good manners, grace, respect

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.

 NO ONE HE HAS EVER WORKED FOR HAS EVER GIVEN HIM A GLASS OF WATER. 

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

SERIOUSLY? 

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.

Wrong.

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! 

Shameful.

Shameful.

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.

 

 

 

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grace, Uncategorized

30 stars of kindness

SourwoodHello, beautiful September.

I am just starting to see a little color on the leaves.

Awwwww, late at night, I can feel autumn in the air.  Just a hint, it’s coming…… cool days, sweaters, hands wrapped around mugs of coffee while sitting on the porch, fall leaves……….  I am sort of giddy about it.

Are any of you up for a challenge?  I double dog dare you!

30 days of self kindness & grace

What the heck is she talking about?  She has taken a leap right into the river.  She is one crazy chick.

The beginning of fall, back to school, back to routine, time to regroup and steady ourselves before the holidays march into our lives.

When I worked outside the home, the month of September was a full, busy, chaotic time of the year.

I used to take a couple weeks before and fill a little box that fit into my desk with emergency supplies.  You know, important stuff?….. a few snack bars, a new tube of great colored lipstick, a small tube of new amazing smelling lotion, a new hair clip, a couple stamped post cards, a pretty barrette, a length of ribbon, fancy spritzy water etc.  When life got too hard, I could slip into the restroom and put on fresh lipstick and tuck my hair up and rub some fresh lotion on my arms and TA-DA, be a new refreshed woman in less than 5 minutes. Or take a 5 minute break at my desk and jot a post card or tie a ribbon in my hair or snack on a delish fruit snack.

It didn’t take much to get back on track.

The time has come to refresh and fill up that beautiful empty pitcher.  Not one of us canempty pitcher handle everything.  Life is hard, tricky, quirky, strange and a little bit scary. You have heard it a million times…you can’t pour from an empty pitcher.  You gotta fill up the tank now and then. You have to recharge and put a little sparkle back in, so you have some left over to share.

I am not talking about a glorious vacation of gelato and beach sand for ten days. Nor am I talking about shirking your responsibilities.  No, your kids are not going to get up on their own and get themselves to school.  Dinner won’t magically appear on the table for the next 30 days, nor will the dog brush him or her self.

  What I am talking about is doing one small thing a day for the entire month…..just for you.  

What?  SHE IS NUTS!  I don’t have time.  I am busy. I work.  I have a family to care for.  People depend on me. I have an important job.  I care for others.   How could I possibly do something for myself when there is so much to do?

News flash my fellow over-doers…… to survive and also THRIVE we must be nice to ourselves. We must be a bit kinder, sweeter to us.  If we don’t….well it isn’t a pretty picture.

I use Kris Carr’s , Crazy Sexy Love Notes.  I choose a card every day.  It helps me take care of me.  It is a stack of cards with gentle suggestions on the back.  Spring for the $10.00, so worth it.  https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Sexy-Love-Notes-52-Card/dp/1401948286/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472781976&sr=8-1&keywords=kris+carr+love+notes20160901_190503_resized.jpg

 

Do I have to gently remind you to put on your own oxygen mask first, before you can help others?  Oh, it is so very true.

We have all seen folks, who volunteer too much (in the name of charity, giving, religion, service hours etc.), care for others, do way too much for our kiddos, give ourselves too long of a list of “must do’s”.  We all know people who have somehow placed the importance of their daily jobs/careers above family and self.   Yes they are still upright and walking around.  Their hair is a bit frizzled, their skin is pale and dull, the sparkle has left their eyes.  They are making poor food choices and don’t have time for anything.  They always seem to be “exhausted”.

While volunteering, giving, donating, being there to serve and help,  are all valuable traits……I am just wondering, typing out loud here folks……..maybe, just maybe if we take a moment or two a day…FOR OURSELVES.  Then maybe, just maybe after 30 days of doing this…. we might be better at volunteering, giving, donating, doing for others, we might be better partners, better parents, we might be better at our jobs…. ?

Oh, just think of the possibilities.

