Within a year of being a newly wed, we moved from one side of the country to the other.   From Washington state to North Carolina.  To say it was a drastic change would be the understatement of the year.

New life, new baby, new husband, new roads to learn, new stores to learn……….and no friends, no mom, no mother in law, no funny Aunt’s living near by.  Back in the dark ages, no computers, no cell phones, basically no contact.  To make a phone call was extremely expensive and you had to wait until the weekend or after certain times.

We were alone.  period.  Two young kids and a baby.  Culture shock is the perfect way to describe it.

Rules of being newly married, um?  I was clueless.  Honest.  In no way am I putting myself down.  I just didn’t have a clue.  I was the person that could barely remember “my turn” to clean the bathroom once a week while in college.  I kind of don’t even remember if we had a vacuum?

Back in the day, we stumbled upon a little book, not too expensive, and was a whole lot easier to read and remember than a 5 pound Emily Post Etiquette book I had.

I needed help.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I left home with oodles of knowledge.  How to set a table for a formal tea.  How to send a proper thank you note, sympathy note (what color ink to use), what to say in a get well card and house-warming card.  How to send a proper invitation to a dinner party.  How to set the table with good china and crystal.  What to wear to a funeral.  When to wear gloves or not to wear gloves to any occasion.  The proper title and how to address any envelope.  I know the proper direction to pass food at a dining room table.   The proper shoes to wear with the proper purse.   If you had an etiquette or good manners question, I had the proper answer.

By all means, good manners have gotten me through many a situations.  I lived in a very structured and proper world.

Real life, um, not so much.  I needed, I craved a list of rules.  What to do, how to do it.  I just wanted a list that would help me live my life.   Yes, I had/have several etiquette books, we have several Bibles, Mr. Right had volumes of books on proper behavior for an Army guy.  Heck, we even had a copy of Dr. Spock’s book on how to raise a child.

Big thick books that really are a bit overwhelming at times.

I/we needed help.  Fast, quick, black & white rules to live by.

Oh yes, I came armed with oodles of etiquette and proper behavior knowledge.   I just didn’t know about “life rules”.

20150129_084948The book that helped us over the rough spots was written by a Dad .

H. Jackson Brown Jr.  is the author and his son Adam was leaving home for his freshman year in college.   He wrote the book for his son.  He wanted to send him off into the world with a little help.

It is really a collection of advise, rules, observations and reminders on how to live a happy and rewarding life.  They totaled 511.

Our book’s spine is broken.  That is how much we used it.

Learn CPR.

Keep a tight rein on your temper.

Learn to disagree without being disagreeable.

Over tip breakfast waitresses.

Give thanks before every meal.

Take a brisk 30 minutes walk each day.

Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.

Plant flowers every spring.

NEVER criticize the person who signs your paycheck.  If you are unhappy with your job, resign.

Every day look for some small way to improve your marriage.

Lie on your back and look at the stars.

Give yourself a year and read the Bible cover to cover.

Learn your representatives in Washington DC.

Let your children overhear you saying complementary things about them to other adults.

Learn 3 clean jokes.

Don’t postpone joy.

Plant a tree on your birthday.

Be forgiving of yourself and others.

The list goes on and on.

You would be amazed at how many of the 511 things we do every single day of our lives.  They were/are our rules.  We read them and we memorized them and we put them into practice.

Give little surprise  WRAPPED gifts to your spouse for no apparent reason.  Not a birthday, or anniversary, just because.  Make sure you take the time to wrap them.

20150128_135710Last night when Mr. Right pulled out his chair to sit down to dinner, there was a wrapped surprise gift just for him.




packaging.  It makes us look twice at a product on the grocery shelf.  Excellent packaging makes us wonder over,  while browsing in a gift shop to a beautiful display of ordinary bars of soap that are packaged and presented in a snappy or elegant way, that somehow tied with a fancy ribbon and a feather, makes me want to buy.  That special added swoosh.

20150125_111133I think of it as garnish.  You make a beautiful, elegant dinner and to add that final swoosh, you choose to place a long piece of chive with the flower gently over the amazing mushroom risotto.  Swoosh.  Yeah, I like that.  You make a little sachet and you tie it up in clear packaging and add garnish of velvet ribbon.

No, I am not talking about going out and spending oodles.  I am talking about picking a piece of greenery from your yard to tie onto a piece of slate and a wedge of cheese to take to your neighbor.  garnish, swoosh.   I am talking about adding a lime green pipe cleaner and making wild cork screws sticking out in a jaunty fashion.

