Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gypsy Girl!

Summer's come and gone...
It's been a while since I've blogged...I couldn't get into my account. Somehow I managed to land here today so I felt I just had to fill you in on the past six months.
I've had a lot of fun and a few challenges.

I was able to visit my brother Kevin and family in Hayden Lake for six weeks (which flew by). I plan on staying a long summer next year and I'll be there to see Ryan graduate in June! Chris is quite the accomplished breakfast man...Kevin continues to bake the best sourdough french bread and the pizza dough delish!

Ryan got a new dog --Stella - both very cute and entertaining. Ryan can make me laugh in a nanosecond. I dont know why I dont have a picture of my niece and sister-in-law...they both get prettier every year! Was hard to leave the family for sure and I miss them so much.
Managed a good visit at The Porch with my friend Carol - She is such a joy-filled faith-filled woman of God. I wish I could just have her with me all the time....her wonderful husband, Dennis, might object though!!! Can't wait til next Summer!!

My old car gave up the ghost early in the summer...I was without a vehicle for two that is challenging!! I'd get up, get ready for the day, and head on out...whoops! No car! I had to laugh it was so ridiculous. Fortunately my pals were happy to pick me up and drop me off when needed.So, while in Idaho Kevin was looking for a car for me and ended up selling me his Avalon. He took very good care of it and I'll try to do the same. It's a smooth ride and I love it.

Summer's fun was not over!

Patti flew up to Spokane - picked her up at the airport and we were on our way to Ashland, Oregon. Patti is a hoot (to say the least) so it was a guaranteed fun road trip where we only got lost twice .... even with her GPS in hand. We stopped for Starbucks often and spent the night at the Columbia River Gorge where she insisted a stranger (well, Patti never met a stranger, so I made lots of new friends) take our picture --(rolling eyes)!!!!

Then it was time to celebrate Norma's big birthday bash week in Ashland...There were only 40 of her favorite people was a lot of fun with plays, food and gatherings...memories were made that will last a lifetime. She wanted no each of us wrote a letter to her expressing what our friendship meant which went into a big book. Later pictures of the week were placed inside as well. She loved it.

Returned to Patti & Mike's in Martinez to spend the winter with my girlfriends--Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years as well as many Red Hat outings, Bunco, bible studies, Creekside church and a good and very busy life. I've volunteered to work in the office of Shelter, Inc (outreach to the homeless in town) and I'm awaiting their call.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's up to you ...

Just thinking about beautiful butterflies with their painted wings. Sometimes their wings get tattered by the storms, color diminishes, fall to the ground, sadly left. Everyone pays attention to the beautiful ones, they get all the attention. No one photographs a butterfly laying damaged on the ground. Liken this to humanity and I fear its the same way with people. In fact, people are quick to cause pain and sorrow for others and especially pay no attention to what they consider 'less thans' or damaged goods. It's like taking a beautiful butterfly and wiping the color off their wings and stomping on them. Let's look to lift the spirits and offer grace to everyone we come in contact with so that their lustre can return and being loved and valued...know they are beautiful.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Good Friday Memories with my Dad

Good Friday Memories with my Dad...

Good Friday brings back my memories of growing up Catholic and my dad making sure we knew the significance by having us attend the three hour mass every year. As a kid it was an interminable amount of time to sit still ... but still we sat. No coloring books to keep us busy, no toys, no talking.

I admire my dad for being true to his beliefs and making sure that we had knowledge of seeking after God and knowing what Jesus did on our behalf by dying on the cross...our sinbearer.

My mother was a presbyterian who signed over her rights so that we would learn my dad's faith and while she helped us by making sure we memorized our prayers and learned our weekly lessons, she never did go to church with us.

I remember my dad talking about what Good Friday meant as we drove over to church year in and year out. I frankly did not like the incense as it made me feel very queasy. The pomp and circumstance of it all was intriguing I do admit. My dad was good to explain what everything meant, each station of the cross and so on. I think that is one thing (of many) that I appreciate about my dad...he was very patient with me in explaining and answering all the questions I had about God.

Another memory I have of Good Friday is that if we caught a break and didn't have to stay the entire three hours at church, we were sent to our rooms once we were home to contemplate just exactly what Jesus had done. Now in high school I admit I usually did that for about 10 minutes and then read whatever book was on my nightstand.

