Month: November 2012

Once Upon A Time

fairy tale pic

fairy tale pic (Photo credit: Kjirstin)

In a land in which no one ever expects to reside, there were two little girls, born just days apart. One called The Empress, and one called La Princesa. The two girls didn’t live close to each other, and each was busy with the business of their kingdoms, learning to talk, and eat, pester their respective older brothers, and throw royal panties out the tower window.

One day, the beat in The Empress’s brain began to count out a new and unusual rhythm.  Not long after, La Princesa’s brain also began keeping a new rhythm. Suddenly, each kingdom was regularly experiencing strange and terrible lightning storms. Healers were called and many potions were tried, but still, the storms persisted. La Princesa’s mother and The Empress’s mother each sent carrier pigeons with messages for the new world, called The Internet, hoping to find others who had battled these storms and defeated them; or at least knew how to protect their families while the storms raged.

Many Queens formed a Great Alliance, loaning each other shields of understanding and swords of knowledge. Many only stayed for a time, but the most weather beaten grew powerful and remained, through storms and strange beats, through potions that offered relief and those that were poison, helping each other to laugh and dance, when they were rooted, shin deep in muck.

Image of a letter sent by carrier pigeon

Image of a letter sent by carrier pigeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Empress’s Queen and La Princesa’s Queen began noticing they were sending out very similar messages. Soon, they began sending messages directly to each other, in addition to the ones they were sending and reading from the other Queens of The Great Internet. La Princesa and The Empress had both begun their lives small but mighty.  Years passed, they remained small, but each began having periods of weakness, succumbing to the vapors as if the castle mice were stealing their feasts. Queen Empress and Queen Princesa realized not all of the other Queens with stormy kingdoms had such enchanted mice. They compared tales of storms and threats and events and spells, and the crumbling walls and general disrepair of their castles, moats leaking sewage into their grand halls. Potions and Healers and Seers were exhausting their riches. They whispered prayers carried by the wind. Still, their golden girls’ spirits were powerful.

Each Queen traveled to new seers, seeking answers and resolution. The Empress met a powerful seer, who offered answers, though no resolution.  La Princesa’s Queen continues the quest. As the two Queens formed a stronger bond, and their pigeons knew the way to each kingdom without thought, La Princesa and Empress began to recognize the birds from each other’s lands. With their Queens’ help, they began sending messages to each other.

Each girl learned she had much in common with the other. Neither girl was bothered by asking or answering the same questions several times. Neither girl used unkind words about the other.  All the kingdoms around were struck by a terrible storm, and the carrier pigeons couldn’t fly. La Princesa worried about The Empress, and The Empress worried about La Princesa.

One day, a special dove brought a great gift for La Princesa. It was a colorful drawing– rendered by The Empress– of the two friends and told the tale of their friendship. This treasure was so special La Princesa couldn’t speak, but her smile…her smile brightened her sleepy eyes and the gloomy day, casting a glow over the Queen’s eyes, making them leak in that way she hated! but she couldn’t see the cracks of the castle walls or the dusty cornices. She saw the pink streaks behind the gray clouds, and the miracle of the bird’s wings against the sky as he soared back towards the land of The Empress.

Fairy Tale ...

Fairy Tale … (Photo credit: lapidim)

A Helluva Town

the business of garbage

the business of garbage (Photo credit: David 23)

On my way to pick up Flower Child from school, I was hungry and stopped to grab a slice of pizza.  Hey! It’s a long walk, don’t judge me. I didn’t have time to sit,  I added a heathy six ummm, three, three shakes of red pepper flakes and ate as I walked.  When I was growing up, this was a common sight, but not so much anymore. Is it Manhattan vs Brooklyn, or just different etiquette with the years? Husband always wants to sit down when he eats.  Not me; what’s the point of street food if you have to stop to eat it? Then again, I always liked to stand and walk when I was eating, my mother used to tell me I was going to get fat toes.

As I walked, I ate my slice, hopscotched around the tourists on their way to the museum, and let my mind wander.  Walking through crowded streets is a good time for mind wandering. Like being in the shower, only more reflective than creative. I remembered an incident I was going to blog about a little while back, goosed to the back of my brain by medical mayhem.

A cream Afghan Hound.

A cream Afghan Hound. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had been walking a dog through Central Park, and it was a crappy late afternoon. Cold, sporadic drizzle, one of those days where gray becomes a temperature and a barometer, something you feel in your bone marrow.

