Archive for the ‘Simplifying’ Category


December 5, 2011

I am a lucky duck.  I am feeling good and grateful for having enough.  It is amazing me how much more time I have to work on the holiday projects that matter the most to me, instead of acquiring more stuff.  I am making lots of food gifts for sharing with our friends and family.  Today’s kitchen activities include butterscotch bourbon sauce, grapefruit bitters and a beeswax coconut oil lip balm.

Cataract surgery has spurred me on to better time management as well.  Raoul and I got all the heavy-lifting-and-bending-over decorating done right before my second eye was done last week.  Seeing our tree with my new eyes is an absolutely incredible gift.  And of course, my favorite ornaments to gaze at are the ones our sons made from popsicle sticks, juice can lids and wrapped yarn back in the day.


My Favorite Chair

November 7, 2011

Whenever the sun shows up on these late fall mornings, I make some time to read in this sunny nook off of our kitchen.  The rocking chair belonged to my Grandma Evans, and I nursed both of my babies in it.  It is my favorite seat in our home.  This sitting down, and reading for a bit during the day is new for me.  It produces instant contentment.  Which equals instant new favorite routine.

The Happiness Project

October 31, 2011

One of the first things to go when I feel overwhelmed is reading books.  Instead of feeling like a refuge, it feels like one more thing I’m not doing “good enough”.  With the craziness of owning two homes behind me, I have more freedom to choose how to use my time.  First up was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  It is a gem of common sense suggestions.  Each month of the year has a virtue to focus on – ranging from boost energy, to be serious about play, and keep a contented heart.

One of my favorite lines, which gratefully I am feeling too:  “Each day I felt more joy and less guilt; I had more fun, less anxiety.  My life was pleasanter with cleaner closets and a cleaner conscience.”

Little Miss Homebody

October 26, 2011

Embracing a simpler lifestyle agrees with me.  I am darn happy!  It is still sinking in how wonderful it was to have our former big-ass, high maintenance home finally sell a month ago.  I am continuing to downsize my possessions.  I’m still sentimental, and have attached a lot of memories and emotions to so many of our things.  That’s okay.  It’s a process I’ve learned.  And not spending energy and money on acquiring more stuff feels great.  I value spending my time on people instead of things.  My biggest passions these days are organic cooking, some canning, photography and creating a handy and healthy pantry.  (I suspect some of my hoarding instincts are now directed towards food!  But so far, it’s under control.)  My jeans still fit.

Workwise, I am focusing on doing my most favorite endeavors – teaching workshops that involve repurposing somehow, and some public speaking.  Selling ideas and experiences instead of stuff.  I’d be tickled pink to have you join me at Ruffles & Rust Square on November 5 for a Holiday Glass Jar Lantern Class.  See the previous post for all the sign-up info, and a pretty picture of the class project.

Raoul and I have some fun travel adventures on our future calendar.  So the Little Miss Homebody thing will be balanced with plenty of suitcase packing and trips to the airport.

I’m in a good place.  I hope you are as well.

Time to Reflect

October 4, 2011

Today is my last full day with Claire.  It’s been a most memorable month hanging out with her.   I’m very grateful for all the life lessons she has shared with me.  Here Claire is enjoying some corn right after we picked it.  Why wait for some water to boil?

I’ve decided to take a break from blogging.  I’ll be back to let you know what I’m doing.  In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying this glorious fall season.

Peace and Plenty

June 10, 2011

A big plus of riding the train from Seattle to Portland and back was the time to read.  My friend Christie had given me Peace and Plenty by Sarah Ban Breathnach, the author of Simple Abundance – a major hit when it was published.  Her story is she made millions, lost millions and is sharing her wisdom about financial serenity.  This book struck a chord with me as Raoul and I finish month thirteen of trying to sell our former home, and supporting two homes in the process.  It’s been financially and emotionally unpleasant, to put it mildly.  I’ve had to face my fears over money.  And in my journey towards a simpler and more authentic life, examine the concept of what is enough financially.  Which spills over into what is enough stuff.

I have plenty, and am working on the peace part.

An excerpt from a book written by the actress Arlene Francis, quoted in this book, was what I needed to hear:

“As long as you are doing the best you can, you have nothing to fear.”

More Purging

May 3, 2011

More purging, de-cluttering and de-crapping are underway here this week.  The Mill Creek Garage Sale is this Saturday, May 7.  If you find yourself in the Evergreen subdivision, look for the sandwich board that says Beth’s Sale.  We’ll roll up those garage doors at 7:30 a.m. 

Our prize for sale will be an antique upright piano that came from Wales with my family over 100 years ago.  It’s a sentimental beauty, and its time has come to be loved by another.  We’re only asking $495 for it because it will need a major tune-up.

Another highlight will be my snowdome collection, which is extensive.  Many will be 50 cents each, and there will be the “sub-sets” – figures, treasure chests, teeter-totters, the world tour, and other themes at higher prices, but still very affordable.

Bargain prices on other vintage items and some household goods will be waiting for you.  Ours will be a short and sweet sale – only a few hours long.  It would be swell to see you!

The True F Word – Fear

March 10, 2011

Fear is an ugly feeling.  I’ve been experiencing a fair amount of it lately.

I listened to a soul-touching podcast yesterday from Holly Becker as part of our Blogging Your Way course.  The topic was Fear and Pushing Past It to Do Your Best Work.  It was so the right place and time for me to hear her perspectives and suggestions for pushing past my fears to create more courage, not feel regret and to keep believing in my dreams.

One thought Holly shared that resonated with me, and that I’d like to share with you – the brick walls we run into are there not to stop us, but to remind us of how much we want our goals.

My Inspiration Board

March 7, 2011

I am taking the most incredible on-line blogging class from Holly Becker of decor8, called Blogging Your Way.  Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for four weeks, we receive extremely useful insights and information about discovering and improving our blogging voices.  Also sharing their wisdom and expertise are Thorsten Becker and Leslie Shewring of a creative mint.

One of last week’s homework assignments was to create an inspiration board that defines our blogging style, and what things we want to cover/do cover on our blog.

I struggle to find the right words to write.  My revelation was I could express myself through something tangible like this mood board so easily.  I felt a beautiful sense of freedom, and absolutely loved this process!  Thanks Holly for this insightful nudge.

A Brand New Time Suck

March 1, 2011


On-line magazines!  I’m late to this party, but now that I have discovered them, I’ll be a loyal guest.

These are the four that I am smitten with currently – High Gloss, Lonny, Adore and Rue.  The subscriptions are free!  But wait – there are lots more!  Holly Becker of decor8 did this post about on-line magazines and shared other fabulous temptations.

I’m even telling my guilty conscience that reading these is a green-living thing to do.  Paperless entertainment, and it’s preventing more magazines from cluttering up our house.  Really, the truth is, I could look at these kind of visual inspirations all day long!