Monday, January 30, 2012

Shoe polish - who knew?

I haven't been too focused on my minimalist mission in the past few weeks.  However, as I found myself craving a new pair of Danksos and coveting those of others around me, I thought, "WWMD?" (you know, "what would a minimalist do?")

I didn't have to think too hard because that night, as I visited with my sister, "Auntie M," I noticed her shiny black Danskos.  Did she get new ones?  Nope. Her reply: "shoe polish."


You mean, people still use shoe polish? It kind of seems like a lost art to me.  Maybe it is because I rarely by shoes that are real leather.  Somehow I think shoe polish doesn't quite work on synthetic clearance shoes from Ross.

Last week I had a minute to pull out my worn shoes.  Now, let me just tell you that these were purchased in Missoula sometime around when Clinton was entering his second term.  Yes, these puppies are OLD!  And WORN!  However, the basic structure of the shoe was still totally intact.  That is why I've kept wearing them.  They still work fine and are oh so comfortable.

Anyway, when I finally had time to contemplate refurbishing my old friends, I decided to rummage around the house before I went out to buy shoe polish.  Lo and behold, I found a bottle of black polish in Mr. Yost's things. Even more minimalisty!

The directions said you should make sure the surface was clean and dry.  Do you think I have time for that?  I decided to just jump right in (after I took some "before" shots of how pitiful they looked.)

Sad, sad Danksos.

2 minutes later and the results were, dare I say, dramatic?  I even had Mr. Yost use some fancy-schmancy glue from his workbench to fix where the stitching was coming apart.

Voila!  My beloved Danskos have entered a brand new chapter in their cherished life.  Every time I've worn them since, I get a warm little minimalist glow knowing that I have nice looking shoes that I didn't spend any money replacing and I didn't add to the landfill.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Still here

Man, can time fly when you are reading the Hunger Games, surfing Pinterest and working on Turbo Tax. I'm still here and we are all doing fine. I would throw in a cute picture, but I am on my iPad and the Darn BlogPress app is not cooperating. Posts on tap: Shoe polish - who knew? Purge project: jewelry Score one for Yaya

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Three Jars - online allowance tracking

I was raised with a very deliberate and organized allowance system.  My Mom, aka "YaYa", kept a paper ledger for each of us showing our weekly allowance and any spending.  I can remember going to the little local grocery store, buying some Swedish Fish and then coming home and deducting the amount I spent from my allowance balance. 

When I decided to start giving Stella and Hudson an allowance, I quickly realized that I needed an easy system.  For a few months I tried giving them actual money because I believe that it is good for kids to learn about money by actual having and using real money.  However, I never seemed to have the correct change--or any money at all, for that matter--and so pretty soon my allowance system broke down.

Enter the 2012 version of the paper ledger system:

One of the things I really like about this system is that every dollar that goes in is split into three jars - Save, Spend and Share.  You can set the percentage of each allowance payment. 

I have ours set like this:
 50%  - Save
 40%  - Spend
 10%  - Share

If the kids do a special job to earn extra money, you can either have the same split or it could all go in their Spend jar.  When they are ready to use the money from one of their jars, you make a "withdrawal" and it keeps track of it for you.   So far Hudson hasn't made any withdrawals, and Stella has pretty much spent her "Spend" jar down to nothing.  Her three transactions:

$3.50 - a book at her school book fair
$2.50 - a new app for the iPad - Bartleby's Book of Buttons Part 2
$9.49 - a huge pack of dry erase markers from Costco

She is currently earmarking her "Save" jar for a horse.  I haven't had the heart to tell her that at her current earnings rate, it will take her 34 years to buy a horse that costs $2,500.  I just keep telling her that she better start doing some extra paid jobs to increase her savings. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Vivian's ABR hearing test - take 3

This time, we were smart. At least maybe smarter

Vivian needed another ABR(Auditory Brain-stem Response) hearing test.  These are the ones that we have to have done in Billings, and she is supposed to be sound asleep.  One of the reasons she needed to do another one is that she was not sound asleep for the first two. 

This time we went to Billings the night before the test so we could manipulate her sleep/wake times before the test the next day.  We decided to make it a fun little get-a-way for the whole family.  Even Pouli & YaYa came. 

Here are the kids in the hotel before swimming.  

Vivian's first swim! 

I don't think she likes the water...what do you think?

Here we are the next morning trying to keep her awake in the hotel room.  You would not believe how long this bag of Doritos kept her entertained.  

The waiting room of the audiologist's office...still awake!

 I thought this was seriously cute, but a little freaky at the same time.  They have to rough up her forehead and then attach this electrode with a snap on it.  Still awake...

All hooked up and ready to go.  Still awake but getting very sleepy.  She ended up sleeping like an angel.  We got all the testing done that they needed to complete her hearing profile.  Yeah!!!  I didn't take any pictures because I was afraid of waking her up.  I don't think Aaron or I hardly moved a muscle the whole hour and a half. 
(I just realized that the bottle looks HUGE in those pictures. )

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mr. Yost is famous

Okay, maybe famous is a bit of an exaggeration.  He did get not just one, but two! stories published in the latest edition of Outside Bozeman magazine.  

What a guy. 

If you have a few minutes, check them out here:

What is a post without a pic?

The great sled races - Big Sky, MT  December - 2011