What’s Size Got to do with it, Got to do with it…


For some reason Tina has occupied my head lately. What’s Love Got to do With it is a catchy song, although the lyrics are a bit mixed up…(http://youtu.be/TCBttS_y7lE) But when I started meditating on the topic of size, while making chocolate chip cookies, I could hear my revised version, sung A Capella, echoing in my ears. (It could be my tinnitus, I admit… it often takes on the sound and shape of different things!) ANYWAY, my mother used to always tell me not to make cookies too big, because if someone was gonna take two cookies they would take two cookies, whatever their size was. She also taught me to use only 1/2 of a 12 ounce package of chips in a batch of cookies. Two batches from one bag! Hey, she was raised, and a newlywed, in the depression era of the 1930s! And since times are hard all over again, it could be that these are lessons to take to heart, all over again.

I live in a tiny house. I have written about my house before, so won’t wander off the topic now, just to say that I read an article in Better Homes & Gardens where they talked about this couple struggling with a little house – about three pages into the article they mentioned that the house was 1800 square feet. Little? Whoa Nellie!

We live in super-sized times. New houses are huge, set on tiny little lots where you can hear your neighbors gargling in the morning, or fighting when they get home from work. No yard to worry about though! Only room for a lap pool, if that. Meals at restaurants are often so large that they could easily feed a family of four, unless of course you are at a trendy restaurant that serves cuisine nouvelle, with tiny portions elegantly served, with the only big thing about it being the tab.

The economy is forcing many into smaller, more economic cars – yet I am bumfuzzled by the number of SUVs trolling around the streets in metropolitan areas. Gas-guzzlers, hard to park, expensive to insure, they hardly seem worth the cost and daily expense, unless you live in mud or snow year-round! I always smile when I see a Smart Car zip past – looking so tiny and efficient, yet leaving a feeling of “where is the rest of it” when it has gone past.

Houses, Cars, Meals – bigger is better. Or is it? This seems to be a new wrinkle on keeping up with the Jones’ – we can flash our money, our status, and our value by super-sizing our lives. We are an obese society as well – making me think back to Fiddler on the Roof – when the wife bemoans that they don’t have enough money so she can cultivate a “proper double chin.” Schools no longer routinely offer Physical Education, and the evolution of home gaming, and game systems makes it even harder to get kids out to exercise and play. I truly do remember leaving my house in the morning after breakfast in the summertime and only coming back for meals – rolling in around 5 after a full day of rough and tumble playing with the neighborhood kids.

A salt shaker the boys found - still with salt inside

I know some nostalgia is creeping in here, despite my best efforts to the contrary. Recently, when we had our grandsons for 5 days, they spent the whole day, everyday, prowling around our 10 acres. They found a “dump” site from the previous (Victorian Farmhouse) place here, and wallowed in great joy amongst old pieces of china, wood and mysterious metal gizmos. (And, yes, I did vet the place first – and in fact, as a crafter, insisted on purloining some of their finds for future projects!) They came in when I hollered, and fell happily to sleep at night, no game systems, and only a movie or two to entertain them inside!

I think super-sizing is a choice. A bad one, but still, a choice we each have to make. I have lived in large houses, and small ones, and found ways to enjoy them both. Right now I relish the simplicity of the small house. Easy to clean, inexpensive to heat/cool, and friendlier and cozier somehow. I am getting that way about my meals too, small in portion, simple in ingredients, and providing an intimacy and charm that a big meal doesn’t give. Don’t get me wrong, I love a honkin’ big Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, but somehow our lifestyles today negate the value of the “occasional” big meal. And a homemade meal.

How can you start to back out of the mega-sized society we live in? Take a look at this wonderful list on Mother Nature Network. Think before making big purchases. Don’t stockpile things anymore. I mean, the money some families have tied up in garbage bags (600? Really!) or batteries is often ridiculous. Shop carefully for big-ticket items. The only place I intend to grow is in my knowledge of myself and in contributing to the small-is-better movement! How about you?

