Thursday, March 26, 2009

Restless

The weeks of stress and anxiety are about to melt away in the bliss of spring break. Wait.. I still have to settle into the new place, I guess relaxing will have to wait.

A combination of cramming for a midterm tomorrow and too much coffee has led to a restless night of blogging past midnight and scanning ebay for a vintage road bike frame. I've decided to undertake a spring project of building a bike. I figure its a good way to learn how to fully maintain a bike. It seemed to work with computers, after building one I know a lot more about how they work and what to do when something goes wrong.

Made the plunge and purchased a bike trailer after lots of research, which amounted to nothing, because I couldn't pass up a free trailer through REI using my dividend. REI only had three options when it comes to bike trailers for hauling things other than kids. Went with a Burley two wheel design that can hold up to 100 Ibs, I think that should be plenty.

Moving is almost finished as the last big push will be Saturday when we rent a uhaul for the afternoon. The move has been a good opportunity to downsize many things. My fiancée, Ashley finally went through some clothes that she has had since high school and hasn't worn in three-four years and donated them... some lucky girl will have lots of Abercrombie to look forward too.

Downsizing our lifestyle is something that we have been attempting for the last few years and goes well with going car-free, especially since giving up a car makes shopping less convenient. Ashley's father has a half-acre organic garden on his farm just north of Great Falls, which has provided us with plenty of vegetables all year round. If anyone likes jalapeños, I know where you can get some of the best you will ever try.

Other downsizing and eco-friendly strategies I'm trying include buying many clothes at Goodwill, which is extremely cheap and reuses something that would have been thrown out in the first place; plus there are some great vintage finds. A small thing is never using plastic bags when checking out at stores, something Europe has done for more than a decade. Of course you get a lot of weird looks from store clerks, like your interfering with there routine. The only other thing I can think of at this hour is using only cold water when washing clothes and not using fabric softener – made from petroleum – which are small things, but if done enough add up to a substantial impact.

3 comments:

Julie said...

Sounds like you have a great strategy going on. I'd like to bike more places (once I have a bike) and think the trailer is a great idea.

Daniel said...

You're right that all of those little actions add up. Many people I know get motivated in spurts and want to do something great to solve all of the worlds problems. You get burned out. But once those little things become a habit, it's just part of life.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you. I live in Portland and gave up my car 17 years ago. I am now 60 and no longer need to work a "job". Gave up the clothes dryer and use retractable clothes line and free standing wooden drying racks. Took some getting used to...in fact,2 years, before I was weaned,psychologically, from the car.
Most,at that time, just thought I was strange. Now they come to me for advice.

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