A swoosh is a jingle bell you tie on a gift in May.  A garnish is a scratch lottery ticket you tape to the ribbon.  A fancy swoosh is a baby picture you copy of the receiver and use as a gift tag.   Silly, fun, happy and unexpected. A plastic glitter snowflake and some white feathers or silly elegant ribbon with chickens and roosters marching along might just be the perfect garnish.

20150126_142659Why not crown the gifts you make for your friends and family with a swoosh?  When wrapping a Valentine’s Day gift of a book, why not add a special touch to say you were thinking of them?  Sometimes, I write the person’s name or other times I use an initial.

No, I am not talking about spending oodles of money on the “perfect” Hallmark card.  While there are occasions when a card is perfect, 20150127_161015sometimes, you want something extra.   More meaningful, way more fun and happy.  Wrap an elegant gift with beautiful wrapping and lacy ribbon …. then unexpectedly tape a silly comic strip on the back of the gift.  Get it?  Use your imagination to make the other person snort or giggle.

20150126_092742Make some tags.  This week I made heart shape and circles.  They can be any shape you want.  Go to the craft store, armed with a coupon, buy yourself a little square of clay.  It costs $2.99.  Bring it home. Roll between two pieces of waxed paper (you don’t want the clay to get dirty at all), cut out with cookie cutters, put a20150126_113627 couple holes in the piece to tie ribbon through, bake at 230* for 30 minutes.  done.

That was the craft.  Yes, that easy.  I used some letters and stamped out different names or words.  On a couple I just stamped XOXO  It was fun and quick and inexpensive.  I ended up with a little box of garnish.

I tied them onto different gifts I was preparing to mail out.  Valentine gifts, birthday gifts, I even tied one onto a vase of flowers.



moss & murder

My brother & sister-in-law (let me stop right there, I sort of dislike the “in law” thing, who invented it?  sounds cold, distant, legal)  Regrouping, our “best friends” live in Vermont.  Yesterday, it warmed up to 4 degrees.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Below zero temperatures are more the normal for them this time of year.  ouch.

Son #2 lives in Southern California.  The place where it “never rains in Southern California”.  Last night he had to take a detour home, because the roads were flooded.

Our niece lives near Boston.  I don’t need to explain the weather she is dealing with.  Because she lives in a basement apartment, all she can see out her windows is white.  The windows are completely covered in white.  They have predicted, you guessed it more snow.


moss 3As you know I live in the western part of Washington state.  While we deal with mold, dampness and musty closets………….we have no snow to play in or to photograph.  Everything is soggy and moss is growing to beat the band.  (whatever the heck that saying means)

Sunday, we had 65* and sunshine.  We opened every single window and door in our home.  Good by bad germs, hello fresh air.  Now, before you get your panties in a knot, as I was pressure washing our deck, I forgot that the sliding door was open. The screen was closed, to allow all that fresh air in and keep the chickens out.  ………… I will wait a moment while you giggle and guess what the carpet looks like inside our home.  Geesh.

Note to self:  close sliding door prior to pressure washing deck.

Now, don’t get all fussy about the 65*.  It is gone.  It was only a taste of spring to come. moss 2

I adore the winter.  I am a winter girl.  Well, the Pacific Northwest Winter kind of girl.  We can drive to the snow.  We can play and ski and snow shoe within an hour of our home.  We actually get a day or two a year of snow.  Yes, we own a snow shovel.  It is out in the backyard shed.  It doesn’t get much play time.

Today, I am wearing “Life is Good” socks.  Beautiful color, cozy warmth, perfect for around the house.

I love the kind of winter days that keeps you indoors to create and dance around to music and cross stitch.  I like biking 5 miles indoors.

I love to spend time cooking and sewing.  I adore getting chores done, work done, dinner prepared ahead then spend 3 or 4 hours in the sewing room quilting and creating.

I am thankful that I am learning to appreciate and value and be thankful for time spent at home.  I am learning to appreciate the value of creating and breathing and not running to the next thing.  I don’t have to be going and doing all the time.  I know, our society puts some sort of bizarre kudos on the person who is driving here and there, running from one thing to another.  Lots of people seem to think it makes them better people if they are “busy”.

I am getting stronger and healthier every single day.  Part of that is taking the time to breathe and give my body a chance to build its self up.  There is great wisdom in learning to be at peace in my sanctuary.  Learning to be okay with me.  Instead of racing to the next social event, learning to thrive in my own environment.

mossI love to spend time, fussing.  I think my grandpa used to call it “puttering”.   Time well spent to me means…. spending time inside, fluffing and puffing and rearranging our nest.

