No one likes a braggart.  Seriously, not one of us wants to hear over and over and over about your “go fast” car, your new $800.00 blinds, your second home, your perfect job that you are so happy to go to each day, or about your brand new wedding set that “he” yeah right, picked out.  Honestly, no one.  Yes, we are happy for you.  We genuinely feel good and sincerely joyful about your good fortune.  We only want to say WOW once and move on.  Yes, everyone is thrilled that you went on a fabulous European vacation.  I am here to tell you that no one really wants to sit down and look through page after page of your scrapbook.  If you ever want to spend an afternoon listening to me ramble on and on and on about the art and pottery of Europe, please let me know.  I will wipe the dust off the albums and we can get started.

If you have the feeling that this blogger is turning into one of those women who somehow pulls a photo album of pictures out of her overly large purse and you are trapped in the aisle of the local craft store, because you don’t know how to politely disengaged………..don’t fret.  You can leave now, but if you do, you won’t get to hear the HUGE exciting news I am about to share!

I happen to live a very good life.  Mr. Right remembers all the “right” dates with wrapped gifts and cards.  He surprises me with cards and flowers, flowers galore on days of no importance.  There isn’t a holiday or birthday that goes by without me getting a wonderful or sweet, or stunning or hilarious surprise gift.  Oh, come on, you know I give just as good as I get.  Here is the thing, no one really wants to hear about it.  Quite frankly, I am a little red in the face to share.  There are a lot of folks out there and in my life that have major problems in their lives.  So for me to shout and scream about a new waffle maker or a silly pun card that Mr. Right gave me………well it just doesn’t sit well.  When I want to jump up and down and scream with joy about a new bobble that I just received, I can very clearly “hear” my mother in my head.  “Young ladies do not tell of all the goodness in their lives, some people may not be as fortunate.  You will hurt their feelings.”  Every single time a vacation is confirmed or a wrapped gift of a book, I had been wanting, happens to magically appear on a regular Wednesday, I want to grab my phone and text a friend.  I want to phone a friend.  I want to share all the goodness and tingles in my tummy.  I am so excited and then I go hug the dog and scratch her head really hard and rub her ears.  She listens and it is okay to be unladylike and tell her all about the happiness and pure joy that I am drenched in.

baby balloonsWith one exception……………………….  GRAND BABIES.  I am unabashed about my feelings.  I take off my proper white gloves.  I politely tuck my polished manners into my little black evening bag.    I really loose my sense of who is “having a difficult time”, “having a bad week”, “too ill to be happy for us”, “don’t tell them, they are still waiting for their first grand child”.  Something comes over me.  I can’t help talking about and smiling and sharing all about my Grandchildren.  For a person who is extremely careful with her brand new knee, bikes four miles a day, stretches, rebounds, carefully steps off curbs, pays attention while walking up and down stairs…………when it comes to GRAND BABIES, somehow, I find the strength and energy to JUMP UP AND DOWN.  I find all lady like behavior pushed aside and I am screaming “WHAT?” like the lady on the phone in “A Christmas Story”.  I am hollering like a farm gal roundin’ up pigs.  I just SNAP.  I am SMILING and dancing a jig and hopping and twisting my hair and waving my arms like a NY policewoman directing 8 lanes of traffic.   This IS the GOOD stuff.

Something must chemically change in my brain when it comes to those babes?  I am a person who will figure out the correct price, with a coupon, for a $2.47 grocery item.  I will debate, research and over think buying one pair of orange loafers for Spring wear for weeks and weeks.   The same person, me, who yesterday, without a thought to price, bought two pairs of light up flip-flops for some Sweet Southern Girls I happen to know.  “It’s for the Grandgirlies”.

Go Tell it on the Mountain!  Shout from a Hot Tin Roof!  123 Jello1,2,3 Jell-O, (Remember that stuff?  I loved it and all is artificial colors and chemicals and flavors.)  Back to my original exciting news……..   I am thrilled beyond anything I could have ever imagined to have 1, 2 AND NOW 3 GRAND BABIES!  Yes, you read that correctly.  GRAND BABY number three is on his or her way.  By the middle of October, we will all be BLESSED to have one more person sitting at our family table.  Soon to be tossing food off the high chair tray to the delighted dogs below.

While talking to the one and ONLY other person in the world who is JUST as happy as I am, the other Grandma, I said, “I sort of want to get off the telephone and go sew something for the baby”.  I am just so dang excited.    I sort of thought it would not be as thrilling as the first.  Then we got really lucky and celebrated number 2.  Stunned Amazement over the giddy, school girl feeling I am having over number 3.   Actually, I think I am getting better at this Grandma “thing”.  I seem to have increased happiness and faster heartbeats with each one.  I seem to be more grateful, more thankful, more dance in the rain happy!  Yes, that kind of happy.

