celebrating 4 and 12

Everyone wants to celebrate engagements and weddings.

Presents, cards, wrapping paper and fancy lush bows, the overwhelming color scheme is white or silver.  If you haven’t been to a “get hitched” ceremony lately, lots of brides & grooms offer a special box of some kind to gather all the cards. Always a table dressed up fancy as the “gift table”

This is a big deal folks.  Everyone wants to get in on the celebration.  Everyone (and I am talking about 90-200 people)  want some of that goodness to rub off on them.

Fast forward say four years or even 12 years later.  How many Anniversary cards do those young couples receive?  Do their parents even send a card and gift?

Folks we are talking about thousands upon thousands of dollars for one “party”.  We are talking about folks buying new undies, new clothes, new shoes, getting hair cuts, having their nails done, renting clothes.  This is BIG, I tell ya.

Then, a mere 12 months later, maybe one or two anniversary cards.  Do the couples themselves get dressed up and celebrate?  Do they exchange cards or gifts?  Do they rip open a package of Oreos to celebrate that Oreo cake they had to have constructed for the ceremony? oreo-wedding-cake

Do we all continue to lift up the couple with encouragement and celebration? Who does Hallmark sell all those anniversary cards to exactly?  You know the really expensive cards on the top row?  Seriously, those are pricey.  Jeepers, you really have to like a couple to dish out that kind of moolah.

During some ceremonies, we as the congregation promised to lift up this couple and walk with them through good times and bad.  Are we keeping our promise?

Have you remembered to invite those couples to dinner?  Have you sent an anniversary card this year?

I am offering up a gentle reminder and suggestion.  This life is tough.  Maybe sending out cards will soften the edges and help us remember to celebrate? Maybe a card or note will gently remind other couples we are in their corner?

Lots of statistics out there that tell us how few marriages “make it”.

Somehow, as a society we expect these young couples who have not even hosted a formal dinner party for 6 with written invitations and matching place cards to throw an enormous PARTY for 200 to celebrate their union.  Somehow, we as a society expect so many youngins’ to wear the “right” clothes, say and do the right things and because they do all that, the union will work.

Mr. Right and I send anniversary cards.  We expect our kids to celebrate.  We want to show by example.  We try our best to remember and lift up couples.

(Now, we don’t go all wild and try to push our values on others.  If they choose not to celebrate or wait until next Saturday to go out to a restaurant to toast their big day, good for them.  No, we are not going to continue to jump up and down if another couple is just more quiet  & private about their joy.)

Except when it comes to our own kiddos.  They don’t get a choice whether or not we lift them up and celebrate them.  They get bathed in Grace & Goodness weather they like it or not.  

Some years we send a hand-made, time-consuming gift.  Stitched with such love and fierceness that it is mighty difficult to unwind.  We try and send silly cards to remember to have humor.  One year, we sent aluminum pie pans, foil, cookie cutters to celebrate an “aluminum” year.  One year, we gave toilet paper, paper towels and napkins.  To celebrate the “cotton” year.  haha

Always a card.  Sometimes a sweet little metal sign that simply says:


Being married is all sorts of wild and wonderful feelings mixed together.  Happy, tricky, goofy, funny, hard, easy breezy, lovely, weird, interesting but always, so worth it.

We want our children to know that we are in their corner.  We will lift them up and celebrate what they do and who they love. It is our calling to help our grands have parents that are so strong in their marriage, that it spills over into creating a family of strength and goodness.

Here’s to G & M as they celebrate 4 years of Marriage, today!

Here’s to D & G as they celebrate 12 years of Marriage, tomorrow! 

