The simple delights at home.

Photo by Tom Swinnen on

It’s not easy to find contentment at home every day. When your job is to be home and tend to things…you find fault with the company now and then. Especially, when the good ol’ monthly hormones visit and tell you that “everything is wrong, wrong, wrong!”

We visit a new friend and perhaps their house is really, very nice. The paint colors are better, the garden is almost professional, the wood floors are perfect. Then we go home to our weird paint colors we created ourselves from mixing old paints in the shed. We look at our shody floors that the handymen didn’t do properly and has large gaps and we can’t get the handyman back to fix it. It’s actually a big hub a lub and you reported them to the BBB and haven’t heard back from them either.

Your garden may have started out great and ended with a wah wah wah.

Sometimes your children may humiliate you in public or just make socializing a challenge. To all you new mothers; once the baby is born you can forget about ever finishing a complete sentence until the child goes off to college.

Sometimes we get clothes donated from other mothers and it is a mystery how their children’s clothes have not a stain…you wonder, “did these children play outside? Did they eat jelly or dark foods?”

We are invited to dinner at another house and the food is so delicious and creative and the last dinner we recall was beans and rice…actually, it may seem that is all your house eats. That and PB and J’s.

The list and thoughts go on. It’s best to just not go out or watch any media so you save yourself the heartache of comparison. But that is not realistic. We socialize, we watch stuff online.

I get worked up about things in my home. My children can become irritants very fast, my home displeases me at times. I can feel shaby and taky very fast.

What works for me, at least, is to go into a nice home and, instead of comparing or becoming displeased with what we have, I get ideas for the future. I find new colors and furniture ideas, new ways to rearrange our house or new ways to fix our yards. the world is filled with ideas to be used and enjoyed.

I want things done like yesterday. It’s a challenge for me to be in the moment and plan out into the future. But then I remember that the journey is the fun part. The planning and saving, having the goals and building the dream. The end is usually the boring part.

The more I bring myself back to the moment the more I embrace the small things. The more we learn to live with less, the more we enjoy the littlest things.

For example; I love going to bed at night. I feel accomplished and good about most days. There are always the days that are complete flops but most are good. I love feeling tired and having a soft bed and getting that pillow just right. I love my windows open to hear the crickets.

And mornings, I LOVE mornings. My two cups of delicious coffee and making plans for the day. I’m a housewife and that affords me freedoms most don’t have. I can watch a movie with my coffee and fold laundry. I sometimes save a weeks worth of laundry so I can fold for a good 30 minutes and feel productive while watching part of a movie. I can play in my garden. I can write part of a novel. I can choose to make a batch of food from scratch and have a big baking day or just roll out a homemade pizza and keep it simple.

These are not hard task. I love to do these chores. I even enjoy cleaning because I feel mentally balanced afterwards. I love when my house is scrubbed clean and smells fresh. I love when everything is in it’s place. Being organized saves time and sanity. I love doing a huge purge and the house thanks me as it stretches out in the new spaces and I have gifted others with, new to them, dresses and furnishings.

So, who cares if the house isn’t fabulous and the gardens won’t be gracing any magazine covers soon, I’m happy in my funky, shabby world. I don’t clock in, answer to a boss, or commute. I can work and play all day.


  1. ” A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.” Wish we could be like that, but alas, it is not that easy. I too used to feel this way after visiting a house that seemed impeccable to my eyes. After returning home, there would usually be a flurry of cleaning and dusting but now that I am older and a little wiser, I have stopped doing that. LOL!!! The garden ending up, “wah, wah, wah.” brought about a chuckle. One of the most enjoyable moments of your YT vlogs were these funny nuggets. I miss that. Anyway, thank you for another good blog. Take care. Bye.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This resonates with me! I have half painted walls at the moment (my 16 year old says it looks like a toddler got hold of the walls unsupervised!) Sometimes I can be queen of my own discontent for days! It passes eventually. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I know what you mean, it can be tempting to see someone else’s yard and house and then feel that what I’ve got going on doesn’t quite measure up! But, who know, maybe they feel the same way sometimes when they see a friend’s gorgeous house or social media postings. Maybe it’s a fruitless cycle we are all in sometimes. I also received a lot of clothes from moms of older kids for my kids that were pristine. I have to think they only gave us the ones in perfect condition because I saw them with their share of grass and chocolate stains too! I like the way you see the world as full of good ideas that are free for all of us to use and share. Much thanks for your inspiring blog 🙂

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  4. Learning contentment is a life-long process and something that is very active; not passive on our parts. We still go to friends’ homes and start thinking if we lived there, what would we do to decorate it, change it, etc. I think it’s just part of our make-up being that we both went to art schools! 🙂

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  5. I love this post. Living in an almost one hundred year old house, it is so true. I see new homes and how perfect they are. Clean lines, and everything so pretty. But then I see our house through someone else’s eyes and I can appreciate it again. Sometimes that is all we need to really appreciate the house and life we have.
    I find the more I look for it, the more I can appreciate what we have. Like you, I try to find ideas for the future. I try to look past all the things that are not getting done yet, and just look at the stuff I can control. Not always easy, but I am a work in progress just like our house. Like you, I get the luxury to work at home. Do my fun and creative online business stuff, and enjoy whatever I want to do. I am past the days of kids at home, so my time is really my time now. So , Kate, enjoy those babies, I would give so much to have ONE minute with our four 30 plus year old kids as children again, time really flies. Even though being a mom is stressful,and often unappreciated, hug those kids, enjoy spending that time with them, believe me , one day you will miss the crazy life you had as a busy mom. Sometimes I get the grandkids and that is special, but it is still just not the same as when I had our four at home !! You are giving your kids a wonderful life, but make sure you enjoy every minute too !!!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I can honestly say that I love my house, and that I am more in love with it every day.