We all NEED a big dose of gentleness.  We are task masters when it comes to ourselves. We are much too quick to skip our own care in the name of helping someone else. We need to be nicer to ourselves. Self care, self kindness, grace …….whatever word you want to use. We don’t even have to use words.  I vote for sticking a star, or drawing, earning one,  on each day of the month of September.

Every single time you do one thing for yourself, you get a star.   That’s it.  That is the entire challenge.  Do something nice for yourself, one time each day. Then put a star on the calendar. 

A gold sticky star.  A star drawn with a purple gel pen.  A plain black ink pen.  A pencil.  A fancy drawn star with shooting flames and a smiley face.  I am quite sure, some of you techno- advance folks can somehow put a star on your smart phone calendar.  purple star sticker

I just thought maybe we could help each other out?  Share our ideas with a co-worker or friend.

Just think, when we meet up on October 1, we will have 30 things to share.   30 pieces of grace that we gave to ourselves?  For no other reason than we are worth it.  We will be better people in 30 short days.

You can go on line and type in lists of self care.  You could brain storm at the dinner table tonight.  (wait, you do sit down to a proper dinner and have conversation, right?)

I am serious, I would love it if you share an idea or two or 20 in the comments.  I need help here with little ideas of goodness.  Off the top of my head, here is a list of ideas;

take a long hot shower

home manicure/pedicure

make a lovely home cooked meal

sew the button back on your sweater

cry

take a nap

watch a trashy television show

take a long walk

get a massage

read a good book for pleasure

just say no

be a sofa girl

listen to your all time favorite song

put on new socks

go to the gym

buy a string of twinkle lights

walk your dog

listen to music

figure out your top 5 song titles

put on lipstick

buy some star stickers

enjoy one of your favorite comfort foods

buy some fresh cut flowers

color

pull some weeds

make and enjoy a great cup of coffee (said the Seattle girl)

crafting

watch a funny 2 minute video

buy ingredients to make your own trail mix (put the cool jarful on your desk , in the car at home near the computer

Make yourself a glass of fresh juice

begin to write a list of 99 things you love

journal

make a cup of tea or hot cocoa

hang a seasonal wreath

bouquet-fall-4632

In this together folks, here’s to our mental health and wellness.

Today, I slipped 3 charms on a thin purple ribbon.  I am wearing it like a necklace.  The three charms have the initials of my three grands.  I am smiling.

I drew a purple star on the calendar square.

Here’s to 30 stars!!

Bit by bit , together we will fill up our pitchers.

twinkle lights pitcher

 

 

grace, grandchildren, grateful, haPPY, Uncategorized

owls and flamingos fly back to school

It’s that time of year again.

Back to school supplies.

We’ve got cute back packs and pencil cases to fill.  Another classroom to help.

When I say “we” I actually mean, I sew new pencil cases and help check off the items and Mr. Right (Papa Bruce) shops and fills the supply lists.

Both the grandgirlies and a classroom in Vermont will ease into the new school year with sharpened pencils, “juicy’ markers, note cards, rulers and colorful scissors galore!

Backpacks are overflowing and pencil cases are filled with pencils, sassy hair baubles and of course a candy necklace tucked sweetly inside.

FB_IMG_1469988956315Last year the shark pencil cases were a hit.  A bit more time-consuming than this year’s quick, cute & easy cases.  This year I went with girlie colors and pom-pon trim, owls and flamingos, oh my!  Each girl got beads tied onto the ribbon with their initials.

20160731_110319-1_resizedHappy first day of the new school year!

In this together folks.  Please consider helping your grands or the neighbor kids or your local school.  Buying school supplies is fun. You don’t need to sew a pencil bag.  They have oodles of cute ones to buy.  Fill a pencil case with love.  Some little short person will be thrilled & tickled.  They won’t even realize they have been covered in grace & goodness.

Don’t forget to tuck a note inside that gently reminds them School is cool 🙂

Here’s to happy school children, ready to learn!!

 

 

 

 

grace, haPPY, healing, Uncategorized

unexpected grace

Last night, I couldn’t fall asleep.

I read and read and read some more.   Nothin’.  (note to self:  next Sunday when you are feeling super sassy, don’t go overboard with so much coffee, end of lesson)

I got up and went into the library/tv room.

