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

 

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friends, garden, gardening, Uncategorized

just checking

20170423_174116-1-1_resized_1A friend sent me a message.

“Hey, you still there?  Just checking.”

I proceeded to answer with 4 long paragraphs.

Oh dear, I think the salutation was meant just as a “hi, how ya doin’ ” kind of thing.   Guess, I was over zealous in my response.

Lately, it seems to be a weird season in my world.  I feel like I am moving along quietly, making things to give, studying………oh, I don’t know, keeping my head down and moving forward.

When someone gently taps me on the shoulder and asks if I am still here, the dam breaks and I gush about this and that.

I rambled on about my gardening.  One entire raised bed is planted with potatoes. Before you know it, I will be sharing pictures of deep verdant green leaves of my growing Yukon Gold taters!   I also mentioned that I crushed all my saved up egg shells and worked them into the bed that will be lush to overflowing with tomatoes!

20170415_165650_resizedI was excited to announce that I finally bought a fig tree.  Oh, I dream of the day when I am complaining about what other recipe I could find to use up all the figs I grow!  Waiting for the soaking rain to lighten up just a bit so “we” (read that as Mr. Right) can dig a hole and plant my new tree.

I blathered on about crafting and sewing. During my yucky medicine time during lunch, I like to concentrate on a new crochet stitch to learn.  By the end of lunch time, I have figured out the stitch and then find pockets of time here and there to finish another hat to donate.   (Good news, I think I have a line on another place to donate baby hats instead of just the hospital and that makes me happy.)

I am still here.

I am on the last coat of white paint for a baseboard project.  I am toying with the idea of painting the back of the front door.  Two outdoor, humongous flower pots are emptied, cleaned and drying…just waiting for a non rain day, so I can paint them.   I purchased a new bar stool that is working very well.   Bought new sheets. Spent 16 plus hours learning and studying The Truth about Vaccines with Ty Bollinger.  (Excellent documentary 5 STAR rating)   Watched Hockey playoffs.  Then out of the blue, last week, I made the best crepes I think I have ever, ever made.

Oh, and I wanted to share one last thing.  I made a silly, goofy, happy Jelly Fish finger puppet.  Then I put it into an envelope and mailed it to a certain grandson.  Everyone loves snail mail.  Hey, funny….. I sent a jelly fish using snail mail! We were thrilled goofy grandparents watching a video of him being happy with his new creature.  heehee. Certainly, time well spent.  I think he really likes it.

Made him giggle.  SOOOOO worth it. 20170420_160714-1_resized

THANKS for checking in on me. Even if you didn’t want an entire run down of life in my neck of the woods, it sure felt nice to have someone ask.  Thanks for listening to my long-winded answer.

When I asked how life was in your neck of the woods, I really meant it.  I am interested in what you are reading or planting.  I want to know that for some weird reason you splurged and went out and got frozen yogurt with toppings. I will be happy to hear you too are waiting for the heavy rains to pass so you can plant your garden.

Makes me smile & feel safe knowing there are other humans out there that are kind enough to check in and see how life is tumbling along.

Gotta Swish Jellyfish……….I am headed into the kitchen to do a little baking.  Also into the sewing room to frame a just finished counted cross stitch piece.  I have 3.5 miles of biking to do and going to spend some time jumping on the rebounder. Fingers crossed the mail man comes to deliver a new vacuum ( you KNOW I will have something to say about that!)

Gotta tell ya, it feels mighty nice to have a friend check in on you.

Let’s make that happen today!  Just send this brief message to someone in your world today.

“Hey, you still there?  Just checking.”

In this together, chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

friends, friendship, gifts

friendship eggs

Similar to Facebook, sharing pictures and writing a blog post, you get to decide your “true” colors to show off.  You get to put your best foot forward, every single time.  Creating the illusion that everything turns out perfect.  Every single craft project or idea is smooth and effortless, exactly how you envisioned it.

