who?

The question swirling around our house and discussion among our friends…………If you could magically make it happen, Who would you have dinner with? 

Place cards need to be made for the following people:

Thomas Jefferson, Julia Child,  Benjamin Netanyahu, Beethoven, Harry Truman, Henri Matisse, Mike Rowe,  Billy Graham,  George S. Patton,  Amelia Earhart, King David, Renoir, Wallace Simpson, John Wesley, Cher, Johanna Budwig, Carrie Walton Penner….

The list will go on, as will the discussion.  We will think of a name while on a walk or in the shower.  Of course, for this 870th blog post, after I hit the publish button, I will instantly remember a name I wanted to add to the mix.  Certainly, each name brings with it lively and interesting conversation.

There is nothing more satisfying than a wonderful meal & lively discussion, over coffee and homemade pie,  that lasts well into the evening.

I will have to make a 3×5 card for each person.  I have oodles of questions to ask.

Do you have a list for dinner companions you would enjoy?

~~~~~~~~~~

Second Topic for today:

20150226_215934Who wants an Owl Dress?

Grand number 2 asked me very politely if I would make an owl dress for her birthday.  This Grandma got right to work.  When your sweet Grand asks for an umbrella and an owl dress for her presents……….she came to the right Grandma!

The dress is complete. (& the umbrella and boots with owls are purchased)  The dress is fully lined.  Now, I know she may not understand that, as a friend said, she will appreciate how nice it feels to wear.  I adore the material that her mom found.  Owls with umbrella’s.  Who wouldn’t 20150226_215929like that??

Of course, the last thing I did was sew the jingle bell inside the dress.  Who wouldn’t want to jump, dance, squirm and wiggle to make the bell jingle? 20150226_215951

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Third Topic for today:

Who wants a cracker?

20150226_131801 (1)I purchased a mini cookie cutter.  I took a picture on a post it note to show the size.  I am making crackers for my grands!!!!  No, I don’t use dyes or chemicals.  Yes, I know it is going to take a long time to cut out each fish.  My grand children are worth it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fourth Topic for today:   Who has a brand new, amazingly large, pig-tastic, coffee mug?  I do!

20150218_154206

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fifth Topic for today:

Who has the best Sister in Law in the land?  Me, that’s who!

Since she received a little gift in the mail this week, I can share.  Vermont has been dancing with cold and snow…………brrrrr for what seems like forever.  I wanted to make her a little something to brighten her spirits and warm her heart & soul.  (hand made gifts do that) Since she makes the best pies in the20150211_080519 (1) whole world, I chose to embroider a dish towel with a pie and cherries.20150211_080512

Now, Who wants coffee with their pie?

belly full

“When hospitality is at it’s highest level, you feel cared for and fed beyond your belly.  The food, hardly incidental, becomes the vehicle for care.”  Recently, I read those words on the blog, “Goodness, Grace & Grub”.  Note to self:  Do yourself a favor and go visit.  The blog is well written, insightful and always filled with goodness.

Those words have been swirling in my mind.  While the blogger was speaking of eating out, I twirled it around and decided that it could also be speaking of the dining room table in our homes.

I looked up the word hospitality.

To the Greek people – hospitality was a right.

The Celtic people – the concept of hospitality was valued in terms of protection.

The Jewish people – think in terms of nourishment, comfort and entertainment.

hospitality

 [hos-pi-tal-i-tee]
noun, plural hospitalities.
1.

the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.
2.

the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.
20150213_180728How about if we also allow for friendly treatment of our family?  What if we were to think of entertaining our family every single time we put a meal on the table?  What if we have all been looking for “our calling” and it was right in front of us all along?  For goodness sakes, what if we have to answer for how we served our families and loved ones?
What if our calling or mission was to protect our loved ones and nourish them with food and love and a respite from that big ol’ nasty world outside?  If we asked our family or loved ones a question would we like the answer?
Do you feel cared for and protected and nourished when you leave our table?  Which would you choose, a meal out or a meal at home?
Am I using our best china?  Am I setting an interesting, welcoming table?  Do I take the time to make sure the people at my table feel well cared for? 20150220_155936 Do I plan ahead and prepare a meal that is nourishing and of the utmost quality?
