My first Mini Filofax :)


It is with much delight I occasionally have the treat to hear from someone who just got their very first Mini Filofax (even though the size is out of production).  I always smile and reminisce when I remember mine.

It was many moons ago. I had been using a Personal size already, and was going through a big transition in my life. I wanted a smaller organizer that would fit in my purse. I checked the catalog from the only place I knew of back then to purchase a Filofax – a shop in New York which I don’t think is in business today.  And there I found my first-ever Mini.

I don’t recall now if there were a lot to choose from. I selected a Mini Picadilly in blue. Not baby blue, not navy blue – but rather it’s-so-blue!, bright, electric blue.  No shade of blue was my favorite color at the time, so I am not sure why it was chosen. It must have been calling to me!

When the package was delivered, I could hardly wait to see the organizer. I remember the floating feeling of near-disbelief when I opened the Filofax box. It’s so tiny! Sheer astonishment that a normal, functioning planner could have been reduced to this miniature size. Needless to say it was love at first sight.

Instantly, it became a constant companion in my little black backpack-purse. I remember whipping it out of the purse all-abracadabra-like when trading numbers with someone. Fishing it out at lunches to jot down great ideas. Making notes while visiting towns and cities about the various areas to maybe live one day. What time the ferry will depart to the island. A list of flavors to bring back for folks when stopping to pick up the local must-have milkshake. Address of someone to mail a thank-you note. Most of these notes were scribbled in, sideways or not, sometimes haphazardly, in no sort of organized manner. The monthly and weekly calendars and address pages were used pretty much the same as I use them today.

I wish I had a picture of it to share, but I am happy to say I gifted it to a best friend over five years ago, and while it’s not nearby for a photo shoot, it’s in very good good hands.

Thank you for reading 🙂







Benefits of daydreaming or zoning out | Hanging Up series


Last year when I started writing about ditching my smartphone habit, I mentioned the Bored & Brilliant Project series from New Tech City and Manoush Zomorodi’s podcast Note to Self.  The project raises awareness on smartphone use and presents challenges to help evaluate your relationship with your phone.

Today’s share is to a TED Talk that Manoush subsequently presented on the same subject.

Even though I have been on this endeavor for over a year now, it still amazes me how much work it has been to make this change (even just simple things like “checking things” all the time – the weather, facts, what movie was this guy in, how much is this on Amazon, etc.).

And now for your viewing pleasure, here is Manoush and her TED Talk!



Also related: another excellent TED Talk on Smartphone addiction.


December 2017 in my Mini Filofax planner


It has been another wonderful year. We’re out of state visiting some friends-who-are-family this New Year’s Eve weekend.  Behind these December pages in my mini are lists of to-do’s for the month and a packing list for this road trip.

Best wishes to you and yours for a Happy New Year 🙂

mini monthly dec 2017.jpg

mini monthly – dec 2017


Previous month:  November 2017

November 2017 in my Mini Filofax planner


This month was largely dedicated to gearing up for major upcoming transitions in our lives – part of which is our upcoming cross-country move.

Prior to the big move, we are selling some things. The largest is our rare and vintage motorcoach, so there’s been a lot of activity with showing it and having phone time with people near and far who want to see it. This coach wasn’t a recreational rig for us, for some time it was our full-time home while we were assigned to various locations.

We are also selling our tiny workshop my husband designed and built by hand.

Wanderlodge copy









In addition, we are finding new homes for our Alaska extreme-cold-weather boating, camping, and outdoor gear that we no longer need. Our next planned locale will more about flip-flops at the campsite rather than sub-zero sleeping bags!

This sell-a-palooza really highlighted how long it takes me to make pictures, re-take pictures, upload them, download them, crop them, re-upload them, re-size them, and has caused me to question if I am just so crazy-slow at it, or if it takes anyone else as long.

We also finally got basic cell phones! For months, we’d cycled through several models of older basic cell phones that just didn’t work well in our area’s very weak signal. We eagerly tried the newest little Nokia 3310 with 3G and, yay!, success!

My Mini continues to faithfully provide comfort and support every day. Here, you can see behind the November pages is the list of my monthly focus items. This particular list is most certainly focused on the above-referenced sell-a-palooza! As from previous months, the simple yet meaningful yellow sticky of lovely and heartfelt reminders moves forward every month.

mini monthly - nov 2017

mini monthly – nov 2017

Thanksgiving was delightful and I’m so happy Egg Nog Season is well underway!

Warmest wishes of love and peace to you and yours for the holiday season. 🙂


Previous month:  October 2017


Meet my Radley Mini organizer :)


It is no secret that I heart Minis waytoomuch.

Anyway, I make use of a purse-only Mini – it’s not a wallet nor a planner; it’s a simple, utility organizer. In my purse it stores:

  • notesheets and small supply of stickies
  • contact info for some family and closest friends
  • certain, select few cards that I always want with me (such as roadside assist)
  • stamps!
  • receipts collected when out doing shops and errands, or receipts for something that must be returned
  • If I’m at an appointment and they give a next-appointment card, it goes in there until I get back home where I input it into my main mini (planner)
  • It is the place where we write down dimensions of some odd thing we need to shop for at the store, or some thing we found at the store that we need to check when we get home
  • any shop lists on stickies I’ve been compiling in my main mini get transferred into purse mini when we head out
  • directions to a few important places where I drive infrequently, mostly remember how to get there but have back-up if I need a refresher

In making Mini size inserts, I have learned from other folks about other organizers that fit the Mini Filofax size refills. It’s an impressive list, and one that tickles my heart is the Radley brand. My memory is Cathryn Cook had also began using a Radley mini as well some years ago. Sadly, I can’t find her great blog anymore. Her blog was the first I’d ever heard of a Radley mini planner. I don’t think they make these any longer.

