My Fast Fifteen on the Virtues of Minimalism

Five things I love about minimalism…

I spend less money, because I buy less stuff.

When I do buy, I buy quality, because I don’t want to always be having to re-buy stuff.

I don’t have to run through the house picking up stuff in order to make our home “presentable” when company calls to say they’re coming over.

I don’t step on stray items left on the floor in the dark of night anymore.

I get to reclaim the time I used to spend cleaning and instead invest it in other, more joyful pursuits.

Five things I no longer struggle with after discovering minimalism…

Indecision. My choices are now limited and I love it!

Noisy thinking. Now, I have new methods for quieting the noise in my head surrounding home management and the organization of my life.

Clutter everywhere.  Everything having its own home in our house means there is no clutter, only well-organized spaces at home.

Not being able to find what I want.  See no. 3 above.

A workable plan for keeping my home environment under control and eeking out time for my passions, which include loving on people, writing, and pondering the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.  By the way, the answer to that one is 42.

Five reasons why minimalism is the right choice for me…

Perfectionistic tendencies I had have been quieted as I quit forcing myself to constantly arrange and rearrange things to my current liking.

I love a clean space and minimalism gives me that in spades.

There are no rules for how to do this, so my way is the right way every time.

When I have too many choices I freeze up. Now that my choices are limited I find I feel freer than ever.

I no longer feel I need to spend my hard-earned money on junk and regret it later.  Through minimalism, I’m able to buy high end items without regret because I know they will serve our family for decades and never go out of style.  I always wanted to shop this way, and did sometimes, but often felt I couldn’t justify the price tag on good quality items when cheaper versions were available.  Now, because I’m not freely spending all the time, I have the reserves necessary to judiciously spend and spend well when something new is needed.  I love the feeling of a good pair of shoes, good furniture that will last for decades, and good quality foods bought without angst.

There you go! My Fast Fifteen reasons for loving minimalism and embracing it today.

What are you doing lately to live a simpler life?  Do you have a Fast Fifteen reasons for loving the way you’re living today? What are they?


A Lil Something, Something

Okay, readers, I need a lil something, something…a lil encouragement from you to help me get my goal list done this week.

I still have not de-cluttered my kitchen cupboards a second time, and I only have two more nights to do that. I have meetings tonight and Wednesday, so really that leaves Tuesday only to accomplish this goal.  Yikes! I could stretch it out until Thursday night, and do my reporting on my goals later in the day on Thursday.  Hmmm, should I though?  Will I be able to get ‘er done?

I don’t know!

I also have not yet researched writing resources for the future.  I do have some time this afternoon to do that, so maybe I can get one or two done today.

I have made a Gratitude List I’ve been adding to as I go along this week.  You can check that out here.  I think in tough times it is triple hard to think positively, so the list is helping me get there.  I will continue adding to it until Thursday, when I report my progress.

I’m a little pressed for time lately, but I love to reach out to my readers and sharing some of what I’m experiences is a stress-reliever for me. That being said, I wanted to pop in here this afternoon to say that I’m thinking about my list, and  you, and planning to do as much as I can to complete it before Thursday.  Oh, and I wanted to share some pics I took recently.

This is Northeast PA in all its glory. Enjoy!

A pond adjoining our property…


The view from the top of my driveway…


A lake just around the corner from us…


A misty morning outside my front door…


Flowers on my front porch that survived the early frost…


What do you think, can I get my goal list done this week?  What goals have you set for yourself this fall? 

I’m Grateful


As we move through mister’s Shingles outbreak, I can say I’m grateful for…

Oct 29:

Medications like antivirals, helping to abate the Shingles virus.

Time with the mister, and the ability to serve him while he’s sick.

Beautiful days in NEPA, like yesterday.

The chance to pull back from problem solving for family, if only for a short time and because of sickness.

An improvement in my sciatica;  I’ve been 4 days without pain killers!


Deer that keep hubs animated as he gazes outside from his recliner.

Oct 30th:

Family that brings Sudoku books and venison/veggie soup when sickness strikes.

Our God, who sustains us in times of trouble.

The ability to refrain from stress-eating while under duress.

Little grey schnauzers who love us unconditionally.

Oct 31st: 

Another beautiful fall day in NEPA!

Continued opportunities to live simpler lives by freeing our home of stuff.

A good report from the eye specialist, although some concerns remain.

The Healing Journey classes. I love the group dynamic and the feeling of hopefulness this class leaves with me.

The sense that there is an unseen Hand guiding us through this shingles process.

Fellow writers who trust me to provide feedback on their writing.

Poems and music that move my soul!

This blog.



New Goals-Oct 27


I cannot believe it has been two weeks since I last posted a goal list.  So much has happened since that time, and almost none of it was orderly or planned.  I hate that!

My last goal list can be found here. I will not be talking about HOW I DID on this update. Suffice it to say my last goals required too much thinking, when life demanded action.  I’m glad to put them in my rear view mirror and march forward with new goals today.


Below, are some of the things that have occurred in my world over the last two weeks:

We had the wee ones down for a weekend, without mom and dad. That was fun!

