gentle reminder

Remember a couple of days ago?  We talked about being kind to yourself? Filling up your pitcher so you had plenty to share with others. How ya doing with that?  We are on day 7 of the month.  So you should have 7 things to share that you have done to be kind to yourself. We each should have 7 stars on our calendars.

One reader wrote and was going to try to carve out 5 minutes of alone time per day. One person wrote and shared they were going to make an effort to read for pleasure each day.

20160905_160416-2_resized_2So far, one day, I painted my toenails.  On another day, I went bike riding.  One day, I took a 2 hour bubble bath. Next day, I harvested all our glorious potatoes!  A different day, I spent time reading my latest quilt magazine.

I am trying to walk the walk.  Not just talk about it.  Love to hear that you are taking care of your heart and soul.  You are important and so worth the thoughtful treatment.    By the end of the month, just think how much we all will have to share?

Yesterday, I spent $7.37.  I bought fabric.  I came home and sewed pillow covers.  I slipped them on and turned the front porch from summer colors to autumn in less than 45 minutes.

In this together friends, here’s to filling our pitchers with pure goodness!

Chat soon.



rolled up goodness

Yesterday, in the hustle of getting dinner ready, the mail arrived.

A box.  A surprise.  My name written on the outside.   I spy my niece’s name as the sender.

wipe hands on dish towel


push back curly hair out of eyes

rub hands together with glee

keep smiling

start unwrapping

giddy with anticipation

read letter

tear up

keep smiling

oh my goodness, the handiwork, the beautiful purple, the shine, the thought

She made me a beautiful necklace and earring set.20160617_103510-1

It get’s better.

Her note:

Dear Aunt Daleen, I made this necklace and earrings set for you.  The beads are made of paper and markers, rolled up, glued then sealed with nail polish. Inside each bead is a though of you.  Something we love, thankful for or remember about you.  Mom, Dad and I each wrote on them for you. 

She went on to tell me what they wrote.  Then ended the note by saying:

.….The mothers of my students liked the one’s we made for mother’s Day.  My mother loves hers as well.   enjoy, with love, J

20160617_103518I gotta tell you, this is a show stopper.

As I run the beads through my fingers I am smiling.  I am remembering all the good times and things we have done together.  I feel the smoothness.  All linked together.

I am so grateful, thankful and appreciative.

A charming and heartfelt gift to make. A treasure to receive.  Humbled to wear.

Heartfelt thanks dear sweet niece, how lovely of you to think of me and make something so beautiful and special.  A keepsake.

Today, as I scurry around our home, doing chores and such, I am wearing a beautiful necklace & earrings of pure goodness.

Have I mentioned lately….what a lucky girl I am?

I am.  I really am a lucky girl.





Thankful Thursday

I am thankful my side hurts.  mustachesThat is from belly laughing so much. 20150709_121749

FullSizeRenderI am thankful I am plum tuckered out.  That is from having way too much fun.

I am thankful our favorite pasta restaurant was closed on Monday. Had a lovely meal near the water instead.

I am thankful to do so much laundry.  That is from ignoring it for days. 20150713_174844-1

I am thankful to dead head and fuss over my deck flowers.  Again, that is from ignoring them for days.

20150712_152355-1Perfect days spent with a friend.

We met 24 some years ago, still tickling each others funny bone.  Picking each others brains.  Still chatting about children and quilting.  Trying to figure out this thing called life.

We help each other.

She came to visit. She filled my pitcher to overflowing with pure goodness, creativity, belly laughs and adventure.

I am Thankful & Grateful.

Friends are the people who help balance your spirit.

I wish all of you have a friend that lifts your spirit and brings you back into beautiful balance.

My smile is better.  My heart is full.  My soul is in balance. 20150712_193046 (1)

Mr. Right, writes

Once again I have been given control of the throttle here, and this time I thought I would detour from numbers for a tad bit and give some long overdue and heartfelt  thanks.  Of course there will be some numbers later as, after all, numbers bring a sense of sanity to my world.

To the two fine men we call our sons, thanks for doing your part to engage your Mom each and every day.  One with humour, one with insight, both with love, care and respect.  In my world that equals a hearty “ ‘nuff said.”  To two incredible daughters in law, thank you for the caring and the sharing.  Who knew how lucky we’d be when you walked into our lives?  Tough old Army guys aren’t supposed to give into emotions, so suffice it to say I could not be more proud of the 4 of you.

