Happy, I mean it, Happy Halloween!

Today’s list of happy and pure goodness…………..

I love that the caterer at the wedding had a plate of mac and cheese and some chicken nuggets for a special flower girl. (It made her happy and she dug right in)

It made me happy to see a special homemade Anaheim Ducks garter, black and orange with a charm from the team. The bride made it to surprise and delight the groom.

Happiness squeezed in when we stumbled upon a great little out-of-the-way Sushi restaurant on our trip.

I love and it makes me happy that my Mr. Right always, always carries a clean, white, pressed handkerchief in his pocket every single day of his life.

I love the idea of giving special treats on Halloween.  A friend got quite a sparkler as a treat!  Makes my stomach dance for her!  She is happy and I am sincerely happy for her.

I felt happy to buy a new lantern.  It reminds me of a happy dinner out with friends.  Just looking at it makes me happy.

The leaves that have fallen on the wet wooden deck, look picture perfect.  That scene makes me happy.

Love that Mr. Right dug the guts and gore out of our pumpkins so I could just do my carving this year.  Now that is pure happy!  Choosing creepy and spooky things to carve makes me happy for some weird reason.

Baking makes me happy.  Baking a special treat for Mr. Right today.

Planning our next vacation makes me happy.

Counted cross stitch makes me over the moon happy.

Planning a date night makes me happy.

Watching our dog greet her master when he comes home from work each night IS pure happiness!

November around the corner makes me happy.

Walking in puddles in my new Aquaducks makes me deliriously happy.  ha




It’s Tuesday, Say Grace, put on comfy socks, it’s time for comfort food.

We all need it at one time or another.  We all have our list of favorites.  This time of year with bad weather and gray days surrounding us, something warm, nutritious with slightly baked brown edges will most certainly comfort us and our families.  This recipe is one of those good ones.  The one your grandma, mom and you have cooked up a couple hundred times.  You can reheat this dish beautifully. Stuff them into a thermos and take some to work for lunch. Use it as a side or the main dish.    Calico Beans makes you look like you really “know” how to cook.  Even today, in the year 2012, you can tweak it as I did and make your own vegetarian version and yet somehow it turns out perfectly every single time.  One of those recipes that when you bake it, you draw it out of the oven with two big huge oven mitts………you take a big spoon and make that first swoop through its smooth and rich texture……….you are more than glad you took the time to make it.

You will need to brown a pound of hamburger (veggie crumbles work perfectly) and one pound of bacon (vegetarian works just as well).  Pour off any grease.  Add one chopped onion and cook a bit more. Add 1/2 cup catsup, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of real salt…..simmer a bit more to dissolve the sugar.  Add this mixture and the following to a baking dish for the oven:  1 can Pork & Beans (vegetarian works perfectly), drain the rest of the cans…..1 can of Kidney Beans, 1 can of Lima Beans, 1 can of Butter Beans.  Bake at 350* for one hour or a bit more.  The heavenly rich scent will seep out of that oven of yours and OH BABY, you will know when it is done.  You will just know.

So put on a pair of your favorite fuzzy socks, turn on some great music, light a candle or two, set the table, and for the love of soul soothing comfort food, SAY GRACE and dig in!

Ruby Rain slippers

Our prayer candle is lit and positive thoughts are headed towards the East coast and the people in the path of Hurricane Sandy.

If you do have some rain or a puddle or two where you live, here is a gentle suggestion:  I love my new Aquaducks!  They are the perfect rubber soled shoe to walk to the mail box or hit the grocery store.  I bought the correct size for me, there is plenty of room to wear a pair of socks with them.  The inside of the shoes are plaid and the outside comes in blue, black, tan, yellow or cranberry (which I call Ruby).  With the rubber soles, they offer me great traction.  On each shoe there is a kicky little leather bow tie.  Just the right amount of sassiness. 

While I am not so sure they will work for the inches and inches of rain predicted during the big storm coming ashore, they are ideal flats for us here in the Pacific Northwest.

They are so dog gone cute, you want to do a little jig and dance in the rain.