Central Park

Central Park (Photo credit: Image Zen)

I heard a small motor coming up behind me, and turned to see one of the golf cart thingies used by the Central Park Conservancy for driving along the paths, reaching different sections of the park for clean up and or maintenance.  The cart stopped just when the dog stopped to pee. The maintenance worker pulled himself out from behind the steering wheel, and grabbed a trash stick from the back.  I don’t know what they’re actually called, but it’s a long wooden stick with a sharp point or nail at the end for picking up loose trash or papers without having to touch anything nasty.

Not a glamorous job, for sure.  Then again, neither is picking up dog poop. But this guy was pissed off, stomping and muttering and then glaring at me like I represented all wrong in his life that had left him stabbing moldy juice boxes for eight bucks an hour. My writer’s mind took a stroll. If he were my character, why would he be so angry?  Big plans thwarted by having to work late? A gardener who had been demoted for poisoning pigeons? Girlfriend dumped him for some bozo with a shiny suit and a desk job? He spiked exactly one piece of paper, tossed the stick in the back of the cart, and started moving again.  By this point, I was walking again, dog veering left where the path forked. I hoped the maintenance guy would be turning right, or straight ahead towards the reservoir. No such luck, this thing was behind me again, and of course this is exactly where the dog needs to stop and poop. I’m now quite certain it wasn’t my imagination, the guy really was glaring at me.  I then began seeing the scene as an episode of Law & Order, roped off with sunshine yellow crime scene tape and the trash pick planted in my sternum.  Mrs Fringe must have been looking swell, maybe I remembered to brush my hair that morning, since he seemed to think I was someone I’m not.

Cover of "Christine (Special Edition)"

Cover of Christine (Special Edition)

Part of my mind was now hearing this cart behind me like it was Christine, Stephen King’s possessed Plymouth Fury.  Yanno, the part of me that was noticing no one else was within spitting distance. Part of me wanted to reach out and make peace? a connection? “Hey, buddy, this fancy dog isn’t mine, and I sure as heck don’t live in one of those apartment mansions across the street.” Another part of me was getting pissed off and resentful.  Fuck him. Who was he to make assumptions about who I was and what I was doing? Your life sucks? Pffft. Get in line, my friend.

I said none of the above.  I did however, begin talking to the dog, and let my Brooklyn out.  There are all levels of socioeconomic class throughout this city. Poor, destitute, working class, middle class, wealthy, and filthy rich. All can be found throughout the five boroughs.  But certain accents there’s no mistaking.  Clear as a tramp stamp, my accent says Brooklyn peasant.

Saturday Night Fever

Saturday Night Fever (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shameless Hussy

Français : La Merveilleuse Velver Grip Nouvell...

Français : La Merveilleuse Velver Grip Nouvelle Pince Jarretelle Avec Bouton en Caoutchouc (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

that’s me.  But I’m trying to be

Cover of "The Hustler (Two-Disc Collector...

Cover via Amazon

of blogging and shameless self promotion of Mrs Fringe.

My promotional skills are much like my pool skills. I can rack em up with flair, but my break leaves much to be desired.

The question is this, if I suck at self promotion (I’m excellent at the shameless part, if I do say so myself), do I ipso facto suck at blogging?

I don’t think I suck at blogging, my readership continues to grow (albeit slowly), and it seems to me that’s half of blogging–writing stuff people enjoy (or find informative, but that isn’t Mrs Fringe) enough to come back and read again. It’s the other half. The networking, getting your name way out there, where I fizzle.

Blogging is, after all, a form of writing.  So what makes writing success? There’s the bottom line of writers write, a leap up to writers publish, paid to publish, publishing well, multi published, best seller lists, supporting oneself (and/or one’s family) from said publications…

Mrs Fringe exists because I live life on the fringe. No money, no time, few marketable skills and a desperate need to have a spot to be truthful (in a fictionalized kinda way) about said life. However, these same factors make it very difficult to do the work necessary to bring Mrs Fringe up to the next level.

Perhaps I’ll stick to being a hussy.

Hip flask tucked into a garter belt during Pro...

Hip flask tucked into a garter belt during Prohibition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nothing Much

Yawning Galapagos Tortoise

Yawning Galapagos Tortoise (Photo credit: Jen Bowman)

One of these days that’s going to be me.  I’ll run into a friend I haven’t seen in a while and she’ll say, “Hey, Mrs Fringe, what’s been going on?”

I’ll answer, “Nothing much.”  And mean it.  No discretion, no walking away sniffling, just a nice boring stretch.

Maybe my next life.

