Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Let's org it

The corporate world and its orgs. It's layers, pods and tiger teams. Its tangle of levels, people listed in columns in boxes, structured this way and that, to tackle projects from "the business." People leaders who know people, who worked together at this huge corp or that one, or share an alma mater. Alongside the others, the self-made men and women with the hustle gene to make it happen without the red carpet welcome, jumping over any roadblock they encounter and somehow, by hook or crook, they rise, too.  

And for what? In technology at least, it's like the word 'the'--don't think about it too long or it becomes senseless. Massive big data and information, terabytes to be managed and analyzed, and now generative AI, all being applied via high-priced services so someone can streamline a supply chain, increase value, speed growth, cut costs. Which all leads to a sale of something to someone. To someone buying something. A whole world of humans, spending hours and hours of their lives each week, month and year in the unending circle of selling things to each other. 

Let's go back to the barter system. I have this butternut squash. Can I get a new Volvo? This year I built a greenhouse in my backyard. I am far more interested in a new seedling coming up than what's happening amid my holding pen of fellow workers, all pulling for the shareholders, for a salary that, if not negotiated high enough to begin with, starts looking not so great, even if their job of keeping you busy isn't going so well and you find yourself a bit bored during the workday. Quiet quitting anyone? 

Advice: save lots and save early. Enjoy freebies early, be thrifty, then rest on your pile of cash in the later years to enjoy the better stuff. But, do enjoy it! Travel, buy the fancy car, eat the truffles. Because you probably earned it as a cog in a wheel of a company that made millions for the few, and shared a fraction of that with the rest.


Thursday, December 30, 2021


No one knew how to stay in bed better than these two. I wonder what they were thinking when this photo was taken? 

I know what I'm thinking of as my word for the year in 2022: rest.

I recently dove into thoughts on Rest on Instagram - check out the Nap Ministry.

I have a feeling my pace of work next year may be somewhat adjusted. An image from the Nap Ministry's page, taken by Charlie Watts. Sooooo relaxing.

Photo by: @charliewattsphoto

Friday, July 16, 2021

Musings on animal protein and why I try to stay vegan

Image result for nutrition
Hi readers, this post includes my views against eating animal meat because this blog is a collection of things I study. If the topic isn't your cup of tea, maybe skip this one.

Nutrition and health have always been a focus of mine. It started in college when I bought Hygeia: A Woman's Herbal at an independent bookstore in Tallahassee, where I attended FSU. It got more serious when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and I tried to get her to adopt a macrobiotic diet, which was too austere for her to get her head around and  hard to manage with all the unique ingredients. At that time, cancer cures were diet-driven versus the immuno-therapies we have today. My mom didn't survive her cancer after an 8-year battle, and that pushed me to learning more about anti-cancer diets.

Later at around age 40, when I wanted to lose extra pounds that inevitably crept up, I looked at weight loss approaches. Back then, it was the South Beach diet, because those first 2 weeks worked like magic, but how much chicken breast and broccoli can one woman eat. We all know now it's just an equation of calories in and calories burned. 

Next, I learned about vegetarian and vegan diets, realizing that eliminating all carbs and just eating meat isn't ideal either, so I explored less inflammatory (and less cruel) ways of eating. To stay slim, carb intake can be offset by moving, so you can still maintain your weight without eating an all-meat diet. And if it's quantity you want, move more and you can eat more. Or eat the things that, while filling, are not necessarily fattening, e.g., vegetables, lettuces.

At this same time, I started reading about animal rights and vivisection (I'll never forget the pamphlet about surgeries done on beagles and other dogs without anesthesia) and the awful animal testing that still goes on. I learned about factory farming and slaughterhouse practices. I connected what I ate to where it came from, and what happened in between. After reading how pigs are "processed," I would encourage anyone that eats bacon or any pig-derived meat (pork) to educate yourself on how these intelligent animals are raised and killed. Then, if bacon still seems worth what it takes to get it to your plate, at least your eyes are open about how it all happens. After all, we are free to eat what we want. But it's the awareness part that I think should be mandatory. Kind of reverse censorship where we have to be informed about the meat we eat and how it gets from the live, sentient being walking or swimming the earth to the dead carcass, all tidied up in chunks and wrapped for sale at the grocery store.