I try.  Oh, I really try.  I accomplish this at least 5 or 6 nights a week.  I will come clean and admit to looking forward to some Saturday nights out for a well prepared Sushi meal or handmade pasta.  I adore enjoying a meal that is thoughtfully prepared, I didn’t have to cook it and I don’t have to help do the dishes.
Some mornings, I prepare the vegetables for what is to become dinner later.  Sometimes, I only have fresh apple cider to build a meal around.  On occasion, I get out the fish-shaped plates and build a supper around those.  20150223_101857Other times, I have chosen a long, lush stem of dill for the garnish and then make the salmon cakes and homemade tartar sauce to go along.20150218_174951
I have placed high expectations on the evening meals during the week.  My family and I are very much worth the effort, skill and time.
Not only do I want to offer a healthy, well planned meal, set on plates that highlight the food, I want my family, guests and myself to be fed beyond our bellies.
May all be fed.
ps.  What’s cookin’ in your neck of the woods?

Renoir

Dance-At-The-Moulin-De-La-Galette-largeMany moons ago, before the majority of my daily study time was devoted to healing………….

I used to study one artist a week.
One of my sincere favorites, Pierre Auguste Renoir
Limoges, France………..Impressionist, painter/sculptor
He was born, February 25, 1841.
I have been fortunate in my life to view some of his works in person.
Dance at the Moulin Dela Galette
The-Children-Of-Martial-CaillebotteThe children of Martial Caillebotte
The coast of Brittany Fishing Boats
I am quite sure you have your own favorites of his. The-Coast-Of-Brittany--Fishing-Boats-large
My list could go on and on…………….
so could my smile.

choices

The Thank You note is in the mail this morning.

For the second time in 34 years, Mr. Right and I went out to dinner on Valentine’s Day.

We went out one time, while dating.  To be honest, I don’t really remember the dinner out.  I am guessing I had googly eyes for my date and was worried I would spill.   I was always worried I would spill.  Heck, I still worry if I might spill.  Now that I think about it, I don’t think anyone ever broke up with someone because they spilled?

Dining out on Saturday was a treat.

 

We dressed for the occasion.  Mr. Right washed & detailed the car.  It was a real date.  We talked about it and anticipated it all day long.

There was a special holiday menu.  The restaurant had been closed for a couple of hours that day to prepare and decorate. They brought in festive table cloths, made a special printed menu, strung hearts above and rose petals were tossed about.  Silver trays of chocolate dipped strawberries were there to greet you and were brought to each table.

It was a meal that was over the top scrumptious.  lady and the trampWhile we could have chosen spaghetti served with one meatball on top and two loose ends of pasta draped over either side of the plate to share……….. I chose lasagna.  I have not had it for a long, long time.  Let me just say, that the word lasagna was elevated to a new level.  Hand made paper-thin pasta with caramelized onions and mushrooms and spinach all tucked in and somehow dressed with a magical sauce that danced with my taste buds and made beautiful savory music.

The service was top of the line.  They were attentive and took their time with each patron.  Somehow on one of the busiest days in the life of a the restaurateur,  we were made to feel as though were of utmost importance to them.  One of the owners came to our table and asked if all was well.  He was kind and calm, didn’t appear to be rushed at all.   Somehow, in all the things swirling in his head….. food, turning over tables, reservations, extra wait staff, and more that we will never know……….he seemed genuinely pleased we chose his establishment to celebrate the day.

When out to a fine meal, I try my hardest to stay focused.  We focus on each other.  The meal.  The atmosphere.   Sure, a quick glance around the room, and we saw a family with three little girls all dressed up, using their best manners and their tights had hearts fluttering all over them.  Of course extra tables for two were the main focus, two tables of four right near us as well.  Not a romantic meal for the four, more of a fun celebration.  One table for two, with a pretty young girl looking anxious.

After 20 minutes her date did indeed arrive.  Although most likely my imagination, a collective sigh when her date showed up.  All is well.   They were over my right shoulder, so I did not follow them.  Until Mr. Right said to me, in a whisper, she deserves better.  I took a quick look.  She was leaning forward, smiling, all dressed up and gazing into his face.  He was looking at and texting on his cell phone.  She was smiling.  He was busy.

Once a very crass radio talk show host, on several occasions, said something like, if your dinner date takes out their phone, they are looking for something better.  Do yourself a favor and leave.

