Long live the freegans

I like my new kitchen

After being unemployed for nearly 10 months, my efforts to furnish our new apartment have been on the thriftier than usual side.  When I can, I buy used/second-hand when possible to keep “stuff” in the cycle and out of the landfill and to reduce the demand on production of new products.  We were lucky that a neighbor was moving out (and to South America, no less) when we were moving in and we hit up a few tag sales as well.  The majority of our free stuff has been acquired from friends and the side of the road, including a working microwave and toaster (usually that stuff is the aftermath of a tag sale).  I’m quite proud that we haven’t spent much on furniture, which is what we were mainly lacking.  I’ve found a few things on craigslist, but it does have a reputation for flaky people that don’t respond to you or remove their post when it’s gone, but there are good deals that I still look there.  Usually for the free stuff you have to be able to go there as soon as the ad is posted to get it.

Here’s a proud list of what I was able to get for absolutely FREE:

  1. a queen size mattress and box spring and frame
  2. 2 end tables
  3. a computer desk
  4. a full length mirror
  5. a dresser
  6. clothes hangers
  7. papasan chair and lots of pillows
  8. coffee table
  9. flower pots
  10. houseplants
  11. microwave
  12. toaster
  13. george forman grill
  14. bookshelf
  15. file cabinet/end table thing
  16. a chair to sit in
  17. a lamp
  18. kitchen stuff (drying rack, bowls, vases)

And if you want to know what a freegan is, they basically are the opposite of consumers.  Think of dumpster diving, picking berries off the roadside, etc etc.  There are people who live their lives 100% this way, which is pretty dedicated and conscientious.  So hooray for them!  We could all learn a little something from them when it comes to the mass-consumerism based-society we live in.

Way Out West

We have left humid hot Florida and now are on the west coast, with some really cold days.  I think missing winter last year in Peru has thrown me off.  Spring in FL was my summer, now all this cold weather makes me feel like it’s fall….but summer will come.

We spent a week with Matt’s parents, playing wii, cards and relaxing.  We had a nice family gathering one day so we got to share our slideshow and catch up with everybody.  We now are in Portland staying with friends and seeking employment and lodging.  It was really cold when we arrived but the past few days have been sunny and beautiful.  Maybe we’ll just stay unemployed to take advantage of all the fun things there are to do.

Post-Fast, Yoga & Meditation

Matt and I finished a 3 day liquids fast and are now enjoying the pleasures of cooking and eating once again. I always feel better after a cleanse and don’t feel like I’m carrying around any extra crap in my body. At least for today! I documented our fast on my food blog if you are interested.  I also wrote a little how-to day by day what we eat, what we do, if you want the details the entry is here.

One of my goals during the fast was to do yoga every day. I do yoga, but very rarely. Usually only when we are at a yoga center. For some reason, I can’t get into it on my own without a live leader and other people around. If I do it alone I just feel like I’m stretching and end up cheating or getting distracted. I’ve never tried the videos before. We’ve been checking out different yoga DVDs to see who we like and if any of them are worth repeating. So far the most intense one (and longest) is Power Yoga by Rodney Yee. Both of us break a sweat during the session and when I’m finished I feel relaxed, stronger and more flexible. It seems to be the most productive video we’ve done so far. The easy, slow ones are nice but I am very easily distracted and if I can go into a pose that’s a little harder, my mind stays there. So I’ve been doing yoga and enjoying it and it helps me go into meditation much easier.  Matt got a book called the Heart of Yoga, explaining a lot of theory behind it.  Perhaps knowing it will help me appreciate it better, and maybe do it more?  We’ll see.

Meditation is something I always intend to do and put it off.  It’s frustrating, I get distracted, bored and my mind races incessantly.  I know it’s good for you and all that but I’ve always avoided it as much as possible.  While in Peru at the yoga center I read some books on meditation and the like.  The one that impressed me the most was The Power of Now.  It’s a great book and has really good exercises for quieting the mind and making meditation easier.  And I think the author is Oprah’s new best friend. By the way, has anyone heard that Oprah is eating vegan, gluten free and sans booze for 21 days?  She’s doing a physical/spiritual cleanse and I think it’s really cool someone as influential as her is publicly talking about veganism.  The world listens to Oprah, not the little people.  So if she is looking into where her food came from and what it does to her body, perhaps more will not only follow but be educated.