Sunday, August 31, 2014


THE PRAYER


We may not have the voice of Celine Dion or Josh Groban but we all have something to give, a quick wit, a kind word, a patient nature, an artistic flair. The trick is not only to recognize our talents but to share them. Listen as these two make beautiful music... truly a gift from God.

HAVE A BLESSED SUNDAY!





Thursday, August 28, 2014

I WANT TO DANCE IN THE MOONLIGHT!


I have always been a "good girl" an obedient child, who got good grades, practiced my piano and was clueless about Woodstock and Haight Ashbury even in the middle of the 60's

I graduated from college, taught second grade, got married had six babies, and devoted myself to my family. I am a self proclaimed "homebody" who passed up many adventures because I wouldn't leave my children. I have no regrets about that, but TIMES HAVE CHANGED!

The other night my youngest daughter took me to Costco.  What a fun place. She talked me into buying a little bottle of pesto, something I had never tasted. When I got home I opened the jar and took a whiff. It was so robust and dense. I wasn't exactly sure what I would do with it but the delicious aroma gave me this overwhelming feeling that I wanted something new... not the road less traveled but a road I've never set foot on.

I laid in bed that night thinking of all the things I wished I could do with my life...



I want to take a cruise to Alaska and then travel the scenic route by train across Canada. 

* I want to bicycle through Vermont in the Fall and return to watch the tapping of the Maple Trees in the Spring.

*I want to live in an orange house.




* I want to visit Nantucket and buy a hat from Peter Beatons.

* I no longer want to eat... I want to "dine" on the freshest and most delicious food I can find.  No more meatloaf and mashed potatoes, I want something new, maybe sushi. 

* I want to visit Lake Placid, the Appalachian Trail, and tour the Southern homes in Savannah.

* I want to get my masters degree in English Literature.



* I want to sit in Central Park and watch "Pale Male" swoop through the trees.

* I want to work from home in my pajamas.

*I want to LAUGH every day.





* I want to fall in LOVE.



And... I want to dance in the moonlight like Isadora Duncan, with only a long silk scarf to cover my nakedness. 


I WANT TO FEEL ALIVE!  


Wow, that was quite a bottle of pesto!
KEEPING IT EVEN

INGE LOOK artist

Last weekend I listened to a psychologist speak about the differences in the way men and women relate to their own gender. 

She generalized that while men often "step" on each other as they climb the proverbial corporate ladder, their behavior is both expected and accepted.  Its just men being men, doing what they must to succeed and provide. 





Women she noted, are very different in their approach, they like to keep the playing field even. If a women becomes a little too successful her cohorts will pull her down.  If someone is struggling, others will lift her up. She proposed that we like to feel equal as we measure our success or failure. 

I'm not sure if that is completely accurate but it is food for thought.   Women are competitive and most of us tend to be a little insecure. What looks like criticism is actually a reflection of the fears we hold for ourselves. 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we truly believed that there was room for everyone to sparkle, each unique but equally valued in what we have to offer. When I find myself feeling threatened I try to remember that the place I hold in the universe can only be held by me. We are one of a kind and we don't have to be afraid. 

I believe as women mature there is potential for an amazing metamorphose. Being generous in our relationships, kind, supportive and forgiving may not always keep things even but it definitely makes us, as individuals, shine a little "brighter" 


"Who can find a virtuous women, for her price is far above rubies."  Proverbs 31:10

Monday, August 25, 2014


JUST IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD...


I live in the country where the sound of a rooster crowing in the morning is a predictable way to start the day.  But when a neighbor brought home a couple of miniature donkeys no one expected to hear what came out of their mouths. 

My goodness how could anything so small make such a large sound. They bray like clockwork every morning and sometimes in the late afternoon. Its a very noisy way to start the day.

Still, they are pretty cute and so far it looks like they are staying.











My dad use to sing this song... now it makes sense.

"Sweetly sings the donkey at the break of day,
If you do not feed him, this is what he'll say...
Ee-aww, ee-aww, ee-aww, ee-aww, ee-aww"


Found this You Tube clip that sounds just like them.