With Love & Congratulations,

Cheers, Mom & Dad








going back into the closet

In my new home notebook/journal/doodle book…….on one page it reads:  closet 2016  

Taped on the page are two paint chips with the words:  Autumn Orchid and Amazing Gray


Lots of “magic” (another word for paint, stars, matching hangers, matching boxes etc.) has happened since the beginning. However, in my excitement to get going on this project, I forgot to take the unglamorous, sad-faced, dreary, with a couple of pairs of shoes tossed on the floor and a few items of clothing not hung up, clothing not color coordinated on mis-matched hangers, dull,  BEFORE picture.

Maybe you can just use your imagination and think to yourself………. who on earth would feel inspired every single morning by walking into a plain, dull white walls, raw wood shelves with a builder choice lighting  fixture?

This is becoming a very happy place.  Inspiring really.  The color is divine.  The added touches make me so dang happy.

20160712_090118_resized-1I highly recommend adding some goodness to your closet space.  Yes, even if you have a teeny, tiny closet with not an inch to spare.  Just think how tickled you would be to see stars all over that ceiling?

I am fully aware that while this is an EXTREMELY small issue in life and very much a first world “problem”, I am still searching for a flush mount chandelier to use in there.  Yes, I can find several.  It is just that by now you know me and I want something snazzy, useful and yet at a price that is saaaaweet.  I am more than willing to pay a price for a lovely chandelier.  I am just not willing to eat beans& rice for 5 months to pay for it.  The search continues. 20161009_192004-1_resized

So for now, until that perfect Chandelier taps me on the shoulder, I adore the closet and all the secret splashes of pure goodness.  Every single time I walk in there, I am surrounded by a feeling of inspiration and gratitude.

Every single time I come out of the closet……..this is the sign I see.  Sometimes, if I am feeling particularly saucy, I tap my hand up there like those fierce football players do with their inspirational signs, just before they hit the gridiron.



slight switch

I recently read about a sweet little girl.  Whenever she saw something, instead of pointing and saying “look”.  From the beginning, her parents taught her to say, “behold” and use her hand instead of pointing with one finger.  Adorable.

When our boys were young, we didn’t care for the word “sucks” so we changed the word to “hoovers” like a Hoover vacuum cleaner.  None the wiser, that is the word they used.  It wasn’t until they were older did they understand just how “creative” their parents were.  ha

I have a friend who didn’t care for her children using the word, “but”. So she replaced it with the word, “however”.  You can imagine, how that played out.  Now, as adults they still use the word “however”.  Adorable, silly, however, got the job done. 20161019_111108-1-2_resized

A year or so ago, visiting Victoria B.C.,  I was in a stitching shop and fell in love with a Sampler pattern. I loved the look, the colors and the shape, however, I did not care to stitch one of the words.20161019_134311-1_resized

While I mean absolutely no disrespect to Carl Von Clausewitz, whom is credited with this partial quote of his, I had to be creative & 20161019_111436-1_resizedchange it.  Otherwise, forever cringe each and every time I saw this piece.

WIP… work in progress, Wednesday report:  Day four of working on this new project, with a stitch here and there on 30 count Irish linen, I am sailing right along and smiling not cringing with each tiny stitch.

Love to hear about a project that you are working on, maybe made a slight change to.  Sort of an internet show n tell.  We can and will build each other up and cheer each other on.

Making time in my day to work on something so fine and calming is good for my soul.  Every stitch is good for my mental health. Somehow, the thread and rhythm of pulling the needle through, the counting…… counter acts the ugly and stress that we all feel and hear.


In this together, here’s to our good mental health.

Chat tomorrow.





Last night’s dinner was Marvelous Meatless Monday.

Cracks me up to say that.  Get it?  Because we have marvelous meatless meals 98% of the time.

This is funny stuff people.  Hey, word has it, that it is “hip” to have Marvelous Meatless Mondays?  (not to mention lowers blood pressure, saves oodles of gallons of water, nicer to animals, does not contribute to horrid diseases, vegetables heal & all the cool kids are doing it.  Just to see if you were still reading, I added that last part.)

