grateful, haPPY, healing, pure goodness, thankful

splashes of hope

TAM, Eric CarleOne of the things about true friends, you feel deflated and elated the exact moment they drive away from a wonderful soul filling visit.  As you watch the tail lights on their car (and their broken Go Bobcats, University of Montana license plate frame) slip out of your view, a part of who you are seems to drive away with them.  Then in a flutter of your eyelashes, you are elated that they came for a visit.  You feel grateful and lucky and mindful of the visit.  You have a little more spring in your step.  Your mind, heart and soul are swirling with all the goodness that was surrounding you for a couple of days.  Your throat is a bit scratchy because you talked so much.  You wonder, did I monopolize the conversation did I blather on and on?

Some how our pitchers got filled up and they were overflowing, dripping down the outside of our containers.  There were puddles of water laying at the base of both our pitchers.  I feel like we Graced each other with uplifting and fulfilling therapy of epic portions.  We ate, and ate and drank smoothies and juice and ate popcorn.  We laughed and shared nasty, horrid, crappy feelings, had teary eyes, had show n tell and our sides hurt from giggling too much.   We talked about grandbabies a LOT.  We tested each other’s memories by trying to remember old Rainbow and College days.  She brought gifts and jaunty flowers (is it me, or do Peonies smell heavenly?)  I offered up little gifts she found in “her” bedroom.   A promise was made and kept for NO mint on the pillow.  I do love to find very unique, expensive, lovely, charming little pieces of heaven in the form of chocolates or mints and lay them on her pillow.  I want her to always, always have sweet, sweet dreams when she visits.  She made me promise NO mint on the pillow.  “Please don’t go to any fuss”.  I crossed my heart, promised………………….  I did not promise that I wouldn’t put a raw parsnip gently on a lace doily.  Here’s to practically perfect, parsnipity dreams!  Bet she wished she had the decadent mint instead, ha.

Eric Carle oneOne of the things we did was taken in the Eric Carle art exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum.  Our color soaked friendship has bloomed over 35 years.  We are both grateful & thankful our lives are tangled in such knots and twists, that it has no way of ever coming undone.  The museum trip was one of the best things we have ever, ever experienced.  I am not sure if it was just what we both needed?  I am not sure if it was perfect timing?  I do know it was a boatload of HOPE.  For an artist to live through the atrocities of war.  To see and remember the horrid effects that war leaves behind with the living……….and then go on to create such goodness, such “happy”, such alive pieces of saturated and exquisite color was a case study of pure HOPE.Eric Carle  To see the thank you notes that he has painted and sent, to stand inches away from works of pure genius was thrilling.  Butterflies in your stomach thrilling.  It was in that moment when we were sitting  on a bench together, swinging our feet, that you realize this moment will be seared in your heart for your lifetime.  You are, together,  right in the middle ankle-deep puddles of goodness.  You are experiencing deep knowledge, creativity and pure artistic talent in a blink of an eye.  To learn at the exact moment, how Mr. Carle creates his interpretation of art is another moment that will ties us together forever.

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”  
Emily Dickinson

imagesCASUFNA2Our version of friendship includes first time driving a stick shift, my first taste of beer, weddings, babies born, the first time we both saw the White House, the moment our breath was taken away when we saw the Lincoln Memorial, together we went to the top of the Washington monument.  Our take on friendship now includes buying postcards to share our museum moments with a couple other friends and talking about, sharing photographs &  Eric Carle books for our grandbabies. catapillar The color drenched ribbon that swirled and twisted around us will bind us together forever by being bathed in the concentrated, exaggerated color of HOPE.  Unbeknownst to each of us, we were searching for, needed and both found an overflowing, splashed sides of a paint tray full of colorful HOPE.