HOME IS WHERE YOU HANG YOUR HAT?

But I've ALWAYS been concerned with what the hook looks like!

My son and his family just moved from their beautiful home on the hill overlooking the valley. It was not an ostentatious house but it was spacious and meticulously well kept. 


It had a huge family room and wonderful entryway, vaulted ceilings, an immaculate yard complete with a tree house my son built, five bedrooms and a kitchen with all the amenities. Did I mention the three car garage which was perfect because these people have "toys" 

For the last eight years my son has been commuting to his job in Salt Lake City, driving 90 minutes each way down a very steep canyon which can be treacherous in the winter. As a captain in the fire department he works crazy hours. He also teaches at the fire academy, works for FEMA and is the President of the firefighters union. He is one busy guy. His family wanted him closer. No... his family needed him closer.

When I arrived at their new home I was a little stunned. It is an older home, still with lots of room but not nearly as nice. In fact they quickly admit they will be changing lots of things... flooring and closets will just be the beginning. My son is very skilled with his hands and I'm sure in time this house will be as wonderful as the last.

It was quickly apparent how happy they all are with Dad never more than 20 minutes away and I began to understand what my daughter-in-law had been insisting for over a year. 


If "He" is going to be passionate about his job, then we are nixing the commute...we are moving closer!

She's a good woman who was willing to give up "things" to put her family first. She went with a smile on her face and hope for the future.
 
I know I am lucky to have her as my daughter in law but the really blessed one is my son... he is married to a very unselfish and wise woman.
 
Michelle...
A remarkable woman of a certain age!
 

Home isn't where you hang your hat... its where you gather your family!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

IN THE PAGES OF A BOOK ...



"Do you know, Peter asked, why the swallows build their nests in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the STORIES"    PETER PAN



They're back... all 700 of them!  I've just spent a week updating and entering all of their names and information into our computer system. Reading assessments have been made and on Monday they will come streaming into the library looking for a book.



After the flurry of "check out" the library goes deafly quiet as they escape into another world... fantasy, mystery, science fiction.  It is magical to watch.

Reading is everything. It unlocks doors, opens opportunities, enlightens and inspires. The written word is delicious and more often than not we find ourselves in the pages of a book. 


FREDERICK THE LITERATE by Charles Wysocki



"The love of learning, the sequestered nooks... and all the sweet serenity of books"  
LONGFELLOW


Monday, August 18, 2014

THE ROAD AHEAD...


I love blogging. I like having a voice and an opinion. I love finding beauty in the world and I am always hopeful that someone is reading.

There is certainly no shortage of people out there but there are very few I draw into my inner circle. I'm pretty much a "lone wolf" in a butterfly costume.

To say I was a late bloomer would be comical. I don't think I began to see things clearly until I was 60. Don't get me wrong, I have had a wonderful life filled with many happy memories but at the moment the road ahead looks dimly lit. I'm not sure what's next.

Taking a few days off... hope you don't disappear.

Thanks for reading!

Suzanne

"I took the road less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
Robert Frost

Saturday, August 16, 2014

REACHING OUT 


We are so different... we are so much the same.
LDS philanthropies
















Have a beautiful Sunday!

BUNDLE UP


Since I spend months out of the year bundled up against the weather I am always excited to see the Fall lineup of outerwear. These are the newest arrivals from Pendleton.

Their quality is amazing and I love the neutral colors. 




Looking forward to cooler weather!


Heading to Nordstrom today to try the new NARS collection. It looks so soft.


Have a good weekend!

Friday, August 15, 2014

THE DARK THREADS  ...


My mother was a weaver. When I found this little poem among her things I was struck by what a poignant description of life it is. We are all on a journey that sometimes feels like a roller-coaster. The trick is to hold on and finish the ride.



My life is but a weaving,
between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors,
he weaveth steadily.

Oft' times He weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper 
And I the underside.

The dark threads are as needful,
In the weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver,
In the pattern he has planned.

Not 'til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas,
And explain the reason why.
(anonymous)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

TONIGHT YOU BELONG TO ME!



