Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Is this not the age old problem with trying to create a simple life. What can I let go? What can I live without? Where in my life is there excess?

In creating my own simple life I am constantly asking myself what I can edit next. As we come into the holiday season, and I read article after article about the billions of dollars people are spending on more stuff, to give to people who have lots of stuff, I am wondering when we can say we have enough.

Monday, November 16, 2015


The ordinary acts we practice everyday at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.        Thomas Moore

Five years ago, one of the simple things I started doing when I downsized and moved to my tiny apartment, was hand washing my clothes. 

I began doing this because schlepping my clothes to the laundromat once a week has never appealed to me. This is the first time in my life, since my early 20s, that I have been required to go to the laundromat, having always the luxury of a washer and dryer. A luxury I didn't fully appreciate until I didn't have it. And so it goes. 

When I downsized drastically five years ago, I knew I was going to have to sacrifice having my own washer and dryer for awhile. I would, as a dear friend calls it, have to "monk it out" for awhile. 

One of the ways I'm doing that is hand washing my clothes. On Sunday afternoons, I gather and sort my clothes into little piles, and prepare to wash them for the next week of work. The activity has become like a Zen practice for me. I almost like doing it. Really.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Comfort food is wonderful, is it not? Hot and delicious on a cold day, like a bowl of homemade soup or a roasted chicken or a steaming bowl of pasta, mmm, or warm cookies. Hungry yet?

I have some favorites, like everyone else, but many of my comfort foods are attached to memories - maybe that's why some foods are comforting to us, they remind us of happy times or people who are dear to us. Some foods, like mac and cheese, or meatloaf, or spaghetti, or even hot cocoa made from cocoa and sugar, have attached to them distinct memories of childhood, a great time we spent with a friend, or maybe the first meal we prepared of a boyfriend (girlfriend).

Monday, October 19, 2015


"It's amazing living alone. I'm very luckey. It's like a refuge."   Paloma Faith

Living alone has taught me skills that I doubt I would have ever learned had I remained married or sought out a boyfriend. I've lived alone now for over ten years, twelve to be exact.

When my husband and I first divorced, I wondered how I was ever going to be able to live by myself and do all the things I enjoyed doing. I wondered if I would ever be able to sit and watch TV in the evenings by myself (turns out I discovered I didn't like TV that much), or if I would ever be able to go out to eat by myself (this as it turns out was pretty easy for me). I seem to enjoy all the things I used to do with him, but much more.

Monday, October 12, 2015


Set Goal
Make Plan
Get to Work
Stick To It
Reach Goal

For those of you following our Fall Sprint Challenge, we just had our second meeting.

It is really inspiring to work with friends to achieve goals. I cannot recommend this highly enough. In our second week meeting we all shared moments when we wondered why in our busy schedules we had tackled yet another project. The truth is, for all of us, we tackled our projects because they are important to us; we just needed that extra push to get them finished.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Life is not always a matter of having good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.                                               Jack London
 All of us failed to match our dreams perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.      William Faulkner
You know, when I was younger I always thought I didn't like writers like Jack London and William Faulkner, but as I read these quotes, I thought that perhaps I should give them a second chance. These quotes reminded me of some of the lessons my mom tried to teach me. Like London and Faulkner My mom was a good survival teacher. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay.
 Simone de Beauvoir

The kick off meeting of my Fall Sprint Challenge went off on Thursday evening as scheduled, albeit with some glitches.

We had planned on meeting via Skype, but that couldn't happen. We just didn't seem to have everything set up right, or maybe computers were not compatible. We used my phone on speaker and had a conference call - circa 1995 - folks around a conference table talking into a box. But it was good.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


"You are not too old. And it is not too late to start."               Rainer Maria Rilke

Fall Tree
As we get older, sometimes, not always, but sometimes, we fall into ruts and we can't seem to pull ourselves out. You know what I mean. If you are like me, you are at the end of your career, or maybe already retired. Some of us might be in the this rut, for example. We come home. Make a little something to eat. Drink a glass of wine, maybe. Go for a walk, maybe. And then we are in front of the T.V. until we fall asleep, later dragging ourselves to our beds to prepare for the next day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify. Simplify.           Henry David Thoreau

I have loved Thoreau for decades. His message of simplicity always rang true for me. And don't get me started about his adorable house in the woods. Alas. No house in the woods for this girl (yet), and my simplicity is a work in progress, but I am convinced that to grow old peaceful and to be able to retire in some way, simplicity - at least a more simple existence is called for.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”                                          Sylvia Plath

Summer feels official over. In the town I live in, every September for the past twenty years we have held an art's festival. Artists and musicians as well as other vendors from all over the country come to our town and entertain us all weekend with art, music, food, and beer. When it's over, fall seems to loom closer. As my friend and I sat and listened to the last band totally entertain the crowd with fabulous old time rock n' roll on Sunday afternoon, we commented on this festival really marking the end of summer. Soon the wind will blow and the weather will be cooler. But for that moment we were all sitting in the perfect 70 degree sunny weather enjoying the band, eating festival food, and basking in the last moments of summer - as if we were still kids.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


This weekend there is a huge arts festival in my town. There are bands, and art, and beer tents, and people - lots and lots of people.

During the next few days, I will babysit for my grandkids periodically so they can have a break from the festival and so that their parents can enjoy the festival. It turns out that grandmas and kids have some of the same needs.

Friday, September 4, 2015


"The summer night is like a perfection of thought." 
Read Wallace Stevens' Poem, The House Was Quiet and The World Was Calm

Summer is winding down in Ohio. In another month it could be so chilly here that a sweater will be necessary, or I suppose it could be hot enough to turn on the air conditioners again. It is Ohio, and the saying goes, if you don't like the weather, just wait - it'll change.

It's Friday before the long Labor Day Weekend. My friend Julie and I sat on my front porch this evening, waxed philosophically about life, and ushered out summer with gin and tonics and laughter - soul repaired.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream another dream." (C.S. Lewis)

Goal setting has been on my mind lately. I make lists of goals and revise and make new lists. I do this all year long, and the other day as I was writing the date, I realized: it's August. The year is almost over.