It’s vacation……throw away your undies!

2,784 miles and we are home safe and sound from vacation.  Oh it was fun and happy and exciting.  However, Home Sweet Home feels pretty nice.

Where we love is home~ home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Believe it or not, I missed blogging.  I missed chatting each day.  I want to grab a huge mug of steaming hot coffee, wrap both my hands around it and tell you all about our travels.  Two handed coffee hour.  You know, slip the cell phone back into your purse?  Just sit, with our feet tucked under us on a quilt thrown onto the sofa and chatter away.

DSCN5350 I want to tell you about the Trees of Mystery.  I want to chatter on and on about Hearst Castle and the Pacific Ocean. DSCN5391 I want to drink coffee and tell you my favorite parts of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.  I want to share pictures and tell you about picking up pine cones in Oregon to bring home.  I want to tell you about the piece of pie, Mr. Right and I shared on Canadian Thanksgiving.   Vacation was all that and more, much more.

We each bought a t-shirt.  We of course got squished pennies.  We got to sleep in a raft (hahaha, yes, cross my heart truth).  DSCN5344 - CopyLove the “Suite Raft” room in Grants Pass, Oregon.

We met lots of American travelers.  Hi pajama guy in Oregon!  He was walking around the hotel one morning, coffee in hand, pajamas on,  saying good morning to almost everyone.  One morning, while eating breakfast, a Golden Retriever, came walking into our very nice hotel.  Funny and sweet.  (the owner came running in to find said dog).  We saw children gorging on bowls of fruit loops and soda for breakfast in California.  We met oodles of dogs and owners.  People from North Dakota took our picture atop a mountain.  A very nice grand-daughter traveling with her grandparents took our picture at Hearst Castle.

It was so much fun.  Exploring and hiking and walking, driving (oh my, lots of driving) and eating………..Holy Toledo, the eating.   We bought an amazing book about where to eat along our travels.  I promise to share that in another blog.

Our hotels were all really, really nice.  The hospitality was top-notch.  The hoteliers went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable.  We were offered candy and hot coffee, tea and snacks.  We could not have asked to be better taken care of.  Our homes away from home.

Oh, you want to know about the undies comment?  You know how you have less than perfect under garments?  YES, we all have some that need to be retired.  A bit too “loosey goosey” elastic, a tiny hole here or there, polka dots or animal print have faded a bit too much?  Come on!  I know you do, it can’t just be me! So, while on vacation, if one of those items comes up in the rotation, I don’t put them into the laundry bag to carry home.  I am a wild woman and I throw them away.  That is right!  I just toss them away, like I am a queen.  I wear them once and then toss.  No second thoughts, just do it.  It’s all rather glamorous.  Wear and toss.  Wear and toss.  haha, admit it, you know you wish you could do it too!  Really, go on vacation and toss away.  It is all very freeing.  Nothing like being on vacation to bring out my wild side.

Today, I wanted to say, hello friend.  Glad we are back.  The chickens are good.  The dog is snoozing on her bed.  Mr. Right is back to work.  Orders for dog cookies have piled up while we were gone.

While sleeping in wonderful top of the line beds, yes, even the raft bed was amazingly comfortable (loved the glow in the dark stars on the ceiling)………..home to our very own bed felt pretty darn good.

Oh, and did I mention we got to meet the best little grandson ever?  Put your coffee down a moment.  Here take this photo album.  Look at him here.  Look at him in this outfit.  Oh look, here he is in his stroller.  He is cuddly and adorable and amazing.  His parents are doing well.  They are taking to this whole “parenting thing” like they were meant to be mom and dad.  It was wonderful to meet the newest in our family.   Today, was his two-week check up and he is doing amazing.  Healthy and in tip-top shape.  He has been to the beach already and while he doesn’t much care for the wind in his face, he loved the sights and sounds of the ocean.

