Scattered Life Collective: Aug. 22nd


This post was inspired by a blogging adventure  called Scattered Life Collective by Cynthia Lee. It’s a great series and I hope that you will check out the rest of the participants and perhaps even join us!

current time:  6:28 AM.

on the menu:  just my morning cuppa joe. I have several bits of leftovers in the fridge that really should be eaten sometime, so I guess they would be on my menu for this weekend!

out the window:  In this case, I should say IN the window because I am sitting outside. Crickets chirping, but otherwise oddly quiet. The air is thick with potential rain. but I am happy to be sitting out here. I haven’t had as much deck time as I would like this summer. Don’t know why…

reading: Chapter 12 of the I Ching. Second chapter this week! I have been doing a lot of clearing in my home and work spaces recently and I think that I have freed up some pent up energy. It’s awesome. I’ve been writing more too.


I am also reading a book called The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure. It’s a strange book. I had it on my wish list and so my daughter bought it for me for my birthday. It’s about a woman who is so fascinated with the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder that she decides to write a book about her fascination. I put it on my wish list because I thought that it would have a little different spin on it – I was thinking that she was going to experiment with living like a pioneer. She does, but only in cursory ways – not full bore as I would have hoped for in dedicating an entire book to it and making me want to buy it. Instead, I feel like I am looking into a peephole at a very weird obsession with a childhood book character. Strange… but I am still reading it, so that is saying something. I think I am mostly still reading it because I feel bad that I asked for it and then I didn’t like it and my daughter bought it for me so I feel compelled to finish it.  On the plus side, if this woman was able to get published with that kind of book, it gives me hope for when and if I ever finish mine.


pandora: In a quest to increase our Spanish comprehension skills, my husband and I have decided to start listening to music with Spanish lyrics. This has been going on for several months now and we are discovering all kinds of cool stuff. There is a guy named Manu Chao who is actually Spanish (not Latino), but has many songs written from the viewpoint of an illegal immigrant. The video below is a song that both Eric and I found separately and loved. Me gustas tu means “I like you” in Spanish. It really isn’t about immigration, but many of his other songs are. If you look up the lyrics in English, they are kinda cool.

I also really like an artist called Bebe – not all of her work, but one favorite is Siempre Me Quedara, which means “with me always”. Here are the lyrics translated into English for you. The video is a little odd, but I love the sound of her voice. Both of these songs are listed as Latino Alternative, in case you are wanting to explore more of this yourselves. It’s fun!


audible:  Just this week, I finished Unit 2: Lesson 15 of Pimsleur Spanish! (That is the end of that audible soundtrack and halfway through Unit 2!) Yeah, me! 

watching:  Eric and I are working on a few different shows: The Glades, MasterChef (current series) and we just completed Hell’s Kitchen. We are also working through an anime about a young tennis player called Baby Steps which is pretty good.

good things: here’s a list:

  •  good friends. I am so grateful for my friends. I have quite a few really fabulous people in my life and I am so lucky to have them as my friends. Sometimes it is hard because life gets busy and I am not able to see them as much as I would like to, but I am very glad to have them.
  • summer. I was at the dentist yesterday and the hygienist (also named Amy) asked me if I had enjoyed my summer (in the past tense). So I corrected her on the past tense and she said that her child had started school already so, for her, summer was over. Sigh. It was a good one and yes, there are still a few weeks left but we are on the tail end. Chapter 12 of the I Ching (which I will be writing about shortly) is represented by just this time of year. If you are in Australia, though, your summer is just around the corner! Ah well, I love Fall. It is really one of my favorite times of year.
  • campers. Eric and I have decided that we are going to get a camper one of these days. Not today, probably not this month, but soon. So I have been obsessing a bit of late on camper joy.
  • camping. I got to go camping twice this summer and it was wonderful. The weather behaved beautifully for us. We went once with Eric’s family and my Dad to Wild River State Park in MN and then I went again a couple of weeks later with my Mom and Tatia (just us girls) to the North Shore. For that trip, we stayed at Judge CR Magney State Park near Grand Marais, MN. If you look at the state of MN, we were right up there in the tip of the state, near the border to Canada. Both trips were really fun.
  • decluttering. I mentioned earlier that I am in the process of decluttering my home. I live in less than 800 square feet, so the three of us are always very aware of our stuff.  I have this fantasy (that coincides with my camper fantasy) of living in a tiny house. The REALLY tiny kind. But after starting my decluttering process, I suspect that is never going to happen!
  • anklets. I just bought the anklet below on Etsy. I’ve always loved anklets, especially in the summertime when your legs are bare. I’m a barefoot girl in the summertime and this is a fun way to dress up my feet.As I was looking around Etsy, I wondered if I would be able to become an affiliate for Etsy, since I love that site. Turns out, all they offer is a program that lets me share a link for new Etsy customers to get them $5 off their first purchase. It’s not great, but I could make up to $100 in Etsy credit if 20 people clicked on the link and bought something. Hmm. If you haven’t tried Etsy yet and are interested in buying handmade stuff at reasonable prices, check them out. Otherwise, if you are Etsy shopper already and want to buy this anklet too (we’ll be matching!) here is the link to this anklet.anklet

around and about:

Louis Weltzer wrote this post about Chapter 65 on the Tao Te Ching. He is the one dude that is going all the way through the Tao Tuesdays challenges and writing essays for each one. He and his friend, Bob, who did quite a lot of the Tao Tuesdays challenges himself (he got up to Chapter 37, then started “just” commenting on Louis’ blog posts – which could be considered posts by themselves! – and then recently started again with Chapter 54). So we will say that Bob has also continued on with Tao Tuesdays, too, but in his own unique way.

