next year

Did you just feel that?  It was a slight shift in the universe.

I walked out to my mailbox and found an envelope hand addressed.  You know that moment when you sift through the grocery ads, the junk mail, maybe a bill (if you still receive paper bills) and a padded envelope with a book you ordered for one of your Grands…..you spy upon high quality paper, his and your name, written in cursive?

DSCN4274I jostled everything under my arm, so I could open the fine quality envelope to get to the good part.  The gift.    Yes, a handmade card is a gift.   Take your breath away, hand-made, card from a friend.  The moment I slipped the card from the envelope, I forgot who I thought I was for a moment.  The very instant I saw the simplistic beauty, I said out loud, “I need to figure out what to barter, so she will make me 24 of these for next year”.

The greatest gift of Easter is Hope.

One of the shocking and interesting things that happened to me this past year, was the hyper awareness of the calendar.  Oh no, this could be my last Thanksgiving!  Oh, goodness, this could be my last New Year’s Eve puzzle!  Oh no, this could be my last piece of birthday cake!  What?  A new Grand on the way?   I need to make a quilt as fast as I can!  I ask Mr. Right all the time, do you think this is my last____________ fill in the blank?   I can tell by the wrinkle line on his forehead, he is loosing his patience with me asking.

Once I found out that I was extremely ill, I, like so many others, I walked back through my life and decided what was important and what was poppycock.   I have made excellent choices in the past year.  I made choices to see family and friends.  I have been nicer (if that is possible) to our dog.  I try to be more loving and kind to my husband.  I tell people I love & appreciate them.  I tell my daughter in law what a GREAT mom she is.  I tell our adult children how proud we are of them.  I try and write more sincere and kind thank you notes. I try to live my life a little more Grace filled.  I am more Grateful. I am much more choosey.

I have also made better and more informed choices about my health and wellness.  Each day I am getting stronger.  Daily I fill my pitcher with sass and swirls and vim and vinegar.  Maybe I am drawing from my past?  Maybe when I was a “terrible two” I was stubborn and strong and feisty and sassy?  I am quite sure that was an exhausting phase for my mother.  Maybe somehow I needed the practice?  Perhaps I needed to know that I could be strong and sassy, should the need arise?  Maybe today, I am utilizing every bit of that feistiness to hold my head up, get strong and lean and fit and plan for another day or week or month or year?

Somewhere in my months of poor me, I am sick, no need to plan for the year/s ahead, I should go eat worms……….a slight zig-zag began, fresh air happened, 1051 biked miles happened, yoga happened, juicing happened, people helping me happened, research happened……….. then today, something small yet significant happened, something shifted……….. I am GOING TO BE HERE NEXT SPRING, I NEED TO PLAN how many beautiful, hand-made Easter cards I am sending out.   I enjoy sending out Good wishes to our friends and family.  Easter week is a holy tradition in our beliefs. We love sharing that pure goodness, that Holiness with our circle.

Heartfelt and Sincere thanks to my wonderful friend for the gentle reminder, something that I had misplaced……….there is HOPE.

(I HOPE you love this card as much as I do,  I will be mailing them out next year)

Happy Easter, to us all.

 

charmed

I have a little twist in my brain.  I love to collect things.

Thank you to my friends and followers who shared what they collect on vacation.  Cookbooks, purses, jewelry, books and fabric.  I love to read the comments and learn about you.  Thanks for giving me a sneak peak into your suitcases coming home from holiday.

While on vacation,  I keep my eyes peeled for the perfect charm for my bracelet.  Something to help me remember the goodness.  Sometimes, family and friends give me a charm to make me smile and remember them or something silly.

Can you see the picture of my bracelet?  DSCN4260

Can you guess why and where I collected some pieces?  I spy with my little eye:

a palm tree

a rolling-pin

mickey mouse ears

a cowgirl boot

an “m”

a cable car

a dog bone

a music note

a pineapple

a cat

the space needle

a fortune cookie

a piano

a cruise ship

a fairy godmother

a star fish

an ice cream cone

engraved names

a heart

a penguin

alligatorThere is about to be one added.  Isn’t  Annie the Alligator creepy?

I live a grateful and charmed life.  It is good to remind myself just how lucky I am.

