August Work Release

August has ended. Time to show our work.

In July I neglected to post anything about the items I found while running/hiking because all I found was a plain black ponytail holder. It did not feel magical, but that might be because I tucked it into a pocket of my running skirt and then washed it. I probably washed off all the magic or scared it away or drowned it or scrambled it in the spin cycle. My bad.  In August I found these tidbits:

One appears to be a battered Lego. I found it on my normal three mile loop around the neighborhood. I don’t think it’s just a Lego though. I can feel its damaged powers when I hold it. It has obviously been displaced and it has obviously been run over by a bunch of cars, but the magic is still there. I think it’s a window or portal for tiny creatures to move between worlds, not unlike the doors in the movie Monsters, Inc. I tend to think this about all builder-type toys which can be affixed or secured to each other. It’s the real reason why kids love them so much.

The other is a pin I found on the trail in a local state park. The proper term is button pin, I believe. Back in the day (1980s) I used to wear these all over my stonewashed denim jacket, stabbing myself in the boob on many occasions to express myself. Expressing oneself via button pins was also featured nearly two decades later in the movie Office Space (1999)in which they were called pieces of flair and worn on uniform suspenders. This button pin is not vintage but it probably qualifies as a piece of flair. The pin coaxes us to visit the website of Heifer International. Since I know Heifer did not have a website in the 1980s, this is clearly a reproduction and not a vintage boob-harpoon. Heifer makes enough of its own magic that I don’t need to embellish, although as a freshly-minted vegan I’m probably not gifting any goats anymore.

I became vegan in August by completing the 30 Day Vegan Challenge, which is technically two tasks in one. The Challenge was one task. But it made me vegan indefinitely (for life — that’s the plan). This is where I would typically type that I killed two birds with one stone but I don’t throw rocks at birds with my language anymore. I am told this makes me annoying AF and this is why people hate vegans. So I guess it would be less annoying/hateful if I substituted some other creatures into the same idiom? Two puppies, perhaps? Kittens? Toddlers? Language matters, folks. Remember All In The Family? But anyway, I wrote enough about the Challenge during its designated 30-day stretch so I’m just going give it a mention and move on.

I became an entry level environmentalist in August. My household finally participates in composting and curbside recycling. It’s been a long road to get here. When I lived on the East Coast ten years ago, recycling was mandatory. I would be charged a fine for throwing away recyclables with my trash. When I moved to Mercyburg recycling wasn’t even available. Things are better now. The madness is finally over. Plants go back to the soil to rot. Recyclables go to church to get born again. Less trash in the landfill. Yes, it’s extra work. Wellness is work. Folks will break their backs and sink deeper into debt remodeling and landscaping their mortgaged houses yet complain that taking care of the planet is too hard and too expensive. It’s still our home, people, even more so than our overpriced plywood boxes.


I did a lot of wellness reading in August, which is probably why I did less writing. I read Light Is The New Black and Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell. Both were recommended to me. I recommend them to you. Both will make you work. This work is worth it. I also read White Hot Truth, which means to date I have read everything Danielle Laporte has written.

Yoga, gym, hiking, as usual.

I’m still easing my way toward minimalism and oh. my. glob. it just baffles me there is anything left to manage after all these months. I’m fantastically tired of spending my time and energy taking care of stuff and that does not take care of me. The clearing of the home continued in earnest in August. More furniture, clothing, books, dishes, and accessories purged. Will this ever end? Every month I take more extra crap out and there still seems to be more. This is senseless to me now — taking out a mortgage for a giant climate-controlled, heavily insured, overdressed storage house to hold a bunch of stuff I DO NOT NEED.

  • Why do we keep sheets sets for a bed size we no longer own?
  • Why do we store duplicates and triplicates of kitchen items when we never use the singles? I found FIVE nearly identical marinade injectors in a kitchen drawer. We’ve never used one.
  • Why hang on to heavy winter coats for a decade when it never gets cold enough here to wear them? Seriously, I should have left them in Maryland.
  • Four dozen votive candle holders from the old yoga studio; can’t possibly use them all.
  • Three shower curtains when I don’t have an open shower; I have a door.
  • Two boxes of running books; after 20 years of it I certainly don’t need books to tell me how to run. When the books were gone we got rid of the shelf so we wouldn’t be tempted to fill it up again.
  • Two people live in my home. We never have 17 coffee drinkers over at the same time, so why do we have all these extra mugs?
  • Four paintings on one living room wall just because they were too “nice” to ditch when we moved in. We were deluded when we moved in. These extra pieces of inane decoration bring us no joy whatsoever, and too much art makes a small room look even smaller. I’m leaving the bare wall naked for a while just to enjoy the empty space.
  • And so on. I’m truly looking forward to the month I get to report there is nothing left to purge, donate, trash, downsize, or recycle. But for now, I’m still coughing up retail stupidity.

In reviewing this report it feels like August was a month of somewhat domestically-oriented wellness practices. Fine by me since I hibernate/nest in the summer. Summer is blessedly almost over, making way for the best/rest of the year I call Not Summer. Anything but summer. I’ll take it; anything but summer is bliss.

I leave you with a collage of fancy photos I took during the eclipse but didn’t post because my squiggly Shakti post needed to stand alone. It’s the post immediately previous to this one if you missed it.

See you in September.

— Mercy

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