balance, melancholy, Uncategorized

more photos fewer words

20170415_152818_resizedI recently read where people want more pictures less writing on20170415_152703_resized blogs.

Really?  I wonder why that is?  Makes me a tad bit melancholy.  I want to write and share.  I love reading and catching a glimpse of other writers lives through their blogs.  It is a pleasure for me.

more photos fewer words20170415_152723-1_resized

Today, the words swirling in my brain are serious like Aluminum , Thiomersal and Magnesium.  I want to talk about those.  I want to study more and have an in-depth discussions.  I want to write about and learn more about and share.

For this time, I will share pictures.  Pictures from a brief walk between rain drops this past weekend.




balance, grateful, haPPY, Uncategorized

it is well with my soul/sole

Three pair’s of sweet Mary Jane, black & scuffed church shoes were lined up.girls_shoes

Every single Saturday night, before bedtime, my sisters and I would place our shoes on a piece of newspaper directly in front of our father’s chair.

After we kissed him goodnight all three of us girls, scrubbed with slightly damp hair, dressed in our granny gowns, skipped, ran, pushed, raced, jostled our way to our bedrooms.  After which he would, I am sure, enjoy the calm & quiet and would polish our shoes. Sometimes, my mother’s high-heeled shoes were there as well.

I can still smell the polish.  I can still hear him.  I can still see him polishing shoes.  Now that I think about it, he polished a LOT of shoes.  He wore a suit to work every day which means he wore dress shoes daily.  Yes, he polished those as well.

It was what we/he did.

Sunday morning, after eating and getting dressed, we knew where our shoes were.  They were all lined up and turned around facing us.   Magically, they had no scuff marks, were spit spot clean and had been buffed to a shine.  So beautiful, I felt like I was putting on a brand new pair of shoes.well-with-my-soul

Lucky for me, military men seem to know how to shine shoes.  While it was certainly not one of the things I was looking for in a mate, it certainly is a perk.  I am equally certain, when he was 18 and polishing his Army boots for hours at a time, he was not thinking, “golly, this will sure come in handy when I have to polish my future wife’s shoes and boots”.

It works like this:  I bake some cookies or fresh bread, sew on a shirt button or iron a few of his dress shirts.  Then I  set my shoes, boots or sandals out.  Then I ask nicely & by the way, there are some molasses cookies for you on the counter20160907_145053-1_resized. …….as if by magic, scuff marks disappear, the edge is black again and it feels like I am slipping on a brand new pair of shined shoes.  It’s a beautiful dance, really.

side note:  I am pretty sure that Mr. Right’s First Sgt. didn’t offer fresh-baked cookies while the boot polishing was underway.  ha

Yesterday, I noticed my sneakers were looking a bit tired and in need of a little attention. So in honor of my ongoing, month of September, be kinder to myself, project……here is what I did.

Took out the laces & washed them. .  Next I used a damp, Mr. Clean “magic” eraser (read that as extremely crushed, ground up small bits of glass embedded in a white piece of material, shaped like a sponge ) on the rubber parts of the shoe.  Up next, I noticed the soft cushy insoles that I had put inside were looking rather, um…….unsightly.  Yes, I have a habit of going barefoot and then just slipping on my shoes and dashing off to the store.   No other way to describe it, the insoles were yucky looking.20160908_155447_resized

I took out the insoles, sprinkled baking soda inside the shoes and let them sit in the sunshine while I worked on the next step.

I chose a cute piece of scrap fabric, ironed on a piece of wonder under (makes fabric have a glue backing), traced the insole pattern, cut out and iron it on.

Tapped out the baking soda, re-laced and put my refreshed insoles back inside.

20160908_161158_resizedOh gosh, I am so dang tickled.  I love looking at my “brand new” sneakers!  No one really knows, except me, well and now you 😉

…and just like that, I got another star on the calendar.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.











balance, grateful, sewing, Uncategorized

balancing happy junk

About 19 years ago, I think, I first walked into Archie McAfee’s in Seattle, Washington. The store at thatarchie-mcphee-20110428-112940 time……..made me car sick.  The floor was old, wooden and uneven and wonky and if I spent more than 20 minutes in there, I felt queasy. AND I LOVED it.  Our kids loved it.  Mr. Right loved that store.  It was a family affair.

I am not a fan of shopping, but I gotta say, this store is fascinating, unique, quirky, weird and charming all rolled into one.  Spending time in that store makes me smile.   Every space on the ceiling and walls was covered with something.  Stapled here and there.  Nose shaped pencil sharpeners were stapled around the door jamb.  The window was surrounded by plastic, chattering teeth & bacon flavored toothpaste.

