Day 304: Birthday Lunch with Aubrey

Aubreys birthday

My granddaughter, Aubrey, was born on Halloween, 6 years ago today. Far from being frightful, she’s been a delight since the moment of her birth. We had intended to celebrate her last Sunday, but the flu bug changed the plans. Her family will gather next Sunday, instead, to wish her happy birthday and celebrate her big little life. For my first today, I had the privilege of joining Aubrey and her daddy, my son, at Aubrey’s school, for a birthday lunch.

I was thrilled when Aubrey called yesterday and invited me to lunch. I have not had lunch with my granddaughter yet, at school. And to get to do so on her birthday was a treat. Nate picked me up early so we could pick up birthday cards, a piece of rainbow confetti birthday cake, complete with a number 6 on top, and Subway sandwiches, which is what Aubrey requested for her birthday lunch. We arrived at the school ahead of Aubrey’s lunch time, so we could watch for her to file into the cafeteria. I love how my son loves his daughter. We chatted as we watched for Aubrey’s class to arrive. As I was looking at Nate, his face brightened and he smiled, saying “There she is!” His obvious delight in her is apparent, to me, to anyone who knows him, and most importantly, to Aubrey. It nurtures a girl’s heart and soul to know she is loved and cherished by her daddy. She was just as pleased to see him.

Aubreys birthday cake

We let our birthday princess pick out our seating spot and then unpacked our lunches. She was excited about her piece of birthday cake and her cards and even more excited to have her dad and Yaya with her for lunch. As the rest of the kindergarten kids walked by, on their way to picking up their lunch trays, each one wished Aubrey a happy birthday. Her little face flushed pink with all the attention.

This beautiful little girl is so precious. She is bright, funny, happy, and sociable, as comfortable talking to adults as she is talking to children. Since her toddler days she has exhibited a strong spiritual side, frequently talking about God, angels and the Spirit realm. She’s intuitive, like me, and has some of the same abilities and gifts that I do. It has been insightful, and healing to me, to watch Aubrey grow up with her intuition, completely without fear.

Aubrey's birthday cake 2

She loves animals and family, rainbows and climbing trees. Aubrey is a movie buff, which is another passion we share. She first fell in love with films watching The Beauty and the Beast and has since collected all the Disney movies and other animated films and moved on to non animation. When a new children’s movie hits the theater, Aubrey and I make plans to see it. She not only enjoys watching the movie, but also acting it out and discussing it afterward. The movie Frozen, which we saw for the first time last December, has become a favorite of hers. Aubrey accompanied me to the Frozen Sing-a-Long as a first, and stood and sang her heart out during the movie. I love her free spirit and her sense of fun.

I have my favorite Aubrey stories. When she was three, we had a talk about what was appropriate language, and what wasn’t! She asked me about a certain word. “Oh no,” I said, “we don’t say that one.” A short time later, while playing, she dropped a toy over and over. I heard her sigh and whisper in exasperation, “I almost said sh*t.” Another time, at about the same age, she asked me for a drink of water. Always mindful of teaching moments, I asked her, “What’s the magic word?” Without hesitation Aubrey said, “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo.” After I choked on laughter, I got her a drink.

Magical might be the word that describes this amazing child best. I am honored to be her Yaya. I look forward to watching her grow into the person she is meant to be, and I will enjoy journeying beside her as she discovers her world, and her place in it. Happy birthday, Aubrey! I love you so much!

Aubrey birthday color me happy


Day 303: Bride Ghost Under Phelps Grove Park Bridge

Phelps Grove Park Bridge 3

Today’s first seemed appropriate, being the week that it is. I had written this idea down early in the year, from a Springfield, MO publication that listed interesting things to do in this busy city. I can’t believe it is already the end of October and I have less than 65 days to go to complete my year of firsts.

I attempted this trip yesterday, with Greg, and we only made it to Carthage before a flat tire sidelined us at the local Walmart Tire Center. Today, we got underway by mid-afternoon and had a successful and uneventful trip. It was a gorgeous fall day to be out exploring. We arrived at the Phelps Grove Park while there was still plenty of sunshine.

The 31 acre park is situated in a beautiful older neighborhood in Springfield. I enjoyed the trek through the streets, admiring the cottage style homes and colorful trees and autumnal decorations. The current park was once part of the Phelps homestead, a 1050 acre farm that was home to the founding “father” and “mother” of Springfield, John and Mary Phelps. John was a Missouri congressman and the 23rd Governor of Missouri, while his wife, Mary, was involved with aiding and educating orphans during and after the Civil War. The park was established in 1913 and has mature trees, tennis courts, a baseball diamond, a rose garden, a Victim’s Memorial Garden and barbecue pits and picnic tables for family gatherings.

