Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Everything is Coming up "Pink"!

Everything is coming up pink? Have you noticed? It started last month with pink showing up in the form of soaps, brooms, shopping bags, combs, brushes, hairdryers, Kitchen Aid Appliances, candy, cereal, and -- of course -- roses!

Today is the official kick-off to Breast Cancer Awareness Month and my neighbor, Kim, did not forget. She e-mailed me and said, "I have something to bring over -- be sure you're home."

Ten minutes later, there she was standing in the doorway with a pink rose in her hand. Kim is like a daughter to me; in fact, she calls me her other "mama." It was just like her to remember the first day of PINK as well!

I have to admit, when I was diagnosed 13 years ago, I dreaded the month of October (the month of pink) because it was a painful reminder of the past. Today, it's a delightful reminder of the future...

Everything is coming up "pink"!

Living Life Passionately,

P.S. Anyone who leaves a comment to this post during the month of October, will be entered into a drawing to receive the book, Trading Ashes for Roses, Pink Ribbon Devotions to Go, and a pink rhinestone keychain!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Flying over the San Francisco Bay Area is one of my favorite treats -- especially from an aisle seat. The poor man sitting next to me -- by the window -- didn't stand a chance; in fact, I was waiting for him to switch seats with me because I kept leaning over to snap pictures while he was trying to sleep. The fog had rolled back revealing a panoramic view of the city; I even got a fuzzy picture of the Golden Gate Bridge (not pictured).

But as I eased back in my seat, I felt closer to the land than I did the blended into one until we were at a cruising altitude of 37,000 feet.

What is it about flying that makes me feel close to God? It certainly isn't the inattentive flight attendants or the sometimes rude passengers; it's that feeling that I'm so small compared to God's greatness. Climbing to that high altitude doesn't come without some rough spots -- turbulence! You see, when you're flying at lower altitudes you experience it a lot more than at higher altitudes. But once above the clouds, it's smooth "sailing" -- most of the time.

I had to laugh when the captain announced, "We're heading into some 'weather'!" What he really meant to say was, "We have scattered thunderstorms and it's going to be a rough flight." Thankfully, most passengers missed that part and went on reading the New York Times, USA today or books on Kindle. But I was keenly aware of what the captain meant. It was going to be a rough flight for the next five hours.

Yes, I spilled coffee all over me (twice); dropped my laptop on the floor, and have sinus congestion and popping ears today, but we landed safely and the flying incident is a faint memory.

Turbulent "flying" doesn't just happen on airplanes; it happens on the ground as well. It's our eternal perspective that keeps us focused.

A friend reminded me of that today -- each day has enough trouble of its own, so keep "flying" -- don't look back and keep focused on the prize that lays before all of us!

Living Life Passionately,

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Less is More !

It's official... fall is here!

I placed the wreath on the door this morning, but it's only one of the "less is more" essentials I have instituted in my life. My thinking is if I have a beautiful door wreath, I have to do less gardening because the focus is on the door, not the weeds in my garden.

Yesterday I cleaned and cleaned...mainly my walk-in closet, so it can live up to its name! I found things I had held onto for years and realized, I could sell them on eBay, which I have done. I didn't realize it was so easy.

The wreath and closet are all part of my new attitude. Ask yourself, "Is this necessary, or is it clutter that hinders and hampers me?"

Having less of what you don't want frees you to concentrate more of what you do want.

Clear time in your calendar for planning, putting in lots of white space (another new attitude), and create space in your surroundings -- declutter your desk, office space, and make your bedroom a retreat area -- not grand central.

Let fall be a time of new beginnings of "less is more" by evaluating your possessions and activities.

To help in my efforts, I bought an essential tool of the trade -- a beautiful pink leather calendar (pink is my favorite color). It wasn't a want, it was a need. When I open up its clean white pages with leather binding, I'm very careful what I put in there (that's the purpose!).

Enjoy this new "less is more" season in your life!

Living Life Passionately,

Monday, September 07, 2009


Simplicity is the glory of expression. ~ Walt Whitman

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Enjoy a Frugal Extravagance

It doesn't take much to make me happy -- tickled actually. So this morning, my hubby who is feeling so much better after hip surgery decided to take me to my favorite place: Bath and Body Works. I had a coupon, plus it was their Grand Labor Day Sale, so I treated myself to a frugal extravagance...Fresh Balsam candles, lotion, and liquid hand soap. It's such a yummy fragrance and makes me feel like I'm walking through a forest of pine trees.

When we arrived home, I lit the candles all over the house, set the decanter of hand lotion and liquid soap in the upstairs bathroom, and let the fragrance carry me to Whitworth College where my hubby and I first met (the college is nestled in a forest!). Today was such a frugal indulgence...$75 worth of products for only $20, yet it made me feel like a million bucks.

It was time for a nap. As I drifted off to sleep, there was a knock at the door. Kim, our neighbor, held a plastic container in her hands and said, "These are homemade potato chips from one of my Amish farms."

Can you believe it? These Amish folks make their own potato chips in all the varieties: BBQ, plain, and my personal favorite -- Ranch style. If you've never had a homemade potato chip, you have missed one of life's simple pleasures. I couldn't stop with just one (or two or three!).

It doesn't take much to make life feel abundant and rich. Simple things: a candle, homemade potato chips, fresh flowers from the garden, and an afternoon nap. Small but simple pleasures make you feel cared for and less deprived. When that happens, you'll be less likely to exceed your monthly budget and "binge" on expensive or wasteful extravagances.

So go ahead...enjoy one of life's "frugal" pleasures.

Living Life Passionately,