Showing posts from 2012


"There's only one very good life. The one you know you want and you make yourself. " -- Diana Vreeland Are you ready to live a very good life? Are you ready to make 2013 your best year yet? Then join me in January at East West Bookshop in Seattle and WRITE YOUR YEAR! Based on my manifestation writing class WRITE YOUR LIFE , this class is designed to help you create the life you desire this year, using writing as a tool for manifestation and change. You do not need to be a “writer” to benefit from this class, but you do need a willingness to look openly and honestly at your life, to forgive and let go, and to put words into action and to take the next step with courage. If you are ready, go here to register. Hope to see you there!


"Our problem is not that we do too little, our problem is that we do too much." --The Universe on Day 4 or 5 of my silent meditation retreat Last year Christmas ended in a closet, with many tears. My older son, worn out by too many presents, too many sweets, too much Christmas, just couldn't take it anymore and he broke down, running to his grandmother's closet to cry. I spent a good part of the day crouched there with him, trying to give him comfort and talk him out. It didn't help. Eventually he came out on his own, bounced back and had a pretty good time, but after that, I was done. Fifteen years of trying to make the three Christmases in a row thing work just wasn't working anymore. My husband and I agreed that day to do it differently this year. We had hoped to be out of town, preferably somewhere warm and tropical. It was not to be. Although I searched and searched - Google, Expedia, Kayak, TripAdvisor, etc., etc. - I just could not find th

3 Rules for Life

Three Rules for Life:  1) Be kind to yourself  2) Do not harm others  3) Purify your mind  -- S.N. Goenka I tried writing about my 10-day silent retreat at the NW Vipassana Center yesterday, but I couldn't do it justice. I got bogged down in the details and the essence somehow went missing. So instead of spitting it all out in one L-O-N-G post, I think I'll just share a few of the juicy tidbits over the next few weeks.  This quote is the first thing I "wrote down" at the retreat. Mind, I use the term "wrote down" loosely here. One of the precepts you agree to live by while at the retreat is "no sensual entertainments." This includes music, television, computers, cell phones, and, yes, pencils, pens and journals. Woah, talk about hard. Everyone thought the silence was going to be the tricky part. Being silent is easy because no one else is talking. No one else is even looking at you so the temptation to talk is really quite rare

Wisdom from Master Shifu

"Anything is possible if you have inner peace." --Master Shifu from Kung Fu Panda 2   Master Shifu's Inner Peace :)

Wisdom from Pema Chodron

" Any wisdom we have is all mixed up in what we already have." -- Pema Chodron

Wisdom from Chuck Pettis

"In prayer, we talk to God. In meditation, we listen." -- Chuck Pettis

Wisdom from Jacqueline Winspear

"Be still until there is nothing." --Jacqueline Winspear, from her book "The Mapping of Love and Death"

Wisdom from David R. Hawkins

"A mind that's being watched becomes more humble and begins to relinquish its claims to omniscience - a growth in awareness can then take place." -- David R. Hawkins, MD, PhD, from his book " Power vs. Force "

Wisdom from Anodea Judith

"Use stillness to effect change." --Anodea Judith

Wisdom from Wallace Stevens

"The way through the world is more difficult to find than the way beyond it." -- Wallace Stevens

Wisdom from Cat Stevens

"...[T]he answer lies within, so why not take a look now?" -- Cat Stevens

Wisdom from The Universe

"Extend yourself, expecting nothing." --The Universe to me in a meditation on 11/17/11

Wisdom from Ahjan Chah (and Jefferson)

"If you haven't wept deeply, you haven't yet begun to meditate." -- Ahjan Chah

10 Days

“Have faith in the stillness my friends, it is good for you and it is good for those that live and work around you.  Think of it like this: Imagine a light bulb over and above your head as you are entering a darkened room.  Before you enter the stillness, this light is very dim, just a glowing filament and It is difficult to see the path with only this dim light.  As you sit and clear the mind of chatter, imagine that the light is becoming brighter as the mind becomes quieter.  After stillness, the light is recharged -- bright and brilliant, lighting up the room where it is easy to see and where others can safely walk as well." --The 11:11 Progress Group Later today I will be starting a 10-day silent meditation retreat. I am excited. Nervous. And a little bit unsure. Can I really do this? Can I really be silent and meditate for ten days? And that's it folks. Just meditation. For TEN DAYS. No books. No music. No internet. No TV. No conversation. Just meditation