Good Golly Miss Molly.  I woke up in the middle of the night.  Not to go over and over the dull and boring issues I usually “have to figure out” at 3:00 am, but to smile and move around and snuggle in with the fluffy duvet.  I wonder what will be the theme for the nursery?  I wonder what they will name the sweet baby?  I wonder if it will be a girl or a boy?  Mr. Right is overly indulgent, but even he said, “stop talking, please”.

Notice how I didn’t wonder if they will be great parents?  Notice how I didn’t wonder if they are happy and excited?  Notice how I didn’t worry about having enough love to surround one more perfect grand babe?   No, not one bit.

Life is Good.  Counting my Blessings 1,2,3…..Simple as that.  1 2 3 blocks

ps.  dear Santa, I would like a new charm for my charm bracelet.  Engraved with the name…

super girls will rock the world

When I was little, Scotty, the boy across the street,  had a Superman cape.  He wore that thing everywhere. It was just part of what he wore every day.  No matter if he was digging in the dirt or building or riding something, he had the cape on.  I always saw him jumping from a retaining wall and the cape would flap behind him.  No one every asked him if they could try it on.  It was his and that was that.  Fast forward 49 years, I saw him recently and by golly, no, he didn’t have the cape on.  He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and was grilling salmon. I was a bit disappointed when he turned around and I didn’t see it flapping behind him.  I bet his beautiful college aged daughters would not have appreciated the fashionable cape on their dad.

I have never once seen a girl with a super girl cape on.  Come to think of it, I never even asked my mother for a super cape.  I sort of can hear her now, “Young ladies don’t wear…….”

When our boys were little, one asked me to make him a magician cape.  Pretty cool.  He wore it a lot. I am guessing he loved it.

Life happened and we hit the jackpot.  We got TWO grandgirlies.  Sure, I want them to be polite young ladies with good Southern manners.  I want them to be sweet and kind.  I want them to be loving and nurturing…………….and I want them to be FIERCE and POWERFUL and STRONG and MIGHTY and BRAVE.

Sincere and Heartfelt thanks to Suzanne over at http://justanotherhangup.blogspot.com/2014/01/tutorial-little-girl-princess-super.html  Not only does she have a generous spirit and creative sass that she is so gracious to share with others, she does it with style.  Somehow, she lets you know how proud she is to be a mom and grandmother.  She holds her shoulders back and shares with the world that she has a wonderful family that she cherishes and sews for.  I love her spirit and her warm nature.  If you have time, stop by and see what she is up to.  Always something unique and fun over at her blog.

DSCN3703“Sew” today, I made one of A’s 2nd birthday gifts.  I also sewed a pink big sister cape. DSCN3711

Strong, Brave Grandgirlies will grow up Mighty and just may RULE the world!  Doing all I can to help the cause. DSCN3708


zesty role models

On the path less travelled, the journey of wellness and health, I am seeking out zesty role models.

nancy devilleI have chosen several.   I have quilting role models and wife role models.  I have mom role models and women who are amazing in their chosen fields.

I have ZESTY role models who by some way or another, encourage me to bike farther, jump longer and stretch further during yoga time.susan powter

When I think of healthy bodies and ease of movement and long, “dancer”  muscles, I have some role models that are near my age and several that are 60+ years old.

They inspire me.  They give me hope.  Honest to goodness hope.

I love that they are SMART women.  They work their brain muscles every single day.  Smart is so sexy and desirable.  I am always impressed and striving for smart.

I LOVE that all of the women I look to, are strong.  They work out daily.  They stretch those long lean muscles.  They keep moving.  (In my fake world of knowing them) I would never see them slouched over a grocery cart, shuffling along.  I never imagine them eating from a carton of dairy ice cream with a metal spoon, sitting on the sofa. I always, always imagine them walking briskly on the beach, or jump roping with their grandkids or giggling while bouncing on a rebounder. jamie curtissharon stone

They are vibrant and have great posture.  They engage their minds and their bodies.  They choose mostly natural.  They value what they have and share it with others.

We all need role models.  Even if we take bits and pieces of the good (or the good we see) from this sassy gal or that one.

Please tell me about yours.  I would love to expand my world.

ps.  yes, there are some fine women out there who are wise and smart and not fit.  I still love them too.  Yes, some of my role models have dyed hair and eat meat and promote products I do not use.  I just love these gals for their ZEST for life and how they fit stretching and exercise and breathing and fresh air into their lives.

