Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Contemplating Loss

Summer Sky
"It is not too uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living."
Eckhart Tolle 
Three weeks ago, on a sweltering summer afternoon, the day before my sister's birthday, my brother-in-law layed down for a nap, and side stepped off this plane.

He was tired after fighting a brave fight with kidney disease for the past six years. My sister, to state the obvious, is devasted. She is left a widow. She is left with a pretty big hole in her life. She is alone for the first time in her adult life, with no children to soften the blow of his leaving. While trying to deal with the emotional loss of her husband, she is also faced with the possessions he has left behind. My brother-in-law was a lover of a good auction, and he has the stuff to prove it. But his sudden passing (because it did seem sudden, even though we knew he was sick) has left in its wake a pretty big, heartbreaking mess for my sister to negotiate.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hello April . . . You are so Fickle - Well Hello June . . .

"In spring I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside four and twenty hours."
Mark Twain

It has been many years since I remember this much snow in April. It was very beautiful though, and it has probably given me another two weeks without mowing lawn. Yah snow!

What a crazy beginning to our Spring here in Ohio.

I found this laying in my que - never pushed publish. It has been a busy spring. It must have been because it is now Summer. I planted a small herb garden in my huge backyard - we'll see how things go.

Newly Planted Herb Garden - May 2016

Herb Garden June 2016 - with a little lettuce

More updates to come. Happy Summer !!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Libraries: A Bibliophile Faces Her Minimalism

“You can never get a cup of tea big enough, or a book long enough for me.” 
C.S. Lewis
My current stack of library books (top shelf) my journals bottom shelf

                When I was young, we went to the library on a regular basis. The summers were particularly lovely because we could walk to the library in our neighborhood any time we wanted. I loved libraries then, and I still love them. I love the rows and rows of books. I love the chairs tucked into corners for reading. I love the dense hush of a library. It was my favorite place in college to escape.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Get Real

"Language most shows a man; speak so that I may see thee."  

 Ben Johnson (Poet b. 1572)

This post is about a couple of things. First (and not foremost), it is about boring repetition. Second it is about choosing our words carefully. And finally, it is about honesty.

The phrase first and foremost must fade away. Now. Writing both is a redundancy. If something is first - as in the first reason you do something, or the first of anything, you don't need foremost. Foremost means: leading, principal, FIRST, premier, top, best, and more. First means: FOREMOST, principal, top, and more. These words mean the same thing. That means that to always be using them together is redundant. Who started this? Someone has to stop it first. Let it be me and you; should you choose to take the challenge.  I challenge you to scour this phrase from your writing. Firstly, your writing will be more concise, but the foremost reason for cutting this phrase from your writing is that it is redundant. Lose redundancy in your writing, and your writing will be more enjoyable to read, and more understandable.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Stuff and Passion

Small Spaces
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."

I love to cook. I love to knit and sew. I love to garden. I love to entertain. I love to read. I love to listen to music and watch movies. But I am trying very hard to be a minimalist. And all of these things could lead me down a path of mass consumption. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Laughter and Old Age

"With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come."
 William Shakespeare

Today is my birthday. 60 years ago today my parents welcomed me into a postwar world of prosperity and seemingly unending growth. They had lost two babies before me, my brothers, so I became the oldest of what would eventually include three more siblings, my two sisters and my brother. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


"Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance." 
                                                                                                     Coco Chanel

Often times, addictions demand that we keep them secret. But decorating (or over decorating) has become an addiction that is lived out in the open all over America.

Not that there is anything wrong with having a neat, nicely appointed home, a well-kept garden, or clean sheets on your bed. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about filling a home to the brim with too much stuff, and spending more and more money on that stuff, maybe even spending when I should have been saving, just to have the latest and greatest thing being advertised.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


It is freezing cold here in Northwest Ohio, finally. We really can't complain. It has felt like spring up until now; we knew it couldn't last.

Freezing cold makes me want to stay in and hopefully not have to go out until spring, but alas I have to get up each morning and trek to work. When I get home the thing I enjoy doing the most is not watching T.V., it's reading.

Monday, January 11, 2016


"When walking, walk. When eating, eat."
Thich Nhat Hanh

A post about minimalism, or why I think possessions are too heavy (and maybe even prisons)

I'm writing "this post the day after what would have been my Mom's 90th birthday. She died suddenly at the end of the summer in 2005, just about the time Hurricane Katrina was making landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi. I hardly remember that devastating storm. I only mention it as a metaphor for the storm my family lived through losing my mom so quickly.