:: Daydreaming ::

One of my biggest and best dreams is to travel the world. I want to see absolutely everything that I 
possibly can, meet as many people as possible, and see wondrous things I didn’t even imagine 
could have existed. I could easily become bitter at my life right now, which does not include either 
the time, nor the money or the freedom to travel. 

However, I think it's important to note here that one does not have to travel the world in order to 
practice seeing things and people, and even yourself in a brand new way. For a while now, I’ve 
been doing lots of reading and thinking about ideas that are completely outside my own spiritual 
traditions, political culture, and daily grind. Deliberately seeking out new ways of thinking has been 
incredibly refreshing, and I highly recommend it! For me at lease, this has been my little way of 
getting out of my little corner of the world and allowed me to feel my heart opening, my 
compassion growing, and my own narrow mindedness exposed for what it is. Try it sometime. 


:: The little container garden ::


So, as you may have guessed this is not my garden and these are not my plants. But, I did talk my friend into having this garden. She was so sure she couldn't grow anything, and she has no room for a garden at all. But, she does have a balcony that gets lots of sunlight. The plants are doing great! She has a cherry tomato plant in one, a basil plant, and, a pepper plant. She brought them all over today to show me and to really water and give them a fertilizer treatment. I told her I think it will really help them. She's really excited about it. In fact, I even noticed that her porch has hanging baskets full of flowers. But, I'll let miss "I can't grow anything" tell me all about that one herself!


:: Remembering ::

How do you remember vacations and road trips and just little things about all the places that you happen to visit?

Do you buy souvenirs or T-shirts? I used to do that. Buy things from everywhere that I went. But, 
in the end, those things never lasted. I'll tell you what did last though. My pictures. Now you can 
save them to disc, or external hard drive... but, you will always have them. And the beautiful 
memories right along with them. My advice to you...

Take photos of your meals - it's a great way to remember them.
Take photos of things that are usually overlooked like; Strange billboards or signs
Take photos of wildlife, and beautiful flora and fauna
Take photos of interesting people that you notice everywhere 
Take photos of anything and everything that catches your eye.

That way you will always have tons of souvenirs by way of memories every time you get home and transfer them 
to your computer. Another thing. Make sure you take lots of pictures of yourself and the people you are with. 
It's not only more interesting, but more memorable as well. What do you love to take photos of when you travel? 


:: Wishes ::

I was thinking the other day about wishes,  hopes and dreams. Wishes are for many people, like fairy tales 
you read and fall in love with when you're a child, but, somewhere along the way, you grow up and grow 
out of believing in them. Not me. I believe in wishes, and in hopes and in dreams. I'm a big dreamer. 

And wishes are a naturally occurring thing that happen quite often every chance I get. Like, blowing out 
the candles on my birthday cake {with praline frosting I might add}, birthday wishes are not to be taken 
ightly. But that isn't the only thing to be wished upon. There are tons of things to wish upon. Tons.

Like falling stars. What makes this so nice is that multiple people can wish on the same star. 
All you have to do is see a falling star,  and you simply make your wish. 
The only rule is that you must see the star yourself.

A good time to get a wish like this is during a meteor shower. Or, you can wish on the "First Star". 
This happens every day, so it's an easy one when you need a wish. All you do is when you see the first 
star that appears in the night sky, you recite this rhyme:  Then, make your wish.

Star light, star bright First star I see tonight I wish I may, I wish I might  
Have the wish I wish tonight.

Wishbones are found in any whole cooked fowl. Generally, the larger the bird, the stronger the wish. 
This wish takes some preparation, as you have to let the wishbone dry out before using it. Overnight 
is usually good enough, although if you're in a hurry you could put it in a low oven for a few hours. 
Once the wishbone is dry, get someone else to hold one end while you hold the other. Close your eyes 
and make a wish, then pull apart the wishbone on the count of three. Whoever gets the larger piece has 
their wish come true. In the extremely unlikely event that the pieces are equal, both wishes come true.

Straw Wrappers. This is similar to the wishbone. Remove the paper from the straw and tie a knot in it. 
One person pulls at each end until the paper tears, and whoever has the knot gets their wish.

Eyelashes. If an eyelash falls out accidentally, put it on the back of your hand. Close your eyes and 
make your wish while blowing gently. If the eyelash is gone when you open your eyes—wish granted!

Penny. One might argue that a penny's real value lies in the wishing, because a penny can be 
thrown into any ole body of water. While some will tell you to make the wish while it's in the air, 
others will insist that you can't wish until it hits the water. Either way, pennies are great for wishing.

