My Sister, Smaug

Smaug from LOTR over his hoard.

So I don’t have to hear my sister scream at me when she finds this, I’m not sharing actual photos of her room but rather this one, depicting an even cleaner room, featuring Smaug and his hoard.

My sister is a hoarder. I really don’t know how else to put it. I’ve taken photos and have shown other people and they all agree that she is as well. My partner is incredibly uncomfortable whenever we have to go to my house to pick up something I might have forgotten, and he is always frightened by how her mess is so profound that she can’t even shut her bedroom door.

She and trips on her way out of her room. I even heard her once say, after she stumbled and caught herself falling out of her bedroom, “That always happens.” Even at my messiest, I found myself stepping on things seldomly, and that usually resulted in that thing getting put away, not me propelling myself even further from the mess.

At 17, I’d think she’d be past this by now, wanting to keep her room clean, but apparently she hasn’t scared off any boys with her Smaug-like hoard, which befuddles me to no end.

I’ve mentioned to my mother that I really think my sister needs some sort of therapy or something to help her work through this, but she passes it off as a phase. To me it’s about going on to be about a 4 year phase then, with no signs of healing.

She even acts like a dragon about her hoard. If you bring it up, even in a gentle manner, she will suddenly be worked into an astonishing rage.

I put my foot down a couple of weeks ago. ‘No more driving my car unless I can’t see your messes after a cursory look through the house.’ To me that just meant out of sight, out of mind. If I can close her door when I have company, then she can relish in her dragon-like hoard. And then, there’s the added bonus that she keeps her mess picked up in the house. It’d be like a once a week quick tidying up. With the exception of her dirty clothes, she doesn’t leave a lot throughout the house much anymore, and we can all use polite reminders to put our things away. I’ve even lost my workboots and have been in a panic, only to eventually remember I took them off in the dining room instead of my bedroom. Anyway, to my new rule, she responded with, and I quote, “FINE.” She claims it’s a song lyric, but to me, a single word does not denote any sort of musical meaning, especially in a text based platform.

We didn’t go driving last week, she didn’t even ask, so I figured things were understood. I didn’t mention anything about it because I could see her mess from the hallway, she’d made no visible attempt to try to remedy her situation.

This week we were to meet with my grandparents for dinner. She comes stumbling out of her room talking about trying to find her driving log book to which I responded by pointing out that I could still see her mess, quite easily, so there was no point in looking for it. She got very angry and after trying to talk her down(I just wanted us to be on our way and out the door) I simply told her that if she couldn’t respect her own possessions well enough to take good care of them, how was I to be able to trust her to take care of my car behind the wheel. All I was asking was for her to really keep her mess in her room and out of everyone elses’ eye-shot. She wants to get her license by September, and I responded that her she could drive as much as she wanted if she met the conditions of the rule but unless they were met, no driving. To make the long story short, after my trying to make my point and her continually getting louder and louder, she hulked out and started kicking her own possessions back to try to shut her door.

After that demonstration proving my point of her not taking care of her things, I told her we were running late and we just needed to go. We left a moment or two after; I drove. But now, after that tantrum, I’m concerned that if she ever gets angry while driving my car, what’s to stop her from crashing it, or even worse, pulling over and taking her aggression out on my car in other ways?

Mother swears that she will get in there and clean it out(she’s been saying that for as long as it’s been like such) but I don’t think taking her things away will help her heal. She’s a hoarder and from all I’ve read they’re delicate people, oftentimes having endured a great loss and trying to cling onto possessions.



Guess who is officially published!

I’ll be part of a reading of this October 14th, 7pm at Wor-Wic, if you want to hear it. 

If you want a copy, it’s free to pick up at the Wor-Wic Community College’s bookstore.


On Deleted Posts and My Spending Phast

So you guys know that thing I just tried to do that I can’t type the name of anymore* because someone claims they have trademark on a phrase and that I was violating it? Since there’s so few of you subscribers, I probably told you the whole story in person by now, so I don’t feel much of a need to elaborate.

Still can’t believe she ever assumed I’m in debt and am on a journey to pay it off. I’m honestly offended by that part more than anything- I’ve never been in debt and have been working full time to pay for college to pay for it out of pocket to not have to go into debt.

Debt is gross. I’ll be the first to say it. I’m avoiding it as insanely as I can. I even stopped going to college for a year(in 2011) because I was jobless for 9 months, job hunting, and refused to take out a loan.

Well, anyway, I’m not fasting from spending money anymore because as it turns out, I’m back in my budget’s green zone. If I’m careful for this month and just stick to my budget, I won’t be over at all by the start of next month!

My last reason for breaking the fast?

Money is just too delicious!!!!

You have no idea how proud I am of this video. #fasting #shoping #money #finances

A video posted by Grace McCarter (@zerowastegrace) on

*Funny thing is, the phrase is used across quite a few blogs, so I guess she’s gonna have to do a lot of intimidation and/or suing. I figured I’d comply because I failed the challenge and didn’t want to hire a lawyer or whatever you do for that. Although, I really don’t like hiding past failures, my being unable to complete the spending phast is among the less notable ones. The post with the metal videos was a pretty cool one.😦


My Perfect Shopping Mall

This is a post that I’m totally ripping off of Patrick Rhone on.

If you were to design the perfect shopping mall, what types of stores would it have? The rules are simple. It does not have to be existing brands or even what one would find in the modern American mall — just types of stores. To keep it easy we limited ourselves to ten.

This seemed like a fun thought exercise, so, with Patrick’s blessing, I figured I’d share my own dream mall.

  1. A quality electronics store that sells electronics that don’t go out of style and that you will use for a long time. They would sell the kinds of electronics that you don’t find yourself upgrading regularly, such as headphones, ereaders, and digital cameras. if they could lower their environmental impact by selling second-hand electronics, that would be even better. Most of my electronics(my cellphone, ereader, a few tamagotchi, etc.) are all secondhand, and they perform very well.
  2. A clean thrift store. This would be the kind of place that washes things before selling them, just in case. It would be organized more like a traditional retail store, and because all the wares are secondhand, it’d have a low impact on the environment. I find that I generally discover pieces of clothes that I like more in thrift stores than I do in retail shops, so I rarely buy new clothes, in general.
  3. A vegan grocery store. There has been a recent trend as of late where grocery stores are popping up in malls. I’ve even got to go in one up in Canada! Also, there’s a few German grocery stores that are completely vegan. Since this is my dream mall where I can have whatever I want, I want to emphasize sustainability and ethics by having a grocery store that is all vegan because even the UN agrees that a worldwide move to a vegan diet will save us from climate change.
  4. A Library. My current local mall has a branch of the library in it, which is super awesome, so step one to my dream mall becoming a reality is a thing. Libraries are more environmentally friendly because those books are reused countless times, much unlike most books in people’s personal libraries. In addition, libraries are important for lower income people, including families and students. 
  5. A bento shop would be pretty awesome. I pack my lunches for work every weekday in a bento box and even blog about it on another site. I think it’d be really nice to have a store where I can go and buy any basic gadget I want for bento making. Or better yet, rent a small kitchen in it for an hour and make my own bento with any tools I could want available without needing to clutter up my home with extra cooking stuff.
  6. A small stationary store would be awesome. I would just want Noodler’s and Pilot inks(both vegan) and high quality notebooks. Of course, good quality pens would be lovely too, but I don’t think I’ll be in the pen market for a long time.
    1. Can we have a moment of silence for my vintage Esterbrook? It leaked on three garments the last three days I used it, even after a cleaning, so I discarded it and filled up my Lamy. Now, my nice secondhand clothes aren’t in jeopardy anymore, but I’m gonna miss the feel of that nib on paper.
  7. A bag store. This store would only sell high quality vegan friendly bags. This would probably just be a kiosk, in all honesty, because there’s not a ton of high-end brands out there. I think the best quality I’ve found is Matt & Nat, but I really do like the styles Pixie Mood releases. There might be other brands out there, but if they’re quality, I want them in there. These bags would be made to last a lifetime, and in case a problem with a bag should arise, I’d love for them to perform affordable repairs.
  8. A tailor. There is one in my local mall, but they are incredibly expensive(and they wanted to tailor a dress I bought the wrong way, so never going back there) but a place to get your clothes fitted perfectly to look the best it can on you is important. Part of comfort is a good fit.
  9. A vegan food court is a must. I know that there’s lots of vegan restaurants, and even fast food joints, but the names of most elude me(because I don’t live in Montreal, New York or California). Aux Vires is an awesome place in Montreal that I’ve visited it each time I’ve gone to Canada. It needs a coffee/tea shop too. That’s a must.
  10. A car repair shop. My local mall has a Sears repair shop right next to it, which is a brilliant move. You can just walk to the mall while your car is being worked on and go to the library for a comfortable and quiet work environment, or pick up a few essentials while you wait.
  11. BONUS! A park with a jungle gym and picnic tables and a nice field for people to run around in. This would be nice near the food court. You know how a lot of fast food restaurants have the little play area for kids? This is basically the same idea but outside.

So basically, what I want is a one-stop shop for pretty much everything I need. I didn’t include any shops for furniture or bedding because of how rarely I buy that. Making a special trip to go buy that stuff would be perfectly fine because it wouldn’t be often.


Changing Direction

My goals for the year has changed; I’m not close to my savings goal, nor am I really close to my minimalism goal, for instance, but what counts is progress!
In an attempt to save more, I started a project called the $6,000 year, where aside from schooling, car stuff, and health stuff, I’m not to spend more than $6,000 in a month. 

It’s going reasonably well, but with school and my car problems, my savings hasn’t jumped up a lot. It has curbed excessive spending, so I’m still pleased.

As for minimalism, I’m not as far along as I’d hoped, but I did manage to travel to Canada with just a carry on bag, as well as on my way back(although that was much more difficult, that bag was bursting at the seams).

The Lolita community doesn’t excite me as much as it used to, so I’m not worried about that goal anymore. I’m actually selling off all but one jumper skirt, since my financial goal is more important to me, right now.


Writing Contest

Peanut Butter

I just submitted a short story about a space whale’s quest for peanut butter into a writing contest. Wish me luck!

If it doesn’t place, expect to find it on my Wattpad account in late August, where I’ve been posting fun little things from my writing class last semester. Unless you all think I should try to publish it in another magazine or the like. Maybe my school’s literary magazine?
As you can tell, I’m keeping the bar low for my first work, gotta build my way up while I improve as a writer.


School Break To-Do List

I have a short break between the spring semester and my summer college class. I was planning on trying to do a whole lot of stuff in my afternoons after work and Sundays but now I’ve decided to consolidate.

Stuff I want to do:

  1. Maintain my GTD system.
  2. Sewing class with Grandma
  3. FASFA
  4. Edit my Novel
  5. Make the Bento Blog better/bento!
  6. Go for walks regularly
  7. Fix up that purse
  8. Book a round trip ticket to Montreal

I had so much I wanted to do that it’s kind of outrageous. So yeah, I’m going to focus on getting healthy through walking and ensuring my bentos are healthier.  My novel needs some TLC after I neglected it towards the end of the semester, I have to finish the FASFA by June 30th anyway, so I need to get on that.

Cool news! By some miracle my long-lost Matt & Nat purse found its way home to me. It’s in awful condition but I am planning on fixing it up. I actually tore off a good chunk of the outer plastic/pleather that was gross(there was no saving it) and I’m going to need to sew patches over it. I’m now on the lookout for Kawaii fabric I also want to make longer straps for it. Also, remember how I mentioned that my cute Guess purse is already falling apart? Apparently Macy’s takes back/refunds anything with a receipt so once I repair my baby, I’ll be returning that other one. I wish I didn’t have to(she’s cute as stock, doubt I can keep her charm with modifications) and she was standing up to the test of time but she is deteriorating fast. It’s pretty gross.