my two cents

Picture this, the horror of horrors, two teenage girls walk into their long-awaited prom, wearing the exact same aqua colored chiffon gown.  URGH.  How can they go on?  Oh my goodness?  What’s a girl to do? They both end up having a not so terrific time, teary eyed and deflated.

Picture this, two business men come into work wearing the same color suit, white shirt and very similar ties.   They high-five each other and tell each other what great taste the other has.  They end up smiling for the next five minutes.

MIKE-monsters-inc-4207219-1024-768I adore the monster Mike, on Monsters Inc.  No matter what befalls Mike, he always has a positive, uplifting way of looking at each situation.  Even if it is the worst you can imagine, Mike comes through.  He lives his life grateful and thankful for even a sliver of pure goodness.  I want to be like Mike.   Sure Pollyanna at the worst of times, so what?  What’s wrong with always thinking of the good?

Picture this, Saturday afternoon while doing our errands, Mr. Right and I (dressed in a cute and sassy preppy way, smiling and be bopping along)  walked into the library.  You know the drill.  Drop off a bag full and fill the bag so full the boyfriend has to carry it back out to the car.

Just as we walked in, there happened to be a lecture letting out.  The announcement board read:  Downtown Abby.  Oodles and I do mean oodles of fans were pouring out of the classroom.  There were groups of women talking and smiling.  There were folks waiting to meet their spouses.  Off to the side, waiting patiently,  there was a very smartly dressed, dapper, gentleman about 85 years old.  He was waiting for his (I am guessing) wife.  Perfect posture, ironed dress shirt &  khaki pants, highly polished shoes.  WAIT!

His shoes.  While yes, perfectly polished…………..….they were the EXACT SHOES I had on my feet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You KNOW I ADORE my penny loafers.  I have had a pair of them for a long time.  I have had a couple re-soled. The cobbler has put new heels on some.    I have purchased a new pair in the last couple of years.  I have a Canadian penny in one and an American penny in the other. Yes indeed, my two cents. The coins were switched out in the year 2000.  I wanted brand new pennies for my shoes.  I love my penny loafers so much, I want to wear them every day I can’t wear bling covered flip-flops or cowgirl boots.  If I could only keep five pairs of shoes, they most definitely make the list.

It never fails, I always get compliments on my penny loafers.  When people don’t know what to say, they always have a comment about Penny Loafers in their lives.  Strangers, men and women have talked about my loafers in elevators, in the grocery store, during medical appointments, in a museum.  Everyone has a loafer story it seems.

penny loaferMy boyfriend, polishes my loafers so they gleam.   I love wearing penny loafers barefoot with cuffed, ironed jeans and a white blouse. I love the navy blue cardigan I wear or sometimes tie over my shoulders.  I love wearing a string of pearls, almost always.  I love wearing my Penny Loafers with my wild geometric black and white skinny pants.  I love wearing those loafers on a run to the grocery store, the feed store, the library, a friend’s house to drop off something, the dry cleaners, the vegetable stand.

I love wearing those shoes. They are so comfortable and such a classic they have withstood the test of time.

The girl inside me wanted to SCREAM, really………………….REALLY?  An 85-year-old man has the exact fashion sense as I do?

The polite, well-mannered girl  in me, smiled and said hello.

Inside I was thinking classic, traditional, excellent quality &  taste.

The shoe lover in me was thinking, oh my stars, this is going on my blog.  I KNEW it.  A classic, never goes out of style.

A jaunty tip of the imaginary hat to you sir!

What shoes are you wearing today?

Me?  Oh, I think you know what I am wearing.

 

 

 

soap, quotes & bubbles of hope

I fell in love again, this morning.  Three words:  Brown Sugar Fig.  

Here is another thing to add to “the” list.  You know, the list of things they don’t teach you in school?

