beauty, gift giving, grandchildren, haPPY, Homemade gift, pure goodness, splurge

mad about hats

 

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I have been sewing, quilting, cross stitching since I was 12 years old.  I also took knitting lessons, twice.  (It was not the teacher, it was most likely the student.  I am not a knitter.)

I started learning to crochet on February 1, 2017.  Technically I am a beginner, however, my daughter in law thinks I can easily call myself an “Advanced Beginner”.

I like that.

Advanced Beginner.  You know that feeling when you have accomplished quite a bit and you are just about to move ahead to the next grade?  Excited, anxious to learn something new, yet feeling all puffed up about yourself with what you have already learned.

I think I will start a new hat today!  20170927_110716-1_resized

Then all of a sudden, some unkind, dreary, non-sparkly person says, “Enough with the hats, I think you got that, time to move on to something else.”

Actually, I like making hats.  OODLES and OODLES of hats!  I like to donate hats.  I like to make them for gifts.  I love to make them for my grands.  Yes, I am well aware that not everyone likes or uses handmade hats.  Secretly, I think everyone would feel special if someone made them a hat.  Just my opinion.

Our grands all live in very warm places.  So the amount of time they actually “need” a warm hat is not very long. I am okay with spending my time, money and effort on a hat for my grandchildren EVEN IF they only wear it one day!  How’s that for a granny who loves them?? They also like to play dress up and pretend that it is winter indoors sometimes.  That’s where having a hand crocheted hat from their granny comes in handy!

Hats work up fairly quickly and with each one or two, I am trying to learn a new stitch or a new method.  While making these, I learned how to make bigger, fluffier, pom poms. 20171022_122030-1_resized

I even had my own tags made.  The tags say, Splurge with my initials underneath.  I like the thought of splurging on fancy yarn to make something special for the grand little people in my life.20171024_201802-1-1_resized

On these hats, I learned the cluster stitch. 20171031_135009-1_resized

These booties were made for a new little girl & the hat for her big brother.  With these, I learned to crochet plaid.20171104_102636-1_resized_1

I like to celebrate with my friends when they tell me they are going to be a grandma.  I like to share in their happiness.  Making something makes me feel connected. Sewing or crocheting something with my hands does my soul good.  20171106_204031-1_resized

These are a gift for twin boys about to be born and a special one for their big brother.

It is a true honor to participate in historic traditions.  Makes even the silliest of hats seem worthy.

Love to hear what you are making with your hands to feed your soul and spirit.

Guess what I am going to start today?  🙂

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

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balance, beauty, fresh, haPPY, healing, health

fill the fridge

One of the things that we believe in & live by is that food can heal.

No, not everyone in our camp is of the same thinking.  I am living proof that food heals.

dine well

However,  today, one of the things we can all be on board with is this:  People are Hungry. Either lacking amount or nutritional value, folks are in need of good food.

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.

~ Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Yes, you read that correctly.  Think about your slightly grumpy co-worker.  Think about that neighbor child who is downright ornery.  Did you snap at your spouse this morning?  Yep, being hungry might be the reason.  Not just amounts of food but goodness and quality of food.

You see everyone proclaims to be “busy”.  Sure, our calendars are full.  You picked up some fast food last night, because, after working a long week,  you were picking up kids from practice and you still had to go home and do a load of laundry and let’s face it, you were tired to the bone.

Then this morning, you were busy helping everyone else get out the door, dressed and on time.  You tried to get the short people in your life to eat something.  You grabbed a coffee on your way to work.   Work/Life got incredibly crazy and you skipped lunch.

Time to give yourself a little grace.  You need a pat on the back.  You are juggling lots of things.  Food should bring you comfort and wellness.

  We and our spouses/families are surely worthy of really good food, any time of the year. 

 Remember holidays when you make a beautiful olive & nut tray for relatives?  Sometimes, before company comes over you put together a vegetable tray with the extra nice crackers?  These platters of food are displayed lovely, sitting covered in our refrigerators….. “Don’t touch that!  It’s for company!”

I am here to tell you, we are worth buying the extra good cheese!

You and your family are WORTH buying the good olives, the beautiful plump mushrooms. Buy THREE bars of the expensive, 70% dark chocolate (break it up, pile it up on a beautiful tray)! You and your family will devour the goodness. dark chocolate

Right this very moment, if you took a peek inside my refrigerator you would spy the tasty treats I have prepared and have ready for the weekend.  No holiday (unless you count the ridiculous turning back of the clock an hour).  A sparkling clean refrigerator filled with great selections, beauty for the eyes as well as the stomach.

