Some Things That Make My Heart Smile

Just wanted to share a few more things that add joy to my life.

Backyard in summer time.  Ready for BBQing and swimming.


Backyard hibiscus

Roses in front yard of my son’s house.

 Next cake which is much much better than the last one.

 Flowers we learned in cake decorating class last week.

And my favorite.  This is my great-grandson, 2 year old Deegan and his Daddy, Ryan.

Deegan was misbehaving and is getting a serious talking to!  I love the look on his face, so serious, but listening to every word.

Hubby always tells me that it doesn’t take much to make me happy.  I think it’s because I’ve spent time in both “unhappiness” and “happiness” and  I must say,. happiness gets my vote.  It’s a choice I make each and every day.  Like I always say – Life is ALWAYS Good no matter what might be showing up at the moment.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Mother’s Day Tablescape

I’m very happy to make my Mother’s Day tablescape in honor of my mother.  She has been gone now 25 years, but I can still hear her voice and see her smile.  My mother was extraordinary.  Her life was devoted to her family.  She always tried to make things special for each of her children and grandchildren.  I remember her at the sewing machine for hours on end when I was a little girl, making all my school clothes and clothes for all my dolls.  She also loved the horses, racing that is.  She asked her minister if she could tithe her winnings.  He said yes, absolutely!  My mother was very lucky too, hm… interesting.

I am fortunate to have received her china.  I don’t know how old it is, but I remember it all my life and I’m 62.  It is plain, white with 24 carat gold rim.  Mother like to use color with her white china.  Today I’m using gold.  I picked it because gold is a treasure, just like my mom.


I chose a linen while table cloth to cover the table and then a delightful gold smaller table cloth that is so very beautiful.

It is one of my treasure I got from the Goodwill store along with the vase, the napkins,the gold chargers and the stemware.

You can’t really see the label on the dishes, but it says

Royal Continental from Germany.

 Of course I got both sets of my napkins at the Goodwill too.  The napkin rings are from Steinmart.

These gold napkins are simply gorgeous.  I couldn’t wait to use them.

Here is my Mother’s Day cake.  Not perfect by any means, it’s only my third cake since I’ve started cake decorating classes.

I enjoyed making it just the same.

I have been scouring the Goodwills for a beautiful cake plate and haven’t had any luck yet.

In the meantime, I have many beautiful crystal plates that were my mother’s so

of course I used this lovely plate for the cake.

I love fresh flowers on my table, but this time it’s just JoAnn’s fakery!

 They still are very beautiful.

 I’m very proud of my 5th tablescape.  I think I caught the bug!   I’m hooked on tablescapes!  I hope you enjoyed my very simple, but I think elegant table.

I will be celebrating with Let’s Dish at Cuisine Kathleen and

 Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life 

Some Things are Better in Pairs

For instance –


How about double waterfalls in Washington State

and in Hawaii

 How about cute little kittens

 Maybe two little girls fishing

 Maybe double flower baskets at Banff Springs Hotel

  How about a pair of adorable shih tzus

Even two identical Goofy alarm clocks

Two spires on a church in Montana

 Or in Quebec Canada

Or even two adorable boxer granddogs

Or….. how about the very best pair of all


I know it’s not too clear


and they are coming my way in September.

What to do…

Little Sugar Plum has not been feeling well since last night.  Her only symptoms are that she is somewhat lethargic, and I think she is also nauseated because she keeps licking her lips.  She doesn’t want to get up and move around and she groans a bit when she does move.  She just looks so pitiful.  I even put on one of her favorite “necklaces” I made for her.  She still wasn’t very happy.

 She always wants to sit on my lap but not last night or today.  She wants to be left alone.

Late last night she was so listless, I was really worried.  We have lived here almost a  year, but as of last night I still didn’t have any idea where the all night emergency animal clinic was located or even if there was one near.  Then I remembered my new and improved IPhone.  I clicked the button and very clearly asked it the address and phone number of the nearest emergency vet.

