grateful, haPPY, seek, wellness

we need to talk

20150125_111133Okay, maybe “we” don’t need to talk.  I feel the need to get a bunch of stuff off my shoulders.  So, I will talk, you can pour yourself a warm beverage and I will chatter away.

Here we go:

I forgot how much I LOVE the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair”.  Yes, there are a couple of adult scenes, so put the kids to bed, make some popcorn, and settle in for a good movie.  Very entertaining, even if they don’t blow anything up.  (action movies are my all time favorite) .  May I just say, the dress for dancing that Renee wore in the movie…swoon.  So beautiful.  (I know, didn’t think you would hear me, Miss Daleen say that she loved such a saucy dress, haha, tricked you!)

Shave Secret.  It works.  It is under $4.00 and does not contain any nasty chemicals.  Your Mr. Right will LOVE it.  You are watching out for shave secretyour Mr. Right and what products he uses, right?

MEASURE YOUR MEASURING CUPS PEOPLE.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I have been using inferior measuring cups for 20 years.  I checked them.  THEY DON’T MEASURE CORRECTLY.   Really?  I ask you…………..how on earth is that helpful?  THROW THEM AWAY.  SPEND the money, buy new ACCURATE measuring cups. Geesh. 20150126_092839

20150124_133339KIKU apples.  5 Red stars.  Get it?  Red stars for the red apple?  Suggested by son #1.  He loves the darn things.  Okay, I bit.  Get it?  Sweet, juicy, firm.  Sort of reminds me of an apple you would eat at your Grandma’s house while waiting for supper.  Wait, I am a grandma!  Okay, I will have them available.  I paid $1.11 for one apple.  It was the first place I found them.  No, I have not shopped around.  The red skin of the apple is a great choice for oodles of good nutrition.  I will have 1/2 an apple with some almond butter for a snack this after noon.

Years and years ago, while listening to Susan Powter on the radio, she once said, look around the grocery store.  If you can’t figure out healthy stuff to buy, find someone with great posture, beautiful hair, a good spirit, in excellent shape and moving with a purpose.  Buy what she is buying.    Saturday, while waiting in line at the grocery store, I was trying to be patient and wait my turn.  I saw a rather sad-looking, unhealthy gal in the line next to me.  I glanced a couple of times in her cart.  Get this, I could not eat or drink one thing in her cart.  Okay, reverse that.  I choose not to eat or drink one thing she was buying:  white bread, boxed muffin mix, cubes of soda, BBQ sauce in a bottle, salad dressing, meat, milk, go-gurt, boxed cereal, frozen lasagna, frozen Eggo waffles, Valentine candy in a bag and hand lotion.  Nope, not even the hand lotion.   There are some nasty chemicals and sugars hiding in oodles of things at our local grocery store.   Was I judging?  Yes.  We all judge other’s pathway.  The secret is to not let on that you are judging.  Refocus back on yourself.  Work on making good choices for you and your family.  Send a little good Karma to that person and share a smile.   moving on. You have no idea what battle she is fighting.

It was 62* in our neck of the woods yesterday.  We opened every single window in our home.  Good bye nasty germs, hello fresher air.  It was way past time for a little fresh air.

Just completed John Sandford’s latest book “Field of Prey”.  Murder mystery, deeply disturbing…………..total escape.  I would highly recommend.  If you want to escape for an hour or two a day……….this is your magic carpet ride.   If 23 dead bodies is too much for you and would keep you awake at night, you may consider skipping this one. He is a very descriptive writer.  well done.

Today’ I am making little gift tags for Valentine gifts.  I promise to share the results.  I spent $2.99, less a coupon on the clay, so it is an inexpensive craft and you can make them in 30 minutes.  woohoo.20150126_092742

I would enjoy hearing from you. Please share any great “finds”.

We are in this together.

Here’s to our good health and wellness!

 

 

 

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grace, grateful, pure goodness, seek, Uncategorized, wellness

$25.00 in ones

I dug into my make up bag and found the one lipstick color that I really did not care for.  I took off the lid, I walked into the boys bathroom and started writing on the mirror.  Ugly poppy red lipstick.  I wanted to get rid of it and make a point.

Hey, I was a mom of two teenagers & I would try ANYTHING to get their attention.  I wrote in big letters.  I drew big swirls right in front of the sink, so they would have to either move to look in the mirror to “do” their hair or actually READ what I had written.

