Sunday, April 25, 2010

What are you doing?

I read a quote last night that speaks so strongly to me and I wanted to share it with you. It got me thinking about the efforts many of us make; and when, sometimes, we fall off the wagon...

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena: whose face is marred by the dust and sweat... Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." Teddy Roosevelt.

So what are you doing? Are you trying to be healthier, but couch-potatoe it with a bag of chips more often than not? Are you trying to be more environmentally friendly but hate having to wash out the tin cans in order to recycle them? Are you trying to eat more local, but it seems more trouble than it is worth? Are you trying to be kinder to all who cross your path, but cringe inside when you encounter 'certain people'?
Well, at least you are trying. And so am I.


  1. Hi Jess,

    Saw you in the 'wheel today. Congratulations on your family's endeavor, sure would like to see a lot more people try to do the same - my wife and I have been trying to do this for about 5 years, albeit for a different reason, we can't justify the cost of new stuff - here's our journey so far...

    In the past 5 years we have bought NO new clothes (except socks and undies) - the salvage centre and Sally Anne have been great resources (five bucks a bag at the centre? Gotta love that!). We've renovated 3 homes with used material, again primarily from the centre - in fact, we picked up a next-to-new vinyl window just yesterday - $20.00, new would have been about $250.00. Our other sources for material include Tim's Re-Usables in Calgary and the Kijiji website. Some real jems there, including an airtight woodstove for free!

    We enjoy a very well-stocked kitchen, used fridge, stove, small appliances etc., but all work (and look) like new.

    Our furniture? Again, all second hand, either yardsales or the 'centre. Ask anyone who's been to our home, nothing shabby, and it's all well coordinated.

    Vehicles are also the same, we currently drive a '94 Dodge Dakota - well maintained, but nothing but used parts from the Pick-N-Pull for us.

    We had no financial imputus to start this at first (I was a Realtor at the time, money was easy), but we realized that our impact on the environment was far too large, and our credit rating getting closer to being maxed with every purchase - new computer every year, annual changing of the couch - keeping up with the neighbours just wasn't making sense any more, so we decided to cut back.

    Our first goal was 2nd hand - why pay for new when there is so much affordable & quality 2nd hand stuff out there.

    You've probably come to realize that anything you need for your family can be obtained second hand, therefore (somewhat) reducing our envioromental footprint as well as capitol outlay - this is definitly a message that has to get out.

    If you ever have any questions regarding sourcing just about anything second hand, please feel free to contact us. Our e-mail is

    Regards and keep up the good work...

    Bill & Susan Rollo

  2. Hi Jess:

    Strangest thing happened to me on April 19th...I was watching my national news and this face appeared. I was distracted but kept looking back thinking where do I know this girl? When they said your name, I knew it was you for sure. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason and that I was supposed to see that newscast, to get in touch with you again. So, if you have the same interest, flip me a quick's your old friend Serita!
    I do apologzie for misusing your blog and do not want to go into detail here either but would sure love to hear from you!