Yesterday, we had an hour of sunshine.  I felt annoyed.  haha.  I know, I am a weirdo.  Enough sunshine to showcase the dusty coffee table and make me feel guilty if I didn’t go out and breathe it in.

Okay.  Stop everything.  Go walk the dog in the sunshine.  You will feel better.

Well, yes, I did. She typed with a silly smile on her face.

I also put my lawn chair out in the middle of the yard and read my library book for 30 minutes while wearing a short sleeve t-shirt (and pants and socks and sneakers, geesh).   My deeply moss4disturbing, murder mystery thriller book which I love to fall into.    A real who done it.  Nothing better than a good old fashion yarn with murder woven in.

Yes, the one thing I do entirely for myself.  I love to dive into an intense murder mystery.  Pure escape.  I sort of forget my own real life for 2 hours.  Sometimes, the murder is so interesting, I can’t put it down.  I read while biking.  I read while putting on make up.  I read while waiting for the water to boil or onions to caramelize.

I think in my other life, I was an excellent detective.  A stunning tall woman, who wore beautiful deep plum-colored lipstick and really high heels.   I think I would have use the initial W for my middle name.  No name, just a mysterious initial.

we need to talk

20150125_111133Okay, maybe “we” don’t need to talk.  I feel the need to get a bunch of stuff off my shoulders.  So, I will talk, you can pour yourself a warm beverage and I will chatter away.

Here we go:

I forgot how much I LOVE the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair”.  Yes, there are a couple of adult scenes, so put the kids to bed, make some popcorn, and settle in for a good movie.  Very entertaining, even if they don’t blow anything up.  (action movies are my all time favorite) .  May I just say, the dress for dancing that Renee wore in the movie…swoon.  So beautiful.  (I know, didn’t think you would hear me, Miss Daleen say that she loved such a saucy dress, haha, tricked you!)

Shave Secret.  It works.  It is under $4.00 and does not contain any nasty chemicals.  Your Mr. Right will LOVE it.  You are watching out for shave secretyour Mr. Right and what products he uses, right?

MEASURE YOUR MEASURING CUPS PEOPLE.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I have been using inferior measuring cups for 20 years.  I checked them.  THEY DON’T MEASURE CORRECTLY.   Really?  I ask you………… on earth is that helpful?  THROW THEM AWAY.  SPEND the money, buy new ACCURATE measuring cups. Geesh. 20150126_092839

20150124_133339KIKU apples.  5 Red stars.  Get it?  Red stars for the red apple?  Suggested by son #1.  He loves the darn things.  Okay, I bit.  Get it?  Sweet, juicy, firm.  Sort of reminds me of an apple you would eat at your Grandma’s house while waiting for supper.  Wait, I am a grandma!  Okay, I will have them available.  I paid $1.11 for one apple.  It was the first place I found them.  No, I have not shopped around.  The red skin of the apple is a great choice for oodles of good nutrition.  I will have 1/2 an apple with some almond butter for a snack this after noon.

Years and years ago, while listening to Susan Powter on the radio, she once said, look around the grocery store.  If you can’t figure out healthy stuff to buy, find someone with great posture, beautiful hair, a good spirit, in excellent shape and moving with a purpose.  Buy what she is buying.    Saturday, while waiting in line at the grocery store, I was trying to be patient and wait my turn.  I saw a rather sad-looking, unhealthy gal in the line next to me.  I glanced a couple of times in her cart.  Get this, I could not eat or drink one thing in her cart.  Okay, reverse that.  I choose not to eat or drink one thing she was buying:  white bread, boxed muffin mix, cubes of soda, BBQ sauce in a bottle, salad dressing, meat, milk, go-gurt, boxed cereal, frozen lasagna, frozen Eggo waffles, Valentine candy in a bag and hand lotion.  Nope, not even the hand lotion.   There are some nasty chemicals and sugars hiding in oodles of things at our local grocery store.   Was I judging?  Yes.  We all judge other’s pathway.  The secret is to not let on that you are judging.  Refocus back on yourself.  Work on making good choices for you and your family.  Send a little good Karma to that person and share a smile.   moving on. You have no idea what battle she is fighting.

It was 62* in our neck of the woods yesterday.  We opened every single window in our home.  Good bye nasty germs, hello fresher air.  It was way past time for a little fresh air.

Just completed John Sandford’s latest book “Field of Prey”.  Murder mystery, deeply disturbing………… escape.  I would highly recommend.  If you want to escape for an hour or two a day……….this is your magic carpet ride.   If 23 dead bodies is too much for you and would keep you awake at night, you may consider skipping this one. He is a very descriptive writer.  well done.