 

 

fore

My dad used to keep his golf clubs in the garage.  One warm spring day, for some unknown reason, my two sisters and I decided to use them.  The front yard had lots of grass and several mounds of tulips and daffodils.  Um, I think you know where this is going.  In one sunny afternoon, three sweet girls, were able to make not one, but both parents so mad they couldn’t even yell.  You know that moment when you see your parents face?  The mouth gapes open.  The hands are gesturing wildly.  They are steaming mad, air is coming out of their mouths, but no words.  Yes, the club heads were covered in grass and dirt and I am sure dinged up from hacking away at the driveway and the rocks.  (I have a feeling any real floggers reading this, just winced.)  The flowers were all pretty much mulch.  We smacked and smacked and swung with abandonment.  Three little girls screaming and laughing and sweating and swinging.  It was all fun, until the parents came out to see what we had decided to do.

I took golf in college.  It sounded way more fun than physical education and the instructor was very, very easy on the eyes.  Turns out, just as boring as I thought it would be.  Cute instructor or not.  practice your swing, practice your swing, keep your eye on the ball, stop day dreaming….

Golf is Mr. Right’s thing.  Not mine.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy going to lunch at different courses.   I love walking around the manicured grounds.  I enjoy watching my boyfriend hit a bucket or two of balls.  I like wearing sunglasses and sitting and watching his “form”.  Haha, my blog, I get to say what I want.  :)

CAM00380So when the topic came up about golf on vacation, you might be surprised that I jumped at the chance!   Pirate’s Cove ADVENTURE golf.   It was 88* and the sun was shining.  I got to wear a sassy sun hat, saucy sunglasses and snazzy bling covered flip-flops.  It was walking up and down and through caves.  We walked around water hazards and beside waterfalls.  There are treasure chests and curves and twists and hills every where you look.  There was a pond and special effects and noises.  Everyone you meet at Adventure Golf is happy.  They are being silly or giving it the ol college try.  18 holes only takes about an hour or so.  Here is the wonderful part of mini golf……….it is a pretty level playing field.  Even though one person may be an amazing golfer and have won several trophies and have many stories to tell….. and one person has taken one-quarter in college and dropped off two boys to golf lessons an unbelievable amount of times…………………their scores end up being extremely close.

I wish I could tell a lie and say that I won by a long shot.  Dang, I missed winning by two strokes.  However, it was close and back and forth all through the game.  It was all fun.  You leave your troubles and stress at the entrance.  Your biggest decisions are what color ball you want to use (I chose shocking orange) and who goes first.  20140402_115809 (1)

Next time you are on holiday or vacation, stop in and spend an hour having pure fun.  Pure goodness and laughs and giggles are to be found at one of those amazing Adventure Golf places.  Unlike the wet, damp, drizzle state we live in, any state with oodles of sunshine and tourists have really cool, amazing, happy, fun mini golf courses.

Come on, having a date at Adventure golf is so much fun!  It is waaaay more fun than the calm, polite,  gentleman/gentlewoman’s real game of golf.

20140402_121305When was the last time you went on a fun, happy, silly date with your Mr. Right?  Happy, fun, amazing marriages that last 32 years or more, don’t just happen.  You have to practice being happy over and over and over.

Block of the Month, April edition

DSCN4223San Juan, Puerto Rico is the name of the block for this month.  I chose a bright and cheery yellow for the sunshine. The cobblestone in gray to depict some of the roads.

Those pin wheel points in sunshine and soft gray match up so pretty.  The order and accurate measurements speaks to my heart.  Yes, I love to twirl and swirl and be silly.  However, coming back to order and geometry makes me sing.  Now, that makes this quilter smile.

When photographing this quilt project, I notice the colors look a bit subdued.  To lighten the mood,  I have also chosen a bright and lively piece of stripe for sashings & borders.  Yellows and more yellows with a touch of gray will make these delicious grays come alive.  The piece of fabric will add a harmony of calm and lively once all together.  DSCN4221

I find myself “see sawing” between bright and full of a punch color quilts to calm and peaceful.  Depends on my mood of the day which I gravitate toward.

