Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Monday

I am loving the weather again today. I covered up my seed pots last night – green popping up in most of the pots already - yeah … hoping for not too many more frosts. Major thunderstorms and tornado warnings right now.  Hoping for the noise, the wind and the rain … no damaging tornados. I love storms.

Off and on all day today, I kept having thoughts of ‘why do we stay separate, rather than connected’. Much of this [in my thoughts] is, most likely, coming from a variety of avenues. Last evening I edited a paper written by a former student of mine – it was such a positive piece about being true to yourself and caring for / about others. Yesterday, I had a long, intense conversation with my heart friend, Nelson. We always ‘solve the world’s problems’ … though, of course, the solutions never get further than between us. Today, while out doing many errands, I heard/witnessed a few interactions that left me struggling with the challenge of ‘should I say something’ – or should I just walk away. 

When my kids were young, I know I must have embarrassed them when I did approach people when they were doing something demeaning [dark] to another.
Tonight, while enjoying the sound of the wind chimes, rain and a yummy seafood salad, I began to float back to September 12th, 2001. Driving to work that morning, I was [of course still shook up and sad, confused] happily amazed at how there didn’t seem to be any honking of horns, cutting people off, yelling on the roads. When I stopped for coffee, everyone was filled with people connecting. ‘How are you’ – ‘Have a good day’. These feelings/actions should be an everyday occurrence – right?
I am not really sure what it is I am ranting about today … many of my thoughts and feelings seem to be [still] locked up inside of me … At the risk of sounding like Pollyanna Pattie [which many have accused me of being over the years], I believe deep in my heart that if we stopped to smell the roses [paid attention to what is happening around us – with others – with ourselves], world peace would be right around the corner. After all, we are all an integral part of an amazing world.
Since things are still stirring inside of me – I’ll shut up now … and talk of the beautiful day for which I am so grateful. 

I met a new fam today. Beauteous Mom and 2 amazing young men that I soon will be working with. So wonderful to hear them speak of ‘light vs. darkness’ and feeling their hearts. Lovely time.

Domestically – yuck – I cleaned the home and did the laundry – did the grocery shopping and a few other errands … I so need an assistant. Not because I don’t have the time to do it myself … just isn’t what I love to do – and I am trying to spend each moment doing what I love to do. I so do love it when it is finished … accomplishment.

Taylor and I accomplished much yesterday. Invitations created and ready to print on Friday – yeah – lots of planning/figuring out done as well. Things are coming together so beautifully for the dreamy wedding day.

The Montessori way of education …
          If I hear it … I will forget it.
          If I see it … I will remember it.
          If I live it … it will become a part of me.
                                         works for all aspects of life … 

I love this story ....

"One day, while walking along the shore,
the wise old man looked down the beach,
and saw a gracefully dancing human figure.
The wise old man wondered out loud,
“Who would be dancing all alone on the beach?”
He began to walk faster to catch up.
Getting closer, the wise man saw that the dancer
was a child, who was not dancing at all.
The child was reaching down to the sand to pick up
something, and was very gently throwing it into the sea.
The man called out to the child,
“Good Morning! What are you doing?”
The child paused, looked up and replied,
“Throwing Starfish into the sea.”
Surprised, the man said,
“Yes, I see that, but WHY are you throwing Starfish into the sea?”
The child smiled brightly, pointed upward and
with perfect simplicity replied,
“The sun is up, and the tide is going out.
If I don’t throw them in, they will die.”
“But, don’t you realize, “asked the man,
“that there are miles and miles of beach and Starfish all along it?
You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The child listened politely.
Then bent down, picked up another Starfish,
threw it gently into the sea, just beyond the breaking waves,
and joyfully declared,
“It made a difference for that one." 

I hope everyone is having a beautiful start to a wonderful week.
Until tomorrow xo

Friday, February 25, 2011

fabulous friday

How fortunate we have been for the past 10 days … warm and sunny.
It made my morning when I looked out the kitchen window and saw the back yard sprouting green and covered in a blanket of beauteous little purple and white flowers. Filled with gratitude.
I hope everyone is having a Fabulous Friday

Hoping this weather trend continues, as it will assist my seeds in finding their way up up up.  Growing many flowers for our dreamy wedding and also planted gazillions of vegetable seeds for my spring garden. I think I will be better with the ‘food garden’ this year. Learned much about what not to do last year.

Paper flower update:

The pink flowers look just as beautiful as the others – though they are too light. I am having difficulty getting the paper to hold a darker color – suggestions please …

I am so looking forward to this busy weekend. Today, Donna, Brenna and Katy are coming over. Katy needs to do her taxes [yikes, I don’t want to think about that until April 14th]. I have been assisting Brenna in a cool creation she is making for a friend … a black kilt. Tomorrow – breakfast with Taylor, Afternoon-evening with Angie. Sunday … early start, wedding todos. Somewhere in the midst of it all, I should clean my home … oh well, maybe the fairies will come in the night and handle that for me.

No clue where I found this quote [who said it] – I love it …

Our inner strengths, experiences, and truths cannot be lost, destroyed, or taken away. Every person has an inborn worth and can contribute to the human community. We all can treat one another with dignity and respect, provide opportunities to grow toward our fullest lives and help one another discover and develop our unique gifts. We each deserve this and we all can extend it to others.

Until tomorrow xo

Thursday, February 24, 2011

another beauteous day

I trust everyone is having a terrific Thursday. The sun decided to stay away today, which made it feel a bit too cool for my enjoyment … so, I stayed inside. Grateful for the choice.
It is supposed to rain tomorrow. We so need the rain … and, I so need sunshine.
Saturday will bring beauteous weather.

Stage 2 of my flower factory

I decided to try a couple of experiments with color. Filled a pan with hot water – added a few drops of yellow food coloring – soaked the filters for about 20 minutes – and then outside to dry.

Loving the yellow so much, I decided to figure out gray. Not quite so easy … can’t find gray [or black] food coloring at the local market … so, I made a big pan of watercolor, using acrylic black paint. Perfect …

How to get true fuchsia? Watercolor is too vague. Suggestions please.

By next week there will be many more. Awaiting the arrival of white tulle. That will be fun.

Rebecca Fincannon is carrying a line of PatriciaA wearable art in her salon.
Stop by and check it out and make an appointment for a fabulous
hair-cutting experience. South Mane Hair [hwy 115 – Cornelius]

Paulo Coelho is one of my favorite novelists. I have a giant file of quotes from him/his work/his life. Here is one I love:

You have to take risks.
We will only understand the miracle of life fully
when we allow the unexpected to happen.

Until tomorrow xo

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

flowers ... flowers ... flowers

It is colder today … as expected … though it isn’t frigid, and feels pretty nice outside. My seeds are still safe out there – hoping I don’t have to move 40 pots inside. This weekend it is supposed to get to 70 again – yeah!

Yesterday I was going to share my new quick recipe and I forgot to do so. Zack and I ate the whole thing quickly – no leftovers here – it was so good.
I am sure you can tell that I have become pretty attached to Knorr rice sides.

I had some tomatoes that needed to be eaten immediately – so, I started with those – diced them and sautéed in oil and garlic –
Added [another of my favorites] a bunch of sliced mushrooms
                                                              a can of seasoned lima beans
                                                              a couple of cups of frozen peas
                                                              one pkg of Knorr – Fiesta Sides – Mexican Rice
                                                              2 ½ cups of water
                                                              Bring to boil
                                                              Then simmer for 30ish minutes[uncovered]
So yummy – like a stew kind of thing.
I think it would be good over lettuce as well.

My hands are so sore today … combo of all of the flower making and the weed pulling and planting yesterday.  Once they loosen up I must finish sewing curtains this evening.

Willis [his true name is Lewis], Taylor’s and Caleb’s dog, spent the day with us. We found him wandering around this morning … Lewis, Nora, and Karma are the closest thing to grandchildren [grand dogs and cat] that I have right now … which is all good with me. So, part of the school day was much dog playing, dog walking … fun fun fun day.

I’m feeling very proud with my ‘flower factory’. I am creating many different types [different materials] of flowers. For the past couple of days I have been focusing on the coffee filter flowers. Who knew you could make gorgeous flowers from coffee filters? I love them and the paper is much easier to work with than tissue paper. Or maybe it’s just me – I’m not too graceful with the tissue paper. Today I will take photos of each step so you can make some if you wish … maybe everyone already knows about this trick I thought I made up … tomorrow I will share the yellow ones. Going to try gray tonight.
Here are the steps :

Regular coffee filters – separate [use 8 for each flower]

 fold in half
cut a semi circle

 basting stitch around the hole
 gather - pull tight - carefully

 then sew together a bit
 turn over and begin separating the layers
pull gently, and surely toward the center - all the way around
first one will look like this
 one layer at a time
 and presto ... beauteous flower

If you help enough people get what they want,
 you can have everything you want
Zig Ziglar
I hope everyone had a beautiful day ... 

Until tomorrow xo

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Flower-filled Tuesday

I must spend much time out-of-doors today. It is our last real Spring day for awhile. Back to chilly tomorrow. 
I will - I will ...

What a beautiful day it has been here in the woods.

I planted 40 pots of seeds [flowers for the wedding – and lots of veggies for my garden – planning on an early spring], cleaned the yard, the patio … things are looking good for spring. It is coming quickly, right? Yes.

My living room is filled – no, really, filled – with beauteous paper flowers for the wedding … Sam is so irritated with me that he no longer can hang in the living room.The sofa is his favorite sitting place - need to find another until May.

I told Taylor today, that after the wedding, I just may make and sell all of these cool flowers I have been creating … such fun.

Jumping to a different place –
Family – connection – being together – 

My sister is struggling with ‘what to do’, ‘what to say’ with her [our] brother. Today when we talked of it – I said, ‘he just may not be used to the connection thing’. Let’s remember, many people are not. That is a ‘baby step’ process for many.
Unconditional love can break those barriers … conditional love can not.
If we go into something with expectations … things ‘we’ need … then the end result is less than what anyone needed/wanted.
Goes back to – giving is the only way we get …

I know I am scattered … pieces of this and that …

Lois … I have many beauteous friends – Lois is my oldest … longest … bestest ...
We have been friends since forever – before we even knew we were friends – from age 3-4- … crazy …
I quit watching soap operas [which I know I mentioned awhile back] – but [sorry Evie – and] I decided to start watching General Hospital again – so that Lois and I can talk about it …

Life is funny [not ha ha funny – but funny just the same] – last night we tried to discuss this daytime drama , and at the same time, I was talking with my sister about our [love] family drama … the two didn’t really mix and I missed out on the last conversation about General Hospital … we will get to that – while, I hope [trust] my sister is knowing that all will be well with our newfound brother … I trust that he will reach out to us … if not – his loss [1/2 kidding].

It all will be good …

Sharing yet another excerpt from touched by many –


My grandfather had passed away when I was 10, though the whole experience was kept from me.

I knew he was sick. He had been sick for almost 2 years. I used to take care of him, when he was home and not yet so bad. He called me Florence Nightingale.

And then it got worse. Much worse.
One lung taken out, right after the cancer had spread to the other lung. The suffering was missed by me. Maybe he just acted very well. Or maybe I loved him so much, he never seemed to change.

When he did die, they told me some cocking bull story about how they were in the hospital room that morning, and when they went back in the afternoon, he wasn’t in bed so they went out on the balcony and saw him flying up to heaven.

Saving one from the truth. He never would have done that.

That left me feeing quite strange about the whole heaven thing.

So, when she got sick, I thought I was prepared.
I was not.
Michael called her MeMe.
I guess that came out first, so then everyone started calling her that.
Much like Popsicles being ‘yuccas’ for years. Same reason.
Having kids rename things because they didn’t know.
Go figure.
Strange I think.
To each her/his own.

Mary was amazing.
Filled with life and love.
There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for anyone.
Lynn and Cheryl were two of her kids [twins].
They were my friends.
Hitchhiked around Brockton with Lynn once.
Scared to death.
Dumb idea.
But being cool seemed important that day.

Mary seemed to die quickly.
Though to her it must have seemed to take forever.
The last time I saw her, she was on a bed in the kitchen.