X my heart, 700 times

passion artBlog post number 700.  My mind has been swirling with questions about olives.  Why if you leave them on the counter, they don’t get fuzzy?  Why do they stay supple for long periods of time with no preservatives?  Is the perfect olive the answer to many joint problems and health issues?  I have no idea.  I am not sure I want to write an entire post listing all of my questions about the olive.  I think posting blog number 700 should be about passion.  The perfect olive can wait a bit longer.

I have a little game that I play.  While driving around our community and I spy a new building being built, I say out loud & with my fingers crossed, “Oh, I hope it will be a Cross Stitch Shop”?  More than likely it will be another  Nail Salon, Drug Store Chain or Check cashing place.  (who cashes so many checks that we need several brick and mortar stores?)  The latest disappointment is an empty building with enormous amount of square footage that would make a mega stitchery shop.  Only to discover, yesterday, that it is to be a Fitness Center.  dag nabbit.

I relish the time I spend stitching.  Using my hands to create, quite possibly an heirloom,  of value.  That honest value feeds my heart and soul.   It brings value to who I am.  I am carrying on the time honored tradition of counted cross stitch.  I am proud of my hand crafted completed works  (in many cases) of art.  I enjoy show n tell with my niece who also has a love of counted cross stitch.  While each craft person, has a favorite count of fabric and favorite thread company they use, the general art form is the same.

When our boys were much younger, I would sit for hours upon hours and stitch while they worked through their home work.  I would stitch while they did their silent reading.  I would sit on the park bench as they tackled many a playground and yes, I would stitch.  Some evenings they would get one hour television time.  I would stitch and listen to the show or two of their choice.  Winter weekends would include a movie and you guesser Chester, I would stitch. Sometimes now, when I watch a movie for the second time, I have little or no recollection of the first go round.  Sure I was one tired momma.  However, more realistically, I was counting and stitching.

DSCN3645If you take a look around our home, there are some beautiful, framed Counted Cross Stitch Samplers that took close to 100 hours each.  I have smaller pieces as well.   I also have a drawstring bag that holds rolled up completed projects, waiting in the “to be framed” section of my life.  I have a box of patterns that are waiting to “get the call” and become reality.  I have a couple of spoiled projects that I keep as gentle reminders of what not to do.

Currently, my favorite medium to work upon is Irish Linen.  I have taken quite a fancy to Samplers, so there are several on our walls.  That moment when I unfold or unroll the fabric and make that initial X in the middle to mark the center, feeds my passion.  I stitch the edge so it won’t unravel in the many hours I will handle it.   I take out the pattern, make my own personal notes on the sides, mark the date I begin, find the center and make that very first stitch.   With several milestones in between, that final stitch is soul fulfilling. The accomplishment gracefully pushes my swing.

Today, 30 plus years later, when I stitch and sew and quilt, I use a special lamp, and I wear my glasses.  I have taught several people how to cross DSCN3648stitch.   Actually, how many people do you know who cross stitch today?  It is an art form that is not quite as popular as years ago.  I stitch from my heart.  Yes, I have created a few Masterpieces and many small pieces of pure goodness.  I pray for and hope for good Karma for young married couples as I stitch their new monograms.  I pray for young children as I stitch their Sampler gift.  I stitch Chrismon ornaments to give as gifts and yes, I stitch love and hope and prayers into each gift.

When grandgirlie number two was born, I did not have the mental skill to finish her birth sampler.  Then for a several month period I “misplaced” the pattern.  Her 2nd Birthday is in March.  I am determined to complete and have framed her Sampler.  Once I complete it, like homework needing completion, I will feel somehow “released” to move on to other projects.

My Dad’s family is from Bruges, Belgium.  They have been teaching and making lace, for several centuries.  There is evidence to suggests lace making has been on going since Ancient Roman Times.  Do I get my love of repetitive and even stitches from my ancestors?  Is the need to create with my hands built into my DNA?  Do I love to stitch because I can control the rhythm or the simple fact that I have complete control over how the piece will come to life?

Passion gracefully pushes my swing.  On the days when I feel lost or mixed up, I listen to my soul and I get out my needle and thread.  I wish for you genuine passion in your life.  You are welcome to come over and share show n tell any time.  I would love to see what your passion has created through your handiwork. 

If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion.  For your passion will lead you right into your purpose. 

ps.  just know I am having olives for my afternoon snack.

Feed Sack Tote Bag

The old-fashioned term………….. Waste not, want not.

The new modern term…….up cycle.

DSCN3623Today, after fluffing and puffing the chicken coop, adding a fresh hanging cabbage and some jaunty St. Patty’s Day decor, I made something useful.  I took the empty feed sack into my sewing room and made a Fresh new grocery bag with handles.   Each daughter in law will get a bag full of gifts for their birthday!  I made the bag today out of empty chicken feed sack.  They hold 25 pounds of feed, so I am guessing they will hold lots of birthday loot and then can be used for groceries.  If they go to the grocery store and say, buy a chicken and some eggs, using this bag will certainly be funny.  DSCN3643

The project was quick, easy and the finished product is pretty sassy.