Phelps Grove Park

We entered the park and slowly drove the length of the green space and then circled the perimeter, looking for the haunted bridge. As we approached the entrance again, we laughed as we realized we had driven OVER the bridge to enter the park. Made of fieldstone, the old bridge arches over a concrete drainage canal that is designed to carry away water during times of heavy rain. Legend has it that on their wedding night, a couple was crossing the bridge in their carriage when the horse bolted, causing the carriage to tip over the railing of the bridge. The carriage landed upside down, killing the couple. For years, people have claimed to see a woman near or under the bridge, dressed in a flowing white wedding gown. The park and bridge have been the site for several paranormal investigations that have recorded abnormal readings.

We walked around the park, enjoying the sunshine and the light breeze. Approaching the bridge, we read the historical markers there, with the stories of John and Mary Phelps printed on them. The bridge is small and pretty and ordinary looking in the bright fall light. I snapped pictures and peered into the gloom under the bridge, quietly watching for the bride. Greg climbed down into the canal to take a great pic of the bridge’s archway, and beyond. Neither of us spied the bride, but I sent her love and light. I do often catch orbs, light distortion and unusual images on my iPhone camera, but not today. Perhaps if we had gone back after dark she might have put in an appearance! Next time I’m in Springfield near dusk, I’ll pay another visit.

Phelps Grove Park Bridge

Day 302: Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow

Today’s first was postponed, due to a flat tire and a lengthy repair. That’s okay. That first is rescheduled, and if it works out, great. And if not, great! What I’ve learned this year is to go with the flow and not question a change in plans. Another first always appears. When a plan falls apart late in the day, as this one did, I turn to movies I haven’t seen yet, as my default first. I love movies, and there are plenty I haven’t seen! This works well for me and is enjoyable at the same time.

Edge of Tomorrow stars Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton and Brandon Gleeson. It was directed by Doug Liman and is based on a Japanese novel, “All You Need is Kill”, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. This sci-fi, action film is rated PG-13 for intense action, violence, and mild language and has a run time of 1 hour and 53 minutes.

This action packed movie is set in the near future and finds the world under attack by a relentless race of insect-like aliens. Europe is falling and troops gather under the command of General Brigham (Gleeson) for an all out assault. The fate of the world hinges on the success of this battle.

An American, Major William Cage (Cruise), who has never seen combat, arrives to document the day of battle as a media correspondent. He is forced into active duty, accompanying the troops, under the direction of Master General Farrell (Paxton), to the front lines, where he dies within minutes. Before his death, he kills a member of the alien race, called an Alpha, and finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop, reliving the same day over…and over…and over…and over. And dying over…and over…and over…and over. He meets Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt), who recognizes what’s happening to Cage, because she has also experienced the time loop. Together, the two move through the day, repeatedly, training, discovering a way to win the war, planning, trying and failing, trying again and getting further, before failing again.

After hundreds of attempts, reliving the same day and learning how to go further with each attempt, the two reach a point in their journey that they have never reached before. Cage loses his ability to reset the day, just as Vrataski did before him, and now they must complete their mission, knowing this is their last chance to succeed, or lose the war, and the world.

I like sci-fi movies. And this combination of Groundhog Day and Ender’s Game was excellent! It was well acted, intense, and edgy with just enough quirky humor included to bring the tension down a notch occasionally. The scenario that repeats over and over, with the characters getting a bit further with each attempt, learning and adapting as they go, reminded me of video games that my kids and now my grandkids play. They charge forward. And die. They adjust, try a different tactic, move forward again, going further. And die. They continue in this fashion until they clear the level, rescue the princess, win the battle.

The tagline for this movie is Live. Die. Repeat. It is a very fitting description for the film! The director uses clever ways of showing that the day has reset, without the tedium of having to go through the entire day again. I found myself wondering how many times the characters had relived the day, advancing and dying. Only Cage knows. He hints that it’s been hundreds and hundreds of times. I watched his character transform from a man who was afraid of battle, and dying, to a man who trained and learned and kept going, completely losing his fear of death. There is a nice twist at the end of the movie, that left me smiling. Some films make me think deeply. Some provide fresh insight and perspective for my journey. And some, like this one, are pure entertainment, and yet when a film brings a tear to my eye or a smile to my lips, it has served its purpose.