While Mr. Right is still at work, I try to send a before/during/prep picture to tickle his fancy & let him know what’s on the menu.  I knew yesterday’s picture would scare him.  In his voice,  I can hear him saying…..”oh no, that is way too much fresh Thyme.   I am not eating all those weeds.”  ps.  He always does and he always like them.  haha20161017_140446-1_resized

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are right in the middle of the glorious season of the mushroom.

Those Chanterelles were calling my name, the Oyster mushrooms were whispering sweet nothings to me.  The Crimini and Agaricus bisporus (white button mushrooms) didn’t want to be left out.

I turned all those weeds…aka fresh Thyme from our garden into a silky, smooth cream sauce with flavor that almost brought tears to my eyes.  So smooth it slipped off the back of a spoon.

Next, I reduced some Balsamic Vinegar.  I gotta tell ya, when that is cooking, the aroma in my kitchen sort of makes me feel like I know what the heck I am doing.  It is savory and sweet at the same time.  The aroma makes people walk towards your kitchen and ask, “whatcha got cookin’?”

I sliced polenta and started frying.  Yes, I said frying.  I used some left over oil from the Bagna Cauda that I prepared last week.  Oh, be still my heart.  That garlic & oil was the perfect thing to use.  Not much oil, just enough.  I did scoop out the little garlic nuggets of heaven.

Fresh green beans and onions were cooking on a different burner.  It a weird twist of fate, beautiful fresh green beans and little tiny onions played second fiddle to the main dish last night.

Last, but most importantly, I heated the black iron skillet and all those mushrooms got to know each other up close and personal.  A bit of coconut oil and some real salt did the trick to help release some of that moisture.

In the blink of an eye, dinner was ready to serve.

20161017_175808-1_resizedI started with cream thyme sauce then the polenta.  Next, I put those glorious roasted pieces of garlic along with some slightly cooked garlic atop the perfect circles of organic corn.

Hold on to your hats, next layer, those mushrooms in all their glory, were most certainly that.  Glorious.

Wait for it, the moment of pure goodness………the reduced Balsamic vinegar…….I fully admit to being a little heavy-handed.  While a drizzle or a few drops here and there would have been more artistic, I just poured it on.  I can’t help it, I am weak.  I want to lick the picture, right now.

Say Grace and savor that very first bite of marvelous goodness.  I mean savor and breath in.  This is what Marvelous Monday’s are all about.  Right here on one plate.  20161017_175948-1_resized

To sum up:

Marvelous Meatless Monday was marvelous.

We were both clean plate club members.

All the “weeds” were eaten with nary a sigh.

Here’s to our health and wellness.

What did you have for Marvelous Meatless Monday?

In this together, friends.

Chat tomorrow.


my better half

I once knew these two sisters who were in their 70’s and got along famously.  When ever they would go out to lunch, they would order a sandwich, a diet coke, an extra plate and glass. When the order arrived, they would split the sandwich and share the soda.  half-a-sandwich

I saw it so often, I just thought that is what “old people” did.

Quietly and without fanfare, it happened,  TO US.

When did this happen?  How did it happen to us?

Right smack in the middle of an ordinary life, one of us causally said, let’s share the donut. 20161009_093207_resized

Yes, I know, Mr. Right and I are in our 50’s and we have never thought of ourselves as “old people”.  

side note:   A moment yesterday, reminded me why “older folks” wear bike helmets.   …You spy your better half, looking good, handsome sunglasses, tan and healthy, biking beside you, your heart does a jig and while looking at your boyfriend,  you almost bike into a parked pick up truck?  Yikes, pay attention!  Geesh.

Oh sure, yesterday, after a very enjoyable Sunday bike ride, we decide to go out for a light supper.  Even though it was too early to eat dinner, we promise ourselves we wouldn’t tell “the kids” (read that as our adult children who tease us if we eat at 4:45 pm)

Last night IT happened.  We decided to share an appetizer, order one meal and an extra plate.  Full disclosure, the waitress was non-pulsed and much to our happy surprise, the main dish, came already divided on two separate plates, each garnished on their own.

