smooth Friday

Hello and Happy Friday!

I wanted to share a helpful, easy, “you will thank me by next Thursday” tip.

20180212_135712_resizedWhen you fill up your refrigerators and freezers this weekend, might I gently suggest you make 7 or 8 smoothie packets at the same time?

Super easy.

A beautiful way to bathe yourself in Grace and Wellness.

Bring home your greens and wash.  (Yes, even the greens in the bags.)  I wash with vinegar then rinse with water. Then I dry/spin the whole bunch in a salad spinner.  You could easily use paper towels or a clean cotton towel.   Vinegar is inexpensive and best part ….. it really works.20180212_135312_resized

We froze oodles and oodles of berries last year, so I am still working off of those.  Or you can purchase frozen berries.

Now, get out 7 or more zip freezer bags.  Roll down the tops.  Set up an assembly line of sorts.

(I use these amounts for one smoothie, you can certainly double or so forth the recipe for more.)

20180212_135415-1_resizedAdd one cup of clean, dry spinach or Swiss chard or bok choy or kale or a combination of greens to each zippy bag.  Then I add one cup of a variety of berries.  Sometimes, I toss in half a banana.  Add anything else you want.   The sky is the limit.  Toss in a handful of chopped up peaches or apricots!   (some weeks I do a tropical take on the smoothie….pineapple, mango, strawberry, lime) 20180212_135719-1_resized_1

Actually, next time you are at your specialty health food store and you “treat” yourself to a $6.00 smoothie, jot down the ingredients that you fancy in your favorite option.  Then re-create in your homemade freezer packs.

The idea is to create these helpful, beautiful packets that will help you make a smoothie quick and easy and almost effortless.20180212_135305-1_resized

That way, you can add your liquid, fresh coconut pulp, ground flax seeds, etc. and toss in your bag of frozen goodness.  40 seconds of blending later, you are enjoying a great smoothie.  Little effort to create something wonderful.  Fast and hits the spot.


Perfect to drink on the way to work.   Perfect to drink on the way to take care of your grand for the day.  Perfect to drink while you decide if you want something more for lunch.

Just think of all the good you will be doing to your body?  One cup of berries a day times five days a week times each month.   Woah, Nelly!  That is a bucket full of antioxidants!  

Berries are some of the most powerful (and delicious) disease-fighting foods available. Color pigments in berries that are powerful antioxidants. Blue, purple, and red color have been associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, urinary tract health, memory function, and healthy aging.

20180209_132104-1_resized_3In this together, friends.

(next Thursday, when you take out a frozen zippy bag and make an amazing smoothie, send me an email.  I promise you, you will be so happy that you took the time to make something good for you!)

Here’s to our wellness and good health!



if you were given 5 years

If you were given 5 years…wish 2

If you were given a gift of 5 years, 5 years you thought you didn’t have, what would you do?  How would you spend them?  Would you do the things you always wished you could do but for whatever reason you haven’t?  Would you make sure that the people you love know you love them?  Would you buy the extra good foods, go on great adventures?  Would you run yourself ragged trying to make every minute of every day meaningful?

Daleen decided that she would be grateful for each day and would use every day by embracing something that would help her on her journey.  She decided to learn everything about healing cancer naturally.  She’s become an expert at clean living and is a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge on the subject.  She was determined to travel even though it tired her out so much.  After all, there’s a big world out there waiting to be discovered by each of us.  And so, we’ve been to virtually the four corners of these great United States and many places in between.  She dedicated herself to her handiwork and has produced one beautiful piece after another.

We haven’t done it alone though and so we are grateful we have a supportive family and some supportive friends.  Though they don’t all agree we chose wisely, they all have been squarely behind Daleen – who could ask for more?  From phone calls to emails to wee gifts in the mail, everyone has been a positive part of her wellness.

Sweet Liberty, a Golden Retriever of distinction, has done her share.  She’s made sure there was dog hair to pick up, meals for Daleen to prepare for her and toys to pick up.  She’s also caught more than a few tears in her luxurious golden coat and offers nothing in return but love.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; were that humans could be so unabashedly loving and accepting as dogs.

In that bleak January 5 years ago, she would ask me “do you think I’ll be around at Christmas?” and then slowly the question became “do you think I’ll be around to see (fill in the blank)?  There was always the nagging thought that no matter what she did, it wouldn’t make a difference.  She would eat healthily, exercise, get a lot of sunshine, take vitamins and everything wouldn’t matter.

