hidden grace & goodness

One of the things about making a resolution to finish projects that have been hidden in the unfinished object basket is that you get to say hello to old “friends”.

20180130_102114-1_resizedHello, strange pink colored fabric that I have moved/touched (feeling a bit guilty) every single time I flip through my extra pieces of stitching fabric…..since 2005.  I ask you (as I said aloud to the dog), what was so vital in my life that I didn’t have time to complete 8 stitches and then sew together into a pin keep?  Yes, 8 stitches.    The good news, it didn’t take but a few stitches, a bit of sewing and a little charm.  All of a sudden, a bit of goodness to sit on a table.

20180130_094535-1_resizedHello, quilted wall hanging I began years ago to always remember my sister-in-law.  When I saw this pattern, it reminded me of the first time I had dinner on their farm.  They passed around a Polaroid picture of the chicken (one of 80,000) they raised, and all that went on that morning .…so that we could eat fresh chicken for dinner.  YIKES!  That was a first for this girl.   Janice got a good giggle out of that.  She was a creative & kind sister.  She always treated me so well.  She baked like I have never seen before.  She was the best example of a mom. She was the first person to ever tell us we were raising our boys well.  I will never forget her.  I don’t need to sew a quilt to remember.  It is just a nice piece to work on.  It affords me the time to remember so many bits of goodness about Janice.  I’m guessing that she would be belly laughing that I now have 5 chickens. 20180130_094542_resized


Oh, hello sweet thing.  That little coin purse hardware has sat on my sewing machine table for way too long.  I sat down one evening and in less than 2 hours had this adorable little bit of limey green goodness finished. 20180122_204630-1_resized_1

Three hidden projects brought out into the light of day and it is only January.  Every time I spy a completed item, it feels like I am bathing myself in grace & goodness.

I would love to hear what projects you are creating or finishing.  Maybe we can inspire each other?

“You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelo


In this together friends,

Chat soon.


new year, 6 new things

Hello friends.

It is a dreary, gray, soggy and dark day here today in the Pacific Northwest.  I turned on my peace hippie bushappy light, have lavender oil going in the diffuser and put sprinkles on top of my coconut cream in my coffee.  Some days, you gotta take control of the good mood bus.  (yeah, painted all hippie and wild like.)

Enough bad news out there.  We need to share GOOD with each other.  Let’s share a couple new things we have discovered?  I’ll go first and then it will be your turn to share something  “new year, new stuff”.  Our own virtual show and tell.

Why don’t more people want to share new finds?  Are people shy about sharing?  Or do they just not seek out new things to try?  Maybe they do indeed try new stuff, maybe they just aren’t as chatty as me?  I am guessing there are good people out there, who try new things, like them and just don’t see the need to blather on and on.

Well, buckle up, I am here to blather on about six new GROOVY (or save your money and move on) things.  (Side note: let’s bring back the word “groovy“. Today’s vernacular needs the boost of the word groovy.)


First out of my Mary Poppins bag…… Kite Hill “cheese”.  While we don’t eat dairy, we are just like normal muggles……..and we love cheese and crackers and appetizers etc.  Every single thing I have tried from Kite Hill has been delicious.  Seriously, full of flavor and so unladylike “lip smackin’ good”!  A bit on the pricey side, so take something out of your grocery cart that might not be a “need”.  ‘Cause girlfriend, you are going to “need” this cheese.  Made from almonds it is a lovely replacement.  If you have friends over who don’t do dairy, this will make them feel extra special.  I found it at my local grocery store as well as the health food store.

Next up, my gorgeous new velvet top from The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.  Okay, let me begin by saying I love to shop online.  This company hits it out FB_IMG_1514854304876_resizedof the ballpark.  The shipping container is taped with fancy tape, arrived very quickly and was wrapped in a package with a cute sticker.  Made me smile even before I unwrapped my new top.  The top fits perfectly, feels amazing, it is saturated in deep, rich color and the embroidery is well done & lovely.  I like it so much, I am trying to figure out the perfect place to go, so I can wear my new top.   I highly recommend giving them a look-see.  https://www.themercantile.com/


20180109_111012-1_resizedLet me sing the praises of this next goodie.   Lavishea.  A lotion bar that I can actually use on my hands and still work with my quilting fabric, yarn or counted cross stitch fabric!  This time of year can be brutal on hands.   This product works, yet it doesn’t leave any residue on my hands so I can continue to work with fabric/yarn without compromising the piece.  I found it on amazon.com

Next in the line-up is probably a pass. Sad face.  Sullivan Threads.  I gave them a try on my new counted cross sullivan threadstitch.  While being a bit less expensive, not what I would call a beautiful smooth thread.  I will continue and finish my current project, however, I will most likely not buy again. Save your money and let’s move along.

