Recharge Day

It has been an incredible year. I published a book, spent some time and energy marketing it. I helped beloved daughter select a college, get ready for the transition and drove her there. Middle son and I started the college search for him, including an eight-day, seven college, 2,300 mile spring break trip last March/April. Oh, and I applied to give a presentation at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s yearly conference this September. They accepted my proposal, so I wrote, polished, and practiced my talk for six months.

Last Monday, I felt as ready as I was going to ever be. My to-do list was as long as it ever is…..but I sooo needed a recharge day.

I had lunch at an outdoor cafe downtown, I had a pedicure and I browsed in the book store for a couple of hours. Perfect.


Women of a Certain Age

Recently actress Michelle Pfeiffer said that she was relieved to go from the age where she had to “Look Good” to the age where she only has to “Look Good For Her Age.” I know exactly what she means.

I have noticed that despite my three times per week workouts, complete with squats, that my booty is no longer licious. And I’m OK with that. This is a different phase of life and I intend to embrace it as I have all the previous phases. So, I have been paying attention to the style of older women, and keeping that in mind as I replenish my minimalist wardrobe. Which fabrics and colors flatter, which just look like one is trying too hard.

I’m thinking that I want to look more like:




Instead of


And I know that my kids will tell me if I’m getting it wrong.

Happy Birthday, Beloved Daughter!!

Less than a month ago, my one and only daughter headed off to a college far away. While I can’t celebrate the day with her, I wanted to send a birthday treat. I found a nice recipe for mug cake at

Then I boxed up two colorful mugs, birthday candles, matches and a set of measuring spoons. I added cooking oil in a travel 3 oz container and put the dry ingredients in plastic zip bags. I mailed the whole thing off with the recipe and a birthday card signed by me and her brothers.


Stone Soup (sorta)

On a recent Tuesday, I got off work and started preparing dinner for the three of us. I was planning a meal of grilled chicken breasts, corn on the cob and fresh cantaloupe.

Within ten minutes I got two texts from the boys, first from middle son asking if his girlfriend could have dinner with us. Yes, of course. Minutes later the second text from youngest son came in, “Would it be alright if the band came over for dinner and practiced afterward?” Umm…….OK.

That meant that dinner for three, was now dinner for seven. How was I going to stretch the three chicken breasts to feed seven people? I checked my mini-fridge. (Yes, my minimalism has expanded to include my refrigerator. When I re-did my kitchen last year, I removed the regular sized refrigerator and installed one the size that usually goes into dorm rooms.) I had flour tortillas and lettuce and cheese and a tomato.  Wraps would make a nice main dish with the chicken.

I served the band in the dining room and the older two on the back porch.


Here is the table before the band dug in.


And the remains of the older two on the porch.


I grabbed a boxed dessert, to make sure that no one would be hungry.


2013 Personal Count

For new readers: I count my personal items every year with the goal of owning less than 100 things. I count separately items that I share with the two teenagers still at home. Here is this year’s count: total 85 items.

Miscellaneous things: 18


In the above photo you can see in the back row: brief case, shredder, coffee pot. In the middle from left to right: towel and iron, lap top with small bird figurine on top, book with cell phone and charger on top and in the front row, left to right organizer with glasses on top, watch, wallet, purse. Not in this photo are the ironing board, car, bed and laundry basket. But they are the same as last year. Astute readers will note this is a new iron and a new lap top. The old iron took a dive off the board last year with grave consequences and I bought a lap top that I do not have to share with the kids when I started writing my second book.

Clothing: 54 items


This is my summer non-work days wardrobe. I bought four outfits for less than $20 at Goodwill.

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On the left are two work outfits. The black and grey top has lasted through three summers! On the right my fourth non-work day outfit and the black dress which I’ve had for about ten years now. It’s classic. You can also see some of the ten wood hangers that I use.


Here are two more work outfits. Both tops bought new at TJ Maxx and both bottoms bought at Goodwill.


My footwear.


Coat and sweater and scarf.


Two more sweaters. I had three survive the winter, which is unusual for me. Usually the constant wear has them giving up the ghost before spring.


Necklace and earrings. My daughter has dibs on the necklace when I get tired of it.


Swimsuit, gloves, ear warmer/headband and the basket which holds the six pair socks, six pair panties, one pair pantyhose and four bras when they are not in use.


Here is one of my exercise outfits. The other three look much the same.


Here are the personal care items: 13 of them. In this photo you can see the basket that I keep the items contained in the medicine cabinet, a razor, bar of soap, grooming scissors, nail clippers, floss/toothpaste/toothbrush, face powder, foundation, mascara, lip balm, retainer/case, lotion and hair conditioner.

I’m still working on getting all my clothing to have pockets so I can ditch the purse. And there are clearly non-essential items here such as the jewelry and the bird figurine. It makes me happy to know that I have items that I could easily let go, so if I move to a houseboat or RV full time and have to count the bowl and mug as mine, it will be a smooth transition.