At some point, she quit asking.  She accepted the fact that she was living, she was living well and that was enough.  Next, she started planning ahead – a huge change!  Finally, questioning her life stopped being the predominant thought of her every waking moment.  In short, she learned how to live again and live she has; this Sunday is 1,826 days of wellness.healing-comes-from-gathering-wisdom-from-past-actions-and-letting-go-of-the-pain-that-the-

That dear friend is what cancer does to you.  It robs you of the luxury of not thinking about death.  Sure, there are many other things it does, but the pervasive, all-encompassing thoughts revolve around death for longer than we thought possible.  To be honest, they are never that far away and it’s a constant struggle to keep them where they belong – in the distance.   What cancer can also do is tie you even closer together.  We’d been married for a while when the dreaded diagnosis was given and I thought I knew my blushing bride of 30 years.  Turns out, I only knew part of her.  I have now come to know the amazing strength that is her, and of course, I see more clearly the quiet beauty and the grace that is her.  Along the way, she’s taught me more about living and life than I thought possible and I’m ever so grateful.

We have a few posters and sayings in our home about gratitude and grace.  Ok, a first-time visitor to our home might say many.   They serve as continual reminders.  She is grateful because she was given these last five years when she was convinced she wouldn’t have them.  She is grateful for so many things and so many people I could fill many pages listing them all.  She has the quiet grace that goes with confidence and the inner grace that radiates outward.  When you are with her, you know you are with someone who understands the value of each and every day.  She’s confident that although the future is (and always has been) uncertain, she’s been blessed with these last five years and has tried to embrace each and every day as the gift it is.

Along the way, we’ve learned so much about living well.  We recognize all the positives in our life, and there are so very many, and we’re eliminating the negatives.  We used to struggle over this, now we’ve learned to simply accept it.

I started this writing by asking you what you would do with a gift of time.  Dear friends, you have the gift of time, and more time after that and so on.  That time is yours to do with as you please.  What will you do with your time?  We hope you make the most of it, that you embrace your time and use it wisely.  In short, we hope you live!

Wishing you health and wellness.



This New Years’ Eve was happily no different from the last 3 decades and then some. We spent the evening doing a puzzle (and eating tasty snacks, of course). 20180101_112026-1_resized

Heck, I recently came across a picture of us during the dating years.  We are both leaning over a table in my parent’s house, yes, doing a jigsaw puzzle. Certainly a piece of our story.

If you know us, you know we look for a puzzle and save it for December 31st.  Our kids and friends, inevitably ask what puzzle we have chosen.

Some years the chosen puzzle is a snap. Time zooms by as we wait for the hands of the clock to strike midnight.   This year’s choice took 3 hours in the evening, then 2 more hours the following day.  It was a challenge and boy howdy did we feel a sense of accomplishment when that last piece (which was on the floor, duh) was put into place.

(side note)  Mr. Right was a marriage counselor for several years, more times than I can count, people ask, what’s the secret?  How do we keep our relationship working smoothly & thriving, vital, happy etc?  One answer I want to give is jigsaw puzzles, haha. Every now and then, spend five hours sitting next to someone, with a common goal and you get lots of communicating done.  

Once we get all the pieces turned over, the music is on, somehow the evening holds its own magic and the ideas come tumbling out.   On the cusp of the new year, we talk about wishes, goals, resolutions.  We say them aloud to the universe.

In that exact moment when the clock strikes midnight, we honor the moment……..we dare to hope. fireworks, space needle

Above the neighborhood fireworks, the mad dash to brush our teeth before the midnight smooch, there is an electric feeling in the air.  A feeling of possibility & hope for the new year.

This year, I have chosen the word Honor.

I will slip it into my pocket and carry it with me the entire year ahead. pocket

When looking up the word Honor you will find descriptive words:

  dignify, exalt, adore, keep, respect

I intend to honor the health choices that have brought me to this moment.  I want to be brave enough to talk about how, for five years, I have healed by following a path less traveled.

I intend to honor my body with continued excellent food, sunshine, movement and fresh air.

I intend to honor our home.  I make an effort every day and will continue to create a sanctuary of beauty and peace.  A beautiful place to thrive, rest & renew.