Netflix.  Yes, we have had it for a couple of weeks, giving it a try.   B and I have watched a few things together.  I didn’t pay close attention on how to actually turn it on.

Are we the only family that has 4 remotes?  We seldom turn on the television, so I need a cheat sheet to figure it all out.

After several attempts, I did it!!!

I wanted to see the documentary “I’m Not Your Guru”  with Tony Robbins.

(spoiler alert….HIGHLY recommend)guru

First let me say, I love this guy.  We love this guy.  He has taught us/we have learned so much about finances/giving.

Other than about money and giving to charity,  never have I seen or listened to any of his other seminars.  We both have read the book about money, investing and giving to others.

This was new for me.

HUGE WARNING:  In this documentary… his language is not for the faint of heart.  It is salty and brass and in your face.  He uses some mighty ugly words and drops the F bomb on several occasions.  His words are harsh and I am thinking do what they are intended to do.  Snap people out of their comfort zone and help them start anew.

This is a behind the scene view of how one of his yearly seminars is run.  People pay $5,000.00 just to gain admission.  That doesn’t include airfare or hotel etc.

If you asked any of them, just guessing here, they would positively say it was worth it.

The personal stories are rough and tumble, hard to hear.   Some of these folks have had extremely tough times.   (after video follows up on the folks that were interviewed and you find out how it all turned out)

The high energy level is unbelievable.

Here is the thing that I wanted to share.  In among all the swear words, energy, people…lots of people, groups, sharing and what can only be described at control chaos…………..there was a pearl.  (nah, not his beautiful, smart, lovely wife, Bonnie Pearl “Sage” Robbins)……..right in the middle of all that madness…..

……….. Tony Robbins said,  “that’s grace……Grace is a connection to the Divine.”

tony-robbins-joe-berlinger-netflix

While not being billed as a feel good seminar, it was really about Grace and Love and Goodness.

Here’s the thing,  I need to be reminded to love myself and love others with fierce passion.  I need to look for more goodness and seek it out.

I feel enlightened, I am enthralled with his thinking and his commitment to figuring it all out.   It certainly was a good use of my time.

Grace is a connection to the Divine.  

I love this thought.  It is going to hold me all week and then some.

5 Star documentary, worth your time.

cross stitch, grace, Uncategorized

grace in progress

The very moment, the numbers on the safe dial all align and CLICK!, the vault opens.  In this case, my brain CLICKED and I finally “get it”.

Yesterday, I almost didn’t share a counted cross stitch picture with a private cross stitch group.  It was Wednesday.  They call it WIP Wednesday.  Work in Progress.  The idea is to share the piece you are working on, sharing inspiration or an idea.

When you join a group like that, you have to be willing to share & trade.  No, you may not sit on the sidelines and judge. If you do, well, you are a wall flower and NOBODY wants to go sit with the judgey wall flowers.  A huge, beautiful part of the group is to gain confidence and be brave enough to share your art.  Being a beginner or expert, it matters not.

Almost daily, I take.  I take inspiration from other members projects along with Work in Progress Wednesdays as well as Finished Fridays. I take ideas and I take the goodness they are sharing and it helps carry me through the day.  I smile thinking of some of the remarkable creations that are offered up.

The ying to that yang is, I have to share.

Like I mentioned, I almost didn’t share.  Then I thought, gee whiz, he is so cute, I want to share my happy.  As a recovering perfectionist, I am taking huge strides. 20160120_083136-1

I counted 6 mistakes in one little stitched dog.  Would anyone judge me?  Would anyone point out the mistakes?  Oh sure, maybe the folks sitting on the side lines not willing to take a chance themselves.  However, for me, leaving in a couple mistakes makes me proud.

Oh don’t get me wrong, this piece alone I have taken out several stitches and tossed around some swear words like a crusty, old sailor.

Speaking of the military, I recently learned a VALUABLE lesson from some current and retired Air Force pilots.

There is no such thing as a perfect mission.

“The goal is to have the number of take offs equal the number of landings.” 

Click, I GET IT!

