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.

~Bruce

first friday finish

…and just like that, 27 hours later, the stitching of Ellie Mae is complete.

I have visions of an ornate frame with Belly Dancer bells hanging from the piece.

Question?  Why do I have such a tricky time taking photos with true colors?  In real life, she is juicy and rich and beautiful.  The fabric is a gorgeous warm golden color.  I guess you will have to take my word for it or just stop by for coffee sometime and I promise to show n tell.

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The pattern is from the book, all Creatures Stitched and Small by Lori Markovic.

I used 28 count Monaco that I dyed myself with coffee, tea and turmeric.

This year I am keeping a journal of my stitching, sewing and crocheting.  Names, supplies and hours.  Years ago, I kept track of hours spent hand quilting.  I thought it would be a boost to my self-esteem at the end of the year to see what I had accomplished and be surprised by the hours spent.  20180112_074456-1_resized (1)

Of course, you know she is finished.  She has on her Swarovski jewelry and ready for a night on the town.

 

six

six

My six year blogging anniversary is today!

Oh Good Gravy, how on earth did that happen?

1,155 blog posts?

Who knew I had so much to talk about?

Will I find something more to talk/chat about for another year?

Topics to consider:

backward booksLately, why do home decorators put all the books on the shelf backward?  Yes, I know they want a uniform color.  Don’t these people read?  How tricky/frustrating would it be to pull out each book to find the book you want? (Melvil Dewey would be spinning if he saw this.)

 

 

Will my Insanely Good Bacon made from  Rice rice paper baconPaper turn out ….insanely good for dinner tonight?

 

 

boy or girlWill I be crocheting pink or blue hats for our new grand in 2018?

Thanks and gratitude to all of you for following along, leaving such kind comments and pushing my swing.

Think I will stick around a bit longer, ’cause you KNOW I will have something to say about something.

In this together, friend,

Chat soon

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.

4 things

When the calendar reads November and we are about to flip the page to December, inevitably, those words some of us dread are spoken aloud.

What would you like for Christmas?

For some, it is easy peasy and those kids/people can fill a sheet of college rule lined notebook paper and then turn it over and fill the back.  For other kids/people, it is a daunting task.

Sure, sure, we would all love:  World Peace, Food Banks Filled to overflowing, Animal Shelters turning away donations, because they have more than enough food, volunteers, and money……

However, for some of us who celebrate this holiday, in addition to giving and sharing with others and worthy causes, we would very much like to give each family member or friend a gift or two.

primitive_cottage_red_buffalo_plaid_lumberjack_heart_sticker-r925673d75f1240248ae6cb0f257daac8_v9w0n_8byvr_324We as the givers would really love to give them something that they would like.

Sure we give experiences. Yes, we make donations in people’s names and give to charity.  Yes, we try our very best to listen and then write down ideas that our people may want or need.  Thank you, Jesus, sometimes we find the “perfect” gift for the perfect person.

Often times its kids that have a hard time articulating exactly what they would like.  On the other hand, sometimes it’s husbands that have almost zero wishes.  Or adult children really don’t want to give people a list.

What would you like for your birthday and/or Christmas?  “I would like a pair of socks,  maybe a bag of potato chips.”

(This is just a hypothetical scenario.  I am not using names to protect the sad list makers of our lives.)

Seriously, it is tricky for said “giver”.  Today my plan is to purchase one pair of socks.  I can give him one sock for his birthday and one sock for Christmas.  Done.  (Just kidding)

Jeepers, Creepers!

I happen to have come across a brilliant, simple, easy peasy…lemon squeezie idea on momastry.com  She wrote down this little poem and asked her children to come up with & write down 4 things.  Everyone, no matter the age can write down 4 things.

That seems simple and doable.

Here’s the poem:

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A gentle suggestion, this year before you ask the question……….how about asking nicely, I just need you to write down 4 things?   simple.  easy peasy.

Here I’ll go first!

Something you want………I want a heavy duty, folding potato masher.

Something you need…….. I need Italian Roast coffee beans.

Something to wear…….. I would like a new gray sweater.

Something to read…… I would like a new cookbook.

Pretty painless and quick.  Oh sure, you can give more details like where to purchase or make an Amazon wishlist or give store names or websites…… The idea is to stick with 4 things.

Nothing overwhelming, not too time-consuming and pretty darn easy, for all of us.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon. christmas-buffalo-plaid-check-pillow-

 

 

 

 

 

Ps.  Full disclosure.  I borrowed this picture from google images.  Yes, I have white rocking chairs.  Yes, I took off the autumnal pillow covers I made.  I am still searching for Buffalo Plaid fabric to sew covers for my pillows.  Fingers crossed this weekend.