Around the House · Musings

The Zen of Doing the Dishes

By Hand

I’ve washed dishes by hand for most of my 6 plus decades. I did have a dishwasher for a few of those years, and I did enjoy it, but the truth is that washing dishes can be quite cathartic. The following article reminded me of this:

Forget Biohacking…

There is something powerful about taking the task of cleaning up the kitchen in hand and leaving behind clean dishes, counters, sink. It literally provides a clean slate for the next day.

And, to be honest, unless you, or someone in your house who cooks, is a person who uses every pot, pan, utensil, and dish every single day, it really does not take that much time.

Here is a great article explaining how to wash dishes by hand: Dishwashing Made Easy

While it may not sound as amazing as it is, doing the dishes by hand provides time to just be.

Around the House · Classic TV

Chill Baby!

Finding ways to relax when things get busy

We have entered that time of the year when things get a bit (?) hectic…stressful…chaotic.

Yep, The Holidays have arrived.

If you find yourself needing a bit of a stress relief or some time away from the hustle and bustle, I invite you to join me as I embark on a journey to find some zen quiet. For as long as you like. 😉

Bob Ross has been a staple for decades. Even for those of us who don’t paint, sitting back and enjoying the process can be quite relaxing. You can find an entire channel (!!!!) of his shows on PlutoTV.

Katie Scott (Salvaged by K Scott) has a YouTube channel packed with videos of her work. She is an excellent teacher but more important to me, watching her process is very relaxing.

For the ultimate in relaxation, try Girl With The Dogs over on YouTube. Vanessa has two channels filled with grooming videos of dogs and cats. I have found her videos not only relaxing but educational as I had no idea what was involved in grooming a dog. Some of her clients may not enjoy the process while others truly enjoy the experience. Check her out for yourself.

I’ve noticed that several ‘fireplaces’ have appeared across several streaming platforms. In addition, YouTube has some very comfortable jazz based videos (think coffee houses or bookstores) that you can click on to not only add some nice background music but a rather nice view, too.

Sometimes you just need to find a few minutes to relax. I hope these options are helpful.

Around the House

Easing Into The Funnies

Or, a quiet time during the day

The daily newspaper contains a lot of things but the biggest draw for me is the comics section. Granted there are a few papers who have given up on this old standard, but the one I enjoy has kept its’ comics section going strong.

I haven’t taken the time to count the number of entries there, but I can usually find a wide variety of offerings that cover a lot of topics.

The thing about comic strips is that you can usually find something to please pretty much every mood. Some are very cute, others on point, and even a few make you stop and laugh – the best ones make you laugh out loud unexpectedly.

Personally, I prefer to browse my favorites, groan about the one or two where the kids have yet to plug in their brains, ponder the messages in others, and think back to when the oldies were actually new. And, yes, I remember when those particular rerun strips were first run. It is almost like watching MeTV at times…

My favorite thing about the comics is their ability to bring life to the reader in ways that capture imagination and interest where there might not have been any before. Sort of like taking a walk around the neighborhood and being able to peek inside the houses at the people inside.

When I want a bigger hit of the good stuff, I head over to and do a deep dive. Pure bliss!

Yes the daily newspapers have lots of information but I think their best offering is in the comics section. It is where connections are made.

Around the House

Go With The Flow

Or Learn to Adapt

I caught a bit of Mornings With Granny the other day and while I did not sit through the entire video, her point was pretty clear: Learn to adapt.

It has been clear for a while now that many folks seem to be terrified / paralyzed at the thought that they would have to use their own initiative to complete a task or a recipe if they did not have exactly what was required by the instructions. How can you be ‘Perfect’ if you went off script?

Here’s a thought: Everything we are told to do via instructions or recipe came about because someone went off script.

You might want to read that again.

That recipe you love came about because someone somewhere did not have all ingredients called for or forgot to change the oven temperature or … … …

That process you are trying came about because the original instructions did not work for someone for whatever reason, so they changed the way they did it and look what happened.

Adaptability is one of those things that can make your life easier with a lot less stress.

Do you have allergies to certain foods? Leave them out. Try substituting foods you do like. Do you not like certain colors or patterns? Don’t use them. Instead, use what you like. Worried about what others will think if you do? Realize that many of them are looking to find ways (or excuses) to not be caught up in doing exactly what others are doing, too.

While you might be thinking that following the crowd is the best way even though you really are not happy with the results, here is your permission – should you need it – to do what you really want to do.

Who knows? You might be the next trend setter!

Around the House

Anticipating Fall

Like many folks, I have had enough of Summer. The running joke around here is if you don’t like the weather wait 5 minutes. That worked back when we had a variety of options rather than the standard ‘hot’. Personally, I’m ready for a 5 minute change.

