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.

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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.

 

 

gifts, good karma, good marriages, grateful, great marriage, great marriage secrets, haPPY, happy marriage, Uncategorized

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.

 

cooking, haPPY, healing, health, wellness

life of the party, hello parsley

Parsley.

Yesterday, I shared a picture of one of my herb gardens.  A friend asked, “what on earth are you going to do with all that Parsley?  I answered, ” We are going to eat it.

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You know, that itty bitty piece of sad green on your dinner plate?  That’s parsley.

Hello!  Nice to meet you.

When you went to aGerman Schnitzel with garnish restaurant in the 90’s more often than not you got your meal presented with a flourish.  As a last minute garnish, one cherry tomato or slice of lemon was getting friendly with the 1 inch or smaller piece of limp looking parsley.

Last night, I took a picture of just how much parsley I eat every single day.  I put a pen in the picture for scale.   We pick it fresh and it is put into my daily juice routine.  Beyond daily juice, I also pick and cook with as much as I can.

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The under celebrated herb called Parsley (Latin:  Petroselinum) is filled to overflowing with beneficial nutrients, essential oils, and antioxidants – to the point that it’s often called a superfood.  Along side freshening both you and your dogs’ breath, parsley helps with inflammation, acid reflux & arthritis, this marvelous herb can clean out your liver, kidneys, and gallbladder.

Popeye would have been twice as strong had he known that Parsley has TWICE the iron as Spinach!

Dr. Mercola gently reminds us, eating parsley is an excellent way to detoxify our systems of harmful compounds like mercury.

Do you want strong bones?  If you want to be impressed by parsley, take a look at its vitamin K content – a whopping 574% of the daily recommended value.  This is BIG news, friends!

Parley’s vitamin C content is 3 times more than in oranges, and the vitamin A augments the carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin, helping to prevent eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.

Dr. Axe is a smarty pants and here is what he has to say about parsley and the “c” word:

Parsley contains unique elements in its oil known as volatile oil components — myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. These powerful oil components benefit the body’s immune system and help fight cancer-formation, in particular, slowing tumor growth, neutralizing oxidative stress and fighting off carcinogens from harming the body. (7)

Parsley is sometimes called a “chemoprotective” plant because it helps protect DNA from damage, stops cell mutation and helps induce apoptosis, or the death of harmful cells. One of Parsley’s beneficial compounds called apigenin has been found to “inhibit progestin-dependent synthesis of human breast cancer cells, significantly delaying the development of, and decreasing the incidence and multiplicity of mammary tumors”, according to research done in 2013 by the American Association of Cancer. 

There are several good sources (those sources are at your finger tips, people) to learn oodles and oodles more about the glorious plant called Parsley.

Time to add some life to your party!   Tonight when you cook those stunning fresh green beans, toss in a handful of parsley.  Tomorrow when you make a gorgeous vegetable soup, again, toss in some beautiful green.  That Shrimp & Grits you are going to serve?  Freshly chopped parsley will add a little somethin’ somethin’.  That ice cream sundae?  Just toss on…….ha, I was just checking to see if you were paying attention.

Here’s to our health and wellness!

ps.  The home school mom came out in me today. haha  Now,  I want us all to do a watercolor painting or chalk drawings of parsley.  I want my chef helper to pick, wash & chop parsley for dinner tonight.  Let’s use parsley in a sentence……

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

cross stitch, haPPY

bee happy

Two weeks ago today, I fell in love with a piece of 28 count linen in a beautiful color called, Buttermilk. (fyi, 28 count means that there are 28 threads per inch)20170727_153913-1_resized

I adore this pattern.  It was a quick, happy stitch.  The designer’s name is Annie Blecher and she is Annie Beez Folk Art.   I had a hiccup mid-week, as I ran out of that lush gold color.  52 cents later, I was back in business.

Sharing/teaching is a beautiful, happy thing.

Sometimes in the work place, folks don’t want to share information?  They feel puffed up and important by not sharing knowledge.  The “I know something you don’t know” game is very uninspired and sad.

Sharing makes you feel wonderful & it is very uplifting. Everything about it is HAPPY!

I am passing on the goodness, the happy.  Over the years, I have taught a couple of people how to cross stitch.  I am doing it again.  Next month, I am teaching two young tween girls the art of counted cross stitch.  Who know’s, it may be the beginning of a beautiful hobby they enjoy in which they pursue happiness for the rest of their lives?  I could have a hand in that!  How exciting and wonderful and uplifting!

