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

 

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friend, garden, gardening, haPPY, Uncategorized

How does your garden grow?

20170602_074942-1_resized_1Mary, Mary………………My name is Daleen and I try not to be contrary (pigheaded, obstinate, defiant, unhelpful, difficult)

When a girlfriend comes to visit…………..don’t you just love to get out two mugs, pour cups of dark coffee, slosh in oodles of thick coconut cream and take them out back to wonder around the garden?  You hold the mug with two hands.  One to keep the chill at bay and two you have no hand to hold your phone.  It’s just you and your friend, meandering.

Come on, here, you might need this sweater.  It’s a bit cool out this morning and the rain is trying hard to do more than drizzle.

Raspberries, Grapes and Rosemary

 

Jasmine and Mint

 

Blueberries and   Yukon Gold Potatoes

 

Swiss Chard, Radishes, Pole Beans and Tomatoes

 

Fig tree, Cilantro and Chives

 

20170602_074720_resized

Spinach

 

Let’s sit here under the Wisteria Covered Pergola and drink the rest of our coffee?

20170602_084035-1_resized

Thanks for visiting my garden.  I loved chatting and meandering.

I would love to see what grows in your garden.

In this together, friends.

Happy Friday!

Chat soon.

 

 

 

friend, goodness, Uncategorized

good gravy girl, review

Would you like to know one thing that really ruffles my feathers?

I offer a review of a product and an acquaintance/friend/neighbor says, “oh, I knew that, I have been using it for a year now”.

REALLY???

Why on earth aren’t you sharing the good stuff you find?  

Good Gravy.   ( you know what I mean, that really good, creamy gravy with bits of mushroom swirled in and flecks of fresh ground pepper that add just the right amount of spice?)  Good Gravy, makes stuff better.  There I said it.  I really like sloppy, messy, flavor packed, dreamy gravy.

In the spirit of sharing and covering others with goodness and gravy, I am going to try to share at least once a month,  a good gravy find.  I like reviewing products and sharing good stuff I find.  The answer is no.   I do not get paid by any company to review their products.  If ever I am paid to review a product, I promise to tell you the truth.

I don’t want to hoard all these really wonderful ideas and feel all puffed up.

I want to share with you and slather on the goodness.  sharing

Also, in hopes that you will write a comment and share something that you tried and worked or boo hiss……. spent money on and it was a fail, with me.  Maybe we can laugh together?

Speaking of which I have a Miracle Mop you can have.  Spent way too much moolah on something that is way too heavy for me to use weekly.  It looks nice, the creator’s story seems so wonderful.  Sadly, I have  used it 3 or 4 times and it just doesn’t do it for me.

Here is my good gravy review for today:

Two words:

Eye Brows

I know some of you don’t have this problem. Or some of you will tell me, heavens no, I don’t wear make up.  Even if that is the case, would you please do me a favor and share with your friend who is seriously ill and needs a pick me up?????

When folks say they support their friend with this illness or that, yes, send a card and for heaven sake, pray for them and their health…….. and also share this idea.

If you or your sister, friend, co-worker, neighbor has ever had issues with thin or no eye brows, listen up!!!  Please for the sake of being a good gravy girl….SHARE this idea with them.  They will hug you and quite possibly buy you a cup of coffee or even bake you some sort of amazing goodie as a thank you.  SERIOUSLY, they will want to marry you because you will have stopped them from being so sad and frustrated about their eye brows.

Having thin eye brows because:

you over plucked them in junior high

you have dealt with any form of thyroid issue/disease

you have become very ill and lost your eye brows

while in heaven, you were chatting with your neighbor when they were passing out thick eyebrows and you missed out

Have I got a solution that works for you!

First, my answer is yes to all of the above.  I have tried several different colored pencils, waxy pencils, templates, eye brow marker (I would give a B+), organic, toxic laden, new and improved and on the list goes.

Here is what fell into my lap.  This amazing, wonderful product that actually….. wait for it…. works!!!!20170111_105809_resized

It stays on, even if you go swimming, or sweat while doing yard work, or brush your hand across to move your curly hair while you are biking!  (I take off my make up each night with coconut oil and it slips off easily and lightning fast.)

IT Cosmetics, Build a Brow, 24 hour waterproof 5 in 1.  I purchased mine from QVC.  It is around $30.00 and comes in five shades.  I am thrilled with the results.

I am no longer embarrassed by the look of my eye brows or lack there of.  Heck, I don’t even think about them anymore.  Just a couple of moments in morning and I am a supremely happy girl every time I notice them throughout the day.

So to recap:  I no longer feel embarrassed and I am giddy that I found this product.  Please for the sake of being a good gravy girl, SHARE this product suggestion with a friend.  I promise you, you will make her day, week, month, life so much happier!

In this together, friends.

