meat, music, my grandgirlie & Mr. Right

my beef with meatMy Beef with Meat by Rip Essellstyn    One of the current books on my nightstand.  This book is worth every dime and then some.  5 star GREAT.  Very well written, well researched and backed up with facts.  I love the way the chapters are split up.  He addresses and answers all those silly questions……….protein, B12(did you know that humans have on average, a staggering three to five-year supply of B12 stored in the liver?), milk does not do a body good, BBQ dangers, Fish Oil and on and on and on……………. It is most certainly one of those books that you feel GREAT about reading.  You feel like a kid at attending a really great class where you can’t even take notes, you are so anxious and happy about learning really great information, your mouth hangs open and you are trying to absorb every little detail.  Put it on hold  at your local library……..order it for your Mr. Right for Father’s day.  Give it as a birthday or Graduation gift.  Yes, that good.  For Pete sakes, you are so worth a book of this value.  You owe yourself a gift.  Bathe yourself in pure Grace.  Order yourself a book or borrow it from me.  Your life and your families lives will be forever BETTER because of Rip.  He is an amazing teacher & author.

Listening to Point of Grace as I type today. I adore their harmony.  They have a way of making you feel uplifted and enough.  So nice. point of grace

Sweet Liberty our helpful golden retriever, just pulled the keyboard off the desk.  Yipes.  Then the phone rang.  It was my first EVER phone call from Grandgirlie number one!!!!!  She used all the words she has heard her parents say on a phone call.  Hello, goodbye, I love you, pink pants, chickens, apples, her sister’s name….all in random order.  Then she stared answering my questions.  Sooooooo cute, melted my heart.  She was in the car, waiting for her other Grandma and Grandpa to leave for Pike Place Market to buy a red apple.  Sweet.

Sharing a little dark secret…………..My closet.  The horror!   The thing about being married to a dress right dress Mr. Right is just that.  He likes order.  No, strike that, he craves order.  When life tumbles out of our control once in a while, he is intent on making order.  He goes to great lengths to rein in chaos and straighten, alphabetize, line up………whatever he has to do to make things “right”.  He loves to “fix” things.  Now, you know, I adore, drool over really, Before & After pictures………..only problem-oh with that is that I continually forget to take the before picture of my own.  dang it.  So while yes, I have the after picture.  I will have to describe to you what the before looked like.  Okay, close your eyes and pretend you are listening to a great talk radio show(well, open them to read the blog words, silly)………..I have been preoccupied a bit lately, so having order and neatness to my personal closet was not at the top of my “to-do” list.  Imagine if you will a jumbled mess of shoe boxes of all colors and shapes, sneakers, boots, flip-flops, church shoes, belts and a shopping bag all mixed up and twisted willy nillie on the floor. Thirty or so scarves were tucked in here and there, draped over this outfit or that.  Purses, sort of crammed here and there with items spilling carelessly out of unzipped pockets.  Imagine if you will a pair of blue jeans residing next to a lemon yellow sweater, next to an Arizona navy blue long-sleeved t-shirt.  The madness!  Sweaters and t-shirts and tank tops, oh my, if you pulled one out, two tumbled down upon your head.  When I would go to get something or put something away, I cringed a little.  Actually, I couldn’t literally find anything to wear.  It was all a bit overwhelming.  I really just snagged open the door and then pushed it as quick as I could closed.  Mr. Right had reached his limit.  (see, I waited him out, haha).  I had to surrender and wave the white flag.  I had to let it go and let him work his “magic”.  First the Goodwill bags.  Then the trash bags.  Then the list of what needed to be replaced.  Time to give away and “bless” someone else with some of these things.  Pure honesty, some things were so worn out, they went into the trash bags, no one would have wanted them at Goodwill, even for 25 cents.  No girlfriend, I could not cut them up to make a scrappy quilt.  So three or four hours later, a car load to drop off to charity on the way to the hardware store,  a new shelf and a new system for storing shoes………….”we” were back in business.  Can I find something to wear now?  Well sure, silly rabbit…….I just don’t want to step on the vacuum marks or goof up the order.  I certainly don’t want to get anything dirty for fear I will have to wash it and then somehow fold it to match all the other items he folded. ….and he thought the chaos was nerve wracking……………keeping one’s closet this clean is probably not healthy, right?  Makes me a little nervous to see all that calm and order.  Are you ready for the “after” picture?  Here you go, look quick, today it looks like this………..I can’t promise what tomorrow will bring.  DSCN1030

“It’s the good girls who keep the diaries; the bad girls never have the time.”  Tallulah Bankhead

Say Grace for junk food!

