The Farmer’s Market

Feeling better, I donned my usual winter uniform--Irish sweater, jeans and loafers, and trekked out to the newest farmers market in town. It being winter, there were just a handful of fresh produce stands.  Hand-baked goods and exotic olive oils dotted the suburban mall landscape. Actually, this farmer's market wasn't new at all. It exists …

The Mindfulness of Being Sick

When was I hit by a Mack truck? This was my first thought as I stumbled out of bed at 9 this morning, 4 hours later than my usual wake up time. At least the nausea and vomiting had stopped earlier last evening. The body aches and head throbbing were just aftershock. Chicken soup (homemade), …

The Uninspired Writer

  Show up and get to work...and at the same time, listen to where the writing wants to take you. Dinty W. Moore   I've been published. Okay, now what? Wait for more inspiration? Ever since I was a child, I'd create a sentence in my mind and think, wow, that would make a good …

The High Cost of Stuff

27.2 billion dollars. That's how much Americans spent on self-storage units in 2014.  Let me repeat that number: 27.2 BILLION dollars. A quick internet search rendered at least 20 mini-storage businesses within 10 miles of my home. According to the Self-Storage Association, the self-storage industry is one of the fastest growing segment of commercial real …

When Gift Giving is About Us

We are not as generous as we think we are.  A bold statement, I know. Controversial, even. And true. A gift is something that is freely given, no strings attached. Even the expectation of a thank you diminishes the generosity of the giver. How often did I expect something in return for the gifts I …

The Year of Saying “No.”

The daylight fades and a gray pall is cast upon the earth. It's the first evening of the first day of the new year. What have I to say for myself? Nothing. I search for words to convey my exact meaning, and still, something is lost in translation. Wisdom Himself, Christ, once said, "Let what …

Where the hell have I been?

  It's been months, no SEASONS, since I've posted anything. What happened? Here's the long, the short, and the whole of it: I forgot about this blog. Seriously, I forgot I even started it. But something strange happened in the last few weeks--the desire to write again nosed its way back into my consciousness. Then, …

Our Minimalist Wedding

Minimalism was not our intention. My husband has a small family, so not a lot of guests on that side. The focus on my end was just to keep it simple. Truth be told, I couldn't be bothered with all of the planning, headache and heartache.  I'd seen enough of that in the various weddings I've …

Facebook or Not to Facebook?

Here's a question to all my readers: Should there be an Essential Life Facebook page, or not? Here's a list of pros and cons for your consideration: PROS: Greater Exposure to a wider audience Ability to post quick and easy tidbits, IE, beautiful photographs with nice sayings, like this one: All the cool minimalists are …

Decluttering Sentimental STUFF

Last week, I attended a webinar by Rachel Jones of Nourishing Minimalism. The focus was on letting go of sentimental items. Easy peasy, I thought. I'd let go of most of that stuff years ago.  After my mother died in 2001, my sisters and I went through her belongings and trashed or donated all but …