20180106_170335-1_resizedElla + Mila is a new to me company.  I am always looking for products that don’t use (or use much less) toxic chemicals.  So, trying to find safe lipstick and nail polish, while being a first world “problem” it is important to me.  I have to say, I fell in love with the lipstick.  Great coverage, stayed on surprisingly long, didn’t smudge, felt nice going on, didn’t “taste” funny and the color was very close if not spot on to the picture online.   I am smitten with the rosy darker shade of lipstick.  The lighter color is not my cup of tea, however, I will still wear it around the house.   I really, really like the nail polish.  The coverage was excellent, fewer chemicals mean less smell.  This is day four wearing it and it still looks lovely.  https://www.ellamila.com/

I can’t take credit for this last one. Cocomels. Good ‘ol Santa put these in my stocking.  cocomels-coconut-milk-caramels-sea-salt-853610003141_3Oh, my stars!!!  These individually wrapped beauties are delicious, creamy dreamy, a bit salty and not one bit naughty.  Santa knows me extremely well.  He gave me two bags.  One of them was devoured in a day or two.  I am trying to only eat one or two a day since then.  A wonderful indulgence.   I believe Santa may have purchased them on Amazon, however, I did notice our local grocery store carries them in the health food section.

Now it’s your turn.  Friends share with Friends.  Please leave a comment with something new you have tried in this new year.  

In this together, friends. 

Chat soon.



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.

keeping you on pins & needles

I am sure you have been on pins & needles for a while now.  Did she or did she not achieve her goal of this year?  When will she give us an update?  Will she ever in a million years do something like this again?

2017 the year I proclaimed the year of the pincushion has come to a close. Thankfully.

Holy Toledo, I learned more than I ever imagined.  It took more time than I ever estimated.  My original goal was to cross stitch 12 pincushions for gifts.  I completed and gave 16.

I was able to give three of those beauties in person.

Now, before you fret, yes, I have a beautiful,  rather large pincushion of my own.  I have used it almost daily for quite a few years now.   I stitched the tower to remember our trip to Paris.

If you remember, here was my original challenged issued to me.


To make it even more interesting, I added another element, pins.



I used an entire bag of crushed walnut shells to fill each.  I had to go and buy a second bag to fill the last two.

All of the pins I glued beads onto were used and my button jar came in mighty handy this year.

What did I learn?

I still enjoy counted cross stitch.

I liked personalizing the pin keeps to each person.

I learned that I most likely will never, ever do a project like that again.  It requires a whole bunch of heart & soul and time & effort.

I wanted to lovingly, slowly stitch goodness into each, piece, however, the deadlines and mailing times sort of took the fun out of making each.

My plan was to stitch each cushion and fill it with grace and well wishes for the other person.  Not everyone is excited or appreciates handmade gifts nor do many understand the hours it takes to produce them.

I put more good karma, energy, time, effort, money into each than need be.

I figured out, that while I was not looking for a “proper thank you note”, of which I received four, I was secretly hoping for a personal connection.  A conversation.  Some type of tie to the person I gave the gift to.  A reason to talk and spend time with the person.  A way to jump-start a conversation that would linger and fill us each with a wonderful memory. That did not happen.

If I ever do a counted cross stitch piece for anyone other than family, I will most likely keep track and share the number of hours it took to complete.  Not to be boastful, but to share the time that was spent on that person. I came to realize that folks that do not do handiwork, have no concept or understanding of how long each project takes.

I learned for Christmas this year, I am buying gifts.

The only handmade gifts I am making are for our Grands.


