Choose what your version of minimalist will look like and quit being a slave to your stuff!

Minimalist in a Tiny House

First, allow me to clarify.

I am not a minimalist.

I have  more than the 100 items that most die-hard minimalist do.

However,  I am working toward my vision of a minimalist lifestyle in a tiny house (or church as the case is for me, click this link to read more about that).

 I view minimalism as having what you need, no more no less, in surroundings that inspire and calm you. It is being free of the joy sucking chore of taking care of all that stuff. 

MInimalist living

The average American home has tripled in size in the last 50 years. Yet our family size has steadily shrunk.

25% of Americans with 2 car garages do not have room to park their cars in inside them and 32% can only park one car.

1 in 10 Americans rent off site storage. The fastest growing segment of the real estate industry over the last 4 decades is storage buildings for our stuff!

The average American 10-year-old owns 248 toys. 248!

Shopping malls outnumber high schools and 93% of teenage girls rate shopping as their favorite pastime.

Americans spend 1.3 trillion dollars a year on nonessential items, in other words, things they don’t need. Trying to buy a little piece of happiness.

Shopping for that missing part of their soul.

These statistics paint an alarming picture of excessive consumption and unnecessary accumulation. I have participated in it myself…. it felt like the life was being sucked out of me. The more stuff I had, the fatter I got and the more out of control I felt.

Cause you know what my friend?

Happiness can’t be found in a closet full of shoes or a piece of cheesecake. It can only be found within you.

It is time to get back to the basics……….

to spending more time and less money on our family……..

to stop being a slave to all of our possessions

…….and our DVR.

It is time to stop spending our precious hours on cleaning, organizing, shopping, working more hours, so we can buy more crap to clean, organize, and stuff into our already too full closets, basements, garages, storage buildings, and attics.

The more stuff you own the more it owns you.

Choose what your version of minimalist will look like and quit being a slave to your stuff!

Each one of us will have different interpretations of what being a minimalist is. All that really matters is your version is true you. Right now, I am a self-proclaimed minimalist living in a 3,000 square foot home. We are downsizing to a 1,300 square foot “tiny house” that is true to me and my life.

****update**** We have lived in our little church home for six months. It is as wonderful as I had imagined it would be. 

Be brave my friends. Live your best life.

You only get this one life, live it!

Thank you for taking the time to read my words. It humbles me. 

Shares and likes appreciated, never expected. 

Sending you love


Love this blog! Funny and sincere.

Don’t Be A Crappy Person

As the mother of 3 boys, and having had my hand in raising a few other pretty awesome people, one might think I had the “not raising a crappy person” thing figured out.  I mean, I have 2 adult children and nieces who are text-book examples of not  a crappy person. So the 3rd boy should easy peazzy….right?

One would think.

Bu kids are all different. I’m sure you have heard the saying you can’t put your foot in the same river twice? Yeah well, that applies to kids also.

Back to boy 3.

He’s a smart kid. He has been known to convince me to do some crazy things using his well articulated, heart-felt, ability to communicate. So you understand when I say to this brilliant boy of mine:  “tell me 3 things you are grateful for today”  and he replies “I don’t know.” It left me a little confused.

Hummmm, let me think about this….we have done this about 1000 times in your life, I am pretty sure you do know.

But I play along. I list several things he could be grateful for and say again: “tell me 3 things you are grateful for.”

Again…..”I don’t know.”

He will not answer. What he does communicate very effectively is this: he is not being forced to take part in this gratitude practice. He is not mad or upset or emotional. He just point-blank will not engage in the conversation.

D@mn this kid!

After some serious soul-searching: I had an epiphany. I was doing exactly what I hate to see other parents do.

I was trying to make him me.

I cringe when I see parents engaging in this. Be it sports, academics, looks, talents: whatever it is: I watch these poor kids squirm under their parent’s expectations. Always striving to meet the expectations set for them. Or, as boy 3 did, they completely refuse to participate.

I was sitting on my spiritual high horse, doing exactly what I judge other parents for doing.

D@mn,the kid ain’t the problem, it’s me!

I was making this parenting gig harder than it is.  He doesn’t have to grow up to be Gandhi or Eckhart Tolle.  My deepest desire for the children I love is for them to acquire one thing: happiness.

And accomplish one goal:

Don’t be a crappy person.

Examples of crappy people? Think ISIS, Nazi’s, Westboro Baptist Church, child molesters: all the obvious ones. Then the less obvious, the one making fun of the gay kid, or chubby kid, really anyone that is making fun of another is pretty much a crappy person.

You may also quality as crappy if you witness someone being harmed and do nothing. We can’t stop all the bullies of the world: but we can make sure their victims do not have to stand alone.

I am slightly overly judgmental on this one; but,  if the shoe fits,……….those who litter, crappy people.