I took a moment out of my fine meal and ESP’ed to that pretty young woman, YOU ARE WORTH MORE.  Yes, it is Valentine’s Day.  YOU CAN DO BETTER. You alone are better.   Stand up, politely lay your napkin down, thank the owner for the meal and walk out with your head up.   This would make a great blog post if she did what I was secretly urging her to do…….……….She didn’t hear me.  She decided that being with someone, even though that person was not WITH HER, was more important than her self-worth.   It is all about our choices.

I cannot show you a picture of our food or the perfect little hearts cut out of beets that were tucked onto our salad plates.  I cannot show you the heart-shaped ravioli that was placed perfectly along side Mr. Right’s main course choice.

Why?

Because our cell phones were left, locked in the glove compartment of our car.  We chose to be with each other.  There was nothing more important to either of us.

It is a family owned business.  A business.  Simply put, they offer a service and product and we pay.  Mr. Right paid the bill and left a very generous tip.  We said our thank you’s to the waitress and the owner.  We asked that they thank the chef for us.   We each held up and completed the business portion of the evening.

thank youThen, GASP, we wrote a thank you note and it was mailed this morning. 

Yes, believe it or not, you can actually write a thank you note for a fine service/product you received.  Sending a proper thank you note is not part of the business deal.

We chose to make it part of our fine meal.

The perfect way to bathe ourselves and others in Grace.

A lovely way to end a celebration.

 

 

 

weekly round-up

Good Friday morning campers!

Weekly round-up. 
Shaking my head to the side, like a swimming getting water out of their ear.  Letting go of all sorts of things, swirling in my noggin.

gingerbreadhouse (1)Yesterday, while I was eating my medicine, I was looking at amazing gingerbread houses.
 Ideas for next year?  possibly.
While I always lean towards gathering all kinds of candy and gumdrops……………maybe I should think…………..
hey, why don’t we use granola for the stone work?  Jeepers, this is an amazing house.
Last night, we heard coyotes singing their song.  Double checked the chicken coop door and left more lights on.
This is day five of my intense magnesium study.  Blowing my mind.  Learning so much in such a short amount of time.
I am spending 2-3 hours of study a day.  I noticed all my brain power is going in that direction………not so many blog posts.
In addition to my biking and rebounding………fitting in more afternoon walks.  smiling.
Yesterday, while on our walk, I found a leaf.  A friend called it an angel wing.  I took a picture. 20150212_163655
This week I collected 2 eggs.  After several weeks of “rest” & regrouping, fingers crossed we are back in the egg business.
While waiting for some magnesium chloride to soak in this morning, I circled back and looked at some previous notes of health and wellness.
 
Yes folks, fluoride is still poisonous to the human body.  Over time, it still causes cancer.  As nice as many old dentists are, no, it does not cure dental issues. Yes, some towns in America are still putting it in their water supply.  sigh.   How to fix in your own world?  Use toothpaste with no fluoride.  Just say , no thank you to the fluoride service when visiting a dental office.  Install a high quality water filtration system in your home.  duh
moving on.
Yesterday, I learned to exchange the words “mad, angry, frustrated” with the word responsibility.  Instead of being all those things at
medical personal that didn’t help me or share with me or teach me………..I have changed that into …………..it is my responsibility to learn to find health for me.
Such a relief off my shoulders.   It’s called giving myself some Grace & Mercy.  It feels lighter not to blame everyone else anymore.
This week, the study time has gotten a bit intense.  Yes, while learning so much, my brain feels “tight”.  haha
I am putting down the book & note taking after one hour today. Yes, I am setting the kitchen timer.
I am headed to the sewing room to work on my BEE HAPPY quilt.
I am craving/needing a little creative fun.
Tonight, son #1 and daughter in law are going to their first Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball.  So tickled for them.  I hope they have the time of their lives.
The fabric for the gown and costume look wonderful.  Their masks amazing,  fingers cross for pictures!
Yesterday, a friend’s son broke his leg in three places.  Jimminie Cricket!  Sending good healing karma his way.  Also, gathering several jig saw puzzles and mailing them to him.
Grand #3 explored the world without his mom during the day.  He survived, he thrived, the parents are emotionally exhausted and deserve the weekend ahead of them.  Growth is tough.
