Blossoming Love

Blossoming Love.

It wraps itself around you
like vining tendrils
clinging tightly

sprouting delicate buds
that unknowingly unfurl
into beautiful blossoms.


Cheers & Hugs,

I took this photo at a beautiful outdoor wedding reception I attended this past weekend. This vining white clematis seemed so symbolic of the blossoming love of a new marriage.  It also made me think about the blossoming love I have for my newest granddaughter – only a few weeks old – but who is so tenderly wrapping herself around my heart.

7 Things I Learned in 2017

  1.   I believe I married one of the smartest men in the universe.  Not only does he know everything about history and geography and science, he knows how to fix almost anything (with very few exceptions), and he innately wants to help everyone – from family and friends to strangers – by using his knowledge and skills.  We may not always agree on everything (like politics or what to watch on TV), but I think I have grown to love and admire him more this year than in all the 39 years of knowing him.
  2. Watching my oldest son become a father and watching  the love and adoration between him and his child grow is one of the most beautiful gifts a mom can receive.
  3. Watching my youngest son marry the love of his life and the joy she brings to him is all I could ever ask for.
  4. Spending time with my first daughter-in-law sharing our love of handmade crafting or our greater love of my first grandchild are some of my favorite times this year.
  5. Gaining a second daughter-in-law has expanded my heart even more than I could have imagined, and being welcomed into her family has been such an added bonus.
  6. There is no word (someone must come up with one) to express the indescribable joy felt when watching your first grandchild smile at you for the first time, reach her arms out to you when she sees you, and say “MahMaw” (Grandma) for the first time!
  7. Turning 55 (today!) isn’t so bad.   Getting to this stage of life has brought more blessings – more love – deeper relationships with family and friends –  than the disadvantages of  extra weight, extra sags, extra grays, and  extra wrinkles.

2017 was a pretty awesome year!  I encourage you to think of seven things you learned or loved in 2017.  I am sure there are many more than you realize.

Out of the 365 days…
or perhaps the 8, 760 hours….
maybe even the 525,600 minutes….
How do you measure a year?

I measure it in love.

Cheers & Hugs,


Mars, PA - Late Summer Sunrise - August 20, 2017

Mars, PA – Late Summer Sunrise – August 20, 2017


Lately, I’ve been reading
“The Storyteller”
by Jodi Picoult.

It has touched my heart deeply,
profoundly moved my soul,
and makes my hands
want to bake Chocolate Babka.

It’s made me consider,
Inside each of us is a monster.
Inside each of us is a saint.
The real question
is which one of them will
we nurture the most?
Which one will smite the other?”

Lately, I’ve been binge-watching
on Netflix.

It’s made me realize
how past family secrets
and hurtful lies
can cause lasting scars
and shatter lives.

Lately, Hubby was out of town
on a business trip.
Not far. Not long. But not here.

It’s made me realize
how much I truly miss
the little things
I too often
complain about.

I’ve been thinking about
a new perspective.

Cheers & Hugs,

Sometimes I Wonder

Goldfinch and Grosbeak at the feeder - Mars, PA - June, 2017

Goldfinch and Grosbeak at the feeder – Mars, PA – June, 2017

I wonder
how you put up
with me.
Then I remember,
oh I put up with you.
So we’re even.

Author unknown

Lovingly dedicated to a guy I call “Merv.”
He calls me “Gert.”
I put up with him.

He puts up with me.
Let’s do it until eternity. ❤

Cheers & Hugs,

A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods Watercolor - 8x10 Fabriano 140lb Cold Press

A Walk in the Woods Watercolor – 8×10 Fabriano 140lb Cold Press

A Walk in the Woods.

I took some time one evening this week
to splash some paint in a way that is a challenge to me – landscape.

Not allowing myself to get bogged down in the details,
and following the inspiration of Andrew Geeson once again,

I created this little painting I call
“A Walk in the Woods.”

One week from today, a very special couple –
our youngest son and our future daughter-in-law

will be taking a very important walk…
A walk down the aisle.

A walk into a new life.
A shared life.

A lifetime commitment
to each other.

I am so happy for them
and cannot wait to share in this walk with them.

Love you dearly
Nick and Liz!

Cheers & Hugs,

And Happy Earth Day!  A landscape painting is only fitting for #EarthDay!

Love & Valentine’s Day


Love & Valentine’s Day

When I was a young girl
and dreamed about love,
it was dreamy and romantic
and dizzying and sweep-away, fairy tale-like.

Now that I’m not such a young girl,
but a woman who has loved
and who has also been loved
for many more years than not…

I know that love
is not just a feeling.
It is an action…  It is a verb.
It is a choice, and it is a decision.

It is giving just as much as receiving.
It is safe, and it is secure.
It is not always dreamy and romantic and dizzying,
but it is so much more.

So from the once 16-year old girl
who fell for that 20-year old boy,
I’m so thankful for your love,
and I love you more now than then.