Small Kindnesses

"Every kindness I received, small or big, convinced me that there could never be enough of it in the world. Kindness can change the lives of people." --Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Daw Aung San Sun Kyi , a Burmese pro-Democracy leader who spent nearly 15 years under house arrest as a political prisoner ( with thanks to my friend Jonathan for the quote.... ) I wasn't planning to talk about kindness today, but my friend Fiona has a new edition of her book, "Small Kindnesses" coming out today (and a FREE download on today only!) and I want to support that. Plus, as we move into the holiday season with all of its hustle and bustle, it is easy to forget to be kind. Some of the greatest kindnesses that have been shown to me in my life have been the small ones. Last night my husband walked the dog for me when I was exhausted and couldn't imagine doing one more thing. It was such a gift that at that moment I would not have exchanged this small kin

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Just for today, do not worry. Just for today, do not anger....Show gratitude in everything." --Dr. Mikao Usui

Wisdom from Amara Rose

"Be grateful for all the challenging people in your life–bosses, co-workers, in-laws, children, friends–because they're your greatest teachers. These relationships are difficult precisely because of your resistance to the lesson, which might be about compassion, self-worth, generosity, or unconditional love." -- Amara Rose

Wisdom from "happy"

"The formula for happiness is not the same for everyone, but the good news is the things we love are the building blocks of happiness. Play. Having new experiences. Friends and family. Doing things we love. Appreciating what we have. These are the things that make us happy - and they're free. And with happiness, the more you have, the more everyone has." --From the movie " happy "

Beyond Left vs. Right

"Where things are not equal, balanced, or healthy, they need to be let go of or re-negotiated." -- Divine Harmony   Over the past couple of years I have begun to notice how very right-sided I am. For forty-three years I have done almost e verything with my right hand. I brush my teeth with my right hand. I text with my right hand. I scrub pots and pans with my right hand. I scoop up my kids with my right hand. I write with my right hand. And I had never even noticed the imbalance this was creating in my body - and in my life - until very recently. Suddenly I became very aware that the nerves in my right arm felt tender after using the computer for a long period of time, that the right side of my body felt tense after a 30 minute swim, that my right calf felt tight after a run, while the left side of my body still felt strong, healthy, and loose after these same activities. Once I noticed it, I couldn't not notice it, and it became more and more clear that the two

Mindful Writing Day & FREE BOOK

"When you notice something clearly and see it vividly, it becomes sacred ." --Allan Ginsberg Today is the first-ever Mindful Writing Day , a day set aside to slow down, pay attention, and write about what you observe in those moments of stillness. Won't you join us?  For more information, follow the link above or go to Writing Our Way Home . Today is also free download day at of the new small stones anthology, " A Blackbird Sings: a book of short poems ." So hop on over to Amazon and grab your free copy. Write a rave review - and your own small stone - and have it published on the small stones blogzine, A Handful of Stones . Then sit back, relax and enjoy that feeling that comes from being more mindful, more connected to your world. Here is my small stone for the day: home a steaming mug of tea i wait. i wait. i wait.... then, a splash of cream a sip i taste- a good read in a comfy leather chair a roarin

Wisdom from Mbali Creazzo, Fiona Robyn & some 5th Grade Writers PLUS A FREE BOOK!

"When you practice mindful connections with others your life feels meaningful and so it is." --Mbali Creazzo, from the book "29 Gifts: How a month of giving can change your life" by Cami Walker My friends Fiona and Kaspa over at Writing Our Way Home are having a busy week. They are hosting the first-ever Mindful Writing Day , they are preparing to teach not one, but two, mindful writing e-courses in November ( Finding Your Way Home and Writing & Spiritual Practice ) AND they are promoting our new anthology, :" A Blackbird Sings: a book of short poems ." Yes, I said our . One of my small stones is going to be published in this lovely collection of mindful moments. AND this book will be available for FREE download on for one day only, Thursday, November 1st. So hop on over to Amazon on Thursday and grab your free copy. Write a rave review - and your own small stone - and have it published on their blogzine,