A friend is anxiously awaiting her second grand.  She found out names and is swirling them in her brain.
She also has decided to share three or four photographs a week on face book.  Putting yourself out there is brave.  Life is good.
Niece spent part of the week buried under piles of snow……….only to come out and look defeat in the face, inside the courtroom.  Back to the drawing board. Regrouping is always tough.
A friend walked through an extremely tough week of less than stellar health.  Sending gobs and gobs of good karma her way.
So, earlier this morning, still , damp, chilly and a bit eerie with the fog swirling around me………..I stepped outside.  Turned off the light that illuminates our flag, I brought in the garbage can………….then gingerly go look for the chickens, I am listening for their chatter…………… Yippee!  They were fine.
I took a deep cleansing breath………...choked and laughed out loud.
All the hours I spend on learning, researching, exercise, drinking juice, trying to live a healthy life………
Not one but two men, neighbors on either side of our home, were standing outside smoking.  Apparently, they are not allowed to smoke in their own homes, so they are outside, puffing away.    Seriously?
No, I did not offer them a copy of all my notes on disease and how to live a healthy life.
I just filled the feeder with peanuts for the Stellers Jays.
To celebrate living through the night, I gave the chickens some meal worms.
I turned and walked back into the house.
Filled Liberty’s water dish with fresh filtered water.
I cut up a whole bunch of raw bok choy to enjoy with my breakfast. 20150210_081543
I lift up my morning juice and celebrate all our differences.
BFC C1975 Boxing ring centered in Coliseum. Circa 1930Sort of feels like I was a boxer, fighting all week.
AH, the weekend is upon us………….we bounce over to our corners to regroup.
People are funny.
Life is good.
I am grateful.

the real deal

AW, light bulb moment!  Lightbulb760506You know that moment when you snap your fingers and say “duh” out loud, even when it is just the dog you are talking to?

A couple of days ago, our niece posted a comment on face book:   loves going for breakfast with my wonderful husband when we both have a day off.

I was sharing email with a friend and fellow blogger, she typed the words:  some blogs are difficult to write, this one was not, I LOVE to talk about Jim.

A friend sent a text:  I loved being out-of-town & visiting my grand, however, I can hardly wait to see Scott.

It hit me like a bag full of feathers. (do you own a duvet?  Geesh, that is one heavy bag of feathers!)

No, they did not get “lucky”.  This is something that they have worked on for years and years.  These are people who respect and love each other enough to figure out harmony.

I adore, respect, admire and love rubbing elbows with family and friends that speak kindly and with “school girl crushes” gush about the love of their lives.  Yes, even when and especially when those couples have been together for 20+ , 25+ and 32+ years.  When I hear those casual remarks, I want to stop everything, run out and buy some fluffy pon poms and do a little cheer! Wait, I might need a sassy cheer leading outfit, too.  Nah, I will stick with just the pon poms.

I am not talking about the folks that post pictures of themselves with their significant other, looking perfect, with perfect smiles and wearing the latest fashion at the latest greatest place to be seen.

What I am talking about here is the real deal. 20150212_081730

I love to hear when someone’s crush slips a picture or a note into the book they are reading.  It makes me tingle when I see a card fall out of someone’s lunch box.  I love to be in on the secret.  I love to hear girlfriends say……….I baked him his favorite cobbler, boy won’t he be surprised when he walks in!

Hearing friends just casually mention a sweet thing their favorite person did, melts my heart.  News Flash!  It makes it super fun and happy and swirly for me to share something sweet or lovely that my boyfriend did.  Without sounding like a braggart, when someone shares a sweet bit of goodness, it sort of gives me “permission” to sing the praises of my guy.

I love telling people my favorite moment of the day, the exact moment when I hear the garage door opening, I know Mr. Right is about to walk through that door.  I get a tingle in my stomach.  I feel privileged to hear others share their favorite moment of the day.

When I hear people talk poorly or relate a blunder that “their choice” made, it hurts my heart.

Believe it or not, I have family and a couple of friends who I have never once heard say an unflattering thing about their significant other.   They live a life in a grateful state.  They give as much as they receive.  They respect each other enough to lift each other up, not tear them down.  They share the goodness.

Speaking well of others, lifts us all to a higher playing field. 

