Time to “Art”

White Floral Abstract Watercolor 11x14 140lb Cold Press

White Floral Abstract Watercolor 11×14 140lb Cold Press

Time to “Art”

It is the week following Christmas…
a time I once used to feel “let down.”

After all the busyness
of the weeks leading up to Christmas…

The checklists
and shopping lists.

The writing and signing…
The sealing and stamping and mailing.

The sifting and stirring…
The  separating and straining and sugaring.

The ripping and wrapping…
The taping and twisting and tying.

The fluffing and folding…
The scrubbing and setting and shining.

It’s all so exciting
leading up to the celebrating!

But there is something special also
about the days “after” that I have truly come to appreciate.

I am fortunate to be able to take time off from work
the week between Christmas and New Year.

And this year is especially special
as I get to spend extra days with my granddaughter.

We are snuggling and tickling…
We are reading and singing and laughing.

We are napping and relaxing…
We are twirling and tumbling and kick-backin’.

And yesterday, during an especially long nap,
I had a chance to escape to my art room

for some much-needed “arting”
that I’ve been longing for.

I had no idea what I wanted to paint –
it’s been weeks since I’ve gifted myself with the time.

But it was as if the paper and water and paints
decided to give me a gift…

And this is what emerged…
A white floral abstract of sorts.

A celebration of time graciously granted
at “life in between.”

Cheers & Hugs,


Daniel Smith Watercolors:  Prussian Blue, Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Gold.


A Hymn of Grateful Praise

For the beauty of the earth... For the Glory of the Skies

For the beauty of the earth… For the Glory of the Skies

A Hymn of Grateful Praise.

For the beauty of the earth…
For the glory of the skies.

For the beauty of each hour…
Of the day and of the night.

For the joy of human love…
A hymn of grateful praise.

Sometimes there are just no better words
than those of classic hymns.

On this Thanksgiving Day,
I am grateful for all of this and more.

Cheers & Hugs,


At least once…

At least once.

As the sun sets,
and this one day ends…

can I look back and say
that at least once…

I was kind to someone,
I let someone be kind to me.

I was strong,
I was gentle.

I smiled and laughed,
I made someone smile and laugh.

I knew when to talk,
I knew when to listen.

I learned something,
I taught something.

I did something for someone,
I did something for me.

I told someone “I love you.”

I remembered to love myself.

As the sun sets,
and this one day ends.

Cheers & Hugs,

How do you say “Thank You?”

Crooked Creek, Ford City, PA - June, 2017

Crooked Creek, Ford City, PA – June, 2017

How do you say “Thank You”
for sunshine or health…
for clear days or gentle rains…
for happiness, joy or love?

You say it by sharing
what you have.
You say it by making
the world a better place in which to live.

-Thomas D. Willhite

How do YOU say “Thank You?”

I say it by trying to share something small every day
in this tiny little platform that is mine
to give to the world
a little bit of happiness…
a little bit of joy…
a little bit of love.

My “Thank You” might be
a photograph,
or a painting,
or a craft or DIY idea.

It might be a favorite cherished
or newly discovered recipe.
It might be a verse
or a quote or a story.

But it is my “Thank You”
for sunshine and health…
for clear days and gentle rains…
for happiness, joy, and love.

It is my gift.
It is my little life.
It is my creative journey…
at life in between.

Cheers & Hugs,


Happy Birthday Dad

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad’s birthday.

I am so glad to have him in my life to celebrate.

This is one of the very few pictures I have from my early childhood.

As a child of divorce, many photos of my early life were destroyed along with the marriage that ended.  I suppose in an effort to erase the “mistake.”

But I am so grateful for this photo shared with me by my sweet aunt of a birthday celebration that was shared by my brother and cousin.

Sadly, half of the people in the photo are no longer with us…
Cancer, aging, murder, suicide… Many of us can relate to similar losses.

But I have my Dad in my life, and today is his birthday.
And I am choosing to cherish these moments!

By the way – can you tell which two we are?
I think we look so much alike!