My awareness jumped a few notches more when I thought about how similar a dog is to a pig, yet the thought of eating our pets sounds abhorrent. Did you know pigs are smarter than any other domestic animal. Their ability to solve problems, like the pig I.Q. test on The Joy of Pigs, is well-documented, and they are considered by animal experts to be more trainable than dogs or cats. Of course, this argument is so very scary because it's based on a being's intelligence level as to whether it's okay to kill and eat it. That could go in a lot of directions, none of them good, if suddenly a super low I.Q. or some mental incapacity would leave you open to becoming a food option.

Dairy isn't ideal either with the constant, forced impregnation to keep cows pregnant and milk-producing, and the traumatic removal of their babies immediately after birth. All in the course of farming? Maybe okay? Not really okay. And yes, yes, cheese is great, so I'm happy that vegan versions are starting to catch up in taste and texture. 

The fact is no one wants to learn about this stuff or even admit it happens. Wouldn't it be nice if we could keep reality on the far reaches of our minds and imagine that somehow the slaughter part was painless? But that's not the case, especially now with social media putting every unbearable truth right in front of us. 

The choice factor is also key. No one asks, "Hey cow, are you ready to die for this guy's steak?" Or, "Hey chicken population, we are going to eat 1 MILLION of you a minute in the U.S." But, again, I understand the pull of meat, because I ate it for so long, and still slip very rarely. Fortunately, for my health and the animals, as I learn more, I align my actions with greater knowledge, and my values, and I move more towards veganism. The temporary pleasure of a savory taste in my mouth is just less and less worth the karmic load or the heaviness I feel afterward. Yes, chicken soup is good and it's actually called comfort food, but the more I know, the less I find it worth it, or comforting.

I've also let go of the protein myth on how much we need - almost no one is diagnosed with protein deficiency in the U.S. We actually don't need that much, and if you want protein why not get it from where the animals you are eating get it: plants. One less cruel act, and you fill your belly with nutritious food. Win-win. Ok, so you have to eat a B12 supplement, and maybe a multivitamin. Easy sacrifice. Truth be told, it's fiber we are deficient in. That's what feeds all the good bacteria that makes up half our cells and powers our immune system.

I kind of like the idea of going to the source of protein anyway, rather than having a cow eat and digest it, then be slaughtered so I can get that second-hand protein. I also look back at just how many meals of meat I've already had in my life. So. Many. If I get that desperate, I just savor the memory, while staying the course with what I believe is good not only for my health, but for animals and the planet. I think in 50 years from now, and hopefully sooner, we will look back at how we raised and ate animals as a sort of zombie time, full of all the factory farming and slaughtering. Animal populations will go back to normal and we may go back to a new, better equilibrium. Eating the flesh of a petrified animal going to slaughter is proven to  be unhealthy.

Yet, as my post comes to a close, I still believe that you can start anywhere. Maybe just make do with Meatless Monday. That's almost a mainstream phrase isn't it? And then maybe nix bacon, or maybe say, I will only eat it when I eat out. There are little hacks you can do to make a difference. A respected Harvard-educated doctor, Dr. Weil, has said red meat can be more of a condiment/garnish versus the main fare. Though recently he said, nope, no red meat is really good for you. He does leave wild-caught, cold-water fish and omega-3 rich eggs from free range poultry on the menu. For the ethical reasons, I have to leave them off.

Thankfully, strides are being made in the non-meat arena with things like Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger to help people transition without going cold turkey (no pun intended). And I know it's taking hold because of the articles, like the one recently published by the NYT, that are likely pushed by meat-profiteers saying, "Wait everyone! this meat alternative might not be good for you." I think this signals their awareness that they have competition. There are also scores of celebs putting their millions behind vegan foods.