Okay, picture this………….phone unplugged, feet propped up, television on, game seven in the Blackhawks vs. Redwings Hockey series.  The tension builds, the lights are swirling in the arena.  The players step onto the ice to warm up.  The organ music is loud, really loud.  The excitement builds.  …..get your water ready, get your snacks………….we are not taking our eyes off this television.

Snacks……..yes, junk food snack.  Yes, even people who don’t eat sugar or dairy or meat etc……still LOVE junk food.  This is where Momma Mouse comes in.  It is a wonderful blog and she offers up tons of delicious food and recipes.

Now, I ask you, who doesn’t like junk food at a sporting event?  Garlic Fries, peanuts, nachos.  Yes, nachos.  No, not the kind with lovely onions and veggies and cheese and perfect chips and olives etc………….Nachos, you know the ones.  The ones in the paper bowl.  The chips are hidden under the gooey mess of pure chemical goodness.  Let’s get real people.  That is junk food at it’s finest.  The kind where you can’t even pick up a chip without getting the sloppy, melted mess on your fingers.  Two or three napkins worth of junkie goodness.

Okay, melt 2.5 Tablespoons earth balance and mix in 2 Tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour.  Add in 1/2 cup nutritional yeast and then whisk in 3/4 cup Almond milk.  Keep heating on medium and whisking until it is the melted consistency that you love.  Add in 1/2 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes, onion powder & garlic powder and a dash or two of real salt.    Okay fill your plate with homemade or store-bought tortilla chips and then pour on the melted, cheesy goodness.  Then top with some jalapeno.  For the picture I placed a couple nicely on the top.  After the picture was snapped Mr. Right heaped oodles more peppers and covered it all in more red pepper flakes in a glorious mountain of pure junk food.

DSCN1028Grab three or four paper napkins, more might be needed, Say Grace and grab the best seat in the house.  The next three 19 minute periods are going to rock your world and fly by in an instant.  You forget the world, your troubles and it is so intense you can clean your entire plate of junk food without even thinking about it.  The only time you I was not chewing the sides of my fingernails was when I was stuffing in nacho goodness.  Yes, that good.

We both devoured our game treat, and what a game it was.  There is nothing better than a game seven in a series.  Congratulations to the Black Hawks.  Well played.  Congratulations and thanks to the Redwings for a very entertaining and exciting series.  Well played.

Even though I adore the rough and tumble and push and shove of a great hockey game, oh and I love the uniforms and I love to watch them skate………………it turns my heart to mush, when after every game is over they remove their glove and shake hands like gentlemen.  Such class, their fans are so proud of them, well and I would imagine so are their moms.

coffee, my way

Once I removed sugar and dairy from my life, I still crave a coffee treat once in a while.  Hey, I live in the Pacific Northwest.  This is an area of the country where towns that don’t even have a post office, have an espresso stand.  gessh.

I take cream in my coffee.  I actually use coconut cream.  I like it a touch sweet.  So I like agave nectar swirled in.  Not every little coffee-house has these additions.  So……… is my solution for travelling this summer.  I found a wonderful happy, summer colored, bright and cheerful yellow gingham purse.  Well, not a real purse.  It is an insulated tote that looks like a purse.  So I can tote along my coconut creamer and my agave nectar and keep them nice and chilled.  I can still get a treat of a specialty coffee and doctor it up to my liking.  Hey, might even tuck in a coconut macaroon treat to enjoy with my coffee?  Summer travel just took on a whole new vibe.  I for one am excited to get out there!