To the folks in Vermont, thank you for being who you continue to be; extraordinary role models.  Thank you also for a couple of very supportive shoulders when needed and thank you to the third who has a heart of amazing proportions.  We all need safe havens and a place where we are accepted no matter what, you provide that and so much more.  Knowing you are there has made such a huge difference.

To Kristy for the chickens, thank you.  It seems trivial now, but Daleen having to get outside each and every day to tend to them was a huge help.  To keep the record straight, I refer to them as Buzz and Ards individually, BuzzArds collectively, but I do appreciate their role in helping Daleen.

To (in no particular order) Miss Florida, Myla, Kathie, Lori, Julie, Carmen, Lisa, Chandra, Jan, Mary Ann, Ann and Joanne our new friend in Pennsylvania (and so many others) thank you. To Alyssa on the “other coast” your box of cheer was such a hit and so thoughtful.  To Ashley close to home, thanks for the home-made goodness; it was delightful.  Finally to everyone who sent a card or an email, your encouragement meant so much.  To my colleagues thank you so much for giving me the space and time I needed to sort this stuff out and to one lady in particular thanks for your being there, it made a difference.  To all of you, your friendship has been of immeasurable help, your wisdom much appreciated and your humour has been most welcome.  We had no idea that when we chose a natural path, we’d lose so many “friends” as for whatever reason they cannot allow others to walk any path but the same path they choose.  We made a value judgment about cancer, not about people.  Thus, we cherish our friends who “came through” all the more.

North Cascade Highway 2008 025Libby at the Lake 2009 006

Those of you that know us are aware of a gentle golden girl who lives in our house.  Sweet Liberty has gone though more than her share of emotional unrest these past months.  She’s been a source of constant help to Daleen (and to I) and honestly we’d have been lost without her.  There exists a special bond between dogs and humans that care for them; Libby is a prime example of that bond.  Thanks Dear Sweet Liberty for steadfastly having warm, hairy shoulders to hug and a soft head to pat.  Were that humans could be as non-judgmental and unabashedly loving as dogs…..


bill-henderson-cancer-authorBill Henderson,  you gave us hope and you gave us encouragement.  You shared your wisdom, your insight and your beliefs.  Thank you.  If anyone on earth wears wings, be they visible or not, I am sure you do.  Bill lost his dear wife to ovarian cancer in 1994 and decided, after watching her suffer in the guise of “treatment” from the medical community, that there must be a better way.  He offers those ways.  He offers hope when those who wear white coats could not or would not.  Who could do more?

chris warkChris Wark has played such an important role in Daleen’s life over the past 20 months that he deserves recognition.  He has a blog / website and through his generous sharing of knowledge, we’ve learned so very much.  Chris was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003 and decided chemotherapy was not for him.  Instead, he decided to do everything to be cured except put poison in his body.  11 years later he’s doing well and sharing what he’s learned.  He is truly one of life’s kinder peoples.

Kris CarrKris Carr has been such an inspiration to Daleen.  She too was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and she also decided to turn to nutrition to get healthy and stay that way.  She embraces grace and kindness and she too has a website and provides information, inspiration and gives hope to those who literally have none.  She is another one of life’s kinder peoples.


sterinosA very sincere thank you to those who grow vegetables and fruits and who do so at a price we can afford.  Our favorite local stand is Sterino’s They are open from April to December and feature more local wholesomeness under one roof than most other places we’ve found.  Celery with the leaves still attached, local Kale, lettuce, cucumbers, berries – the list goes on and on.  There is a quote on the wall of the stand (with apologies if I don’t get it exactly right) that goes like this :  My grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher  but every day, three times a day you need a farmer” .  Truer words were never spoken and we appreciate them for their efforts.


championUp next?  The good folks at the Plastaket Manufacturing Company.  Who are they you are wondering?  They make the Champion juicers! We had a champion juicer before the dreaded diagnosis was in, but it’s been a lifesaver ever since.  Every day, every single day, it gets used and abused (kale and parsley are tough to juice after all) and it keeps on going.  What an incredible product and such an amazing value for the money.  These guys do it right, they do it consistently and best of all, Champion juicers are made right here in America; Lodi, California to be precise.  Had Creedence Clearwater Revival known about the Plastaket Manufacturing Company I doubt they’d have sung “Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again” and rather written something singing praises about the place!  Thank you to them for their dedication at being the best.

