What “Living Winsomely is all about.”

Welcome to my blog site Living winsomely. I am a  believer that our homes are our castles and our hearts snuggery. They are our safe harbor, warm cozy place of refreshment and a berth where beauty can surround us everyday, soothing our souls and spirits.ritz107 As we create the dreams  within our hearts and bring them to life in each room, they add bliss and comfort to our lives and a place of repose and tranquility to every guest who enters our doors.  There is such a wealth of ways to bring forth an abundance of beauty within our ‘safe havens.’ My desire is to share these ideas with you as we begin this journey together.

Whether it be your Antebellum dining room, woodsy, warm, window filled office or captivating bedrooms that evoke an invitation for romance, refreshing and pampering to the soul, there are a bounty of ways to begin your peregrination to make your home the most inviting, alluring and resplendent home ever. B-4

My goal in creating this website is to share with you, each reader, some of my imaginative adaptions of esteemed traditions in which I hope will inspire you as you create your own lovely and stunning home.

Within my blog site ‘Living winsomely,’ I will explore with you an abundance of ideas of how to create the home of your dreams. All the way from fragrances, lighting, floral arrangements, furniture formations, color schemes, fabrics, room themes, music, cuisine, and delightful party ideas, making your guests (as well as yourself,) feel comfy and pampered. I will also implement some great ideas on how to quickly change your home around with items you already possess if you are desiring a ‘new look.’

Along with the myriad of decor ideas, I want to share how to create a more beautiful life. Your home is the sanctuary where all of your old and new ‘feel good’ memories and quiet joys tarry. I love to bring out that joy everyday and live within it, creating a more beautiful life for myself and our family. Whether learning to cook new cuisine  with your significant other, (we adore the food channel,) having breakfast in bed as Z-55you unabashedly take an hour or two to read the newspaper or watch your favorite classic movie, you can create your own pampered hours. How about making your home a weekend vacation retreat with using your best china, crystal and linens,  lighting a sundry of candles, not answering the phone or door bell and hiding away in your little cache, enjoying one another, (or just using the time for yourself if you live alone,) to bring forth refreshing and rejuvenation. A few other ideas… create a chimera-vision box with articles and photos of your dream homes, places you would love to travel, go to a High Tea at and the renowned eateries you would like to visit.  Create an eloquent setting under an alfresco canopy beneath your heroic trees, or amidst your flourishing garden…bringing forth a ‘sylvan charm’ as you read your novel and sip on your tea, robust coffee, lemonade or glass of Merlot.  Choosing to live a more beautiful life with my family has changed our lives in many positive ways.

anne geddes flower abiesbaby in the garden

Living a winsome life is like going back to our childhood days… where being adventurous, creative and full of life was a normal day! Now, as an adult, it takes a little more work to receive all the childhood gifts that once beheld us.The giggles and endless curiosity and learning of our years as a baby, the bounce, vigor and creativity of our ‘toddler season’ and the urge to throw a snowball, play games all night long and go on adventuresome journeys as we did in our youth.  🙂 It is all there, still available to us in a plenitude of forms as we create our days and surroundings.

I believe that cultivating beauty all around us, enjoying the pampering of all five senses and living life to the fullest each day, (as children do naturally) brings a richness and joy to our hearts and souls!

I hope this site inspires you to bring forth your dreams, whether through decor or the things you choose to engender more beauty and joy into your life.

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer and the morning more fragrant than ever again.”~ Elizabeth Lawrence.

“It’s never to late to have a happy childhood.” Tom Robbinslittle_girl_briard3

Happy Creating!

CREDITS FOR PHOTOS. In placing your computer mouse over any of the photos or graphics, it will display to you where it originated from.

***  Dear readers, I want to encourage you to leave as many comments or questions on my blog site that you would like. There is no E-mail address associated with anyone’s name or comments for other bloggers to see unless you would like to share it. (Don’t forget, I also have a “contact page” if you need to leave a personal message as well as ask questions.)   I am enjoying all of you who visit my site from other countries! The Internet is amazing. PLEASE know that I can’t publish on my site comments or refer sites that are not written in English. I hope that you are able to put it in a translated form as you do your replies.  Lastly, I am implementing “credit”  to where it belongs RE; the photographs I use on my blog…Very few of them are mine and I feel blessed to have such a great resource with Google Images as well as my favorite magazines clippings , (some of them I have had for over 15 years.)  Thank you all for coming to my site and have a wonderful day! Susan


“Goodbyes are not FOREVER!”

Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I’ll miss you
Until we meet again!
~Author Unknown

Little girl sitting on suitcase looking out onto Golden Gate Bridge

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard! ! ~ Carol Sobieski ~ Thomas Meehan

Dear Living Winsomely readers, I wanted to share with you that I am saying goodbye to this site, but with the words, that ring true in my heart, “Good bye does not mean forever.”

For those of you who have read “And the body just keeps on giving,” vignette , then you know that during my time of healing both physically and spiritually, I began this website with such an excitement and joy. I can not tell you how much having this blog site has been a blessing for me .


It started with a few, and has grown in leaps and bounds! 🙂

To look back in February of 2013 (when we started the site)  we began with only a handful of readers. This year Living Winsomely has grown “in leaps and bounds.” 🙂 Because my husband owns the server that my site is on, he keeps me informed of the amount of readers coming to Living Winsomely. We both have been in awe at the growth. I am amazed at all of the different countries that are visiting the site, as well as how many readers here in America we have. I never dreamed Living Winsomely would have so many wonderful visitors.  I can’t tell you  how happy that makes me and how honored I feel.  It blesses me so much that you, the readers have enjoyed this  site and the writings.  Your comments to me over this last year and a half have blown me away.  (In a good way.) 🙂 Thank you from the bottom of  my  heart for supporting me, encouraging me and for all your kind words of affirmation, even for those of you who told me I had spelling errors 🙂 (I know…I don’t have an editor and  have tried to catch all my mistakes, but know they are out there.) 🙂

I have a new writing commitment that will be taking up all my time, thus I have to stop writing on Living Winsomely for now.  Its at this time, I wish I would have written much shorter blogs that didn’t take a week to complete, (so I could just write one up quickly whenever I had an hour to spare as I am staring this new writing commitment .)  🙂   But as we all know, I write kind of long blogs. (OK, really long blogs.)  🙂  I still have a few I have started and hope to come back when this commitment is over and put those up, with new ones… I will  miss writing on this site immensely, as well as you, the readers.



I  will be leaving the site up for all of you, the old and new readers as well as the readers who will come in the future. For those of you who have written in that you read the site daily and are on the lookout each week for a new blog, I am sorry…Maybe you can go back and read one of the old ones as you may have already forgotten it by now. 🙂 (Just joshing.) I did just post my last blog for now, “The  Joyous wedding of the old and the new.” I tried something new with adding a very classy (as well as classic,)  music video. (I hope you enjoy it.) 🙂   I know there are a tremendous amount of sites  on the internet that are exemplary.

My hope and heart when I began Livingwinsomely (and still is,) that you, the readers would be blessed with ideas of how to bring more beauty, fulfillment, joy, felicity and winsomeness  to your everyday lives.

I will have to turn the sites comment/ reply ability off as I am currently receiving about 250-300 spam comments a day and it takes a lot of my time to go through them all , especially when my time now will be fully dedicated to my new writing commitment. My computer program will hold all the replies that have already been made, they just won’t be showing up on the site, when I turn that service off.


“Home”for the holidays!

I wish you all the very best and again, thank you so very much for reading, coming to the site, sending me such wonderful comments and for being such a great audience to write to… The site will stay up so enjoy!

I may occasionally sneak over to Living Winsomely and change the blogs in the main section according to the season.   Especially At Christmas time. 🙂 One of my all time favorite vignettes of Living Winsomely is “Home” for the holidays! (I will take that tour myself once again, this Christmas.)  🙂



If you have any questions, please know my “CONTACT US” icon at the bottom of the ‘Living  Winsomely’ Home page, is still open. (That comes directly to my e-mail address.)

May God bless you all and thank you so very much.

Sincerely, Susan, Kit and Grantham too.


“A heart full of thanks TO YOU! “



 PHOTOGRAPHS CREDITS: In placing your computer mouse over any of the graphics or photos, it will display where the picture originated from.

BURGERS with class!