Love and am grateful and thankful for this sassy invention.  Makes me a happy girl. k36804_240

1,2,3 instant happy

Why oh why do people dress up their dogs in human clothing? It makes me sad.  I think the dogs are sad too.

I miss the game show “Pyramid”.

I loved laying on my bed, a million years ago, reading a brand new “Seventeen” magazine.  I grew up with a white ruffled bedspread with matching curtains.  I must have painted my bedroom 27 times.  My parents said I would get tired of the orange paint pretty quick.  What did they know?  …………turns out, two months in, I hated it.  I lived with it for about 8 months to “prove” that I loved it.

jelloI loved  ” 1, 2, 3 Jell-O”.  How many chemicals and colorings were in that to make it separate?  yikes.  My mother always, always served dessert after dinner.  My sisters and I would beg her to make 1,2,3 Jell-O.  I don’t remember it tasting all that great.  I guess we just loved the look.  It came in other flavors too.

When did buying a new blender become such a huge ordeal?  Don’t you just go to the store and buy one?  I have watched you-tube videos about blenders, I have read literature, I have watched infomercials on the computer…………….okay already, I decided on a Blend-Tec.  Gee, who knew you would have to clean out your household goods envelope of money for a new small appliance?

Who knew I would love having my daily morning juice of three carrots, one red pepper, one orange, 1/2 a lemon and an inch of turmeric & it would taste so good out of a mason jar with a bright orange straw?

I have fallen head over heels in love with the color orange lately.  I collected orange fabrics while on a trip to Oregon.  I am making a quilt.  Already made 5 blocks and plan on making more today.  I just love the color and the happy feel it gives off.  DSCN1027I want to make a couple of smaller lap quilts.  Like the one I received as a gift.  NO, I still have no idea who sent it to me.  No, I am not trying to figure it out.  I figured out that it was my job to be thankful and grateful without question.  YES, YES, YES………….I have used it on every appointment and that quilt has helped me through five surgeries in two months!  I want to make a couple of quilts to be able to give away.  I use my quilt almost every single day and it brings me such comfort and it makes me feel protected.  I want to give that feeling in the form of a quilt  to someone else who needs it.  I already have a couple of names on my list.  Being in my sewing room, makes me thankful that I feel well and creative.  It is a good feeling.


Pinata Apples, Marionberry Jam & Coconut Macaroons, oh my!

pinata appleIt took $1.40 each to experiment with the next organic, red apple.  Piñata Apples, also called Pinova Apples.  Crisp and juicy, Piñata’s flavor is  sweet.    It actually reminds me of a pear.  We bought a couple at the Farmers’ market on Sunday.  After walking in the glorious rain, around Capitol Lake, we meandered over to the market.  We fell in love with some garlic roasted Cashews………..oh la la.  We shared a raw spring roll order while sitting at a picnic table just out of the pouring rain.  Such good flavor and packed among tons of raw veggies was an amazing amount of Thai basil and cilantro………… good.

One other thing that I fell head over heels in love with?  Johnson Berry Farm, Marionberry Spread, 100%.  Okay, this is amazing jam.  So flavorful and the color is deep and rich.  When you slather it onto freshly toasted Ezekiel Bread…………….you are in for a real treat.  Oh my heavens.  This is the best tasting fruit only jam I have tasted.  Johnson Berry Farms somehow magically sweetens it by using grape juice.  I have no idea how they do it, I am just so very grateful that they do. johnsonberryfarm1-300x145

See when you give up all sugar amongst other things………… is sometimes a tough trick.  Every little thing that was once your daily routine, now has to be flip-flopped and you have to either do without or learn to play a switcheroo.  I don’t use jam every day, maybe a couple of times a week.  Oh but when I have a hankering for a PB & J you just gotta have it.  You can’t stop thinking about it.  I am so thankful for finding the Johnson Berry Farm at the Olympia Farmer’s market.  Yes, I wrote a thank you letter to them.

