Sneak Peek--My Creative Space is Coming Together

Here is a sneak peek of what my office/creative space is looking like.

I painted, I bought accessories, and finally put together my office/creative space.  It has been two years in the making.  And we are getting close.

I am gradually filling my shelves of essential books.

I am putting things on the wall.

I come and spend time in here almost every day.

Once it is completely done, I will give you a tour.

I finally have a space to call my own.


The Story Collector

I have always enjoyed stories.  I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember.  I was read to at a very early age. 

I enjoy interviewing people and learning their stories.

I enjoy listening as people share their stories.

The phrase "The Story Collector" all of a sudden came to my mind this past week.  This is part of what I want my future to be....I want to be a story collector.

We can learn so much from each other's stories.  Hearing other's stories can change our world view.

I learned a lot about story from author Madeleine L'Engle.  Here is one of my favorite quotes:
Reading stories, telling stories, listening to stories are all a part of our life experience.  It is how we learn.  It is how we grow.  It is how we connect with people.

All stories have merit. 

I want to be a story collector.  I want to collect stories and share them with others, and make an impact on people's lives.

Everyone's story is important.  Everyone's story needs to be heard.

And I want to be a part of that process.


All Good Gifts Around Us

Today I was given the word "Expectancy" and told to write my own fortune cookie message based on this word.  Here was my response....

As the summer season turns to autumn, I wait with expectancy how this new season in my life will unfold, and what fruits I will bear during this time of change.

This time of change.  As the days become shorter and the nights become longer.  The temperature begins to cool.  Shorts and t-shirts turn into sweaters and jeans. 

And my life on the whole is changing.  All three daughters are in college.  More of my life is spent at home with Paul (which I absolutely LOVE).  Time is going much more slowly.  The pace of life is slowing, much as it does when summer turns to autumn, then turns to winter. 

This is also the season of harvest.  And I am at a point in my life where I want to see what my next "fruitful harvest" is going to be.  What will this next season of my life bring?

As we move into September, it is harvest time, and, as a gardener, I am picking the fruits of my labors over the summer growing season.

One of my favorite musicals I have seen on stage and performed on stage is "Godspell".  One person told me that watching "Godspell" was like watching "The Message" Bible being acted out on stage.  The first time I saw it was at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington when I was in Junior High.  My brother's first wife took me to see it, and I remember buying the Broadway cast album, and listened to it, and knew practically every song by heart from the time I was 12 or 13-years old.

Then in the fall of 2008, Joy Persoon decided to direct the musical "Godspell" at the Sixth Street Theater.  I had an incredible experience doing this musical.  Here is our amazing cast...

One of my favorite songs from this play is "All Good Gifts".  Here is the song:

I think every fall I sing the words to this song.  It is such a great reminder to me of all the wonderful and beautiful gifts God shares with each and every one of us.  And, as much as we love and appreciate the gifts God gives to us, it is also important to have a humble, thankful heart as well.

We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land..
But it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand..
He sends us snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain...
The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain...

All good gifts around us
Are sent from Heaven above
So thank the Lord, oh thank the Lord for all his love...

We thank thee then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
The seedtime and the harvest, our life our health our food,
No gifts have we to offer for all thy love imparts
But that which thou desirest, our humble thankful hearts!

All good gifts around us
Are sent from Heaven above..
So thank the Lord, oh thank the Lord for all his love..

I really wanna thank you Lord.

I am at a good time in my life right now.

A good season.

I have a beautiful family, a great job, a wonderful church family, the best friends anyone could ask for, and the most wonderful husband in the world.

So now the question that I keep pondering at this bountiful season in my life is......

What can I do to help those around me?  What direction do I go?  I know there are many, many needs out in this world...but where can I be of help the most?

That is the answer I am seeking.

I pray the answer will become clear soon.


How Can You Talk For Seven Hours?

How can you talk for seven hours?

This is a question often posed to my friends and I who gather on a monthly basis for our Creative Masterminds Group.

We are a group of women who have known each other for a very long time.  I met some of the women in our group at the ages of three and four.  I think the person I have knows for the shortest amount of time, I met when we were 14.

So you might say I have quite a history with these ladies.  It is what brings us together each month to spend time with one another.

