Saturday, April 28, 2007

more of my favorite things

I love collecting! And the best part about collecting is it can be any silly little thing or an extravagance. It can provide a memory of a romantic trip to Sedona, the great food of New Orleans, or maybe someone special you met in Mexico. It can fulfill the present and give you something to look forward to in the future. Collections are great! The problem is I'm running out of places to put more "memories."

And I really don't need to accumulate any more.... My first collection was house plants. Yes, house plants. We lived in a single wide trailer with over 50 plants. I was addicted to them! Every weekend each and every leaf of each and every plant would get tenderly washed, transplanted if need be, and treated gingerly. That was before kids.

Then I moved on to teddy bears and had well over 30 collector bears. Not the cheap kind. They filled a bay window. Now... sadly... they just take up room... and many have been sold in garage sales over the years. I did keep my favorites though and every year they put on their little red bows and come downstairs and share Christmas with us.
Here's some of my favorite collections:

Tea cups and saucers. Love love love them! Any with flowers will suit my fancy. These aren't vintage but bought over the years and brought out for special occasions--like Tracy's bridal shower. I don't know what I love the most--their daintiness, their flowers, or the fact that they portray something special.

Decorative plates. I love decorative plates especially with flowers on them. This is one of my most favorite of all times. It was my mom's.... and I was so excited to have been able to call it "mine" after she passed away. It's so beautiful and I will always treasure it.

Wall pockets. Tracy is actually collecting these for me. Those are the best kind of collections, when someone knows you and your tastes so well that they can start a perfect collection. At Christmas I put sprigs of cedar and holly in them.

These are just some of my favorite collections. And although I don't necessarily need any more, and I'm not actively adding to them, if the opportunity arose... and I found the perfect addition to one of my collections....
But I think it's time for a new collection... I'm thinking... something pink!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

cha ching cherry!

And that would be the name of the polish I have on my toes today! Cha Ching Cherry! It's funny because I'm not a vibrant person. I don't necessarily want to stand out in a crowd. I don't wear loud clothes. I'm not a loud talker. I don't wear kinky hair styles. I have conservative taste in people, clothes, food, art, hair, makeup, etc. Yet.... when it comes to my toes, they love to scream LOOK AT ME!!!! And they get painted bright and cheery so you can't help but notice them! Why is that? Why do I have the nerve to put myself "out there" when it comes to my toes, but no other aspect of my life? Why do I allow myself to be vulnerable to what others might think in this one area of my life? And why would I put this information out on the Internet for everyone to know?! I don't know that either. AND would I allow my fingernails to be painted that same, vibrant color....? Absolutely not! This is definitely a piece of my puzzle.

It shouldn't surprise me though that I love bright red nail polish because I love geranium red, rose red, fuchsia red; and I love vintage red in table coverings, aprons, and hankies.

And sweet, red cherries.
And red, luscious raspberries.
And red, sweet watermelon.

But it doesn't really matter if I'm not a red kinda person in all areas of my life all of the time because as long as I have my red hankies and red vintage tablecloths and sweet red watermelon, life is good....

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ruffled feathers

THIS is why I'm not going to bring home a paycheck.... $27 worth of pansies.... But in my defense, isn't it just cute as can be? It's a ruffled pansy. Our nursery only gets three flats a year and they go in days. They're from Japan or China, can't recall. But they're just as precious as can be.

We're still in the "cold weather" stage and can't plant much more than pansies, primroses, and anemones outside right now. But I'm making my list and when the time is right....

Gardening is extremely expensive in Juneau. This pansy came in a pak of six small plants. I bought three containers and it came to $27. But in Juneau ya do what ya have to do.... ya bite the bullet.... ya turn the other eye.... You do what you have to do to have that splash of color in what can be an otherwise dark and dreary day.

Hope your day was sunshiny!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

a perfect job

Today I return to work.... but this won't be anything like the job I worked at for 30 years.... this is a dangerous kind of job.... a plant nursery! I've worked there before, when I was younger, but think I still have what it takes to put in a few hours a week. The dangerous part is.... I love to garden. I love to landscape; I love to add new plants to my existing gardens; I love to give plants away; I love to replace plants that aren't doing so well; I love to try something new; I love to garden! And now I can get my fingers dirty to my heart's content all day long.... or at least until our yard becomes a snow-free zone and I'm able to do some real work here.

