one glass of water

If you every complain about not having enough storage, might I suggest embarking on painting all the cabinets you have?   Jeepers, it takes some time.  Yes, the magic of television has the kitchen cupboards painted in a matter of a 60-minute television show.  No, in real life, it does not happen like that.

This past weekend, while painting cabinets, a locksmith arrived at our home to install a new front door lock and handle.

I got down off the ladder, grabbed an icy cold sparkling water, said hello, shook his hand and offered him a cool drink.

His English was very good, however, he asked what is this?  I thought he meant, what was in the can.  Mr. Right told him like soda only water.  He was confused about us giving it to him.


I will let that settle in your throat &  heart.  I instantly felt ashamed of my fellow-man.


I got tears in my eyes.

The media today would have you to believe that huge groups of people are treating each other with disrespect.


APPARENTLY, one person by one person we as a society are not treating each other with basic kindness.

I quietly went back to painting, he got to work.

Of course, within 45 minutes, his work was completed and I had worked up a mighty good head of steam.

20170710_081205-1_resizedWe thanked him, paid, shook his hand and sent him on his way.

As the locksmith got in his work van and began to drive away, the first thing I said to Mr. Right, “I’d give a prisoner a glass of water.”

APPARENTLY, some folks have not been taught common decency, common courtesy, basic human manners.  APPARENTLY, the locksmith who works a 40 hour plus week, (I have no idea how many customers that is per day) has been to MANY homes, businesses, people locked out of cars (doesn’t count, I am assuming you don’t have a cold beverage in your purse awaiting a locksmith) …………………… and NO ONE has ever offered him a drink of water! 



Allow me to enlighten you.

When someone (guest or worker) comes into your home, you offer them a beverage.   Is that one of the first things you do when someone comes to your office?

When someone comes into your home, you offer them a beverage.

Did you teach your children?

Did you teach your children? Okay, not too late.  Tell them right this moment.  I’ll wait for you to come back.  YES, it is that basic and that important.

I will not share with you how many “friends” homes I have been to and never offered a glass of water. People might be embarrassed to see their names printed.  Oh, and that would be rude on my part.

From this moment on, NO excuses!  My mother never taught me that.  Oh, he wasn’t going to be here long.  He is just cutting the lawn outside.  It isn’t that hot out.  They just stopped by for a moment.  I didn’t have anything to offer.  I saw she had her own water bottle while she repaired our fence.

NO, I don’t mean the casual comment, “Would you like a drink?” Leaving the responsibility up to the guest in your home.  You are putting them in an awkward position.

I am going to be very clear here.  HAND the person a glass of water or ice tea or hot cocoa or hot coffee and OFFER the person the drink.  

Hello, welcome to our home, would you like some water? (AS YOU ARE HANDING IT TO THEM)glass of water

Are you treating your fellow man with gracious behavior?

Monday seems like the perfect day for a rant.

In this together, friends.  Let’s try to treat each other with kindness.

Please try harder to be nice.




the need to knead

Some weeks just feel out of sorts.

Emotional or stressful, whatever the heck you want to call it……it sort of hangs in the air.

Like when you accidentally burn beautiful little orange pieces of carrots for fried rice.  Then you have to stop and toss and take out the garbage and scrub & clean the pan five times.  Then you start over, and yet somehow that smell of burnt carrots is still lingering, hanging in the air, for quite some time.  Come back into the kitchen, windows open, 3 hours later, yep, it is still faintly floating in the air.

This past week, some of us have dealt with wedding stress, the stress of being unwell, injury, memories of the past, poor sleep, missed talking to grands, stubbed our little toe on our right foot,   however, I can safely say, we all have felt the punch of our election.  Boy Howdy, did we all feel the stress.  yikes.

No matter what side you were on or if you were balanced precariously on the fence……..political stress packs a wallop.  (I won’t mention the poor behavior of talking badly about others.  They all better be on their knees thanking the Good Lord, that I am not their mother.  My kitchen floor would be spotless!  If you have time and energy to talk bad about others, then I guess you have time to scrub my floor or rake my leaves, or wash my windows?)  If you would like, you can certainly ask our grown boys how I feel about talking poorly about others.  I am quite sure they will fill you in.

The stress is still lingering, floating all around us.

Back to basics my friend.