To Paul Stamets  thank you for showing us the incredible power of mushrooms.

To Phyllis Pipkin thank you for making Beta Glucan financially possible.

To Dr. Johanna Budwig may you continue to rest in peace dear lady.  She was nominated 7 times for a Nobel Prize – yes, seven – a genuinely brilliant lady.

There are others who have seen us at our lowest and given strength and encouragement.  We give you all thanks.  Finally, we live in an age when the collective knowledge of all mankind is readily available with a few keystrokes.  I doubt we could have gone on this journey without the wonders of the internet.

Ok – for a few digits now so I can satiate the numbers thing.  To be honest, I seem to have this fondness for numbers.  I use the word fondness in lieu of the dreaded word compulsion, or even worse obsession.  I’ve kept meticulous records over the past 365 days for the vegetables and fruits we purchase and I am happy to say I won’t keep track next year – I’ve earned some time off.  I was curious to see how much goodness came into our kitchen.  I don’t count the time it takes to buy and weigh the fruits and veggies as we’d go to the stands and stores regardless of making juice or not.  That stated, it takes about 45 minutes start to finish in the making two jars of breakfast juice and three jars of green juice a day.  Over the course of a year, that equals 273 hours or almost 11.5 days.  11.5 days of focus, determination and happiness that the efforts will equal health and goodness.  It’s that goodness that we are betting a life on.  That equals about 171 gallons of juice (there are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil by comparison).  Picture if you will 171 gallon jugs in your mind…


As to the stars of the show?  Enter the more than 70 varieties of vegetables and fruits.  It’s a hall of fame lineup of goodness.  We come in at pretty close to 60,000 ounces for the past year or 10+ pounds each and every day.  That’s just a whisker shy of two tons yearly of nature’s bounty.  Even I was surprised at the grand total.  When we give thanks, and we do each and every day, we are thankful we have the capability to be able to obtain all this goodness; we’re acutely aware not everyone is as fortunate.

I promised that I’d make juice each and every day for five years.  Thus, I’ve got four years left on my contract.  After that, negotiations commence on the next term.  Don’t let on to Daleen, but I’m a pushover in negotiations.  All she has to do is smile that incredibly, wonderfully cute smile of hers and my powers of persuasion somehow begin to diminish.  A hug pretty much ends negotiations and a smooch or two seals the deal!  The best part?  We both win…

Oh – the biggest and best number out of all this?  580.  That is the number of days since our lives changed forever.  580 days of beating the odds, 580 days of learning to survive naturally and 580 days of continually improving health.  580 days of learning, 580 days of change, 580 days of living.

Finally, I’ve never had a more important job, nor one I was as ill-prepared for as that of a support person.  So to you Daleen Marie, thank you for the vote of confidence and the faith.  I trust I did not falter, know that I will not in the future.  I now understand truly well the phrase “A Labor of Love”, and I know how blessed and lucky I am.  Simply put, you are the best part of me.

Kudos to the Big Guy upstairs, but He already knows how I feel…

May you all be blessed with grace and goodness, and may you have the opportunity to see that grace and goodness at work, it’s an enlightening experience.

In gratitude, Bruce

thankful Friday

What if you woke up today and only had the things you thanked God for yesterday? 

I saw that question on face book this morning.  Yipes.  Quick, let’s review.

Good news, bad news.  I live my life purposefully with gratitude.  So in the good news department, I am covered.  I am every single day of my life, sincerely and heartfelt thankful for Mr. Right.  I am thankful for our four adult children and three grands.  I am mighty thankful for my family in Vermont.  I gave thanks for my health. I gave thanks for the healing sunshine.  I am thankful on a daily basis for my freedom.   I am thankful for our dog, Sweet Liberty. DSCN4798 I gave special thanks for four girlfriends who made my day so much sweeter.  I was pretty gosh darn thankful for a phone call from a girlfriend.

DSCN4821Here’s where it takes a turn.  I usually give thanks at the end of the day.  So, if I am a tad bit sleepy-eyed, um, I may wrap things up a bit too quickly. I gave a sigh of pure goodness and said thanks for the amazing cozy pillow and extreme feather filled  duvet .  Okay, so I threw in a great big heap of thanks for the Watermelon colored toe nail polish by Essie that turned out so pretty. Then, when I sat down on the edge of the bed, I spied in my closet the weird green colored shrug that had slipped off the hanger.  I had been searching for the little sweater and instantly thanked God I found it.

