meanwhile at the free store

i have two rooms now, well, two & a half…. one for household items & shoes (so many shoes!)
& one for clothes & toys. i figure put the toys in with the clothes so moms can look for clothes while kids make a mess with the toys.

speaking of messes…i almost closed up the shop…turned the bus around…i was so frustrated with how people don’t pick up after themselves. i mean, nothing major, but with enough people not putting things away…. i already have four kids to pick up after….

but i am trying to keep the faith. the free store doors remain
open
(two doors now!)

ps. if i have to deal with another bag of single socks, i might just freak the fuck out…so pair up your socks, people. no singletons or i will hunt you down.

free store sheep fingers

i’m a little behind on my free store updates.
it is still going strong. the ebb & flow is a bit off however, more coming in than going out.
so!
i’m working on expanding it into the next room over. the building i am in is an old church that was reclaimed as an art & community space. the next room over was an abandoned workshop. i have been clearing it out & trying to clean it up & hopefully not inhaling too much lead paint dust….
one wall was crumbling paint, so i painted over it, but that didn’t seem to be enough, so i took the opportunity to make some life sized sheep fingers. i don’t know about you, but something about sheep fingers just makes me so happy.
soon this room will be finished & set up & the free store at the commons will be much easier to navigate…& my ocd can calm down a bit.

free storing it

so far so good with the free store…though more is coming in than going out. which is awesome that people are so generous–& hopefully it will find it’s own ebb & flow eventually.

i have discovered that i really enjoy sneak peeks into the lives of strangers via donations…must be the fiction writer in me. i also enjoy making sense of chaos. so it’s all good.
though my folding skills leave something to be desired.

maybe i’ll get a trend going here on free stores for sustainability & community.
start your free store today!

free store project

what am i doing with myself since i quit my job, i’m sure you are wondering.
well…other than trying to recover from clogged sinuses that are surely indicative of a clogged soul…
i have opened a free store!
cool, right? very abbie hoffman of me….

this is my journaling about the process in case anyone is curious or wants to try this at home.

here in viroqua, wisconsin, there is a building that is a common space, an art space. it is aptly called “the commons,” and is steered by some good hometown anarchists. i fell in love with this space when i first visited viroqua and was eager to get involved with it’s current evolution.
so!
i asked the board if i could start a “free store” in one of the rooms. i was met with some pretty awesome enthusiasm.
the enthusiasm did not stop with attaining the room. as soon as i started advertising for donations, i was met with overwhelming generousity.

today is the first day the free store is open to the public.
i am hopeful, but i am also keeping an eye out for snags.

i will try to keep y’all updated on my latest quixotic adventure…xxoo.

i just realized this is totally a 180 from of my “nothing for free” post…but, you know, i did fire that therapist for being frivolous with my mental health…plus, like many men i know, he really didn’t listen to what i was saying.

homesteading blues

as i try to figure out
where i want to be
who i want to be
who i am…
shopping for a new home
means leaving behind some things
i love
but regret i could not love
enough
once upon a time
i was a girl with a gentle spirit
who loved animals
but that spirit was cruelly
broken
& now i am so conflicted
am i a homesteader?
or an urbanite?
can i be both?
can i live without
wide open spaces?
can i thrive
without a ready
community?

i cannot imagine myself staying here without going completely fucking nuts…but when i go to list my critters on craigslist, i struggle to imagine a life without them.
except that it would be a life with less things to worry about.
and that does sound nice.
but no geese wandering through my front yard? no goats taking care of the lawn for me? no ducks randomly flying onto the roof? no turkey to be ambassador to my property?

of course, i have no where to go right now. i just know i cannot stay here. i looked into intentional communities, but all of the ones equipped to house a family our size, are way way too expensive for this mom who does not prioritize income.

disconnect

used to be
you had to go to 
the fields
hunt
in the woods
trade
with a neighbor
if you wanted to eat
you worked together
with your tribe
your clan
your society 
to make sure everyone ate
now
now it’s drive up
drive through
don’t stop
don’t even get out of your car
ever
fast food, liquor, now your groceries
all
available
no eye contact
required
don’t look up from 
your phone
…do you call this progress?
because
to me
it feels like
deterioration
a breakdown
a disconnect
an 
utter
collapse.

this might not be a popular opinion. okay, obviously not a popular opinion. but it is mine. i couldn’t even draw myself holding a smartphone i hate them so much. that is not me. someone else there. 
i hate drive-throughs almost as much as i hate smartphones. i get my ass out of the car, unpack the minions, walk in, and do what i need to do. 
am i a martyr? 
some might say i am being a martyr.
fuck that 
i am trying to retain human contact because i think community is dire to our survival. i don’t even like people…and i have serious social anxiety. 
but i get the fuck out of my car and talk to people and make eye contact.

because what happens if we lose even more of our connection to each other?  

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