Edge of Tomorrow 2


Day 301: Ask and It Is Given

dream conversations

For several weeks now, I’ve drawn one of my affirmation cards repeatedly. It states, “Everything that shows up in my life is an ongoing conversation with the Divine.” My awareness of that truth has increased greatly. By way of synchronicities, songs, words, nature, signs and books, I am having a conversation with God about my life and the path I am on. Recently, I’ve been asking questions: What shall I do next? Is this the right path? And I’ve asked to be taught more deeply about abundance and my purpose.

This morning, after a very short night due to not feeling my best and melodious thunderstorms, I decided to lie back down and rest a bit longer. As I relaxed drowsily toward sleep, I requested, “Please teach me as I hover here between wakefulness and slumber. Teach me.” What happened next was definitely a first for me. Although I am a lucid dreamer and have very detailed and sometimes astonishing dreams that I not only participate in but control, I have not experienced a sequence of dreams with instructions and commentary, as I did this morning. Much of what I received was very personal to me and the imagery accompanying the “lessons” was pulled from my experiences. However, there are basic truths in each of the seven principles that were shared with me that apply to anyone.

To my delight, my Keller Williams Team Leader, Vicki, was the person and the voice accompanying me on this dream journey, although it was the Divine speaking through her image. I’m not sure why my mind produced Vicki, except that she is an amazing person in my life and a dear friend and colleague, someone I respect. For those who don’t remember their dreams, much less draw any lessons from them, this post is an invitation to enter into an adventure. Adhering to my desire to move beyond my comfort zone, it is important for me to share!

I was given seven very distinct life principles:

  1. Life flows. Money flows. I was told this as I was handed a check for $2500.00. Everything is energy, including abundance and money as it flows in and out of my life.
  2. Gratitude is the key to abundance. Be thankful, for everything. These words were simply spoken to me.
  3. I was reminded to foster playfulness and fun as a vital part of my relationships, especially when I’m feeling weighed down by circumstances surrounding others. Focus on the good in people, not the negative, and let go of the past.
  4. Through the imagery of caring for a pet, who actually died years ago from old age, I was told to take care of what I can, and those I can, and to not worry about what I can’t do. I was given the easy to remember saying, “Do what I must, then trust.”
  5. A question was put to me, if I was doing all that was required of me, so that I could focus on going beyond. I knew immediately which tasks I’ve been procrastinating on, in business and in life, because I don’t like doing those things. I was reminded to get caught up on those tasks and get them out of the way, so I can focus on extraordinary things that will bring me great joy.
  6. I was told that every situation, no matter how difficult, is temporary. The time frame of six months was shown to me, for a situation in my own life. When I understand that there is a bigger picture, and all that I am encountering now is temporary and small, I can keep journeying with confidence, keep overcoming, keep learning and growing.
  7. This last sequence in the dream had to do with being in a house that wasn’t mine, filled with stuff from previous occupants. I was told I could use whatever was there, if it was beneficial to me. I was also aware that there was a lot of junk, and trash, that needed to be cleared away. I was shown that I could bag up this trash and remove it, carrying it outside to be picked up and carted away by the trash truck. I suddenly understood that I was seeing limiting beliefs, handed down to me by others, that have accumulated in my inner space. I can clear these away. I saw bags and bags of “trash” already waiting at the curb, yet I looked around the house I was in and saw more that needed to be disposed of.

I came fully awake, after the seventh truth, and knew I had experienced something different! I wrote careful notes so that I wouldn’t forget. As I moved through my day, conversation continued with the Divine, confirming what I had received early this morning. I am listening. I am acting. I am being. I am ready. What an amazing journey!

dream conversations 2

Day 300: Herbal Concoctions

Herbal skin serum 2

Being a bit under the weather today, I stayed close to home. It was easy enough to work on my laptop, since I didn’t have any showings or listing appointments scheduled. I needed a first that was just as easy. I turned to the garden and my love of creating my own beauty products, teas and potpourri. For my first today, I created these concoctions, using fresh and dried herbs from my own garden.

I usually buy loose dried herbs at my local health food store. And I’m sure I’ll continue to pick up herbs that I’m not growing in the garden and essential oils, at least for now. What a joy, though, this evening to make some of my favorite products, using herbs from the apothecary garden in the backyard. I picked fresh spearmint and peppermint and brewed a cup of mint tea first of all, to sip on while I worked. The light, refreshing tea cleared my stuffy head and settled my stomach. Perfect!

