World Water Day – Weaving through the River

Weaving through the River – 11×16 Mixed Media Art

World Water Day – Weaving through the River.

Today, March 22, is World Water Day.

World Water Day is about focusing attention on the importance of water.

The theme for World Water Day 2018 is ‘Nature for Water’ – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.  It is about looking for ways we can reduce floods, droughts and water pollution by using the solutions we already find in nature.

Damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption.  Today, 21 billion people live without safe drinking water at home, affecting their health, education, and livelihoods.

The next time you brush your teeth and let the water run down the drain or fill a glass of water to drink and pour half of it down the drain or take a 20-minute shower, think about what a privilege it is to have a dependable source of fresh water and how many in this world do not.

Wherever you are and whatever you do today, make a point to consider nature and water.

And if you want to do something about it, consider visiting where you can donate $25, which can provide one person with clean water for life.

This original mixed media art I created is being dedicated to World Water Day.  It was done using ink-dyed tissue paper and drops of ink on Arches 140lb watercolor paper.  I added torn pieces of some old sheet music for “Weary River” sealed down with gesso.  I purposely tore the title words to form the word “Weaver.”   It makes me think about how water and art and music weave through our lives and make an impact.

I’ve named this piece, “Weaving through the River.”

Cheers & Hugs,

Projecting Beauty

Projecting Beauty – 18×24 Acrylic Abstract on stretched canvas

Every baby is born beautiful.
It is what we project on them
that makes them ugly.

-Ruth in Small Great Things

Sharing this quote today from the book I’m reading that I mentioned yesterday –Small Great Things By Jodi Picoult.

The quote is spoken by a labor and delivery nurse, Ruth, talking about the most beautiful baby she has ever seen born.  The baby was born with severe birth defects that led to him not having a face.  A small mouth with one tooth was in the place of where an ear should have been and the face was just a mass of skin.  A student nurse screamed upon seeing him.  Ruth shared how she would never forget the transformation that occurred as a result of the love the mother, and eventually the father, projected onto this sweet baby for the short time they were blessed with his presence on earth.  The love in their eyes saw his beauty.  The love they projected on this baby made him beautiful.

This really spoke to me.  Of course there is the old adage that beauty is only skin deep, but isn’t it so true?  I have known people who were absolutely flawlessly attractive in physical appearance, but had such ugly hearts and souls that it blinded the beauty.  I also know people that aren’t necessarily physically attractive, but beauty just shines from them.  The beauty that is deep within their being. It just consumes the space that surrounds them.  And when you look at them, all you see is that beauty.

As parents (and grandparents), we have the power to project this beauty on our children.  We have the responsibility to teach them they are beautiful – not because of the color of their hair or skin or the shape of their bodies or the unique intricacies of their personal appearances… They are beautiful because they are loved for just exactly who they are.

Let us love our children by projecting beauty on them.  Let us teach our children to project beauty.

Cheers & Hugs,

This painting is quite a diversion from my usual watercolor art.  I worked on it for a few days as a special housewarming gift for my oldest son and daughter-in-law, who just moved into their new home.  This abstract acrylic was inspired by the beautiful work of Osnad Tzadok.  I did it using a palette knife, paper towels, a spray bottle of water, and a brush for a few strokes.  All paint by Golden.  I may just want to stretch and try some more of this type of work.

I’m calling this painting “Projecting Beauty.”

Facing Change

Not everything that is faced
can be changed,
but nothing can be changed
until it is faced.

James Baldwin

I started a new book yesterday on Audible to listen to while I walk with Charlie – Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

The weather is getting a bit nicer, the daylight longer, and we need to get moving!
Nothing makes the time go faster than when I have a good book to listen to.

I was hooked from the first paragraph.

And when I heard this quote as I was listening on my walk, I almost stopped in my tracks.  I backed it up a bit, and I listened again as the brief quote spoke to my soul.

I am facing a time of change in my life.

I’m guessing many of us are.

The changes we are going through are vastly different I’m sure.

Mine is career-centered.

Yours might be a relationship change or news about your health.
It could be the death of someone close to you.
It could be a change in the place you live.
Your change might have to do with your children leaving home or returning home, getting married, or perhaps the end of their marriage.
It could be a pregnancy or the ability not to be pregnant.

The changes each of us are going through can be as vastly numerous as the number of us reading this.

If you are going through something that is causing change in your life, I hope this quote resonates with you.  I hope it helps you face it.

And when you face it, may you feel empowered, and may this change bring joy and enlightenment and peace to your life.

Cheers & Hugs,

You Can Trust Me – A Charlie Guest Post

You Can Trust Me – A Charlie Guest Post.

Dear Mom –

You can trust me to be so happy to see you every time you come through the door
that it will be like you were gone for a whole year, even if it was only a half hour.

You can trust me to make all guests that come to our home feel very welcome
by sitting on their laps on the couch and smothering them with kisses.

You can trust me to allow my baby niece to take a bone out of my mouth,
twist my ear, poke my nose and pull my tail, and I will just lay there.

You can trust me to always go outside to go potty,
though I might not go very far if it is raining.

But please don’t trust me to watch your sandwich when you walk away…

Woofs & Wags,

P.S.  I did leave you the bottom slice of bread from the fish sandwich you left for me recently.  You’re welcome!

Charlie is an adopted dog with brown eyes and a white-tipped tail who brings joy and laughter to his family and friends.  Charlie is a gifted writer, raving food critic, cat, chipmunk, and donut lover, and exceptionally photogenic model.  Some of his best friends are Mike the UPS Man, Cliff the Mailman, and ANYONE who delivers pizza to the house.   If you would like to read more guest posts by Charlie, simply type “Charlie” into the Search box at the top right hand corner of this link:   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.

Buttermilk Pound Cake

Buttermilk Pound Cake.

I am a total sucker for pound cake!

So Friday – after a long, difficult week – I decided to do some baking therapy and teach my 16-month old granddaughter how to bake her first cake.  It was so fun to put her sweet little apron on for the first time that was a baby gift from a kind friend who knew it would surely get a lot of use.

We made this AMAZING pound cake from a recipe recently shared with me by a dear blog-following friend, Dena, who originally found it from Taste of Home.

The original recipe called for using 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Dena changed it up by using almond  and lemon extract.  I tweaked it a smidge further by using fresh lemon zest and lemon juice.  Dena makes hers in two loaf pans (which you surely can too – and adjust the baking time to 40-50 mins), but we made ours in a fluted Bundt pan and enjoyed with some fresh strawberries.

This recipe is so wonderful.  It is not super heavy like many pound cakes.  In fact, it is almost a bit light and airy.  But it is also dense enough to be super moist.  I love the way the edges turned out a bit crispy and the center moist and tender.

My granddaughter loved it too, so she got to take half of it home to share with Mommy and Daddy.

It snow flurried most of the day and was so cold, so it was the perfect day for us to hang out, have the oven on for an hour, and enjoy the aroma and taste of this delicious, comforting cake.

Thanks so much for sharing Dena!  This recipe is a real winner!

Buttermilk Pound Cake

  • Servings: approx. 16
  • Print


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • Lemon – zest of whole, juice of half (approx. 1 Tbsp.)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar left to sit for 5 min.)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting on top


Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.  Beat in almond extract, zest of 1 fresh lemon, and juice of half of a fresh lemon (approx. 1 Tbsp).  Add baking soda and 1 1/2 cups flour.  Mix just until incorporated.  Pour in half of milk, and beat just until combined.  Gently beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups flour followed by second half of milk.

Pour batter into greased and floured 10″ fluted tube (Bundt) pan.  Bake for approximately one hour or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 15 mins, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.  Dust with powdered sugar.


Cheers & Hugs,




Rain Puddle – Mars, PA – March, 2018


When the rain fell,
the sky was dark,
and the mood was somber.

