balance, beauty, good marriages, goodness, grace, great marriage, great marriage secrets, haPPY, health, pure goodness, wellness

visions of sugar plums…

sugar plumsVisions of sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free plums danced in their heads.  (just kidding)

Right smack in the middle of the hustle and bustle that seems to hover over this month, have you taken time out for you and your person?  In between signing cards, wrapping boxes, baking treats, have you taken a few moments to bathe your master bedroom in grace & goodness?

Have you announced to the universe that your sanctuary is of value and importance?

Does your better half know without a shadow of a doubt that you hold your relationship in the highest of regard and continue to lift it up on a daily basis?

Have you taken 30 minutes to quickly deep clean, de-clutter, dust, vacuum, and gussie up your sanctuary? Are there fresh, ironed (yes, ironed) linens on your bed?  Have you brought in fresh flowers or greens or even a tree?  Have you brought in beautiful candles, a soft, cozy throw for the bed?  Did you place that festive pillow you found in your decoration box, just so,  to add a little something-something to your bed?  Have you sewed new, softer than mink, white pillow covers that look like they are covered in mini snowballs?

Or has it become the catch-all?  Wrapping paper leaning behind the door.  Gifts secretly crammed beneath the bed.  Clean laundry waiting to be folded.  Does your dresser top hold odd change, one stray button, and a broken necklace?  Is the room filled with stress?  Do you close the door to avoid looking in there?

Or the moment you step into your private sanctuary, does it fill you with calm and beauty? Can you feel it? Does it feel like goodness?  When you spy that bed, do just want to burrow in and surround yourself with fluffy coziness?  Just by walking into that room, do you feel fortunate, harmony and peace? 20171215_094358-1_resized

A gentle suggestion?  Take 30 minutes and create a little beauty.  Our world is harsh, tricky and can be brutal.  Some days it feels like more bad news than good.  We all need a place that we can go to breathe and feel the solitude and safety.  No electronics, no ugly noise, no demands.  We all need and crave a place to restore our spirit & soul.

May you make and enjoy a small corner of peace this season.

Sweet dreams.please do not disturb

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

Advertisements
beauty, gift giving, grandchildren, haPPY, Homemade gift, pure goodness, splurge

mad about hats

 

FB_IMG_1509911988945

I have been sewing, quilting, cross stitching since I was 12 years old.  I also took knitting lessons, twice.  (It was not the teacher, it was most likely the student.  I am not a knitter.)

I started learning to crochet on February 1, 2017.  Technically I am a beginner, however, my daughter in law thinks I can easily call myself an “Advanced Beginner”.

I like that.

Advanced Beginner.  You know that feeling when you have accomplished quite a bit and you are just about to move ahead to the next grade?  Excited, anxious to learn something new, yet feeling all puffed up about yourself with what you have already learned.

I think I will start a new hat today!  20170927_110716-1_resized

Then all of a sudden, some unkind, dreary, non-sparkly person says, “Enough with the hats, I think you got that, time to move on to something else.”

Actually, I like making hats.  OODLES and OODLES of hats!  I like to donate hats.  I like to make them for gifts.  I love to make them for my grands.  Yes, I am well aware that not everyone likes or uses handmade hats.  Secretly, I think everyone would feel special if someone made them a hat.  Just my opinion.

Our grands all live in very warm places.  So the amount of time they actually “need” a warm hat is not very long. I am okay with spending my time, money and effort on a hat for my grandchildren EVEN IF they only wear it one day!  How’s that for a granny who loves them?? They also like to play dress up and pretend that it is winter indoors sometimes.  That’s where having a hand crocheted hat from their granny comes in handy!

Hats work up fairly quickly and with each one or two, I am trying to learn a new stitch or a new method.  While making these, I learned how to make bigger, fluffier, pom poms. 20171022_122030-1_resized

I even had my own tags made.  The tags say, Splurge with my initials underneath.  I like the thought of splurging on fancy yarn to make something special for the grand little people in my life.20171024_201802-1-1_resized

On these hats, I learned the cluster stitch. 20171031_135009-1_resized

These booties were made for a new little girl & the hat for her big brother.  With these, I learned to crochet plaid.20171104_102636-1_resized_1

I like to celebrate with my friends when they tell me they are going to be a grandma.  I like to share in their happiness.  Making something makes me feel connected. Sewing or crocheting something with my hands does my soul good.  20171106_204031-1_resized

These are a gift for twin boys about to be born and a special one for their big brother.

It is a true honor to participate in historic traditions.  Makes even the silliest of hats seem worthy.

Love to hear what you are making with your hands to feed your soul and spirit.

Guess what I am going to start today?  🙂

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

FB_IMG_1509911988945

balance, beauty, fresh, haPPY, healing, health

fill the fridge

One of the things that we believe in & live by is that food can heal.

No, not everyone in our camp is of the same thinking.  I am living proof that food heals.

dine well

However,  today, one of the things we can all be on board with is this:  People are Hungry. Either lacking amount or nutritional value, folks are in need of good food.

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.

~ Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Yes, you read that correctly.  Think about your slightly grumpy co-worker.  Think about that neighbor child who is downright ornery.  Did you snap at your spouse this morning?  Yep, being hungry might be the reason.  Not just amounts of food but goodness and quality of food.

You see everyone proclaims to be “busy”.  Sure, our calendars are full.  You picked up some fast food last night, because, after working a long week,  you were picking up kids from practice and you still had to go home and do a load of laundry and let’s face it, you were tired to the bone.

Then this morning, you were busy helping everyone else get out the door, dressed and on time.  You tried to get the short people in your life to eat something.  You grabbed a coffee on your way to work.   Work/Life got incredibly crazy and you skipped lunch.

Time to give yourself a little grace.  You need a pat on the back.  You are juggling lots of things.  Food should bring you comfort and wellness.

  We and our spouses/families are surely worthy of really good food, any time of the year. 

 Remember holidays when you make a beautiful olive & nut tray for relatives?  Sometimes, before company comes over you put together a vegetable tray with the extra nice crackers?  These platters of food are displayed lovely, sitting covered in our refrigerators….. “Don’t touch that!  It’s for company!”

I am here to tell you, we are worth buying the extra good cheese!

You and your family are WORTH buying the good olives, the beautiful plump mushrooms. Buy THREE bars of the expensive, 70% dark chocolate (break it up, pile it up on a beautiful tray)! You and your family will devour the goodness. dark chocolate

Right this very moment, if you took a peek inside my refrigerator you would spy the tasty treats I have prepared and have ready for the weekend.  No holiday (unless you count the ridiculous turning back of the clock an hour).  A sparkling clean refrigerator filled with great selections, beauty for the eyes as well as the stomach.

The special reason?  You and your family are worth beautiful, lush, flavorful, savory food.  That’s it.  That’s the reason.  20171103_132657-1_resized

Today, I made some beautiful  Rosemary, Garlic Mushrooms.  I made a small veggie plate.  I 20171103_133321-1_resizedcaramelized a couple of onions.  I bought some amazingly wonderful “cheese” made from cashews.  I also roasted some beautiful walnuts.  20171103_132523-1_resized

That smell?  Oh, that is 8 gorgeous potatoes cut and roasting.  I wanted a big bowl piled with roasted potatoes with herbs sprinkled on top.  Ready for whoever might need a bite to eat sometime over the weekend.

Fill your refrigerator!

In this together, friends,

Here’s to our good health and wellness!

What’s in your refrigerator for the weekend?

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

beauty, friend, friendship, grace, grateful, haPPY

spinning soul sisters

I hobbled across the street and up a block from my junior high school.  I had a full-length leg cast.  (Back in the olden days’ casts were plaster and boy howdy were they heavy.)  I was back at school after weeks at home.  I missed my friends.  I was more than happy to hand over saved babysitting money (my portion of some salty, greasy fries)  and willing to use those ugly crutches if it would get me where I wanted to be.

The promises of a pile of french fries we all shared and the latest gossip were more than enough of a carrot to get me moving towards the “Herfy’s” fast food joint.  I wanted to hang out and fit in.  Golly, I wanted so badly to be a part of the “gang”.  I wanted to have real grown-up conversations and figure out where we each stood on vital and important topics.

I  remember the noise of all of us talking at once.  I can recall the sound of laughter.  Talking with mouths full, talking over each other, talking…… it was the sound of friendship.  Somehow we all felt a bit important.  We each had something to share.

Yesterday, while having coffee with a friend we noticed a group of 8 junior high school friends.  They each had a coffee drink in front of them.  They all sat at a table 4 facing 4.  Each had either a cell phone, laptop or a tablet they were individually engrossed in.

They were silent.

Each absorbed in their own world of technology.  I wanted to tell them, put down your phones, close your laptops………your friends are right before your very eyes.

I kept my lips sealed, however, my heart cracked a little.

Spinning Elementary school

I was very grateful to be sitting with a friend from Kindergarten.  Neither of us could actually pinpoint when (at least 35 years ago) we actually last saw each other, face to face.   We have reconnected via social media (yes, we are mighty grateful for technology)…. however, we needed to sit and be in the same place.

We both felt an invisible thread tugging at our hearts.   I liked seeing her beautiful hair glimmer in the sunshine.  I needed to touch her bracelet, smell her perfume and hear her story.  My heart raced as I listened to her talk about her husband with respect and love.

We both played the “dance”.