DSCN4743Buy quality soap.  You are worth it.  (Your shower buddy is worth it.  Oops, sorry kids, you will have to wash really well to get that picture out of your mind of your parents.  haha)

Seriously, finding top quality soap with unusual and divine scents  is a thing of beauty.  Okay, it doesn’t hurt that the gal who sells it looks amazing and is so kind and funny, smart & gorgeous.  You really want to buy the soap.  Just in case there is a chance that some of her beautiful energy will rub off on you.  She is one of those good eggs, inside and out.   You feel thankful and grateful to have her in your life.  You can find her at the Puyallup Farmers Market, inside the pavilion or go on etsy.   https://www.etsy.com/people/AromaSoapLab

I am guessing you know how we feel about our soap lady, Renee?    She makes our world so much better.  Not only do her soaps look and smell amazing, they are so full of pure goodness there is not one speck of room for yucky chemicals.     Just stepping into our bathrooms, you catch a swirl of glorious scent .  In some mystical way, our regular, ordinary, white, spotless  bathroom has morphed into a spa retreat.  I look in the mirror and instead of being critical, I say hello gorgeous.  I am trying.  It is all a process.

Did I mention her newly invented scent Brown Sugar Fig?   In addition to picking up our favorite scent of Cedar Saffron…………we now have a tie for our new, best, favorite scent ever!

In a huge effort to rid ourselves and our home of all the bad plastics that cause havoc with estrogenic fueled bad cells…………………we are slowly but methodically saying adios to all the plastics in our lives.  Good bye plastic hangers, hello wooden beauties.  Goodbye plastic soap dispensers, hello pretty wooden soap trays.  Just take a peek around your home.  Besides that water bottle or baby bottles just think of all the plastics containers, zip bags and plastic wrap and receipts we touch every single day.  frightening.

You know, great soap can make you stay in the shower a bit longer than you anticipated.  Some of my best ideas are hatched in the shower.  I love to think in there.  However, sometimes, my mind isn’t swirling and twirling happily.  Sometimes, I can only roll over ugly things in my mind.  It seems like a continual loop that I can’t break.   The shower is the perfect place to let it all go and cry and sob until you are cried out.  Unless?  Unless you would rather focus on the good and be grateful for parts of your life?

Miss Florida had a light bulb moment & shared a remarkable idea.  She printed and mailed me some laminated inspirational quotes, Bible quotes and just all around good things to read.    I cut them apart and taped them up on the shower wall.

DSCN4745 I happen to have another friend who mailed me some flying pig duct tape.  It was perfect to use on the shower wall.   How can you not be happy when you look at flying pig duct tape? flying pig duct tape

So picture yourself, lathering up with Brown Sugar Fig handmade, soap of pure goodness.  While covered in lush lather, you read an inspirational quote or two.   Sort of makes you feel like you can take on the world!

Well at least the tiny corner of the world that I call my own.  I am so worth high quality hand-made soap.  Please tell me you are worth it as well?  We are in this together.  Here’s to our health and wellness.

Please don’t forget to head over to AromaSoapLabs on etsy and say hi to Miss Renee.  Your life will be more bubbly, I promise!

 

ps.  absolutely NO judgement on selling lotions and potions in plastic containers.  I myself, sell my dog treats in food grade plastic bags.  When I purchase a product, I just transfer it to a glass container once home.

 

 

 

change trumps fear

Thanks to Mr. David Bowie, I have a song looping over and over in my mind.  It started about 5:30 pm last night and  I woke up in the shower, this morning, humming the song.

ch ch ch ch changes……………………turn and face the stranger………..strange fascination, fascinating me

Change is tough, no doubt about it.  Change is hard for every single person.  change 2

Today, please join me in lifting up in celebration, a friend’s daughter in law.  Five years clean and sober. Today.  Period.  That good.  That difficult.   That amazing.  That is a LOT of change.  That is hard work and a million steps in the right direction.   Makes me giddy thinking of her.  So dang proud of her and her choices.   She focused every bit of her energy on building the new.

change 1We all experience change, sometimes, we go kicking and screaming and other times we gracefully accept the newness and dance through the flames.  Often times, we  grumble and draw a line in the sand.  Somehow the sand shifts and we are willing to change even more than we thought possible.

