honor

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

celebrating 4 and 12

Everyone wants to celebrate engagements and weddings.

Presents, cards, wrapping paper and fancy lush bows, the overwhelming color scheme is white or silver.  If you haven’t been to a “get hitched” ceremony lately, lots of brides & grooms offer a special box of some kind to gather all the cards. Always a table dressed up fancy as the “gift table”

This is a big deal folks.  Everyone wants to get in on the celebration.  Everyone (and I am talking about 90-200 people)  want some of that goodness to rub off on them.

Fast forward say four years or even 12 years later.  How many Anniversary cards do those young couples receive?  Do their parents even send a card and gift?

Folks we are talking about thousands upon thousands of dollars for one “party”.  We are talking about folks buying new undies, new clothes, new shoes, getting hair cuts, having their nails done, renting clothes.  This is BIG, I tell ya.

Then, a mere 12 months later, maybe one or two anniversary cards.  Do the couples themselves get dressed up and celebrate?  Do they exchange cards or gifts?  Do they rip open a package of Oreos to celebrate that Oreo cake they had to have constructed for the ceremony? oreo-wedding-cake

Do we all continue to lift up the couple with encouragement and celebration? Who does Hallmark sell all those anniversary cards to exactly?  You know the really expensive cards on the top row?  Seriously, those are pricey.  Jeepers, you really have to like a couple to dish out that kind of moolah.

During some ceremonies, we as the congregation promised to lift up this couple and walk with them through good times and bad.  Are we keeping our promise?

Have you remembered to invite those couples to dinner?  Have you sent an anniversary card this year?

I am offering up a gentle reminder and suggestion.  This life is tough.  Maybe sending out cards will soften the edges and help us remember to celebrate? Maybe a card or note will gently remind other couples we are in their corner?

Lots of statistics out there that tell us how few marriages “make it”.

Somehow, as a society we expect these young couples who have not even hosted a formal dinner party for 6 with written invitations and matching place cards to throw an enormous PARTY for 200 to celebrate their union.  Somehow, we as a society expect so many youngins’ to wear the “right” clothes, say and do the right things and because they do all that, the union will work.

Mr. Right and I send anniversary cards.  We expect our kids to celebrate.  We want to show by example.  We try our best to remember and lift up couples.

(Now, we don’t go all wild and try to push our values on others.  If they choose not to celebrate or wait until next Saturday to go out to a restaurant to toast their big day, good for them.  No, we are not going to continue to jump up and down if another couple is just more quiet  & private about their joy.)

Except when it comes to our own kiddos.  They don’t get a choice whether or not we lift them up and celebrate them.  They get bathed in Grace & Goodness weather they like it or not.  

Some years we send a hand-made, time-consuming gift.  Stitched with such love and fierceness that it is mighty difficult to unwind.  We try and send silly cards to remember to have humor.  One year, we sent aluminum pie pans, foil, cookie cutters to celebrate an “aluminum” year.  One year, we gave toilet paper, paper towels and napkins.  To celebrate the “cotton” year.  haha

Always a card.  Sometimes a sweet little metal sign that simply says:

love

Being married is all sorts of wild and wonderful feelings mixed together.  Happy, tricky, goofy, funny, hard, easy breezy, lovely, weird, interesting but always, so worth it.

We want our children to know that we are in their corner.  We will lift them up and celebrate what they do and who they love. It is our calling to help our grands have parents that are so strong in their marriage, that it spills over into creating a family of strength and goodness.

Here’s to G & M as they celebrate 4 years of Marriage, today!

Here’s to D & G as they celebrate 12 years of Marriage, tomorrow! 

With Love & Congratulations,

Cheers, Mom & Dad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Notes

Every work morning for 34 years (minus away time for the Army) my husband writes me a letter.

This  year for Valentine’s Day I am him a small quilt called, “Love Notes”. 20160210_145058-1-1

I sewed an extra block onto the back of the quilt.  I slipped my own love note inside.20160210_144402

I am so grateful that I am reminded every single day, someone loves me…

and….. I love him right back.

(I am just better with a sewing machine, than trying to get up at 4:30 am in the morning to write a coherent letter.)20160210_145121

Have I mentioned lately what a grateful and lucky girl I am?

 

Fingers crossed he likes it.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ps.  He loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

meatball Monday

Social media and I have this love/hate thing going on.  While I am not comfortable with the lack of etiquette, rough & tumble comments, and don’t get me started on the “like” button…………..I do love using social media to share pictures of food and recipes as well as harvest recipes from others.

Every once in a while, I love to share a snap shot of something I have cooked that is just waiting, waiting, waiting to be devoured by Mr. Right.  Hey, nothing wrong with giving him a little preview of freshly baked cookies or a savory dinner all prepped and waiting just for him!

The goal is to make him feel lucky that he is headed home.  Home to perfectly behaved children, a spotless house and freshly applied lipstick on the wife.  WAIT, that was the 1950’s!

By the time he comes through that door,  I do try to have the table set and the meal prepped.  While the house isn’t always spotless,  when I hear the garage door opening, I make a dash for the bathroom and quickly tie up my hair and slap on some lipstick.

Monday night’s dinner was worth coming home to.  The aroma of savory garlic and sesame oil was swirling about.  The hint of ginger in the air made your mouth water with anticipation of a great meal.

I searched for and found natural, no chemical, fresh ground turkey.  While we do not make it a habit to eat meat, (I can’t remember the last time I bought meat to create a dinner with) this recipe was one that I wanted to try.

