My Sister's Guest Room

My sister’s guest room ranks favorite when I think of best places to stay in Chicago. It’s a cross between a resort and a family guest chamber and I smile when I think of  it.

No one grows African Violets like my sister.  A half dozen of the delicate plants sit proudly in the guest room on racks in front of the room’s north window.   A recliner chair sits alongside them with a small table topped with the kind of books I like to read.  Oh, the delight to rest there!
A large comfy queen bed with a white comforter and pillows galore provide wonderful sleep.  End tables on both sides of the bed hold lovely lamps and delicate collector items.  She makes it personal for me with small framed photos of my family.
A bookcase lines one wall with frames of happy family times as well as photo albums that date back to when we were kids.  Besides a TV, she displays artifacts of trips as well as her accumulated Willow Tree collection.  Next to that, stands a coat rack with a variety of plush bathrobes.…

The Good Friday Journey

My first visit to Israel landed me smack in the middle of Holy Week.  An unexpected surprise literally swept me off my feet in Jerusalem on Good Friday.  I invite you join me at Truth Rejoices today where my friend, Jeannie, encouraged me to share my story.  I hope you like it!   Click here where you can read about my adventure and feel free to leave a comment.  I’ll be sure to read them.  Happy Easter, friends.

Finding the Hidden Things

Once in a while I pick up interesting lessons from my blog friends.  I feel surprised at times when I put them into practice.   
My friend, Dianna, recently shared a way to spruce up her table centerpieces.  She wrote about it at her blog, Forgiven...  Her theory explains that centerpieces for our tables can be the catalyst for good dinner conversation.  I felt motivated to think outside the box of flowers or fruit which make beautiful centerpieces, but would I be clever enough to try something new? 

My eight-year old granddaughter asked her biological father to call me and hint for an invite when she arrived in Arizona for spring break.  Last week they drove up for a day and had dinner with us.  What an opportunity to explore and satisfy my decorating appetite!  I thought about the ceramics my mom made for me years ago hiding way up on the top shelf of my clothes closet and I quickly unpacked them.  I placed some pink flowers in the base circling a white ceramic basket filled with col…

The Lesson of the Puny Daffodils

Three puny daffodils popped up in the patch of country dirt right outside my window facing my husband’s man cave.  I planted flowers there for an excuse to stare out the window when I need a break at my office desk.  They bring me joy!

In no way do they compare to the array of daffodils I photographed on my trip to Rhode Island in spring a few years back.  My heart leaps when I think of those rows and rows of yellow loveliness popping up just off the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.   

Compare Daffodils, But Not People As a child, my mother compared me to my cousin.  I displeased my mom when my grades didn’t reach the honor roll like my cousin or if I gained a few more pounds than her.  My strongest feeling at that time, intimidation, shaped me.
I avoided comparing my kids when I became a parent.  I learned the enemy of our souls does a number on us sufficiently without our parent’s words echoing in our heads. 
The small-boned kid says “I’m glad I take after your side of feminine looking wo…

Spring Desert Road Trip

We couldn’t have picked a better weekend to all meet together for my granddaughter’s birthday party.  The half-way point for our families is Yuma, Arizona, and we spent the weekend at the Marriott.  The weather hit a high of about 80 degrees; the sun felt hot with cool breezes, perfect! 

Our road trip shouted, “Spring” with the bright yellow desert wild flowers which graced the landscape with a background of Saguaro cactus.  

Amy turned three.  For her birthday theme, she chose “Peppa Pig and Friends.”  When we weren’t laughing or hugging, we were swimming, playing balloon games, opening presents, playing on swings and slides at the park and taking pictures of each other wearing her funny glasses. Her menu included pizza, salad, chocolate birthday cake and ice cream.

Of course, there’s always one in the crowd that has to work out in the hotel gym the morning after pizza and cake.  The rest of us took the birthday girl to the hotel lobby and ate blueberry muffins.  Later in the day, we at…

A Cleanse, Family Style

When our kids were little, we were their teachers.  The tables have now turned and our adult kids are teaching us.  I am reaping the reward of a 30 day cleanse my youngest daughter researched and invited us to do with her.
Actually, she got the whole family involved and I learned that when we take on a challenge as a family, the team support propels us to success. This adventure involved meal planning and eating differently so it was either “co-operate or cook your own food”  in each of our homes.  All three of our men decided it was worth it to climb on board.
It All Started Before Christmas We chose not to bake at Christmastime and we down scaled our holiday meals with simple choices.  After all, come January first, we knew we would delve into our new regime for 30 days.  You can put up with anything for 30 days, right?  It’s not a lifetime. 
I’m still amazed at all that I’ve learned about myself during those 30 days of eating only whole foods in January.

*  My hair shined more and my …

Anyone Want to Laugh?

My hands dripped with flour as I pressed shamrock-shaped cut outs into the sugar cookie dough on my kitchen island.  A preacher shared his message on Christian TV in the other room and the subject did not interest me.  He spoke about laughter.   The mess of baking kept me stationary.Now I’m glad I stayed in that flour prison because I needed to hear what he had to say.

Several of his points alerted me to the tension most of us carry in our ordinary days.   For instance, the anti-depressant medication taken in our nation supersedes other countries by ninety percent.  That’s a lot of up tightness.
Another stat reminded me of the chronically sick who watch marathons of humorous movies and get healed.
The fact about laughter in marriage caught my attention big time.  Speaking for most of us, the preacher man stated:  “Remember how we married couples laughed together when we were dating?”
I yelled over to my husband in the den and asked him if we laugh enough.  He said he did but didn’t think…