Nothin’ to see here folks, move along.  Just two people eating  a meal.

Now, I am not sure if it is the GINORMOUS portions that restaurants seem to serve these days, or if we are just happier, sharing?  Whatever the reason, we both seem happier with our choice.

Please don’t misunderstand.  When we drive up to a coffee stand and order one 16 ounce,  iced latte with Almond milk, we are NOT sharing.

Mr. Right drinks “Joe, just plain Joe, not a fancy girl drink”.

Coffee, you just can’t share. I can’t.  I won’t.

In this together, friends.

Chat tomorrow.



be nice to the new girl

In a twisted, random turn of events, as of today, we have one more chicken.

Here in the Pacific Northwest a huge storm is a brewin, working up a pretty good fuss and everything and every living creature is unsettled. Things seem topsy-turvy.  Wackadoodle.  Strange.

Late last night, I received a text message from our daughter in law in Alabama.  Would I adopt a chicken from a friend?

Tell me more.

Years ago, Gabi, our daughter in law, worked with a gal & they have kept in touch via social media.   Her friend’s sister had a chicken come to visit in their backyard.  They questioned all the neighbors.  No.  No one had lost a chicken or knew where it came from.  They did not want to become chickenistas.  They have been searching for a “farm” to take it to.

Enter social media.

They needed someone to adopt this chicken.  Our Gabi saw the picture and asked me if I would consider it. 20161014_104318_resized

Sure, okay.  I will do it.

note:  All those times you have heard…. the animal went to a nice farm to live with other animals……….Today, I became that “nice, green pasture (read that as lawn) farm”.  I promised to continue to share pictures with the four-year old girl who was happy to hear I live on a “farm”.

Earlier today, the new chicken arrived in a cardboard box.  As we all were, she too was soggy.  With the rain coming down and the wind gusting……….here you go.   No time for a welcome party, this is just a quick howdy do.

Martha, Ginger and Dolly……meet the new girl, her name is Coco.  BE NICE!


Name, What to Name her?  Stormy?

Daughter in law, Gabrielle suggested that I go more Glam with the chicken names.

Like Gianni Versace, Vera Wang, Gloria Vanderbilt or Coco Chanel.

That’s it!

Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel  better known as Coco Chanel.  So in honor of Daughter in law (Gabrielle) and her glam suggestion……………

Welcome to the flock, Coco Chanel. 20161014_103952-1_resized

Geesh, why the need to “claim” their pecking order all over again?  Interesting, the most quiet, calm, nice girl, Martha has become the NASTY, BOSSY, MEAN girl.  Jeepers.

It is rough on them and me. All our feathers are ruffled.

No, there is nothing I can do.  Extra distractions, keeping her separate is not an option right now as the storm bellows through.  I just have to trust nature to do what is right.  Everyone has shelter, fresh food, water, treats and a big lovely cabbage.

Hold on and be nice. In this together, friends. 20161014_103955-1_resized



pink, pink you stink

Imagine if you will, being so sick you couldn’t even think straight.

After a few years and buckets of hard work, and a thousand glasses of green juice, bit by bit you began to heal.

Then year after year, October after October you are SMACKED in the face to relive and remember.


It’s the pits. It is awful.  It is crappy.  You get the picture.

3+ years ago, I chose the path less traveled.  I chose not to “join” the wear pink club.  Instead of joining and being encouraged and supported by friends and family wearing pink boas and pink tutus……….I went a different direction that was right for me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I used to love pink.  It was one of my top 3 or 4 color choices.

However, I can clearly remember “the” closet day.    I went to my closet and started ripping down anything I saw that was pink.

Pink t-shirt, pink fleece jacket, pink Oxford shirt, pale pink tank top, pink glittery tank, pink long granny gown hanging up.