Happy Birthday Dad!
From your only daughter.
Your first-born child.

You were my first great love.
You are the man I am still discovering.
The Daddy I am still allowing myself to remember.

Thank you for being back in my life.
Thank you for healing the wounds.

Thank you for ending the nightmares.
Thank you for fulfilling the dreams.

I love you.

Cheers & Hugs,



The Gratitude Challenge



blended bloom suo 104

So now the latest “thing” buzzing around on Facebook is the Gratitude Challenge.

The Ice Bucket Challenge was awesome and all – for a while – and it raised some great awareness for ALS.  I did it. Everyone did it.  I’m growing a little weary of it.

But now I’ve been “nominated” to do the Gratitude Challenge.  I just finished my first post, and I’m still feeling a little bleery-eyed from expressing my gratitude for “my guys” (my hubby and my two boys – well men now – but all the same my guys).  Feeling so…… well…… grateful…    so full… so blessed.

There is nothing like spending time thinking about things you are grateful for and expressing that gratitude to make you feel good.

There’s a lot of “crap” that results from social media these days.  My dad and I talk about it regularly.  He’s not such a fan of it all.  I’m pretty much into it.

I am in Corporate Communications…..

And I do like to be “social”  🙂

So despite the “yukky” stuff that comes about through social media (which I need not take the time to mention and remind you about),  like everything else, social media can be used for good as well as bad.

I’m feeling good about the Gratitude Challenge, and I’m also going to make it a point to send a card of gratitude every day for the next five days to go along with my posts.

The card I’m showing here is one I am submitting for the SUO Challenge #104.   This is my first submission for SUO, so wish me luck!  Here is the description of the challenge rules:

“Clean and Simple” – also known as CAS – is a style of greeting card that most of us have tried at one time or another.  A Clean and Simple card is one that doesn’t have a lot going on with it.  It can have layers and it can have embellishments.  But basically with a CAS card, anything that’s part of it helps us all focus on the single important element in the card, including in many cases lots of clean space that forces our eye towards that focal point.  Your challenge for this SUO Challenge is to make a Clean and Simple card.

I love this SU Blended Bloom Stamp and can get lost in “coloring” it with alcohol markers and just blending and creating shades and highlights and different colors.  I hope this card meets the criteria of CAS, as I feel the focal point is the flower and hope your eye is drawn to that when looking at the card.

And…. I am going to send this card to a few ladies that I haven’t met yet, but hear are following my blog, so I am excited to send it with an extra little treat and hopefully bring a few smiles.  🙂    (Hi TSM friends!)

Cheers & Hugs,



PS  Just in case you are wondering what I posted for my Gratitude Challenge Post #1, here it is:

Gratitude: Day 1

Janet Adams and Joyce Brugnoli both nominated me yesterday to do the gratitude challenge. Every day for five days I am challenged to list three things or people for which I am grateful. On each day, I nominate two people to do the same…. This is just about expressing thanks and recognizing amazing gifts in our lives. The sharing of my first three does not necessarily mean I am less or more thankful for those things or people that I share over the next days.
I could so overthink this as I am grateful for so many things in my life! I am having trouble narrowing down how to begin, so I will keep it easy by just expressing the first things that comes to mind…. 1. Marty (Merv) – the man I met when I was 16 and he was 20 – married when I was 19 and he was 23 – and that I still get to say “I love you” to every day – 35 years later. My rock – the man I cannot imagine my life without. 2. Our first born son, Jake – who changed my life forever by showing me the joy of motherhood 27 years ago. He gives me a hard time as often as he can, but also loves me so powerfully in a way that he and I “get” and enjoy. His intelligence and musical talent blow me away and make me so proud. 3. My “baby” Nick, who brought such joy to our little family 24 years ago when he joined it – all 10 bouncing pounds of him. He balanced us out by making us 4 and continues to balance us out in so many other ways. He charms me into doing anything he wants, gives me honest opinions, thinks like me, understands me, and humors me when the others don’t/won’t.