What does this photograph say to you? To me it says "home". These proud beacons of the prairie, the few that remain standing, call to me in my dreams and bid me to return.

I wonder if as we grow older, and perhaps wiser, something within us awakens and amidst the clamor of our day-to-day lives enables us to hear a whisper that calls us back to a simpler time. A slower time. The place where we began.

As our lifestyle changes to fit our circumstances does something within us protest, causing physical aches and pains that are a manifestation of the discomfort we feel at not being in the place where we belong?

Can an attachment to a place be as important as it feels? Is it nostalgia or is it something more? Is it really true that "you can't go home again"?

What do you think?

Beauty Treatment

The girls spent the afternoon at the beauty salon.  Could they be any cuter?!

Rebel Grandma

You might not realize it, but there is a bit of a rebel inside of this grandmother.  I may seem quiet and mild mannered but sometimes I just can't resist doing something unexpected like dance in the grocery story or clap my hands when I find the "perfect" outfit for one of my grandchildren.

It's in the spirit of unexpected rebellion that I had to have this Anne Taintor tote.  If you have never checked out any of her products I cncourage you to pop over to her site. 

She's got just the thing when you're in the mood for a quiet rebellion.

New Kid On the Block

There is a new kid on the blog-o-sphere today! I hope you all will pop over to Laurinda's Seasons of Life and encourage her as she begins her blogging journey.

I'm proud of her and only a little bit biased!

Everything Old is New Again

I remember going with my mother when I was a child to purchase fresh chickens from a local farm. We didn't always have a garden, but I when we visited my grandma we always went out to the farm and brought back fresh produce.  Mom made jams, preserves and pickles.  The shelves of our cellar were lined with jars filled with the fruit of her efforts.

Finances were tight when I was a young married woman and sometimes the only ingredients I had on hand to feed my family came from the garden. In the fall I froze the surplus to last through the winter. I also had an herb garden and spent a lot of time learning about the properties of various herbal remedies. I baked bread from scratch.

Then life changed, I became a career woman, and convenience reigned supreme. Gardening? Baking? Who had time?

I'm a grandma now and it would seem that live is coming full circle.  These days my focus is shifting to the quality and the source of the food that we eat.  I buy organic produce and absolutely will not buy the feed-lot meat that I used to buy.

It was a beautiful, warm, and sunny day here in the Pacific Northwest yesterday.  The perfect day for putting together the new compost and sowing some seeds.  I even spent some time outside digging in the dirt cleaning out flower beds.

Gratitude on a Spring Afternoon

Do you remember a hot summer day when you were a kid and your best friend gave you just a lick of a her orange Popsicle? Remember how sweet it tasted and how you wished you could have more?
That's how I felt today. The sun has been shining all day, there isn't a cloud in the sky, and the temperature is almost 60 degrees.

This afternoon I put on a pair of capri pants, dug out a pair of flip-flops, and took the girls for a walk around the neighborhood. As we walked I heard the drone of lawn mowers as the first cut of the year took place, I saw cherry blossoms beginning to bloom and women puttering around in their gardens.

I breathed deeply and slowly trying to take it all in - trying to get enough to satisfy me in case this was to be the last day like this for a while.  The weather man tells me that we will enjoy similar weather for the entire weekend but he's been known to be wrong.

When I got home I grabbed my camera to take a few pictures around the yard to share with you.  The crocus and daffodils are blooming!

The heather has been blooming for a while now - hardy creature that she is.

Even the clamatis I planted last summer is beginning to show signs of life.                                     

I took a broom and swept away cobwebs and stray dead leaves from my entry way.  It's all ready for pots of flowers now!

Meanwhile back in Baby Land where my heart truly is, Makiya was out for a walk with her Mommy!

So much to be thankful for....

Arms of Adoption

I'm starting a second blog.  I mentioned recently that I've been astounded at the number of people I come into contact with who have been touched in some way by adoption. I've also observed, as I've been here-and-there in cyberspace that there is a lot of negative information floating around on the subject.

Adoption, by it's very nature, is not a perfect situation.  That said I am confident that the blessings outweigh the negative aspects; at least they did in my case.  My goal with this new blog is to provide balance to the information that is out there and to provide a place where others who see the positive can share their stories. 

We can all make a choice to focus on the positive and that is what I am trying to do.  I hope you'll join me over at  Arms of Adoption, and I hope you will share your positive adoption stories by sending them to armsofadoption at gmail.com

Seeing Clearly

They're everywhere and I spend a small fortune buying new ones.  Corrective lenses.  I've written about this subject before but last night I saw something with a whole new perspective (pun intended). 