Which, speaking of Tao Tuesdays, it is never too late to join in writing your own posts about the chapters. All of the chapters are linked on my List of Chapters page (well, most of them – I will try and remember to catch that up soon) so you can write your own commentary at any time. Feel free to choose randomly and add your two cents – if you need something to write about on your blog, it’s a great thing to do! Writing my own commentaries is what started this blog in the first place and the practice of this has considerably altered my daily existence. It’s an important text. So even if you decide that writing your own commentary would be too much of a stretch, I highly recommend adding Louis and Bob’s Tao Te Ching commentaries to your reading list.

Chalkboard Contact Paper. On a completely different note, with absolutely no segue except that it would also be bulleted under “around and about”, I mention this cool chalkboard contact paper. Contact paper itself is a topic (because of its greatness!), but chalkboard contact paper is pretty dang cool. I ordered some this week to cover a rather disgustingly old and dingy desk that I have in my office at work. I learned from this site how to prime my chalkboard covered desk so that it the chalk marks can be wiped off more easily. I can’t wait to try it. I also ordered some colored chalk and perused this site to see some cool things to write on my new desk.


Well, that’s it with my week. What’s up with you? Please tell us about your week in the comments!



  1. I do love when you post these peeks into your week. Yay for all the clearing work you’ve been doing – I’m inspired. And what a lovely anklet. Etsy is a wonderful source for creative goodness isn’t it? I had no idea chalkboard contact existed – you must post a photo when you do your desk – what a fun idea. Wishing you another delightful week Amy.
    Deborah Weber recently posted…Rain WeepingMy Profile

    • You too, Deborah! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Yeah, I was thinking that I should take before & after photos of my whole office redo. I took a few “before” pictures of my office the other day in anticipation of keeping a photo journal of my progress. Today, I ordered some posters to decorate the walls a bit. Kinda cheesy, but it is a work space after all! My plan is to stop at Goodwill and see if I can find some posters on foam board that I can cover over with my new posters so they look a little nicer. I did some googling on some ideas for covering blank walls and found all kinds of cool ideas. One idea that I would not have thought of is to buy letters to say something – to keep it cheap, it may have to be a short word. I don’t know how much big letters cost, but if I can afford a bigger word, I will do the word NATURE (my word for 2014). I saw one site where they showed us how to cover wooden frames with fabric to cover big areas. I might do some of those as backdrops for my posters. Dunno…

      I found one poster that said Eat Well. Travel Often. My plan is to put that up and, right next to it, put up three little frames with three photos of my latest vacation since my husband just got me a new 4 x 6 photo printer. Underneath that, I want to make a mini blackboard out of the leftover contact paper that says NEXT STOP: XXX that says where we are planning to travel to next. (We always have SOMETHING planned since we travel a lot.) It should be fun. I like it because it totally my space and with living in such a small house, it feels good to have that!

  2. Hi Amy,
    I am always constantly amazed by you. Your vast array of interests and activity and scope of continually learning. I myself, have just reconnected with replying to your posts and have not been consistent in keeping up with the Tao te Ching and got seriously distracted after writing my own commentary on just the first 2 chapters! I did immensely enjoy writing them though. I think I was over ambitious! and got overwhelmed after asking for the weekly chapters landing in my mailbox when I am busy.
    The good news is that the ‘distractions’ are still writing a regular guest column for a woman’s columns and writing for the major newspaper in Sydney, Australia,’The Sydney Morning Herald’ and radio interviews.
    Not writing my book though the last couple of months! This seems to have turned into some sort of ‘confession’, which must mean that I know you will understand!
    Sherry Marshall recently posted…Love, Simplicity and Nature on TwitterMy Profile

    • Hi Sherry,

      I do try and warn people when they sign up for the Daily Tao Te Ching that it is EIGHT ONE daily emails! I can be pretty intense! If I spread it out weekly, even, it would be coming for years, though! lol… I guess that is not so bad. Still, I am always amazed at how few people actually remove themselves from my mailing list. This book is so powerful! As for writing your own commentary, take your time. They will still be there after the “busy times”. We all have that. I got busy too and didn’t even write on my own blog! Glad you’re back though.

  3. Decluttering is one of my things at the moment, too. It was my new year resolution in 2012 (or 2011?) and nothing happened back then, but now I finally got started. I’m only doing a little bit at a time, but the results are making me smile and want to do more.
    Tat recently posted…Following your dreams: what’s your biggest challenge?My Profile

  4. I love hearing what you’re up to. I so wish Texas were like MN in it’s summer weather. I wouldn’t dream of going outside right now unless I had to. 🙂 I admire your decluttering and living in a small space. I honestly don’t know where all the stuff comes from (though a 5-year-old’s toys are the majority of it)!
    Naomi recently posted…Same tour, different itineraryMy Profile

    • Hello, Dear One! Glad to see you! 🙂 I sent your sweet little card with your daughter wearing high heels to a friend of mine. Her daughter is starting college this year and I had wanted to send her a handwritten letter that she had written me when her daughter was just a baby. It was a super sweet glimpse into being a new mama. So kiss. Love your sweet cards!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge