Happy National Button Day!


November 16th is

National Button Day.

I did not know this interesting tidbit of information. It was established in 1938 by

The National Button Society

to celebrate those who love to collect or craft with buttons.


Is there seriously a day for just about anything?


Like most sewers, I have my own stash  of buttons.


(I never considered it a collection)

I often can’t resist when I see buttons at a yard sale or a deal at my local fabric store. I have separated them by color and even occasionally use some of them. I have tossed them all into a big jar and used them as a game for a baby shower or birthday party-you know, guess how many buttons are in the jar and win a prize…

I may have  even used some in a craft project.

Collect them, no…


but come to think of it…it might be fun!


Happy National Button Day!

My Attitude of Gratitude

On my continuing journey of personal growth, I recently came across an idea of a Prayer Journal. This would allow me an opportunity to capture my silent prayers, offer thanks, and see God busy in my life. It might also allow me to work on my

Attitude of Gratitude

When I recently posted about my continuing journey of retirement and finding a focus for my final chapters of life, I was overwhelmed with appreciation, gratitude,  and love that I received from my fellow bloggers, family, and friends. Many of you responded with such wonderful suggestions and encouragement. I took all of your thoughts to heart and spent these past weeks considering were I will go from here. Some of the ideas that touched me most deeply were to love what you do, give thanks, and not be so hard on myself!

Let me digress for a moment….I have three sisters and each year we throw ourselves a little family birthday party. With one birthday in July, two in August, and one in early September, finding a date that works for all of us can be difficult-but somehow we always manage! Together we select a theme, contribute towards the meal, and each bake our own birthday cake!


When asked what I wanted, I requested a journal. Yes, I could have gone and purchased one (or used anything to write on really) but instead decided to wait to see if I received one and use the weeks waiting for the event to decide what exactly I would do with it.

My youngest sister found this lovely journal for me


and when we returned home I immediately got down to writing.


I started off fully committed to keeping up my journal daily. In the weeks following, I admit, I have slacked off just a bit. What has changed, however, is my attitude. With a new-found peace and acceptance, I am much more content and willing to just forge ahead. This means that I am venturing into uncharted ideas and experiences and willing to find out what works-and what doesn’t. I don’t feel discouraged if something does seem to be a good fit but instead am open to try something else-or go in a different direction.  I am okay if I have a quiet or unproductive day (no more guilt!!) or if the day is so full I fall into bed at night exhausted. Actually, I have usually had a positive outlook on life but suppose I just got off course. I am reminded of all that is good in my life and the opportunities still before me.


Attitude of Gratitude

has been rekindled. I am (like most of us) a work in progress and I have a choice. I can move into this next part of my life with excitement and an open heart and mind or stay stuck. I guess taking time to shake things up a bit are in order from time to time. I am grateful for opportunities, challenges, growth, and the future before me. I know God has a plan for my life and He is not done with me yet!

Mommermom Cooks!

A great deal of my retirement is spent cooking. We have to eat-right? Cooking healthy is a challenge for me. We come from down home good old comfort food families. These past few years I have tried to use healthier ingredients and change the way we eat.  I have more time now to incorporate fresh foods and we seldom eat processed or fast food anymore. My recent favorite thing to cook up for dinner is…

Stir Fry

The beauty of stir fry is you can merge all of your favorite veggies together, with or without meat. It is quick, easy, and healthy! I don’t have any fancy pans or techniques but it always turns out and everyone enjoys it. For a more substantial meal you can include white or brown rice or oriental style noodles. They come in buckwheat, rice, grains, and a variety of other textures and flavors. Look around and see what is available in your local grocery or specialty stores.


This list is simply suggestions. Use any combination that you desire.  I might select at least 4-6 (or more) to keep it interesting. I tend to like a larger variety and use this as an opportunity to clean out the fridge!

  • onions
  • shallots
  • celery
  • garlic
  • bok choy ( I love baby bok choy)
  • napa or other cabbage
  • carrots
  • bell peppers (all colors)
  • bean sprouts
  • asparagus
  • mushrooms
  • broccoli
  • snow peas
  • zucchini

You get the idea. You can use whatever you like! I sometimes use chicken, beef, pork, and I bet shrimp would be good too.  Be creative.  Don’t be afraid to change it up. It is really hard to mess this up! This is a one pan endeavor which makes it even better.

Basic Stir Fry Recipe

Using a small amount of olive oil (or your favorite oil), cook chopped meat in a large fry or sauté pan. Season how you like it. Tonight I marinated my chicken in some cranberry/orange dressing that I found  in my fridge.