But the droplets
gathered together
and created a beautiful puddle

that remained
for days after
the rain fell.

And though each raindrop
seemed clear and transparent
in and of itself,

when gathered together
in the puddle that remained,
they took on a new life.

When combined with the sunlight
and nature’s surroundings,
the clear water became a reflection.

A reflection
of the beauty
of it’s surroundings.

A reflection
almost more beautiful
than reality.

the rain fell.

Cheers & Hugs,

Quick and Easy Steak Fajita Flatbread

Quick and Easy Steak Fajita Flatbread.

We all have those days….

Those days when we want something delicious, but don’t feel like fussing…

Well… what a great discovery I made a few days ago when I decided to throw some fajita toppings on a piece of Naan flatbread.

Well – maybe Hubby thought of this first…. but I gave it a name – so let’s call it a collaboration.

The plan was to have steak salads, but when Hubby discovered the Naan, well…..  the plan changed.

And oh YAY!

This Steak Fajita Flatbread creation is like a sandwich/pizza/wrap/salad all in one!

It’s a great, quick and easy, delicious meal that would be great with chicken too.

Here is how we made it.

Quick and Easy Steak Fajita Flatbread


1 Naan Flatbread (I found these at Aldi’s)
1 thin Sirloin steak, sliced into strips
1/4 sweet onion, sliced
1/4 sweet red pepper, sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Lettuce (I used butter lettuce)
Italian or Balsamic Dressing
1/4 cup Shredded Cheddar, Mozzarella, or Monterrey Jack cheese


Sprinkle all but 1 Tbsp shredded cheese on Naan Flatbread and place in toaster oven or oven for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and flatbread is warm.

Meanwhile, saute onions and peppers in a hot skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil until wilted and browned.  Salt and pepper to your liking.  Remove from skillet.  Add sirloin beef strips seasoned with salt and pepper, and saute until doneness you desire.

Place onions and beef on top of toasted flatbread. Top with lettuce.  Drizzle with dressing.  Top with remaining shredded cheese.


Cheers & Hugs,

Bluebird of Happiness

Snowy Bluebird – March 2018 – Mars, PA

Bluebird of Happiness.

The beggar man and the mighty king are only different in name,
For they are treated just the same by fate.
Today a smile and tomorrow a tear, we never know what’s in store.

So learn your lesson before it is too late.
So be like I, hold your head up high
’til you find the bluebird of happiness.

You will find greater peace of mind,
knowing there’s a bluebird of happiness.

And when he sings to you,
though you’re deep in blue,
You will see a ray of light creep through.

And so remember this,
life is no abyss.
Somewhere there’s a bluebird of happiness.

The poet with his pen, the peasant with his plow,
It makes no different who you are,
it’s all the same somehow.

The king upon his throne, the jester at his feet,
the artist, the actress,
the man on the street.

It’s a life of smiles and a life of tears.
It’s a life of hopes and a life of fears.

A blinding torrent of rain and a brilliant burst of sun,
A biting tearing pain and bubbling sparkling fun.

And no matter what you have, don’t envy those you meet.
It’s all the same, it’s in the game, the bitter and the sweet.

And if things don’t look so cheerful, just show a little fight.
Fore every bit of darkness, there’s a little bit of light.

For every bit of hatred, there’s a little bit of love.
Fore every cloudy morning, there’s a midnight moon above.

So don’t you forget,
you must search ’til you find
the bluebird.

You will find peace and contentment forever, if you will be like I.
Hold your head up high, ’til you see a ray of light appear.

And so remember this,
life is no abyss.
Somewhere there’s a bluebird of happiness*.

What a sight to find this beautiful blue bird on the back railing the other day.  A bright, beautiful spot amidst the blustery snow storm.  It made me think of the phrase, “The Bluebird of Happiness.”  A little googling led me to the song and the beautiful lyrics.  A lot of truth about life in this.


Cheers & Hugs,