The adorable Radley organizers I have viewed online are all very slim ring mechanisms. Mine is really tiny, I would venture to guess it is as slim as the Executive Mini Slim I had some years ago.

Earlier this year, this little pre-loved pup took over the purse mini duties.

And now, for the moment you’ve probably been waiting for… snaps!

The pom-pom, flower-y, fireworks here are actually each individual stitches of leather and thread.



Inside, there are some pockets and a lovely lining which coordinates with the exterior design.


That tiny little pocket you see on the left is lined with that same fabric! The pocket would be very handy for an emergency phone-call quarter, if you had one stashed for a payphone.



Another thoughtful feature you can see here is this nifty, attached, leather page marker. If you have diary or calendar sheets in here, you can just slip that little tethered Radley medallion into your current dates.



Here is the super-slim ring mechanism – also note that this model doesn’t have the wallet pocket along the exterior backside, which makes the binder even slimmer. Perfect for my purse organizer since it’s not my wallet.



And on back – the brand name and another poof.



I hope this was a fun viewing, and thank you for visiting! 🙂


Payphones | Hanging Up series


I didn’t plan for this particular post. It was sparked by reviewing some of our photos and subsequently prompted by an article we found.

Nearly three years ago, we took a weekend winter wonderland adventure on the Alaska Railroad to the majestic Denali (also known as Mt. McKinley) in Alaska.

We ended up onboard with train conductor Harry Ross who has appeared on the Railroad Alaska television series. (Fun facts – they stop the train when there’s a moose or bear close enough for people to take photos, or a clear view of Denali from the distance. They also stop the train to pick up passengers who are waiting on the side of the tracks).

On this glorious trip, we squeezed into a tiny plane (absolutely freezing) on a gorgeous clear and sunny day to fly over and witness the splendor the tallest peak in North America.  On top of it all, the one time I was so fortunate to see the Northern Lights was on this visit.

Our cabin stay was in the tiny town of Talkeetna, which is said to be the town that inspired the fictitious town of Cicely in the 1990’s TV show Northern Exposure. (Apologies if the theme song is now playing repetitiously in your head.)

Talkeetna store and payphone

This store is possibly my favorite I’ve ever visited. Anyway, outside you can see  a payphone. (I wonder if that is an ice machine sitting next to it. I suppose even in the arctic tundra one will want ice in the summertime.)

While looking over  picture with my husband, I had asked the question “if they have a payphone in Talkeetna, why don’t we see more of them around other places?”

Since I’ve embarked on this breaking-up-with-my-smartphone journey, I’ve read lots of other people’s articles about how they have a basic cell phone, or only a home phone!  Some people just have a cell phone they leave in the car glove box (which is how many of us started out with a cell phone in the first place – for just-in-case).

One thing I’ve learned in my research is that more people than you’d think don’t have a cell phone at all. That is quite the contrast with the disappearing payphones in the United States. I’ve heard “no one uses payphones anymore because they all have cell phones.” This Atlantic article mentions they’ve been removed in part due to no longer turning a profit and for their use in illegal activities. However, after seeing several movies lately wherein the use of payphones stood out at me, I took great interest in this article at Motherboard, Payphones Still Make Millions of Dollars.

With today’s smartphones, it seems people are actually talking to other people far less, and rather sending messages via shares and texts, etc.  Sadly, this is also often the case when people are sitting together at the same table – not talking, but buried in their phones. Whereas the payphone is a direct and simple tool, like any regular phone, that connects two people to discuss or arrange something.

I guess so many phone booths have been taken away in the US because they were already losing money on them. Although I can’t help but to wonder what is the cost to just leave an already-built, already-installed, existing payphone in place. Particularly in a remote location like the one used by Deb in Napoleon Dynamite. As mentioned in this article at WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, there are times when a hard-wired pay telephone is needed by people. I consider them more as pay-as-you need utility now. And we all know everyone’s mobile phone has a dead spot somewhere or has no battery left – assuming everyone truly has a cell phone.

Here are some more payphone-related articles and stories:

Thank you for reading! 🙂


October 2017 in my Mini Filofax planner


It has still been very warm here overall, although there was some rollercoaster dips into actual chillier temps. You know, 40 in the morning and then nearly 90 in the afternoon. Enough to provide some proof that October did deliver.

This month we began listening to our newest shared audio book for our car rides, the creepy and disturbing 1970-ish novel This Perfect Day by Ira Levin. I also enjoyed reading Walden on Wheels and listening to the Goodbye, Things audio book.

We’ve begun preparing for our out-of-state move early next year so there’s an abundance of random to-do’s. In the mini, I changed my weekly layout to two-days-on-a-page for now. This format is working particularly well at this time, since this is my personal-life planner and we have more of our-life to-do’s slated for the weekend. The extra spot for notes by the weekend works nicely for that.  And it allows room for the  doodles I’ve scribbled lately. (I just remind myself it’s not an art competition and no one is judging).

The somewhat indiscernible doodles the October monthly page include some creepy crawlies and a cauldron of eyeball stew.  On a weekday sheet, there’s a tiny crockpot and cilantro on a day I had some black beans and rice slow-cooking in the kitchen. Not to be confused with eyeball stew.

mini monthly - oct 2017

mini monthly – october 2017

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 9.31.02 AM

assorted days and weeks in october


I hope you’re having a super-fun and happy Halloween! 🎃 🙀 👻 🍬 🎃


Previous month: September 2017