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”   ~Barbara Kingsolver

grace, grateful, haPPY, healing, pure goodness, thankful, wellness

a three-hour tour

I remember sitting with my two sisters, crossed legged on the carpet (ugly avocado green & multi colored, short shag,  urgh) watching television.  Sure we all had our favorite shows.  The middle girl in our family loved, absolutely loved “The Brady Bunch”.  The youngest sat super close to the television (and got in trouble) to watch Wild Kingdom.  She loved and still loves all animals.  “One” of us, might have loved, adored, was smitten by, knew the show times by heart, never moved an inch (that is saying a lot for a girl who couldn’t and can’t seem to sit still) while the show was on….”The Partridge Family”.  However, the one show we all agreed upon was yep, you guessed it,Gilligans_Island_title_card “Gilligan’s Island”.  que the music…………….”Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of fateful trip, it started…………………”  I am guessing you will have that playing over and over and over in your head all day.  98 episodes, 3 seasons, filmed in black and white, 1964-1967.  Television at it’s finest hour!

Note to all you readers at this point:  some Methodist folks can get their feathers ruffled if by chance you teach your pre-teen boys to sing the Amazing Grace words, to the tune of Gilligan’s Island theme song.  The boys think it is a riot, teach all their other friends and as if by magic…………the giggling starts and keeps going many, many, MANY weeks later in the middle of a serious church service.  I bet if you called up either of our “boys”, granted 20 years later after learning said song, (one is a Graphic Designer in California and one is about to start his new job as a Correction Officer for the state of Washington) each would break out into song and YES, every single word of Amazing Grace would be correct!  How’s that for a home schooling lesson?  I ask you?  Religion, Music, Humor, Memorization………….all rolled into one.  They had a genius for a teacher.  No, that is not what some of the blue haired, stuffy Methodist ladies would call me.  I am quite sure they would remember me entirely differently.  ha

Okay, back to our three-hour tour.  One year for Mother’s day, the boys chipped in and bought me the entire boxed set of Gilligan’s Island.  GREAT gift if you are ever in a pickle as to what to buy someone.

Don’t you love a show that was fun and happy and entertaining, some 40 plus years ago?  Sit down to watch today and your sides hurt from the silliness of it all.  Really?  You can somehow put on a musical with costumes and music and build a stage and curtains and have folding chairs for the audience………yet you can’t build a little boat to get off the island?  You can somehow have books, tiaras, cooking pots and pans, have visitors almost weekly and yet, not be able to figure out a way off the island?  Really?  I just giggle and giggle.

DSCN1136Now, to my point today.  I wanted to introduce you to our three new girls.  Lovey, Ginger and Mary Ann.   

Lovey (aka as Mrs. Howell) is the  Buff Orpington……..beautiful rich & expensive golden hue

Ginger (aka the movie star) is the Americaunas……..gorgeous gold, sable and onyx, very showy

Mary Ann is the Barred Rock……………………..gingham black and white, sassy and lively

My friend piloted a boat THREE hours just to bring them to me!…………..no, not really.  To be honest, she drove about 1 hour and 15 minutes a huge truck & pulled an even bigger horse trailer with my new coop inside.  She brought four great kiddos with her, to drop off all the needed supplies and the chickens.  They were here maybe a total of 10 minutes.  There was a break in the weather and she needed to get 100 bales of hay.  Priorities cowgirl, priorities.  Speaking of cowgirl, my friend was rocking the most bling covered belt I had ever seen.  I tell you, that girl can work sun up until sun down and still wear a little sassy sparkle doing it.  Strong, is not a big enough word to describe her.  Yikes, she is an inspiration that is for sure.

Yesterday, as I spilled the entire water container down the front of me, I quickly figured out not to wear my Sunday best while tending to the girls.  Today, while dressed in a rain coat, hood up and flip-flops on………I did much better.  They did roam around the back yard while I was giving them fresh water and food and treats (who knew they loved tomatoes?).  I was done and wanted them back in their poultry palace.  They were not done.  I breathed deeply and waited.  Oh it only was about 5 more minutes than they wanted back into their chicken condo.  I took the time to breathe as I meandered our back yard in the rain.  Pretty nice way to begin the morning.  Don’t cha think?

I wonder if that is what my friend wanted?  She wanted me to get up and outside for fresh air more often.  She wanted me to have to learn patience even if for 5 minutes.  My friend wanted to remind me that it feels wonderful to be needed every single day.  My friend wanted me to show the grandgirlies what chickens are.  DSCN1191My friend wanted to remind me to laugh, even when you dump an entire water container down yourself.  She wanted to remind me to learn something new every day, laugh more, breathe more, be more grateful.