Feeling more than a little overwhelmed... my son and family move into their new house on Friday and I'll once again be an "Empty Nester"... that's a good thing. I'm in the middle of "back to school" meetings... not my favorite thing and I'm starting a new business... can't get my brain to turn off!  


I just need something to smile about... here it is!




This little girl woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of fireworks. She was frightened and this is how her dad got her to calm down. Pretty good dad!

Have a good day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR...


Today we collectively mourned the loss of an immensely talented, overly gregarious and profoundly generous human being. Of all the things that were said about him today, one comment stood out...

Robin Williams was a loyal friend

When Christopher Reeve was left a quadriplegic after an equestrian accident it was Robin that showed up at his hospital bedside and did what he knew best... he made him laugh.

Slated for a dangerous surgery and knowing that he only had a 50/50 chance of survival, Reeve lay in his bed as one last doctor entered his room, slipped a latex glove on his hand and with a heavy Russian accent announced that he needed to do a rectal exam and would Mr. Reeve please roll over. 

Too stunned to speak, Chris watched as this man insisted in a most animated fashion that he move quickly. It took a minute before Christopher realized it was Robin Williams. He would later say... "For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay."

Robin remained loyal to Chris throughout his ordeal and to his family and foundation beyond his friend's passing.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we each had a friend like that... even better if we could be one. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


TILL YOU MEET AGAIN...

Artist Joe Petruccio
It would be an understatement to say that Robin Williams was extraordinary. He was like no other. From Mrs. Doubtfire, to Good Will Hunting to the voice of the genie in Aladdin, he was funny, he was irreverent, he was adored. 

One never really knows a public figure because they are seldom what they seem. The sad part in all of this is at the moment when he decided he couldn't go on, that life had lost its savor, he couldn't feel how much the world LOVED him. A big part of being happy is not just being loved but embracing it and accepting it. 

I hope he is at peace. I hope he can finally see clearly what a gift he was.  The loss is hard, but my thoughts are for those closest to him... his family. Till you meet again...


This little clip is from the Today show where Robin made frequent visits. They too loved him and this shows some behind the scene moments.



Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I'VE BEEN SPOTTED!  



I'm not sure where my obsession for leopard is coming from but I just can't seem to get enough. 

I "spotted" this dress at Nordstrom.  Don't know if it was the softness of the matte jersey or the swish of the flirty skirt but I knew I had a match. It fits perfectly and that doesn't happen often.





I wore it today with a little black 3/4 sleeve cardigan and this big chunky necklace I found at Banana Republic. 







The black leather jacket will have to wait for cooler weather.



Something about getting older is so freeing. I'm definitely walking on the wild side.

Friday, August 8, 2014

"BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON"

PHOTO BY TAVIS MACNAB (pinterest)

There's a full moon tonight and hundreds of people in our little town will be keeping their eye on it as they run the 12 1/2 miles from the top of the canyon to our local city park. 

Now in its 6th year, the rules for the "Moonlight Half Marathon" are simple... start whenever you want (most prefer 8:00 pm) and walk, run or push a stroller down the canyon. 

The winner is the first person to finish after midnight (no timing devices allowed)

What could be more fun that running in the dark with the heat of the day behind you and only the big old moon to light your way. Its bound to be a magical night.


A wonderful climax to our last few days of summer.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"SOMEBODY'S BABY"

Yesterday nine year old "L" spent the day with me. 


I needed to do some shopping which included a trip to the health food store to grind my own almond butter. 

The "homeless man" was sitting on a bench by the front door. He's always there, just sitting, just staring. I usually try to buy something that he can eat and give it to him on my way to the car. 

One bitter cold day last winter I bought him three apples. He looked up and smiled... he has the most beautiful blue eyes but no front teeth... whoops, that was going to make it hard to eat the apples.

So on this sunny summer day "L" and I bought him a big "LOVE" chocolate bar. We handed it to him and those blue eyes, ever so slightly, fluttered a thank you.


Once in the car "L" asked... "What's wrong with him?" 

"I'm not sure" I answered. I paused and then I said. 

