Gerry and I have been on a modified vacation this week. Yes, it's true we worked all day, but the vacation started on Saturday and has continued every day at about 5:30 pm. On the weekend I stocked up and prepared all kinds of salads, cold cuts, cheeses, fruits and vegetables so we would be ready.
We've been enjoying a record-breaking heat wave here in the Pacific Northwest. While many have been complaining about the heat, we are enjoying it to the fullest. We do have air conditioning in our home and I am profoundly thankful for it, but truth be told, we've really only been in the house to sleep.
We spent most of the weekend and every evening outside in our back yard in holiday mode. We moved our chairs and my lawn swing to the shady area of the grass, stocked up with books (in my case Kindle), snacks, cold drinks, magazines and we have just taken some down time.
Once in a while we've hopped into the hot tub (which isn't so hot at this time of year) to get wet and then dried off in the sunshine. It's been one of the most relaxing weeks I can remember.
I realized how little it takes to make me content. Good books, good conversation with my husband, my little dogs, homemade potato salad, a cool breeze, blue sky, a glass of cold Chardonnay, the sound of children playing in the distance, I could go on and on. As we head into the weekend I hope to keep the holiday mode going for as long as we can.
By the way, as I looked at the picture I posted here I was thinking about the taste of a tomato freshly picked and still warm from the sun. Oh my there anything that tastes so good?! That first bite, when the flavor explodes in your mouth fills me with the taste of summers gone past. I'm reminded of tomato sandwiches, summer holidays, and gardens I tended long ago. So much nostalgia packed into a little red tomato.
Happy Friday all!


I've been thinking about buns. Fresh baked, still hot from the oven, butter melting, heavenly smelling, buns. My mom used to bake bread and buns when I was a child and I can still remember what a treat it was for the senses to come home from school on the days when she baked. The smell of fresh bread has always whispered home to me.

When I was a young mom I used to bake as well. Occasionally I baked bread, but more often I made buns. I still have recipe cards written in Mom's handwriting for Air Buns and Overnight Buns and lately they've been calling to me.

The challenge is this kind of baking is an all day commitment. From making the dough in the morning, waiting for it to rise and punching it down a few times throughout the day, forming the dough into balls, waiting for them to rise, and then finally baking the buns, it's not a task that a working woman can take on very often.

A few years ago bread makers were very popular and we bought one. It worked pretty well and I turned out some pretty tasty treats, but it felt almost like cheating.

It's summer, the house is warm, I can manage to be home all day on a Saturday now and then, I'm thinking that there are some fresh buns on the horizon for us!

I'm also toying with the idea of getting a KitchenAid mixer. Gerry is trying his best to talk me into it, but I'm concerned that I won't use it often enough. That dough hook that comes with it is making it more attractive at the moment though. I haven't kneaded dough for many years, and I'm wondering if a dough hook would be the way to go. Then again, if I used the KitchenAid it wouldn't be the old traditional method that I'm longing for. many things to think about on this Saturday morning.


We all have them. It's true that some are larger and more obvious than others, but the smaller subtle ones are no less valuable. I am talking about our personal gifts.
When my son was twelve years old, he watched a TV program that showed how to build an Adirondack chair. After the program was over he went out into the yard and built a beautiful chair of his own. I'll find a picture and post it one day, it was remarkable. Building and woodworking is his gift.
My daughter taught herself to read before she went to school. When she was a young child we bought her a huge Websters dictionary (at her request!) and she loved it when we suggested large complex words or her to look up in the dictionary. Reading is a gift she has.
My husband can talk to anyone about anything. He is a people person and a natural born salesman. I marvel at him as he moves in areas that terrify me. In this area, he is gifted.
I find it interesting that, while it's often easy for us to pick out giftings in the lives of those around us, but we can struggle to identify our own unique talents. We tend to be modest about our own strengths and may not fully appreciate those things in ourselves.
I challenge you today to look at your own life and share with us what areas you are especially gifted in!


I feel like Tim Allen this afternoon. Do you remember his TV show called Home Improvement? I used to love the passion he had when he described one of his high powered gadgets. Remember that little rruurruurr growl he would give?
Well check out this bad girl that I just picked up this afternoon. She's an 18" Lasko Remote Control Performance Pedestal Fan....Model 1854. She's got two speeds, she oscillates, and she has a 1, 2 or 4 hour timer. Rruurruurrr!!!!
I assembled this little lady all by myself and there she proudly stands waiting for the test drive tonight. I'm expecting that she'll be sending all those nasty night sweats running for cover.
I've decided to call her Hope.