Yesterday morning, right before Nerd Child had to leave to go back to school, Old Senile Dog began making some strange noises.  Coughing and retching.  Ok, sucks, but dogs get sick, pet him a little to try and relax him.  No.  Because it progressed to  throwing up nothing but foam, bile and weirdness, and his back end kept giving out.  And the sound he was making was eerily similar to a death rattle.  Freak out time!

Call the vet, a hurried and distracted goodbye to Nerd Child, half walk, half carry the dog to the vet’s office on the next block. He looked bad. Really bad.  I knew it wasn’t just my perception when the woman sitting with her Shitzu shoved her little bundle back into its carry bag and inched away.  Another woman waiting at the counter brought the paperwork and pen over to me, so I wouldn’t have to try and move him any more than necessary.  Tech came out and brought him into the back right away.

The vet comes out, I go over the symptoms, how long, etc, and now I’m noticing how reassuring she isn’t being.  Calm, lovely, efficient, but no hint of “don’t worry, he’s going to be ok.” This taps into my inner loon, I can barely remember and articulate what he gets fed, and I just keep repeating over and over, “Is he in pain? I don’t want him in pain, don’t let him be in pain!”

She takes half a step back, lies and tells me he isn’t in pain, and I accept this because I want it to be true.  I call Fatigue, and babble about what the vet said.

Bloat with twisted intestine, emergency surgery needed, maybe a mass caused it, maybe they’ll find necrosed tissue of the stomach and or spleen by the time the surgeon opens him. Much quiet drama throughout the day, Little Incredibly Dumb dog is beside herself, barely left his bed since I left with him. Flower Child wasn’t much different.

Oh yeah.  Flower Child. I don’t know if I’ve talked about it here, but Big Senile Dog is more than a beloved pet. He works as Flower Child’s aid/service dog.  Completely untrained for this, he was already our pet when FC first started having seizures and other fun. He has been amazing. He alerts for seizures, he alerts if she is at all unwell and I’m not right there.

Oh, I’ll let you in, but I won’t let you out. ~Big Senile Dog

He sees her as his job, no one is allowed to get close to her if he doesn’t know them and trust them. When her seizures cause loss of consciousness, if I don’t already have her on the couch or bed, he places himself so she lands on him and not the ground.  He isn’t perfect, he tends to be overprotective of her. He works for her, but has zero interest in cuddling or being cuddled by her.  He won’t play with her, that would be beneath him. If she needed him and a tempting steak walked by, he’d bay for my attention and then go grab the steak, going back to her only after said steak was eaten. On the bright side this would take him about 0.04 seconds.

He’s a pest. He can jump seven feet straight up into the air to leap a fence, grab a chicken, or put his face into the face of someone he doesn’t think should be too close to his family. One year we went on vacation, and Sister In Law, whom he adores, took care of him. She took him to doggie day care while she went to work so he wouldn’t be lonely.  He jumped the fence in their backyard, and waited there until she returned at the end of the day, howling only once he heard her voice. He cries and bays if I walk away from him at any time for any reason when out in the street, even if it’s Husband holding his leash. He howls and bays if we’re all outside, to warn the world that his charges are coming through and they’d best move out of the way. But he’s our pest, and we love him, adore him, and the work he does for Flower Child is priceless.

The surgeon called last night, the surgery went well. YAY! No mass, no resection of his stomach needed. Double YAY! This leaves the odds in his favor for a full recovery.


Snoopy_happy_dance_large (Photo credit: imjkbryant)

This morning, I take Flower Child to school, and wait for the vet to call. This afternoon, I will pick her up early, and take her to an appointment with Dr BigShot. Nothing much.


Self Aware…or Self Involved?

An illustration from page 30 of Mjallhvít (Sno...

An illustration from page 30 of Mjallhvít (Snow White) an 1852 icelandic translation of the Grimm-version fairytale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Among my many obsessions; lack of space/privacy, and the Real Housewives franchise.

I was catching up on the ladies in Atlanta (love them!). There was a scene where one of them was whining about losing her rental home, and possibly being forced to move back into her townhouse with her husband, 4 kids, and 2 dogs. I’m watching, and grooving on this scene. I can relate!  Oh wait.

