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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stuff

Cherie Langlois
Hobby Farms Contributing Editor

Cat
Photo by Kelsey Langlois
"Who put this stuff on my TV?"

Where did all of this stuff come from? I'm writing this from our living room futon, hemmed in by a somewhat intimidating mini-Grand Canyon of furniture and stacked boxes. No, I’m not a hoarder. (At least, I didn't think I was before surveying all of this stuff). We just had to empty our two bedrooms and my home office so we could rip out the prehistoric carpets (major eww) and the installer could unfurl clean, unsmushed new ones in their place. 

Don't ask me why we decided to take on re-carpeting the house before Christmas (as if the holidays weren’t hectic enough!). I suspect it may have had something to do with my husband and my subconscious need for a major project that would keep us too busy to mope around as we continue coming to terms with our daughter leaving the farm-nest for college. But right now, it just seems like sheer insanity.

And as an environmentally-minded person who tries to embrace the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mentality, I'm dismayed to discover how much stuff we’ve accumulated over the years and crammed into our 1,500-square-foot home. There’s stuff bought from stores, thrift shops and yard sales, and stuff given to us. There’s souvenir stuff made in countries we’ve visited, some stuff made right here in America, and way too much stuff made in China. There’s stuff we needed (a light to read by), stuff we didn’t need but wanted (CDs and DVDs), and stuff we didn’t need and don’t remember ever wanting. (Certain items I won’t identify on the off chance they were given to us by someone who reads this.) I seem to have an entire forest’s worth of paper stuff here, too:  books (my biggest weakness), saved magazines, and files brimming with travel brochures and old stories. Oh, and don’t forget the boxes of sentimental stuff:  photos and Kelsey’s grade school artwork and more.
 
Don’t even get me started on our outside farm stuff.

Realizing we have too much stuff in too little space—stuff that needs to be dusted (um…sometime) and generally weighs us down like an overstuffed backpack—I’ve decided to undertake a stuff-purging mission as we put things back. And with Christmas speeding toward us, I find myself thinking more along the lines of giving (and wishing for) stuff—I mean presents—that won’t linger too long. Things like soaps, coffee, homemade chocolates or herbal jellies.

I wonder, what gifts do you give or wish for that don’t add to all of the stuff?

~ Cherie 

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Reader Comments
Yeah, I know about stuff too...My husband and I have decided we have to live here until we die because we'd never want to have to move everything!
Kelly, Fairgrove, MI
Posted: 10/31/2011 5:09:18 AM
I think my husband thought I was nuts when I ask for gifts like new animal buckets or feed for them. Last Christmas I received a new chicken coop. He built it in the garage. This winter my guinea's and some extra roosters are enjoying this gift.This year I asked for a load of hay for my sheep and goats. From friends I like gifts of baked goods sense work and animals(in the winter) don't leave a lot of baking time. I take all my extra stuff to work and put it in our free box. This works great others enjoy getting something they might need. I found a wool sweater in the box to felt in to a purse.
Annette, Bruce Crossing, MI
Posted: 1/1/2011 1:05:53 PM
Good idea, Linny! I know I'd be thrilled to get real, farm-fresh eggs for Christmas :) We're currently down to one old, non-laying hen here and I'm waiting until spring to get more, so I'm really missing fresh chicken eggs!
Cherie, Graham, WA
Posted: 12/16/2010 11:24:04 AM
Well, this year I'm giving eggs. The chicks (hens) that I got in July are starting to lay eggs. Which means, we have way more eggs then we can eat....:)
linny, lancaster, PA
Posted: 12/15/2010 10:28:02 AM
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