Tuesday, February 2, 2016

seeking silence

There is a lot of background noise in my life.
When I sit down for my morning coffee I turn on "Good Morning America"
When I do my morning chores I listen to WHAM 1180
When I sit down to sew I watch a DVR'd TV show
When I drive to Jazzercise I listen to an audio book
When we eat dinner we watch "Jeopardy"
When I read in the evening I tune into a playlist from Google Play
When we have friends over for a game I pop in a CD



After reading this article I will
"make quiet my new default" 

RealSimple Magazine - January 2016 
 article by Jennifer King Lindley. 
Can I have some peace and quiet?!

Noise can affect learning
. . . researchers theorize that the part of the brain that processes auditory signals is the same one that handles short-term memory
. . .mice raised in a noisy environment had a 70% reduction in blood vessel formation in their brains than those in quiet cages

. . . even moderate background noise can interfere with the ability of babies to learn new words
. . . in one study children on the noisy side of a school (near train tracks) had reading sores that lagged a full year behind children on the quieter side of the school

. . . quiet time can strengthen internal focus
. . . this generation has begun to focus on external stimulation rather than reflecting inward

. . . quiet lets your mind wander and make connections between things not previously noticed
. . . constant noise pulls our attention ever outward and upsets our balance

The article also recommends ways to find quiet for all different ages from toddlers to adults.
. . . reduce background racket
. . . institute a daily quiet time
. . . have device free times
. . . dare not to talk

I hope I haven't quoted too much of her article (more that 20%) 
but I wanted you to get a preview of her thoughts. 
I hope that you can find a copy and read it.

{Prince Rupert}

I remember in my teaching days parents who thought their child was bored 
and requested more work/enrichment/challenge. 

What I really wanted to say to them - two things.
When will he have time to think?
Boredom is a choice.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Lately we have had some bumps in our road
but are so fortunate to 
spend most days 
doing what we want to do

{photo courtesy of Art and Sand}

How do you spend your days
"in between"   

Sunday, December 27, 2015

happy news times two

We are thrilled that our grandchild count

 Cedar and Ezra

will double in the spring

Lindsay (March) and Amanda (May)

Lucky, lucky us . . . 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

the moment in the middle

Hold your breath.
Here it is.
Christmas Eve.
My favorite day of the Christmas Season.

The perfect moment between all the preparations and all of the celebrations.

All is done yet all is yet to come . . .
"It was a moment of perfection he would probably not find again this year, and he sat without moving, almost without breathing. There was the upside of a garden, when one was digging and planting, heaving and hauling, and then the downside, when it was all weeding and grooming and watering and sweating. One had to be fleet to catch the moment in the middle, the mountaintop, when perfection was as brief as the visit of a butterfly to an outstretched palm. 

From the book Out to Cannan 
(the fourth book in the Mitford series)
by: Jan Karon

Thursday, December 3, 2015

decision making

There are two types of decision-makers: “maximizers” and “satisficers.”

A maximizer looks at every possible choice to determine the strongest contender. 

A satisficer goes with “good enough.” 

This article "How to Be a Better Decision Maker"
 in  Real Simple Magazine found that 
satisficers are happier with their choices.

They also have more free time, 
since they’re not laboring over the alternatives.

Are you a “maximizer” or “satisficer"?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

folded fabric ornament

Here is a fun "sew and fold" fabric Christmas ornament 
that turned out to be pretty easy.

These will make great little hostess gifts or party favors.

One challenge I had was finding a hanging string.
I ended up using Hemp Cord from the jewelry section.

The second challenge was finding affordable buttons.
I am still looking for some gold ones . . .

I used a 7" plastic plate as the template.

For the ones above I used red and green quilting fabric  
and now I have some Christmas fabric for the rest.

Stitch two contrasting colored circles together
 right sides facing leaving a small opening.

Turn them right side out

Top stitch and you are ready to fold

Draw up the centers and stitch together 

 Fold each corner over the edge

Here is a YouTube video with the instructions.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


One of my favorite feeds on facebook is
Tasty {one minute videos sharing recipe instructions}.

There is just something about "seeing" a recipe 
made that makes me more interested in trying it.

Here is a sample of a fun one they posted recently

Beer Mac ’n’ Cheese
Posted by Tasty on Tuesday, October 20, 2015
You may want to "Like" them.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

may 2016

My daughter recently posted this
on her facebook page.

We are excited . . . 

Monday, November 9, 2015

cream cheese chicken chili

So simple yet so delicious

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
Number of Servings: 6

2 chicken breast  halves (frozen) 
1 cup chicken broth
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, undrained
1 can RoTel, undrained
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
1 tsp caraway seeds (or cumin)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese

Drain and rinse black beans. Place chicken at the bottom of the crock pot.  Pour the broth, can of corn, RoTel and drained black beans over the chicken. Top with the ranch mix and seasonings. Stir together. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Remove chicken, shred it and return it to slow cooker. Place cream cheese on top. Cook for 1 more hour. Stir cream cheese into chili and serve. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

porch sit

If all goes as planned  . . .
this morning we will be enjoying our morning coffee
on this porch.

We look forward to a relaxing few months
reconnecting with our Florida friends
and searching out new volunteer opportunities. 

I will enjoy a cup of coffee right here
while reading your blogs in the mornings

and then in the late afternoons 
perhaps a cocktail 

and soon - hoping a few
friends and family will join us for a visit 
in sunny Venice, Florida . . .

the guest room is ready