The Simple Joy of Puttering

Garden flower arrangement

 

Dear friends,

This morning I woke up grateful for the slower pace of a three-day weekend, and the sweet luxury of down time to do some small things around the house and garden.

Do you feel that way about unstructured time, too?

I love puttering — and isn’t it the most perfect, descriptive word? September is here, and although the days are still hot in Colorado I notice the changing morning light and the cooler evenings. Some of the leaves are starting to turn, and I no longer feel like the garden needs constant, daily tending.

I took a pleasant stroll around the yard to see what was blooming, and cut a few flowers and leaves and berries.

 

garden bouquet

 

They’re now in a little pitcher in the kitchen, shown above. Our artistic mom inspired my love of casual garden arrangements. Her dining table always has a pretty little bouquet or a flowering plant, even in winter.

My next project was a fun experiment. I love making home improvements with materials we already have on hand. The outdoor cushions on the patio chairs had faded in the sunshine, but they’re still in good shape so I decided to try and revive them.

 

Faded chair cushion

Homely patio chair cushion: BEFORE

 

I found some green acrylic paint in our paint collection, thinned it with a little water, and brushed it on in stripes freehand.

 

painting a chair cushion

 

The paint stripes perked those old cushions right up, and while time will tell whether the paint holds up it’s a good, free solution for now.

 

chair cushions

 

And then, because I’m feeling autumn-y, I baked a batch of chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies and updated the photos from the original blog post I wrote back in 2007.

 

Chewy molasses ginger cookies

 

After all that puttering, it was a treat to sit outside and enjoy the pretty sunset.

 

Colorado sunset

 

The evening sky was beautiful and sad at the same time. The setting sun is orange because of the hazy smoke that has drifted here, and my heart aches for our friends in Montana and California who live in areas battling wildfires. Praying for rain and cooler temperatures.

How About You?

How did you spend your Labor Day weekend? Have you been puttering? I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to.

Here’s to making a little time to enjoy these precious days as fall approaches.

Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Finding What I Lost in the Classified Ads

Me, my mom and sister at Chautauqua Park in Boulder, After.

 

I can divide my adolescence in two parts—Before and After.

The break happened when I was thirteen, on what began as a normal day. I was at a girlfriend’s house when my mom called and asked me to come home. Opening the front door I discovered Dad on the couch crying, a suitcase at his feet.

He explained that he was going to go live at a friend’s cabin for a while. He and Mom were having a tough time, and they had decided it would be best if he moved out. My baby sister was napping, and as he went in her room to kiss her goodbye I tried to absorb the shocking news. Crying openly, Dad pulled Mom and me into a long hug and then he was gone.

I realize now that I was probably experiencing depression in the months that followed. I tried to be good and responsible and help my mom, but I cried every night and wondered if I would ever stop feeling so sad.

A turning point came when the Johnny Nash song “I Can See Clearly Now” started playing on the radio. “Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind…”  Oh, how I longed for that feeling. I prayed for a rainbow, I really did. And soon a day went by without tears, and then two days, and eventually the ache started to lessen.

 

sun behind the clouds

 

Years later, a good counselor and a caring pastor would help me work through my angsty “After” years of high school when my main focus was hanging out with friends, partying, just getting by in school, and looking for love in all the wrong places. Once I got married and experienced my own troubles, I was able to better understand and empathize with my parents’ separation and divorce.

For all the time I spent sorting out what happened during the years After, though, I hadn’t really thought much about the girl I was Before.

Until now.

Last month, a classified ad on NextDoor.com caught my eye. A neighbor was selling a used clarinet—the instrument I had played in junior high, but quit in the months After. One phone call and twenty dollars later, the pretty clarinet in a black velvet-lined case was mine.

 

clarinet

 

That night I assembled the clarinet, lifted it to my lips and tried the easiest note—an open G. I wish I could tell you that the tone was clear and true. But the truth is that the first sound I made on my new clarinet was a piercing squeak that awakened our dog Boo with a confused growl.

 

What the?