The townhouse she might move back into is 5000 square feet. Five thousand. Pfft. That’s more than six? seven? times the space I live in with Husband, Man Child, Nerd Child, Flower Child, Big Senile Dog and Little Incredibly Dumb Dog. Frankly, not even my dream home is 5000 square feet.  Who wants to clean all that?  Except this Housewife seemed genuinely freaked out, concerned about how they would be able to live in such a small space.   This episode captured me, and has me thinking about the many people in this country (including but not limited to the thousands in NYC whose homes are destroyed or uninhabitable because of Hurricane Sandy) who would be happy to have my overcrowded apartment to live in right now.

Where's your light bulb, Uncle Fester?

Where’s your light bulb, Uncle Fester? (Photo credit: apollonia666)

Lightbulb moment, right? Angels singing, I felt the light-in-me recognizes the light-in-you connection of it all, and I smiled looking at the crap piled along the windowsill. Not really. Because despite my recognition of spoiled American capitalist values, well, I’m a spoiled American who was bred and raised in this capitalist society. As such, I want to keep my stuff, have more space, and enjoy some privacy.

But, I will remember the moment, and the honest it’s-impossible look on Dream Home Atlanta Barbie’s face when talking about living in a 5,000 square foot home, and think about those I come across or walk past in my little corner of the world who are puzzled by my complaints.

Let’s be honest, the very fact of this type of blog epitomizes self involvement, regardless of how self aware I might try to be.

Heh. Check out Mrs Fringe, being all Zen and the Art of Selfishness and shit. Or would that be zazen?

Cover of "Remember, Be Here Now"

Cover of Remember, Be Here Now

Is That You, Hot Lips?


M*A*S*H (Photo credit: L.A.’s Filming Location Expert)

What can I say?  I needed a little break from the battering of life on the fringe. I waited and waited, but neither Hawkeye nor BJ showed to patch me up before sending me back to the front line.  (Though I swear I saw Klinger at the Thanksgiving Day parade.)

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I can’t believe it’s already come and gone. The best part? Both boys were home! Nothing cures self absorption like non stop hours of prepping, dishwashing, cooking, and more dishwashing. And of course, the time honored American tradition of kicking off the holiday season with gluttony. Do they still make Alka Seltzer?

dishpan hands

dishpan hands (Photo credit: sammydavisdog)

Man Child left early this morning, he came for the long weekend with his friend Miss Great Smile. Nerd Child leaves tomorrow morning. The nice part is they’ll both be back before long, for the Christmas break.

Miss Great Smile was a good sport, helping with prep AND she dragged Mrs Fringe into the 21st century, getting me signed up for Twitter. So please look down to the bottom left of this page and follow me.

Parenting is like anything else in life. Most things that come up are subjective, open to interpretation.  But there are certain absolute truths in mothering.

1) It always gives me warm fuzzies to have my fringelings with me. The warm fuzzies grow barbs when they leave.

2) You never get tired of Parent Teacher conferences when teachers are telling you how great kiddo is.

3) Parent Teacher conferences always suck when kiddo struggles.

4) I could really use someone reminding me to breathe when talking to the doctors at the end of any appointment with Flower Child.

5) Getting your finger caught in the front door because you couldn’t resist one last, “Did you remember to pack…?” when saying goodbye hurts like hell.

What are your absolute truths?


MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE 2012 / “Happy Thanksgiving” – Sixth Avenue & 42nd Street, Manhattan NYC – 11/22/12 (Photo credit: asterix611)

Dear Hope,

#ds308 - Out of Luck

#ds308 – Out of Luck (Photo credit: Sharon Drummond)

Regretfully, this is a letter of resignation.  After working for you without a day off for the last 40,ooo years, I feel it’s time to move in a new direction.

So there is no misunderstanding, I  have accepted a full time position with your competitor, Drudgery. I confess, I’ve been moonlighting with Drudgery from the beginning of my tenure with you.  Unlike the hierarchy here at Hope, where executives walk into their positions with their pockets full, and worker bees are expected to turn their pockets inside out as they pass through the security checkpoint; Drudgery is a true collaboration, with no false benefits.

In the beginning, I was excited to have the opportunity to work for you, believing that one day, I would be made a full partner in the firm. Instead, I was forced to spend my days bringing coffee to Wait and See, and make endless, useless copies for Maybe One Day. There is no teamwork anymore, no excitement when I catch a glimpse of your star partner, Acceptance. I worked tirelessly as an advocate for Acceptance, touting him as the yin to your yang, believing this was how I would get my own office with the view of Waterfront Hope.

I’m sure this notice will make no difference to the unfortunate state of your operations department, and I’m certain your shill game will continue to thrive.

Respectfully yours,

Mrs Fringe

Resigned Intern

Three Card Monte, Jaffa, Israel

Three Card Monte, Jaffa, Israel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She Said What?!