When we open a fortune cookie we are all anxious and excited to see what changes our future holds.  We look at that tiny slip of paper with glee and a hopeful heart.  I think maybe we need to pass out more fortune cookies.  That word HOPE seems to be laced up tightly with the word change.

It has been about 1 year and 5 months since I changed my life.

I mean, hold on to your Easter bonnet and buckle up CH CH CH CH CHANGES! 

I no longer eat sugar.

I no longer eat  processed foods.

I have new friends.

I no longer have a daily latte.

I drink four glasses of fresh juice daily.

I changed my laundry soap, hand soap, shampoo, lotions, potions and bath products.

I no longer eat dairy.

I have changed every bit of my make up.  Even brands I have used since I was 15 years old.  gone.

I have changed all the plastics in our home.

I have changed the type of linens we use.  The curtains we have.

We no longer have electronics in our bedroom.

We don’t have the electronic alarm clock beside our bed. (it was in the same place for 30+ years, no matter where we lived)

We have a new sofa.

New chairs.

We have a new waffle maker.

chaNGE 6We have a new BlendTec.

We donated 8 boxes of books.

We have new books.

We have a new sieve.

I have better connections with old friends.

I have changed the water I drink and the amount.

I have given up some “friends”.

I no longer touch receipts.

I make wiser choices.

I bike four miles a day.  I rebound daily.

I take 50+ supplements and vitamins.

I change the oils we use.

I no longer eat gluten.

I choose to get 30 minutes of sunshine daily (if it is shining).

I write better thank you notes.

I have de-cluttered my life.

We have a new television.  New remotes to learn.

I wear different size clothing.

I don’t have a comfy pair of old jeans.

I research and study one hour a day.

In the span of four years, we will have three grandchildren!  Some changes are AMAZINGLY GREAT!

We eat real salt.

I breathe deeply and often.

I sleep 8-9 hours a day.

I read every label that comes into our home.

I tend chickens who lay fresh natural eggs.

I use a salt lamp and full spectrum lighting.

I eat whole foods, mainly plants.

I eat salads.

I have a new phone.  (I grumbled over this change)

I spend more time sewing and creating.

I have better, fuller hair.

I have a glow of orange to my skin from eating so many carrots.

I have better balance.  Literally and over all in my life.

While attending church a few years back, we were asked to pray for “Mary Smith”.  Her husband would be going into the hospital over night and in 53 years of marriage, she had never slept alone in their home.  Change.  My goodness, small thing to some, huge for her.  It was tough.

When we stay at a fancy schmancy hotel and the bathroom shower nozzle is “different” or the shower door is just a small panel of glass that doesn’t move………..it really doesn’t throw me for a loop.  When we rent a car while on vacation, learning to push a button and not use a key is different, but not earth shattering.

Oh sure, small things still ruffle my feathers now and then.  Overall, everything changes.  We just need to make the choice to bend gracefully with the changes.  change 4

To our friend who is clean and sober…..here’s to you and your whole new set of friends and daily life.  Life is so much better sure, just getting there was an amazing fete.  Every little choice was a change for the better, yet equally tough.

Change is hard.

The whole thing about healing and wellness is changing what got me in a pickle in the first place.

 

I am grateful that Mr. Right is along for the ride.  He is helping me change.  He is changing with me.  Even though he didn’t have to, he is making the same changes I am.

We are in this together.  Let’s not forget to help each other gracefully accept change.  No matter how small.

I lift my glass of fresh green juice up in celebration!  Here’s to change and gracefully accepting everything new and different.  We can do this.  Not just do it because we are forced to, change because it will make us live up to the person we were meant to be.  Sassy, spirited, joy filled, loving, smart, kind people.

ch ch ch ch changes…………………….

 

 

fresh as a daisy

DSCN4732Ever wonder why once in a while, your just  fresh wet laundry doesn’t smell fresh as a daisy?

