A Simple Thought for the Day

Though the following advice was given to writers, it is, in fact, advice we all should take.

“The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.” – -William Saroyan

I love this advice! A simple reminder in being mindful in all we do.

Live and be alive,
While you can.
Experience life,
A crisp summer morning,
The sweet, sour, and bitter of each bite of food.
Feel sand upon a beach,
Dew on your cheeks.
Memorize the details
Of everything you do.
Remember where you are.
Be mindful,
Be complete.
And when they day is over,
Sleep full and deep.
Live,
And be alive.

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Simple Summertime Meals

Who doesn’t love summertime and all the great-tasting food that goes with it? If there is anything bad to say about this warm season of the year, it is this – cooking can be a bear during those 90+ degree days. Which is why I’m always looking for simple recipes I can create in a hurry.

To make your life a little easier, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite recipes.

Enjoy!

Saveur. Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad. Love pasta in the summer. Great site!

Wellness Mama. Chinese Chicken Stir Fry. A fantastic site with information on how to live a healthier life.

The Cookie Rookie. Skinny Chicken Salad Sliders. I’m new to this site, but I like it already. So many recipes, but I think I’ll start with this one.

Veggies Don’t Bite. Raw Zucchini Noodles and Veggies. Another new site for me. The name alone drew me in. Once you enter this site, you won’t want to leave.

The View from Great Island. Minimal Monday Lemon Thyme Lamb Chops. Don’t these sound amazing? They are easy, too.

Cooking Classy. Balsamic Glazed Salmon. The name of the site scared me. I thought I’d find recipes with dozens of ingredients, and a hundred steps. Not true! This salmon sounds wonderful.

Eat Yourself Skinny. 7 Layer Spicy Taco Dip. Anything taco, and I am in, especially in the summer. A new take on the old taco salad.

Damn Delicious. One Pan Mexican Quinoa. One-pot meals make me happy.

Some of my favorites. What are yours?

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Celebrate the Simple Things

The first flowers my husband ever gave me were from a dead woman. Maybe I should explain.

When my husband and I were first married, we worked in a nursing home. One evening after work, he arrived home with a bouquet of flowers.

“Where did you get those?” I asked as he handed them to me. We weren’t exactly rolling in money, and I couldn’t imagine where he’d buy flowers at ten o’clock at night.

“Someone died. The flowers were sitting on the front desk.”

“You got them from a dead woman?”

“I guess.”

I wasn’t sure if I should be happy he brought me flowers, or a little creeped-out. But as it turns out, it was my husband’s first attempt at being romantic. It was a moment I would never forget.

The flowers were yellow and white, daisies and lilies, placed in a vase on our kitchen table, until the petals slipped away, and all that remained were long, thin stems.

It was a strange entrance into marriage, and the first time I realized what marriage was – accepting the other person for who they were, and celebrating every first together. Even flowers from a dead woman.

Marriage is a series of firsts.

Firsts make our lives special, they are the ones we remember the most. Click To Tweet

Here are some firsts from my marriage. Do you recognize any of these in your own?:

-Our first apartment had a kitchen so tiny, you could twirl from sink to stove to fridge without having to take a step.

-The first time my husband baked cookies for me, they were salt-laden chocolate chip cookies, which required a few glasses of water after.

-Our first Christmas tree was purchased in a drugstore, a tiny Norfolk pine in a plastic pot, wrapped in shiny red foil. So little, it wouldn’t hold an ornament.

-The first gift from my husband was a bracelet with an inscription on the back.

-Our first car arrived with our first loan, and turned out to be our first lemon. It was also our first lesson in begging a bank to repossess said lemon, and in learning what to do when they refused.

-We celebrated our first child together (and our second, too).

-We bought our first house, and together, made our first attempts at home repairs. For the first time, we learned how to remove twenty-year-old layers of wallpaper, how to rip-out carpet, how to tile floors, and what to do when a kitchen faucet exploded.

-Our first pet was a dog that nearly choked itself when it wrapped its chain around our lilacs. It was also the first time we had to give a pet away.

-We watched children win their first competitions, as if it were our first time as well. We also watched them lose.

-We saw children get married, and grandchildren born.

-We saw new family arrive, and some leave.

-We moved across the country for the first time.

-We visited new states together, rode on a plane, a ferry, and are taking our very first cruise.

Some of these events are small, almost insignificant, at least to an outsider. But they are my firsts, my celebrations of life. What makes me, me, and my marriage to my husband, mine.

I love every first, every special moment, no matter how small. The thrill of a first is a feeling never forgotten. Firsts cannot be repeated. Once gone, they are gone forever.

Work hard to remember your firsts. Place them in your head like snapshots in an album. Remember the details, no matter how small.

It is your life, your significant moments. It is what makes you, you.

Celebrate them all. And if your husband brings you flowers, celebrate those too. Even if they are from a dead woman.

What are some of your firsts?

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The Simple Power of Words

You are given 1000 words to use today. What will you do with them? What will you say?

I recently watched “A Thousand Words,” a movie about a man (Eddie Murphy) who talks too much. Seriously, give that guy a cup of coffee and his mouth doesn’t stop moving. Ever know anyone like that?

I appreciate those with a quick brain, and being able to keep the words moving as fast as the thoughts. Yet…. I wonder….

How many times have we spoken needless words? How many times have we babbled on without saying anything? Worse yet, how many times have we spoken without thinking?

Oh, if I could only take back those many words I said that were wrong, hurtful, thoughtless.

Gossip.

Idle chatter.

Hate.

Slander.

Anger.

Hurt.

Pain.

“A Thousand Words” is about forgiveness, and having peace with your past. It’s a movie about the power of words.

What if we used words to help, not harm? What if our words showed simple affirmations? What if we loved instead of hated? What if we thought before letting words slide off our tongue?

Like the ‘stuff’ in our lives, maybe our words should be less, and mean more. Maybe, sometimes, we need to minimalize what we say.

1000 words. What will you do with yours today?

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Material Girls (And Boys)

Why is clothing so cheap? Not in the money sense (thought that’s true as well), but in quality. It seems I barely purchase a new pair of jeans, and they rip, tear, stretch, or shrink, and before you know it, I’m at the mall, searching for a new pair. But before I even find my next pair of favorite jeans, my shoes fall apart, my sweater gets tiny balls all over it, my underwear loses its elasticity, and my shirt splits at the seams. It seems I am always shopping for something new. And I am tired of it.

Lately, I’ve been on a search for quality clothing. It’s hard to find. Most of what is out there is cheap and disposable, tossed in a landfill sometimes after just a few washings.

It isn’t only the landfill part that bothers me, it’s how much time I spend shopping, and how much money I throw away. A complete opposite of the simple hippie life I desire.

So, I’m on a quest for great quality clothing. And what better place to start than the internet? As I perused a few sites (I never did find any clothing), I came upon a cool blog. The name is The Graceful Geek, written by Grace Bush. Grace hits upon the very subject I am struggling with.

Grace calls our society’s shopping habit fast-fashion, a disposable type of clothing that brings us quickly from one fad to another. See how Grace is dealing with the problem.

http://www.thegracefulgeek.com/im-avoiding-fast-fashion/

I hope you join Grace and I in our desire to have less, and better, clothing. And if you know where I can purchase quality clothing, please drop me a line.

Have a beautiful day!

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