17 Jan

Guys I started a vlog on YouTube. It’s a bit easier for me than writing because I freak out if the writing isn’t perfect and the pictures aren’t perfect and blah blah blah. But if you want to see and hear me talk Kablooey, this is the link to my channel:


If you want to get them sent to your email account as soon as I post them, you must SUBSCRIBE to my channel.

I may still try to keep this venue for the stuff that’s not really conducive to video. And I’ve realized that it’s a skill and an art to make entertaining and interesting videos. A skill and an art I have not mastered, so be gentle.

Habitual Consumerism ARGH!

17 Oct

I am so mad and frustrated. I have a problem with habitual consumerism, you see. I “shop” to fill my empty time and I shop to relieve stress. In fact, most of us buy things we don’t need and most of us buy something or spend money every single day here in the U.S. of A. I now find myself in a situation that requires a reworking of our budget and spending habits. Er, my spending habits. Which requires a complete overhaul of my mindless habits! Yay!


It’s so crazy how I can be aware of this and still do it…I made a commitment to myself a week or so ago to not buy anything other than necessary food for the rest of the year. It should be simple. And yet I found myself buying a couple things that were not food. I even have a big stash of potential gifts that I hoard so I’m not even super worried about Christmas gifts. I also buy everyone’s Christmas gifts year round. I just love scanning the aisles of merchandise and when I see something that a close friend or family would love, I have a VERY hard time not buying it and putting it in my “gift stash.” More often than not I scan the aisles of thrift stores and the clearance sections of TJMaxx and Marshalls. Luckily because of this, I haven’t bankrupted my family yet. However, the principle has becoming more and more nudgy in the corners of my mind. It’s just not right to buy stuff you don’t need. There are many spiritual guides and texts, both ancient and modern that advise against hoarding possessions. In our modern world it is so hard to escape the constant barrage of “you need this new throw pillow and centerpiece because now it’s autumn!” Or because now it’s bosses day! Or this new pink bra because now it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month! I have so many home decor items just piled in my basement. I buy stuff so frequently and fill so much of my empty time with shopping and internet and internet shopping that I don’t ever manage to display my beautiful treasures!!! I mean, how absurd is that?! One of my main goals is to simplify the kids’ toys and yet I come home from Goodwill with bags and bags of “new to us” toys almost every freaking week. Then gifting occasions arise and I feel embarrassed and materialistic even making wish lists for the kids. Or myself. Like, more?! Now OTHER people are going to give us even MORE stuff that we don’t really “need.” I could do a whole post alone on the weird relationship I have with gifting. It’s like I want to be able to buy everything for everyone but for no one to buy stuff for me because I feel embarrassed of all the stuff I’ve already bought myself! Receiving gifts for me really throws a light on one of my worst habits. I do try to move as much out of the house as I move in…which sort of goes in fits and spurts. But again, it’s the principle here that really is getting under my skin. Or rather, the lack of upholding this principle and the inability to control myself.

I am SO SICK OF IT and disgusted with myself. But these habits are apparently so ingrained that I can’t simply stop. I guess this kind of thing needs addressed like any other addiction, and I think step one is to find a healthy replacement activity. For a while I was successful with reading books. What I really want to do is actually finish all of the projects piled up around the house. I want to stop buying stuff and actually MAKE the things I’ve already got piled up in every room. What happened this last time is I had a stressor shatter my resolve during a period of burnout. I had been feverishly purging possessions and working on projects and reading books and I got tired and just wanted to veg. Enter the internet, my mind numbing device of choice. It’s very hard to go on the internet and not be bombarded by consumerism triggers. So my brain started saying YES, how neat, I NEED THAT. if I had that I could make this! In fact, just now the idea of gazing out the window instead of gazing at Facebook and Pinterest occured to me. And almost immediately my brain went to “if I built that window seat on the landing it would be the perfect place to gaze out of the window!” Of course building that window seat requires a trip to the store. OF COURSE IT DOES. Mother of avarice and GOOD GRIEF!!! I can’t escape this programming it seems and simple awareness is not enough. It’s going to be a long, painful road of slip-ups and failures. But I must press on down this road. I must remake my life into one of doing over acquiring. I am making progress. Very slow and fraught with disappointment, but today is a new day. I will start again. And I will start by avoiding my triggers and brainstorming things I can DO with what I already have! Which is much. I am blessed and I must not squander my abundant blessings.

A Brief Message for Charish’s Mama

23 Jun

Sister, I have never met you but you are loved and you are held in my heart. I haven’t stopped thinking about your story since I heard of it yesterday. I know with every fiber of my being that it will haunt me for the rest of my life. I am so sorry. So so sorry. Tears are welling up as I type this. You and your angel and your children will be lifted in my prayers forever. Forever. May you find peace in time.

25 Things I Know About Myself

6 Jun

My friend Britt writes a blog on her website called In Pursuit of Happiness, and she posted this list of things you should know about yourself today. I love quizzes and telling people about myself with an eye to connecting on common ground or even revising misconceptions I have. And so I give you, 25 things.

Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?

MOUNTAINS. One word: sharks. More words: people can’t breathe under water. If I’m going to die at the hands of razor sharp teeth, I better not be drowning at the same time. Or maybe that would actually be a godsend…I guess it depends what kills you first, the water or the shark. Plus snowboarding is my most favorite thing EVER.

