2016 Count: 79 Items

Woo Hoo! I’m feeling confident that as I transition from sharing a space with children into solo living in a travel trailer that I will be able to keep my count of items below 100. That has been my goal for years. It is so close, I can taste it. It has oaken/solid undertones with a hint of freedom and lots of aroma of affection.

Miscellaneous Items  (#14)


Back to front: laundry basket, suitcase, coffee pot (with cup for staging) backpack (which gets used as an overnight bag, a lunch box, a purse and a shopping bag,) towel, glass case, sunglasses, glasses and wallet, Christmas stocking and lap top. Not pictured are the car (it looks that same) the cell phone (it is taking the photo) and the bed. Technically, I won’t have a bed after the move. I’ll be sleeping in my son’s while he is in Ireland. Hopefully my trailer will be done before he gets back.

Clothes (#53)


outfits 1 & 2


Outfits 3 & 4


Outfits 5 & 6


outfits 7 & 8


watch, necklace and earrings


swimsuit and sweat shirt


Shoes–5 pair, trimmed down from last year’s 8 pair!


4 (of 5 total) sets of exercise clothes


Basket with 5 pair socks, 5 bras, 5 panties, and a pair of black tights. Gloves and ear warmer nearby.


The all formal occasion black dress and sweater.


Winter coat

And there are 9 wooden hangers in the photos.

Personal Care Items (#11)


Hand made soap, razor, basket, grooming scissors, eyebrow pencil, toothpaste/toothbrush/floss, mascara, foundation, jar of coconut oil, shampoo, nail clippers.

The past year brought a revolution in my personal care products. In the fall, I developed a persistent and itchy rash. It continued through 2 rounds of steroids. I eventually went to an allergist, who’s testing revealed that I am allergic to many chemicals in personal care products. So, I have switched to products that have natural elements, that I am not allergic to. The soap is hand-made with olive oil. The coconut oil I use as a make-up remover, skin lotion, hair de-frizzer, and lip balm. If only I could brush my teeth with it……

I am so excited by my progress. I hope you all are as well.



This is my hair clip. They come in a package of 2 and break easily–so sometimes I have 2 and sometimes I have 1.

I have edited the original post (both the number and added the last photo) as astute reader Elizabeth asked about my hair care routine, and I realized I had left something off the count. Other than the shampoo and coconut oil already mentioned, this is my only hair product. I finger comb my hair (though as it gets longer, I will likely buy a comb.) I let it air dry, and when it is dry, I use the above pictured thingie to clip it up.



House: SOLD!

These are exciting times for this minimalist.

I listed the house, and within 48 hours had a full price offer. The home inspection has occurred and now we wait for the closing next month. Moving day will be my birthday, the day I usually do my annual count. I’ll count my stuff a couple of weeks early and post the photos like I do each year.

Here’s a few things I’m not going to count because I’m not taking them with me when I move:

The tall ladder for cleaning the gutters. The lawn mower. The rakes, the snow shovel, the digging shovel. Two of the beds. A dresser. A bookshelf.

Moving is a perfect opportunity to consider the need for every single possession.

Entry Remodel

Here’s what it looked like before:


1936 light fixture. Also you can see the 1972 era wallpaper and where I started painting the ceiling.


New light and a fresh coat of paint on ceiling and walls.


Here you can see the peeling wallpaper and the light switch which was originally black, but had been painted over.


Fresh paint and new light switch.


Cracked plaster on the east wall.


I filled in the cracks and left the uneven texture. I gave everything a coat of paint and added the borrowed furniture you see.

The painters have started on the outside. The house will be ready for market soon.

Garage Lamp Success

I’m still working on the home remodel. Plus extra shifts at work, as a couple nurses have been off for medical leave and honeymoons and stuff like that.

There is a lot that I do that is not very photo worthy (vacuuming the fans, fixing the bathroom light switch to sit flush with the wall, oiling the back door hinges), but today, I tackled an eyesore that has been bothering me for years.

The outdoor garage light.



Finished elegant black!

And I had to overcome 2 of my fears! Being up on the tall, scary ladder and my head inches away from those electrical wires. Which is the true reason that I left this job for years!

See how tough I am!