Not for the feint of heart, but if you want to really want to know what goes on in factory farms and how your meat goes from a live animal to a burger, steak or chop, you can read this.

Here's to a less cruel world.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

A snapshot of thoughts

Having a newly installed president who is not 'the other guy' brings a sense of calm, doesn't it? After what we've been through, including Covid, it's hard to believe we made it out alive. My first memories of 2016, once I emerged from the shock, were that we might get bombed by Korea. That was a nice opener. 

I hope I bounce back to my former resilience, but this Spring Forward time change isn't helping. It's been so hard to get to my new 8:30. I remember with the last change, it was similar.  

At the end of last year I took a membership with a practice that helps you unblock limiting beliefs and I've delved into some roadblocks. I've looked at my inner child, and seen and held her using a hypnotic DI, or deep imagining. It's so wild the thoughts that emerge when you take yourself back to the little child you once were. Things you forgot pop up. There I was in outfits I once wore, summoned forth to the present day, giving my adult self a chance to converse, see, and cherish my younger self. Memories long forgotten show you things that add missing pieces and correct fragments that don't quite fit today. In one of these DIs, I simply hugged this younger me the entire time and didn't let her go. It was healing. 

Cooking and tending plants are my happiest moments. James got me an InstantPot for Xmas and yes that thing cooks dry beans in like 7 minutes. It's cool. You do end up with beans so at the ready that you kinda don't want them. So here we are, the 50s housewife's pressure cooker is now the InstantPot!

We watched Parasite recently and loved it. Not what we were expecting, but so good. 

I watched Nomadland with all its uncomfortable dark and cold scenes, in snow and in the old van and with Frances McDermott's ability to 110% embody her character. I looked it up and that story is true; the gypsum factory in Empire, NV closed and left 95 families to move from the company provided houses. Some were allowed to stay 6 more months so their kids could finish school. They even discontinued the zip code. I did hear, interestingly, that a new factory is slated to open there. People, please start an "oh shit" savings account if you take the job.

I watched the Handmaid's Tale and it took weeks to recover. The feelings that came up were a sort of horror mixed with relief that we dodged the Whitehouse bullet of potentially having more time for Commanders to make more changes. Top that off with Mrs. America, about Phyllis Schlafly. I haven't finished it, and she's just starting to get a bit uppity with her husband. Hard to believe a woman was so set against women having any power. The Gloria Steinem character is great. I hope this ends well.

Best vegan cooking channel: Yeung Man Cooking. I made the vegan mushroom soup and you would never know I didn't use a gallon of half and half. Just cashews! 

That's all for now. Hope everyone is doing well. 

Photo by Matt Hardy on Unsplash

Friday, July 31, 2020

Matt Jones paints with words

Photo by Matthew LeJune on Unsplash

My friend and colleague, Matt Jones (not pictured above), shared some of his word portraits. I don't know about you, but I'm getting a Charles Bukowski vibe. 

Here's what Matt says about his paintings:

I have always been intrigued and somewhat envious of people who sit in public places sketching passersby. It’s a talent I could never develop. I’m a writer and I am more than okay with that.

Then one day I was watching over the shoulder of a young man flawlessly sketching a fellow commuter and it hit me—I can do this. Only not with graphite or pastels.

I can do it with words.

What fascinates me about this idea is when we view a portrait, we all pretty much walk away with a similar representation in our heads (all things being equal). If I say “Mona Lisa” for example, we create very similar images in our mind’s eye.

With a word portrait, image creation is left to the imagination, generated solely and wholly within the mind of the reader. And every image created will be as unique and nuanced as the person themselves.

Here are a few examples, named Orion, Joy, and Patch. I hope you enjoy meeting them. Someday, I’d like to collect enough to do an actual gallery showing where the art on display is nothing but text on a page. A place where you can let your mind be the artist. If I do it, I hope to see you there.



His ill-fitting suit hung awkwardly

from his oddly shaped frame,

all over-hangs and strange angles.  

His hair swept back in thin,


oily lanes.

A smug grin dissecting the Orion’s Belt of moles

strewn across his cheek.

