tap, tap

As I was driving to my friend’s house to pick her up for a coffee date, I reminded myself out loud, “Don’t stay too long, she is still in pain and a long coffee date might not be beneficial”.  Well, something along those lines.

Basically, Don’t talk too much!

….famous last words.

You see, she is recovering slowly from two broken arms.  Yes, you read that correctly, TWO. I was anxious to see her, I just didn’t want to tucker her out.

Side note:  we are fortunate to have a brand new car.  Saturday, before our coffee date, I practiced driving, parking and changing lanes etc.  I wanted to make sure I could do a good job of taking my friend out for coffee. 

Thanks to Mr. Right, you KNOW the gas tank was full, the car spit spot clean, sparkling inside and out.  You already guessed he made sure I had extra spending loot and he told me to drive safe.

Their home overlooks a huge park where they hold summer festivities.  This time it wasfircrest park a ginormous car show with oodles of people everywhere and not a parking spot in sight.

My friend and her husband were out on their sidewalk waiting for me to pull over.

Anyway, we excitedly said hello, she got in and situated.  Her husband helped her and made sure she was comfortable.  I passed him some fresh eggs and we were set to go.  He told me to drive safe.  He closed the passenger door and tapped the roof two times.

tap, tap.

Off we went to the coffee shop.  Dang, I love that girl.  We have been friends for 44 years.  No, that is not a misprint.  Yes, we have been friends that long.  She has always been a beautiful blond who defies the traditional blond jokes.  There is no joke about how intelligent she is. That girl is wicked smart with a side of humor.  Oh yeah, I am lucky to have her in my tribe.

iced latteWe enjoyed coffee and shared a treat between talking and talking and talking.  At one time, I had a faint, fleeting thought, “keep it short this time”.  Then I asked how her daughter was and she mentioned they had set the date for their wedding…………….well, settle in folks.   I hadn’t seen a smile on my friends’ face like that in ages!

Happily, down the wedding rabbit hole, we went.

Okay, it really was time to wrap it up and get her home.

I was sad to hug goodbye.   Like we always do, we promised each other we would do it again soon.

I phoned Mr. Right to tell him I was headed home.

As I drove home, like a good ending to a Sherlock Holmes movie,  our coffee date replayed in my mind…. going over details, reliving the goodness.

In my mind, I heard it again.

tap, tap.

Earlier when I heard that, it didn’t register.

tap, tap.

That was her husband’s rough, huge, tough, capable hand on the top of our car.  He’s probably done that over a thousand times in his life.  He was a marine, in Vietnam.  He was a firefighter. He was a paramedic.  He has put so many people in helicopters, ambulances, and aid cars, that he most likely can’t remember the number of times.

I would venture to guess, he doesn’t even think about it.

tap, tap.

beach-sand-heart-wallpaper-3The other day, another friend mentioned that when she sees married couples who seem to be happy and thriving in their marriage she asks them, “What’s your secret?”

PSSSSSSST!          I know one of the secrets.

tap, tap.

You know that moment in a wedding ceremony when you promise to love, honor and cherish?

He cherishes her.

The word cherish is a verb and it means to protect and care for (someone) lovingly. 

When he taps the door or top of the car, he is letting the driver know that the passenger is safe, protected and ready to be transported.  ……….Take care of this woman because I cherish her and now I am entrusting that you will protect her while she is with you.

That man cherishes his wife.

You can see it.  You can feel it.

During this time of her having two broken wings, it is a little more noticeable to the rest of us.  He irons her clothes, cooks and cleans and wait for it……he washes her hair.  Swoon, is there anything more sensual, personal and wonderful than when your man washes your hair?  SWEET JUNIE MOON!

If you would like an excellent, well-written book on the topic, I highly recommend the book, “Cherish”.   The author is a childhood friend, Gary Thomas.  https://www.amazon.com/Cherish-Word-Changes-Everything-Marriage/dp/1531834256

So, to answer the question “what is the secret to a thriving, loving, happy marriage”? I am pretty sure one of the answers is to cherish your spouse.