The nice automated lady told me that she had two available for me and which one did I want.  Can you believe that?  I picked the closest and she automatically dialed it for me.


I got a chance to speak to the vet tech and was told what to watch out for.

It’s been a little unsettling since the vet called last week to tell me her blood tests were back and that she had a “severe” case of Valley Fever.  He said that she would be on her meds for quite some time or maybe forever.  He said it was not life threatening.  Of course I want her to have the best quality of life.  She also has a limp that he believed was from arthritis and not the Valley Fever.  He actually called my little baby a “Geriatric” patient!  When did all this happen?

Today she is a little better, but not near 100%.  She doesn’t even want to play “hide the rawhide” with Meeka.

 She just sat and watched.

Poor little Meeka had to play all by herself.  She just didn’t know where to hide it.

 Oh What to do!  Maybe over here in this mess.

Come on Sugar, help me!

I guess I’ll just hide it in this blanket for now.

Here are some of Sugar and Meeka’s “necklaces.”  There are actually two of each color so they can “dress” alike.

 These little ones really do bring  joy in my life.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.  I hope it’s the best ever.

Life Lessons and Other Stuff

I don’t really have any special photos that go with this blog post, so I’m just going to drop in pictures that either make me happy or make me feel at peace.

 I had one of those days Thursday that thankfully come few and far between at this point in my life.  I was just mad at the world.  Nothing was going my way and everything and everybody irritated me.

Even these two little sweeties.

What made it worse is that I know how my attitude for the day affects my day,  and I still couldn’t shake it.

Turns out, it didn’t matter where I went or what I did, a couple of life’s lessons were waiting for me.  Now don’t get me wrong, I already thought I had learned these lessons (she says sheepishly).


I thought I had that one completely under control, ha ha.  But the Universe wanted me to realize that I was completely out of control by putting things right smack in front of me that I needed to see.

 (Ah, now there’s peace to me.  Our front yard in Missouri)

Anyway, I was just running around judging everyone and especially those judgmental folks that kept popping into my life.  I went to a class at church and lo and behold, it was on the perils of being judgmental!

Okay, so now that I’m irritated at everyone, I’m not feeling very loving and kind – which is my normal nature.  I’m even disgusted with myself at this point.  I’m not being very forgiving either.

I tell Hubby, it’s not you, it’s me, but please just don’t speak to me because you irritate me!  He knew it wasn’t him so he just left me alone so I could work this out.  He’s really good that way.  He doesn’t take it personally at all.  Of course that irritated me at the time because I really did want it to be all his fault.  (Oh my!)

(Freshly baked cookies always make me happy.)

Okay, so now I decide to go through the checkbook and I find a $122 error and NOT in my favor.  Well, it doesn’t matter what else happened, just know that it wasn’t a great day.  My attitude was NOT shifting!  I was on the downward spiral and sinking fast!

Anyway, I decided to read and wouldn’t you know it, I picked up one of my spiritual books which was just sitting there by my chair.   Without realizing it, I opened to the section on Love and Forgiveness.  Oh my gosh.  I wasn’t ready to give up my lousy attitude at that point – but I had NO choice!  The Universe was yelling at me!

I succumbed.

I read, I felt myself mellowing.  I was feeling better but yet still bruised and battered from my day.

I told Hubby that I think some comfort food is in order.  He asked me what I wanted because he so wanted me to be happy again.  (Did I say he is great?)  He is naming off things like a big juicy hamburger, maybe some chocolate, maybe pizza?

You know what I ended up getting?  You won’t believe it, McDonald’s chocolate chip cookies.   Before you laugh, have you tried them?  You would think your mother made them.  Really!

I”m feeling much more like myself again.  I have learned, however, that I do not graduate the course “Getting it all Together.”  It’s just an ongoing process that never ends.  You know, that’s okay.  Feeling pretty much at peace right now.