Wisdom from My Son's Soccer Coach

"In time and space...if you just look for what's right - in others, in relationships, in yourself and your journey - you'll always find it. Same when looking for what's wrong." --The Universe, from Last week I sat and watched my son's soccer practice instead of just dropping him off with his coach. As I sat there, I was temped to read or check email or otherwise pass the time by doing something else, but I kept getting the message that I needed to watch. So each time the multi-tasking reflex struck, I gently reminded myself to focus my attention on the field. It soon became clear to me what I was doing there. I was there to watch a little positivity in action. My son's coach found something positive to say about everything that happened on the field that day. If a kid got his foot on the ball, even if it was ultimately taken away from him, the comment was, "Way to get in there." If a kid tried to pass and the ball went astr


"There's nothing wrong with being scared....long as you don't let it change who you are." --Grammie's Ghost in ParaNorman Some of the quotes I collect I write down because they teach me something, or give me hope, or make me smile; this one was like a kick in the gut. I know that throughout my life I have let fear change who I am many, many times. I have behaved in ways that are not the "me" I want to be because I was scared more times than I can remember or perhaps even count. I still do. We all do, I think. Fear may be the number one emotion that drives us here in the United States. And there is so much to fear. Crime. Disease. Job loss. Retirement. Natural disasters. Death. But I am not sure it is these larger fears that drive us day to day so much as the smaller ones: being found out, being known and disliked, being seen and rejected, being judged and found wanting. The irony, I think, is that if we did not allow our fears to change who

Wisdom from Maisie Dobbs

"Coincidence is a messenger sent by truth." --Jacqueline Winspear from her book " Maisie Dobbs " I have been reading a new mystery series, about an intuitive detective ("inquiry agent" as they say in Olde England) in the 1930's. The series is quietly brilliant, each novel holding my attention, but not requiring that I stay up until all hours to finish; rather savoring each one as it unfolds. And marking more than a few pages with notable quotes. This one, however, is my favorite: " Coincidence is a messenger sent by truth. " Ponder that for today and see what perks for you in your life. 

Stay Present, or Get Burned!

"When one is rising, standing, walking, doing something, stopping, one should constantly concentrate one's mind on the act and the doing of it. " -- Aśvaghoṣa I burned the sausages again today. It's the second time this week that I've burned the sausages because I wasn't paying attention . Here's my morning routine: I get up, take the dog for a walk, wake the kids for the first time and then start breakfast. My kids do better with a bit of protein in the morning, so I try to make bacon or sausage or eggs for them most mornings. I throw some meat in a pan and then I feed the dog, set the table, make lunches, wake the kids a second time and check the sausages .  But sometimes I get....distracted. Usually by my email. "I'll just check it 'real quick'," I say to myself. And the next thing I know the fire alarm is going off and breakfast is ruined. The thing is, I know this . I know that the secret to life is to stay p

On Fire!

"Meditate as though your hair were on fire. " --Pema Chodron Tomorrow night set your whole body on fire! Learn the Violet Flame Meditation at Mosaic Coffeehouse in Wallingford (4401 2nd Ave NE, 98105). 7:00pm - 8:00pm. The cost of the class is whatever you can pay, with 10% of all donations going to support Mosaic, a community coffeehouse in Seattle.  See the sidebar for more information on the Violet Flame Meditation . Hope to see you there!   

Meditation Class!

“ What you want in this lifetime, you must CLAIM.” – My guides Whenever I WRITE MY LIFE , what always comes up for me is this: WRITE. TEACH. COUNSEL. INSPIRE.  This is what I want to do with my life. Write books, essays, and poems that inspire. Teach people how to live their lives to the fullest. Help others find counsel in their inner guidance. Ignite the flame of inspiration in the hearts of everyone I meet.  But when it comes time to put my passion into action, I often feel stuck. It is so hard sometimes to work up the courage to take the next step. To get out there and DO IT.  This summer I made a commitment to myself to teach one class per month this year, but I have been wavering about teaching a class this month so I checked in with my guides and this is what I got:  "What you want in this lifetime, you must CLAIM."  What I took from this is that if I want to teach, I need to teach. No one is going to come to my door, grab me by the hand and say, "Let

Wisdom from Grace

 "Appreciate yourself." --My massage therapist I have been feeling unappreciated as of late. By my husband. By my kids. By the mailman (I am always super-friendly to him, but left to his own devices he pretty much does his job and doesn't bother with pleasantries). So when my massage therapist asked me what was going on for me emotionally right now, I told her how I was feeling and why. Expecting her to come back with empathy ("That must feel terrible.") or commiseration ("Those ungrateful people!") what I got instead was a radical reframe of the issue at hand. She paused for a few moments, as if really thinking it through, and then said, "What if you were to appreciate yourself for all you do?" At first I thought she was talking crazy. Appreciate MYSELF?!? Isn't the whole point of appreciation that it comes from someone else? Or is it? We all want to hear "Thank you," when we do something nice for someone else

