A Wizard of Oz Party

A Wizard of Oz Party.

Yesterday, I shared a recipe for Butterscotch Haystacks that I mentioned I made for a  Wizard of Oz Party.  Today, I want to share some more of the super simple treats I prepared for our little group of 11 ADULTS who decided we wanted to watch the Wizard of Oz together.

I prepared a salami, cheese, and olive tray in the shape of the infamous Yellow Brick Road.

And oh what a joy it was to answer my cell phone at exactly the assigned start time of our little party to be asked to come outside…..

When I stepped out onto the porch in the dark and looked into the driveway, a group of seven silly, sweet friends had their arms linked together in a row and came skipping up to the porch singing, “We’re off to see the Wizard… the wonderful Wizard of Oz…” as if they were on the yellow brick road.

I knew we were in for a fun night!   One friend dressed as a scarecrow and another in the “outfit” she wore when she saw the movie for the first time – jammies, a blanket, and pig tails!

We had Bugles “Tornadoes” to dip and munch….

along with Potato Sticks “Scarecrow Straw” and Cheese Curls “Lion Tails.”

There were Hershey’s Kisses “Tin Man Hats”

and bowls of Skittles and Dark Chocolate M&M’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

We gathered at the bar first for drinks and toasting to get the evening started, then made our plates and settled into comfy seats (some even on the floor) to watch the classic we had discussed weeks before talking about how scared, yet fascinated we were as children.   (Notice even Charlie – peeking from front bottom right below – and his friend Gemma hunkered in.)

For almost two hours, we were mesmerized as if we were children, yet noticing so many more things as adults.  We sang along and recited phrases.  We laughed, we gasped, we recounted childhood memories…

It was a silly theme and reason to get together, yet somehow turned into a sincerely authentic experience…

Maybe I’m still on the Brene Brown buzz of vulnerability and courage to be oneself after reading her latest book, Braving the Wilderness, but I woke up the next morning (granted a bit fuzzy from a wee bit too much wine), but feeling completely joyous and connected and complete.

What would life be like without friends?  I hope I never have to know.

And remember……….

You’ve always had the power my dear.  You just had to learn it yourself.”

Cheers & Hugs,


You’ve Always had the Power

Airquest Aviation, Butler, PA September, 2017

Airquest Aviation, Butler, PA September, 2017

You’ve always had
my Dear,

You just had
to learn it

-Glinda, the Good Witch
The Wizard of Oz

Don’t doubt that you can do it.
Don’t doubt that you have what it takes.

Trust in yourself.
You have it in you.

You can do it.
You have the power within you.

You’ve always had the power.
You just need to trust in yourself.

Believe in yourself.
You’ve always had the power.

Cheers & Hugs,

There’s no place like home

“It wasn’t a dream….. it was a place……..”

#Writing101 Assignment #2:  A Room with a View (or just a view):  We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.

I made it through Assignment #1 in #Writing101.  So stressful – yet so rewarding.  Thank you to so many of you for the wonderful comments and encouragement.

Today’s assignment is to write about a place – any place.  Where you would go right now if you had the power to go ANYwhere?

It’s a Monday evening.  The end to a beautiful, perfect end-of-Summer, beginning -of-Fall day.  A hectic, but rewarding work day.   A relaxing, enjoyable evening spent with some of my favorite people.  Monday nights mean my buddy Janet joins us for dinner.

I had meetings up until right before “dinner” time, so Marty was so awesome to help pull it all together while I packed for a business trip and looked forward to enjoying some spaghetti and meatballs with Janet and Marty and Nick, and “unwind” from my day.

Janet and I talked about my first #Writing101 assignment, watched the Season Premiere of “Dancing with the Stars,” and contemplated what I would write about for my next post:  Where would we go if we could go anywhere right now?

I asked Janet where it would be for her.

She thought for a bit.  Then she mentioned Greece, Alaska, various places she’s been and loved.

She asked me what I was thinking about.

I told her the first thing that came to mind was Heaven.

Wouldn’t it be cool to go there and visit, talk to some of our loved ones (Grandma, Grandpap)?  It would be great to see there is hope and beauty that lies ahead.  Great to know a paradise awaits.

Then I said it would be intriguing to go back in time to Paris or Germany (or anywhere) circa 1944 – during World War II – and experience what people were going through.  This is totally because I am reading “All the Light we Cannot See,” by Anthony Doerr, and completely enthralled by it.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be an 18-year old boy drafted to Vietnam.  Babies killing babies.   As a mother of boys, this has always tugged at and broke my heart.

But to happier places.

Where would I go if I had the power to go anywhere?

You know what?  For me, it is not necessarily a “place,” but it is a feeling.  It is who I am with.  It is how I feel when I am in “that place.”

And after considering all the places in the world and all the periods of time, I came to the most boring of all conclusions…………….

There is no place I’d rather be than home………..

Home is where so many happy memories have been forged.

The home we are in now is one we built.  It is the one that Marty and I planned so easily when we perused through house plans and presented each other with mirror images of the same house.

But more than that – it is many “houses” that are home.

My BFF Jill knows me so well when she presented me with a beautiful hand-painted plaque for Christmas that simply states, “What I love best about my home is who I share it with.”


Funny thing she hadn’t realized was that I loved that saying SO much that I had already bought a plaque with just that saying on it, and had it hanging on my photo gallery wall.

Home is where we can be ourselves.

It is where my couch cushion is indented on the left from the way I curl up and lean in it.

It is where our oak kitchen table has nicks and worn spots that represent hundreds of meals, games, holidays, discussions with family and friends.

It is where I cook Thanksgiving turkey dinners and bake Christmas cookies.

It is where I host “Girlfriend Camp” and where my boys have brought friends for football games, hot tub parties, sleep overs, dates.


It is where I know my hubby is when I snuggle up next to him at night – feeling content, safe, protected, comfortable, loved.

It is where my Dad came back to me, where other family members rekindled their love for me.


It is where I watched the 9-11 events unfold and embraced my family when they came home after school and work.

Home is where the people I love the most waited for me while Jill took me out to greet me upon our return with a “SURPRISE” 50th birthday party last year.

50 nick


It is where we hosted our son and daughter-in-law’s wedding rehearsal dinner and friends gathered in my kitchen to help host and serve.

jake and colleen rehearsalfriends rehearsal dinner

My happiest memories are those spent at “home” – whether it was Marty’s and my first humble 12X60 mobile home when I was 19 and he was 23 to our little ranch in Fox Run surrounded by lifelong friends raising our little ones to the two houses we built, the memories we created, the lessons we learned, the people that helped and the people we shared with.

Marty has always said a home is not the bricks and mortar, and I have come to realize that is so true.  For a man who lived his entire life until our marriage in the same brick home, he is amazingly profound in his statement.

The best thing about our home is who we share it with…
and there is no place like home.

Cheers & Hugs,