Say Grace, recipe to share

Do you need a little something to take tomorrow?  Do you want one more thing to offer your family and guests?  I have a great answer!  It is Easy, Peasy, Lemon Squeezie.

Maple Glazed, Sea Salt Walnutswalnuts

I found this recipe from Teresa.  She is the blogger from Bainbridge Island here in Washington.  She has a wonderful spirit and I love her recipes.  I left out some of the sweetness from her recipe, I wanted more salty.   They turned out wonderful.  While roasting, the house smells AMAZING.  That first bite is incredible.  Roasted nutty goodness is the first flavor, then the bit of sweet maple goodness hits and the faint cinnamon hooks you and the sea salt brings you back, again and again.  Oh my stars, this is bound to be a favorite.

Take 2 cups of walnuts (minus the shells, ha), 2 Tablespoons Maple syrup, 2 Tablespoons walnut oil (I bet you can use olive oil in a pinch), 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon sea salt.  Mix all together.  Put onto a parchment lined/Silpat lined cookie sheet.  Bake in a pre-heated oven 350* for 18-20 minutes.  Let cool.  Sneak a bite when cool.  Sneak another bite to make sure the first one was as good as you thought.

If you are taking them somewhere, put them in a jar and tie with a burlap bow.  Don’t you just love the burlap look against a glass jar?  Me too?  If you are keeping them at home, find a saucy little colorful dish and sit back and wait to clean the empty dish.  Yes, that good.

Say Grace.  Why?  Because we all have so much to be grateful for.  Happy early Thanksgiving, my friends.  Happy Thanksgiving.

let there be light & pancakes

menorahEach night throughout the 8 day holiday, a candle or oil based light, is lit.  As a universally practiced “beautification” of the mitzvah, the number of lights lit is in creased by one each night. 

Today’s home school lesson is brought to you by the number 8.  The more we know about our neighbors, the more we will and can find things to love about our neighbors.  The better the human race will be.  Education will light the way for all of us.

The reason for the Hanukkah lights is not for the “lighting of the house within”, but rather for the “illumination of the house without,” so that passersby should see it and be reminded of the holiday’s miracle (i.e. the triumph of the few over the many and of the pure over the impure). Accordingly, lamps are set up at a prominent window or near the door leading to the street.

I am thankful for and  like the idea of sharing the light with others.  I really like the idea of a simple candle being a reminder to all.   “this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…”

One year, when I was in charge of our church’s Vacation Bible School, the powers that be in the Oklahoma, Methodist, VBS committee decided that all the children across the Methodist land that year should learn about our Jewish neighbors.  So our snacks were Kosher, we made & played with dreidels, and learned all about different Jewish customs & holidays.  dreidel

It was then that I learned a couple of things.  1. It is shocking how many “good” Methodist had a “problem” with teaching our children, with fun and happiness about the Jewish customs.  The phone never stopped ringing the entire week.   2. It was a week in our family, I will never forget.  Both our boys came down with chicken pox on day one of the week.  So, they did not attend said Vacation Bible School & Mr. Right had to take the week off to take care of young sick boys, because I was “working” at the church that week.  They ended up feeling okay and went on a camping trip, near the end of the week,  to the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado.  All that playing and walking in the sand, rubbed their feet perfectly clean and smooth.  No sight of a chicken pox anywhere.

We had 79 little darlings attending and of course oodles of volunteers. I am not a fan of meetings (committee meetings that last an hour are NOT helpful nor are they good for the soul), so we had a mandatory volunteer, teacher, cook, craft people, meeting each day, prior to start time.  No chairs, no closed doors, and it would last a total of 10 minutes.  period and done and I even set a kitchen timer (this was way before cell phones with built-in timers).  That was including the prayer we said to remind us to be kind and loving to each child throughout the day.  As the week wore on, the prayer time became longer and longer and the meeting housekeeping, less and less.  haha

I too, learned many Jewish customs that week.  I am curious and interested.  Today, I continue that curiosity and I follow a Rabbi’s blog.  It makes me happy.  I also enjoy reading thoughts from his wife Susan.  They are a couple from the Seattle area and have kiddos and figure out a way to weave their beliefs into their daily lives.

