two anniversaries

I bet you were thinking I was going to talk about being married 37 years and how we celebrated?  Think again, my dear friend.

(Of course, I will share.   I promise to share how we celebrated and will include snazzy pictures to boot!)

First I want to talk about yesterday.  Our one year anniversary of owning two (not one, TWO) beautiful off WHITE sofas.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I wanted/lusted over/had to have/saved up for/cut out pictures/printed pictures of the perfect, plush, white sofas.

We were previous owners of a beautiful, well-built, lovely legs, navy BLUE sofa.  Actually, we are still guardians of a dark moss-green sofa which still lives in our library.

Our youngest boy went away to college 14 years ago.

It was time.  We could pretend to be grown-ups.  We could actually have a white sofa or two.  Oh, yes we could. 

They were delivered to our home exactly one year ago yesterday.  I know this because I wrote the magnificent date on our calendar.

I will graciously save you all the conversations/smart-aleck remarks/comments that Mr. Right made prior to bringing these beauties home.  Please, don’t come crying to me when you get “fill in the blank” on your new WHITE sofas.

We have the sofas in the great room.  They get used.  I sit and read and yes, drink coffee.  Glorious brown liquid.  I have actually used an orange highlighter pen while reading.  Don’t get the vapors…..I’ve actually enjoyed a glass of Green juice while sitting on the sofa.  The grands have used chalk on the chalkboard covered coffee table and there may or may not have been a “dusting” of chalk on said sofas.

Also, we do indeed have a 14.5-year-old beautiful, extremely hairy (we call dog hair, love) Golden Retriever, named Sweet Liberty.  While she is sweet she is also quite generous in sharing her love.  So, weekly, I am wiping down said white sofas of beautiful golden hair.

However, for the most part, these sofas have not had any major spills or issues.

Until, last night.

The 365th day.

I was in the spa taking a luxurious bath.  A two-hour, salt lamps plugged in (on the counter), bath salts, a lit beeswax candle, steam, organic bubbles swirling, lovely jets of warm water kind of spa.  Weird, I thought I could smell toast…

I had made rustic sesame bread and toasted was amazing.  It did smell like toast.  Um, maybe after my bath I should have a slice of toast?

When I came padding out to the kitchen, all wrapped in a fluffy white robe, I saw the toaster on the counter.  Yum.  Toast sounded perfect.

Mr. Right proceeded to tell me “the” story.  An excellent novel + PEANUT BUTTER toast….. you KNOW where this is going.……………………  reading, relaxing, moved just right and somehow the toast flipped upside down (of course) and SPLAT right on one of the WHITE cushions.

I felt bad for him.   He felt horrible for being the one to flip his toast onto the sofa.

Surprisingly, I was relieved.  We have been waiting for 365 days of when the “Big Spill” would happen.  We both could exhale.  The Grace period for spills had ended.  We could breathe again.

*(Housekeeping note)   Come to find out water and a sponge (and panic and more water and more panic) did an amazingly good job.  The cushion looks pretty darn good this morning.  If when the sunshine comes out to play, in the brighter light, we may need to remove the cover and have it professionally cleaned we can certainly do that.

Oh, and by the way, our other anniversary…..our wedding anniversary was a hoot.  While we usually take in a museum exhibit & fancy dinner or a nice trip or a quiet walk with a lovely seaside lunch………….this year was neither quiet or fancy or stuffy.

 

We went underwater bowling and by golly was it a HOOT.  It was so fun and well-appointed.  The place was spotless.  Other patrons had a great time.  We laughed and had fun. We even ate lunch in the bowling alley bar.  It was surprisingly good & tasty.  The people were so friendly and happy.

 

 

With the exception of the dreadfully unflattering sad bowling shoes, it was a MARVELOUS way to celebrate our favorite day of the year.

I highly recommend it.  (the bowling and marriage)

Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day. Barbara De Angelis

Here’s to great marriages and beautiful, glorious white sofas!

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

PS.  Seriously folks………….while bowling, one CANNOT avoid dreadful……..uninspiring……….not one bit snazzy….. sad bowling shoes.   And another thing………..who came up with the less than stellar idea of printing the shoe size on the outside of said shoes????

I am GRATEFUL that in the everyday world we choose not to print shoe sizes on the outside of our shoes.   See?  Something to be grateful for every single day of our lives.


 

6 years

In a weird calendar of events, I honestly have ZERO idea who thought February 4th should be “World Cancer Day”.  To celebrate?  To make money?  Is there a person alive today on the face of the earth that needs to be informed about the disease?  This is my blog, and I can say what I want.  I think the idea is stupid.

