Sustainable Relationships

Sustainable Relationships

Communicating with one another is a key ingredient to sustainable relationships. That’s what Sam shares in our Sunday Snacks with Sam and Ellie this morning. 

Define Sustainable Relationships

…when you’re looking at becoming sustainable in relationships, making sure that there is a level of mutual respect and (that) you’re hearing and seeing what the other person is giving you for what it is and nothing more.

from Sam

In dealing with others, it’s easy to confuse and misinterpret interactions. Ellie shares with us a technique she learned while taking a course in the 70s, Therapeutic Touch, at Pumpkin Hollow in New York State. A program designed for nurses and others in the healing fields, Ellie was lucky enough to be able to attend the program – twice. In the video, she shares the concept of energy that moves throughout the universe and between individuals constantly. 

illustration of two heads - blue one with a target like sketch on the brain and the red one with a maze like sketch

On the left is a great example of wide, slower, circling energy, on the right more of a spiraling, fast, energy.

Listen as she explains the different ways energy moves between people and the reactions it may cause, often creating a very different reaction than what we intended. Are you the fast, spiraling, focused energy – or the slow, wide, circling energy? Can you watch interactions around you and notice the movement of energy and the results? Learning to do this can help you to not only see ‘others’ energy but also notice your own. Once we are aware, we can then interact with purpose and, hopefully, create better communications.

man with bull horn hollering at a women who is being blown backward by the tirade

This man definitely has the fast, spiraling energy happening here while the woman is literally being blown away. To have a meaningful conversation, the energy needs to be in greater synchrony.

Does this ‘energy thing’ really work?

Ask Sam. Listen to her as she shares her first effort at ‘noticing’ the energy during a family holiday gathering.

(You can follow along with the transcript by CLICKING HERE)

We’d love to hear from you. After learning of this technique, are you able to see the energy dance that occurs around you? Please share your experiences with us!

NOTE: If you’re interested, you can learn more, click here: Therapeutic Touch. If you have questions, send a message to Ellie on our Facebook page.

If you enjoy our life hacks and simple common sense approaches to sustainability and everyday life, please spread the word. Visit and like our youtube channel and our Facebook page. And sign up for our newsletter  – the form’s on the HOME page. Share your thoughts with us on youtube or FB. Here’s to your peace of mind because you’re prepared!

Between us, we have over 100-years of experience, and Sam’s only 40! If you enjoy our life hacks and simple common sense approaches to sustainability and everyday life, please spread the word.

Appreciating the Small Things

Appreciating the Small Things

Don't let overwhelm affect your self-worth

In a chaotic world, it’s easy to lose our sense of self. We can often feel drained and wonder what, if anything, we’ve accomplished. We might find it hard to see the value of a day that seems filled up with … well, stuff! Join us on Sunday Snacks with Sam and Ellie as we discuss a way to appreciate the small things of the day and realize that it isn’t all just busyness.

If you like to read along, you can CLICK HERE for the transcript.

Sam shares the sense of overwhelm and feeling unaccomplished when she’s had a busy day or week. Yet, in reality, she lives fully and in alignment with her core values. Why this conflict? It was recently made more painful when someone mentioned that “Oh, you’re just a stay-at-home mom!”

Ellie shares a bit of history that women have experienced with both the ‘Oh, you’re just a stay-at-home mom” vs “I can have a career, husband, children, and do it all!” (Some things never change…) She also gives us a few words of encouragement with a simple moment of reflection.

toddler using a watering can to care for the garden

Your efforts do matter.

Stopping at the end of the day to consider that busyness, asking if it aligned with our core values, and taking a moment to be grateful that we could do those things, may just be enough to switch off the “I’m not enough” self-doubt that we sometimes feel.

We didn’t mention it in the video, but we would also add: SMILE! Look around your home and at your family, consider your job or business if you have one, and SMILE! After all, isn’t that the purpose!

If you enjoy our life hacks and simple common sense approaches to sustainability and everyday life, please spread the word. Visit and like our youtube channel and our Facebook page. And sign up for our newsletter  – the form’s on the HOME page.

Changing for Good – a Positive 2022

Changing for Good – a Positive 2022

Sunday Snacks with Ellie and Sam

Good morning and welcome to Sunday Snacks with Ellie and Sam, where we’re definitely awake this morning. We had a good brunch.
Today we’re going to be talking to you about changes in 2022, because we’re ready. Oh, my word. It’s been a mess for two years of crazy!

SAM: I’m Going to go cuckoo.-kachoo like, it’s not going to be okay. I’m already going to a therapist to deal with some of the stuff, you know?

ELLIE: Yup. Yeah. Well, you know, we’re supposed to be getting like what four hugs a day or something to be healthy. Think of all the people who haven’t had hugs in years, I’m going to give you a hug. (Sam gives Ellie a hug). I’m trying to get a little more energy back by taking a little part-time job I have in an antique store. And just, you know, hopefully with spring getting outdoors a little bit more.
But we’ve developed habits over time. I mean, if we can change a habit in 30 days, what have we changed in two years?

SAM: You know, I’m currently moving three cubic – no four cubic yards of mushroom soil around my yard. That’s a lot of work and so I’m physically active. I’m doing all those things now. For me for 2022, it’s all about that mental cut the fat, because that’s just how it has to be because it’s not sustainable for me to just keep living in this heightened state of panic and fear and just God-awful pandemonium.

