Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Finishing Touches

    As I type, we are deep into the final touches of this year.  Doesn't that sound good "the finishing touches"?   It sounds as if we were all artists just putting the last few brush strokes onto our masterpiece.  Is that how the end of the year feels to you?  I can't say that is how I'm feeling but isn't that an inspired thought?  To finish the year as if we created art.  Instead of lost in our holiday to do list or feeling any regrets of this year, all we have yet to do is to simply and with great finesse, touch up the finale!

If I were to think like a creative artist, what would my final touches of this year be?  When I started writing a few minutes ago I really had no idea where this was going... until now.  As I type, I know exactly what my finishes touches are...

To say thank you.  There is a feeling a deep gratitude filling my soul and this is what I wish to add to the art I have created this year. Thank you!!

As always I wish you all happy and healthy homes.  And may I add - amazing final touches to your year's masterpiece!!

With Deep Gratitude and wishes of Happy Holidays,


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thank you Puget Sound Energy!

    We hope this blog finds all our NW neighbors and friends safe and dry.  What a storm we have been having!  Our own electricity was out for 24 hours.

     Last night, as we were getting ready for bed our home was still dark.  Outside we heard a PSE truck and I thought, what a night to be climbing up electrical poles, in the howling wind, pitch dark and pouring rain!

   In the discomfort of no power, it is easy to press our electrical companies to get us back on line.  But what a task they have!  The weather is usually tough, the hours long and I'm sure they are pressed to their max to get us all back on.

   So thank you to the men and women at PSE for all your overtime and harsh working conditions!!
 It is a privilege to live in a place where having electricity, indoor plumbing and where hot running water is the norm.  Being periodically reminded of this gift is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Wishing you all happy holidays, safe and warm homes,

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Clarity comes from a clean slate

" Clarity comes from a clean slate"  No truer words can be spoken.  Today, we cleaned the slate floors in our own personal home.  I have written about this many times and yet each time we clean those floors I am in awe of the clarity that comes from clean!

   As we move through life it seems we are awake and fully present... until you clean off all the residue that has accumulated. And then Wow!

   When we clean our slate floors, which by the way looked fine this morning, vibrancy happens.  What seemed OK turns in to spectacular.  The colors become radiant.  The lines clear.  There is a clarity to this slate that is truly amazing.  Beyond the color there is also a rich texture.  The texture shows the essence of the stone.  Our slate has no enriching sealers or coating applied.  What you see is 100% slate.  Beautiful!

   I wonder does anyone else see what we see when we clean?

   When we clean out what muddles our lives, we get to see life from a whole new perspective.  We get to start with a clean slate again! This clarity comes with a childlike wonder and who couldn't use a bit more wonder in our lives??

   The next time you feel muddled in your life or on your floors- clean!   Cleaning is an old and simple practice of finding clarity, giving yourself a clean slate and a fresh perspective!   Enjoy!

   As always, wishing you a happy and healthy home

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Autumn and TLC are the perfect team

Change is in the air.  Autumn does that to us.  The season of Autumn is all about change.  It comes swiftly and brilliantly.  Colors ablaze, crackling leaves scatter down the streets and our gardens beg to be put to bed.

It takes a lot of energy to change your life and yet our lives are meant to change.  It is the nature of being alive.  All this shifting and movement can be exhilarating and but also tiring.

Tonight, while I'm super excited about the changes in our lives I also am feeling the need to add a bit more TLC into my life to keep me strong, balanced and healthy.

When I need TLC this is where I go first:

I minimize stimulants:  Sugar, caffeine and even most natural sugars

I go back to simple, whole, real foods.  I can't put my finger on it but when I eat food that has many ingredients or food that no longer resembles food or food that comes in a can, a box or bag...I start loosing my natural vibrancy.  I find stress having a bigger impact on my well being.

I start going back to bed earlier:  I try to think life my grandparents - they were all dairy farmers:  Go to bed early and get up early to milk the cows.

Stress comes with life, change comes with life but there is much we can do to bring ourselves back to balance.  Simplify your life, your diet, your activities and then breathe!

Autumn is my favorite time of the year!  Most of my big life changes have come in the Autumn. It is the nature of the season to change but in the process of change add in a bit of TLC.

As always, wishing you all a happy and healthy home,

Thursday, October 1, 2015

True Clean

What is clean? We all know what clean is!  Maybe and maybe not as much as you think.  When I think of clean, I think of free- free from soil, cleaners and moisture.  Free from anything that isn't part of the surface.  My kitchen countertops should be just that my kitchen countertops.  Granite should be granite, marble should only be marble, quartz should only be quartz.  There is a clarity that comes from truly clean or a residue free surface.