If you know me well, you will most certainly know that my all time favorite cookie is a coconut macaroon.  I have searched them out and found them in the smallest of bakeries to the largest display at Whole Foods.  I somehow can’t help it.  I love, no strike that, ADORE coconut.  So to be honest when I had to give up on my all time favorite cookie just to be and stay healthy…………I honestly hit bottom.  I was a sad-faced girl with tears streaming down her face in the middle of the grocery store aisle.  Yes siree, crying over a cookie or the lack there of.

Que the heavenly angel music………………………………..Hallelujah…………………………….Hallelujah…………….can I get an AMEN?  Okay, I meant to type, can I get a Jennies?  Oh dear friends, Mr. Right found and paid for and brought home an entire 8 ounce can of sweet cookie nirvana!   Jennies Coconut Macaroons. coconut macaroons Honey and coconut and evaporated cane juice somehow mix together with egg whites to form a 100% natural treat of goodness made in Moosic, Pennsylvania.  And I say, God Bless them every one!!!  Okay, just like sugar laden cookies these have all the fatty goodness of the pure sweet coconut.  So, no, you cannot eat the entire can at one sitting.  However, one with a cup of coffee on a blah Tuesday or one delicious perfect cookie when the world has fallen apart or just one perfect cookie while sitting on the deck drinking in warm sunshine (I made that last part up, it is pouring down rain and has been for over a week now).

Oh, no complaining here, I am a good Washington state girl and I do love the rain.  I am glad not to have to shovel snow like our friends in New England had to over the weekend.  I honestly can’t remember when our grass was so tall.  It is lush and deep green and gorgeous, just too dang wet to mow.  Yes, I had to “remove” some slugs from my flowers and veggies outdoors this morning……………all in all, the rain is very calming and healing and I don’t feel guilty goofing off writing on a blog or spending some time in the sewing room.

So here’s to trying new things!  Instead of listening to the grumpy voices in my head, I am actively pursuing the goodness that is out there.  Please share something new that you have tried recently.  I am always, always up for trying new things.

My strength did not come from lifting weights.  My strength came from lifting myself up when I was knocked down.


A man came to son number two place of business today.  He brought his $500,000.00 car.  He wants it wrapped in a solid
pee yellow color.   He proceeded to show #2, his Rolex and his shoes and his jewelry. rolex #2 mentioned that he thought Mr. Money bags was trying to impress him.

He would not shake my son’s  hand.  He made some comments about the tattoos.

#2 sent me a text.  Telling me that money sure doesn’t buy class.

He also said thanks for not raising us to be jerks.

I wrote back and said even if we were not your parents you wouldn’t have ended up being a jerk.  I said I was more impressed and curious of people who were very, very wealthy and wore a $69.00 watch.  It made me wonder why?  I don’t need to “get to know” Mr. Money bags with the bad taste.  I know everything I want/need to know about him.

I told him a couple of people won’t shake my hand or talk to me because I am sick.  You wouldn’t want to catch “cancer” now would you?

I told him people are idiots.

It still hurt my feelings that people (I mean idiots) would be so rude to other human beings…,in this case our son.

I wonder……………..if you shake a person’s hand who has tattoos…………….does their creativity, intelligence, loyalty and kindness rub off on you?

Just wondering?   Well, just wondering and venting as only a mother hen could. mother hen


imagesCANVEY1JGood Morning, it is 4:17 am in Washington state and I can hear the rain falling outside.

I am not able to sleep and have prayed all I can pray this morning.  So thought I would fill my mind with silly internet surfing.  Please don’t worry about the debit card.  No, I have not bought any silly “needed” shoes this morning.

Since I took yesterday “off” to spend in the hospital, I am catching up on all the Oklahoma stories.  We lived there.  We have friends there.  We thrived there.  Part of our hearts will always be in Oklahoma. Thankfully our friends are safe.  Our church family is safe.  All the information brings us to our knees.  Later today, we will talk about and decide where to send some of our money to help where we can.

