What's a BUT Bag?

Posted by Pam Young

Jan 31, 2019 5:55:00 AM

You can listen if you have a task and you need your eyes and hands.

Even in our instant news, instant photos, instant everything society, we still have to wait a lot and we don’t appreciate it. We get antsy when we have to kill time in the checkout line at the grocery store so they created jiffy lines to speed us along. We get cranky and horny (over use of the horn) waiting for traffic to budge during commute times and we sure don’t like waiting for our computers to download, upload, reboot and defrag.

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Topics: Featured

Mindful Moments

Posted by Pam Young

Jan 29, 2019 6:00:00 AM


It's January 29, 2019!


Since I write for food, I’m generally not inclined to sit down and write about my husband and me in a Christmas letter to friends and relatives, but this last Christmas I did receive a couple of those brag sheet newsletters that inspired me to write a little about what's going on with Terry and me, not for a Christmas letter but to let my internet sisters in on a recent life-changing event...our great grandson Cassius. 

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If You are Disorganized You are Creative

Posted by Pam Young

Jan 17, 2019 1:08:21 PM




My Aunt Tottie (my dad's sister) was extremely disorganized and she was also very creative and dramatic! My mother was a BO (Born Organized) and she used to roll her eyes over the way Aunt Tottie lived.

For instance, she was a lousy housekeeper, wore baggy clothes day in and day out, and rarely put on make-up, BUT when she did get cleaned up, she was a KNOCK OUT. Mom said when they were young; Aunt Tottie would get all gussied up to go out dancing and she’d make an entrance that would drop jaws.

One time when she and my mom were teenagers, hanging out at Aunt Totties', the future Uncle John dropped by unexpectedly and Aunt Tottie was still in her nightgown (it was five in the evening). Her hair hadn't been washed so it was greasy and she raced to her room so Uncle John wouldn't see her. Ten minutes later she came down the stairs in a cute summer dress and she'd wrapped a colorful silk scarf on her head like a turban. Mom said she looked just like Lauren Bacall. (Oh, and Uncle John looked just like Henry Fonda.)

My aunt loved to get a reaction from BOs like my mom. I remember one time; watching her in her messy kitchen, make orange juice from a can of frozen concentrate while she talked with my mom. She couldn’t find a clean spoon to stir the three cans of water into the orange lump of concentrate, so she just stuck her whole hand into the pitcher and stirred with it. My mother was horrified.

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Topics: On Being Organized / Disorganized

Would You Like to Freshen Up?

Posted by Pam Young

Jan 16, 2019 6:18:00 AM


Seven ways to freshen up in 2019


In the movies when an actor delivers that line the scene invariably consists of the other actor to whom the question was asked, proceeding to the bathroom and closing the door and you don't get to see what they freshen. In all my television and movie watching days, the cameras have never taken me into the bathroom with that person.

In one of our books, my sister and I wrote about being guests at a woman’s home in Hollywood. She had a lovely, movie star type home and we were going to stay overnight. She said when we walked into her luxurious living room with our luggage in tow, “Would you like to freshen up?” “Yes,” we said, in unison, as she led us to her guest room with a bathroom. As soon as the door was closed, we looked at each other and one of us said, “What does freshen up really mean?” Should we take showers and do a really fresh start? Should we wash our armpits and put on deodorant or just put some more on over the old? Should we brush our teeth? Our hair?

We decided in that moment to consider washing our hands as the action one does to freshen up. We decided to take about five minutes (that’s how long Mom took every night before Dad came home from work). She’d say, “Oh girls, Dad’ll be home pretty soon, I’m going to freshen up!” and she’d shut the bathroom door and once again we didn’t get to see what she did in there, but she’d come out FRESH.

We both agreed we had “travel hands.” Our definition of travel hands is the same as for shopping hands only with distance added. It’s hands that have been busy outside the home where they can collect foreign substances our systems aren’t familiar with. They don’t have familiar stuff to wash off like kid related materials ie: vomit, snot, poop, peanut butter, jam and such. Travel hands have more subtle, maybe even microscopic elements to take care of.

So we took five minutes to wash our hands, sort of like how a surgeon would wash her hands before going into surgery. When we were through, we both looked at the beautiful monogrammed hand towels displayed on the counter and we couldn’t bring ourselves to use them so we wiped on the rug and went out acting very fresh.

On the subject of freshening up, here are some tips to consider in freshening up your home during this winter season that can seem dreary and dull.

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“Get back in the Box”

Posted by Pam Young

Jan 5, 2019 5:45:00 AM


“Get back in the Box” doesn’t mean do as Jack-in-the-box does once he comes spurting out to delight a child with surprise, it’s what SHEs (Sidetracked Home Executives) do when they’ve gotten away from using the system in “Sidetracked Home Executives: from pigpen to paradise” the book my sister and I wrote in the seventies. The “box” refers to a card file box holding 3x5 index cards with household chores (one job to a card) written on them. The cards are color coded to denote frequency; yellow for daily, blue for weekly, white for monthly and pink for personal actions. More about the system later.


Getting organized starts with a desire in your heart to have peace instead of chaos when it comes to the important elements in life. We all have to eat so we need food in the house and time to prepare it. Unless we’re nudists, we need clean clothes so we need to do laundry regularly. We need rest, so we need to schedule our days to get enough sleep at night. We also need play, worship, exercise and friendship in a sensible routine.

When I was disorganized my husband and I fought constantly over the chaotic house. I was always out of food (but somehow managed to be overweight). I took care of the household finances and I was always overdrawn. Laundry was always piled in both forms; clean and dirty. Every room was cluttered and the master bedroom was the worst….well maybe the kitchen. Our cars slept in the drive-way every night because the garage was crammed with the results of saying, “Just put it in the garage for now.” I took this picture of our kitchen today, just to show you I'm living an organized life today. 

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