Rainbows. How do you not wish on a rainbow? Rainbows are awesome. When you see one, close 
your eyes and wish. Then count to ten, keeping your eyes closed. If you can still see the rainbow 
when you open your eyes—wish granted.

The Moon. You can't wish on the moon any time, but if it's full (or if it's your birthday), 
wish on it when it's at its highest point.

Ladybugs. If a ladybug lands on you—a real one, not those biting orange monstrosities—make your wish and say 
"Ladybug Ladybug, fly away home. Your house is on fire and your children are gone." If she flies away, you get your wish. 
Be sure to express your condolences to the Ladybug on her loss.

Stones. Plenty of people keep a Wishing Stone in their pocket. It can be one you found on a beach, 
or got for a gift, or something native to your state. Just rub the flat side of the stone with your 
thumb and make a wish whenever you need to.

Fountains. These don't seem wish-appropriate since fountains are man-made. 
But something about all that rushing water inspires people to toss a coin in and wish. 
Some say the bigger the denomination of coin, the better the wish.

Acorns. Acorns hold the seeds that grow into oak trees, so that's already pretty cool. 
If an acorn should fall on your head, pick it up and wish on it. If it's a big wish, 
leave the acorn on your windowsill for three days to facilitate wish granting. 
For love wishes, send the acorn to the object of your desire.

Falling Leaves. See a leaf falling from a tree? Quick! Make a wish on it before it hits the ground. 
Take the leaf home with you and press it in a book. Your wish will be true for as long as you know where the leaf is.

Dandelions. People without allergies often find white dandelions great for wishing. 
Pick the dandelion and hold it in front of your face. 
Close your eyes and blow. If all the white stuff comes off in one breath—you get your wish!

I've given you a lot of ways to make wishes. Surprisingly, if you look, you will find them everyday. 
Just close your eyes and make that wish. Most important,,, believe it!


:: She & Him - I love that emotion! ::

Wonderful pop/folk/old-time-country/awesome-in-their-own-genre singing duo She & Him.
Have you listened to them? I simply love their music. In fact, I have all their albums.  I even 
have their wonderful Christmas album which I only just got lat Christmas. Loved it!!!

The "She" part of the band is the awesomely quirky Zooey Deschanel. And the "He"? M. Ward

a talented singer/songwriter. The two make the perfect music pair. Deschanel's rather old-world voice matches up really nicely to Ward's original and whimsical tunes. I really find it hard to put their music in any certain category at all, because it doesn't sound like all the usual stuff you normally hear.

Instead of trying to define their music, it would be much easier to just tell you how it makes me feel. 
It makes me want to....

  • Swing dance.
  • Lay in a hammock and read a book until I fall asleep.
  • Bake a homemade apple pie and leave it to cool on the windowsill.
  • Reflect on my life in slow motion.
  • Get my swimsuit on and go paddle boarding .
  • Kiss.

Are you a She & Him fan already? Little tidbit that I did not know until recently:  Zooey is married 
to Deathcab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard? What a match! Tons of talent between them!

:: Fresh and Frozen Fruit Salad ::

Frozen Fruit Salad #1 

  • 8 oz pkg cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Mix in your mixer, starting out slowly but increasing speed until well blended.

Add the following:

  • 1 can of mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 can of pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 2 bananas, cut up

You can add any fresh berries you like (strawberries, raspberries, etc.)
You can freeze in a bread pan, muffin cups, or aluminum jello molds. Un-mold by running a knife 
around the edge and easing each out with the knife stuck in the side. Don't put in warm water to 
un-mold because then it will get mushy fast and won't look nice and crisp.

Frozen Fruit Salad #2     
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 12 oz package frozen strawberries (thawed)
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 2 bananas (sliced)
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 8 oz cool whip
In the bowl of a mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar. Add strawberries, pineapple, 
bananas, and pecans and turn on mixer to blend. Use a spatula to fold in cool whip.
Pour in a 9″ x 13″ (or 10″ square) pan. Freeze overnight. Thaw for half an hour before slicing and serving.

These make for the best desserts on warm summer nights, they use the bounty of fresh fruits that 
are available and it tastes delicious no matter which one you choose to try.


:: Thursday Love ::

I love Love Thursday's. But, then again, I love everyday, for that matter.  I am, if truth be told, a love junkie.
You know what I'm talking about. That sensation you get when you feel like you’re just going to burst because 
everything is so beautiful? That’s the love I'm talking about. It's so easy to feel too.

