Posts Tagged ‘simplifying’

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!

I Will Not Hoard. I Will Not Hoard. I Will Not Hoard.

January 26, 2011

I swear this recent move of ours has cured me of hoarding!  We have been in our new house a little less than three months.  I was determined to not have this garage become a storage unit.  When we had that extra cold spell back in November, I cleared a spot for Raoul’s car.  And after some more garage purging and organizing, my car fit in there this week.  I seem to have lost my tolerance for clutter.

Now we still can’t open our car doors very wide yet.  So I’ll continue to peck away, and keep thinning my stuff.  And if I start to veer off of this road to a simpler life, I’ll look at this picture of our former garage. 

Email at Last!

November 16, 2010

Our move went really smoothly, except for our new email transition.  It’s a long and boring story with a happy ending.  My new email address is  If you sent me any email since Nov. 1, it looks like it has vaporized.  Oh well.

We LOVE our new home, and I have been having a blast getting settled!  There’s been loads of schlepping – which is a fine cure for my hoarding tendencies.  And my rewards have been time to organize and decorate – two of my favorite activities.  I promise to post pictures of our new nest soon.

I Love Change

October 29, 2010

Raoul and I are crazy happy to be moving into our new green-built home on Monday, November 1!  I am so grateful for this opportunity.  It’s a do-over of sorts.  We get this blank slate to fill with only the things we love, and serve us well at this point in our lives.  As much as I love this home and garden already, I don’t want to invest so much time anymore in physical stuff.  We both want more time for traveling and being with family and friends that matter to us.

Here’s the other side of our great room.  The floors are polished aggregate concrete.

My future studio.

I’ll try to stay in touch during the next week, but as you can imagine, moving is a hectic process.  And for me, it’s helping me grow and thrive.

Good Garage Fullness

October 11, 2010

Here’s what we did this last weekend – we started packing for our upcoming move.  And it was really fun!  I’ve always dreaded the moving process before.  This time, Raoul and I are so looking forward to moving into our new home that fits us.  Downsizing makes me happy!  The moving truck shows up in just a few weeks.  We can’t wait.

Losing 30+ Pounds in My Late Fifties

September 3, 2010

Besides shedding stuff, I’ve been shedding some unwelcome pounds the last year.  It began with my annual check-up in June of 2009.  My weigh-in showed a new number on the scale.  Most of us know how those few pounds here and there sneak back on over time.  Seeing that higher number seemed to jar me to my senses, and motivate me to do something about it.

I wish I had some magic advice to share.  I ate more healthy foods, cut way back on my treats (which had been a big bowl of popcorn most evenings) and walked more.  At first I was going to drop ten pounds, MAYBE twenty.  The first ten was not easy, but I started reinforcing my healthier habits.  By the end of the holidays, I had lost the twenty pounds.  It had come off gradually.  I felt great!  And then I got more brave, and set a new goal of another ten pounds going away.  I stayed motivated because I enjoyed feeling so much better. 

I finally grasped the simple concept that eating something (usually to cope with some emotional need) was not going to make me feel happier than I felt weighing this new, healthier amount.  And don’t get me wrong, I still love food!

By the time of this year’s check-up in June, I had achieved my newest goal.  I feel this weight loss goes hand in hand with de-cluttering my life.  A big house and three car garage crammed full of stuff was not working for me anymore.  And neither was hauling around 30+ extra pounds!