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CARDAMOM. Mmm ... I love it! And it happens to be the 3rd most expensive spice in the world selling for more than $36 per pound and the essential oil at over $50 an ounce. Guatemala produces more "green gold" than any other country. Yet farmers there struggle to survive on less than $6 a day. Crop thefts, shark middlemen (called coyotes), insect destruction and predatory markets ... it's a very harsh life. Enter Heifer Intl and their Promisa Caramiel program which is helping farmers to deter pests, diversify crops, boost yields, reach profitable markets and lift themselves out of poverty. Click here to donate easily online in any increment starting at $1. PayPal option, too. For the cost of a few spiced chais, you can make a world of difference. And that's a clear choice!

Yours for $20k: 2 bedroom house, looks good inside and out, well built and actually comfortable to live in. Impossible? Student architects at Rural Studio (Auburn Univ) don't think so. I'm betting they're right (fingers and toes crossed). After ten years, there are still obstacles to work out from zoning codes to tax and mortgage issues but efforts continue to create affordable, attractive, fuel efficient housing. Take a peek inside and read more about it. The energy of intentional housing radiates serenity. I stayed at such a place last week (see closing comments below). Rural Studio is a clear example of diverse perspectives coming together for a common purpose in order to effect change. Watch an inspiring video recapping their work in rural AL.

What's It Worth?

Clearing out stuff often involves consignment, garage sales or Craigslist. If time permits, I encourage folks to explore the market before assigning prices. Statricks is a handy online tool that gives you an estimate on anything from pottery to vacuum cleaners and used cars. Just enter the item and up pops a dollar range and a map showing where it might sell for a higher price. Tip: That raccoon coat will fetch more in Alaska!

Pick a Card

Whether you're stumped about relationship, room design or career choice; stepping back and detaching from the outcome is always helpful. Letting go of what we think has to happen automatically eases the knots in our mind and body. It allows you to look at the big picture and get a fresh perspective. It is both freeing and empowering. See what the other cards offer in the ACP Wisdom Deck.

Top Music Picks

Music immediately changes the energy in your space. It has the power to shift your mood and boost your blahs. And, of course, it can help to lighten chores. Here are a few of my favs for adding a fun beat to your clearing out tasks. Click on the title to hear the tune now. Swing it! Points if you knew the original recording artist!

Comfy and cozy in the one bedroom casita "attached" to the main house by a common deck and walkway.

A huge road block with the tiny house movement has been size regulations. Last week, my daughter, Holly, and I stayed at a property that demonstrated a solution. By creating a deck that connects two tiny structures, the homeowner complies with the square ft. minimums.  It takes research, patience and sometimes more money than originally planned to build intentional housing ... but it IS doable.

Until next time - here's to clear and mindful living!                   Jane Green

The Croft - Home, workspace and small community farm located on Sauvie Island just outside of Portland, OR. Click on the house to learn more about this young family and their vision.



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