Who knew that Gilligan’s Island would come back around to help me heal?  Who knew I would have an ongoing debate with every single man I know………..Ginger or Mary Ann?  fyi:  Mr. Right says Mary Ann, it was always Mary Ann.

It feels really amazing to have someone believe in your health and wellness enough that she trusts you will rise to the occasion and take care of three chickens.  It’s been seven days today.  I am learning.  I am wearing my red sassy cowgirl boots more.  I am laughing more.  Heck, I even went to the Feed Store and paid $5.99 for a bag of dried mealworms to bring home as a treat for the girls.  I don’t even have to wear gloves anymore.  I can use my bare hands and share the love of worms!  I have even picked up two of the chickens.

If my friend invited me on a three-hour tour, no doubt about it, I would go.  And yes, by golly she would let me sing Amazing Grace to the tune of Gilligan’s Island and would laugh and learn along with me.  She of course will be the tall blond girl wearing a glitzy bling covered belt.  I will be the girl in polka dot Capri pants wearing red cowgirl boots.

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…It has no survival value: rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.  C.S. Lewis

cooking, grateful, great marriage secrets, haPPY, product review, pure goodness

monday musings

Monday mornings can sometimes be a bit rough around the edges.  After over doing it a bit on the weekend, Monday gives us the opportunity to reign it all back in.

My Monday morning included no coconut creamer in the refrigerator.  sigh.  I knew that, I just forgot to go buy some more.  dang.    I was happy to see the girls in the poultry palace this morning.  I wasn’t too happy about dumping the entire water container down the front of me. yikes.    I am still learning to be a farm girl.   While getting on my bike this morning, I stubbed my toe on a purple weights I have been using to strengthen my arms.  ouchie ouch

One of the sweet spots in my morning; I found, leaning up against my computer screen, a card from Mr. Right.  Boy does that man have good timing.  I tell you what.  He has a sixth sense about when a girl may need a little pick me up.

15 bean chili soupSo instead of slipping down that long Monday slide of grumpiness, I turned it around by making a pot full of 15 bean chili soup for Mr. Right.  Who knew cooking would help me on the wellness road of doing for others and healing myself at that same time?   I will divide it into containers and freeze.  That way he will have a little yummy goodness to take for his lunches.  Sometimes, just using a bag of beans, some tomatoes, onion, “ground beef” and some spices pretty much allows you to shine as a wife.  So he comes home to a huge pot full of spicy goodness and I get to feel great about cooking up something special for my man.15 bean chili soup cooking  Um, no, I was not wearing heels nor a pearl necklace.  I was barefoot with a new pedicure (LOVE butter, London,  Rosie Lee) 5589579558_81344ea2b5although, I do have on some pretty pearl earrings.

Does it make anyone else a bit worried when you find a screw on the kitchen rug, just laying there?  It was vacuumed yesterday.  Where did that come from?  Do we “need” it in something?  Should I keep it?  Where should I put it?  The junk drawer, of course, where else would it belong?

I am grateful that I am able to cook again.  Maybe not daily yet, but I am getting there.  I am grateful for sparkle toe nail polish, it makes me and Mr. Right oh so happy.  (Was that too much information?)  I am grateful for my All Clad cookware.  (no one paid me to say that, it makes me happy, I never have to shop for cookware again in my life) .   I am grateful for my dog laying at me feet while I type.  I am grateful for learning a new hobby of raising chickens.  (I will blog about the girlz soon).  I am grateful to have a Monday to moan about.  Amen.

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.” – Mohandas Gandhi

grateful, haPPY, pure goodness, recipe, thankful

chocolate covered gems

Saturday, Mr. Right brought home another flat of fresh strawberries as well as raspberries.  Be still my heart.  Oh my stars, simply lovely and luscious.

Now ya all know, I am not your biggest chocolate fan.  However, once in a while, little gems of pure goodness gently dipped into some silky smooth, dark sweet velvet robes of magic are just what this girl needs/craves/wants.

DSCN1236The strawberries have to be just picked and red through and through, washed and dried.  The chocolate has to be  (evaporated cane juice, natural chocolate liquor…non alcoholic, non-dairy cocoa butter).  Melt those little chunks of dark glossy goodness.  DSCN1237Dip each of those gems into the silkiness.  Set them gently on some wax paper.  Chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

OKAY, you got it out of me……………nag, nag, nag,  you just won’t let up……………………I ATE all FIVE of those beauties!  I even licked a drop of strawberry juice that was on the plate.  Yes, I used my finger.  Geesh, did you think I would lick the plate?  goodness.

