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.

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?


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.









Shower coffee

This morning started out a bit rocky.

As I prepared my morning elixir of life (coffee), I accidentally dropped my glass pint jar with beautiful homemade Cashew Cream on the floor and stove and oven and cupboard and my foot.

Hold on to your hats people, good news abounds!  coffee with cream

  1. I had already poured some in my coffee.
  2. The glass jar did not break.
  3. The newly painted cabinets wiped up very easily.
  4. I already have raw cashews soaking to make more cream.

Mr. Right had an early morning eye appointment, which I usually try and go with.  Today wasn’t going to happen.  sigh.

So off he went, alone.

I regroup and began to study (today’s continued topic:  riding the body of heavy metals) and drink my coffee.

I am always pleasantly surprised that somehow, someway, I learn something new every single day.  Today?  Today fact is:   Did you know that there is Mercury in contact lens fluid? Geesh.  Good gravy, you need to be a detective to get and stay healthy!

Moving on….. I made the bed and jumped into a nice HOT shower.  I’m lathering, I’m lathering, I’m singing….


Okay, we all know bad guys, robbers, and mass murders don’t usually knock, however, my heart did skip a beat or two.

Mr. Right zipped home from his appointment and brought me my favorite coffee…. an iced latte.  He handed it to me IN THE SHOWER, I got a smooch, and he was gone in a flash.

Holy Toledo!

This is a picture of TRUE LOVE20170810_101956-1_resized

Right there before your very eyes.  (Okay, ignore the not so pretty shower tile.  Another project for another day.)  Just cast your eyes upon that beauty.  No, not the amazing organic, chemical free shampoo and conditioner……….

The gorgeous, beautiful 16-ounce iced latte.

……..and just like that, the day took on a whole new color.

May I gently suggest you surprise someone you love with a beverage in the shower?

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.



I tossed the damp towel on the edge of the bathtub.  A couple of hours later, it was still there.

Must only mean one thing………vacation is over.  Here at home, there are no efficient maids that work behind the scenes. (to be clear, this is a picture of the hotel bathroom, not the master bath in our home )venetian-bath

This year to celebrate 35 years of being married, we chose to do something completely different.  Certainly, different for us.  In a surprising twist, two folks who don’t drink, smoke or gamble decided to go to Las Vegas, Nevada!

venetian-resort-armillary_2400x1600To spend time, in a glamorous suite, at the Venetian exploring a whole new world was most certainly different and quite an adventure.

8949It was a week of art, beauty, gardens, waterfalls, food, glorious food, treats and sunshine!  We are so used to pouring rain and gray, it took a day or so for us to dry out and revel in the glorious rays of the sun.

Daily breakfast at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon restaurant had VACATION written all over it. Seriously folks.  I want live in that restaurant.  I want that floor.  The service was 8958extraordinary. The food was exemplary.  If you order the French Toast it is little pillows of heaven served on the most exquisite marmalade you have ever had the pleasure of tasting. The coffee is perfect. Oh, and then as you are just about to leave……….wait for it………they bring you a “to-go” cup of coffee, already with the perfect amount of cream to take with you, to help you ease into the day.  BLESS THEM and what they have created.  Such extravagance.

The gondola ride was anniversary perfect.  The music, the gondolier, the roses, the water, the perfect (faux) sky…… charming, every moment of it was charming and fun (I mean 8945romantic).


Having my palm read has been a secret desire.  I don’t know why I have never been brave enough.  Vacation has a way of making you brave enough to try new things.  I did it and it was super fun & silly & wonderful all mixed together.  After she was done, I told her she was spot on and accurate about everything.  (I wanted her to know she did a good job.)  She said,  “I know, it’s my job.”   Really?  How did she know I study one hour each morning?  ummmm….

A daily treat of swimming and lounging by the garden pool, was so nice.  Just hearing the waterfall and lollygagging for hours was dreamy.

We visited some beautiful gardens and wondered around until we found a glorious bakery.  See?  Vacation is DREAMY!!

Vacations allow us glorious time, somehow remind us we have permission to slowly walk through a garden and fill our spirits with saturated color and beauty. We walk slower, we take more time to gather goodness.

This Monday morning, our vacation envelope is empty.

Time to start saving and dreaming about our next adventure. I’ll wait for you to go get an envelope and pen.  Saving and anticipating the next glorious adventure is wonderful. Write on the outside of the envelope where you want to go.  Put a dollar in the envelope. Seriously, one dollar.  Seed money.8956

Vacation fills our pitcher.  We owe it to ourselves to dream and anticipate and plan.  Then once on vacation, the sun feels warmer, the coffee is richer,  the pool more relaxing, the desserts are more decadent (I forgot to tell you all about the glorious, thick, creamy dreamy Tiramisu dessert that we had made right at our table……..ah……)  oh, and did I mention the shared tangy, Lemon Gelato? 8947

Taking the time to plan a 35th  anniversary vacation, reminds us to celebrate what a really good marriage we have. Yes, my friend, celebrating marriage is THAT important.  By making an effort to celebrate anniversary 4 or 17, those celebrations most certainly help you get to number 35.  By celebrating number 35 it helps you get to number 47 and so on……

Here’s to great marriages, amazing experiences and wonderful breakfasts in French restaurants!

vacation quote

chop, chop, lollipop

Hello February!  Such a beautiful thing to say.  In our family, January has always been a tough, ugly, tricky month.  2017 was no different.