It is what helps us open up and share about our lives, knowing we are safe.

A certain amount of trust has been established over the decades.

And we are at a point in our lives, that we really need one another.

Right now, if I am not mistaken, everyone in our group is 51 years old.

Our children are growing.  Our parents are aging.  We are moving into new phases of our lives with jobs, careers, and relationships.

We are all unique, beautiful, wonderful women.

I love them all very much, and couldn't imagine not having them in my life right now.

So, what do you talk about for seven hours?

Here are a few things...catching up on our lives.  Retelling stories from the past.  Revealing secrets.  Sharing our dreams.  Sharing wisdom and advice with one another.  Sharing things we are struggling with at this time in our lives.  Sharing our faith.  Sharing laughter.  Sharing tears.  Sharing love.

It is a beautiful thing...talking seven hours with these women....we are each a blessing to one another.

Creative Masterminds Group gathering...September 2014


Cosette, I'll Be There Just For You

I have had a song going through my head for a few days, and I thought it was perfect to share with my daughter Cosette as she begins college and turns 19 years old.

The song is by Kenny Loggins, and it was written for his son, and it is titled, "Cody's Song".  It is from the CD that I played to all my girls when they were growing up, "Return To Pooh Corner".

This is appropriate because my little Coco went through a phase when she had very short hair, and her wonderful older sisters told people they had a little brother names Cody, because the short hair kind of made her look like a boy.

I love the words to this song.  And it is so true.  We are there when our kids are babies, and we hold them and sing to them lullabies.

But the lullabies never go away, or the meanings of those lullabies.

And this song is so true, because I will always be there for you Cosette, no matter what happens.  Your mommy will always be here to sing to you...comfort you...I'll be there anytime and anywhere.

"Cody's Song"
When you feel afraid,
When you lose your way, I'll find you,
Just try to smile, and dry your eyes,
I will bring back the moon into your skies.
And ever you will, remember darling, I'll be there to:

Say to you
I'll promise you
I'll promise to
Comfort you and say to you
Darling, I'll be there just for you.

There's so much to learn,
And when you want me
Then I'll show you,
And through the years,
You'll always be
The lullaby in the heart of the child in me.

Whenever you will, remember darling
I'll be there to

Say to you
I'll promise you
I'll promise to
Comfort you and say to you
Darling, I'll be there just for you.

Hold it, feel it,
Music is in your heart.
When you need it,
Just keep listening,
Let it sing, let it sing.

Though you've grown away
No matter how you'll change
I'll know you.
And when you tire of life alone,
There will always be one sure way back home

Just turn on the quiet,
And you close your eyes
And listen inside

I'll be there to sing to you,
I promise you
I promise to
Comfort you
And sing to you.

And darling, I'll be there,
Anytime, and anywhere,
Cody I'll be there just for you.


Finding the Orange in My World Scavenger Hunt

I am involved in a 30 day online challenge, and I was challenged to do a scavenger hunt involving finding the color orange.  So I went outside and hunted around my yard, and also came inside the house, and here is what I found that was orange in my world.
I had just changed out my purse, and started using my orange purse for the oncoming fall season.
I just planted this cone flower in the front flower bed.
This flower has been blooming all summer in pots in front of my house.

The road in front of my house is being paved, and this orange barrel has been there for a few weeks.
Orange zucchini blossoms in my vegetable garden. 

Another orange flower in a backyard flower bed.

A cheery orange marigold.

Orange berries on the Mountain Ash tree in my backyard.

The leaves on my Oregon Grape plants are turning orange.
A bright pink soccer ball fades to orange.

More orange flowers.

An orange-striped planter that holds my begonia on my patio during the summer months.

A groovy CD player in the kitchen.
My husband's orange eyeglasses and orange-striped socks he set out to wear today. 
He didn't even know I was hunting for orange!!

The cribbage board and playing cards are also in orange boxes on a shelf in the living room.

Some of the beads on this necklace are orange.

My funky pants I am wearing today have some orange zig-zag stripes.

Here is some of the orange I found in my world today.


Someone To Watch Over Me

This is Juliet our younger Pomeranian. She is Zoe's dog.  When I sit on the couch, she likes to get on the back of the couch and watch over me.

I need people to watch over me.  I can't do things on my own.