I am grateful for fresh grown berries.  I am grateful for the farmer and the person who picked them.  I am grateful for Mr. Right’s love of fresh berries.  I am grateful for the person who created chocolate that I can enjoy.  I am grateful for Mr. Right not liking the combination, so I could eat all five!  I am grateful for pretty china plates.  I am grateful for dessert.  I am grateful for weekends.  I am grateful for time to goof off with Mr. Right.  I am grateful for fresh strawberries and red stained fingers.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”  
―     Charles M. Schulz

 

grace, grateful, great marriage secrets, haPPY, healing, wellness

ch…ch…ch…ch…changes

imagesCAXSK59YThe Happy Herbivore commented on her editor: Nichelle, was at the salon and her stylist asked her if she could have the Atkins bar he was eating. Nichelle said, “I don’t know if I ‘can,’ but I wouldn’t!” LOVE that powerful thinking. It’s not that you can’t have something, but that you CHOOSE not to!

I have chosen to make a million changes in the past 150 days.   Yes, today is day 150 since I began this journey of wellness.  It is not over, I am still in the middle of the medical drama & stupid medical appointments, however, my mind has changed. Strike that, my life has changed.  No longer do I view sitting in a deck chair, in the sunshine for at least 30 minutes “lazy”.  I am getting the vitamin D I so desperately need.  I no longer think of 22 minutes of tapping, 20 minutes of yoga, 4 miles of biking as “goofing off”.  I need it to live my life with health.

Today is day 150 of some new blogs that I follow.  I deleted some face book threads that I used to follow & I choose to follow healthier, funnier threads.  Today is day 150 without some old cookbook favorites which have been replaced by dozens of new cookbooks.

150 days later equals two new pairs of cowgirl boots, one new pair of loafers, five pairs of new shoes and one new pair of bling covered sandals.  I am not sure how new shoes and boots helps you heal, but it is sort of working for me.  Who knew, new footwear would equal steps towards healing?

Inside my kitchen cupboards is where I hang a lot of my kids art work and pictures.   Makes me happy to see those when I open a cupboard.  Slowly, the grandgirlies pictures and art work are bumping their father and Uncle’s works aside.  I have taken down all the pictures of bakery cases that I have visited.  I have taken down all the glorious desserts I took pictures of.  I have replaced them with places I have visited or new smoothie or juicing recipes I have found and want to try.  Pictures of me and Mr. Right and the dog at the beach are covering several inside cupboard doors.

I am proud to tell anyone who will listen:  I vacuumed the entire house today!  I made dinner!  I made our bed!  I walked the dog two miles!  I did the laundry!  I was able to iron again!  I pulled some weeds!  I drove to the library by myself!  Brushing the dog for 20 minutes every other day is something to be proud of again!!!  Doing a stack of mending because I can, is amazing.  Cross stitching a wedding gift or a thinking of you gift, rocks my soul.  Using my sewing machine again to start a quilt and make a couple of sweet mermaid dolls is happening.  Embroidering a kitchen towel and sending it to a friend, makes me happy to accomplish a thank you project. 1000043_378888558889743_650423397_n

Today is day 150 without sugar or dairy.  Today is day 150 without a store-bought “fancy” coffee drink (that by its self is a huge accomplishment from this Pacific Northwest girl).

Today is also day 150 without a few friends & acquaintances.  They couldn’t find a way to be my friend.  Big news flash, I chose a way to thrive without them.