If you have cancer, every day you wake up, it is most likely the first or near the top of the list of things you think about. every. single. day.

sixSix years ago, on January 22nd, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and hypoparathyroidism.  The doctors told my husband, I most likely would not live to see Christmas.

One of the things that makes me slightly different from most stories you hear… I chose the path less traveled.

With tears in my eyes, I said a polite but firm NO, thank you to their “offer” of chemotherapy and radiation.

(side note:  chemotherapy is successful in 3% of the cases.  To those people, I applaud you.  You are angels among us. You deserve our light & encouragement.  You made an extremely tough choice. I am mighty grateful you are in this game of life.  I am grateful for your walking through the fire before us and for giving us hope.)

Now, I won’t go into how many medical personnel, “friends”, family as well as strangers felt the NEED to tell me I was crazy.   Should I count and tell you how many friends walked out of my life?

I will tell you that Mr. Right saved my life.

 Absolute truth.

Our four adult children were right there in the trenches with us.   My sister-in-law, brother-in-law & niece have shown and continue to show 100% unconditional love and support.  (even if they think my 64 ounces of green juice is “yucky”.  haha)  I had one friend, several states away, who while chose differently than I, supported me and encouraged me every step of the way.

The road less traveled is not decorated with pink boas or certificates or cute tutus or supportive people.  The road less traveled is quiet, lonely, scary, uncertain and foreboding.  There are zero insurance companies signing up to help you purchase vegetables for juice, or supplements or bio-mats or Vitamin C treatments or a new bike or Re-boundairs or trips to Salt Caves or $15.00 deodorants or all new makeup or all new cleaning supplies and on and on the list goes.

I am here today,  6 years and 2 weeks (yes, I count the days)  crazy alive, grateful and typing.

Chris Beat Cancer is a book written by Chris Wark.  On the back jacket of the book this is what it says:

“I am not “lucky” or special.  I am just a regular guy who listened to his instincts, stepped out in faith, and took massive action to help his body heal.  

I eliminated everything in my life that may have contributed to my disease, and changed the internal terrain of my body- making it a place where cancer could not thrive.  What I did, I believe anyone can do, including you. “

This is exactly what I did.  I made 157 changes to my life.  I am still studying for and researching health and wellness 1 hour a day, five days a week.

After 6 years I still feel jumpy that I may “jinx” it by talking about healing.  I still only trim 1/8 of an inch of my hair at a time.

Are people still gobsmacked when they run into me at the store?  “wow, I thought you would be dead by now”.  “We were waiting for the other shoe to drop.”  “You just need to pray more”.

This whole ordeal has brought out the worst in people.  I might never again go back to a Woman’s Bible Study or do more than listen politely when people tell me I am crazy for not following the norm.

The great news is, it has brought out the BEST in some.

Just yesterday our son told me about a Chili cook-off he has entered.  He has been practicing.  For the competition, he has to offer up 25 gallons of chili.  Then he went on to say, he chose to make a Vegetarian version that will knock the socks off any meat-eater out there.  He thought it would be weird to use meat in a competition that was to benefit a cancer research project.

Kids DO NOT listen…………………they watch exactly what you do.

They are smart that way.

cropped-lush-arrangemnt.jpgSo, on the anniversary of the 6th year of living and thriving, I brushed my dog, talked to my grands, went out for a fancy-schmancy lunch at the Fairmont and yes, I drank my green juice.

Here’s to year seven!20190122_134918-1

May we all walk in health and wellness.

Chat soon,

Daleen

 

bathed in Grace & Goodness

I have goodness to share.

20180611_172316_resizedYesterday, I completed sewing the finishing touches on the christening gown.    It has been a joy to work on both gowns.  It was my way of marking our grandchildren’s births and figuratively announcing to the world they have arrived.  20180611_160241_resized (1)

Hunter’s name has been written with ink in both our family Bible and history book.  As of yesterday, his name now stitched with white thread on the gown.

When grand #1 was born I made a Christening gown.  On the front, among other unique qualities, it has gold work done depicting a Scottish thistle. When grand #2 was born, I added two more lace and more embroidery and beads.  One of her pieces of lace is from Ireland.  20180611_160443_resized

When grand #3 was born, I made a Christening gown.  Since I knew this baby was a boy, I did a bit more tailored look with pintucks.  Also, I copied the monogram that his parents designed for their wedding.

20180611_160146_resizedWhen grand #4 was born, I added two more rows of lace and pearl embellishments to compliment the maternal pin.  I was extremely lucky and found a beautiful piece of lace (added to the bottom) made in Mexico.  It will be a piece to honor and remember his grandma’s roots.

Each has a sash made from one of the family tartans (ordered from Scotland).

Also, each has a pin from the Wilson family.

Each gown has a secret inside pocket that contains a penny from the year the parents were married and the years of each birth. 20180611_160118-2_resized

I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures.  (please remember I feel more comfortable sewing and stitching than I do of taking pictures.)

May our four grands be forever Bathed in Grace and Goodness. 

Love, Grandma Daleen

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.

 

Epiphany

20180107_101103-1_resizedChalk, a substance made of common elements of the earth.

We use chalk in this blessing as an ordinary substance put to holy use. 

Today we observe and celebrate Epiphany.  A day we mark to commemorate the visiting of the Christ Child by the three Magi with their gifts.

“Chalking the door” is a way to celebrate and literally mark the occasion of Epiphany and God’s Blessing of our lives and home.

With time through the year, as the chalk fades, may the meaning and symbols sink into our hearts and manifest in our words and actions.

All are welcome to adopt this custom.

Above our door are written in chalk the symbols and numbers20180107_101103-1-1-1_resized

20+C+M+B+18

Some remember the names of the three wise men:

Caspar, Melchior, Balthazaar

While others choose the abbreviated Latin words Christus Mansionem Benedicat

“May Christ Bless the house.”

The “+” signs represent the cross and 2018 is the year.

May Christ Bless your dwelling and Peace be to this house and to all who live, work and visit your home.

May all our homes be bathed in Grace & Goodness.

In this together,

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.

Chrismons

crismon treeChrismon are Christmas decorations with Christian symbols on them. They were first made by Frances Kipps Spencer at the Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, Virginia.  She also thought of the word Chrismon which is a combination of Christ and Monogram (meaning symbol).

20171214_212617_resized (1)

The simple symbols remind us of the story.

The ornaments remind of Grace and Goodness.

During Advent, our church decorates the sanctuary tree with white felt Chrismons.  Other years we have attended a church in another state and that tree also had Chrismons, however, those were made out of beads & pipe cleaners.

I cross stitched several of these ornaments years ago.  If I remember correctly, I have made this set three times to give away. As luck would have it, I did indeed make a set for our tree.   Each has Biblical meaning.20171214_212607_resized All of our ornaments were stitched with the same three colors of thread, same cloth and utilized the same small plastic frames.

We hang them every year on one of our trees.  This year the tall, tall skinny tree in the kitchen is decorated with German straw ornaments, Chrismons, antique chocolate candy molds and cinnamon ornaments.

Once the Chrismons come out of the box, or I spy them on the church tree…………it finally feels like Christmas.

Here’s to that happy feeling we all get while unpacking and seeing our treasured decorations.20171214_213706-1_resized

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.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/poke/

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

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/a-good-luck-poke/

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is saving you today?

Life at times can be tricky.  It can feel tough and brutal.  Life feels hard sometimes. Life can be very loud.

It seems as though for the big huge troubles, we pause, pull up our bootstraps and face it head-on.  Not pleasant, however, we all have the ability to rise up and fight something big.

It’s the small things that add up & sneak up on you. You don’t realize how full your heart & soul & plate are until the tipping point and things start to topple over.

buffetBefore walking up to the buffet table, you actually are not physically starving.  Coffee sounds good, then you spy the potatoes & take a few.  Next, you notice the fruit.  Oh my,  look at that spinach quiche it is calling my name.  Wait!  I spy with my little eye, a freshly baked croissant.  Oh, cappuccino.  And just like that, my plate is piled high, I have both hands filled and I have to ask for help carrying my coffee back to my place.

That moment when you ask for help.  You instinctively know the moment has come to politely ask for assistance. We can’t do this alone.

That’s how I feel lately.

A friend’s son is sick.

Two friends are very, very sick.

I miss playing board games with my kids. I miss hanging out and talking.

I miss our grandkids.

I’ve baked a couple of times to take to friends.  My stash of sympathy cards is dwindling at an alarming rate. A couple of friends are in the hospital.  (I can’t be around germs, so I send cards.)  I need to replenish my “thinking of you cards”.

Working from home has its advantages for sure, however, sometimes just talking with the dog does not fill my need to chit-chat.  I miss dressing up, driving to work, checking in with co-workers, hearing about their day, eating lunch, teasing, banter etc.

