Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in Beyond Stuff

(Make sure you read my PS at the end.) It’s the Christmas shopping season. Today I went into a store. Maybe it’s been too long. I was astounded by the prices for stuff I considered junk – clothes that didn’t look flattering or stylish, toys that were mostly modeled after cartoon characters or required batteries […]

Yesterday, I sent out my periodic email Blog Alert to friends. I do this every 2 or 3 months so as not to pester people. (Not everyone checks my blog compulsively every day 😕 ) Since I’ve recently changed my email to a Gmail address, I decided to use Gmail for this bulk mailing for the […]

Cincinnati, Ohio recently hosted The World Choir Games. The city put on its best face, cleaning up the streets, bringing out new “flying pigs,” and extending our beautiful riverfront park system. The only thing that outperformed civic pride was the fabulous singers from all over the world. It was wonderful, but even more wonderful was […]

Saving money vs. Saving Time

A few of my pet peeves are: Unnecessary use of bottled water Over packaging Radio interviewees who respond to the host’s “Thank you” with “Thank you” instead of “You’re welcome.” Dragged music at church Singing Happy Birthday to an individual in a large random group of people. (Although this probably sounds petty of me, I […]

Sometimes the best part of giving something away is finding the right person to give it to. My husband and I have been hosting two Korean teenage girls for the summer. They are delightful, polite, and always helpful. They arrived shortly after my watch broke. Wait, there’s a connection. I assumed that my watch simply […]

For a variety of reasons, I recently decided to change my email address from a local carrier to Gmail. Mostly it was to simplify my life when I travel. With Gmail I have access to all my archived emails which I used to keep neatly categorized with Outlook. My secondary reason, however, was that I […]

That is – too many people for one person to take care of. Our planet has about 7 billion people – all of them valuable human beings who deserve a decent life. I don’t have to listen to the news for long or simply look around my neighborhood to realize that many people need help. […]

PART 1: Periodically my back gives me trouble. It happened recently when I spent a day preparing the garden for spring planting. This zealous gardener over did it. Not to worry. Usually one trip to my friendly chiropractor fixes me up just fine. Oh oh, time to worry. It didn’t work this time and my […]

I go to lots of meetings. Maybe you do too. One of the things that continues to amaze me is how some people seem to have little concept of how long they talk. At a recent meeting I witnessed co-presenters, who both had valuable things to say, but one talked so long that the other’s […]

I don’t know if I’m madder at our country (think debt ceiling, politics, greed), our Church (think scandals, reneging on Vatican II), or the world (think environmental degradation, abuse of power, wars, poverty). I could go on, but that just makes me madder. So how do I let go of my anger? Lately I’ve been […]

As my friends and family can attest, I am frugal and thrifty – to say the least. (Our kids often have less flattering terms for it.) So, when a fellow rang the doorbell and offered to do some yard work for us, my first impulse was to say, “Thank you, but No, we would do […]

One of the first persons to respond to my blog asked the question, “Are you also giving away non-things – ideas or suggestions for programs or talks? Can you let go of any of these intangibles?” That idea has been haunting me for quite awhile since I am a freelance speaker and writer and my […]

Aarrgh! I just got a new computer and that should be good because my old one was dying, but – the adjustments to upgraded software are a headache. I’ve also been walking with my parents lately as they try to make decisions about possibly moving to a retirement center – also a good thing that […]

Since I’ve been doing this blog a number of people have said to me, “I hope you’re not getting rid of your husband, Jim!” We would both laugh and then go on. Jim’s a keeper, but I would like to address the issue of our adult children. Although once a parent, always a parent, none […]

So let’s talk about recycling. Now that I’ve faced the demon of recycling electronics, what about all the more normal recycling we do. You know – the paper, glass, plastic, and cans. Recycling these things doesn’t feel as virtuous as giving a needy family clothes, dishes, or toys. Technically, it’s not really giving something away […]

As I continue to look around my home and consider what more to part with, I often feel some pride in cleaning things out or virtue in passing stuff on to those in need. As I dig more deeply into this process, however, I realize that a bigger challenge is to let go of bad […]

I don’t’ think it’s fair to count our kids’ elementary and high school trophies and plaques as things to give away since they are of no use to anyone else. Still, I counted 22 trophies and 30 award plaques stored in a cedar chest that could be put to better use. (Trophies take up a […]

In my never ending effort to save money, I discovered that our family was probably paying more than we needed for our cell phone. After consulting the internet and various young adults – who are the experts in this realm – I decided to go with a different cell phone provider. Over a year I […]

…charitable fundraising. With the Christmas spirit rising and the tax write-off deadline looming, generous and astute people are considering making monetary donations to charitable causes. If you’ve ever given to anything (and I hope you have) the downside of that gift is that we are both on mailing lists for worthy causes. The worthy causes […]