Herbal mint tea

I’ve been making my own facial serum for almost two years. It is a simple recipe that only takes minutes to make. I melt coconut oil for 30 seconds in the microwave, add two capsules of vitamin E oil, 10 drops of calendula essential oil, and tonight, I added a bit of dried crushed lavender blossoms from the garden. One of the things I’ve noticed is that my dried herbs are so fragrant. I loved the way the scent clung to my hands as I worked. The serum is stirred with a wooden toothpick and popped in the refrigerator to cool down. It congeals as it cools, unless it is very warm in the house, in which case it remains semi liquid. I dab a small amount under my eyes and over my face, blending it in gently. I love how the serum liquefies as it touches my skin and disappears. I also love how soft and smooth my skin feels.

herbal skin serum

As described in a previous blog post, I’ve also been drying herbs and storing them so I’ll have an ample supply. Tonight, as I crushed dried leaves and flowers and placed them in airtight containers, I mixed snippets of basil, lavender, lemon balm, mint, thyme and lemon grass in a glass bowl, creating my own herbal potpourri, and set the mixture aside. Before I cleaned up, I lit a small charcoal briquette, also purchased regularly at the health food store, and let it turn “ashy” in a fireproof holder I bought years ago. Once the briquette was ready, I added the potpourri. As it burned, it released a pungent smoke that rose in wisps to scent the room, and indeed, the whole house. This is my favorite thing to do with my herbal potpourri. I love the fresh, earthy smell and how it cleanses and energizes my living space. I let the herbs smolder until they are consumed and later toss out the ashes.

Herbal potpourri

The mint tea, the satisfying ritual of making the face serum and the cleansing aroma of the burning potpourri soothed my head and sinuses and elevated my spirit. I felt better immediately! And I look forward to discovering more products to make with the herbs from the garden.

Herbal potpourri 2

Day 299: Five Week Middle-Earth Movie Marathon


Today’s planned first was postponed due to family members battling the flu! I switched gears, on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, enjoying time in the garden and time relaxing with one of my favorite movies. As part of the countdown to the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, I joined the 5 Week Middle-Earth Movie Marathon for my first today.

Launched by MiddleEarthNews on Facebook and Twitter, this fun event encourages fans to watch the five available Middle-Earth films, one each week, beginning today with Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. I chose the extended edition version. I’ve watched this film many times however, it’s the first time I’ve watched it as a part of a special event and the first time I’ve watched any movie and tweeted about it and read related tweets on Twitter. We used the hashtag #5wkMMM. That was fun!

Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth movies have deeply impacted my life. I’ve discovered so many truths about myself within these transformative films, journeying and growing along with the characters. It has been a while since I’ve seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have journeyed since my last viewing and it was interesting to watch today and see with fresh eyes and a slightly different perspective. Here’s what stood out today as I watched FOTR:

• Because of my recent viewings of The Hobbit films, I noticed more acutely the references to Bilbo’s adventure, dragons and characters from The Hobbit, such as Balin, Gloin and Thorin.

• I was aware that Bilbo offered Gandalf tea when he arrived in the afternoon. Pippin also mentions tea time as a customary Hobbit tradition.

• I saw the warrior like qualities more clearly in Gimli, rather than seeing him as playing a more minor role in this adventure. Similarly, I noted how Legolas has settled more fully into who he is.

• Aragorn is one of my favorite characters in the LOTR movies and his transformation from Strider the Ranger, to Aragorn the King is inspiring. The other human in the Fellowship, Boromir, plays well the man who would take the ring from Frodo, by force if necessary. I watched his character closely today, appreciating his transformation as well and the role he plays in calling Aragorn forth. While Boromir does seek the ring, it is not for his own purposes that he desires it. He wishes to protect his city, Gondor, and its people, using the ring as a weapon against the enemy. He would not have been able to control the one ring, yet his intentions are noble. The two men have many strong traits in common. One has tried to hide who he is and fears he doesn’t have what it takes to be king. The other has lived bravely, carrying the many heavy expectations of his demanding father and he has no desire for a king. Boromir resists Aragorn’s destiny and yet, as they journey he begins to share his love of the white city, Gondor, with his companion. He calls Aragorn forth, in an added scene in the extended edition, and I paraphrase, “Stop hiding in the shadows. Stop fearing who you are and what you are.”