 

This morning, the sun just started to come out.  I noticed a splash of sunshine on a quilt hanging in my sewing room.  Made me smile. Quilting warms my heart and soul. DSCN4226

souveniers of grace

That movement you make when you swing your suitcase up onto the scale in the airport………it is full of energy, lots of anticipation and a touch of worry (hoping they are under weight, vacation shoe choices weigh a lot folks!) The bags are then whisked away to be put in the belly of the plane.  Ah, that moment of relief, when you walk away with just your carry on.  You feel somewhat free and actually lighter.  You now trust (or don’t really care at this point), that somehow, the bags, your bags will make it to your the place you are going.  All by the magic of a little tiny piece of card stock paper that has been looped through the handle with a stretchy piece of string.  Amazingly, most of the time the luggage makes it.  Strangely enough, at the end of our trip, our bags made it home before we did!  We found them sitting in the lost and found section of the airport.  We don’t question these things, we are just grateful and move on.

DSCN4074Did you know back in 1952, Gator Land, located in Florida sold LIVE baby alligators to take home as souvenirs for ONE DOLLAR????????? And here I was thinking it was a headache and a half to get through TSA security!  Live Alligators, may create a problem today folks,  Jeepers Creepers!

I have not been treated with grace in any form that I can sense from the TSA employees.  Quite the opposite.  I am not going to give them the satisfaction of more space on this post.   However, secretly, I would love to have a live ‘gator in my bag.  I smile, but…. oh so serious.

When ever, where ever I travel, my bags and sometimes carry on, come back with more than I took.  I come back with fabric.  Yes, my number one souvenir of choice is fabric. Oh sure, I bring back pieces of Grace from our holiday.  I am partial to:   squished pennies, silver charms,  cookie cutters, rolling pins and t-shirts.  Oh and maybe a piece of jewelry.  A girl has to be on the look out for sweet and sassy things everywhere!  Hey, that alligator charm is my badge of honor!  I earned that charm.   I just loved Gator Land.  So creepy, yet I couldn’t look away.  Three hours of pure entertainment and adventure.

I have a lovely piece of blue and white fabric that I bought in Quebec, Canada.  My first try at purchasing fabric in another language. I tried my new language and the shop keeper used her grace to help me.   I love looking at that piece.  It reminds me how brave I felt, 30 some years ago. It reminds me of that first long distance trip with Mr. Right.

Coming home, the suitcases, (here is a question, why does the TSA seem to inspect (read that as move and mess up) my luggage going …..when everything is rolled and folded so neatly and coming back when every thing is just shoved and tucked and dirty, they never inspect that?) amongst the wrinkled Capri pants and the six extra pairs of shoes I did not choose to wear, I tucked in some lovely new pieces of fabric.  I am very grateful for each piece.

Fabric that will remind me of the lovely shops I explored.   The orange and yellow to remind me of the Florida Sunshine.  The polka dots to remind of the feeling of happy.  The stack of colors to make a quilt will gently remind me of the shared afternoon in a quilt shop with Miss Florida.

Please tell me what you collect while on vacation.  What do you collect?

DSCN4228

 

 

 

rubbing elbows with grace

Grace is simple.  It is given freely.  Yes, I said FREE.  Imagine that?  You can pass it out or you can take some.  Free, Free, Free.  Sort of makes you happy just to hear that, right?

I have people in my life that bathe me in Grace.  Even if I have been a stinker.  Even if I have been less than lady like. Somehow the people I have chosen to surround myself with, find a pocket full of fairy dust and sprinkle it all over me at just the perfect time.  Then there are those people I look for.  Like a game of hide and seek.  I seek out new folks to meet and learn from.   They don’t know me.  Sometimes we don’t have the same interests.  We come from very different places.  Yet, somehow, I glean Grace from people everywhere I go.

I met several new people while on Spring Break.  A couple of unique people graced my life with knowledge and goodness and healing.  Both made me think and grow and become better.  Yes, I became a better person just by meeting them.  Go on vacation, come back a better version of you!  How wonderful is that?

red dot quiltI met one person in a quilt shop, busy working away on his latest masterpiece.  He was a hipster, cool, barefoot guy who was sewing the most lively combination of polka dot reds and pinks into a quilt top.  His belt buckle was set just to the left of center.  He was in the zone.  He was making that sewing machine sing.  The colors and the design made me giggle and smile.  The colors and his personality drew me in.  As I talked to barefoot guy, I learned he had traveled several times to the Pacific Northwest to visit family, so we found that in common.  He shared a favorite quilt pattern he has made 5 times.  The batik fabrics on the Pumpkin patch were stunning.  His brain rattled off the artist and the designer.   He was at home and in his element inside a lovely little quilt shop.  Barefoot guy made me feel welcome and bathed in his Grace.  It was a pleasure to be there.  As we drove away, I had to wonder if he felt as comfortable in other locations during his day.  Because of his barefoot, hipster attitude, I had to wonder if others missed out on learning about how wonderful of a person he is.