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About ReaderWoman

Professional reader and researcher for writers - Reviewer and Editor for online book review sites - AVID reader (well, duh!) writer, crafter (sewing, jewelry, fiber art) photographer, herb gardener, love to learn new things - Married 3842 years, 2 "kids" (now 34 and 36) and two grands (13 and 15) Born and raised California Girl, with stints in Tennessee, learning to speak Southern, and Arizona, learning that living in a trailer is NOT fun! Enjoy conversations with wine and chocolate, long walks and being with hubby and family. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Notes of interest, Uncategorized, ~ Rant ~, ~ Reminisce ~ and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to What’s Size Got to do with it, Got to do with it…

  1. Laura Hodge says:

    When I moved to Tucson it was with everything my car would hold and that included my dog and my computer (back when CPUs and monitors were much larger). I spent the next couple of years acquiring things, both necessary and unnecessary things. For the last few years I have been trying to purge the unnecessary. I thought I had done a pretty good job of it until I put away the Christmas decorations this year and discovered that I still had a lot of stuff that I only have because I liked it when I saw it. Some of it I still like, as ornaments in my life. Most of it I truly wonder about. My closet purge this past month took me two weeks. Two weeks!! when I was finished and saw all the room I had created, what did I do? I filled that space with stuff I no longer needed/wanted to be looking at. I am now taking myself in hand and saying “Stop It!” every time I elect to hang onto something that serves no purpose. (I do consider aesthetics a purpose, so I will keep it if I like looking at it.) I can only hope I will finally reach a point where I have more room than stuff to shove it.

    • ReaderWoman says:

      My closet is on my list this week. I have already cleaned it once, since we moved here in October! Gak! And I am purging my canned goods – I really don’t like canned veggies – so using them up, and then will just keep a few things like tomatoes and olives. Maybe some soup although I mostly make my own these days!

  2. I TOTALLY agree. We have a modest sized home in the suburbs (yack) and we have the largest yard at 1/4 of an acre. It used to be glorious, until the neighbor next door (whom I CAN hear yelling and screaming) built his house, literally, in the small yard between my neighbor and I. His house is literally 8 feet from my back door and since he didn’t have room to build OUT he built UP and this monster of a house now blocks all sunlight into my kitchen. On top of that, his lawn in a chem lawn. This man is the definition of suburbia and I can’t WAIT to move. I’d rather live in a tiny house with land than a modest one without.

    Clutter is a serious problem. I’m an obsessive de-clutterer. The less crap I’ve got, the easier it is to clean my home and the happier I am as well. It’s a win-win situation. “Stuff” actually gets on my nerves now. If it isn’t beautiful or useful, it gets donated.

    I totally agree on stockpiling. Why waste the money? You want to stockpile garden produce and can it? Ok. Freeze stuff cause it’s on sale, ok. That’s food. But is it really needed to stockpile 800 rolls of paper towels? Especially when rags will do the trick. I have a couple friends who do this and give me the “coupon” excuse. I haven’t used coupons in years, mostly because my shopping is done in the meat and/or produce section. Coupons are almost only ever for horrible-for-you food or crap, sometimes I swear the ultra-couponing thing is only to feed the whole “MORE IS BETTER” mentality of the American shopper.

    Sorry, rant of my own LOL But yes, I totally totally agree with you!

  3. ReaderWoman says:

    I don’t use coupons either. My daughter does. She also stockpiles. Maybe this is just a stage we go through on the way to sanity? I don’t “do” paper towels anymore – although I do have a roll for those times that rags won’t work. For me, it is a constant state of evolution! Thanks for posting, so glad we “found” one another! 🙂

  4. I totally agree, glad we found each other too! Seems like I’ve found a kindred spirit 😉

  5. judithatwood says:

    Terrific post, and thanks for the Mother Nature Network! I can’t wait to see what you post next!

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