Moving Mom – Be Ready, When The Time Comes To Move Your Elderly Parents

I had my last child at age 42, which I’m told increases my odds of becoming a centenarian (100+ years old.) The thought of being around to enjoy more time with my children is appealing, but I’m not sure my kids would be that excited about spending time with their 100-year-old mom! Both of my (long-ago divorced) parents are robustly enjoying their 80’s, but as my mom nears her 90th birthday we, like thousands of other 40/50-somethings, are making plans for Mom to come live with us. We are fortunate that my Mom is healthy enough not to require professional care on a daily basis, so she will be moving into our son’s bedroom and we’ll create a living space for him in our basement.…

7 Great Family Games To Bring Along When You Travel

Everyone’s fingers pointed toward me, Mom’s the werewolf!” They were correct as usual, I was the werewolf. The game we were playing, One Night · Werewolf, required skills I did not possess namely; lying, strategizing on the fly, and then more lying. I was terrible at it, but it wasn’t about how well I could play the game, it was about the laughter it induced and the lifelong memories we were creating with our kids. Like many families, we try to sit down together for meals as often as we can. It gives us a chance to catch up and connect, but that brief time can sometimes feel forced and that type of environment doesn’t always inspire openness. When we want to really connect with our kids,…

What Should I Pass Onto My Children?

I have inherited the possessions of two relatives in my life, and it was an overwhelming experience I am determined NOT to pass on to my children! From bulky wooden pieces of furniture to trinkets from world travels, I had to try to unravel the history and value of the multiple mementoes my grandmother had left behind. Like an archeologist, I unearthed studiously wrapped up and ferreted away treasures I discovered in the far end of bureau drawers and closets. Nana had surprised me by labeling a few of her more precious pieces, but knowing where they’d come from, or their age, wasn’t enough to take me back to that place and time she’d found so important. This is why most of us hold onto mementoes,…

How I “Tiny Housed” My Full-Sized Life In 7 Short Days!

“Would you take 3 bucks for it?’ the man said holding my stunning McCoy vase. It had come to this, all of my collectables, dishes, utensils and appliances lay out like lava on the kitchen counters, the result of a huge cabinet eruption. This was the final weekend before we moved to Costa Rica and our family of four could only take a few suitcases, so EVERYTHING else had to go. My husband had already moved to start working, so I alone had to get rid of a house and garage full of things I never thought I could live without; a chef’s kitchen full of my favorite things, a library of books I’d collected over a lifetime, 10 boxes of Christmas decorations, and craft/art supplies…

The Best Position And Products For Better Sleep

Tony picked me up from school that drizzly day in his 1963 Volvo station wagon. He’d invested countless hours fixing up his adorable car, which reminded me of a dapper older gentleman! The jaunty white car’s front grille donned a thin chrome mustache and its two headlamps jutted out like inquisitive eyes. There was even a “monocle” rear view mirror standing up like a comma out by the front of the hood.  The red low back seats were meticulously treated with Armor All making them look they’d just come out of the showroom and the shiny red Volvo logos in the center of each white wheel served as adornments on the spats covering this fellow’s black tire shoes.   We pulled up to a stoplight and…

“Tiny House Your Full-Sized Life” · 7 Day Challenge

The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment. – Marie Kondo Tiny house living or downsizing may sound appealing, but if you can’t abandon your current full-sized life, you can still experience the joys of tiny house living. I moved back to the US two years ago after long-term tiny house living abroad and in just two short years back home, my drawers, closets, and life were bursting at the seams. I had innumerable decorations (otherwise known as stuff) out on display that needed constant cleaning and I’d begun replacing, rather than religiously repurposing or upcycling what I already had. As the amount of stuff increased, “clutter clusters” were spawned in almost every room. The materialism…

“Nature Abhors A Vacuum And So Do I.” —Anne Gibbons · Easy Spring Cleaning Tips

Frühjahrsputz (German) · lente – skoonmaak (Afrikaans) · dọn dẹp nhà cửa sạch sẽ vào cuối đông (Vietnamese) · pulizie di primavera (Italian) · nettoyage de printemps (French) · limpieza general (Spanish) · Spring Cleaning (English)                                                                   Spring is here, and with the continuous rain showers we’ve had here in the south, I’ve been able to postpone the dreaded spring cleaning my home so richly deserves.   Our ancestors kept their homes warm with coal, kerosene and wood. On the first sunny day of spring, they threw open the doors and windows and hauled everything outside to beat out…

5 TRUTHS ABOUT EXPAT LIVING · Free ebook!

Watching too many episodes of House Hunters International lately? Can you see yourself waking up to unscheduled days, ready for whatever adventure comes your way? Are you thinking, “I’ve got to get out of here!” more and more these days? Well maybe you can do just that. Moving abroad is not terribly difficult. Once you’ve made the decision, you research different countries’ annual rainfall, crime rates, and cost of living. You voraciously read books about different expats’ madcap experiences as they got to know their new home country, and before long you feel ready to “pull the trigger.” Thousands of people, just like you, have traded in the rat race for a completely different life, but research has shown that the average length of stay for expats…

“I’ll Have The Love Tacos Please!” – How We Successfully Operated Our Restaurant in Costa Rica

The old restaurant refrigerator hummed and rumbled sporadically, a sign that for at least this moment, all of its’ contents weren’t “going south.” This would be the last time I’d heave up the rolling steel garage doors of our tiny Mexican restaurant, that opened up to the bustling street in front. I surveyed the dining room, shaking my head as I looked down at the bulky Guanacaste wood tables and chairs that took up way too much room. They’d been made by a local artist, so we’d tolerated the inconvenience and bruised shins for years. The bright-colored Mexican blankets and papel picado, hanging on the walls, were covered with a thin layer of street dust, a relentless foe, I constantly battled. I’d painstakingly rag painted…

Shifting Perspective · Our Impromptu Photo Shoot In Costa Rica

“There’s a place to wait over there.” My husband waved his hand toward the far wall of the dusty automotive repair yard in Costa Rica, where we’d stopped to have the oil changed in our 1990 Nissan Sunny. It was almost 10am, and the heat and humidity wrapped around us like overcoats. Sweat droplets made their way down our backs, as my kids and I picked our way around broken down vehicles sprawled out around the yard, in various states of disrepair. They looked like they’d desperately crawled toward this isolated mechanic’s oasis, but sadly, chugged their final gasp and collapsed, just short of the single work bay. This was not an air-conditioned waiting room with magazines strewn about. We were in Costa Rica, where the only place…

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