Scattered Life Collective: July 25


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: 2:52 PM on Friday, July 25th

on the menu:  Hunan Tofu at the Asian Bistro – yum! In general, mostly vegan dishes these days and trying to get rid of most of the sugar in my diet as well.

out the window:  GREEN. Summer is in full swing and I love it! Right this moment, I am sitting at the library against a huge window. It’s a bit cloudy outside but still pretty nice out. I am contemplating heading home on my bike. I am trying to get some exercise every day so I rode my bike to the library. I brought my rain coat just in case because it rain liked crazy last night and cooled everything off. It also greened everything up again. Not that anything had a chance to get brown! It’s been pretty wet this summer, overall.

reading: Last time I wrote on here, my plan had been to not read anything but I Ching and Tao books all year. Over the months, that commitment has fallen to the wayside. Do I want to pick it up again? It certainly hasn’t helped me to stay focused on the Tao. If anything, I am further away from my Tao studies than ever! I have a very robust rebellious streak that I have been dealing with my whole life. I should know better. So what have I been reading? All kinds of stuff, but mostly teacher books and I went through a temporary jaunt through some programming books. That didn’t last because I soon realized that taking up yet ANOTHER hobby would not be a good idea right now. My trusty husband and guide, Eric, suggested that perhaps it might be better to stay focused on completing my Tao Te Ching book rather than adding another topic of study. So I stopped reading books on programming and he started reading them. I had one on reserve at the library that I am picking up today and decided to just check it out anyways since Eric will probably want to read it. I am glad that he is studying programming, though. He will be good at it and when I DO decide to study it for real, he can help me.


pandora: I discovered a new artist yesterday at my hot yoga class. Ritmo & Compas. The best way I know to describe it is Latin Guitar? Good stuff. 

audible: Teaching books, mostly. Right now, I am the tech person at the school but I am getting ready to start doing some substitute teaching in the Fall to bone up my classroom skills. I am a bit rusty with my teaching! I also haven’t taught in school since the smart boards were invented so I have a lot to learn on the technology front. I am super psyched to try and I feel ready now. 

watching:  TV is a bit boring lately. Eric and I have been getting through Master Chef and Hell’s Kitchen. We are also watching a series called The Glades, which we like. I like to unwind with some TV at night, but there hasn’t been anything very exciting to watch. We need some more good shows. Maybe a good anime? 

playing: I finished my Duolingo Spanish game. This was a big accomplishment because it took me over a year to get there! Now I am trying to figure out how to get fluent in Spanish. The school system that I am thinking of teaching in has quite a few Spanish immersion elementary schools and learning to teach in Spanish would be challenging but a great preparation for possibly living in Puerto Rico when we retire. So I found this new game called Anki, which is  a flash card game that helps you learn stuff. You can share flashcard sets so I found a couple of sets on the most common words in Spanish.  I know most of them, but it would be good to practice them. They also suggest, for getting fluent, to say everything you are thinking in Spanish. So I am trying to remember to say the Spanish equivalent in my head when I find myself speaking. That is easier said than done! I keep forgetting. Another thing they suggest for fluency is to have a Spanish radio station playing in the background. This I could do. I will keep you posted.

good things: here’s a list:

  •  riding my bike. I have been trying to ride my bike a lot more. It feels so good to get out and ride! For the past several years, I haven’t done much riding. My goal is to exercise in some way at least once a day. This could even be as simple as doing housework (which I really NEED to do!)
  • no work Fridays. Since January, I have had my Fridays off and I so love it! It is a day when I get to focus on my writing (which I do most of the time) and I get “caught up” with my life. I wish everyone could do part-time work! The world would be a lot less stressed out!
  • summer. Gotta love summer! I love having this windows open when I sleep. This is big for me. It’s been a pretty mild summer (not too hot) so we’ve been able to do that a lot. Some nights it’s been even too cold!
  • camping. Next week, my daughter and I are going camping with my Mom on the North Shore. If you are a Minnesotan, chances are you know what I am talking about! If anything will make you fall in love with MN, it is the North Shore.

around and about:

  • Speaking of things I love (good things), I came across Naomi Wittlin’s post today about “What Makes You Happy?” What a wonderful thing, to think about what makes you happy. It’s a great mood swinger.
  • Thinking about re-arranging your living room or adding on an extension? The website lets you do it for free online! I was considering doing some renovations, but then Eric and I talked about it and decided not to do it. We really want to pay off our mortgage and stay focused on that. But still, it is a great little site for planning a room or figuring out how things will fit when you rearrange your furniture.
  • I love tiny houses. I came across this catalog this week by the Tumbleweed Cabin Company. So cool. So as I was bringing out the trash today, I was thinking – this is two garbage bags of crap. How would I ever fit me & Eric into a tiny house? Ever since envisioning this tiny house idea, I have been thinking of what sort of sacrifices one would need to make to fit into a 200 or so square foot house? As it is, we live in under 800 square feet and we feel a bit cramped at times. Still, I could lose at least HALF my stuff without much suffering. I was hoping to do some of that this summer, but it got away on me. Hmm. Maybe that is a good goal for the weekend… clear out some of my clutter!
  • We went camping last weekend and I discovered a really yummy vegan treat. I crumbled some “Italian sausage” seitan in a pan with mushrooms, garlic and onions (all sautéed in vegan butter).  Then I took that mixture and some Daiya cheddar (which melts pretty well) in a PIE IRON on the campfire inside some bread, buttered on the outsides with vegan butter. Oh, and let’s not forget the jalapeño inside too! (The star of the show!) It was super delicious! You can really mix any old thing inside of a PIE IRON and it’s delicious. Oh, all except dark chocolate and peanut butter, which was just kinda gross.