When they were younger their home schooling mom would use quotes of good behavior as sentence practice, penmanship, grammar & vocabulary.

With teens, our goals had become laser focused on raising humans that did not have a sense of entitlement. (We have all been witness to that trait and it is not a pretty picture, folks.)   We were trying to raise humans that were among other things,  well-educated, kind and of service.

On the mirror, I wrote:

To whom much is given, much is required.  

I did not add that it was a modern version of the Bible verse Luke 12:48.  I did not go any further. I did not elaborate.  I just let it hang there.

In big, slasher movie, red lipstick on the mirror letters………….I wrote that one sentence.

They sort of asked about it over breakfast.  It became a topic during our dinner time.

Over and over and over………that one sentence had struck a chord.  I tried, golly I tried, to look casual, nonchalant really.  I tried not to make a big deal out of it.  Just went on about my life. Looking busy and doing mom things, not really caring if they “got it” or not.  …….all while inwardly smiling and rubbing my hands together in glee!

dollar bills 2Yesterday, while doing a couple of errands,  I hit on an idea.  I gave away $3.00.

It was an idea on how to bathe myself in Grace.   I wanted to share my idea with you.

I am asking you nicely, today, please share this blog post with one other person. Thank you.   Very casual, no pressure, act like you don’t really care.  (that is the secret)

Weather or not you have kids still living at home, this might be the perfect gift this season. A gift for others and yourself.

Here’s what we do:

Get out your charity envelope.  I will wait.  (of course you HAVE a charity envelope that you ear mark money to give throughout the month.)

Yes, of course we all give money once a year to our favorite charities or church.  We write a check, and in a very non personal way, give to those in need.  Our hands don’t get dirty.  We don’t need to lug bags of groceries to the food bank, we don’t need to feel awkward about having so much while others have so little, we don’t have to think about it.  Very neat and tidy.  All done.  Brush hands and sadly, sometimes feel superior.

I am talking about the envelope you fill each month to give to others.  Yes, we are called to give.  Oops, if you didn’t know this, consider this your invitation.

This is what I did:  I took $25.00 out of the envelope and made change.  I now had a stack of 25 dollar bills.  I put a paper clip on the money and walked out and put it into the glove box of our car. dollar bills 3

I got my purse and coat and patted the dog on the head before I headed out.

I drove up to the grocery store.  Before I got out, I took one of the dollar bills and put it into my pocket.

Now, instead of avoiding the door (we have ALL done that) with the bell-ringer, I was happy to see them.  Instead of breathing deeply and thinking, “I just wanted to run in and get a tomato and an avocado.”   Instead of fumbling with purse, groceries, umbrella, coat, mittens and trying to find a bill or coins to put into the kettle, “I’ll get you next time, all I have is a $20.00″………………I happily and purposely donated my one dollar.

Now, if you have kids or teenagers tell them what the plan is.  They can help you look for the Salvation Army Bell Ringers.   It can become part of who you are as a family.  “Mom, I can hear that bell, let’s take a dollar.”  “Don’t forget the dollar.” Last night on a quick trip to the store, Mr. Right handed me a dollar before we got out of the car.  Apparently, he listened to my idea at dinner and was on board! woohoo!

We can all be of some service.  Instead of being a drudgery or an annoyance let’s find ways to give with a Happy Spirit.

Of course we will continue to give to special charities that we have researched.  Of course we will give to a family that needs an extra hand during this season.

These 25 acts of good karma, service, pure goodness, charity…………..could quite possibly make a huge difference.  Oh sure the money will add up.  Heck, I have 300 followers of this blog.  300 X 25.00 each………..you are smart readers…….you can do the math. We can all be part of something big, something wonderful.  Like a secret society that only we know about.  Well, us 300 smarty pants people and the other person you tell today.

If each one of us decide to take on this challenge, we would each be bathed in GRACE and GOODNESS 25 different times during the month of December.

dollar billsWhat I am saying is this, by pre-planning and having those one dollar bills hidden neatly away in the glove box, we are opening ourselves up to the opportunity to be of service and to be bathed in Grace and Goodness.  

Today, is December 2nd.  We have given away 3 of the dollar bills.  I am on a mission, I am using my word of the year here, I need to SEEK  22 other places to donate my dollars.  The goal of this happy, spirit filled game is to have no dollar bills left at the end of this month.

May you (and the friend you share this with) be bathed in Grace and Goodness with this project.   Thanks 25 times over for joining me.