Angry-man-rights illustration

Angry-man-rights illustration (Photo credit:

Can we talk about the human side of this election?  Yanno, the post-voting fallout?

I’m stunned by the numbers of people posting complete vitriol–from both sides. On my personal Facebook page it’s been limited, but frankly I think that has more to do with having a small circle of friends than anything else.  Even within that small circle, I’ve seen plenty of people unFriending each other.  Is the shrinking middle class being reflected in shrinking moderation in all areas?

If you’re new to Fringeland, let me tell you now, I’m broke and lean left. If you’re already offended, this blog isn’t for you.

I have friends on both sides, listen to opinions on both sides, see the same facts and figures get skewed by both sides. To me the choice, if not all of the issues, was clear. For all of my reading and listening, I don’t really understand how some of my  friends have the beliefs they do. Some, I think I get it even if I disagree, based on clues and things I know are true in their lives.

My Foot is Slipping

My Foot is Slipping (Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman)

Others, I don’t get it at all. It seems to me they’re fighting against their own interests, one foot in the same muck mine is in and the other heel grinding into the dirt to be buried alongside the first one.

But here’s the thing. I know they’re looking, listening/reading, and thinking the same about me. They believe our country, our values, and our basic rights are slipping away under Obama.  And no, I’m not talking about any of the hateful, ignorant worms we’ve all seen photos of and quotes from online– you know the ones, those who proudly held up signs saying “Bring the White Back into the White House,” or any of their despicable cohorts.

I’m talking about people who aren’t in the 1%, people who are intelligent, reasonably well read, often highly educated. Maybe they have children they’d like to send to college, maybe they have children with significant chronic medical needs, maybe they work union jobs, maybe they’re on disability, or collecting unemployment benefits, maybe they’re women, maybe they’re people of color, maybe they consider themselves caring and moral people (with or without religion), maybe they’re gay, maybe they’re counting on help from FEMA, or the Federal government to rebuild the infrastructure of their community in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

In my opinion, these are all people who have the potential to benefit more from Obama than they would have under Romney.  Some of them disagree. Fine. I accept that, I was raised with and am quite comfortable with our two party system. Frankly, I’d like to see some teeth from one or two of the smaller alternative parties in addition, to keep people thinking and evolving along with the world.  I don’t have enough hubris to write all of these people off, blanketing myself in the assumption that they’re all either dim, heartless, or evil.

Some people ranting, roaring, and picketing is good.  We need people with that level of passion to get everyone else paying attention. I admire those who fully devote themselves to the causes they believe in, and I thank them for putting their time and energy into these causes, caring enough to keep up the work and attention when elections end, and others might think there’s no more work to be done.

I rarely, rarely see honest, potentially helpful political discourse. The closest is Real Time with Bill Maher, which I’m sure will have 2 of my 3 readers screaming at the computer screen when they read this. The third will wail that I’m rolling over and giving in, not passionate enough.

But. When did it turn into everyone screaming?  If everyone is screaming, no one is listening.  I see rants, misleading partial quotes, and a whole lotta lalalala.

Franz von Stuck: Dissonanz Heliogravur von Han...

Franz von Stuck: Dissonanz Heliogravur von Hanfstaengl. Plattengröße 53 x 46,5 cm, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I grew up in a home where there was a lot of political arguing. My father would rant, calling my brother a fascist and my brother would bellow back, calling my father a communist.  I would go hide in my room, wishing they would both shut the fuck up. The past year has felt like old home week. Except I’m not hiding in my room and don’t want everyone to shut up. I care very deeply about my life, your life, and the world my children are going to live in. Just lower your voices so I can hear your words, and the intention behind them.




Can I Bleed Those Pipes For You?

Editions Archipoche

Editions Archipoche (Photo credit:

Caretaker vs Caregiver

You know how there are some words that are easy to confuse on the tongue–you intend to say one but the other comes out? I don’t have many, but the above are mine. Technically (at least, according to they’re synonyms.  But really, not so much.

Caretaker usually refers to someone who takes care of things, like houses. Or cemeteries.  When I hear caretaker in its more accepted context, I think of gothic women-in-peril novels, cover art showing the sweet young maiden running in terror against the howling wind, back of hand to forehead, while the creepy mansion looms over her.  Is that he-ro going to save her in time?  Oops, just the foolish caretaker, bearing yet another obscure message.

