messy hope

My camp circle is huge.

You know what a camp circle is, right?  People you’d hang out with around a camp fire.  Relaxed.  Wild and messy hair hidden behind bandanas.  Dirty fingernails from rearranging rocks.  Really dusty sneakers from exploring an easy hiking trail.  Ripped and faded jeans.  Smiles.  No lipstick.  Rosy cheeks from the heat of the camp fire.  Everyone seems to have a stick.  Either to toast something or to stare aimlessly into the flames and watch the end glow red.

411a2ff02c5ce5dea2124c81db0b8193Those few people in your life that help you remember there is hope.  Just by the sound of their voice you can hear the courage they are sharing, the smile they are sharing.

One of my fellow campers lives 3,024.6 miles away.

Another sweet camper lives 3,046.2 miles away.

One more smiling camper lives 2,537.6 miles away.

Life get’s messy.  I don’t have to explain that to anyone. Well, anyone who is willing to buckle up and brave enough to jump on the roller coaster.  If you hide out and not jump in and get your hands dirty, then life isn’t so messy.

Maybe that’s it?  You don’t have to explain anything messy to your dear friends.  You just need to hear their voice and borrow a little bit of courage from them.  Just take a smidgen of hope from their voice.

I don’t want to live on the edges of other people’s happiness.  I want to take a bit of their happy and mix it in with the happy that I have and create this huge swirling stock pot of messy, delicious goodness.

I want to find reasons to celebrate every single day.  If something spectacular isn’t happening in my neck of the woods on any given day, I want to look for something to celebrate.

20150825_160252-1I want to spend the day making cedar shoe inserts to celebrate someone moving into a new apartment.  She loves shoes.  She loves her new closet.  She loves purple.  How on earth could I not celebrate and get a little of that happy on me?

I want to celebrate my friend’s 20150826_132924-1 (1)new grand on the way!

I want to celebrate my friend’s parents’ 60th wedding anniversary.

I think celebrating with others, just increases the joy.  1e26fe6b4984b32b5d9ff7f5150dfadb

I am mighty grateful and I appreciate my disheveled, bandana wearing fellow campers.

They share their good and their bad with me.  My mind swirls and twirls and I celebrate or cry with them.

Some days, I am not yet strong enough to hold them up and come up with brilliant ideas to help them.

Sometimes, when that text comes in or the phone rings, I just smile and gather a bit of hope and am stronger and I move forward with a little skip in my step.

Have I mentioned lately, what a lucky , grateful girl I am?

a spoonful of medicine

Everyday, if I glance at the clock and notice it is 11:30 am, I am a tad grumpy.  I know that within the next hour, I have to take my medicine.

I have been doing this for about 2 years.  I am almost an expert at how to trick myself and sort of forget the taste.  It takes me about 8 minutes to prepare and clean up.  Then about 10 minutes to eat it.  I need a diversion.

Here’s the thing.  I have figured out ways to entertain myself so I can quickly inhale all that I have to.

I have a list of funny sites to go to.  I keep a list of hilarious you tube videos.  I save up a brand new quilt magazine or a catalog to thumb through.  I save up an old fashioned letter that I received in the mail.  I save up a really interesting article Mr. Right sent to me.

I save up interesting stories people send and share.  I save them like an old lady saves quilt magazines, with dog earred pages…… I need to make that one day…….  I am not sure I will have time in my life to make all the quilts I want to create.  Jeepers, there are some beauties out there.

Our children help me.  One almost always sends a funny joke along with amazing photos of his latest hike or Jeep trip.

The other guy, talks to me about his latest recipe or food adventure.  Along with a funny joke or silly comic strip.

They both share oodles and oodles pictures of our grands.

How can medicine compete with photographs of grandchildren??? It can’t.

 Grands trump medicine every single time, ha.

I am fortunate to have an amazing line up of friends.

They send me interesting articles or something funny to watch.

I save them.  I save and wait.

Tic Toc

I wait for the magical noon time hour.

Then I open the file and read away.

While I am reading or pursuing great pictures or listening to an amazing TED talk, somehow, the medicine disappears.  I don’t even think about it.

Tomorrow’s line up?

A friend from the East Coast sent several pictures of oodles of quilts that her mother in law has created.

medicine_spoon_628830I feel like a grade school girl giddy with excitement.  You know that moment when you look at the big round school clock on the wall and you know that the recess bell is about to ring in 45 seconds?  Yippee!

No, I don’t peek.

I wait.  I imagine.

I want to open those pictures and savor the moment.  I want to be so absorbed in the amazing stitches, perfectly pieced triangles, 20150817_103735-1-1sumptuous colors……….that I forget all about the medicine.

A gentle suggestion…..

When you have a friend who has to has to take time out of their day to slow down and take some medicine, may I gently suggest you share a funny joke or story?  Your silly story or a suggestion for a silly blog post you read.

Believe me, it is appreciated.

It helps.  It really helps get through the rough, bumpy parts of the process called life.

This is from a very grateful and appreciative girl.