I have found myself contemplating pot roast and cozy coffee and baking something warm and, well, cozy. You get the drift.

I came across my holiday DVD collection today. Peanuts! All the autumn and winter specials. I can enjoy spending time with the kids as they wait for the Great Pumpkin or endeavor to collect lots of Halloween candy! I love the Christmas special, too.

I was thinking about the apple cake I made last year and contemplating doing it again. Did you try it? Scrumptious! I also want to try Erin McDowell’s biscuits and pie crust recipes.

September seems to herald the start of a new phase where we buckle down and get ready for winter weather. We gather favorite recipes and ponder gift giving while curling up with something to keep us company.

Hard to do that when it is hot and humid outside, right?

Here’s hoping you start your own end of year process. Are you collecting ideas, contemplating crafting, gearing up for a major (or minor) cleaning phase?

Sending you luck!

Around the House

Tips And Tricks

Every once in a while I come across something that brings out the “Ah, ha! I have to try that!” in me. Here are a couple I’ve found to share.

Coffee filters…Who would have thought?

Cheap, handy, easy to use:

Laundry Hack Saves Money

Many decades ago when I first learned to do laundry, I was taught to use the old fashioned wringer washer. This machine was accompanied by 2 large tubs for rinsing. Fabric softener was not a ‘thing’ at that time. At most, we might use blueing for whites.

Fast forward to the use of automatic washers and the deluge of detergents, softeners, whiteners, and whatever else someone could come up with that you ‘must have’.

I’ll tell you a secret; I stopped using fabric softeners for 99.9% of my laundry years ago. Yes, years. And you know what? My laundry is better, cleaner. Why did I stop? My towels got to the place where they were not as absorbent as they should be. Now they are absorbent, smell fresh and actually work better at doing their job; drying me.

You might be interested in the Simple Laundry Trick for Fluffy Towels. Check it out.

Now, I do have a bottle of fabric softener in my laundry room that I use sparingly. But for the majority of my laundry I no longer use it. My budget is happy, too.

I hope you found these little trips and tricks interesting and useful. If so, please let me know by clicking on the ‘Like’ button.

Around the House

The Weekend Schedule

For years I was a PBS Weekend junkie

My Saturdays were filled with DIY shows that covered quite a range of topics. Sundays were catch up days or out of the ordinary show days.

That was my reality for decades until I could no longer get PBS or PBS Create over the air. Once that access was lost (and please don’t tell me that I could watch on the Internet…as long as I sat at my computer) it took a while before I found an equitable replacement. YouTube provides an enormous quantity of material but I have found a lot of similar material on a variety of streaming platforms. So, what is my Weekend Schedule?


DIY Danie drops her weekly video on YouTube while I am zoning on MeTV’s Saturday Morning Cartoons. Danie does some seriously amazing DIYs! I would call her fearless but I’m sure she would say otherwise. Want to learn how to build a table or design a dressing area? Looking for ideas to renovate a bathroom…or an entire house? Have a passion for [ fill in the blank ] and want to create something connected to it? Check out Danie’s channel. She can be quirky and a bit silly, but don’t overlook her attention to detail, determination, and the passion she has for the process.

Next up is Salvaged by Katie Scott. I have no idea how I found her but I love watching her take a piece of furniture that was headed toward a landfill and turn it into something beautiful. This lady has some serious design chops but she really shines as she teaches how she works through a project.

For a long time Entertaining With Beth has been a weekly staple. Beth takes the time to make sure her videos are not only fun to watch but easy to follow. Her food is not always geared toward entertaining as she adds in some great weekly recipes, but when she produces a meal plan geared toward a holiday, she always provides the time line and information so you can follow along.

The Domestic Geek is another great place to find healthy, easy meal ideas geared toward folks with limited time. Sara Lynn has been providing interesting, quick, easy, and healthy recipes for quite a while and I always enjoy her smiling welcome.

When I look for something a bit different…or not, I look for Cheryl over at What’s For Tea? Cheryl is a home cook in Scotland who shares her weekly shop and the meals she has made for her small family. She often does videos showing how she created a particular recipe, too. It might not sound like much, but I love the down home simple approach to a weekly meal shop and prep. And the food… Yum!

Maymay Made It is a Saturday staple. Maymay always has a crafting project to share. If she is working on a long project, we might be seeing a part of the process. The best way to see what might be coming is to check out her channel and pay attention to her schedule. She does a live show on Thursdays but posts several times during the week. You might find a product review, a stamp set reveal, or the latest project.