 

Unlike getting back on a bicycle, I had to relearn all the keys and retrain my mouth to form the proper embouchure. Our junior high band teacher John A. Whitehurst was right:  playing the clarinet properly requires hours and hours of practice.

Something else surprising happened in the taking up of this new-old instrument. Returning to the clarinet brought back a flood of memories about the curious, unselfconscious girl I was Before.

I’d forgotten that in the years Before, my friends and I formed a musical group and performed in a local talent show.

 

Stars of Tomorrow Boulder 1970

 

Before, I marched in a parade downtown as I played my clarinet. I was in a folk dancing group, and twirled onstage to polka songs.

Before, I bought a ten-speed bike with my babysitting money and rode it all over Boulder. I sewed my own peasant blouses, crafted chokers from grosgrain ribbon and lace, and embroidered flowers on my jeans.

Before, I stood up and sang for the residents of a nursing home. I entered speech competitions, voluntarily!

Before, I tried out for the lead in the school play and was cast instead as the grandma, which required me to draw wrinkles on my face and whiten my hair with talcum powder.

 

Gray hair

 

In the After days, all I wanted to do was fit in. I didn’t venture on a single stage during high school.

Looking back, I marvel at how fearless I was Before. I also realize that those long-dormant interests are still part of who I am, four decades later. And the courage? It must still be there somewhere, too.

So recently I joined Toastmasters, where I stand up and give speeches and enjoy the thrill of doing something that scares the heck out of me.

And every night after dinner, I take out my clarinet.

 

Eliza Cross playing the clarinet

 

The notes come slow.

The squeaks come sometimes, too.

The dog howls.

But I play, and honor the girl I was Before.

I play, and offer melodies for the girl I was After.

I play and send up an old song about a bright, bright, sun-shiny day, so grateful for the loves and losses and mistakes and mercy and dark clouds and sunny days and hills and valleys and every breathtaking moment of grace, Before and After, that shaped my life and brought me here to Right Now.

And straight ahead?

There’s nothing but blue skies, my friends.

How About You?

Was there a time in your youth when you tried something that now seems fearless? Did you enjoy an activity years ago that you would like to try again? Have you recently returned to a former hobby or sport?

Is there a song, literal or figurative, that you long to play?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and memories.

Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross and her Dad

Dancing with my Dad, Before. If you look closely, you can see my shoes on top of his.

 

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Facing My Worst Self in the Grocery Line

cow backside

Photo: Andrew Storms

Every few weeks, I drive to my local Sprouts store and buy a couple bags of organic Guatemalan coffee. They have a machine where you can grind the roasted beans on the spot, and the coffee is soooo good.

This particular Sprouts store is a rather, shall we say, relaxed establishment where long lines are part of the experience. Last Thursday at 5 p.m., three cashiers were open and the lines of people stretched all the way back to the produce department.

As I eyed the three lines to figure out which would move quickest, a man veered his cart decisively to the right so I defaulted to the center, nearly cutting off another woman. She slid her cart in close behind me, and I could feel her daggers.

The people waiting all wore similar expressions of resignation, like you might see in the faces of cows standing in a dank feed lot. I counted the people in my line: 11. Then I looked over at the speedy gentleman to the right and counted only ten people ahead of him. So unfair! I thought to myself. I was totally planning to get in that line until he cut me off.

 

cows in feed lot

Photo: Randy Heinitz

 

I stood with my two little bags of coffee and inwardly groaned at the overstuffed carts ahead of me. Who are you people, camp cooks? I wondered. Preppers stocking up for the apocalypse?

Our cashier appeared to be an affable young man who was now chatting with the customer at the front of the line. C’mon, enough with the talking!  I implored him with my strongest ESP vibes.  Scan and talk at the same time! Let’s mooooooooove!

 

cow trampoline

 

To my right, Mr. Speedy’s cashier had stopped scanning. “Price check on register eight,” he announced. Oh YES. I brightened up considerably. Now Speedy’s line is slower than mine. Na, na, na, na, NA, na! 

Suddenly I had one of those out-of-body experiences where my better consciousness intervenes and slaps me upside the head. What are you thinking? it demanded. What’s with this ugly spirit of competitiveness? Why are you feeling glee because your fellow human is delayed?

