sleeping bag

Post series on The One, my list of 100 essentials for living simply and living small. #simplicity #100essentials


I truly believe every person needs a sleeping bag.  You never know when the power might go out in the winter, a tornado might blow through your house, or your dog might barf all over the normal blankets late at night  — and I have used this sleeping bag in all three instances.

I love the Kelty because it is light, warm, mostly mummy shaped, but without the “hood.” It is small enough to fit in my emergency backpack when needed, but large enough to be completely comfortable for this this “slightly” claustrophobic gal. At just $60 bucks it is a good investment without breaking your bank.



Reading: Die Dritte Hand (German), The Nature of the Beast (Gamache, L Penny), At Home in the World (M Guenther)

Listening: A Swiftly Tilting Planet

Watching:   —-


putting together a capsule wardrobe

A few weeks ago I answered questions that helped me establish some parameters for my capsule wardrobe. I took everything out of my closet, tried it on, and judged each piece of clothing.

This week is much easier. I am putting together a list of what I have, what I need, what might make for some “chic” outfits, and taking the NOs to the donation drop-off. I ended up with 4 small grocery bags for donation. These were mostly things that were too big or colors that were just wrong.

I started with the gardening/working outside clothes. I really only need a pair of shorts, a pair of capris, 2 t-shirts, a UV hat, and a UV over-shirt to make this work. I can wash one – wear one.  Good news! I have all this! All these went into a small shoebox size tote on my shelf.

Next onto exercise: This is about the same thing. I need 2 pair of exercise capris/shorts and 2 tank tops, plus my UV neon yellow bike shirt/jacket that helps vehicles and hunters see me. I need a good pair of trainers. More good news! I have all this too! These all went into a slightly larger tote on my shelf.

  • Champion knee-length exercise pants (Target)
  • Champion shorts (Target)
  • Champion tank x 2 (Target)
  • Trainers (Saucony Cohesion Grid)
  • Socks (Saucony Duo-Dry, no show)
  • UV/Reflective Yellow Long-Sleeve Bike Jacket (LL Bean)
  • UV/Reflective yellow short-sleeve bike jacket (LL Bean + I cut the sleeves)
  • Sports Bra x2

Actual Capsule Wardrobe ——



Neutrals/Column  — black and denim

Accent/Secondary — white, cobalt blue, green

Miscellaneous — navy, dark gray, red

Warm Weather 1st Layer Tops: 


  • White V-neck (LL Bean)
  • Added: white crew neck
  • Added: white with black stripes
  • Black V-neck (LL Bean)
  • Added: black crew neck
  • Added: black shell (Dillards)
  • Added: black shell with gray and cream (Dillards)
  • Green crew-neck (LL Bean)
  • Cobalt crew-neck (LL Bean)
  • Graphic T: Charcoal (Hogwarts Crest)
  • Emerald Green/Navy Shell (Dillards)


Warm Weather 2nd Layer Tops:


  • Red cotton cardigan
  • Black zip cardigan (LL Bean) — too hot for summer
  • Navy cardigan (LL Bean)
  • Green 3/4 sleeve cardigan (Dillards)
  • Green linen button up (Dillards)
  • Added: white open dressy jacket (Dillards)
  • Added: LL Bean open cardigan (green)

Weather Related Tops:

  • Black windbreaker (LL Bean)
  • Blue rain jacket (LL Bean)
  • Black/Charcoal Jacket (LL Bean) — too warm for summer
  • Denim Jacket (Dillards — Keeping this, even though it isn’t quite right)



  • Black trousers (LL Bean, perfect pant original)
  • Black trousers (LL Bean, perfect pant slim)
  • Black Capris (LL Bean, perfect pant)
  • Black Jeans (Lee, old)
  • Stone capris (LL Bean, perfect pant)
  • Stone trousers (LL Bean, perfect pant original)
  • Dark wash denim skirt (Dillards)
  • Gray wrap dress  — hmm . . .
  • NEED: Black skirt or LBD


Shoes & Purses :

  • Navy flats
  • Nude flats (hush puppy)
  • Black sandals (Clarks)
  • Sport Sandals (Clarks)
  • Brown sandals (Merrell)
  • black flats (Hush Puppy)
  • Black Loafer (Vibro-Barefoot)
  • Flip Flops (Teva)
  • Denim Tote (LL Bean)
  • Verde Side Effect (Tom Bihn)
  • Black Side Effect (Tom Bihn)
  • Verde Side Kick (Tom Bihn)
  • SwimSuit


Cool Weather adaptations — will sort through in September/October:

My cool weather capsule doesn’t look much different. It is basically long-sleeve t-shirts instead of short-sleeves and I’ll need a “chic” shirt option; the capris are stored and I’ll probably get a new pair of jeans and trousers; the sandals get stored and the ankle boots/shoes/snow-boots will come out; and the light-weight jackets will get put away and I’ll get out the down vest, puffer jacket, and storm coat.  I’d also like to get a fleece jacket for around the house.