"We all make choices, some good and some bad. His choices have brought him to a place that's hard. Maybe, I continued, you could imagine him the same age as your little brother. Once upon a time that man was somebody's baby."

I love my job as the school librarian / math teacher. Teaching school will either keep you young or turn you grey. I go back next week and I am both excited and reluctant. 

I know going in I have to arm myself with PATIENCE. I live for the "light bulb moments" when real learning occurs and in between I look at those faces full of personality and spunk and sometimes learning challenges and know that someone at home is hoping I will help them, teach them, love them, they are all...  "somebody's baby"


My daughter use to play this song for "L" when she was tiny... 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

PLAID 
From punk to preppy! 

Plaid made its first big appearance in the late 17th century. 

The rebels of the Scottish highlands donned the cross- hatched tartan as a mark of clan identity and a symbol of rebellion against the English. After the Scottish rebellion in 1746 the wearing of plaid was forbidden, the ban spanned four decades. 

Over the years plaid has been linked to a diverse array of cultural groups... railroad workers, lumberjacks, cowboys, farmers, truckers, hippies, hipsters, grunge rockers, gangster rappers, surfers and skaters. I've probably missed a few. 




Today it holds a ubiquitous place in the modern fashion world, running the gamut from punk to preppy, an enigma that just won't die.



So, as fall approaches its not surprising that plaid is once again front and center with a lot of mixing and matching.

I love this big bold scarf paired with a classic glen plaid jacket that looks like it may have been borrowed from "him" There are no rules this season.






If you are not comfortable wearing lots of pattern use it as an accessory  Check out these great shoes.

Plaid is the one item that I would never toss because it just keeps reinventing itself. Suddenly that old scarf lurking in the back of a drawer, has the "wow" factor. 






 Fall 2014.... think plaid!


BRINGING SUMMER HOME! 

Its August and summer is waning and though the days are still hot there's now a cool breeze that waifs through my open bedroom window at night. 

Mother Nature has once again proven herself reliable and the bounty is abundant. 




Nothing can surpass a vine ripened tomato eaten like an apple with a little salt.

Although I grow a small garden, I look forward each weekend to a walk through the park that hosts our local Farmer's Market. I've purchased lettuce there so sweet that dressing would have ruined it. The corn is hot and buttery and the artisan breads, infused with herbs, hardly sit in the baskets before they are sold.


One lovely women sells her homemade jalapeno jelly in varying degrees of "heat"  A dollop of that will warm you up on a brisk winter morning 











And then there's the "WAFFLE LOVE" truck that parks at the curb and sells waffles right on the street.

At almost $10.00 a pop this is not an everyday indulgence. 









Still, I have to admit that it was worth every penny. The picture says it all! 


Bringing summer home is a joyous end to the season and Mother Nature has been more than generous this year!


Here's a couple of fabulous recipes...

WAFFLE LOVE  - These are unique because they are not made from a batter but from a dough recipe.  For more details click on the link
ingredients (This comes close)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, scalded and cooled to warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons water, warmed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups Belgian pearl sugar 


RASPBERRY JALAPENO JELLY  for more details click on the link

ingredients

3 or 4 jalapeno peppers (leave seeds in and dice small)
1 medium red bell pepper (diced small)
1 medium green bell pepper (diced small)
6 c sugar
1 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 pouches liquid pectin 
1 1/2 c raspberries


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

WHEN THE EMPTY NEST ISN'T EMPTY ANYMORE...

   The art of  Jennifer Yoswa www.jenniferyoswa.com

If my children have launched and are deep into families of their own. then why is my nest not empty?  Let me explain...



There was an all too familiar phone call from one of my children requesting that they keep their Christmas presents hidden in a spare bedroom. OK, you can do that. 

I am also storing a couple of dozen huge bins of expensive quilting fabric for my daughter. She's an amazing quilter but the fabric... there's a lot. It makes it hard to park in the garage. 





Another daughter has a "flea market" business going this summer and has left a few clothes racks and boxes of hangers piled next to the quilting bins. Did I mention it makes it hard to park in the garage. 

I have three broken kitchen aids in the same garage, all from different homes. There was some kind of epidemic but my son swears he can fix them. I'm headed to Williams Sonoma to buy a new one!