Another, single mole perched

at the edge of his profile.

Like a comma at the end of an unturned page.


She smelled of cheap

Hobby Lobby candle.

Her clothing all black.


With sequins,


and strategically placed

factory crafted rips.

Her hair was thin.

Her skin, thick.

A tragedy in tanned hide.

The party had ended long ago.

But she’d be damned

if she’d admit it.

So she orders another drink on the plane 

with an all-too-husky laugh that probably drew desirous gazes, once.

More smoke and roughness


than sex.


The broad swatch of dark facial hair

that rested

Just beneath his lower lip

Looked like a misplaced mustache

that had been violently sneezed south.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Organic visions: Art by Moni Basu

My friend, Moni Basu, just shared some of her artwork. Since this blog is really only read by folks I know, most of you know her. Moni and I have known each other for so many years, yet I'd never seen anything she created - only read her amazing writing. She has always liked my simple line drawings. Now, all these years later I'm looking at her art. For some reason this makes me very happy, and that's why I asked her if I could feature her work here on my blog.

When she sent the first one to me in a text I was wondering what gallery she must be standing in where she took a picture of someone's artwork. The colors, the birds, the beautiful composition. She will say I am biased, but I love her work.

Take a look and see what you think. I saved the most intense for last. She calls it Covid Nightmare. I feel like the cold expression could represent a family member stricken with grief, or a very ill person, or even someone who is deceased. 

The first one is one of my favorites - so full of hope and life. I named it Menagerie. 
The second one I call Navajo Bear. 
The third, Bamboo with Fire. 
The fourth: Mid-century Fauna.
The fifth: Covid Nightmare.

If you click an image, you can see a larger version.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Lockdown life: Stress relievers

How to Make Mesmerising Minimal Photography
Photo source: https://iceland-photo-tours.com/articles/photography-tutorials/how-to-make-mesmerising-minimal-photography

Keeping one's head screwed on properly during this strange time can be trying. The news is spooky and heartbreaking. John King's wall reveals your state's ability to remain steady, or spike, or decline with new cases. The emptiness of most places is disturbing, though that is changing as more people venture out and that, too, is a little weird. The idea of being in this together, when you can't really BE together, is a sort-of comfort that you can't quite feel. Yet, we persevere, hold our chins up, and feel grateful knowing we have it better than many; at least for most of us.

Here are a few things I've been turning to, albeit mostly online resources:

Heal Your Living on YouTube - I've followed this channel for quite a while. The simplicity of what Youheum talks about is so relaxing to me. She's an extreme minimalist. While I couldn't go this far, I can see how freeing it must be. She lived nearly furniture free for a while; now I think she's travelling as a digital nomad. I've watched almost all of her videos. Her sister has a channel, too, called Thirsty for Art - also super relaxing content.

Benita Larsson - Benita is a Swedish minimalist with two very cute cats. Great style. Peaceful content, and the videos are not very long, so you get a dose of calm in often 10 minutes or less.

The Okellys - My friends Megan and Nick sailed away on their catamaran a few years ago and recently started a YouTube channel. They put out a new one every Thursday. Fun, interesting content about their lifestyle, and whereabouts.

Oak - This app is free and offers some calming meditations.

On the analog side of things, my armchair advice for chilling out:

Take a walk. But walk slower - don't make it a workout. Make it about the journey, not a hurried, timed effort. Hear the birds, feel the sun. Stop for a second. Take a moment to be grateful you're alive, that you can walk, and see, and breath in the fresh air.

Eat a meal outside. Nature heals the soul. And it's sort of luxurious to dine al fresco.

Get in bed a little early with a good book or magazine. Take a shower first (maybe some of you do this already, I usually shower in the morning). There's something calming about jumping under the covers clean.

Don't eat dinner in front of the TV. This is a habit we've gotten into, but when we break it and actually eat and talk away from the screen, it's really nice.

Call a friend, or do a Facetime call. We can't be together in 3-D, but sharing voices is the next best thing.