 

cow and horse

 

Before I could answer those questions, I saw movement from the corner of my eye. A green-shirted Sprouts employee had appeared and was now fiddling around at the next cash register. He didn’t look at us as he carefully straightened the bags, meticulously sprayed the conveyor belt with cleaner, and counted every bill and coin in the cash drawer. And then…yes? No? Wait for it…

He flicked on the lane light, and a mass exodus occurred. The dagger woman behind me was first in line. Dust rose in the air and the new line was ten people deep in 15 seconds. None of us patient, longsuffering cattle had been nimble enough to migrate. Even worse, our bagging clerk moved over to the new line. So unfair!

Dagger’s eyes met mine as she paid for her groceries. “Hasta la vista, sucker,” she seemed to say before waltzing out of the store.

 

bye felicia cow

 

I took a deep breath, and tried to remember all the things I’ve read about acceptance and letting go. Inhale peace, exhale stress.

I pictured Jerry Seinfeld’s dad yelling, “Serenity now!” What is it about being in a crowded grocery store that brings out my most primitive instincts? My default mode seems to be:

  • I am in a hurry. Even if I’m not on any particular schedule, I’m still in a hurry.
  • Waiting is a big waste of  valuable time.
  • Lines should be fair and democratic!
  • Cashiers should be efficient and know all the grocery codes, even for starfruit and Swiss Chard.
  • Our bagger must never defect to another line!
  • When it’s my turn, I like it when the cashier is friendly.
  • Success = making better time than my fellow shoppers.

I took more deep breaths and sent up some lame, shallow prayers. After several more minutes of jockeying, it was finally my turn.

“Your coffee smells good,” the cashier said as he scanned.

“I love Sprouts coffee.”

“It’s the best.” He smiled and nodded at me. “You need to press the green ‘Enter’ button and click ‘Yes.'”

“Oh, sorry. All of these machines are different.”

“I know, right? Why can’t they standardize card readers?”

“Exactly!” I smiled and gazed back at the dozen people scowling in line behind me. I swear to you, I could hear words like “HURRY UP, LADY” and “MOVE IT!” floating around me.

 

angry cow

 

“You still need to sign the keypad.”

“Oh, sorry.”

As I headed toward the exit I noticed Mr. Speedy still in his line, peering at the card reader trying to figure out which button to push.

Cowabunga! I thought, as I skipped to my car like a happy heifer finally let out to pasture.

 

content cow

May your lines be short and your patience long in the days ahead.

Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. For more bad behavior, you might also enjoy “Why Was I Speeding Up a Mountain Road?

 

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

For the Love of Good Quality

Krups coffeemaker

My coffee maker is 20 years old this week. I know this for a fact, because it was a wedding present two decades ago. I hope it doesn’t sound wrong to mention that the appliance has lasted twice as long as the marriage.

dented Krups coffee carafeBy my estimation, this Krups coffee maker has produced more than 24,000 cups of excellent coffee and it’s still going strong. I dropped and dented the stainless carafe when we moved, but it didn’t affect the performance so I kept using it.

Lasting quality is a thing to behold these days, isn’t it? When our computers need to be replaced every few years and we tear down buildings like football stadiums after just a few decades, it can begin to feel like old things don’t have much value.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, too, but I really appreciate owning something that is classic and durable.

I write a lot about saving money, but sometimes it makes sense to invest in craftsmanship and lasting quality.

Here are some things that come to mind:

  • Cast iron skillets
  • Handcrafted furniture
  • A hand-forged knife
  • Classic clothes
  • A KitchenAid mixer
  • Well-made tools
  • A Pendleton blanket
  • Cowboy boots

Another hallmark of a well-made product is great customer service from the maker. When the inner shell of my OtterBox phone case cracked, the company promptly sent me a free replacement. No questions asked. No warranty required. I didn’t have to package up the old case and return it. They simply trusted me.

Buy Me Once is a brilliant company that sells goods like appliances, kitchenware and clothing that are made to last. They don’t yet offer coffee makers, but that’s okay. When mine wears out, I’ll probably look for another Krups.

