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My Gram

My grandmother Lulubelle and grandfather Ralph Just today, I came across photos of my grandmother and grandfather (my dad’s parents) and it made me stop what I was doing (canvasing my boys' rooms for errant laundry) and sit down (on the floor), forgetting the world around me.  The photos were probably from the 1940s. You’d think as a vintage clothing seller, I would be able to tell instantly what year it was, but I wasn’t sure. There was no date on the photos, nor the location, but if I had to guess, I’d say the photo was taken in the mid ‘40s My grandmother was a beauty and I miss her. Seeing her instantly made me think about the first time she met my firstborn. I wasn’t sure if she knew she was holding her first great-grandson. But I wanted to believe that she did. “Look,” I said, “He loves being with you, Gram.”  My son was only a few months old, and he was the first great-grandchild of the family. The two of them meeting was a momentous occasion. She stroked my son’s soft skin

Live Simply

I just received this beautiful cross-stitch from my friend for my birthday. She made it for me! And it sums up my life goal perfectly: Live simply. Living a simple life is something I’ve had to work for. While I wish it came easy, choosing the simple life requires cutting things that take away from my goal of living a simple life. Over the last seven years, I’ve slowly transformed my hectic, consumeristic, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses lifestyle into a peaceful, simple, and minimalistic one. And I’ve never been happier. But getting there was not easy, and it required - and still requires - a constant willingness to say no to the world's calls. From getting rid of social media I don’t use, to not buying things I don’t need, learning to be content with what I have, and shifting from fast living to slow living, it was all a challenge to work through. At times, it still is. But now, I don’t want it any other way. I love my simple closet; I love my minimalist kitchen. I know where every

Simple Living │ Pretty as a Picture

Sometimes, a blog post is best presented as a meme, a photo, or a piece of art. As with today's post, a meme/ art/ whatever you want to call it, this is what caught my attention: As the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words."  I'm not sure who created this image. If I knew, I'd credit the artist. This was another "mindless scrolling" image that popped up on my phone. But what I love about this post is that every one of these "luxuries" makes me want to ensure I'm doing more of it. With simple living - focusing on the things that mean something to you, that give you meaning and value - and focusing less on keeping up with the Joneses, if you want to do all of these things, you can. But you have to get rid of the extraneous activities (i.e. keeping up the trends) to get there. You can't do both and expect peace. Something has to give. If you want simple living, you must immerse yourself in what that entails. Simple living doe

Sewing and Slow Living

I have trouble finding pants that fit me. This sounds like the bane of every woman in America, but for me, it's because of the inseam. I'm tall with petite measurements so finding pants long enough is a neverending chore. The waist will fit, but the length looks like I'm treading flood waters. And choosing the "tall" option doesn't work either. I'm not tall enough for that.  I'm right in the middle; I don't fit in. Sort of how I feel about all areas of my life, but that's for another post... I came across a pair of pants that fit great last week. Linen pants: perfect for summer. The waist and hips fit great, but the inseam was a good inch too short. Like normal. This time, instead of suffering in silence, I decided to take matters into my own hands. At home with the trousers, I took out my sewing machine with the intent to fix my problem. I know. A sewing machine? Yes, me, who isn't a sewer was going to fix my hems. I bought this basic beau

Flying Away │ How I'm Dealing with my Lastborn Graduating High School

My lastborn son is about to graduate high school in a couple of weeks. So, I'm not crying at all these days. Not a bit... only when I breathe. The truth is, I'm not thinking about how sad I am. It's a sadness in a good way, if that's actually a thing. And it has kept me from remaining in a perpetual puddle of tears. I'm happy about who he's become over the last almost 18 years I've raised him. But also sad that my role as mom and child-raiser is shifting into something I know very little about (My older son has helped me transition into that role already, so I'm not totally inept... but close.)  I'm essentially being fired from a job to learn my "new" mom role. While I'm ready to let him fly, I feel like I still have one hand on his shirt tails holding him back from floating away. I don't want to let him go. I'm proud of my son, Caleb. He has turned into an amazing young man, is passionate about many things, and can't wait t

Losing My Mind and Laughing About It

A couple months ago, when we were having our fence replaced ( the one that blew over in the last storm ), it came time to pay the invoice. I answered the door, while I was in the middle of writing - my head in a complete jumble over words and sentences - and proceeded to sign the waiver confirming the fence people did a good job, finished the job, etc.  I signed my name and proceeded to fill in the date. Only, I couldn't remember the date. We were in March, and it was early March... but what was the year? I mentally jogged back to the last check I'd written, or the last calendar glance I'd made, but nothing came to mind. I looked past the guy holding the clipboard waiting for me, hoping my change of scenery would bring back the date. But it didn't. For all I knew, it was 1985 with America deep into the Reagan administration. Why can't I remember what year this is? Now, remember, all of these thoughts are happening lightning fast and only a couple of seconds have pas

Reading in Bed │ A Librocubicularist

After coming across this image and description of what I do on the regular, I think I've finally (after saying it a dozen times) gotten the hang of the word. Librocubicularist.  A person who reads in bed. I've never actually heard this descriptive word before, though I'm familiar with its action like I know the back of my hand. Have you used this word before? And get this: the word had seven syllables. The same as if you said, "a person who reads in bed." And if both have seven syllables, neither one is shorter to say. So, it’s your choice. Both are what many do and love to do. It's up to you to say what you want to say. Maybe it's just a fancy word - which it is. But, it's also a literal Latin translation for "reading in bed" in a more succinct form. I like the sound of librocubicularist . It's slow living in its ultimate form. Happy reading. -Heather

Bookshelf Wealth │ What is Bookshelf Wealth?

