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Showing posts from 2023

Five Ways to Maintain Minimalism (When the Rest of the Family Isn't)

My family is not like me. I’m a full-blown minimalist in all areas, and they’d rather wallow in their belongings like pigs in a pen. Rude? Perhaps. Maybe equating them to swine isn’t the kindest. Although, I do love bacon. But having been where they are, this might be the best way to describe it. Their stuff makes them happy, and they’re content to be surrounded by the excess of them. In essence, they don’t own their things… their things own them.  I’m still working on this concept too. It’s hard to see how much our stuff controls us. I know this (and can say this in love) because I was exactly like them a few years ago. I give them a lot of empathy in this area because it takes time to see the truth of our habits, particularly one that doesn’t seem like a habit but something that is a part of us all. Aren’t we supposed to need things? Don’t we use all that we have? Don’t we need more to exist and have a perfectly normal life? I used to think this. But these days, my mind has shifted t

You Can't Take it with You

I followed a hearse to my favorite thrift store last week. The irony of that wasn't lost on me. I was headed to a thrift store to buy stuff following a person who now had no need for stuff. I did have a legitimate reason to thrift though. This is how I find my vintage items to sell in my online vintage clothing store. Vintage clothing is also ecologically responsible, so guilt didn't have me by the heart. Not to mention, I'm a minimalist. Stuff has less of a hold on me now than it ever has. But... it really got me thinking: How much more stuff do I have in my home that my kids will have to deal with when I'm gone?  As a minimalist, there is less in my home than ever before. But I still have drawers and shelves of things I still need to go through.  There are Christmas decorations from twenty years ago in my attic that I haven't put out in over ten years. Despite my best effort at being minimal, I still had stuff... stuff still had me. The hearse, with its dark rich

Book Review: The Road Less Traveled

Like Tuesdays with Morrie , the book I read and reviewed a few weeks ago, my latest review is on a book that I read about twenty years ago. It too was more compelling than ever. This book is The Road Less Traveled, by Dr. Scott Peck. Let me start off by saying Dr. Peck's observations (as a psychiatrist and human being) are incredible and there is a reason this book sold millions. Just like in the book I read before, age, experience, relationships, and heartbreak, change how we view everything. Life is hard (which is how he opens up the book... I don't know of a better opener than that). But, he points out one fact that got me underlining and highlighting scores of paragraphs and it was this - which also sums up the book: we are lazy. While I balked at this, because I don't consider myself lazy, he began to explain away my scoffing and excuses. He began to prove his point. He says this:   "The myth of Adam and Eve can again be used to illustrate this [laziness]. One

Book Review: Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with Morrie  About fifteen years ago, I read the book Tuesdays with Morrie .  Fifteen years ago I was a different person. In my early thirties, raising two young sons, and getting a grasp on the writing career I still wanted despite my schedule being more about my boys, I thought this book was interesting. Just that. Interesting. It sounds banal and annoying to say I thought it was interesting. But, it was. While it struck a chord within me (a soft one) that the story was sentimental, heart-warming, and heartbreaking, there is something to be said about life experiences that change a person. I guess I was banal and annoying back then. The book didn't mean much. But life experiences change a person. I suppose we are all naive in our early years. Which really means we're all insensitive. I take umbrage at that description for myself but after reading the book again, that's the only way to put it.  Now that I've gone through fifteen more years of more pain and joy

Minimal Living and Slow Fashion

I suppose I've been a minimalist for years. Maybe not in all things, but in quite a few areas of my life. My brain works best when there is less around me (i.e. a clean desk to write) and because of that, it's trickled into other areas. I've been a "neat" person since I was born, and that's just how I am. A place for everything and everything in its place. But, when did it really begin? When did the "less is more" concept take over my life? I think my minimalism mindset kicked in hard when I turned to vintage as a career and a way of life. I've been selling vintage clothing online for over thirteen years. That alone changed the way I viewed clothing and how horribly our entire world manages this "need." We have become a throw-away society, and I'm not just spouting what I've read. This is 100 percent true. I am in thrift stores at least three days a week sourcing for my shop. About 99.9% of this clothing is probably within five

Fireworks and my Pup

My dog ran to the empty bathtub, hopped in, and looked at me from behind the shower curtain. She wasn’t budging. This was going to be a very long 4th of July. I used to love Independence Day. And truthfully, I still do. I’m as patriotic as Uncle Sam; happy to revel in our independence from the British empire. The 4th is a beautiful day to celebrate freedom, love for our country, and all the barbeque we can eat. Not to mention, the fun fireworks. What I hadn’t understood in the past was how poorly a lot of animals adapt to fireworks, or rather, don’t adapt at all. Growing up, my two dogs didn’t take much issue with fireworks. It wasn’t a problem. The booming sounds didn’t disrupt their calm. So, naturally, it didn’t seem like a “thing” to have anxious dogs on the 4th. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My husband, our sons, and I got our rescue pup over a dozen years ago, and as soon the 4th was upon us, I understood one thing: that whole concept of happy critters on the 4th – like us hum

The Bird

There is a bird who lives in our backyard that has been a nuisance for the last three years. For starters, I don't even know what this bird is. No clue. I tried to Google it using terms like "bird with annoying screech" and "kicks up dirt and leaves scrounging for bugs and worms." Those searches didn't work. Weird. From Google, I received names like finches and woodpeckers, shrikes, and larks. If I could take a picture of the bird, I'd post it so you could see this miscreant in action. But, he's too fast for me. So, I'm no help there. Nor is he. This bird has a black head, and white body, with red on its wings. He’s quite beautiful in spite of his annoying personality   The good news about researching local "Sacramento birds" is that I now know the identifying name of our resident owl. It's a Western Screech Owl. Yes, we have a resident owl. This adorable owl has made a home out of our old cable dish (and accouterments) that we had

Lessons I Learn From My Dog... Every Day

I learn something from my dog every day. Every day. There are usually a few lessons that rotate through my life, lessons I'm still learning, so every time I see one of these "lessons" in action, right in front of me, I realize how far I need to go to grow in my wisdom to be a better person; a dog-wise person. The biggest lesson my dog has taught me is gratitude. Yep. Gratitude. My dog is the happiest person I know.  I realize my dog is not actually a human being, but she is such a part of my family and is so crucial to teaching me things (things that I just don't seem to want to learn), that I've deemed her human. So she is the happiest and smartest person I know.  Back to gratitude... she exudes this daily.  Great book. Get it here! She's thankful to wake up to see me. Every day. She's thankful when I come home from wherever I am. Every day. She is thankful for food (most of the time...but especially if beef is involved.) Every day. She is so thankful to

The Same Old Same Good

It's funny how things go in circles.  I remember, over three years ago, telling myself I needed to do something else... something else, mind you, other than being a full-time mom, full-time wife, freelance writer, and vintage clothing seller. No -- I needed to do something else so I could feel like I was really doing something. Really working. I remember pulling on my boots one day and tying them while in tears thinking, "I have too much time on my hands." I need to do something productive. Looking back, I know now that these thoughts were insanity. I think I was just out of my mind for a few months and really needed someone to slap me and say, "Lady, you are doing more than enough. You are enough just as you are." But, I needed to be really working . Why would I say this? And why would I even think to ask myself this? Wasn't I already working? Wasn't that enough? So, I added a part-time job to my schedule.  Then a year later, added another one. There