Writing 101/Give & Take

Well I am stuck on this one, so I think I am just going to go on to the next day..

Writing 101/A Character-building experience

She was of normal stature for a woman of her age.  I’d say somewhere in her mid-sixties.  Yet her smile was larger than life.  She was so happy to be here among us all, speaking to the audience about her new book she had just finished writing.  Her energy lit up the room and we were all sitting on edge of our seats with her every word.  She was more than an author.  She was your mother, your sister, your best friend.  She was so in the moment with all of us.  She calls us her girlfriends and she takes us everywhere with her.  And she really does.

Her hair was a brown, shoulder length.  Not much make-up that I could see and her smile was so genuine.   She was on a book tour promoting her new book, but she made it feel as if she had just driven up the street and stopped by the local bookstore after dinner.  She signed every copy and it was such a pleasure to talk with her.


I took my granddaughter, Gabrella with me so that she could have that experience of meeting an author.  I have been following Susan Branch for as long as I have been a homemaker.  I think I started following her right after I got married.  She is inspiring and her blog just lifts up your spirits.   I love reading her books and making her recipes.  She gave me a new love of tea & towels.  She doesn’t have any kids but she has Joe, her husband, and  two of the most lovely cats.  Her stories keep you coming back for more.  I try not to read her books too fast because then I don’t have anymore to read until she writes another one.  Sometimes I just re-read one of her older books.  Her books are like a big quilt on a rainy day, or a pot of tea in front of the fire on a winter’s night.  She also has a blog I follow and she takes comments from the girlfriends.  That would be us, who follow her blog.  Sometimes she responds back and that is just so cool.  She’ll even make it more exciting by having a drawing and if you make a comment on her blog you are automatically in the pot to win what she is giving away.  I love you Miss Susan 🙂

The Letter

Dear Dad, I’m sorry that you are dying of cancer.  I have always loved you.

May the peace of our Lord find you.  It’s okay to go with the Angels.  Patti

3 songs in my life

This will be a hard exercise for me.  You see I come from a very musical family.  We have all been connected to the arts for a long time in one way or another.  I play the piano, or at least tried to for awhile.  I was in choir.  I love to sing, dance, go to musicals, dadade.  All of the kids have been exposed to music.  I’m pretty sure they all know how to play the piano.  I know they all can sing and we did a lot of musical theater.  My two boys are now professional ballet dancers.  So I have many songs in my head. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBoQvhzeeCY The 1st song that comes to mind would be, “Nothing Going to Stop Us,” by Jefferson Starship.  The lead singer, Gracie Slick.  It just is me and my husband’s theme song.  “Looking in your eyes, I see a paradise, this world that I found seems to good to be true…” and on it goes.  Whenever I hear it, it just brings me to our relationship and all the struggles we’ve been through and we are just the best of friends still and so much in love.  We have built a life together, our anniversary this year will be 35 glorious years of marriage.  We have had 5 children, 4 boys and 1 girl and no my girl is not the youngest she is in the middle.  Two boys Michael Francis & Sean Patrick, then Elizabeth, then Matthew James and finally Connor Timothy.  We lost Sean Patrick to a birth defect, but he was here and he was part of our story.  A really big part of our story, because everything would be different if he had lived.  So he was here and he was loved.  We also survived a very serious car accident, one in which I suffered a traumatic brain injury and paralysis of my left side.  We’ve had other trauma’s, crosses call them what you want but we are still standing and thankful for all of our blessings.  Because everyone has stuff, and you just keep going doing the best you can.  That is what that song represents to me.  Nothing is going to stop us because we just won’t let it !!!  You just don’t quit.

