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Out With the Old . . .

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I have lately found joy in purging. Minimizing. Cutting out the clutter. Sweeping away the cobwebs. Downsizing.

Anticipating a possible move in the near future, I’ve been looking at my home and my life with new eyes. How did I accumulate so much “stuff”? Do I really need all those books and DVDs? Will I ever refinish those chairs, or complete that stained glass window?

Nope, so it’s gone.


And I find that same breath of relief when I begin to examine and eliminate bad habits – snacking in front of the TV, a glass of wine right after work instead of a 15- or 20-minute project, impatience in traffic. Just “stuff” accumulated over the years, but absolutely unnecessary.

This is a good perspective. I think I like it.


A New Way of Eating (or, veggies are my new best friends)

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It’s common to think about giving up something this time of year – tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent has begun. Normally, I don’t go in for that sort of thing, but I had been thinking about a change in my diet anyway, so this seemed serendipitous. So until Easter, I challenge myself to a gluten-free, meat-free, dairy-free way of life.

Okay . . . now what?

Hmmmmmm. Eggs are still okay, so breakfast is covered. Fruit smoothies are also one of my favorite ways to start the day. Piece of cake (so to speak).

Lunch – not a big problem. There are a TON of yummy salads out there. This is one I tried recently:

Sweet Corn & Quinoa Salad

Dinner becomes more of an issue, since Hubby is still a meat-and-potatoes guy. Veggies and hummus aren’t going to cut it with him. Maybe Black Bean and Butternut Enchiladas? What would you suggest? See other recipes I’ll be trying in the next 60 days from my Pinterest board


25 Random Acts of Kindness

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Beginning Sunday, December 1 I’ve committed to 25 acts of kindness. In no particular order, here they are:

1. Deliver a boxed lunch to a friend
2. Leave a handmade Christmas ornament on a co-worker’s desk with a note
3. Candy cane a parking lot!
4. Bring hot chocolate to a bellringer
5. Buy coffee for the person behind me in line
6. Leave a treat for the mail carrier
7. Generously overtip on lunch
8. Tape quarters to machines in a laundromat
9. Give a child a balloon
10. Take stuffed animals to a pediatrics ward
11. Take small door wreaths to residents in an assisted living facility
12. Play Christmas carols on the piano at the mission
13. Put together a care package for a college student
14. Collect makeup samples and toiletries for a women’s shelter
15. Donate blood
16. Work a shift at the local food bank
17. Feed random parking meters
18. Hand out mittens and hats to homeless people
19. Send flowers to a friend
20. Anonymously give a Christmas coin jar filled with my spare change
21. Deliver donuts to my mechanic
22. Donate books to a women’s and children’s shelter
23. Bring a treat for my co-workers
24. Purchase toys for kids in need
25. Purchase $5 coffee cards and hand deliver them randomly at the mall

Let the Christmas cheer begin!

June Is Bustin’ Out All Over

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Can I just say, I LOVE this time of year? Everything is green and blooming, it’s not too hot, the days are long.

Coffee on the patio in the morning, a glass of wine on the deck in the evening.

Tomatoes looking great!


Baby blueberries on my new bushes (aren’t they cute?)


Wish you could smell the roses and mock orange!


Think I’ll sit a bit and contemplate my next project. . .


If I Clean, Will Spring Come?

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Anyone else have those January winter blahs?

January 8 snow scenes _2

Earlier this month, we decided to get out of town and head west to find some sunshine. We stopped in Yakima to celebrate my brother-in-law (and fellow family outlaw)’s birthday. I love staying with Midge and Dale, because it’s like spending a night in a B and B. Their home is always clean and beautifully decorated, the bed is inviting, and Dale’s fried eggs on toast are worth the trip alone!100614_fried_egg_on_toast_fork

I was inspired, as I always am after a stay in Yakima. So last weekend I threw on my sweats, scrunchied up my hair, cranked up the iTunes and set to work. Time for a good pre-spring cleaning! Now, when I clean house, it goes something like this:

1. Strip bed and throw sheets in washer
2. Load and run dishwasher
3. Begin vacuuming living room

(notice I’ve already been in 4 different rooms?)

4. Run upstairs to throw sheets in dryer and start more laundry in washer
5. Answer text from east coast daughter
6. Put water on to boil for pasta salad
7. Finish vacuuming living room and bedroom
8. Make bed
9. Empty dishwasher
10. Cook and drain pasta
11. Answer text from sister
12. Put away various DVDs and books lying around
13. Decide to organize bookshelves and DVDs
14. Finish pasta salad and clean kitchen
15. Talk to sister on phone

You get the idea. But eventually, the house does get clean and I love it!

The Great Pumpkin

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I love this time of year – technicolor leaves, crisp mornings, and pumpkins. When our kids were little, we’d go every year to their Papa’s house to pick out pumpkins. We’d haul them home, bring them in the house to warm up, then the next evening we’d carve jack-o-lanterns. Even as I type this, I can smell pumpkin guts . . . don’t you?

Ours were never this creative, but check out these examples of Halloween pumpkins:


And my personal favorite,


Happy Halloween!






Still Time For Some Good Summer Reads!

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I can still remember my “aha” moment in first grade, when I discovered you were sent to the library if you had a cold and couldn’t take recess outside. Ever since that time, books have been my constant companion.  But now, I take my books outside with me, especially in this great summer weather.

I’ll read just about anything, from biographies to history to chick novels to mystery to . . . well, you’ll see when you take a look at my summer reading list. Tell me what you’re reading this summer!

Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff

When The Cat’s Away . . .

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Hubby’s away, working on the Cottage Project, so I have a few days at home by myself. Yes, I’ll miss him . . . but, now’s my chance to do some things I probably wouldn’t when he’s here. (They’re all G-rated, I promise!)

1. Popcorn for dinner

Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn

2. Spend as long as I like at the library

3. Take my morning coffee on the patio (I actually do that when he’s here, but it’s so nice I had to include it)

4. Spend WAY too much time on Pinterest

5. Go out for sushi with my boys

Wasabi Bistro’s Red Dragon Roll

6. Watch movies he wouldn’t mind missing, like The Artist or Brave

Any other suggestions?


Fireball 50!

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My sister and I turned 50 over the weekend.

Not a big deal, really. Not compared to winning the Nobel Peace Prize, or making a hole in one, or beating Angry Birds.

But it is a milestone, and one that should be celebrated. And that we did . . . by riding 50 miles with some really great friends, followed by a shot of Fireball.

Amazing women in my life!

The birthday girls!

We think we’ll have a reunion on our 100th birthday – no, not 100 miles . . . how about 100 yards with our walkers? Anyone game to join us? There will be Fireball . . . just sayin’

The Cottage Project

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Every time we visit our cottage on the Oregon Coast, I visualize how it will look and feel when it is finished. Something like this.

instead of this

It’ll get there. In the meantime, it’s never too early to start shopping for treasures and bargains. I found this adorable white wicker dresser at a thrift store.

And this dresser and vintage wool blanket at Vintage Rabbit in Spokane –

This print I picked up in an antiques store in Post Falls, Idaho

This cute little whale print is from Cole Paper Co

And my sister found this lamp at TJ Maxx

What do you think of my finds?

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