Downsizing Like a Rock Star

Years ago I read an article about a couple who, after the kids had grown and moved out, downsized from the large family home in the suburbs to a one bedroom apartment in the city. They gave away or sold nearly everything they owned, including their car. When they wanted to travel, they took a taxi to the airport.

I remember feeling so envious of the unknown couple and deep inside, my desire to downsize like this took root. When the opportunity came for us to move to Guatemala and embrace the expat life, it didn’t take long to say YES! Continue reading

Merry Christmas, 2013

Our parents loved to take photos of their four daughters, especially at Christmastime. The traditional Christmas photo in front of the tree is scattered in our old picture collections.

In this one, I got to hold the new baby, our youngest sister. I remember feeling so special that I was the one to hold her for this picture. You can see a much bigger smile on my face than usual. Normally I just stared at the camera with big eyes as though to say, “Huh? Really?” Continue reading

Making My Own Greek Yogurt

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Homemade thick, rich whole milk Greek yogurt

I am addicted to full-fat Greek yogurt, but it’s not available in my location. And even if it were, it’d probably cost a small fortune. The fat-free Greek yogurt is expensive enough, at about $6.00 a container at Costco. Fat-free is good but doesn’t satisfy that dessert craving for me like the Greek yogurt made from whole milk. Continue reading

And Speaking of Adventures….

Yesterday Bruce crossed over the Mexican border with our son in law JC, driving a loaded truck and trailer filled with equipment– tools, mountain bikes, paddle surf boards– for JC’s tourist hotel on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

I knew traveling in Mexico would be tricky.  As recently as July, 2013, the U.S. issued a traveler safety alert for Mexico; not even U.S. officials and their families drive in certain areas. So there’s Bruce and JC, having to cross at a different border station than originally planned due to complications at the Brownsville, Texas crossing. And then to get to the safest Mexican toll road they had to travel 90 miles on an off road. Continue reading

Give Me Adventures Any Day!

One of my daughters-in-law said something cute to me the other day. She said, “I like how you call your trials ‘adventures.'”

When I was young I wanted to have adventures. I read lots of books and envied all the Karen 15excitement experienced by the main characters, especially considering how humdrum and boring my small town routine was.

Then as an adult, I learned there wouldn’t be adventures after all. Instead I’d have “trials” and “difficulties” and “struggles.” Continue reading

Tender Mercies

Last week my husband suggested an idea. He said, “How about every day we talk about God’s tender mercies that come to us.” So we began. And we couldn’t think of anything. It was a stressful day at work and neither of us felt particularly good or energetic or joyful. Tender mercies? Couldn’t name a single one. Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Mom. I will always miss you most in January.

Mom died on New Year’s Day. She had a severe stroke in October from which she never fully recovered, hanging in there through the holidays, just long enough to welcome in another year but not long enough to see her 94th birthday. She would be 96 today if she were still alive. Continue reading