Oh, you know?  The dance where you gently slip in little thoughts to see how the other reacts.  Religion, politics, television, hobbies, food……polite yet very interested and you actually care if it is all well with her soul.  You gingerly talk about the miracle love affair of your life and see where it lands.   When I caught a glimpse of a sparkle in her eye, my heart swelled.  I knew in a flash she had long been with someone who had loved her and held her heart.    During my turn, I could share how Mr. Right is my world and how well I am loved and cared for.  I could tell her and not hold back because she was telling me the same story.  We were speaking the same love language.

You don’t share sweet secrets like that via technology.   You just don’t.

Over the years, of course, we have both been forced to our knees with tragedy.  We shared our lost parents, our concerns, our troubles, our sickness, our fears as well as our glories and triumphs. We discussed new things we were trying on for size.   We asked about mutual friends and each other’s siblings.  Oh yes,  we shared how AMAZING our grands are.

WAIT  

Imagine for a moment, what if, when we were young school chums we didn’t talk about life and who we wanted to marry, our ridiculous siblings, or mean teachers?  What if after school, we didn’t sit and talk about the world, how we stood on issues, what we wanted to be when we grew up?  What if we didn’t say much?  What if we sat and ate french fries (or drank coffee) and did our own private thing on an electronic device and we never actually connected on a personal level? What if we had not shared our souls even before we knew what souls were?

Would any of us now be curious enough or feel the pull of friendship to contact our old school chums?  Would we make an effort and carve out time to reconnect?  Would we just check the box  (yes, I accept you as a “friend”)  or would we thirst for personal time together? Would the ties that bind us, hold our hearts and souls together while we went out into the world and came back again?

friendshipThe thing about childhood friends…. they know you.  They were part of you when you were still trying on who you were.   They are woven into our hearts from a very young age.

We were five or six when we met.  We didn’t know we were being given a gift.  It felt like the luck of the draw.  Our parents happen to live in the same school district, by chance we ended up in the same schools.

It didn’t seem serendipitous or magical.   I just knew her as my schoolmate, tall, pretty, a twin.  It wasn’t until we talked more and grew through the years that I figured out she was also kind & smart.  Part of being young friends is learning & listening & then borrowing the good parts we see and hear in our friends and tying them to our hearts.

I never dreamed she would be part of the thread that made up part of who I became. When you are with a lifelong friend, somehow you feel safe and comfortable.  You feel accepted because we already accepted each other back in 1967.  You open your mouth and spill things you don’t share with others.

Here’s the inside scoop:

She is much prettier than I remembered.  She has a beautiful spirit and soul.  She is kind-hearted, loving and smart.  She turned out to be an amazing wife and mom and mother in law and grandma.

She has always been part of my circle.  My chatty, talkative, opinionated, giggly, serious, thoughtful, tricky, hard, glorious circle.

Without end.

TeresaGentle suggestion?  use technology to find an old friend.  Figure out a way, make an effort to have coffee or french fries with that friend, in person.

You owe it to yourself and to her, turn off your phones and then talk, hold hands, giggle and talk some more.  Talk for 4.5 hours over coffee.  Yes, yes, everyone in your life will worry and fret because you didn’t answer your phone.

Tell them the truth.  “I turned off my phone because I was TALKING with my friend.”

I am here to tell you it is good for your soul.  

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

friendship 2

 

beauty, friendship, good marriages, good times, goodness, haPPY, travel, vacation

empty envelope

7 states, 2 provinces, 1 salt cave, 1 aero car, 1 boat, 4 airplanes, 1 rental SUV, 2 Ubers, 1 Buddist Temple, 1 Greek Orthodox church, 1 beach wedding, 1 Big Fat Greek wedding, 1 Great Lake, 1 Lighthouse, 5 hotels, 26 restaurants, 2 home cooked meals, 2 catered meals, 2 foxes, 1 beaver, 5 pheasants, 2 deer, 2 t-shirts, 1 sweatshirt, 2 pieces of Polish pottery and one empty vacation envelope.

I have been quiet as a church mouse. The reason?

 VACATION!

You read that correctly, for the first time in ages and ages (read that as 17 years) Mr. Right and I took off on a couple of weeks vacation.  No, not stay home and heal kind of vacation.  An actual pay way too much for a breakfast in a resort town, pay the toll twice in 2 minutes because you get turned around, buy a banana at a gas station for .99 cents kind of VACATION!!!!

As much as I enjoy writing, I/we also need to go out into the real world with real people and experiences. We needed to jump in and learn, giggle and come home plum tuckered out.

Mission accomplished.

We experienced so much good,  my mind is still swirling.  I want to sit on the porch and drink coffee (oh, I’ve missed you dark, rich, bold, Italian Roast from the Pacific Northwest, with cashew cream) and tell you about our adventures.

