rock on

The picture to the right of this posting is the 130-foot Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The figure of Jesus in this monument is 33 meters to symbolize his years on earth. The Brazilian statue, which has become an icon for Rio and Brazil, is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1922 and 1931, though it was first suggested in the mid-1850′s.

We all know of this statue. I have that little nudge in my stomach that tells me I want to see it in person. I want it on my “to see” list. Yep, I am writing it down. Things only ever happen if I write it down.

Last night was Date Night. I love Date Night. It takes something that is good and makes it even better, each and every single stinkin’ time. Mr. Right is still overly tired from way too much overtime and time away and stress. By making the effort to plan a special night, by honestly and thoughtfully putting your thinking cap on snugly on your noggin………..Date Night always makes you feel really good about the choice you made so many moons ago.

He planned Date Night about 8 weeks ago. His plan was dinner out and then into the big city so we could enjoy a concert. Crosby and Nash to be exact. As one friend, gently pointed out, gee, you two aren’t frequent concert goers? This is true. When we plan a date night we try and make it about us, not a venue where we can’t talk to each other, say, like a movie or a concert.

Our dinner was Thai. Then a little shopping to fiddle away some time & generally goof off. Turns out, our little shopping detour became very fruitful for some little grand girlie. Her Easter basket just got a little more full. It will be overflowing with the most adorable, glitter covered, silk lined, pale, pale pink, polka dot ribbon, festooned tutu. With matching incredibly soft bunny. Back to my
story of the day…..

Crosby and Nash. Pretty much sums it up. When you are in the Rock and Roll hall of fame, people know who you are and what you do. What they might not know, is that their voices are just as pure if not stronger than many moons ago. It was a privilege to be completely enveloped in their music and spirit of Peace, Love and Joy for over THREE hours. I will also say, Mr. Crosby’s son, James, is extremely talented and their voices harmonize with complete and utter perfection.

Right smack dab in the middle of the concert, there came a song. A song about Jesus and Rio and (Peace, Love and Joy) and Giving Grace. That’s what I said, Giving Grace. The statue has wide open arms and is Giving away Grace. Mr. Graham Nash, reminded all of us, in this insane time of our world of war and leaking chemicals and ugliness………..there is Grace to be had.

I liked the fact, well, because it makes me feel comfortable, that the songs and comments and yes, grace seemed to randomly jump all around and back. In actuality, there was a set play list, a method to their madness. It just seemed random with thoughts and messages and ideas tossed musically with flourish. Sometimes, I wish music played what my brain was thinking and swirling and twirling all over the place.

My ears are still ringing. As if my magic, three hours of loud, heart thumping, drum pounding, melodious voices running the scales… fills up your empty pitcher, it restores your soul. In a very unique way, it is so loud and rhythmic and joyous and fun and all encompassing it sort of puts up a solid brick wall. All your worries and troubles and “problems” are on one side of the wall and there you are immersed in pure energy and you are caught up in the moment (or three hours). You feel better when it is over. You have to process it. You just feel so darn much better for setting aside “life” for a bit and relaxing and allowing yourself the pleasure of being in the moment.

Very predictable, yet so welcomed, the second curtain call, the audience “twisted” their arms and yes Virginia, they played “the” song. Today for me, the soundtrack in my head that will be on a loop and play over and over and over all day long with the lyrics of “Teach Your Children Well”. Now that I mentioned it, maybe it will play in your head all day as well?

Somehow maybe music will help sooth the beast. The beast being our insane world right now.

Rock on. (Albeit Gracefully) Rock on.

blue swirl shoes

Sheepishly, I may have to “take back” my holier than thou blog posting on gambling. Don’t get me wrong, it is still our belief that gambling is not appropriate.

Apparently, while playing those “sinful” penny slots, Mr. Right was being watched by his children. Apparently, prior to beginning he said and I quote “come on, Momma needs a new pair of shoes”. Then proceeded to win.

