again with the polka dots

August 1, 2013 I wrote a blog post about my washer and dryer.  Actually, what son number 2 made for my washer and dryer.
Remember way back when?  You know that time when you were all happy to have your very own matching washer and dryer(it felt so, I don’t know, grown up)?  You didn’t have to walk down th…

Everyone was doing everything they could think of to make me happy.  And Boy HOWDY , did that make me happy!

Fast forward to March 2016.  One week before moving, dryer goes kaput.  Drats.  Okay……tried parts, tried cussing, nothing.

Okay, New dryer.  Only one major problem20160427_153045

When we gave away the old dryer, I actually teared up.  What about my polka dots????

Yesterday around 2:00 pm  the door bell rang.  Hello UPS man!

What do you have for me?20160427_155715


Son number two comes through yet again!!!!!!!!  OH HAPPY DAY!!!20160427_184931 (1)


20160427_184947Excellent!  We are back in business.

Still on the laundry room “to do” list.  Paint cupboards white, install clothes pin door pulls.  Paint walls.  New light fixture.

Every time I step foot in that room I smile.

Apparently, doing laundry can make you HAPPY!

Thanks Gabe.  Love, Mom

my golden ticket

Everyday for oh, say, 30 some years, I would have an afternoon coffee and a little cookie, a piece of biscotti, an almond thin,  just a little something, something to go with my coffee.

I had to give that all up.  Yes, including how I made my coffee.  Good bye daily lattes.  I gave away 17 bottles of coffee syrups.   The daily cookie had to be deleted as well.   Somehow during all those years, the tiny piece of cookie was mixed up in my brain as comfort food.

3.3 years ago, in every part of my life I had to give up something.

I think I had oatmeal almost every morning of my life for about 45 years.   I have even ordered oatmeal at  3 different Four Season Restaurants.  I have ordered it in more states than I can remember.  I have eaten it with every topping imaginable.  My favorite.  Goodbye.

To say that I had an anger issue about all this would be an understatement.

Thankfully, I got my brain working again and figured out how to have my coffee once again.  (thank heavens for coconut cream).  Yesterday, I had a Butterscotch latte  (think butter and maple syrup and espresso).   I even have learned how to have an iced caramel latte.

20160426_171527Treats have been a bit tricky.  I used to bake batch after batch of Biscotti.  I wrapped it beautifully and gave it as gifts.  I gave it away to co-workers.  I gave it to neighbors.  I even sold some to a coffee stand for a while.  I loved Biscotti so much, I wanted to marry it.  Really!

Once I figured out, it wasn’t the chocolate bits that I liked or the drizzled frosting on top or the poppy seeds…..I adored the cookie part.  Just a crisp piece of cookie that I could dip now and then.   I knew I could figure this out.

So here I am 7 or 8 batches later…….remember my rules,  I can’t use sugar or dairy & it has to be gluten free. 20160426_164248-1

I tried “Swerve”.  No thank you.  I tried maple syrup, nope that wasn’t it.  I tried coconut sugar, again, not what I was looking for.  I tried Wax Orchard’s fruit sweet (I love this product, it just didn’t work in the biscotti).  I tried agave nectar, nope not the golden ticket.   I don’t use any artificial sweeteners of any kind.

Wait did I just type golden????

Honey.  I have fallen in love with Raw Honey and it has been my saving grace. Raw Honey has helped me heal and quite honestly saved my sanity.  My Golden Ticket!!

Daily medicine more manageable with a 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey.   Making my own Almond Milk, yes, you guessed it with raw honey.  Salad Dressing and treats, coffee drinks and the list goes on and on.

So here you go.  I am sharing my recipe.  By all means make it your own.

Here’s to comfort food that brings no guilt.

Here’s to our good health!

In this together, friend. 20160427_093752-1

Honey Almond Biscotti

1/2 cup butter (I used Earth Balance) 

3/4 cup raw honey

2 fresh eggs

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon real almond extract

3.5 cups flour ( I used Better Batter Flour) 

1/2 teaspoon baking powder (no aluminum) 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda 

3/4 cup raw sliced almonds

(You can add up to 1 cup of dried fruit or other goodies if you want)

Beat the butter until light.  Gradually add raw honey, eggs, vanilla and almond extract.  Beat until smooth.  Combine flour, baking power, baking soda and salt.  Add to honey mixture.  Stir in almonds. 

