The Seven Yard Dress

Meditation Experience~Day Five. Gratitude awakens the true self. Each of us have many layers. I tend to hide my true {very sensitive} self to make others happy. Then when alone, I am hurt and angry that others have been disrespectful to me…but how would they know that they hurt me? I do not say anything. I just go away. My meditation is going well. Each day, my focus strengthens and my day is a wee bit better. I have sixteen days remaining.


The Seven Yard Dress

Photo: Hawaiian Dress Pattern:

Last summer while at the beach, I found the nicest fabric shop in Kappa, I had passed the shop for years but her window attracted me that one beautiful morning. On that day, I bought fabric for Larry’s quilt and this pattern. The pattern has ALL sizes in it and it is a traditional Mu-mu but I would rather call it a Hawaiian dress. Mu-Mu has such a hard sound to it.

Yesterday I bought two different fabrics to make two Hawaiian dresses. Each dress calls for seven yards of fabric….I love to sew, design and make garments, I will make the first one in the above fabric in the traditional Hawaiian way and after that, I shall put my own spin on the design. Oh! Just think what I can do!

Now for a serious subject. Debbie next door, let me know, that last month we had a death on our street. The teenage boy caddy-corner to us passed. I noticed lots of cars, and deliveries…but it did not occur me that something tragic happened. Other than that, I had no idea. I am ashamed of myself for not reaching out BEFORE something happened.

I wonder how many of us do not know our neighbors? I have lived here a long time and when someone moves, in I should welcome them…..I have to sort this out in my head. Not sure what I will do.

Happy Friday. Enjoy the weekend, smile often. Maybe reach out to a neighbor you have not met? That is what I will be doing.

Love you.


The New Puppy?

Meditation Experience-Day Four. To receive grace, you must be grateful and humble. Today I was asked what I could do to be more grateful. What could I do to be thankful. This is hard for me. I feel overwhelming thankfulness each day and it never seems enough. What am I doing wrong? Life keeps coming at me faster than my aging body can filter it and to be honest. I am a little tired.


Photo: The new puppy

Last week, I wrote about it being time to give Libby’s pug bed away. So many of you commented, sent texts and mails sharing your thoughts. I loved each and every one of you for taking a moment to tell me what you were thinking.

Yesterday Lauren, my daughter had a hair appointment at a salon near The Cottage. She stopped by on the way to her appointment. The big orange Jeep arrived and she came in the front door holding a pug statue, sleeping in a bed. She handed it to me and said: now you can give Libby’s bed away.

I don’t know if this settles it, but how sweet was that? Besides….I LOVE the face of the sleeping pug.

I am eternally thankful for so many things in my life. Of course for the huge things, but also for the tiny, fleeting, seconds of joy that seem to hit us so fast that we almost do not notice them. Like when I am finished writing today’s post and I hit the “publish” button up in the corner…. ahhhh. I love that moment of completion.

So, as I prepare to hit the publish button, I sigh. Have a wonderful day.

Love you.


Meditations and Wishes

Photo: by Robin

Meditation Experience-Day Three. I am gladdening my heart. Today I was asked what was one of the most wonderful, grateful times that I had with a loved one… goes. …….Going into surgery for breast cancer. Larry asked, Rob, where do you see yourself in 5 years? I replied, having tea at Kensington Palace, celebrating being cancer free. Five years later almost to the day, he took me to London where we celebrated my life with tea at Kensington Palace….I am beyond thankful for my health and for the amazing man in my life.


Yesterday was almost vanilla. I nursed a sore knee, worked on projects, had my car washed, walked 2 miles, made ravioli for dinner and watched the Netflix show, Someone Feed Phil and then a new series on Amazon. 800 Words.

I wish I had walked 4 miles, read for an hour, start a new painting, had something extraordinary for dinner and I wish that I had organized my painting area so I could be more productive.

One of my daughters went through a phase when she was a teen, saying almost daily: You can wish in one hand and crap in the other. See what hand fills faster. I refuse to tell which daughter.

Photo: Sweet surprise from our neighbors

Our sweet neighbors next door surprised is with a beautiful gift. It makes me smile just looking at it. There was a note with the plant….personal and kind. Some people inspire me to be better than I am. Debbie, Lew, you both are wonderful and your kindness means the world to Larry and I.

Love you.


Mon Nouveau Chapeau

Photo: All good things bring gratitude

Meditation Experience~Day two. All Good Things Bring Gratitude. People and things that I am grateful for, reinforce the feelings of love and joy in my heart. It is good to focus on that and not the negative. The good outweighs the negative in our lives and why do we sometimes focus on the bad? I will focus on the good.


I bought a hat this week. It is the best hat I have ever owned. It is pack-able, reinforced with SPF and is comfortable, I found MY perfect hat!

I have had between 4-6 surgeries on my forehead and scalp for skin cancer. I have had many hats and hated them all and then, I do not wear them. Most hats feel like bee=keepers hats to me.

Photo: This is NOT my new hat!

I wore my new hat last night to Matilda’s softball game. {her team won ten to zero} We sat on the bleachers in the sun and my head was protected. The best thing of all, I did not feel stupid wearing it!

Photo: My new hat

Please remember to wear your hats in the sun. Having scalp surgery-excuse my French- sucks.

I found some fun facts about skin!

  • The average person’s skin covers an area of 2 square meters.
  • Skin accounts for about 15% of your body weight.
  • The average adult has approximately 21 square feet of skin, which weighs 9 lbs and contains more than 11 miles of blood vessels.
  • The average person has about 300 million skin cells. A single square inch of skin has about 19 million cells and up to 300 sweat glands.
  • Your skin is its thickest on your feet (1.4mm) and thinnest on your eyelids (0.2mm).
  • The skin renews itself every 28 days.
  • Your skin constantly sheds dead cells, about 30,000 to 40,000 cells every minute! That’s nearly 9 lbs. per year!
  • Some sources estimate that more than half of the dust in your home is actually dead skin.
  • Dead skin comprises about a billion tons of dust in the earth’s atmosphere.
  • Your skin is home to more than 1,000 species of bacteria.
  • Skin that is severely damaged may try to heal itself by forming scar tissue, which is different from normal skin tissue because it lacks hair and sweat glands.
  • Skin can form additional thickness and toughness — a callus — if exposed to repeated friction or pressure.

Do you have a perfect hat? Do you wear it in the sun? Please take care of your skin…

Love you.


Her Name Was Grace

Photo: Under painting is the carved word “GRACE” this was my mothers.. Her name was GRACE.

DAY ONE~Journal for Meditation Experience- I am late in posting today. Being late makes me anxious and this reason should not make me anxious. You know that I have been struggling a bit and today I started a free 21 day meditation program online. (Why not? I take ART classes online) My good friend Anne-Marie is a friend of Deepak and I like Oprah, so here I go.

The web site will not let me post a link here but you can google: Oprah & Deepak 21 Day Meditation Experience to see what I am attempting. I have been looking for a meditation guide/class/experience and I found this. For the next 21 days, the beginning of my posts will be my thoughts. I hope to be candid and positive……


I had a good weekend. On Friday, Larry and I spent an hour at the archery range before dinner. I must admit that wearing a dress to shoot is not condusive to accuracy, but I did not have to go home to change before going into Dallas for dinner and that is a good thing. Our favorite waitress was not at the restaurant because her father in law had broken his hip.(Sandy Prayers are still being whispered) and we missed her very much. Dinner was as good as ever.

Saturday was a gloomy mess of a day. We headed out early driving one hour to Collinsville, TX. Matilda was playing softball at a field there. When we arrived, we saw Josh, Matilda’s dad….and Lauren texted, saying we were at the wrong field and the game was delayed. Larry and I had not eaten so we left in search of the sweet dinner we passed a few miles earlier. We found it, ate and decided to head home, so Lauren Matilda and Josh could have “family time”………..

Saturday evening found us in Town (Dallas) at a concert. Copland’s Appalachian Spring. It had become a lovely evening and the stroll in downtown was perfection not to mention the amazing music and friends we visited with.

Sunday. Sunday School and Church. After church, we went to Sherman Texas for the Highland Games. (Go Clan Stevenson!) We came home for Sunday dinner and movie. Dinner Rotisserie chicken, Mandarin orange salad and rice. Dessert was a cheese cake I made Mother when she was ill.

Photo: The pipes and drums
Photo: Chicken, salad & rice
Photo: Vanilla cheesecake
Photo: Sunday Movie

Here I am at Monday morning. I have meditated, washed two loads of laundry and will work on a painting after I post this.

I AM thankful for the joys in my life. So very thankful, that I sometimes find it offensive when people tell me that I should be more thankful or more grateful. But…..perhaps if I were more thankful or more grateful, I would not be anxious or blue sometimes?

Have a happy day. If anyone joins me in my meditation journey, I would love to hear from you. Perhaps we could compare notes.

Love you.


Maybe Time?

Yesterday, I was trying to straightening things up a bit and it occurred to me…maybe it is time to throw Libby’s pug dog bed away? It is still in the same spot where she slept, by the window in my work room. She could keep on eye out the window for visitors, she had toys around her if she got a burst of energy and she was near me. That is the most wonderful part. She always stayed close to me.

Maybe it is time? But, I am afraid that if I throw it away, I would regret it.

Photo: Libby’s dog bed

I am still missing my girl very much. Maybe it is not quite time yet.

Photo: Libby and Flag

When you lost a beloved pet, what was your experience?

Thank you for listening.

Love you.


Crock Pot~Bacon Corn Chowder~Chef Valentine

I had written down this recipe from the Internet months ago, leaving it out, reminding me to just try it!

I made the soup yesterday and was not disappointed. The taste profile in this soup is perfection if you follow the directions. It will become a “regular” at The Cottage.

Photo: Crock Pot Corn Chowder

Bacon Corn Chowder


1 pound of small red potatoes cut into 1″cubes

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 bags {12 oz each} frozen whole kernel corn

3 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cups half and half

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 pound bacon-cooked crispy and crumbled

*** In a 4 quart Crock Pot, mix potatoes, onion, corn, broth, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours till potatoes are tender.

*** In a small bowl, beat half&half and cornstarch with a whisk till smooth, Stir half&half mixture and bacon into the corn mixture that is in the Crock Pot and cover. Cook another 15-30 min till slightly thickened.

We had turkey sandwiches and diet ginger ale with the Corn Chowder.

Hope you enjoy.

Till next time….

Chef Valentine

We All Know Someone

Photo: Gift from my dear friend Rosemary

OK. Lets be honest.When you are having a stinky day, go out to get the mail and find a package, just for YOU. It can really make you smile. This happened to me on Tuesday. Rosemary {a dear friend} sent a gift. A PARIS gift! I have hung it in the work room and it does make me smile. Often. Rosemary, thank you. A real note is in the mail to you, but I wanted to share your thoughtfulness here. I hope that you do not mind. We all know someone who is having a few blue days. It happens to all of us and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Being sad or upset is just part of life.

I have noticed that my blue days are so much different since breast cancer treatment. The good thing is that I am cancer free. Being blue is not so bad. I can handle this.

Keeping busy is another good thing…..I started knitting a poncho, embroidering a dish towel and Chef Valentine is trying a new recipe today.

What do you do to keep busy when you are blue?

If you need someone to talk to, I am always here…and my email is

Love you beyond all of the projects.


Tuesdays, Ships and Dreams

Yesterday was Tuesday, the last day of winter. Our back patio door was open and the sounds of the neighborhood distracted me constantly.

I heard the definite click of the mailbox and hurried out to get the mail before dressing for dinner.

As I walked to the mailbox, I looked over at our neighbor, Lew’s house. You must remember me talking about Lew, he had a birthday a few weeks ago. What I did not tell you is, Lew is a shipbuilder or a shipwright. He worked building big ships before he retired and now….he builds them in his garage.

Photo: Our neighbor is a shipwright

I ran back in the house for the camera and took this photo, hoping that Lew or his daughter Debbie did not see me and think I was stalking them. I wanted to go over and touch the sail….better yet, look at the beautiful colors on the ship.( boat?) I was in awe. How amazing is it to see something like this in a small Texas neighborhood?

I found this quote and it made me think of Lew…

“Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made.”

~Robert N. Rose~

Happy First Day of Spring.

Love you.


A Blog About Nothing

I honestly have nothing much to say today. My yesterday was BLA, spending it doing laundry and not feeling quite well. I finished a gift (it is in the washer right now) I read (the book club book) and I went to Matilda’s softball game (her team won).

The gift in the washer is for a dear person. I will not say much because she reads blog often…..but…..I can say, she is a peach. The gift is for no occasion. Matilda, Larry and I chose the fiber for the gift. It took me a week to make it. It will be clean, dried and blocked. Then I will box it up and take it to our little mailing shop and then ship it far away. I love the mailing part. It is then, when the gift takes on a life of its own

Photo: Internet photo of the sweetest earrings

I found a web site, with the sweetest earrings. They are recycled and made of tin. I do not know the owner….just thought I would share (because I plan to order gifts soon) Link below.

Have a lovely day. Today is a gift just for us.

Love you.