Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . July 29, 2014

Outside my window . . . 65* and a pure blue sky filled with sunshine.

I am thinking . . . about a request I got last night and how to handle it.

I am thankful . . . for another good day with my bestie. Everything seems brighter after time spent with her.

In the kitchen . . . Six Layer Dish is providing leftover lunches for dh this week!

I am wearing . . . my white cotton gown.

I am creating . . . a life. Sometimes I forget that creating is more than just producing craft items or food. I am reminded this morning that even if I don't have a project to show off or talk about, it doesn't mean I'm not being creative.

I am going . . . to the pool! The weather here has been just fabulous this month, so I'm soaking in as much pool time as possible.

I am wondering . . . about out upcoming trip to Bonaire, and hoping that I don't have trouble with my ears.

I am reading . . . Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. It's very interesting so far. Reese Witherspoon is starring in the movie adaptation.

I am looking forward to . . . changes that are upcoming for our family.

I am hearing . . . peace and quiet, punctuated with occasional bird calls and wind chimes.

Around the house . . . I regained some control over the clutter yesterday! Yay me :)

I am praying . . . for Dr. Kent Brantly who is working with the ebola crisis in Liberia and tested positive for the disease himself.

One of my favorite things . . . is this kind of weather. Lows in the 60s and highs in the 80s. Perfect summer time weather if you ask me.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a bit calmer than some weeks. I just want to keep focus and get some things caught up around the house. Lunch with another dear friend on Thursday, and then friends over for lunch and birthday celebrations on Sunday.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
dh is heading to Malaysia this fall --
you may read more here

Monday, July 28, 2014

Six Layer Dish

This has not been the summer of cooking.

My peeps are all going in different directions at different times, so it's been really difficult to get organized, let alone inspired.

Last night I fell back on an old standby. I usually serve this in the fall and winter, but I was working from what I had on hand (because really who wants to grocery shop when it's this hot?)

This is another one of those recipes that I like and rely on because I almost always have the ingredients on hand, and it came from one of my favorite cookbooks, More with Less.
Of course my copy's a bit older and worn
Shockingly, I did make a few changes in the recipe. So here's my version
after everyone dove in of course!

Layer in the order given in a 2 quart greased (sprayed) casserole, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper:

2 medium potatoes, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced, or diced
1/2 cup uncooked white rice (not instant)
1 pound ground chuck, raw, crumbled
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes with liquid

Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours at 325*.  Check to see that beef is cooked through, and top with grated cheddar/jack cheese. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4-6 hungry folks. You can complete your meal with a nice tossed salad or green vegetable of your choice.

Happy eating!

linking up with Made by You Monday

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Counseling in Malaysia

Just wanted to share this exciting news with all of my readers. My husband is going to Malaysia to help others learn about marriage and family therapy. We are very excited for him to have this opportunity.
(Alan and Claire on a previous mission trip)

I would like to ask all of you to pray for us as he prepares for the trip and especially while he is traveling and out of the country. Please pray for me as I will be here at home. Pray that I will feel peace and comfort knowing he is doing good works.

If you would like to make a donation to the trip just follow the link -- Alan Goes to Malaysia

Thank you for your continued support and reading of my blog. You are all part of my extended family and I am grateful for our connection.

Friday, July 25, 2014


All those years ago I said I'd finish this. 

I'm not sure I realized what I was agreeing to do. 

It's been nearly 14 years since I was diagnosed with chronic PTSD, the result of childhood sexual abuse. I swore when they diagnosed me, I'd stay the course until I had dug through it all. Until it was finished and I was "better".

There may have been a flaw in my word choice. 

I don't think this will be finished until I'm dead and gone home to heaven, because these things that happened to me also helped to fashion me into the person I am. If I finish investigating my life, my experiences, my hopes, my dreams -- well then I'm done, I'm finished. And the only way I see that happening is through death. 

I'm still okay with finishing this process, but I'm not feeling the need to hurry it along. 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

many thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker for creating and hosting this wonderful meme, and welcome to Kate Motaung for taking over the helm

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Growing Pains

I have growing pains.