Somehow, I stumbled upon a face book posting by a person named Matt Walsh.  He put into words exactly how I am feeling.

There are many dead in Oklahoma, including dozens of children, after that massive tornado this afternoon. This is a terrible, horrific tragedy. I can’t comprehend the suffering of these people. Dozens of parents kissed their children goodbye this morning, sent them to school, and a few hours later they were buried under mounds of rubble. It’s agonizing to think about. This town was literally torn apart by one of the most powerful tornadoes in modern history. I don’t think any of us have ever seen a place ripped off the face of the earth like that. This is more chaos and misery in a country that has been plagued by too much of it recently.

I pray for the people whose lives have been shattered by this storm. And I also pray for us, that we don’t allow ourselves to be numbed by the seemingly constant barrage of death and destruction in the news. We really are blessed to have this life, as fragile and painful as it may be. But it can be taken from us at any moment, and eventually it will be, one way or another. That doesn’t mean we should live in fear, or become disconnected and jaded — it means we should try to fill our days with as much love and joy as possible. I think you can build it up inside you, like a reservoir, and feed on it when your days turn dark.

I pray that God will comfort the people in Oklahoma tonight. They need all our love and support now.

May the state of Oklahoma be bathed in Grace and Mercy.  Amen

oh, fudge

fudgeOne of “those” kind of days.  The kind where you want to stay in your sweats and tie your hair up in a ribbon and eat an entire jar of marshmallow fluff.   Yes, I wish there was marshmallow fluff with no sugar or corn syrup………….however, I found something almost as sassy.

Oodles of my friends are chocolate girls.  I wouldn’t put myself into that category.  However…………… I do have a favorite.  My very favorite way of eating it, is with a spoon, OUT of the JAR and into my mouth.  No, I don’t want to top it perfectly on a scoop of coconut milk ice cream, although that would be good one day.  Nope, I don’t want to let it gently roll off the spoon onto my home-made toasty waffle.  Actually, come June, when the local strawberries are in season, I can actually picture myself dipping some of those lovelies into this gooey, sinful mess.

wax orchardsSinful?  No.   Here are the ingredients:  unsweetened pineapple juice concentrate, pear juice concentrate, Dutch cocoa, natural vanilla.  That’s all folks.  fyi:  I do not care that it is fat-free!  Nor do I care that it is gluten-free, or dairy free, or sugar free………….I love the taste.  5 gold stars good.   No, I am not paid to say any of this.  However, if the company ever wants a spokes person, I am raising my hand.  I am the gal for them!!!!!

Wax Orchards is a company based on Vashon Island, here in Washington state.  I love that they have syrup and sauce and more all sweetened with fruit.  They do have a couple of new twists, “peppermint chocolate” and “orange chocolate”.  I have not tried either.  Spoonful by spoonful, I am still working on the dark chocolate original version.

Say Grace, just because a thankful prayer should be raised for the people who invented this sinless treat.  A thankful prayer for an Almighty Savior that will somehow help me through this day. Then grab a big spoon, no not the teaspoon for ladies.  I mean grab a soup spoon and unscrew the lid and dip the spoon in and get a gob full.  Savor the dark, delicious flavor slipping over your tongue.  Wiggle your toes, be in the moment of pure goodness.  Oh my, go back for another spoonful………….Yes, it is that good.

to have and to hold

One of the lovely things about having your own blog is that you can write about really wonderful celebrations and relive them by writing and reading them over and over.

I have been unable to pursue my hobbies for the last six months.  The old noggin just would not work enough to allow me to cross stitch, sew, quilt, practice the piano, read a recipe …you get the idea.  So when an opportunity presented its self, I forced myself to try.  Taking that first leap back into my hobbies and passions, felt really good.  A bit scary, but the time had come and I was more than anxious to begin again.

One of my favorite things to stitch is a lovely heart-felt piece for a friends’ birthday or a brand new monogram.