How do I know?

I witness it through watching my friend and her husband.

I witness it through my brother in law and sister in law.

I live a life of feeling cherished every single day and I cherish that man I call Mr. Right.

tap, tap

In this together, friends,

chat soon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and then there were 4

Hello friends,

Boy Howdy, do I have news!

I’ve told just about everyone I have come across.  I told the lady at the fabric store, the clerk at the supermarket, the hostess at the restaurant, a man in the elevator.  I told the morning and night managers at our hotel.  I told a lady at an information center.  I explained our new happy to the lady at the needlework shop.  I told the gal at the gift shop.  Pretty much anyone standing still, I shared our HAPPY with! I’ve sent text messages, made phone calls and sent emails.

Of course, I wanted to share with you, too.

We got to meet our FOURTH grandchild! 

This Granny and Grandpa just returned from a 2, 500-mile adventure.   We were on a mission as someone was waiting for us.20180523_125646-2_resized_1

His name is Hunter and he is the calmest, content, most relaxed, healthy 10.2-pound 20180524_121059_resizedbaby I know. 20180522_120827_resized

It was thrilling to meet him.

I said, “Hi, I’m Grandma Daleen.  You have no idea just how good I am at loving and spoiling grands.”   We were off to a great start.  I think he likes me!!!!

 

 

 

The week flew by.  Our 3-year-old grandson kept us on our toes and toes in the air, too.

 

 

 

While there, we played Candyland, Shoots, and Ladders, Hungry Hungry Hippo, cards, did a puzzle, played with matchbox cars and Legos. We read books, books, and more books and played at the park.  We played Mini Golf.  Much to their parents’ dismay, we gave daily gifts. Happily gave too many gifts.  Went to the beach and of course, ate Frozen Yogurt. Lots of frozen yogurt!

 

 

 

We are very grateful for this HAPPY life.

I wanted to share our HAPPY with you.

 

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

bad ass juicer or 209 Karat necklace

I could not decided on a title.  I chose two.

Most of the time I write to share a story.

This particular post is like a journal entry for me.  It’s to remind myself about stuff.  I am writing so I can sleep through the night and not wake up fretting.

Today, I write to boost my own spirit.  Why yes, my spirit does need boosting.

As you already know, I was diagnosed with cancer January 2013.  One doctor told Mr. Right that I had a year to live.  Feels weird to even type that.

Heads up….That was a mean, nasty thing to tell anyone.  You have absolutely NO right to give someone an expiration date. The person can’t get it out of their mind. They will remember it always.  Yes, you feel powerful for a moment in time.  Powerful at another human’s expense.  In saying that, you also took away their hope. What an awful thing to say.  Shame on you.   I hope your mother is disappointed in your behavior.  I know I sure am.

There is something beautiful and elegant in the art of giving someone hope.

Moving on….  I promise this is a really GOOD post.  I just needed to get that ugly out-of-the-way.

I chose a path less traveled.  Not a cool “travelling pants” sort of path.  A tough, rocky, weed infested, up hill, no insurance coverage kind of creature crawling path.   Sure if you agree to chemotherapy, radiation and pills, health insurance is right there, albeit through mounds and mounds of paper work, they help pay the bills. If like me, you choose not to do those things and you choose a path of healing that is not traditional………even though you pay the premiums and have excellent “health” insurance, you pay for every single thing yourself.

carrots-bunchLike carrots.  How much could one carrot cost? Seriously, I am asking you.  How much does it cost to buy one carrot?  Take a guess.

How much do 10,450 carrots cost?  

$969.76

How on earth do I know that?

Because Mr. Right keeps count.  He keeps the ring off of each 10 pound bag of carrots he juices.  He and his trusty Champion juicer get a daily work out.  Yes, that juicer has flames tattooed in all the right places.  20170508_201017-1_resizedHe makes juice for both of us.  I drink 64 ounces of fresh juice daily.  In addition to lots ofcarrots greens and fruits, every single day I drink carrots. Bunches and Bunches of carrots.

