pinterest finds

more of "the best" from one of my favourite websites.
(click on image for source information.)
best simple idea:
Using old glue lid to write with acrylic paint.

best recipe:
Copy cat Olive Garden Italian salad dressing.

best printable:
 downloadable Polaroid frames. fun!

best happy looking i-want-to-move-in-immediately...... kitchen:
check out the baseboards and the cheery tea towel!

best fashion find:

Man, these would look good with jeans. I'd wear them everyday.


recipe recommendation

This cookbook is awesome. 
really awesome.
i don't have the capacity to write a lengthy description tonight,
but trust me,
its a good one to have in your collection.
(whether you are a Mennonite or not).

100% of profits this year are being donated to children living in the Ukraine.
Back to where it all began....
"Prussia", where many Mennonite families originated. 
So you are helping others, while you help yourself.

The books are sold at Hulls here in Winnipeg, but also at Hallmark stores.
We (Hallmark) received a box of hard cover, signed copies this week,
for $28.95.

However staff have 40% off this weekend.
And if you contact me soon enough (i.e. by Saturday early evening),
 i MAY be able to pick one up for you at the discounted price.
(i.e. i go to store buy a book for 40% off, then you pay me back)
they might be sold out.
things were crazy in there today.

but whatever price you end up paying, I think you'll enjoy the book.


days at home

Have you ever purposefully left something out (exactly where it was left) to see how long it will stay there until noticed and/or moved??
I actually do that randomly for my own personal amusement. It makes me giggle.
Not to make a mockery of anyone who resides in this house, but it never ceases to amaze me how some of my loved ones, are not bothered by random objects in the wrong location....right smack dab in their way. I actually both admire and cringe at the reality that they seriously don't notice, and just step over (or on) it.

And that's ok.
Really, it is.
Because, there are other times that I place something out (mostly again for my own enjoyment) NOT expecting anyone to notice or comment....AND THEY DO! Hooray!
The surprise factor actually (>almost<) makes up for the times laundry, books, toys or other misplaced items are completely ignored.
Low expectations.
Works every time.


going back to work

I am the newest employee at one of the local Hallmark stores....and...I like it!
Yes, i am glad to report, that the hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers,
money exchanging, gingerbread men singing, and parcel wrapping...has been a welcome transition and positive experience for me.

I just wish that I had naturally pretty nails and hands....

weird and random statement, i know.
But people watch my hands at the till. oh yes. How I hold and turn over the purchase, remove a price tag, punch numbers into the debit machine, give them a pen to sign their name, pop it into a bag. My hands get a lot of attention these days. And so its unfortunate that my neglected cuticles and chewed-up nail tips (that actually sounds gross), are not as becoming as a well manicured, gelled/ acrylic set of nails could be! but every time I go to the phone to make an appointment, I change my mind....because really, deep down...I don't care! And I don't want to spend the money.

I think that it would be NICE to have pretty nails, but now that I'm approaching this kind of job at a later time in my life, I really....truly....couldn't be bothered.

Actually, and here's the thing -the reason behind this post (not so much the condition of my nails).
I've realized that as a "thirty something" woman, I don't care about a lot of things I used to. Well, at least some of the shallow, insignificant things I did as a "twenty something", woman. It's so refreshing! Being surrounded by male and female staff (mostly) under the age of 23, has certainly reiterated this fact in my brain...and made me mindful of how aging can be a blessing MORE than a curse.

4 WAYS I AM EMBRACING RETAIL WORK AS A 30-SOMETHING OR OTHER- WOMAN (as compared to the way I embraced retail work as a 20-something or other-woman)

1. I do not care if my shoes "go" with my outfit, and I look old fashioned. Comfort REALLY appeals to me far more than looking "stylish", especially when on my feet for several hours. Plus, this is not BUCKLE...its HALLMARK.
2. I do not mentally beat myself up (too much), when I make mistakes. I have a full, rewarding life outside of my job, so I try not to worry about the candle order I misplaced, or the box of fragile ornaments I stepped on.....
3. I do not nervously anticipate working with the "cute guys" like I used to. INDEED... I am no longer teasing and checking my bangs during break. I can chatter away confidently (but innocently!) with male coworkers...because I am no longer looking for my future husband! how lovely.
4. Obnoxious, and angry customers do not scare me. I realize (in my "maturity"), that most cranky shoppers are stressed, don't necessarily hate ME, and most likely have problems running deeper than the inability to return a Tinkerbell Christmas ornament without their receipt.

Getting older provides wonderful perspective, a special kind of wisdom only obtained once you've "been there, done that"....or are too old to care. Which ever comes first.

image source


memory and music

Ahhhhh music.
classical music.
a balm that soothes the soul,
an arrow that penetrates the deepest crevasse of your heart.

yes, country singers can belt out the perfect lyrics to a love song, and alternative music has a mellow groove that I love!
Yet only classical music (especially arias), I believe, truly captures ones passion..in both extremes...from intense grief to jubilant bliss. Bach, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Schubert (and more) translated their interpretation of emotional strengthen onto pages and pages of musical brilliance.


I would suggest that classical music, is similar in preference to spicy food and Volkswagen's.
You either LOVE it/them...or you don't. Not a whole lot of "undecided" out there.
Pretty much black and white.

Thus, I understand that my appreciation for compilations that usually involve an orchestra and a foreign language, might make me seem a bit "odd". It may mean that I will be forever forced to listen to Gilbert and Sullivan in cramped quarters like the laundry room, or Kathleen Battle in small, spontaneous batches when everyone else has vacated the premises. My children did not inherit an "appreciation" for the Opera from their mother, they call it "the screaming music". And alas, Kent can only tolerate "the first minute".
I'm ok with that.

