the word

clean slateI have been working on coming up with a word for 2014.  My word for 2013 was SEEK.  It popped up over and over and gently reminded me to seek help and answers when I needed them.  I found myself seeking health and wellness.  I may have become a little narrow-minded.  Health and Wellness were all I could see some days.  Honestly, I couldn’t stop the loop in my head over and over.  Will this help me heal?  Is this action going to help my health?  Will this book, movie, outing encourage wellness?

I have narrowed my search down.  While I love the word “march”.  Mr. Right and I were married in March.  I want to march into the new year.  It sounded rather forceful and a tad mean.  I wanted to ease, explore, wander and meander, not march on with a mad face.

I rather love the word encourage.  I like the implication of the simple word.  I want to be encouraged and I love to encourage others.  This morning when I read my statistics for my blog for the last year, I was encouraged that my blog had been view 7,100 times.  While that may not be much to other bloggers, to me, I was tickled pink.  I always say that I write for myself, however, just knowing so many people had taken a peak at my words made me a bit giddy.  Sort of makes me want to take my grammar and punctuation a touch more serious…………..nah, I like it the way it is.  ha

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doingEncourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone…Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances…Hold on to what is good.“  1Thessalonians, Chapter 5

I am almost there.  I really had just about settled on the word.  Encourage.  I like it.  It was an A-.  I was close.  It was almost a good fit.   …Hold on to what is good.   I like it.  I like the word “good”.  I am good enough.   The way I love is good enough.  The way I remember others is good.    How can I measure up?  When everything is too much.  I just have to trust, that’s good enough.  Maybe my word should be “good”?

I just came in from fluffing and puffing the chicken palace.  While outside, I was breathing in fresh air and cleaned off the deck and raked up some leaves.  I cleaned off a pathway and picked up some broken twigs.  Just the action of being outdoors and breathing somehow makes my day better.  The fresh air clears my head and my thinking.  The “mess” of the day somehow straightens out and I can see more clearly.  I am a tad uptight.  Does that come as a shock?  When everything is way too much, I am wound up like a coiled spring.  I come to a point where I have to breathe.  I need to take deep gulps of air and breathe in and out.  It helps.  Really it does.fresh start

Fresh.  I think I figured out my word for 2014.  Done and done.  I am liking it.  I have swirled it around on my tongue a couple of times.  I tried it out on the dog.  She seemed impressed.  By impressed I mean, she continued napping on her bed and lifted open one beautiful brown eye, as if to say, yeah, that sounds good.  Yeah, good for you!

freshI am making it my mission in life to eat more fresh foods.  I am going to focus on getting more fresh air.  I am going to wipe the slate clean with old, tired, depressing topics and start anew.  Fresh.  I like the idea of being a little fresh with the boyfriend. ….Miss Daleen was being very “fresh” with Mr. Right.  Oh, I like the sound of that.  Focus a little more on us and pay attention to the small details that make a 32 year “going steady” gig, lively and interesting and well, fresh. We are starting with a fresh calendar.  Brand spankin’ new.  We will start counting coupons again.  We will add up pounds of vegetables and fruits.  We will start fresh with saving coins for vacation and weekend trips.  We will start fresh with adding up all the miles we walk and bike. There is a clean, empty, mason jar sitting on the counter fresh and ready to begin holding all the Good that will happen in the new year.

I love how one blogger signed off for the last blog of the year……..Here’s to significant and wide-sweeping strokes of grace and encouragement in 2014, and beyond!

I wish for you, my friends, WIDE-SWEEPING strokes of Grace and Encouragement, and focus on Holding on to Good.  My wish for Mr. Right, myself, our family and all our friends…… all those things plus a FRESH start.

I am standing here with open arms and a huge smile on my face.  We will welcome the year in with a gorgeous jigsaw puzzle and great food.  Hello 2014!  You are more than welcome in our home.  Here’s to a Fresh New Beginning for all of us.  Cheers!

fresh start

This morning while reading my devotional, the focus of our prayer time was for “those seeking a fresh start”.  I included my name in that group.

Waiting to start on January 1, is like some sort of kind of crazy diet……….”I will start on Monday”.  haha

New YearWhile I am officially waiting for New Year’s Day to wipe the slate clean and start fresh, I have begun to clean and I can “smell” the fresh in my fresh start.  Our Creator has already given each of us gifts. As I look ahead to the new year, I pray for wisdom to recognize my gifts and to seek opportunities to use them for good.

Each day this week, a bit more cleaning, a bit more organizing is taking place.  The recycle bin is full to overflowing and the garbage can is screaming for relief.  While I do enjoy a good clean out, I am trying to come up with ideas on how I might handle things better this coming year.  I do not want to sick my head in the sand and pretend that everything is peachy.  I would rather focus the biggest block of my time and energy on good.

While physically cleaning and organizing is tangible and rather easy to accomplish, it is my attitude and behavior I am choosing to change in the coming year.  I am seeking pure goodness in how I behave.

