very very thankful.

Happy Friday.

Tip: Listen and learn, try to leave judgement out of the equation.

Inspiration: “The biggest mental roadblocks that you will ever have to overcome are those represented by your self-limiting beliefs.”~ Brian Tracy

One-day one-thing: Sort your linens, some towels are ready to become rags.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

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Usually I would keep my business to myself, but I am tired of that. 

We put an offer in on a house.  There is a tiny sticky issue.   The house has received at least  seven offers.  Seven freakin’ offers.  Dang.  And we will not know anything for seven to ten days as to who’s offer gets the house.

It’s not my house in the country.  It’s not my house on the beach. It’s not the prefab that I so adored.  It’s not a loft in Brooklyn.  It’s exactly what I thought, maybe I even said, I would never do.   No other specifics just yet, because I don’t want to jinx anything.

Side note: Realize whenever you say “never”  that will be your future.

Immediately, when we walked into the house it felt like it was mine, as if it belonged to me.   No ifs, ands, or buts about it, everyone agreed.  That never happens.  Well it happened this time.  I find myself daydreaming and placing furniture in the rooms, and making mental images of what we will fix first.  Then I force myself to stop.  Don’t get attached.  Sort something.  Write something.  Do something to take your mind off it.  Too late.

Metaphor for my life, maybe your's also?

Crazy I know.  But what is crazier is that I know mentally, I can’t I don’t want to take on another disappointment.  Days before we made our offer I asked for advice from my son.  He’s level headed, smart and lucky- emphasis on lucky. I never met anyone else that lucky.  I kept asking him, what if we don’t get this house? How am I going to handle it?  I always have such high hopes, sky-high expectations and I am an eternal optimist. (that is except when I’m sad and longing for the day to end. )

I wanted an answer as to how I was going to recover if our bid didn’t win.  I wanted some sort of reassurance that magic fairy dust would fall from the sky and gentle cover me and make everything beautiful and all sparkle-ly.  I wanted to hear something other than, “it wasn’t meant to be” or “this just means the next opportunity will be better.”

I sound like a spoiled brat. (<-dislike)

In my reality, and in my logical mind, I know it won’t be the end of the world if we don’t get it.  I know that.  I know whatever happens I will be fine.  I already am an incredibly fortunate person.  Life will go an and it will be great. I know this to be true.

I even met someone who owes hens.

But that’s not my entire point here.  This time when the cards are stacked against us,  I’d like to be on the side that wins.  I once won a Little Playmate cooler when I was senior in high school.  Woo-hoo!  It was fun to win.  Plus this blue and white cooler, our school colors, held a six pack of 3.2 beer perfectly.  School spirit when drinking. Yay! Needless to say it’s been awhile.   Winning might actually freak me out, but I will happily suffer the freak out.

Am I being too selfish to want something more, like this house?  I don’t know.  Where is the line?  I have no clue.  I certainly don’t want to cross the line.  I don’t want to be greedy.

So that’s my news of the day.  I am back on the roller coaster of my life.  I think that’s just the way my life rolls.  No matter what, the coaster keeps coming back, it stops right in front of me, and I willingly hop in anxious for yet another ride.  My choice, I know, and I am good with that.  No hands always!

Cheers.

Tip: Use the word never when you want something to happen.

Inspiration: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ” ~ Mark Twain

One-day one-thing: Treat you body and mind, take a drop-in yoga class.

This is exactly what I won.

Richard says what I think, only he says it coherently.

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Richard Heinberg- whose latest book describes The End of Growth– isn’t looking for when the recession will end and we’ll get back to “normal”. He believes our decades-long era of growth was based on aberrant set of conditions- namely cheap oil, but also cheap minerals, cheap food, etc- and that looking ahead, we need to prepare for a “new normal”.

(Above text copied from under You-Tube video)

I was a crystal ball

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During my years of irrational consumerism, I could see the future.  It’s true. I knew exactly what everyone needed before they even thought about what they needed.

Once, I bought an alarm clock guaranteed never to turn off, until a person caught it and turned it off.  It was self propelling, and if it wasn’t turned off by the sleeping human quickly,  it would jump to the floor and run away by rolling under the bed, or any other out of reach place while still sounding the alarm.

