May your resolutions bring you joy and happiness and that your faith, family and friendships are abundantly rewarding.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
In the meantime a new catalog came out and I got a brand new kit from that catalog. Our new catalog debuts on January 4th and I can't wait to celebrate the excitement of sharing the new products with my customers. January is full of resolutions and while that is all well and good, many of you know that I am still trying to get organized in my home. It takes more than the hour shown on the Mission Organization program to get this done and change habits too.
For a peek at what I am so excited, take a look at my website: mythirtyone.com/mardellgrayhek
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Now, I am going to go get some rest because tomorrow I will begin making treats and cookies and pans of lasagna for the first of the extended family gatherings.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and pray that this year brings peace.
Friday, December 14, 2012
I pray that God will help us understand each other better and guide us to live together as He intended. I pray also for patience so that I may be kind to those who I don't think deserve my kindness. I pray for the courage to speak up when I see things that are not right and to make the world a better place.
I cannot say one word that will make it easier for those left behind tonight after the shootings this morning; I can simply pray that it never happens again.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
|The snow fell today!|
Excitement is building
The season is here
The Snow Village is growing
Round rocks for eyes
Chose carrots or buttons for a nose
Hats and Scarves
Make a family of snow
Keep your spirits up with cheerful people of snow!
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Today is election day in our country. We are facing so many challenges, as the world beyond us. But, as a free country we have been blessed with the right to vote our conscience. If you have not voted yet today, please exercise that privilege and vote. The time it takes to do this is important to us all. And, if you don't vote, you missed your chance to discuss your feelings in the outcome of things that transpire over the next crucial four years.
Whether I cancel your vote or you cancel mine, the majority will decide and I honor that decision. Let us pull together, find common ground and get this country moving once more!
Monday, November 5, 2012
|This was taken two years ago |
when the leaves were just turning!
|The cleanup - phase one|
Raked up, composted and mulched into soil, the leaves that provided my own private curtain are gone. Why is it that the beauty of the autumn colors is so much more fleeting than the brilliance of spring blossoms?
|What a pile!|
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Please Lord, help those who cry out for help in this storm. The devastation is no less than that left by an attack of terror. The walls of waves, the funneling of water in the darkest holes...the frightened men, women and children who look for protection need the help that only You can provide. Cleanup has begun and in the aftermath we pray that You will comfort those affected and will bring a new day for these people as they work to re-build their lives.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Garlic - enough for 1-3 per jar
Place sprig of dill in each jar along with a clove or two of garlic. Add cucumbers, a bit more dill and another clove of garlic, packing the jars full.
Pour hot brine over cucumbers, dill and garlic
Run knife along inside edge of jars to remove any bubbles that may be in the brine.
Wipe edges with clean cloth.
Place hot lid each on jar, then follow with lid ring,
Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars to a table covered with folded towels. It will be a joy when you hear that first 'ping' or two, telling you your jars have sealed.
* If you have never canned before, please check with your local county extension office for the latest instructions for canning and preserving fruits and vegetables. Also check out Ball's website to learn this traditional home art.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
|Welcome to Fort Spokane! We traveled to Fort Spokane early this month.|
This trek provided us with a glimpse into a past that is rich with history of frontier life.
|In later years this fort served as a boarding house for Native American children. There is a wealth of information on the history of the Agency Indian Schools and the daily life of the children who were so far from their homes.|
|Remains of Bachelor Officer Quarters|
|A closer look shows the remainder of the fireplace within the structure.|
Monday, July 16, 2012
|Last week I spotted an announcement that Union Pacific was making a stop in our city on their 150th anniversary tour. This was one opportunity I was not going to miss. |
As it happened, I went alone on a very hot day. It was worth it.
|There was a time when I frequently saw|
engines like this one going down the tracks
|I like this nostalgic setting at the station. |
The lamps and benches paint
a picture of men
and mothers tending their tots
while waiting for their train to arrive.
|Step up to the caboose but watch your step! |
The polished railings were so bright
I bet they were hot to the touch!
|Imagine standing on the platform and waving goodbye. In this election year it reminds me of the old "Whistle Stop" campaigns|
of a bygone era.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
The first recipe I plan to make will be for the 4th of July! Patsy's Blackberry Cobbler with Blueberries to honor our Day of Independence July 4, 1776.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
|This is a picture of how I would like to swim someday!|
I used rubbing alcohol alone a few times with success after wiping out on my water ski. I have an aversion to water sloshing around my ear canal because as a child I had chronic ear aches, infections and sessions with my (warm) hot water bottle on my pillow. After the earache was over, mother dropped hydrogen peroxide inside and swabbed it out after it produced warm tickling bubbles, cleansing the remains of liquid wax in my ears. Just a bit of that water takes me back to those days of wearing cotton in the aftermath of all that loving care for my ears.
I'd rather do without that but my wish to master this swimming begs the question or rather the answer to keep myself motivated and not the least bit squeamish to give it up. Every day I search for more ways to stay motivated enough to find solutions rather than excuses to keep going.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I was holding my breath too long, gulping and at times panicking. The last lap was far less taxing once I practiced this new drill.