We were so lucky and grateful that we got to meet our new Grand.  You know how President Eisenhower named Camp David after his grandson?  We decided we are going to name our home, Camp ZAC.

(Zoe, Adelaide and Cooper).  Being grandparents is just the best job ever.  Loved that first moment they put that bundle of goodness into my arms.

 A simple, perfect moment in time.

Vacations, I highly recommend them.

Coconut love

Last month, the door bell rang out and I moved with a pep in my step, to say hello to Diane our mail carrier.  She is nice, funny, friendly, has a very quick wit & has her own Golden Retriever (at home)….gee, now that I think about it, wouldn’t it be funny to see her Golden boy hanging out her mail truck window, smiling and panting and bringing goodness to all the land………

I digress.

20140910_102935She handed over my mail.  She said, “this wouldn’t fit in your mail box”.  Then she laughed.

Miss Florida sends her best wishes for a funny, belly laugh filled day.

Yes, that is right.  Miss Florida took me up on my sarcastic humor and mailed me a coconut that she picked from her sister’s backyard.

Here is the thing, it cost $18.65 to mail said coconut from Florida to Washington state.  Seems like a pricey date.  Not really.  You can’t drive that distance for that much.  You can’t purchase a plane ticket for even close to that amount.  I don’t know if you could buy a joke book for that much?

Question:  why is the post office loosing money?  I still have no idea, she said giggling.

Here is what I do know:  I laughed.  Diane the mail lady laughed.  Mr. Right laughed.  My friend laughed when I told her about it.

You can’t buy belly laughs like that.  They just happen.  Laughing so long, I can’t remember why I thought it was silly in the first place.

That orb (sort of) of pure funny is sitting on our kitchen counter.  Every single time, I walk by, stop to do dishes, or stand there cutting up vegetables for dinner, at some point I giggle.  Then I laugh.  Then I belly laugh.  I set it on the floor for a few hours.  Our dog, thought it was interesting and cool.   If dogs could shake their heads at us, as if to say, you silly humans are so dog gone funny!

Some cousins show you they love you with nuggies or ruffle your hair.

Some friends show you they love you with a very sweet, flowery card.

Some neighbors show you they love you by leaving zucchini at your front door (thank you and please, enough already).

Some friends show you they love you by mailing you a coconut.

That is true love, pure & simple.

Mr. Right went to work opening the coconut.

Yum fresh coconut.  Yum-tastic fresh toasted coconut.

Coconut Love is the best kind of love.

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no books for grandkids

There is a really great program called Page Ahead Program.  “Giving Kids in Need the Chance to Read”.  It is a charitable organization located in Seattle, Washington.

Just so happens Mr. Right’s place of employment is holding a book drive.  WooHOO, something I can get behind!  Love that they are collecting books.  They have set a goal of collecting 50 books.  A very attainable goal. Each family does a little and we will have this nailed.

http://www.pageahead.org/

20141009_204600Today, I gave myself a budget of $20.00.  The grand total came to $20.21.  Oh my goodness, I am one fabulous shopper!!!!   (fyi, I chipped in the extra 21 cents).

I chose three perfect books, then I zeroed in on a Space book.  Oh, it looked so cool.  Geesh, that was going to blow my budget.  darn.  I would have loved to read that book….. what kid wouldn’t love that book?   Then I read the sign.  On sale, plus 75% off that.  Oh my stars, my lucky day.  I got the book for $1.49 .  Again, my fabulous shopping skills (read that as lucky) come into play!!!

Now, here is the tough part.  I was there to buy books for kiddos that don’t have many books.  I was trying to stay focused and send oodles of good karma to those kids.

It felt strange.  It was hard.  I actually bought four books and not one more.

I did not buy one book (today) for our grands.  

Luckily our grands have book shelves filled to overflowing with amazing books.  New books, picture books, chapter books, well-loved books………….yes, our grands are surrounded with books.