Home Safe and Almost Sound

Finally home and back to normal – at least what I call normal.

First of all, we had a great time in California visiting family and relatives, notwithstanding the miserable head cold and sinus infection I was battling, and still am a little.  We stayed so busy that I just didn’t find the time to blog and to keep up with all the blogs I follow.  I didn’t know how much I would miss keeping up with my “friends.”

All in all, during our time in California we went to three Christmas parties, a play on New Year’s eve (It’s a Wonderful Life), several dinners out with friends and family, at least three “game” nights, a few lunches, mini trips, oh my I could go on and on but you get the picture.  Even little Sugar and Meeka were kept quite busy while staying with our granddogs, Luke, Goldie and Biscuit affectionately known as “Bizzy” because she is always in to something.  In fact, this will show you what I mean.

Here she is “bizzy” with a green pen. Look at her little paws all green.

Here she is after playing in the backyard.

Anyway, I believe out trip to California was a success.

I was so sick when we got home, it took me days to take down “Christmas” which I didn’t bother to do before we left.  

Enough of that.  Today is a new day and I’m feeling much better.  The new year has begun and as before – I know this year will be even better than the last, which I think might be hard to beat.  I always think that, and then I’m always surprised at how great life is.  I know it’s a matter of my attitude though.  I am in charge of making my life just as great as I want it to be.  

Don’t get me wrong, crappy stuff still happens, I still get in bad moods or angry at Hubby.  I just don’t stay there as long as I used to.  I don’t dwell on the crappy stuff.  At my age, I have certainly learned that it comes and goes and I don’t have any control over that.  What I do have control over is how I react to it or how I handle it.   I also choose to look at life through the eyes of my heart.  It makes for a beautiful world.  I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I an always making goals to feel better about myself.  Right now I’m working on accepting others and not judging.  To be honest, I’ve been working on it for awhile.  I thought I had the “non-judgment” thing down pat.  Wrong wrong wrong.  I’ve been judging all of those I see “judging.”  I have found myself getting angry and upset that everyone isn’t as non-judgmental as I am!!!  What a laugh, right?  Who do I think I am???  Talk about getting hit upside the head with a giant board!  Sometimes I crack myself up.  Oh well, it’s the journey, right?

I also have some other things lined up that I’m excited about.  I have another sewing lesson scheduled and I’m going to make a quilted wall hanging.  I’d really like to make one for each season and just use one or the other all year long.  I’m going to try to get better at cake decorating.  I don’t see that happening without going to more classes, but I haven’t set them up yet.  I’m also going to check back with the local elementary school and see if they are still considering me as a volunteer.  I think that would be so much fun.  Most importantly, I’m open to whatever might come my way.  I’m sure there is something I haven’t thought of doing.  Ah, the adventure of it all.  

I think I’ll just quit here and go have some fun catching up on all my blog buddies.  

I hope you all have a very happy, prosperous and blessed New Year. 

Quiet House

Thanksgiving is over.  My family has gone home and I feel rather lonely.  The house is so quiet, just hubby and me and our two little pups.  What a wonderful holiday it was.  Two of my sons and their families came.  We tried to get a good picture of all five dogs, but it was so hard.  When one would look, the other wouldn’t, but we had fun trying.

 I think this one is the best.

We remembered to get a picture of us at the Thanksgiving table (except one son who was taking the picture.)

Dinner was delicious and we are still eating leftovers.

Today after everyone left, I began taking down the Thanksgiving and fall decor.  Tomorrow I will start pulling out the Christmas decorations.  I love making new Christmas decorations and will probably make another wreath for the front door.  We aren’t putting up a tree though because we will be going to visit the family in California.

This is about my favorite time of the year.  There is something so warm and cozy about the holidays even though we don’t live in a climate where you would want to have the fire roaring and drink hot chocolate.  We make a habit of watching just about every holiday movie that comes on TV, whether we have seen it before or not.  My son was watching one with us this morning before he left and he said it was kind of cheesy!  Well of course!  The cheesier the better for me.

