I suspect I might be a time minimalist

A lot of folks seem to be overwhelmed with everything they’re trying to do in life.

I often feel a bit overwhelmed at work, but since my brain shuts off after a certain amount of hard thinking and I start making mistakes, I hit actual hard limits on work work, and am thus forced to do things that are not part of my regular paid labor.  But I don’t feel overwhelmed with the things I need to do in non-work.

When I look at the lists of things that other people are trying to fit into their days… I realize that there are a lot of things that I just don’t do.  I don’t get in a morning jog.  I don’t work out after work.  I don’t clean the house (except when company is coming).  I don’t have a particularly onerous commute.  I don’t watch much tv and I’m way behind in Netflix watching (we really ought to decrease our subscription).  We don’t do date nights.  I don’t do mani-pedis.  I definitely don’t do book clubs.  Nor do I do girl’s nights out, except the occasional once every two years shopping trip.  I’ve been considering getting my hair highlighted because I don’t need to look old when I’m not teaching, but have been turned off by the time commitment even more than the monetary commitment (I noticed at a recent conference that my prominent female economist colleagues almost entirely have one shade of hair color– they dye but don’t highlight).  I don’t have hobbies other than the blog and mostly brainless romance novels (I’ve been assuming that my brain will be up to say, Malcolm Gladwell level non-fiction, while on leave but it really isn’t yet) at the rate of one or two a week (mostly before bed or while in the restroom).  We pile responsibilities and habits on our kids as soon as they’re able to take over them (DC1 most recently is in charge of cleaning hir bathroom).

I’m just not trying to do as much stuff as a lot of people.

I don’t think that’s better or worse than other folks.  Just like I don’t think having stuff (that you can afford) is in any way worse than not having stuff, despite what the minimalist movement suggests.  I try to pack stuff in at work and look towards my leisure time (including home production) to contain the chores I don’t mind doing (food, laundry, finances) and have everything else pretty much unplanned.  So it doesn’t feel like I’m missing out.  Maybe I am.  I’m sure I could fit more stuff in my leisure time if I made an effort to organize it, but I’m not sure that would make me any happier than being my standard lazy disorganized self.   Really, so long as I’m getting enough sleep and my kids are getting enough attention (and DH and I get enough together time) and everybody is healthy and happy and doesn’t smell too bad, we’re good.

I do, however, wish I were more productive and organized at work.  I’m just going to have to keep working on that.

The CSA will take over your life

Community Supported Agriculture is this neat thing where you give money to (usually) a local farmer, and then during the harvest season you get a box of random produce.

Paradise has an AWESOME CSA program.  Tomatoes, lettuce (cleaned!), potatoes, onions, garlic, fruit, fun random things in reasonable enough amounts that they make a side-dish but not so much that you’re drowning in kohlrabi.  Nary a collard or mustard green in sight (so far anyway).  All delicious and wonderful.   And we get it on Friday which means it’s easy to do menu planning and grocery shopping for the week after knowing what’s in the box.

Problem:  The vegetables are all so good and so abundant that they’ve really taken over.  We don’t finish things by the next Friday.  We don’t go out to eat because the food at home is better than what is close by and we feel guilty for not finishing things.  We don’t buy as much crazy stuff at the grocery store or farmer’s market even though the grocery stores and farmers markets are awesome.  We’re not eating a whole lot of meat.  Occasionally we will have just green beans for dinner because it’s Thursday and we’ve had those green beans for two weeks and we don’t want to make dilly beans again.

It is making riotous living hard, even though it is really good for our checkbooks.

We’re not stopping, but we wouldn’t mind if the boxes were a bit less generous!  (No, we don’t have anybody to split a share with– our local friends have their own box and they use the entire box because their kids love veggies at a much higher level than our kids do, though their kids are also not crazy about green beans.  The CSA version of splitting is every other week which is tempting except it is really hard to remember to pick something up every other Friday instead of every Friday.)  But I am a little bit looking forward to the winter.

What have your CSA experiences been like?  If you’ve done one, do you think it has saved you money or improved the quality of your eating?

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What would you do if retired?

Back in May, Leigh talked about how when interviewing for her current job they asked her what she would do if she were retired.  She mentioned she’d considered graduate school, and they were all, you can do that now (if you take this job)!

That got us thinking about the general question– what would we do if retired?

#1:  We have enough money saved right now that we could retire to my DH’s home town if we really wanted to.  We’d rather work.  The answer is always different depending on how much money we have in these retirement scenarios.  At one amount we could retire to paradise permanently and enjoy events and hobbies and library books and so on– enough to keep us entertained.  At another amount it would be irresponsible not to be philanthropists and to use that money to make the world a better place.

When #2 was between jobs she loved it.  I have plenty of hobbies including riding horses, reading, napping, and fostering orphaned kittens.  I have friends to see and cool places to go.  I could do some traveling.  My partner was working (and supporting my lifestyle) so there was a limit to what we could do together.  I will probably never live long enough to read all the books I want to read, so I’d be happy to do that for a long, long time…. being temporarily retired is awesome!

Though making money is awesome too.

Bonus Sunday actually the last food pics for realz this time

In case you were wondering if they were going to completely skip cooked tomato sauces and pizza, they waited to do that until the last day.  (Not quite accurate– there were pizza and calzone that did not get photographed because apparently #2 is too hungry at lunch most days to remember to take out the camera!)

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Fresh fettucini with artichokes (front) and with mushrooms (back)

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Simple pasta with tomatoes

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Simple pizza with fungi

And that’s it! Back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow!

Some (almost) final food pics

We will return to our regularly scheduled programming on Monday (with a money post).

In the mean time…

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Arrabiata with house-made pasta

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Carbonara with house-made pasta. Eat all the carbonara. The pasta was toothsome!

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We eat a lot of caprese.

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gnocchi baked with mozzarella

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a big salad with things in it, also I had bread and olive oil

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Wild rice salad with eggplant.

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some kind of pasta

Also saw many dead saints bodies and churches.

Roman cheeses and other foods.

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For dinner we got the grand tour of cheese from soft bufala ricotta in top left progressing in strength to stronger and then smoked mozzarella.  We ate all the cheese in Rome.

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eggplant slices grilled with zucchini and pesto

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tomatoes with pesto

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Artichokes, eggplant casserole

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pasta

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salad

We have conquered Rome.

A single link.

Food pic Friday!

In the Campo de’ Fiori is a mozzarella bar/ cucina. The cheese is as amazing as you think.

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First an “intense” bufala mozzarella with a side of tomatoes and pesto. Delicious!

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Yummy pasta

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Grilled eggplant covers a ball of cheesy rice. Pesto on side. Smoky mozzarella. Sooo good.

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Overhead view

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Dessert was creamy ricotta with honey, pine nuts, and orange peel.

So far this meal wins!  We will go back.

Lunch in Rome

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Bucatoni amatriciana (tomato sauce with black pepper, bacon)

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Eggplant parmigiana made with burrata

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Arrancini, Sicilian style

Special Thursday edition of food pics!

Campo de’ Fiori has many restaurants.

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Artichoke ravioli

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Lunch near Vatican City.

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Tagliatelle with porcini

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Penne with onion sauce

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Basil sorbet

Didn’t take pictures of gelato by Vatican Museum.