Under the Sink

Under the Sink

Yes, it seems too early to start cleaning when there is a new coating (or more) of fresh snow…AND if you start now with one small project a week you will be ready to sit outside with a Mai Tai on the first nice day of Spring/Summer!

First, I must acknowledge Amy Jane Stewart and her company Organica Jane for teaching me about the dangers of toxic cleaners. Go to her site http://www.organicajane.com for details. She leads a “Home Green Home” workshop in the Rochester area every now and then and is a wonderful massage therapist and kind soul!

Using non-toxic cleaners is good for everybody everywhere! No worries about having to stay out of a freshly cleaned area for the smell. Using natural cleaners means children, pets, and you will not be inhaling fumes or touching toxic surfaces. No worries about using cleaning products near your food prep or food storage areas. Of course, no worries about what you are putting down the drain into our rivers and lakes. All good!

My suggestion is to use up what you have and slowly switch over to fewer, greener products…there will no longer be need for overly specialized “uni-tasker” products – you know – ONLY for the tub, or ONLY for the kitchen sink, or ONLY for the windows in the room where Mom stays – haha. If you really look around the next time you are in the cleaning aisle, you’ll see the hundreds of single purpose toxic cleaners designed to take money out of your pocket.

Go back to basics and free yourself from overflowing shelves and half used bottles! Stock your Under the Sink area with these items:

Baking soda (in the big box to save $), white vinegar, salt, Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap (or bar), Borax, Arm&Hammer Washing Powder, salt, essential oils (I like lemon, rosemary, peppermint and lavender for cleaning), distilled water for room sprays (tap water is ok for cleaners in my opinion), empty spray bottles (metal is best), rags (buy them or cut up old t-shirts – I have stopped using paper towels) cellulose/made from plants sponges, aluminum foil and steel wool. All of the above are at Wegman’s yay! Yes the rags have to be washed but it feels good to know I am not creating more trash or using trees to wash my house. I use the rags once then wash ’em – especially my dish towels – kitchen is the number one area for germs according to the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation), an OSHA accredited public health and safety org.

Finally, I am a huge fan of thieves oil as a degreaser (diluted in a spray) and in particular, Thieves Cleaner from the Young Living Company www.youngliving.com – you can buy this online at a retail price and do not have to join anything. You can also make your own thieves oil – a good recipe here on this blog, Mountain Rose -http://mountainroseblog.com/thieves-oil/. If you start really getting into essential oils, you can get brown glass bottles at Lori’s Natural Foods in Henrietta, NY to make your own oil blends – or online of course! A capful of Thieves cleaner in a spray bottle with water is perfect or add 20-ish drops of your own oil. Weeks of cleaning joy will commence. Check here for DIY spray and adjust accordingly for the size of the spray bottle: http://www.mamanatural.com/how-to-make-thieves-spray/

As with anything health related, do your own research and consult your Doc for your own reassurance…

Will it really clean? Will it really take care of the germs? Yes. The natural properties of these products  can do that – especially baking soda. There will most like be a transition in getting used to what you think “smells clean”…if you grew up thinking a bleach smell or a “pine-sol” smell meant clean, then it will take a few weeks to enjoy a new smell of lavender, mint or lemon – yay! Or maybe NO smell will come to mean CLEAN for you.

I do most of my cleaning with the miracle called Baking Soda. AKA Sodium Bicarbonate, it has a mild alkaline pH causing dirt and grease to dissolve easily in water and for effective removal of grease or waxy films. Sprinkle on a damp sponge and baking soda is replacement for “comet” as a mild abrasive.  Salt or Borax also works as an abrasive and if I need a soap, I add a little Dr. Bronner’s.


Sink/Tub/Toilet – Sprinkle baking soda and scrub with rag/sponge. Add soap or thieves. Rinse!

Frig/Stovetop – Spray with thieves spray. OR use a damp sponge with a little baking soda.

Oven – Guess what? Make a baking soda/vinegar paste, spread in cold oven, let sit and wipe. You may need some elbow grease and may need to use a ball of tin foil or a steel wool scrubby if there is a big mess.