My sister used to say “You can tell all you need to know about a person that litters: they are self-absorbed and lazy.” I would change it to “they are self-absorbed, lazy,  and pretty much a crappy person.”

So how, boy 3, are you not to turn into a crappy person?

I have a few simple suggestions.

Cause no harm. Even if it is a spider on the sidewalk: it is not right to kill something just because you are afraid of it. Now, if that spider is in your bathtub, different story. It invaded your space and we all have to have safe spaces.

Realize you are no more, or less, important than anyone else. Unless there is a tree branch impaled in your body or a bone protruding from your leg: your needs and wants are no more important than everyone else’s. Don’t get me wrong, your needs and wants should be taken into account, but no more than anyone else.

Be the one that says “no more” when a crappy person is spewing their crappiness on others. Even if you feel scared and your voice is shaking. Speak up.  Being afraid, and doing what’s right anyways, means you are brave and the ultimate not crappy person! If you get suspended, punched in the face, or something equally horrible for being a brave and not crappy person: I will take you to Disney World. I promise

Sincere and funny. Love it! Try to not raise a crappy person.

Pick the kid that never gets picked. Pick her because you know she sucks at sports or can’t spell worth a lick. She needs it more than you need to win that spelling bee or soccer game. Trust me on this, she needs it!

Give of your time, talents, or treasures. Give till it hurts, then sit back and learn the joy of giving. Few things in life can make you feel that good!

Put down your phone and talk to your grandparents. You will miss them when they are gone.

Help the pregnant woman, with the 3 screaming kids, that everyone is avoiding like the plague, load her groceries. You might be the reminder she needs that this parenting crap is hard, but it will be worth it in the end. You also might help her be more kind and patient with her children because you cared enough to help.

Don’t tolerate gossip. Small minds discuss people, great minds discuss ideas. Brilliant ,not crappy minds, discuss Harry Potter. 🙂

Say please and thank you, with sincerity, especially to the person being paid to help you.  Working with the public is hard work with little pay. Plus, crappy people tend to make service workers lives hell. Eat your burger with the unwanted ketchup on it, it won’t kill you, I promise. Or don’t eat it, you won’t starve to death. That little 16-year-old up there with 5 people in line, one crappy person yelling at her, and 3 others impatiently waiting: really needs you to not complain about the ketchup.

Show up when you say you will.  You are only as good as your word.

Enjoy differences in people, recognizing, deep down, we are all the same.   When you are in the company of someone who you cannot tell their gender, or they are covered in tattoos, or they have a red dot on their forehead, or wearing a burka, or their hair is shaven, or it’s bright purple and down to their feet:

Please for the love of all things holy: nod, say hello, and move on. It is none of your business.

I wish more parents would teach their child how to not be a crappy person.

Don’t complain.  There are 2 acceptable reasons for complaints to people outside of your family. (Even to your family do so sparingly.) 1. The person you are talking with is paid to fix what is ailing you. 2. You have a solution for your complaint, and you are willing to invest your time and effort into fixing the problem. If your complaint doesn’t fall into these two categories: shut it up buttercup.

*of course the branch impaled in your body, broken bone, or similar, scenarios, null and voids this suggestion.

Be kind.  if you employed this one thing in your every action and conversations,  it would make you not a crappy person. You wouldn’t even need all the other suggestions.

Take responsibilities for your mistakes. If you screwed it up, say so, learn the lesson, move on. Please, please, please, boy number 3, don’t be the person who misses the football and blames the quarterback, even if it WAS a bad throw. Your Momma is begging you!  Own it. I missed the ball. I didn’t study for the test. I misjudged the situation. I spoke about something I didn’t understand. I was lazy and didn’t show up. JUST OWN IT!

Listen  Hear what people are saying. Stop, look them in the eye, see them and hear them. They are sharing their story with you because they trust you with it. Be deserving of that trust.

Last but not least.

Once you proof  you are dealing with a crappy person, give them one more chance. They may have had a hard day, or month, or life. Second time, walk away. Period. No explanation needed.

Because dear, sweet, boy: when you mess with crap,  you end up smelling like sh!t!

Thank you for reading my words, it humbles me. If you enjoyed shares and likes are appreciated, never expected.

Sending you love and prayers for peace,



3 things gay children need from their parents

Advice on how to respond if your child is gay. This could save their life.

3 Things Gay Children Need From Their Parents.

My son is gay.

He is seventeen years old, trying to navigate his way in a small town.  I have made it clear to him, and everyone else, what they can expect from me.

1. He is not our family’s best kept secret.

I will not talk around him in conversations with others. I will not speak in code or vague language. I will not try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, and I will not try to spare the feelings of those who may be older, or easily offended, or uncomfortable.

Childhood is difficult enough, and most gay kids spend their entire existence being horribly, excruciatingly uncomfortable. I’m not going to put mine through any more unnecessary discomfort, just to make Thanksgiving dinner a little easier for a third cousin with misplaced anger issues.