With each glass of goodness, each 10 pound bag of carrots he is simultaneously creating a beautiful necklace. That’s 209 rings, one ring each off of 10 pound bags of carrots!  That equals 10,450 CARROTS of goodness!

That’s 2,090 pounds of carrots!  Can’t imagine it?  Picture in your mind a full-grown Polar polar bearBear.  A big, strong, tough, fierce, stop at nothing bear.  That is 2,000 pounds or one TON.

Carrots contain falcarinol, a natural toxin that protects carrots against fungal disease. It’s thought that this compound may stimulate cancer-fighting mechanisms in the body, as it’s been shown to cut the risk of tumor development in rats.

We have no idea if carrots alone have healed me.  Heck, I don’t know if I am healed or carrots-800x600not.  I do know that along with mushrooms and rebounding, exercise, sunshine and vitamins/supplements, Turmeric and laughing and baking soda and magnesium, juicing, Budwig protocol, giving up & changing over 100 things and books and research….. and a list a mile long of other things that  “health” insurance does not cover…. I am still here to type this blog post.

I am one lucky girl.  I honestly don’t care if I ever win on a scratch ticket again, I got lucky where it really counts.  Mr. Right loves me and I know it.  I hope every single human on earth has another human that cares about them as much as I am cared for.  He holds one of my hands while offering me a glass of hope with the other.

20170508_201017-2_resizedI secretly love the bad-ass flames on his juicer.  Sort of rough and tumble.  That’s the sort of thing you need when you are trying to heal.  Someone, tough and fierce, someone that will stop at nothing…. on your side, that is willing to keep track of all the good we are doing.

The good has got to outweigh the bad, right?

The heft of that necklace reminds me of all the good we are doing.

In this together,

Here’s to health and wellness,  cheers!

socks tell all

“The reason as to why we are attracted to our opposites is because they are our salvation from the burden of being ourselves.”
― Kamand Kojouri

  1.  Mr. Right likes his coffee black.   I like mine swirling with coconut cream.
  2.  He loves hot, hot peppers.  I love all pickles.
  3.  He loves running.  I love swimming.
  4.  He loves history books.  I love murder mysteries.
  5.  He uses a book mark.  I dog ear the page.
  6.  He loves Brussels Sprouts.  I love currants.
  7.  Mr. Right is most certainly a morning person.  I am not.
  8.  He loves order.  I love controlled chaos.

Wait, this picture explains more than words can…….

I present our two separate sock drawers, you guess which one is his.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”― John Steinbeck

completely different

In this together, friends.

celebrating our differences!

are you together

While ordering coffee, my girlfriend and I stood side by side.  The cashier said, “are you together?”  I answered, yes, forever and ever. anthem-coffee

I realize the cashier was asking if the order was on one ticket.  I honestly don’t know why I answered like that. I guess, saying it aloud makes it more real.

Do we worry and fret about each others kiddos?  You bet.  We celebrate kiddos successes and we help when things are off-balance, too.

Do we worry and share about our husbands & not getting enough sleep & not taking stress seriously & our families & people who are meanies……um yeah.  It’s sort of how we have survived.

Both of us are somewhere in our 50’s and have been friends since we were 12 & 13 years old.  We have shared good stuff and not so good stuff.

Sometimes we are “dumb heads” and let too much time go between meetings.  Sometimes, we forget to ask the other for help.

We are still at it.  Still sharing.  Yes, we pay for coffee for each other. anthem-coffee-2 Or we pay separately.  Or one pays 3 times in a row and the other pays next time.   Or we drink coffee out of big chunky mugs at home.  It sort of isn’t the important part of us meeting.  We seriously don’t want to waste time figuring out who pays for or who makes the coffee.

We have huge issues to shyly share or rant loudly about. Sometimes our hearts are broken and just being together, maybe it is the warm coffee, magically seals the cracks and puts us slightly back together again.

The beauty is neither of us keep track.  For a while, I had too many “not so good stuff” to share.  Before my bag-o- dodo, she had a few years of sharing messy days.

