would He be pleased?

While driving to and from vacation we saw hundreds of bumper stickers and window decals.  It really is amazing what people are so passionate about that they feel moved to buy and then affix their “cause” to the back side of their vehicle.  There were; sports teams, musical groups and universities logos galore, mouse ears on people and cats and dogs, clothing labels, skiing & surfing logos, actually decals of a dad, mom, two boys, two girls, three cats and one dog or some version of that combination. Military insignia, soccer jersey numbers, “in memory of” decals, eat here or there, visit here or there and yes, this trip we started to notice political names for the up coming presidential election as well.   There were the old standards; my kid is smarter than your kid, ask me about my grandchildren, I “heart” Dalmatians, I brake for lattes, I would rather be….. shopping, golfing, biking… and the always present WWJD.

Out of all of those topics (of which we covered several in deep discussions)  Mr. Right said, “WWJD?  He would be shaking his head in disappointment”.   The name calling and pointing of fingers has reached a new level of ugliness.  The scandals, murders, stealing, shootings are taking much too much time filling up the nightly news reports.  Treating our fellow-man with respect and politeness has fallen out of favor.  Keeping our opinions (however misguided) to ourselves  are becoming less and less in fashion.  Treating others with disrespect & ugliness is becoming more and more acceptable.  Our society seems to need a gentle nudge in the direction of kindness.

Outside of a new (to us) found business in Manzanita, Oregon called Bread and Ocean,  sat two very intense beautiful black Labrador Retrievers.  Their leashes were just looped around the leg of a picnic table.  Their companion was a large, patient, Basset Hound.  All three dogs were getting along and waiting, never taking their eyes off of the door to the bakery/cafe.  As we stepped inside, adjusted to the lighting and were met with the heavenly aroma of pure goodness.  The smells of breads and pastries and salads and freshly brewed coffee.  The eight tables with chairs were wooden and mostly full.  We stepped up to the counter to say hello and place our order.  We chose wisely.  Mr. Right chose a perfectly made croissant with a thin line of dark chocolate hidden inside the flakey folds of airy pastry and coffee.  I chose a Walnut Fig Tartine with a Cappucinno.  Oh my, my, my…………I can still taste the creamy goat cheese and the little half a glazed fig of pure delight.   By evidence of the signs and labels, the ingredients that they used were thoughtfully sourced and they were very proud and happy to be offering the best and highest level of food they could bake as well as make.

A sense of belonging and quiet calm was hanging in the air.  No judgement, no meanness just a place to take off your hat and coat and sit for a time and rest in peace and enjoy a meal prepared with goodness in mind.

As I turned to find a place to “make camp” while waiting for our well thought out selections, I sat down at a table near the window.  Then I took in the patrons:  there was a single woman in her twenties with a small 5-year-old boy eating brunch, a couple of gals (later found out they had been together for 32 years) sitting, forks down while listening,  another couple, standing, were giving them driving suggestions for a glorious tourist drive & a young married couple with a toddler who looked over the moon happy every time the toddler said please they gave him another morsel of goodness from their plates.  Conservative Mr. Right & I sat among them.   There were also two bakers behind the counter (with dreadlocks and a variety of tattoos), working hard and bustling, yet chatting happily to one another.  The person that served us was very friendly and cheerful.

The time spent in that cafe was a little sliver of heaven.  Sure we were all different, very different.  We all had different stories and had gotten to that place in time in a variety of ways.   Our cars in the parking lot with the different logos on the back of each were as different as night and day.

WWJD?  He would have come in for some rest and a wonderful brunch among really good solid people breaking bread together.   He would have been pleased to see that such a varied group of people could be brought together in a place offering bread and coffee.

… you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. ~  leviticus 19:18

important breaking news

dot, dot, dot……………….

We interrupt this vacation to share some breaking news………………………

Our future daughter in law bought her wedding dress today!  woo hoo, and by golly it is breath-taking.  Her and the dress !

Back to our regularly scheduled vacation.

Ash Wednesday lesson for me

I was going to write about some deep thoughts on Lent and the season.  I thought oh, this will be a blog post that practically writes itself & then life comes along and well you know the rest………………………………..

