Nov 28, 2015


plentiful pleasure
My plate overfloweth.

Being Thanksgiving weekend and all, perhaps the image of a full-to-the-edge, bending-in-the-middle, heaped up paper plate more likely suggests a tryptophan-induced nap than a feeling of contented satiation. Oh well, I'm going with it 'cause here at the House of Good Living, the abundance that's resulted from a decision to simplify defies the laws of physics ~ just like that turkey/spud/stuffing-laden Chinette.

my happy place
Case in point: my closet.
One week ago I had two of them. Each packed with the PNW-appropriate shades of grey fleece, down vests, woolen wear, knee boots and scarves designed to help one survive winter. Two entire closets filled with layers of head to toe gloom-wear. Today, my closet is so darned cheerful it makes me smile. Happy colors, bright batik prints ... an entire wardrobe taking up one tenth of the real estate last week's garb required. Yet, so abundantly joyful.

And, our garden.
We both love to play in the dirt, wearing gloves rendered finger-less by happy sessions of digging, weeding, planting some blooming thing in every square foot outside our mainland house. So many of those plants were donations from others' already-full gardens, each with a story of who/why it came to be in our landscape. Titus's rose, Bev's iris, Aunt Jo's succulents ~ the memory of giver and gift doubled my pleasure when out of doors. Today's "garden" contains a single cucumber, strawberry, basil, rosemary, oregano and TWO tomato plants, ornamented with favorite
my other happy place
blown glass garden art. Happy abundance in simple flower pots.

Thirty years ago a wise friend was the first I heard proclaim "a man's wants are many but his needs are few." His words couldn't ring more true than they do, for me, today. The opportunity to disentangle an increasingly complicated life, to practice reducing "want" through a healthy fulfillment of "need" has resulted in such unexpected abundance. That plenitude and the gifts of Greg's improving health, beloved friends & family plus this crazy beautiful place crowd my plate to overflowing.

Grateful, sated, lavishly blessed. That's us,

Nov 24, 2015

I'm not missing you at all

One third of our family remains on the mainland. Writing that sentence hurts my heart.

The transient nature of this winter's stay at the House of Good Living creates too many complications for a comfort-craving, heat-sensitive golden retriever. Therefore, Raymond is enjoying a long stay at Camp Dassel. Great for him, good for us, a whole lot of extra hairballs for Claus and Turid. Ray loooooves to stay at Dassels. So much so that all it takes is pointing the car towards their house and he goes all bouncy and squeaky. A stay at Dassels means cuddling on the sofa, morning snuggles in bed, and long "go ahead and sniff all you want" strolls around the neighborhood.

Just a typical Tuesday morning at Camp Dassel
Despite knowing how well cared for and loved our golden boy is, there's a big dog-shaped hole in our lives.

Our best friend/crewmate is a 9 year-old orange wonder who's habits and needs have defined our days and enriched our lives ever since we adopted him as a "career change" (i.e. flunk out) from an assistance dog program. We consider that one of the luckiest events ever to occur for us. We brought Ray home on the same day Greg was discharged from a hospitalization. It didn't take long to discover that this "transitioned" service dog was alerting in each instance before Greg's health took a downturn. Raymond's been a barometer and a comfort for Greg ever since; a furry security blanket whenever he's needed.

Summer's gift of improving health for Greg has given us the opportunity to spend more time on Maui but it comes at the cost of losing our daily dose of puppy love. Were it not for the assurance that our wonder dog is receiving the ultimate in loving attention (Handmade snack, anyone? It's sofa time!) we would be back on the mainland this moment. We're pretty darned certain we're only a fond memory in Ray's furry mind given his current residency in doggie nirvana.

Thank you ~ Claus and Turid ~ for the daily photos assuring us that Raymond isn't missing us at all. Go ahead ~ let him on the sofa. He's earned it.

Nov 23, 2015

Did you hear that?

Monday morning 11/23/15
That sound. The sound of breathing.

The sound of warm ocean air inhaled and held in the lungs before being exchanged for all the pent-up anxietypanicworry that's tightly bound my chest this past month and exhaled out in a long long long letting go.

That's the sound of coming home. 

That's the sound of tuberose fragrance being enjoyed. The sound of the waves, of palm fronds in the breeze, of feet dragging through sand at water's edge. That's the sound surrounding me as I breathe in and out and give in to feeling loss and gain, the yin and yang, the dark and bright of change.

I'm breathing. Again.