Here’s to a very Spirit filled month!

ps.  Yes, I know it is not safe to keep money in your car.  Yes, I know it is considered bad manners to tell others what kind act you are doing.  Work with me people, please!

ps. again.  Good news, those two teenagers, grew up to be men of service.  said the happy mom.

fresh, grace, grateful, great marriage secrets, haPPY, healing, pure goodness, seek

color my world

Nobody comes back from a journey the way they started it.  Unknown

Earlier today, I read that quote.  It has since swirled around in my brain, finally taking root.   Huge, involved, expensive trips…to far away lands,  have of course, changed who I am.

I came back home from Karlovy Vary a more grateful person.  Once home from a trip to Poland, my attitude shifted to that of yet more grace and gratitude.  After Verdun, I knew what humble and enlightened really meant.  I can still remember what the souls of my shoes sounded like walking across the new wooden bridge in Switzerland.  The taste of that fondue on a rainy night was memorable, expensive and somehow, I came home different.

DSCN5060Come to find out,  I don’t have to journey  far to feel a change.  I live a little more than an hour south of Seattle, Washington.  Right smack dab in the middle of city life is a stunning garden oasis.  Peace and quiet that will astound you.  Color that will tickle your fancy and make your soul dance.  DSCN5090 I am fortunate enough to hail from the same area as glass artist, Dale Chihuly.  While we may get “used” to seeing his pieces of art in train stations, universities,  or waiting areas,  I never get tired of catching a glimpse of saturated color through glass.  I never tire of the way I feel after drinking in all that glorious color and movement.  I am almost exhausted after taking in such beauty all at once. DSCN5100

DSCN5114Last week, a friend, Mr. Right and I went to our own “garden party”.   The garden of color and shapes dazzled our senses and filled our souls with enough. DSCN5124 More than enough to help us on our own personal journey’s.   Traveling to, taking in something glorious and breathtaking somehow, solidifies relationships like nothing else can.  Experiencing something new together, most certainly is  life changing. DSCN5118 DSCN5121

Nobody comes back from a journey the way they started it.  Unknown

PS.  Thank you Mr. Right for the glorious photographs.

Thanks M for the picture of Mr. Right and I .  I love that you said, instead of “cheese”, act like you like each other. ha

gift giving, grace, seek, thankful

the weather is here, wish you were fine

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”   Terry Pratchett said that.

I adore and find a deep connection to how Terry explained travel.  The line, “so that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors” gives me the chills.   I also love what Anita Desai says, “Wherever you go becomes a part of you.”

When we travel, one of the first and foremost things I make sure and remember are postcard stamps.  On the back of the sheet of stamps, I write five or six addresses of folks I want to intentionally share my trip with.  I always slip the stamps into an outside pocket of my carry on or suitcase.  I can’t tell you the number of times I have been waiting for a rental car or a plane .  More than enough time to jot down a few lines to a loved one.  I don’t have to go digging through bags to find the addresses.  I can easily find them each and every time.

We have been fortunate enough to travel and send postcards from Paris and Poland, The Netherlands and Austria.  We have been lucky enough to visit Quebec and explore Washington D.C.   We have also visited the Sea Lion Caves in Oregon and Gator land in Florida. DSCN4074 As a family, we have dipped our toes into glacier feed streams in Alaska and eaten fresh roasted peanuts at a flee market in Texas.  We have climbed over 400+ steps at Mount St. Michelle in Northern France.  A pilgrimage for many, there was a line to buy postcards.  People were bathed in Grace by being there and were bound and determined to share that experience with their loved ones.

When our boys were little, we traveled extensively.  Every single gift shop we went in, they chose a postcard for their scrap books.

We live in the Pacific Northwest.  Yes, it is home, however, sometimes, while visiting a local museum, we send out postcard to family and friends far away.  Just to share, part of our weekend.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. “ Augustine of Hippo

Here is the BEAUTIFUL part of my story.  Because we send out postcards.  We receive them.

DSCN5013This past week alone, we received some great post card souvenirs.  I have never traveled to Lake George.  However, I now can see the river boat in which my brother and sister-in-law relaxed upon.  I have not been to the Museum of Art at the University of Florida.  However, because my friend Miss Florida shared her visit, I too, got to experience one of the displays this season.

This coming week, we are headed to Mt. St. Helen’s (yes, the volcano),  Mt. Rainier (actually another volcano which hasn’t danced yet), our state capital, Olympia and the new major exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s in downtown Seattle.