My sister-in-law left this earth.

Mister dropped everything to support his brother as he grieved.

A nephew missed a court date, and came up missing.

We worried that a warrant had been issued.  Thankfully, one had not.

Hubs came down with a bad case of shingles (is there any good case of shingles?)

We spent a night in the ER/ED!

Shingles lay siege to my mister!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I don’t know about you, but when the whirlwinds of life start swirling around me I hunker down and focus on staying safe. My goal list goes out the window in times like these and I do well to simply function, without functioning at top speed or higher achievement levels.


I think two weeks is long enough for this girl to go without some goals in place. That being the case, here are my new goals for the following week.

1  Create a Gratitude List on this blog and post to it every day this week.

2  Research 3 on-line resources for paid writing assignments and choose one to try.

3  Tackle the kitchen cupboards again, releasing more “stuff” into the world.


It’s easy to get distracted when life begins to swirl around you.

Even when someone is sick for a long time, their leaving creates deep sadness.

Parents don’t have control over adult children, and neither are they responsible for what they do or where they go.

Police are not the big bad wolf, they just have a job to do.

Not all emergency room spaces are clean. They certainly are not as clean as TV programs make them seem. Not even close!

Tiny girls who are tasked with being night security in the hospital do not fill me with confidence.  I hope she has a side arm, or at least a stun gun in her holster.

Hospital waiting rooms are the scariest places on earth, especially for a germaphobic like me.

Shingles kicks butt, and will kick yours if you’re not prepared.

Who prepares for shingles?

People can be so rude.

What will you be focusing on this week?  Have you ever had shingles?





Shingles in NEPA


As you might have guessed, this post is not about roofing materials.


This post is about one sad, retired, fellow who was stricken over the weekend, and is now sitting in his recliner with a patch of oozing blisters covering his forehead and moving down the side of his face.

Hubs has shingles!

Dratted things!






He has them in his eye!!!  Poor hubs!

If you’re the praying type, say a few for the mister.  If you have any advice on how to make the pain less intense, share freely.  If you have your own sad tale to tell about life as a shingles sufferer, I’m all ears.


The doctor who diagnosed hubs said that sometimes the virus that gave us chicken pox as a kid returns to us as shingles in our later years, just because.  Often, however, an outbreak can be traced to some particular stress event which occurs and drains the immune system, making us easy targets for shingles.  When mister and me sat in his office and heard him say that, I thought, “Well, that’s not the case with us.” I couldn’t think of anything that had happened recently that would be described as a stress event.

It wasn’t until later that I remembered these facts:

Mister’s older brother lost his wife to complications of T2D and persistent smoking with heart disease about three weeks ago.

Mister has been spending copious amounts of time helping big brother cope with his grief, which has not been easy.

Other confusing and taxing family “issues” have cropped up/come to light and had to be dealt with, following my sister-in-law’s death.  This often happens after a family member passes.  The family dynamic is disrupted, and everyone has to shift and readjust.  Sometimes it is a messy, messy process.

Not long ago my lover boy was dealing with a drawn out bout with a secondary infection caused by a tick bite, wherein 30 days of powerful antibiotics were administered orally in an effort to stave off lyme’s disease.

It all adds up! 

I wonder if the tick bite episode had anything to do with weakening my husband’s normally vibrant immune system?  I don’t know…can’t be sure, but I wonder.


Today, I’m stopping after work to get the shingles vaccine.  My doc says its crucial I have it, as I, too, suffer with T2D.  Mine is controlled by diet at this time, but as T2D is considered an auto-immune problem, I’m at risk for catching shingles.  Especially as I act as care-giver for hubs.

I hate this!


We’re doing what we must to stay on top of this newly developing worry.  Shingles in the eye is not a good thing.  Shingles, period, is no fun.  We are hoping the meds bring this outbreak under control soon.

I’m hoping to get back to normal soon!!

Have you had shingles or the chicken pox?  When they say you are contagious with shingles, does that mean you can infect others with shingles, or with the chicken pox (I still haven’t figured that one out)?


It’s Monday again!  “yeah,” you say, with as little enthusiasm as you can muster. But hey, it doesn’t have to be that kind of Monday. It can be a joyful Monday…a productive Monday…A Monday to end all Mondays!

Let’s make today a Super Monday, beginning with a FIVE MINUTE exercise.


Today, let’s spend FIVE MINUTES on us, creating an Action Plan that we can refer to for the rest of the week.

What would you like to accomplish this week, beyond what NEEDS to get done?

What would make you feel fulfilled, purposeful, or accomplished, if at the end of the week you had done that thing?!

What have you been putting off?

What have you dreamed about beginning?

What new habit could you begin to practice this week?

Let’s make a plan to get ‘er done, an Action Plan.

For the next FIVE MINUTES rest from your other work and let you mind run free.  What needs to be a part of your life this week in order for you to feel that special feeling you’ve been missing for a while now?  Enter that on your Action Plan paper or screen.

It’s only FIVE MINUTES.  FIVE simple, meaningful, purposeful minutes.

What will you do with your FIVE today?