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom (aka Patrick’s bedroom) remodel is complete. This involved painting the walls, ceilings, closet and having new carpet installed. The furniture is the same, but there are many decorative items that have been borrowed from friends and family on display. And just a few that were purchased at a discount.


The bed and end tables.
Here is a long view of the room.

Here is a long view of the room.

The closet door.

The closet door.

The very large closet. And yes, that is the brick from the fireplace at the end.

The very large closet. And yes, that is the brick from the fireplace at the end.

Decorative shelves on the north wall.

Decorative shelves on the north wall.

Decorative shelves on the east wall. These have been in the house since before I bought it.

Decorative shelves on the east wall. These have been in the house since before I bought it.

I’m quite please with how it all has turned out. I wish I could take you all on a real house tour.



Spring Break Trip


During my youngest son’s spring break, I took a rest from the never ending home remodel “To-Do” list and went on a college tour with him. We visited colleges in 3 states, had a bunch of fun.


Michael at Point Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Best of all–the college tour ended just 2 hours away from where my granddaughter lives–so we went to visit her and her folks for a couple days!


Grandma Zee and Norah.

Next post….back to the home stretch of the remodel.

What Does A Minimalist Wear to the Hospice Gala?

The same thing that she wears to other formal occasions, with different accessories.

The classic black dress.


Party Girl!

I wear this dress to weddings, funerals, any occasion that requires I be more dressed up that my usual day to day. Since I only have a couple events like this per year, nobody notices that I am wearing the same thing. I am particularly fond of this black dress due to its classic and flattering cut, it is washable and it has pockets! I love the pockets. I put my Gala ticket in one and my keys in the other. The sandals are mine. The necklace is borrowed. The hairstyle and earrings are what I wear every day.

Bathroom Done!

View from the bedroom

View from the bedroom


The wall tiles are 8″ x 12″. You can see part of the glass wall to the right.


2″ tiles on the shower floor


These are the floor tiles, they are 12″ x 12″. Same pattern.


The cleaned and refurbished toilet. The paper holder, towel holders, faucet and shower fixtures are all brushed silver. The towels were ones that middle son had returned from college.


Here you can see through the glass wall. Up above on the left is the bar that holds the wall secure. I guess you could throw wet towels over it to dry.

It is definitely an improvement. What did all this cost? Here’s a breakdown:

Tile:            $655.54

Fixtures:    $297.85

Paint:          $ 75.88

Misc:            $ 14.26

Vanity:        $319.00

Glass door: $987.34

Labor:        $5,025.00

Total:         $7,374.87

Was it worth it? Well, only the sale price of the house will tell the story. But with the complete gutting and redo of the bath and the master bedroom, I will advertise the house as having a completely redone master suite.

The kids are pleased with the new bath, though no one has used the new shower yet. (I did test the water to make sure the hot water was strong enough, per a request from middle son, away at school.)

The Kitchen is Complete

This project took a looong time. Years. About 5 years ago, I reconfigured the kitchen to fit the way I live and cook: no upper cabinets, a small  under counter fridge. A gas stove/oven. There was no dishwasher, as I prefer to wash them by hand.

When I decided to sell the house, I knew my lack of a dishwasher and half fridge would hurt my ability to sell. So I bought a dishwasher (on sale for $480) and a smallish traditional fridge (on sale for $548) and had them installed. I painted everything, including the trim around the windows, which was the one thing from the original remodel that I had never gotten to. I installed some shelves for dishes. Here are the results.


I love the white on white of these


desk with file and office supply drawers to left


gas stove and vent


new fridge and pantry

The dishwasher was installed in the spot where my half fridge used to be.


I’m still washing dishes by hand, as I prefer that way.


Bathroom Remodel Day 5 & Day 6

At the end of day 5, I had cut in to trashcan sized pieces the old shower stall and had removed the toilet (saved, to re-install after cleaning it up) and the vanity, which was given to one of the workmen who admired it.


Workman? You say. Yes. I have so much to do before May 1st, and I knew that I was going to hire our some of it, like the plumbing and the asbestos removal. I got a couple quotes on having someone else do the tile and I decided it was worth it. Boy! They work so much faster than I do. At the end of day 6, the cement board was up and the plumbing ready for the tile guy.


The workman also moved the window up, so as not to cut off the top of the curve of the outside arch.


I’m quite pleased with the progress. And now that I have helpers, it should move much faster now. Yeah!