Monday, June 5, 2017

365: week 21


It is difficult to fathom that the human who leaves this mess behind her (and this is just a small portion of the watershed) every time she leaves the restroom is the mother of 2 boys.


Dinner for two ... not ten.


The little cousins playing tunes while the ....


Bigger cousins have some rough and tumble time!
#boysgettingbig #blessedarethenoisemakers


Very special visitors spending the weekend with us. They are quite the team. When macular degeneration starts taking your eyesight it's good to have a handy needle threader at the ready.


Afternoon coffee visits.
#bluberrydelight #sharingsadnews


#familyday #newphonelearningcurve

We had a great weekend with the folks in town .. so blessed that they feel well enough to travel here and stay with us!

Now let's see if I can get week 22 up here before we leave town on Thursday! Have a great one!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Is this a challenge you face? 

This collection of oh so important things that you can't find anyway because you're not sure which book they ended up in?

I typically have a notebook with me wherever I go. As long as the handbag is big enough .. lately it doesn't hold much tho. I jot down things at seminars .. pages and pages. I take notes at camps and presentations ... again pages and pages. I recently took an ACLS class and yup ... even that had its own pages. 

Then there are websites and phone numbers. 

Passwords and addresses. 

Recipes and project ideas with shopping lists for each sometimes. 

I went through 6 of these little treasures. Shredded some pages .. pitched others into the trash. Then there are the notes I don't want to lose. Those are being scanned into my fave online storage place so I can find them should I need to. 

And this most favorite of all? I think I picked it up in one of those ridiculously expensive airport shops many many moons ago ... is a keeper. 

I'm going to fill it with motivational things. Maybe something to pause and read through when life seems overwhelming sometimes. When there isn't much you can do about it but adjust your own attitude. 

So if you see that book hanging around my house ... give it a flip through. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

365: week 20

A welcome home with roses and cards on this day after Mother's Day. Fun and rowdy evening with little boys. 

Happy Birthday to Char! I had breakfast with these two special ones on Monday morning before heading to Minot and another Allegiant experience. Which, I might add, I have nothing but positive things to say. In fact so positive that I have raved about the width of the center aisle since coming home. Serious. Look at this thing. 

I wheeled my $18 bag up that thing without any problem at all. And .. after paying for a $5 boarding pass on the way up ... promptly downloaded the app so I don't have to do that again. Serious. I'd fly them again in a heartbeat. Anything to navigate a small town airport whose parking is rather ridiculously priced but where I can board the plane out on the tarmac and pretend I'm loading onto a luxury liner that is taking me to some sandy beach somewhere. 

When projects become all consuming and Friday turns to Saturday. #cantstop
Reupholstering is time consuming for the novice! #countrydreaming

This lovely chair has been here or a while ... a very tired blue floral fabric that seriously needed to be replaced. So weeks ago Alyx and I tore the thing apart. And this past weekend ... I put it together. The woodwork had a little loving attention to it as well. In my opinion, it isn't sellable and I hope it holds up more than a minute but I love it! I also finally redid a foot stool that I have detested for about 10 years in the same country fabric. No .. my living room probably doesn't tie together and a decorator would walk in and have heart palpitations but it is me. Most surely me!

Am I the only one that does that? Holds onto things they love because they are certainly going to get around to redoing it eventually. Now I sit outside and am looking around wondering if I can attack a few things out there that are driving me nuts. Bulk trash pickup is scheduled in a few weeks and I would dearly love to dump some furniture out there. Let's see if I dare!


Journals that don't really include any journaling. #gofigure #notetaker
Posts about journal activity coming this week.

Looking forward to a fun week and weekend. Mom and Dad are on their way down here and will be spending the holiday weekend with us. Can't wait for some good visits and hopefully some good barbecue grill action!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

365: week 19


Here is a miracle deal. I went to Williston over the past weekend to surprise my oldest son who was turning 30 on Mother's Day. I hadn't anticipated having a new granddaughter to cuddle while I was there. It would have been fun but my fingers weren't cramped from crossing them. As I was at the airport in Mesa Friday morning bright and early waiting to get through security ... my phone rang. The lovely princess had arrived. Lyla Esther was perfectly healthy. I almost screeched aloud but manged to contain myself. Timing? Couldn't be almost better. 

Brock picked me up from the airport in Minot and we headed to the hospital to see the new baby and the exhausted mom who I was hoping was taking long luxurious naps while her hubby was gone. My son is a little like his father. Ants in his pants. I don't mean just a few ants ... I mean the entire hill. Within a few hours of getting to the hospital .. Bridget was discharged and the crew was headed home. A stop to browse a yard sale on the way ... another stop for drive thru coffee and finally home. We were joined by many .. including Blayde who we managed to surprise. This trip had been booked several months ago ... and we managed to keep it from him. 

Lots of little people and new baby snuggles .. visiting and probably not nearly enough sleep ...


but enough energy left somewhere to take off in the morning and hit some yard sales. Then on to the Band Day Parade which celebrated 90 years. Granted, the population of Williston has grown dramatically, but I still call it a small town. This looks to be the event of the year. I left a little before it was over with, but I didn't see one tractor! I saw cranes, ambulances, bands, local businesses, more bands, oil service companies and any number of businesses that represent the areas industry, but no tractors. Even Walmart made an appearance! Fun to see a community come together!

Liam came home later in the day and was in a much better frame of mind than on Friday. Friday he wasn't such a happy little guy. He was busy giving gifts to little Lyla, giving the swing a push here and there, saying the sweetest little "hi!" here and there. Throwing balls, barking at neighboring dogs and just being a very little boy whose world just got upended and he doesn't even really know it yet. 

We snuggled babies, visited, ate, played games and visited some more. Just spending time together is the finest thing in the world. Especially when it isn't a regular thing ... it is the most delightful treat you can imagine. Just being.


Mothers Day spent with some of my greatest blessings. We celebrated moms and Blayde's 30th birthday. How that happened so fast I'm not quite sure. To see them in their worlds, the places they work and play. The place in which they've made their lives. I can't have them close in proximity right now, but at least when I hear that the Granddog Duchess likes to play chase around the table ... I now know exactly what she is doing. It's the little things that make images real in my mind. They make me feel like I'm almost there. I can see Liam throwing balls and chasing dogs ... all those little images.

Makes me want to run back real soon ... and next time I'm bringing their dad with me too.

Thanks to all of you who made my visit so extra special.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

365: weeks 18 and 19


Can't get to Hawaii .. bring it home to you. This super comfy chair has become an addition to our patio and is well loved by at least a few people in the house.

Coffee can't come fast enough on Mondays. #brewquicklyitsmonday

We had a guys crafting night at Gwen's one Tuesday evening. Super fun to have them cranking out projects that take me much longer to complete. We have quite a list for them! While the guys were outside ... I was learning how to do some needle action on wool inside. This could get addicting!


Never a guess who worked last when I find the cord wrapped like this. Isn't that the way it goes? We all have habits that are particular (or peculiar) to us alone. I wonder what mine are!

Ready to get some crafting going on. The windy weather has not been favorable of late, but I have paint!

Dinners and celebrating just being us. I'm a blessed woman.


#desertsunrise and #faveflowers

I have some new Tupperware containers in my house. Just a few. I don't bake like I use to and don't have need of massive food storage. There is a double edged sword problem with the Tupperware container. I went to bake some pulla to bring to my boys and the brown sugar is all soft inside that lovely Tupperware. No brown sugar clumps! Seriously. 

I love brown sugar clumps.

Friday, May 12, 2017


I haven't lost anyone, permanent loss, in my life in a very long time.

We have made some big changes in our lives and done them with planning, trepidation and forethought. Those changes involved grieving as well. Moving away from close loved ones. Loved ones moving away from us. All of those involve loss. It changes the way our worlds turn from day to day. The faces and hearts that are closest to our own. Today's world is a different place for sure. We have access to the internet, cell phones, face to face speaking even if it is routed through satellites the world around. But, it isn't a visit shared over a cup of coffee. It isn't the Saturday evenings spent together over joys and over sorrows. Even though emojis abound, it is difficult to share a hug through Verizon.

Prior to these big changes in our life, we have separated ourselves from those we are leaving. It is interesting that it is done in a subconscious way. We certainly haven't consciously done this, rather as a mode of self preservation and protection our minds have done it for us. We didn't even realize it ourselves until it was brought to our attention. And yet, it made perfect sense to me when I realized what we had done.

Does this happen when a person faces the loss of a loved family member? I haven't done that. I am so thankful that I haven't yet been given that cross to bear. And yet the finality of that parting must be so final. Like the curtain being drawn and there is no light anymore until one's eyes adjust to the new level of light. It isn't as bright anymore, but there is still a level of light. The longer the time, the more the adjustment. It is no longer the same, nor will it ever be.

This past fall brought a different kind of loss to my world. While it wasn't a choice that I made, and I fully respect the right of any person to make their own choices, it wasn't any easy one for me. We live in a very close knit community of shared faith. Yes, there are people who think we are simple and led like lambs to slaughter with no minds of our own. They are also free to think that ... I don't need to surround myself with the likes. Inside that community of shared faith, we share the same foundation of our lives. They are built upon the bedrock of a living faith in God and His congregation. When one chooses, or makes choices that inevitably separates one from that congregation, to leave this way of life it severs that thread that knits us together. We still share many things. So many of things haven't changed, but the very basis of our belief systems have changed. The very thing upon which my entire life is based is something we no longer have in common.

We have children who are not of the same faith as we are. At some points in their lives, they have chosen to walk a different path than us. I love them to bits. I love them bunches. I love them unconditionally.

Those changes didn't come easily. They came with a near loss of sanity on my part, they came with self preservation skills to keep me out of what I was sure was a break with reality. They came with overwhelming grief.

If you aren't of my faith and are reading this you're wondering what the big deal is. You may be thinking I don't have a right to make a choice for someone else. You probably have all kinds of thoughts about what I am allowed to feel or how difficult it was for my children, and others, to leave the safety of all that they knew. I get that. It isn't my choice, it is yours and theirs. You make the choices and you live with their consequences. I live with the aftermath of your choices.

So I learn to love you in a different way. It is as if you drew the blackout curtain and walked away. You left me trying to figure out how to stumble in the dark room without you walking beside me, holding my hand and listening to my heart. You didn't tell me you were having problems in the bright light. You didn't tell me you wanted help making your way. You forged a different path as is and was your right. You found other people to walk with you and hold your hand and heart.

Perhaps I didn't see look close enough to see that you needed me. Perhaps you hid from me so I couldn't see.

The room went dark when you left it. I stumbled around looking for the piece of me that had just left and it was gone. I fumbled around the obstacles that are my own thoughts and fears. I held on to the ones who were still here to hold my heart and listen to it weep. And slowly, ever so slowly, the light filtered back into the room. It took time. It took prayer. It took patience. Slowly, just as river smooths a stone, the sharp edges of the broken heart have softened.

As someone who is facing death wrote not long ago:

"I also want to say though that each person should feel free to feel how you feel in the midst of your struggles. Even if someone else seems to have something "more serious" going on OR someone else seems to have an easier time with the same kind of trial you're having, you don't need to compare or somehow put the expectation on yourself that your struggle isn't real or justified. Each of us is unique and each of us have been given life - with it's unique joys and sorrows".

So, yes, that sorrow was mine. It was deep and cutting.

Someday it will again be joy. .

Thursday, May 11, 2017

365: end of week 17

118/365: #blowingbubbles #babyblues

There is nothing on this earth like nuzzling the cheeks of this sweet little love. He nuzzles right back. And if I'm lucky enough to find just the right spot .. he giggles and giggles.

119/365: So happy to share in your joy! Congratulations!

Heaven smiled this evening. The day before the wedding the wind was whipping at 80mph blowing everything to kingdom come. I pulled up to the church for the wedding and saw the outside reception venue and held my breath. The heavens quieted, the evening was blissful outdoors and it was absolutely perfect! God's blessings to these young people as they begin their lives together.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

365: weeks 16 and 17

We had Easter dinner at our house. I do love my ham and cheesy potatoes. Alyx and her family were sick so weren't able to join us. I'm kind of a bad mom. I never really did the Easter egg hunt thing ... or certainly don't remember doing it when the kids were little. Anna put the thing together this year with eggs for kids and adults. Numbered pieces of paper were hidden in some of the eggs leading to a choice of prizes in the end. So fun. However, Wyatt was the only one egg picking until the adults joined in. It was a hoot to watch him pass by some and move on to others. I don't know that color even played a part in the selection process. Mind you ... they were a bit tough to find!

It was a quilt finishing kind of week. Tried the quilting foot on my machine. Fail. I can't lower the feed dogs on my $20 beast and covering them with cardboard didn't really work. Back to the regular walking foot I went and machine quilted until my projects were done!

American for miles and miles. Jari was gone for the weekend and I finished some projects. Like denim blanket #20 I think. Tia's Christmas gift that was gifted to her with the top done ... not the rest. I can call that one complete and whew! That felt good! 

The wind has been blowing in Phoenix this year unlike anything I've ever seen. If I make a plan to spray some paint in the backyard it is quickly derailed by wind storms. I did get some lantern action done with wind whipping sawdust into most interest landscapes. 

Empty binders. I moved 5 inches of stuff to the cloud. Must mean I'm down to about 11 binders left to do. What on earth do we do with our stuff?! I understand why I save some of it ... the rest of it is debatable. When I have moments, I am scanning and moving to Google Drive. Easily accessible all the time should I need it ... even on my handy little cellular device. 

Mommy kisses yield the sweetest baby giggles. Aiden is growing so fast!

Our fortune cookie. There is a relatively new Panda in the path of my travel home from work. Somedays ... that becomes dinner. Jari and I have a game we play with fortune cookies. We each pick one and then exchange. The fortune we opened is really the fortune of the other. On this particular day, we were only given one fortune cookie. First time that has ever happened ... and I can see why. I especially like sharing that one with him!

Happy Sam the Tortoise is growing. He really needs more space to run than his little aquarium. I need to rig up something for him. I was hopeful that next winter he would be old enough to live outside and then learned that he may need to be indoors for yet another winter. He's funny. He climbs up on things and then falls off the edge, lands on his back and lays there wiggling like he's a screaming for help. I'm rather thankful that I won't be around in 100 years to move him. I can't imagine.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

365: week 15


Posting late. (That is an understatement!) Darling wedding wedding and this was my only picture.

99/365: Leftovers for lunch. Been a long time since my kitchen saw meatloaf.

100/365: 2 days in a row and probably the last of my cooking for the week. We don't mind leftovers around here and we eat it until it isn't edible anymore or we're sick to death of it .. whichever comes first. The bright side of nearly empty nesters .. food goes a long way these days.

102/365: My new couch this week. Keeps one upright and busy! No lounging here this week.

Just take a seat and grab a kettle bell!

103/365: Play ball! Can I just tell you how blessed we are to have little people in our lives on a regular basis?

104/365: Seriously. A baby on the hip and screwdriver/pliers in the other hand. My right arm helper hard at work with me.

Incidentally, this chair joined our house at least 2 years ago (probably more like 3 or 4) in need of redoing. Some things take awhile around here. Can you tell? Kind of like blogging lately. We started taking this bugger apart and oh my gosh! I should have counted the nail heads so I know how many to buy. Hundreds I'm assuming. And then there were the staples. When I get to the point of putting it back together I am so going to appreciate my electric stapler. The fabric is here and waiting!

105/365: I really don't need a truck .. my trunk works pretty good. #woodprojects #strawberryjam #quilts

If I do it right ... JoAnn's first to use some yummy coupons, Home Depot second to pick up some wood, Costco last to pick up the things that can't melt. Then home to stare at it all and wonder where I should start.

I can't believe I'm this far behind in posting these. By now, the batting is in a quilt, the jam is in the freezer and the wood has been made into lovelies. The cheese is nearly gone and the sugar? Well, Jari does put more than just the one teaspoon he claims into his coffee. I really think that a spoon is a spoon to him.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

365: week 14

91/365: He's such a good papa.

He seriously sat and asked Wyatt which square he wanted to put his his X or O in. I don't recall who had which symbol ... neither one was a winner at the game ... but both were winners in friendship.

92/365: A splash of green.

93/365: Tax day sometimes doesn't happen for me until October. Done good on time this year ... computer crashes and all!!

94/365: This guy is cute but I seriously want the big one off the billboard on I-17. 
#chickfilacatering #farmfever

95/365: Easter wishes from patients.