When I can’t seem to move gracefully forward, I notice that I stop and stay put.  I do things that I can control.  I take extra time to wash dishes, by hand.  I don’t grumble about folding laundry, I just find the calm in the process.  I don’t mind plucking weeds or raking leaves.  I can see the results of my efforts.  I send cards.  I write actual letters & walk to the mailbox and send.

I bake.

I measure and stir and use a whisk.

Oh sure, I have a great machine with a wonderful dough hook.  I didn’t use it.

I used my hands.  I needed to knead dough.  I wanted to work with my hands.  I was making something to give.  Not to sound to “Medusa Mom crazy”….. however…………..I needed to feel connected to it.

20161111_142418_resized_2All with the idea, there is no way, we could ever eat all this food before it spoils.

So instead of fretting and fussing over things I couldn’t/can’t control , I decided to bake rolls for some neighbors.   No other reason than just to share with our neighbors.

To remember and to remind myself that we belong to each other.  Not what the news reporters tell me nor what I see on face book.

Plain and simple:  We belong to each other. 


two words

After 5 decades of rules, from time to time, you may find me using paper napkins, or wearing jeans to a museum with Mr. Right, or (gasp) serving coffee in a mug.  We all know that a proper young lady or gentleman drinks out of a cup with a saucer.  goodness sakes.

good mannersYou may have figured out by now, that I was raised with a set of strict guidelines.  Call them manners or proper etiquette, they were our rules to live by.  Period.  No questions asked.  Just follow the rules.

It did not matter one bit, if you got up on the wrong side of the bed.  Your good manners should be polished and apparent.

As wild and crazy as I can be sometimes,  those rules are engraved in my brain. I can’t help but do things a certain way.

The one slight problem with having a set of rules that you live by, is when othersgood manners saying don’t understand your passion.  (read that as: never under-estimate how much work my mother went to, to make absolutely sure her three girls would become ladies)

Here is a pet peeve of mine:

While shopping, or dining at a restaurant or interacting with the public in any shape or form  …….. some folks have slid into a bad habit.    It is not wrong, it just rubs ME the wrong way.

I say, “Thank you“.

They say, “no problem“.

URGH, me wanting to pull my hair out.  Me screaming on the inside. Me wanting to jump up and down and teach them a better choice.  A better way to answer my two words.  

If I had used those words, my mother would correct me and say……the proper answer should be “You are welcome“.

I discovered a more up to date, friendly, positive, lovely answer.  I use it on all my business correspondence/invoices.

It was my pleasure to bake for you today. 

Last night, we chose to indulge in a new restaurant in town, employing very young servers and wait staff.  The person taking our order, Alexandra, still had her braces on and was learning the fine art of “small talk”.  She did a very good job.

The owner has taught each of his employees how to answer when a customer says “thank you”.

Two words:

My Pleasure. 

I overheard, “My pleasure, sir”.  “Oh, it was my pleasure”.  “Certainly, it was my pleasure”.

In place of a causal & almost disrespectful sounding, off the cuff  “no problem”, the owner of the restaurant has quickly taught several young employees a new to them, twist. In the blink of an eye, the young servers went from casual teenagers to polished employees.

Same short two-word answer. Efficient and polite.

However, the customer receiving it, feels delighted that they chose to spend their money in this establishment.  The person feels of value.

Good Manners go a long way in making others feel at their best.

“Good Manners are just a way of showing other people that we have respect for them.” B. Kelly

Was the food good at the new restaurant?  Indeed.  Was the establishment clean and tidy?  5 star.  Were the employees professional and polished?  Yes.

Will we visit again?

It will be our pleasure.