20170407_162726-1_resized_1On social media, I only shared a picture of two sweet little crocheted slippers.  I did not show the first slipper with extra big loops, too big an opening on the bottom and the button sewn askew.   The final picture makes me look like I knew what I was doing.

Earlier today, I was reading about Greek Easter.  I was learning about their tradition of dyeing Easter eggs red.   Tomorrow is Holy Thursday and most Greek households will be dyeing their Easter eggs red to represent the blood of Christ and rebirth.Greek Easter

Friends learn about each other.  When a friend is sick, you learn everything you can cracking-easter-eggsabout said illness and try to help them heal through knowledge and wellness.

When friends are of a different religion you read up on it and try and learn everything you can.  You don’t necessarily want to switch your religious beliefs, you are just trying to be respectful of other lessons and customs.  That’s how we polish our skills of tolerance.  Friends aren’t ignorant about one another.  Friends take the time to respect others choices, learn & celebrate with them.

While Mr. Right & I observe Holy week as Methodist followers, we are open-minded to learn about and learn from other denominations.  Jewish temple oregon

Last weekend, Palm Sunday, we spent some time at a Jewish Temple. Learning and experiencing the grace of a different religion.

As Methodists, we color our eggs with pastel colors.  Soft pinks, pale greens, light yellow eggs show up so pretty in a basket of green Easter grass.

Today, to celebrate my friend and her family who happen to be Greek Orthodox, I decided to dye some Easter eggs red.  I wanted to share a glorious blog post about the perfect red eggs.  I wanted it to be reverent and holy.  I wanted it to symbolize the blood Christ shed for all of us, no matter what our religious preference.  Though some of our religious beliefs are different, we could still celebrate sameness.

beet dyed eggsNow, we have all used beets to dye eggs “red”.  While beets do color the eggs, not quite the brilliant red I was searching for.   The color is more of a 1970’s shade of mauve.

I didn’t want to drive to the store to purchase “special” red dye powder packets (created for Greek red Easter eggs) to get the red I wanted.   Heck, I have red food dye in the cupboard.  No, not the liquid cheap version.  I spent the extra money and a few years ago, bought the “professional” kit with lots of intense gel colors.   Yeah, that will work. 20170412_105405-1_resized

It did work, just not like I had hoped.

While the eggs are brilliant in color, it is not exactly the shade I was looking for.

I present to you my egg dying project for today.

At first,  I was slightly disappointed.  Not the reverent Holy red I was aiming to obtain.

Then a smile came over me.  Like it was meant to be.  

Not the brilliant red I was hoping to honor her and her religion with.

Not the soft pastel traditional egg color of my religion.

The most wonderful shade of friendship.

All our good parts mixed together.

Friends bring out the best colors in all of us.  Somehow I just know, she will be tickled pink to celebrate what we have.  20170412_105109-1_resized

Here’s to the color of friendship!

ps.  I typed this post with pink stained fingers.  haha  a symbol of true friendship!

 

 

 

friend, friendship, grateful, love, Uncategorized

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

 

 

chickens, friends, friendship, healing, health, Uncategorized

1,000 eggs

It was a dark and stormy night……………..

No, wrong guess.

Picture this:  It was a beautiful, blue sky, warm, sunny June afternoon, 2013.

I was extremely sick.  It wasn’t pretty.  It took effort just to get dressed and put lipstick on. Not the “movie star” kind of sick.  The real life, not good kind of illness.

My wise friend was stopping by to visit and bring something. I was thinking a nice, pretty card or a cheerful bouquet of flowers.

No, wrong guess.

Out the kitchen window, I saw a huge truck pulling a horse trailer pull through our circular drive way.  Along with her, were 4 teenagers.

Next they unloaded a brand new chicken coop, 3 chickens, bedding, organic feed, treats, water & food containers.  They caried it and set it all up in the backyard.

In the same whirlwind that they arrived, they left just as quickly.  They were headed out to pick up a load of hay for their horses.

That left me and our Golden Retriever, peeking into their coop, looking at 3 very young chickens.  Alone.

How the heck is this going to work?  (She had made a side deal with Mr. Right, if it didn’t work out, she would graciously take them back to her ranch.)

