Post 60: People Bought These 10 Items! You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!

Not buying stuff adds up to real money. It doesn’t always seem like it, when the refused purchase is something small, but it does add up. I was able to retire at age 49—even without Social Security and Medicare. It wasn’t like I was making the big bucks; I think the most I ever madeContinue reading “Post 60: People Bought These 10 Items! You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!”

Post 55: My Top 10 Best Alley Finds Ever (Outdoor Edition)

Looking at the examples below, you might think I spend my days prowling the alleys. Not true. It’s great exercise, but I also go for walks via the neighborhood streets. I hit the alleys maybe once every couple of months, adding an extra trip if I’m looking for something in particular. On those occasions IContinue reading “Post 55: My Top 10 Best Alley Finds Ever (Outdoor Edition)”

Post 53: Punished for Our Purchases

A couple weeks ago, Terry and I had to buy some new stuff. Once in a while, as I’ve said, it’s unavoidable. At least we could still protest the shopping trip by biking to the store instead of driving there. The temperature was in the three digits, but it was only two miles away andContinue reading “Post 53: Punished for Our Purchases”

Post 49: Are You Wearing a Hair Shirt?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.  –Robert Frost I once heard a radio reporter say, “Living an environmentally friendly life is like wearing a hair shirt.” Really? I thought—wondering if she’d ever tried it. Since I was never able to locate her story online afterward, I’m still wondering. But the search brought up plenty of othersContinue reading “Post 49: Are You Wearing a Hair Shirt?”

Post 45: Home Free

My marriage was killed by home-decorating magazines. Or at least they put a big nail in its coffin. I was lost. Paul knew what he wanted to do with his life and was passionate about it. I didn’t, even with two degrees. I had a lot of interests—and yes, even passions—but I had no ideaContinue reading “Post 45: Home Free”

Post 44: Three for Free

So now we’ve got inflation again, and higher prices at the grocery store. We’ve got empty shelves, here and there. Supply chain problems, we’re told—but “chain” is too simple a concept. Our global interdependence is more like a fine web, covering the planet in such detail that nobody can understand much more than the nearbyContinue reading Post 44: Three for Free

Post 35: Don’t Shop. Repair Shop!

Starting with my early writing, I decided to avoid using brand names if possible. To me it seemed to cheapen fiction. “She put on her tightest Levis, got into her Kia, and drove to the nearest Olive Garden.” See what I mean? Brands are just too pop. Would Dickens or Twain ever write a sentenceContinue reading “Post 35: Don’t Shop. Repair Shop!”

Post 34: Loving Your Before and After

I. INTRO: FOUR DECADES I’ve lived at this property for nearly 41 years. It should be looking a little bit different by now, right? At the time we bought the house, I didn’t know anything about fixing up a home interior, and not much about gardening or landscaping in the desert, either. We had littleContinue reading “Post 34: Loving Your Before and After”

Post 33: Free Your Tea

Not much of a tea drinker? Don’t click away just yet. This post goes beyond tea. As my friend Keith let me know when I referred to my hot herbal drink as “tea,” true tea comes from the tea plant. The leaves of Camellia sinensis—a plant, shrub, or tree—have been consumed as a hot drinkContinue reading “Post 33: Free Your Tea”

Post 32: I Failed. My Own Kid Buys New Stuff

My daughter’s house used to be trashed. I think she’d be the first to admit it. I mostly refrained from saying anything. It had a sort of “punk” look. You know, something like what my generation was hoping to convey with threadbare shirts, jeans that dragged in the dust, and—if we were old enough toContinue reading “Post 32: I Failed. My Own Kid Buys New Stuff”