Shape dough into two 10X13X1 inch logs and place on a silpat covered cookie sheet.  Bake at 350* for 25 minutes. Remove, cool 5 minutes.  Reduce heat in oven to 275* 

Cut each log into 1/2 inch slices and arrange on baking sheet.  Bake 20 minutes or until crisp.  Cool on a wire rack.  Store in a air tight container. 

Make coffee (or tea).  Sit down, feet up and enjoy a piece.  Pure comfort.  (and no guilt for me)

how does your garden grow?

20160424_162144I sort of had this fuzzy dream of one day growing an amazing herb garden.  Sure, sure in previous years, I have had pots of this and that. Some years the Thyme took over, most years the Basil was replaced and replaced from Trader Joe’s. Dreaming of a secret garden with herbs to gather and berries to pick was always the plan.

One of the beautiful things that the previous care takers of our new home left behind were huge, amazing, raised bed gardens.   Gardens so beautiful & lush that snipping a sprig or two to garnish dinner plates is hardly noticed.








20160424_162438We also inherited sorrel, garlic, grapes, apple, raspberries and blueberries.  Yes, my mermaid swims through the garlic.

So in a magical twist of fate and good fortune,  I am grateful for herb gardens that are thriving. All lush and so lovely.

Before I slip on my new garden gloves, I run my hands over the mint.  I brush the leaves back and forth.  The aroma is intoxicating and fresh.  Oh my.

How does your garden grow?




abandoned (he)art

I can’t sugar coat it any longer, exhaustion has hit.  The feeling is as heavy as a sopping wet wool blanket draped over me.  It feels dark and ominous.  Just getting out of bed and doing the day’s chores has become monumental.

Packing and moving is tricky, frustrating, thrilling, happy and all whipped together it makes you dog tired. A bit over tired.  Once we spend a month or so back in a routine of exercise, good food and juicing, things will return to some sort of balance.

I caught myself sitting and staring at nothing.

Sewing or stitching calms my spirit and helps me breathe.  However, the thought of beginning a huge sewing project or quilt is just too much.  The things that normally tickle my fancy…… for fabric, choosing colors, pinning the quilt together, well to tell the truth, are just too much for me right now.

I really felt the need to create something.  Maybe something small, easy, pretty.  Creating things help me get back in balance.

20160421_161033As so many times in life, the project “found” me.

Actually a California friend shared the idea (no, we have never met in person………..I think we found each other through a wellness group online)……..she seems like the kind of person I would want to hang out with.  Explore a cool outdoor museum and then have some really great fish tacos at a stand near the beach, all while talking about planting organic potatoes.

Side note:  Don’t you think it is wackadoodle how I imagine friendships?  I honestly don’t know if she plants potatoes or not.  Nor do I know if she eats fish tacos.  Just something about her slips through the computer screen.  Good, kind, funny, smarty pants, cool, lovely, a bit mischievous and inspiring. 

Anyway, she found a group giving away love.  Yes, love and goodness.  It is a group on Facebook called, I found a quilted heart  .

She shared the idea and just like our imaginary organic potatoes, it took root.

The idea is simple.

20160421_152427Make a heart.  Give it away.  Spread some love and kindness.  The end.

Just a random act of making art and then abandoning it for some other soul to find & somehow magically bathing that person in love and grace.  Not through lots of chatter.  No names.  No sewing rules or skill level needed. No person to thank.  Pinned with a short note:  Take me Home.  (On the back the website to share if you found a heart.)

In case you have forgotten, there is good in the universe.  Between the bills, the sorrow, the hurt, the brutal actions of some, the loneliness, the poverty, the constant bad news and yes the exhaustion……..kindness and love slip through the cracks.

Like a perfect purple flower taking root in the crack of the sidewalk.20160421_161039

One  person, channeling the good in the universe and making a small heart for another human.  A gentle reminder that they are loved.  Both of the people.  One having a job to make the heart and the other person has the moment when they pick it up and gather all the good karma that was sewn into it.

Both equally healing.