What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

French toast. But I rarely do because gluten. I like to put peanut butter on it these days with a drizzle of maple syrup. It’s good when eaten for dinner too, by the way.

Are you a night owl, early bird, or afternoon person?

Hmmmm. I think in this season of my life I’m an early bird. I like the quiet of the house before everyone wakes up and chaos ensues for hours on end. At night I feel like there are still echoes of that chaos all around. Such as the sink full of dirty dishes. The socks and toys strewn across every open space. The dirty laundry on the bathroom floor, and so on. And it feels like a rush to get it all taken care of so I can go to bed early enough to not feel exhausted all the next day.

How spicy do you like your Indian food?

Just a hint of Indian heat, because Indians have a completely different scale for spicy than westerners do. And their scale is, like, logarithmic.

What kind of music makes you happy?

Wow. So many kinds. The only thing I just am too old for is the new generation of metal or screamo or whatever they call it.

What kind of music do you like to listen to when you’re sad?

My John Mayer pandora station.

What’s your favorite kind of pie?

Cherry. Although Key Lime held the top spot for a very long time.

What’s your favorite season?

Without a doubt, Fall. I’m rejuvenated from the summer sunshine and looking forward to the color change, the festivals, and ski season. The air smells delicious and my body is ready for cool breezes.

What’s your best physical feature?

Ooooh. Always so difficult to look at oneself with an admiring eye. I’ll go with my hair. Even though it drives me CRAZY with the sweaty and the frizz and the general unruliness.

What makes you laugh?

The unexpected. And incongruity.

What kind of books do you like to read?

Fantasy and historical fiction.

What’s your favorite restaurant?

I love so many restaurants, I cannot pick one.

What kind of food do you not like?

Many kinds of seafood are not my thing. Some of it is good, but a lot of it I can live without.

Would you rather be hugged or told that you are loved?


What scares you?

Losing my kids, failure, the unknown, the misunderstood…

How does your creativity show up?

I think I apply it the most in home decor and homemaking in general, but I love to make things, doodle, sew, refinish, and repurpose…even if I don’t do it FREQUENTLY. Just recently I’ve started expressing my creativity in our yard. And though it’s not really what comes to mind, I think my creativity often surfaces in my thought processes. I like to think I see things differently, unconventionally a lot of the time. In fact, I look for the opposing viewpoints and speculate about the many different ways of experiencing life. I think that is creative.

What type of exercise do you enjoy?

Yoga and snowboarding. That is pretty much it. I guess spinning is ok too.

What’s your favorite dessert?

Ice cream. I’m not going to over think this one. Sometimes I get strong cravings for chocolate or baked goods (read: McDonald’s hot apple pie) but there is nothing I love more than good ice cream. Generally just plain vanilla, but I’m a sucker for strange combinations like corn & cinnamon. Yes. I had a delicious cinnamon gelato studded with corn kernels. I had a basil mint gelato once too. Yolo, man, yolo.

Where do you feel safe?

With James.

Do you enjoy horror movies?

No. Absolutely, positively NO. If you enjoyed horror movies, wouldn’t that mean you’re, like, evil on some level? Maybe not, but don’t tell me if you do because that would weird me out.

Where’s your favorite place to be touched?

Between my shoulder blades. Possibly the back of my neck just above my hairline, but that spot seems more intimate to me, so don’t go trying to touch me there unless you’re James.

What makes it hard to be friends with you?

I hide out in my house and I’m not good at making plans to get together.

What do people love about you?

I don’t know.

What’s your learning style?

I tied for Visual-Spatial and Intrapersonal.

What’s your Myers-Briggs personality type?


Is there anything you need to learn about yourself?

Yes. Always. ALWAYS.

Magic Dust

13 May

I walk out of the kids’ bedroom, having just put Bode to sleep for nap. Dagny is laying on the floor, halfway into the hallway from the “quiet room.” She queries, “Mama?”

“Yes?” I say, walking over to her and a plush horse with a rainbow mane and tail. Some of us know this horse as Starlight, Rainbow Bright’s beloved steed.

“I was just thinking we could get some magic dust to make this horse big and can talk.”

“I love your imagination.” I crooned, as I brushed back her hair and kissed her on the forehead, “but I don’t think horses can talk.”

“But where can we get some magic dust?” she continued. I confided that  I wasn’t sure that magic dust existed but she was determined. “But how can we make this horse big and can do things regular horses do?”

“You can do anything in your imagination, sweetie.” It was at this point that her precious face crumpled and she began to dissolve. I crouched down to embrace her, and she sniffed, “But I’m not magic, I’m just an ordinary girl!”

“That’s the best thing you could be sweetie.” She was not to be consoled, but agreed to try to fall asleep, that maybe she could dream of where to find the magic dust.

Funny thing is, these little moments are indeed full of magic, and despite myself, it breaks my heart that magic can’t quite bring her horse to life. But it does infuse me with it, and today, like most days, I badly needed an infusion.

Dags & Starlight

Music, these days.

24 Sep

I hear the lyrics, the beat, and I recognize the passions, intensity, frenzy. Can’t feel them. Can see, remember, nostalgia. A passing train. Nothing stirs. Molasses. Tar pit. Black & white movie.

90 Minute Makeover

22 Sep

Fresh pink, and lash & brow tint makes me happy.


I just hope that pink stays bright after it dries.


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