A shell. Really.
Her smile was the same.
That is all I recognized.

My mind was filled with, I wish she would die … and then followed with .. how could you think that. She wasn’t living … she was laying.

Her husband, Bill, was quite the jerk. I had heard that my whole life, and tried to put all of those preconceived notions away … to find out for myself. And, he was a jerk.

She was a saint.
At that time, I knew that.
Today, I know it even more.

Her family was the center of her soul.
She couldn’t leave them until she was sure.
Sure that they would be fine without her.
How could anyone be fine without her?
I wasn’t fine. And she wasn’t my mother.

Tears of relief and sorrow flowed for days, after she passed away – leaving a 40 pound body on that bed in the kitchen. We all had big things to do now. It would take all of us to try to fill the shoes that Mary wore each day.
The growing and changing that we all experienced through the trying – amazing.

She watched with glee. This I know.

"I don't like myself, I'm crazy about myself."
May West

Until tomorrow xo

Monday, February 21, 2011

The past few days have flown by … busy busy.

After my couple days of grumpy, my mood turned back to normal [whatever my normal is].  Good.
A few days of glorious weather and much more wonder.

The division of non-public schools called me to apologize … whew … that was a relief.

When I decided to start writing a blog, I agreed [in my mind’s heart] to just write what I was thinking, feeling … maybe even sharing some insights, that could assist others, that I have gained through my many years on this planet [this time] … especially the past couple.

This week has proven to be a difficult writing week for me. Not because I don’t have things to write … because so many things have occurred, opening up the depths of me … trying to be brave enough to ‘just write it’, as I said I would.

With only my sister have I spoken of the heart happenings of this week. There were a few times that I almost talked about it with my daughters and friends … and [thank you Evie, I almost said but] I just didn’t.
Once I begin, it could be like a runaway train … no – maybe many runaway trains, all going in different directions, different motives, different parcels [baggage].

I have a brother. I have never met him. I know he exists, and my sister has met him. There was always much controversy within my fam as to whether or not he was/wasn’t my brother.  My sister spoke with him this week … we both [my sister and I] spoke with our Aunt Kaye [our mother’s sister] … that was lovely and very emotional. For me, it brought back many ‘movies’ of years gone by … some good …

I will get to the place where the ‘puzzle’ feels like less than 9,000 pieces and the words will flow – this I trust.

In the meantime … hope everyone is enjoying February …

Perfect day for me to share this excerpt from Touched by Many


The stands were filled with people. It was difficult to look and to find the family and friends that I was looking for.

And, all of a sudden there she was.
I hadn’t seen her in probably 10 years.
Didn’t even know if I would recognize her.
Didn’t even know if she would really be there at my high school graduation.

Aunt Kaye. My mother’s sister. She always stood out.
Exuded class, mixed with a confident sweetness.
The lump in my throat was huge. I didn’t want to cry right there on the bleachers.
But, I did.

The graduation went along as graduation ceremonies do.

And there she was. Right in front of me; arms extended.
She was definitely the most beautiful person there.

She told me how proud my mother would be. That didn’t mean too much to me at the time … but, her saying it added some importance. We talked of family, and how God brought us to this day, and all of the blessings that he bestowed on everyone.
She always God Blessed everyone. She was beauty.

She was the epitome of fragile strength. Dainty, delicate and certain. When she spoke, everyone listened. Not because she said they had to … she demanded nothing.
She commanded everything.
Because her heart and wisdom were apparent to all.

That day, I filled with pride thinking of all of the times that people said, “Pattie, you are just like your Aunt Kaye.” If I was going to be like anyone, being like her would be just fine with me.

"Love yourself unconditionally, just as you love those
 closest to you despite their faults."
Les Brown

Until tomorrow xo

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beautiful day ... still a bit grumpy

I woke up kinda grumpy this morning. I don’t do grumpy very often. Yesterday, I received a call [got the voicemail] from the division of non-public schools. The woman sounded so nasty. Telling me I hadn’t sent something in [which, in fact I had] and saying they have tried to contact me for a month, to no avail and I won’t return their calls. Grrrrr.
The truth of it is – I spoke with someone in her office last week to have them email me a form I needed – I returned their call within 10 minutes of receiving the message. I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I called her back and left an equally [not quite so mean] irritating voicemail. These are the people who get to decide whether or not I have an accredited school – Grrrrr.