The special reason?  You and your family are worth beautiful, lush, flavorful, savory food.  That’s it.  That’s the reason.  20171103_132657-1_resized

Today, I made some beautiful  Rosemary, Garlic Mushrooms.  I made a small veggie plate.  I 20171103_133321-1_resizedcaramelized a couple of onions.  I bought some amazingly wonderful “cheese” made from cashews.  I also roasted some beautiful walnuts.  20171103_132523-1_resized

That smell?  Oh, that is 8 gorgeous potatoes cut and roasting.  I wanted a big bowl piled with roasted potatoes with herbs sprinkled on top.  Ready for whoever might need a bite to eat sometime over the weekend.

Fill your refrigerator!

In this together, friends,

Here’s to our good health and wellness!

What’s in your refrigerator for the weekend?

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

goodness, haPPY, recipe

time to sparkle

Time to clean the chandelier.

Go get your umbrella.  I’ll wait. 

I’m still waiting.  Geesh, this is taking forever.  Already gone through two songs.

Oh hi.  you’re back.  Good.

Let’s get started.

Turn off the light.  The crystals or glass clean so much easier when cold.  20171018_135808_resized

Hang that umbrella on the chandelier.  It will catch dust, cobwebs, more dust that you blow off with a hair dryer or spray with a can of air.  It will also catch any drips of magic elixir that may sprinkle down.   (Seriously, you do not want this to turn into an all day long project and have to wash your bed linens, too?  Well?  Of course not.)

Next, mix up the magic elixir.

2 cups warm water, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol and 2 Tablespoons of the dishwasher spot remover 

You will need a soft cloth and a ladder/step stool.

Um, I am pretty sure you know what to do.  Stand there for several minutes while the blood drains out of your arms and wash each little beautiful crystal.   Are your arms tingling?  Good.  That’s a sign you are doing it right!

Your goal is to change every single dusty, film covered, sad crystal drop into a beautiful sparkle of a gem.

Put on your sunnies, ’cause you’re going to need ’em! 20171018_141746-1_resized

Wow!  So sparkly.  So pretty.

Put away the ladder, toss the soft cloth into your laundry pile,  and wash the container you put the elixir in.

Take the umbrella outdoors and open and close a few times.  The neighbors will think you are a bit silly.  Wave and give them a jaunty salute!  Howdy Neighbor!!

Now wasn’t that easy peasy?

Just sharing the goodness.

In this together, friend.

chat soon.

P.S.  Be a lamb and share a smarty pants cleaning tip!  Love to hear your secret.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

crafts, cross stitch, cross stitching, haPPY

and a forest grew

This morning it is pouring down rain with dark clouds all around me. To me, the ideal morning for stitching & drinking steaming hot coffee.  The sound of the rain, the aroma of dark, rich coffee, the feel of the fabric, and thread in my hand……doesn’t get much better.

Today I wanted to share my latest counted cross stitch project.  I made the first stitch on August 16, 2017.  The fabric is 28 count, cream-colored linen.  I stitch 2 threads over 2 threads.  I use a size 26 needle by Bohin.

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I will share updates now and then.  This piece will most likely take quite a few months to complete.  I work on several different pieces at once.  It is such a pleasure to work on, I will venture a guess and predict this will come up in the rotation more often than not.

This beautiful piece designed by Karen Kluba will be my biggest project to 20170616_100630-1_resizeddate.

(side note) Stephanie Webb of Lindy Stitches on Etsy charted different words.  I prefer her more uplifting and happy word selection.

“You will go out in Joy and be led forth in Peace, the mountains and the hills will burst into song before You, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands!”

 

By using one of the trees, a bird and a bunny from this pattern, I stitched & traded a pincushion for her graph of the new charted words.  I really enjoy the graceful art of bartering. We both felt like we got a good deal so we were equally pleased and happy.

For this piece, I am learning and trying a new method.  Whereas I split apart the threads of each stitch with my needle before making the stitch.  This causes the threads to lay flat and not be twisted. 20170919_075412-1_resized

I really fell head over heels in love with this design.  All of the whimsical birds and animals tickled my fancy right away.  The trees are unique and just different enough to hold my interest.  Up to and to include several shades of green, there are 105 colors of thread that will be used to complete this piece.

 

As my forest begins to grow, here is a picture from this morning.

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I love share ‘n tell.  I’ve been brave enough to share and talk about my current work in progress.  I would really appreciate and enjoy seeing what handwork you are working on.