    We bought our home 3 years ago when we retired after a lengthy period of large financial, emotional, physical and spiritual reversals.

    We had initially planned to retire simply, but comfortably, almost 15 years ago. Then major sh## kept happening. By the time we did finally retire we had no retirement fund, no pension, and $70,000 in cash, which we used to buy this house in the mountains of Colorado.

    I knew the second I saw it that this would be our home and that the owner would take 70 thousand for it. It was not even on the market when we found it. The owner had tried for nearly 20 years to sell it, but not even the “we buy ugly houses” people wanted it. They felt that it would cost more to fix than it was worth.

    First issue is that it is in the mountains on the side of a mountain. There were 47 HUGE cement steps to get to the door. ALL of the steps were crumbling beyond repair. We made molds and replaced one step a day for 47 days. I think everyone was too blown away by that daunting task to appreciate the 24 wagon wheels from the 1870s’ when our village was first settled, and were now used as the steps railings.

    Second issue, no plumbing. There was plumbing at one time, though no one is exactly sure when. And, there was no septic tank. There were 2 55 gallon barrels that had probably been filled to the brim for at least 60 years. It took 6 months before we could afford plumbing and a septic tank. So, we joined Planet Fitness.[ in Pueblo, 25 miles away] Bobby and I bought the $20 “Black” membership, which entitled us to bring my disabled son and nephew with us at no extra charge. We would work our asses off, then go to Planet Fitness and use the hydromassage and showers. They even let us fill up a few gallons of water to bring homewhen we went.

    While we were saving up for plumbing and septic, we worked on the interior of our home. There are 4 of us, and there was one tiny jail-cell sized bedroom. Murphy beds EVERYWHERE. We ended up with 3 bedrooms AND a bathroom. Now, I have never been handy, never put up drywall, never installed a sink, sanded a hardwood floor, nothing. Luckily, we discovered the magic of You tube tutorials. There is nothing you can’t learn from youtube tutorials.

    After our place was habitable [and we lived in it while it wasn’t] my husband kept working on the place. I went back into my deep long-term depression.

    Then, a few months ago, something happened. Universe spoke to me. I had been in a 15 year deep depression. I believed that I could never feel happy again. I felt too damaged. Now, Universe had been speaking to me the entire 15 years, and I FINALLY I listened. That was right about when covid hit.

    Bobby and I each received the $1200 stimulus. And I was ready to live again. At first, I wasn’t sure where to start.

    Living on the side of the mountain, there was no backyard, just mountain. So, we built a retaining wall. Then we built a patio behind it. Another retaining wall behind that. Above that retaining wall we planted 5 knockout rose bushes. We collected rocks, tons of them, built a beautiful waterfall that starts in front of the outhouse [the outhouse. we have an outhouse! It adds to the ambiance] and ends in a pond to the right of the patio.

    We bought a gas fire pit [ couldn’t build wood pit as we are in an area susceptible to forest fires] and some furniture for the patio. Built 2 new beehives [putting them up will be tricky, because…bears, but we have a plan] and extended our vegetable garden.

    We used the rest of the checks for other things. Talk about bang for the buck, we got about $25,000 worth of wonderfulness for our $2400.

    Now, for some strange reason the original owners had laid out 2 huge slabs of concrete in part of the yard. We were gifted used artificial turf which we glued to the concrete and now they are so pretty.

    So now, finally I am happy again [Kate, you have so much to do with it] my family is happy. I am back to baking and scubbing and renovating [this house, this beautiful, gorgeous house is still and will always be a “work in progress.”]
    My home will never look like an HGTV house. But people who come over ussually say, “I don’t ever want to leave.” I am good with that.

    And I don’t even have to worry about monthly hormone changes affecting how I am finally seeing my world again. I was done with all of that nearly 20 years ago.


  7. I just spammed the person. I have no tolerance for any rudeness at this point. I’ll be very strict with all comments after the ordeal I went through recently. Especially with no photo or name…


  8. Here you are! I’ve really missed you! I was so afraid you were gone for good.
    I found your YouTube channel last summer and binge watched until I had completely caught up, then I thought this would be the summer I binge read your blog. 🙂
    You are both relatable and inspiring and I’m so glad you “moved” rather than completely disappearing.