I bought this two years before my son went away to university. Every single day of his high school years, I had to wake him up over, and over, and over again.  In the future, I wouldn’t be there to wake him up.  I could see this clearly.  The clock still sold by MOMA today runs 48.00, I think I paid more.  That never opened brand new clock,  sits inside a blue plastic container that contains an assortment of new things, on the second shelf inside U-Store-It unit #227.

I know of another new thing that’s in there.  I bought it for myself.  It’s a bank that is a replication of a wooden water tank like the ones on top of  buildings in Manhattan .  I was “saving” this for when I had a “cool” office not a cluttered mess of an office.  I have an awesome office.  It’s not yet “good enough” so I am using old tea bottle for loose change.  As I am write those very words I see how pathetic this is.  ( I’ll fix the coin bank issue Monday)

Other  purchases are back-ups, duplicates.  I bought these because I already owned the item and I liked it.   Like a certain Ikea scrubber,  I could see in the future this scrubber would no longer be available.  I even taught my daughter if you like something – buy two of them….ugh!  Some of those thing I don’t even like anymore.  Other “new” items I bought for future gifts. I could see who needed the gift and what it was before I even met the person.  I was good.  Unfortunately when it came time to give these gifts away, either I couldn’t part with them, or they weren’t the right gift for the occasions.

When I shopped I shopped with conviction, no second guessing, everything had a purpose.  A purpose in the future that I could clearly see.   I was clairvoyant.  I could see the future as far out as I needed, to infinity.  That is, until I  could not.

What I could not see in the future was not being able to sell our house that was on the market for 14 months.  What I couldn’t see was all our equity was going to disappear.  What I couldn’t see in the future was losing our home of twelve years and having no place to live.  Once I lost my ability to see the future, I was sad for a long time.  I could not see anything and I certainly could not see joy or any shred of happiness in my crystal ball.

But that was then, this is now.  Nothing much has changed except me.  And to tell you the truth, I’m not sure if I have ever had a more defined idea of what’s important in life.  I have learn so much about how we spend our time, how we spend our money and how we interact with people.   My life has completely changed it’s trajectory and I like it.

The more stuff I shed the better I feel.  Simplifying is intoxicating and addictive.  Simplifying has helped me to focus and grow. I like it. I have a long long way to go, but so far it’s good.  I am examining my life on a different level, from a different place.  I am learning about myself and my family and what I am learning brings me great comfort. We are all in agreement that we are on the right track to “living better with less.”

UnPacktheRat is more then a blog to me, it’s my teacher, and for that I am grateful.

Cheer!

Insight:


One Day -One Thing: List at least one new (or not) item on eBay

Shock and “Awe, what’s Wrong with You?”

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I have been telling anyone, and everyone who will listen, about my plan to get rid of everything.  I tell them that I am actually already “in process” of getting rid of everything I own.   You should see the look of disbelief on their faces.   They are entirely shocked at this idea, and at first they don’t believe me.  They tilt their heads….like “really ?”  When they eventually realize I am dead serious, (I swear I can see something click in their brains) right there and then, they think I am crazy.

I didn’t expect this.

I think of myself as a fairly “normal” person, not any crazier than the next. I can’t say that I had any preset expectations at all, but this reaction has been surprising.  It’s so surprising to me, mostly because it is recurring.   It’s not just a few people who react this way, it’s a solid 97%.

I suppose it is going outright against the grain of the “got to have” based mentality of the American consumer.  Three-fourths of our economy, ( 75% percent <-that’s crazy), is based on consumerism.  Businesses want you to want. Want more, bigger, faster, better, lighter, smaller, they even want you to want more that uses less.  The somewhat green marketers say “buy this aluminum bottle” to use less plastic bottles.  That’s a good effort because plastic is evil, but everyone knows glass bottles are by far the best.

For whatever unknown reasons most people can not believe that I don’t want “things.”  I like things, I just don’t want to own things.  I have way too many things!  Besides owning  is work, and it’s expensive.  Maybe I am just cheap and lazy. (?)  I don’t know.  What I do know, is my things stress me out.  They are weighing me down, taking up my time and I don’t want them anymore.

I can’t wait to tell the next person.  Cheers.

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Tips from:  Joshua Becker – via Organizing  Your Way

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Today’s “one day- one thing”: Listing chairs on Craig’s list.