Coming up, my friend Moni has been doing some artwork, and I think her work is beautiful. I've know her for decades, and only recently found that she makes art. Stay tuned for that in my next post.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Lockdown Life

minimalist photography

My feedburner set up went away due to some phasing out of the feature, so I may email an update to the mailing list so folks know I have a new post up. Please just email back to be removed from future updates if this bugs you.

Lockdown life has been interesting. It started out kinda great, then tensions rose for a bit, and now I'm more relaxed about it again. What choice is there? You stop fighting it and just relax into it. What I've learned is that while I consider myself a home body, the pull to get out and about is very strong. 

My summary of activities:

I've been walking more. As I say in my IG feed - nature is my higher power. It truly is - nature is like a god. To see my IG feed, visit @robinwrites

Watched the Netflix series Tales from the Loop, and really liked it. The actors are great, and the premise and magical vibe of it all was a perfect escape for the times.

Cooking is definitely a thing. Lots of soups, fried rice, easy stuff. But we're still trying to support restaurants with some takeout. Favorites are The Red Door's curbside pickup and most recently Madison. Madison is actually one of my favorite places to eat. My number one fave though is Il Dandy - beautiful interior and incredible food. 

There has been the occasional weeknight glass of Cote du Rhone, because in moderation why not.

Glennon Doyle's Monday Morning meeting time has been a balm. Love her. Also on Instagram. 

In a future post, I am going to publish a piece written by my friend Matt Jones, my work friend. He writes "paintings" of people with words. Stay tuned for that. We just have to talk about when he wants to send me one. I'm also going to ask him to write his description of how he'd like to "show" these paintings. When he told me, I thought it was a really interesting approach - you may agree. 

My friend Moni just did some bird art that I will also feature, but will first ask her permission. Stay tuned for that, too.

I've been supporting some retail establishments with recent orders on Uniqlo, Gap, Old Navy, and TheRealReal. Basics are on their way. By the way, Marimekko fans, Uniqlo did a collab with Marimekko for 2020, so maybe go check it out. In non-retail spending, I've donated to a refugee group that provides kits to new mothers and pregnant women who are being held at the border.

A last snippet is that James had COVID in January. He did the antibody test last week and it was positive. I had a mild case of whatever he had, so I had it, too! Are we immune now? I doubt it. Are we carriers? I don't think so because it's not an active infection. Yikes, another reason for us all to stay distanced. This is so very sad, and I can only imagine how it is for those who've lost loved ones. 

I can't wait to laugh again in person with actual people.

To all the Helpers - THANK YOU.


Monday, January 27, 2020

Favorites List 2.20.20

brown sands

It's been a while since my last favorites list. So here are a few more finds:

Find out if a brand is ethically produced -- The idea of fast fashion is harder to ignore, no matter how cool that Zara sweater is. It's less and less something I want to support. If you're feeling the same, you can check the integrity of a brand at Good On You. You can also explore ethical brands that you've probably never heard of. On another note, for another way of buying second hand and therefore lower impact, there's The Real Real.
And have you seen the new site that Nordstrom has put up called See You Tomorrow where they sell pre-owned clothing and accessories? I was shocked to see a store of their stature go into second hand. Super cool, though. There's too much crap on this planet.

Daily Pages -- Do you journal? The actual "Daily Pages" practice is originally from the Artist's way, which I have not read, but it claims to help with anxiety. Mental hygiene. Floss out those worries in words. Also, has anyone subscribed to 750 Words? I guess it's just as easy to open a Word doc, and more private. Though, what is privacy anymore? Sometimes I care, and then other times I feel like it's futile to care. How about the guy who is rounding up billions of photos for the government's facial recognition program. Who, also btw, was just hacked and all photos stolen. Who would do this and why? Wait, this is a bullet point on reducing anxiety.

Palihouse Hotel, Santa Monica -- I stayed here recently with my niece and loved it. It was featured in a film by Heidi Swanson, so I figured it had to be good. It was super inviting, the rooms are huge and include kitchens, and it was quiet. Breakfast in the lobby is great; the best blueberry pancakes I have ever had. The chef apparently is a big deal.