• I always get teary eyed over Boromir’s death. This complex man finds redemption as he sacrifices himself in an attempt to save the halflings. The emotional response didn’t change today! What I noticed for the first time though was that it is Boromir who first addresses Aragorn as “my king”. The others in Aragorn’s life encourage him to become who he is destined to be, see the strength in him, refer to him as Isildur’s heir. Boromir, as he lies dying, acknowledges fully who Aragorn is, calling him, “My brother…my captain…my king”. What a far seeing man. Aragorn responds, not with denials and hesitation, but in a quietly confident manner befitting a king. I loved seeing that unfold today. Boromir’s gauntlets that Aragorn wears for the remainder of the journey become a constant reminder of that man’s belief in his king, and his trust that Aragorn would save his people, and Middle-Earth.

I enjoyed watching Fellowship of the Ring today. It reminded me of my own journey and of the moments of realization about myself that I have had. It also brought to mind the people who make up my Fellowship, those brave souls who encourage me and call me out as they need to. They see what’s possible in my life, sometimes long before I do. May I continue to journey well and lend my wisdom and encouragement to others on their adventures!


Day 298: Family Halloween Party

halloween party 19

My family enjoys Halloween. The theme song from the Addams Family is appropriate for us: “They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky….” Really, we relish any opportunity to gather as a family and have fun. And, certain members of the family excel at party planning and being extremely creative! For years, my grandson Dayan has hosted a Halloween party and so has my sister, Debbie, niece, Ashley and her husband, Jon. Last year, both families were in the process of moving to new houses and there were no parties. This year, for the first time, we all gathered at one big party, hosted by Ashley, Jon and Debbie, in Broken Arrow, OK.

Halloween Party 2

An indication of what awaited us, inside!

These guys went all out. To properly showcase the enormous amount of work and creativity they spawned, this blog post will be primarily a photographic one. We had a fantastic time, feasting, dressing up, visiting and laughing, and playing a very cool game. I appreciate Debbie, Ashley and Jon so much, for turning their home into a spook house full of surprises and making sure we all had a wonderful experience. Seriously, these three should do party planning to generate additional income!

halloween party 17

halloween party 16

Halloween Party 3

Dayan, Elissa, Josh

Halloween party 9

Nicole, Scott

halloween party 20

Fox, Linda, Cade

Halloween party 6


halloween party 18

Halloween party 5

Great food, cleverly served.

Halloween party 4

Greg and Roy didn’t wear costumes…or did they? Twins!

halloween party 21

Steve, Jerri

halloween party 12

The decorations gave clues to 30 + scary movies. We teamed up and hunted for the references. What fun!

halloween party 13

Jon, bartending as The Phantom of the Opera!

Halloween party 11  Halloween party 10

Ethan and Kaleb

halloween party 14

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Christel, in the Hall of Screams

Halloween party 8

Bryan, Linda, Debbie, Cindy….siblings!

Halloween party 7

Dayan, Ashley, Cindy, Pat, Linda, Debbie, Elissa, Josh

Jon, Ethan, Kaleb

What a fun Saturday. Love my family. I wish every single member could have attended. Perhaps next year! I suspect this annual event is going to keep getting bigger and more elaborate. Oh, the possibilities!

Halloween Party 1

The Hall of Screams

Day 297: Being Light

Be the light Elizabeth Gilbert

Today’s first was based on a talk I presented Tuesday, which in turn was built around a delightful story of Elizabeth Gilbert’s, the author of Eat, Pray, Love. I love how things come together and then flow outward and today was an opportunity to put into practice being the light, and offering a silent blessing to others, as I encountered them throughout my day.

This is the written version of what I shared this week, speaking of darkness, and offering light:

I got lost in a church basement once. It was a windowless basement with a maze of hallways and rooms that opened off of other rooms. Night was falling outside and I was the last person in the building. I moved through the large church, making sure doors were locked and lights were turned off.

For some reason, as I trotted downstairs, I left the stairwell light turned on, and turned off lights as I moved deeper and deeper into the basement. I thought that the fixture above the stairs would cast enough light for me to be able to find my way back, and besides, I was familiar with the layout of the warren of rooms.

