For me, it’s always the
simple things

that make me smile. 

I came into my office early this morning, slid my window open and was immediately greeted by the croaking frogs that make their home in the ivy below my window,

and then

like a concert unfolding

the resident birds began singing their morning song,

serenading not only me but the early morning dog walkers who are already strolling our street. 

And that’s just the background music to this beautiful new day!

I believe every day should be exceptional + creative. . .

“Tidbits” I’ve gathered along life’s way, beginning from my mother.

1)      It’s your job to be happy. (It’s up to you how you react to every/any situation).
      2)      Be like a reed of grass in the wind, bend with whatever comes your way.  It’s when we are stiff and rigid that we get broken.
3)      You’re responsible for all the joy and fun in your life.
      4)      Only boring people get bored.
5)      Every morning say “This is going to be a great day!!”.
6)      Keep movin’.  Walk 2 miles every day.  Outside.  Rain or shine.

 “Life is like riding a bicycle.  In order to keep your balance you must keep moving”.

Plus. . .

Everyday. . .

Fall Is In The Air

Fall is in the Air.  I love this time of year.  My thoughts turn from gardening to cozy nights curled up in front of a warm crackling fire,  

A pot of soup simmering on the stove. . .  

And fresh baked bread. . . 

Straight from the oven. 


1 ham bone or pancetta
3 garlic cloves, chopped + 2 whole garlic cloves
6 sage leaves
3 Tblps. Extra virgin olive oil
2 cans white beans or dried beans that have been soaked in water for 12 hours. ( I always use canned beans)
1 Tblsp. Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning
1 Tblsp. Basil
2 Tblsp. chopped parsley
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
8 cups vegetable or beef stock
Salt & Pepper to taste 

Combine the ham bone or pancetta, chopped garlic and sage in a deep saucepan.  Add 3 tablespoons olive oil and cook over low heat until the garlic is golden.  Add the remaining ingredients + stock and bring to a slow boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 2 hours until veggies are tender.



I rarely buy anything unless it’s on sale. 


 Almost never. . .

Ever. . .

It just doesn’t make sense to me to buy something at so much more when I know in a few weeks it
will go on sale for half its price.  I have a sister-in-law that

Seriously. ..

can clothe their 7 children and herself and my brother for about $5.00.  What she doesn’t buy on
sale, she sews for them.  Including lingerie.  And did I mention, she makes her own catsup! She was regularly featured in our local newspaper for several years for her coupon clipping abilities.  And the products she took home, almost free.

But then, out of the blue, there was that one item. . .

A few weeks ago we attended the Bellevue Art Fair that is in the parking garage of Bellevue Square.  It was a hot summer day and at one point we headed into the mall for a reprieve from the heat and to just cool off.  One of my favorite stores is Anthropology and that‘s where I ended up standing in front of the most awesome EURO WHITE PILLOW SHAM I had ever laid eyes on.  As I held it I dreamed of what it would look like resting in the center of our bed.  But I also knew the wise choice would be to not buy a pillow sham at a price that would have put 4 meals on our table.  And so I walked out of the store leaving it behind at its home on the shelf. 

Sigh. . .

I went to bed that night with visions of that white pillow sham dancing in my head and woke the next morning to the same visions.  By the end of that day I was on the phone calling, you guessed it,


asking the kind sales person to please locate that sham and pop it in the mail to me.

She promised it would be at my door in 5 to 7 days.  It would be hard to wait that long,

but I knew. . .

 I could do it. 

Well, as the story goes, 5 days turned into 10, and 10 into 14 and 2 ½ weeks later there was still no package on my front porch so I made the call to let them know the sham had never arrived. This awesome clerk spent hours, literally, trying to resolve the problem of “the missing pillow sham” to discover it had never been mailed.  At the end of the day she promised I would have it in 2 two days, and you’ll never believe this,

at half price.

Some things. . .

we’re just meant to have.

Sometimes we can’t always have what we want the moment we want it

But. . .

Sometimes it’s well worth the wait.

At least I like to believe that.

p.s.  I sent a note in the mail to her manager to tell her what an awesome sales person she employed.