no receipt, please

images (4)We all know about receipts.  I don’t have to explain to you, my smarty pants friends and family. We all know that they contain BPA.
I am trying everyday to heal.  Every single day, I have oodles of things I do to get well.
It is what I do.  I am healing.
I am trying to leave sickness behind me.  I am trying to build up my immune system………….
You can figure out why I am trying to eliminate any and all toxins that can enter quickly into my blood stream.
This is bad stuff.  Bad mojo, don’t want no bad mojo!
In case your second cousin, on your mother’s side, doesn’t know about the receipts…….here is a site you can send him:
 You all know that Mr. Right and I rarely squabble.   We very rarely have public disagreements.
We discuss this WAY TOO MUCH in public places.
Here is the thing, I am trying to avoid taking the receipts……….(my life is at stake here folks).
He says just don’t take the receipt.
I feel impolite when I don’t take it.  I guess it is habit?  The cashier is putting on a friendly, high-pitched voice… 
” smiling………here’s your receipt!” 
If, I check myself out, sure I can easily “forget” to take it and just leave it there.
The grocery store, post office, retail store most of the time lump it together with my change.  Here you go.
It is awkward and a mess.  I feel bad.  I don’t know how to say, I can’t touch that.
I take it sometimes.
I am getting better.  Mr. Right would say not good enough. download (1)
I like that the article above says, ask the clerk ahead of time not to print one.  Okay, if I can work up the courage to say that.  I will try.
Wednesday in the Post Office, I mailed one thing.  70 cents.  I reached for my change, said thank you and turned to walk away.  In a loud voice, the “kind” cashier yelled, (in front of 8 other people), I was turning red at this point, “Ma’am, you forgot your receipt”.  I turned back and took it.
I came home and washed my hands.
Any suggestions will be happily accepted.  
I do not want to take the receipt any longer.
 I no longer want to squabble with Mr. Right about this.
I am educated and understand the ramifications.  I want to make this choice, strongly and politely.
Please, any suggestions would be appreciated on how you or your family members refuse, yet still politely and not taking the time to educate every single person over 70 cents……. how you not take the receipt.
Work with me cashiers of the world, I am trying to get healthy here!
Thanks in advance.   I politely await your reply.
Thank you.
ps.  Pictures shown are not my actual receipts.  Breathe easy, Mr. Right.

a jaunty tip of the hat

DSCN4529For some odd reason, I feel like an 9-year-old boy who is digging in his heels about writing thank you notes.  I have a great selection of cards to choose from. There are plenty of postage stamps ready to use.

I was showered with amazing, lovely, cheerful, funny, delicious birthday gifts, cards & wishes.  I do indeed have oodles to be grateful for.

It is a divine feeling to be washed in Grace and Goodness.  Having so many people to thank is a blessing not a drudgery.  Somehow, I have decided that each note should be heart-felt and sincere.  Not just perfunctory.  I want them to have meaning.  I want to add stickers and maybe a picture from our trip.  I want the thank you card to feel almost like getting a gift.  I want to use words that convey, gratitude and happiness.  I am swirling ideas around and thinking of fancy Nancy words.  I want to use grown up snazzy words that express a GRATEFUL spirit. TY 2

I want to write the perfect note for the givers thoughtfulness.  Oh sure, I know that thank you cards have gone out of style.  A quick  thank you on face book seems to be more the normal venue now a days.  I don’t want to be normal.  I don’t want to slide under the radar.  I want to be genuinely grateful and gracious and share my happiness with the giver.

The moment the person opens my thank you card, I want them to “feel” the goodness.  Oh no, not like filling with confetti, that when you open the card and it all flutters, like in slow motion into the stove top…………………………….. don’t ask………………………………  I want them to feel…… like they were just given a hug and a jaunty tip of the hat for the thoughtful and kind gift.

The pressure is all from me.  There is no stern mother hovering over me telling me what is proper, use good penmanship, no….. young ladies don’t doodle on thank you cards……..  Yes, I am the proud owner of several well written books on etiquette.  I have attended  many “White Gloves and Party Manners” classes.  I even have lovely pens to choose from.  (between you and me, I prefer the $1.99 pack of 10 Black Bic pens)

pen 2Hey, remember those pens we all had in Junior High School?  It was rather chunky and had 10 different colors to choose from.  You somehow (magic)  clicked the button down and you instantly got a different colored ink.  I used up the cool mint green ink.  Gee, I wonder if anyone could actually see the cool mint green color on white paper?  Did anyone try to push down two of the pen colors at the same time?  I wanted to write with two colors at once.  Pink and Green.  It got sort of jammed up, so I panicked and pushed it back and never tried again.  Even I admit the yellow ink was hard to see.