 I know the holidays can be really hard on a lot of people, those who have lost loved ones or are alone without family.  I feel truly blessed to be able to enjoy these days.  For me it’s about family, joy, love, friendship and of course faith.

A Fantastic Life

Here is what happens when I take the time to have an easy day.  I find wonderful old pictures.

These are my grandparents – my dad’s parents.  This was taken on their wedding day in Glasglow, Scotland in 1908

My grandmother was 18 years old. I don’t know my grandfather’s age. I do know that he was in the British Military. I know they were both born in Ireland, were married in Scotland and lived in England when my father was born.

Check out my grandfather in his uniform.  What a handsome man.  I can see a strong resemblance between him and my nephew.


My father was one of four boys born to James and Dorothy Dynes. He was born in 1912. His brothers were born in 1908, 1910, and 1914. When my father was 3 years old, grandma and her four boys made the trek from Liverpool, England to Canada.  Her husband was still serving.  She must have been a very strong women to make this trip alone. After all, this was a mere three years after the Titanic sank, on the very same route.

My grandfather died by drowning when my father was 10 years old. Life was very difficult for Grandma with four little ones to care for. Because she was unable to financially care for all four boys, she made the difficult decision to send two of her boys (my father and one of my uncles) to a nearby orphanage. She would visit as often as possible. Here is a picture of her with the two boys on one of her visits. My father is the older on the left.

Eventually the boys were able to move back home, then made another trek – from Montreal, Canada to Los Angeles, California.

My father lived a very happy and abundant life. He passed away 10 years ago at age 90. I couldn’t begin to tell you all the many life lessons he taught me, but I know that my belief that –  life is always good, no matter what might be showing up at the time – surely came from him.

Abundance all Around

The holiday season is upon us.  Visions of sugar plums, turkey, pumpkin pie, Santa Claus, gift giving – soon turns into not enough time, not enough money and not enough energy. It happens to all of us at one time or another during the season.  I have to pay attention in order to not fall into the feeling of lack.  I can go there so easy – without even realizing it.

First of all, I tend to put such high expectations on myself.   I think it’s because I love the feeling that goes with having home-made, beautiful decorations, the perfect meals, giving the perfect gifts, planning the best surprises, etc.  I’m sure you know what I mean.   Right now I’m thrilled because some of my family is coming from California to have Thanksgiving with us.  I’ve planned my dinner over and over again.  I’ve shopped, I’ve decorated the house, I’m planning activities – will this be right? will this work out? will I have enough? will it all come together?  Even though I truly love the hustle and bustle of it all, I can make myself crazy.

This year, my plan is to stay centered.  I will forget perfection because the most important part, being with family is already a win in my book.  Most importantly, I will remember that I already have a truly abundant life.  Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about anyway – being grateful for what we already have?

To really experience abundance in the true sense of the word (which to me is abundance of ALL good things), I need to be AWARE of the abundance of everything around me.  Things I might otherwise take for granted.   I look in the grocery store and I see hundreds of apples, pears, bananas, potatoes – the list is endless.  I shall not starve to death.  I look in my closet and see way too many clothes, I shall not be undressed.  I look at church and see hundreds of people with beautiful smiling faces.  I shall not be friendless.  I look at my family, I shall not be unloved.  I look outdoors, I shall not go without seeing the beauty of the Universe.  I look at my little Sugar Plum and Meeka, I shall not go without unconditional love.

No matter what happens, I will remind myself that I live in an abundant universe. My life is abundantly blessed.


My Lovely Picture

I love this picture I took while on one of our many trips in our RV.  I can’t remember exactly where it was, but I know it was in Vermont.  It’s so tranquil.  I’m always calmed by this picture.  I just imagine myself there, peaceful and serene.

Life is Good and I’m always in-joy-in mine.