“There are worse crimes than burning books.  One of them is not reading them.” – Ray Bradbury

Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglass

In the next week or so, do yourself a favor.  Fill your spirit with grace and goodness.  Buy one book.  Donate it.  You will feel amazing.  promise.

Ps.  Four hours after I wrote this blog post, my door bell rang.  Best girlfriend ever, standing there smiling.  She brought me FOUR brand new AMAZING books to donate.  Then she said, I beat you!  What?  She challenged herself to my $20.00  goal.  Haha…she came in at $19.65.  She wins!  WAIT, the kids win!!!!Sincere and Heartfelt thanks for playing along.  You make my world so much more fancy!

 

we wait

DSCN5331Early, early this morning, Mr. Right woke me up and asked if I wanted to take a phone call.

Son and daughter in law had checked into the hospital.

Grand number 3 will be here today!!!!!

Normally, I am pretty calm and collected and can stitch away my troubles, worries, and nerves.

I had to re-do (read that as rip out and try again) the numbers for the date…………..

I must be giddy or nervous with pure happy!

I just need the weight to finish this project.

Oh, and I NEED to hold a new grand baby in my arms.

Oh Boy!  We are such a lucky & grateful  family today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps.  Something tells me, the new parents to be, are waaaaaaay too busy to read my blog today.  So I am guessing my secret gift will still be a surprise!

sheet music

 

DSCN5324As I changed the sheets this morning, I was fluffing, puffing and arranging.  I had ironed the pillowcases and the flat sheet (yes, Virginia, some folks still iron things and are proud to say so).  I ran my hand over the monogram on the top cuff of the sheet.  The sheet, saturated with the color of butter yellow.  I could feel the lovely raised, sewn letters.   The thread is also of the same color.  The raised letters have a look of  stability and tradition.  They are stitched evenly and with care.  The stitch is called a padded satin stitch.  Yes, our sheets are monogrammed.  Aren’t yours?

Once the pillow cases were on the pillows (am I the only one who “bites” the pillow between my teeth while I somehow maneuver the case over the incredibly fluffy pillow?  I am sure if I worked in a hospital or a hotel, I would not use the same method.) I ran my hand over the stitching.  Yes, each pillow case has three letters centered on the hemmed edge.

You are willing to share your bed with someone and yet you are not willing to make the commitment of sewing three letters onto the fabric?

Let me see here, you are willing to stand out in the elements and watch your kid run up and down a soccer field for 2-5 hours a week?  You are willing to spend 4 hours of your weekend (each week in the summer) doing yard work, so the neighbors can enjoy your hard work? You and your better half are willing to spend a couple of hours each week, brushing, bathing and making food for your dog or cat? You think nothing of planning a dinner party that takes money, time 3-4 hours, energy & creativity? You thought nothing of spending oodles of money and several hours to pick out a wedding dress that you wore for a 25 minute ceremony.  You are more than willing to spend 2 or 3 hours a night watching mindless television…………..but you are not willing to sew 3 letters onto your bed sheets?

Yes, I know it is old-fashioned.  Heck, love is old-fashioned.  monogram 2

I used to stitch pillow cases for new young couples.  To be honest, the gifts were not huge hits.  It was “too old lady”, “too old-fashioned”, “not on our gift registry”.  I stopped giving them.  It really is no fun to put time, love and energy into a gift and well let’s just say, not that delightful to be made fun of.   I am totally good with keeping that lovely tradition alive and well in our home.

It is of value.  It is important.  It is permanent.  It is a little snippet of Grace & Goodness.

The other day, someone said to me on the telephone, “when I first started reading your blog, I thought your Mr. Right was your boyfriend”.  It wasn’t until several posts later did I realize he was your husband.

I like that she said that.  I want him to feel like my boyfriend & my husband.  We both work at and value what we have.