I picked up my phone yesterday, I was going to send a text message to my friend ( I have two happy things to squeal and share about), then I remembered she doesn’t have a phone in heaven.

This time of year, the weather is dreary and it’s not easy to go out and work off some frustration through yard work.  It is pouring down rain as I type.  If we get a slight break in the liquid sunshine, my boots are ready….. I am headed out to rake leaves and breathe in some fresh air.

Yesterday, while listening to a podcast interview, Jen Hatmaker asked her guest the final question.

“What is saving you today”? 

 

I listened then I proceeded to answer it as well.

“What is saving me today”?

Mr. Right (fancy date night over the weekend, talking on the phone like high school kids,Date night_resized doing a 550 piece jigsaw puzzle in 3 hours, reading the same book or studying and then discussing together, stitching and talking while he makes juice every day…………my list goes on and on)

Floss Tube ( a group of worldwide cross stitchers who make videos and share their passion)

coffee cupCoffee

Counted cross stitch

I don’t really need finger shaking and rules right now.  Reading Psalms uplifts and psalm rockencourages me to move forward.  Even when the world seems all wackadoodle & topsy-turvy.

My Sweet Dog

my guilty pleasure, looking at “Hello” Magazine pictures online

Crocheting

Funny videos during medicine time

Reading the latest FBI thriller

Baking

holding handsHolding hands while wearing mittens/gloves on evening walks

 

So on this wet Tuesday,  my question to you friend is,

“What is saving you today”?

Maybe we can share answers & grace with each other?

Maybe by sharing we can smooth out the rough edges of this thing we call life?

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

something we can agree on

heart crossMy heart hurts.

I can’t stop thinking about the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.  I woke up this morning at 3:14 am thinking about them.  Thinking about the mom’s, the wives/husbands and the families.  My mind wouldn’t stop swirling.

I will freely admit, I am tired of just sending my thoughts and prayers to victims of unspeakable violence.

I think we can all agree, the time has come.  We need to do more.

The very reason I started this blog was so I could leave my heart on the page and sleep through the night.

Our church sings a song with the words, “Let peace begin with me“.  I have always loved that song, memorized the words, sang with gusto, the melody sounded so smooth and easy.   La, la, la…. look at me being peaceful.  In my nice dress and high heels, so nice and clean and calm. 

Move over Blue Haired Methodist Ladies!

The new younger, more vocal “Medium Golden Brown” with Cappuccino highlights” lady is ready to speak up.

Never in a thousand years would I have believed that “peace” would begin with me by contacting my congressman/woman.

This morning while listening to a fellow cross stitcher, Bendy Stitchy aka Michelle Garrett (a wonderful stitcher, kind soul, giving, nurturing spirit, open-minded)  in amongst talking and sharing about stitching, she shared a brilliant idea.

I liked her idea.  It’s the first time I have thought of it this way.  It is not huge, it is a teeny, tiny step.  Maybe, fingers crossed, an idea in the right direction?

This is NOT about gun laws, gun sales, taking away hunters rights, questioning the Second Amendment.   This is not to ban fertilizer sales or knife sales, this is not a never-ending circle of red-faced, screaming loud, ranting and raving.

THIS IS ABOUT the people who were injured or killed and their families. 

I repeat.

THIS IS ABOUT the people who were injured or killed and their families. 

This is something we can actually do.  Physically write, email or phone your congressman or the white house.  Yes, we can do this.

Allow me to paraphrase her thoughts:

Back in the early 80’s then-President, Ronald Reagan asked the CDC to study why so many Americans were dying in their cars.  The CDC takes a long time to study things, however, in the end, what they deduced is:   car restraints were needed.

That study resulted in a seat belt law.

Do people still die in car accidents?  Yes, of course, every single day. Did the study reduce the number of deaths due to seatbelts?  Yes.  The study was worth it.

Let’s ask our congressmen/women or President to have the CDC  commence a study of multiple deaths by gun violence or other lethal means (fertilizer, knife, car etc) by one individual.

This could very well be a step toward the “WHY” question we all have.

Just take a look at it.  No political slant.  Just take a look.

It is a beginning…….a place to start…….at the very least a jumping off point to try and figure out the “why”.

As the victims and their families, walk through this horror,  May God cover them with a blanket of Love & Grace.

May we all be bathed in Grace as we AGREE.

YES, we can all agree, WE CAN AND SHOULD ALL DO BETTER.

In this together friends, chat soon.