Um, what is my goal?  My goal is to delight in a hobby I really enjoy.  My goal is to spend an hour or so a day creating.  My goal is to look for and find the joy in making something with my hands.  My goal is to sometimes make a gift to share.  My goal is to try new fabrics and new threads and stretch my limits.   My goal is to enjoy the process, learn along the way, go easy on myself.

In other words, sometimes it is not the perfect piece, it is the process.

Some days I feel myself buckling under immense weight of self-induced guilt.  The need for perfectionism.

I am learning to bathe myself in Grace. It is a process.

Vanessa from (in) courage said it beautifully-

“Truly giving yourself grace isn’t about giving yourself anything.  It’s about being open to His grace & fully accepting it, not just for the big hurdles , but for the tiny every day stumbles.”

onward my dog lovin’ friends, onward.

gift giving, gifts, grace, grateful, gratitude, haPPY, Uncategorized

splashes of grace

I am easing into the day with a cookie and a stellar cup of coffee.  Did I mention ridiculously moist and delish peanut butter cookie? (I use almond butter ) 20151217_082533-1-1_resized

I am setting the tone for a wonderful day.  Yesterday, did not start smooth and lovely.  Today, I am hedging my bets and trying to get everything to work together for peace.

Here is the info about those cookies:

Brandi, who is the brains and beauty behindhttp://thevegan8.com/

An amazing recipe developer, passionate about food, friendly, okay, I might “stalk” her daily.  I sort of love her.  I know, “you don’t even know her”.  The kind of love I have for her goes beyond all the regular niceties.  I end up using 5 gold stars for every recipe she shares.  Yes, that good.  Do yourself a huge favor and drop by.   May I gently suggest her chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies?  10 gold stars (5 gold stars each)

Her recipes are the kind of thing where you do not have to announce to the world, ………….these are vegan, gluten free, oil free………….you just say, “would you like a cookie?”

These are the kind of cookies when you offer said cookie and the person says, “Oh, I can’t have _______________” fill in the blank.  You politely shrug and say, Okay more for me!   Just teasing.  Shout it to the world!  THESE ARE COOKIES THAT TASTE GREAT AND EVERYONE CAN HAVE THEM!

This morning, in my make believe world, I am having coffee & cookies with my real life friend, not just sitting here with my sweet dog & the gentle rhythmic sound of the washing machine working as background “music”.

I want to use my Christmas mugs and fill them with aromatic coffee.  I want to set a beautiful plate of gluten free cookies in front of her so she can enjoy them.  I sort of want the two of us to finish the entire plateful.  Then for years to come, I want us both to say, “remember that time we ate an entire plate of cookies?” and laugh and laugh and laugh. 20151216_215617-1_resized

Sometimes, out of the blue, being bathed in Grace just splashes all over me.    When I least expect it.  The kind of unexpected Grace that leaves you grateful and flattered all at the same time.

My real life friend, Ann is a gifted and talented artist.

I want to add she is thoughtful, kind spirited, inspiring, great mom, amazing wife, horse woman, beautiful, who has gorgeous hair and a smile that I imagine make grown men take a second look.  She wears sparkles on her belt and jeans and has a flare not just in the way she looks but the way she lives her life.  Oh, sure, we all know that everyone has troubles and ills.  It’s just that she sort of dances her way through life and you forget that she is juggling ill health now and then.

In the most unexpected and kart wheel feeling kind of thing……..she named a painting after me!   I never in 50+ years wished someone would do such a thing.  However, once it happened, I have a pep in my step and a secret giddy feeling like a 4th grade girl with 10 minutes on the clock until recess!

Um, yes, that good a feeling.

https://www.facebook.com/AnnFrancineArtPage/

May I gently suggest you meander onto her site?  Take a look around, drink in the beauty and intense rich colors.  The goodness you feel will fill you to the brim with goodness and calm.   Certainly a perfect feeling to have this time of year.  Goodness and calm.

If you don’t know what to buy someone on your Christmas list, may I gently suggest/encourage you to …………

write a poem and name it after your friend.

paint a picture and name it after your friend.

write a score a music and name it after your friend.

It is the most heartwarming feeling in the land.  To think, that you inspired someone to create beauty.

You & your friend will end up being splashed with Grace.

The perfect gift.