Well, that’s my list. Tell me about YOUR week! What was fabulous?


  1. Hello! Fun reading about all of your activities and interests this week. Also congratulations on your new adventure with getting back into the classroom this Fall!
    Amy recently posted…Top 20 Adorable Baby OnesiesMy Profile

  2. Oh, I always think I’d love to fit into a small house. I like the idea of going through each and every thing we own and deciding if it’s really loved or needed. I am rather far from that at the moment… oh well. Have a great camping trip! Sounds so nice.
    Naomi recently posted…Playing with backlightingMy Profile

    • I’ve always been drawn to small spaces too. My current space, at under 800 square feet, has plenty of space for what we need and more. The only thing that I miss is having decent space to have company. If I ever did a tiny house, it would have to be in a climate that was more conducive to having outdoor events any day of the year. Other than that, I think it would be an adventure. A big part of it, for me, would be wanting to build it!

  3. So fun to have you playing in the SLC again Amy – I love peeking into your week. I remember wondering when you set your reading intention how that would go. It’s interesting to find balance with these things. Congrats on completing the Spanish game and on your bike riding! Have a wonderful time on camping trip – sounds like it will be fun.

    • The SLC is such a great thing. I love when you write them too. There is something so cool about reading what people are up to, isn’t there? I think that is a big part of the fun of a blogging community. Thanks for always being there, Deborah.

  4. It can be hard to read to a plan–I keep finding other things that look interesting and it will just take a few hours–I can always come back to the planned book.
    SKJAM! recently posted…TV Review: Martin Kane, Private EyeMy Profile

    • Yes, it is funny. My sister and I were doing the book challenge together. I spoke with her recently and I think she had mentioned that she read something and we have not talked about the challenge for some time. Those types of longer challenges are interesting because they force us to become conscious of something over a long spans of time which is difficult to maintain. After some time, I had forgotten about it and just went back to my old ways. I could go back to it, but I am not sure if it is holding value for me. I think that I want to talk to my sister about it though and hear her thoughts.

  5. Oh, staying focused on certain things when so many other exciting projects appear! I know the feeling. Sometimes focused feels good and sometimes just flowing with what arises is great too. And I agree, pay off the mortgage!
    Love your time off on Fridays. I have 2 half days off to write and catch up with myself. Lovely to hear about your life. You are always into such interesting stuff. Its all the Tao, you know! Its the attitude that’s important.
    Sherry Marshall recently posted…Sydney Morning Herald Newspaper. Can you make someone fall in love with you?My Profile

    • “Catch up with myself”. That’s a good one. Yeah. Yesterday, after writing for most of the day, I came home and cleaned. My house was such a mess but since it is so tiny it was very easy to get it back on track. I cleaned for an hour or so and I feel so much better.

  6. Lovely to meet you via the Collective, Amy. I look forward to Friday’s every week because of it, and the more the merrier, I say. I’m wondering after reading your post and the comments if you’ve ever heard of a site called It’s hosted by a woman who believes that people can be what she calls “multipotentialites.” In other words, she goes against the philosophy that’s drilled into us when we’re younger – that we should pick a focus early on and stick with it. She believes that people can have multiple interests and careers throughout their lifetime – and often, simultaneously. It’s a great resource. Also – I love The Glades. It was my pick for the Collective a few weeks back. I especially like the relationship between Jim and Carlos. And Daniel is a fave as well. Hope to see more of you in coming weeks!
    Sarah Broadfoot recently posted…Saturday SmileMy Profile

    • You too, Sarah! Likewise. Loved your words of the week. It will make me think of new words to add. I haven’t heard of Puttylike but I have heard of multi potentialities. Cool stuff. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Yippee for Eric! I’m with him. Get back on that Tao book :-). Honestly, Amy, I could relate to every post you made during your study and discovery of the Tao and apply lessons daily. I’m feeling really dumb with not getting what I’m supposed to do with what I’ve been reading lately. Perhaps I’m not enlightened enough, but you seemed to be having so much more fun as you shared your read on the Tao. Just saying 🙂 . . .
    Nanette Levin recently posted…Small business success stalls with wiggling and waggingMy Profile

    • I am making some progress, Nanette! I am on Chapter 25 right now. 🙂 Any movement forward is movement forward, right? I had a great chat with Ronda Snow and she gave me some lovely encouraging words to move me forward.

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