Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I'm still running behind schedule about a lot of things and don't have too much that is exciting to write about. Japan is HOT and MUGGY and what I'd like to do is sit in an airconditioned room and sew but I guess I won't be able to do that for a few more days...

I've been washing floors and windows just to get some freshness back in the house. And doing a little rearranging and tossing. I think seeing all that can be acquired in a few years piled in my mother's home has influenced me and I find myself tossing things right and left. It is a dilemma. There is no sense being wasteful if things are not broken or worn out but just keeping things takes up space so I tend to opt for the toss solution.

Have you ever heard of the phrase "Mottainai"? In Japanese it means "a sense of regret concerning waste when the intrinsic value of an object or resource is not properly utilized." (quoted from a Japanese/English dictionary) The phrase became internationally known when Wangari Maathai, an environmentalist from Kenya who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, used the Japanese phrase. Although Japan is a very materialistic country, I think the sense of consumerism is lower than in America and people take their responsibilities to REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE very seriously. And I probably take this to extremes and try to minimalize my lifestyle. I tend to be on the stingy side.

So throwing away pains me but after wading through my mom's stuff, I'm emphasizing the REDUCE now that I am back home. I hope I can set a few more things free while I'm in the mood and maybe value the stuff I have left...

And for all of us quilters who delight in making scrap quilts, we are right in line with the Mottainai spirit of REUSE and RECYCLE!!!


Anonymous said...

Do they have a "Salvation Army" or comparable place where others can use them? Or garage sales?

Mimi said...

I'm guilty of having too much. I am a pack rat of sorts.

In our "neck of the woods" each spring there is a city-wide clean up. I love it. If you have something you don't want, you put it on the curb for the city trash haulers to cart off. The cool part of this is the "scavengers".

People drive around the city and pick through your "junk". Sometimes it's people who recycle things for money; picking up scrap metal, etc. It's so fun because often times as soon as you put it on your curb, someone comes and takes it!!

This year our neighbor was putting some things out on their curb and had their infant child in one arm. I called out, "Don't put the baby down, she'll be gone in an instant!".

I love this...it's like a city-wide flea market and you know your items are going to be reused and recycled.


Laurie Ann said...

My Mom is also quite a hoarder. When I visit her I feel the same urge as you to go home and get rid of stuff. I am probably a little militant about it, but rarely have found over the years that I've thrown away something I regret. Well, I don't throw away much, but give it to the folks at the Goodwill donation center.

Allie said...

I'm a tosser. I live with a hoarder, and I HATE it. For quilting stuff, I have a quilt friend who takes stuff I no longer want. The rest goes to Goodwill. I just hate clutter!