How About You?

What do you own that is exceptionally well-crafted and long lasting? Can you recommend any brands that offer top quality products and great customer service? I always love to hear your suggestions and thoughts.

Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

The Photos I Didn’t Post on Instagram This Week

Instagram Eliza Cross

 

I love looking at everyone’s pretty pictures on Instagram. When I scroll through the feed, it’s like a little vacation for my soul. And when I look back through the collection of images I’ve posted, it’s like viewing a scrapbook of memories and lovely sights.

Instagram isn’t a reflection of my real life, though — not by a long shot. If I were posting the bad and ugly along with the good, I’d have shared this image:

 

kitchen drain repair

Real life.

 

Last week we discovered that the drain line from our kitchen sink cracked at some unknown time, and had been slowly leaking water in the basement wall. Getting it repaired wasn’t pretty… or cheap.

We couldn’t use our kitchen sink for four days. So I didn’t make homemade pizza like I’d shared on this previous Instagram post:

 

homemade pizza

 

Instead, real life led to pizza delivery because the kitchen was torn up and the plumber was here working late on Saturday night.

 

pizza delivery

Real life.

 

I love taking pictures in the garden, and occasionally I see a sight like these lovely Forget-me-nots:

 

forget me not

 

But do not be fooled into thinking that this snapshot is an accurate representation of our garden, my friends.

If I’m being real, I need to share some photos of the bug infestation I’m currently dealing with.

 

Black Cherry Aphid

Real life.

 

I believe this is Cherry Blackfly, an aphid that sucks the sap from cherry tree leaves in the spring. Ladybugs eat the aphids, so maybe next year I’ll try introducing some of the lucky bugs to the emerging leaves early in the season.

Interestingly, the wasps in our garden have also been eating the aphids. I tend to think of wasps as pests, so I’m reminded that nature has its own self-sustaining balance. At this stage of the growing season, the only remedy is to cut off and discard the damage — and who doesn’t love snipping sticky leaves covered with thousands of black bugs?

This is our dear dog Maddie. She is 16 or 17 years old, and I love this recent photo showing her sweet face and glorious white whiskers.

 

Australian cattle dog mix

 

This spry senior is starting to have a lot of accidents, though. Our wonderful vet has been running tests and trying different drugs, hoping for a miracle cure. The grass around our patio is not looking pretty, but I don’t care because she’s doing her best to get outside quickly.

 

Real life.

 

I’m reminded that the things we post on social media are usually the prettiest sights and our best selves, and not a true representation of anyone’s reality.

Did you know that Instagram has some real-life hash tags. including #bummer, #expensiverepair, #aphids, and #uglylawn?

If you want a real treat, be sure to check out #olddogsrule.

Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

A Reader’s Decluttering Dilemma

Clutter

 

Occasionally you readers write and ask me for advice.

When you query me about topics like cooking, gardening, simple living, and Greek yogurt, I always feel a mixture of flattery and terror—honored to be asked, and scared to death I’ll steer you wrong.

Curiously, you never ask me for dating tips. What’s up with that?!

Anyhoo, a lovely reader named Leah wrote me about a common dilemma that can arise when trying to clear space and get organized. Here’s her letter:

Dear Wise Eliza,  (Please note: I may or may not have added the word “Wise”)

We need to declutter, and I am about to get rid of lots of things. For me, the difficulty isn’t in parting with the things (i.e., it’s not a question of sentimentality or nostalgia) – the issue is that I don’t know how to find all these things good homes without going to great lengths. Goodwill and other charity shops are great for some items, but I simply don’t know what to do with really nice things. I want the next “steward” to really love them – not keep them in storage (as I did) and then put them in landfill.

I can get rid of these things quick on Freecycle, but I’ve found that people don’t value objects or services unless they pay for them. eBay is a possibility but it involves a lot of time and hassle; yard sales are time-consuming and people generally are looking for deals (rather than things they love and need); and giving these things as gifts feels like I’m burdening my friends. Two strong, conflicting needs – to shift the stuff fast and be non-wasteful – are tough for me to reconcile, and I don’t know what to do.