Sugar and Spice times 2

For all the dinosaur books I read,  all the construction and car books I read, all the lizard, dragon, motorcycle books, pirate stories, all the cowboy books, monster, & goosebumps books we read, all the police, war and soldier stories we read…

For all the legos I stepped on and purchased, for all the match box cars and hot wheel cars, all the Lincoln logs, all the metal outdoor tough trucks, all the green Army guys and micro machines…

For all the basketballs and the hoop, for all the soccer balls, cleats, stinky sneakers, footballs, skateboards, skate shoes…

For all the plaid, dinosaur, under the sea, comic book, hot air balloon, space, animal and blue & red paint,  bedroom themes…

For all the Halloween costumes I sewed……ninja, dinosaur, karate kid, Dracula, box of popcorn, magician, Blues Brothers, shoot em up cowboy…

For all the parties I planned with the themes of Mickey Mouse, under the sea, Where’s Waldo, golf, Hawaiian, Army guy and cowboy…

For all the home driveway exploded  fireworks I watched and oohed and awed over…..

For all those poor ants fried with magnifying glasses, for all the birds we recorded and looked at, for all the snakes, lizards, spiders we studied…

For all the shorts outfits, ties, vests, pants, I sewed and bought.  For all the shirt and ties I bought for Easter Sunday, for all the plain sweaters I bought or stitched for Christmas photos…

For all the sandwiches I made that were “bitten into to form the shape of a gun”

I have been rewarded & bathed in pure goodness.  I am now the proud Mom of two smart, lovely, funny, silly, sassy, wonderful, charming, well-educated, kind-hearted, forward thinking daughters…… and I could not be happier!

a proposed NEW tradition

The bride wore little secret treasures that Graced her day with goodness.  She wore take your breath away, stunning earrings from her grandmother.   Pinned to her bouquet handle was a piece of our family Tartan along with a brooch from her new husband’s great, grandmother.  When I shortened the sleeves of the Mother of the Bride’s jacket, I used some of that left over material to sew a secret pocket inside her wedding gown.  Inside the pocket contained a penny that her new father in law gave her.  She carried the handkerchief that was chosen for her 19 years prior by her future husband.  I embellished it with a few stitches to make it her own.  Yes, I stitched in some blue flowers for her “something blue”.

I have the good fortune of having a friend, the friendship has swirled more than 36 some years.  She was unable to attend the wedding.  Her plate is full to overflowing and I am old enough and wise enough to say, I completely understand and mean it.  She and her family offered to take care of and love our Sweet Golden Retriever while we were gone for a week.  It was a huge relief and comfort to know that our sweet girl was well cared for.

In a twist of fate, she offered to let me borrow a bracelet.  Her bracelet, a vintage piece from her mother’s collection.  It has gold findings, flecks and is saturated with tangerine color.  I promised to take good care of it while on our trip.

As I prepared to dress for the wedding (no I won’t share all the magic and wonder that went on underneath that gown), Mr. Right helped with the clasp of the bracelet. 

As I held onto the gentleman’s arm while I walked down the aisle, the bracelet twinkled at me.  As my hands were folded during the ceremony, I caught a glimpse of the color.  While dancing the mother son dance, with my arm extended the bracelet again winked at me.  When Mr. Right asked for my hand to head over to the dance floor, there it was again.  As I swirled and twirled to the music, the bracelet and the spirit of my friend followed along.

Having that piece of jewelry encircle my wrist, reminded me of just how much pure goodness comes with true friendship.  I felt the warmth and kindness and love of my friend.  In the middle of the big, huge, splashy celebration, I had a secret spirit gracing me with pure goodness.  Unbeknownst to me, I needed the strength and courage to move forward through one of the happiest days of my life.  Of course, my friend is there during dark times & goofy coffee dates….how was I to know that I was going to need her strength and courage to walk through a joyful celebration?  I thought of her and was very grateful to have her with me in spirit.

…and again, no Hallmark card or quote could even come close to how I felt about not just borrowing the bracelet, but borrowing a piece of her heart.

I propose a NEW tradition:  Every mother of the bride or groom should wear something borrowed from a friend.  It was a lovely thing to happen to me.  I will share my idea with other MOBs and MOGs.  I will offer a piece of my jewelry to friends.  Turns out, it is not just the beautiful brides that need “something borrowed”.  It just so happens, that each one of us could use a borrowed piece of someone’s heart.