Today’ I am making little gift tags for Valentine gifts.  I promise to share the results.  I spent $2.99, less a coupon on the clay, so it is an inexpensive craft and you can make them in 30 minutes.  woohoo.20150126_092742

I would enjoy hearing from you. Please share any great “finds”.

We are in this together.

Here’s to our good health and wellness!




love heels

Marriage secret number 598:  pay special attention to your tootsies!

Years ago, Mr. Right came home from the hospital and needed to rest for a couple of days.  Besides healing soups & foods, great music, reading aloud, aromatherapy, fresh & ironed sheets and pillow cases, aired out room for 30 minutes each day………I was trying to figure out what I could do to help the healing process.

I started reading and reading some more.  I found reflexology.

Okay, there are some doubters out there.  Doubt away.  Or maybe, just maybe I was part of the healing?  I like to think, because of my actions, I helped the healing process along.

reflexology-socks-feetI bought these socks to help remind me what part of the foot is connected to the other body parts.  I put a short stool on the floor at the end of the bed.  I used the socks for the first couple times, then I started to memorize the chart.

I used all natural oils, coconut, almond, apricot.  I added touches of essential oils.

Here’s the thing folks, whether you think it works it works or it doesn’t  ………… will.  Um, interesting.

Let me ask you, what person reading this right now, would not adore a 20 minute foot rub on each foot?

What person here, hasn’t had a stuffy nose and the thought of someone rubbing their feet with vapor rub or apricot oil with eucalyptus oil for 20 minutes wasn’t enticing?

What person has not had a grumpy, tired, won’t go to sleep little person?  You got it, bath time, story time, jammies and lay back for an amazing foot rub.  Yes, little short people who don’t even go to school yet, fall madly in love with foot rubs.

Healthy Feet are part of a Healthy person.  Ask any person in a white coat, who is worthy of wearing the white coat……………..look at a patients feet to find out how healthy they are.  Yes, you can tell how the kidneys and liver are working.  You can tell about circulation.  You can tell about sugar intake.  You can tell, if a person keeps their tootsies in tip-top shape, then you can make an informed guess that they work on the up keep of the rest of their bodies.

20150121_120433This past week, I made new shoe refreshers for Mr. Right’s shoes.  It had been a few years since I made the last ones, time to start over.  Sure you can just replace the cedar, I bought new fabric and started fresh. I cut the fabric, add a pull tag and stuff with fresh cedar chips.  Smells amazing. 20150121_122000

While I was sewing, I made a couple extra sets to add to birthday gifts.  I added some dried lavender along with the cedar to the girls sets.  I chose team sport fabric for one set.  Who doesn’t need a little freshening up in their sneakers?

Buy a huge bag of cedar chips at the feed store or the hardware store.  It cost about $3.50 and fills oodles of shoe inserts or make some closet sachets.  They draw the moisture out of the worn shoes, the cedar is natural and keeps little bugs from coming to live.

Take a minute to check if your Mr. Right needs new shoe laces, needs new insoles.  We live in a climate where we have to remove moisture from closets, I double-check on that as well.  We celebrate Socktober.  That is when we toss old, worn socks and replace with new.

One thing that doesn’t make the cover of Bride magazines, taking care of your spouse is a way of showing your love.  Yes, even taking care of the other person’s feet.  No, it is not glamorous.  No, it doesn’t make face book.  Taking care of your spouse helps take care of you.  duh

If you don’t live with an old Army guy (who happens to do an amazing job at shining all our shoes and boots), take a couple pairs to the cobbler and have them shined.  Donate or toss the old not worn shoes.  Make the effort.  Make it a priority.

20150121_154105While getting ready in the morning, I spend at least 10 minutes rubbing coconut oil and essential oils all over my tootsies.  I am worth it.  I am worth healthy feet.  They have to get me around all day.   Let me ask you, who doesn’t want to slip between those cool, clean sheets with happy, smooth, healthy feet?

For the past couple years, I have skipped the salon pedicures.  I have been avoiding germs as much as possible.  So I make an effort to do a pedicure twice a month at home.

Who wants to dance, dance, dance, walk the dog, bike 5 miles and then wear kick ass cowgirl boots and not have amazing feeling feet?

We are in this together, here’s to our health and wellness!

dance on, my friend, dance on!


celebrate in sickness and in health?

Hello friendly readers,   I have been trying to write this post for several days now.  I have started and stopped.  Started, deleted.  Sigh.