Friends and family help the medicine go down.

ps. can you spot the one mistake block in my Rabbits Paw quilt?  Machine pieced, hand quilted. There is even a bunny I quilted in there somewhere.  This quilt makes me smile every single time I see it.

soul food

I just finished reading, “The Apple Orchard” by Susan Wiggs.

It is the perfect end of summer read.  A book to read for the sake of relaxation.

I found myself picking it up so often, that 425 pages were eaten up in 3 or 4 days.  Wonderful entertainment to escape our daily, real life, sometimes with not so pleasant issues.

I recommended it to a friend.  She asked, via text,  “What’s this book about”?

I replied via text.  (I mention that because, it is supposed to be short, concise answers not an entire paragraph.)

Well written, fluff,  relaxing, family, sisters, running an orchard, food, mystery, a touch of romance, autumn, harvest………worth your spare time.

After finishing the book, a feeling of goodness has stayed with me.

One sentence, in particular has stayed with me.

The art of creating in the kitchen is good for the soul.

I fell head over heels in love with that sentence.  I know making Apple Kraut and allowing20150811_115644 it to mellow on the counter for five days, makes me smile and fills my soul with the goodness to come.

I adore making amazing food and sharing a sneak peek to Mr. Right.  In the hopes that his stomach will growl 20150812_174723and he will find his way home much quicker on that day.

I try and take mouth-watering pictures to pique his interest.

I constantly wish for a “Willy Wonka” type of cell phone.  One you can send smells and aromas via magical little particles.

I want to send him the amazing aroma of cipollino onions browning slow and low in a black iron skillet.  I want to send Mr. Right  the vibrant color of my Chihuly Salad along with the tang of lime in the air. 20150812_145520-1Here’s the thing, for the most part we take this stuff for granted.  Day in and Day out I cook.  We all cook.

I don’t want to be afraid of what people might say.  I really honestly don’t care that people talk about me like I am a housewife from the 50’s.  “nobody cooks from scratch anymore”.

I do.  I do it every single day.  My husband is worth the effort.  I am worth the effort.  Our dog is worth the effort.  It goes with out mentioning our children and grands are so worth the effort.

I adore my husband.  I am thrilled to come up with amazing food that he likes and enjoys.

Doing so, does indeed feed my soul.  Then in turn, his soul is fed by the food made by my hands.

Oh, and don’t forget, I find it a privilege to cook and bake for my friends.  It is my sincere pleasure to share with our friends.  Wait, don’t think I am like a 25-year-old, just learning to bake and wanting to make friends.  Giving away everything to anyone.  I like to trade like anyone else.

I adore baking rolls and sharing.  However, after several attempts or invitations for sharing a meal at our home, if it is not returned, I am okay with that.  I won’t push my cooking, baking, soul food onto others.

There is something of value about soul cooking. It nourishes the people that I adore and love.

Baking and cooking for our family is something I value.  I take great pride in the job I do.

No, it is not popular to say, I made this ravioli from scratch.

No, it is not popular to say, I made this apple crisp from scratch.

No, it is not popular to say, this soup, pie, bread, Almond Milk, salad, kraut, rice and beans………..are all from scratch.

While it IS popular to say, I bought it at a big box store.  So much easier and cheaper.  I am busy.  I don’t have time to cook or bake……………..

I don’t want to fit in.  I thought I did, once.

I am old enough now, not to believe that for one moment.

When I send a picture of falafel patties waiting to be gently cooked and edges made brown and crispy, the moment he gets home………..I know he will be eager to join me at the dinner table.

May the food on your table tonight feed your heart and soul.

game on

20150810_21081850 points is serious stuff.  Not very often do I earn those glorious extra 50 points.   You earn them by utilizing all of your tiles in the game of Scrabble during one turn.

I am sure you are familiar with the board game Scrabble?  It is a fixture in our home.  It comes out on winter days.  It is on the table during the summer.  Friends come to visit, it is on the table for morning coffee.  We share scores with family members via phone or text message.

Our family looks forward to visiting each other and bringing out the board games.

While waiting for dinner to finish cooking, we play a game.  While listening to music, you got it, we play a game.  Heck, we even have Scrabble tiles on the refrigerator door!

We purchased our game of Scrabble in 1986, while living in Alaska.

Mr. Right has been keeping written score of our games and dates since 1995.  Hard to believe, yet so true.  Here is the proof!20150810_215322-1

20150811_095031We keep score on the inside lid of most of our board games.  Boy howdy, we have a lot of board games. Scrabble, Cribbage and Kismet seem to come out most often.

It is fun to see who won last, the date we last played and if something remarkable happened that game. (high scoring word, or earning 50 points twice in one game.)

Board games are engaging.  We chat and sometimes eat snacks.  We laugh and are serious.  We look up words and yes, we keep score.

Taking the time out of an ordinary day to play a game makes the day, um, just better.

How to turn an ordinary day into a day of goodness and gratitude.  I am so grateful to have a friend to play a game of Cribbage.

During the Home schooling years, we would go, once a week to an assisted living home and the boys would play chess with a couple of residents.  Both parties were happy to have a new chess opponent.