I spent all day Sunday looking for a giant-size can of Snow Be Gone but none was to be found. I suspect all the people with a snow-free zone have already bought it all.... :) So we had to revert to getting rid of snow the old fashioned way.... Shoveling it onto the driveway, spreading it out, stomping on it, anything to help it melt! My sister had to laugh that all winter we worked endlessly to remove the snow from our driveway.... now we were shoveling it back on!

Yes, we have started shoveling the snow back on to the driveway where it is a little warmer and melts more quickly. We're just helping Mother Nature along. The raised beds will become snow-free sooner, the soil warmed up sooner, and the potatoes planted on time.... maybe.

Have a sunshiny day!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

what kind of flower are you

I'm a daisy.... my daughter's favorite flower.... It says, about me: "You are just a sweet person. When a friend needs a shoulder to cry on, you are happy to offer yours with a box of tissues as well. Once in awhile, you wish you could be a little more dramatic but then sensibility sets back in and you know that you are perfect the way you are."

It's funny because this is so true. I do wish I could be more dramatic at times but the realization is that I am not.... so why not be content with who I am instead of wishing I was someone different.... better....

Personally, my favorite flower is the peony. I wonder what that says about a person....

What kind of flower are you?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

a home without a season

Can you believe we had another sunny day in Juneau?! AND, it was warm, like in the high 50's! It's hard to describe how our moods change when a few rays of sun come out. Typically Juneau is dark and dreary most of the year. Much of the population gets cabin fever in the winter and moods drastically go on the downhill. Thankfully, I'm not one that gets depressed by darkness or rain. But when the sun comes out, it certainly lifts the spirit; it's good for body and soul, for sure.

The most difficult aspect of living right now is that we're living without a season. It's officially spring.... but our yard tells us, nope, not yet..... We should be outside raking, thatching, reseeding, trimming, and sprucing up the lawn and gardens. But we can't because we still have snow..... It's sunshiny and warm and I'm outside walking in the snow in my sandals.... Of course my husband had to make a point that they were sandals and not made for snow.... I thought it was best if I wore suntan lotion rather than risk a burn from the reflection of the snow.... So you can't imagine the feeling of joy when I had a 28" strip of lawn to actually rake today! The snow had receded from the driveway enough that I could enjoy the spirit of spring and rake to my heart's content!

Today was a lovely day.

Friday, April 20, 2007

sunny day

What an absolutely gorgeous day! Despite the fact that there was a heap of snow in front of us, the deck chairs came out and my hubby and I enjoyed the first real rays of summer sitting in the sun in our short sleeves and sandals. It was only 54 degrees, but it was sunny AND warm and heavenly. Hardly gets any better than that. Rain is predicted for the rest of the week..... :(

Thursday, April 19, 2007

eye spy

I wish there was something other than "snow" and "spring cleaning" to talk about but sadly.... there isn't. Normally this time of year I'd be outside getting my gardens in shape in anticipation of a great summer of gardening and landscaping. After a long winter my gardens are always in need of some special TLC not to mention the projects waiting in the wings. But since we're at least a month behind schedule I have no choice but to continue with my spring cleaning inside.

Yesterday was a good day. It was sunny and gorgeous outside and inside the kitchen was sparkling. I'm excited about the new uses found for my recent thrift store finds. This urn is now holding tea bags and another one is holding garlic. I'm thinking also lemons and limes for this summer.

But I have to say, all the while I was working.... it felt like someone was watching me.... It was eerie....

The biggest part of my day was spent polishing vintage silverware. Where does it come from and why do I have so much of it? The answer is simply.... because I'm a collector; I hate getting rid of things especially if it came from family. But over the years I've learned to downsize and it's time to downsize my silverware as well. We don't use it; it's just for looks and it does require polishing at least once a year. I'll keep my favorite pieces and see if the kids want the rest.

Today is another simply gorgeous day outside.... and here I am, inside.... But it'll feel good to get spring cleaning done.

Just wish I could shake the feeling that someone is watching me....

Have a sunshiny day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

snow free zone

I love sunny days in Juneau! Yesterday was a gorgeous day and it even got into the mid-50's. Never mind that we still have all this snow on the ground, other places around town are snow-free with signs of real spring sprouting up everywhere. This picture is of our wetlands taken on our way into town. It will be covered when the tide comes in.

Mike and I went for a ride in the morning. It doesn't take long.... we don't have to go far.... We only have about 60 miles of road going from one end of town to the next and yesterday we drove about 10 of it. The END is never far in Juneau. Sometimes I remark (okay, whine!), "ohhhhh, I don't want to drive alllllll the way to Douglas!" My husband reminds me it's only a 15 minute drive....

Downtown is getting ready for the tourist season. Yesterday all you saw were construction and city workers busily getting streets and shops spruced up for the tourist season. In about two weeks the scene downtown will look a lot different. We'll have cruise ships tied up at the dock and hundreds of people milling in front of store windows, shopping, and filling their bags with tourist treasures. That could be scenario 1. Scenario 2 could be it's raining sideways and the winds are blowing and the tourists are in their rain ponchos huddled in front of shop doors wondering why they came to Juneau to begin with! Either way, our streets will be bustling and the red T-Shirt Shop bags will be everywhere!

After arriving home, our sweet dog, Kona, surprised us with a visit and spent the afternoon with us. Of course the only thing on Kona's agenda is playing ball, so with ball in mouth, outside we go. We were having a great time--Kona getting to the ball first and Sadie just happy as a clam to have company--totally unaware that Dixie Cup was sunbathing herself in the sunshine. Dixie lives behind us.... with Mercedes the Boxer. Dixie doesn't like Mercedes (Mercedes is just over a year old and too rambunctious) and somehow, some way, manages to scoot her fat little body under the 4" of cyclone fence and scuttles over to our yard. Actually we don't know why she prefers our yard.... but she's a daily visitor. And we let her visit.

This is Kona's version of making a snow angel. I laughed so hard watching her roll around in the snow. She was just having a hay day; happy to be alive and in our back yard running and playing.

These boots were not made for walking! I found them at our local thrift store a few years ago and think they're perfect just where they are, waiting patiently outside my front door for some hen and chicks.... something.... but it will be awhile yet before I can fill them as it's just not spring enough yet.

Meanwhile, life goes on. The snow too will melt and my flowers will bloom and life will be good. Today is a non-rainy day and is actually pretty nice out. I plan on continuing my spring cleaning and will work in the kitchen today. I found some treasures at the thrift store yesterday that I'm thrilled about but they need to be washed up before I can show them. So until tomorrow, have a sunshiny day filled with good things!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

favorite things

I'm sorry to say.... yesterday turned out to be somewhat of a bust as far as shopping for the things I needed/wanted for our bedroom.... It can be so frustrating shopping in this town with our limited resources. We have a Fred Meyers and that's it for home furnishings. Needless to say, we do a lot of on-line shopping or when we travel "south," we usually have an extra suitcase to fill with "must haves." We're getting a Walmart AND a Home Depot in June and I can hardly wait.

I was able to find this darling pink flowered pillow for our bed though. Fred Meyers had re-stocked the shelves overnight and now I wish I could buy them all. They're darling!

And I don't know if saying "scored" on the baskets is a good thing or not.... I was able to buy the last of the same style to put in the closet shelves.... but they were busted.... I bought them anyway because (1) you don't know IF they'll bring the same style in or (2) WHEN. So I bought them.... at a 10% discount. I'm just going to say they're "old," have been handed down for generations :)

But I wasn't able to find any 6" deep plastic bins for our seasonal clothes; didn't like the selection of rugs; and didn't see any cute little lamps that would work on my dresser. So my enthusiasm wavered a little by the end of the morning and I still have these items on my list and the bedroom still isn't done. But it looks better! I even opened the window for some.... ahhhhhh.... fresh air!

I was walking through Fred Meyers yesterday with Mike (my hubby) and oohing and aahing over all the cute little spring dresses perfect for a granddaughter.... of which I have none.... My kids are grown; Tracy is 31 and Bucky 23 with no grandkids in sight..... But that's okay, I've accepted that. At least I have these precious dogs to spoil.

Sadie is our sweetheart. We found her at the pound where she had just been dropped off during the night. They didn't have a name or any history for her. When we brought her home she was so fearful of everything in sight; every movement; every large object; every shiny thing; every dark object; every loud noise; everything made her cringe and cower.... It was so sad. I called her Sadie Sad Eyes because her eyes had the look of death in them. It was so disturbing to think that someone could be so mean to this sweet, precious little dog. But she's come a long ways since October and will even investigate these same dark, scary things on her own now with only a little hesitation. But don't say "boo!"

Porter is the newest member of the family and belongs to Tracy and Adam. He's just a pup (about six months old), and a mischievous one at that! The stories we could tell.... :) He particularly loves stalking Sadie and taking her chews away from her! Course, Sadie doesn't have the social skills to let him know this is not acceptable; she's just very weary of him for now. So Porter takes the chew away from her and drops it three feet away, Sadie retrieves it again, and the play starts all over again. We get some good laughs when Porter is around!

And Kona is Bucky and Michelle's dog. She's been with us for about five years and knows exactly which buttons to push to get a cookie or two or three. She has THE most intense eyes I've ever seen on a dog; her stares can will that ball into your hand over and over again!

I guess these are my grandkids for now and wonder how they would look with a cute little spring dress on....

Monday, April 16, 2007

spring has sprung

Okay, I've been hit by the blogging bug! I can't help it but my days are filled reading every one's posts and falling in love with their decorating ideas. Thank goodness I'm retired and have time to do this....

I know it's officially "spring," but it sure doesn't feel like it. Here in Juneau we still have a ton of snow on the ground. And it's ugly snow.... dirty, ugly, end-of-the-season snow. As it recedes along the driveway, you can see all the ugly winter debris that has laid dormant underneath it all winter. I can hardly wait to get outside and start raking it up. This picture was just taken yesterday. Doesn't hardly look like spring, does it?!

Yesterday I did some assessment of the damage that I can see so far.... the snow guards, that prevent the snow from sliding off our metal roof, have been ripped off from so much snow and ice. As you can see below, our split rail fencing has fallen also from the weight of so much snow. We'll have to replace most of the posts and rails this summer:

And, no, this picture isn't upside down. This is my cherry tree.... After I cut off all the broken branches there may not be many left to bare cherries. This is a similar scene with most bushes that are breaking loose from all the snow.

When you look outside it still is pretty distressing.... BUT, I saw some pussy willows in bloom yesterday and the Canadian Geese are in the wetlands, and the last little red hat of my garden gnome is sticking through the snow. Never mind that he's on a 3' high rock! Every day I see a little more of his little cap and I know spring will be here.... eventually....

Now, if only my baby Rocker Jays would show up. It's pretty funny to see all their downy fluff sticking out all over their bodies. But no babies just yet; maybe they're sitting on their nests since we still have so much snow.

But the real indicator that spring is here.... I'm in the mood to clean! Nothing is sacred this time of year--closets and drawers; clothes; books; bedding. Every nook and cranny gets cleaned out and pared down; boxes and boxes of good stuff gets donated to the kids or the local St. Vincents; places get cleaned that haven't been cleaned for months.... Our winters are so long and so dark that spring is a definite renewal of the spirit and soul. It's a time for change; for refreshing our surroundings. This year I'm ready to get back to "cottage." I used to be more of a cottage person than I am now. Over the years I've downsized too many times and have passed on a lot of my goodies to my daughter, Tracy. I wonder if she'll give it all back....? :) Now our home is a mixture of Alaskana/country/cozy cottage with a mixture of mission and antiques. But it should be easy to incorporate a little more "cottage" into it because I've got the bug. The bug for vintage, for colors, for casual quaintness.

To that end, I started in our bedroom yesterday. We've never had a "bedroom bedroom." It's always been a catch all room for anything without a true home.... So my goal this week is to make it into a real bedroom, a romantic and comfortable room without all that other stuff! I mean we have baseball cards, office papers, umbrellas, tools, magnetic health products, paper rolls for our loose change, luggage, extra furniture, and the list can go on and on. Does this sound like a romantic bedroom? I think not! So it's all coming out! Not certain where it's going, but it's all going to find a new home. A big problem I have is our California closets.... I'm not so crazy about them because they're just open, there's no closet doors to hide things behind so you can see everything and it looks cluttered. So I bought some baskets to hold our stuff (or to hide it....) but need a few more.
I also found this cute retro pillow for the bed. I fell in love with it the second I saw it. It'll be a perfect addition for my blue and white bedroom.

Can you tell if this plant is real or not? It's not.... The lady at the checkout even smelled it! (She also calls the turnips by name.... "Hi, Mr. Turnip....") It looks great on my bedside table.
So things are looking up. Today I need to buy a couple more baskets for the closet and some 6" deep plastic bins to store seasonal clothes and slide under the bed. Maybe I'll get some spring flowers at our local grocery store and put my summer (non-flannel) sheets on the bed and look for some better art work to put on the wall, and some bluish rag rugs for next to the bed, and pick up paint samples from Valley Paint, and then try to pull it all together by the end of the day. It's a tall order.... in Juneau.... where our shopping is limited.... But maybe by the end of the week it'll be a beautiful, romantic bedroom!

Have a sunshiny day!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

great finds

Yesterday I went garage saling! I love rummaging through other people's trash to find new treasures for me! My husband likes to go with me.... but I don't think he has such a good time.... I'm not certain why he goes.... I don't think he's really looking for anything.... I point out fishing gear, antique guns, books he might like.... but he never picks anything up.... Yet I love that he likes to go with me. I just wish he would have more fun! Because garage saling IS fun! Don't you agree?

I have to admit though, that I get a little jealous when I visit your sites and see all the wonderful treasures you come home with.... Juneau is not like that. Our garage sales aren't so great most of the time, and if you are fortunate enough to find one.... relish it! Yesterday I did find some decent treasures. Like this darling little dish. Not certain what its function is.... but I use them for olives and such. The bowls are just shallow enough for small portions. I paid $2.00 for this gem.

The peach pitcher I bought mostly for decoration. There isn't any stamp other than "made in Taiwan" so I don't know its history. I'll probably put flowers in it and set it on a little bistro table outside once it warms up. I love pitchers! Each has their own little charm. I paid $1.00 for this from a family who was packing it all up and going sailing!

And the cute little flower pitcher looks vintage. It's only about 8" tall and very very heavy. It looks to be in excellent shape and will be perfect for serving lemonade or iced tea outside on a warm summer day.... Surprisingly I found it at our thrift store for $5.00. Chances of finding a jewel at our thrift store are slim to nothing. I can't help but wonder where all the treasures go....

This is a large tin bucket but not certain what its original purpose is either but it'll look great outside as yard art. If our snow ever leaves.... We still have 3 feet of it in our front yard. This is supposed to be spring! I'm supposed to be outside getting my fingernails dirty! But I love yard art. When we moved into our home, the kind previous owners left a cast iron wood stove in the shed. Instead of taking it to the dump, we hauled it to the back yard, took the doors off, filled it with dirt, and in the summer I have flowers blooming inside the door and pots sitting on top of it! I'll post a picture later this year. It's just the cutest little garden room.

Most of my true treasures though are hand-me-downs from my mom or things my kids have given or made for me. I especially love taking an object and using it in some other way than what is expected. Like this old, green chandelier that probably held candles originally. Now it makes for a lovely place to hang my necklaces! My mom always had baskets hanging from it.

And this ottoman.... used to be our dining room table! It was an antique when I bought it and eventually the ornate legs gave out. We threw the table away, but kept the legs to "recycle" somehow. Bucky took the legs and surprised me with this ottoman a few years back. It's still fairly fragile so I don't use it for a stool much; it's mostly for looks. And I love looking at it.
Yesterday was a good day. I found some pretty good treasures and some vintage books; I put away the last of my Easter decorations; AND made this scrumptious strawberry blackberry shortcake for dessert !
Have a sunshiny day!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

easter past

I know Easter is over but I feel cheated.... I had so many cute decorations that I didn't get an opportunity to share with you. So if you'll just give me a minute, and give me a chance to share just a couple of my favorites.

Decorated Eggs: Here's one of my favorite decorated eggs. Isn't it precious?! In all fairness, the eggs were quite old.... as I had dyed and blown them out years and years ago; I just never finished decorating them. So a trip to our local Joann's and $33 later.... I had enough ribbon and sewing notions to decorate a hundred eggs.... never mind I only had eight to do! But it's such a simple and fun project that maybe next year I'll invite my daughter (Tracy) and my son's fiance (Michelle) to help. While "down south" recently, I found a book at Williams Sonoma on decorating eggs. Beading eggs will be next....

Sugar Cookies: And these are some of the 200 cookies we decorated the day before Easter (Tracy, Michelle, and I). Making decorated sugar cookies is an annual Christmas event with Tracy and I, but this year we invited Michelle and it was just that much more fun. I made the dough and baked the cookies the day before so we could get right down to business. Five hours later.... we were tired but so happy with the way they turned out. Aren't the carrots just the cutest? ;)

Easter is one of my favorite seasons, as it's so easy to do "homemade."

Tomorrow I look forward to sharing some of my other craft projects with you.... but now I really must get dressed and head to the first garage sales of the season! Wish me luck on some good finds!

Have a sunshiny day!

Friday, April 13, 2007

a love note

I've been writing in journals for as long as I can remember. And I'm going to warn you up front.... I tend to ramble....! My daughter (who has a blog--simply blissful) said "it's tough to put yourself out there." I have just the opposite problem.... shutting up. If you know me, you know this is not characteristic of me. I'm a very quiet and unassuming person. I'm an observer of life, not so much a participater. I'm not so much a talker. But my journals give me a place to talk where I won't be interrupted, where I don't care if no one is listening or hearing or caring what I have to say. My journals are a place where I can put all my most innermost feelings about anything, everything, or nothing at all. I laid awake in bed last night wondering how on earth I would have time to write everything that I want to write about!! After all, there's only 365 days in a year and at least 1,000 pieces of my puzzle!

And after I've been writing today's entry for most of the morning trying to figure out what I wanted to say and what I didn't want to say just yet, I see where my daughter, Tracy, published her entry for today. She's a truly gifted child and has creative talents that make a momma proud. But today's entry made me cry.... She always knows just the right thing to say to make me feel like I'm the best mother in the world! Course, I try to be.... but if you read her earlier entry, you would know I'm not ("stick to decorating the carrots, they're easier...."!). Course she took it way out of context ;) She knows I would never say anything on purpose to hurt her. But one thing she wrote is true, I've been leaving my kids notes since they were in grade school.

Being a working mom, I wasn't always home when they headed off to school and I could remember how brutal school could be on fragile souls. I also knew they wouldn't always listen to what I had to say, so I took to putting things on paper. A typical note might have read, "smile at someone today!" or "say something nice to a new person" or "be happy" or simply, "I love you." As they got older, it was real conversations between us about what was happening that day. When the kids no longer carried a lunch to school, I wrote my love notes on a tablet that had its permanent place on the kitchen counter. Most days had something special to say about who they were as individuals or inspirations on how they could be kind, compassionate, and respectful children. Course, to be honest.... I didn't know if they actually ever read them.... but seeing how well they've turned out, I suspect they did. Still, today whenever the kids come home to visit, the first thing they do is head to the tablet to see what's been written over the past weeks. When we entered the world of email, inspirational quotes became my popular theme in their daily emails: "Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking."

But my love notes to my kids have been my greatest gift to them, I hope, and reading back our conversations over the years, the greatest gift to me. Being a parent isn't the easiest thing in the world. Having to teach your children from right and wrong isn't always the easiest thing and isn't always welcomed with open arms.... They don't always want to listen or to acknowledge that you're right or that you just might know what you're talking about. But my love notes were a way for us to "communicate" without actually having to talk person to person and risk an argument or confrontation. If my kids said something mean, they could expect to have a love note that addressed "being mean to others." When they wrote back an apology, I knew it was a lesson learned. When they left the house, they wrote a quick note saying where they were going. If I had asked, they probably would have said, "I don't know." This manner of communication lessened the power struggle of "you don't own me." Writing love notes was my way to guide them. Too often when we communicate with our children it's all about power, control, or being right and often ended in a confrontration. When you're writing a short note, you don't have that same situation in play, the power or control issue. So to all you mothers--leave your kids a love note today and tomorrow and the day after that! You'll be glad you did.

Have a sunshiny day!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

pieces of the puzzle

Life is full of challenges.... I never promised you a rose garden.... Take time to smell the flowers.... I've said them all over the years. Life can suck; there's no doubt about it. But as you get older I think it's easier to find the silver lining in things.... the good.... the positive.... a reason to help you accept what's going on in your life. "Every cloud has a silver lining" is one of my favorite sayings now and what I wanted to name my blog. But since it wasn't available, I had to go with Plan B. Plan B came to me recently when I was being reclusive sitting in my pretty little blue recliner that had been placed in my bedroom. Life had been particularly difficult recently and I needed a place to decompress. So we bought a tiny recliner and my daughter, Tracy, made me a darling journal to write my thoughts in. It was during one of my writing sessions that it came to me. Life is nothing more than a jigsaw puzzle.... If we're lucky, it'll have 1,000 pieces to it and piece by piece, year by year, the pieces of the puzzle will be put in place. The border pieces are our values, or strengths, our beliefs. These are the pieces that identify us. The pieces within the border are life's adventures; our struggles; our strengths; our challenges; our regrets; our loves; our dislikes. The pieces are life. So, welcome to my life!