Friday, June 18, 2010

What do we need? An Electronics Inventory

Jo Hunter Adams

Recently, in an attempt to make our place feel a little more spacious, I've committed to taking inventories of most of our belongings. Hopefully, we'll see where we have more than we need. I've even tried to list every piece of clothing I have, to take an objective look at an overflowing cupboard. As I've been reading more on simplicity and following the devastation of the gulf after the BP explosion, I've felt tugged towards a more radical understanding of our needs. All our stuff needs more space, and space costs money, and to get money you need a lot of time.

Here's our electronic inventory, for your enjoyment:

Living room:

2 lamps
1 iMac (Eug's)
1 iBook (mine)
1 ipod (mine)
1 EeePC (Eug's)
1 Camera
1 Printer
1 Scanner (all our documents are stored electronically).
1 battery powered swing for Noah (which will only last until he's about 3 or 4 months old)

Big Cupboard
1 deep freeze
1 drill
1 circular saw
1 label maker

1 Bread Maker
1 Rotisserie (don't ask)
1 hand mixer
1 coffee grinder
1 Microwave
1 toaster oven
1 slow cooker
1 rice cooker

2 lamps
1 spare camera
1 old desktop computer (for watching movies or Hulu TV shows)

1 electric shaver
1 electric toothbrush
1 Laundry spinner

TomTom, our GPS friend.
3 cell phones (two are in use)

That's 33 things items requiring power! (excluding the stove (gas powered) and the ancient fridge, which both use vast amounts of energy, as well as built in lights and fans).

We have quite a few things, particularly kitchen appliances, that would make so much sense to "borrow" from a community resource when we need them. I love love love our breadmaker, for example, but it's just not something we use every day. What do you think of having a bank for electronics that you only use once a week or once a month?

Noah Update
Noah's growing really well. Eug has started feeding him one bottle of breastmilk a day, to gradually prepare him for my return to work. We're transitioned to Bumgenius 3.0 (from GDiapers). That will demand another post next week, but we like them very much. We're also doing Elimination Communication, in our own way. Sometimes we save diapers, sometimes not, but there's really no down side. Sitting with Noah with his tupperware takes about 5 minutes, washing out even one really poopy diaper seems to take forever.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Peace Dinners

"Locally grown food and meals for diverse communities"

Eug and I had our first experience of Peace Dinners last Tuesday. The company was founded very recently by a friend from church, with a vision of providing good food in a creative way. The food (pictured above) was wonderful, and lasted us two full meals. It was delivered by the time we woke up, in a cooler outside our door. If you're in the Boston area, they're an awesome option for eating healthy food at home when you're not up to cooking!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


It's summer in the Northern hemisphere (which somehow is a much bigger deal than in Durban, where it's really nice all year round), and summers always remind me of the free concerts that happened every summer in Milan. My first year outside of South Africa, Cheb Khaled played a concert outside the Duomo. Aicha became my favourite song for a long time after that. It reminds me of awesome, hopeful times!

Better Together

Our pastor, Andrew Snekvik, passed away after a two year, three month battle against Stage 4 colon cancer. He was truly loved, in part because he was amazing at focusing in on the person he was with, and really enjoying their company. He will be sorely missed. Better Together played at his funeral, and pretty much embodied everything that Andrew was about-- the idea that, if we let people into our lives, things are just a whole lot better.

The following day, our lead pastor, Dave Schmelzer, spoke about how we can think about hearing from God and experiencing healthy non-jaded faith, with particular reference to Andrew's illness, which we prayed hard for him to be healed of. The message is available here.

I was really encouraged by the idea that to be childlike means to grieve one's losses and encounter the world "as it comes". Not to get bitter and jaded over disappointments, or explain them away as somehow not really losses, but to cry. In the moving forward, there seems to be something that God does to keep us whole but not hardened.

Here in Boston we're so intellectual that the world's issues press heavily and it seems irresponsible or naive to be happy. I like the idea that I can be- for want of a better word- cheerful.