Bits of fabric, ribbon, beads…..all threaded together to form a heartfelt act of random kindness.

BElieve THEre is GOOD in the world.




almost free curtains

Army wives are frugal.  Army wives are creative and clever.  Army wives are amazing people with amazing stregth.  Today, I just want to talk about the millions of homes, windows and curtains….those creative Army wives have dressed.

Here is an example.  While living in Alaska, I made these beautiful, fluffy, gorgeous white balloon shades for our master bedroom.  I put dowels in the bottom hem, so we could lift them up during daylight.  Just so pretty.  It took quite a bit of white fabric to make them fluffy and puffy and full.

Next duty station; Oklahoma.  I dyed those white curtains a peach color and sewed a new hem and used them in the small living room windows.

Next home; still Oklahoma.  I dyed those now peach curtains, blue.  I cut and sewed new edges and hem and made tie backs and used them in the living room.

Mr. Right happen to mention once, by the time I retire and stop moving all our curtains will be dark brown or black.  snort.

Believe it or not, it has been 16 years since he retired.  However, the old Army habits still linger.

Our new library has a beautiful large window that looks out to the street.  While I like the shade that is there now, I wanted curtains to soften the look and add a touch of privacy.

I did buy a new curtain rod and brackets.  ($11.99) We ran out of possibilities of all the other left overs from all the other homes and windows.

In true Army wife fashion, need and inspiration struck at the same time.  I happened across a large piece of fabric.  I had used it once for a sheer tablecloth over-lay for a formal Canadian Thanksgiving meal.  Next, I used it as a swag over some heavy drapes we had in a bedroom.

Yesterday I warmed up the sewing machine and got out my scissors.  I cut and ironed and sewed new hems and a sleeve for the rod.

Within 2 hours the rod and brackets were up. The 3 panels of curtains were made and hemmed.

I believe the “kids” now a days, say that my NEW curtains were up-cycled or re-purposed.

To this former Army wife………….those beauties make me smile.

Thrifty, creative  & third use of material.

…and the dance continues.











what’cha reading?

While growing up, we had this tall playhouse tower in the backyard.  Once you climbed the ladder, you ducked your head and then could stand up.  Just being inside the tower the outdoor noise was dulled.  It was cooler than in the bright sunlight.  It was also calm.  Sometimes, my sisters and I would take our lunch up there.  Other times, we would take books or Sixteen magazine and lay on blankets and do nothing but read.

My 56-year-old cousin, had a tree house built-in their back yard.  Yes, a real grown up tree house!  Shelves for books, a trunk to tuck blankets and pillows in.  Windows.  Twinkle lights, of course there are twinkle lights.  Sometimes, summer weather allows for them to sleep outdoors in the tree house.  It was a dream of hers, always.  To have a tree house.  You climb up the stairs and once inside, the outdoor world is muffled.  You take a huge cleansing breath and feel the calm and peace. There are ridiculously cool pieces of art hung here and there.  Their initials are carved into a piece of the wood.  Being there makes you want a tree house.  She says she needs the tree house to regroup now and then.

Moving is a wild ride.  All sorts of thoughts and ideas are swirling in your brain.  You feel guilty if you are not working on a project.  We are desperately trying to make it feel like “home”.   So many things to do and work on.  It is all tumbling around you.  You just need a moment to breathe or regroup.

puyallup-library_sizedThis past weekend we made time to go to our new library.  As we walked up to the front door, the clock tower was chiming, the Farmer’s Market was in full swing, the playground equipment was crawling with short people squealing and giggling, I heard a siren nearby.  Mr. Right held open the door, as I carried an empty library book bag, I thanked him and walked in.  We were greeted with Calm,  Quiet,  Peace,  Cool,  Excellent lighting, That perfect smell of books, Friendly faces.

First order of business; brand new library cards.  Sort of like a golden ticket.  FREE books and lectures and magazines galore….just by holding one of those magical and powerful tickets.20160416_143846

Two glorious stories of shelves after shelves of the unexplored.  Beautiful architecture thoughtfully designed to hold enormous amounts of books.