Get it? Some days I pay for coffee, some days she does.

We celebrate the good stuff in our lives.  Honestly, we do.  It’s just when things are rosy and upbeat, you don’t feel the need to hold someones hand.  Usually you are so busy, cheering and dancing with jazz hands you forget to talk it all over with the other.

All of a sudden, you hear someone hurt your friend………. and golly gee, that “sister girlfriend thing” kicks in and you want to protect your friend, hold their hand and take them under your wing.

If by under your wing, it means, make plans to wear jeans, bring the husbands along and order a beer or two and some casual, comfort food like burgers and fries and just “be” with them.   Than yes, that’s what we are going to do.

I think all our hearts and souls need those kind of people in our lives.

One of the things I just wrote at the top of my 2017  “to-do” list was,

Make an effort to be with friends.  Be more present in their lives and invite them to be more apart of ours.

I feel like I am stumbling, off balance.  I need to steady myself and go have coffee with a friend, more often.  I want to make more of an effort to help her/our kids.  I am feeling much too isolated.  I need to be with her, just so we can be …. oh and drink really good coffee.

In this together,

forever and ever

ps.  and I don’t just love her because she gave the most fan-tab-u-lous , housewarming/Christmas, amazing gift.  What I love most?  Is that she KNEW I would be smitten in love,  with “Pearl,the Polish pottery chicken” who came with a carved Polish wooden egg, of course!

love, love, love

her and the chicken

 

 

a secret stitch

By noticing the dates worked into my counted cross stitch pieces you can tell where I was in life and what I was doing. 20161130_080450-1_resized

Some pieces are dated during those Home Schooling years.  I would pull out my stitchery and sit at the table while the boys were working on writing projects or reading.  They didn’t really need my help, more they needed direction and for me to be quiet so they could flourish.

As an Army wife, while the movers took an entire day to pack our belongings at each duty station, I wasn’t allowed to touch anything, so, out came my stitching.

In the days, long before the TSA had their silly rules about tiny scissors, oh and as well as me needing bright sunshine or my stitching lamp, I used to stitch while I waited in airports or while travelling by plane. (yes, I can use a dental floss holder to cut my thread.)

Today, nightly, Mr. Right spends an hour making juice for the next day.    I sit on the other side of the counter and we talk about the days events.   His hands are busy washing and preparing vegetables and fruits.  My hands are kept busy with needle and thread.

Yes, I have made beautifully large pieces for my daughter in-laws.  I have given many pieces away.  Believe it or not, a few years back, I started keeping a couple of pieces for myself.

I tease my kids, that while I enjoy and use my china & beautiful pieces of Wedgwood, I am quite sure some of the “priceless” pieces  will be sold at a yard sale for 25 cents, fingers crossed some will go for $1.00.

20161130_074613-1_resizedHowever, when it comes to pieces of stitchery, I hope that because I have secretly slipped in a birth date, or highlighted certain family members initials into other pieces…..that those will be kept as treasured heirlooms.  A snippet of family history that is theirs to keep and tend to for a while.

Pieces of thread that binds them as a family and their history.

Today, a six-year-old little grandgirlie is not interested in a20161129_113122-1_resized stuffy sampler.  30 years from now, when she spies her birth year under glass, stitched into a beautiful piece…..she will know it was stitched with her in mind….. A few more evenings of stitching the flower and this piece will be ready to be framed.

 

I love stitching special pieces for a celebration or person.

20161130_074654-1-1_resizedA pin cushion to celebrate a retirement

An ornament to celebrate a life

A beautiful bird for a Christmas treasure

A pillow for a birthday gift  ………….

I use samplers to celebrate my family.  Every stitch, making the ties that bind so tightly woven that it will be nearly impossible to take apart.

I know it is not popular.  I understand there is no glossy advertisement about buying fabric and thread.  My guess is that you are quietly making things for your family.

I would love to see what you are creating.

Secretly we are using needle and thread to stitch a piece of our family history.

In this together,

Chat soon.