While driving home last night from picking Mr. Right up from the airport, he reached in his wallet and pulled out a lovely bill. He said, I have to go with the good karma thing here. This is for you to buy a new pair of shoes!

Insert the religious choir singing in my head at this point.

Hallelujah! New Shoes are pure and lovely and happy……….does that sort of negate the sinful action of gambling to get said shoes?

I am thinking blue swirls on shiny new shoes with a buckle.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

In a weird way, gambling sort of brings out the old time religion in me!
Praise the Lord!

a sheltering tree

Right smack dab in the middle of a three or four very rough days, a couple of nice things happened.

From Friday on, the days just took on a life of their own. My health was horrid. period. I use my cane now all the time. Makes for some long days. I wasn’t the best at managing money. Might have indulged a bit too much. The days were rough, and harsh and not so good. My mind was on some ugly stuff so of course again with pretending to be a butterfly. I flit here and there and move again and not really accomplish too much.

Sure I finished a great new fancy schmancy pair of pajamas. I started sewing some one’s Spring dress. I made a sweet craft project, super easy and quick.

Oh sure, I tried my famous trick of doing for others….the daffodil cards to three widows…I am quite sure they will like receiving the cards. For some reason my spirit still wilted?

I thought I was totally happy and okay with the mini family reunion…..but then I got a little bit jealous, urgh. I haven’t seen son #2 and his sweetheart since Thanksgiving of 2009. It makes me sad and grumpy.

Sometime ago, as a fluke I asked (& we planned) a friend to meet for dinner Saturday night. Our Mr. Rights both happen to be attending the same out of town conference.

Now you know I don’t like to use names here in blogland. So let me think. I listen to a radio show once a day and on Tuesday’s they feature a gal named “The Dirt Diva”. She talks all about organic gardening and growing stuff and getting your hands dirty. That name just doesn’t fit my friend……………. maybe, well she
is anxiously awaiting grandson number two………….Grandma the Garden Goddess! Oh, I sort of like that. I will henceforth refer to her as the Garden Goddess. She loves to be in her greenhouse and get dirty and plot and plan and create. Actually she is a very slight lady, somewhat short and small with sassy blond hair that wisps around her ears. In her ears were dangling sweet and saucy earrings. She has the spirit of a garden fairy. I say she is plotting because as she wears little flats with flowers on the toes, she is planning ways to sell her plants to make and give money to her favorite charity. She is masterminding this entire fabulous creative mission to combine her favorite passion, yes passion and somehow make it work for others. Brilliant just so darn brilliant. Being around smart, sassy, brilliant girls makes my spirit soar.

We spent the most wonderful, relaxing time enjoying a three hour dinner. Yep, I said three hour dinner. Not a three hour tour………..oh no, now that song is in my head….oh bother. What normally would have taken 25 minutes to eat, we drug it out and swam in the comfort of each other. We lifted each other up and laughed and shared and the time just flew by. Really lovely and I got to be apart of that loveliness.

Come Sunday afternoon, I was not my upbeat self. Actually, not really charming to be around. Even the dog had retreated to her bed. dang. Then the phone rang. Now, usually while chatting on the phone, I do chores and fold laundry and make the bed and empty the dishwasher or wash windows etc. I find quiet chores to do. I just did not feel up to it. So I poured myself a fresh cup of coffee, yes with sugar and soy cream and sat down. Did you just read that I sat down and chatted with my friend. Okay, no names, let’s see, I could call her the California Church Lady friend (she is an amazing giver to her church in time, deed, and offerings), or I could choose to focus on the fact that she is a Home Schooling Mom of six! Yes, you read that right six children. Maybe something with a Victorian twist, as she loves Victorian everything? Once many moons ago, when the magazine first came out we shared a subscription. She loves lace and tea and gloves and dresses and purses and girlie girl things and more tea. She is the one friend I can be honest with and say, URGH how can you drink that stuff? Yet, somehow I try and remember to send tea and tea coupons and loose tea and more tea as a reminder that I am thinking about her and her passion. My “Tea Lady” always has the best manners and never says an unladylike thing about me drinking my coffee.
The phone call was really nice and kind of her to think of me. Sure she has lots going on……..oh for Pete sake….she has six children, one grandson and a husband to keep up with. The phone call made me really take a break for a while and relax and laugh and joke and not have to think about all the icky stuff for a bit. Really
lovely, and I got to be apart of that lovliness.