Just too blasted hard to write.  Maybe I didn’t want to write it at all?  Or, maybe I felt compelled to write and I was stymied?

For some reason, I felt like I should write.  I just couldn’t make the words slip into place.

A couple of days ago, Mr. Right said, I wrote your blog post for you.   I said how did you know I was having trouble?  He just shrugged.

How is that for in sickness and in health?  Even when I am having a hard time writing, he came to my rescue.

I am grateful, mighty grateful I have someone who, while he doesn’t ride a white horse (he drives a black car), he is my knight in shining armor.

Without further adieu,  here is my blog post today, written by my Mr. Right.




When do you choose to celebrate?

Everyone has moments in their lives that are indelibly tattooed on their brains.  If you belong to my generation, you remember precisely where you were when you heard President Kennedy had been assassinated.  You watched the first walk on the moon and the fall of the Berlin Wall and you can probably remember seeing all the missiles going into Baghdad during “the first” Gulf War.  We then have days that are unique to us that we remember: the day we met our spouse, first dates, weddings, child births, graduations, weddings of children, and the list goes on.  Then there are the days we recall not because we want to, but because they were so personally devastating and caused such upheaval in our lives that we cannot forget.  In this case for us, it was Jan 22, 2013 when we received the dreaded diagnosis.  cancer.  (spell check be damned – I choose not to capitalize the word) Daleen remembers very little of that particular meeting, and rightfully so.  Her world was immediately and irrevocably turned into a maelstrom of doctors, procedures, appointments, drugs and choices, choices, choices.  There I sat, with my game face on trying to be the strong one and listen to what was being said when I wanted to hold Daleen very tightly, scream and make the problem go away.  So many thoughts were jockeying for position and the transitions occurred so rapidly that only a few survived, and they are all ugly.

We somehow stumbled through the next few days.  We cried a little, hugged a lot more and found the wherewithal to put one foot in front of the other.  There were tests and procedures.  There were appointments and schedules.  There were kind people and there were monsters disguised as healers in white coats.  People who went out of their way to do what they could to placate us and remove the fears we faced and sadly those who did their utmost to exacerbate an already bad situation.  Why is it so easy for some to be so negative, so mean-spirited and downright ugly?  I trust they will one day change, though I know the odds of that are overwhelming.

We have a “moment” coming up that has us perplexed.  Thursday, the 22nd marks two years since the dreaded diagnosis was heard.  Thus, it’s an anniversary of a sort.  We feel the need to mark the occasion, but what exactly are we celebrating?

It’s easy to say that we’re celebrating two years since the awful day, two years of living.  But is it a good idea to celebrate the idea of cancer?  Isn’t it better to not celebrate something so hideous?  I don’t want to spend a minute thinking about cancer, but much of my past two years has been spent with a focus on the disease.  How we eat, how we think, how we wash our clothes, how we clean our house and even how we clean ourselves.  The water we drink and the air we breathe – even the water the dog drinks.  All these things and so very much more have changed because of cancer.  Remember the saying “The squeaky wheel gets the grease?”  cancer is a seriously squeaky wheel and the sound cannot be denied or ignored.  If we look at it objectively, what we are really celebrating is two years of staying alive, and perhaps that’s how we should think of it.  By that standard we should celebrate each and every day.  In our own way we do, but this particular date seems to demand more recognition, a more focused cause for celebration.

To not do anything to commemorate the day seems somehow wrong.  After all, two years is a victory.  Then again, two years and one day is a victory, as two years and two days will be a victory – you get the idea.  For two years we’ve been swimming upstream.  We’ve been charting our own course through the madness, taking in advice from everywhere and determining what is right for Daleen and for us.  I used to be fond of saying that if you wanted to get a conversation started, tell people you home schooled.  Years later, I’d say to tell people you are a home schooling vegetarian.  I was correct with both statements, but little did I know I was an amateur.  Now I’m a professional.  I know how to get a conversation started immediately, one sprinkled with condemnation, disgust, bewilderment and judgment. Simply let on that you are fighting cancer without radiation and chemotherapy and instead are fighting it with excellent nutrition and clean living.  If you do, cinch the saddle tight folks and hang on, it’s going to get very bumpy, very quickly!