During the day I wear contact lenses.  The problem with that is that, while my distance vision is good, I can't see well enough to read anything close to me or to clearly work on my computer.  So, I have computer glasses that I keep at my desk, and another pair of fancy schmancy glasses that I take to meetings that allow me to read paperwork in front of me but still clearly see other faces in the meeting.

I have a (very expensive) pair of progressive lenses that I wear when I'm not wearing my contacts.  With those babies I can see far and I can see near.  I usually only wear those at home though. 

I carry a pair in my purse so I can read menus and labels when I am shopping.

I have a pair in my home office, a pair in my knitting box, a pair in the bathroom, and a pair in the kitchen. 

Last night as I was getting ready for bed I took out my contact lenses stood for a moment looking at the orchid that Gerry had given me a few days ago. Without the benefit of corrective lenses of any kind, I saw those beautiful blooms with a clarity that I had not seen before. They were stunning!

With my aging eyes naked, so to speak, I found that my vision for things right in front of my face is crystal clear.  Being the introspective sort that I am I wondered if there was a lesson there for me.

I wonder, as we get older, if we're meant not to focus more on what's "out there" but to turn our eyes and our attention to that which is right in front of us. Important things like family, friends, and that which we were meant to spend our time on.

Could it be that there comes a time when we are meant to stop driving so hard to attain some of those goals we had when we were younger? 

Could it be that it's okay to take the time to play with a baby, read a book, take a nap, and marvel at the beauty of an orchid?


I was going through some old papers this morning and found an old notebook that I used to use to copy down favorite quotes that I stumbled upon.  About thirty-five years ago there was something in this poem written by W. H. Davies that touched me enough that I felt compelled to write it out. It speaks to me today even more than it did back then. 


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare? --

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
Adn watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Is there anything in this verse that inspires you as well?

Spring has Sprung!

It is a beautiful Valentine's Day!  I planted my flower seeds in their little peat pot homes today.  The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and  I took my first barefoot walk of the year in the yard to take this picture!

I am a barefoot girl through and through. I loved the smushing feel of my feet sinking into the wet spongy lawn this afternoon.  That, perhaps more than anything else, speaks to me of spring on the horizon. 

It is the promise of many months free of the confines of socks and shoes treating myself to pedicures and ice cold Starbucks Frappachinos. 


It was a quiet day at the office today.  I have needed a quiet day for months, it seems, so that I could take some time to catch up on some things and try to get ahead of the tsunami that seems to be my workload for many months.

I found myself breathing deeply, consciously, something that I don't recall doing purposefully at any other time.  It was odd when I realized that I was inhaling deeply, pausing, closing my eyes, and slowly letting go.  Peace fell over me like a blanket.

Perhap it was the serenity of the day, or maybe it's because I occasionally picked up the slip of paper I keep beside my desk with a picture of the land we are thinking of buying and looked at the prairie landscape.  Maybe it's because it is the Friday before a long weekend.  It might be because I've noticed that my crocus' are blooming, or because it is still light when I go home after work.  I"m not sure; I just feel lighter.

On the way home from work I stopped to pick up a few things and found that the seeds are out!  I couldn't help but pick up a few packages; planting them will be symbolic of my resolve to slow down.

The lesson I have learned today is that breathing helps.  Who knew.

Please respond to my adoption poll if you haven't yet already. 


I've noticed a trend recently.  When I tell someone that I am writing a book about my adoption experience, almost without failure I hear how adoption has touched the lives of others.  Some are adoptees; some gave children up for adoption; some are adoptive parents; some are birth-parents.  They all have stories to tell.  This came to light for me again at the conference where, of course, the subject of my work-in-progress came up more than once. 

A few months ago I searched around on the internet trying to find a group of adoptees who shared my own perspective on adoption. I discovered that there is an angry community of adoptees out there, and that much of the anger stems from coming out of the closed adoption system.

I am considering starting a second blog with an adoption theme - a positive adoption theme - but before I go too far down that road I would like to hear back from you all.  You'll notice a poll on the right side of this page that I hope you will take a moment to answer.  If you care to leave a comment on this post, anonymous if you wish, I would love to hear more.

Conference Day 2 and 3

On Saturday and Sunday the inspiration and encouragement continued. This picture is of the panelists on Sunday's Finding Our Voices Online panel discussion, moderated by yours truly. The discussion and questions flowed and even though I was on the panel, I found that I learned things from these incredible blogging friends of mine.  If you have not yet had an opportunity to check out their blogs, please do!  They are Nita Lou Bryant, Judy M Miller, Becky Lane, Kara Flathouse, Rhonda Esakov, and technical guru extraordinaire Becca Taylor.