All. around. me.
All. the. time.
Indeed, love doesn’t always have to involve someone. Sometimes, it hits you when you’re walking in beautiful surroundings, or you witness something magical in nature, or the way you feel when a perfect warm wind blows on your skin… a caress from the Universe, or when a complete stranger smiles at you in such a way you feel the blush start at your feet and heat up your face. My favorite: when a song makes you break into spontaneous dance. All I’m saying is that there are an infinite number of ways to feel love (if you open up your heart to it) and it is the ultimate life experience. Wouldn’t you agree?


:: A little care goes a long way ::

I was considering the difference between self care and self restoration today. I was wondering what part 
they play in relation to the other and which must come first. Or if there is really a difference at all. I just think 
that all in all, we must show ourselves a little love now and again and remember that we are well worth it. 
All the time.

Self Care: The need to do something good for ourselves. Expressing love and kindness towards ourselves. Pampering our external selves. Taking a brain break to read or enjoy nature. Daily meditation and or exercise. 

Self Restoration:
 Allowing ourselves time to heal from internal and external wounds.
 Letting others help us heal.
 Getting adequate rest.
 Nourishing our bodies with healthy food. 
 Being present with our emotions 

 Expressing ourselves honestly.

I've been meaning to go out with my friends and get a pedicure. But I just don't do it. I find a million excuses not to go. I'm not even sure why this is difficult for me to do. Weird. But, I would rather take a nap, or read, or go hiking, or just ride my bike rather that get a pedicure. I like doing it myself. I'm kind to myself. I have sort of a ritual so to speak. It's calming.

Maybe, I'm just too busy. I'm so happy summer is here and all that it brings with... no more lulling around. I am really always on the go anymore - determined not to miss a thing, I have no doubt in my mind that I will plow through this phase, but for now I'm still trying to figure out what exactly my needs are!


:: Another quote ::

Today I feel rather empty. That gnawing, soul-starved, tummy rumbling that means you are empty. It's like I'm trying to squeeze myself into a shoe that no longer fits, and truth be told... change, real change is coming very soon. It was time to reflect, to re-evaluate my life. There is so little time left. I have to begin to make every moment, every second count. It's time I really live. And that's a good thing.


:: Finally ::

You're finally here. 


:: Quote ::

A wise and gentle woman knows when to allow the wind to carry her 
and when to create her own wind chimes. I want to be that woman.


:: Looking ::

Photo via pinterest

This year I am looking to deepen my practice of art journaling, It helps me find a wholeness inside. I am looking 
to deepen my understanding of how all this seems so interconnected in so many beautiful and mysterious ways.


:: OOps ::

Yea. That sort of just happened.


:: They say it's your Birthday ::

Today, I am turning 53. I know--I'm not sure how that's possible either! I could swear that it was only a couple of years ago that I was just a beautiful little girl. So, just so you know, I don't have a problem with getting older. {It sure beats the alternative.} I'm not going through any kind of midlife crisis or anything, I didn't even care much about turning the big 50 when it happened... so this is a breeze.

But, it did make me pause, and reflect about the fact that I'm twelve years away from actual retirement age. {Feel free to insert hysterical laughter here.} But, unless I win the lottery, I will probably never actually be able to retire, and, I don't want to actually stop working altogether ever, but still, I'm suddenly much more focused on getting my financial ducks in a row. And my will. I know. I'd really rather not think about these things either. But, there comes a time you simply must give this some attention, and then your done.

But, then there are other things as well... like the body. Jeez.  I wouldn't mind so much turning gray, but, the strands in my hair have over the last couple of years become snow white. I just tell people I highlight my hair, but one of these days I'm going to look in the mirror and see nothing but a head full of white.  

I think I look pretty good for my age {thanks, mom and dad-- I really do appreciate the good genes!}, but I'm starting to feel the effects of years spent sitting in a chair in front of a computer. I've been saying for ages that I need to exercise every day, and I am getting more serious about it. Looking at the number 53 seems to have motivated me to actually do it. For the most part though,  it makes me think about priorities. Nothing lasts forever.

At 53,  I am now over halfway through my life, and that's ok. Because I plan on making the rest of them count. Starting with this one. Age, it's
nothing to get all worked up about, right?