I love sewing useful and sassy things.  This bag qualifies as both.  Yippy!DSCN3640

it feels lovely

DSCN3601The new oven element is here!  The new oven element is here!  The new oven element is installed and getting a work out.  Catching up today, smiling and baking all day long.  Sweet, pure happiness! It’s simply a Sweetheart of a day.   Just a lovely, twirly kind of day.

I made a remarkable and luscious dessert to accompany our dinner tonight.  Dark Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding.   Super easy and Mr. Right will be putty in my hands.   So, gather up some ingredients (you already have them in your pantry), whipped it together and you are ready in plenty of time for dinner tonight.   What is that saying………..the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?  Oh yeah, that saying.  Honest truth.  Cook for your someone special, I guarantee they will love the effort you went to.  DSCN3591

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine one can of coconut milk, 2 ounces of your favorite dark chocolate (70% or higher), chopped and one Tablespoon of cocoa powder.   Warm the milk until the chocolate is completely melted.  Turn off the heat and whisk in 5 Tablespoons chia seeds, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of raw honey. Stir thoroughly until the chia seeds begin to thicken the mixture a bit.  Pour into fancy schmancy serving flutes and refrigerate at least an hour.  Top with whipped coconut cream (great that I always store two cans in the refrigerator, unopened).  Then sprinkle with chocolate shavings. DSCN3598

A side note:  I found this recipe on face book about a week ago and for the life of me I can’t remember who to give credit to.  So if you are out there………….Bless your cotton pickin’ soul!  Thank you!

One of the charming things I got to do today was chat and giggle and laugh with my sister-in-law.  She is buried under several feet of snow in Northern Vermont.  She still has a wicked sense of humor.  We both have really great guys in our lives.  We are both very lucky, lucky girls.    I love sharing my goodness with her.  She makes everything about my life better.

Then I got to thinking about it, I have so many people in my life that share their sparkle and their wicked sense of humor and their goodness with me. They are part of my wellness.    I am so happy to be wearing cushy socks from a girlfriend and looking at a Valentine card sent by another.  I have a really lovely life.  I am grateful.

May your Valentine’s day sparkle!  Call your sister-in-law (or your sparkly friend) and laugh until your side hurts.  It feels lovely.

celebrating 100

daffs 2I grew up living in a valley, located in Washington State.  The Puyallup Valley is known for its fertile soil that plays host to field after field after field of daffodils.  We have a Daffodil parade.  The 20 plus surrounding High Schools all sponsor a Scholarship pageant for a Daffodil Princess and ultimately a Daffodil Queen.  We have Daffodil sidewalk sales, marathons, hikes, wine walks, art shows and worthy daffodil volunteer/charitable projects too many to list.  You see sweatshirts, t-shirts, aprons all with daffodils on them.  People have fine jewelry made in the shape of daffodils.  Um, you get the picture.  We embrace the daffodil around these parts.  daffs 3

Mr. Right grew up living in Canada.  He grew up in a small village near the American border,  Stanstead, Quebec.   Okay, so now that you have your map spread out in your noggin, you know we grew up a country apart.  Sometimes it seems like a world apart.  The area he is from is best known for their granite quarries, maple syrup and winter.

Years ago, my mother and father in law gave us a set of family silverware.  Yes, we are the care takers.  We will someday pass it along to the younger family members.  When I first caught a glimpse of the pattern, imagine my inner smile when I spied with my little eye, a perfect daffodil fashioned upon each piece?  She also gave me a silver covered vegetable serving dish.  The pattern once again, stunning daffodils.  Yes, I have used the covered dish for many a formal meals, I find it much easier to utilize it more often for special occasions..

When Mr. Right retired from the US Army, when the boys graduated, I displayed congratulations cards in the family heirloom.  When our grandchildren were born, pink wrapped chocolate candy kisses filled the  beautiful silver dish, befitting & celebrating two very lovely grandgirlies.   I have used it to display sand from the Beaches of Normandy.  I have used it to display sand from the beach where son number two proposed to his beautiful bride to be.  For our 25th wedding anniversary, of course we used it to displayed cards, pictures and trinkets in the well polished piece, to help us celebrate.

DSCN3575Early this morning, I donned my yellow work gloves and got out the silver polish.

Today, I collected egg number 100.  I am very grateful and thankful and did a little jig.  Of course, I knew eggactly what dish I would use to snap the picture.