5 Small Steps to a Simpler Closet (and Safer Planet)

Earlier this week, I shared a post about my family's Sock Scavenger Hunt. I paid my kids actual money to track down every sock in our house, so that we wouldn't have to go buy more. And...it worked!  This exercise was related to growing concerns about textile waste. In addition to wanting to scale back the amount of stuff in our house, I am trying to be more conscientious about where my clothes come from: and the related environmental and humanitarian impact of what I consume.Here's what I've … [Read more...]

Lost and Found: A Parable In Socks

You know what was great about living in the desert all those years? Among other things--not having to wear socks. Ever.Maybe occasionally with running shoes or hiking boots, if you were going out on a trail. Because, you know, rattle snakes. But otherwise, it was 10 months a year of sandals. Glorious, breezy, open-toed, sock-less freedom.Sure, I love a warm fuzzy pair to wear around the house on a cold winter day. But even better was the complete absence of cold winter days. For the most … [Read more...]

Watered Down

True story: my husband and i were out having dinner at a nice restaurant. Which is hard to find in the desert suburbs. There's an Applebee's, Olive Garden, and TGi whatever on every corner, but anything without a namebrand can't seem to afford the real estate. Anyway--if i recall, it was our first night out after the second baby. It was a spur of the moment thing.  We called a last minute babysitter and were instantly transported to a leather booth with mood lighting and an excellent steak. On a … [Read more...]

Those Guys are Awesome

Like many Americans, I spent a small slice of my life in the service industry. Several summers waiting tables, and nearly a year at hotel. I could spend days telling stories--good, bad and ugly--of the people i encountered in that time of my life. But in the interest of the broader message here, I'm going to share just two:The Bad Tip:  It was a Sunday lunch shift. The 'after church' crowd who, in southeastern Kentucky and elsewhere in the Bible belt, are also known as the worst tippers e … [Read more...]

The Rhythms of Grace

Last week, I signed my 4-year-old daughter up for her first dance class. !!  I bought tights and leotards, and she's been wearing them around the house for weeks now. I'm trying to teach her the grande jette. Because, you know, it is always preferable to begin the (beginner, toddler, community center) class from a more advanced perspective than your peers.Oh, yeah. I'm going to be that mom. Consider yourselves forewarned.Thing is, while the 'retired' dance teacher in me is thrilling at … [Read more...]

Practicing Gratitude

I've gotta say... for all the junk and crazy-making stuff that floats around on facebook, i'm finding the daily 'thankful' posts a blessed relief. In case you haven't noticed--many people challenge themselves, during the month of November, to give thanks for something every day of the month.  People share their gratitude for everything from health and family to simple daily blessings--good food, good coffee, the smell of laundry on a weekday evening. All told, sifting through my newsfeed these da … [Read more...]

Saving Space

'Tis the season...not quite for the holidays (although, don't get me started on the radio station that played "Feliz Navidad" on October 1st). No, in Phoenix its the season when people can finally venture outside after months of hibernating in climate-controlled spaces. Parks are buzzing with activity, grills are smokin', and all over the valley people are cleaning out closets and garages for that mainstay of community life: the yard sale.On any given weekend, you can find one on every corner … [Read more...]