So now my second song I think comes from the musical, “Les Miserables.”  I don’t know the name of it but one of the lines of the song that makes it so powerful for me is, “To love another person, is to see the face of God.”  I think the entire musical all of the songs are just the best.  My husband read the book, which is soooo long.  He’s really smart and he explained the story for me.  It is a story of forgiveness and redemption.  Very powerful and if you ever have a chance to go see it, go see it.  It is life changing.  And now my third song I have to say is, “Load Out/Stay” by Jackson Browne.http://youtu.be/UF2gA6NfyGQ  It reminds me of summer.  I think of my boys who are performers, it reminds me of them.  My Matthew once called me when he was part of a traveling company.  I asked him where he was and he didn’t know.  The company was just having a layover and he was stuck at some airport because of the weather.  I guess the song just hits home for me because we are in the business and I can relate to alot of songs I hear. So I am going to try to put up links so that you can actually listen to my 3 songs I have chosen to share with you.  Wish me luck 🙂

My Coastal Cottage

The sky is blue, and it has no end.  The air is filled with sea salt spray.  It is warm in the morning sun, just the right temperature.  I can hear the waves breaking on the beach from my bedroom.  I’m in bed in my coastal cottage.  My room  has a perfect view of the ocean.  I am surrounded by my comforter that is truly comforting.  It is fluffy white, while keeping me warm yet it’s cool to the touch from the outside.   From the sound of it, it is already going to be a busy day out on that beautiful big ocean.  I stay in bed for that extra 10 minutes that is so necessary to waking up.  Stretching every muscle to re-establish circulation so that I can get up and start my day.

Getting out of bed here is so easy.  I am greeted by the panoramic view of the mighty Atlantic Ocean.  I sit down in my corner bay window.  I close my eyes and take in a deep breath of that wonderful ocean air.  Exhaling, I open my eyes and see heaven.  I am truly blessed to be able to see God every morning.  The vastness of the ocean is huge, immense.  It is powerful yet so calming. I walk into my sea foam green kitchen and feel the boards, i.e. my kitchen floor, on my bare feet.  My kitchen is where my heart beats and my soul lives. It all starts here everyday. I go to my coffee bar.  This is what I really need to wake up.  I use ice cold water, clear and fresh from the tap.  I pour this into my coffee maker with my freshly ground coffee beans, I love Condesa de Costa Rica.  I always use fresh ground coffee, it just taste better.

The coffee brews quickly and I take in all of the wonderful smells of my first pot of coffee. Right next to the coffee bar are all of my favorite coffee cups stored in a quaint little cabinet that I found at a seaside shop. It has the look of being used, but it was new. Shades of teal, it matches up nicely with the color of my kitchen. There are shelves and hooks that I store my coffee cups on.  Little drawers and slots that I don’t have any trouble filling up.  I store my flavored sugars that I love, exotic teas and these simply wonderful tiny cookies and crackers that I use for my afternoon teas.  I bought some donuts from Duck Donuts yesterday and put them in this perfect bread box in the cabinet.  These donuts always taste better the next day I don’t know why.   I also have these delicate little spoons to stir my cream with.  They feel so nice in my hand when I mix my coffee.  Right next to my spoons I have on hand wonderful  little sterling silver knives for spreading my epicurean butter’s and jams.

This morning is so wonderful, I think I’ll drink my coffee out on the porch. The temperature is perfect, with only a slight ocean breeze. The direct sunlight has moved over the porch so having my coffee with a couple of the donuts I bought  from DD yesterday will be a great way to start off my day. The tourist are here, and everything has come back to life. I love seeing all of them run out to the beach.  This is vacation to them, for me it’s just everyday. I love being on vacation everyday.