Countertops – Spray thieves as a degreaser or a citrus DIY spray (20 drops of lemon, 1o drops of rosemary to your liking)

Drain – Cup of baking soda (surprise) down the drain, follow with a cup of vinegar and watch it fizz🙂, let sit,  follow with boiling water, plunge if needed.

Windows – Citrus spray or straight vinegar

Fruit/Veggie Rinse – Soap spray: a squirt of peppermint Dr. B soap (there are other scents) in the sprayer then fill w distilled water.

Will share DIY laundry soap solutions next time…Oh and to prepare for the Mai Tai Season: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/73287/mai-tai/

Have a Nothing New Day! ~Kristin


IMG_0488 - Version 2

See my Dad there on the left in this 1968 photo? He is proudly wearing his grey wool Loden Brand coat made in Germany with hand crafted leather buttons. Bought it in Canada on a ski trip before he met my Mom…maybe mid to late 1950’s. I inherited it  – OK I acquired it – when my Dad died to have as a sweet memory of him. I wore it a few times on bitter winter days and in spite of the oversized fit, it was comforting to experience a physical memory of  my Dad (excuse me while I get a tissue – OK I’m back) and to remember the exact day of this photo. See also my Grandma and Grandpa Skarie (Nettie and Oscar), and my darling brother being his best and most fun self – odd that I am often “blamed” for being the weird one in the family – haha! I’ve made sure my sis-in-law has seen this pic. Anyway….

Letting go of material things can be hard – clothing, books, knick-knacks, papers, photos, letters – especially when there is a loving and positive memory associated. Anything I keep, as I continue to declutter and downsize, has to be Beautiful, Useful and Meaningful – ideally all three elements in place, but I have kept things that meet 2 out of the 3. Why keep anything that is ugly, sits there and brings a bad memory? Let me come over and help you shred.

This coat was tough to release. For years (decades) I would wear it a day or two then it would hang in my closet, so it could not really meet the Useful criteria. I had it in and out of my car to donate several times – always  bringing it back in. Even once I found this photo and made a few copies, I had a hard time letting it go. Was it Beautiful ? To me of course yes, but it wasn’t really the right kind of coat for me, especially when I had 3 others to choose from that were a much better fit and style. It was indeed Meaningful but more and more, I knew that someone in Rochester on a bitter winter day could really use it – even more meaningful.

60 some years later from Dad’s original purchase, I finally released the coat with love to the Open Door Mission. I tucked a copy of the photo with a note about my Dad on the back and God’s blessings for the new owner.  I no longer have the coat, but I have the memory intact and hopefully someone is warmer because of it.

Is it time for you to release something? Maybe a coat or two? Boots and hats? Winter clothing and boots are on sale right now so maybe as you treat yourself to something you can let go something old. I donated most of my coats late last summer when I was sure I was moving to FL by the Winter – I am still here. I released another wool coat and a very warm hooded parka – kept a lightweight but warm puffy coat (thanks Mom!), one long dress coat with a removable lining, a windbreaker and 2 other spring/summer jackets.

Spring will be here soon – so start your Spring Clean early with your unworn winter stuff! Maybe use Leap Day, 2/29/16 as a Launch Day?! Any winter items you have not worn yet this winter will probably not be worn at all so let someone else use them. Winter items are still needed – it’s easy to forget at this time of year, I know – but can you live with one less coat, pair of boots, sweater, hat, or gloves???!!! My charity of choice for donations is the Open Door Mission in Rochester, NY – what’s yours?

By the way, the ODM always needs food too so since you will be in giving mode, pick up a few extra things on your next shopping trip if you can…ODM list here – ask your local food bank what their specific needs are:

Coffee, Sugar, Butter, Salad Dressing, Condiments, Tea, Drink Mix, Cooking Spray, Ham (frozen), Potatoes, Yams, and Brown Sugar. I bought the full set and spent $28.49, but you could decide what and how much. Drop off any donation at 156 Plymouth Avenue North, Rochester, NY 14608. Thank you!