Today, as I type this, a young couple of “kids”  are getting hitched.  Tying the knot.  Making it legal.  Stomping on a glass.  Jumping over the broom.  Sealing it with a kiss.   We have the pleasure of knowing the grooms’ parents.  To say they are beside themselves with joy is the understatement of the year!  Everyone is so happy and excited for this union of two souls.  Their hearts are intertwined and will be for ever more.   We send the new couple and their families our heartfelt and hearty congratulations and our very best wishes!

I for one was over the moon happy.  I went to my sewing room and got out a lovely piece of oatmeal colored Irish 28 count linen.   I found my graph paper and started the process.  Yes, I love the process.  I love choosing the fabric, the thread.  I love deciding the curls or the straight lines.  I love deciding the size of the font.  I adore choosing the perfect frame when it is almost completed.  Finding that center point and making a stitch helps me find my beginning.  I adore that very first stitch almost as much as the last.  DSCN1000

When I stitch for a young couple I try to pray for them as I go along.  I wish them health and happiness in their marriage.  In the middle somewhere, I had to stop and rip out several stitches (because I use hand dyed thread, I have to get it out of the linen quick like a bunny as not to stain the fabric).  I am constantly checking and counting and double checking to make sure everything is going along according to plan.  Even with a couple of set backs and mistakes repaired, I was smiling through the process.  It felt wonderful to be back at “it” again.

As I stitched along & the hours slipped by, I prayed for their lives together.  I hoped for them a good solid beginning to a wonderful family life that will unfold before them.  I wished them oodles and oodles of respect for each other.  I wished for them good times and common sense on how to approach and deal with the bumpy times.  As I stitched, I want them to remember that Mr. Right and I will be in their corner, always.  Lifting them up and praying for them.  We will continue to set a good example of how married folks treat each other.  We love, respect, adore, honor and yes, play practical jokes on one another.  Marriage seems to be a difficult and tough relationship to figure out.  When you hear of someone making the choice to marry, help them out. Lift them up.  Stand silently in their corner and wish them goodness.  Invite them to your home for dinner.  Make the effort to show how much value you see in the life they have chosen.    When your friends are about to celebrate their 39th Wedding Anniversary, for Pete sakes send them a card!  Tell them how happy you are for their celebration of love.  Stand up and be counted.  Make an effort to remember these special dates.  Good gravy, Hallmark must sell those anniversary cards to someone?  Or be a little crafty and make a card!  Yes, you read that correctly.  Cut out some magazine pictures and glue them on a piece of card stock.  You do not have to be the best trained card maker.  Make the effort.  We all need to help one another.

Here’s a thought:  What if every single person who attends the wedding/reception today also sends the newlyweds a one year anniversary card?  What if every single person who sent these two young people a card in the mail this week, also sends them a card May 2014?  What if we all sent yearly cards of encouragement to celebrate year after year?  What if this young couple had to answer to oodles and oodles of friends and family about what fun and happy things they have woven into their first year of marriage?  Oh sure sending a case of toilet paper on their first “cotton” anniversary would be silly and goofy and funny, but what about remembering to lift them up in prayer and sending them a card to say you have them in your heart?  Would it make it more real?  Would it build this relationship into something very, very difficult to break apart?  Would it be easier for young couples to make it through the first year or two or seven?

As I stitch the brand new monogram, I have this feeling of privilege that I have chosen to step into.  Stitching their letters together makes it seem real.  Oh sure, the state of Washington will take their money and offer up a piece of paper that says it is real.  A person of the cloth will say all the right things and offer up their blessing that will make it sound and feel real.  When I took a pen to the outside of the card and wrote Mr. & Mrs.  for the first time for them, it seemed real.  I can’t begin to tell you the feeling in my stomach when I put that very last stitch into the gift.  In my own very real way, I marked the ceremony and after  working those letters together, I have lifted up my voice to say:  I am so happy for you!  I am delighted to share in your goodness!  I lift up my needle and thread and salute you with sincere and heartfelt celebration!  May this union of two hearts and souls be bathed in the goodness of a great marriage long after my thread has faded.

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Jackson!

“…and the two shall be called one.”  Matthew 19:5