Category Archives: Lightly

What I Stand For


**Because nobody says it better than Wendell Berry**

Election 2016

Standing Rock Sioux Nation

Elder Care

Health Care

Black Lives Matter

Gender Equality

Environmental Breakdown

Public Education (including college/university)

Tomorrow I will go to the polls and I will choose who I think best represents my ideals and my passions.  The flollowing day I begin sending letters and emails to all those who will be my voice for the next two to four years.

I almost feel sorry for them.  Almost.

My sister sent me a meme from Sophie Haewood.  I’m going to include it below.  You should know (and anyone who knows me knows) I don’t like or use the F-Word, so please excuse it’s use below.  It is a pretty concise statement of how I’ve been feeling.

The older I get,

the more I see

how women

are described

as having gone mad,

when what they’ve

actually become

is knowledgeable

and powerful

and f***ing furious

Knowledgeable.  Powerful.  Furious.

Yep — and:  Voting.  Voicing.  Writing.  Marching.  Sitting.  Standing.


The Gifts of Imperfection, part 3

Today is my final post in this series on the book The Gifts of Imperfection. Three short sections to work through and then a wrap up /book review.

Calm and Stillness:  Letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle. Calmness is perspective and mindfulness while managing emotional reactivity. Stillness is time for meditation, prayer, quiet reflection, and alone time. Both of these are practices that give us an emotionally clutter free space.

Calmness — I am an “under-function-er” when it comes to stress, particularly emotional stress. Some people might take the bull by the horns, get all up in your business, and generally take charge. Sometimes whether or not you want all that help–in fact, usually without even thinking you might not want that.

I, on the other hand, I under-function: I get less competent under stress; I withdraw; I sleep; I hide. Meditation is very good for me. When I feel that first tingle of emotional stress, I take 3 deep breaths and if possible sit my butt down on blanket and breath some more. I’ve learned to say things like, “I need some time to think about that.” Email and texting are super awesome for someone like me. Nobody knows for sure when you see an email or text and so if it is an emotional land mine for me, I take a step away from my phone, sit down and breath, and then come back to it.

Stillness — There are two things that give structure to my day and also allow me time to be still.  I start each day with a morning routine that includes the morning devotion and Bible reading from the Book of Common Prayer and then straight onto the floor for yoga and meditation (I use Headspace).  Each day ends the same way, only in reverse–yoga, meditation, and then Compline (again from the Book of Common Prayer).

Meaningful Work: Meaningful work is sharing your gifts and talents with the world in whatever way you can. It doesn’t have to be sexy, it doesn’t have to be full of hustle, it just has to be something lifegiving for you and for others. For me, right now, meaningful work is helping my son through a difficult time; answering text after text from moms with kids recently diagnosed with ASD; writing this blog (that reaches all 4 of you 😉 ); and working with my parish on a grant project. None of these things brings a single penny to our family budget, but they are all lifegiving to me and I hope to others.

Laughter, Song & Dance: Letting go of being cool and always in control. Laughter, song and dance are three ancient forms of self-expression. Everyone does them and not everyone does them gracefully. They remind us we are not alone. I have my polite public laugh and then I have my “Oh my God, I’m snorting water through my nose and holding my sides, trying not to pee in my pants” laugh. Occasionally the signals get crossed and the public gets to witness me in full on laughter.

I can sing with the best of them. Unfortunately the best of them don’t want me singing out loud. I somehow missed the memo on how to make your voice do notes that are similar to the notes those around you are singing. So I mostly keep my singing to times when I am alone (although Kelly, Michael and Hannah have to listen — it’s in our family contract). There is nothing that lifts my spirits more than belting out a boy band song (or some classic Donny Osmond) while hoofing it up a hill on my walk or when scrubbing toilets or when cleaning the fridge (my two least favorite household tasks).

Church presents a unique form of torture for me . . . . Have you ever attended an Episcopal church service (or Anglican for my Brit readers)? Good Lord, they can sing. I think it must be something they put in the baptismal font, which would explain how I missed it, I was baptized Methodist. Dang! My heart wants to belt it out, but my brain says “hey man, step back, be cool, don’t kill Kathy (she sits in front of me) with that awfulness.”