Next, I stepped over to my dresser.  I tossed into the pile: a pink slip, a pale pink lovely piece of lingerie and some pink panties.

I didn’t even donate them.  I threw them in the trash can for pick up the next day.

Done.  Moving on.  Brushed my hands of that.

Flipping through catalogs, I was drawn to the pink, but chose gray or taupe instead.

Imagine being so broken that for a time, I couldn’t even read, bake, write,  cook or sew.  It was a huge accomplishment when I made our bed or fed and watered the chickens by myself.

Slowly, ever so slowly with fierceness, determination, encouragement & support of Mr. Right & my family,  I started to heal.

Trying to fill up that sick, painful, time and memories with new, good, healthy positive things was/is slow going and tricky.  Bit by bit.

Then I would catch sight of a pink bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken,  pink Jello, pink diet soda, pink gummy vitamins, pink garbage bags(?), pink cake mix, professional football players wearing pink shoes or socks or the referee using a pink whistle, pink menu card in the airline seat pocket and on the ridiculous list goes.  Not one of those things would help me heal.  While the chemicals, sugar, colorings would only add gasoline to the fire, the stupidity of pink garbage bags or pink furnace filters is an assault on my intelligence.

While the pink does uplift some, brings others hope and they find comfort in the meaning, I do not.

Pink, pink you stink.  Seeing that color is a huge road block for me.  I am working to get around it. I try all the tricks the mental health field has to offer.  I continue to work on it almost daily.  It is tough, really tough to gracefully deal with it, process it and skirt around it if I am not strong enough that particular day.

Every single week, Mr. Right brings me flowers.   However,about 3+ years ago,  he considerately stopped bringing pink flowers.

As a matter of fact, for date night last night, he gave me the most beautiful burnt orangey, salmoney, fall color saturated roses I have ever seen.

In the name of healing & progress, I decided to type this.

Last night for date night.  I wore a brand new, very cute black and white pencil skirt. An adorable smokey gray (encrusted with jewels) sweater tied causally around my shoulders that was over a brand new stunning, color saturated pink blouse.  I paired it with a stunning pair of antique earrings.  20161013_104318_resized

Doesn’t seem like a huge deal to most.  I talked about it way, way too many times with Mr. Right.  However, once I decided to wear it, I was done talking about the color.  As always, he complimented me several times.  Not one person pointed or even noticed, no other human being in the restaurant even gave it a second thought.

It was a humongous step for me.

20161012_175949_resizedRight in the middle of a beautiful, lovely, middle of the week, awesome-sauce date night at the Space Needle, I quietly, without fanfare, took one more healing step. 20161012_191956-1_resized

As the sun set, the skyline was a light with sky scrapers. Several of those buildings have pink twinkle lights lining the rooftops.

I am not completely happy and comfortable with being constantly reminded with pink for many reasons, choices and the seriousness of this topic………..at least I didn’t dissolve into a puddle of tears as I have in the past.

Girlfriend to girlfriend, I actually sort of forgot about it.  It sort of faded into the background.

I was thinking more about:  the view, the food, the piano music, how Mr. Right still does it for me,  the dessert choices, my manicure, the card he gave me, how tight my Spanks were (I was just seeing if you were paying attention), how I love tasting his food and sharing mine,  how cute & remarkably comfortable my peep toe shoes are, my pedicure, how much I enjoyed the after dinner coffee, the bracelet I wore,  how much I enjoyed the conversation, how much I enjoy spying Mr. Right politely and smoothly tipping the young valet, how nice the car drive home was…….and on the list goes.  Yeah, I sort of forgot to fuss and fret over wearing pink.

I am making a tiny bit of progress.  Maybe my heart is starting to heal?  Maybe I am finding my own way?  Maybe, just maybe I am making my way back to liking the color pink again?sometimes-the-smallest-step-in-the-right-direction-ends-up-being-the-biggest-step-of-your-life

Pink, pink you are just sort of smelly.