Palm Sunday

It is right to praise you, Almighty God, for the acts of love by which you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. On this day he entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph, and was proclaimed as King of kings by those who spread their garments and branches of palm along his way. Let these branches be for us signs of his victory, and grant that we who bear them in his name may ever hail him as our King, and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives and reigns in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

–BCP, Page 271


preparing for FWtFL

Please Note: I no longer recommend this program. The reasons are legion.


On March 4 I began to prepare for my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program.  It starts tomorrow, so I have had 3 weeks of practice.  Here is an honest look at how I’ve felt over the past 3 weeks about varying parts of the program.


*How is IF?

  • 3/9/18 — I am going to hurt somebody this morning! I woke up knowing today was not just IF but a Low Macro day. Then I couldn’t find the strainer for the teapot so my herbal tea wasn’t “just exactly right” and my daughter made delicious homemade cherry turnovers (my favorite) at 9 am. 11 am seems so far away.  So very far away.
  • 3/14/18 — I’ve got this IF thing.  A couple cups of water, a cup of herbal tea, and I’m not thinking about food all morning anymore. Well, I still think about it, but it isn’t all consuming anymore.

*How is Carb Cycling?

  • 3/10/18 — One week of prep/practice and I think I understand the flow of the days. It should make next week a bit easier. I am learning to be hungry and be ok with that.
  • 3/18/18 — I’ve got the routine and I understand the numbers. I’m developing some meals that work for the different days.

*How is movement?

  • 3/6/18 — Who the heck thought up a Bulgarian Split Squat? They need to be illegal.
  • 3/12/18 — I really enjoy the long LISS after an intense HIIT.
  • 3/14/18 — I was able to do my whole strength training with the heavier weight.
  • 3/23/18 — Jumping from a 10 pound to 20 pound kettlebell might not have been a good idea. I think I need to step it back to a 12 or 15 pound first.  Good Lord, my biceps and triceps are hurting!

*weight loss? inches lost?

  • weight loss — 3 pounds
  • I have definitely lost inches.
    • Abs — 2 inches smaller
    • Hips, waist, Bust  — all 1 inch smaller
    • upper arms, thighs — both 1/2 inch smaller

I still have lots and lots of questions! Mostly my questions concern the correct amount of calories and how to set my macros.


Reading:  Die Dritte Hand (German), The Nature of the Beast (Gamache, L Penny), At Home in the World (M Guenther)

Listening:  A Wrinkle in Time

Watching: Krypton, Timeless

grocery kit

Post series on The One, my list of 100 essentials for living simply and living small. #simplicity #100essentials


My grocery kit includes: 4 grocery boxes, a handful of cotton canvas bags, cotton produce bags, and mesh produce bags. All this fits into a fairly large “picnic” bag. I store the picnic bag inside the TV stand. I only take the whole kit on my big twice a month grocery trips. For smaller trips I just grab a couple of the canvas bags.

The baggers at my local grocery store really love the boxes. I like to keep the baggers happy!


Reading: Mord am Morgen (German), The Nature of the Beast (Gamache, L Penny), At Home in the World (M Guenther)

Listening: A Wrinkle in Time (M L’Engle)

Watching: News,


Post series on The One, my list of 100 essentials for living simply and living small. #simplicity #100essentials


Here’s a post I wrote when this luggage was new: Trying Out Luggage 3

I have to say, my appreciation of this bag continues to grow the longer I use it.  It has fit under the seat of every flight I have taken, including some really small commercial airplanes. My tote bag/purse even fits beside it on the floor and in a pinch will fit on top of it under the seat.

Even if I pack it completely full, I am still able to lift it by the top handle to carry down the plane aisle. I find that easier than getting the handle up and pulling it behind me down the aisle.  Pulling it through the airport is a dream — I have never had it tip over. The feet on the bottom give it a solid base. It makes a very comfortable leg rest while waiting to board.