So, a nice dinner will be a time out, a break from the routine.  We’ll go somewhere nice where the food is safe for us and we’ll dress for the event.  I think we’ll celebrate courage.  Somewhere the lady I married found the courage to do what she knew to be right.  Not right for everyone, but right for her.  For those of you unfamiliar with cancer, if you are so afflicted one of the first things you should do is avoid sugar; sugar feeds cancer cells.  Under the right conditions, you can actually see cancer cells “get excited” and grow when given sugar.   One of Daleen’s oncologists invited her to a barbecue – complete with barbecue sauce (sugar) soda (sugar) cake (sugar) and cookies (sugar).  That particular oncologist was visibly upset when it became apparent to her Daleen chose to “go natural” and made it quite clear she thought Daleen was nuts.  Please don’t get me wrong, we don’t expect people to be familiar with cancer except in distant terms.  We were woefully ignorant as well.  When you receive no support – at all – from those that should offer it, the tasks become more difficult, the path strewn with even more obstacles.  In two years, Daleen has learned how to climb over the rocks, give (mostly) deaf ears to the voices of condemnation and righteous indignation, all the while turning her life upside down and challenging everything she thought to be true.  John Wayne perhaps said it best when he said “Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.”

This Thursday, I’ll invite Daleen to saddle up, well at least to hop into the car, and we’ll celebrate not what was, nor what is, but rather what she has become.  That dear friends, is truly a cause for celebrating…

Have I mentioned lately how blessed we are?

20140802_142253I welcome your thoughts and you sharing the days you choose to celebrate, we’re all in this together.

Dime Store Popcorn

For a couple of years, I had a Saturday morning/afternoon job.  I was a babysitter.  I took it seriously.  I think I was 13 or 14.   My mom would drive me to their house and remind me to be responsible, be safe and to use common sense.

I would bring over a craft to work on with my “client”.  Usually involved pipe cleaners or feathers or some coloring of some sort.  She was in K or 1st grade.

She was super, duper sad to see her mom walk out that door and head to her place of work.  (Across the street at a carpet store.)  Yes, you could actually see the place of business from the living room window.   My “client” usually cried when her mom left.  I tried all sorts of silly antics to get her to smile.

The mom (happened to be a friend of my mom) did the paperwork at the carpet store.  It seemed rather dull to me.  However, I loved the daffodils on the sign.  Little did I know that being a widowed mom, a Saturday morning away from a little person would have been interesting and enjoyable.  Just guessing here, the mom probably loved visiting with other adults, even if it was to discuss carpet.

When it was nice, we played hop scotch outdoors or blew bubbles while sitting on the back porch steps.   Some days when it was raining and chilly, my little “client” loved watching cartoons.   While she watched television, I would pet their cat.  We didn’t have one and I thought it was so nice.

The BEST part of my job was when it was sunny and I had asked permission, my “client” and I were allow to walk four blocks to downtown! I can’t remember if she gave us a dollar or my mother did.  We were allowed to go downtown.  Now, don’t get all fussy.  We lived in a very small town.  There were no stop lights we had to maneuver.  It was all rather innocent.

To begin with, I had to convince my “client” it would be fun!  Then I had to bribe her.  Actually, I wanted it so bad, I think I used all my talents to explain how great it would be.

The Dime store.  Pullman’s Variety.


I LOVED that store.  I LOVED everything about it.  Oh sure, I adored walking there as the person in charge.  I insisted we hold hands when crossing the street.

We held hands in the store, I did not want anyone steeling my “client”.  I LOVED looking at all they had to offer:  embroidered handkerchiefs, troll dolls, plastic rain bonnets, mouse traps, paper dolls, valentines, Toni perms, stamped embroidery fabric, hair nets, doilies, color books, bags of sequins, bags of feathers, little mini sewing kits………every single time I went, I saw something new and different.   Unless, I was on a shopping trip with my mother, I didn’t usually buy much.

Oh, I did buy one thing.  ONE GLORIOUS THING.

As you walked around the Dime Store, you could smell it.  The aroma was intoxicating.  It was savory, buttery, salty, warm smelling goodness.

popcorn machineThe Dime store (it wasn’t until I was an adult did I know it had an actual name, we always called it the Dime Store) had on the check out counter, a POPCORN machine!  Ever since the first time I went there, I can remember the popcorn machine.  Heck, even when I was 16 and had my own driver’s license, I remember driving to the Dime Store for one thing or another and always, always buying a bag of popcorn.

The ladies that worked in that store, we business like and friendly.  They treated kids just as they treated any adult customer.

I always, always felt grown up.

My “client” and I would go to the counter, she usually got some little toy or trinket.  I would always politely ask for the LARGE size of popcorn. popcorn_0

We would walk home together.  Holding hands while crossing the street.  We would share the popcorn.  Now that I think about it, she wasn’t that interested in the popcorn.  Maybe it was me that was all happy and excited?