Not the bone and muscle type, but rather the brain and emotions kind. I'm working on a new aspect of learning to trust myself and step out in that trust, and sometimes it hurts.

The hubs and I are going scuba diving in Bonaire next month. Exciting, yes. But I've gained weight since the last time we dove, and the last trip didn't go as planned. I wound up with a damaged eardrum after the first dive and that was it for me for the whole trip. So I've got a bit of anxiety going into this next trip.

This morning I was shopping online for dive skins. I wear a shortie dive suit, but have had some trouble with rashes and such on previous dives, so I've decided to get some kind of rash guard to wear under my shortie. Now here's the thing. Most divers in ads and catalogs are super-fit, model-skinny, sweet young things. None of those adjectives fit me. I'm middle aged, overweight, mildly fit. I tend to look like a penguin in my dive gear (or sometimes a manatee, depending on my mood). Shopping for a bathing suit is not fun for most women. Now ratchet it up by a factor of 10 and you've got some idea of what shopping for dive wear is like.

I like to dive. My husband LOVES to dive. It's something I learned to do to spend time with him. So I don't want the process of looking for equipment to dull the excitement. I don't want to let the fact that I'm not thin keep me from doing something that's fun for us, together. 

So I Googled plus sized dive skins this morning. And I found out that I am not alone. I found a whole thread of discussions on where to look and what to order. I found frank, honest discussions by people, like me, who don't fit the traditional mold for divers, talking about how to accommodate bigger bodies and short legs. 

Don't misunderstand, I'd love to lose some of this extra weight. And I'm working on it, but I'm tired of letting it dampen my enjoyment of activities that I love.

If you're in the ocean next month and a penguin (or manatee) swims by with blue stripes, don't panic. It's just me embracing myself and working on those growing pains.

linking up with Writer's Workshop

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Collage #1

linking up with Wordless Wednesday [courtesy of Alan Pennington (aka "dh") at Mama Kat's request]

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . July 22, 2014

Outside my window . . . it is sunny and clear, 76*. We are off to a beautiful start!

I am thinking . . . scattered thoughts! Still having trouble getting my mind to settle down.

I am thankful . . . for the health and safety of my family. I seem to hear/read so much about accidents and illnesses! I am constantly reminded to be grateful for the calm of no crises in my own home.

In the kitchen . . . I have a new dishwasher! But it's not installed because poor, dear hubby is going to have to run a new supply line as the current one is in the way for proper installation :(

I am wearing . . . one of my cotton gowns.

I am creating . . . odds and ends. I'm having a hard time focusing on any one thing for too long, so I've just been doing bits and pieces. Yesterday I fixed 2 bracelets and pinned up the hem on a new dress I bought for out trip next month.

I am going . . . to meet with the lectio divina coordinator for a final interview this afternoon. It's been an interesting experience.

I am wondering . . . about joining a spiritual directions group this fall through Dovehouse Ministries. It is a group that meets once a month to pray for each other. 

I am reading . . . Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. It's very interesting so far. Reese Witherspoon is starring in the movie adaptation.

I am looking forward to . . . lunch with a dear, dear friend on Thursday!

I am hearing . . . Yaya snoring away during her morning nap.

Around the house . . . I've got to vacuum today! The dog woofies are planning a coup d'├ętat!

I am praying . . . for my dd. She has been hired for a full-time position and is getting her own apartment with a friend in late August. I am so happy for her as she moves into a new aspect of her life!

One of my favorite things . . . is organization. My bestie and I reorganized my pantry yesterday. I love being able to look in and find just what I need without having to move everything around.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a couple of meetings today, a LONG allergist appointment tomorrow followed by another meeting. On Thursday I meet my friend for lunch! And the weekend is looking pretty free and clear.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
a made-up pumpkin/sour cream crumb cake
for Green Street last week

Saturday, July 19, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, July 18, 2014


bloom -- verb, to change, grow, or develop fully / noun, a state or time of beauty, freshness, and vigor

I want to bloom! Who wouldn't?

To change, grow, or develop fully into a state or time of beauty, freshness, and vigor.

I'm working on it every day. Constantly practicing new skills to encourage that growth and development. Taking to heart "love your neighbor as yourself". Because I can't love another if I don't love me first.

So I'm doing more self-care and being kinder to and about myself. Because I want to bloom to be the person God created me to be. I want freshness and vigor in my life.

Bring on the rain and the sun. Because it takes both to bloom.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Nice to Meet You

I made a new friend this week. We've met before, but this week I decided it was time to really get to know her.

She's about my age and we have similar backgrounds. She's been through quite a bit and is still working on how to live her life to the fullest.

We talked about childhood and college. We talked about husbands and children, and what this new phase is feeling like. Grown-up kids making life choices and moving out. We have so much in common!

We talked about the hard stuff. I told her about a memory I have from college that is particularly painful, and she helped me see that understanding that might help with some current struggles I'm having. I was surprised at how much it helped just to say it out loud. (You'd think by now I'd know the benefit of that!)

We are planning on staying in touch as much as possible. Making time for regular get togethers and talks. It's difficult in this crazy busy life everyone seems to have, but there are some things -- some people -- you just can't let fall through the cracks.

I've determined that I really need to get to know her better, and that spending more time with her may really help me a lot.

Who is she? She's me. 

The real me. Not the internal voice of reprimands and criticisms, but the real me. The person I am/was when I strip away all the ick I've been trudging through. It's time I got to know her better.

linking up with Writer's Workshop 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Woman at the Well

She said close yours eyes. Imagine you are the woman at the well (John 4:4-26) and watch the story play out as if it is a movie in your head. You are the woman. Tell me how you interact with Jesus.

I sat with my eyes closed. I saw the dusty ground and the stone-stacked well. There is a bucket sitting on the edge of the well, and I am carrying a jug to fill. 

She asks me to describe what I see. What I am wearing. What I am feeling. I tell her that I am walking down the road from the town toward the well. I am alone, but I can hear the town noises behind me. As I come closer to the well, I see Jesus standing near the well. I do not know who he is, but I do not feel threatened by his presence.

I walk up to the well. I am standing holding my jug in front of me. Jesus walks up to the other side of the well and sits on edge. We begin to talk. He is kind and generous. I listen to every word he has to say. He assures me of my value and worth in his eyes. I believe his words and am comforted. 

When the time comes for us to part, it is not painful or difficult because I know we will meet again, often, to talk and share. Even when he is physically absent, I can find him through scripture and prayer.

She asks me to open my eyes. She tells me that it is a good thing that I am comfortable being that close to Him. Many cannot be in His presence. I am comforted and soothed by her words.

I leave to go and continue my exploration of my life with Jesus.

linking up with Just Write

Baking Day

linking up with Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . July 15, 2014

Outside my window . . . the sky is overcast and it's 72 degrees. We had storms last night, but it is supposed to clear as the morning passes.

I am thinking . . . change. Ds turned 21 last week. Dd is apartment hunting with a friend. Dh starts a new aspect of his grad program in the fall. I am considering going back to work. 

I am thankful . . . for a fun and productive day yesterday. I finished that pair of pants I started weeks ago, hemmed a shirt, and made 2 table runners. 

In the kitchen . . . last night was a quickie version of pasta and chicken in Alfredo sauce with steamed broccoli.

I am wearing . . . one of my cotton gowns.

I am creating . . . a summer weight shawl and a Christmas table cloth. How's that for multi tasking?!

I am going . . . to get a haircut this afternoon, which is really good, because I NEED one!

I am wondering . . . about moods and stress (see I am thinking portion).

I am reading . . . The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny.

Got to finish this as it's due at the library tomorrow and I can't renew it! So good!

I am looking forward to . . . a possible trip to the rock quarry this weekend for a refresher scuba dive with dh. We have a dive trip planned in August, and I haven't been in the water in ages, so we're going to the rock quarry for a little test run.

I am hearing . . . dogs munching on breakfast.

Around the house . . . things are still in good order. I'm really enjoying the new sofa. Having a fresh look encourages me to keep things picked up. My dishwasher died last week, so I've been doing dishes by hand and am happy to say that I've kept the kitchen really neat and orderly even with the extra work.

I am praying . . . for peace. This has been a stressful summer, and I am still feeling a sense of unease almost daily. 

One of my favorite things . . . is having the house to myself. Being able to set the tone and do just what I want and need at my own pace is lovely.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . haircut, making desserts for the homeless again with my bestie, meeting a friend for coffee, and then who knows!

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
"mood stabilizer" from my dh

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chocolate Zucchini Bread and Muffins

It's that time of year in Tennessee. Zucchini are everywhere! Dd brought me 2 enormous zucchini recently and I have been working my way through them.
Thursday I made Chocolate Zucchini Muffins and regular Zucchini Muffins for dh to share with his grad class - 6 dozen mini muffins. That only used 1/2 of one zucchini.

Saturday morning I got up and made two loaves of Chocolate Zucchini Bread (and a loaf of banana bread -- over ripe bananas). And I've still got one whole zucchini left.

Anyway we've been munching away on yummy bread for breakfast, snacks, and desserts (try it topped with sliced strawberries and whipped cream HEAVEN!)

Here's the link to recipe I used - Chocolate Zucchini Bread. For the mini muffins I halved the recipe and got 4 dozen. Bake them at 375 for 15 minutes. Mine were pretty sticky, but oh so yummy!
linking up with Made by You Monday

Saturday, July 12, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, July 11, 2014


I've always wanted to feel that I belong. In my family, with my friends, in my church, in my job. But there has always been a distance that I didn't know how to overcome.

In the last 2 weeks I've lost 2 people who were, in truth, tangential to my life, but I found myself belonging as part of their legacies. I went to their respective visitations and funerals, and was embraced and accepted, even though I feared being ostracized. "You didn't really know him." "You haven't been around her in years." These were my fears. What I got instead was total acceptance and appreciation from the others struggling with their own loss. And I got the opportunity to allow myself to grieve in my own way for my losses.

A sense of belonging is essential for living. We are meant to live in community -- not in a vacuum. What that community looks like is different for everyone, but the one common denominator is other people. I can't be a community of one. By definition a community is a group. To be in community is to belong.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Music and Memory

We sat in the building together to say goodbye. The minister spoke a few words and then invited Philip to come to the front to share. 

Philip talked about music and the importance it had in Clif's life. Everyone there thought of Clif and music. Philip talked about his last jam session with Clif. Philip was calm and funny and eloquent. Then he said he was going to play a medley of some of Clif's favorites, and for all us to sit and think about music and Clif.

The strains of the piano wafted through to us. At first I didn't recognize the music, but then I understood he was playing Beatles' music in a slow, soothing way. And I felt Clif's presence. Through all the words and comments I had known they were talking about Clif and his absence, but it was the sound of those notes -- the knowing it was Philip playing them -- that brought me to tears. Good tears. Releasing tears. A soothing, gentle goodbye to a man who died too soon. 

Music expresses things words will never achieve. It reaches us in places and ways that nothing else can or ever will. 

When Philip came back to the sanctuary it was evident he had broken down while playing. The connection the music was/is to his brother was impossible to miss. But it was a gift to those of us listening, and I believe it was a boon for Philip as well.

Goodbye, Clif. And thank you for the music!

So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me

linking up with Just Write

21st Birthday!

linking up with Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . July 8, 2014

Outside my window . . . it's 80 degrees, very overcast, and blustery.

I am thinking . . . that communication is often the most frustrating part of a relationship.

I am thankful . . . for having all I need to live well. I just wish I could focus more on that.

In the kitchen . . . there's been lots of grilling and Mexican the past few days. Quick and easy summer cooking.

I am wearing . . . yoga pants and a big pink t-shirt.

I am creating . . . a new pair of pants for (finally) and still working on my summer-weight shawl.

I am going . . . dishwasher hunting today -- oh joy!

I am wondering . . . about some recent conversations I've had with my dh.

I am reading . . . The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny.

I am looking forward to . . . a potentially rainy day today. Sometimes a good day of rain is just the ticket to get me motivated around the house.

I am hearing . . . absolute silence. Dh is at work. Dd is at camp. Ds is still asleep and the dogs are still snoozing in their crates.

Around the house . . . things are still a bit messy from our sudden out of town trip last weekend for dh's cousin's funeral. Also my dishwasher has finally given up the ghost, so my kitchen runneth over with dirty dishes (the dishwasher died while full of dirty dishes, of course!)

I am praying . . . for patience and knowledge.

One of my favorite things . . . is that sense of "smooth sailing". It is in short supply right now.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a couple of check-up appointments, ds turns 21 tomorrow (!), the rest of the new windows should be installed on Thursday, and dh's cousin is stopping by over the weekend.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Alan had an interview to do the other night and asked me to cook dinner for them. No problem, except I've been on a "I-don't-want-to-go-to-the-grocery" kick for about 6 weeks now. I keep just making do and running in to get 1 or 2 must-haves. That being said, I found a pork roast in the freezer and laid it out to thaw, and started Googling for recipes. Something new and different.

I ran across this one and realized I had all the ingredients. It turned out quite tasty, but next time I'll cut back on the vinegar a bit as it was too strong for my palate.

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Prep time
5 mins
Cook time
4 hours
Total time
4 hours 5 mins

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin that just melts in your mouth! This slow cooker balsamic pork tenderloin recipe is perfect for those busy weeknight supper or even special occasions!
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Serves: 6-8
1 2-3 pound boneless pork tenderloin
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Place pork tenderloin into the insert of your slow cooker. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over pork and set the timer for your slow cooker. (4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low)
Once pork tenderloin has cooked, remove from slow cooker with tongs into a serving dish. Break apart lightly with two forks and then ladle about ¼ – ½ cup of gravy over pork tenderloin.

Store remaining gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use.

After I got the roast going, I planned the rest of dinner. Cranberry Nut Rice Pilaf and I wasn't sure what else. 

I went to my nephew's birthday pool party and hung out there. Got an email about my friend Robyn's death, and headed home. I remembered on the way that I had company coming for dinner and only a partial meal, so I stopped and picked up fresh broccoli to steam. I also cheated and got a pound cake, some strawberries, and whipped cream for dessert, as well as a loaf of sourdough bread.

When I got home, I double checked to see what time the guest was arriving (all the while thinking I really just wanted to sit down and process my loss). That's when my husband and son both looked at me quizzically and said, "That's tomorrow night". Really?

It's a good thing pork roast is often better the second day!

linking up to Made by You Monday 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

(sorry for the quality -- iPhone)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Life and Death


Saturday my friend, Robyn, died. Monday was the visitation for her, and Tuesday was her funeral. 

Wednesday was a busy day, and then Alan's cousin, Clif, died of cancer that night. We knew it was only a matter of time, but still it came quicker than expected. And on Alan's brother's birthday. Two days before Independence Day. 

Clif's brother was supposed to spend the holiday with us, but of course he's in Tuscaloosa. He was there when his brother died, which is a good thing of course. 

Our plans for the 4th have changed completely. Instead of grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, and setting off fireworks with our nephews, we will be heading to Tuscaloosa for the Saturday visitation and funeral. Still spending time with family. Just not the way we'd have chosen.

So I'm doing a lot of conscious inhaling and exhaling. That 4x4 breathing technique has come in handy this week. Breathe in to the count of 4. Hold for a count of 4. Breathe out to the count of 4. Repeat as needed.


linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Kickin' Back

Share your top favorite photo you took in June. Give us the back story.

We got a new sofa for the den in June. Alan got right on selling our old one. In fact he did such a good job, that we found ourselves without a sofa for nearly 3 weeks! So we played make-do.

We have a couple of chairs in the den, but it's a small room, so the sofa provided the lion's share of the seating. 

As we waited for the new sofa to be delivered we tried out a variety of options. Alan's go to spot became a lounge chair he bought several years ago. It's really an outdoor lounge, but he bought in to use inside because he injured his sit bones doing long distance biking several years ago. Frankly, he can't sit comfortably much of anywhere.