I was going to say, I will most likely never cross stitch another pin cushion again.  However………I already have a person in mind (she herself is a beautiful cross stitcher) that I might like to make a pin cushion as a surprise in 2018.  We will see.

So here are a few of my 16.  Some, I forgot to take a picture.  One, I took a picture of the back and promptly deleted the front picture after it was already in the mail.  sigh.

Thanks for following along and keeping me company this past year.

I would dearly love to have a conversation about gift giving and making/giving handmade gifts.

I have a counted cross stitch pattern, thread, and fabric all ready to begin January 1, 2018, for me!

Also, we have a new GRANDBABY on the way in 2018 so my hands will be flying as I make oodles of goodness for the new one in our life.

Here’s to accomplishing my goal and then some!  Setting a goal and working towards completion is very satisfying.

In the coming year, I hope you are planning and setting a goal or two of your own.  Would love to hear your plans.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.








time to sparkle

Time to clean the chandelier.

Go get your umbrella.  I’ll wait. 

I’m still waiting.  Geesh, this is taking forever.  Already gone through two songs.

Oh hi.  you’re back.  Good.

Let’s get started.

Turn off the light.  The crystals or glass clean so much easier when cold.  20171018_135808_resized

Hang that umbrella on the chandelier.  It will catch dust, cobwebs, more dust that you blow off with a hair dryer or spray with a can of air.  It will also catch any drips of magic elixir that may sprinkle down.   (Seriously, you do not want this to turn into an all day long project and have to wash your bed linens, too?  Well?  Of course not.)

Next, mix up the magic elixir.

2 cups warm water, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol and 2 Tablespoons of the dishwasher spot remover 

You will need a soft cloth and a ladder/step stool.

Um, I am pretty sure you know what to do.  Stand there for several minutes while the blood drains out of your arms and wash each little beautiful crystal.   Are your arms tingling?  Good.  That’s a sign you are doing it right!

Your goal is to change every single dusty, film covered, sad crystal drop into a beautiful sparkle of a gem.

Put on your sunnies, ’cause you’re going to need ’em! 20171018_141746-1_resized

Wow!  So sparkly.  So pretty.

Put away the ladder, toss the soft cloth into your laundry pile,  and wash the container you put the elixir in.

Take the umbrella outdoors and open and close a few times.  The neighbors will think you are a bit silly.  Wave and give them a jaunty salute!  Howdy Neighbor!!

Now wasn’t that easy peasy?

Just sharing the goodness.

In this together, friend.

chat soon.

P.S.  Be a lamb and share a smarty pants cleaning tip!  Love to hear your secret.














Brilliant Sunday Supper

Last night, the rains started, it cooled way down and seemed like the perfect Sunday evening for comfort food.  You know?  The warm feel of soup in your belly.  The blend of flavors in a well planned out sandwich……oh baby, so good.

Wait.  I will explain what I made, then I will share a picture or two.

The soup.

Hang on to your cute beanie. This savory soup is Sunday dinner, Easy Peasy.

20170917_143546_resizedCut up some beautiful (homegrown if you have them) potatoes and a couple of leeks (remember to wash the dickens out of those leeks).  Drizzle with olive oil and S & P.  Roast at 425*for 50 minutes.  Next put them into the Blend-tec with some vegetable broth.  We’re blending, we’re blending………………  and we are done.  That was easy.20170917_172055-1_resized







The Sammy.

20170917_170912-1_resizedCaramelize an onion.  Roast a red pepper (then put into a zippy bag and take off the brunt outer skin).  Also, have in the lineup and ready to go:

Tapenade, fresh pesto & shred some beautiful Fontina cheese.  Assemble and grill.

Say Grace and just like that, A brilliant Sunday supper is toasty and ready to enjoy. 20170917_172332-1_resized

I ask you, who would not be grateful and find comfort in this beautiful meal?

We need to cook like this for our families/ourselves more often.  We are all worthy of simple, satisfying food layered with love.

I gotta say, the flavor of that combination was brilliant.

Hope you enjoyed a savory Sunday meal, certainly a lovely way to begin the week.  Or might I suggest this meal as a solution to what to have tonight?

In this together, friends.

Just sharing the goodness.

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.