Some of the classical works are more meaningful to me than others. Believe me, I can't listen to everything out there! For example, the song/interlude, Ave Maria, by Mascagni, reminds me of a time when I was a very broken hearted 21 yr. old (see version on Youtube, but please excuse Celine's annoying distracting introduction to Andrea Bocelli).

On a quiet afternoon at home, after moving back from college (sooner than planned)..... my mother offered to play this song for me. knowing I was grieving a lost love. She told me it was originally written for a funeral. How very appropriate.

So, whenever i hear this melody, I can still see myself lying on my parents couch in our old house, the stereo volume cranked to its highest decibels, and tears streaming down my cheeks. I remember how the music took a lot out of me (i.e. passion), but it also brought me a sense of peace and helped me rest. I remember marveling at its effect on my aching heart.
 Some of the lyrics translated from the Italian:
Hail Mary, holy Mother,
Guide the feet of the wretched one who implores thee
Along the path of bitter grief
And fill the hearts with faith and hope.

O merciful Mother, thou who suffered so greatly,
See, ah! See my anguish.
Ah! Do not abandon me
In the cruel torment of endless weeping.

Hail Mary! Oppressed by grief,
Do not leave me, O Mother, have mercy!
O Mother, have mercy! Oppressed by grief,
Do not leave me.

BUT....i think you'll enjoy hearing his last (long held) note.
so beautiful


completly irrelevant and random

i'm not usually terribly interested in photography blogs. Most likely because i'm not a photographer and have no incentive to "pick up tips." However, as I was perusing the web (started here), i found myself on the blue lily photography blog.
Again, I have no deep desire to look at other people's wedding photos, well, of course unless i know them...
but the photo of the red canoe with the bride and groom floating on a lake....THAT caught my eye.
And i was struck with the completely impossible, irrelevant, weird thought...of  THAT's exactly what I would have loved for OUR wedding photos (way back in the 90's). Don't they look lovely?!

oh well.
too late.
like i said.
maybe for our 50th wedding anniversary....
or something.


pinterest finds

i love pininterest. whoops correction...PINTEREST. no i can't spell.
i literally do nothing with it of course, but i love it anyway.
For example, i find myself "pinning" a lot of tutorial lessons for mason jars...decor, storage, display...however never actually dusting off my jars to try the suggestions.

yet i keep pinning (not pining) away, because a) i like to waste time, b) i enjoy organizing images that catch my eye into themed categories and, c) its fun to pretend that SOMEDAY i will learn to sew, or make, or buy all the beautiful things i admire....d) stop panicking, this is not a multiple choice test.

so here are a few "best of's..." from today's pinning session.  
hopefully by clicking on the image you will be linked to its original source.

best  DIY projects 
best recipes that i might actually try
best "dream" kitchen (aka: best "i'll always just be dreaming this..." kitchen)

best images that made me smile
no source for this adorable "motherly instincts" picture


the push

lately i've been pushed out of my comfort zone a bit.
i've had to adjust and be flexible for someone else.
there has been a lot more people around here,
a lot more socializing going on...
it's not been easy.

in my attempt to "protect myself" from the outside world, ie. stress, facing people, "dealing"...
i've lost valuable opportunities to experience fellowship, and be stretched.
i'm aware of that.
but my comfort zone is a place of isolation.
christmas is coming...parties are coming....
expectations are coming...
and deep down that scares me.

so i like to hide.

every single morning that dawn's a new day,
i fight to get out of bed. i do it, but its a struggle.
i sigh. i gear myself up.
i feel a deep longing to stay at home.
i ache to be in the easiness of my own space,
the safety of my family.

while those feelings cover me with blankets of peace,
i am acutely aware of the ugly fears that follow, berate and taunt:
will I become house-bound someday? become an agoraphobic?
will I get worse instead of better?
it is not impossible...

agoraphobics don't get up one day and decide to live in confinement,
their life of restriction starts with social anxiety...and snow balls into something much more limiting and serious.
will become like that?

but back to being stretched, back to the realization of improvement,
these occasions in my life...
to do things that "don't come naturally",
its difficult...but admittedly rewarding.
i may be out of my comfort zone, but in surviving the experience,
i gain self confidence and give myself a chance to thrive.

with a healthy balance.
not an expectation put out by anyone, but myself.
for i know my limitations better than anyone.
and cannot be pushed
too much.

"Fear destroys peoples dreams, it destroys our minds and bodies, it stops us in our tracks like a huge lion in your pathway. Fear stops us from taking the action we need to take in order to be all that we can be. Our potential is so much more than we sometimes perceive." ~ Greg De Tisi. 



getting settled

 after you've successfully moved (all those crazy boxes) into your new 
when does it start to feel like home to you?

 after the beds are set up, and nobody is sleeping on scattered mattress's?
  when the stereo/ipod/radio is hooked up and begins to
 fill the new rooms with familiar music?
when you see your art or framed pictures up on the walls?
or is it simply when your coffee pot is plugged in, and churning out a good cup of joe?

we've been in our new place for over a month now,
and honestly it doesn't really feel like home yet.
i'm not unhappy here, but at the same time i don't feel like this space is "mine"...you know?

i'm wondering if its because we plan to stay here only temporarily...
and i've intentionally left boxes unpacked.
maybe i just need to give it more time (and a few more pots of coffee).
 it really hasn't been that long.

what helps you feel at home in a new house?
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