Holidays are for Family and Friends

I am writing this from my ipad instead of my computer. The site looks different, and it seems more difficult to navigate, but here it goes.

I am now working 4.5 hours away from my home, which is for sale at the moment, and we’re hoping to find a home in the town where I work.

While home this past weekend, we were visited by friends and invited to eat at other friends’ house. I get such a warm feeling when I’m with my friends. They offer such unconditional love and support.

So, Kathy, (i’ll use first names only)made a delightful tortilla soup chalked full of chicken, tomato, and a lovely broth. I failed to take pictures of the food. I did photograph the lovely center piece on the table, however.

Mark and Kathy have been married for 40 years, and they’d just discovered their wedding candle among stored boxes. That’s the big white candle in the middle.

Our meal consider of the Tortilla Soup. I brought some of my Grandmother’s dried corn, beans and venison stew with corn bread. There were lovely appetizers, too!

Kathy made some yummy cocktails:

At the bottom of a champagne flute, place 3 or 4 raspberries. Cover the raspberries with about 2 Tablespoons (28.3g) of Chambord raspberry liqueur. Complete the drink with chilled champagne or sweet, sparkling wine.

For dessert, we had pecan pie made by Kathy, and Phil made pumpkin pie. We ended the evening by watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with Boris Karloff in the lead role.

More later…

Time With Friends

I’ve had a very close knit group of friends in this past 25 years. As we’ve aged together, some of us have moved away and some of us have interests in children and grandchildren that live elsewhere, so that takes us away quite a bit. Some of us have aging parents who need attention, so that requires lots of travel that takes time away from the group, too. Phil and Paula moved about 212 miles (341 km), so we are passing a weekend with them. That means eating out and trying new restaurants!

We ate at a small chain Italian cafe. I ordered a burrata. Burrata is fresh mozzarella wrapped around cream and shreds of cheese make from water buffalo milk. The lovely, little pillow of burrata sat plated near a bed of arugula and wood-fired flat bread make from pizza crust dough. Cherry tomatoes gave the plate a cheery look, and a balsamic reduction brought all the flavors together.

The flavors married well, and The joy shone on my face. Since it was lunch, I enjoyed blood orange San Pellegrino as my beverage.

After some vigorous shopping, we went to sample some artisan ice cream. “Churn and Burn” is a coffee and ice cream place. I chose cranberry walnut as one scoop and the other scoop was lavender. Wow!

They make the ice cream and coffee with the use of liquid nitrogen for a quick production. The creamy ingredients go into the bowl, and while the beaters are churning liquid nitrogen is infused, and ice cream or a delicious frozen coffee beverage comes alive!

I love the creativity of small batch restaurants and specialty food shops. I love the passion of the proprietors, as well.

Thank you for reading.

End of the Day Reflection

I’m always looking for ways to encourage and support myself.  It is my hope to encourage and support those around me as well.  Reading is a good way to do that  Do you have a favorite passage, book, or article that you like to read?

My dear friend, Mary Lake, gave me an “End of the Year Reflection”.  It has wonderful prompts for pondering a year in review.  Well, I’ve rewritten to help me reflect the end of my day, and it gives me something to think about for tomorrow.  I hope it’s useful to you.  Here is is:

End of the Day Reflection

What were the highlights of this day for you?

What were your greatest successes?

What gift(s)/talent(s) did you see in yourself today?

Which value did you honor the most?

Have you found a way to focus on your successes rather than any failures?

What new characteristic did you discover about yourself today?

What are you grateful for today?

Name what this day was about for you by giving it a title much like a chapter in a book: Your book!

Looking toward tomorrow

What did you learn today that you want to put into use tomorrow?

What kind of person do you want to be?

Which value or action would bring you closer to a vibrant way of living?

What will tomorrow be about for you, again, naming the chapter title or some other metaphor perhaps?

There are many traditions and rituals that humans practice.

If you were to design your own personal ritual for tomorrow and your future what would it be?

Women in Worship and Fellowship

Did you know that there is not a gender neutral or gender opposite of the word, “fellowship”?

Anyway, I have, long, been wanting to develop and execute a women’s retreat.  The idea is that women  would gather on a Friday evening to begin and, perhaps, end on a Sunday.  The goal would be loving support of one another, providing a space for creativity, meditation, worship, and “fellowship”.   Here’s a possible agenda.  Let me know if it’s too restrictive or academic.  Would you participate in such a retreat?  Make suggestions on the topics.  These are not “set in stone”.

“Women in Worship and Fellowship”

Ladies’ Retreat

Purpose: We retreat to strengthen emotional bonding, spiritual growth, and sisterly support while promoting understanding of human ecological systems that influence who we become.


Friday –

6:30 p.m. – 10-ish:

  1. Bring a snack to share for a light meal
  2. Introduction to Ladies’ Retreat: Why? Objective, and Intended Outcomes
  3. “Getting to Know You” exercise
  4. Group nature walk
  5. Stretching
  6. Bedtime stories – and lights out

Saturday –

7:30 Morning Prayer to Welcome the Day

8:30 – Breakfast Smoothie and Breakfast Cookie Demonstration by Debra Bolton

Let’s eat the outcomes of the demonstration!

9:45 – Stretching 10 minutes

10:00 – Let’s take a nature walk to learn about:





Other flora and fauna

Noon – Sandwich and Salad Luncheon

1:30 Nap or MeditationTime

2:45 Aroma Therapy and Foot Reflexology

3:45 Free time to explore, write, visit, or anything…

6:00 Dinner time

7:30 Story time, Chants, Music, Bonfire

10-ish – Bedtime

Sunday –

8:30 Breakfast

9:30 – Worship time (to be planned)

Noon – ??? (go home?)

My Interests

Now that I’ve made an introduction, and have listed a condensed biography, I cannot say that I know where to begin.  My interests are quite wide and varied.  In that vein, I will list my interests (can’t believe how many times, I’ve used “I” so far, but then blogs are usually self-centered, n’est pas?)

My Interests, not in any particular order:

  • Studying people in their environments
  • Geography – cultural, physical, spatial, etc.
  • History – I like timelines, and I like to see what fits where in that time line
  • Music: So many genres, and so little time in which to fit that listening
    • Music of the world in the folk tradition
    • Music of 13th Century Castile-Leon (now Spain)
    • Music of Eastern Europe
  • I like making music on my banjo, ukulele, mandolin, harmonica, and drums
  • I have great friends with whom I’ve traveled
  • I am a rock collector, and have recently engaged in rock tumbling
  • Bird watcher and bug collector
  • Art collector and admirer of art
  • Languages
  • Colonialism
  • Traditions and cultures
  • Literature
  • Cooking, baking, and entertaining
  • Teaching cultural awareness
  • I like to camp, enjoy outdoors, hunt (venison), and ride my motorcycle with my husband

I’m sure there are more that I’m not thinking of at the moment.

Lately, I’ve focused on the grief of me and my family.  Our daughter, Riki, left this world on January 1, 2016.  She died of a heart failure.  She had been on heart medicine for 11 years.  A new cardiologist thought her meds were strong, so discontinued the pills to “see how you do”.   Our lively and lovely Riki went into heart failure and was on life supports for two weeks before leaving us.  At the age of 34, Riki left behind her husband of 15 years (still quite heart broken as they had been best friends since the age of 12), and three children, ages 12, 11, and 7).  We continue to navigate our pain and to learn to live in this “new normal.”   That means I will write about grief in the blog place, too.