Chat soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

friend, friendship, grateful, love, Uncategorized

are you together

While ordering coffee, my girlfriend and I stood side by side.  The cashier said, “are you together?”  I answered, yes, forever and ever. anthem-coffee

I realize the cashier was asking if the order was on one ticket.  I honestly don’t know why I answered like that. I guess, saying it aloud makes it more real.

Do we worry and fret about each others kiddos?  You bet.  We celebrate kiddos successes and we help when things are off-balance, too.

Do we worry and share about our husbands & not getting enough sleep & not taking stress seriously & our families & people who are meanies……um yeah.  It’s sort of how we have survived.

Both of us are somewhere in our 50’s and have been friends since we were 12 & 13 years old.  We have shared good stuff and not so good stuff.

Sometimes we are “dumb heads” and let too much time go between meetings.  Sometimes, we forget to ask the other for help.

We are still at it.  Still sharing.  Yes, we pay for coffee for each other. anthem-coffee-2 Or we pay separately.  Or one pays 3 times in a row and the other pays next time.   Or we drink coffee out of big chunky mugs at home.  It sort of isn’t the important part of us meeting.  We seriously don’t want to waste time figuring out who pays for or who makes the coffee.

We have huge issues to shyly share or rant loudly about. Sometimes our hearts are broken and just being together, maybe it is the warm coffee, magically seals the cracks and puts us slightly back together again.

The beauty is neither of us keep track.  For a while, I had too many “not so good stuff” to share.  Before my bag-o- dodo, she had a few years of sharing messy days.

Get it? Some days I pay for coffee, some days she does.

We celebrate the good stuff in our lives.  Honestly, we do.  It’s just when things are rosy and upbeat, you don’t feel the need to hold someones hand.  Usually you are so busy, cheering and dancing with jazz hands you forget to talk it all over with the other.

All of a sudden, you hear someone hurt your friend………. and golly gee, that “sister girlfriend thing” kicks in and you want to protect your friend, hold their hand and take them under your wing.

If by under your wing, it means, make plans to wear jeans, bring the husbands along and order a beer or two and some casual, comfort food like burgers and fries and just “be” with them.   Than yes, that’s what we are going to do.

I think all our hearts and souls need those kind of people in our lives.

One of the things I just wrote at the top of my 2017  “to-do” list was,

Make an effort to be with friends.  Be more present in their lives and invite them to be more apart of ours.

I feel like I am stumbling, off balance.  I need to steady myself and go have coffee with a friend, more often.  I want to make more of an effort to help her/our kids.  I am feeling much too isolated.  I need to be with her, just so we can be …. oh and drink really good coffee.

In this together,

forever and ever

ps.  and I don’t just love her because she gave the most fan-tab-u-lous , housewarming/Christmas, amazing gift.  What I love most?  Is that she KNEW I would be smitten in love,  with “Pearl,the Polish pottery chicken” who came with a carved Polish wooden egg, of course!

love, love, love

her and the chicken

 

 

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.

Balance.

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

 

 

 

 

 

friend, friendship, gift giving, gifts, goodness, grace, Uncategorized

planting kindness

In the days following Thanksgiving, each year my Grandpa would find a reason to drive “into town”, alone.  He just said he had an errand to run.

He would come back with a Poinsettia plant for my Grandma and my mother.

Without fail, every single year.  I have no idea when the tradition started, it just was a part of our holiday décor.

greenhouse full of bright red poinsettia
greenhouse full of bright red poinsettia

Home school lesson for today:  Joel Robert Poinsett, who was an amateur botanist & the first ambassador to Mexico, first introduced poinsettias to the United States in 1825.

My sisters both love the vibrant leaves.  One sister loves the shocking red and the other sister loves the white.  Seems everyone has a preference.

In our church, during this Advent season, the communion rail is decorated with oodles of poinsettias that are given in someone’s name or to celebrate an anniversary.

On November 28th each year, my friend would receive a poinsettia.  Her dad would celebrate his birthday by bringing a beautiful plant to her, her sisters and her mother. Each year a gift from him to his girls.

Sadly, this year, he passed away before he could fulfill his tradition.

I worked it over in my mind.  Several times.  Oh sure, thanks to the internet and FTD, I could have a similar one sent to her clear across the country.  I wanted to make her smile.

However, receiving the plant from her father was “their” thing.

So Mr. Right and I came up with an idea.  We went “to town” and purchased a beautiful poinsettia.  Vibrant and lush, healthy and cheerful.   I tied a tag onto the plant. 20151128_162659

Merry Christmas.  Love, Craig

Then Mr. Right drove me to a retirement/assisted living facility.  I bustled in.  My jaunty scarf a flying.  I met the happy receptionist.  I said, I would like to drop this off.  She said who is it for?  I said, someone who doesn’t have visitors.