Many would say that we are brainwashed at an early age with religious instruction, but what does anyone do about something they hold dear? Do they hold it back until their loved ones are 10, 15, 20? No, they share it and especially with their loved ones so that they know what makes them tick and what drives them to live the way they do. I'm grateful for my dad's integrity in making sure that we knew what God was all about and for the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. No one can argue that.

I wish more churches that are not RCC had Good Friday services, but don't, so I might find myself at Christ the King in Pleasant Hill tomorrow. The day is worthy of much contemplation, incense or not.

If you are not a person who cares about God, you might want to consider this: When is the last time someone took it in the gut for you and died so that you might live? He covers our sin and is a bridge to God and eternal life. My dad told a friend the night before he died that Christ was the only sinbearer and the nurse told me my dad's last words were, "Lord, have mercy on me." I'm sure He did!

I am grateful my dad was so faithful in taking us to church every Sunday and sharing his core beliefs...those lessons were the seeds that led to my faith and gratefulness to Jesus Christ. I can't imagine life without Him and while life isn't the same without my dad, I know I will live eternally in his company. Thanks Dad! You were such a great father I had no trouble understanding the love of my Heavenly Father.

To quote Tony Campolo,"

It's Friday, but Sunday's comin'!

Happy Resurrection Day!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Well, its my birthday! They seem to roll around quite quickly as I age. How can this be? I feel 19...ok ok 29! Put the music on and lets dance and celebrate!!!!!! I'm excited about my big 'surprise' party all know I love a party! Thanks now for what will be a fun and love-filled evening.

I used to send my mother flowers on MY birthday because I have always been so grateful for my life.

I choose to focus on the blessings and the gifts of people that the Lord has given me. I rejoice in each one of you!!
You are the buttercream frosting of my life.

Thank you, Lord, for creating me and watching over me and
caring about every single thing that happens in my life.
You are my strength & my peace.
I love you.

Psalm 139
13For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be

17How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Off to Plymouth CA in the Sierra Foothills with my Red Hat Gals!

So my favorite Chenin Blanc at Spinetta Winery was half off today! is that nice or what? mmmmMMMmmmm (They also tag it as "good and yummy" and it is!!)

Lunch at Taste restaurant began with Mushroom Cigar-ette's: a smaller version of their award-winning mushroom cigars, crimini, shiitake, oyster mushrooms, fresh herbs and goat cheese wrapped in phyllo OH MY GOODNESS delish!!!
Entree: Frito Misto: crispy battered rock shrimp & seasonal vegetables, (fingerling potatos, cauliflower, rutabagas) and saffron aioli and a chard salad... WOWZERS!!!!
Oh the bread was creative and my favorite was the walnut blue cheese dark bread...dipped in 18 year old balsamic vinegar and oil....heaven!
Dessert: Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with pistachio toppings scattered about! FABULOUS is all I can say.

(The flower farm was 'closed due to snow'--that's about 2500 elevation!)
FUN FUN RED HAT FUN. We all had a great time sipping wines, eating together and enjoying much laughter!

Fellowship is SO important to our lives!!!!! xoxoxoxxoxo to all of you who enjoyed my event...thanks for braving the weather!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jack & Jeff - Really intelligent people!

I really do love being around smart people! I love talking with them and seeing a bit of how their minds work. It's probably because I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box. Everyone has gifts and I'm just fine with that, but really smart people expand my understandings and my horizons in a way that makes me happy.
I'm not talking about the pseudo-intellectual or the intellectual that has to keep on telling everyone just how smart they are. I'm talking about the gracious, kind and true intellectual. I think those kind are more balanced socially and have many interests besides book learning.

I spent the afternoon Wednesday at my friend Norma's home. She was entertaining Jack, an 89-year old retired orthodontist from Walnut Creek. Jack's wife had a meeting to attend and Jack has Alzheimers so instead of we ladies playing pinochle, we played Scrabble with Jack.
I've known Jack for about 20 years but never knew him very well. He's a good looking fella and must have been off the IQ charts in his youth.
Jack was one of the original Lil Rascals. I don't know which one. He loves to tell you that he was! Many times, in fact. Jack entertained us all afternoon and was thoroughly delighted to be in the company of four women. He told us that quite often as well. He had many pieces of chocolate caramel hearts because his wife won't let him eat candy!!