I learned a lot about writing, publishing, and myself at this conference; I disovered a new tribe of like-minded, encouraging, talented women; and I made new friends.  I'll be sharing more in upcoming posts.  Right now I feel a tad overwhelmed with all of it and I wish I had some down-time to process it all. 

Story Circle Network is an incredible organization made up of many hard working and talented women.  Join us if you haven't already!!

Conference Day 1

Yesterday started with a splendid start when I enjoyed breakfast and great conversation with three of the women who will be participating on the blogging panel with me on Sunday - Becky Lane, Nita Lou Bryant, and Judy Miller.

Although it was the first time we met in person, it seemed like we already knew each other, in part because we have gotten to know each other via our blogs and through Story Circle Network, but also because we share a common interest in writing and blogging.

Later, I had an opportunity for some heart-to-heart coaching sessions with Susan Tweit and later with Linda Joy Myers where I gleaned some valuable advice for moving forward with my memoir.

The pre-conference workshop with Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnet previewed a technique they write about in their newest book, Writing Alchemy. I can't wait to try it out on some vignettes I am thinking of using their techniques.

Then last night, keynote speaker Heather Summerhayes Cariou absolutely blew me away. In addition to being a actress and writer (her book Sixtyfive Roses: A Sister's Memoir is being made into a movie), Heather is an inspiring speaker with a sharp wit. I had picked up her book earlier in the day and I am looking forward to three uninturrupted hours to read on the plane tomorrow.

Inspiration abounds here at the Stories from The Heart conference. More to come!

Pre-Conference Notes

Hello from Austin! 

The journey was a bit rough but I am here.  It was one of the roughest flights I've ever been on, and after watching last night's episode of Lost I was wondering if we were all going to end up on an invisible island somewhere! 

Other than that, I enjoyed three hours of solitary reading time in Linda Joy Myers' The Power of Memoir.  I found a lot of inspiration and ideas in those three hours, evidenced by the papers I filled with notes as I read.

Upon arriving here in Austin I shared a shuttle to the hotel with three other women who were also on the way to the conference!  How exciting it was to meet and talk with like-minded women who I have previously only known through email. 

When we arrived here at the hotel I met a woman who had brought her little Yorkie with her.  If only I had know it was a pet-friendly hotel.  Trust me, it was hard leaving those cute little Yorkie faces at home this morning.

I'm just going to have cup of hot tea (it's COLD here!) and then venture out to help with conference things.

Catch ya later!

And Awaaay We Go!

I'm off to the SCN Stories From the Heart conference this morning and I am looking forward to a fun and inspiring weekend with incredible women writers.

It's a good thing I am a writer and not a mathematician because I am still trying to get it straight in my head how long the flight is and what time it will be here at home when I arrive there.  Numbers were never my strong suit.

I told Laurinda not to be surprised if I called her to Skype and it was the middle of the night where she is.  She promptly told me not to be surprised if she didn't answer!

I can't find my iPod so my plans of listening to podcasts on the journey appear to be put on hold, but I'll have my Kindle so I will certainly have plenty of reading material with me.  And I'll have my trusty laptop should the urge to write overtake me!

Time permitting, I'll pop into the Velvet Room over the weekend and let you know how it's going!

What Keeps You Up At Night?

A few years ago there was a phrase bandied about that asked “what keeps you up at night?” It was a way of asking what you were passionate about, what consumed your thoughts, what problems you wanted to solve.

I’ve been thinking about that phrase in the wee hours of the morning lately as I lay in bed listening to my husband and my dogs sleep. (It’s true, you can hear someone sleep.) Here are just a few things that are keeping me up at night lately.

• Would it be possible for me to live without central air conditioning if we move to the little house on the prairie that we are looking at? (This is a big one right now.)

• Who released a song called “Things That Make You Go Hmmm?” and why am I thinking about it?

• Why do I talk in my sleep so often?

• Why do I occasionally wake myself up by screaming?

• Why am I having hot flashes so often? Oh yes, because I decided to stop the medication that was keeping them at bay. Can you say high-deductible healthcare plan?

• How can I embrace the slow food movement when I don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I want to already?

• Where is that farm that sells the organic chickens and produce that I read about last weekend?

• Should I just get up and do something?

So tell me, what keeps you up and night? And while you’re thinking about the answer to that question, do you have answers to any of mine?