In the room farthest from the stairs, which opened off of a series of rooms, I gathered up books left scattered across a table top, and using my elbow, turned off the last light. I stepped through the doorway and took four or five steps into a larger room before coming to a stop. Complete darkness surrounded me. I couldn’t see a thing. The silence seemed to weigh upon me as I stood there. I grew up with a strong fear of the dark. In that moment, it didn’t matter that I was deep in the recesses of a church…an icy dread gripped my heart.

I walked forward, straining to see in the blackness, hoping that a glimmer of light would reveal the doorway into the next room and the hallway beyond. Just as my brain was telling me I had walked too far, I ran into a wall. That startled me. I turned to the right and took two steps and bumped into a row of lockers. Now panic set in. The room I was supposed to be in didn’t have lockers in it. Somehow, in the dark, I had blindly passed through a doorway and was now in another room.

I threw the books to the floor and groped for the door. I found a doorway but couldn’t locate a light switch. Confused and disoriented, I stumbled around, not knowing where I was or which way I needed to go. At last I came to a stop, my heart pounding. The darkness and silence seemed menacing now. I considered screaming and wondered if anyone outside, who happened to be walking by, would hear me. I didn’t think so. I imagined people coming to church Sunday and finding me curled in a fetal position on the floor.

As anxiety grew in me, I cried out, one word, “Help.” Immediately, a small red circle appeared, glowing faintly in the darkness. My heart beat even harder. What was that? My fear of being lost in the blackness was greater than my fear of the red dot. I crept toward it, moving through a doorway and into the basement kitchen. The glowing red light was on the stove. There was not enough light to illuminate the room, but it was enough for me to get my bearings. Feeling my way along the countertop, I found the door that led to the hallway and then to the stairs. My hands were still trembling as I locked the front door.

As dark as that basement was, that was not the darkest place I would ever find myself in. Poetically referred to as the dark night of the soul, despair, pain, and depression can bring darkness to roil within. I’ve been there. Most of us have been there, at some time. We can wait for a light to appear that will lead us out of the blackness. Sometimes it does. And sometimes, we need to bring the light, be the light.

I read a lovely article last week, by author and speaker Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Eat, Pray, Love. Elizabeth has experienced times of darkness and she discovered a way to bring the light into her life and into the lives of others. As she moved through her day, she looked, really looked, at every person she encountered and sent them a silent blessing, “May you know happiness. May you be free from suffering.” As the days passed, her life shifted and the darkness cleared. People responded to her. One group of ladies that she did not know even invited her to a concert.

Two things happen when we bless another: we send light energy to her that has a powerful, positive effect on the body and soul, whether she is aware of the blessing or not. And, as we become a conduit for light, the darkness within us is chased away. We are not creating light on our own. We are allowing Divine light to move through us. Everyone benefits.

That red light that appeared on the stove in the basement? After I calmed down at home, I began to worry about that tiny light. I realized it was an indicator light, and that meant the oven must be on. I didn’t want the oven to remain on until Sunday. What if there was a fire? Reluctantly, I returned to the church, and the basement, turning on every light I could find as I wound my way to the kitchen below. When I checked the stove, the red indicator light was not on. Nor was the oven warm. The stove was completely cold. I have no explanation for how that red light winked on. Except, I cried out for help, and help was given.

I finished the talk on Tuesday by sharing how many people are around me, around us, who are also crying out for help. And how important it is to bring the light, be the light. Today, although I was not in a dark place, I chose to offer blessings throughout the day, being light. It happened that today I was around a LOT of people. Sometimes I couldn’t look at every individual person in my vicinity. In those instances, I sent out waves of blessings, as suggested by Elizabeth, “May you know happiness. May you be free from suffering.” It was a beautiful day. Some people smiled at me, unaware that I was blessing them. Most did not acknowledge my presence, but that wasn’t the point. The purpose of today’s first was to allow light to flow through me, in the form of blessings, to as many other people as possible. I benefitted from the experience. And I had opportunity to talk to some of those people and offer out of who I am.

I was encouraged in turn, by some that I came in contact with. In one store, a woman spoke to me and asked about next year and whether I would continue blogging. I appreciated all that she shared with me and her words became part of my ongoing conversation with the Divine as I am guided to my word and theme for next year. What a blessing to me! May I continue to be a blessing to others.

May you know happiness. May you be free from suffering.

Day 296: Sweet Carolines Treat with Cate

Sweet Carolines logo

This afternoon, my dear friend Cate and I had planned a trip to Galena, KS to visit a new ice cream parlor there with a unique twist. Due to a death in the family, that parlor is closed for a few days. We will save that adventure for another time! We decided to get together still, in search of a first, and met at the Gryphon Building in downtown Joplin to check out the new restaurant that just opened there, The Dining Car. We met at 4:00, only to discover that the restaurant didn’t open until 5:00.