Venting finished – on to rambling/babbling/something …

Another beautiful Spring day … I could so get used to this weather … manifesting a very early Spring.
We are going to spend some time outside today and go to the SportsPage for lunch …

I taught my friend, Terri, to crochet last Sunday – and today I heard from her. She is loving it [even with the sore hands and callused thumbs that do happen at the beginning] and is doing great. Crocheting is much more difficult to learn than it may seem. I’m so thrilled that she took to it so quickly …

Sharing an excerpt from Touched by Many

She was funny.
She was very smart.
She was a real mystery to me.

Everyone in my family looked strangely at her, and always told me never to eat anything that she brought into our home. My Dad used to get so irritated when she would say that he bit his fingernails because he was in the war.
Boy, did that make him angry.
My Dad liked to pretend there was never a World War II.
She wouldn’t let him forget it.
Maybe that was the problem.

She promised me that as soon as I knew all of my multiplication tables, she would bring a typewriter to me and teach me how to type …
fast, like she did.

I remember, just like it was yesterday, the day she came over through the snow, carrying an Underwood Typewriter.
We had to put it out on the front porch.
Because my family was very odd when it came to my Aunt Florence. Dad said she smelled like moth balls, and Nana said she ruined Uncle Let’s life.

They never like her. I liked her. I loved her.
She was magical to me.

She floated here and there, almost always wearing red. She was busy and always smiling. Her car was filled with shoes and purses … just in case she needed to refresh her outfits.

Her house was a mess.

It was a beautiful, old, white, two-story house, surrounded by lovely huge trees. Between our house and her house was an empty lot. We played there all of the time. I was constantly distracted by my curiosity. I always wanted to go inside, but, I was forbidden to do so.

A few times I peeked through her porch windows, and one time I walked right in the back door to see … ugh … dishes, pans, clothes, bags filled with whatever … newspapers everywhere.

When she moved out of the house, early in my teenage years, the hardwood floors in the house were in perfect condition. I don’t believe anyone had ever walked on them. For more than 30 years they were covered with debris.

Her husband, Lester, was my grandmother’s brother He was a bit off his rocker [as my Dad would say].

I don’t remember him before he had his accident. At 30 years old, right after he married Aunt Florence, he fell from the peak of a house he was building … right down to the concrete basement. Hit his head pretty hard, and never was the same again.

For some reason, my family blamed Aunt Florence for Uncle Let’s life changing from one of a strong man to that of a confused boy. I never could see that.
To me, she was a wonder. Magical.

Typing away with the patience of a saint, hands gloved … it was cold on that porch. She kept her word. She taught me home keys and all of the tricks to getting the paper and carbon paper in the typewriter straight. After a few lessons, she said I was ready to do it by myself. And she gave me the typewriter.

Keeping one’s word. She never told me to keep my word … she showed me … by keeping hers. Living life as you want to … no matter what all the ‘other people’ say.

She still sparks bright red wonder inside of my soul.

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves. Amelia Earhart

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

lovely day

I am very excited and grateful for the beautiful, sunny weather. 58 degrees today. This week the lovely weather is suppose to continue – as each day the temps rise just a bit – bringing us to 72 degrees on Friday.  Beautiful Beautiful.
Love being outside.
This week I will clean up the yard/garden, get all of the pots ready for planting. It may be a silly notion – I am going to attempt growing many flowers for the wedding. Must get the seeds planted – and keep pots in a protected space … this week may be warm, though winter is far from over.

Today’s simple recipe – the best lunch … and still have more for later

Cleaned out the fridg this morning …a job I so do not like doing … love it when something happens to inspire me.

Found lots of veggies from the past few days.
Decided to make something up to use them and hopefully create a new fun thing to eat.