While our boys were young we used Bible verses and quotes every single day.  We chalked them on the sidewalk, printed them and taped them to the bathroom mirror.  As their home school teacher, quotes and verses were used for penmanship practice, sentence structure, grammar lessons as well as memorization and a jumping off point for a theme or topic.  When they attended public school quotes were included in jacket pockets and lunch bags (I am sure many of those were thrown out without even viewing them).  Notes with inspirational thoughts were left on the driver’s seat of the car.   We taped quotes to their closed (come now, they were stinky boys!) bedroom doors.  I painted inspiring thoughts on the walls.

Today, in our age of technology, I send them quotes and inspiring thoughts via e-mail.  Usually comments come back to me, quick-witted and thought-provoking.  Today’s quote was, by Nido Qubein, “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”

Son number one came back first today, with a lesson for me.  I LOVE when the kids teach me something new and share.  It always gives me insight as to what they are thinking and doing.  Not only do I love the information he shared, I found it tickled my soul that he is listening to a couple each night.  Here is what son number one shared today.   I listened to it while biking.  I am going to listen to it again and then maybe again for good measure.  I needed to hear it today.

Check this video out, watched it the other night thought it was a good little insight to changing the way you think.
http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html TED is my new favorite website.  I try to watch one or two talks every night.  Some very fascinating stuff, some hilarious stuff and some stuff that makes you think.

One of the things at the end of the video was mentioned about thanking one person for something a day.  After a week of banking “issues”, thankfully resolved this morning, I called the bank to say thank you.  Yep, you read that right.  I made the effort to pick up the phone and leave a message for the customer service person who helped us and say, simply Thank You.

Years ago, Mr. Right and I together took a class on the Lenten season.  It was the most depressing, slow-moving, frustrating, uninspiring class we had ever endured.   Today, while changing gears and thinking I wouldn’t write about Lent (serious topic, intense, important, grown up stuff)……………….maybe I just did?

Maybe for Lent this season, I choose to give up negative thinking.  Maybe for this period of Lent, I make a concerted effort to talk, think and act in a positive manner about all things.

“He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15

Lucky for me, my mind & heart are open to listening to our children.  I learn something new from them almost every single day.

letters, the alphabet kind

I was reading a blog this morning and while doing so, reminded me of the label maker I had when I was growing up.  I don’t quite remember which Christmas I asked for and got the fabulous Dynomite Label maker.  Dyno for short.  I think I sort of remember my mother going on and on about how expensive the replacement tape was.  I know I had Yale Blue for the longest time, probably came with that to begin with.  Then I got this wonderful orange tape with yellow swirls running through it.  Oh, geez, I LOVED that plastic label maker with the trigger handle.  I loved rotating by clicking the alphabet.  Oops, missed a letter, go back.  If you didn’t put enough pressure when you squeezed the trigger, the letter would be faint (not raised up fully) and your finished label would not look as “professional”.   Some of the labels would stick momentarily, then quick as a bunny fall off.  Then you could never reuse them, the carpet fibers would stick like mad to a just dropped label.  A few years ago, I was washing and drying dishes at my mother’s house.  A container that had once been used to take to a church function was up next.  There it was stuck on the bottom in the middle, a blue label with my maiden name printed out.  That baby wasn’t going anywhere any time soon.  It was stuck onto the bottom with the likes of cement glue.  When I snagged this photo from Google Images, the caption under the pictures said “1970’s Vintage”.  I think that means many, many moons ago.

I am sort of toying with the idea of buying a “fancy schmancy, professional” label maker.  I love the idea of labeling everything.  Yes, I know where I have put everything.  Yes, I know where I keep my baking powder, flour, extra chocolate chips, cotton balls, q-tips, thread, bobbins, lace, hanks of elastic, and on and on.  There is something about labeling everything that makes it seem more organized.

Before, during and after Sunday night (home-made Sushi) family dinner with Grand girlie number one, we were working on flash cards.  She is 18 months old.  She handed me one card that apparently didn’t “need” to be in the deck.  It was the direction card on how to do flashcards.  She looked at me like, who wouldn’t know how to use these things?  She has the perfect short little name.  So her mom (who happens to be one of the best mom’s I have ever seen with children) was working on a “magic” wipe away board learning to spell her name.  She was saying the letters to her mom who was writing them down for her.  Yep, she was catching on pretty darn fast.  We were amazed and proud and happy and did I mention amazed all rolled into one.

We have magnet letters that adhere to the refrigerator.  Each visit, Sweet Grand Girlie, moves them over to the dish washer front.  She apparently, likes them better on the front of the dish washer.