You can be assured that I will indeed be buying postcards and share my adventures with friends and family.

“Not all those who wander are lost.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

The very next time you head out to explore, near your home or far away, I would LOVE a post card. Cross my heart, I promise to share one with you.  Do you send and share postcards?  Do you think it is old fashion?  Would you rather just post a quick picture on face book?

Just for a moment, close your eyes, and remember that little thrill you get, when you go to your mail box and there is a post card from Ireland, or Sri Lanka?  That small cardboard picture has come a very long way, just for you.

This past weekend we traveled 4 hours north of our home, to the Bellingham Ferry Terminal.  20140719_154508The view was stunning.  Through the glorious dome window and between raindrops and clouds, I could see majestic water and mountains  and Mr. Right standing right smack in the middle of all that goodness.  (Geesh, that man still gives me goosebumps.  Jeepers, I love that man with my whole spirit and soul.)

Yes, I purchased a post card in the gift shop.

Our aunt used to travel quite a bit.  She had a wicked sense of humor.  She always signed her cards, the weather is here, wish you were fine, Love Aunt Pat & Uncle Bob.

Please, please, please buy and send a postcard.  You will double the joy to get from visiting a new or old place.  Summer isn’t over yet, get out there and explore and don’t forget to send a postcard or two.  Happy Trails, friend, Happy Trails.

healing, seek, wellness

go ahead, take a drink

water fawcetWe are electric – when your cells don’t have enough fluid they lose their conductivity.   While reading this post, please pour yourself a glass of water.  I am not the best at remembering to drink all that I need, I am making the effort and getting better.   Having trouble sleeping or staying asleep, might be because dehydration reduces melatonin?  Hydration helps in all sorts of ways.  I am quite sure you have done your own research.  You don’t need me touting the benefits of water.    Now, I am not suggesting you should drink your body weight in water after 9:00 pm, just maybe give yourself a little grace and have an extra glass or two during the day.

Hold on there partner, before you hike over to the tap and pour yourself a nice tall drink of water………………  let’s talk.  Sure I know it is going to make some people mad.  Heck, I am so mad I want to cry.  Better yet,  I just put on my big girl red boots and screamed Holy Hydration!  (yes, it scared the dog.  oops)

I am trying to find health and wellness.  I am giving it an honest effort.

Why so mad you ask?  We live in a pretty normal, regular, run of the mill neighborhood and town.  We received our water bill for the month.  Very reasonable.  Included in our bill was a Water Quality Report.  Yes, I know some of you are going to say, “we have excellent water, we have well water, we have fresh spring water, we only drink bottled water”…… I dare you to look it up and do the research.  www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/

Here is what (yes, they are forced by the government regulations to publish a water report yearly) the water company put on the back of the page of their report.  While they list  all the wonderful things their water is doing for us, they do have to put this teeny tiny warning.  I would type it in red if I could.water clean

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general populations.  Immune compromised people such as those with cancer, those who have undergone transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, elderly and infants can be particularly at risk from infections.  These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers…..

“seek advice”?  Make a doctor’s appointment and ask the doctor, “hey, person in a white coat, should I drink water?  Is my water safe to drink?”  What does this mean?  Little kids who are two or three are “fine” to drink contaminated water?  One year olds who are having food and formula rehydrated with tap water?  Someone who is 34 and gets three or four colds a year (sad to say, that means your immune system is not functioning properly), people who have Diabetes, Lupus, Liver problems, Kidney problems, back problems, knee problems and a million other issues are completely “fine” with drinking water that will make our Liver and Kidneys work over time? Drinking water that will compromise our health and wellness?    Are all of those people are just “fine” to get a little bit of infection from our water source?

water 2 I do my research.  Yes, water is something I learned buckets about.  We purchased the Berkey water filter almost a year ago.  http://www.berkeywater.com/start.main.html  We are thrilled with our purchase.  We use it for drinking , cooking, making coffee, offering up fresh dog water…. the list goes on.  We have eliminated fluoride and other toxic chemicals from our life.  We fill our travel mugs to take with us.   Taking the huge filter system with us on the road or to work, um, is not viable.  Yesterday, I was reading about the Soma Water Filter.  Looks and sounds perfect for work and travel.  It might be something to look into.  https://www.drinksoma.com/92685

We are in this together.  We need to help each other and lift each other up.  This is serious.  Why on earth are we okay about the  water being brought into our homes?  Why are we okay with added fluoride?  Why are we not talking more about this?  Why are we not educated about what we are serving our families?  If you can’t tell by my words, I am frustrated.  I am exasperated.  we rise by lifting others

Love to have some of your input and help to educate me.  I am trying very hard, everyday to make good choices about my health and my family’s health. The road to good health seems a bit curvy and twisty.  When I first began this journey towards wellness, I wrote a person who was helping me make better choices.  I said, “I feel like I am swimming up-stream”.  He said, “you are”.