 

Mr. Right chose shocking red Gerbera Daisies for a special treat on Sunday, just for me.  Good gravy, they make me smile (the flowers and Mr. Right).  Gosh, I can get side tracked easily.

Somehow, we all think because we use and I mean USE, our washing machines over and over and over, that they are sparkling clean.  No way, no how.  I won’t even go into all the germs and bacteria and …….  let’s just agree, all of our washing machines could use a little love.

Sure, some of us have front loaders, some have top loaders.  Some are brand new and others are bragging how old their washers are and they keep on ticking!

It does not matter if we make our own soap, use all natural & organic or buy the rough and tough, knock ’em for a chemical loop with Tide, our washers take a beating.

It’s time people.  It is easy, quick and relatively cheap.

Turn on the HOT water and fill up your washer to the highest level.  Add in 1 quart white vinegar.  1 cup baking soda.  20 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil.  Turn off washer.  Let soak for 20- 30 minutes.  While waiting, put on some really good music, put on those big yellow gloves, get out an old toothbrush and use some elbow grease to get in those nooks and crannies.  Wipe down all the parts, water does not touch with a sponge with some white vinegar on it.   Put lid down and let the washer twirl and swirl all the bad gunk away.  Once done, lift the lid and let the washer completely dry out.  DSCN1434

Side note:  Aren’t you glad we don’t have to go down to the river and wash our clothes with a rock?  I am pretty sure I can’t balance an entire plastic basket of dirty laundry on my head and walk to the river.  The closest river to me is about 12 miles away.  Then once there, I am not sure what to do with the rock?  

Just in case you forgot how happy my washer and dryer look…………..I will add an old picture.  Geesh, I smile every single time, I look at those beauties!  🙂

Hey, while you still have those fancy yellow gloves on, why not remove the lint trap from the dryer?  Grab all the lint and toss or mail to a friend as a joke.  haha…..okay, add a little soap and hot water and a scrub brush………..giver her a good scrubbing.  Yep, all those dryer sheets (9 toxic chemicals) can leave a residue build up and not allow air to flow through the mesh easily. done.

Even if you don’t do anything else the rest of the day, you can tell all your girlfriends what you did on this beautiful Monday morning.  You won’t feel one bit guilty, reading a murder mystery while biking on the deck.  Or maybe that is just me?

 

 

bathed in Grace

I happen to have a lovely, smart, charming, kind, thoughtful, talented niece.  She is an elementary school teacher.  This year for Mother’s Day, she helped her students make a gift for their moms.

She found out that I was in need of a calm, soothing, something for the bath, to stop the heebie jeebies and itching and scratching.

She was kind and thoughtful enough to share the recipe.  She calls it Oatmeal Cinnamon Milk Bath.  I like to call is Miss Wilson’s Secret Soothing Bath Magic!  Whatever you call it, it is amazing and smells lovely.  You slip into the warm water and instantly feel grateful to bath in health and wellness.

Turn on some music, light those candles and get ready to be bathed in Grace and Goodness.  Yes, that good.  That wonderful.  That amazing.   Only takes a few moments to whip it up and the jar holds enough for several soothing baths.

DSCN4725Indulge.  Make a double batch.  Make one jar for yourself.  Make one jar for a friend in need.  Tie a jaunty polka dot ribbon around and add a chalk label.  This my friend, is goodness all the way around.

Thank you Miss Wilson for sharing pure goodness and helping me heal.  You are an amazing niece.  I love being an Aunt.  It is a sweet gig.

1 1/2 cups powdered milk, 3/4 cup baking soda, 3/4 cup finely ground oatmeal (I did that first), 3 Tablespoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon.  Mix together in the food processor.  Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup per bath.

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them”.  Sylvia Plath

well done

Mom, this is Patton.  Mom, this is Katy.  Mom, this is Ryan.  Mom, this is Desiree.  Mom, this is Luke.  Mom, this is Christy.  Mom, this is Brian.  Mom, this is Audrey.  Mom, this is Tim.   This is my mom.