I intend to honor my craft.  I will create and share with my family, works of art from my hands. This is the year, I intend to have pictures taken of my hands creating beautiful pieces that will be given to our children and grands.  To me, this is much more than a hobby.  These are pieces of my heart and soul that I am choosing to honor my family with.

I will, with intention,  honor my husband.  I will no longer, leave out glowing comments about the man I spend my days with.  I will try my very best to soften the edges as to not sound boastful.  With the intent of not bragging, I have found myself, not exalting how fortunate I am.

It is my goal to remember to say aloud and thank him on a daily basis for guiding our family, taking the reins, mapping our course, lifting me up, making me feel like a giddy school girl who is loved and adored.

It is my job to honor him.  I am very good at my job.  I am going to try to be a bit better.

Not because he saved my life.

Not because I promised years ago to honor and cherish him.

Not because he leaves me a handwritten letter every single morning that he leaves for work.

No, not because he brings me fresh flowers every single Sunday.  Yes, every single Sunday.

GOOD GRAVY,  I love that man and I want to intentionally honor him through my actions & words20171211_132241_resized_1 on a daily basis.   He deserves to hear how much he is respected, adored, loved and honored every day.

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. Buddha

I would love for you to share the word you have chosen to slip into your pocket for 2018.  Maybe we can lift each other up?  By sharing our words, intentions, and wishes just maybe, we will each be stronger and more successful in attaining our goals?

Happy New Year!

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.












I forgot angels baked cookies

Yesterday, 4 years and 11 months, ago I was diagnosed with cancer.

I was told that I had one year to live if I didn’t do as they told me.   big sigh.

I did not forget the day, nor have I been able to go a day and not know what the tally is.

I have dabbled, sharing my story here and there over the almost five years.

20151206_182052_resizedFor some reason, yesterday, was a tough day. Then I put on a cute & sassy pair of big girl panties, extra jewelry, beautiful lipstick, kick-ass red cowgirl boots, asked Alexa to turn on some music and just like that, the day, as well as my outlook, changed dramatically.

Sometimes I can be a dunderhead and forget to put “it” out there for the universe to handle.

I can sum up the last few years with one sentence.

I chose the road less traveled.

I made the choice to respectfully and quietly decline the offer of chemotherapy and radiation.

(very important side note:  those souls who choose chemotherapy & radiation and live, are amazing.  When 97.3% of the time, it doesn’t work, those folks walking among us are astonishing.  Tip your hat to them for what they have endured.  They are living miracles.)

Having cancer is tricky, harsh, brutal, crappy, awful, LOUD, difficult, lonely and surprisingly, takes away your breath, some of your courage and brave people skills.

Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Robert Frostroad-less-travelled-lg

The thing about Robert Frost’s quote is that while being true words, he doesn’t mention how dark, scary, lonely, quiet, and not fancy that road is.

On one hand, frightening and unknown, pink ribbons, goodie bags of spirit-lifting lipstick, pink boas, friends rallying around, pins, hats, walk-a-thons, embroidered vests, support groups, a very clear, mapped out route awaits.

The other choice was an equally frightening unknown, however dimly lit path, with Mr. Right and I holding neon yellow high lighter pens for research & studying and gallons of green juice with a couple of folks in your corner.  Sort of a bizarre version of a sad, dull, blush colored lipstick, sad face “before” picture you see in fashion magazine layouts.

I get it.  It is scary.

In the beginning of the journey, I was heartbroken when “friends” jumped ship. Others politely & quietly moved to the other side, no big break-up, just quietly faded out of the picture.   I was crushed when some relatives thought my choices were ridiculous & uninformed and chatted behind my back.   I won’t even go into the mean & hateful things some of my doctors & medical staff said to us. Certainly not worth my breath to repeat.

While trying to re-build my broken immune system (yes, every single person with disease has a broken, damaged immune system) for quite some time I stayed away from groups of germs people.   Extremely limiting gatherings, extracurricular groups, church, outings, movie theaters, planes, etc.  Lonely during the days until Mr. Right came home from work.

Enter social media and technology.  Figuring out a way to make new friends through the world-wide webs.

Holy Toledo, because of this blog, I met a new friend and have what is shaping up to be a forever friendship. I’ve reconnected with friends from elementary school.  I even put on my brave lion mask and wrote to folks in an online counted cross stitch group.