Fried foods such as Latke (potato pancakes) and jelly donuts are eaten to commemorate the importance of oil during the celebration.   Not only are potato pancakes on my top five favorite foods of all time……………they are eaten to commemorate the importance of the celebration!  A tradition I can most certainly get on board with. potato pancakes

So today, in my own Methodist way, I celebrate my Jewish brothers and sisters.  I hid a funny, pun, Hanukkah card inside Mr. Right’s lunch container.  He will light candles at dinner this evening and you just know I am serving Potato Pancakes for our main dish. With fresh apple sauce on the side.

May you be bathed in the Grace of pure light for the next eight days.

Happy Hanukkah my Friends, Happy Hanukkah!

cozy up!

…and then there is the gift exchange……………what on earth can you buy/make for $5.00 limit?   You can do better than 5 scratch tickets!  Need a stocking stuffer for a college girl?   Want to give a tip to your babysitter or daycare worker?  How about your mail lady (Hi, Diane!)?

DSCN2610It took me longer to sift through my button jar to find some buttons to use then it did to actually sew this gift.  I used left over fabric and lining fabric and left over iron on fleece.  I used buttons from my jar.  So in essence, it was FREE!!!!!  It took 10 minutes to make.  easy, peasy, lemon squeezy!  I used a “to go” beverage cup.  I put a $5.00 coffee/hot cocoa card inside.  Then I wrapped the cup in my new cozy.  DSCN2613

Almost instant gift.  🙂  I downloaded the pattern from  You will find all sorts of creative ideas.  My mind is still twirling and swirling.  Go see Kate, her site is fun and happy.   It made me happy to whip something up in less time then it would take to drink a hot cocoa while out and about.

tis the season to give of yourself!  If you can’t sew, agree to barter with someone.  Say, trade them a coffee card for three of these beauties!  Trade them a small jar of raw honey for three of these gems!  Trade 3 homemade cards for three of these beauties!  Use your noodle, bartering is fun and amazing when both parties feel like they got the better end of the deal.   Hello my little beauty, gift exchanges just got a little cozy!  DSCN2617

not as easy as it looks

We all waste spend time on Pinterest and blog surfing.  They sort of suck me in and then next thing you know it is 2 hours later.  I try to spend as much time DOING the crafts or making the recipes as I do looking.   The posed Holiday pictures look amazing.  Silly glasses, scarf props, moustaches……….all goofy and perfect family fun.

We have all seen the funny photo props.  Now, it works well at say a wedding, where the guests are old enough and not standing in the chill of a snow patch.  The kids in the staged photos look at least 10-11 years old.   The results are usually funny and silly and make you smile.  I am guessing they take several shots to get a couple of magazine worthy poses.

I honestly remember saying, once we are empty nesters, we will just go and have a formal picture done each year.  It will be calm and peace filled.  We will use good pens to sign our names.  We will each spell our names properly.  (don’t ask, one pre-teen was a bit miffed about having to sign “so many cards” he decided to spell his name incorrectly to “show us”.  nice)  We will sip cocoa and listen to lovely Christmas carols as we lovingly sign and seal each card. hahahahaha

We even have a friend who hand makes each and every one of her Christmas cards.  We have a friend who paints a picture for each card.  COME ON PEOPLE, you are giving us all a bad name!  Tis the season and all that stuff.

IMG_2211While this year, we will not be doing a long family letter to put inside our Christmas cards (we do not want to relive the “magic” of  2013), we wanted something funny and happy.  Something that says GOODBYE 2013 and HELLO 2014!!!!  It has been a bumpy year to say the least, so we are thrilled to be leaving it IMG_2208behind, forever.

Last night, mostly because I don’t care for television and I was hiding from real life,  I spent (honestly) 2 hours finding the perfect, colorful card, that a company would make for us with our picture.  Something silly and goofy………….“laughing all the way”……………………”oh what fun”…………”merry, merry everything”…………………then I remembered that I actually purchased cards last year after Christmas.  So we will use those, very nice ones and slap a silly picture inside.  Not what I had envisioned.  However, it will work.

IMG_2254Someday, I am going to be all prepared and wealthy.  I am going to send out printed cards, with a picture, that I don’t have to write Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year over 100 times.  We won’t even have to sign our names or the dog’s name.  Each perfect card will be engraved with our names in perfect penmanship.  I will just put them in the perfect envelope with our address already printed on them.  I will be dressed in a jaunty scarf and casually drive over to the post office three weeks early and mail all our cards.  Every single one will be on time, even the cards that have to fly to Canada and Germany.  I will be calm and will stop for an Almond Milk latte on the way home to toast my efficient and punctual handling of the annual greeting cards.IMG_2255

We are grateful and lucky to have a need to mail out so many greeting cards.  It is our pleasure.  Some years more daunting than others.  Just the stacks and stacks of them.