Yes, I know you are “busy”.  However, it does your heart and soul such good to make something with your hands, then share the beauty.  So whether it is baking or knitting, card making or quilting, by sharing our solitary craft endeavors, the journey will feel less lonely.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

beauty, friendship, good marriages, good times, goodness, haPPY, travel, vacation

empty envelope

7 states, 2 provinces, 1 salt cave, 1 aero car, 1 boat, 4 airplanes, 1 rental SUV, 2 Ubers, 1 Buddist Temple, 1 Greek Orthodox church, 1 beach wedding, 1 Big Fat Greek wedding, 1 Great Lake, 1 Lighthouse, 5 hotels, 26 restaurants, 2 home cooked meals, 2 catered meals, 2 foxes, 1 beaver, 5 pheasants, 2 deer, 2 t-shirts, 1 sweatshirt, 2 pieces of Polish pottery and one empty vacation envelope.

I have been quiet as a church mouse. The reason?

 VACATION!

You read that correctly, for the first time in ages and ages (read that as 17 years) Mr. Right and I took off on a couple of weeks vacation.  No, not stay home and heal kind of vacation.  An actual pay way too much for a breakfast in a resort town, pay the toll twice in 2 minutes because you get turned around, buy a banana at a gas station for .99 cents kind of VACATION!!!!

As much as I enjoy writing, I/we also need to go out into the real world with real people and experiences. We needed to jump in and learn, giggle and come home plum tuckered out.

Mission accomplished.

We experienced so much good,  my mind is still swirling.  I want to sit on the porch and drink coffee (oh, I’ve missed you dark, rich, bold, Italian Roast from the Pacific Northwest, with cashew cream) and tell you about our adventures.

I’m guessing, for days to come,  I will slip in little moments of vacation happy, here and there.  You know the stuff you never dreamed about, however, somehow managed to make the hit parade of goodness when you think back?

Noticing the first leaves changing for fall in Northern Vermont.

Hands down, the best Italian meal we have ever enjoyed.

The moment you sit with your friend and her family around the kitchen tables with different colored Fiesta ware plates.  You eat, listen, giggle and share. Wishing you could already come back and you haven’t even finished your plate yet.

The exact moment, while standing next to your niece as she shares her completed piece of crochet work.  Stunning, inspiring and privileged that she shared with me.

Sitting in a hotel room, doing nothing, goofing off with your family, drinking Ginger Ale and eating a sinful, delicious piece of chocolate.

Shopping in the flagship April Cornell store.  I know, I know, I always say I don’t like to shop……….I mean I don’t like to shop unless it is one perfect shop in Burlington, Vermont.  Then….. actually standing there when April Cornell comes in and walks around like she owns the place  Wait!  She does own the place.   Something happened to me in that place.  Instead of me agonizing over one new blouse to buy……..I kind of lost my mind.  I bought 2 new gorgeous blouses, 1 beautiful, special dress, 1 lovely tablecloth and a grown up, beautiful pair of pajamas,  just like that.

Riding shotgun in a rental car for 1,873 miles.  Read that as talking time, singing time, eating snacks time and reading the map time. Yes, an actual paper map.

The feel & sound of your feet the moment you step on 4,000 pounds of ground salt inside a salt cave.

The water dripping off your face, on “the” (bucket list) boat ride.20170831_191906_resized

Opening your hotel door, to see your brother-in-law, waiting patiently outside, because YET AGAIN, I can’t seem to get my hair to do what I want and be early to breakfast in the same morning.

Meeting table mates at a wedding that you connect with seamlessly and want to be friends for life.

Drying dishes, while sis in law washes……….like we do it every day of our lives.

Maybe for today, I will stop talking and share some pictures?  They might speak more eloquently than typed words.

It was a beautiful thing to anticipate and save for a holiday.   The adventure will bring color to our lives for days to come.

Grateful for an empty vacation envelope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

garden, gardening, haPPY, vegetables

we struck GOLD

Oh, glory be!  After months of remembering to water and fuss and crossing of fingers…….the time had come to get a little dirt under those finger nails.

The great backyard potato harvest of 2017.

We struck Gold! Yukon Gold that is.

I will let pictures tell the story.  I am off to start the water to boiling.  I foresee glorious mashed taters on my dinner plate tonight!!!

 

 

Just a little potato humor.  You’re welcome.  🙂

On with the show!

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I predict a whole bunch of crispy, wonderful home-made potato chips in our future!

How did your garden grow this year?

Chat soon.