Well, I can, but I am not as productive.

I find it helps to have people in my life to keep me accountable.

I have had this project all summer, (well, for the past two years actually) of cleaning the old guest room out and making it my own space.  My sister is giving me a reward for getting it done....an incentive.  And the incentive happens the second weekend in October, so I had better get moving!!

I have other friends that keep me reading and writing and creating different things.  They encourage me to keep being creative.

And I have those who encourage me in my faith.  They pray for me, and lift me up, and they ask me to pray for them as well.  We share scriptures, and comfort one another in our times of need.

We really do need each other.  We weren't created to do it on our own.

I'm glad I have people in my life who encourage me to be better tomorrow than I am today.


The First Day of School Was Different Today

A tradition in our home for the last 19 years has been to take a "first day of school" picture.

Today, that didn't happen.

It was kind of weird.  It was strange.  It didn't seem right.

But it is another indication that things are different in my life this year, with all my girls in college, and nobody starting another year of K-12 school this year.

I still had a first day of school today.  And so did Paul.  And so did Molly.

But the first day of school as an employee at the school is a little different than being a student.

Here is a couple of first day of school photos I did take today at Kellogg High School.

Here is Paul up on the ladder getting ready to take a photograph of the KHS Student Body for the Yearbook.

Here is this year's KHS Student Body posing for a photograph
as we begin the 2014-2015 school year.

A lot of thoughts have gone through my mind in the last few weeks as the house emptied.

Usually my thoughts center on how proud I am of my three daughters, and how they are three beautiful, strong, independent women who are making good choices for themselves, and Paul and I should be proud of how we raised them, and what a blessing they are to us.

Sometimes my thoughts go toward three little girls getting off the bus in front of the house, and new school clothes, and school supplies, and sitting and listening about the days they had.

Well, I actually got to do that today.  When Molly got home, after working a full day, then driving to Coeur d'Alene for a class, she shared with me her first day of school.  It is still fun to listen to her day, even though there is definitely a different spin on it these days.

I miss Zoe, all the way down in Caldwell, and the fact that I won't see her until October when she comes home for a few days for her break.  But, despite a very busy class, work and internship schedule, I know she will do great!!

And it is strange not seeing Coco, but will get to see her Friday, as we travel down to Moscow to celebrate her 19th birthday.  19????  Is my baby girl really going to be 19???

Here is a great video to watch for the first day of school.  Actually, for some of you, it will make you bawl your eyes out.  But it is great just the same!!

........slipping through my fingers.............


Labor Day Marks The End of Summer on My Calendar

By the calendar on the wall, summer isn't officially over until September 21.  But when you have kids in school, or work for a school, around here summer begins Memorial Day Weekend, and ends Labor Day weekend.

So, school officially starts tomorrow, and summer ended today.

And what a summer it was!!  I couldn't have asked for a better three months. 

And this weekend was a wonderful way to end the summer, too.  Hiking, resting and enjoying friends and family. 

Today, we invited some friends and family over for a BBQ, and it was a beautiful day for an outdoor gathering.

Then I took a tour of my garden after planting some flowers, and checked out my vegetable garden, too.

Here are some of the highlights from the day:

Delicious food was served this afternoon, including steak and chicken kabobs, corn on the cob, grilled veggies ( most right out of my garden), grilled potatoes, salmon dip, shrimp and cocktail sauce, stuffed celery, plums, and bread.  Yum! Yum!

After dinner, tea, coffee and Piroulines were served.

Paul brought out the accordion, and several tried it out.

 We really hoped Jimmy would play the accordion today.  Maybe another time.

Then we took a tour of the gardens.  First a look at the flowers.
 Planted some Cone Flowers and Mums in the front flower bed to add some fall colors.

 These petunias got so big in the pot between the two garage doors.  I love petunias.

 Mums were placed back by the window box as well.

Then took a look at the vegetable gardens. The sunflowers look so great in the raised beds.
 Not a very good year for tomatoes.  Need to try something else next year. 

 The zucchini and yellow squash or growing like crazy right now.

 I hope I get some green beans before the frost kills them off.

Goodbye Summer of 2014.  You were good for my body, soul and spirit, and I have grown much through the months, hopefully into more of the person God created me to be.