I can still remember the red and white striped popcorn bag.  I can feel that soft top edge after touching it and rolling it down a few times.

What a GLORIOUS treat.

My all time favorite food as a child and as an adult.  Popcorn.   Hands down.  POPCORN.

Oh sure, I “doctor” it up now and then.  However, there is nothing in the world quite as tasty as fresh made, on the stove top popcorn.  Real butter and real salt.  You need to use a paper napkin, it is that good.

So from my heart to yours, Happy National Popcorn Day!!!!

popcorn1May your celebration be GLORIOUS.

You can guess what I will be having for a snack today!

ps.  Please join me in sending good Karma to my “client”.  She is having her second hip replacement on the 26th.



Greenie Tahini

20150118_151012The recipe was originally named “very green, avocado, Tahini dip”.

boring and too long.  Not inspiring, dull.

Name change.   I tried Guacamus.  Then I moved to Tahinimole.  Urgh.

Thanks to the King and his famous, “Queenie Wahine” and Mr. Right………..  new name :

Greenie Tahini 

This is one of those recipes that was a HOME RUN, 5 GOLD stars! 5stars

This week’s football snacks are including this new dip.  So savory, lots of layers of flavor, smooth, intense………can’t stop dipping.

It is a gorgeous intense healthy green color.  No, I am not trying to convince anyone.  I love it.  Mr. Right love’s it.  Zero guilt and pure flavor.  Count us in.

20150118_151233Also tried out a brand new (to me) gluten-free cracker.  Well hello, beautiful. Where have you been for the last couple years?  Glad to meet you.  Breaks in half easily, flavorful, strong enough for dipping.  Nice flavor.

Here we go:

4-6 ounces spinach (rinse, place in skillet, cook just until wilted.  Remove.)

Into the Blendtec add the following:

1 large ripe avocado, 1/3 cup tahini, juice of one lemon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 Tablespoons cilantro, 1 teaspoon real salt & fresh ground pepper.  Add spinach and 1/4 cup water (or more for desired consistency).

Transfer to a pretty bowl (or I suppose you can serve it in the Blendtec container, not so fancy).  Add some great chips, crackers and veggies.  Say Grace (for the food, save some sports prayers for the intense fourth quarter).

Here’s hoping your team wins!

Happy Relaxing Sunday.

We are in this together.  Here’s to our health and wellness …. and Sunday afternoon HAPPY!



Oh, Happy Day!

Look around you.  Yes, right this moment.  Do you see any living human being in your general area?  If you are at work (are you really suppose to be reading someone’s blog while the boss is paying you?)  do you see a co-worker?  If you are at home, do you see family?  Ask yourself, what can I do to spread a little HAPPY?

I keep repeating myself over and over……….didn’t their mom ever teach them?  Okay, so if your mom was teaching you and you were tuning her out, I am happy to share a couple of words of wisdom.

You are an amazing person, we all are.  We just need to polish the apple, so to speak.  We need to think of others a bit more often.

One of the reasons you were put on this earth was to lift spirits.  Yes, you read that correctly.  No, you are not in charge of others happiness.  You are in charge of your own.  One of the ways to make yourself a bit more happy is to share that HAPPY with others.

“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. ” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Back in 1979, I gave an outdoor speech to about 200 people.  I used Ralph’s line.  Thanks Ralph!  What the heck did I know about sharing happiness with others?  I was flying through my speech and remembering planned gestures, I am not sure I really understood what I was spouting.  Okay, so maybe I did get “it” slightly.  I had figured out that being nice to others makes us happy and it is the right thing to do.

Everyone reminds me that they are “busy”.  They work.  Okay, heads up sweet friends, once and for all………..we ALL WORK!  Each one of us.  We cook and bake gourmet dog treats and type and sing and mow lawns and push papers around and fix boo boos ( with a kiss and a band-aid or with surgical instruments and stitches), we put squiggly lines and splashes of color on canvas.  We all work.   There that is said and done.

Now, for the extra hours in our lives.   Yes, do the math.  If we each work 40 hours a week, plus 56 hours of sleeping time…………. um, that leaves………72 hours to do with what you please.  Oh sure, some of you are going to tell me you commute or you have to volunteer 4 hours a week or you have to grocery shop for 2 hours a week………………….What are you doing with the other 51 hours a week????????????