There's someones running stroller, I haven't identified the owner yet and the old trampoline mat... "Don't throw that away, I'll be back to get it"  No one has returned. 

OK... I can no longer park in the garage!


I've given notice to these people ... Come and get your stuff. Anything left after the 1st of September will be up for grabs at a garage sale. No one really believes me.

Now that I've got that off my chest I'm ready for my son, daughter-in-law, four grandkids and a dog to move in. Their old house closes tomorrow and their new house isn't ready for a couple of weeks. 


Its a good thing I love all these people!

THE NEST IS NEVER REALLY EMPTY!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY


When my youngest son left to spend two years in the Phillipines as a missionary he was so excited that he didn't even look back. 

Then a couple of months before his homecoming I heard this song. The lyrics resonated in me.  







As hard as it is to let adult children go, setting them free insures that when they do return... its because they want to!


HOMEWARD BOUND
by Marta Keene

In the quiet misty morning
When the moon has gone to bed
When the sparrows stop their singing,
And the sky is clear and red,

When the summer's ceased its gleaming,
When the corn is past its prime,
When adventure's lost its meaning,
I'll be homeward bound in time,

Bind me not, to the pasture,
Chain me not to the plow,
Set me free to find my calling,
And I'll return to you somehow





One of my 5 favorite books of all time. Reading this will change your perspective on life!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

IN THE AIR ...

LAWNS  TIPS click here...
We have had, in my estimation I rather mild summer, we've even avoided staggering triple digit temperatures. Last week there was a cold snap that left us with rain and the highs in the mid 70s. 

I went out very early this morning to mow my lawn and as I was riding my mower in the cool air I got a strange whiff of fall. 




Its way too early, but there it was.  If I'm smelling fall now... I just hope winter keeps its distance.

Friday, August 1, 2014

"ALL THE KINGS HORSES AND ALL THE KINGS MEN... "


When my oldest grandson was not quite five he began to talk about divorce. No one is sure how it got started but he was upset for months.  He was afraid that his parents were getting divorced.  They reassured him over and over of their love for him, his siblings and for each other but he was still plagued. 

He could feel that divorce was coming into his life but at his tender age he misplaced it. His parents weren't divorcing... his grandparents were. Because my oldest and his family live a few hours away, they were able to put off telling their children for a long time.  They saw us both, just not at the same time. They were afraid of this little boy's reaction. When they did tell him they got what they expected... a tsunami of tears.


Divorce is hard and calling it a "death" is pretty accurate. It doesn't just affect the couple it effects the entire family. I thought because my children were adults that they would handle it easily. I couldn't have been more wrong. Each, in their own way, has walked through "hell" and still, eight years later, its the elephant in the room. 

My grandchildren are always eager to tell me when they have seen grandpa and exactly what he did and said. That was painful for me for a long time until I realized what they were doing. In their little minds they are trying to reconnect us. Just two weekends ago little six year old Andy said to me...  



"Grandpa is coming to our house... you know that man that's suppose to be your husband."  

A little surprised, I just smiled.

Do I regret divorcing? No.  Thirty-three years of living a lie was enough. But, having said that, when people confide in me that they are thinking of divorce I always tell them.


 "You'd better think about this long and hard before you do it" 

I know there are many times when it is an inevitability, but if there is anything to work with, any chance for change and a reconnection I would TAKE IT!  

Yesterday I listened to JK Rowling, famed author of the Harry Potter series, speak about failure and how it propelled her toward success. Its the old pendulum analogy... however far we swing to the left we have the potential to swing to the right. I get that, but the fear and pain from failure has kept me sitting quietly in a puddle, hoping to go unnoticed and unscathed.


Now suddenly my "puddle" feels stagnant and I am surprised to find myself yearning for what I said I would never have again... a relationship with a man. Not a husband, just a friend... OK maybe a boyfriend... no just a friend. Even talking about it makes me queasy. 

Knowing that if we stand still while the pendulum swings we might get hit, I'm not sure where to begin, not sure I can even begin... 



Maybe wanting is a start