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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blendtec, fresh, garden, gardening, grateful, pure goodness, recipe, summer, vegetables, wellness

tomato round up, yeehaw

20170913_132317-1_resizedThis year, the first weekend in May,  we planted 2 tomato plants.  The varieties were Early Girl and Big Boy.  One we purchased and the other was a free start!

Boy Howdy did we have a good year!  Gorgeous color, amazingly rich, bold flavor.  These beauties made some of the best sauce to come down the pike.

Sad side note:  Because of the wildfires in Canada and Eastern Washington and wind,  our tomatoes had a light covering of ash.  While good for the soil, we did rinse them off before bringing them inside.

20170908_144138-1_resized_1

Once ripe, we ate fresh tomatoes almost daily.

20170907_180035_resizedOne older neighbor wanted one, plump, beautiful tomato to enjoy.

We gave away 3 bags full along with fresh picked Basil.  (I save those small gift bags through the year, then use them to nestle fresh picked produce in to share with the neighbors. So much cuter than filling a used grocery bag.)20170919_172531-1_resized

Then I kept track of how many pounds we picked & brought inside for us to process and use.  Are you ready?  Hold onto your cowgirl hats!

We had a grand total of 27.4 pounds!  That was from just 2 plants!!!!!

After I make yard sauce, which I use as a base for other sauces (rough chop a pan full of tomatoes, onion, and basil, sometimes Rosemary… olive oil, S & P, roast for 50 minutes on 425*, plop in Blend-Tec and push the button)

 

or spaghetti sauce, I freeze the bags flat.  I can stack the frozen packages book style, save oodles of space in the freezer and can easily see what each package contains.

 

 

Our evening temperatures are dipping into and below the 50* mark.  That means our on the vine tomatoes will not ripen any longer.

We do have a couple left ……………

I spy with my little eye………………something green.   I have a wonderful feeling that Fried Green Tomatoes will be making a debut on our plates in the very near future! 20170921_112458-1_resized

We are so grateful to have grown such a beautiful, lush, prolific garden with enough bounty to eat, share, process and freeze for later.

Already planning on what to plant next year and where.  Yes indeed, we will be rotating where we plant things.  We will nourish and feed our soil this winter.

How did you do?  Did you have extraordinary success this year?  I would love to hear how your harvest turned out this year and share any tips/tricks or common sense ideas you figured out from this season.

In this together, friends. Happy Harvest.

Chat soon.

cooking, goodness, grace, grateful, recipe, recipe comfort food, vegetables

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.

 

 

gifts, good karma, good marriages, grateful, great marriage, great marriage secrets, haPPY, happy marriage, Uncategorized

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….

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!!!!

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.

 

goodness, grateful, haPPY, Uncategorized

ridiculously amazing list

Early this morning a friend invited me to join her on a challenge.  In a Sunday class, the assignment was to write down 20 things GOOD about yourself.  She asked me if I wanted to take up the challenge.

It took me several minutes to agree.  Honestly, it was still early and I couldn’t figure out a polite way to say no.

So, we did a virtual “Pinky swear” (no spit) and got out pen & paper.  pinky swear

I started with a bang and then fizzled out around number 8.

Seriously?

I quite quickly started to see part of the “issue” of me feeling a bit down lately.

There is something very unhealthy about not thinking of yourself as a good egg.

While my mother raised my sisters and me not to be boastful…….there is something to be said for appreciating the gifts that I have.  I sure knew that I needed a boost, so back to the drawing board.  Number 9…….  Really?  This can’t be that hard.

Immediately  I figured out that because this was a difficult challenge, maybe it was something I needed to do.

Here we go, buckle down. Number 9…….  Really?  This can’t be that hard.

I am a nice person.  

Oh, there’s one right there.

I took a break and asked Google.  Who knew there was help?  I found one website mighty helpful.

http://www.purposefairy.com/66208/how-to-begin-rebuilding-your-life-and-make-it-ridiculously-amazing/

That search lead me down a fluffy rabbit hole.  100 Good things about Me!  Oh, good gravy, there is NO way I can come up with 100 things good about me!

Wait, maybe I can fill out the list?

There is something rather delicious about nurturing the GOOD in oneself.  Now, I don’t mean to announce your or my list on social media.  I think of this blog as my journal.  So if you read some of my list, keep your lips sealed.  I will never know you peaked.

