Windows – through a glass darkly

Who wants clean windows?

We all do, that’s who. I was just sent the following article with “7 ultimate” tips for clean windows.  Go ahead and read it if you want, but I’m here to tell you you do not need any of the tips.  In fact, you only need a certain cloth and plain water.

Mystic MaidA friend gave me a “Mystic Maid” cloth months ago.  It looked like most any other microweave cloths, so I put it away. She had told me it was an incredible invention. Yeah, sure.  But later, for some obscure reason, I got it out and looked it up on the net ( and thought, “worth a try.”

Was I surprised by the ease of no streaked clean windows? Oh yeah.  Yes, I had to rinse the dirt off the cloth, but that’s not beyond my skill level! I went back to their site to explore a bit more and found the “press reviews.” I am now a believer, for windows, porcelain, stainless.  Because it costs $15, I treat it with care and don’t go after the really nasty stuff.

How much have I spent on squegee, mop, cloths, and cleaner? More than $15. But $15 is certainly worth it when I can, in 8 minutes, clean the slider to the patio, the kitchen windows inside and out with a single cloth and water.  I now have clean windows and can keep it that way with no bother.

This was NOT a paid commercial. Simple is better. And this is good Feng Shui!

Interior Design vs Feng Shui

Interior Design, by it’s very nature, is client centric. The designer takes the client’s requirements and creates an environment which pleases the client.  There’s nothing wrong with that and it works for many people, especially those who have very specific ideas about how they want things to look but don’t know how to get there.

Yin-Yang-by-Virtual-Alchemy-Feng Shui, good feng shui, is more holistic. The best feng shui creates a space that is balanced. Not just for the client, but for everyone who enters the space.  Feng Shui creates an enveloping  energy that is both positive and supportive of everyone.  In that sense, the path feng shui takes can incorporate the ideas of the client but goes far beyond. Sometimes good interior design can get there also, but the feng shui practitioner knows exactly how and where the path is.

Are you wanting to change a home? A business? A room?  Look at the work for both the feng shui practitioner and the designer. Talk with the friends of those folk and see where your scale balances. Feel unsure about this? You can give me a call and I will be glad to help guide you to your best decision. 541-488-1777.

5 Keys to Effective Lighting

It’s amazing how much light affects us, yet most people have little awareness about this important element. Surprisingly, light is not included as one of the 5 elements in Feng Shui, yet it’s affects on us can be just as significant as the other elements. So here are 5 tips to make light work for you.

daylight1) Try to get at least a half hour of real sunlight a day. If you can’t, take Vitamin D3.

2) Don’t place lights sources in back of you. Often kitchens and offices just have overhead lights and people stand at a surface casting a shadow on their work. Under-counter lights to correct this. The less you strain your eyes, the less likely your eyesight will diminish with age.

3) Visible light comes in a full color spectrum. Though most of us can’t recognize the different between a 2500K light source and a 5K source, it affects the colors we see and how we feel about them.  Many people say “use daylight, or full spectrum lights. That’s fine, but the light feels cold and impersonal. It can do the same thing to many colors, making warm color feel cold. We are used to a warmer light. So before you replace bulbs (anywhere!) go to a dealer who has a series flight boxes with the same photo in each. You’ll quickly see which one looks the best to you. That’s the amount of Kelvin you want to get. [Kelvin is the measurement of the light wave length.)

4) If you’re converting to LEDs you are being kind to the environment and using electricity wisely. But make sure you know what you’re getting. Ever notice some new cars have piercingly blue/white headlights? You don’t want that inside. Look for warm white LEDs for inside use.
Storefront5) Want to draw attention to something? Put lots of light on it. If you’re in business, you’d be surprised how that can bring people into a store. Likewise, if you want your party to be mellow and casual, keep the lighting soft.  Soft lighting

One fellow I know made his entire lucrative business lighting restaurants so that women look really good.  He laughed all the way to the bank while his cynics thought he was cracked. How and were you use light is more important than you think.

Want to solve a situation with light? Call Sugeet. He’s not only a Feng Shui expert, he also was an art gallery director for 12 years. Talk about lighting!

Start to eliminate overwhelm. Here’s a key

You may know you are in overwhelm or that you become overwhelmed from time to time.  How bad does it get?Overwhelm How often? If you’ll take the time to look at you desk (if that’s where you spend most of your time) or your office, or you shop, or you home, and you see clutter, you have a thermometer for overwhelm.  It’s a well known fact in Feng Shui and in business circles that if you have a lot of clutter, your thinking will reflect that back.

It’s an ego trip to think of “how busy I am, look at everything I need to get done…” That’s the perfect cue to go into overwhelm. You probably aren’t getting that much done and what you do get done may not be your best work. So take the baby step, clear everything off your desk and only outback things that are used everyday. Keep it simple. Then notice that you are thinking more clearly about what you have to get don. Try it! You’ll like it.

Bring Your Bathroom Alive!