I know, I know . . . The gifts of imperfection. Embrace your vulnerabilities. I’m trying, really I am. This book came to me at the perfect time. I’ve done a lot of soul work over the past 20 months and was ready to step beyond it. This book reaffirmed what my counselor from 30 years ago and my counselor from 20 months ago told me. The skill sets are the same. You are enough and your gifts of imperfection are those things that help you embrace your story.

Courage, Compassion, Connection:: My story matters because I matter.

**edited to add:  Since I wrote this post in September, I’ve tried moving seats in church.  This way nobody, especially Kathy, sits in front of me and I feel free to attempt a more vocal participation in the singing.**

Season of Creation, D29



Jasper is such a little guy that his belly rubs in the medium length grass and his nose (even when lifted in the air) is only 6 inches off the floor. I don’t want anything in my yard or my house to be a potential source of poisoning for him, so my commitment to safe cleaners continues.

Season of Creation, D22

As is probably getting obvious, I find most of my inspiration to live responsibly from things I see on my daily walks. Knowing this area so well helps me spot the new little things (and some not so little) as they change.

Today’s inspiration:



Season of Creation, D19




I maintain that there is nothing more heavenly than pulling on a t-shirt that smells like fresh air. In my life this scent doesn’t come from a bottle or a sheet. It comes from clothes that hang in the fresh air to dry.

Each morning, from March through November, I do a load of laundry. I use 2 Tablespoons of Sal’s Suds, 2 Tablespoons of vinegar, and a dash of washing soda in the machine. Hanging laundry is an almost meditative part of my day. There really isn’t much to think about the mechanics of hanging laundry, it’s all muscle memory by now. Instead I reflect on the morning Psalm, think about what chores might need to be put on tomorrow’s list (because today’s list is already being accomplished), or sometimes I just watch as Jasper does his survey of the yard.

Each afternoon I bring in the same laundry, check over each piece as I fold it and sort it into piles for each person to claim. The clothes are usually quite warm from the sun and if folded/rolled neatly right away I don’t have to deal with wrinkles. I do not like to iron.

December through February is a rougher laundry time. I tend to wash the load in the evening, and then hang it on drying racks over heater vents and around the wood stove. I also put a few drops of sweet orange oil in with the Sal’s Suds. It takes much longer to do laundry (not as much heat + heavier materials) and I don’t find it nearly as relaxing.

Season of Creation, D14

Daily Walk :: Inspiration

Daily Walk :: Inspiration

Season of Creation, D12



This picture shows a few of my shopping bags. I carry them all in the cooler bag in the back during the warm months. During the cool months I just shove them all down inside of the smaller canvas bags. After each shopping trip I wash them so they are ready to go the next time I head out the door.

There are two really big canvas bags (yellow and green), three regular canvas bags (all that normal canvas color), and two bags that fold up into very small pouches. I keep one of these in my purse at all times. That way if I make an unexpected stop I have a bag with me.

The second small bag gets filled with things I need to do on errand day: mail, library books to return, purchases to return, my water bottle, a snack if I think far ahead enough, and whatever else needs to be done. The bag empties during my running and by the time I get to the grocery, always my last stop, it’s empty and ready as a spare grocery bag if needed.

I’ve been using the same bags long enough that I can gauge my normal grocery trip and fill all the bags without running over. The two big bags hold a week’s worth of produce, the smaller canvas bags hold staples, the cooler bag holds frozen veggies, almond milk and eggs, and one small foldable bag holds everything from the other stores.

My eco-friendly cleaners come from and are delivered once a month. I like this because I’d have to drive twice as far to get them as I normally do on errand day. Each month I get 1 Sal’s Suds (Our laundry soap), 1 Mrs Meyer’s dish soap, and 1 Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap. Every other month the shipment includes walnut scrubbers, cellulose sponges, bamboo toothbrushes, an extra Sal’s Suds, and an extra dish soap. Once a year I get Argan oil, a salt stone, a new canvas bag, and Dr Bronner’s liquid peppermint scented soap.