You can also use soy or teriyaki sauce  for flavor.


Make sure meat is thoroughly cooked. You can also use a rotisserie chicken or left over roast from dinner last night.

Select, prepare, and chop your veggies into smallish bite sized pieces.


I usually remove the meat while cooking the vegetables but this is just my preference. (Usually because I am scrambling to finish gathering my ingredients together and I don’t want it over cooked.) You can also sauté chopped onion and/or garlic while you cook your meat or after it is removed from the pan. We are building the flavors as we go along to make sure we have a tasty result.


Next, you will want to cook (over medium high heat), your more dense veggies like broccoli, celery, or zucchini. Remember this is stir fry so stir often! Depending on how crunchy you like your vegetables, have small pieces cook for 5 or so minutes before adding your softer vegetables like bok choy or bean sprouts as they cook very quickly. You don’t want a soggy mess. If you have not added your chopped onion and garlic yet, now would be a good time.


If you are serving rice or noodles with your dish, you will have wanted that almost completed now as this next step does not take long at all.


Tonight I cheated a bit and purchased a prepackaged bag of chopped vegetables. It caught my eye because the work was done and included finely sliced brussels sprouts.


After cooking (and stirring) a few minutes, I added baby bok choy and bean sprouts. Add all of your remaining veggies and seasonings. I usually toss in a little sesame oil about now (if I have it). Of course salt is always good but since soy sauce has so much sodium I would use sparingly. I actually like a little coriander which sounds like a strange choice, but has great flavor. If needed, add some soy sauce (which I like)  or water to help steam veggies and as you stir to heat all the way through.


Now that the veggies have cooked down a bit (and they will cook down) you can add the meat back into the pan. Stir together.


How long should you cook this you might wonder? Well, depending on the doneness of your veggies or the type you select, this entire cooking process is finished in about 6-10 minutes. You just want to be sure that the vegetables are thoroughly heated for maximum flavor. Add soy sauce as desired.

I served on a bed of rice and my healthy dinner was ready in less than 30 minutes from start to finish.




In Search Of Fall


Such a lovely time of year…or so I hear. In Southern California we don’t get much in the way of fall so on our recent road trip we searched for signs of the changing seasons.

Near the painted desert in Arizona we did not see many signs of autumn.


But it was nice nonetheless.


We stayed in a charming Bed & Breakfast.


By the time we reached Missouri we began to see a few signs of fall colors. Not as much as expected. It seems fall is late this year and our trip was a little too early.


It was rather lovely at The Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri.


If you don’t know the story (and I didn’t) about the founder of Precious Moments,


it is worth reading this touching story.

Ste, Genevieve, Missouri was our next stop. This is a quaint town along the Mississippi River.


Fall also means Homecoming and Football games. We attended a local Homecoming parade here and it brought back memories of fall days gone by.



The Mississippi River, clouds, and a bright blue sky also made me think fall.


Warm days and cool nights.


In Chicago, however,  we pulled out our coats. We had the opportunity to take part in the Buffalo Bro radio show. Buffalo Bro is a true Chicago icon. A real cowboy in the Midwest. He is also a muralist and a professor when he is not hosting a University radio show.


(Did I mention he is also my brother-in law?)


Fall finally showed some of its colors in Wisconsin where we visited our granddaughter and her family.


Kansas offered miles and miles of farmlands.


And prairies… but not much else.


Heading home through the Rocky Mountains…


… we finally found the fall colors we were in search of.



 as we drove by Las Vegas in the early morning hours, we reflected on the 4,700 miles and 14 states traveled.


We returned home to 100 degree weather.

Coats went back in the closet and guess what?

I didn’t mind a bit.

After all…

There is no place like home.

Raising Teens in Today’s World

It is never easy to raise a child-especially a teenager. Anyone who has experienced this can relate to this statement. I  am often grateful that my years of raising my five children is over (yeah-right)!  Watching the struggles of my kids, now parents, raising their own children is hard enough but I can turn the ringer off of my phone and pull the covers over my head at night if I want to. No waiting up to make sure everyone is home and tucked in for the night.  I sometimes cringe when I recall some of the conversations I had with my teens. Occasionally, however, I can smile with a hint of pride on how other discussions turned out. I tried my best but, as you probably know (either being a teen once or raising a teen), things do not always go as planned. It was all very hard work-a true labor of love-but not one I would like to try again anytime soon!

