Reality is 98% water

Remember that thought when you are feeling completely locked into old patterns and ways. In fact, with so much water around, floating must be at least as good an option as holding one's breath, no?
Thanks to all who sent in e-mails and comments and calls on the making of the meal plan; you have seriously raised the bar and re-energized me. I am so thankful to have so many smart and caring domestic goddesses in my midst. Although I often operate like
a lone wolf, you have all assured me that, indeed, there exists a welcoming den of other mothers and pups.
Good things are before us. As a new era is ushered into Washington, D.C., so it is in the world. Amidst all of the talk of change, and those resounding "Si, se puede-s," I am reminded that true positive change in one's circumstances is never external first; change comes from within.

Being domestic goddesses, we get that, don't we?

Read related "centering" posts here


Changing the meal plan: Yes we can!

One of my most popular blog posts from last year was Coco's Meal Plan: Kid Tested. But isn't it life that no sooner did I finish pressing "Publish" on that blog when everyone at my house started to feel bored and restless with the weekly meals.

I, on the other hand was enjoying how the plan gave a structure to dinner hour after my busy work day, and I also liked the ease with which I could get basic shopping lists done for the week. But the meals were losing their luster after three solid months of repetition.

It was time for change ... I agreed to do a re-design after the Inauguration of President Obama.
So, here I am, looking for inspiration.

One meal I would like to try is serving breakfast for dinner. I could create a basic meal around popovers or crepes with fillings, an omelet, or rich corn muffins. The problem is that the breakfast-for-dinner concept can carry sugar and fat in crazy proportions, so while my son would love that, I am not satisfied. Nevertheless, it will be on the menu so I'll just have to play with protein so that he isn't too carbed out.

The other must-have is baked potato night on Mondays. So, that leaves three more nights to plan. Got ideas? Take this into consideration:

Brooks loves all foods, but especially loves to have a steamy, rich, hot meal with meat or fish at least three times a week. I would like to integrate more whole grains into the plan; rich, nutty brown and wild rices, especially. My daughter is a broad eater and loves veggies. My son is a narrow eater and loves fruit.
Together we live a 3-d version of the food triangle, but getting us all on a single plan that makes everyone happy, avoids waste, and feels fun and efficient is a challenge.

What are your ideas? Do you ever just let the kids make their own stuff? What about take out? Do you have any favorites to share? I'd love to hear 'em.

Read more Feeling Good posts


Mudrooms - Is it possible to keep the dirt of life out?

I admit that for many years I envied pretty much anyone with a mudroom.

This envy started in my teens during long ski weekends in Vermont. I loved the way each of us had a neat compartment in which to stow boots, wet mittens, skis, poles, etc., "apres ski."

That particular mudroom was built out of rough cedar, and I doubt I'll ever forget the way it looked and the smell of damp wood mixed with the smell of crackling fire. The overall message that particular mudroom gave was: "Come on in, warm up and lighten your load!"

In my 30s, my taste for mudrooms became more refined. I preferred designs that were architecturally interesting, tucked away in difficult spaces, were naturally lit and painted so that the pretty wood trim stood out. There were lovely hooks and door pulls on each cabinet door, typically. The overall impression those mudrooms gave were: "We're pretty and organized!"

It didn't matter how large the house or cabin was, you see. When a friend was "buying a house with a mudroom" or was "putting in a mudroom" I always felt at a loss, like my plans to have fun and be organized and protect my family from the _ _ _ _ of life were somehow less evolved since I couldn't seem to get the mudroom plan together.

Deep down, I believed that my friends were playing a better offense game against life's dirt -- and I don't mean soil. I mean the really tough-staining, life changing messes like disease, disability, even death and dying. ...

I was naive (it's adorable, no?) to suppose on some unconscious level that with just enough "citrus sunshine" color painted onto clean wood trim and ample storage space to tuck in the kid biz of the day--the lunch boxes, backpacks, gear, etc. -- we'd be safely armed against the chaos and heartbreak of life.

As for my own plans for a mudroom: I'm making do with two stainless steel hooks off the back door. Sure, it would be great to have a mudroom. I'd make it pretty, and welcoming. I'd feel good about it for sure. But I also know that I'd still have to learn to live with the messes life can offer.

No need for cubbies or cupboards labeled: "Life" or "Ups and Downs" or "Stuff I Don't Even Know How to Handle Yet." These items are better stored in plain sight. That way, we can practice living with them, no?

What would be your favorite cubby label? Instead of "Inbox," would you label your secret stowaways "In-law" or "Kids Homework Hassles" or "Orphaned Tupperware?"