There are steps to cleaning.  First comes the breaking surface tension part.  In your dishwasher you call this the wash cycle.  In this step, there will be agitation, maybe heat, a little cleaner.  The "washing step" usually take a little time.  Next comes the rinsing step. This where not only the soil is removed but also the cleaners.  Finally comes the drying step. In this step, moisture is removed along with little residues of cleaner and soil.  In the end of this three step process you have it- nothing left behind but your surface.

When clean is really clean, there is a clarity that comes from true clean.  The colors are brighter, the lines cleaner, there will be a depth to your surface and a freshness to the room.

When I start cleaning a surface I may think this isn't too bad.  But as I go through the steps the soil and built up residues start to release, I start to really see the soil.  As I continue to go through the steps an amazing transition happens.  True clean

True clean isn't a false shine from a coating applied,  True clean isn't greasy, doesn't have a wax or polish. True clean doesn't smell like cucumbers, roses, pine, or bleach.  True clean is simple, clear and free from everything but it's true essence.

Life should be so simple.

Wishing you healthy, happy homes and prosperous lives,

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Disinfecting wipes are the fast food in cleaning

    Disinfecting wipes:  uuugh...heavy sigh....deep breath....   Disinfecting wipes are like fast food:  easy, available and effortless.  But instead of high fructose corn syrup these wipes use pesticides.  Yup, our daily disinfecting wipes are monitored by the EPA and classified as a pesticide.  Crazy right???

    Today, I got an email update from the Women's Voices website on the concerns of disinfecting wipes.  I'm sharing it with you because it is indeed a message that should be heard!  Women's voices is a fantastic website full of solid research and helpful wisdom.
                                  click here to connect to Women's voices site and the article

  As it turns out the lesson I learned 25 years ago still holds true.  Be very careful and aware when using products that kill something- aka germ killers, mold killers, pesticides etc.  Because... and this is a huge point ... they kill or damage living organisms.  And we are in fact a living organism!
 Before you panic about germs and how to avoid keep this in mind:
     In most situations removal of germs/soil is a much healthier way of creating a safe environment than the killing germs.

Here is a wonderfully simple alternative for you:  Use Residue Free cleaning 
   1. Thoroughly wipe surface down with a damp towel and a little mild cleaner or a damp microfiber-            Rub back and forth
                Mild cleaners: dish washing liquid, liquid castle soap, baby wipes
  2.   Rinse with a moist/wet, clean towel, microfiber or even paper towel - Rub back and forth
  3.   Dry surface again rub back and forth

In this three step process you are loosening the soil/germs and breaking surface tension.  Then rinsing and removing the cleaner and germs/soil.   Finally with drying, you further remove the cleaner, soil/germs and moisture.  Leaving your surface clean and free of residue

After all, cleaning is the removal of germs, soil, etc not the addition of chemicals.

   By the way, I am not against disinfectants.  In some situations they can be life saving.  What I am against is using disinfectants daily, without reading, following the label and most importantly out of habit or fear.  This is unnecessary and total overkill.

  Cleaning is a science and an art.  Learn how to clean for the health of home and family.  We teach residue free cleaning which focuses on the science and actual system of cleaning.  Call if you would like to schedule a presentation or consult.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and simply clean home,

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Happy shoes and the present moment

    Have you ever heard the saying "you are a reflection of your home"?  Today, while cleaning my own home, I got to pondering this idea.

    In the real world our homes aren't always exactly how we would prefer.  Life happens.  The last few weeks my schedule has been a whirl wind of activities.  Today, as I  cleaned and pondered, I decided our homes are not who we are but where we are at the present moment.

    Doesn't where you are at this moment sound better than who you are as a person?  Our homes give us a glimpse into where our life is right now.  They are not - not -not who we are!  And thank heavens for that!

    When I get a bit overbooked I can tell I'm over extended by looking at the bottom of my shoe closet.  When I'm centered and not too rushed I put my shoes down toes facing out.  When I'm running around fast and furiously my shoes look they are still running in the closet.

    If you look around and see happy shoes, smile and say thanks.  And if you look around your home and see piles of dirty dishes, stacks of books and dust bunnies.  Take a deep breathe and know this is just a moment in time.

   Yesterday, I had the pleasure of presenting at the 2015 Pierce Country Cancer Survivorship Conference.  I presented two classes one on simple/natural cleaning and one on clutter clearing to create flow.  Today I organized my shoes and wrangled up my dust bunnies

   Thank you for everyone who attended the conference and joined my presentations!  Thanks to all the zillion hours all the volunteers put in creating this conference.  Thanks to the University of Puget Sound who hosted this event ( and I think for free)   May your lives continue to flow and may you find happy shoes in your closet!!

