Love Quote from Rumi

Rumi wrote this over 800 years ago, yet love hasn’t changed.  Love is timeless, endless.  And no one says it better than Rumi.

“Although I may try to describe love,

When I experience it, I am speechless.”

– Rumi

May you experience love today and every tomorrow.

Mountainside view and Rumi love quote


 Ahhh. Satori.

Sometimes I come across a word that lights me up because it expresses something perfectly.  My word for the day is satori.   I needed it.

I discovered the word in Eckhart Tolle’s book – A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose – on page 177.  It immediately resonated with me.  I had to stop and write it down in my fat little notebook of new words.

Satori: “A zen word for a moment of presence, a brief stepping out of the voice in your head, the thought processes, and their reflection in the body as emotion.  It is the arising of inner spaciousness where before there was the clutter of thought and the turmoil of emotion.”

Inner spaciousness replacing clutter of thought and turmoil of emotion.  Perfect.

I hope you, too, find space for satori today.

Chain O Lakes view from hiking trail

View of lake from Chain O Lakes State Park hiking trail July 2017







 Free Kindle Books Today – Eggs and Clutter

I’ve downloaded a few free Kindle book titles today. Note that often Amazon has free book titles for only a very short time, so they may revert back to regular prices at any time.

First, I found a title on egg storage. Even though we sell eggs, we often seem to have an extra dozen. I freeze many of them, but am interested in other methods of preserving.  Here is the free book (for now) link:

How To Preserve Eggs: Freezing, Pickling, Dehydrating, Larding, Water Glassing, & More


Next, I found two titles on simplicity and clearing clutter:

The Joy of Less – Volume 2 – Finding Simplicity: How to “let go” and learn to love yourself on the path to a simplified, de-cluttered life

The Joy of Less: Volume 3 – Purging: A step by step Guide to a Clutter Free Environment


I hope these free Kindle books are still available for you!






 An Ernest Holmes Quote


I’ve been reading and also working in the gardens this last week.  Here is a quote from Ernest Holmes that has caused me to spend time in thought while I pulled weeds and admired flowers:

Ernest Holmes Quote with Cape Cod beach background

You cannot heal anyone of his trouble if it is the result of some mental attitude which he will not surrender.”  – Ernest Holmes

I guess we each have had times when we needed to hear this. It’s not an easy idea to accept, but that doesn’t make it any less true. So many times our loved ones have to find their own path. We can only watch and pray.


Cape Cod beach photo by Patti Tokar Canton

 Wisdom from Rumi

Rumi quote

I have lived on the lip of insanity wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door.  The door opens. I’ve been knocking from the inside.




Rumi Quotes – Wisdom for today

Photo of door courtesy of artur84 and

 On the Verge of Berries



Strawberries on a cutting boardI walked across the meadow to the wooded area of our property tonight.  We call it “the woods” even though it is only about 2 or so acres of trees.  Nothing like Pooh Bear’s Hundred Acre Woods.

This year it looks like we are going to have plenty of blackberries.  A few weeks ago, the whole woods seemed graced by clouds of small white flowers on the blackberry bushes.  Now the flowers have been replaced with hard, green, baby berries.  I wonder how long before they turn into tender, ripe blackberries?

As well, the mulberry trees and bushes are covered with green berries, although there are some patches of pale pink berries in the first stages of ripening.  It will still be awhile before they ripen to purple-black mulberries.  (Check my earlier blog post on picking mulberries.)  We should have all the mulberries we care to pick this year, too.

Back in the yard, the raspberries are in the stages of ripening, too, although it looks like the blackberries will ripen before the raspberries do.  We’ll see.  Nature is in charge and I am just the rewarded spectator.

I didn’t even mention the best part so far:  Chris picked well over a gallon of sweet, bright red strawberries a few days ago!  And there are more strawberries almost ready for picking.

It’s times like these when I see the berries, the woods, the vast blue skies over the fields, the trees filled with bird song, the chickens grazing contentedly in their yard, the newly planted flowers blooming in the flower beds, (and so much more) that I feel peaceful, happy and very grateful.