There is a beautiful bridge on the second floor. Yes, a real bridge.  You can see down to the children’s area on the first floor.   It feels like you are walking into an area of calm and peace.  There is a fireplace nearby where the periodicals are kept.  Feels sort of like ….a tree house.

As we wandered,  pieces of art caught our eye. Stunning, take your breath away beauties. Library lighting and amazing windows.  Desk and tables here and there.  Lots of thoughtful places to sit, cozy up, and read.

Somehow they have blended state of the art technology with the old familiar feel of wooden tables and low table lamps.

Feels like the perfect tree house.  The perfect place to center yourself and regroup.

As my boyfriend carried my overflowing book bag out the door, I heard the clock tower chime again.

An hour had slipped by. We walked out into the world again after being bathed in the peace and calm and wonder only a library can offer.  We stood taller.  We somehow felt ready to hear all the sights and sounds of the town.  We had re-grouped and our spirits were buoyed once more.


Extremely Grateful for such a beautiful library in our new town, we headed home to find the perfect spot in our own library to stack our books of the week.20160416_175348 (1)

In this together, I would love to hear/share what books are on your night stand.




playing life



We just wrapped up one full glorious week with grand number 3 and parents.

While we love every single moment with the grand, after he is tucked in for the night, the board games come out.

The same thing happens when we are with the other grands.  Bedtime happens for short people and then the snacks and cards come out.

We have played board and card games since before we were married.  Mr. Right played all through the cold Quebec winters and even though we have a bit warmer weather in the Pacific Northwest, the tradition as continued.

Our son told us he remembered his cousin, Brett in Quebec teaching them to put vegetable oil on the spinner to make it spin and spin and spin.  haha   Love that the cousins played games growing up.

I gotta tell you, I have the most wonderful memories of playing family games with our children.  Fast forward and now four adult kids have great attitudes and the conversation is sprinkled with jokes and silly comments. No matter the age: talking, snacks, games………feels perfect. Feels like family.

Scrabble, Rummikub, Kismet, Cribbage, Monopoly, Sequence, Phase 10 and Life.  Each night the snacks are set up and the game begins.

Since one daughter in law is a banker in real life, you would think she would want a break? Nope, she raises her hand & volunteers for the job. She is  organized, neat & accurate, perfect for the job.

One person this week seemed to sit in the “lucky” chair and win more than his share.  Great reason to do it all over again next time.  We keep track by writing on the inside of the box.  Date, winner and sometimes crazy comments.

During the last game night, we played Life.  Our game is from the 70’s.  The pieces are all still there.  The church steeple is in perfect condition.  The cards are all accounted for.  The box has a few rounds of strapping tape to repair some worn edges.  life game box

If you have ever played you know you roll the dice and your piece advances to different squares.  You pay taxes, go to school, you have children, get a job, play the stock market, receive a pay check and sometimes or 3 times in one game, you are thrown back to start to begin again.  Yep, just like real life. life board game

Whenever I play and I land on the “have a baby” spot.  I normally grown.  I have never thought of myself as a good mom.  To be honest, I sort of beat myself up about it over and over and over.

I yelled too much.  I was too worried about a clean house.  I was frantic about proper behavior.  I think back and sort of wish I had been a bit more flexible.

This time, when I landed on the space and I rolled my eyes……………our youngest son, said, why?  I said, I didn’t think I was a very good mom.

He said, Dustin and I turned out pretty good.  I think you did great.


I just giggled and went on with the game (which I lost by taking a chance.  Come to find out , I had more moola than anyone!  Drats)

However, I can’t stop thinking of that moment.

One of the things about healing the last 3.5 years, is letting go of bad feelings and moving forward.

In just one, off the cuff comment, a HUGE weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Then, I got to thinking about it.  We are so impressed with the way both boys and wives parent.  Our grandchildren are polite, kind, thoughtful, funny, silly, incredibly smart, creative, happy, curious and amazing.

We raised our boys to seek out wonderful women to be their wives.  Together they are amazing parents.  They each seem to have found a good balance on being “the parent” and being silly & goofy.

Today, I am about 98 pounds lighter.

We did an amazing job raising our boys.  They took all the good from Mr. Right and I and then peppered in some goodness of their own.

Our grands are amazing.  Their parents are amazing.  Their grandparents are amazing.

Life is good.