What is keeping you from letting go?

Oh and check out my Good Day Rochester spot on this topic – Tuesday, 2/23 at 8:20am EST on FoxRochester!

Have a Nothing New Day! ~Kristin


Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Syrup

Dried Berries

Dried Berries

While perusing a couple of articles about staying healthy this winter, recipes for elderberry syrup as a flu prevention/remedy kept showing up over and over. Since I did not get the flu shot this year, I took it as a DIY Sign and went to get the full story at Lori’s Natural Foods in Henrietta. Helpful staff directed me to the ready-made syrup for $25 for a 30 serving bottle which in turn propelled me to revisit the opportunity to make my own…I ended up purchasing a small bag of dried elderberries…more on that in a bit.

Elderberries (Sambucus ebulus) have flavonoids with anti-oxidant properties (for healthy cells) and provide Vitamins A, B and a lot of C. They may have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties – yay! Daily use can provide flu prevention and taken more often can speed up flu recovery. Elderberries grow as a shrub – actually a small tree – in Zone 3-4 in Northern NY, NH, VT, ME, MN, WI, ND, MT and parts of WY (in case you ever get this as a Jeopardy question.) DISCLAIMER! Berries SHOULD NOT be eaten raw – only cooked. Green, unripe, or bright red elderberries are bitter and possibly toxic, even when cooked. Be forewarned and cook ’em up!

I used a recipe from a favorite blogger – Wellness Mama – with simple ingredients…dried elderberries, honey, whole cloves, cinnamon, fresh ginger and water. My resulting syrup yielded 3C (48T) – more than the recipe because I doubled the honey by mistake – oops and yum. Pretty easy to make  – a tad messy and maybe it took me an hour start to finish. It tastes good and has a distinct, earthy, fruity flavor.

An adult serving is 1/2 T to 1 T a day – I am doing this now instead of honey, which I had been taking daily. Shelf life is 1-6 mo depending on the honey – it is best to use raw honey!  It will keep in the freezer for longer too – so I put my second jar up there.

My cost was $5 for the honey (16 oz) $3.50 for berries plus the spices  I had on hand – approximately $.19 per  serving vs $.83 per serving for store bought…more yay!

Complete recipe here and helpful comments from her followers   http://wellnessmama.com/1888/elderberry-syrup/

And…more than you need to know about elderberries!



Can You Grow An Elderberry In A Pot: Tips For Growing Elderberries In Containers






Stay healthy this winter – enjoy the subtle beauty of bright birds and our rare sunny days…

Have a Nothing New Day! ~Kristin








Lesson 1363 – A Year of Nothing New

This is my friend Wendy Thomas’ blog – “Lessons Learned from the Flock” check it out! Thank you for this opportunity to be a guest blogger, Wendy!

Lessons Learned from the Flock

Kristin Skarie is a friend of mine whom I met through my son when she did workshops at his college. Like me, she also loves to do life experiments and one of her finest was going a year without buying anything new. It can be done,  she’s even written a book about it! Here’s Kristin to tell you about what she learned when she didn’t buy anything new.


Hello and thank you Wendy! In 2010, I made a decision to buy nothing new for a year. A friend had shared her recent nothing new experiment so I decided on the spot to give it a go – no preparation, no stocking up, no plans. In many ways this was an answered prayer to remedy a BAD 2009 (don’t ask!) and it gave me a welcome distraction – an active, positive focus on the pending adventure.

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2016 Garden Plans!