Now that I think about it, my proper mother must have been exhausted.  So many, many rules.   I wonder why she didn’t just say, use whatever pen you want?  Just get the notes done.   Why so many rules?   Yes, I have an arsenal of valuable information that I have ingrained in my being.  Yes, I know the proper way to write a variety of notes.  Maybe it’s like having a very powerful car?  You don’t utilize all that power all the time, it just makes for a better running machine.  As much as I complain about the rules growing up, I am grateful for the resources.  I live my life by them.  They help guide me and give me comfort at times.  It is like a security blanket.  I do indeed know what to do and how to act in all sorts of situations.

We tried to teach our children that thank you notes were a gesture on their part.  A kind and considerate way to say thank you.  No, people will not disown you if you forget to write one.  It is just one small gesture that helps our civility.  It is a small act that helps define who we are.

Good Manners are appreciated as much as bad manners are abhorred.  B. McGill

I like adding stickers and doodles.  I like drawing arrows and stars and swirls.  I like slipping in a picture and writing a funny caption.

Thank you notes are indeed a lovely way to let the gift giver know how their kind and thoughtful gesture made you giddy with pure happy.

Pep talks to ones self are a good way to move forward.   Excuse me please, while I go find my snazzy pen.

may I borrow your handkercheif?

sprinkle bottleMy mother would be watching “As the World Turns” and I could smell her ironing.  She had a sprinkle bottle.  It was full of water and she would sprinkle the item and then iron out all the wrinkles.  Her iron, in the “olden days” had no steam feature.  She had to make her own steam.  I was a young girl and it was hard to have “quiet time” and not talk while she watched her one television show a day.

I would wait and wait some more.  I knew at the end of her ironing for the day, she would sometimes say, okay, you can iron.  Weird, how she made it so I WANTED to iron?  Pretty smart thinking.  There was a basket with 10-15 of my father’s handkerchiefs.  Some were pure white, others had his initials on the corner.  D A B  On others there would just be a single letter B.  Then there was a couple with a very thin line of blue running across one edge.  My father wore a suit and tie every single day to work.  Every single day he carried a handkerchief.   Each was to be pressed flat, then folded over, then folded again and once more.  Then stacked neatly.  She would put them away in a very tall wardrobe closet that had all of his clothing and socks etc.  handkerchiefs

Mr. Right carries a handkerchief every single day of his life.  I can’t count the number of times while marrying a young couple, the bride’s tears are spilling over and I see Mr. Right reach for his pocket.  It is bittersweet for me.  I LOVE that exact moment when I see his hand start to reach for his pocket.  Also, I am very sad that NO ONE has taught the groom to be, he needs to carry a handkerchief.  More than one bride has walked back down the aisle without a fancy, lacy, sentimental, lady like hankie, but in its place was a plain, white, cotton, man’s classic, simple, ironed handkerchief.

Yes, even while he served in the US Army.  Every day, tucked in his pocket was a handkerchief.  With his Class A uniform or Dress Blues, he carried a white one.  With his BDU’s he always carried a neatly pressed Olive drab-colored one.  I mean that, every single day.  If he has on cargo shorts and flip-flops, I can guarantee somewhere in those cargo pockets there is a neatly pressed handkerchief.

Okay, maybe it is a “daddy issue” throwback.  I love, adore, melt when a man exhibits those gentleman characteristics.  One of the reasons my heart was aflutter when I met Mr. Right was because of his polished manners.  One of the things I LOVE about him.   We spent countless hours teaching our boys, good manners.  Because IT MATTERS!

Good manners go hand in hand with being kind.  Offering help if need be.

“Etiquette – a fancy word for simple kindness.”  Elsa Maxwell

iron dayI have been offered a neatly pressed white handkerchief in church, at funerals, during  weddings.  I have been silently handed one in a hospital.  I have chewed a hang nail in a very unlady like fashion, while bored riding in a car and have been handed a handkerchief.  I have asked for his handkerchief to clean off something on my glasses.

“How to be a Gentleman” by John Bridges      This is a book we have read, taught from and given over and over and over.  Yes, as a gift,  I have included a package of, you guessed it handkerchiefs.   It is a rather slender book, and if I may….the last page reads:

“A gentleman never makes himself the center of attention.  His goal is to make life easier, not just for himself but for his friends, his acquaintances, and the world at large.  Because he is a gentleman, he does not see this as a burden.  Instead, it is a challenge he faces eagerly every day. “

Yes, I am well aware that many make fun of good polished manners. Some less educated, thinking they are “old-fashioned”.    I am guessing it is because they wish someone had taught them.  Just by observing, I see a need to polish the apple so to speak.  It is time to bring back some good “old-fashioned” manners.  We are in need of kindness in the form of good manners in the work place, the home, the movies, the grocery store.  The time has come folks.

