Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More Stuff...

A while back I read two books that really touched a nerve with me; Peter Walsh's It's All Too Much and Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough by Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss. Both books explore our seemingly insatiable desire to acquire 'stuff'. 

The growing 'Donate' pile
The 'donate' pile growing in my hallway shows that I'm not immune to the impulse buy... A large garbage bag has already gone out with the weekly garbage collection. I had a full bin for the first time in months!

The aspect of this exercise that I find most confronting is thinking about the amount of money spent on these things that could have been put to better use.

The purge will continue this coming weekend. 

Friday, May 27, 2011


Lately, the chore of keeping my little house tidy has reached Herculean classification and it comes down to one reason: too much stuff.

I know I'm not the only one in this predicament. Self storage businesses seem to be popping up everywhere. And, the crazy thing is, I don't remember solving clutter problems being a serious business proposition twenty years ago, so what's changed? Why do we all have so much stuff?

I'm sure there are multiple reasons and they'll differ depending on who you ask but I know that sometimes, just sometimes, a little bit of retail therapy sneaks into my life. Especially in stationery stores...

So, today I'm setting aside some time to do some serious de-cluttering. I'm also going to watch The Story of Stuff again to remind myself why I need to make conscious purchase choices not impulse ones.

I don't expect I'll get it all done today but I do expect to get A LOT done today.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Keeping It Simple - Pumpkin Soup

I never plant pumpkins but I always seem to end up with a garden swathed in pumpkin vines. This year they've even climbed my silver birches and produced 'aerial pumpkins'!

One of my favourite ways to cook these freebie pumpkins is Pumpkin Soup.
Chopped Golden Nugget Pumpkin

My recipe is simple:

  1. Saute onions in the fat/oil of your choice. I prefer either lard or chicken fat but if neither is available I use butter.
  2. Add chopped pumpkin and cook for about 5 mins.
  3. Add enough chicken stock to more than cover the vegies.
  4. Add a chopped potato or two.
  5. Add a tablespoon or two of tomato concentrate (homemade or commercial)
  6. Simmer until pumpkin and potato are completely cooked.
  7. Add salt and pepper to your own taste.
  8. Puree.

Pumpkin Soup with fresh baked Wholemeal Bread

Serve with freshly baked bread for simple yet luxurious meal.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Oil Price v Petrol Price

I readily admit that Mathematics was neither my favourite subject at school nor was it my best subject but, try as I might, I fail to understand the correlation between oil prices and petrol (gas) prices.

On Friday, the price of unleaded fuel at my local petrol station jumped from $1.359 to $1.529 per litre. Yet over the last week or two the price of oil has dropped to less than $100 per barrel.

Makes you wonder which price is being deliberately manipulated, oil or petrol?

The bottom line... higher petrol prices mean that EVERYTHING that requires transportation will increase in price, too.

Time to revisit the budget.