  9. Very condensed version of what I tried to post earlier.

    I don’t really have that problem and never will. For one thing, I was done with those “monthly blues” many moons ago. Also, when we bought our home 3 years ago, we had no running water, no septic tank, a one bedroom cabin with a ton of murphy beds in the walls, 47 crumbling cement steps we needed to totally replace to walk up to our door [in the mountains, on a mountain]

    We could not afford a contractor or any kind of help. Fixed it ourselves.[ thank God for YouTube tutorials and $10 a month memberships at Planet Fitness in the next town for the first 6 months so that we could shower. PLUS they serve free pizza once a month!] I am TOTALLY in love with our cabin. Where we live is beyond beautiful, but every single day we fix up something or other. Our place will ALWAYS be a work in progress, so I never get bored with it.

    My house will never look like an HGTV house, or anything like any of our neighbors, but when people come over they almost always say “I don’t ever want to leave.” I much prefer that to a house where I am afraid I am going to accidentally spill my coffee or break something.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Boy did this hit a chord! My house is 100 years old and I love the quirkiness of it. Plaster walls have tiny cracks, closets are tiny and they are only in bedrooms (creativity is need to find places to store things), blah, blah, blah. Even though I LOVE this house, its true that sometimes I find myself envious of someone else’s home. Even envious of family members homes. We are the “poor” members of the family and even though we are loved and appreciated just the way we are, the others have much more and more “perfect” things than we do. Sometimes I feel inadequate to them. But then I remember that we are at peace in this house and have a wonderful life here. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Glad to hear you are coming back to YT.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Boy, this hit home right now. I’ve lived 43 years in the same small 50 year old house in need of many repairs that can’t happen right now, and I catch myself feeling so bad about it. I’ve unsubbed from YT channels because I got tired of seeing everyone’s new houses and spotless new kitchens and bathrooms with one million places for storage. (Which is why you were always my fave channel. You were someone I can actually relate to!) HGTV is a depression zone that I avoid unless it’s a clutter show or something on a budget -which they rarely show. Even Pinterest can be dangerous when you’re in a negative headspace.

    I can really go down a negative spiral, so I’ve been working very hard on being grateful for the things I DO like about it. The memories that have been made here, the quirky avocado green bathroom tile and counter (which I see coming back in pictures on Pinterest, so I guess if you wait around long enough, things in your old house become trendy again!). I’m doing deep cleaning and decluttering and changing what I can. I love your idea of taking inspiration from the places we feel envious over. It does take a lot of puzzle solving to figure out how to make an old house in need of repairs that you spend all your time in feel fresh and new. I’m in this right now, so thank you for this post and the nudge to keep going.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I know that I have already commented on this blog. But having read the rest of the commnents, I am amazed at how wonderful this community is. Each one of you are inspiring and so down to earth. I guess those are the reasons why we are drawn to Kate. Most of us are smart with our incomes, we live in modest homes, and lead a humble life But the most important thing that has brought us together here is that we are kind, decent, good people. We can relate to each other. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with me. Thank you Kate for bringing us all together in this onlne community. (I love that word, community.)

    Liked by 5 people

  13. I love your home, garden, kids and your sense of humor. I think you are blessed! I can hardly wait for the new channel. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Kate, thank you for all that you do with sharing. I’m OVERJOYED to have found you again. This community thinks your home is beautiful and charming. You’ve taught us to budget, garden, and enjoy our life abundantly. Having loved your books, your YT channel and your old blog, I just simply wanted to say thank you for helping us see that we can create beautiful lives that have meaning.


  15. You have totally made my day!!! So excited to find your new blog (thank you Tessie) and to read you are starting a new YouTube channel. I truly missed you! I know you will have to be more private on your new channel, but I found myself wondering about you and your family. Keep doing what you do Kate, you bring so much peace and happiness to so many.


  16. I found you through Tessie also! I am so excited too. I really missed you! Life has been tough in our household, my husband has pancreatic cancer and both of you have been my respite from the storm. I am so thankful that I have you back in my life, it was like I lost a friend. Can’t wait for the new you tube channel!


  17. I’m so sorry, Shirley!! I’ll be back. Just had too much out there and privacy stuff. Now I can start fresh and keep things private…such as my family.


  18. The thing I have always loved best about your videos is that you are real. It was literally my favorite thing. I could go on and relate to the kids interrupting you, and challenges of getting things clean, and what to make for dinner, and having a funky old house, etc. I LOVE this about you. It is what made your channel one of my favorites because you are not intimidating, or pretentious. You have no air of superiority whatsoever. No air of ‘know it all.’ I LOVE IT. I’m SO GLAD you’re still here.
    I can watch from my living room of my 43 year old manufactured house on 5 acres, where the floor is halfway layed out, and the painting in the laundry room is just now getting done after owning this property for a year, and instead of thinking of all the things I haven’t gotten finished, I can think of all the things I HAVE.
    My house may not be spotless, but my kids and I got to go on a long hike where we collected flowers and picked fruit and we made jam and dried pears. We drew pictures and talked to animals. If I had spent all day making my house look fabulous, we would never have had those experiences. We are eating homemade soup and homemade canned pears, and will have homemade popsicles for dessert. It’s AMAZING.
    So anyhoo, I can relate, and I’m so glad you’re here. I look forward to reading and enjoying all your content. Thank you for being you; just the way you are ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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