Creating Back to School Zones

colored pencils organized by color

I love the first day of school. The backpacks are full and the house is empty. What will I do with my summertime changes - coffee, shopping, nine holes? Three o'clock will round around soon enough, and my little scholars will return. Will you be ready for yours? If the after school bell rings havoc…

Can You Prove You are You? Three Ways to Protect Your…

People stranded on top of a home during a flood

Imagine a fire, a flood, a tornado taking everything – your home and all of its contents. Imagine your laptop, smartphone, files, and wallet - gone, too. Could you recreate your identity? Could you prove you are who you say you are? Could you prove you are YOU? Victims of Hurricane Katrina faced this complicated…

Beyond Canned Food and Flashlights…

Men looking on to earthquake damage

The Pacific Northwest flies under the radar as natural disasters go. We get the occasional wind storm or mudslide, and forest fires are certainly a summertime regular, but tornadoes and hurricanes or weeks of sub-zero temps mostly stay away. Which is partly why the recent article in The New Yorker entitled The Really Big One by Karen Schulz shook Oregon and…

Preparing for Disaster, Planning for Survival | Building a Car Kit

A horse drinknig water with mountains in the back ground

The children were outside playing and the adults were indoors cooking. The evening sun was setting over a spectacular view of snow-capped mountains. And someone was pounding on the door screaming:  “Fire! Get out now!” We called the kids inside, turned off the stove, grabbed our purses and car keys, and headed for the door. We were…

Preparing for Disaster, Planning for Survival | Building the Under the Bed Kit

Firefighters working on a roof

Are you ready? For the “big one?” The big earthquake, the epic hurricane, the flu pandemic? A recent Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) survey found that nearly 60% of American adults have not practiced what to do in a disaster and only 39% have developed an emergency plan. This despite astudy by Environment America that claims 80% of Americans live in counties that have…

A Swing Set With a Purpose

Girl swining on a swing smiling

My daughter turned 15 last week and for her birthday we built a swing set. An unusual gift for a teen? Probably - but it was in sync with my mission statement – and though I didn’t know it at the time – it turned out to be the perfect gift. Do you have a…

A Little Free Library of Our Own

My Free Little Library

Have you heard about the Little Free Library movement? It’s this great concept of building tiny libraries in neighborhoods and parks for locals to share books. The first one was built in 2009 and now they are all over the world! My family loved this idea so much, we just built one!  Within hours of its installation, we found neighbors…