As I watched Mr. Right marry them, I sat alone.  I had no idea I ended up needing a touch stone.  Yes, I had a friend behind me, seated in one of the wooden, white chairs.  However, when I looked down and saw the sparkle of the bracelet, it warmed my soul…….

Have I mentioned lately how grateful and lucky I am to be bathed in the Grace of friendship?  Next time I blow on a fluffy dandelion, I am going to wish such goodness for everyone I know.  It feels lovely, simply lovely.

no Hallmark card needed

For a couple of days now, I have been trying to find the words to talk about my friend.  Sounds easy enough.  However, I was trying desperately not to sound like a Hallmark card.  Then this morning in the shower it hit me.  She is, what we share, IS WHAT HALLMARK CARDS ARE describing.  They are the ones trying to come up with the perfect words.  Not me.  I live it.

We share almost the same birth date.  We have know each other for somewhere near 35 years.  We both have two children.  We both have really great Mr. Right’s.  We both can be tickled to smithereens over a sassy pair of shoes.  Our lives have been swirling around each other for so long, my Mr. Right knew her Mr. Right before he even knew me! ha

I could use a million and one quotes that Hallmark uses to describe “friendship”.  For once in my life, I don’t need to use someone else’s quote.  What we have is what other people write about.  Wish they had.  Admire the years we have woven (read that as sewn) together.  Here is something everyone should know, she is the one who saw my shoes for the wedding before anyone else.  She actually saw the first color, the return, the wait and then cheered with glee at the final choice!

Our son and daughter in law chose to have a destination wedding.  That means, everyone comes from someplace else.  That means, 2,598 miles for our friends, family and neighbors here in Washington state.  They chose to cover us in the Grace of friendship.  We did not have to ask.   They waited with us, while the younger generation figured out the timing.  They came up with paper towels when needed.  Heck her Mr. Right even commandeered a serrated knife from the hotel kitchen when it was “desperately” needed.  They helped us when needed and then somehow in the middle of the wedding madness build up found time to have a late, sumptuous supper with us at a gem of a  place called “The French Bulldog” in Camarillo, California.

She knows me well.  She knows without a smidgen of doubt that I would only order a PLAIN  cannoli  not chocolate. Somehow she knew that they would be needed during the wedding.  Not just to help pull it off, not just to somehow magically encourage the two-year old grandgirlie, flower girl to “do her job”.  Somehow she knew we would be grateful/need/appreciate/value/ would never forget the grace we felt just by having them by our side as we walk through the celebration.

We are to the moon and back grateful for the kindness and grace and well just plain old fashion pure goodness they bathed us in.

Take that Hallmark!  Nothing you print or copy can compare with what we have.  You are not even close.  There is no card on your shelves no matter how pricey that can adequately describe the gift we have been given.  Sure we could have made it through the celebration if they were not able to join us………..but I shudder to think ………where would the strength, and sparkle have come from?

Take your breath away friendship.  Plain and simple.  Amen.

…and they danced.

It was a stunning celebration.  The moment did indeed take my breath away.

I danced the mother/son dance.  He chose the music “you are the sunshine of my life”.

Our son danced with his new bride.  The bride’s parents took a spin.

I danced with my oldest son.  He made me laugh and enjoy the moment.

I danced with Mr. Right.  It was perfect. It was such a lovely moment in time.

We traveled 2, 598 miles.  We are still a bit loopy from all the driving.

The time away was amazing and wonderful and pure goodness all rolled into one moment in time.

Our family was bathed in Grace.   I am grateful.  I will share more once the piles of laundry have disappeared and the photos are uploaded.  I promise.  There will be more goodness once the professional photographer shares her passion.

Thank you for all your good wishes.  We had a very safe and for the most part uneventful travels.  I appreciate and value all the uplifting prayers.

“I don’t want to hide. I want to slow dance with you again. I want to dance with you forever.”
Sarah Black

ps.  You remember my sassy kicky shoes with sweet bows on the toes?  They were indeed sassy and kicky and were all that I dreamed they would be.