haPPY, happy marriage, Uncategorized

not your grandma’s gingerbread

Nothing tickles my fancy during the holiday season like the rich, spicy smell of gingerbread.

20161213_120008_resizedNot your ordinary gingerbread.  Oh no, far, far from ordinary.

To celebrate the season, Mr. Right plans a day in Seattle.  Sometimes we enjoy the Seattle Symphony, this year was the Seattle Men’s Choir (Stupendous show, extremely talented, high quality entertainment, we enjoyed every single moment)  There is always a stop at a bakery for a treat.  Lunch or dinner out just happens to be on the day’s itinerary.  This year,  savory crepes from a local restaurant, located inside Pike Place market was the perfect lunch date.

The time finally arrived, time for the  Gingerbread “take your breath away” display. Who thought of pumpkin seeds dyed for shingles?  How did candy bananas end up being used on the moving staircase?  The use of pretzel sticks as rafters in a castle was genius.  We were amazed at each turn.  The next one, became our new “favorite”.20161213_121016_resized

Each year the Seattle Sheraton Hotel culinary team and top local architecture firms and builders’ association design, bake and delight you with a larger than life gingerbread exhibit. The event is free to the public, with donations benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Northwest Chapter.

20161213_121059_resizedThis year marks the 24th Annual Gingerbread Village with creations inspired by scenes from your favorite wizarding world. Fans of all ages will marvel at the larger than life gingerbread exhibit. Each team’s presentation will transfix you with their spellbinding culinary and design wizardry.  The theme for 2016 is the magic of Harry Potter.

The last exhibit, allows all who are brave enough, to push the button on the serpents’ head20161213_121242_resized to find out which Hogwarts house you will be sorted into.

I pushed the  button…….. I was stunned, but sort of intrigued and curious about the house I got.  Made me rub my hands together and giggle.

Enough chatter, short of standing right there, I think pictures will tell the story best.

I am waving my magic wand in hopes that the pictures will appear and delight you as much as we were delighted to visit.

Sit back and enjoy.

gifts, good marriages, grateful, gratitude, great marriage, haPPY, happy marriage, Uncategorized

for me?

I ask you….

Who’s husband leaves for work, then comes back 8 minutes later with a beautiful Iced Latte?iced-coffee

Mine does!

Have I mentioned lately, what a lucky girl I am?

ummmm, that kind of man deserves some cookies.

I will be in the kitchen, baking for sure today!

Golly, I love that man.  (no, it’s not the caffeine talking, ha)

 

grace, grandchildren, grateful, gratitude, great marriage, haPPY, happy marriage, healing, husband, Uncategorized

wake up 10

flowering-kale-arrangement

I live in the middle of gratitude, so, each morning, even before my feet touch the ground, I list off 10 things I am mighty grateful for. Some make the list daily, others change on a whim.

 

Boy Howdy,  I feel lucky & bathed in Grace to start fresh, every single day.

 

1.  Mr. Right

2.  four kids

3.  three grands20161023_152356_resized

4.  Sweet Liberty

5.  amazing, healthy, healing body

6.  cushy, lush, wonderful, bed

7.  remembering: ironing leaves between wax paperwax-paper-leaves

8.  fluffy, extra-large, soft socks

9.  morning letter waiting for me from Mr. Right

10.  coffee (duh, being honest)

 

 

 

grace, great marriage, great marriage secrets, haPPY, happy marriage, love, Uncategorized

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

grateful, haPPY, happy marriage, husband, Uncategorized

my better half

I once knew these two sisters who were in their 70’s and got along famously.  When ever they would go out to lunch, they would order a sandwich, a diet coke, an extra plate and glass. When the order arrived, they would split the sandwich and share the soda.  half-a-sandwich

I saw it so often, I just thought that is what “old people” did.

Quietly and without fanfare, it happened,  TO US.

When did this happen?  How did it happen to us?

Right smack in the middle of an ordinary life, one of us causally said, let’s share the donut. 20161009_093207_resized

Yes, I know, Mr. Right and I are in our 50’s and we have never thought of ourselves as “old people”.  

side note:   A moment yesterday, reminded me why “older folks” wear bike helmets.   …You spy your better half, looking good, handsome sunglasses, tan and healthy, biking beside you, your heart does a jig and while looking at your boyfriend,  you almost bike into a parked pick up truck?  Yikes, pay attention!  Geesh.

Oh sure, yesterday, after a very enjoyable Sunday bike ride, we decide to go out for a light supper.  Even though it was too early to eat dinner, we promise ourselves we wouldn’t tell “the kids” (read that as our adult children who tease us if we eat at 4:45 pm)

Last night IT happened.  We decided to share an appetizer, order one meal and an extra plate.  Full disclosure, the waitress was non-pulsed and much to our happy surprise, the main dish, came already divided on two separate plates, each garnished on their own.