I am soaking wet from swimming up-stream.  I am a bit tired of having to research every single thing in my life.  I KNOW other folks must have done some of this research.  Please, please for the sake of my sanity, share what you have learned.  Thank you so much in advance.  I really do appreciate and value the help.

Here’s to our good health and wellness!

“Water, water everywhere, All the boards did shrink; Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

cooking, food review, fresh, good behavior, grace, seek

Peas on Earth

peas freshPart of my tag line, is “All while avoiding canned peas.”  I stand by that, I am not changing the words or the passion.

The famous FDA states that the average American adult consumes 140-200 pounds of sugar a year.  Dr. Oz guesstimates 150 pounds a year and yet another study I looked at sites 100 pounds of sugar a year per person.  No matter who you believe, that is A LOT of sugar.

Wait, oodles of my friends and family say, oh I don’t have a sweet tooth, I don’t eat sugar.  We don’t “do” sugar.  Really?

What on earth do canned peas and sugar have in common?  Hold onto your snazzy Easter bonnets…………………..

So where is everyone getting all the sugar from?  Sure the salad dressings some buy are filled with it, store bought peanut butter (I will wait while you go check the label), an occasional soda or a gluten-free bakery treat (usually gluten-free stuff is crammed with sugar) AND CANNED PEAS.

What was that?  Yes, you read it correctly.  The nasty tasting and weird colored canned pea just dropped another rung on my ladder of yucky stuff.  While “someone” in our family loves canned peas, I am still turning up my nose like a spoiled child not taught to embrace vegetables.  While standing in the grocery aisle waiting for “someone” to choose his “poison”, I flipped over the cans and read the label.  Peas, sugar, salt and water.  Peas, sugar, salt and water.  Peas, sugar, salt and water.  Um, excuse me?  The four brands I checked:  Libby, Delmonte, LeSuer and Green Giant.

Has our society sunk so low that we have to add sugar to get people to eat their peas?

Mr. Right bought a few bags of frozen peas.  Ingredients: peas  peas frozen

Life in our home is back on an even keel.  Actually a little happier.  He gets his peas and we ditched just a bit more sugar.

I am smiling politely, holding out for fresh peas come late Spring.

We are in this together.  Here’s to our health and wellness!

peas on earth

 

fresh, haPPY, seek

zesty role models

On the path less travelled, the journey of wellness and health, I am seeking out zesty role models.

nancy devilleI have chosen several.   I have quilting role models and wife role models.  I have mom role models and women who are amazing in their chosen fields.

I have ZESTY role models who by some way or another, encourage me to bike farther, jump longer and stretch further during yoga time.susan powter

When I think of healthy bodies and ease of movement and long, “dancer”  muscles, I have some role models that are near my age and several that are 60+ years old.

They inspire me.  They give me hope.  Honest to goodness hope.

I love that they are SMART women.  They work their brain muscles every single day.  Smart is so sexy and desirable.  I am always impressed and striving for smart.

I LOVE that all of the women I look to, are strong.  They work out daily.  They stretch those long lean muscles.  They keep moving.  (In my fake world of knowing them) I would never see them slouched over a grocery cart, shuffling along.  I never imagine them eating from a carton of dairy ice cream with a metal spoon, sitting on the sofa. I always, always imagine them walking briskly on the beach, or jump roping with their grandkids or giggling while bouncing on a rebounder. jamie curtissharon stone

They are vibrant and have great posture.  They engage their minds and their bodies.  They choose mostly natural.  They value what they have and share it with others.

We all need role models.  Even if we take bits and pieces of the good (or the good we see) from this sassy gal or that one.

Please tell me about yours.  I would love to expand my world.

ps.  yes, there are some fine women out there who are wise and smart and not fit.  I still love them too.  Yes, some of my role models have dyed hair and eat meat and promote products I do not use.  I just love these gals for their ZEST for life and how they fit stretching and exercise and breathing and fresh air into their lives.