Parakeet Cafe -- They are in Little Italy where that comfy shoe store used to be on the corner. They have the best matcha lattes, and wonderful, healthy bowls. I've also had their turmeric latte, too, which was also super tasty. Super cute interior, too. Go!

That's it for now. The new year arrived without a post, so I have now remedied that. More soon...

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Swedish Death Cleaning

Image result for swedish death cleaning
For the past decade, I've helped my husband's parents with all manner of things. I'm a great daughter-in-law, if I may say so, and love my married-into family. I think with my parents already gone, I have a bit more emotional space than folks who still have their parents, so it's a win-win for everyone involved.

My husband's mother, an avid collector, has amassed a layered and rich collection of objects, all displayed in lovely ways. She has been super creative her entire life, mostly in the domestic arts, and her work has brought the family much joy. Every holiday involved a dinner with spectacular centerpieces. We're talking Easter, 4th of July, St. Patty's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Halloween, Robert Burns supper, and everyone's birthday, celebrations of promotions, dinners to nurse those not feeling well, and more -- I'm sure I'm missing something.

Over her lifetime, she taught classes in teddy bear making, how to do general embroidery, and also Shisha embroidery. Much of her work is now with many of us; my husband has three brothers. She is still with us, though not living in the home I'm describing - it's round the clock care time. It's hard to grasp that she is not the ruler of her little castle any longer, but time stops for no woman.

But back to this topic of cleaning, and Mom's vast collection. Where to begin? She collected teddy bears, many of them vintage Steiff, and by "collect" I mean hundreds. Some bears are so small they fit in your palm. There's also miniature furniture, to go in the beautiful doll houses. Sets and sets of china and glasses, and embroidery supplies -- so much thread you can't imagine, coupled with so many scissors. As a calligraphy artist, she had pens galore in a rainbow of colors, all stored in English crocks. The teddy bears have complete wardrobes, including glasses and passports and tiny notebooks and cutlery of their own, with table cloths and luggage it all fits into. There are chocolate molds, and handmade decor for every holiday, and Pendleton blankets in so many patterns, and a miniature pen collection, and Limoges boxes, and garden rabbits that hold succulents, and a dozen military macaws hanging along the backyard fence keeping watch. There are dainty handkerchiefs and lace doilies, carefully stored with tissue. There are scores of cookbooks and herb books and art books. She loves Brighton handbags and Indian jewelry. She loves Laura Ashley and Mary Engelbreit and Martha Stewart and McKenzie-Childs. She always had an ikebana arrangement on display when you came in the front door, and she took classes at the Athenaem to get even better at it; though she was a natural in floral arrangement. She and her husband held years and years of mystery dinner theaters with a small group of friends, who all traveled to London for more mystery dinnering, with some of the group still faithful friends to this day. What a rich life. What a beautiful life, full of all the things she loved. Oh, and Dad collects fountain pens. If you're getting a picture of a packed house, albeit a beautifully arranged one, you are getting the right idea.

For the last many years, during our daily call to Mom we'd ask what's going on?, and the answer among other things was: "oh, clearing things out. Sorting things. Getting rid of things." From where I sit today, in the midst of these collections and trying to figure destinations for everything, it's obvious that maybe things were moved from here to there, but out the door they did not go!

So recently, the topic of Swedish Death Cleaning has emerged, and I am fascinated by it along with all things minimalism, which for me includes Marie Kondo and The Minimalists and Live Planted and The Mustards and many others trying to live with less clutter and less work, so they can have more time, more experiences, and more life. "Things" own us they say, and they do, because they require us to manage them, sort them, pay rent on them, keep them clean and organized -- all things that cost us something whether time or money or mind space.

At this point in my life, I'm not a good, or even okay, minimalism example, though my goal is to whittle it down to the essentials. May each essential be the most beautiful essential, but by god let there be few of them. Without children, who will have to deal with this if I leave a mess behind? One of my nieces? Our only nephew? My husband, if I go first? A friend? I don't want that for anyone.