Remember earlier, I called her my wise friend?

Somehow, she knew I would have to turn on the computer and read.  She guessed I would have to get dressed and have Mr. Right drive me to a book store, to buy a couple of books.  In her smarty, awesomesauce, cowgirl way, she knew, I would have to get up off the sofa a couple of times a day to feed, water, fluff straw, check on my new animals.

My wise, amazing girlfriend had a feeling, that I would need to clean the coop.  Carry water, lift bedding, fill the food container.  In the beginning,  I was not able to lift a 25 pound bag of bedding, so I took small buckets.

My wise, amazing, thoughtful, beautiful friend, Kristy, knew that I needed organic eggs to eat.  She knew that I needed to be around “farm dirt” and straw and outdoor good germs to build my immune system.  In her wisdom, she knew I needed to feel grateful and thankful every single day.

Surprise, surprise, Mr. Right, only helped when he absolutely needed to.

I took care of them myself.  I never skipped a day.  Some times, it took me a half hour just to change the bedding and straw and give them fresh water.

One day, my little grand girlie was helping me and she said, “egg”.  WHAT!  I couldn’t actually believe that we had gotten an egg!  I had to take a picture.

Then somehow, a week went by and another.  People asked me how many eggs I had collected.  I kept track on the calendar.  I started taking pictures to share.  I didn’t want the eggs to roll off the counter during the photo shoot, so…….. one thing led to another and ……..well.

I started setting the eggs in things.  A basket, a dish, a creamer shaped like a frog, I put them in a fruit basket, and a bowl that had coffee beans.  I used anything I could find. I even made a calendar showcasing 12 pictures.

Here’s the update:

I still have one of the original chickens.  Since then, a couple more chickens have joined the party.  I currently have four chickens.  Yes, I still keep track of how many eggs I collect.  (It’s the best part, sort of like an Easter Egg hunt everyday!)  I am healthy enough to lift the bag of bedding.  I can move the coop.  I can walk to the neighbor’s to share my bounty.  We donate 20 chicks a month, so others can flourish, just like me.

Today, Friday, November 18, 2016, I am celebrating my 1,000 egg!  20161118_123658-1_resized_2

I am grateful.

I am healing.

Thanks in a huge part to my friend.  She was the only friend who believed I could/would do it.  She knew that I would get out of bed, put on my boots and tend to other creatures that needed my help.  I felt needed.

DSCN3160

 

Those dang chickens need me in the beautiful, blue, sunny skies as well as the blustery, wild wind, cold, pouring rain, boot wearing, dark stormy days.

Oh, I get it!

My friend.  She was there for me in the dark, stormy days…and yes, today, on a clear, beautiful day, she is in my corner, celebrating 1,000 eggs.

Boy Howdy, I am one grateful chick!

Who knew chickens could help me heal?

She did. 

 

 

 

 

cooking, friendship, haPPY, Uncategorized

one smart cookie

This blog post is to celebrate my friend, Natalie.

20160521_175755-1_resized (1)

Natalie is a pre-teen, her “Happy Place” is the kitchen. She is all over becoming a chef.

I love her spirit, her smarts and her willingness to learn. She has the best laugh that goes right along with her sense of humor.  When you meet N, it’s her smile that wins you over. Right away you notice she is a bit short in stature however, amazingly head and shoulders above the crowd.  (between you and me?  She IS going to become a chef, I just know it.)

Good gravy, when I was 11, I had excellent table manners and could properly thank anyone who brought me food.  My sisters nor I, were even allowed in the kitchen.  Apparently, “the stove was HOT”?

My young friend has amazing kitchen talent with skills to back that up.  We are not talking about “making” rice krispie treats and toast here folks.  She makes a Cilantro Lime Rice that will make you swoon, bakes, cooks up science experiments, operates a juicer like a pro and the list goes on and on.