A couple of months ago, while sounding rather juvenile, I excitedly told Mr. Right, I met a new friend.

For some unexplained reason, I jumped in with both feet. I felt brave and saucy.  I can’t explain the bravery.  Maybe an angel was nudging me in that direction?

I forgot.

I forgot how lovely it feels to have someone visit and talk and not feel sorry for you.  I forgot how wonderful it feels to relax and just write for fun.  I forgot how it feels to be curious about another person and ask questions and listen for answers.  I forgot how much fun it is to plot and figure out a surprise gift to give to someone else.  I forgot how satisfying it feels to make something for someone who understands handmade presents.

I also forgot how gobsmacked it feels to get an unexpected box of pure HAPPY in the 20171221_153135-1_resizedmail!  I forgot how flabbergasted I am when someone makes me something.  Believe it or not, it left me speechless (for a moment).  Cookies and treats and stitchy stuff (HUGE shock, no one has ever bought me stitchy stuff) and paper and ribbon and a hilarious card…. oh Lordy, get out the smelling salts.  

I had completely forgotten that when some folks jump ship, it just leaves room for new friends to jump aboard.

angel wingsI am here to tell you that angels walk among us. When you least expect it and need it most.

Fierce angels wearing bad-ass, fancy, insanely large, Victoria’s’ Secret kind of over the top wings.  They bravely wear juicy, saturated intense color lipstick, bake cookies20171222_114143-1_resized and wear glorious shoes we all drool for.

My fierce angel has glorious dark curly hair, wears amazing lipstick and has red pointy toe shoes with glorious big bows on them that I covet. However, in my mind, even to work, she wears fancy aqua colored wings.

In an effort to help me sleep through the night,  I began writing this blog 1,152 posts ago.

This installment will most assuredly help me sleep through tonight.   Lots of good, some bad all removed from my shoulders and put here for safe keeping.

Thanks oodles for listening to me, holding my hand, keeping me company, leaving kind & uplifting comments.  Such sweetness pushes my swing.

Today, I am mighty grateful that angels do indeed bake cookies. Delicious & beautiful cookies.

Here’s hoping that you are happily and surprisingly gobsmacked by a fierce and amazing angel in your corner. One that bakes cookies.   Once you catch your breath and stop feeling light-headed, it is a rather lovely feeling.

In this together, friends,

Chat soon







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.





true north, part 2

20170115_184824_resizedThank you so much for all the nice comments and words about our new vinyl ceiling decoration.  In the feel good department, your words  are kind & top-notch.  In other good news, it didn’t fall down and this is day two!

The new year brings about the need to regroup, choose a different less traveled path, fine tune our direction.

It’s that time of year, when I search for a new word that will lead me through a new year.  I am stumbling, feel off-balance and haven’t quiet figured it out yet.  Oh, I have some runners-up.  I just haven’t quiet put my finger on it yet. I’ve looked up so many words.

I am tired.  As of late, I am tired of fussing and worrying and fretting.  You know, the middle of the night when all those ridiculous and not so calm thoughts invade a person’s sweet dreams?   Sometimes, I get up, walk around, reorganize the place mat and cloth napkin drawer.  Anything to regroup, get my mind to go a different direction.

I chose the word faith for a few days.  I want to have more faith in myself.  More faith in my study and research and choices. Much more faith in the direction of health and wellness that I have chosen.  I need to like myself more. Somewhere deep inside, I want to be more patient with myself, have more faith in me.

When you listen to Twyla Paris sing, “True North” you get a sense of direction.  She sings about a strong steady light that is guiding us home.   I want to continue to create that pull. That almost unbreakable magnetic force that leads our children’s spirit towards us.  Yes, I want them to venture out and explore and go on amazing adventures.  However, I want them to feel the need to call home and tell us all about it.

Is she talking about our faith in believing in the ultimate “home”?  I feel the need to make my direction more clear-cut, more focused.  Work towards that goal.  Somehow restate my/our purpose , our direction.  I want to work on the more focused direction I need to be going. I want to try to let go of my need to help “save” others.  I recently read, “yours is the only life you can save.”  

Is my word, family, home, up, compassion, focus, world peace, empathy?