Singing guy was the next person to wash me in his Grace.  As Mr. Right and I sat down in a restaurant, while waiting for our meal, he came over and introduced checkered shirthimself.  His warm personality and snazzy tie, grabbed my attention and didn’t let go.  I could feel his goodness sort of spilling out of his jaunty checker board shirt.  He was brave.  He was also the person who filled water glasses, found crayons for short people and escorted guests to their table.  I say he was brave because he offered to sing for us.  Yes, right there in the middle of the restaurant.  He was an opera and jazz trained singer.  I chose jazz.  Oh my stars.  He was wonderful. Made me clap before he was even done.   Singing guy needed to get in his car and drive to some American Star talent competition and sing for his supper!  Yes, that good.  His voice made my toes tingle and I got goose bumps on the back of my neck.  (a sure sign a star is born).  Shaking his hand, tipping him, telling him while looking into his eyes, I was proud of him, didn’t seem enough.  So brave and talented to be doing what he was doing.  He made our dining experience over the top memorable.  He graciously shared his gift with us.  As we drove away, I had to wonder if he felt as comfortable in other locations during his day.  Because of his singing, jaunty, snazzy personality, I had to wonder if others missed out on learning about how wonderful of a person he is.

One of the most wonderful and lucky things about taking a vacation is meeting new people.  People you didn’t know you needed in your life.  New people to fill in the gaps and holes left by rather sad, unjazzy folks that I am learning to let go.  So much easier to let go of the old yuck when there are so many choices of good.  Just by meeting  fresh, happy, unique, intelligent people somehow that goodness rubs off on you and you gather little bits of healing.  You feel better just by rubbing elbows with good eggs.

Grace is sort of like a gown up version of glitter.  If someone has it all over them, you can’t help but get some on yourself.

ps. We celebrate a friend’s son who today, is four years CLEAN and SOBER!  That is four years of hard work, learning, growing, changing, stretching and four years of Grace.  He did it and is doing it every single day.  Each day he puts one foot in front of the other.  We are so proud of him and his family.  No, we had nothing to do with it.  Yet, somehow, just being around and knowing someone who has done something so brave and sassy, you get glitter all over you.  Just by knowing him, makes our lives better. 

Grace, it IS Amazing.

let’s do lunch?

Yesterday, I shared a healthy recipe with a couple of girl friends.  I really care about what my family and my friends eat.  It is one way to say I love them.   Roasted Applesauce.  Just do it.  Yes, that good! http://orangette.blogspot.com/ (leave out the sugar or make a substitution with something a bit healthier)

Mr. Right and I were talking over inviting a girlfriend to stay with us for a week this summer.  We want to offer her a week of pure, healthy food, drinks, pure water and smoothies.  We love & respect her so much, we want to share our bounty for a week.  We want her to thrive and find wellness at our home.  She is worthy of high quality food.  We want her to know that.

springsBeing on vacation is a blast.  Everyday is something new and different and fun and exciting.  One little tiny part of being on vacation that is less than delightful is having to find really high quality food choices in airports or at hotels or find a local restaurant.  Each can be a bit tricky.  We did come across a GREAT small restaurant at an airport in Chicago, called Sprigs.  A salad place where they make it fresh for each customer and you can tailor it to your tastes and needs.  Well Done, Sprigs!!!!!!  Two thumbs up for offering a really great choice.  The David and Goliath story comes to mind.

While in the same airport, sadly, we saw a rather large gentleman, being pushed quickly in a wheelchair in an attempt to make his connecting flight.  On his lap he was holding a sack of food with the famous Golden Arches printed on the bag.  I will let your mind fill in what I was thinking past the obvious sadness and pity.

I don’t have a choice.  My life depends on every single choice I make.  The food and drink that goes in my body is what builds my immune system and helps me thrive.  Every single poor choice does just the opposite. I am not only worthy of good fresh food,  I need it to live.

This is not going to sound hip, cool , or popular.   I don’t care.  Honest, I don’t.  I am proud of what I am going to say.