When someone brings home a basket of fresh figs (even though they detest figs) may heart does a little jig.  I want to tell the world.

That moment you notice that someone polished the shower curtain rod and got all the tough water spots off, you breathe and smile.  I want to say to my girlfriend, guess what I stumbled upon?

When someone in my circle speaks well of their choice, it makes me all warm and mushy inside.

I adore those casual remarks about mushy love.  Yes, “mushy love” can be filling the car with gas, so you have a full tank tomorrow in case you want to go somewhere.

For the last two weeks, each morning, when I find my letter, penned by Mr. Right, there has been a heart-shaped jewel sticker somewhere on the page.  Really?  Where and when did my tough old Army guy go out and buy pink and red, heart-shaped jewel stickers?  Makes me smile.

You have one day left……………CHOP, CHOP CHARLIE!………make a Valentine, buy a Valentine card.  Seriously, do it.  Just do it.  You must have a special someone, who melts your heart & you want to give a sweet card to?  You must have a girlfriend you want to give a happy, cheerful Valentine to?  Please tell me, in all the hustle and bustle of life you have made time to cultivate really great relationships that you want to celebrate?

 

Happy Valentine’s Day.  Here’s to the real deal!20150212_100855

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY mail

We all have them, smarty pants friends.  You know the ones?  They somehow, just by being them, make you bring your “A” game to the Scrabble board.  In some weird twisted way, they elevate the playing field.   But, oh, how you want to be chosen to play on their team.

Okay, let me be more clear.  Friend, a true friend.  Not one who only wears smarty pants.  Oh, no.  A friend who also wears fancy pants.  A friend who is silly, creative, passionate, lively, pushes the envelope sometimes and certainly a friend you want to have lunch with.  Someone you want to plan an adventure with. Someone you want to share some bit of research you just discovered.  Someone you want to eat vegan nachos with until you rub your stomachs and scream, no more!

This is my friend’s hand.  I call her Miss Florida.  I have the good fortune of having more than one friend with the same first name.  So to delineate without having to say their last name each time I refer to them, I gave them nick names.  She lives in Florida.  Mr. Right named her Miss Florida.  love that. IMG_4508

When we were vacationing in the Redwoods of California, she was the one, we sent a redwood seedling to.   She is the one who sent me a coconut via US postal service.  Just to see if we could.

Well, well.  What do we have here?  Looks like a Sea Grape leaf.  

She wrote, “Sunny Greetings from Lovers Key”  Love, Miss Florida

Home schoolers look alive!!!  Look up Sea Grape Leaf and Lovers Key, Florida.

 

The leaf has lost some of its vibrant green color and it feels a bit crisp and brittle compared to the supple, soft green when it went into the post box.  It was mailed January 23rd and arrived on the other side of the country today, February 5.  Not bad.  20150205_113609

There is a stamp.  You notice it was not cancelled.  Apparently, this type of leaf does not go through their fancy dancy postal machines.  You will notice, she put a proper postage stamp.  Because of it is bigger than a regulation envelope, postage was due.  Oh sigh, they slapped that ugly red-letter stamp with the words postage due over my beautiful, dried out, crisp and crunchy (with only one little 20150205_113626tear) Sea Grape Leaf.

Some folks like snail mail.  I ask you, Who among us, doesn’t adore and get all school girl giddy over HAPPY MAIL????

With a raincoat and boots on, hood up, and the rain pouring down, I walked in the gray overcast skies to our mail box.  Heck, the dog didn’t even want to come out of the garage with me.  She stayed under cover and peaked her head around the corner.  I’ll stay here while you go fetch the junk mail.

Much to my wondering eyes, I pulled a big, fat, incredible leaf out into the open air.  Smiling ear to ear, I walked back with a zip in my step.  I told the dog all about it.  She sniffed it and walked away.

She didn’t seem as impressed as I was.

Nothing like Happy Mail to brighten one’s spirits.

Thank you Miss Florida for cheering up a deary winter day.  I can feel your spirit and sunny smile all the way across the land.

I vote YES PLEASE for more HAPPY MAIL in the world!!!!

When was the last time you sent HAPPY MAIL to someone.

Come on folks, jump aboard.

HAPPY MAIL, ROCKS!

 

 

 

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