Oh sure, you can play Cribbage on-line.  While waiting to have your oil changed or waiting your turn at the DMV, sure a computer game is a fun way to give your brain a break and waste some time. 20150811_095607

Nothin’ beats a real person, across from you.  An other human somehow, makes you bring your A game.  Oh, that win is so much sweeter when you know you tried your very best.  When you loose?  Makes you want to play again.

Get out a board game and make a memory.  Yes, it is fun.  Competition is not all bad, some times you even win!  it is a great way to let go of the day’s heaviness.  You know what I mean?  Extra long commute, bank fraud, not thriving pumpkins…… whatever the yuck.

May I gently suggest getting out the Scrabble game and playing a game after supper tonight?

Fingers crossed you win tonight.

Seriously, you don’t have a Scrabble game?  Get thyself to the local store.  Buy one.  Hours of fun times just waiting for you and your family.

beautiful bounty

In direct contrast to my ridiculous computer frustration the past few days…

I give you one picture.

Today’s Bounty.20150812_132801-1

Why yes, thanks for asking.  I can actually accomplish things.  I am gifted.

I did grow the beans and tomatoes!

Yes, yes, I did raise the chickens who gave us those two lovely eggs.

Oh my, I am blushing. Don’t stop me now, I am on a roll!  Look out!!!

Yes, I did weave the basket they are arranged in.

Oh, thank you, yes, I did sew the quilt and hand quilt the little tiny stitches on the piece in the photograph.

We all have talents and gifts.  Sometimes I can’t really see mine over the crying and gnashing of teeth over computer issues.

I have to gently remind myself that crying, stomping my feet and reaching my “cuss quota” for the day all have to do with computer technology not the other 99% of my life.

Do you gently remind yourself of your gifts?  It’s a lovely feeling to remember we each are talented in different genres.

I would love to hear about some of your talents and gifts.  Please share.

want some cookie dough?

Today, while day dreaming, I remembered one really great story.

The first 20 years of our marriage, Mr. Right was the traveler.  The US Army “invited” him to travel all around the world.

For the most part, I stayed back and “kept the home fires burning”.

Once in a while, I would fly off and have an adventure and then return to tell all about what I did.

Mr. Right would pick me up from the airport, kids in tow.  There was/is always a small cooler with icy cold water, sparkling and plain for the weary traveler.

Once home, we put the youngin’s to bed.

Then he got out a bowl from the refrigerator and two spoons.

Making homemade chocolate chip cookies.

In the bowl was Chocolate Chip Cookie dough!

CookieDoughSpoonInstead of baking cookies, he got out two spoons.  Handed me one.  We sat on the sofa and ate raw cookie dough with spoons.   (Yes, I know it is bad for you.  Yes, I know it has sugar and dairy and white flour and raw eggs.)  I got to talk with my mouth full of delicious, raw cookie dough!  All while telling about what I did and listening to what he and the boys did while I was away.

Then in the morning, once awake, Mom and boys got to bake Chocolate Chip Cookies (not quite as many as the usual recipe made, I wonder why?)   and talk about what we had beenchocolate chip cookies doing.

Here’s to a glorious, relaxing weekend ahead!  Happy Friday! 

May yours be full of cookie dough or cookies, your choice. 

ps.  I worked on more of my blog lesson for today.  I stopped when I reached my “cuss quota for the day”.  New brand being developed.

ps.  What are you still doing reading?  Quick, go make some cookie dough!Sunday's Child, Branding

special gifts

A few years ago, a friend said, “you should write a blog”.  I said okay and went and started a blog that day.

I did not read any directions.  I just jumped in.  Arms flailing about, laughing, rubbing hands together with glee.

I started writing.  I was/am grateful for a place to write my thoughts, thus allowing to turn off my brain & sleep through the night.

Fast forward to this, this is my 925 blog posting.

I got the brilliant idea that I should possibly take a class on “how to blog”.  Today was day 3.  I am trying, really I am. However, after a couple of hours (suppose to spend 15 minutes) of pulling my hair, cussing a few times, drinking way too much coffee………having a ridiculous purple background for 2 hours and actual tears…………………………

I have come to the realization that I have other gifts than computer guru.

I am grateful for many gifts.

I can write.

20150805_125836I can cook up a storm. As I type, I am baking an amazing vegetable pot pie for Mr. Right20150805_132549 for supper.  I grew the green beans and fragrant herbs, which I harvested today.

I can quilt.  I can cross stitch.  I can sew.

I can type (without looking at the keys, thanks to Mrs. Green) really dang fast.

I can set a beautiful table.

I can take care of my sweet dog.

I can make amazing sugar, dairy & gluten-free desserts.  I can make awesome Almond milk.

I can bike four miles a day.  I can swim like a mermaid.

I can iron shirts, almost as good as my sister-in-law.

20150805_132728I can research like nobody’s business.

I have it on good authority, that I can make a Strawberry Rhubarb pie that will make grown20150805_153645 men weep.

Yes, I have gifts.

Being able to figure out the secret, magical computer world is not one of my gifts.

We are all unique and blessed with special gifts.  We just need to figure out what they are.  M. Parsons.

I am grateful, mighty grateful for the gifts I do have.

Today, I refined my list.