As always, wishing you all a happy and healthy home!

 (On a side note, I finthe deeper I clean the wiser I become- nice bonus to a clean toilet don't you think???)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Cleaning gives you fresh a fresh canvas

    Cleaning and clutter clearing go hand in hand.  Clutter clearing has been getting a lot of energy lately as we start to notice this huge over burden of stuff that meandered its way into our homes and lives.  Clutter clearing releases stagnate and stuck energy, allowing your authentic life to flow again.  Kind of important don't you think?  

  But equally important and with a slightly different twist is cleaning.  Cleaning gives you fresh energy, a clean slate and a fresh canvas on which to create your art. Art being in this case your life.  Your life really is a piece of art- your authentic art.

   As I write this blog it is Monday.  After working all weekend, I'm off today- technically anyway.  In reality there is still much to do in the office and home.  But Monday's are special.  This is my writing and cleaning day.  When you think of art, writing makes perfect sense.  It is an art form.  But cleaning?  Why is cleaning so connected to creating authentic art?  Because cleaning keeps your space clean and refreshed.  You wouldn't want to try and create a master piece from a stagnate, soiled, dust bunny infested studio?  I think not!  Wouldn't you rather have a studio that has fresh air, clear windows, clean surfaces?  A space so fresh and alive that it draws you in and nudges you to create.  

   Such a space only happens with TLC.  So today is not only my art day, my writing day, my authentic listen to my inner voice day but it is also my clean the toilets, wash clothes and windows day. It is the wrangle up the dust bunnies and corral the misplaced items day. 

  For my life to flow I understand the need for a fresh canvas.  Cleaning does just that, it preps the space in which we live- my family and I, to be able to create our authentic lives.  

  When I think of cleaning as priming my space for my authentic life to flow, then it takes on a new meaning don't you think?  Instead of just saying I'm cleaning the bathroom today, I can say I'm prepping my art canvas for the week.  This makes me happy and happy cleaning is good work!

 May your cleaning put a little life back into your art and may your art give your cleaning an elevated place in your life.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

A life changing moment and the continued story

My post today is a bit like a pubic service announcement.  The topic: surge protectors.  I will be the first to tell you I am no expert on surge protectors.  What I am is a sister.  My brother's home burned down a few weeks ago...because of a surge protector.   This was a surge protector that was not even used much!

His house is currently being rebuilt and my brother and family are all safe.  When the insurance inspector inspected this fire, he was not surprised a surge protector had started it.  He said surge protectors were a common cause of fires.

The only thing I had ever heard about surge protectors was "don't keep them when they get old".  But  how old is an old surge protector?  How long should they be kept?  And how old were ours?  I had no idea!  But my brother told us to get out all our surge protectors and replace them with new, metal, and high quality surge protectors- preferably made in the USA

This was good enough for us.

How long should a surge protector last, apparently it is the power surges that will dictate that.  Your surge protector will absorb these power surges in a component called a MOV( metal oxide veristor).  They can only absorb so much.  Also, the quality of the surge protector does matter.

I did find a couple articles about surge protectors and here are the links
   Power Surge article by Safe
   Why and When you need to replace your surge protector

Again, I am no expert but when my brother suggested we replace our surge protectors after his house got burned down, we just did it.

Wishing you and those you love a safe, happy and healthy home.
   Also, if you have any thoughts to add to this article, please feel free to carry on this conversation.

And the story continues...

   I'm updating this blog because...... a few weeks after my brother's fire, we got a new clothes dryer delivered.  4 weeks after that we started smelling a very strong plastic smell- similar to a new shower curtain.  When they had installed our new dryer, something must have cracked or a wire came loose.   When Dallas tried to unplug the dryer to see what was going on, it had melted to the outlet and almost caught fire!!!   Thank goodness our breaker finally blew!!! Tomorrow they will come look at our dryer and fix the pig tail.  Who knows it might have been the dryer that caused the problem but I'm guessing it was from an old outlet!

 So to add to the surge protector these extra thoughts:
    Check and replace outlets...
      If you smell a strong and unidentifiable plastic or burning odor
      If you are getting a new dryer or washer and using old outlets
      If your outlets are loose
      If you lights flicker or your breaker blows easily
      When in doubt- call an electrician!!  

For more fire safety tips click here  This is the link to NFPA or the National Fire Protection Association

Wishing you a very safe and happy home,