2016 Garden Plans!

It WILL be Spring! Not for a while but it will come, as promised in less than 2 months – March 20 – yay! Which means there is plenty of time to start the garden planning! I have mapped out my plan and purchased seeds from Crosman’s in East Rochester – they have been in the family owned local seed biz since 1838. I love their history and am in awe of the tenacity and wisdom it takes to make that happen. I got lots of great planting stories from Justine, Corkey and Dierde when I was there in Friday – wise and fun women working the office while we were all Talking Seeds. Good times. They sell their seeds there off  The Seed Rack, most of them for around $1 a pack and have numerous other retail sites at other local businesses. More info here – go there!  http://www.crosmanseed.com/

Now back to planning – I made 4 (2 x 8′) raised beds years ago when I expanded my garden from 7 x 7′ to 7 x14′ – I also shifted the beds 90 degrees to take more advantage of the how the sun moves in that space and put a better fence around the space. Over the years, I have learned what will grow (and NOT) in that space and have fine-tuned it to the above goodies. I like all of these and I have had good luck with them. Green beans were good too but I am not going to manifest those this year. I had minimal luck with brussels sprouts, peas, melons and squash so now rely on my farmer friends Fimka and Larry for these gems. I also have 6 black walnut trees in my Back 40 which make the soil – even in the beds – that may or may not have been the reason and certainly I am not blaming them! I count those trees as my Friends.

More than you need to know about Black Walnut Trees here: https://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/HO-193.pdf

If you are starting from scratch – here is my contribution to a step by step plan…be sure to seek out your local experts at the garden store, farm market, and Cooperative Extension (yay Cornell for us in Upstate NY). Big Box Store aversion aside – I have also gotten kind and helpful advice from the garden folks at Home Depot!

OK – hope this helps….

1. Start now! Look at websites for ideas – also Pinterest and even Etsy!  Take some time to hang around the garden stores and smell the dirt. You will be refreshed!

2. Budget – I could spend $1000 just thinking about my garden…AND I reigned in to about $100 for seeds, soil, gloves and a few plants…it might be more for you if you are starting fresh…it is astonishingly easy to overspend – this is a fun hobby for me and if that is or becomes true for you – beware!  Having said that – start buying a bag of soil now and then and it wont be such a big cost all at once.  I need 8 bags of soil – and I am buying 1 a week….that takes me into mid-March – yay!

3. Garden Map – Based on how much space you have and where you will plant, will you do raised beds? Maybe you don’t need them? Maybe pots on the porch for tomatoes? Growing ANYTHING no matter how small or how slowly you start is GREAT.  To humbly quote Ron Finley “LA Guerilla Gardener” – “Growing your own food is like printing your own money” – huh.  View his TED Talk here: 

And take a look at this interactive planing site for more inspiration


4.  What to plant, what to plant? Well, what do you like? What does your family or friendship circle like? Need sun or shade or both? Start with a few things or maybe a theme to keep it manageable – a salad garden?  a pizza garden? a salsa garden? all herbs for grilling and roasting?  YUM.

5. Raised Beds – the bigger the garden the more time it will take to maintain it – as a consideration you can buy ready to go kits on line, or pre-made boxes OR DIY! I favor beds over planting right in the ground for several reasons – better soil, more control over what grows where and it looks nice! I found this cool site for DIY beds and all kinds of 4×4 themed gardens – good stuff!


6. Tools – my go to tools are – hand trowel, hand weeder, large and small metal rake, hoe and a wheelbarrow.  Start looking now and maybe make a small purchase or 2 for the next few months. There is a great second-hand tool shop in Fairport, NY  Tool Thrift Shop – raising thousands of dollars for SOFI (Senior Options for Independent Living) – yes!

7. Decor – I am all for a garden that you like the looks of! AND this is the easiest place to overspend…Brace yourself for the pending arrival of garden gnomes (no that there is anything wrong with garden gnomes), statues, stakes, signs, ornaments, spinners, and lights….on and on! Keep on the alert for unusual items you can repurpose for decoration – my wonderful neighbors Joetta and Kurt are EXPERTS at this.  Old metal tubs for planter, old chairs hanging on the fence, old muffin tins and vintage pots for planters. Buy used and buy a story instead of something everyone else has.

Happy Planning and Sweet Garden Dreams to you!  Have a Nothing New Day!  ~Kristin


Blueberry Soup for the Soul!

Blueberry Soup – yaaaaaas!

American Birkebeiner 1983!

American Birkebeiner 1983!