Nothin’ to see here folks, move along.  Just two people eating  a meal.

Now, I am not sure if it is the GINORMOUS portions that restaurants seem to serve these days, or if we are just happier, sharing?  Whatever the reason, we both seem happier with our choice.

Please don’t misunderstand.  When we drive up to a coffee stand and order one 16 ounce,  iced latte with Almond milk, we are NOT sharing.

Mr. Right drinks “Joe, just plain Joe, not a fancy girl drink”.

Coffee, you just can’t share. I can’t.  I won’t.

In this together, friends.

Chat tomorrow.

butter-half-mural1

 

food review, haPPY, happy marriage, healing, health, recipe, recipe comfort food, Uncategorized

pulled pork sammies

It was a three, paper napkin kind of lunch.

Messy, sloppy and drippy good.  You know what I am talking about.  You take that first bite, a little sauce drips into your hand and then drips down near your wrist, as you are reaching for a napkin, you try and catch it all of a sudden it drips a bit down your forearm.  Then you lick your finger and try and clean up all while trying to take that next bite.  haha20160730_132131_resized

Boy Howdy, the flavor was dancing (with jazz hands) and the texture was spot on.

You all know how I love to make something on Friday to have ready for weekend lunches?  Well, this hit the spot and then some.  Easy to put together and actually tastes a touch better the next day.

One of the pickles about eating the way we do, we can’t just drive through a place and grab something to eat.  However, being honest here, we enjoy a quick made lunch full of flavor and goodness like the next family.

So once home from morning grocery shopping, we unloaded and then sat for a minute or two with a really great lunch. It went together lickity split and it was sumptuous and filling at the same time.

I won’t go into all the reasons why we don’t eat meat in our home.  If you want to have an intelligent chat, I would love to do that sometime.  One reason; I have to keep my system ph balanced and meat products rise the acid levels and we all know that elevated acid levels cause sickness, inflammation and arthritis to name a few.  Actually, it’s been about 25 years since we have eaten pork in our home.

Oh, I get it that not everyone thinks this is the way to eat.  Actually, I wanted to write this down to save it for me.  A gentle reminder what goodness I create now and then.

Needless to say we no longer put air quotes around the word pulled “pork” sammies.  No one in our family asks, “is this really pork”?

Okay, Dana over at Minimalist Baker, rocked our lunch on Saturday.

http://minimalistbaker.com/?s=pulled+pork+sandwiches

She is a gem to share her creations and boy howdy did she deliver!  Who would have guess that cooked lentils, some smashed and shredded carrots and onions and spices and BBQ sauce would deliver an amazing, mouth-watering, messy creation?

I make our own BBQ sauce, but you certainly can use store-bought.  Also, I just looked at her pictures and realized, she used purple cabbage and I used green.  So, apparently, you can make substitutions and it still ends up as a glorious lunch.

I used toasted buns (I must say the texture of the crunch was the perfect addition, don’t skip this delightful layer of crunch.)  I sliced the cabbage nice and thin and made a quick slaw.  Then I sliced Walla Walla sweet onions for an added punch of flavor. 20160730_131822-1_resized

The flavor was deep and rich.  The texture was great.  It was “stringy” like you would expect in a pulled pork sammy.  We were both clean plate club members.

Update:  We had the same lunch two days in a row.  Such flavor, we both cleaned our plates once again.  The really good news?  We have enough in the freezer to have one more fast food, spur of the moment lunch.  Yum-tastic.

Next time you invite a non meat-eater over for a casual lunch or BBQ, might I suggest you offer up something this spectacular?  Or just maybe, remember you and your family are worthy of a beautifully made meal that is both beautiful and nutritious.20160730_131937_resized

Quick, say Grace and pass the napkins!

 

good marriages, grateful, haPPY, happy marriage, Uncategorized

Sunday drive

Sunday afternoons are meant for breathing in fresh air, being in nature and hearing the sound of a 70 foot waterfall.

Just breathing and listening and being grateful.

Victor Falls in all her glory.20160710_122401_resized_1

Mr. Right invited me to take a little Sunday afternoon car ride.   You and I both know that although it felt “spur of the moment”, he’d secretly planned, mapped it out and figured out the perfect way home.

Just so happened….

The road home took us right by our once a year trip to a drive in.  Yes, you sit in your car, you politely ask them through the microphone and they bring you…….Big,  Beautiful, beautiful onion rings.  Hello my beauties!

Here’s to perfect Sunday drives with someone you are crazy about!

 

onion rings