Downsizing, Revising, and Realizing that Less Can Be More

“For me, decluttering and downsizing has caused shifts in my thinking and my habits. I don’t have to declutter; I choose to declutter.” Lisa Shultz, Lighter Living: Declutter. Organize. Simplify.

As to my downsizing, I started before it was truly needed. I moved to a small house after my husband died to be close to at least one of my kids. I went through an agonizing (at times) series of decisions to sell the house, land, excavating and farm equipment and many antiques and possessions that it took 40 years to collect. That move was not the end, however and a couple moves later, I am in a small apartment that feels cozy. I have to declutter at times, for in such a small space, a few items lying around look like a small tornado swept through.

I gave up a yard, a garden, perfect branches for bird feeders and acres to walk. But downsizing also opened up more time for the slowing down that is needed, and happens whether you’re ready or not. I live in a building with a multitude of older people from 55 years old and beyond. I would have been very lonely in my home in the country by now and probably unable to keep the fields cared for and the grass mowed. I miss the horses we had, but I miss them as enormous pets with enormous appetites and involving a lot of care.

Things change and you must change with them. if you don’’t, you will stay on the elliptical motion of day to day chores that go on and on, and become more and more difficult.

The downsizing has been down shifting. At a slower pace, I’m excited by the report that two ducks were spotted out front by our fish pond. I dash out to take a picture. I once had a very large pond and barely noticed the ducks in my busy years of working and raising a family. I watch for hummingbirds to return and study the fields to spot a new bird. I have dozens of pictures of the beautiful sunsets I see from my living room.

So life is very different these day—but it is still beautiful. Be kind to yourself, and to your neighbors. Upsize your living as you downsize your life.

A new couple in our neighborhood. Next plan—see where they have a nest!

Marching Into April

Winter has overstayed its welcome,

It’s time to send it on its way.

Tired of harsh winds and weather,

We long for brighter days.

Bring on the green leaves and blossoms,

Let the grasses grow wild.

Dig in the dirt for gardens,

As soon as the temperature’s mild.

Word Choices

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” – John Keating

It is time for some family members, friends, and I to choose our WORDS for 2023. We have done this for several years and it’s always interesting to hear what others decide upon for the next twelve months.

Last year my word was persevere, which means to persist in or remain constant to a purpose, idea or task in the face of obstacles or discouragement. I chose the word because I have many interests, but a hard time finishing some projects. I have two or three knitting projects that I have started and abandoned when other activities required my attention. Multitasking proudly most of my life, I have found that that is not my strong suit anymore.

Galatians 6:9 ESV And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. This verse was a motivator to me over a period of time.

Sometimes you have to stop and ask, “Why am I doing what I’m doing? Is it bringing joy to anyone or to me?” At this stage of life, I try to chose the activities that bring help and happiness to someone else as well as bringing me joy. Joy was my word a couple years ago. I feel I grew the year I chose that one. I gave up a couple things that had served their purpose, but were no longer accomplishing as much for others or bringing me satisfaction.

As far as perseverance, It helped me last year to stay on focus. In July, I had my first children’s book published after starting and laying the story aside for several years.

I can’t wait to hear your “WORD” and see what I can do with “presence”, my new word.I want to be more aware, more in tune with what is going on around me. Focus would have been another possibility for what I want to accomplish.

Seeking a slower, simpler life requires paying attention and being aware of surroundings so that my actions might have meaning.

My new cat, Beatrice, or Miss B. as I like to call her, is providing lots of playful fun for both of us. She finds great enjoyment in watching my wash spinning around in the washer or watching birds or fish on the TV or my computer. She is always “in the moment!”


Christmas Lessons

I’m not speaking of the lessons of advent,

Or the lessons and carols that many churches present as part of the Christmas season.

I’m thinking of lessons that I have learned through 80 Christmases:

  1. Even during the difficult times in my life, something spiritual, even magical happens at this time of year.
  2. A little spark of hope rises in me that is more insistent than usual.
  3. You don’t need a “mountain top” experience to be able to tell you faith story.
  4. When God seemed to be not listening or absent, I learned that I could have wound up hurt or in trouble so many times without His help.My lessons were often in the form of a near accident I avoided, no injury in a violent environment, or a kind teacher that gave me advice, a ride, etc. It couldn’t all be coincidence.
  5. As Christmas is seen faintly rising on the horizon, I am stirred to reflection and drawn to acts of kindness to others-my own, but by random persons as well. I love those stories. I especially like to see the acts of selflessness in people whom I don’t see as church people or religious. Something happens to all mankind–call it angels, magic, or “Pass-it-on” urgings; the results are the same. I like to recognize these kindnesses when I see them and thank the persons if possible.
  6. We should grab a little of that spirit as you see it. Soon enough the Christmas season will be past.
  7. Your stories can benefit others.
Photo by Pixabay on
Photo by Eugene Golovesov on

November Notes


It was Henry David Thoreau who said, “The thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of. The mite which November contributes becomes equal in value to the bounty of July.”