On to the fresh, clean slate of February.  Valentine’s day isn’t too far away.  It’s time for love and smooches and lollipops, of course.

I tied the sign, filled a jar and gave this to Mr. Right.20170131_154015-1_resized

Start with making the tag.  Next, fill whatever size (I used plastic) jar with bubble gum or suckers.  I thought Blow Pop suckers was silly, sweet and funny.

This is such an easy way to remind your Mr. Right, you love him and you are thinking about him.  You do send him to work with silly things he can share with co-workers, right?

Um, yeah, take the time.  How on earth do you think this thing called marriage is going to thrive and swirl?  You gotta feed it, girlfriend.  YES, even after 35 years of being married.

Yes, I know you are very “busy”.  You are going to tell me, “he knows I love him, I am lucky, I don’t have to show him.”


Everyone needs to be reminded that they are loved.   It feels good.

It is HAPPY all stuffed into a jar!

That’s why this project is so dang tootin’ easy, quick and full of goodness!

Chop, Chop, Lollipop!  

Fill and give a jar of goodness, TODAY!!

In this together, friend.

Go share some happy!


for me?

I ask you….

Who’s husband leaves for work, then comes back 8 minutes later with a beautiful Iced Latte?iced-coffee

Mine does!

Have I mentioned lately, what a lucky girl I am?

ummmm, that kind of man deserves some cookies.

I will be in the kitchen, baking for sure today!

Golly, I love that man.  (no, it’s not the caffeine talking, ha)



Last night’s dinner was Marvelous Meatless Monday.

Cracks me up to say that.  Get it?  Because we have marvelous meatless meals 98% of the time.

This is funny stuff people.  Hey, word has it, that it is “hip” to have Marvelous Meatless Mondays?  (not to mention lowers blood pressure, saves oodles of gallons of water, nicer to animals, does not contribute to horrid diseases, vegetables heal & all the cool kids are doing it.  Just to see if you were still reading, I added that last part.)

While Mr. Right is still at work, I try to send a before/during/prep picture to tickle his fancy & let him know what’s on the menu.  I knew yesterday’s picture would scare him.  In his voice,  I can hear him saying…..”oh no, that is way too much fresh Thyme.   I am not eating all those weeds.”  ps.  He always does and he always like them.  haha20161017_140446-1_resized

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are right in the middle of the glorious season of the mushroom.

Those Chanterelles were calling my name, the Oyster mushrooms were whispering sweet nothings to me.  The Crimini and Agaricus bisporus (white button mushrooms) didn’t want to be left out.

I turned all those weeds…aka fresh Thyme from our garden into a silky, smooth cream sauce with flavor that almost brought tears to my eyes.  So smooth it slipped off the back of a spoon.

Next, I reduced some Balsamic Vinegar.  I gotta tell ya, when that is cooking, the aroma in my kitchen sort of makes me feel like I know what the heck I am doing.  It is savory and sweet at the same time.  The aroma makes people walk towards your kitchen and ask, “whatcha got cookin’?”

I sliced polenta and started frying.  Yes, I said frying.  I used some left over oil from the Bagna Cauda that I prepared last week.  Oh, be still my heart.  That garlic & oil was the perfect thing to use.  Not much oil, just enough.  I did scoop out the little garlic nuggets of heaven.

Fresh green beans and onions were cooking on a different burner.  It a weird twist of fate, beautiful fresh green beans and little tiny onions played second fiddle to the main dish last night.

Last, but most importantly, I heated the black iron skillet and all those mushrooms got to know each other up close and personal.  A bit of coconut oil and some real salt did the trick to help release some of that moisture.

In the blink of an eye, dinner was ready to serve.

20161017_175808-1_resizedI started with cream thyme sauce then the polenta.  Next, I put those glorious roasted pieces of garlic along with some slightly cooked garlic atop the perfect circles of organic corn.

Hold on to your hats, next layer, those mushrooms in all their glory, were most certainly that.  Glorious.

Wait for it, the moment of pure goodness………the reduced Balsamic vinegar…….I fully admit to being a little heavy-handed.  While a drizzle or a few drops here and there would have been more artistic, I just poured it on.  I can’t help it, I am weak.  I want to lick the picture, right now.

Say Grace and savor that very first bite of marvelous goodness.  I mean savor and breath in.  This is what Marvelous Monday’s are all about.  Right here on one plate.  20161017_175948-1_resized

To sum up:

Marvelous Meatless Monday was marvelous.

We were both clean plate club members.

All the “weeds” were eaten with nary a sigh.

Here’s to our health and wellness.

What did you have for Marvelous Meatless Monday?

In this together, friends.

Chat tomorrow.