Tuesday, February 8, 2011

{ Is Anyone Out There? }

For anyone still checking this blog or being notified of new postings, I will be resuming my musings at a new blog soon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

{ Summer Lamenting }

It's mid-August and we haven't put up any food for the winter. As I shared earlier, we have decided that due to our crazy busy schedules that we wouldn't grow any food this year. But the summer is nearly over and we have yet to freeze or can a single thing. The other day I was in our local market and was pleasantly surprised to find that much of the frozen goods are both local and organic. We are blessed to live in a community with markets that respond to our local values. But still, my heart was a little heavy today as I walked through the laundry room and spotted our canning pot and three dozen canning jars, brand new. Maybe this weekend I'll find time to make some spaghetti sauce and get that canned and freeze some plums. Plum tart at Christmas...oh, that sounds good.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

{ Check our Prima Bistro's New Blog }

Prima Bistro-our most favorite local eatery ever- has a brand new blog! We encourage everyone to visit! And if you are lucky enough to eat at Prima we recommend in summer the Burrata and Tomato Salad. YUM!

Friday, July 17, 2009

{ Bean Up The Nose Art is Launched! }

"I don't have a bean up my nose."

Years ago when I still owned a small retail shop on my little island a lovely woman wandered in one day. We chatted, she returned and became not just a customer but part of our tribe. A few years ago she was dreaming aloud of leaving her "real" life and coming out into the world anew...as the artist we all knew her to be. It is with great excitement that I share with you all her new venture. Bean Up The Nose Art - the name derived from a true story in Tamara's childhood - can be found on Etsy and for Northern California readers visit Avatar in Fairfax.

Having been the recipient these awesome handmade, one of a kind pieces, I can tell you that every piece is frame-able but practical too. I just love that! Something beautiful, unique and useful. What can be better? So take just a moment and visit Tamara's online store. While I'm positive you'll find something you just can't live without, you will also be introduced to an amazing woman as she embarks on a new exciting adventure! Go, Tamara, Go!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

{ Gloria Steinem ROCKS Seattle! }

(Awesome photo by Tom Marks, 2008)

Hedgebrook (a women's writing retreat that I am lucky enough to be associated with) will be hosting a Dialogue with Gloria Steinem...did you hear that? G-L-O-R-I-A S-T-E-I-N-E-M. Next week, July 10th in Seattle at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall. Tickets may be purchased through the Hedgebrook website - along with other really cool stuff (like custom blended tea from our own Island Tea Co!) You KNOW I'll be there! Hope you are too!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

{ Gearing Up for Big Change }

As mentioned before, change is on the distant horizon in this household. We will be losing 40-50% of our guaranteed income by this time next year. Perhaps we will be able to replace it but that isn't the focus. The focus is on preparing for the inevitability of it and shifting our life so as not to not miss it. First, let me say how fortunate we are to have time and forewarning. So many people have lost their jobs unexpectedly and without savings. We have the luxury of knowing and time to plan.
We are currently spending about 85% of what we bring in. That includes long term retirement savings, maxing out IRA's, paying off short term debt before this shift happens and squirreling away short term savings. If we assume that the debt is gone and the short term savings is adequate (and by that I mean 12 months of essential payments) by this time next year the 40% loss in income will actually only require us to cut our monthly expenses by about 10%. Our intention is to not focus on cutting stuff out as much as it will be about redefining what is fun. Current forms of entertainment are eating out, hosting dinner parties and "junking". We travel 2-4 times a year to see family and take about 4 long weekends away. If we eliminate eating out to special occasions only, expand the garden capacity and have more potlucks I think that we will save about 5-7% a month. If we fly to see family only once a year and limit our weekend travel to just day trips, well, that's more than the other 3-5% right there.
But how not to miss it? Well, to be honest, we have the life we do right now because of the money that we make. In order to have the extra income, the other half of this household spends 12-13 hours a day either working or commuting. (This is an island after all, you have to get to "America" somehow!) While we can't eliminate commuting costs (the job is still "on the other side", there's just 40-50% less of it) having someone else home by 3:00 every day is a big difference than having them home by 6:30. Suddenly, food production is, well, less of a production. Garden bounties don't have to be all or nothing taking up full weekends...they can spaced out for small daily harvests. (One of the reasons we downsized the garden this year.) Errands and housework can be more evenly distributed, leaving more time for my own work. There are hidden ways that money can be saved simply by being home more. We learned that years ago when I quit my job to go back to school. This change isn't about losing anything at all. It's about gaining back time and quality of life that we have forgotten.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

{ Time Waits For No Woman }

I've been reading, "The Gift of a Year" with the Women Take Wing book club and I must say it's stirred a lot up for me. Perhaps losing yet another friend to cancer, being so incredibly overwhelmed with work (not a bad problem but still exhausting) and try to create balance in my life has brought me this point where this book is a good reminder. Time is a gift and should never be taken for granted. I LOVE LOVE LOVE what I do but shouldn't be one dimensional. The things I love and cherish most have been in the background too much lately. This week I want to refocus on the following things:
My body- I will begin my walking again.
My brain - I will read each day.
My creative side - I will do something each day to re-engage the artist in me.
My love of the garden - I will spend time each day in the garden.