With each thing I wrote, it sort of became easier.

The 20 things GOOD about me has morphed into a list of 100 things.  No, I have not made it to 100 yet.  However, I am going to keep trying.

If I don’t think there are 100 good things about me…..I am no social genius….I am guessing that others won’t see the good in me either.

So far, I have made it to 47. I am going to keep at it. It may take me a day or two or more. I sort of feel like I need to do this.  I am not sure how easy the rest of the list will come, I just have a feeling it will be good for my spirit and the people around me.

Let’s face it, being around “Debbie downers” is not a picnic.

WE need to do this.  It sort of feels lovely to read all the GOOD there is about yourself.  Sort of makes one blush just a bit.

In this together friends.

Are you brave enough to take up the challenge?  Will you pinky swear that you will give it a try? Please stop by and leave a morsel of goodness.  I would love to hear a couple of things on YOUR list.

Chat soon.

  1.  I am a good wife.  I love Mr. Right and I chose wisely. 20160715_103449-1
  2. I am a good grandma.
  3. I am loyal.
  4. I am calm in a crisis.
  5. I am a kind person.
  6. I am a good mother in law.
  7. I am a good problem solver.
  8. I am an avid reader.
  9. I am nice.
  10. I am good at word search puzzles.
  11. I am kind to animals.
  12. I am good at arranging flowers.purple flowers
  13. I am empathetic.
  14. I am a good cook and baker.
  15. I am patriotic.
  16. I am never bored.
  17. I am good at growing vegetables.
  18. I don’t drink, smoke or take drugs.
  19. I am a good swimmer.
  20. I am good at remembering people with cards and gifts.
  21. I am good at cutting, coloring and highlighting my own hair.
  22. I am good at counted cross stitch sewing and quilting.
  23. I have faith.
  24. I have good manners and table etiquette.
  25. I am good at finishing projects.
  26. I can keep secrets.
  27. I LOVE my children (and their spouses) unconditionally.
  28. I am good at trying new things.
  29. I am trustworthy.
  30. I appreciate talent in others.
  31. I am good at shooting a gun(and hitting the target).
  32. I am good at geometry.
  33. I have strong opinions and values.
  34. I am good at setting a pretty table.
  35. I am good at wrapping gifts.
  36. I am a good researcher.
  37. I am good at ironing.
  38. I am good at decorating and keeping house.
  39. I am very giving.
  40. I am good at training dogs.
  41. I am good at painting. (walls and trim and ceilings and objects….not pictures on canvas)
  42. I am a good listener.  I tend to forget a few things, but I am a good listener.
  43. I have a good eye for composition.
  44. I will stand up for my beliefs.
  45. I write well.
  46. I have a good eye for color.
  47. I have good handwriting.

 

 

 

 

 

grateful, gratitude, honor, husband, Uncategorized

WWTSMWD

What would the Sargent Major’s Wife Do?

My brother-in-law, was a SGT. Major in the US Army.  Gosh, I love that guy.  Don’t tell him I said so.  He doesn’t “do” mushy.  haha.  When I first met him, I’ll be honest, he scared me.  During those Army days, he scared me more.

Days have slipped by and somehow I am not scared of him or his gruff voice anymore. He is one of the good guys.  He is the kind of man you want on your side when the Zombies come over that hill.

You all know by now, I love, love, love my sister-in-law.

Here is something you might not know about Army wives……they are the “behind the scenes” magic girls.  They are the reason things look & move so smooth in the military.  My sister in law, use to get up at 3:15 AM to make breakfast, so the Army man in her life could have a decent home cooked meal, before heading into work.

She always ironed his t-shirts.  Just in case, he was in his office and it got hot.  If he took off his Battle Dress Uniform jacket, his Army t-shirt would be crisply ironed to perfection.

My Army guy knew without a shadow of a doubt that he would be wise NOT to eat anything, I mean anything that I tried to cook for him at 3 in the morning.  Some Army wives just aren’t morning girls.

Each and every Memorial Day, our Army guys do what they promised to do.

They remember.

20170528_113743-1_resized_2They owe their fallen military brother and sisters the respect of remembering. Their uniforms are spit spot ready. Their shoes shined like the sun glistening off calm water. Their brass is shined within an inch of its life.  The smell of Brasso lingers in the air.  Their uniforms are lint free with nary a wrinkle in sight.