Okay, for real, I am going to work early on ordering Christmas cards for 2014.  It is going to be a happy, uplifting, healthy, wonderful, fantastic year.  We will want to send out incredible cards to one and all.  I will order early and will use a coupon and I will be calm and jolly.

Tomorrow Hanukah begins.  (yes, I have a really great pun card for Mr. Right) , Thursday, we stop and take a moment (and three hours to prepare said grateful meal) to be sincerely grateful.  Then the whirlwind of the holiday “magic” begins.  (I am ignoring all the homes with their lights and trees already lit and up and their wreaths already on their doors.)

Merry, Merry to all of us.  IMG_2257

308 days of green

I adore “before & after’ picture blogs.

Here is my tribute to them all.

DSCN2601before and then of course, after:  My daily juice.  DSCN2604Today is day 308 of being green and thriving. green For lunch I celebrated with Split Pea soup.  A favorite of mine.  I was sampling this new to me brand.  I really love the consistency, flavor and the portion was really extra big & the feeling of warm soup in minutes.  I will for sure put one in my carry on bag to take when we travel.  I think I can find hot water most places and then I can have a snack.  Yahoo to finding something under $2.00 and delicious to use in a pinch. split pea soup


1.7 ounces

DSCN2490Yesterday, I posted this picture on face book.  I was just so dang tootin’ eggcited!  I sent texts.  I sent emails.  I jumped up and down and did the happy dance with our oldest grandgirlie.

We had all but given up on the idea of gathering eggs.  Even though Mr. Right was starting to call them some unflattering names, we had resigned ourselves to just having chickens in our lives as pets, not producers.  We even considered (GASP) fibbing a bit and putting eggs into the box for the grandgirlies to find.  You see kids, chickens lay eggs…………..

Yesterday, after spending what seemed like 22 minutes to put gloves on the little hands of a 3-year-old cute girl, we went outside to feed the chickens.  I think it is adorable, that cute girl says, “the chickens like me”.  They must like how short she is?  They fuss around her and see what she is all about.  I think the sparkles on her shoes are pretty enticing as well.

I opened the roosting box, and was fussing with my bucket and my own gloves to do a little light housekeeping.  Cute girl says, “egg”.   I think my eyes must have jumped out like a cartoon character!  I was SHOCKED to see a real egg.  It’s outer shell a beautiful creamy color.  I screamed……… I have to go get my camera!  You stay here, you are 3, you are old enough to guard an egg!  Then I came running back, flapping like a chicken, screeching and laughing, coat flapping and juggling the camera and the cell phone.  Drats, batteries dead.  I will be right back.  Stay here!  When I came running, hopping, doing a jig back………….cute girl yelled, “I have to go potty”.  I screamed, lets move it sister!  We both went running into the house.  Camera, cell phone, egg………..everything just abandoned for the more important things in life!  Okay, sister, let’s do this.  Oh no, not the gloves again?  Geesh, okay, each little opening gets only one finger”…………….

okay, about 25 minutes after first gazing at the most beautiful egg I ever did see……………I snapped the picture. Ahhhh.  just so EGGciting.  I had to share.  First, with the lady who thought enough of me and knew I could get well enough to take care of some chickens………….she got the first picture.  She was proud and happy as a new Grandma!  She said all the right things.  She even said, Yeehaw!  Let the daily Easter Egg hunt begin!  Then to Mr. Right……….”guess what the Buzzards did”?  🙂  Cute girl got to call her Papa at work!  He was so eggcited, I think he scared her a little bit.  Her eyes got wide and she said Papa is happy.

Back to the top of my story.  I posted the picture on face book.   Earlier today I read this:  What are social media outlets for if not to inflate both our successes and ignore our failures in the hopes of better connecting with our fellow (wo)man?   I sort of loved the sarcasm.

Yes, I was shouting to the world about “the” egg.  It is not really my success.  A chicken (a well-tended, maybe pampered) chicken, gave us an egg.  I was just spreading the Good News across the land for others to enjoy!!!!!!