Today (Monday) was the perfect day to make blueberry soup! Cold, sunny, blue sky, a little snow on the ground (not too much – yay!) and a moment of free time for a simple joy. I like to make this in the winter with last summer’s frozen berries for many reasons – memory lane, comfort, sustenance – it’s usually my “second breakfast” around 10:30/11am when I get a hankering for something and need a work break.

My first exposure to blueberry soup was in 1983 as an American Birkebeiner “Champion” – which really means “Finisher” – ha! The Birkie is a 50K (35 Miles) cross country ski race in Hayward, WI started in 1973 modeled after the Norwegian Birkebeiner which started in 1932…More here about the Birkebeiner from the Norwegian sporting organization, Birken:


When I crossed the finish line (8 hours later for me) I heard my name announced, was presented a medal (still have it), then corralled into a shelter to ensure my survival. Most importantly, I was gifted with a packet of recovery perfection – warm blueberry soup – to ease the pain and celebrate the completion! This is a crystal clear memory for me – it was dark and cold but I was happy and relieved. In 1983, I went with a group of crew teammates – good times. In 1984, I skied with 2 great friends and we “camped” overnight in a high school classroom – glamorous travel! Don’t even ask me why I thought it would be good to do this a second time. here are other vivid memories of cold, snow, waxing our skis, thousands of people, sun, falling down, oranges at the pitstops, kind and fun volunteers…oh, and a 1 pound Hershey bar in my fanny pack as my co-pilot.

ANYWAY…back to blueberry soup! I have used this recipe over and over with great results…


I use local honey instead of sugar (1/3-1/2 C) and add a teaspoon of cardamom – my favorite spice. You can use a little flour instead of cornstarch if you want (whisk it first then add to the blubes) or arrowroot if you want gluten/corn free…probably don’t even need it…

Easy to make, enough to share and a little bit of blue summer to ease our winter blues! Now I must leave you for it is time for a little snack….

Have a Nothing New Day! ~Kristin


Choose Your Own Adventure!

Choose Your Own Adventure!

Oh hello! The DNA of Leadership, (see below) was an article I wrote for Alpha Lambda Delta’s magazine, “The Flame” – ALD is a national honor society for first year students. I had the pleasure to work with Eileen Merberg, Trish Dillenbeck and Nancy Schneller at their annual leadership workshop this past fall. The students and advisors were welcoming, thoughtful, introspective, SMART and fun – my kind of people!  I also was blessed to share some of this content with the Amazing People at the College of Staten Island  – thank you Robert King Kee, Debi Kee, Carol Brower and Sandra Taranto!!!

Hope you can use some of these tools….Oh, AND I will be on Good Day Rochester Christmas morning with a version of this to help you set some new green habits in place for your NEW YEAR. Start today! Start before you are ready….GO! I mean it.

Have a Nothing New Day! ~Kristin

Your Leadership DNA – You Are Your Habits!

“Habits change into character.” Ovid, Roman Poet, born 43 BC

Your DNA, the magical double helix of “all things you”, is at the absolute core of who are – the one and only you in the entire universe! Your Leadership DNA – the complete essence of your capacity for making a positive impact – is how you communicate, who you trust, what you do. Your habits, internalized repeated patterns of behavior and principles, are at the overlapping intersection of your knowledge, skill and desire. Stephen Covey, author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” offers this: what you know (knowledge), how you lead (skill) and why you work so hard (desire), are the elements driving your commitment to your chapter and to your academic goals.

Your daily, personal and leadership habits are acquired behavior patterns followed until they become almost involuntary. Like a 3-legged stool, these habits build your Leadership DNA. Oh and by the way, only you will know if a habit is good or bad! I start my morning around the same time each day with cats, a glass of lemon water, and coffee (decaf – I broke my caffeine habit – yay!) I make my bed, read a devotional and 3 times a week, I swim for health and happiness. I end my day of work, meals (and snacks – more yay!) and 30 minutes of outside time with prepping for the next day, tidying my desk and being grateful for what I accomplished. Think about your good Daily Habits and map out your typical day from rising to resting – track your “habit-trail” of the things you do without really thinking. What do you do to set the tone for your day and how do you wrap it up at the end?