But what was fascinating to me was to play Scrabble with Jack. I originally thought, "Well, this will be interesting. I wonder if we let him think a word is correct that really isn't. I wondered if we'd have to help Jack. Oh silly me!
Jack knows how to play Scrabble and is still quite good at it. Jack had a couple of words that I had never heard before, and they were not those 'odd Scrabble words' people use. We challenged him and we lost! Pretty hilarious. He did concentrate, and was not playing an easy game for himself. He was consistently trying to make the best word for the most points, trying to fit letters in within other blocks of words so he would get the most points. He did it quite often. I just sat there amazed and thought about the fact that if Jack could play such a game of Scrabble at 89 years of age with diagnosed and very noticeable Alzheimer's, what pray tell was Jack like when his brain was fully functioning. It boggles my mind.
I also came upon this when taking care of my son, Jeff....a very intelligent crayon! His MS had taken many routes through his brain, making the MRI look like swiss cheese, yet, time and time again, Jeff could figure out how to do something he couldn't do anymore, but in a new way -- all was still far beyond me. He still was able to converse intelligently and only occasionally did he have trouble finding the right word. Now I knew this kid all my life so I was familiar with how he 'used to be' and the struggles he did have during those difficult MS years. I often told him that to still be this intelligent with a swiss cheese brain, he was more fortunate than most.
I think he and Jack would have had a great time together. God bless them both.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shop Sassy Lasses!!

I decided to set up shop on my blog until I get my webpage done! Enjoy!

Tea Pot hand-beaded & charmed Infusers
Specialty teas! Fruit Blend in 4 oz jar $7.00
Pomegranate Green & Chai in1.5 oz jars*
makes one pot or 10 cups of tea. $3.00

Herbs de Provence * $7.50*6 oz jar
This spice mix combines sweet French herbs and lavender with flavorful Italian herbs. Authentic, commonly used blend for stews, meat dishes, fish, eggs, and sassy sautees.
Ingredients: Rosemary, Thyme, Savory, Fennel Seeds, Basil, Lavender, Marjoram.

Cinnamon Sticks * Six, six-inch pieces tied in a cute ribbon * $5 per bundle

Tea Cup Infusers * $7.50
with hand beading & charming.
Fill with 1 t. of loose tea

Hand-mixed spa sachets
Choose from Eucalyptus, Lemon and Lavender
$2.00 ea.
Bath herbs are blends of natural botanicals that offer therapeutic relief for the body & mind. Special mixtures of herbs can help soften dry skin, calm sore muscles, clear congestion and purify the body of toxins. Drop one in your bath while hot water is running for a bath that will sootle your aches and pains (Eucalyptus), relax you (Lavender) and perk you up (Lemon).
Sweet angel pins
Who doesn't want an angel on their shoulder
watching over them?!

Dipstix*$2.25 each or 5 for $10.00
Makes wonderful dips for chips & much more!
Here is a bit of information about the choices and ingredients!
Quality ingredients give the dips that "home-made" flavor
Bacon bits, onion and a smoky spice blend. Great on chips, veggies or as a potato topper.

Just like the Bacon dip, bacon bits, onion and the smoky spice blend, but we've kicked it up a notch and added some dried horseradish to give this dip a little kick! Even if you don't like horseradish, you will like this this one!
Onion, dill weed and the secret spice blend. Mix with 1 cup sour cream and 1 cup mayonnaise
for a great tasting vegetable dip or add to your homemade bread dough!

Like the name says, this one is double the GARLIC. Lots of minced garlic, onion, chive and the special blend of spices. Mix package with 1 cup sour cream and 1 cup mayonnaise, or mix with a tub of real butter and use for shrimp scampi or garlic bread!

Sweet red pepper dip great for chips, veggies or crackers! Roasted red peppers mix with onion, garlic and our special seasoning blend Mix with 1 cup of sour cream and 1 cup of mayonnaise
For a cracker spread mix 1/2 packet to an 8 oz tub of whipped or softened cream cheese.

Just the right blend of jalapeno, red and green peppers, onion, garlic and cilantro. Mix with a 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes, diced or 2 cups of fresh tomatoes. Just the right heat! Want it spicier? Mix the packet with a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies.

Spinach, onion, garlic and spices combine to make a tasty veggie dip. Try this in a bread bowl for something different Mix with mayonnaise and sour cream
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