I snapped this picture with my phone one night while we were watching TV together, and then posted it on Facebook. Lots of friends commented on it. Most were humorous of course. But, truth be told, I really like this picture. 

We don't have many photos of Alan as he's a semi-professional photographer, so he's always behind the camera. But I also like this one because it shows the Alan I know -- relaxed, but intent. Comfortable in his own skin and clothes. And there's something terribly appropriate about him being framed by the dog bed and dog bowl!

linking up with Writer's Workshop

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Circle of Women

It's been a tough few days. My friend, Robyn, died, and there was visitation and the funeral to deal with. For years I've said that the funeral isn't for the deceased but rather for those left behind to deal and cope with the loss. An introduction to the new normal, if you will.

I hadn't seen Robyn in at least 4 years. Which means I hadn't seen a lot of our mutual friends in a similar amount of time. The upside (if it's fair to call it that) was the opportunity to reconnect with those people. To be reminded of what had made us friends in the first place, and to promise to do a better job of staying in touch.

It was lovely to be in that group again. We sat together at the funeral. We cried. We laughed. We even snarked a bit. But that is who we are.

Afterwards we went out for a farewell drink and meal in Robyn's memory. And once again we broke the mold on the librarian stereotype. When the waitress greeted us with "Are you having a good day?" we all looked around at each, and then laughed and said we'd just come from a funeral. Kudos to the waitress for taking it in stride. She brought us water and chips and salsa while we perused the menu. Drink orders were placed (2 for 1 on most drinks, but she couldn't get us to take her up on most of them) and then food orders. We talked. We laughed. We toasted Robyn. We told stories about her, and remembered her in our own fond ways. 

And then we played catch-up with each other. I'm not the only one who doesn't work with those ladies anymore. There were kid and grandkid updates. Marriage updates. A bit of gossip here and there. And I was reminded again of what a boon a circle of women can be to a battered soul and spirit. 

After a couple of hours, we scattered our separate ways, not recovered from the loss, but lifted up by the companionship and the realization that life goes on. None of us will forget the impact Robyn had on this group. Instead we will raise a glass to her at every opportunity we have to share with each other in the future. Because that's what real friendships are all about.

linking up with Just Write

No Candy-coating Here

linking up with Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . July 1, 2014

Outside my window . . . it is 79* and very muggy. The skies are mostly overcast. We have been in a very muggy cycle here which is unusual for this early in the summer.

I am thinking . . . about my friend, Robyn, who died on Saturday. 

I am thankful . . . for meeting up with old friends yesterday at visitation. The only upside of funerals seems to be the opportunity to connect.

In the kitchen . . . there's been quite a bit more going on in there. Sunday lunch was homemade pizzas. Sunday night was pork loin, fresh beans, rice pilaf, and homemade chocolate chip brownies. And last night was apple chicken sausages, mashed potatoes, and mixed veggies.

I am wearing . . . my homemade gown

I am creating . . . a new summer weight shawl with my yarn purchased on vacation in Fairhope, AL. I'm using this pattern, and here's what I've got so far --

I am going . . . to Robyn's funeral this afternoon and then out with several friends to reminisce.

I am wondering . . . about the old saying "Deaths come in threes". Robyn died this past weekend, and Alan's cousin was moved from hospice to the hospital. Lots of praying going on in my house right now.

I am reading . . . The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny.

I am looking forward to . . . time this evening to reconnect with old friends.

I am hearing . . . total quiet. It is lovely. Dd is away house/cat sitting. Ds is sleeping in since he doesn't have to work today, and the dogs are outside.

Around the house . . . I'm working on getting things ready for family to visit for the July 4th weekend.

I am praying . . . for peace for Robyn's family and friends, and that the funeral will be a beautiful celebration of her life.

One of my favorite things . . . is being able to function at my own pace. I have to work at times to slow down to the pace I like because I am so different from my dh.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . Robyn's funeral today. Housework tomorrow. Family coming in on Thursday. Celebrating the 4th on Friday. And then we will see what the weekend brings.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
one of my many eclectic shelves