It was my mother who said, “Fall makes me sad as everything is dying.” Although that is true, I feel that it is also a time of slowing, of preparation, and of gathering. Thanksgiving finds most people sharing food and stories with family or friends. We are beyond the busyness of summer and not yet feeling pressed to do the busyness of the holidays.

November gives us permission to settle in for the winter, wear cozy socks, enjoy a fire, or read a book. This is especially enticing after the constant political ads we’ve endured.

As I attempt to finish my second children’s book, I look forward to sharing it with all of you very soon. The first, “Love Keeps a Promise” is available on Amazon.

Another Hat is Added

It seems like it’s time to rework my identity again.

I have become a great grandmother! A little boy named Henry

Has enriched my life immeasurably. He arrived several weeks early,

which kept the whole family in hopeful prayer for weeks.

He is home, thriving and of course–adorable.

And in other areas: Big News for this GGMa.

My other news is about my new author hat. I will wear it proudly after toying with a story for several years, starting and stopping, finding and losing a couple of illustrators, and finally seeing my book in print. The image above is from Amazon where you can purchase this children’s book. It is based on a true story of my former neighbor, Gloria, a young girl, and two cats.

So happy to join you all here on my blog again. For those few who actually like rhymes:

Willow, Willow, where art thou Willow? (My cat, remember?)

Are you hiding under the bed? Or perched on a kitchen chair?
There's no doubt you're here still,
For your hair is everywhere.

You play mean tricks on me,
In the middle of the night.
From tangling in the venetian blinds-
To turning on the light.

The light is a touch lamp on the dresser,
So it's easy for Willow to manage,
And I was sound asleep,
Which worked to her advantage.

As I jerked awake and swung my arms about, 
She seemed to find this funny,
So she jumped on my neck and pinned me down,
My mood was far from sunny!

I can't stay mad though because,
With her wide-eyed stare, she's adorable.
She is so pretty and amusing,
Though I find her behavior deplorable.

On Reaching Eighty Years

“One of the many pleasures of old age is giving things up.”

Malcolm Muggeridge

Muggeridge was a British journalist and his words caused me to ponder. Yes, it is a time to give things up. If some activity is no longer fun or you feel the focus has changed–let it go. Freedom and peace are the rewards.

That is not to say you should quit all activities. After all, exercise of both mind and body are important in staving off the plagues and pains of old age. Being curious and interested in new interests helps the mind to stay active.

Muggeridge also said, ” Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.” That comment has a lot to examine also. Even in old age, life will offer choices, to go along with the flow or to stand up and speak out for what you have learned, and what you have to offer from your years of experience.

Do You have trouble choosing your activities? I do because there are many choices out there. I’ve given up some volunteer work, but there is much to do in the day-to-day, help-your-neighbors kind of way. I’ve tried Mah-Jong, although I am not nearly as sharp as I’d like to be. I’ve tried more challenging knitting projects, etc. I’ve also given myself permission to chill and binge on a Netflix series once in a while.

That is the letting go part–not feeling like I’m being lazy or that my mom is behind me saying, “Did you finish your cleaning, project, writing?” You name it.

I’m definitely trading the expression “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) for “Joy of Missing Out” (JOMO). I shouldn’t have to feel guilty if I skip an exercise class or opt out of an outing with friends, right?

I’m eighty, healthy, happy and doing the best life that I can with God’s help.

Rebuilding (A HaiKu)

A new beginning,

I’ve missed writing and sharing.

Fresh insight is due.

The last few weeks have been challenging. I have struggled with my choices. I wanted to free up some time, but the activities that took up my time are all worthy pursuits. Once before I stopped my nursing license, then renewed it for the pandemic. I had a much easier decision when I gave up my anesthesia credentials as a CRNA. I knew that at my age, even 12 years ago, I had no business staying in the operating room as an anesthetist. Although COVID-19 is not over, it is much more manageable now. So I stepped back from a volunteer clinic and I am doing less vaccinations now…

What should I concentrate on now? No one knows their expiration date, but getting older has definitely brought it to my mind more often. I am soon to be a great-grandmother and I find that so exciting. I question if I’ve made any positive impressions on my family that will be remembered. I also want to be remembered as someone who enjoyed her life and had fun, faith, and valued family.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.–Anne Lamott, writer.

That is my nugget of inspiration for today.

Let’s keep in touch.

A Little Patch of Sunlight

I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1,2 (KJV)

I fell in love with that Psalm while traveling out west for the first time with my family. The mountains were so grand and the vast open spaces called to me. As we got out of our camper to stretch our legs, I twirled around on a hillside like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.

Since that day, I have been able to capture a little of that free, light feeling by visualizing those mountains. Today, the smaller mountains I can see also have that effect on my mood. The view from my window, hills snow-covered and bathed in sunlight, fills me with a sense of peace and the never-ending presence of God. I think about how the hills aren’t going anywhere and neither is the Lord.

My cat, Willow, has discovered her little bit of sunshine on a pillow on my bed. Just as her help must come from me, mine must come from God. The help comes from the hills because God made the hills. If we could see beyond each hill, we would see more clearly, and to the source of help.

Everyone needs a little sunshine in their day

Everyone needs a little sunshine in their day!