Paris closes her song with, “We need an absolute compass now more than ever before, True North”.   The world in which we live, seems to be a hot mess.  Somewhere we have peaceforgotten to take care of each other.  Our compass is spinning.  We need to focus on the care of our families and each other, the rest, will fall into place. I want to focus more on my family and close friends. Friends who are willing to let us be apart of their lives.

This  blog post seems to be all different thoughts and ideas scattered all over the page.   I can’t seem to focus on one topic, or direction.

20170103_145107_resizedBefore this past weekend: as you look up, the ceiling as you come into or go out of our home. Plain, dull, empty

Now look up, there guiding us, is the direction 20170115_184824_resizedMr. Right and I want to go.  We want to end up on the same page, in the same place. Oh, we know exactly where we want to end up.  It will just be a lovely reminder that we are on the same page.

Sort of a gentle nudge that even with life swirling around us, we are on course.

Oh, I didn’t realize that “my” word would find me.

Direction, that’s my word for 2017.

What word have you chosen to follow?

In this together, friends.  Would love to hear where the new year is going to take you.

Steady as she goes Captain. 

Chat soon.






under a common moon

Mr. Right said, come out here and look at the moon.  Okay,  but I was just out there not 10 minutes ago.

The night was pitch black, a bracing cold that sent a chill right to my bones.  Okay, not “Vermont” cold, but very cold for Washingtonians.

orange-moonOh, that moon.  Sort of took my breath away.  Bathed in a wash of orange color.  Huge and round and gorgeous.  Yes, I am more of a night owl admirer than I am a morning sunrise girl.

Years ago, when Mr. Right would be gone away for weeks at a time during the military, sometimes, I would step outside of our military housing (just so you know,  it’s so quiet outside a house with two little boys inside) just on the porch.  I would look up at the sky and take a deep breath and know we were sharing the same moon.  No matter where he was in the world, we were under the same common moon.

I felt somehow better and would go back in for another round of being a mom (and dad), home school teacher, referee, cook, laundry lady, story time lady …. and on the list went.

I can’t seem to get a handle on balance and calm lately.  I am trying every trick in the book to push the blues back and keep on a steady keel.

When I stepped out and looked at that gorgeous moon, I sort of felt this rush of people who were out there under the same moon.  It helps me to remember there are other humans dealing with the exact same things I am.

There is  a group of people who are worried and fretting about healing and wellness.  There is a group of people out there who have lost friends and loved ones & are grieving.  There are a passel of folks out there, under the common moon, who are trying to center themselves and find solid ground. Trying to find happiness and purpose and direction.

All of a sudden, I don’t feel so alone.

Finding and celebrating people who have chosen to heal naturally and who are thriving. People out there who have to figure out how to keep taking daily medicine every single day. People who don’t think I am crazy for studying and researching an hour a day.

I tell myself and smile, there is a big group of people who are quietly not judging me.  Quietly cheering me on and lifting up my spirit.

I felt like seeking out other pet owners who are trying to learn how to live gracefully with an aging pet.

In a good way, I felt humbled and happy to step into the corner of people who were trying to regroup and renew their faith in their choices and people they surround themselves with.

When you are looking up, you can’t really see the color, nor age, nor political choice of the person next to you.   Big huge announcement, no one (with any intelligence whatsoever) cares.  

What we do care about are that the people we stand with are kind, considerate, thoughtful, silly, educated, giving and just plain nice to be with.

No one, I repeat, no one wants to stand under the same moon with a person who acts like  a worm.

I haven’t felt much like writing.

Thanks for waiting and checking back.  I have been wondering, trying to find my direction. Dipping my toes in crafts and books and being a home body.    No one wants to read dull, dreary, sad-faced writing. Heck, this writer doesn’t want to write dull and dreary lines.

Some of the best days lately have been texting, talking, emailing,  sending letters to my boys and girls.  All four kids are over 30 years old.    Ha, even when I am 90 years old, they will still be my boys & girls.  70 something men & women, who will have even more developed senses of humor and intelligence and good manners.  Even though they live many states away, we are under a common moon.

My sister-in-law and friends live thousands of miles away, we are under a common moon.

Mr. Right has to work late, this time of year, we are under a common moon.

You will find me there.  Standing under the moon tonight, my beautiful sweet dog next to me…. throwing good wishes up and catching all the goodness that is thrown my way.

In this together, friends, under a common moon.

Chat soon, promise.