Make the #bathroom alive! Go wild withcolorful bathroom color/colors. It’s a #smallspace so you can get away with outrageous things you would never do in a bigger room. I painted the ceiling and floor of one bathroom parrot green. When I woke up in the am, I woke up! No need to be timid. Express yourself and have some fun. RU #renter? Do it with repeelable decals, paper and the like. The landlord need never know!.

A Feng Shui tune up – Windchimes!

Too often I hear people disparaging wind chimes as just another gewgaw to annoy the neighbors.  Beg to differ. Here’s a brief story to help you understand how the ancient art and science of Feng Shui uses wind chimes.

A client loved her new home, but soon realized that she was unable to relax and recharge.See through The home had a beautiful view of the valley, had lots of light, was room, and not cluttered. She called her Feng Shui practitioner wanting it fixed.

Here was a home that welcomed you, inviting you in. Yet once in the front door, all the energy zoomed out those gorgeous picture windows overlooking the valley. As far as the energy went, you could have had 3 or 4 big fans making wind in the home. No wonder she couldn’t relax!

The fix was to use strategically placed wind chimes to disperse and slow the energy. A visual metaphor is possibly a better illustration of what a good wind chime can do.

Picture a tray or plate with sand mounded on it. When wind meets the sand, it picks up grains of and takes them where the wind goes. This is the situation when the home’s chi is lost – right out the beautiful picture windows. Now quietly vibrate that same tray and what happens? The mound dissipates and the sand becomes flat, level. The chi enters the home, gets dissipated  by the wind chime and only later leaves.

Choosing the right wind chime is critical. We’ve all been on vacation where every craft shop and garden center has many, many to choose from.  Some are crafts gone mad. Come are downright clever. Others cute. You need none of these. Look for a wind chime that produces a positive effect on YOUR mood. A good wind chime is a pleasing sound one you won’t mind hearing when the wind moves it.

Some of the better ones are tuned to certain musical keys. You’ll resonate with one over the others. That’s the one for you.

Two manufacturers of high quality chimes are Woodstock and Music of the Spheres. You can listen to them online. See how they affect you. (These are just suggestions, I have no affiliation with either.) Pick the one that draws you – that creates pleasure. Then hang that one where the Feng Shui Practitioner suggested.

Of the client? Her practitioner brought her a wonderful one (she later got 2 more!) and she feels 100% different.

Sound is one form of energy that Feng Shui works with. Used correctly, sound can change your life! (You get a ‘tune-up’ for your car…what about a tune up for yourself?)

Messy desk, messy mind?

You’ve seen the plaque “A messy desk means Genius,” and we know the dictum that if you clear the clutter out, your Office Worker with Mountain of Paperworkthinking will be clearer and more precise.  So what’s the truth? If you want to believe one (that’s 1) published study, the findings said that those with a messy desk tended to be more creative. They also tended to produce fresh and new ideas. So there!

On the other side of the coin, those who kept their spaces neat and clean? clean deskThey were more likely to “do the right thing,” like eating a more healthy diet or making a charitable donation. Maybe that’s because they don’t have such a crowd in their head, so they can be a bit more generous to others and to themselves.

Conclusions? If you feel your productivity is down, try cleaning up your desk (like I am doing right now – so I have time to pass along this helpful tip.) Better yet, try stetting one of two new habits: 1) pick one day a week when you clean your desk. Or, 2) take ten minutes each day before you leave the office (home or otherwise) and clean up the desk, leaving it fresh and clear. You’ll find you start each day with an uncluttered mind – and that makes a difference!

PS – It’s good feng shui!

PPS – how you doing? Share your comments by clicking on the title. It will take you to the comments section.

Why Feng Shui gets a bad rap

I had to pass this along – it’s just too crazy. But it certainly explains why some people shy away from Feng Shui. This was recently post  in The Inquirer. I welcome your comments! You can leave one by clicking on the title.


I live in a townhouse where units are built close to each other. My neighbor, who is an ardent feng shui believer, has been making my life miserable with the things he does to me through his workers.

He accuses me of blocking his good luck with the vegetation I’ve planted in my own garden, such as pepper, lemongrass, orchids and fruit-bearing tomatoes. He had them poisoned with herbicide and spray-painted yellow to bring me “bad luck.” He complains that my garage is directly facing the fire hydrant.

He forbade me to put up Christmas lights on my door and around my plants last time and, when I refused to remove them, he had the wires cut by his driver. He has placed dead bats under my car to put a curse on me. He has also resorted to having my car bumper scratched and sprinkled with red and yellow paint.

How do I know all these? He and his driver constantly talk about their shenanigans in my front yard when they think nobody’s home.

I am tired of it. I need a group prayer to counter him. I don’t know when it will end.


My goodness! Have you got a bully from hell!

Feng shui is supposedly a kind of Chinese philosophy which harmonizes everyone with the surrounding environment, using architecture in its metaphor of “invisible forces” to bind the universe, earth and humanity together.