Hobbies help our souls and mental health.  Yes, certain days our hobbies can aggravate the tar out of us, yet, for the most part, they help us create our own  “HAPPY”.

One of the things mental health counselors often ask right off the bat?  What are your hobbies?  (no, sorry, watching television is not a hobby)   Side note: I understand having a hobby will not “fix, cure” all mental health issues.  However, for me and many others, having a hobby brings us great personal joy and balance as we navigate life. 

Helping to cultivate a hobby is a beautiful gift. Both the student and the teacher garner so much happy.   We all benefit.   Our neighborhood, our world, heck our workplace is better when we are kind and share what we know.

For the class, I have gathered both pattern and fabric.  We will be starting with 14 count Aida cloth. (You guessed it, that is 14 threads per inch.  You are catching on. )  Each kit I make up will have the called for threads and of course a needle.  20170728_074813_resized (1)

Part of the lesson will also include a baking break.  Girls who stitch NEED to take a break to bake Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I thought everyone knew that!

I will give a gentle suggestion/life lesson:  After baking, we need to wash our hands (no one wants chocolate on their white Aida cloth, no one)

Love to hear about your hobbies.  I would appreciate hearing how you fit in and find time to make your hobby a priority.  Love to hear about you sharing.

I would really enjoy hearing about you sharing and teaching your hobby to someone else. Have you passed on the Happy?

In this together friends, here’s to our mental, happy health!

chat soon

 

 

 

 

 

good behavior, great marriage, haPPY, happy marriage

love can travel

Several years ago, one morning in church, our pastor asked us to pray for a dearsenior citizen marriage bed lady we all knew.  Her husband had been scheduled for an overnight stay at the hospital for a simple procedure.  Our pastor made a point of asking for prayers for her.  You see, she and her husband had been married over 52 years and she had never once slept a night without him.

Being a well seasoned Army wife, this concept was new to me.  Army guys are not known for being home seven days a week, 30 days a month…you get it.  I most certainly didn’t enjoy it, you somehow figure it out and muddle through it.

By far a big lesson for me in the art of empathy.  I wanted to show I cared and had sincere understanding for this gal.  Who, by the way, had so many visitors and calls that very one day and evening, she laughingly told us later she was exhausted and fell into bed and slept very well.

Of course, we lifted our prayers,  chatted with her and all was well.

However, I really wanted to learn and understand empathy.  Not feel sorry for her.  I wanted to figure out how I could lend an ear or a gentle pat on the shoulder.  Maybe a simple phone call would help?

Last night a friend sent me a note.  Being married around the 16-year mark, her husband was going out-of-town for business, for the first time, EVER.  With two teenagers and several planned activities over the course of the upcoming weekend, I am sure she will do fairly well.  We promised to send messages, call & check on her and the kiddos.  We invited them to our home and for dinner.

I got the call!  This time I was ready.  I had empathy to share. With two teenagers and several planned activities over the course of the upcoming weekend, I am sure she will do fairly well.  We promised to send messages, call & check on her and the kiddos.  We invited them to our home and for dinner.

Mr. Right retired from the Army 17 years ago.  His current job takes him away on business now and then.  It is yucky and I don’t like it one bit.    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not dreadful. I don’t sit and pine for him.  Do people pine?  Do people even use that word anymore?    I do stay busy and over plan.  I  plan trips to craft, gardening, gift, quilt shops and spend oodles of time looking at everything.  I eat food that I really like.  I just miss him something awful.  I always feel at loose ends when he is gone.  I know how nice it is when girlfriends and family check in on you.  I always appreciate those folks in my life that call me and make sure I am distracted for a bit.

So to my friend who will experience something different, awkward, feels odd sleeping alone…….

We are all in your corner.  We are all sending oodles of good karma your way. 

May the weekend slip by uneventful and by Monday morning you will be exhausted from all the worry, fretting and the restless couple of nights you had.  Not to mention you two crazy kids texting, phoning & talking to each other way more than had he been in the same town!

In a rather lovely way, I’m secretly glad it is bothering you.  I am happy for you that your marriage is so strong and steady that having the love of your life not beside you is going to be tricky and feel funny.   The love affair you are having with that man of yours is beautiful to behold.  You two have built something so strong, it will most certainly withstand a two-day business trip.  distance

In this together, friend.

It is going to be okay.