Caregiver, on the other hand…yup, that’s me.  Taking care of people and critters. Every day. All day.  And let’s face it, most honest long term caregivers will tell you the pay sucks and the benefits are even worse. Yeah, I know, there are some who don’t feel this way, no matter how many years the caregiving extends they feel it’s a noble calling. Vaya con Dios, that isn’t me.

English: Kkoktu figure of a Caregiver. Korea, ...

English: Kkoktu figure of a Caregiver. Korea, 18th century. On display at the Spurlock Museum, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like taking care of “mine,” doing the best I can to make sure all are as well as possible, even throw in some smiles. But time off would be divine.  Time to take care of no one.

And no, I don’t mean take care of myself, either.  I mean luxuriate in being a sloth for however long it takes to feel rested. Caregiving that doesn’t end, or doesn’t change within the “normal” time frames feels a lot like being the caretaker of a decrepit, leaky-creaky mansion, complete with its own graveyard. Slap some duct tape over the bathroom pipe, and then the dormer window in the attic blows out.

This being life, what do I do? I choose to add more caregiving to the schedule. I have a reef tank. Always something to be monitored, cleaned, checked, work to be done, no matter the size of the tank. A little over a year ago, I added Little Incredibly Dumb Dog. Sure, I love all these critters, they bring moments of peace and warm fuzzies, but they are living beings who need to be taken care of. Why? What drives me to do these things? And I’m not the only one, I know plenty of other caregivers who make similar choices.  Why do you do it?

Even when dreaming about home ownership, do I imagine a neat, new house? No. I fantasize about one of those lovely period homes with the creaky stairs and rattling windows. I may be an idiot, but I’m not dumb, I understand those charming houses filled with character involve endless projects and repairs.  Am I a handy gal? Nope.  I’m not naturally artistic or mechanical, nor do I have any experience with home repairs.

And the one thing I do that has nothing to do with taking care of anyone else?  Writing, of course. That beautiful calling to hunch over the keyboard and open a vein.

Shallow Grave

Shallow Grave (Photo credit: jcoterhals)

Paring Down

Old Woman Peeling Potatoes

Old Woman Peeling Potatoes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love the principles behind the various living simply movements.  Think about it, in our frenetic day to day lives, doesn’t the idea of slowing down and simplifying sound tempting?

Not in an extremist way, I have no interest in renouncing technology and indoor plumbing;  living completely off the grid, but just saying enough is enough, enough is good enough, I’m going to value time to breathe and enjoy. I’m always interested in the stories of people who decide to do this, sell their second and third cars, their McMansions, and move to adorable, solar powered log homes in Montana, or Maine or Idaho.

1919 Indoor Toilet Ad

1919 Indoor Toilet Ad (Photo credit: dok1)

Except, reading these blogs, how to guides, and articles, these people all seem to have started off with significantly more than they need. And their new homes always have enough room for comfortable furniture, a working garden, room for all who live there and the stuff they continue to value. How does one decide to live simply in the city with a family and limited budget? Is it possible to make it a choice, when so many “no’s” are out of necessity?

I’ve known/know a few who seem to, but they’re all either single or two people (couple or one adult with a child). None have significant, chronic medical needs. Their dry goods aren’t sitting out on kitchen counters because the cabinets are crowded with medicines and supplements.

I like the idea of getting rid of unnecessary stuff and clutter.  It’s the battle of clutter here, because there just isn’t a place for everyone’s stuff.  But what is unnecessary?  My books? Bite your tongue, I need those! Not every book I’ve ever read, and over the past couple of years I’ve passed along at least a hundred, but what’s left are my companions, my solace when I’m feeling stuck or lonely or blue. I could replace them with an e-reader, but that would involve money to purchase the e-reader and buy the books–I already own!–electronically.

There are now 4 small boxes of stuff sitting in my living room from my mother’s apartment. One that’s waiting to be passed along. 3 small boxes from my mother’s life which includes memorabilia from my father and grandmother’s lives. I’d like to get rid of the big wall unit taking up space, but I’m not about to renounce TV either (yes, I do need to watch the Housewives), so that can’t happen until I can replace the old tube TV with one of the skinny hang on the wall things, and a smaller unit to hold the cable box, iPod dock, and Wii.  Money again.

And what about time? Where do these hours to enjoy life come from?  All those luxuries of modern living (many of which I don’t have), like a dishwasher or washer and dryer are luxuries because of the time they save.

Maybe living simply is a luxury itself, only meant for those who can do so as a choice.

What do you think?


Dollhouse (Photo credit: cliff1066™)