N shared a wonderful scone recipe with me, so I am sharing this recipe (blog post) with her.  We trade recipes.  Sometimes we text (she uses her mom’s phone). Sometimes I send a recipe via  e-mail or snail mail.  This time, I thought I would shout it to the world that I know a smarty pants girl who has already found her calling.

I love that N is fascinated with cooking, baking and creating.  Her willingness and interest to do the research, the prep work, the serving, as well as the clean up, are evident with the final product.   I adore that she isn’t shy about asking food questions and then listens to the answers. You can actually feel her excitement towards learning about cooking.  Heck, she went as Giada for Halloween one year!  Now that is passion!

When you watch her serve a homemade treat to her dad, mom or brother…. you notice that she already “get’s it”.  By making quality food, N figured out that she can show love and respect to her family.  She figured out in short order,  in her own home, how sincerely good food nurtures both mind and body.

Yesterday, I made these really good, seriously good, moist Strawberry Granola Bars (vegan).  While baking, the aroma had my mouth-watering and I thought instantly, oh, I have got to share this one with Natalie.

strawberry granola bars, veganI found the recipe on http://wonkywonderful.com/strawberry-oatmeal-vegan-breakfast-bars/   A great food blogger is like a window to the world.  Thank heavens they share so much.

So between you and me girlfriend…. Very simple and straightforward recipe.  I will make again.  I switched the oatmeal and used gluten-free oats.  I used parchment in place of foil. I replaced the flour with Better Batter Flour mix which is gluten free,  I used my own homemade strawberry jam and it calls for Almond Butter or Cashew Butter… this is where you will use Cashew Butter for your family’s allergy.

Cooking tip of the day:  My girl Gabi is a real live chef.  She wears shoes in the kitchen.  No, not flip-flops, not cute gladiator sandals, real shoes like sneakers or clogs.  While I know you are very careful while cooking and baking, accidents happen to everyone.  Hot liquid spilled on your tootsies or a knife dropped could spell trouble for your cute toes.  Observe any accomplished chef and look at their feet.  Yes, shoes.  enough said.

Every chef worth their weight in salt (a world of beautiful and amazing salts filled with minerals await you), feels giddy that moment you offer up delicious food that feeds both body & soul.

This recipe is one of those good ones, with excellent ingredients to produce a final product worthy of sharing.  Put this recipe in the column of such high quality and wonderful flavor, not a person will ask if it is vegan.

Make food so good, so flavorful, no one will put a label on it.  Your mission should be to cook and bake sustainable, high quality, tasty food that friends will just say, may I please have seconds?

The color is stunning.  The flavor combination is spot on.  That first bite into the moist bar will lead to another bite.

So, I raise my Strawberry Oatmeal Bar to you my friend!  Cheers!  Yum!

Here’s to you and your calling!chalkboard cooking

It is a pleasure to watch your dream unfold right before you.

A tip of the hat to your wonderful parents for raising such a kind & smart cookie. Parents who are giving you such a strong foundation of love and support that you have the freedom to explore who you are, what you want to be.

Natalie, my friend,  keep studying,  a smart chef is always a very good thing.  You have before you the ability to heal the world through nutrition.  Yes, my friend food heals, but you already know that.  Just for a moment, use your imagination and think…. how many people will I be able to feed and heal in my lifetime?  The number will surprise you.  Thousands upon thousands of people will be Bathed in Grace by your skill and fed by your hands.

Stay curious & creative….yes, we can taste the love in food prepared by a chef who embraces what they do.   And for heaven sake…….keep asking questions and trying new things.

You got this girlfriend.

Bon Appetit

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.  Virginia Woolf

ps.   I feel the need for Asian food.  We have to get together to make pot stickers, soon!

*****Housekeeping note:  Because my friend is under 18 years old, I asked for and received permission from her parents to post a picture of her.

 

 

 

 

friendship, gifts, goodness, grace, haPPY, healing, Uncategorized

invisible glitter

I don’t normally open presents before Christmas day.  For some goofy reason, I couldn’t wait.  The box came in the mail, it had my name on it. I tore into it like a sleepy eyed 8 year old on Christmas morning.