Yesterday, a friend revealed her very serious medical condition.  It is all about her, however, after I hung up the phone the wind had been knocked right out of me.  Immediately,  I lifted her name up in prayer.  I thought of little else since.  I am trying to figure out a way to be caring and supportive and yet in an upbeat, happy, positive way.  We all know folks who for some reason, take on your illness or condition and are very, very sad/sorry for you.  You end up spending more than enough time, trying to make them feel better.  I want it to be easy for my friend when she opens my cards and notes.  I want my little gifts of goodness to be a sparkle to her spirit.  I don’t want her to cringe if she reads or hears my name.  I want her to be curious & eager to see what I have up my sleeve that day.  I want to be a sparkle in her day.

I do not want to spend the year ahead feeling guilty for anything.  I want my spirit to soar and live joyously.  I have spent more than enough time this past year beating myself up and forgetting to let my sparkle shine.  Instead of waiting until the New Year, last night I worked up my big girl courage and as gently as I could, told Mr. Right, I would like to return the beautiful Brighton purse he gave me for Christmas.  Of course he was super easy-going about it and not a problem.  I was just fretting and worried and boy, I did not want to feel guilty for the year or many years to come, every time I spied that beauty in my closet.

I would rather send my family a gift on January 23rd then wait until their anniversary.  I would rather send lovely little Valentine gifts then wait for a birthday.  I would rather call a friend out of the blue and have a silly conversation, then text a couple of lines and call it good. New Year two

My fresh start includes kindness to myself as well as others.  Instead of kicking myself for leaving off (on purpose) one family on my Christmas card list (we received their card yesterday)………I want to focus on the 100’s we sent out on time and with a silly picture.

I want my fresh start to include celebrating my good behavior.  I am taking the word “Happy” in Happy New Year to heart.  I think we all could use a fresh start.

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” 
Edith Lovejoy Pierce



a jar of GOOD

Oh boy, oh boy, do I adore this idea…………………………… Please join me?  Let me know if you love it as much as I do.  This is going to be exceptional and fun and easy and happy!

We can all jump on the band wagon.  It’s free, it’s easy, it is going to be so rewarding………………………….

good jarGrab an empty jar — an old bottle of marinara sauce, mason jar or whatever. Clean it well and leave it someplace where you see it all the time, like on the fireplace or near your night stand. Every time something good happens, write it on a piece of paper and slip it into the jar. Then on December 31st, 2014, we will dump it out and read it. Chances are something great has already happened this year, so you already have something to add to it. (This idea came to me by way of  Engine 2 Diet )

Yes, we already have our jig saw puzzle picked out for New Years Eve.  We have our snacks planned and I we are looking forward to a new year full of GOODNESS and HEALTH and WELLNESS and so much happiness it will be ridiculously amazing. 

Instead of grumbling and repeating all the stupid, awful, horrid, nasty, crummy stuff that happened in 2013…………….we are working on setting the stage for an amazing 2014!!!!

I hope our jar of GOOD is so full we will have to cram and jam and poke and Smoosh all the notes of GOOD that happens to us in the up coming year.

I adore this week in between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.   Such promise and hope, by way of boxing things up and clearing the decks.  Wiping the slate clean and beginning over.  It’s like a do over for adults.  We get to have a do over.  Imagine that.  All the stupid, dull, uninspired things of years past…………gone.  Only the hope of incredible grace and good and silly and happy will be at our beck and call.

I am going to embrace it and do the new year up right.  Happy and Positive and Cheerful with a spring in my step.

Won’t you join me?

Oh just think of all the possibilities?

put it down

Once, when I was a young school girl in the early 1970’s,  I was walking home with some girlfriends.  We were on a corner saying a long goodbye, we won’t see you until tomorrow….what are you going to wear………………  just then a car drove by, a little boy in the back seat stuck his tongue out at me.  So I stuck my tongue out at him.  His Dad pulled over, stopped the car and got out.  He gave me a talking to about my bad behavior.    I didn’t say a thing, except I am sorry.  I remember it today 2013.

Yesterday, while driving around getting last-minute stocking stuffers and a couple of groceries, I momentarily wished it was the 70’s.  As a long line of cars waiting through yet another red light, people & their frustrations were bubbling.  Cars swerved out of lanes and I ended up behind the “problem” child driving a pretty new, silver Subaru, Washington license plate 384-YTG.  Yes, I memorized it, I had the time.  She was a cute girl who appeared to be about 16 or 17.  She was texting and kept missing the green light to make the left turn.  Once it turned green, I lightly tooted on the horn and she jolted forward.  Myself and two other cars made it through the light.  I followed her and she was drifting into the right lane, then the left.  People were honking at her.  She sped up and then slowed way down.  I wanted to get away from her, for safety reasons and because she was making me crazy.