No, I don’t fold laundry in our bedroom.  No, we do not have a television or electronics of any kind in our bedroom.  No, we don’t store Christmas gifts and rolls of paper in the corner of the room.  We have chosen that one room as a place where there are no pictures of children or grandchildren.  We keep it clean and beautiful.  We value ourselves enough to make sure that one room is of utmost importance … sacred, of value and thriving.

I live my life in a grateful state.  I am very grateful for Mr. Right.  I value what we have.  Yes, I am grateful on a daily basis.  Our marriage is of the utmost importance in our family.  It is the rock that is stable, steadfast and when other things get fuzzy or shaky we can count on that one corner of the world to be strong.  Our children look to our relationship and find a certain calm security.  By valuing our bond, our family is stronger and better because of it.

..and if by some quirky coincidence, stitching three letters onto our sheets and pillow cases solidifies that relationship and gives it a touch more grace, value & strength …. then by all means join me in threading the needle.

 

Please share your goodness with me.  I would love to hear what lovely tricks you use to keep your sheet music in balanced harmony. monogram

looking for Hope

The thing about finding out you are extremely ill is that “planning” takes on a whole new meaning.    Looking ahead is something you have to really work towards. Giving yourself the gift of actually picturing yourself doing something in the future.

I am not quite brave enough  to plan a big expensive cruise in two years, because “what if, we have to cancel & loose money”?  I don’t really plan next years’ Thanksgiving celebration or 3 years ahead to a special anniversary date….what if….. what if….

Heck, at first, I had a hard time planning for next week or next month.   I am learning.  It seems like baby steps, but each one builds on the next.  I am building up my hope.  I can feel it bit by little bit.

Mr. Right invited me on a date for this December.  I feel like a school girl.  I already have the dress.  Now, I need shoes and some sparkly jewelry.  Yes, a real date.  The tickets are bought.  It is going to happen.  He believes.  He hasn’t stopped believing.  No question about it, it is going to happen.    Husbands are like that.  Unconditional hope.

Looking forward…………

Healthy enough to look forward…………

Last year my brother and sister-in-law, planned to have us visit for a week in December.  I planned and worked towards that one perfect goal.   It was such a wonderful accomplishment.

We have a trip planned to meet a new Grand.  I work towards that one goal every single day.

We have another trip planned early next year to go hug our grandgirlies.  I think about it every single day.  I am going.  I will be strong and healthy.  Healthy enough to carry in lots of wrapped presents for pretty girls.  Healthy enough to read until my voice is raspy.  Healthy enough to go to the park and cheer them on.  Healthy enough to treat them to a frozen yogurt treat.  A ton of planning but oh so worth it.

To be honest, in the beginning and even now, friends stopped invited me to things.  Who knew if I would be able to attend or be well enough for a simple lunch date?  That’s okay.  I get it.  No one wants to cancel and rearrange plans.  The unknown is a bit scary to all of us.

Today, it happened.  Without any fanfare, without any warning.  Just a happy, causal phone call with a girlfriend.  No huge, earth shattering statement, just a casual comment.  “Okay, next year when we meet in the Poconos it will be so much fun.  So happy.  Okay, the leaves will be turning and we can enjoy the scenery.”

SKYTOP-LODGE_depth1The moment I hung up, it hit me.  She actually believes that I will be here next year.  She actually believes that I will be well and healthy and be able to travel across the country.  She actually believes that we will be sitting on the porch drinking cappuccino while the men folk go golfing.

No worry, no second guessing.  Just a fact.  In her mind, a totally done deal.

That’s what girlfriends do.  They give you unconditional HOPE.

Girlfriends do what no medical establishment or person can do.  They look forward and picture you together, sitting, laughing, giggling……….no doubt about it.  In their minds, it positively will happen.  No question about it.  done.  See you there.  I wonder what cute shoes I should wear?

Yeah, I wish every person reading this has the kind of girlfriend that offers hope.

The causal looking forward that only a girlfriend can give you.

See you in the Poconos.

I’ll be the one with cute shoes on.

Wouldn’t miss for the world.

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