Friday, November 9, 2018

"The godly nature of simple things"

Thomas Merton once said we spend most of our lives under water. Every so often our head clears the surface and we look around and get our bearings. Then blik, we go back under again. In the moments when we get our bearings, we realize, “Oh my God! Look how endlessly trustworthy life is! Look at the God-given, godly nature of simple things!"

When I read this excerpt one morning, from one of my favorite daily devotionals, I thought of how Friday's Fave Five is one way to be intentional about these little glimpses of  grace. 

Here are a few of my 'glimpses' from the week:

~~ A field of bright orange pumpkins against a backdrop of snow covered mountains, and the herd of black Angus cattle happily munching on these unchosen delicacies at the local pumpkin patch.

~~ My Christmas cactus, sprouting dozens of bright pink buds!

~~ Watching my grandchildren as they explore and figure out new things -- shapes and letters and numbers.

~~ A spontaneous hug with Dan. Feeling his warmth, his arms around me.

~~ Connecting with the associate at the cosmetics counter at Nordstrom's. She helped me choose the perfect shade of sunscreen, and we discovered that we both love books and shared our favorites. We parted, each with a new title and author scribbled on bits of paper.

 If you would like to share some of your own "moments," do so in the comments, or go to Susanne's blog to join in!  Here's the link.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Practicing Gratitude

There's double the reason for practicing gratitude today. It's time Friday Fave Five and it's the month of November, the month of Thanksgiving.

Haven't we all had those times when we feel like we've been dished out more of the hard stuff than other people, and wonder why? No matter what your situation, it's all in how you look at it. There's a story about Mr. Rogers that's become well-known. His mother used to advise him, in scary or tragic times, look for the helpers. I tell my kids that if you look for good things, you'll find them. And the same is true if you focus on the bad things, you'll find those, too.

I love this challenge on Fridays, to look for the blessings.

~~ Last weekend, I spent a delightful couple of hours with my Auntie Ann. We went to lunch, then scoped out the new Hobby Lobby, followed by a visit to our favorite place -- Barnes and Noble:)  We came home armed with new magazines, and I bought Christmas cards. 

~~ That same afternoon, I spent a luxurious hour with a cup of tea and the latest issue of one of my favorite magazines. I read it from cover to cover, all in one sitting. A simple thing? maybe, but it felt self-indulgent and restful.

~~ We celebrated our friend's birthday at The Old Spaghetti Factory. One of the best things in life, being with friends you have loved for years, laughing and sharing good food. I anticipated the time together all day.

~~ Finished a wonderful book -- Barbara Wright's Plain Language. Against the dramatic setting of the Colorado eastern plains during the 1930s Dust Bowl era, a newly wed couple who are middle-aged and both having lived independent lives, try to save their ranch. They learn a lot about each other and themselves. 

~~ Brooklynn and Bentley were over on Halloween, and they always give us something to laugh about. Dan was handing out candy to the trick-r-treaters and the kids were helping. Brooklynn (3) carefully gave each costumed visitor two pieces of candy, as Dan instructed. Bentley (2) holding on to his own treat bag, picked out two pieces of candy, giving one to the trick-r-treater, and putting the other in his own bag. He was quickly dismissed from the job.

Hope your week had some special moments, too.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Thankful on Friday

Wow, the week went by in a hurry. It's time to take a look back with thanksgiving for the good times.

1. I'll start at the beginning. On Sunday, we took Brooklynn and Bentley to the park with a picnic lunch. It was such a gorgeous day! 

They have their moments, like most siblings, but for the most part they are so sweet with each other. Bentley took his shoes and socks off, and big sister Brooklynn wanted hers off, too. But she was wearing her knee-high Halloween socks and having a hard time. Little brother to the rescue!

They crack me up!

2) Wednesday was Dan's birthday! Joe and Sam took us to dinner to celebrate. So fun being with those two! We went to a local brew pub and had pizza, then they presented Dan with tickets to a Canadian Brass Christmas concert in December. He loves the CB and we both love Christmas concerts. We're all going, and it is something to look forward to.