Wisdom from Bill Clinton

“We believe ‘We’re all in this together,’ is a far better philosophy than ‘You’re on your own.'" -- Bill Clinton  I couldn't agree more Mr President :)

Wisdom from Hailey, ID

This will be the last post of the summer and I end it with one last piece of wisdom from our time on the road. This one comes from Hailey, ID (former home to Bruce & Demi). We stopped at the Hailey Coffee Company for breakfast one morning. They have great coffee, great pastries, AND great smoothies so everyone in the family was happy. A good stop indeed! They also allow customers to etch bits of wisdom into the wall. I found this one particularity inspiring that day as I had never really thought about it. I think most of us probably don't. We know we are getting older - we think about it, complain about it, take steps to mitigate it - but rarely do we enjoy the age we are today. Today IS the youngest you will ever be. Enjoy! And what better way to get started than with a day off from work? Have a very Happy Labor Day!

Wisdom from the Road

"Stay calm, nothing is under control." -- Lynnet McKenzie The theme of the month has been "Wisdom from the Road" - quotes gathered on our family road trip this summer. Today's quote is wisdom from someone else's road trip. Lynnet McKenzie is the founder of "Opening to Ecstasy," She recently left her home and most of her possessions behind to take off in search of the unknown. Just her, her partner, her son, their dog and a mini-van on the road, looking for their next Divine Assignment . The lessons have been many, but this is one that resonated with me. How often we strive to get things "under control" only to realize that this is not always possible, not always within our power. Yet, we struggle and fight to try and make it so. This is the true wisdom of the road. We are not in control. If we can stay calm in the wake of that realization, we can come to understand that The Universe that is wants nothing but what is truly for

WRITE YOUR LIFE Session 2 - Tonight!

WRITE YOUR LIFE Session Two tonight at East West Bookshop . Join us!

Wisdom from Black Elk

"Know the power that is peace." -- Black Elk , from the visitor's center at the site of Custer's Last Stand There are certain places on this earth that seem to carry the energy of the things that happened there: my grandparents' farm in Iowa , the former site of the Twin Towers , the city of Paris . The site of Custer's Last Stand, or The Battle of Little Bighorn is like that. Bleak, hot (on the day we were there), and preternaturally quiet, there is no doubt that this is a place where serious things happened. Where battles were fought and won, mistakes were made and men died. Where the hope of a people rose and then fell again.... In the midst of all this are these words from Black Elk, the famous Medicine Man of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux), who fought in the Battle of Little Bighorn when he was just twelve years old. Whose hopes no doubt rose on this day, but fell after the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. What does it mean to have peace under ext


Wow! What a great group of writers - 21 in all! - showed up on Wednesday to write their lives at East West Bookshop . I enjoyed getting to know you all and hearing about the role writing plays in your lives and where you would like to go from here. If you couldn't make the first session, here's what you missed: For a bit of inspiration we read Dear Sugar's column " Write Like a Motherfucker ." Then we each wrote our own "Dear Sugar" letter, to Sugar or our favorite advice columnist, about what we felt was the main thing holding us back right now or what we needed advice on to move forward in our lives. After a time of sharing, we came back to our journals, put on our advice columnist caps and wrote back to ourselves with some objective, kind and compassionate advice. (ADVICE TO MYSELF) Putting our advice columnist hats away, we shifted focus to Part Two of our mini-session: RELEASING YOUR STORY. In this section of class, we focus on letting


Today's the day! WRITE YOUR LIFE tonight at East West Bookshop.

Wisdom from Dubois, WY

"If we share what we have, we will all have enough." -- Opportunity Shop brochure from Dubois, WY My great aunt lives in Dubois, WY and I have always wanted to go there. On this trip, we made that happen. One of our stops was the "Opp Shop," as it is known in town, a thrift store that my aunt helped to found as a non-profit that benefits the local community. This quote rings so true to me and yet I know that like many profundities of life, it can be hard. Hard to believe. Hard to trust. Hard to truly live. But I am trying....


This is it! Only one week to go until we are going to write our lives together. Are you signed up yet? If not, click here to sign up. Hope you can join us! 