She was thrilled and said she KNEW just the perfect lady.   She thanked me profusely and wished me a very Merry Christmas.

Made me wish I had half a dozen more.  (Mr. Right said, next year, lets donate 6?)  gosh, I love that man………………

I then sent a picture to my friend.  I wanted her to feel the pure goodness of something her Dad would have loved.

She joined me in buying a plant for a lady that had been extra kind to her. 20151128_162708

Random Acts of Kindness………………just when you thought you were doing a good deed and making others feel good……………happiness & grace spills all over you.

May the month of December bathe you in Grace and Goodness.  May you find creative ways to spread a little of that grace and kindness around.

We could all use a little more kindness.

 

friend, grateful

Get up and Dance

20150902_185808Once in a while a friend says something or does something that teaches you a lesson you never let go of.

My friend Debbie. (yes, her real name, no I did not get permission).

Her home, decorated so beautifully.  Stunning vignettes in places here and there.  Some, so high up on a ledge, I found myself asking, how did you manage that?

She laughed.  She said, oh, Larry does that for me.  How?  I ask.

She says, she gathers what she wants, already has a picture in her mind and then he climbs up and she tells him where to put what.

I actually saw her do this once.

She never raised her voice.  She calmly explained, “That looks fine, however, would you mind moving it 3 inches to your left?” “Oh dear, you are doing such a nice job, maybe you could drape that ribbon over the last branch on your right?” “I appreciate your help, do you think you could remove the dust jacket from that one book?” “Oh, you did such a good job, it looks great”.

She never seemed to run out of patience.   She seemed to have a way about asking politely for help and then being gracious and waiting.

We met at the church.  Working together on something or other.  Most likely the yearly art show.  However, she was always chairman of the Missions committee, so there is a good chance we met while volunteering for some project.  She helped me with Vacation Bible School.  We gabbed about living in Germany.  Her just returning, me just about to move there.  We traded recipes.  I still have 3 recipe cards in her handwriting.

Side story:  When we lived in Oklahoma, their son Jimmy was 15.  He was my LIFESAVER. 

While, Mr. Right was “invited” by the US Army to work in another country for 9 months, I needed, craved, wanted to go to my once a week quilting group.  Monday Night Quilters.  I would drive across town, pick up Jimmy and bring him over to babysit.  Although at the time, we didn’t call it “babysitting”.  We said, “Yippee, Jimmy gets to come over to play cars and board games!”

Jimmy wasn’t old enough to drive or date.  He had a bottomless stomach and for some reason LOVED to play cars with my boys and board games and hide and seek and you know, just be around boys.  I left snacks and went off to quilt.  Then I would come home. No snacks left and a house that had been played in.  Toys, games, cars everywhere.  The furniture moved slightly,  as only a mom knows, they were hiding behind things while playing hide and seek. 

It was all okay with me.  The pay off was huge.  I got to go to quilting with adults.  Jimmy got to play with younger kids toys.  Debbie and Larry would call to check in a couple of times during the 2 hours of “babysitting” but never tell me they checked in.  

While Bruce was away, they graciously invited the boys and I to join them for Thanksgiving.  It was the one and only time we had been included in another family’s holiday.  They made us feel so welcome.  It wasn’t weird, it was just so nice.

Debbie and Larry have 7 yes, SEVEN granddaughters!  Then recently, they finally got their first grand son.  Oh boy!

One night, while having dinner at our home, (she went on and on about how beautiful my grandchild clock was), when they were leaving I said, “Larry would you mind taking that clock off the wall for me?  He was eager to help, we were about to move, so he didn’t think anything about it.  Then I said, could you please help me wrap it in towels and take it home?  I told Debbie you love that clock more than I will ever love it.  Oh the usual, “I couldn’t”, “no, really.”……… finally, thank you.  I will take good care of it.  And she has.

Last night, I found out my friend, only 60 years old, passed away.

I am still sort of numb.  I can’t really believe we won’t be getting her 5 page, single spaced, typed in red ink (I am not kidding) Christmas letter.  It was really long, every year.  Some years, I would joke with her.  Seriously?  Who has that much to say?   She would just laugh. As per Southern hospitality and charm, she gave me an ornament from her Christmas tree.  I always hang it up.  This year, I think I will hang it in the front of our tree. A blue painted heart.

Today, her husband Larry is sitting in their home, stunned.  Surrounded by his ridiculously large John Wayne collection, seriously, the biggest I have ever seen.  Just sitting there quiet.

Her little dogs are sitting waiting for her to wake up.

As I type this, I am sitting.  Trying to be gracious and grateful for our friendship.

Her grands are sitting in school.

Her sister and family are sitting on an airplane, headed back to Oklahoma.

Debbie is not sitting.

Debbie is no longer in her wheel chair.

She is dancing in Heaven.