I read the tag.  Somehow, seeing my name written on a gift tag gives me a giddy feeling in the pit of my stomach.  A tiny touch of sparkle on the edge of the tag offers up a promise of goodness to come.20151217_105212-1_resized

It’s for me.  Rubbing hands together in glee!

I looked at the wrapping.  I fell in love with the soft, bendy glittery white snowflake under the ribbon.  Note to self:  buy oodles for next year and slap those puppies (not real puppies) on all the gifts we give and mail.

Okay, I take off the ribbon (I set aside and save, ’cause you KNOW I am going to reuse that piece of beauty).  I peel back the paper.  Inch by inch, I reveal a bit more…….paper.  I rip a bit and then I grab and shred.  It is not lady like at all.  I have a need to know.  What the heck is hidden inside this jaunty red paper?

My, my, my, what do we have here?

Handmade mittens!  Mittens made with recycled sweaters & fabric! Don’t ya just swoon when something beautiful is made from something that was once beautiful?  It’s like all the goodness from the first creation is jam packed into the new and improved creation.

To a person who is in the habit of making homemade gifts, receiving something handmade is GLORIOUS!!!!!  It doesn’t happen often.  It is the grand daddy of all gifts.  Handmade just for me!

…and they fit! Years ago, my mother in law knit me a pair of mittens that were extra big.  She thought my request was silly.  It’s just that this girl has some big paws on her.  To find cute gloves or mittens that fit is quite a feat. 20151216_125814_resized

The exact moment I slipped my hands inside my very own handmade mittens, I felt the warmth.  They are soft, thick, chunky and cozy.  They surrounded my hands with warmth and a little something else.

I was trying to put my finger on it.

Grace.  Oh that’s it.

My friend thought enough of me to mail a wonderful, charming, handmade gift.       It IS the mittens and yet, it is so much more.

She sends me funny things to entertain me when I have my daily medicine.  She mails me beautiful cards, somehow “knowing” the perfect time.  We trade funny stories to make each other giggle.

We live on opposite coasts, we grew up with different religions, we only “met” a couple years ago.  Somehow by Grace, we know a good thing when it smacks us in the face.

We relish the gift of grace we have been given.  Time to figure out all the amazing things we have in common.  We both have two sisters.  We both have two children.  We both married our Mr. Rights. We both love swimming.  We both keep chickens.  We both…..

We both live our lives, arms wide open, looking for Grace.      grace quote

In a wacky twist of technology, my friend and I met via the internet. The thread that tied us together?  Our blogs.  We both write. You can visit her

http://katherinesdaughter.com/

Some may say it was luck that brought us together.  Or was it quite possibly spiritual Grace?  Maybe, just maybe by holding our arms & hearts open we were ready when Grace was?

We have never met in person (plans are in the works).  We took a chance.  Oh yes, we were cautious at first.  We did not give away too much.   We carefully, slowly built up trust and a really beautiful friendship.

The kind of friendship where you can talk until the battery runs out in your phone and if your nose is too stuffy to talk, text until it is time to go make dinner.

Grace is all around us.  It’s free for the taking and BOY HOWDY, it feels lovely.

Grace may be inside a card.  Like invisible glitter it falls all over you when you open it.  No matter how much you try, you can never brush it all off.  Once Grace happens, you are never the same.  Your spirit is just a bit more lovely, a tiny bit more sparkly.

Grace may be standing next to you in the grocery line. You feel giddy when you make a connection with an 85 year old gentleman buying birthday candles for his wife,  because he reminds you of your dad. Invisible glitter strikes again.  Two people, now with a touch more sparkle just because they bumped into one another.

Maybe we just have to be open and spread our arms as wide as they can go?  (BIG yoga stretch here!)  Maybe our pumps need to be primed and ready to accept such goodness?

You never know, you might just find Grace hidden inside a handmade mitten.  In that very ordinary moment, you are bathed in Grace and never quite the same again.

Invisible glitter is covering both your hands & spirit, adding just a teeny bit more sparkle to your spirit.