Just ask our daughter in-laws if good manners matter.  🙂  I am guessing they would not have gone on a second date, if said gentleman wasn’t…..a gentleman.

Yesterday, while ironing & smiling (because I was done ironing for the day and because luckily I have steam built-in) I ended with a stack of handkerchiefs.  Folded & pressed over and then over again.


ever heard of the golden rule?

Yesterday was a tough one.

Today, because of poor sleep, I am going to rant and rave.  This is NOT directed towards our children.  They were raised better than the grown adult people I encountered yesterday.  Our children have extremely good manners and good values and good spirits.  They would never in a million years behave such as two adults behaved yesterday.  If they did and I found out about it…………………I don’t care how old they are or where they were living.  Momma Bear would buy a plane ticket and have someone on their knees scrubbing my kitchen floor while I went over the rules once again about being kind to others and using good manners.

good mannersWhere have all the manners gone?   If you somehow have found other more important things to fill your brain with, maybe your spouse can smack you on the head with a fuzzy slipper and can gently remind you that good manners make our society run along and we can behave like civilized human beings.

“Politeness is half good manners and half good lying.”  M. Little

When someone’s looses a parent at your work place, you send a card.  period.  You send it to their home address.  You PRETEND to care and you show good manners by sending a card.  Talking behind their back and saying “did you hear” is not kind.  It is not nice.  Get off your throne, go buy a fruit basket or make a loaf of bread and take it to them.  Be decent.  Grow up people.  When you are old enough to hold down a job, live on your own………… are old enough to spend 50 cents on a stamp and buy a 1.00 sympathy card at the dollar store.  Heck, I think they sell them 2 for a dollar.  So for about $1.00 you can actually pretend that you have been taught some good sense and send a card to a person who is hurting.

Don’t think for one minute by you sending one silly card, people will think you have good manners and have a kind heart.  You my friend, have a long, long way to go.  Yet, it would be a beginning and that alone is worth something.

“I have a respect for manners as such, they are a way of dealing with people you don’t agree with or like.”  Margaret Mead

When someone you know has an extremely ill friend, you kindly mention it in conversation.  “Hi, how are you?  How is your friend doing?”  That is called having GOOD MANNERS.  The person can say “fine, thanks for asking” and move on.  period.    You don’t use your knowledge as power over people…………………shhhhhh, we aren’t telling some people.  You DO NOT make the person who inquired about your friend feel bad and awkward for asking.  They were just trying to be kind.  They were being civilized.  Seriously people.  Trying to make someone feel bad because they took the time to ask about YOUR friend, is awful and nasty.  You should be ashamed of your behavior.

This is real life, welcome to it.  It is NOT a power game.  Having knowledge over someone or some people and trying to be secretive about it is NOT kind.

When you personally tell someone who you are ill and they go ahead and share that information with their ENTIRE office………………well that is their right to do so.  However, if they have not come over, gone to an appointment with you, or brought you a cookie, or vacuumed your floor, or sent you a card, or walked your dog.……………….just using your illness as a “I KNOW SOMETHING YOU DON’T KNOW” kind of thing……………That shows very, very poor manners.    Hey, not to mention when the said sick person does go into said office and some stranger asks about your private illness, it catches you off guard and you have to explain and you are put on the spot.  You end up feeling crummy about it. You end up loosing sleep.  You toss and turn.  It doesn’t feel very nice.

Today, I will breathe and breathe again. Anger and meanness do not help healing.  I need to heal and focus on pure goodness and uplifting thoughts.   I dislike very much, people with a lack of good behavior & good manners.  They hurt my feelings.  Urgh.  Somehow, I thought writing this would make me feel better.  I think printing off this paper and stapling it to a person’s forehead would go a long way in making me feel better.  The end.

ps.  in my fantasy world…………maybe if we all teach good behavior and good manners……the topic of bullying would just disappearing…………

“Good manners sometimes means simply putting up with other people’s bad manners.”  H. Jackson Brown