Fickle Friend

Have I done something wrong? I don't understand why you seem to have deserted me. I know you're still around because I hear stories of you meeting with others I know.

Over the years our relationship has been fairly consistent. Oh sure, there were the occasional times when I was a young college girl when I stood you up, but you seemed to understand and we were able to pick up just where we left off.

I introduced my children to you when they were babies, in fact I couldn't wait for them to develop a relationship with you!

Now you tease me into believing that you are going to show up. Sometimes you even stay for a few hours, but never for as long as I wish for. This on-again off-again state of our relationship is becoming more difficult for me to deal with. You hold all the power, you know I can't live without you.

Sometime I seek solace in others who hold promise of the same relationship that I have with you. They may help fill the void for a while, but I never stop longing for the real thing that I once enjoyed with you. Lunesta and Ambien are just short term comfort as I wait for you to come back.

Sleep, my fickle friend, please come home.

The enemy of the best

Today I am thinking about the phrase the good is often the enemy of the best. In this fast-paced world it very easy for one to become over-committed to very good projects with all the best intentions. Unfortunately, all too often we also find ourselves running on empty and not giving our very best to anyone or any thing.

In my life I have been trying to pare down so that I can put more focus on what I'm beginning to refer to as my calling. (nothing mysterious there, it's just what I an beginning to see as my purpose in this life)

I had a conversation with my husband last night as I was trying to decide about the best use of my time and talents in a certain area and this morning I am at peace with a decision. I want to give my best to an area that I feel called to; I can't do everything and I don't want to be spread so thin that I am of little use where it matters.

Think about your personal calling and any areas where the good may be stealing the best you have to devote to that calling. That is my challenge for today.

What Not to Wear

Do you ever watch that program on TLC called What Not to Wear? I tune in occasionally when they feature someone who is, shall we say, mature. Every once in a while I learn something that is helpful in dressing this aging body of mine.

A few days ago they featured a woman of about sixty years of age. She dressed flamboyantly with lots of glitter and her hair was blonde and big. She was a divorced mom who dressed, acted, and enjoyed dancing and partying with her daughter.

I couldn't really relate to where she was coming from but I watched it anyway. Turned out that I found it to be one of the most melancholy programs I've ever seen.

The program hosts always deal with clothes first. In this case, she was ready to tone down the glitter and got some really nice outfits that were more appropriate to her age - yet still fun.

Hair was next, and that's where it all fell apart. Her long, big, blonde hair was transformed to a shorter, more classic, cut. The peroxide blonde was toned down to a share more honey colored. No more teased hair, just a classy style more age appropriate. I loved it! She hated it.

The show might as well have stopped right then, because she was no longer with the program. She couldn't accept her new hair style. The comment that continues to stick with me is when she said "guys won't like it".

I wanted to reach through the TV screen and give her a hug and tell her that it doesn't matter if guys don't like it; it doesn't even matter if girls don't like it; it's about what you like and what makes you feel good. I guess in this case, her previous style did make her feel good, but I can't help think that it was for the wrong reasons. She was a soft-spoken woman who dressed in such a way a to draw attention to herself and to please others she felt she had to. My heart went out to her as I sensed that she hadn't yet experienced the peace of accepting herself for the wonderful person she was created to be.

One of the best things about growing older is that we lose the desire to please everyone else and we become more comfortable with showing the world who we really are. I want to look nice and presentable but I have no desire to look twenty again. I'm fifty and proud of it!

My home and native land......

It's Canada Day! Although we live in the United States, and will be celebrating the 4th of July in a few days, today we are celebrating the birthday of our homeland.

In honour of the day, I thought that I would share some Canadian tidbits with you.

If you know who Stompin' Tom Connors is.....and you can hum the song called The Good Old Hockey might be Canadian!

If you have ever plugged your car in at might be Canadian!

If you have ever frozen your tongue to a flagpole in the might be Canadian!

If you know that Regina means pile of bones, if you've ever been to Moose Jaw, and if you can spell might be Canadian!

On the other hand.....

If you have ever enjoyed long hot summer evenings when it stayed daylight until 10:00 might be Canadian!

If you have ever spent a summer without rain from June through September with the average temperature hovering around 100F / 40C might be Canadian!

We are flying both the Maple Leaf and the Stars and Stripes on our home today. Today we're celebrating with our country.

Happy Birthday, Canada!
Our home and native land.