Do yourself a favor and make someone happy.  Make yourself happy.  Do something for your better half.  Make him or her a loaf of home-made bread. (heads up, the recipe makes two loaves, give the other loaf to a neighbor or co-worker)  Iron one of their shirts while you are ironing yours.  Leave the car full of gas next time you use it.  Buy one fresh grapefruit and cut it up ready to go for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Let me ask you, just how happy would you be if you started off the day with a fresh 1/2 a grapefruit already cut and ready to eat?

While the potatoes are cooking for dinner, you have time to think of someone else.  While you wait for the laundry to finish drying, you can make a card.

You can start a batch of cookies to share with your family and a little plate full for the co-worker in the cubical next to you.

20150115_155922You can sew a Happy bib for the newly expectant parents that you know.

Seriously, I timed myself.  Yesterday,  took me 41 minutes to cut out and sew a bib.  I wrapped it up and tied a tag on it .  No, you don’t have to spend $4.00 on a card.  A happy little polka dot tag with the words, “CONGRATULATIONS on your HAPPY” will do nicely.   Secret:  I keep fusible fleece on hand.  I cut out two at a time, always.  I keep a steady supply of HAPPY fabrics to make a bib.  So no, I don’t have to drive to the store every time I want to share a sweet bit of happy.  20150115_163714

It made me happy to sew the bib.  It will make the parents to be, silly with happy.  It will make them happy one day when they actually use the bib.  It will make someone happy to see the little babe in the bib, maybe in a picture.  That folks, is a WHOLE LOT of HAPPY for 41 minutes of time and a few pieces of fabric. 20150115_163959

May I gently suggest, you do yourself a favor?  Look for ways to make someone else happy.  It doesn’t have to cost oodles.  It can be quick and easy.

It is the right thing to do.   Getting a little happy on yourself?  Well, that just happens to be a happy by-product.


Your mother did indeed teach you to think of others every single day.  Maybe you had head phones on and missed it?

You deserve to be happy.  We each thrive on it.

Get out there kind people and make your day sweeter.

OH, Happy Day!

sweet pillow talk

20150115_122848Just as an accomplished chef likes to enjoy an easy sandwich and cup of soup on a cold Sunday evening, a seamstress sometimes like a quick, cheap, no sew project.

Once in a while, we are all looking for something that can be created lickity split and for a reasonable amount of money.  Here is the skinny, for $4.37 or if you need to purchase a 18″ X 18″pillow form $7.49 (with a Joann’s coupon), this sweet project is easy on the pocketbook.

Who knew Hobby Lobby sold pillow covers for $3.99 ($2.39 with a coupon….on your phone, silly)?   20150115_113314Seriously, this was news to me.  If you knew this and didn’t share………why the heck not?   Nicely made, with a zipper and they had oodles of color and pattern choices.  What an excellent find.  What I am trying to nicely say here friends, is for a very reasonable amount of money, you can recover, refresh, revive those stain covered, sad-looking toss pillows on your sofa or bed.  Yes, I am speaking to you!

I also picked up two pieces of peel and stick craft felt for .99 cents each.20150115_113836

Which means, if you have a day care worker you want to give a pat on the back to , or would like to mail a lightweight, unbreakable care package to your sweet daughter who could use a spirit lift, or surprise a co-worker or study group leader…………this is your lucky day.  Have I got a sweet idea for you.

Less expensive and just as sassy, stick the letters onto the pillow cover and pop it into a padded envelope and surprise your girlfriend who lives miles and miles away.  For less than $5.00 you can spread LOVE across the land. (I bet she has a pillow she could stuff into her brand new LOVE pillow cover.)

I have a couple friends who (GASP) do not own a sewing machine.  Strange and silly?  No, honest truth!  Girl Scout honor……… sewing machine.  While you are gasping for air, let me just add I happen to know a couple of families that don’t own an iron?  WHAT?  yes, more truth.  So this craft is peel off paper and stick on. done. 

Yes, that easy.

Don’t ya think we all could use some extra LOVE?  It’s a win, win.  You make a quick project, you smile and are happy.  You give to someone else who is then happy.  They are happy all day and treat everyone they meet with LOVE and sweetness.  Yes, that easy.

I tripped over this brilliant idea by Ann over on her blog called,  “On Sutton Place”.  May I gently suggest you go there now.  Snoop around.  She seems like one of those great people you want to sit and have coffee with and chat and laugh.  Or someone you want to hang out with in their craft room and soak in the good vibes she puts out there.  I tell ya, just by going to her blog, you can feel the goodness oozing off her page.  Heck, she shared this great quick craft idea for free………..she must be one sassy lady.

“I woke up in love this morning, went to sleep with you on my mind.”  The Partridge Family