Unfortunately, perhaps to hide house smells, she sprayed the entire baskets with so much perfume that the chocolate inside probably wasn't edible and we couldn't handle the smell. Sweet gift nonetheless.

96/365: I had some time while waiting for your mom to be done with her appointment today so I came to see your marker. I can't help but wonder where you would be today and what path you would have walked. Your resting place on this earth is beautiful. The breeze sending the trees in a little sway .. the birds making their voices heard. So peaceful and quiet that if you listen real close .. you can imagine the chorus of angels in heaven. There are many who surround your resting place who are also a part of your choir. Children who, along with you, always hold special places here on earth .. in the hearts of many of our dear friends.

97/365: Somedays your sewing maching has to move to the kitchen counter. 
#dadanddaughterbonding #workinglate

The kitchen counter I was using was directly above the heat spewing dishwasher. A bit of a sticky situation but I finished the top of a baby blanket .. in girl colors!!

We also attended a wedding Saturday evening. So beautiful and special. I didn't take a picture of the bride and groom as can be typical for me. We were feeling a little old. Jari asked me if we were getting older or the young people getting married were just getting younger. When my daughters were the bride's babysitters? Yup. We qualify as getting up there.

We had company over Friday evening and I got the funnest text messages after they left. The Mr. of the couple thinks I am about 14 or 15 years younger than I really am. Seriously. I am contemplating sending him roses. He still thinks my hubby is about age appropriate. I have had some seriously good giggles the past few days.

Heini came and spent some days with us over the weekend. Was fun to have her here and we got to do a little bit of running around and playing amid the visiting time. Hoping this happens more often.

365: week 13

84/365: Final coffee evening with the man who has been his second father. Going to miss these special people being close to us.

85/365: God be with you 'til we meet again ..

86/365: #nofilterneeded

87/365: Love when dinner looks so pretty you want to haul out the China dishes!

88/365: Practicing for the empty nest: hall lights off and doors open at nite.

89/365: Happy 3rd Birthday Sebastian!

90/365: Taking up real little sewing .. American Girl doll size. Practice run nearly completed for 2 young ladies.
#sewingfun #birthdaygirls

Monday, March 27, 2017

365: week 12

77/365: Why does a nice vacation always end this way?
#longlines #tsaonholiday

In retrospect, I am changing the title of this.
77/365: So many fortunate people traveling to and from loved ones. 

78/365: 90 something degrees at home today .. having a pining for my winter jacket!

79/365: A typical Tuesday in my working world.

80/365: Breathe.

81/365: The escape artist showing us how it works.

82/365: Auntie snuggles.

83/365: Absolutely beautiful weather + playing with projects = thrilled mama.

It has been a post vacation week. Why are those so difficult?!

Jari doesn't have time to be the laundry man anymore so I was down to the last pair of socks by Friday. The refrigerator is probably a project piece and the house ... well, it has been a long work week for both of us.

I have had the sweetest snuggles from the smallest charmers making me the luckiest Nana in the whole wide world.

Saturday I was up at 5 a.m. doing taxes. It is crazy but it is what it is. I didn't push the send button. I don't like the numbers. After several hours of that, I headed outside. The day was beyond beautiful and I started attacking projects one after the other. This is how I roll. I work on a number of things at the same time, working on one thing until I've run out of material and need to stop. I add needed things to my every changing Home Depot list and then move on to the next thing until the same thing happens again. I pack them away and next Friday (if I've managed to pick up supplies along the way) I pull them out. If I haven't .. I move on to the next thing. There is a 0% chance of boredom over here.

I need some metal brackets and then my last photo of the week project is done! I've been looking at it for way too long ... going on several years now. It is going to live at my daughters house but I need to make sure it isn't going to fall off the wall on the heads of some littles before it goes.

I also brought home some boxes from work this week. Often I have one sitting by the front door, other times it lives in the trunk of my car. Cleaning out things can be so challenging, but oh so rewarding when it is done. One space at a time ... slowly.

We are off to church this morning and then a lunch date. Home for a nap .. we hope .. and then off to another visit.

Have yourself a wonderful week. If it is one that brings you challenges, remember this: