10. To See the World in a Plastic Cap*

I went to the grocery store yesterday—the one that’s all about natural and organic—to get cream for my morning coffee. To my horror, the brand of cream I always buy because it still has the traditional paper pullout spout, had now acquired the plastic cap kind like all the others. (Not just that—there was onlyContinue reading “10. To See the World in a Plastic Cap*”

9. Minimalism. And Nuffi Stuffi.

WARNING: IF YOU’RE A HOARDER, OR HAVE EVER BEEN TOLD YOU MAY BE A HOARDER, DO NOT READ THIS POST! You may look at the pictures, no captions, and THAT’S ALL! I have nothing against minimalism. The two champions of our moment’s minimalism, Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn, have succeeded almost beyond belief inContinue reading “9. Minimalism. And Nuffi Stuffi.”

8. Wabi Sabi, Maybe?

My tenant before Terry was a young Ph.D. student who very much cared about creating a nice home for herself and her young son. She had seen pictures of the place I’d posted online (rooms mostly empty) and hoped to come right away to have a look. I’m guessing she was something like the tenthContinue reading “8. Wabi Sabi, Maybe?”

7. How I Got This Way

A few weeks ago, my lovely friend Tina said something that triggered my earliest memory and made me laugh hard. She was telling me about the new cartop tent she was about to buy. What? I responded in disbelief. You can buy a tent, now, for the top of your car? (Obviously, this would beContinue reading “7. How I Got This Way”

6. What I Did on My COVID Vacation, Part 3

So this is my “new stuff”—these hymenoptera homes (see my last post), along with bird’s nests, caches of lizard eggs, the squeaky-high calls of young hawks, mushrooms that could be psilocybin, jade-and-gold scarabs with their gleaming green undersides, a feathery cassia coming up from the spot where it died eight years earlier, a caterpillar that looks exactly like bird shit (for camouflage), a big black marble of a carpenter bee hovering in my face, then flying off, satisfiedContinue reading “6. What I Did on My COVID Vacation, Part 3”

5. What I Did on My COVID Vacation, Part 2: Building Like an Animal

So before I could build a refuge for chickens on that piece of ground, I’d have to block the squirrel tunnels. Some friends of ours said squirrels had killed their chickens, apparently not to eat them but to eliminate the competition for their food. True? How would I know? Squirrels will for sure eat eggs—theContinue reading “5. What I Did on My COVID Vacation, Part 2: Building Like an Animal”

4. What I Did During My COVID Vacation, Part 1

In short: I built a chicken coop without leaving home. It’s embarrassing how long I’d been thinking about it and talking about doing it. But it wasn’t procrastination that kept me from it—it was caution. A big ogre owned the place next door, next to the side yard where the coop would have to go.Continue reading “4. What I Did During My COVID Vacation, Part 1”

3. Warning: New Stuff Ahead!

This site is dedicated to finding paths to happiness without new stuff. Why would you want to find these paths? The section below lists some reasons from my own research and experience. This list focuses on the effects of new stuff on individuals. New stuff sucks for the planet, too, but I want to lookContinue reading “3. Warning: New Stuff Ahead!”

2. So What Is New Stuff, Exactly?

So when do I get to the part about why new stuff sucks? I’ve started a list—in next week’s post. But here, one more thing. Because, believe it or not, the definition of “new stuff” isn’t completely clear. For example, does food count as new stuff? What about art? (It’s new to you, but whatContinue reading “2. So What Is New Stuff, Exactly?”