What would you advise?? My husband tells me not to feel guilty or responsible for the existence of these things (especially the items that were given to me as gifts), but I find this so emotional and difficult!

Gratefully yours,

~Conscientious, but Crowded

 

Leah, have you considered keeping a hungry goat as a pet?

 

Pet goat

 

Sorry, I’m kidding—no pun intended.

Let me share a couple of thoughts, and then we’ll invite our astute readers to weigh in.

1. You might enjoy this post,How to Declutter Your Home,” by Maxwell Ryan. Ryan is the co-founder of Apartment Therapy, a wonderful site with inspiring photos and ideas to help people in smaller homes create beautiful, highly functioning spaces.

2. Consider selling your treasures on NextDoor.com, a site that connects people in nearby neighborhoods. It’s much less anonymous than, say, Craigslist. I’ve sold several items using the site’s free classified ads, and met some really nice people in the process.

3. Find a nonprofit that helps people transition from homelessness. A fine example here in Denver is Joshua Station, a former old Motel 6 converted into apartments refurbished by volunteers and decorated with donated goods. If you find a charitable organization where your wonderful treasures will directly be making a difference in another person’s life, you may feel more peace about letting them go.

4. Photograph your treasures before you say goodbye, and make a photo book through a service like Shutterfly. Write a few memories, so that you can remember and share your feelings about the items and what they meant to you.

How About You?

Readers, will you share your thoughts about how to mindfully declutter and let things go? I always love hearing your ideas, personal experiences—and dating tips.

Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. Grateful thanks to Tomi Knuutila for the use of the collection image above and Rebecca Siegel for the use of her wonderful goat image.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

For the Love of Classic Clothes

Classic clothing

Dear friends,

I own a silk blouse that I’ve been wearing and enjoying for 16 years. I don’t even remember where I got it, but the blouse fits perfectly and the cut is flattering. The sleeves are just the right length, and the collar is neither too narrow nor too wide. I hand-wash the blouse, and because it’s made of quality fabric it still looks like new.

In a world of cheap, throwaway goods, isn’t it a pleasure to own something that is classic, well made, and lasting?

For the past several years, I’ve been challenging myself to only acquire great clothes that I really love. No more buying a so-so shirt just because it’s on sale. Everything has to fit well and feel good. Gradually, my wardrobe has morphed into a smaller, but nicer collection.

Great clothes don’t need to be expensive. For Christmas the past few years I’ve asked for classic cashmere sweaters from the thrift store, and my family has happily obliged. I now have an assortment of soft, pretty sweaters that keep me warm and cozy all winter long.

A tailored black lightweight wool blazer I found at T.J. Maxx is perfect for business events, and it always looks right because it doesn’t have big shoulder pads or huge lapels — just traditional, time-tested styling.

Some other staples in my closet include jeans that fit well, black pants, a white cotton blouse, a black skirt, white jeans, fitted t-shirts, and a little black dress for parties. I wear a lot of black, so I have black boots, pumps, flats, and sandals as well. Simple.

According to Esquire magazine, some of the can’t-fail classic items for men include khaki pants, an oxford button-down shirt, a navy sport coat, a white dress shirt, a tailored suit, and a polo shirt.

True sustainability, for me, is wrapped up in craftsmanship and lasting quality. Accumulating fewer-but-better clothes frees up closet space and makes getting dressed in the morning a pleasure.

How About You?

What clothing item in your closet has stood the test of time? What wardrobe favorites do you return to again and again?

What men’s and women’s clothing classics would you add to my lists above?

I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts.

Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

 

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Book Giveaway: The Suburban Micro-Farm

The Suburban Micro Farm book

 

This month I’m excited to give away a brand new copy of Amy Stross’s terrific book, The Suburban Micro-Farm: Modern Solutions for Busy People ( Twisted Creek Press, $24.95). Amy blogs over at TenthAcreFarm, where she writes about permaculture gardening and urban homesteading from her tenth-acre yard in the suburbs of Cincinnati.