On my last trip it was loaded up with: 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of Capris, 1 dress, 4 t-shirts, 1 chambray shirt, 1 cardigan, sport sandals, underwear/bras/socks, pjs, toiletry organizer, small blanket for the plane, all my meds, device charging stuff + solar charger, phone stand, snacks (in one side pocket), water bottle (in the other side pocket), Kindle (front small pocket), 311 bag (tucked inside larger front pocket), and my purse (which I also tucked into the larger front pocket). I didn’t take a tote bag last trip so everything was in it!


Reading: Zurück in Zurich (German), The Nature of the Beast (Gamache, L Penny), At Home in the World (M Guenther)

Listening:  A Wrinkle in Time

Watching:  Fringe (now complete)



insulated water bottle

Post series on The One, my list of 100 essentials for living simply and living small. #simplicity #100essentials


Klean Kanteen was one of my first introductions to the eco-friendly world way back in 2007. When I found the company, I ordered one for each of us. We each had a small sports-cap topped water bottle that fit in our bike water bottle carrier. They were single-walled, narrow opening, and got banged up. But they still held water and we loved them.

When Michael started working I bought 4 of the big 32 oz bottles. He’d take 2 full ones to work every day. They worked quite well except on really hot days the water became warmer than lukewarm and in the winter they would freeze. So then we bought him a cooler to keep in the work truck. It worked.

I was truly wildly ecstatic when Klean Kanteen introduced their insulated & wide mouth bottles. I slowly began to switch us over. I love the color of mine. It suits me perfectly. I like the 12 oz size because it isn’t heavy even when full. It can tuck into my tote bag or the side pocket of my luggage. The smaller size also encourages me to not over-hydrate.

**Edited to add: Today my daughter brought a very lovely HydroFlask (insulated) home for me. I’ve been having some difficulty opening the lid on the KK. This one has a flip lid. I’m excited to try it.  I’ll update after I’ve had a chance to use it for a while.



Reading:  At Home in the World (M Guenther), Zurück in Zürich (German), The Nature of the Beast (Gamache, L Penny)

Listening:  A Wrinkle in Time

Watching: Fringe


thinking through a capsule wardrobe

More Simple . . . Less Stuff meets my Closet!

I have tried eight ways to Sunday to make my life and closet fit into the 333 parameters. You know what? It won’t. To lump April, May and June into one season in southeastern Indiana is pure folly.

Why, you ask? Because it might be 40* on Sunday and 84* on Monday. Our temperatures and humidity vary so widely from day to day. Six years ago (the day of our tornado) we had a Friday high of 82* and a tornado at 3:30. That night we got 4 inches of snow. No power, no windows, no roof — and snow! It was a mess.  Truly.  By Saturday afternoon the temperature was back up in the 50s.

It is late March and I have taken all my warm weather things out of their storage tote, washed, hung to dry, and spread out over my bed in piles. I have created some questions and done some research on body shapes, color analysis, and spent way too much time reading style blogs.

Here are the results —

Step One:

Body Shape and Type:
1. I am petite (under 5’3′).
2. I am “busty.”
3. I am a figure 8 if you look closely at my lines: shoulders and hips are the same number of inches, clearly defined waist (although it is also where I hold weight).
4. I am equally proportioned head to leg-break and leg-break to floor. Within that I have a long neck, short waist, and long shins.

Best Colors to Wear:
1. I am a cool (veins in my wrists look blue not green).
2. My hair has definite ash tones (Courtney, who cuts my hair, says I am going silver not gray.)
3. I have pink tones in my skin and I blush something fierce!
4. I look better in clear, rich (saturated) tones. Pastels and yellows make me look ill. Although, I look pretty good in my neon yellow bike shirt. I used to wear a lot of brown (before my hair started turning), but now it makes me look tired, especially if it is a tan or orangish brown.
5. Black and pure white look pretty good on me. I always get compliments when I wear a bright emerald green, cobalt blue, or some reds.
6.. I “think” that makes me a winter. — Cool Winter probably, but it might change a bit as my hair continues to gray.


My Lifestyle, Roles, and Activities:
1. I am a stay-at-home gal: cleaning, gardening, reading, writing, coaching clients, etc
2. I exercise: walks, yoga
3. I run errands, go to church, go to my Spiritual Companion Group, doctor appointments, lunch out with friends/family
4. Also as my vision loss continues, I need everything to match everything else. No outliers to trip me up and make me look like I got dressed in the dark.