Sundays mornings are devoted to breakfast with the UK folks. Both Mr. Carrington and Luke Catleugh drop new videos each week. Each has a different focus, often they team up. You never quite know what to expect. Travel, DIY, cookery, movie reviews, pets, hauls, gardening. The guys provide a quiet, easy entry to the day that always brings a smile and at least one chuckle. I credit Mr. C for reviving my interest in plants.

Glen and Friends drops videos at different times during the week but the Sunday show (the Old Cookbook Show) is a favorite. Glen could be focusing on a process rather than a recipe or he could be doing some experimentation with a variety of recipes. If you check out his channel you will find a plethora of material that reflects an interest in a wide variety of foods.

These are some of my go to folks. I learn a lot, I have fun watching, and often I am inspired. Check them out, if you like what you see, don’t forget to subscribe.

Which reminds me, if you like what you find here, let me know by clicking that ‘like’ button.


Around the House

Tastes Change

Recently several of my favorite YouTubers commented that their tastes have changed/evolved over the years and it sounded like they were a little surprised by that. Another stepped right up and said that she was no longer decorating her home based on what her followers might want to see, but on what she wanted for her home.


You often hear about trends changing or how idea boards have shifted from one ‘ideal’ to another, but it is rare that you hear from folks – especially content creators – that their personal tastes have changed.

Realistically, everyone’s preferences shift over time. On pretty much everything. Some folks find their dietary preferences change as flavors and different foods become popular…or not. The same goes for clothing and home decor. It is a major factor in what drives in colors and out colors, too.

If you look at Pinterest you will see a lot of shift in what folks think is ‘In’ or ‘Out’. The same goes for any magazine or decorating show.

Many times this shift is unconscious in that the consumer finds an aesthetic s/he prefers over what is already in the home. Sometimes the shift is deliberate. Call it the Intentional Home.

Whatever your preferences, I think it is a good thing to find ways to up your style. Sometimes that unexpected color choice or fabric addition can add to a room. It doesn’t have to be permanent.

The only thing I would add is that I believe your home should reflect you, not Pinterest or some content provider’s version of what is ‘in’. To my mind, that is the only way you will be comfortable in your home as opposed to feeling as if you are in a temporary spot. And if it matches the latest version of what is trendy, fine as long as you are comfortable living there.

Around the House

A Little Spring Cleaning – Part 2

Want to spruce up your space a bit? Wash your pillows. Not just the covers, the pillows. NOTE: Be sure your pillows are washable before you attempt this!

Sometimes the best refresh goes deeper than simply changing up the linens or curtains. I would venture to say that most of us really don’t realize just how much wear and tear, not to mention dirt and grime, our surfaces accumulate. That being said, dirt and grime don’t stay on the outside of the pillow, hence the need to wash it.

I run my washable pillows through a cold wash and dry them on the permanent press setting. They are clean and, almost as if by magic, as fluffy as when I first purchased them. I also use a scented fabric softener to add to the refresh for the room.

Don’t overlook your bed pillows! While it might be ‘easier’ to purchase new ones, if your current set is washable, why not just run them through a cycle? You save money and refresh not only your pillows but your bedroom, too.

I don’t recommend that you do this process more than 3 times a year unless there is some extraneous reason.

Aside from pillows, don’t overlook the curtains and drapes in your home. While some might need professional cleaning, the majority could easily go through your home laundry and once dry could be rehung without needing to encounter an iron. Don’t forget to check for any needed repairs. Again, check to be sure those fabrics are washable before you attempt cleaning them.

  • Throw Pillows
  • Bed Pillows
  • Throw Rugs
  • Furniture Covers
  • Curtains
  • Drapes
  • Throw Blankets
  • Blankets and Quilts
Around the House · YouTube

A Little Spring Cleaning

There is something refreshing about doing a bit of cleaning or clean out from time to time. In my case, I recently went through my YouTube subscriptions and cleared out those I no longer watch or who haven’t posted in a bit. Frankly, I was astounded.

There is an ebb and flow to the way we connect with certain things. Sometimes it takes only a few visits while other times it can take years to outgrow something.

I’ve often found myself amazed at the quality (or lack) of the videos I encounter. There are some seriously talented folks producing some great content out there!

I appreciate the level of work involved in producing a video – there is a lot that goes into those few minutes we see on our screens. I also appreciate when I find a content provider that would never, ever be seen on ‘regular’ media for a variety of reasons.

In any event, if you haven’t taken a few minutes to go through your subscriptions and clear out the ones you no longer watch, now might be a good time. Also, consider sharing the ones you do watch with friends and encouraging them to subscribe. You might be surprised at the impact.