’31 Days’ Finale: A Far-Away Kiss and Spreading Good…

It’s five days late but we are putting the final touch on our ’31 Days’ Project.

We missed days 25 and 30 (Day 7 too, but we’re working on something for that one.  It’s just taken a bit.

Day 25:  Serve someone in the community.

I was tickled to see Miss Bee got in on the fun…

This particularly task became dear to me.  Several weeks ago, the local news reported on a man who was killed in a terrible accident.  We all know the  people in these stories have families but we often don’t have a connection to those most directly affected.  This time, I did.   A sweet friend of mine knows the family he left behind.

During a recent conversation we decided to create a ‘Bad Day Box’ full of gifts wrapped for each person in the family.  Whenever any of them are feeling particularly lonely for their daddy/husband, they can open one of these gifts.  It won’t come even close to soothing their heartache, but maybe it will help them feel a little less alone.

My friend and I recruited more help then went on our ways.  Tonight I delivered my offering and was completely overwhelmed.  I don’t even know the others involved but together we pooled our resources and came up with something extraordinary.   You know what they say about strength in numbers…


Day 30:  Take a picture of a kiss.

And lastly, this may be my favorite.  To top off the month, a picture perfect kiss, compliments of Mr. & Mrs. Bee…it makes my heart all aflutter!  (Bonus for anyone who can identify where they are!)

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While it’s certainly not as exciting, our kiss at my favorite burger joint over the best fries in town still made me week in the knees…


So there you have it!  The final touches to our challenge.  Thanks for following along.  And Miss Bee, thanks for making another summer special for our family!


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’31 Days’: A Little Late But Almost There…

It’s August 1 already!  July (and June, for that matter) went by so quickly.  We’re still finishing up our ’31 Days’ project even if we’re a few days behind…

Day 29:  Visit a local farmer’s market, fill up your basket and feast upon the abundance.  

I’ve had the pleasure of sampling peaches from all over this great big, beautiful country.  Georgia is very proud of theirs.  And they’re good.  I’d even call them great.  BUT our favorite peaches, hands down, are from a little farm tucked in the heart of our old town, Homebase.  If any of you locals are interested, send me a message so I can send you their way.  You won’t be disappointed.

Today I was passing through and had the pleasure of stopping by for a chat.  They are some of my favorite people.  Here’s a picture from one of last year’s projects.  Aren’t they lovely?!IMG_7415And here’s today’s offering:

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My only regret is that we don’t get to share them with Miss Bee!

Day 31:  Write a letter to yourself to open 1 year from today.

This was a fun project and every one participated.  The reason I did this one is because this past year has been hard but it’s really okay.  We’ve overcome a lot and have come out on top.  This coming year will bring it’s own set of challenges and triumphs too and it will be fun to look back on where we are right now and realize we’ve kept on moving ahead.  Here’s to the climb.

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’31 Days’: Last Day to Catch Up…

July has been awesome!  We’ve had so much fun checking stuff off for our ’31 Days’ project.  This time though, we’ve fallen behind.  BUT I love that we’ve gotten help from someone ticking things off the list in another corner of the world…

Day 26:  Patronize a local ‘Mom and Pop Shop’.

This picture is from a ‘mom and pop’ in Finland!  (Compliments of our favorite French Family.   *As a reminder of how the affectionate terms we use in America but never think about, ‘Mom and Pop Shop’ is funny and can be lost in translation!)

Apparently, all the locals there know about it but it’s new to me!

(Thanks, Miss Bee!)


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’31 Days’: The Simple Things…

Day 23:  Take a nap outside.

In the craziness of the past month, I haven’t had the time to stop and take a nap…that is, when it’s not as hot as the surface of the sun outside.  I’d much rather take a nap inside, with air conditioning, under a fan.  BUT it looks like Germany has much nap-friendlier weather.  Miss Bee took the plunge…

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Day 27:  Light tealights and candles, go barefoot and spend the evening playing to Van Morrison and Ray LaMontagne.

The last couple of days have been ideal for this goal.  It just so happens that I got to play with dear friends visiting from all over the country!

My high school friend from Kentucky was passing through so I jumped at the chance to see her for a second AND got to meet up with one of my favorite locals.  It may have been a three minute drive-by but I love these girls so I will take any chance I get!

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Then, I kicked off my shoes, turned on Van Morrison and made a yummy Southwestern dinner to enjoy with one of my very favorite Oregonians (I really need to come up with a magical name for that place).


Her sparkly blue eyes are just as bright as I remember!

And just in case you’re interested in Van Morisson’s best songs, try this one and this one.

And did you know (?!?!) that ‘Wild Nights’ wasn’t actually first performed by John Mellencamp?  Good grief, I feel like such a newb.

But seriously, amazing music, great friends?!  Yeah, my momma told me, there’d be days like this.

We got to top it off by falling to sleep during a thunderstorm and the sounds of rain.




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’31 Days’: Days 22 & 24…Our List Has Gone International!

Day 22:  Watch the movie ‘Midnight in Paris.

Miss Bee sent this picture to me and it made my whole day!  She’s riding through Germany, watching Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’!  And she loved it!

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Day 24:  In honor of Pioneer Day in Utah, discover something new about an ancestor.

July 24th is kinda a big deal in Utah.  It’s the day the state commemorates its founding by the Mormon Pioneers.

I’m grateful to have Mormon Pioneer ancestry.  I’ve gained so much from hearing the stories of faith and sacrifice my forefathers made in forging through the Wild West.

I’m also immensely grateful for my Portuguese ancestry.  It’s where my nose and my curly hair come from.

Knowing where I came from has been a blessing in my life.  Somehow, it’s allowed me to walk a little taller…although I’m still trying to figure out why that is.

Pioneer Day always serves as a reminder to me of all my ancestors, from Utah to the Island of Pico.  I love them all and I’m proud to be their child.

This year, I had the honor to host my new friend/cousin Mary.  I’ve talked about her before.  Connecting with her has meant knowing a little more about a family line that has been so foreign to me.  And these new details have changed so much for my family, particularly, my daughters.

Mary and I spent a couple of days talking, cooking together and sharing memories and information.  I may have gotten a lot of my physical features from the Portuguese passed down by my mother but I highly suspect this line I share with Mary, the line I’ve spent a lifetime devaluing, is where I got my pluckiness.

Watching this spry, 90 year old woman, independently adventure through the Midwest makes me realize what I want to be when I grow up.  This was only reinforced when I walked her out to her car on her way south.  There was an obviously new half marathon sticker on her back window.  It was from last year…right before she turned 89 years old.  She won her bracket.

Maybe age is just a number…

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’31 Day’: Better Late Than Never?

It’s been a busy few days.


Day 20:  Stay outside long enough to enjoy the candle light and singing bugs.

We had a joint birthday party, complete with S’mores, a backyard movie, candle light AND singing bugs…

Day 21:  Make a fancy breakfast and say ‘See you later…’ not ‘Goodbye’.

The time has come for Miss Bee to return to France.  Goodbyes really suck sometimes.

Onward and upward we go!  We’re still checking off our list.

The world is your oyster, Miss Bee!  See you again soon!



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’31 Day’: Making Memories…

Day 19:   Make a memory.  Find a quirky keepsake of it.

Miss Bee went on a most excellent adventure yesterday.  She made new friends and got a little taste of boating life in Utah.  As for a keepsake, I forgot to have her chaperones grab a barnacle…does Utah even have those?

Look at the way her eyes just sparkle when she’s happy!  Mr. & Mrs. Bee, what an extraordinary daughter you have!

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