I hope I am wise enough and intune enough with my friends and have the Grace to offer up a little island of rest in time of need. We all have really rough times once in a while. We all need a life preserver thrown to us (not at us). Just a short rest and then we will pick up our sack of worries and troubles and move forward with our heads held a little higher.

Friendship is a sheltering Tree.


A little bird told me that my very conservative, non-gambling good and boring Methodist husband was spotted playing the penny slots in Las Vegas late, last night. Who was he with you ask? OUR CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay so they are 25, 26 and 29 but for heaven sakes they are still impressionable children. No, I don’t care that you all won money! I am just praying they did all this before midnight and they weren’t gambling on the Lord’s day!!!!!

I hear they have lots of little chapels in Las Vegas. Maybe the four of them will repent and this morning after they attend church, donate all those pennies to a Christian fund for the poor and down and out?

Okay, so secretly, please don’t mention this to my woman’s church group…..I was sort of happy. They were all talking and laughing and having a good time. (as any parent will tell you that is not always the case with grown up kids.)

The weekends are tough for me when Mr. Right is away on business. The days just don’t run smoothly or seem to be full of goodness. I feel out of sorts and not comfortable.

So here I go, I decided since “some” of the people in my family don’t seem to be practicing their religion this weekend………I am headed to the store to find some great cards with Daffodils on them. I am going to buy three. I am sending them out as Happy Spring cards to three widows that I know. I think they could use a little pick me up this time of year.

The Good Book says we are to take care of orphans and widows….

So, I guess it is up to me to bring a little dignity and respect back to this heathen behavin’ family. 🙂 I am buying really nice cards. I might even spend a little more than I usually do on store bought cards…..apparently we have extra pennies to spend! 🙂

family reunion minus me

In a weird, delightful, strange and happy twist of fate, there is going to be a mini family reunion today. In a very grown up sort of way, I feel super happy for them. I am sort of a little giddy for them.

As you know Mr. Right is in Las Vegas for a business symposium. Son number one is in the air as I type, headed that way. He will be speaking at said symposium. Next on the list we have son number two. He happens to live about 4 1/2 hours away in California. He and his sweetheart (one of the nicest, smartest, funniest, girlfriends in the world) drove to Las Vegas last night to surprise Mr. Right.

Okay, so daughter in law and sweet grand girlie and me are not there. However, right in the middle of business madness………….something great is going to happen today.

At least until tomorrow morning….the four of them will see each other and hug each other and smile and be happy and eat together. Warms my soul.

It is such a good feeling that it makes staying behind almost okay, really okay.
This folks is the payoff. For all the years and years of parenting, correcting, worrying, correcting, teaching, correcting………….. you get this really happy warm feeling deep down in your soul….when your kids want/choose to hang out with you.

While the boys were growing up, no matter where we lived I had a little counted cross stitch design that hung over the washing machine, as I was sure to see it there every single day……
“The best thing to spend on children is time.”

Mr. Right and I are lucky to have four adult children that grace our lives daily.

a refresher lesson for me

Years ago, when moving back to America from a tour in Europe I had to wait 5 or 6 weeks to get my washer and dryer delivered. It had been in storage in Lawton, Oklahoma. Two teenagers and a husband who either ran 10 miles daily or biked 24, I was in need of a washer & dryer.