So that is about it.  In the bad news department, I forgot to say thanks for our home, our car, our food, our chickens, all our nice things, all our other friends & family,  my vitamins & supplements, my rebounder, my bikes, & fresh air. I forgot to say thanks for clothes, regular clothes and a dining room table and a nice bed and shoes.

So let’s sum up, yes, I have my family and four girlfriends.  I have a dog and some sunshine and my freedom.  I have some watermelon colored toenails (with a sassy sparkle top coat) and a weird colored green shrug.   I have a pillow and a duvet.

Maybe no one will notice I am only wearing a weird green colored shrug because of my sparkly toenails? thankful 3

pure chance, pure happy, pure grateful

police carBefore I was born and throughout my toddler years, my father was a policeman.  I used to love hearing his stories about that time of his life.  No, I don’t remember being an infant and sleeping in the back of his patrol car.  My mother had reached her limit and apparently I would “sleep like a baby” in a moving car.  So every once in a while, that was their solution.  Good thing they lived in a quiet tiny town and he didn’t have many high-speed chases or arrests.  Really?  I want to be all high and mighty and say, gee, that wasn’t very good parenting and yet, who among us has  not sat with a baby in a car seat on the dryer to imitate that car sound and movement?  I know for a fact that if I knew a policeman when one of our boys was an infant, I would have wrapped up that noisy bundle of joy and gladly handed him over for a ride in the patrol car.

On slow days he would stop every 7th car that went by that was red.  He said, he just picked a color (usually red or blue if that means anything to any of you embarking on buying a new car) at the beginning of his shift and that was the color he counted.  It was a border town, so all he had to do was wait for the cars to stream by.  He needed to meet a quota.  He chose his color, began counting and usually he could find a tail light out, a speeder or some other infraction on red car number seven.

I have been told a story of my brother-in-law choosing their first cat.  The story goes, a box full of fuzzy adorable kittens, he taps each one gently on the head.  Only one looks up.  Hello, Mittens!  Would you like to come home with me and live happily ever after?

One day, a couple of months ago, I was meandering through a jaunty quilt shop.  I saw their bulletin board and curiosity moved me in that direction. They had several business cards to choose from.   People offering their sewing skills, quilting and repair skills.  I was looking for a machine quilting lady in my neck of the woods.  I looked at several of the cards.  Only ONE had writing on the back as well as the front of the card.  done.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting a new friend.  The instant her door opened, I knew.  Friendly greeting, kind eyes, sweet happy dog, charming home, decor well-chosen and so clean and homey, I either wanted to sit and stay awhile or race home and run the vacuum around our home.  I found the end of the Rainbow.  Yes,that good.

First of all she called me by name and said it correctly.  Oh my goodness, music to my ears.  I knew the moment I walked into her studio, I had chosen wisely.  I had stepped into a place of passion and goodness.  My new quilting friend is one smart cookie.  Intelligent, obviously craves order, neatness and a splash of creative magic all swirled together.  All those traits and a warm personality with style and a dash of humor, seamlessly blended, so much so, that I got that  “good egg”  giddy feeling instantly.

DSCN1757She got me talking and smiling and asking all sorts of questions.  Yes, I was there to discuss a modern cross wall hanging in oranges, cream and a dash of aqua.  Somehow, it almost seemed secondary.   Her kind and warm spirit drew me in and encircled me with more than enough.  Within a couple of minutes I fell in love with her goodness, her uplifting spirit.  You know those kind of people? You feel better just by being in their circle.   They bring out the best in us.  In a flash, you know she is one of those people you want to add to your Christmas card list.

In this day and age of pairing down and deleting a name here and there, what a lovely, charming thought to want to add a name to your address book.

This chance (some would call fate, luck or good karma)  encounter has happy, blessed, thankful, grateful written all over it.

Yesterday morning, I wrote about looking  for happy.  I looked for happy. My eyes and heart were open and willing.  Last night, I wanted to take a HUGE red-letter stamp and mark the word THANKFUL over the whole day’s events.

I found it.   It came in the form of a hug from a new friend.  It came in the form of pure goodness.  It came in the package of a charming, intelligent, talented, lovely lady.

Last night, I slept like a baby. thankful




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.