Yes, life is berry, berry good.  🙂


See also How to Pick Raspberries on the Simple Life Blog.

 Listen or Be Alone



couple refusing to listen to each other“When we stop listening to the other person in a relationship, we’re no longer in relationship with them.  We are by ourselves in a room with another person.”
~Brooks Palmer, from his book “Clutter Busting Your Life

According to Brooks Palmer, listening means really hearing what the person is trying to say or trying to protect.

It does not mean hearing the other person only when they say what you want or expect them to say.

Listening does not mean waiting impatiently for them to stop talking so you can correct them or trump them with what you want to say.

It does not mean pretending to listen while you really watch TV, send text messages, or make grocery lists in your mind.

How to Listen

Listening does mean being vulnerable to hearing a perspective that is different from what you want or expect.

It does mean listening deeper than words and realizing that anger (in all its forms, including sarcasm, bitterness, and resentfulness) is really protecting something – some pain or fear.

It does mean letting the other person have their own opinion and further it means listening to that opinion with curiosity and non-judgement.

Learning how to listen better also means looking at your own interactions and recognizing when you are protecting some pain or fear or confusion by being angry or, by being bitter or critical or caustic … or just plain bitchy.

It even means not being plastic polite or distant or even pretending to be agreeable just to avoid a disagreement or unpleasant talk.

It means always adjusting back to the truth, back to the reality of matter, back to the core.

It means being willing to risk having hurt feelings, uncomfortable feelings, and confusion just for the sake of really hearing, really making the effort to connect.

It means letting go of any intentions to change the other person.


When you learn how to listen better in a relationship, it will sometimes feel risky, confusing, or painful, but it will bring a much deeper and more truthful connection.  Isolation is replaced with respect, curiosity, new perspectives, and love.

A Listening Experiment

Habits must be consciously changed and it may take some work to learn to listen to your loved one.   Try starting with one 15-30 minute section each day where you  try to say as little as possible while listening fully as much as possible.  Make an effort to observe, understand, and be completely without judgement for those few minutes.  You can even make a game of it and listen as though your loved one is someone you just met and want to get to know better.

It pays to listen.  Sometimes you learn things.

Are you listening?


Image courtesy of and David Castillo Dominici.



 5 Decluttering Tips

I like to read through other blogs and websites as I have time.  Right now I’m spending a lot of time with my accounting firm, so I don’t read as much as I’d like.  But I was impressed with this video and wanted to share it.   Sometimes, maybe even most times, just finding a place to start and beginning to take regular steps is a good way to begin to simplify your life as well as make improvements that will make your life happier and more satisfying.

This is from a blog I recently discovered that has some very good advice for guiding your life as well as this video with good tips for decluttering your life:


The blog is The Utopian Life – Practical Wisdom for Personal Evolution.

What do you think?  Ready to start decluttering?


 Homemade Weed Killer – Long- Lasting Effects

In May, I posted an article Natural Homemade Weed Killer to show how I had treated our brick walkway with a hot water weed killer.

Yes, it was that simple: Just pour boiling water directly on the weeds, making sure to soak each one.  It is definitely the lazy way to kill weeds.

Of course, you have to be careful not to splash the hot water on your feet.  Or legs.  Or for that matter, anywhere on yourself, your pets, and your family. But with proper safety precautions, I found the hot water weed killer to be extremely effective.

I thought you might like to see a follow-up on the effectiveness of the treatment.

Here is the starting photo from last May when our brick walkway was overgrown with dandelions:

Dandelions growing on brick walkway








In the original post, I showed how the walkway looked the next day.  All of the weeds were brown and dead.

A couple of weeks later, a few baby dandelions grew back.  I treated the walkway again with fresh brewed boiling water.

A month or so later, I had some hot boiled water from making spaghetti, so I treated the walkway once again because a few more little dandelions had sprung up.

Happily, that proved to  be the end.  Here is what the walkway looks like now.

Brick Walkway Full Sept 2014











Not only is the walkway weed-free, but there are no harmful pesticides, and the only cost was the energy cost to boil the water!  The treatment has lasted all season.

I think the best part was that I didn’t have to painstakingly dig weeds out of each and every crack in the bricks.  My hands and nails are grateful, too.



 Natural Homemade Weed Killer – Easy and Effective

I’m still reveling in the arrival of spring. The apple trees are blossoming, the strawberries have white blooms, and the potatoes and onions are planted. But there is a dark side to spring … the dandelions are prolific! So begins my search for natural homemade weed killers.

I use as little pesticides as possible on our property. This works fairly well except for the brick walkway and the gravel driveway. With these we have to ramp things up a bit.

I recently read that boiling water will kill a weed right down to its roots. Hmmm. Water? That’s about as natural as you can get. I decided to try it.

The first place I have tried it is our brick walkway. Here are some shots from yesterday, before the boiling water experiment:

Dandelions growing on brick walkway



First, I filled a stockpot with water and brought it to an old-fashioned boil.

Stockpot on stove with glass measuring cup on counter


The stockpot full of boiling water was too heavy and dangerous for me to carry while it was full, so I used a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup to carry the water outside.  I also used a heavy oven mitt and hot pad.  Yes, they are a little grungy, but that is what I used.

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Before I filled the cup with the boiling water, I made sure the door was unlocked, the path was clear, and the cats were safely out of the way.


Now for the weed killing.  I poured about a cup or so of the boiling water right on the center of each plant and on its leaves:

2014-05-10 001 2014-05-10 008



I carried the water in the measuring cup until the stockpot was about half full, then I felt comfortable carrying the entire  pot of remaining water at once.  I poured the water on all the dandelions in the brick walkway and also had enough to pour on some of the weeds along the edge of the walkway.   I heated another stockpot of water and repeated the process on some of the bigger plants on the walkway and also several on the driveway:

Dandelions along the side of the brick walkway


Here is what they looked like when I was finished:

Dandelions slightly wilted after boiling water has been poured on them


Brick walkway after treating dandelions with boiing water. Dandelions are slightly wilted and still green.



All in all I had spent about 10 minutes in the actual application, not including waiting for the water to boil.  I did some kitchen cleaning while I was waiting for that.

The Next Day – Natural Homemade Weed Killer Success!

The best part came this morning (the day after the boiling water treatment:


Brick walkway the day after the boiling water treatment.  All are brown and wilted.


Here is a closer look:


Dandelions brown and dead in brick walkway.



Pretty impressive – weeds killed with plain water.

Nature is impressive, too.  Take a close look at the dandelion in the upper left.  Note that the determined little weed used it’s last bit of energy to open up it’s seed pod.  Unless I pull up that white bloom of seeds, the next wind will scatter a hundred or more dandelion seeds in my yard.  What a marvel of species preservation.


You may be wondering about the weeds that were treated along the walkway edge and in the driveway.  The boiling water treatment was not quite as effective:

Dandelions along the walkway - only one appears to be wilted.


Only one of the dandelions on this edge seems to be brown and dying.


The treatment seemed to get a few more of the driveway weeds, but it appears to me that I may have to treat them again to finish them off.  Or maybe I needed to use a lot more water with the initial treatment.

Wilted dandelions in the gravel driveway.

(You may need to click on the picture to get it to display clearly.  My preview is showing it a little fuzzy.)


All in all, I am pleased and encouraged with this method.  It definitely works well on the brick walkway.  It is moderately effective on the driveway, but I will continue experimenting.  I do know that anytime I boil water, such as for making spaghetti, I will try to toss the hot water on a patch of weeds in the driveway.


A note of caution: this method will kill the roots of any plant it comes in contact with.  So make sure that any plants you want to keep do not have a root system right next to the weed that you are dousing in boiling water.

Of course, you must use common sense and protect yourself and anyone around you from getting burned from the boiling water.  Use this method at your own risk.  Boiling water will cause severe burns. Be careful!


If you have any effective natural homemade week killer methods or recipes, please share them with us in the comments.


Photos by Patti Tokar -Copyright 2014 – All Rights Reserved