Grand girlie number two (lucky us) is arriving in 5 weeks.  I am cutting out the letters of her name.  I am embroidering her name on the Christening gown.  I am printing her name on things and have received a stamp I ordered with her name on it.  Her name has 8 wonderful letters in the first and 4 in the second name.  She gets lots of letters for the same price as a sweet shorter name.

I am looking forward to a bit warmer weather.  An amazing Grand girlie and I will be out on the side walk with chalk writing our names and printing letters in amazing pastel glory. Nope the letters won’t last after a quick spring rain.  Somehow, I just know the moment in time will be printed on my heart , forever.

That was so “punny”

Going on twenty years now, Mr. Right was out of the country for 10 months.  I happened upon a cute Christmas card that I bought and popped in the mail to him.  On the cover of the card, there was pictured a snowman with blocks of black cubes falling from the sky.  Inside the card, it read “Lead it Snow, Lead it Snow“.  Thus began our fascination and obsession with pun cards.  Not only for holidays, but we search them out for birthdays and anniversaries (yes, I already have my anniversary card safely tucked away for this year and it is a doozie), it is frightening how many we have found, bought, given……..even the kids have joined in and tried to give them to us.  It has turned so weird it is almost better than finding the perfect gift.  To find the elusive PUN card.  Some of us have even written inside the card “found one, ha”.  Such a sweet discovery.  When you are at the card shop looking for a card for a soldier or a happy housewarming card and you literally stumble upon the pun.   One I remember Mr. Right gave me……..outside of card a picture of a teeny tiny lawnmower……………inside of card…………”I Love you a little mower each year“.  Sweet.

Sure we save em sometimes.  Brings back a laugh when you re-read them a couple of years later.  Some I have decorated the inside of my closet walls with.  Those are the hand-made ones that are usually huge.

Yesterday, when I stumbled out to the kitchen in my fuzzy white bathrobe for a cup of goodness called coffee, I saw on the table, not one but FOUR homemade Valentines!  Were there a couple of pun cards?   You bet.    My Valentine card to him had to do with porcupines and stuck on you….. I included a package of super glue of course.

I guess that is how family traditions play out?  One card at a time.  The chase for the card or the idea to make one.  The thought that went into it …and sometimes for lucky girls those cards accompany sparkly things and candy and flowers.   ~~That which cometh from the heart will go to the heart.~j burroughs

my husband is especially attractive to me when….

he is all sweaty while working hard outdoors

he is bundled up in a hoodie and coat and gloves and his nose is red from the cold, just in from walking the dog

he has on his big black rain boots with jeans tucked inside, out washing the car in the rain

he stomps his feet outside to get the muck and sand off as not to track it indoors

he creeps in the bedroom with a flash light before he leaves for work each day and kisses me over and over and over and tells me he loves me

he is wearing old Levi’s and a faded Hockey t-shirt

he is in the kitchen following a certain recipe and he is all thumbs & wants no help

he puts on that Army military uniform.  There is NOTHING like a man in uniform!

he picks up our Grand girlie and swings her around and dances with her and makes her laugh

he has on a crisp white shirt with french cuffs and a perfectly fitting D & G charcoal gray suit, tie and cuff links

he brings home a hand-held bouquet of goodness just for me

he leaves me notes on the mouse pad or the mirror or the kitchen cupboard

he buys lemonade from a road side stand, and pays extra

he “fights” with me about trying on new clothes or acts like an 8-year-old when he needs new dress shoes

he brings me a shirt that needs a button sewn on

he suggests a day or two in advance “let’s go out to dinner”

……………my husband is especially attractive to me when……

I catch a glimpse of him the moment I find him in the airport

I catch his eye at a boring dinner function

I see him praying in church

I hear him listening to one of our boys “problems”

I see him filled with energy and happiness after a great golf game

I see him trying to secretly alphabetized my spice cupboard

I hear his footsteps coming down the hallway in the hospital

I hear him singing loudly and with gusto in the shower

I see him polishing his shoes and then does some of mine too

I hear him whistling somewhere in a store, I know he is there with me

I catch the moment he is on the edge of his seat watching  a hockey goal being scored

I see him take off his glasses to figure out a math equation

I hear him on the phone helping someone with their concern

I am with him walking on the beach with our dog

I love to see him laugh and laugh like a school girl at a funny joke

Did I mention I love to see him wearing Levi’s, worth mentioning again…………………sorry, I can’t help it.

“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”