Archive for the ‘Simplicity’ Category

My New Car

Saturday, August 18th, 2012
car2go smartcar

car2go in Toronto

I recently signed up for car2go in Toronto (which lets me use them in Vancouver and Calgary as well, but not the US). It’s very similar to the bike rental stations that I’m seeing pop up everywhere. I took my first trip yesterday, so here are my thoughts.

One, it’s a great little car for the city. (Not for Costco trips, however!) The per-minute cost is low, when you consider that you don’t have to pay for: gas, insurance, maintenance, PARKING!

Free parking is available at all the Green P parking lots, of which there are many. And parking fees in Toronto are outrageous.

There are currently 200 smartcars available in town, and there are 2 lots a couple blocks from me. I picked one up (after several errors, I called & was told it was malfunctioning, so walked next door to find another.) Then I drove it downtown to another lot and left it there (another glitch; the machine ate my free parking card & the attendant had to rescue me.)

After a couple hrs of shopping & messing around, I went back to the same lot, and picked one of the 2 cars there (I could have reserved, but chose not to) Hopped in, and away I went (after dealing with the parking attendant again.)

Yes, there are some glitches, but the system is new here. Customer service was very responsive. I think I’ll be using it more, especially for trips downtown, where parking is at a premium.

I love the idea of  having a car when I want one, but not having to pay the overhead for just occasional use.

** Update: car2go just phoned me today to follow up on all the mishaps. They also gave me a 15 minute credit, which was very nice of them. So far, I’m very impressed with the customer service.

*** Am considering taking car2go to the buskerfest down @ St Lawrence market this weekend. I love not having to worry about parking!

TGIF #37

Friday, September 24th, 2010

One of my biggest finds this summer has been POUTINE! Pronounced poo-TSIN in Quebec. I’ve been trying it all over, from Seattle to New Hampshire. My favorite so far has been at Boomer’s Cafe in Stratford, ON. Basically, it’s french fries with gravy & cheese curds. Sounds simple, but done right, it can be divine.

I’ve seen a lot of variations on the theme, including Italian poutine (with red sauce) and sweet potato poutine (not sure what they use for gravy.) I’ve been experimenting myself, and so far my favorite is Mexican poutine. I make oven baked fries, top it with chorizo & cheddar cheese. Yummm…

Sorry I’ve been AWOL for a couple weeks. A certain señor has been visiting, and I’ve been showing him all the sights in beautiful PT & Seattle. I think he liked it, although the ferry waits were a bit frustrating. Part of life on the peninsula, though. It’s great hanging out with someone who likes good food as much as I do!

Here are some links to kick off your weekend!

Simplicity Links

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Whidbey Cattle

I’ve been in decluttering mode again for the last couple weeks. I’m suddenly able to let things go that I’d been hanging on to for many years. Not that I used them. Somehow I thought I “needed” to have them. Or not just have them, but not let them go. And suddenly, it’s ok.

One thing I found was that releasing the things with the most emotional attachment also had the biggest freedom effect. After one particularly dramatic trip to the thrift store, I returned to find my apartment felt so much more peaceful- it was almost a different place. As if a particularly annoying low-level hum had stopped.

I’m finding that language can help me break through my attachments. I’ve started thinking in terms of “releasing” and “letting things go.” And I’m less concerned with finding them the perfect home. That’s their job, not mine. (Although I was particularly pleased to pass on some special books to someone who was thrilled to receive them.)

I’m also starting to think of things as being nomadic. They lived with me for a while, and now they’re on to new adventures.

No, I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist. As SED reminded me, the idea isn’t to get rid of everything. The idea is to keep the things that bring you joy, and release the ones that don’t.

I’ve been working on some links to share, in case you’re interested. Here’s the new Simplicity Links page.

This is a work in progress, so I’d love to know if you have favorites that I’ve missed.

Sweeping Changes… Everything

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

broom, originally uploaded by Schnittke.

Each morning in San Miguel de Allende, the streets are wet and smelling of Pinol (Mexican version of PineSol) as the homemakers start their day by sweeping their courtyards, front steps and sidewalks, and then rinsing them down.
They are not just cleaning, but changing the energy in their homes. Sweeping out old energy- literally- is a tradition in many cultures.
Stephanie Bennett Vogt (my space clearing mentor) also uses this simple tool in her practice. I’ve noticed some interesting things myself, after using my broom, whether indoors or out.
  • The entry to my home feels more welcoming.
  • My kitchen “feels” cleaner, and even a bit larger.
  • I’m more willing/able to work on a project that’s bogged down.
  • Sweeping for a while can clear up feelings of overwhelm.

Give it a try, and report back. I’d love to know if this works for others as well as it does for me!