I have special plans for tonight. I'm going out with the girls.  There is nothing like sharing your special day with the most special people in the world sharing it with you. And so it will go. Another year behind me, and God-willing, many more to come. So, Happy Birthday to me! And, just for today, have something totally sweet and sinful for me! Thanks!

*All pictures from Pinterest


:: A Simple Thunderstorm App ::

This is a little weird because, you know, I don't plug products here at all, but, I just had to tell you about one 
of the apps I have on my phone called Thunderspace. Why? It's one App that has actually really helped me and 
several of my friends as well to relax, to meditate, and best of all to fall asleep to. Folks, I put in my head phones, 
start the app, and within mere minutes I am asleep. Really. No kidding here. It brings the storm to you, without the actual mess of a real storm. If you love the sound of a thunderstorm, then this app is for you, no kidding. Seriously, there’s nothing better than zoning out at home while in the middle of a thunderstorm, right? I love it, listening to the soothing sounds of a gloomy, dark storm with endless amounts of raindrops and rolling thunder and lightning. Sounds good, doesn’t it? 
Thunderspace by Franz Bruckhoff screenshotNow you can simulate the entire experience with your iPhone, thanks to Thunderspace. So, what exactly is Thunderspace? It uses stereoscopic 3-D audio to reproduce what you would hear during an actual thunderstorm. Of course, with this in mind, the app is most effective with a pair of headphones or earbuds, as you do not get the 3-D experience with the iPhone speakers. Additionally, the app will make use of your iPhone’s LED flash to replicate lightning. With this on, you will be told to place your iPhone out of sight (with the flash exposed), and it will flash in timed intervals to light up the entire room, as it would in real life. When you have both the sound and visual effects of a thunderstorm, it is absolutely like having your own personal slice of heaven.
Thunderspace by Franz Bruckhoff screenshot
The Thunderspace app will need to be open in the foreground for the effect to keep going without interruption. The screen will have a button to toggle the lightning effect, and you can pause and resume the audio at any time with the playback button.
With the initial download of Thunderspace, you will have two types of thunderstorms: Roof Garden and Waterscape. To change your audio selection, just swipe right to reveal the storm selection panel. Tap on the one you want — each will come with a very descriptive summary of the sounds you will hear. Each storm will also have its very own color scheme, so there’s plenty of variety both audibly and visually.
There are six other thunderstorms that you can purchase at $0.99 a pop. If you tap on one of these extra storms, you will be able to hear a looping preview of it, which should help you decide if you really want it or not. However, for most people, I think the two that are included should suffice.
Anyway, I have really been enjoying this app. Maybe you might like it as well. Try it. See what you think. I would love to know how it works for you!


:: Books ::

I have a beautiful home. And, I have a beautiful Living Room. And a beautiful Den/Office. Not like this though.
I honestly wish that I had a whole extra day at the end of each day in which to simply read. There are just so many amazing stories, words and ideas, I wish I could just absorb them all. The strange thing about me I think,  is that 
when I read, I can never only read one book at a time. 

I have a pile of at least 3 books going  on at any given time, a few magazines I love, and then there's all the articles and stuff I save from perusing the internet. So, yea, lots always going on at once for sure. But, if I had things my way, That picture above would be my living room for sure. It's perfect. Just perfect. I would sit in there for hours on cold winter days, or chilly overcast rainy days, light a crackling fire, pull on my favorite soft blanket and simply read the whole day away.  Well, a girl can dream can't she? Are you like that about reading at all?


:: Where did this come from? ::

I was digging through our record collection to find something suitable to play at Lily's Birthday party for that pass-the-present game {you wrap a small gift in 10 layers of wrapping paper and let the kids unwrap it musical chair-style} I ended up using a very old Disney Album I had of Mary Poppins, but I found an album I had thought was missing. It's been years since I've seen it.
But here's the thing: how did I not know that it was there? We do sport a fairly healthy record collection, but it's not so huge that I wouldn't know that it was there. I look through them from time to time making new playlists all the time so I ask...Where did this thing come from?
So, excuse me while I go purge the old record collection while simultaneously watching a couple of episodes of "Hoarders" to inspire me to get my sh** in order. {pardon my French}


:: This week ::

I climbed a few trees this week. I've been eating berries off the bushes I walk by when the dog and I walk down my street. Plump, juicy, and oh so delicious. And one afternoon was spent swimming. Not to bad right? And yet, as I
look back on my week I only remember how busy it was, how I didn't get enough sleep, and how once again I am ignoring the changes that need to be made in my life. Sigh. everything else has already faded. Just like that.