No longer is juicing a “nice” thing we do that is “good” for us.  It is how we thrive in our daily lives.  I drink fresh juice three times a day.  That is a LOT of vegetables and fruits.  For the past 150 days, every single morning, I have had a glass of juice (yes, even on vacation).  That equates to 450 carrots, 150 red peppers, 150 oranges, 75 lemons and 12.5 feet of turmeric root in just 150 days!  Guess how many times we run out of carrots?  My afternoon juice and our evening juice varies from day-to-day.  Sometimes it is the powerful “mean green” juice & every once in a while a smoothie is tossed in for fun.  Most days it is a combination of vegetables and fruits.  If we keep the ratio to about 80% vegetables and 20% fruits, we are right in the ball park of how much sugar we want to ingest through fresh fruits.  However, when summer berries and refreshing watermelons are abundant, that ratio sways to include more local fresh goodness.  imagesCAUBCCO9Our juice usually consists of cucumbers, parsley, cilantro, lettuce, spinach, beets, carrots, kale, lemon or lime, green apple, pear, pineapple, cranberries, blueberries, sometimes tomatoes, always fresh ginger and always kale.

Today is also day 150 with a gaggle of friends & family who have shown their true colors.  They are mighty.  They are fierce.  They are loyal.  They have visited me, given me oodles and oodles of support.  I have a basket FULL of cards that I read and read again and again.  I have read so many uplifting emails and text messages I can not count them all.  I have a quilt that helps me every day.  I have been given books & fresh honey, lotions and potions and magnets, candles and bracelets.  I have been given flowers and plants (still working on my green thumb) and a kite & balloons.  I have a couple of angels that watch over me.  One holds a bouquet of lavender and one wears a jaunty red dress.  I have cowgirl boots and earrings and a pin.  I have a fleece blanket and a jar of shells.  My family in Vermont sent me POPCORN!  You know I loved that!  I have a cross and just yesterday a huge bowl full of cherries!

My granddaughter has painted me pictures.  My daughter in law has made me soup and more soup.  My kids have sent me so many funny jokes, videos, photographs, quips………..my sides should hurt from laughing so much.  Today is day 150 of people hanging in there for this long and being so kind to me.  It is much longer than I ever imagined it would be.

Not all 150 days have been positive and uplifting and “we can overcome this”.  Some days are tough.  Some nights are very long. I won’t lie, some days are really, really ugly.

Today, day 150, I choose to be grateful for what I have.

Today is day 150 of changing my life.  I don’t cry in supermarkets nearly as much anymore.  I don’t throw a tantrum (I may still grunt quietly) every time I see the color pink.  Yes, I have gotten rid of 95% of all my pink clothing.  I have replaced  & changed that color with lots of wonderful colors, because I choose too.

Mr. Right has never wavered.  Not once in 150 days  (well more like 31+ years).  He has continued to write me a letter each and every single morning.  He makes my morning juice every single day.  As I type, there is a card and a saucy bunch of Dianthus, in a vase with a jaunty black and maroon plaid bow sitting next to me.dianthus I receive flowers at least once a week.  Sometimes more.  He has brought home flats of strawberries and raspberries.  He has driven me to the beach.  He has packed picnics and planned Saturday outings.  Hold onto your hats.  He gave up sugar and dairy right along with me.  He didn’t have to.  He chose to.  He went through every single cupboard and threw out or donated all the products we no longer were choosing to eat.  He did the same with our three freezers.  He has planted cheerful flowers.  He has gone into “girlie” quilt shops with me  (when I was a little unsteady on my feet) and not complained once about being the only guy in the place.  He gently encouraged me to eat my breakfast and drink my juice.  He cleaned out my closet and “made me” buy new things and say goodbye to old things.  He has held my hand and listened to me cry and vent and complain and repeat myself over and over.  He has gone through every single treatment and appointment with me, never missing one.  He always put me ahead of anything else.  He never changed & even though I would be a horrible team-mate, I know for sure, deep in my gut,  he would always choose me to be on his dodge ball team.

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.  carl gustav jungorange flowers

grateful, great marriage secrets, haPPY

16 ways Mr. Right and I are different

magnetsToday, on Pioneer Woman’s blog http://thepioneerwoman.com/confessions/ ….she wrote how her and Marlboro Man are different.  I loved her idea and “borrowed” it.  I love her blog. I love her sense of humor.  I love how she thinks.  I used to love how much butter and sugar she used in recipes.  Don’t worry, I still love her.