Actually, I wanted to pull up in front of her, slow down, stop and walk over to her window.  I wanted to hold out my hand and say it.  Hand over the keys.  I mean it, right now.  I will drive you home and give these keys to your parents who bought you this nice car.  I wanted to teach her a lesson she would never forget.  I wanted her to understand the privilege it is to drive.  I wanted her to understand how many of our lives are in her hands.  I wanted her parents to give a hoot.  But alas, in the day and age that we live, I had no right to do that.  Nor would the parents appreciate me “helping” them parent.

I am still a parent and YES, both our boys and girls know exactly how I feel about texting and driving.

She finally turned off.  I went on my merry way.  I prayed for her safety and those around her.

TaylorThen I thought of our friends Clay and Shauna Sauer and their family.   They lost their sweet daughter Taylor, because of texting.  I wonder how their hearts break all over again when they see a young person texting and driving.  It has been a long grieving process.  I am so humbled and impressed with the lengths that family has gone to, in helping educate and bring awareness to this social problem of all ages.  Please say a prayer of peace and goodness for this wonderful family.   May God Bless the work the Sauer Family is doing on behalf of their daughter & sister.  Thank you for walking over the coals of grief to help so many.

To: silver Subaru 384-YTG………………. may God watch over you and bathe you in the Grace that young people need.  Texting while driving is an extremely high price to pay for being a silly, goofy kid.  Maybe if you are old enough to drive, you aren’t so silly and goofy.  Maybe you need to understand the lesson.

Please share this post with any kiddo in your life.  I know they will roll their eyes.  Let them roll their eyes at me.  I don’t care.  I will gladly stand beside their car and hold out my hand to them as well.  I am more than willing to be the mean old lady.  Yep, that’s me.  Caring and mean.

time for a change

I am easing into Monday.  Settling in and finding my inner peace.  Yep, worked through some yoga this morning, nice and steady and slow and methodical.

I may have over done it the last few weeks?  I am feeling it and not proud of the feeling.  I adore our dog, however, she got all excited and “loved” me a little too much on Friday.  She showed her love by knocking me down in the backyard.  I am still feeling a bit stiff and sore.  Geesh.

So last night while Mr. Right put up a tree ( a smaller version of our usual 800 ornament crowning glory) and put a candle in each window.  I was stitching and watching.

Today, I have a couple of last-minute goodies to buy.  Oh and I need some almond milk.  Stopping by the fish market to pick up some goodies for us.

I like the idea of tradition.  However, sometimes, our traditions are far from simple and easy.

I enjoy baking bread to give to friends during this time of year.  I will continue that tradition.

I enjoy our candles in the windows and our Seafood feast on Christmas eve.

I don’t like the feeling of having to give a gift because it is expected.  The gift thing still has my brain all twisted up.  Even a great cup of morning coffee is not untangling that mess.  I like the idea of taking a surprise goodie to my honey lady.  Nope, she wasn’t expecting it.  Yes, she was happy and thrilled and gave me a great big hug.  She almost yelled, Merry Christmas! …and I do believe she meant it.   I don’t care for the idea of folks not being friendly, nor kind, nor thoughtful throughout the year, then presenting us with a gift.  Merry Christmas?  weird.

I have had an incredibly hard time this season with celebration foods and goodies.  For over 35 years and well my whole life, I have celebrated this yearly holiday with sugar and cookies and peanut brittle and candy and Jewish cookies and traditional fare.  It has been tough.

I have implemented some new lovely things I hope to be a tradition.  I did enjoy visiting family the beginning of the month.  I don’t know if we can do that every year, but I sure would like to try to do it more frequently.  I LOVE the huge basket of little, easy to peel & eat, oranges on the counter to grab one as you pass by.  sweet.

One thing, I am going to try, instead of our usual Cinnamon Rolls for Breakfast Christmas morning………………………..I am going to borrow a tradition from my niece.  I am making the batter the night before.  I will be making crepes come Christmas morning.  It is a tradition in their home.  I am going to borrow that tradition and tweak it a bit for us in the Pacific Northwest.  While I doubt that the Wilson’s on the East coast will be filling their crepes with crab and shrimp , we will be sharing the tradition of a lovely crepe breakfast to begin the day.  It makes me happy and I feel connected by creating the same breakfast.DSCN2817

It’s time for some changes.  Not all changes are bad.  The time has come to clean out the old and make way for some really wonderful new treats and ideas.

Thank the good Lord, that I have people in my life willing to share the goodness of their holiday.  Willing to share the things that make it special for them.

Can’t wait for Christmas breakfast.  Yes, I plan on using fresh eggs in the crepe batter.  Yes, I will think of and be grateful for my niece who shared her recipe.

I love the idea of bathing Mr. Right and I in pure goodness and grace, on Christmas morning.  Love to hear what you serve for the morning meal on Christmas day.

Merry Christmas from my niece, my sis in law and me.  Look at those pretty Christmas smiles!  DSCN2822