Happy 38th Valentine’s Day!
May we have that many more.


34 Years Ago…


34 years ago
on April 3, 1982,
a 19 year-old girl
said “I do”
to a 23 year-old boy.

They didn’t know
how quickly time would fly
creating a life together
experiencing love together
raising a family together
growing old together.

Today, a 53 year-old girl smiles
at a 57 year-old boy
whose eyes still twinkle
when she gives him a winkle.

One of aging’s most precious gifts
is our eyes growing bleary
causing us to look with our hearts
at those we love
and see the beauty
that radiates from within.

We don’t see the wrinkles.
We just see the twinkles
that can only be viewed
from the experience
of a lifelong love.

Cheers & Hugs,


The Things We Treasure

The final assignment for #Writing101 is to write about something we treasure, and the twist is to experiment with longform and push to write more than usual.

So for anyone that has faithfully followed along, I did miss a couple of the twenty assignments, but all-in-all, this has been such an amazing journey.  One of deep thinking and thoughtful process.  One of stretching myself out of my comfort zone.  One that has certainly challenged me.  One that is teaching me to not only be okay with myself, but to start liking myself for me just the way I am, and learning to love myself.   Love comes very easy for me…   When it comes to others…

I feel I have grown through the process, and I know I still have a long way to go, but guess what?  That is what it’s all about Alfie – this thing called life.    Growing and stretching and challenging yourself and learning and doing new things.  But most of all, sharing it with those we love, and experiencing the joy of love.   Yep – at life in between.  So hear goes my final assignment for #Writing101.  (But no fear – or “oh no!” – I think there may be a #Writing201 in my future…)

There is no material item I can fathom or imagine treasuring more than I treasure my family – and friends that are like family – that bring such joy and love to my life.

I know it sounds so cliche’, but I truly cannot think of an item that I treasure more dearly.

And at the top of that list is this awkward young man I met 35 years ago.  He was 20.  I was 16.

He’s not so young anymore – but neither am I.

And the most awesome thing I can say about that is I know without a doubt that I love this now sometimes grumpy but whose laugh melts my heart,  gray-haired but more handsome than ever, still sometimes awkward but ever-so intelligent, opinionated that I don’t always agree with, kind-hearted but doesn’t want anyone to know, talented, dependable, logical, level-headed, big lug of a guy with a ‘derriere’ that can still make me blush more than I did all those years ago.

How sweet is the longevity of a lifetime of love?  It’s truly not about mushiness or goobiness or googly eyes or butterflies.  It’s about a sacred bond.  It’s about feeling confident and secure and comfortable and simply loved.

“I believe in love, Alfie.”

So, Merv, after all this, do you still “think I’m cuuuuuute?”  I guess this turned into a love letter just for you…


With love,


Wedding Survival Kit

Jackie Wedding Survival Kit

One week from today is Jackie and Matt’s wedding.  Another one of “our children” is getting married…  (sigh)

Where did the time go?

When I met my BFF, Jill, we were pregnant with Nick and Jayme and had two little babies.  I had Jake.  She had Jackie.

Last year Jake married our beloved Colleen.  This year Jackie gets to marry her dear Matt.

jackie and matt

I can still picture our two little toe heads and the wonderful times we shared as we weaved our way through diapers and bottles and strollers and trips to the mall (just to get out of the house)….

to being homeroom moms together and planning holiday parties and the best obstacle courses for field day…

kids 1996

to PTA meetings, playgroups,  the best themed birthday parties and homemade Halloween costumes…

to Jill & Jodi’s Junque craft shows, and then re-entering the workforce, being parents of teens, then sending them to college and empty nesting…

and now weddings.

It is a great life to share with friends like we are, and I am so excited to celebrate our Jackie next week.

Jackie Jodi Jill

One of the shower gifts I gave Jackie was this simple little “Wedding Survival Kit.”

I put all the items in a cute little keepsake box that Jackie can use for whatever she wants.

You can customize it to suit your special couple and make a sweet, personalized gift.

Jackie Wedding Survival Kit


crayon – to “color” all the days of your marriage bright and sunny

rubber band – to remind you to always be flexible

candle – to help the glow of romance always be part of your love for Matt

paper clip – to help you hold it all together

penny – to give you extra “cents” to know which battles are worth fighting and which are not

Some tape – to remind you little things can be “fixed”

highlighter – to highlight all of the wonderful moments you and Matt will have

glue stick – to help you “stick it out” during the rough patches

battery – to help you recharge after a long day (or week…or month…)

button – to remind you that sometimes you need to “button your lip”

safety pin – to help you pin-point your problems and solve them

dental pic  – to always pick out the best in Matt

q-tip – to dig out all the bad things in your relationship

band-aid – so you can tackle those high heels in August


Can’t wait to celebrate your day next week at this time Jackie!

Love ya!

Cheers & Hugs,