I just ordered The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning for a friend and me; we talk almost daily and lately our chatter has been on this topic, and it's pertinent because I am in the throes of cleaning out said collection above. It's been real motivation to not leave my "collection" to anyone. For one reason, it's draining work, full of memories that you can't help but relive. I feel like each item deserves its honoring, as its fate is determined.

So to all those with hoards, maybe get this book, too, and do your döstädning before someone else has to do it for you. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Favorites List - October

Favorites List (09.08.18)
(c) Heidi Swanson

One of my favorite 'Favorites Lists' is published by Heidi Swanson, an LA-based cookbook author, occasional designer, shop owner and creator of 101 Cookbooks. Here are all her favorites lists; literally months worth of exploring. Years?
Lately I've enjoyed:

Alison Roman's chickpea stew - So, I made it the other night and it is delicious. I did not add the greens, but I covered it with avocado and tons of cilantro. It was even better the next day. One tip: when she says salt and pepper it three times, I forget the stages, do that.  

The Slow Home podcast - This couple has great guests and I love the cadence of their talks. Brooke McAlary and her husband Ben have a really sweet, nurturing and non-interrupting communication style. Just listened to the interview with Joshua Becker, one of the first minimalists I learned about. It was Episode 7; I have started at the beginning of their 3 seasons of podcasts, so working my way through.

This makeup tutorial by Liv Tyler - not only because her voice lulls me to sleep, but because she goes through such an interesting array of serums and potions; French, Korean, clean beauty and otherwise. She clearly has, or makes, the luxury of time. Funnily, she gets her beauty tips from her Dad

End of day de-cluttering. A favorite activity lately: I've been ending the workday with a bag-fill of items for donation or throwing out. It could be just 5 small items, but I always find something. I'm going through files and purging paper, collecting things that I know certain people would like, etc. With the end of the remodel in sight, I'm looking forward to doing this even more intentionally. The Courtney Carver workshop is a great motivator. 

And with that, happy weekend all.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Where did my interest in Minimalism begin?

Image result for helen and scott nearing
Helen and Scott Nearing

I’m always learning as much as I can about simple living. It appeals in so many ways. I’m even taking a course right now called Soulful Simplicity. Here’s a link to the course, which is closed now but reopens in 2020.  It was created by Courtney Carver, the inventor of Project 333; also worth a Google.

But today I was wondering where this fascination began. Sure, I got on board with TheMinimalists guys early on and probably listened to 100 or so of their podcasts. I still dip in occasionally for a listen. But it really started with Scott and Helen Nearing, in my mind, the OGs of simple living. Their foundation website is here.  Scott and Helen were homesteaders, and I mean hardcore: root cellars, canning, popcorn for dinner, cold winters, simple Thoreau-style living quarters. Serious about it. And now as I look back, this is where the early concepts of minimalism entered my mind. I was younger when I read their books, and it appealed to me because I had the strength to have maybe pulled it off. Finding a willing partner, now that’s another story. But at my age now it sounds like a cold winter I’d never make it out alive from. Heavens to Betsy, turn on that heater!

I don’t know where this path leads, but it resonates so deeply with me. And with that, good night and sweet dreams to all.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Build in buffers

two red cushions near body of water
Last week, I went to lunch at a favorite spot, got a veggie sandwich on olive oil bread and sat in my car parked in the shade in front of a large green plot of grass. Trees swaying, cool breeze and the dulcet tones of one of my fave podcasts: The Slow Home Podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-slow-home-podcast-with-brooke-mcalary/id985005895
It's run by a couple who shares interesting updates and advice on living slower in a fast paced world; they also host guests. I loved a concept they shared about building buffers into your days. Little breaks from the busy life agenda - always a good thing.
In other news, we recently saw Downton Abbey and Ad Astra. Both great.
Better still, I'm enrolled in Courney Carver's Soulful Simplicity course based on her book https://bemorewithless.com/soulful-simplicity/ and it's very helpful. If you have any desire to simplify your life, check her out.