The morning before we went to the cemetery, I asked Mr. Right if his dress shirt was ready?  Drats.  I had forgotten to iron it.

For a fleeting moment, I thought to myself…..geesh, you only see about 2 inches of collar and a half-inch of shirt. Sometimes, you spy a quarter-inch of the cuff…….

Who would know if I only ironed those parts?  It would be my secret.

When it comes to ironing, I am not always the most willing & cheerful person.  I could just do those parts and move on with taming my hair into a something a bit reserve and respectful.

As the iron heated, I had “the” thought…. What would the SGT. Major’s wife do?

Oh, I think we both know the answer.

I told Mr. Right what I was thinking.  He chuckled and said, the SGT. Major’s wife would probably iron it twice!  ha

Mr. Right’s shirt was starched & ironed with perfect creases, not a wrinkle to be found.

The shirt was ironed to perfection, every single inch of it.  20170528_112312_resized_3

A perfectly ironed shirt.  Befitting a solider headed to pay his respects and make good on his promise.

 

We are a grateful family.

We remember.

 

 

 

 

grateful, haPPY, Uncategorized

handyman measures up

Everyone has one.

No one takes pictures of them.  Not one person on earth says, “Welcome to our home, would you like to see our utility closet”?

The dreaded vacuum/extra shopping bags/yard stick/dog leash/mop/broom closet. 20170429_204857_resized

99% of those closets are a scary, dark, smelly, small, who knows what you’ll find HOT MESS.

Just as you came in, through the garage, my grandparents had one such closet.  Dark & Scary, check.  Vacuum, extra shoes, grocery bags, a coffee can filled with rocks (?),the yard stick  & also a shot gun leaning against the door jamb. (they lived in the country)

The closet my mother kept her vacuum in was tiny.  In addition to her vacuum, she also kept the ironing board, extra vacuum cleaner bags, extension cords (that were always loose and you used your foot to kick them in to be able to close the door) and a couple of yard sticks.

Ours was no exception.  No matter where we have lived, that one utility closet was a nightmare.  Last week our closet was a jumbled mess of stuff.  Toss it in and close the door fast.  A clothes rod that only one dog leash was hung from, a mix match of bins and bags. Most certainly NOT picture worthy.

How is it the one space used the most in any and all of our homes is the one most likely to win the “sad face” sticker?sad face Stuff just tossed in, cram it there, tuck something next to that, put up another mismatched nail, needed & useful stuff, yet never a pleasure to open that door.

You have to be ready to block a falling soccer ball or a dog grooming brush that could quite possibly come tumbling down. Resulting in mental or physical scars for life, I tell ya!

Hold onto your feather dusters and get ready for an “oh, I WANT that closet” make over.  I fell in LUST with these shelves.  Seriously??????  He had me at those shelf fronts.20170430_114020_resized

We are talking about a 24″ wide vacuum closet.  (Down-sizing forces you to use your noggin and imagination to come up with solutions.)

I am talking about some white paint ( so long ugly, weird, honey, orange-colored wood) , a trip to the container store, one amazon purchase, two trips to the hardware store, some money to buy the supplies and the best Handyman a girl could ask for!

BEST, HAPPY, NON-SCARY   Before & After photos EVER!!!!

WAIT, before I show you, let me tell you my favorite part.  The item my handyman used to face the front of the shelves.  He knows I love yard sticks.  If I wasn’t already married to the handyman, I would marry a yard stick (not really)…weird and wacky but I love those things.

He was wise enough to keep my very favorite one.  It happens to be the yard stick that some little home school person drew feet on the 12 ” marks to learn how many feet are in a yard.  swoon.

This closet holds an amazing amount of things and yet at the same time, doesn’t make you want to grab an item and slam the door.  You want to linger, savor the beauty.  ha

mop, broom, vacuum, dust pan, feather duster, laundry folder board, basket full of do grooming supplies, basket of dog food containers, container lids, wrapping paper, 4 aprons, 4 shopping bags, dog travel bag, carpet cleaning products, mail box key, indoor plant food and one beautiful yard stick

Drum roll please………………………………..   I give you pictures of my new and improved, beautiful, organized, clean, useful utility closet.  (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my handyman.)

GOD BLESS handy men near and far.  In the famous words of Red Green…..

Red Green