Oil and garlic sautéed in a large pot
Threw carrots, lima beans, corn, cauliflower and broccoli
Stir – sauté for a bit
Then add [any] package of Knorr Sides [rice isle in grocery store] – this time I had Knorr fried rice – other times I have used other packaged Knorr [rice] sides.
Add 2 cups of water – bring to boil [stirring] –
Might want to add a touch more of salt, pepper and a touch of turmeric 
Then simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes –
Yum and so so easy …

We watched an amazing documentary this afternoon – Coral Reef Adventure.
I so love it when we walk away from a documentary experience with so much more than we originally thought. Worth the watch.

At the end of the piece, were the words below:

What we must do is encourage
A sea change in attitude
One that acknowledges
We are a part of the living world
Not apart from it
                Dr Sylvia Earle

I have been teaching much through the watching of documentaries during the past couple of months. It has been a wonderful experience – so much learning happening here. I love it.

"To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness."
Robert Morely
Until tomorrow xo

Monday, February 14, 2011

A beautiful day in the woods. We had Spring all day. Lovely.
Happy Valentine’s Day … I love this day!

My friend, Donna, called me today – said “happy independence day” – so love that she remembers.  She always remembers the important ‘stuff’. Grateful I am. Having my birthday on the 4th of July has always meant ‘independence’ – and, starting my life over in 1991 on February 14th was really my true independence day.

I woke this morning thinking about that. What have I done? What haven’t I? I think  [I know] I have done much. Raised amazing humans [children], taught and mentored many humans and much more … but … the ‘but’ seems to always be in the way. Letting that go.

Tonight I am forgetting about the ‘but’ and going to Taylor’s and Caleb’s to celebrate Debra’s Birthday and Valentine’s Day …

Must share:
I watched a movie yesterday – DUCK – I think everyone should see it – maybe it should be ‘required viewing’.

Hope everyone had a beautiful February 14th

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
Only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

until tomorrow xxoo

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lovely Friday

Yesterday afternoon I had full intention to blog – but I moved myself out of my creating stupor [which was glorious fun] of a week or so, to see that my home was a wreck. So, major cleaning, sorting, putting away had to be my priority. Its looking/feeling better around here – still much to do this evening.

Wedding decorations [which I can’t share until after the ‘dreamy wedding day’] and Heart creations seemed to be the theme for the past couple of weeks. Natural, I guess, with Valentine’s Day close by.
If anyone needs a cute gift – I only have 3 necklaces and 2 pairs of the earrings left – a mere $14 for a one-of-a-kind gift. Let me know and I’ll get it right out to you. 

 Friday afternoons at school … time for wii bowling and tennis. Love this part of the week.

I’ve been giving much thought to my next path on this life’s journey. Thought I about had it figured out … then … nope. I am having a more difficult time than anticipated ridding myself of my stuff. Yes, I am doing it – slowly but surely. And I will continue. Though it can’t be the ‘rush job’ I was planning on. Oh well – it’s all good. Things happen as they should. Sounding more like myself lately … grateful for that.

My Katy [former student – now 3rd daughter and friend], always told me that I had to quit rushing around like a bull in a china shop. I always thought it was just because she was concerned my old bones may break [ha] – but I think, now, it was more that I should practice what I preach. Slow down – what’s the rush. Breathe – be in the moment. Revel in what is NOW.
I think, most likely, that I felt I missed so much time during my year from hell. Though I do know that we don’t miss anything … it was just a slow, introspective year. So, rush through this next phase would be silly. People have accused me of being many things – not usually silly.

Today I will slow down and do what I feel like doing.
Revel in each moment.
I keep saying it … I am doing better.  I am going to write this on my bathroom mirror right now … gentle, happy reminders are good.

I hope it helps whoever reads this … just because we make a decision to do it – it doesn’t become habit … practice – practice – practice.

I have a few quotes today … couldn’t decide which to share, so here they all are.

Have compassion for your parents' childhoods. Know that you chose them because they were perfect for what you had to learn. Forgive them and set them free. - Louise L. Hay

There arrives a moment in our lives when we need to grow... It happens the day we realize that the safety we sought to remain as a bud is more agonizing than the gamble it takes to become the flower.

Education is more than the filling of a pail, it is also the lighting of a fire.                           
William Butler Yeats

Until tomorrow xo