Tomorrow morning, I plan to focus on just two strokes at a time and blowing all my breath out, one bubble at a time.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
It is too easy to lose motivation while making changes in our lives. This quote inspired me this morning about how important it is to stay focused on my goals.
“Rely on your own strength of body and soul. Take for your star self-reliance, faith, honesty and industry. Don't take too much advice -- keep at the helm and steer your own ship, and remember that the great art of commanding is to take a fair share of the work. Fire above the mark you intend to hit. Energy, invincible determination with the right motive, are the levers that move the world.” - Noah Porter, 1811-1892
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I am looking forward to my swimming lesson tomorrow morning. I am trying to master breathing with my arms & legs...timing is everything, especially for a klutz like me. To add another twist to my latest venture in the pool, I agreed to meet my coach 15 minutes earlier @ 6:30 a.m...I am that determined!
Sunday, June 17, 2012
The program concentrated on counting calories and journaling every bite I ate. The first week was disappointing at the scale and over time I lost weight. But, celebrations and vacation came along and it was hard to get back on track. Now I have a sedentary job and need more creativity.
I am going to journal my journey on this blog. I will learn what works for me and what I need to avoid as quick fixes and fads. Lasting weight loss is my goal. I like real food in the real world and I am not going to count carbs, proteins or points. I am going to enjoy my food in reasonable portions.
I am getting more active. I started swimming lessons so I can swim real laps for fitness. I swam a lot at the pool growing up but the self taught fun is not the same as breathing properly and swimming with my eyes open. My instructor gave me a pair of goggles and a swimming cap to protect my hair. What a difference they make. I just finished up my third week of lessons and to celebrate I bought myself a pair of real goggles. Tomorrow at 6:45 I will strap on these goggles and glide once more in the water. The rolling of my body, the kick and reaching with my hands will help me re-shape my body. It is fun, and I think I can stick with it. Why? Because I like it and my coach is helping me believe that I can do it and that is itself is a motivator.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
remember...always free shipping...always
Thursday, May 17, 2012
"With every leaf a miracle … and from this bush in the door-yard,
With delicate-colour’d blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rich green
A sprig, with its flower, I break."
Walt Whitman—When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloom’d. III. Leaves of Grass.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
As I type this I see our lilac bushes just beginning their glorious season. The Lilac Festival has begun and this is going to be one of those years when the lovely flowers will actually be blooming for the parade.
My dear Mother loved Lilacs and filled our home with jars and vases full of that fragrant blossom for as long as the season held out. We had a tall hedge along our yard, providing shade and privacy from a busy street. In our garden, we had a huge round bush that was a highlight of our block. From top to bottom, the blooms were so lovely that it gave many pleasure when mom cut large bouquets to share.
Mother has been gone for seventeen years yet I can still feel her pleasure in simple things of beauty. Those simple things are often the most wonderful things in life. Maybe because they seem to conjure up most of my memories.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
This week when I couldn't find a pattern to loan to my student I vowed to find it and put it in between the doors. I did not find it and did not fulfill my promise. It has taken me twice as long to find things and that means one thing. It is time to clean it out and get realistic on what can and cannot enter that room. Instead of a haven this afternoon I want to close the door and think about it another day. This hampers my creativity. Not a good thing. Mission Organization I am coming back for another dose. I want it to look at least at organized as these pictures from when I began last time. It isn't going to happen over night or over a week. This time I have to purge things that have nothing to do with sewing that landed on the spot for lack of anywhere else to go.
Does anyone else do this?
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I was frightened of my Dad's older sister and for no good reason other than she was a tall large strict woman. As I grew older and far long after her death I learned so much about this kind woman that if she were alive we would have been close. Or...at least as close as possible for a woman born to German immigrants on a Midwest farm where "children were seen and not heard." As the oldest daughter with a lot of responsibility, she put up with no nonsense and expressed herself with a booming voice that made one stop to give pause. She never stopped being my Dad's big sister and in their quiet remote ways I know they loved each other as only brothers and sisters can do.
She was a peacemaker, a great cook, compassionate, generous and loved to play pinochle. She had a great capacity to love behind a facade that was in keeping with her old ways.
I celebrate her birth 108 years ago. I wonder...would she have celebrated March 1st or February 28?
Thursday, February 23, 2012
My husband gets home from work before I do and he has had dinner ready every time I have walked in the door this week. Last night the aroma of tender baked chicken greeted my senses when I opened the door. Little things mean a lot to me and those little things show so much love.
I received the following blog post from Tracie Miles in my email box earlier this week. Take a peek and see if you can identify with her in any part of this post. I know for myself, it struck a chord. Happy Thursday!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I think one piece that is missing from many of our weight loss goals is learning how to eat and what to eat. Good whole foods are the best. I know some of you may think that is an expensive option. Take a trip around the grocery store and compare foods and prices. Look at serving sizes, nutrition and how many how many items on the label that you can't pronounce. What is this unpronounceable ingredient? Will it make it taste better, look better or last longer? Enough said.
I follow a blog called Musings of a Housewife and today her post about Food Safety VS Nourishment inspires me to push myself to challenge myself to really get off my duff and look in the pantry. I'll weigh in next week to check my progress not only on the scale but also how well I feel.