Ellie: In that grip of, of being hypervigilant about everything, we also, I think, discovered parts of ourselves and they don’t have to be positive parts, but if we can acknowledge those parts, then we know we, we now have clues as to what to use to improve in 2022. The things we learned about ourselves, and even though they may be negative, are still things to bring into a positive 2022, because we can look at those and say, okay, that didn’t work well. I don’t need to keep doing that.

What lessons are you carrying into a more positive 2022? Share with us on our FB page.


Between us, we have over 100-years of experience and Sam’s only 39! If you enjoy our life hacks and simple common sense approaches to sustainability and everyday life, please spread the word.



Winter Storm? You’re ready, right?

Winter Storm? You’re ready, right?


A row of snow plows ready for a winter storm

There are predictions for potential snow, ice, cold temps … just … YUCK!

Are you ready?

There are some simple things to be ready. Have some foods that you can eat if the electricity should go out for a few hours or a day or two. What kinds of things?

  • tuna fish
  • peanut butter
  • bread with butter or jam
  • items in the fridge that will go bad
    like yogurt, saladings, sandwich meats, milk
  • apples and other fruits you may have
  • cereals
  • cheese, crackers, pepperoni
  • canned fruits
  • snacks

Keep in mind that if it’s really cold, you can place some perishable items in a tin and put in the snow. Of course, most of the time our electricity is not off that long. The point is that when you know there’s a prediction of a winter storm, you can be prepared. Maybe have a gallon or two of water available for drinking. If you have milk, that will be one of the first things you’ll want to use up. Sodas and other beverages will be fine. Also, keep in mind that you can buy milk in a box that does not require refrigeration until you open it. If you have kids, this is especially useful.

storm preparedness with batteries, flashlights, radio, jugs of water, some canned foods

Is this going to feel like a gourmet meal? Of course, not! But you don’t need to go hungry while you wait for the power to come on.

Sleeping Bags, Blankets, and Games

I would add that if you have sleeping bags, use them to stay warm. And if you have battery-powered radios, flashlights, lamps, etc, be sure you know where they are. Always be cautious using oil lamps and candles. If you happen to have a camp stove that you can use outside, you can also cook a small meal. That’s, of course, if the weather isn’t too windy and bitter.

But you can safely survive a bit of inconvenience and, if you’re creative, you can turn it into an indoor picnic adventure with the kids. Pull out some board games, make a blanket tent, dress in layers of clothes, and enjoy. A difficult time can become a memory that you’ll all share in years to come. Be smart. Think ahead. Be prepared.



In the wake of the insanity of 2020 and now the first 2 weeks of 2021, how are you holding up?

I felt like I wanted to explode on January 06, 2021 in a fit of rage. The weirdest part is that everything felt surreal. Like I was watching some sort of weird movie. I’m still sorting out my feelings and really not sure where I will land with all of this.

My logical brain has me going in one direction and my heart has me going on a totally different path. But then I realize that in 2011 when I was still teaching high school American Government I felt the same way with the Snyder v Phelps case. So many damn emotions……

In the short term I know that I need to feel confident in my own body and brain to support my family, so I’m going to maintain my daily chores and plug along. I will work through my feelings in my own way and that will probably take longer than I would like, but who cares.

However, there is one thing I’m really struggling with and that is the right of individual companies to censor people.

Granted, I will be upfront, I do not and did not like President Trump – but I also didn’t like Hillary Clinton, nor do I like Joe Biden. I think they are all crooked!

Headlines and CopingBut what the Supreme Court decision of Citizens United has done to allow corporations to have more rights and privileges like regular citizens has now come to a head in my mind. I couldn’t stand the PACs or Super PACs to start, but now we have corporations choosing to censor what people are saying.

One thing about freedom of speech is that we all have it. We are all granted that unalienable right to speak our mind. We do not have to like or agree with the other person, but they have the right to say what they feel is right. I do not like the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church, but I also would not take away their right to freedom of speech.

Let’s put all the cards on the table, if they are saying things publicly that are bad – imagine what they are saying behind closed doors. At least if it is out in the air and visible for us all to make our OWN DECISIONS, we have a way to trace things back to a source. I would rather know that a KKK rally is coming to my town so my family and I can choose what is best for us. Do we stay and protest or do we just leave for the day? It doesn’t mean I have to like what they say or do, but it does inform me of who I can trust in my own community.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right that was allocated in the first Amendment because the Founding Father’s felt it so crucial that we all had the opportunity to be seen and heard. 

It doesn’t matter what side you are on; we are all American. Frankly, I don’t believe we should even have a 2-party system in this country. George Washington warned us about the polarizing effects of political parties in his Farewell Address. Our 2-party system has numbed us so much as a country that the 535 members of Congress get away with constantly creating Christmas Tree Bills laded with tons of pork tacked on. And it has allowed for big corporations to take away the power of the “little guy,” anyone who dissents.

What would they have done if they did not agree with Ruth Bader Ginsburg? My hero, and her famous quote,

It’s all a lot to take in. So, if you got this far, in the words of my best friend Ellie “BREATHE!” You’ve got this!

Just Breathe