Mother’s Day Weekend – Note to Mom

Dearest Mom,

Well done . . . I’m awesome!

Love, your ‘flawless’ daughter!

As many of you know my beloved mother has been dancing in heaven with my precious father for several years.  However, I still thank her for the gifts of love, wisdom, laughter, gratitude, which she imparted on me during our time together on this earth. Remember, it is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful individuals in our beautiful world.

On this wonderful Mom’s Day weekend, I would like to honor all the mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and all the motherly figures for their commitment to imposing love and wisdom to their dear children!

Enjoy your special day!

Celebrating World Laughter Day

On this laughter day here are a few quotes that inspire me.

‘Let there be laughter. Love. Peace. Hope. Friendship.’

‘If you’re not laughing, you’re not living.’

‘When you love and laugh abundantly you live a beautiful life.’

‘Choose kindness and laugh often.’

Wishing you my dear friends a day full of cheerful giggles!

Mary

Glaciers and Rhubarb Dessert

Today I am sharing a favorite dessert recipe from the Gustavus Inn at Glacier Bay, Alaska made with rhubarb (ready for my oven). At our house we love everything rhubarb! While living in the north we had it growing in our backyard; and most childhood summers were spent eating rhubarb in many fine desserts. Do you know it is actually a vegetable even though many, including me, consider it a fruit?

Fast forward to a holiday to the great state of Alaska, the place that is slightly off the path taken most. We soaked in the grandeur and vastness of this state while rejuvenating our spirit, as we connected with the natural beauty and the rich history of this special place.  We wandered from Anchorage, Seward, Palmer, Denali National Park and Preserve, on to Fairbanks and the sub-Arctic areas enjoying the unrelenting beauty.

On a day cruise through the Kenai Fjords, we watched glaciers plunge their faces into the sea creating thundering splashes, as giant chunks of ice broke off and fell into the water. Walking on Exit Glacier we were awestruck by the variations of colors and textures nature created for our enjoyment.

We stayed at several boutique historic hotels including the Van Gilder where in 1915 President Woodrow Wilson spent the night. Our last evening in Alaska was spent at the Colony Inn, which was once the 1935 Matanuska Colony Teacher’s Dorm where the aroma of a large lilac tree outside our window drifted softly through the curtains.

In the evening under the midnight sun and much to our delight we discovered most restaurants served delectable rhubarb dessert! We love the unique taste of this Rhubarb Crisp; it is jammy bites of sweet and tart.

Please share with me your rhubarb or Alaskan adventures! I know many of you have been there!

To the adventures we celebrate!

Flowers Every Where . . .

Nestled across the street from our home is a wild flower lined driveway that leads to the inviting and charming flower gardens of ‘gardenista’s’ Cindy and Lee. This week the poppies were dancing among the other wildflowers and roses creating a visual ruckus!  As my hubby was busy creating images, Cindy and I wandered around her gardens checking for other spring flower treasures.

We decided the poppy garden is the perfect place to sip in the gentler side of life. Perhaps a glass of sweet ice tea or a glass of Veuve Clicquot Vintage Brut Champagne and a good book. I would suggest a stack of garden books that will have you bringing out your trowels and trellises, such as: Planting – A New Perspective or the Rodale Basic Organic Gardening and The Well-Tempered Garden.

As we left the flower gardens, we took away a special experience . . . to be grateful for the petals of life. To appreciate our gifted neighbors. To be thankful for the roof over our dear heads. To be happy, simply just because!

Swooning Spring …

Our wildly wonderful spring has arrived in Texas and it is full of days I call the ‘in betweens’.  Sunny but not overly hot; windy but not too shivery.  The sun is pulling the first flowers from the earth and the beloved trees are now blossoming with new growth.

This lovely spring scene was captured by my hubby, photographer extraordinaire; and I was delighted to have been along on this sojourn in nature. While hubby was discovering the best angle to capture the image, I was blessed to feel the first whispers of spring. The soothing warmth of the sunlight on my face. The freshness in the air, with just a hint of a flowery scent from the blossoming trees.  Much to our pleasure church bells began playing softly from a tower of a nearby little, white country church.  The soft chime music floated through the trees blending with the sweet breeze.

This photographic sojourn reawakened and reinvigorated our spirits, increased our living energy; and we took much delight in the promise of contentment in the grand days ahead.

Wishing y’all many wonderous spring moments filled with peace, love, time for dreaming and joyful simplicities.

Have a blessed Easter.

Mary

Miracles From Cocoa Beans

On a recent winter sojourn my hubby and I experienced a heavenly place for chocolate connoisseurs, the Wiseman House Chocolates at historic Hico, Texas. This place is infused with warm flavors of charm and nostalgia at every step.

The owner and chocolatier master Kevin Wenzel creates artisanal chocolates using only fresh ingredients and real chocolate from sources such as Belgium and Venezuela. As we entered the eye-catching shop located in a beautiful appointed Victorian home, we were met with the aroma of fine chocolates wafting through the air. To assist us with our purchases we were offered delectable samples of almond and pecan toffees, Wild Woman truffles, and so much more. Oh my stars, the rich chocolates are amazingly divine!

On another fun note, the Wiseman House Chocolates offer artisanal chocolate making classes where one learns by doing. I must sign up!

Our 2021 Valentine’s Day celebration will be a bit sweeter thanks to the chocolatiers at Wiseman House Chocolates. I have filled our heart shaped bowl with these delightful chocolates to enjoy throughout the celebration.

“The most beautiful things in life are not things. They’re people, and places, and memories, and pictures. They’re feelings and moments and smiles and laughter.” From our home to your home, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day with all my heart!

Birthday Joy . . .

Today hubby and I are celebrating Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 265th birthday! He is one of our all time favorite, prolific, influential, classical composers. Mozart’s music drifts delightfully through our home on a regular bases inspiring us in our endeavors of the day.

“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love that is the soul of genius” ~ Mozart

As we celebrate this day, I am wishing y’all a notable day filled with love and generous blessings!

Mary

Peaceful Moments . . .

On a recent chilly December sojourn my husband and I let the day take us where it wanted us to go. To our amazement we discovered a rural meditative and spiritual heavenly home near Cranfills Gap, Texas.

Over rivers and through twisted woods we drove sipping hot apple cider and enjoying the picturesque surroundings, when we came upon this historic landmark nestled on a prominent plot off Bosque County Road 4145. It was an enchanted first impression – the idyllic setting of the St. Olafs Kirke (The Rock Church) was a sight for our eyes! This endearing structure was named after the patron saint of Norway and was built in 1886 by mostly volunteer Norwegian immigrants. The group of robust Norwegians used rocks hauled from the hills south of the property to create the rock church. The quaint steeple is home to a Swedish bell obtained by the hard-working Ladies Aid Organization in 1897, and it is rung an hour before a service. In 2010, the church was gently restored.

Stepping through the narthex, we were met by the heart of this remarkable structure. The soaring ceilings, the raised pulpit, and the exquisite delicate touches by Scandinavian craftsmanship envelope the space with warm inviting colors enhanced by wood tones. The changing daylight streamed through the arched window tops where the stain glass provided shifting colors and brought life to the interior space. The vintage pews, floor and lighting fixtures are all original. Much to our enjoyment the church has neither running water or electricity and is heated by an old wood burning stove manufactured before 1900.

As we strolled the property, we envisioned family gatherings on the grounds, horse drawn buggies, and the first automobiles rolling up to the heavy church doors. Women and men dressed in traditional Norwegian dress such as these dresses worn my cousins who reside in Norway.

 As we left the church, we had glorious feelings of inner peace and calm. We realized everyday moments like spending time exploring this historical church was a gift addressed to our hearts, and now wrapped in lasting memories.

Peace and Blessings,

Mary