Powell's Bookstore. This regurgitation of everything around us is more apparent than ever. Particularly in the media, from what we wear, to television, and movies. As the rather morose but truthful verse from Ecclesiastes says, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;  there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9). The thing about living in this world, particularly with trends and styles, is this: it all comes back around. The '80s and '90s, which I lived through as a young girl are back today (and have been for a few years, judging by the vintage fashion I'm selling and the television ads I'm seeing).  From high-waisted denim for fashion to remade television shows of Magnum P.I . and Quantum Leap , it's as though entertainment and fashion can't seem to find something new to make, so they rework the old. It's the same for interior design. My sister, as an interior designer, can attest to vintage trends coming back in st

Making Time for the Important Things

How Letting Go of What I Didn't Love Directed Me to Do What I Truly Love I'm not sure where I went wrong, but for a while, I worked two jobs that I shouldn't have been working. These are two jobs extra besides my other two jobs of freelance writing and vintage clothing.   I was working four different jobs alongside being a mom, wife, housekeeper, cook, and whatever else I missed here. This isn't to say the jobs were bad. They weren't. In fact, they were very far from bad and actually improved my writing by leaps and bounds. They helped me so much that I would recommend writers take these jobs if they want to be better writers. So why was it both helpful and unhelpful? Because I gave up my true love to do something I thought I should be doing rather than what I wanted to be doing.  Turns out, there's a big difference between the two. A few years ago, after feeling a little stuck in my writing, I picked up a magazine editorial position. Then a little bit after tha

What I'm Reading │ Historical Gold Rush Books

My dad gave me a book to read called The Age of Gold.    It's a fascinating book about the California gold rush and the new American dream. It follows many people from various backgrounds who traveled West chronicling their harrowing journeys.  While I'm only halfway through the book, it's enlightening. Particularly how arduous the journey was getting to California whether they traveled by land or by sea, whether they were married or single, with or without children, born in America, or emigrated. Many feel the gold rush ruined aspects of the states, particularly the region, destroying the natural habitats, and endangering native Indians and their land along with myriad other issues. And for the most part, there were issues.   But without this event, the West wouldn't be what it is today. It was a rush to stake claims, and of course, there was a whole lot of greed involved. But whether I agree with the past or not is irrelevant. It happened.  While it doesn't make i

Simple Loving is Simple Living

There are tons of memes and beautifully quoted “slow living” posts out there all over social media from Facebook to Instagram.  I follow several minimal and simple lifestyle accounts on Facebook from No Sidebar to Becoming Minimalist   that post beautiful and poignant quotes and phrases. They’re all helpful and validating but this one got to me.   This quote is the essence of my life, these days. And thankfully for me, I’m blessed to have a cozy home, plenty of nice books, and my husband knows exactly how I drink my coffee.  I can’t ask for anything more than this. I don’t need anything more than this. Have a wonderful Easter weekend and may your Good Friday be very good.  - Heather

Complementary Compliments │ If You Like Something, Say Something

The older I get, the more I feel like I wake up on the “wrong side of the bed” more often. It’s not because my life is bad. It’s quite the opposite. My life is wonderful. My life is busy, fulfilling, and overloaded with good things. But as I age, my life “experiences” taint my objectivity. This is normal. Life is hard. Adults understand this notion as age reminds us that nothing is easy and we're constantly fighting aging. Wrinkles and creaking joints are now a normal part of my daily life. So I thoroughly annoyed myself one recent morning with this whole groaning scenario as I got out of bed, with sleep wrinkles on my forehead. I not only felt old but was acting like a grouch. Why was I so ungrateful? I decided for the day, I was going to compliment people and say hello to everyone I saw. I would be the anit-grouch I wanted to see in other people. I was going to have a positive attitude about everything around me and see what happened. Anger and pessimism weren't going to be

Grandpa's Desk

My grandfather’s office was the best room in his house. At least, to me it was. His heavy wooden desk was the centerpiece and it was a beast. The office was filled with books, papers, and good things that smelled like education and experience. As a child, I would sit in his chair, hands folded on the desk or holding a pen, acting like I was writing something important just like him. Turning to my left, the chair swiveled perfectly to the typewriter. Clackety-clack. Sometimes , I would pretend to write an urgent memo. But, his office had a special smell. It smelled like a life filled with love. It also exuded a smell of adventure with the African art on the walls or the Indonesian sculptures on the bookshelves; places where various missionary journeys had taken him and my grandmother. The sweet smell of aging paper and typewriter ribbon permeated the room, too. And the way the pencil jar was overflowing with pens was a little bit of heaven that I wouldn’t know to miss until I wasn’t

When a Neighbor's Fence Goes Down

It's been said that fences make great neighbors. I agree and disagree with this. Fences make great neighbors only because they keep them and their stuff in their space and me and my stuff in my space. But, if you're like most neighbors in California, I have met my neighbors once, and rarely speak to them. It isn't because I don't want to, but because we're all too busy to say hello.  Or something like that. I think it has something to do with the fence situation. The part that's supposed to make me a great neighbor doesn't actually live up to the hype.  A few weeks ago, after a wild, windy, and rainy storm, a portion of our back fence fell down. It was an overdue scenario for sure. We'd been propping that part of our fence up with two-by-fours for years. It was over forty years old, and the posts rotted out beyond their use. It was time. My husband and I walked around to confront our neighbor the following morning, a neighbor we had never met despite the