Your Personal Habits emerge from your Daily Habits and create patterns of how you interact with others, get your work done, make commitments and organize yourself. A few of my good PH’s are keeping my promises, finding humor in everything, being kind to ALL (not just the people I like or who are nice to me – this can be a tough one!), and green, local, sustainable living. What’s your PH? How do you stay on track, manage your relationships, and handle projects?

Your Leadership Habits build on your Daily and Personal Habits. They show up in how you run meetings, communicate with your chapter and advisor, and in your reputation as a team member and leader. Some one of my habits are to research and credit appropriate sources, hand written thank you notes, and 24 hour follow-up. How do you stay accountable, make decisions, and manage conflict? By the way, collectively your chapter has habits too! Think about how you are known on campus, who you collaborate with and what impact you have on your campus culture.

Breaking and making any kind of habit requires paying attention to the 3 R’s: Reminder Reward, Routine thanks to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit.” Reminders are cues triggering your behavior – notice the when, where and who of the reminder. Reward is a tangible or intrinsic motivator, e.g. feeling great about a job well done, positive feedback, feeling healthier, enjoying that hot chocolate! Routine = Reminder + Reward = How you do your best YOU! Solidify your routine with a written, accessible, obvious plan. Breaking or making Leadership Habits takes at least 21 days and more like 66 days to lock them into your routine – is that good news/bad news? Maybe…time will tell! Meanwhile, start today and consider these elements to make your habits STICKY:

  • Think big, plan small – your dreams come to fruition with billions of daily tasks!
  • Create a “behavior chain” – one good habit begets another, and another….
  • Minimize options – too many choices and your habit gets lost in the mix.
  • Imagine how you will be when the habit is in place – focus on the excellent end result.
  • Identify the breakdown moment – try again next time with fresh awareness.
  • Start before you’re ready – don’t wait for a magical date to launch your new habits!

Your Leadership DNA is your habits – YOU are your habits! Be mindful every day of how you take care of yourself so you can do the same for others. Small steps will take you the long miles on your leadership journey. You can influence the strength and health of your chapter’s DNA with good, sticky Leadership Habits to ensure your bright future!






Never be Lonely

Never Be Lonely

Monday at 1pm marked the ending (or so I thought) of our Thanksgiving Weekend Pet Emergency that started on Friday night at 6pm. Buddy, my 10 year old orange tabby cat  (aka Buddy Guy, Mr. Buddy Guy, Golden Man), took a field trip to the Kitty ER for 72 hours…it was a scare but when he came home we were hoping the special food, TLC and time would get us all back on track. I was so happy Buddy was OK and home safely. I am getting him a pony.

My other cat, Curtis (aka Curtis Mayfield, Curtis Mewfield, Kitten Head, Mew Head, Monkey, Monkey Head) and I had 3 quiet nights of uncertainty and sadness. He, of course, had a lot of questions I could not answer, but faithfully stayed by my side all weekend. He also brought 2 of his little rubber chickens into the bed to help us not feel lonely.

As the TOTAL BUMMER would have it, I took Buddy back to the ER this morning for reasons not to be shared for risk of TMI. Let’s just say that I know a lot about cat bodies after this weekend. More tests, some medication and a day with the experts at this amazing place – Vet Specialists and Emergency Services…in particular, Dr, Yousef, Dr. Wyer and Martinique…


EVERY person, EVERY time was kind, caring professional and smart. My kind of humans. There were hugs, tissues and free decaf, not to mention compassion, patience and love in this place.

While siting in waiting room over the past few days, I was given instant and repeated perspective reminders – certainly an appreciation for the other pet owners (Fur Parents) dealing with more complex, sad or expensive situations than mine AND…humble reminders that so many other people in my life are managing other difficulties at this time beyond comprehension…situations of extreme loss and absolute profound testimonies of faith.  So there’s that.

I fear the Adventures of Curtis and Buddy are taking a new path AND am hopeful for some magic today at the ER…may you have hope, magic and a tiny rubber chicken to help you along your way today.

