cross stitch, haPPY

bee happy

Two weeks ago today, I fell in love with a piece of 28 count linen in a beautiful color called, Buttermilk. (fyi, 28 count means that there are 28 threads per inch)20170727_153913-1_resized

I adore this pattern.  It was a quick, happy stitch.  The designer’s name is Annie Blecher and she is Annie Beez Folk Art.   I had a hiccup mid-week, as I ran out of that lush gold color.  52 cents later, I was back in business.

Sharing/teaching is a beautiful, happy thing.

Sometimes in the work place, folks don’t want to share information?  They feel puffed up and important by not sharing knowledge.  The “I know something you don’t know” game is very uninspired and sad.

Sharing makes you feel wonderful & it is very uplifting. Everything about it is HAPPY!

I am passing on the goodness, the happy.  Over the years, I have taught a couple of people how to cross stitch.  I am doing it again.  Next month, I am teaching two young tween girls the art of counted cross stitch.  Who know’s, it may be the beginning of a beautiful hobby they enjoy in which they pursue happiness for the rest of their lives?  I could have a hand in that!  How exciting and wonderful and uplifting!

Hobbies help our souls and mental health.  Yes, certain days our hobbies can aggravate the tar out of us, yet, for the most part, they help us create our own  “HAPPY”.

One of the things mental health counselors often ask right off the bat?  What are your hobbies?  (no, sorry, watching television is not a hobby)   Side note: I understand having a hobby will not “fix, cure” all mental health issues.  However, for me and many others, having a hobby brings us great personal joy and balance as we navigate life. 

Helping to cultivate a hobby is a beautiful gift. Both the student and the teacher garner so much happy.   We all benefit.   Our neighborhood, our world, heck our workplace is better when we are kind and share what we know.

For the class, I have gathered both pattern and fabric.  We will be starting with 14 count Aida cloth. (You guessed it, that is 14 threads per inch.  You are catching on. )  Each kit I make up will have the called for threads and of course a needle.  20170728_074813_resized (1)

Part of the lesson will also include a baking break.  Girls who stitch NEED to take a break to bake Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I thought everyone knew that!

I will give a gentle suggestion/life lesson:  After baking, we need to wash our hands (no one wants chocolate on their white Aida cloth, no one)

Love to hear about your hobbies.  I would appreciate hearing how you fit in and find time to make your hobby a priority.  Love to hear about you sharing.

I would really enjoy hearing about you sharing and teaching your hobby to someone else. Have you passed on the Happy?

In this together friends, here’s to our mental, happy health!

chat soon

 

 

 

 

 

before and after, fresh berries

door, floor & more

When I type a blog post, I am usually sitting at a table like any normal/sane/non-obsessed with a new door person.

Not today.

Today, I am sitting cross-legged on the floor, being grateful.  Still in my jammies, a cup of hot coffee with extra homemade cashew cream.  As background music for the little camp I have set up, I chose piano.   Sweet Liberty is snoozing beside me, taking a morning nap.  It is only, 7:14 am and she is quite happy to hit the snooze button.

20170725_165021-1_resizedI just noticed that my right thumb is bluish, purple stained color.  Oh, I guess it is from picking blueberries yesterday?  Goodness, this has been a prolific year for them.

I am in our master bedroom, sitting in front of the closed bathroom door.

Just goofing off on the internet.  I am actually looking for Christmas gift ideas.  My July 25th, “Christmas in July”, has spilled over into today.  Doesn’t everyone shop for and create on the 25th of the month?

Why am I sitting here, you ask?

The thrill of a wonderful Before and After, of course.  20170702_110956_resized

Before… we had a 1990’s oak finish, blah bathroom door with a very inexpensive mirror GLUED to it.  I don’t need to expand in detail about how much I did not care for that design feature.

After…Now we have a substantial, beautiful spa door with Rain glass.    Together we measured (3 times), crossed our fingers and ordered the door. It fits like it was made for it!  Mr. Right did an exceptional job installing the handle and the hinges.

We like it so much, we started another envelope to save up for a door just like it for the main bathroom.  Who really can be giddy & grateful over a bathroom door?  Me! Me!

 

I might sit here all day long, glancing up now and then to smile.

I might paint my toenails here.  It seems like a great place to read my library book.  I already know I can drink beverages here.  I can sew felt food by hand.  Not quite sure how I’m going to cook real food for dinner or start the washing machine from here……..

Just sharing goodness from my little indoor camp site.

I’ll be here all day.  Just whistle if you need me.

Just sharing the goodness,

In this together friends,

Chat soon.