Why should bringing beauty and peace to an environment be corrupted by one so ignorant, selfish, malicious and vile like your neighbor?

It is the pea-brains of the world like him whose warped bottom line in practicing feng shui is predicated on how to amass more wealth, regardless of the consequences, that give the practice a black eye. They ferociously go through it, not knowing the fundamentals, or even having the intelligence or understanding of what feng shui really is.

Because of this glaring ignorance, some “believers” would bamboozle anyone along the way, destroy the environment and alienate the people around them.

The best way to drill some sense into your neighbor’s addled mind is to report him to the police, with accompanying photos to back you up. Make him realize that harassing you in his twisted practice of feng shui ends where your security and freedom begin!

Have you checked if this person is not an escapee from the mental hospital?

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Declutter Your Life – Part 3

And the last of the lessons learned when Dawn decided to simplify her life:

I had also been hanging on to a lot of books and notebooks filled to the brim from my graduate days in our basement even though I was no longer interested in continuing to pursue my Ph.D. or teaching. In looking through the notebooks and papers I had written, I remembered all the good times I had enjoyed while working on my degree. I had already put the bad times behind me and had chosen to forgive so getting rid of this stuff was the final thing I needed to do to let go. I kept my thesis work and a few writing samples and that was it. Upstairs, I kept sheet music, poetry I wrote, an art journal, Christian literature, my art books and a few special books from my childhood that I will pass on to our son, Hayden. Every book I own is now in one, medium-sized, clear, plastic storage container in our laundry/computer room. Since I seldom use even these books it felt right to put the bookshelf down in storage for our son, as he gets a bit older.

Our place looks so much better without all that surface-area clutter and requires much less dusting! I am putting together two 12 photo collages (one for pictures clutter_free_homeof my son, and one for family and friends) to go on the walls of the living and dining rooms and one 3 photo collage of our favorite wedding photos. This will greatly simplify the rooms and visual space. I am also looking forward to be able to look at all the people that truly enhance my life without needing to search through a lot of clutter.

Living simply for me also means not over committing my time, energy and money. I chose not to re-join a community choir because the rehearsal time is very inconvenient and I would rather spend that time with my family. Since I am fortunate to have the material things I need, I avoid shopping, especially looking at certain “trigger” sites online (something I used to really enjoy doing). That has been a hard thing for me to change but it saves money for our family and creates more time, which is better spent elsewhere.

Through my efforts to de-clutter and simplify, my husband was inspired to help me by pulling my stuff out of storage so I could go through it. As the chef of the house, he also went through all the kitchen gadgets and utensils. He even agreed with me to go paperless, as much as possible, with our files. My mom was inspired to go through her dreaded hall closet getting rid of many, many things. Although my husband still feels that there is no way that he would ever want to live in a tiny house, my decision and efforts to simplify have made a lot of progress for all of us.

So… you can live tinier and simplify your life without living in a tiny house. You don’t need to have everyone on board with you to make real progress both with your living space, your perspective, and your own personal growth. Your process will not look the same as mine as the journey you experience will be uniquely yours, and entirely worth it! Take care and live tinier. -Dawn Zimmerman

With thanks to

Declutter your Life – Part 2

With appreciation for Dawn Zimmerman’s post to, here’s the second of three parts how one person decluttered their life.

As I was going through my knick-knacks and the like, I also went through my decent sized “collection” of art supplies. I had The-Art-Cart-Suburblesome top notch water color pencils I hadn’t even opened. Paints, drawing pencils, and the like were filling up a tall dresser. Beautiful materials I hadn’t used in over 10 years! I had even collected various other materials that were to be used for mixed media and sculpture pieces in a future that never happened, and wouldn’t happen. I realized as cool as it would be to create those pieces, I had lost interest in making them. I donated all the pill bottles I had been saving over the years to make a sculpture to some missionaries in the D. R. Congo that our church supports. They needed them because the hospital had nothing to put their patients’ medicine in. It amazed me that something so seemingly useless could make such a big difference for someone.

I only kept the supplies I had used here and there over the years. I gave away old artwork that I never looked at anymore to friends who liked the pieces for their walls. One art piece was donated. Both my easels went. It felt good. I even donated the old dresser that had held these art supplies as well as my childhood clothes, and even my dad’s stuff from when he was a boy. Now that dresser will hold someone else’s things and that makes me smile. I cannot tell you how much of a blessing it has been for me to give these things away to folks that will actually use it. When you think about it, for all those years, that tall dresser was storing up someone else’s opportunity to work toward their dreams. I now have most of my art things in two sets of small, plastic, three-drawer storage “dressers” that I already had on hand.

You may start to notice that as Dawn class out all the excess, her spirit and mental state begin to change as well. There are so many benefits to finding a class, hiring a coach, joining a like minded group. Don’t let your own excess stop you – there is help. If you’re wondering just what the best course is for you, drop me a line.