 

1.   He likes the sauna.  I love to swim.

2.  He will not eat a banana.  I love bananas.

3.  He likes English.  I like art.

4.  He loves jalapeño peppers.  I like wimpy red peppers.

5.  He loves to be up and at ’em before 5:00 am.  I like to stay cozy, buried in my pile of quilts a bit longer.

6.  He watches Jeopardy.  I watch Sister Wives.

7.  He loves to alphabetize everything.  I love a jumbled basket of items.

8.  He sleeps in his skivvies.  I sleep in layers of flannel.

9.  He loves to organize junk drawers.  I love to cram them shut.

10.  He speaks a couple different languages.  I speak English and use 3 X 5 cards when in another country.

11.   He loves butter on a peanut butter sandwich.  I hate butter on a peanut butter and jam Sammy.

12.  He loves salt & vinegar potato chips.  I love popcorn.

13.  He loves to read Dr. Seuss books to the grandgirlies.  I love to read anything to the grandgirlies with words I can pronounce.

14.  He loves to roll his socks in matched pairs.  I don’t.

15.  He was raised in Quebec, Canada.  I was raised in Washington, USA.

16.  He laughs at Monty Python.  I laugh at I Love Lucy.

In spite of these ~ somehow our relationship works like the wheel on a well oiled machine.  I love our differences.

How are you different from your Mr. Right/Ms. Right?

Marriage is choosing someone again and again to love and to cherish with each new dawn. 

 

cooking, grace, grateful, haPPY, thankful

pure gold…the friendship & the honey

Years ago, my mother and I were going through my grandmother’s linen closet.  She had passed away and it needed to be done.  At the time of her death, her and my grandfather had been married over 54 years.  We came across two sets of pillow cases that were wrapped in yellowed tissue.  Each of the sets had been lovingly hand embroidered.  The skill level was beyond expert.  The pillow cases had never, ever been used.  There was a note along with the pillow cases that said they had received them for a wedding gift and who they were from.  We also found a very expensive lace tablecloth still in the original tissue.  The cloth had never once been used.  Those were some of the saddest things I had ever come across.  My grandmother was “keeping them for good”.   So, there was never one time in over 50 years that was a special occasion?  Not one time in all those years was there a day, when she thought, “today’s the day, I am using those pillow cases?  Today, for our 50th anniversary I should use that tablecloth?”

Sometimes when I find an exotic spice that is uber expensive, I save and save and then use it so sparingly, that sadly it becomes old before I have used it all.  I do this all the time with real vanilla beans.  They are so darn expensive, that I only use them for “special” recipes.   I have had to toss a couple because they are so old they have dried out.  dang.

Jar%20&%20BeeOn Saturday, I received a very special gift.  A friend, whom I have forged a friendship with through blogging, sent me a jar of gold, honey that is.  She and her Mr. Right hosted a celebration honey party and they gave each of the guests a jar of pure gold to take home. They have bees and were celebrating their first bounty.   I thought it was a delightful party favor.  Then when I received one in the mail, oh be still my heart.  I fell head over heels in love with her thoughtful, kind spirit.  She somehow managed to share her happiness, goodness and she made a point of “including” me in the party.

I am honored.  I feel privileged to share in their bounty.  I am so honored in fact, (hold onto your bloomers) I am going to USE it! Honey-bee-honeybee19 That’s right, you read that correctly.  I am going to honor their gift by actually using it.    Here we go:  Sunday evening I made a batch of Raspberry Jam.  I used some honey from Pennsylvania. Today, I made some Almond Chocolate Roca candy treats.  You guessed it, I used a bit of the gift from the gods, honey.   Tonight, for dinner we had grilled vegetable kabob (Happy National Eat Your Vegetables Day, ya all!) and I made a glorious marinade with fresh lime and fresh herbs and pure gold, honey from my friend.  Tonight, after we are finish up our evening chores and prepare for tomorrow, we will sit down to heavenly bowls of Citrus Strawberry Sorbet!  Oh my goodness, Simply delightful.  Oranges, frozen fresh strawberries and honey.  Citrus Strawberry SorbetInstant sorbet through the magic of the new Blendtec.  Yes, I still have some honey left in the jar.

I am going to figure out a couple other ways to USE every single glorious drop.   In the name of friendship, I will use my finger to lick out every single drop of goodness in the jar. It feels lovely to be bathed in the Grace of Friendship.  Thank you dear friend, simply thank you for including me in your party.  It feels lovely.

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.”
―     Henry David Thoreau