My Minimalism

Feb 13

Let This Be Enough

In this moment, let quiet beauty be enough.

Feb 13

When to Stay Away

The thing is, most of the time I know when to stay away.

When she says, “Ewwww!  Mom, remember that experiment where we made the smoothie for Twilite?  You know the blueberries, grass and banana drink?  It’s still in the fridge!  Come smell it!”



I know to stay away. Continue reading →

Dec 12

New Growth

Lose weight.

Exercise more – hell – start exercising.

Quit smoking.

Start walking.

Read more.

Watch less TV.

Eat better.  Eat less.  Eat mindfully, or not at all.

Go to the gym or at least sign up at a gym, go to meet a friend and drink coffee by the elliptical machine.

Cut up credit cards.

Get more sleep.


What are you fixing?

What do you want to change?

What needs to be eliminated?

What ought to be included?


Where do you begin?


In the plant world, new growth is supported by existing growth.  The old growth may be trimmed or pruned to make room for the new, but the old is still necessary.

New growth is fed by what comes before.


Acknowledge what you have done well.

Appreciate what is already good.

Focus on the steps you’ve taken so far.

Build slowly to create lasting, healthy change.

Add on to the strong foundation you’ve built up to this point.

Keep what is working, prune what doesn’t benefit you, and allow space for new growth.


There’s no need to start from scratch.  There’s no need to beat yourself up for missteps.


Stop psyching yourself out about the first day of January.  Quit letting the calendar make you feel bad about yourself.


Don’t turn healthy changes into a big issue.


Incorporate change in small, steady ways – each day.  If today isn’t the day to go to the gym, let that be okay.


Take the pressure off of yourself.



Tonight, after brushing your teeth and reading a couple pages in that self-help book, revisit your day.  Think of the things that have gone well.  Think of what you might do differently tomorrow.

It’s okay.

Keep trying.

Go slow.

Be kind to yourself.

This isn’t a race.

You’ll get there.


New growth takes time.






Nov 12

Recipe For Creative Children


  • One pair of Shrinky Dink twin tip skis
  • One enthusiastically supportive uncle
  • One girl’s unstoppable imagination
  • Two peanuts, still in their shell
  • Fuzzy yarn, aluminum foil, a Sharpie, cocktail toothpicks in fun colors, and a hot glue gun
  • One mom who has the good sense to stay out of the way.


Mix together without criticism, judgment, hovering or micro-managing on the part of adults.

Judiciously add laughter, warm-hearted teasing, big smiles and ice cubes for fingers that get in a tangle with the glue gun.

Include dollops of encouragement and one chunk of unscheduled time.


Result:  A kid who finds positive energy and self-confidence when expressing herself through her own creativity.  (She’ll make happy memories with her uncle, too.)


Nov 12

Stopping the Noise

autumn leaves and a watering canStop for a minute and look around you.

Let your eyes fall on something you would normally ignore.

Focus on the negative space that surrounds a Starbucks go cup.  Notice the way the arm of a chair curves to meet the seat.  Appreciate the pressed corners of the collar on a charcoal grey wool coat.

See the color of the cement when it’s wet.  Try to think of the name of the color of a curled leaf.  Is it amber?  Is it burnt umber?

  Continue reading →

Aug 12

Surviving Nicely – 3

The third anniversary of this blog quietly came and went.


I harvested pales of fresh raspberries and discussed freezer jam recipes.

I collected rocks with Jen and counted the different types of butterflies that landed on the wildflowers beside the cabin.  We lost track of the count when we spied two frogs in a rain puddle.

I took pictures of a grinning Will and the trout he was catching. Continue reading →

Aug 12

On Getting Out of Their Way

time to just be...“Is it okay if I make a cake from scratch?”

“Yeah, honey, that’s okay.  Are you okay if I work on this mess?”

“Sure!  Then I can have the kitchen to myself.”

She asked a couple questions, pulled out the canisters and remembered to keep the dry ingredients separate from the wet.

“How much flour should I add?” Continue reading →

Jul 12

Notes From a Summer Getaway

You may be thinking that you need a prescription, but it could be that you need to drive a road that lazily winds around a mountain lake.  Roll the windows down and sing to the Doobie Brothers.*

Kids don’t need DVD players or iPads if one of ’em has a fishing pole, the other has a floaty mattress for playing in the lake and they both have nets for catching minnows.

Moms don’t need laptops, internet connection or a day at the spa if they have a good friend to chat with and reservations for dinner.

The withdrawals from that lack of internet connection last about four hours.  Fill the void with Cheetos and red wine.  It’ll pass. Continue reading →

Jun 12

Do You Know Your Tolerance Level?

She brings him a mug of coffee and says, “How’d you sleep?”

He says, “I slept great.  How ’bout you?”

She says, “How can you sleep with that incessant dripping coming from the bathroom sink?”

He says, “That bugs you?  I can hear it but I just roll over and go back to sleep.”

__________ Continue reading →

Jun 12

Say It With Me

Half of the troubles of this life
can be traced to saying yes too quickly
and not saying no soon enough.
 – Josh Billings
What is a rebel?  A *woman* who says no.
 – Albert Camus




Jun 12

It’s Time To Say No

When you no longer notice the beauty in the things you possess, and shop for new, “more beautiful” objects.

When politely ignoring a situation doesn’t make it go away.

When you’re so over-scheduled that you can hardly wait to go to bed.

When you hate getting out of bed in the morning.

  Continue reading →

Jun 12

The Best Kind of Party

Planning life like you would plan a partyGrab a pen.  We’re going to plan a party.


This’ll be fun.

What if you planned your life like you would plan the ultimate party?

Wait….  don’t tell me you hate planning parties.  That’s probably because you think that you have to invite certain people, serve particular foods and drinks, provide a sparkling evening that will please everyone and clean up the mess when it’s over. Continue reading →

Jun 12

The Secret Ingredient in My Low-Tech Cappuccino


The froth is the perfect warmth as it clings to my lips.   The nutmeg tastes earthy.   The espresso is strong enough without stealing the show from the froth.  And the sugar….  oh…

Starting the day with cappuccino is a fine way to practice a little self-care.  This is indulgence with a kick.


Low-Tech Cappuccino

  • 1/3 C  2% milk
  • 3 T finely ground espresso or dark roast
  • 1 t sugar – rounded and spilling over
  • pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon or both
  • Continue reading →

Jun 12

Recipe For Happy Children


  • 1 large grassy field
  • 1/2 dozen children
  • 2 or 3 small dogs
  • 1 pinch of brook and some pebbles

Mix children and dogs well together.  Put them in the field, stirring constantly.

Pour this brook over pebbles; sprinkle with flowers.

Spread over all a deep blue sky and bake in hot sunshine.

When brown, remove and set away to cool in bathtub.


*Discovered in Rare Recipes and Budget Savers, a compilation of columns from The Wichita Eagle’s Home Town News.  
Published in 1961.
Contributed by B. M. Pittenger. 

May 12

Still Life with Flowers


This quiet moment full of beauty is brought to you by a sprig of Lily of the Valley, a Begonia blossom, and a spritely Johnny Jump Up.



Thanks for stopping by.