That scene played over and over and over again.  I didn’t know it at the time.  However, now I know what an amazing compliment it was.

horseI read a note from a friend yesterday.  She was telling about her daughter’s boyfriend.  Smart kid.  Good kid.  Nice kid.  Hardworking kid.  Troubled family.  She said he liked hanging around and he loved her family.  You know, mom, dad, siblings, dogs, cats, family,scheduling, driving kids everywhere, chickens, horses,horse shows and competitions,  jobs, school, volunteering, church, meals together, hobbies, interests, passions, meals on the run, missed meals, garage that needs some TLC, bills to pay, correspondence to catch up on, sickness and health…..in other words…. normal, average, regular old family.

After reading it, I wanted to tell her well done.  For some reason, it jumped off the page to me.  She and her Mr. Right, had raised their kids so well, in a such a loving, kind, average family that her daughter felt comfortable bringing a friend home to share all that she has.   The kid wanted to hang out because it felt good.  It felt okay.  It felt safe.

I told this story to another friend.  They said, they were cautious about bringing friends home.  They didn’t want people to meet the parents, especially on weekends when the parents  may have indulged in a few too many adult beverages.  sigh.

I took a moment to remember back.  Our kids brought home oodles of new friends.  Some were troubled.  Some were plum worn out.  Some were nervous and some were lonely.  Some were happy and just glad to meet new people.    ALL were welcome.  We included every single one of them in our dinner of the day.  Or the project we were working on.  We included some in our non-traditional Christmas cookie decorating event.  We included others in Fourth of July activities.  We took extra kids to the park, museums, the pool, science experiments, convinced a few to help paint or do yard work,  putt-putt, concerts, school functions and there was always some extra kiddo to play croquet with in our back yard.  All took off their baseball hats and were welcome at our table. family table

SMACK to the forehead.  I just figured it out.  It was a HUGE compliment.  It was our kids way of saying well done.  (actually they probably said something more like, they don’t embarrass me too much, they are pretty nice, & they will help figure this all out, come on, you will have fun)

So to my friend and her husband……Your home, your family is actually a sanctuary.  You have created a place of calm, peace, grace and goodness.  Oh sure there are times when I bet it doesn’t feel very peace filled.  We raised kids, too.

I just wanted to tell you what the rest of us see.  You are making a HUGE difference.  Well Done.

It is an honor to call you friend.

 

June, Block of the Month

This month’s Globe Trotting Block of the Month, is called St. Louis.  My favorite so far.

DSCN4693I wasn’t too hard on myself.  Three out of the four triangle points met up nicely.  I didn’t even want to rip out the third.  I was okay with it.  Close enough,  in the persnickety department,  that is a huge step for me.

I love the design.  I love the way the triangles meet up.  I loved fussy cutting the yellow fabric.  Each piece melded together beautifully.  It was a pleasure to create.  I chose great background music.  Actually, a spring day, I turned on the heat to take the chill out of the sewing room.  It was my own little cocoon.  A safe, cozy, happy cocoon for sewing and creating and smiling.  When I step into my space, I can forget about being sick.  I can forget to check email or run errands.  I can just be.  The dog comes in and circles and circles and finds the perfect spot for her.  It is all rather safe and lovely.

This is month six of the Globe Trotting project.  The final product is starting to show its true colors.  I “heart” the way it is taking shape.  I have chosen a bright and cheerful yellow stripe to tie all the pieces and parts together.  I think it will make these blocks sing together happily.DSCN4695

Yesterday, while sewing, I was sort of daydreaming.  (not during the measuring and cutting portion)  I have given several quilts and wall hangings away.  I counted 15 or so quilts still “hanging” around our home.    I was toying with the idea of taking them all outside and laying them in an organized manner on the grass.  Taking a ladder and climbing to the top and snapping some pictures.  Or I had another thought, hanging them all along our fence line.  Surrounding the back yard with quilts.  Just the thought of those photographs makes me smile.

creative daily