So, I piled all the clothes into the van and drove to the local laundromat. It was a little uncomfortable for me. Not the cleanest of places and I felt totally out of my comfort zone. I really, really wanted to tell every person in that place, that I really did have a washer and dryer. It was being delivered. After that day, I started driving on to post. It was a 25 minute drive. However, as any Army wife will tell you, everyone from the Generals’ wife down to the lowest privates’ wife, has been in between moves, waiting for something to be delivered and has a story. Boy, do they have stories and by golly they will share their stories while waiting at the laundromat.

Every once in a while, I grab my purse and hop in the car and dash over to the grocery store to pick up that all important lemon or red onion. As I am half way there, I realize that I have forgotten to put on my wedding rings. I get all fussy and while shopping I want to tell everyone that YES, I am married, I am in a hurry and I forgot to put my pretty rings on.

So this morning between 3-6:30 am as I lay awake with my blood pressure rising and my frustration reaching an all time high, I thought to myself…….this is the first time in my married life that I am not proud of some of the people my husband works with. I do not respect people that bully others or even people that stand and watch as other people crumble and loose their balance. Co-workers that don’t have each other’s backs. It is wrong. It hurts my feelings to watch this all unfold.

After sitting in the sun for 45 minutes and regrouping..I am starting to feel like I came up with an answer. I don’t want to be the kind of person that puts on “airs”. I am not better than someone who doesn’t have a washing machine. I am not a better person because I have pretty sparkling rings. I don’t want people to judge how I run my business, so I am thinking that by me judging others business ways is not overly polite. Even if I am doing it in my own head.

“Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.”

It became crystal clear that I don’t like people being rude to my husband. I don’t like the bullying tactics. I don’t like the way some people choose to be so unkind and so thoughtless. I have little if no respect for people that stomp on others.

There is a lot to say about consideration.

For me, I will review my behavior and regroup and continue to treat my husband with respect and kindness. He is a man of character. I am lucky to have him in my life. My life is better because he somehow makes me be a better person.

From today on, I will try not to give too much time or energy or thoughts to other folks bad behavior. It is a real waste of my time.

Surround yourself with mankind at it’s best.

Here we go again

Mr. Right left this morning for a dumb old business meeting. Why do they have to be so long and always out of town? urgh.

So to cheer myself up……

I put the other half of my Coconut Lime Mini Sugar Cookies into a clear bag and made a wonderful & happy lime green with swirls tag. I added some very sweet flower power stickers…..then…..

Instead of my usual surprise attack on Diane (the best mail carrier in the land), putting them in the mailbox with the red flag up…….I drove to the post office and asked for the boss. I asked him nicely if he would please deliver this fancy bag of cookies to the best darn mail lady ever known to mankind! He said, golly I sure hope she is willing to share.

My thinking here was instead of my quietly and secretly gracing Diane with treats and goodies all through the year now and then…. I thought, why not give them to her boss to deliver. I think it will have a teeny bit more impact. So all of a sudden a happy bag of goodness is given to Diane to thank her for her great customer service and her boss gets to see first hand how much we all appreciate her.

Even though Mr. Right is still out of town and that makes me super grumpy, giving a little surprise perked me right up!

I wonder what I will come up with for a bit of happiness tomorrow?

I will miss you cookies.

I filled a container with mini homemade
Chewy Lime and coconut sugar cookies for Mr. Right.
I made a lime green tag that says a bunch of mushy
stuff. Tonight, while
he is packing, I will tuck them into his suitcase.

The cookies turned out super duper GREAT. Thought I would
share. You can substitute the natural sugar and butter etc
how you would like.

2 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one large lime
3 Tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350*. Line cookie sheets with silpat. In a small bowl sift or whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy. This will take a couple of minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla, lime juice and lime zest. Mix until well combined. Gradually add in the dry ingredients and toasted coconut. Mix just until combined. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of cookie dough into balls. Put sugar in a small bowl and roll cookie dough balls in sugar. Place on lined sheets.
Bake 8 minutes. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes then move to cooling rack.