Wisdom from Hungry Horse, Montana

"We don't trust ourselves. We need to trust ourselves. Women especially." --Night Manager at the Mini Golden Inn in Hungry Horse, MT My family and I recently got back from a nearly month-long road trip. It was an amazing adventure and we are enjoying a little "down time" back home before the onslaught of supply lists and school shopping ensues. For the next few weeks I will be sharing some "Wisdom from the Road," quotes that I picked up on our trip. This first one is courtesy of the night manager at the Mini Golden Inn in Hungry Horse, Montana where we stayed on our way to Glacier National Park . She asked me for my license plate number and I went out to check, despite that fact that I already knew it. When I told her that she said, "We don't trust ourselves. We need to trust ourselves. Women especially." And I knew we had come to the right place.

Wisdom from Einstein


Wisdom from Audrey Hepburn


Wisdom from Rodeo Drive



Are you feeling STUCK, unsure about what comes next? Do you want to WRITE, but never seem to find the time? Are you ready to RE-CREATE your life, but don't know how? Please join me at East West Bookshop in Seattle on August 15th and 22nd and WRITE YOUR LIFE ! Over the course of two evenings we will take a look at where we are in our lives, where we want to go, and how to use writing as a way to get there. Whether writing is what you truly want to do, or "just" the means to your ultimate goal, this class can help you learn how to manifest that which you truly desire. Hope to see you there!

Wisdom from the Buddha


Wisdom from Yoda

This month I am going to be sharing some photographs from my recent trip to LA. Not traditional tourist fare, they are similar to what I am doing over on amite amoureuse , my Paris blog. Finding inspiration in the world around me and sharing it with you. I hope you will enjoy!

Quote of the Week - June 25, 2012 - Things Will Look Better in the Morning

"Tomorrow's another day. Sometimes that's your only consolation when today's not so good. Things can look different after a good night's sleep, or just 24 hours' passage of time. It'd be great if you could turn things around right this second, but that's just not always possible; when it's not, the best thing to do is just remember that everything changes. Stop railing against the lameness of the moment, and simply concentrate on getting through it. Bide your time. Notice the small little things that are still sweet, instead of the one big sour thing…and wait." --Caeriel Crestin from Sign Language According to my mom my paternal grandmother always used to say, "Things will look better in the morning." Apparently the Universe agrees. Things are not going to plan around our house right now and the Divine gift or purpose of it all is alluding me. There is a part of me that is pushing against "the way things are" hoping to

Quote of the Week - June 18, 2012 - My Purposeful Life

"Paradoxical as it may seem, the purposeful life has no content, no point. It hurries on and misses everything. Not hurrying, the purposeless life misses nothing, for it is only when there is no goal and no rush that the human senses are fully open to receive the world. " -- Alan Watts in The Sun magazine I am living a purposeful life this week. So purposeful in fact, that it is Friday and I am just now posting my "Quote of the Week." (For those of you who have been checking in this week, I do apologize....) Today is the last day of school for my kids and this week has been full of rushing and hurrying and doing and not a lot of purposelessness. The whole week has been full of purpose. And I am sure that I have missed a lot. I miss sitting and drinking tea. I miss doing yoga. I miss meditating. I miss reading. I miss just doing a whole lot of nothing. And that is what I am planning for next week. Nothing. A whole lot of it. That is not to say that I will

WRITE YOUR LIFE in Two Months!

Are you feeling STUCK, unsure about what comes next? Do you want to WRITE, but never seem to find the time? Are you ready to RE-CREATE your life, but don't know how? Please join me at East West Bookshop in Seattle on August 15th and 22nd and WRITE YOUR LIFE ! Over the course of two evenings we will take a look at where we are in our lives, where we want to go, and how to use writing as a way to get there. Whether writing is what you truly want to do, or "just" the means to your ultimate goal, this class can help you learn how to manifest that which you truly desire. Hope to see you there!