Offering up worthy food choices for Mr. Right and myself is my job.   It is my job as a wife.  I am very good at my job.  I adore that man, and I want the very best nutrition for him every single day.  I go to great lengths to study and learn and then make interesting and nutritious meals, juices and smoothies, worthy of his health.  Yes, I own a business and I have lots of other hats that I wear, however,  I take my job as a wife very seriously.  Part of my responsibilities, include making  an effort to ensure that Mr. Right & myself have a variety of  food choices, well planned, balanced, high quality, beautiful (yes, we eat with our eyes) delicious meals.

All that being said, I read an article about a school district not “allowing” children to bring a lunch from home, unless they have a note from a doctor.  

http://www.realfarmacy.com/no-lunches-from-home-without-doctors-note-school-lunch-only/#OG3a8MGkuJmrWZ1A.99

That statement is so sad, I started to laugh.  As sick as I have been for the last year and as many doctors as I have seen, the topic of nutrition and food choices is a joke to 95% of conventional doctors.  (I will say one naturopath was open-minded and well-educated enough to discuss high quality food choices.)  The last oncologist I saw, graciously invited me to her yearly pink survivors bbq.  “All sorts of bbq meats and treats and drinks and tons of sweet desserts.  It is lots of fun, you will love it.  We would love to have you join us.”  If I went, what could I eat or drink?  Not one thing.

How on earth am I going to get that same “enlightened” doctor to write me a note that says, not one thing on your upcoming weekly, school lunch menu can my patient have?  Every single thing would be detrimental to her health.  She will have to bring her own lunch from home.  She will have to bring her green juice and raw vegetables and raw fruits and her own rice dish or her own raw soup or ……..

Considering a scheduled appointment with one of my doctors is $395.00 per visit.  That is one expensive note from a doctor.

When did the shift happen?  When did it become “okay” to eat a fast food meal or a “governmental approved” school lunch of “chicken nuggets (made out of hormones  and chemicals shaped into dinosaurs), catsup (sugar), fruit cup (colorings & corn syrup), French fries (with 17 chemicals) and a carton of milk  (oh don’t even get me started on the hormones and the chemicals and the yuck), of course all laced liberally with MSG…………………WHEN DID IT BECOME OKAY  to serve our most precious treasures (our children, in case you didn’t know what I was talking about) those kind of chemicals?  school lunch

When did it fall out of fashion to serve a meal to our family and friends that is of value and worthy of their health and wellness?   When did it become okay to offer our school children food I would not serve to my animals?  When did our own flesh and blood become so unworthy that we are not offering a meal to feed their bodies and minds?

I know how hard it is to get kids to eat lunch.  I think the toughest trick is to feed teenagers, really high quality food.  They are being bombarded with “hip & cool” choices. Those Frapacinnos and the “healthy” Subway sandwiches are selling like hot cakes and it is not just the adults buying them.    I get it, really, I do.  I even went to great lengths to buy restaurant containers (no, not earth friendly) to make up salads or wraps.  I used packaged plastic cutlery and an industrial looking napkin and use a rubber band to secure it all.  That way, it “looked” like said teenager, picked up take out for his lunch.  It wasn’t some dorky thing that his mom made him and told him to take to school and to remember to eat.  No cute note from home, no motivational stickers………………just a throw away take out container.  I know how hard it is to fit in.  If buying non “green” containers” helped a tiny bit to get my treasure to eat lunch then it was worth it.

Offering up high quality, worthy,  nutritious dense food that will help us thrive is difficult and can be tricky.

The time has come.  We need to be strong enough to stand up and be brave and say something.  The person who made the rule about getting a note from a doctor to bring your own lunch………one word: BULLY.  Follow the money, figure out why oh why this is something we “need” in public schools.  It does not matter if your children are school age or not.  Your grandchildren will be.  Your neighbor or co-worker has kids that will be in school at some point.

Every human being on earth is WORTHY of a high quality meal.

In case you forgot we are in this together.  We need to lift each other up with ideas and suggestions.  Share recipes and meals with kindness in our hearts.  We need to invite friends over to share in a fresh smoothie or some great humus or some healthy soup to show that we love them and want them to thrive.

Please share a recipe today with a friend or a neighbor,  and for the love of our treasures, make a wonderful fresh meal worthy of you and  your family.

Here’s to our good health!  Please share your comments.  I would love to have an intelligent discussion about this topic.  Thanks so much.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”  A. Dumbledore