Have a Nothing New Day! ~Kristin



FINISH in ’15

Tiny Lavender Miracles

Tiny Lavender Miracles from 2015

“FINISH” was my 2015 One Word Resolution and it has served me well! I am a procrastinator from birth so large projects usually feel overwhelming and impossible. As much as I am future dreamer and big picture gal, the large scope jobs and the follow up/follow through are my biggest challenges…loads of great ideas and then the details start to block me from completion. Somehow it gets done BUT, I am learning to minimize the pain of START to get to the joy of FINISH – sooner and with less sweat and tears.

I am a Finisher-in-Training. Yes, I am a F.I.T.

Everyday I ask myself, “What can I finish today”? Even if it is a smaller piece of a larger project, I can say, “I am going to finish raking THIS part of the yard, painting THIS section of the cupboards, tidying up THIS section of my office, putting THIS pile of files away, THIS section of the report. Knowing there is a finite chunk of the project to get me started and underway is a motivator to get to the finish.

I finished a few small tasks this past weekend with large gratitude…see above🙂 Plus, harvested the dried lavender (see pic) I cut all summer/fall for future projects, decluttered 2 drawers resulting in many items to donate, and am about to wrap up an article on “The DNA of Leadership” for Alpha Lambda Delta’s magazine (a class act national honor society for first year college students – yay!) The article was broken down into 5 steps to finish one at a time:

  1. Outline (DONE)
  2. Draft #1 (DONE)
  3. Share with a few trusted friends and allies🙂
  4. Draft #2
  5. Send for approval

I originally had Write ALD Article on my to do list and it was there for weeks – even though I was “writing it in my mind” and I was confident in the content, the article was not writing itself – if only! Thankful for a kind reminder, I lifted the dam and created the outline – hallelujah! When I broke it down into 5 steps, I enjoyed the “check it off” process more frequently and it keeps me moving along…and now almost done – more yay!

When I finish the article, I will reward myself with a tiny and extraordinarily delicious cup of Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate.  All is well.

What can you finish today?

Have a Nothing New Day! ~Kristin



Breaking Vegan

Breaking Vegan

Greetings Loved Ones,

Thinking of you all and how you are getting along these days…so much happening in the world – so complicated – then in glaring contrast my simple daily living is still in progress. My decisions right now – this week, today – are around what to bring for Thanksgiving, what to eat for breakfast, what work project to start on first and what stuff to donate as I continue to pack up for a move…simple. Thankful x infinity.

Reminded (and thankful) there is plenty of house-work to do as well before “it” (in whispered voice, “winter”…) arrives. I look out on the fresh dusting of “S” on my garage roof this morning am reminded of the space underneath that roof that still needs some cleaning attention before it gets too cold. Oh and more thankful for the garage place to store stuff and space to shelter my vehicle…oh and that I have a vehicle…that works….ah, the Gratitude Spiral and a positive Havitude!  I truly have so much….

Up North as we prepare for “W”, I have given into the urgency of buttoning up and hunkering down for the next 4 months of dark, gray, cold, and wet days….oh and crisp mornings, bright blue skies, warm woolen mittens and the happier side of winter…the cosy-ing up side of winter, the pleasure in the routine of bringing thing inside and putting things away for a while…warmer food, warmer clothes, warmer hugs, warmer feelings….in spite of (or because of?) the cold.

The Danes call it HYGGE (pronounced hYOOguh) – the idea of “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There’s nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life.” (from the Visit Denmark website)…I am also sure that hygge is eating half of a kringle from the O&H Danish Bakery in Racine, WI (available at Trader Joe’s in Rochester, NY  – in one day. Yasss.


And from this article in the UK newspaper The Telegraph…

“the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things”.


Which means I must start referring to Winter by its full name and Snow by its proper title to fully embrace the season instead of dreading it or trying to survive it! Ok, then Denmark, I am on board.  Bring on the warm and keep my heart focused on the happy, the positive, the cosy, the joy and the bright side….light overcomes dark, warm tramples cold, peace envelopes hate and love wins.

Have a Hygge Day! Kristin