Don’t worry, in all the flapping and hopping and screaming, I did remember to thank the chickens for the egg.  Cute girl said, “good job”.  🙂

Seems like ages since I posted my first blog about Hot Chicks………….guess who came to live with us……………….I wonder when we will get eggs?

November 21, 2014, a 1.7 ounce egg of pure goodness was delivered in Spanaway, Washington!  YEEHAW!


I want to change the title of my blog of yesterday to “medicine for the sole“.  I thought of that in the shower this morning.  I like it better than Sweet Medicine.  I feel better, now that I got that off my mind.

I was thinking about my choices.  I think of them almost every hour of every day the last 10 months.  I chose a very different path than many, many others.  It gets lonely.  I second guess myself all the time.   As the months slip by, I only think of and fret about my choices 7-8 times an hour instead of 50-60 times an hour 24/7.  I think I am getting better.   I am trying.  My strength and resolve is a little shaky now and then.

When I go to an appointment or get all frazzled, I have things that I can gather around me.  I take an angel with me to appointments.  I wrap up in a heart laden quilt.  I have photo cards on a ring that I shuffle through.  I take photo albums sometimes to take my mind in a different direction.

DSCN2486However, on a very average  Thursday, when I have no idea on earth, why I have a mini meltdown, I have a little token I keep in my pocket.  I play with it.  I turn it over and over between my finger and thumb.  I sometimes touch and hold it so long it gets warm.   It has engraving on both sides.  I can feel it.  I wonder if in say, 6 years from now, I will have rubbed down the token to a smooth, silky finish?   Sometimes, I see the small gossamer bag sitting on my dresser.  While putting on my jewelry for the day, I decide if I “need” it or not that day.

When one of our boys was little, he was very, very shy.  He kept his hands in his pockets quite a bit.  I knew that inside one of those pockets was a small, very smooth, almost slippery, round, white, pretend stone.  I would sometimes find it while going through pockets of pants before laundry time.  I would set it aside and put it on his dresser when I delivered the clean, folded laundry.  Then I would find it again come another go round in the laundry room.  For a little boy, who couldn’t “remember” where he put his Sunday School shoes, I was and am simply amazed that the small touchstone was always around.  (Actually he had two or three that he rotated & kept track of.)  No one told him to use a touchstone.  He just figured it out on his own.

I read a series of grizzly murder mysteries.  The very, very wealthy husband of the main character always carries a small gray button in his expensive suit trouser pocket.  It fell off his future bride’s suit while they were dating.  Much like Cinderella and her slipper.  He keeps the button in his pocket to remind him of the love of his life & how lucky he is.  It is rather sweet.

I met a girl in High School and while there, our lives intertwined and criss crossed.  We became friends.  Here we are a few decades later and guess what, still friends.  She has her own coals that she has walked and is hoping over.  Yet, somehow in the middle of her “movie” starring her and her family, she thought of me and gave me a touchstone.  I remember the day.  She went over to her purse and said, “I saw this and bought it for you.”  She told me she purchased it while hanging out at Seattle Children’s Hospital, just browsing the gift shop.  Just so you know, she is very sane girl and a smarty pants.  She doesn’t just spend her days browsing through hospital gift shops.  It was very touching that in the midst of her own troubles, she thought of me.

Today, I have a full plate.  No real reason for being shaky.  Just had a rough night and way too much thinking “what if’s” on my part.  Earlier, I read a comment from someone on a site I follow.  She said she feels alone.  Several of us said, we are in your corner.  You are NOT alone.  She too, has chosen a path less travelled.

I am a lucky, lucky girl.  I have Mr. Right.  He walks this path with me.  I am not alone.  I can talk to him anytime I want.  Just sometimes, I like the feeling knowing I have a girlfriend in my corner (or rather in my pocket).

Thanks friend, for helping me through mini meltdowns.  Thanks for being in my pocket.  Thanks a million for being my friend, no matter what.  I am grateful for your friendship.  It bathes me in Grace even on days when I am less than friendly or grace filled.   Someday, I hope I remember to give a little token to someone who is not feeling tip-top.  It really helps.  Honest, it does.  I want to believe the token is magical.  Well maybe not the token, maybe having a friend who will stand in my corner, no matter what choices I make, now that’s magical.  DSCN2488

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost, of course