What Do I Like, Dislike?:
1. I like comfort, natural fabrics, flat shoes, cardigans, weather appropriate, soft, fitted (but not tight).
2. I dislike: buttons (arthritic hands), to feel constricted, anything stiff, anything itchy, tags, being hot or cold, deep V necks, deep scoop necks, heels

I want to be . . . My favorites make me feel:
1. I want to be: tidy, clean, down to earth, steady, calm, neat, capable, friendly
2. My favorites make me feel: slim, confident, comfortable.

Therefore my basic style is relaxed and casual. With proper accessories and a few special pieces relaxed and casual can be chic when appropriate.

Step Two:

Dressing as a busty 8: 
1. Keep details above my waist.
2. Vertical details below waist.
3. Keep lower half straight (with a slight flare below the knee if at all).
4. large chunky jewel-line necklaces or a grouping of smaller necklaces.
5. All volume above bust.
6. Thin, lighter scarves
7. soft, knit blouses and sweaters
8. Shirts stop at natural hips
8. Best neckline are V-necks and crew neck (below collar bone): no high buttons, no high crew necks, no thick cowls, no pockets on chest, no turtlenecks.
10. Think columns of color : black pants, black cardigan, colored t-shirt or blouse, and black shoes. Dark wash denim pants, navy cardigan, colored t-shirt, blue shoes). Also reverse columns — although to this newbie, this isn’t as easy to recreate with a limited wardrobe size, which is a priority for me.

Closet Time
1. Take everything out. Everything!
2. Try on everything. Everything!
3. Ask: Does it fit? Is it in good shape? Is it one of my colors? Is it right for my body shape and type? Is it right for my lifestyle? Do I love it?
Any NO means it goes in the donate pile! Although I kept a few things that were “no” for garden work.


That’s enough for today. I’ve done all the above and now it is time to hang everything up and have dinner. More next week when I get practical.


keep cup

Post series on The One, my list of 100 essentials for living simply and living small. #simplicity #100essentials


My Keep Cup is a 12 fluid ounces, barista standard, glass reusable coffee cup–what’s not to love?

In the past year Keep Cup has removed 3,735,715 disposable cups from circulation.  The plastic used in 20 of those cups would make 1 Keep Cup lid. Even if the disposable cup is recyclable it takes a commercial compost facility to compost it — you can’t just stick in your compost bin at home. That means energy is used to compost it.  This is not an ideal situation.

The Keep Cup is a great solution. It feels like a “Starbucks” cup in your hand, yet it enables you eliminate the disposable cup. I’ve never had any barista complain about this cup. Before this cup, I did occasionally have problems with them complaining about the size or shape of my old mug.


Reading:   Zurück in Zürich(German), At Home in the World (M Guenther), The Long Way Home (Gamach #10, L Penny)

Listening: Speaker for the Dead

Watching:  Fringe



Post series on The One, my list of 100 essentials for living simply and living small. #simplicity #100essentials


My purse is a Tom Bihn Side Effect. It is quite small and forces me to be deliberate about what I carry. It is light enough that I can carry it for miles and miles. It is water resistant so I don’t have to worry about things getting wet (unless it is a gully washer and then all bets are off). The strap can be adjusted so that it is long enough to carry cross-body and can be shortened to fit just under my arm. I have another strap that makes it a wristlet/clutch, and yet another that can be used around my waist like a fanny pack.  It is quite versatile.

The purse has one zipper compartment on the outside that holds my iPhone 7 (with plenty of room) and it has an O-ring. The inside has 2 pockets (one holds my Tide stick and pen then other holds my eye drops, lip balm and pocket knife). The main pocket has four O-rings. I attach my slim wallet to one with a double carabiner. My keys are attached to a second with another carabiner. My reading glasses, pen, a pouch with my ear buds, and a tin of Dr. Bronners’ hand salve fits in too. My sunglasses slide in on top of the rest.

In fact, I love this purse so much I have two. A Verde (green) with purple interior, and a black with green interior.

When I am going somewhere and need more “stuff,” I just throw my Side Effect into my tote bag and head out the door.


Reading:  Walzer in Wien (German), At Home in the World (M Guenther), The Long Way Home (Gamach #10, L Penny)

Listening: Speaker for the Dead

Watching:  Fringe