20160111_131544-1Asian Meatballs .  While somebody thinks I am to loosey goosey with my stars, we both agreed 5 Stars was the right amount.

1/4 cup panko

1 egg

1 Tablespoon ginger

1 clove garlic (HAHAHAHA, I used 12)

salt

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

4 scallions thinly sliced

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey

Mix together and form 12, 1/4 cup size meatballs. Seemed rather large to me, so I made 18 meatballs.   Bake in a pre-heated 500* oven for 17 minutes.

Sauce (ends up as a lovely aromatic Ponzu sauce):  2 Tablespoons soy sauce (I used tamari), 1 Tablespoon sesame oil, juice of one lime, 1 Tablespoon water, 1 minced garlic clove………Whisk

When meatballs are done, drizzle them evenly with a  Tablespoon of the sauce.  Garnish with scallions and the remainder of your sauce is for dipping. 20160111_181710-1

~~~~~

While these were savory, flavorful, moist and cooked perfectly the equal star of the show was the spiral zucchini noodles.  I sliced another dozen cloves of garlic and used some lovely Olive oil we purchased from a farm in California.  (Lucero Olive Oils are simply a game changer.)  I simmered the garlic for a couple minutes then turned off the heat.  I let it set until I was ready at the last minute to heat the noodles for about 4 minutes.  Right before plating, I tossed in some chili flakes and about 1/2 cup of just toasted walnut halves. 
Mr. Right had seconds and as of right now we have 8 meat balls left over.  Thinking tonight I will somehow creatively work my magic with some bok choy and other veggies and snuggle some brown rice right up next to them and devour the last of the meatballs.
Okay, maybe I don’t hate social media.  By embracing and using technology in a way that makes me comfortable, sharing a snapshot of a meal being prepared, or a dessert just bake…..I like thinking of the photograph as the amuse bouche of a lovely meal just about to happen.

let’s trade

  Trade phones with your spouse/significant other for one week.

Yesterday, while browsing blogs, I came across this challenge/idea/suggestion.

Can trading phones for one week make your relationship stronger?

While it has been brought to my attention that this was a “game” lesson in trust…….my first thought was empathy.empathy

Oh my stars, if I had to answer all the questions and text that Mr. Right receives…….yikes.  I am not sure I could go on and on about the shipping industry, Army, politics, golf or hockey playoffs.  Nor do I think he would be that interested in my friends talking about quilting and recipes and kids and spouses, dog treat orders or the new website for ordering dresses.

(Okay, we are not REAL scientists here, so don’t get all twisted in knots over this experiment.  If you don’t have a spouse, substitute the word girlfriend or sister, adult child, co-worker.  Maybe even try it for a weekend?)

The idea is you trade phones and have to answer text and emails in place of the other person.  Not in their voice nor can you say, “Hi Joanne, this is Mr. Right, I am using Daleen’s phone for the week, she will get back to you in seven days.”

You have to answer the greeting and have a conversation.   “Oh Hi Kathy, this is Mr. Right, do you like the orange fabric for the border of the quilt or do you think teal would be more shocking and fancy?”  or   “Oh my goodness, I am sincerely sorry your friend passed away.  We will begin praying for you.”   Then go get a sympathy card and get it ready for mailing.  “Will you join us for the potluck on Tuesday?  Yes, and I will be bringing a vegetable tray.  Thank you for including me”.  Then write down veggie tray on the calendar.

Will your spouse say NO?  My work is much too important for you to dabble in it!  Will your spouse say NO, my phone, my private life?  Will your spouse say NO, I am vital and no one, not even you can take my place? 

Or will your partner in crime say, SURE, I will gladly let you see how my week unfolds.  Yes please, you talk to these folks for a week, see what I go through.  Here you go, can we start NOW? 

Now, I don’t think the experiment means answering specific work related questions.   I don’t want to answer a government question about shipping something to Argentina or if I think the Toronto Maple Leafs should get a coach (which, by the way I do think they should GET A COACH, any coach).

I think there are some questions you can politely answer.  However, let’s leave the work specific questions to the pros.

I think the general idea is to walk a week in your spouses shoes.  polka dot shoes

plain blackThe idea of me carrying a plain black phone is sort of sad.  I love my teal colored case.  It has “diamonds” that sparkle all over it and a lovely quilted pattern.  Under my fancy, girlie case, my phone is gold.  Yep, you guessed it, Mr. Right’s phone under the black cover is black.teal phone case (seems rather dull and boring)

So, once we trade phones, the discussion begins.

Wow, you have a lot of friends who check in with you.  My goodness, you sure keep in touch with lots of folks.  You must get tired of answering some?  How do you manage to stay kind and friendly with some mean and grumpy folks at your business?  How on earth do you keep all this straight?

Will this experiment give us more understanding of what our significant other walks through daily?  Will we be more understanding when, at the end of the day, they say, geesh, I am tired.

Will we find it charming that they still lift up and continue to cheer on friends from 30 years ago, or do we find ourselves being a bit jealous?

Will we have more empathy and act more loving toward that person?

I am like a 6th grade girl twisting and twirling a lock of her hair.  Smiling.  I think it will be a lovely experiment and a look behind curtain at how the magic happens. I think it will bring to light just how kind, generous with time, considerate my spouse really is.

Are you game?   Are you brave/curious/thoughtful enough to take on the challenge?