3) Just in time for his birthday, the finishing touches were put on the workshop that Dan has been building. An electrician friend finished up the last of it, and with a coat of paint, it will be ready for occupancy. The heater arrived this week, too. It's a cozy looking shed, and I've been threatening to take it over for my 'She Shed.'  Ha!

4) I have to take the car in today for a recall, and it happens to be in the same town where Joe works. So, he is going to pick me up and we'll have a lunch date. 

5) I'm so blessed with awesome, prayerful girlfriends. These past couple of weeks, I've felt their love and support more than ever. So awesome to know that I can reach out with a phone call or a text, and they are right there. How lucky am I? Love you all. xo

Happy weekend! It's going to be beautiful here, and I have plans to be outside, get my house in order for when the Wisconsin crew arrives in a couple of weeks, and enjoy being with my hubby.

How about you?

I'm linking up with two Friday memes this week:

Friday Fave Five is hosted by Living to Tell the Story.

Family Friday is hosted by A Spirit of Simplicity

Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday Favorites

It's been a gorgeous week with blue skies, fall colors and lots of sunshine. Here are some of my favorites, joining in with the Friday Fave Five crowd.

Moving ~ Nope, not me, but my aunt closed on a condo on Tuesday, and we've been packing and choosing paint colors, and move her tomorrow. It's a lovely unit, in the same complex where she's been living, but on the ground floor. Everything has gone so smoothly.

Coffee with Kathy at a new place ~  Met my bff for breakfast at a neat little coffee shop that is in a quaint old house. It is staffed by volunteers and run by Global Refuge, a non-profit organization that sells goods made by artisans who have been affected by war. Proceeds from the sales of goods and coffee go to the artisans and their communities.

A writing retreat ~ I went on a three-day retreat up in the mountains earlier this week. Met some wonderful people, got to spend my days writing and doing some hiking, and it was fabulous.

Watching the new fall shows ~ of my favorite series -- Madam Secretary and This is Us. And shows Dan and I watch together -- Modern Family, Big Bang and Last Man Standing.

Reconnecting with friends ~ Last week, I stopped at the library to pick up some books that I put on hold, and ran into a friend that I used to volunteer with when our kids were in grade school. We didn't have the kind of friendship where we would do things outside of volunteering or stay connected afterward. But she is someone that always makes me smile and laugh, as we catch up on the happenings of the past year or so since we last met.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

October Daybook

For Today. . . Tuesday, October 16th

Outside my window. . . I'm surrounded by the beauty of the mountains. I'm on a retreat for a few days with 20 other writers. It's been such a peaceful and productive time. The cabin has a great room with windows on three sides and a big rock fireplace with lots of seating, and plenty of tables for spreading out laptops and writing materials.

I am thinking. . . that the problem isn't that I don't usually have days at a time to devote to just writing. There are few things I can do 24/7. But, the gift of these few days is that I can write for a couple of hours, and then have some time to just breathe. Take a walk, read a book, take a nap. And then step back into writing whenever I want. It's the 'white space' that is the gift.

I am thankful . . . for the woman who organized the retreat. She is doing all of the meal prep (we all chipped in to supply food and pre-made soups, salads, casseroles) and clean up.

In the kitchen. . . Homemade bread, soup, sandwiches, salads with homemade dressings for lunch. Dinner, tacos one night and spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread the next. Breakfast is a big buffet with homemade quiche, and this morning one of the men in the group made everyone eggs benedict. Lots of wine, tea and coffee to feed the creative juices, too:)

I am wearing . . . jeans, flannel shirt, thick socks, and slippers.

I am creating . . . a new chapter for a novel. 

One of my favorite things. . . this mug.

I am going. . . to miss not being in the snow when I go home tomorrow.

I am learning. . . so much from other writers.

I am wondering. . . if I will ever finish this book in my lifetime;)

I am pondering . . . that it really is about enjoying what you're doing and letting the end product be what it may.

A favorite quote for today. . . 

Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than you have in mind. ~~ David C. Allen

The Simple Woman's Daybook is hosted by Peggy. If you would like to join in, here's the link.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fall Favorites

I'm happy to be back with the Friday Fave Five crowd, looking at the week and finding moments of grace. It's one of the things I miss doing when I'm not blogging. Writing has a way of helping me focus on the details, bringing color to the bigger picture. So, here goes. . .