 

good behavior, great marriage, haPPY, happy marriage

love can travel

Several years ago, one morning in church, our pastor asked us to pray for a dearsenior citizen marriage bed lady we all knew.  Her husband had been scheduled for an overnight stay at the hospital for a simple procedure.  Our pastor made a point of asking for prayers for her.  You see, she and her husband had been married over 52 years and she had never once slept a night without him.

Being a well seasoned Army wife, this concept was new to me.  Army guys are not known for being home seven days a week, 30 days a month…you get it.  I most certainly didn’t enjoy it, you somehow figure it out and muddle through it.

By far a big lesson for me in the art of empathy.  I wanted to show I cared and had sincere understanding for this gal.  Who, by the way, had so many visitors and calls that very one day and evening, she laughingly told us later she was exhausted and fell into bed and slept very well.

Of course, we lifted our prayers,  chatted with her and all was well.

However, I really wanted to learn and understand empathy.  Not feel sorry for her.  I wanted to figure out how I could lend an ear or a gentle pat on the shoulder.  Maybe a simple phone call would help?

Last night a friend sent me a note.  Being married around the 16-year mark, her husband was going out-of-town for business, for the first time, EVER.  With two teenagers and several planned activities over the course of the upcoming weekend, I am sure she will do fairly well.  We promised to send messages, call & check on her and the kiddos.  We invited them to our home and for dinner.

I got the call!  This time I was ready.  I had empathy to share. With two teenagers and several planned activities over the course of the upcoming weekend, I am sure she will do fairly well.  We promised to send messages, call & check on her and the kiddos.  We invited them to our home and for dinner.

Mr. Right retired from the Army 17 years ago.  His current job takes him away on business now and then.  It is yucky and I don’t like it one bit.    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not dreadful. I don’t sit and pine for him.  Do people pine?  Do people even use that word anymore?    I do stay busy and over plan.  I  plan trips to craft, gardening, gift, quilt shops and spend oodles of time looking at everything.  I eat food that I really like.  I just miss him something awful.  I always feel at loose ends when he is gone.  I know how nice it is when girlfriends and family check in on you.  I always appreciate those folks in my life that call me and make sure I am distracted for a bit.

So to my friend who will experience something different, awkward, feels odd sleeping alone…….

We are all in your corner.  We are all sending oodles of good karma your way. 

May the weekend slip by uneventful and by Monday morning you will be exhausted from all the worry, fretting and the restless couple of nights you had.  Not to mention you two crazy kids texting, phoning & talking to each other way more than had he been in the same town!

In a rather lovely way, I’m secretly glad it is bothering you.  I am happy for you that your marriage is so strong and steady that having the love of your life not beside you is going to be tricky and feel funny.   The love affair you are having with that man of yours is beautiful to behold.  You two have built something so strong, it will most certainly withstand a two-day business trip.  distance

In this together, friend.

It is going to be okay.

 

 

 

Uncategorized

jam jams

I sent a text this morning to our “baby”.  When did time slip away?  Today, he is 32.  Yikes. That went fast!  When he was little, if you asked him when he was born he would reply, “a hot, hot day in July”.  haha, he was born in Alaska so you have to ask yourself, how hot is “hot, hot” for that area of the country?alaska

When did I become one of “those” people who casually sip their morning coffee while looking online for “proper” pajamas?

Oh, yes, I have a wonderful array of beautiful, luxurious lingerie.  Simply gorgeous stuff. Some of my pieces are so pretty they would make a grandmother blush.  Oh wait, I am a grandma!   I am fortunate to have a lovely selection of lingerie.  Really beautiful items, that yes, I do wear.

However, I am talking about everyday grown up, jam jams.  The kind of article of clothing that you would wear on a late to bed Wednesday night, pack in your suitcase or wear when company is visiting. No need for Doris Day slippers, just pretty, well made, lovely jammies.

Here’s another question:  When did it become appropriate to wear pajamas out of the house, to the store, driving kiddos to school, and apparently to district court?  There was obviously a reason this sign needed to be posted.  pajamas

It seems like the right time in my life.  I am going to make an effort to stop wearing the stretched out faded hot pink, extra soft “Arizona” t-shirt paired with the stretched out periwinkle polka dot, well-worn pajama pants.  It’s time girlfriend, it’s time.

This pair by Ralph Lauren has my interest. pink pajamas

I, like apparently, over 1 million other people, listened to a TED talk by Jennifer L. Scott. She explains the 10 piece wardrobe idea.  The idea is WONDERFUL and freeing.  I am starting with her gentle suggestion of a lovely pair of grown up pajamas.  If you find you have an extra 10 minutes in your day, I highly recommend listening to her talk.  Eye opening for sure, you know my brain is swirling.

I’ve already started on her suggestions.  I am purging.  I am the one girlfriend you have that loathes clothes shopping.  I really get anxious ( that’s a nice way of saying I throw a fit when “someone” gently suggests, “it might be time to look into buying some new clothes”) and hold onto stuff much too long.   I love the idea of just buying excellent quality items that surpass trends and are just nice.  I am tired of buying things just because the sale tag caught my eye.  I am tired of not knowing what will go with other stuff and spend my time on that.   urgh, just not my cup of tea.

coffee cupToday is an overcast, gray, raining day.  The perfect morning to sip coffee & shop for pajamas online.   I click the button to purchase a Christmas gift, and oh the perfect birthday gift………down the rabbit trail I go………….

The pajama struggle is real people!

In this together,

Chat soon.

 

 

 

cooking, crochet, cross stitching, haPPY

wwip

Hello, Wednesday.

Better known around these parts as Wednesday Works in Progress.

Do you ever jot down a list right before bed time?  Sort of lifts my spirits now and then.  I jot down a list of all the things I have done or working on during the day.  Do you ever put a couple of stars on the calendar just for you and a couple things you accomplished?  It’s very gratifying to see those stars.

Wednesdays are similar.  I jot down a list or try to remember to take pictures of my works in progress. I try and take a moment to be happy about what I am working on.

My health & wellness is a work in progress.  Ha, no, I am not going to start taking a Wednesday selfie.  That would be weird.

Let’s see………kitchen cabinet update.  Yippee!  Time for a half celebration!  The entire upper section is done! Each cupboard has fresh paint, new hardware, new stoppers. Inside two of the cupboards have chalkboard paint (so stinkin’ cute).  I am officially taking today off from painting.  Tomorrow, I will start the bottom half.

The quote I chose for the soffit:

they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.  acts 2:46

Counted cross stitch update.  I am in love with both pieces I am working on.  I love the sparkle thread in the bee’s crown.  I was not tickled with it while I was stitching.

 

We bought another half a flat of raspberries this past weekend.  I have only two boxes left.  The Rhubarb Raspberry Galette baked in cast iron, turned out wonderful.  The crust was a bit crisp, the Rhubarb tart and the Raspberries were sweet as could be.  A wonderful combination.

 

Friends are having twins.  I wanted to be prepared for the gender reveal this week.  So I crocheted FOUR sweet little hats.  I guessed girl, girl.  Mr. Right guessed boy, boy. Our niece guessed one of each.

I made four.  I gave the two blue hats to the parents to be.  I donated the two pink hats to charity.  We are celebrating their works in progress!

 

Hope you are having a productive and happy Wednesday.

I would love to hear about your works in progress.

Please share about your Wednesday, after all, we are…..

in this together.

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bath, book review, books, flourish, summer, summer reading

summer reads

20170713_085830-1_resizedI am on my third check out of Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison.  No, not renewal, actual go to the library and check out the book again.

Do you do the same?  Do you review, thumb through, try a 20170713_091025-1_resizedrecipe or two and start to decide on how many stars you will be giving a book?

I happen to have a tendency to collect, buy, wish for, way, way too many cookbooks. Getting in the habit of checking them out first, before I buy has been a delightful option. So, last night, I dashed to the library and checked this beauty out once again.  Third time’s a charm.  I am buying this book of hers for my own.  Side note, I love it when I see that box from Amazon on my doorstep.  A little shiver goes up my spine.

Deborah Madison is a tremendous author and founding chef of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco.  We had the insight and good fortune of planning for and indulging in one of the most memorable meals of our lives at that glorious restaurant.    May I gently suggest you jot it down on your bucket list?  That meal, that view, that moment in time was honestly, one of the best of our lives.  

So today, I have some raspberries calling my name.  My crystal balls tells me there is a tart in the dreaming stage.  By tonight it will grace our table.

In the summer months, most days, I forgo the hour study on health and wellness in the morning and spend my morning, afternoon sitting in the sunshine and evening reading times with glorious summer reads.  Steamy, action packed, romance, mystery,  cookbooks, travel, adventure, can’t put down kind of books.

20170712_205630_resizedAs I have previously written about, I have only (so far) lost one book in the bubbling, swirling, frothy bath.  (yes, you can laugh).  I try to be much more careful.  Somehow magically, time flies and my cares & worries take a back seat, while I indulge in an excellent summer read. Before the water turned cold for the third time, I managed to zip through 145 pages of the latest Stuart Woods book,  Indecent Exposure.20170712_210015-1_resized

Summer time reading is where I get to indulge like a school girl free to read what she stumbles upon.  Pure entertainment to allow my mind skip and tumble and dance for fun.

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts is a 466-page turner that you will finish on a long20170712_081059_resized weekend.  Horses, high-end resort, intrigue, mystery,, sadness and romance……all rolled together easily transport you to a family in Montana and that beautiful big sky country.

Bread baking has tickled my fancy yet again.  I love to bake bread.  I go through phases where it is not on my “to-do” list all the time.  That yeasty smell has drawn me in again and I have purchased a few new books.

20170711_070636-1_resized_1We had the insight and good fortune to visit Ken Forkish’s bakery while visiting Portland, Oregon.  I have had his books on my wish list since the very moment I bit into the most heavenly piece of bread I have tasted in ages.  Before I even swallowed that first bite, I knew in my heart, I had to learn everything I could from this genius baker.  He has some quick videos on YouTube to help with the techniques which has made the baking so smooth.  Money well spent on these two beauties.

Not a book, however, one of the best documentaries we have watched in a long time was “What the Health” free on Netflix.  I would love, love, love to discuss this with anyone.  However, I am fully aware that it is not everyone’s cup of tea.  I just needed to share it, in case you were looking to improve your or your loved one’s health.  There.  Now, I shared, so I don’t have to worry and fret that I forgot to tell you.  Well worth your time to watch.

As the middle of July is knocking on the door, there is still plenty time to indulge in summer reads.

I know it is not a passion of some folks.  Just thought I would share some suggestions in the hopes that you will share what you are reading.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

reading

 

good manners, grace, respect

one glass of water

If you every complain about not having enough storage, might I suggest embarking on painting all the cabinets you have?   Jeepers, it takes some time.  Yes, the magic of television has the kitchen cupboards painted in a matter of a 60-minute television show.  No, in real life, it does not happen like that.

This past weekend, while painting cabinets, a locksmith arrived at our home to install a new front door lock and handle.

I got down off the ladder, grabbed an icy cold sparkling water, said hello, shook his hand and offered him a cool drink.

His English was very good, however, he asked what is this?  I thought he meant, what was in the can.  Mr. Right told him like soda only water.  He was confused about us giving it to him.

 NO ONE HE HAS EVER WORKED FOR HAS EVER GIVEN HIM A GLASS OF WATER. 

I will let that settle in your throat &  heart.  I instantly felt ashamed of my fellow-man.

SERIOUSLY? 

I got tears in my eyes.

The media today would have you to believe that huge groups of people are treating each other with disrespect.

Wrong.

APPARENTLY, one person by one person we as a society are not treating each other with basic kindness.

I quietly went back to painting, he got to work.

Of course, within 45 minutes, his work was completed and I had worked up a mighty good head of steam.

20170710_081205-1_resizedWe thanked him, paid, shook his hand and sent him on his way.

As the locksmith got in his work van and began to drive away, the first thing I said to Mr. Right, “I’d give a prisoner a glass of water.”

APPARENTLY, some folks have not been taught common decency, common courtesy, basic human manners.  APPARENTLY, the locksmith who works a 40 hour plus week, (I have no idea how many customers that is per day) has been to MANY homes, businesses, people locked out of cars (doesn’t count, I am assuming you don’t have a cold beverage in your purse awaiting a locksmith) …………………… and NO ONE has ever offered him a drink of water! 

Shameful.

Shameful.

Allow me to enlighten you.

When someone (guest or worker) comes into your home, you offer them a beverage.   Is that one of the first things you do when someone comes to your office?

When someone comes into your home, you offer them a beverage.

Did you teach your children?

Did you teach your children? Okay, not too late.  Tell them right this moment.  I’ll wait for you to come back.  YES, it is that basic and that important.

I will not share with you how many “friends” homes I have been to and never offered a glass of water. People might be embarrassed to see their names printed.  Oh, and that would be rude on my part.

From this moment on, NO excuses!  My mother never taught me that.  Oh, he wasn’t going to be here long.  He is just cutting the lawn outside.  It isn’t that hot out.  They just stopped by for a moment.  I didn’t have anything to offer.  I saw she had her own water bottle while she repaired our fence.

NO, I don’t mean the casual comment, “Would you like a drink?” Leaving the responsibility up to the guest in your home.  You are putting them in an awkward position.

I am going to be very clear here.  HAND the person a glass of water or ice tea or hot cocoa or hot coffee and OFFER the person the drink.  

Hello, welcome to our home, would you like some water? (AS YOU ARE HANDING IT TO THEM)glass of water

Are you treating your fellow man with gracious behavior?

Monday seems like the perfect day for a rant.

In this together, friends.  Let’s try to treat each other with kindness.

Please try harder to be nice.