When my son came out we came out as a family!

2. I will pray for him.

I won’t pray for him to be made “normal.”

I’ve lived long enough to know that for my gay son, that is his normal. I won’t pray that God will heal or change or fix him. I will pray for God to protect him from the ignorance and hatred and violence that the world will throw at him, simply because of who he is.

I pray that He shields him from those who will despise him and wish him harm; who will curse him to hell and put him through hell without ever knowing him at all.

Above all, I’ll pray to God that my child won’t allow the ungodly treatment he might receive from some misguided Christians keep him from being a Godly man.

3. I will love him.

I don’t mean some token, distant, tolerant love that stays at a safe arm’s length.

I love him in an extravagant, open-hearted, unapologetic, lavish, embarrassing-him-in-the-school cafeteria, kind of love. I don’t love him despite his sexuality, and I don’t love him because of it. I love him; simply because he is sweet, and funny, and caring, and smart, and kind, and stubborn, and flawed, and original, and beautiful… and mine.

My son is gay.

He may doubt a million things about himself and about this world, but he will never doubt for a second that his Momma is over-the-moon crazy about him.

God has created him and wired him, and placed the seed of who he is within him.

Psalm 139 says that He, “…stitched him together in his mother’s womb.” The incredibly intricate stuff that makes him uniquely him; a once-in-history soul, was uploaded into his very cells, and I LOVE HIM.

Many of you may be offended by all of this.

I know this may be especially true if you are a religious person; one who finds the whole topic disgusting. As you’ve been reading, you may have been rolling your eyes, or clicking the roof of your mouth, or drafting familiar Scriptures to send me, or praying for me to repent, or preparing to Unfriend me, or writing me off as a sinful, evil, hell-bound heretic… but with as much gentleness and love as I can muster;

I really could care less.

This isn’t about you. This is a whole lot bigger than you.

You’re not the one I waited on breathlessly for nine months.
You’re not the one I wept with joy for when you were born.
You’re not the one I bathed, and fed, and rocked to sleep through a hundred intimate, midnight, snuggle sessions.

You’re not the one I taught to ride a bike, and whose scraped knee I kissed, and whose tiny, trembling hand I held, while getting stitches.
You’re not the one whose head I love to smell and whose face lights-up when I come home at night and whose laughter is like music to my weary soul.
You’re not the one who gives my days meaning and purpose, and who I adore more than I ever thought I could adore anything.

And you’re not the one who I’ll, hopefully, be with, when I take my last precious breaths on this planet; gratefully looking back on a lifetime of shared treasures, and resting in the knowledge that I loved you well.

That is my prayer, my deepest desire, the motivation behind my every decision, my every action: that I protected him well, loved him well, that I sent him out into the world steadfast in the knowledge that he is loved and accepted.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read my words, it humbles me.

Sending you love.


*****I have been following John Pavlovitz blog for the last several weeks. He is a full-time pastor and blogger. I have enjoyed what he says, and it has guided me in my actions when my son came out gay. I have taken his blog and used it here to express, in a way I could never have constructed on my own, how I feel about my son and his journey. Please click the link below for his full blog post.

Anna Wess This is our song

This Is Our Song~ A Story By Anna Wess

Ms. Anna Wess, the mountain muse and regular old queen entranced me yet again. Weaving her tale, as only she can. Making me smile through tear filled eyes.

Enjoy the ride my friends…..

I was awakened by a familiar song, the same one I’ve heard coming from the mountain on mornings like this one, always this time of year, when summer is sleepy and old. The singing didn’t cease, even after I forced my bones out of the bed. I heard them all humming in unison, their small voices never lilting above the constant murmur of the only song they know. I was unable to discern any lyrics, so I listened more closely.

We will be gone away soon, they chanted. We will be gone away soon, and so will you.

But it’s just the way things have always been, and you know this, too. This is the last song of summer. We need no stirring dirge to remind us, but the legion of crickets keep singing. They never get tired. And they never forget the words. They will serenade us with that same sad song until they disappear into a silent November.

I think about this place, this home that I love despite that cricket song that always becomes the anthem of summer’s demise. People live fast here. Hard and fast, like summertime itself. It isus those crickets sing about. I don’t have to know the words to understand, for I am one of those summer people, too.

But even if that song sounds melancholy, a rush of butterflies fills my insides, and I recollect that the soundtrack of my life was recorded during these Indian summer days. We spent the awakenings of our young spirits beneath harvest moons and in the rows of wasted cornfields at dusk and in gymnasiums at high school dances after football games on Friday nights, back when we were oblivious to our mortality and the coming winter………..

Click to finish reading and explore more of Ms. Anna’s tall tales.

Thank you for taking your time to read my words, it humbles me.

Sending you love and prayers for peace,