My porch is perfect.  On the far end is my hammock for my lazy afternoon naps.  There is a fan directly over it in case it gets too warm in the late day sun or maybe I just want to drown out the noise with the humming of the fan.  It’s good at keeping the bugs away too so I can get my afternoon nap in.  At the other end is a comfortable bench for two so that I can share it with the love of my life.  We solve the world’s problems out on our porch.  Sometmes it is with our morning coffee or sometimes it is with our afternoon tea.  But usually when we are on our porch, the world is 1000 miles away and there are know problems.  It’s just us and that is enough for me


Day 1/Blogging U

So here I am sitting in my kitchen starting my day.  Writing is always a good way to start the day.  It gets rid of all the white noise, the distractions.  I just returned from a road trip with my husband and granddaughter, Gabriella.  What fun we had.  We went east.  First stop at Richmond, Va.  We dropped my #4 son back home.  Then off to the Outer Banks, North Carolina.  We have never been there.  It was absolutely beautiful.  Slow and simple.  We hope we will end up out on the east coast soon.  We are looking for a place to move to.  The food was absolutely wonderful.  The ocean had a lot of character.  The people were nice.  So that was all good.  It seems like the cost of living out there would be better.  I would be closer to the boys, which is where we want to be.  My daughter is a nurse so she can pretty much find a job anywhere.  Gabriella loved the ocean and she’s a real go-along kind of kid.  

After we went to the outer banks, we headed up to Virginia Beach.  I like Virginia Beach because it just feels closer to civilization.  You are still close to the ocean and I like the military.  It is definitely closer to the boys.  Well I am just going to have to see where God puts us.   I hope he doesn’t want us to stay here.  It’s lousy weather, I am sick of the city and the taxes are just off the charts.  The only reason that would keep me here is number 1.  The finacial aspects, i.e. Michael’s job and, number 2. If I end up going to school in the city.  But there are schools everywhere so I guess only #1 matters.  Let’s face it, number 1 always matters.  

So we got home from the road trip and everything was good.  It was good to relax and see a different part of the country.   It was a great start to the summer.  So let the party begin 🙂ImageImageImage 

Happy Mother’s Day

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47dtFZ8CFo8iPhoto LibraryI hope everyone had the best Mother’s Day. I know I did. Matthew called me and so did Connor. They are both in Virginia dancing on Richmond Ballet, taking care of each other. Matthew is working on a show coming up soon and Connor was being a guest artist somewhere. Matthew was driving him and making sure he got to where he was going. He had to drive through the Shenendoah Mountains so I worry. But the angel’s made sure they got there and home safely. I am glad they have each other and can live the dream. They will be coming home soon for a bit this summer so I am looking forward to seeing them.

Lizzie had to work. She’s a nurse so she usually has to work the holidays. It is special because she can be with those who are ill and take care of them. She really is doing God’s work. It takes someone special to be a nurse. She is so sweet. She bought me a new charm for my Pandora bracelet. It was a Chicago Blackhawk’s charm and a t-shirt that said, “We are keeping the Cup” (The Stanley Cup for those of you who don’t follow hockey). I am a coo coo bird when it comes to Hockey. That was one more thing that made it a great day HAWKS win game three!!! It’s hard to watch when they aren’t winning like with 50 goals ahead of the other team or when it’s such an important game. Connor will be home soon to watch some of the playoffs with me. He’s the one who got me so interested in it. That is also one more thing that I love to share with the boys. When you have boys you just better like the sports thing. That was the 1st date I had with their father (38 years ago) Chicago White Sox vs. Milwaukee Brewers. But my favorite sports is Hockey !!!! G O H A W K S oh and we are keeping the cup 🙂

Me and Gabriella and the husband, Mike just hung out here. It was a warm, stormy, spring Mother’s Day. Love watching and waiting for the storms. The menu was brunch, Blueberry Muffins (made by Gabriella) scrambled eggs w/cheese, maple sausage on texas toast, coffee & juice. Dinner was my meatloaf (which is soooo good). I used some of my mango balsamic vinegar and that makes everything so good. Spaghetti and Italian Greeen Beans w/a loaf of crusty french bread.

I celebrate mother’s day because I was blessed with 5 children. I must have some good in me that He gave me 5 lives to look after. It has been such a joy to watch their lives unfold. I am proud to say that I had a played a part in it.