I’m guessing, for days to come,  I will slip in little moments of vacation happy, here and there.  You know the stuff you never dreamed about, however, somehow managed to make the hit parade of goodness when you think back?

Noticing the first leaves changing for fall in Northern Vermont.

Hands down, the best Italian meal we have ever enjoyed.

The moment you sit with your friend and her family around the kitchen tables with different colored Fiesta ware plates.  You eat, listen, giggle and share. Wishing you could already come back and you haven’t even finished your plate yet.

The exact moment, while standing next to your niece as she shares her completed piece of crochet work.  Stunning, inspiring and privileged that she shared with me.

Sitting in a hotel room, doing nothing, goofing off with your family, drinking Ginger Ale and eating a sinful, delicious piece of chocolate.

Shopping in the flagship April Cornell store.  I know, I know, I always say I don’t like to shop……….I mean I don’t like to shop unless it is one perfect shop in Burlington, Vermont.  Then….. actually standing there when April Cornell comes in and walks around like she owns the place  Wait!  She does own the place.   Something happened to me in that place.  Instead of me agonizing over one new blouse to buy……..I kind of lost my mind.  I bought 2 new gorgeous blouses, 1 beautiful, special dress, 1 lovely tablecloth and a grown up, beautiful pair of pajamas,  just like that.

Riding shotgun in a rental car for 1,873 miles.  Read that as talking time, singing time, eating snacks time and reading the map time. Yes, an actual paper map.

The feel & sound of your feet the moment you step on 4,000 pounds of ground salt inside a salt cave.

The water dripping off your face, on “the” (bucket list) boat ride.20170831_191906_resized

Opening your hotel door, to see your brother-in-law, waiting patiently outside, because YET AGAIN, I can’t seem to get my hair to do what I want and be early to breakfast in the same morning.

Meeting table mates at a wedding that you connect with seamlessly and want to be friends for life.

Drying dishes, while sis in law washes……….like we do it every day of our lives.

Maybe for today, I will stop talking and share some pictures?  They might speak more eloquently than typed words.

It was a beautiful thing to anticipate and save for a holiday.   The adventure will bring color to our lives for days to come.

Grateful for an empty vacation envelope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

beauty, before and after

“new” kitchen

Hello, friends!

Today, I share pictures of our Before and After kitchen.  Beautiful, bright, spit spot clean, refreshed,  kitchen happiness.

This is not a 60 minute make over television show.  Real life time is more like a few weeks, several trips to the hardware store, waiting for handles to be shipped, an envelope full of home repair money, and one heck of a lot of elbow grease.
The process seems simple enough. Scrub, sand, prime, paint X two coats of Sherwin Williams Alabaster White, new hardware, clean absolutely everything behind those cupboards and inside those drawers.
I am so happy with the results!  Every thing is so bright and clean and the handles feel substantial.
Next up, goodbye microwave and new hood in its place.  Hello, back splash of color.   Yes, it’s time to add in some gorgeous saturated color. 
For now, I am going to cook and bake and fuss in my new bright, happy place.
First, I will insert one picture from the real estate company.  This was the kitchen picture before we purchased this house.  ….mind swirling………………blank canvas……..oh, the possibilities!before kitchen
Nice Before picture.
Here are the After pictures.
20170822_082828_resized

 

20170822_082839_resized

20170822_082935_resized

I am going to take a couple weeks off from painting.  Clean my brushes well,  fold up the drop cloth put away saw horses and tables in the garage.  Next on the list?  Amazing Gray paint going up in the hallway and laundry room!

For now, I am trading paint under my fingernails for dirt.

I am headed out to the garden to harvest the fruits of our summer labor.

Chat soon.

 

beauty, haPPY, vacation tip

bag lady

You know those souvenir paper shopping bags we all collect?  The ones you get when you buy something from a specialty shop while on vacation?

I can’t seem to part with them.  They hang on a hook in the back of my closet. They hang off a push-pin on my note board in the sewing room.  The moment I see the bag with the logo, I just adore the holiday memories that come flooding back.

20170603_184307_resizedI took one and used it.  That’s right, I cut it up, put double-sided sticky tape on the back and lined a new drawer.

Over the weekend, I finally found & bought a new hall table that I liked.  The drawers needed lining before I filled them with treasures.

I cut up a souvenir bag for one of the drawers.20170605_094357-1_resized

I get a little shiver the moment I tug open a drawer and under some pens, candles or note cards, I spy a little piece of vacation.   Having it there helps me remember all the wonderful trips and places we have explored.

Now, go find one of your souvenir bags tucked away! Get out some scissors & tape.  This “craft” will be over faster that you can imagine.

Think how happy you will be each time you see it.  🙂

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.