Quote of the Week - June 11, 2012 - City of Angels

"I don't know you, but I love you." --Lydia at Unity of Burbank I was in LA last week for the first time. I had never been before and never really had the desire to go. I still didn't really, but a class I had been wanting to take was being given there and then my sister decided to come out and meet me so it was all coming together. Then, the class was cancelled. Ugh. It was really hard for me to get over this. I had a plan gosh darn it. I was going to take this class, then the next one and then become a certified Akashic Records teacher. The Universe was messing with my plan. You have to laugh, of course, at my boldness, my arrogance, my naïveté. The Universe was messing with MY plan? I decided to go anyway, to spend some time with my sister and see what LA was all about. I couldn't have been more surprised! The people we met were lovely. Warm, friendly and eager to help. We met many Los Angeles angels along the way. Three angels on a bus helped

Quote of the Week - June 4, 2012 - It's just that simple

"No blame, be kind, love everything." -- Terrance Keenan My favorite quotes are always those that seem, to me, to be the answer to life, The Universe and everything.  There are just a few quotes that seem to be all I really need to know . And this is one of them. No blame. Don't blame anyone for anything, including yourself. The only purpose of blame is to cause guilt and never solves the problem at hand. It makes you a victim and not the powerful being that you are. Just don't do it. Be kind. In everything you do, be kind. Be kind when saying "No." Be kind when giving constructive criticism. Be kind when arguing. Be kind when angry. All of these things are possible, even if we think they aren't, and make life a lot more pleasant. I have started using this on my kids - when they ask for more screen time, when they refuse to eat their veggies, when they are pitching a huge fit about something - even as I tell them "No," explain the co

Quote of the Week - May 28, 2012 - The Game of Life

"It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game." --Old sports adage attributed to sportswriter Grantland Rice I have always believed this old adage. Or wanted to believe that I believed it at least... I am one of those people who tries not to appear competitive, but secretly really likes to win. I put this down to being a first born - we can nearly always beat our younger siblings at almost everything we play for a number of years so we get used to it - but I'm guessing it's also part of being a Capricorn, part of being designated "gifted" in elementary school, part of my familial conditioning, etc., etc. In other words, it's a part of who I am. Competition gets very interesting once you have kids. I noticed right away that at a certain age (around 5 or 6) my older son got really upset whenever he would lose a game, but he was especially upset when he would lose to me. I struggled with this - should I let him win to give hi

Quote of the Week - May 21, 2012 - What happens for one...

“On this earth we are connected one to another...such that whatever happens to one of happens to all of us.” -- Anna Grossnickle Hines from her book, "Peaceful Pieces" This is a poem called "Dominoes" that my younger son's class read last week on Friday for " Poetry Aloud ." They read it together as a class, one child starting and each child in turn saying "to another," "to another," "to another..." As I listened, the poem came alive for me. The idea of the poem came alive for me. I saw once again that we are all connected, we are all One and that whatever happens for one of us happens to all of us. Did you notice the Freudian slip there? I wrote, "whatever happens for one of us happens to all of us,"  when what I meant to write was, "whatever happens to one of us happens to all of us." But both are equally tr

WRITE YOUR LIFE this summer!

"Ask and you SHALL receive." --From Voice of Choices Jan 2006 (paraphrasing Matthew 7:7 from The Bible) For months I have been saying to myself, "I should submit a proposal to teach WRITE YOUR LIFE at East West Books (a local New Age bookstore)." And for months I have done NOTHING about it. Last week I was having my weekly check-in with my sister and I asked for her intuitive hit on this. Was it not happening because it just wasn't meant to be, or was I sabotaging myself because I was scared of it? She said that she was getting the latter and that perhaps I should ask my ego to step aside and let me do this thing I said I wanted to do. The next day I decided this was it, I was going to submit the proposal and go for it. Luckily they make it super-duper easy to do online and within 30 minutes I had sent the proposal off and given it to The Universe to decide what happened next. Twenty-four hours later I got an offer to teach an abbreviated versio

Quote of the Week - May 14, 2012 - On Simplicity

"Simplicity in its essence demands neither a vow of poverty nor a life of rural homesteading. As an ethic of self-conscious material moderation, it can be practiced in cities and suburbs, townhouses and condominiums. It requires neither a log cabin nor a hair shirt but a deliberate ordering of priorities so as to distinguish between the necessary and superfluous, useful and wasteful, beautiful and vulgar." -- David E. Shi Whew! Finding this quote was like sweet relief. I have been aching for simplicity recently and wondering how to find it. In my head I have a fantasy about a piece of land, far away from everything, and a little house that is off the grid (solar-powered perhaps) where I live with my family, growing our own food, homeschooling the children and just generally "living off the land" as they say. This fantasy only goes so far, however, when I remember that anytime in the past when I have tried to grow my own food, I soon grow weary of all the effo