For those of us who are stretched for time but still would love to yield abundant harvests in our gardens, Amy’s 344-page book is full of great ideas, practical advice, helpful illustrations, charts, photos, and resources.

She begins with a good section on managing expectations, and shares her own strategies for planning and scheduling gardening tasks — many in 15-minute increments. Next, she provides tips on how to improve suburban soil. From there, she covers a variety of helpful topics like getting organized and sketching out your garden, starting plants from seed, growing your own fruits and vegetables, extending seasons with cold frames, growing herbs, incorporating edible plants into a suburban landscape, and a great section on permaculture and micro-farming.

I was especially inspired by the last chapter, where Amy covers ideas and tips for generating income with your suburban farm, from growing cut flowers to making your own maple syrup. Reading this book made me look at our yard with a new point of view, wondering how I might transform some of the unproductive spaces into gardens that would produce good food — or even a little extra income.

This book would be a worthy addition to any gardener’s library. If you’d like to enter to win your own copy, just leave a comment on this page and reply to this question:

What’s one new thing you’d like to grow in your garden?

(After reading Amy’s book, I’m inspired to grow black raspberries.) The giveaway is open to anyone with a U.S. shipping address, and will run through Friday, April 21 at midnight MST.

BIG thanks to Amy Stross for providing the book for this giveaway, and good luck to all of you!

Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Looking Back Over 500 Blog Posts

Simple living quote

Dear friends,

My blog software tells me that I’ve now written 500 blog posts — five hundred musings about my quest for a simpler lifestyle. Gosh, somehow I thought I’d have more things figured out by now.

Did I even have a goal when I started this blog? I don’t remember. I think I hoped that if I wrote about simple living, the lifestyle I longed for would follow.

As I’ve quietly pursued a simpler path, I’ve seen other bloggers accomplish some truly amazing things. Some have whittled down their possessions to 100 things, while others have zero-waste homes, or produce all their family’s solar energy and collect rain water in a cistern and even recycle their toilet water.

Meanwhile, after writing 500 blog posts, I’m still trying to get the same old garage organized.

I still work too hard and get burned out, for which I compensate with long intervals of couch time, Tostitos, and Pinterest.

Some days I manage to cook a healthy, organic, from-scratch, well-balanced family meal. But more often, the meal is a compromise of one or more of those ideals.

Even if I’m not the simplicity guru I’d hoped to be by now, my perspective has definitely shifted. Participating with you in the January Money Diet for eight years has helped our family get out of debt, save more, and improvise.

Like the quote above from C.K. Chesterton, we’ve learned to be content with less.

The Best Part of Blogging

During the journey, the most amazing, unexpected, affirming thing happened along the way… YOU! Blogging connected me with all of you, as you generously shared your ideas, and your struggles, and your enthusiasm.

A handful of those 500 blog posts provoked comments and conversations that have continued for years.

For example, a post I wrote about how to make your own Greek yogurt has inspired hundreds of comments:

 

homemade Greek yogurt recipe

 

I still receive notes from other poor souls suffering from a real condition called Pine Mouth, which I got from eating cheap Chinese pine nuts:

 

Pine Mouth | Happy Simple Living blog

 

I wrote about “11 things to do with fresh mint” after growing a bumper crop that produced enough fresh mint to make a mojito for every person in the state of Rhode Island:

 

Fresh mint at Happy Simple Living blog

 

A stopped-up sink led me to share a chemical-free way to unclog a drain:

 

soda vinegar

 

My post about trying to get rid of bindweed has connected me with many other weed warriors:

 

Free bindweed at Happy Simple Living

 

And our homemade pizza recipe is still one of the top posts:

 

Fresh pizza recipe at Happy Simple Living blog

 

So this is post #501, my friends. We’ll see where this journey takes us next.

I’m so very honored to be exploring “the art of less” with each of you, as we try to live simply and well.

Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. If you’re on Goodreads, you still have a few more days to enter the giveaway to win one of 10 copies of my new cookbook Berries: Sweet and Savory Recipes. The drawing closes April 9, 2017.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.