It is a place to find “finger feet”, Tesla socks, exploding pickle candy, boxing nun puppets and underpants gloves.

A few moves later, they got all fancy schmancy and moved to a brand new local.  New store.  New smell.  Clean.  Sigh.  It was my most disappointing trip to Archie’s.  It was neat and tidy.  Seriously, you could see the ceiling.  You walked easily over the brand new (even) waxed floor.  Rubber chickens all stacked neatly in a clean bin.  urgh.  Nothing funny about neat & tidy.

Good news, it has been a few years and the store is starting to junk out again.  Feels right.

20160616_202602-1 (1)This sort of explains my brand new sewing room.  Clean, neat, tidy, labeled bins for everything.  Now, I am not wishing for an uneven floor or finger monsters glued around the doorway.  It is just so orderly and organized.  Sure some organization is needed.

I am still deciding on a new light fixture.  I am 75% sure of my choice. 20160616_202124 Needs to simmer a few more weeks.  Oh, good news I did hang some prayer flags.

That made it feel more like a sewing room.

( For more about my prayer flags, skip back to another post and read about them there.)  I’ll wait, take your time.  No rush.

Yesterday, while under the prayer flags, I sewed a beautiful new bib.20160620_153210-1

A friend is expecting grand number 4!!!!!  As I sewed, I prayed for the new parents, the grandparents and the new sweet little miss that will be having a birthday in August.

bit by bit……..the sewing room will get “junked out” and feel just right once again.

Life is certainly about balance.  Junked out with some rhyme & reason.

Here’s to that favorite comfortable “lived in” room in your home.

In this together, friends.

ps.  now where did I put those twinkle lights?


balance, cooking, friend, good karma, grateful, Uncategorized

purple squirrels

You know those people who are a sqooch smarter than the average bear?

Hold on minute, in no way am I putting myself down.  Jeepers, I spent 1.5 hours this morning learning more about sleep, Folic Acid, Fulvic Acid and Humic Acid.  I took notes like a preppy school girl.  I learned oodles.

I am talking about those people out there, that seemed to get an extra helping of smarts. They love to talk about the state of world affairs, religious topics, math and astronomy, books they are reading and who wrote what book.

Amazingly enough they are more interested in learning a new chess opening than they are about fashion or sprinkles.

See, this is where I shine.  I love talking about sprinkles and colors.


It takes both kinds of folks to make the world swirl happily along.

In an effort to help make the world a more balanced and happy place, today, I baked cookies.

Cookies for Mr. Right to take to his chess teacher.  Tonight is Wednesday.  Wednesday is chess lesson night.  His teacher is an octogenarian plus some, he speaks five languages and came to America while fleeing his (at the time) war-torn country of Hungary. Sadly, he is a recent widower.

The conversations those two have sure put a spring in Mr. Right’s step. Before you ask, the answer is yes, he comes home with books and home work each week.  The next answer is yes.  He does all his home work and then some.

Happily, I like to bake and share.

20160622_132131Today, I baked cookies.  I decided on sugar cookies shaped like squirrels.  Then I went that extra step and made them with purple sprinkles. 20160622_134839

Thanks to me, two smarty pants fellas will have a few cookies and a laugh.  A real belly laugh.

Really , who on earth bakes purple squirrel cookies for two intelligent men?

A smart girl, that’s who.



Oh dear, look, one broke, I should probably eat that, ha.20160622_140951






art, artist, balance, Uncategorized

soulful art

20160609_122956 (1)Finding new pieces of art or the perfect place to showcase it can be tricky.

I have been searching for 3 months, on and off.  Looking for a calm, serene, quiet piece of balance for our new spa master bathroom.  I had a budget in mind and yet even when upping said budget, nothing spoke to me.

Searching in person didn’t work, on-line through several sources nothing really raised its hand and said PICK ME!!!

While organizing the sewing room, I came across a large, rather flat box I had been saving. That is the holding place for several  of drawings, etchings, special pieces we have purchased on our travels, art our kids had made, this and that……….all in the que to be framed and hung out in the light of day to enjoy.  someday.

As I flipped through the pieces I remembered several places we have visited.  A harbor scene, a path, a copy of a printed page, a castle, a fall scene……..all nice, yet not “the” one.  I dug a little deeper.  Oh wow, bright and colorful…might be perfect for the laundry room?

Without much fanfare, I went to the next piece.  I stopped.  I took it out.  I closed the lid and put the box away.  That calm, serene watercolor made by our son in 2003, quietly called my name.

The following day I was standing in the frame shop.

