Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Getting away from the processed life

Here's my daughter and husband flying a kite at the beach.
This is at least one activity I've been doing while neglecting this blog.

I wish I could excuse my lack of blogging for something impressive. I wish I could say I've been incredibly prolific and created a mind blowing amount of fantastic artwork. I wish I could say I wrote a novel and to celebrate I've been throwing fabulous parties every night with tapas that have garnishes of caviar I squeezed out of a 10' sturgeon I caught with my bare hands as I parasailed along the Fraser River.

But no.

I dunno what the heck I've been doing. Experimenting with art materials that have noxious fumes may be partly to blame for my inability to think of what to write on this blog. Mostly I've been carrying on with the ebb and flow of life.

A friend challenged me to 30 days of shopping for nothing but necessities based on this article she read. No big deal, I hate shopping. I am the antithesis of the girly woman who just has to have those cute pair of shoes. I cut my hair about once every summer Olympics. I buy because I have to with the exception of books, art and art supplies. Those are my little luxuries. So I've taken her on and made it a family affair. No shopping for anything but food and necessities like toilet paper and soap. No snack food, no Starbucks, no food bought that is individually wrapped or processed and ready to eat out of it's container.

Today is day 1. I had to stop myself from getting a latte and sandwich for lunch as I was running around town. I stopped myself from buying crackers while food shopping. As I stood in line at the grocery store checkout, I was pleased by the purity of my goods - apples, lettuce, flour, all the staples, nothing frivolous. I'm committed to making as much as I can from scratch for the next month. Then I spotted the June issue of Chatelaine magazine and I remembered my friend Patricia was featured in an article, so without a second thought, I bought it.

Day 1 and I failed.

Ironically, the article is about how to stop spending money in the recession with a subheading that reads, "The joy of frugality". Ah well. Tomorrow I'll be back on track and if anyone would like to join in the challenge, let me know.

Since I'm on the topic of money and our glorious consumption of stuff, you may remember this post mentioning The Yes Men, activists who upset the status quo, posing as leaders of corporations and world organizations. They're back with a new documentary. It looks like good fun. The kind of laughing in spite of yourself, squirming in your seat fun with the added benefit of making you think. These guys have balls, ovaries, guts, you name it and they feel more relevant today than ever. Here's the trailer....


Melody said...

Glad to see your back. Don't stress too much about being away (even though I did miss reading your blog) sometimes there's just nothin to say. Love the only buying what is necessary idea but everytime I pass a Starbucks that chai latte is calling my name. I am so damn undisciplined.

self taught artist said...

you know, no one writes a blog post like you do. you always make me laugh.
i think you are probably much more conscious than most so buying that magazine doesn't seem so awful to me. i am thinking you must have progress on your back yard yes? i assumed that was taking up your time but if you get as much rain as we are having i guess that isn't the case.
always thinking bout cha...take care!

andrea said...

Guess I'm buying lunch on Friday, eh?

Ellen said...

Mel: I have my chai homemade in a pot on the stove, no wait, I don't have a good pot anymore (and I really need to buy one! shoot!). I burnt the crap out of it because I forgot about dinner as I was checking Facebook AGAIN, which is probably the real reason I haven't been blogging. There, I admit it, what a relief to be honest.

Paula: Thanks, no I've been twiddling my thumbs while Mark figures out all the structural things with the yard, so I'm in limbo with my plans of becoming a suburban farmer. And over here too right now, rain and rain.

Andrea: Hey, did I just give myself a loophole to be a schmuck? Right on! No, let's do lunch, just not fast food, anything on a ceramic dish. (well, not anything...)

Angela Wales Rockett said...

There's a book called "Not Buying It" that's about a couple who did that for a year. It's a fascinating read. One of their earlier challenges was whether wine counted as a necessity or not.

Kim Hambric said...

We don't expect frequent posts from you, just good ones. And we were not disappointed.

So, you have just altered my plans for today. I was going out for my weekly milkshake for lunch and was going to tottle off to Kohl's to find some shorts for my daughter. Guess I will go to our secondhand shop and see what they have. But, I really really really want that milkshake. There's nothing else in the house to eat. Waaaah.

Ohmigosh, what about hair products? Can I buy hair products? What if I trade off? Since I haven't purchased a haircut in 20 years (my hubby whacks it off), can't I buy just one hair product?

Well, whatever comes of the day, thanks for making me think.

Caroline said...

It sounds like an interesting challenge - though I do really need some new bras first!!! ;-)

dinahmow said...

Hmm...don't think I can do it this week, kiddo...I need more paper.
And, as far as wine's concerned, it absolutely DOES count as an essential. And what about cat food?
Razor blades?
Oh bugger! I'm out of the game already!

Ellen said...

Angela: I've heard about that book, I'd like to read it. I like the self awareness that comes from this experiment. I didn't think I was a shopper, but already have had to stop myself half a dozen times for little things I don't need. Wine? necessary? heck ya!

Kim: So did you get that milkshake? My friend and I wrote out individually what we'd give up, because cereal at breakfast for the kids, although packaged and ready to eat, wasn't going to be sacrificed for either of us, especially on school days. Have your hair product. OMG you just made me realize I'll run out of mascara before the month is up, noooooooo! can I make me own I wonder with art supplies I have on hand (and not go blind?)

Ellen said...

Caroline: I wish I had done that too! Have to fish the underwire that came out of mine from behind the dryer and sew it back in I suppose (or just be lopsided).

Dinah: Cat food?! no Dinah, you must hunt and prepare mice for them. Seriously, you have me thinking I should have thought more carefully about this (and shopped beforehand?) I need razors too! ugh, I do have an x-acto knife handy though (yikes).

BlueJude said...

enjoyed catching up and seeing new work. Happy Wednesday and many blessings to you and your family!

Caroline said...

Well I've just bought some new ones and I finally found some that were supportive enough yet no wires - so I can finally stop being jabbed by the ones I really ought to have sewn back in too...

Next - do I need to cut my own hair???

Nobe said...

ahhahaha! my husband mae a huge kite for our son and failed miserably. its the thought that counts though.


BlueJude said...

Great post!! Miss checking in on your blog. Thanks for making me smile...hope you have a great weekend!

patricia said...

Bwa ha ha ha ha...glad I'm such a great influence!!

venus said...

you know, no one writes a blog post like you do. you always make me laugh..... thanks for your post..
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