Oh yum.

remembering our toasters of years past

As I type this morning, I am enjoying a piece of toast. Dave’s Killer Bread makes really good nutty, seedy, wholesome toast. My piece is slathered in freshly ground Almond Butter. There are little seeds of goodness that fell off my toast and landed on my breakfast plate. A cheerful yellow and blue bread plate sitting atop a gorgeous yellow and blue floral place mat.

All seems good and happy sprinkled with Spring time happiness, until you learn the story behind said piece of toast.

Buckle up, here we go……………….

The toaster broke this morning. Yep, the thingie that makes the handle stay in the down position gave up the ghost. I was determined to eat toast, now it was a quest. I got out the cookie sheet and covered her with parchment paper and buttered my toast (made an extra piece for the dog). Popped it into the oven and yippee, magically I got toast. I love the smell of nutty goodness.

Problem solved and we move on. Not quite so fast sister! I want to vent. I want to know why my grandparents toaster that is well over 60 years old is still working at my mother’s home? It still has the same huge black, ugly “fabric” cord and plug in. You still need to use, with all your might, two hands to unplug the darn thing.

Years ago, when we visited my Aunt Bernice on her Apple Orchard in Eastern Washington, she made toast every morning. You put the bread slice in this wire square cage thingie. It had a long handle and she put in the wood burning stove and magically it came out looking, tasting and smelling like toast. Yeah! (by the way, she was the same Great Aunt that popped pop corn with no lid and we laughed and laughed and laughed). My mother was not pleased as it was very unladylike behavior. Secretly, made it all the more delightful.

We have been buying toasters all our married life. Hey, come to think of it, we never received a toaster as a wedding present. So for 29 years we have bought, broken, researched, paid, paid, paid for many a toasters. We have had four slicers, large opening toasters, save energy toasters, very expensive toasters and extremely cheap toasters. We have had red, white and even a black toaster and of course shiny chrome looking toasters. One time, we had a brand spanking new toaster and (I won’t name names) someone (who happened to be around the age of 7 at the time) placed a plastic bread sack over the toaster and it melted beautifully over the brand new appliance. For the life of the toaster, I was never able to remove said “art” project. While living in Europe, our electricity was not quite 110. So after a couple of months, poof, another funeral for yet another toaster. For a couple of years there, while scrapbooking/ card making, someone, well me, might have used the toaster to heat up glitter to emboss a card or two. Our toaster had silver and gold glitter all over the top. It was another work of “art”. Once while helping a friend at her yard sale, son #2, put bread in a toaster and made toast, then brought it out to sell in the yard sale. Everyone thought he was super smart and a great salesman. Funny yes, sell the toaster for $5.00, no.

Today’s showcased toaster was purchased for $14.00. We just got plum tired of paying lots of money for yet another “funny” story.

Sweet Liberty enjoyed her toast today, as well as I did.

Tomorrow after I drop off Mr. Right at the airport, first on my “to do” list will be purchase a new toaster. I want to buy a happy yellow toaster with polka dots. Don’t worry, I won’t tire of my choice. It will be gone before you know it.

do, ray, me, fa, so, la…

I love to practice the piano. For some reason practicing scales actually relaxes me. Oh sure, I have great posture while sitting at the piano bench. I just feel relaxed and calm. Yes, my hands are washed prior to sitting down. Yes, I let my fingers soak in warm water for a couple of minutes before settling in.

If the phone rings, it just keeps on ringing.

I sort of day dream while I am practicing and playing the piano. Sometimes, I dream about the beautiful dresses that I would wear to preform. I love to daydream about just sitting down to a gorgeous piano in a sumptuous hotel lobby and just playing for a couple of minutes.

Piano music sooths my soul. Listening to others play makes me really happy.

One of those moments in the day that you carve out all to yourself and just be. No worries, no bills, no troubles, just bare feet and some sheet music.

Oh that reminds me, I adore and fell in love with the book Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by Kevin Leman. It was a book well worth your time to spend reading and learning.

Lovely piano music is what Grace must sound like.