Today I felt more than a twinge of pride when I read my daughters Facebook post. Her courage touched me deeply and I wanted to share what she wrote:

Hi Mom,

I know you aren’t on Facebook anymore. This is what I posted this morning. It was a wow moment. Thought I would share! Love you.

Please read! I have always had open and frank discussions with my children about safety, danger, peer pressure, life in general. Sometimes, I get the eye roll implying “mom, we’ve already heard this”. With my son now licensed and driving, and my daughter in middle school, I continue to, from time to time, remind or reiterate these dangers, providing tips, advice, and love. Last night after my son got home from the football game, I decided to sit him down for another talk. The question often is “why don’t you trust me?” My reply is always the same, I do trust you, it’s the rest of the world that I don’t trust. He became a little irritated by the conversation of what to do if someone is drinking, not getting in cars, call us if you are ever in a bad situation, never let others drive, etc. I am not in any way condoning underage drinking, however I am not naïve to believe such situations aren’t happening at some time or that our children are not at some point being exposed. I felt bad for irritating him, especially following a fun evening for him and a safe return, my timing probably wasn’t great. This morning I got up and was doing my usual reading the news online and came across this story.

‘We felt invincible’

Irritate your children! Talk to them! Pound it into their head! Say it and then say it again!!!! It’s worth it. They are worth it!

Wow is right!


Guess she was listening after all.

A work in progress…

I have officially reached the age to receive Medicare. When I was younger it seemed a place so far away that surely if I ever reached this ancient age I would be used up and simply plant myself in a comfy chair to wait out my remaining years.

images (3)

Guess what?

I don’t feel that way at all. In fact, I have now reached a crossroads where I need to decide…

What do I want to do with the rest of my life?

If a normal reasonably healthy woman in the US has a life expectancy of 89 years old, I may have another 20+ or so years left. I realize that death came come “like a thief in the night, we know not when” as it states in the Bible, but just for argument sake, let me assume I will hang in another 20 years with at least moderately decent good health and a few good brain cells working.

So now what?

If you have read my blog you know I have a fabulous husband, many grandchildren, great kids, friends, am active in my church, and between all of that I am pretty busy with events, camping, birthday parties, vacations, and various outings. I also like to sew, get some reasonable pleasure from cooking, some gardening, and have recently started reading again (after a long dry spell).

Where do I go from here?

The first year of retirement  life seemed so clear. I had a purpose-I was now free of a daily required schedule and had the gift of life that retirement allowed. I jumped out of bed every morning relishing in the newness of not having to go to work every day. I was free to pursue the joys of life within my moderate budget. I don’t jump up quite so quickly these days. I joyfully  embraced the time I now had to spend time with those I loved and cared about. That has not changed at all. I was dedicated to getting to the gym regularly. Not so much any more (to be honest less and less). I sewed almost daily. Not now unless I have a specific project. I explored  and planned new adventures, combed blogs and the internet for ideas, and created new creations in the kitchen. Now-well, we have to eat so I have to cook. I blogged regularly. You can see that is not happening these days. I am lucky if I post twice a month. I was energetic and enthusiastic about almost everything. Now, yawn, is it naptime yet?

What happened?

I know, I need to eat better and exercise more.   I tried a crash exercise plan to get back into a groove with little success. Confession time-I have been slacking. I  know I thrive better on a routine so I have been attempting to tighten the reins on my daily activities-but remain somewhat flexible for unexpected opportunities.  (Isn’t it 5:00 somewhere?)

What now?

I crave to find a passion. Should I seek a new passion or revive an old one? Or a combination of both? Should I embrace a cause, volunteer,  get out more, or focus on the projects here at home? Is it all in my head or is it this aching body that seems to have slowed me down? Or is it all connected? Am I just finding a reasonable stride or am I really considering turning into that couch potato I was so worried about becoming? My kids laugh that I am so busy they can hardly keep up with my schedule. Am I being too hard on myself?


Life is a journey to be continued…


3 days 3 quotes challenge-day 3

The 3 day quote challenge has been so interesting for me. Many terrific quotes have been swimming through my mind. Researching quotes has allowed me to open myself to admire those who are so profound and share or have different points of view.  I have received such encouragement and insight from many of you and I am deeply touched. Thank you for indulging me these past 3 days.

It was difficult to decide what my 3rd and final quote will be. I have decided to allow the quote to speak for itself but do not know who deserves the credit. Perhaps its is a paraphrase from a Bible verse or Dr. Martin Luther King.

Either way…