Getting back to blogging ~~  I didn't intend to stay away for a month, but it happens. It's that way with a lot of things, resisting and avoiding, and before you know it you lose any kind of momentum. So, this week I just decided to jump in feet first. Like riding a bicycle, it all comes back quickly. Writing helps me make sense of things and pay attention to the details, especially looking for the blessings at the end of each week.

Dr. Becker ~~ I had some minor surgery last week, called Moh's surgery, for a spot of basal cell carcinoma on my face. It's not uncommon here in Colorado, where the higher altitude puts us closer to the sun. Incidents of skin cancer tend to be higher than in other parts of the country. My surgeon, Dr. Becker, is exceptionally gifted, and there is hardly any evidence of incision. In addition, he was kind and warm, so the experience was a positive one overall.

Brooklynn and Bentley and hugs galore ~~ We saw two of our grandkids on Tuesday. It had been a few weeks, and they're just 2 and 3, so I sometimes wonder if they'll fell a little strange when they haven't seen us in a while. No worries! They ran to us with open arms. We went out to eat -- fast food chicken sandwiches where there is a playground for them to run. After we had our sandwiches, I was going to buy a milkshake for them to share, but Brooklynn explained, "I like 'trawberry. Bubba likes chocolate." She held up her fingers -- "Get 2." I don't blame her, I don't like to share my ice cream either.

Pumpkins and Mums ~~ I can't resist the displays at the grocery store with bins filled with pumpkins and orange, yellow and purple mums.

Soup and sandwiches ~~ It's been cold and wet this week, and we even had a sprinkling of snow yesterday. Time to break out the traditional soup and sandwich supper. Dan made clam chowder and grilled cheese on Wednesday. Always a treat to have someone else 'cook!'

How was your week?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Hello, hello! It's me! I had no intention of taking such a long break, but life got in the way! We've been celebrating some family birthdays, catching up with friends, and taking in the last of Indian summer. It's been a busy few weeks that jumped quickly from summer to a cold, wet day today that feels more like winter on its way. This post is going to be a bit discombobulated, but I fear that if I don't just go ahead and write it, I'll never get back to blogging.

A quick recap of what's been going on.  In September, we went to New Jersey for five days. We saw family, visited the shore, and attended a beautiful wedding for our godson and his lovely new wife. It was wonderful being at the shore in September. So quiet, and unhurried, and the ocean was rough and wild.

We visited some of my cousins whom I haven't seen in years. It was such a lovely day, hanging out on the beach, remembering old times and enjoying sharing news of the present.

And watching my cousin Laurie's husband, Kevin, fishing. 

The next day, we visited my Aunt Sheila and Uncle Dick, which was much too short.

Joe and Sam arrived a few days later to join us for the wedding. And, I don't have a single picture of the wedding! I can't believe that happened, but I have to say, I enjoyed just taking it all in and not watching parts of it through the lens of my phone!

I do love fall, it's probably my favorite season, and I've been trying to soak it all up because it is so fleeting. I put together a fall package for Siefer and Sawyer (and Miranda and Luke, too) including some fall decorations, baking cups and cake mix and fall sprinkles, and some treats for each one. It was fun to do, and I think they enjoyed receiving it.

I've managed to get in some reading, too.  I read The Japanese Lover by Isabel Arende, on the plane and it was excellent! And The Lake House by Kate Morton kept me up much too late, two nights in a row!

I made some pumpkin muffins last week, intending to freeze some, but they didn't make it that far:)

 And, on Saturday, I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce with meatballs for a retreat I'm going on this weekend. It was a chilly, wet weekend, and the house smelled so good, and we ladled out some of that sauce over penne pasta for supper on Sunday. Man, was it good.

Other than cheering on the Rockies in the post season, and helping my aunt pack up to move from her upstairs condo to a ground level unit in the same complex (it doesn't seem to matter if you're moving a thousand miles or 200 yards, the effort is still all consuming) it has been business as usual around here.  Well, aside from a minor surgery for a small spot of basal cell carcinoma on my face, and the once-a-decade colonoscopy. It's always somethin'.

There. I did it.

Happy Tuesday to all!