No worries! We chose instead to enjoy an ice cream at Sweet Carolines Ice Cream & Coffee Parlor, also located in the Gryphon Building. I have been here once before, so to create a first, I tried something new. This wasn’t difficult, since Sweet Carolines serves 32 yummy flavors of ice cream!

I normally go for a vanilla based ice cream, such as pralines and cream, or blueberry cheesecake. I’m not a big chocolate fan. So today, I decided to go with a chocolate treat. Sweet Carlolines had several amazing looking selections. The helpful young man behind the counter let me sample a couple of possibilities. I settled on a waffle cone, with a single scoop of Pirate’s Plunder, a decadent chocolate based ice cream with chocolate covered pecans, mini caramel cups and swirls of thick caramel. Cate had pistachio with hot fudge sauce. Since she normally chooses chocolate ice cream, this was a different selection for her as well.

Sweet Carolines treat with Cate

The real treat today was getting to chat with Cate as we enjoyed our ice cream. When we get together we pick right back up on our conversation, as if we had just been chatting a few minutes ago. We met for the first time earlier this year, and yet we are like long time friends. Today we had much to catch up on and much to share about our respective journeys. We chatted long after the ice cream was gone! That is the sweetness of friendship and I appreciate Cate very much. When we at last left the ice cream parlor, we hit the “pause” button on our conversation. After all, we have two other places to visit in the near future, for firsts, and we will continue our visiting there!

Sweet Carolines treat  Pirates Plunder

Day 295: Tea Time with Mimi Leta’s Vintage Teacup

Mimis thistle teacup late tea 2

Today’s first involved a very late tea time with fresh biscuits courtesy of Cracker Barrel. With a pat of butter and blackberry jam added to the hot biscuits, this simple tea was an easy delicious dinner. What made this one special was the use, for the first time, of a vintage teacup from the collection of Leta Moore.

Greg’s mom, Leta Mae Davidson Moore, introduced me to the joy of drinking hot tea years ago, when I was a young woman in my late teens. She favored tea over coffee and would prepare both of us a cup of the fragrant hot drink with a dollop of milk added. We would sit in her homey kitchen and sip tea and chat. Her grandparents, George Davidson and Sarah Pearson Davidson, were originally from England, and settled in the Wichita, KS area. It makes so much sense to me now. I expect the custom of tea time was handed down in her family, from those English grandparents. I don’t know for sure. Mimi Leta, as my children affectionately called her, passed away 15 years ago. Unfortunately, I never asked her how she acquired her love for hot tea, I simply enjoyed the treat with her.

Mimi Leta collected teacups and saucers. Family and friends knew about her love for tea time and frequently added to her collection. I’ve stood many times and looked at the teacups and saucers on display still in her home. Recently, after my return from Scotland, Greg’s dad allowed me to select several sets to bring home, to use with my own tea time.

As I slowly studied the collection, a teacup and saucer caught my attention. I couldn’t believe I had never noticed this one before! Because of my days spent in Scotland, and my raised awareness of all things Scottish, I spied a delicate teacup and saucer set covered with thistle, the national flower of Scotland! Holding the cup carefully, I knew I had found the set that was destined to become mine.

Mimis thistle teacup

I googled the stamp found on the bottom of the cup. The set was made by Aynsley, a china company in Staffordshire, England, that has been creating fine bone china since 1775. Called, appropriately, the Thistle Pattern, this design is from 1951 and is no longer available. I don’t know if Leta bought this cup and saucer set herself, or if it was a gift. I will cherish it.

I have been saving the set, to use as a first experience. I chose to enjoy the teacup this evening. Because of the gold gilding, I will never place this bone china cup in the microwave to create a quick cup of tea. Both the gilding and the age of the cup called for the more traditional brewing of tea in my white teapot and the careful pouring of the tea into the cup. As I savored the Scottish Highland Tea, I thought of Mimi Leta. Oh, the questions I wish I could ask her now and the conversations we could have. Every time I enjoy a cup of tea in the thistle teacup, I will think of her, with gratitude, and I will think of Scotland. I will image her sitting across from me, smiling with approval. Someday, we will share tea time again, and all my questions will be answered!

Mimis thistle teacup late tea