Today, I picked it up and brought it back home. 20160609_122943

I hung it in the place it was meant to hang.

It did my soul good.  The ideal place, a gentle reminder to wash away the dust.

Picasso said it perfectly. quote_picasso_art-washes-away-610x610







balance, beauty, good times, goodness, grace, grateful, Uncategorized

54 wishes



Of course you can’t tell anyone what you wish for, for fear it won’t come true.

During the middle of a wonderful weekend adventure, we stopped for lunch.  We chose a table near the window.  Looking at the people coming and going, counting happy dogs  added a sweet touch to our day.

Tacked to a pole, I spied this sign.

Make a Wish.

Who put that sign there?  Why?  Wacky and Wonderful for sure.  I thanked the universe for such an amazing soul.

While I won’t tell you what I wished for, I will tell you I was a bit greedy.  I made 54 wishes!!! Yes the sign read, made A wish.  Since it was my birthday, my interpretation was make 54 wishes.



The day spent on Vashon Island, swirled & twisted and gracefully unfolded into the most loveliest of days.   I made and let fly 54 wonderful wishes!!!

A day spent with Mr. Right, in the great outdoors refilling our spirits and making wishes.

Grateful, very grateful for another birthday.  Now, the trick is to fill a whole new year with Grace and Goodness. A gift given to me. I get to add the glitter and paint and make the year ahead sparkle.

Ferry ride + beach + lighthouse + balance + wild flowers + cappuccino + rocks + holding hands + sand + bookstore + lunch + making oodles of wishes = Happy Birthday adventure.

balance, color, Uncategorized


This is really happening.

Awake at night, fussing, planning, plotting…all can only mean one thing.  We are moving.

Over the years, moving is actually something we have become somewhat experts on.  The US Army has invited us to live in several different states and even a different country.

This move is on us.

We take full responsibility.  We chose where to plant our Blueberry bushes in the ground. Did you read that?  No longer will my Blueberries be in pots, ready to move at a moments notice.  This is a big deal.

We actually bought new house numbers. 20160220_113852 Now, these may not be the ones we live with for ages and ages however, for us, the new represents reality.  The brand new American Flag is ready and waiting to be flown.  The new return address labels arrived & the “We’ve moved” announcements have been ordered.

During the weeks of paperwork and business “stuff” I sort of drifted off course.

 I sort of forgot to be happy for us.  

I forgot to twirl my hair while  looking at paint chips.  Good news on that front…. 4 paint colors have been chosen!  Woohoo! (atmospheric blue is going to be dreamy on the ceiling of the porch)

I forgot to dream and use graph paper.butterfly

I forgot that changing decor and style could be exhilarating.

The packing of boxes is full steam ahead.  So much so, the beautiful smell of a lovely home has somehow turned into the smell of new cardboard boxes and paper.  Hands so dry  it has become hard to pick up needle and thread.

The biggest change?  The sound.  Our home is starting to sound like a house.

Cold, echo, empty.

The quilts have been taken down.  The curtains and art have been packed with care. The pottery and china has been wrapped in paper to either cushion the blow or hold all the shards together in one place.  (hey, keeping a sense of humor is vital.)

We have only broken 3 glass objects so far.  Nothing even remotely close to heartbreaking. We are at the point of saying, good we don’t have to pack it.  ha

Graciously, a charity foundation has come for pick up, twice.

Dishes have been shared with a new young couple starting out.

Boxes and boxes of books have been donated to our Friends of the Library.

Yes, we are paring down.  We are cleaning out, sharing with others, filling black garbage bags with “why were we keeping that?”

We have mailed things to our adult children.  Um, yes, they do indeed need their award for honorable mention in an art show.  We are not about to throw out treasures.  We send them to the kiddos and ask them please don’t tell us what you do with your report cards, first drivers permit, blue ribbons and honorable mention ribbons.  In my mind, they are creating beautiful shadow boxes with all of these snips of their wonderful childhood.  In reality, I am a smart mom who knows better.

I am focused on the ridiculous.  I have purchased new shower curtain liners, shower curtain rings and new bathroom towels.  I am bound and determined to start fresh.

When you walk through your home and you end up deciding there are only 3 pieces of furniture that you just can’t part with…………good golly, that opens up for huge possibilities of amazing changes and new goodness to grace our home.

Once you notice there are more boxes than stuff left to pack, it starts to feel very real.

Over the past couple weeks, I have given away sets of dishes, packed dishes, given away more glasses and bowls then I remembered owning and still have more sets of dishes and pottery then one family needs….. this weekend, I bought one more set. 20160219_195359