Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

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Make any New Year’s Resolutions? Have you broken any of them yet? Regardless, here’s chance to try something new to refresh, educate, and/or deepen your family life. Challenge your family to learn about a new country – ideally one you’ve never been to and know little about. *For a list of countries and background for […]

My last post was about giving away useful stuff (coats, curtains, rugs…) but I also found at least 6 kinds of hidden things that were pretty frivolous. Nerf Guns: Several years ago one of our children bought each family member a Nerf gun as a gag gift for Christmas (since we had a reputation for […]

In the spirit of end of the year lists, I offer you my 10 Best Living Lightly Tips of 2016. The first 6 are my own. The last 4 come from other bloggers I respect. Most can be read in under 2 minutes. The Beauty of Empty – 8 practical steps to unclutter any part of your […]

Like most families, we received some nice Christmas gifts. Two weeks later, I also received a call from the Lupus organization that picks up household items to sell. The proceeds go to the Lupus Foundation. I noticed some happy coincidences. Even though I didn’t make a conscious effort to have the gifts coming in equal my outgoing […]

Giving and receiving gifts is nice. It’s even joyful when you find the right gift for a person you love. Some people love the challenge of the hunt. I don’t. For me finding a suitable gift is often a burden, especially around Christmas time. Although I have a reputation for being frugal, it’s not just […]

I recently returned from a trip to visit our daughter in Nairobi, Kenya. International travel like this always prompts reflections on life and how we humans are alike and different, I’d like to share 2 things I learned – one humorous and one humbling. Humor: Our daughter, Jim, and I went on a walking safari […]

I hate our sweet gum tree. Actually, I don’t hate the tree itself which has beautiful red foliage in the fall, it’s those nasty, spiny, sweet gum balls that fall from the tree and clutter our yard all year round, that I hate. If I had known this before we planted the tree, I would […]

Occasionally the heavens align and other people help me lighten my mood and my stuff. That’s what happened recently when I was in a conversation with a friend, her daughter, and her fiancé. As the wedding day approached the bride and groom said they were trying to plan a tasteful but simple celebration. One step was […]

Finally, with the kids at home over Christmas I was able to get technical advice on what electronics we were storing were worth keeping and which were so obsolete they should be taken to that recycling center in the sky. A few decisions were easy but there is always the temptation to think that some […]

Since we are about to start the Advent season (which means most of the USA has already begun decorating and buying for Christmas), I plead with you to wait. Wait because Advent is about waiting, in the dark, for a wonderful person to come, and it’s not Santa Claus. Wait because we serve too many […]

It all started out as a grocery shopping mistake. First mistake was that Jim asked me to do the grocery shopping because he was inundated with work.* Bottom line, it took me quite a bit longer and more grocery mistakes for me to do this task. My biggest mistake was that in a fit of […]

I have a couple international trips coming up to countries that I’ve never visited – England and Peru. This got me thinking about Stonehenge and Machu Picchu. I didn’t seek these destinations in order to complete a bucket list. (One trip is for an international meeting and the other is to meet our son who […]

As I mentioned in Week #1, much of what a person can put out for curbside recycling varies from town to town. We found that our city (Covington, KY) takes all plastics labeled #1 – #7. Cincinnati, OH (15 minutes away) does not take #5 and #7. BUT, they do have a school that does […]

(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 […]

To buy or not to buy – That is the question. The word “black” can be a source of pride or despair. In the Great Depression it meant the economy was in crisis. For the day after Thanksgiving it has come to mean the beginning of the Christmas shopping season when retailers move from red […]

Something’s are hard to let go of and something’s are a pleasure to give away. First the hard one. A few days ago I had a car accident. It was totally my fault and nobody was hurt except my pride. I made too sharp a right hand turn into a parking lot and two boulders […]

mirror, zen

Some people should take more risks, some less – that would be some of our children. Generally I’m a risk averse person. I’m cautious and long ago decided that if I’m going to die a tragic death, it should be for a cause. Thus, being shot while in a civil rights protest or because I […]

…For my bumper stickers. Now usually I am proud that we have finally been able to downsize to one car. I know that the single factor that can make the most difference in energy conservation for most people is to reduce auto emissions by driving less. The fact that both Jim & I work out […]

I’m taking a break from blogging about food to honor the fact that this is Leap Day – the day when our calendar recognizes that we need more days. Since there are never enough days to accomplish my “to do” list I figured I’d turn this around and write about skipping days, or at least […]