“The Burger!  It’s a complete balanced meal, all in one. You’ve got your protein, vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates and COMFORT! ” ~ Author unknown


Why is it, that the foods we connect with felicitous memories always taste so much better?  It’s not surprising to learn that when asked the question; “What would you choose for your very last meal on earth,?” many people, hands down, responded with, ” A Cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate milkshake.” Perhaps it goes back to our childhood and the comfort we felt when our parents took us to  McDonald’s for a  Big Mac, Jack in the Box’s for their triple cheeseburger, or to  A&W ‘s with their signature Root beer floats.float   As a child, those were the days, weren’t they?      Who doesn’t love a savory and scrumptious burger from the grill?  (Especially now that so many TV chefs, ( who are cooking healthy now,) have come up with a huge array of diverse ingredients they use in their burgers, creating masterpieces we would never think up.

Summer  has arrived  along with its beckoning call to enjoy the great outdoors. It is the most popular season for grilling… It begins with Memorial day parties where we gather with friends, light up the grill and enjoy the flavors of bratwurst, black Angus steaks, turkey or chicken burgers, the all American hot dog and of course the legendary all beef patties, as they simmer upon the smoking coals, filling our souls with a medley of nostalgic memories. ( There is nothing to compare to the delicious aromas in the air when Kit puts on his “grill master apron” and lights up our BBQ.) 🙂 Even when it is in the 90’s with the humidity being 100 %, you will find Grantham , sitting at the foot of the grill, (30 pounds of his weight being his black fur,)  just waiting for the first bite of the evenings meal…  🙂 IMG_1263 In this blog, I want to share some outstanding burger recipes with you…a recipe of Kits and mine, (yes, low sodium and healthy,) but I have also researched some of the most famous and highly rated burgers from renowned chefs, each with a diverse heritage, bringing spices and flavors that add a little pizzazz to the classic American Burger. I hope you find one you love for your next BBQ, a movie night with your family or for your summer galas.






To eat well, I always disagree with critics who say that all restaurants should be fine dining. You can get a Michelin star if you serve the best hamburger in the world.” ~ David Chang

“I always admired Ray Kroc, the man who invented McDonald’s. Ray had a vision of the most commonplace thing-a hamburger and fries to go-but to him it was just the greatest thing ever, and he was going to make it the greatest thing ever for everybody else, and he did.”   David lee Roth


buns“It requires a certain kind of mind to see the beauty in a hamburger bun.” ~ Ray Kroc, creator of the McDonald’s franchise.

“Everyone has the right to a University degree in America, even if its in Hamburger Technology.” ~  Clives James


“Man who invented the hamburger was smart; man who invented the cheeseburger was a genius.” ~ Mathew McConaughey

The journey of a thousand pounds begins with a single burger.” ~ Chris O’Brien

“Anybody who doesn’t think that the best hamburger place in the world is in his home town is a sissy.” ~ Calvin Trillin

“You can fnorthind your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigation uses stars….We have munched Bridge burgers in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge and Cable burgers hard by the Golden Gate, Dixie burgers in the sunny South and Yankee Doodle burgers in the North….We had a Capitol Burger — guess where. And so help us, in the inner courtyard of the Pentagon, a Penta burger.”
Charles Kuralt, journalist.

A Taste of Italy!


Do you ever question how the people of Italy stay so healthy and fit, eating the abundance of delicious, decadent foods that they do?    Well, I have heard it said, they eat smaller portions,  always use fresh ingredients and do a lot of walking! 🙂  They certainly do know how to live! The Italian people love to celebrate everything with food. (I love that about this country.) 🙂  If they run out of an occasion to emblazon, they will gather around their dining table or their favorite Italian eatery and just  ‘revel in jubilation’ for  ‘the great food and wine itself.’   🙂 They adore cappuccino, espresso coffee, pasta, fresh seafood, vino, freshly made conolies and walking down to the piazza, where they meet with their friends and family, to catch up on all the latest news and happenings.They proudly own a passion for cooking and are renowned for their superb, spicy sauces and variety of cheeses they use in all of their pasta dishes. I am sure the burger with an Italian flare will not disappoint!


Italy’s Giada De Laurentiis’ Caprese Burgers



 Ingredients for Burgers:
2 1/2 pounds ground sirloin beef
1 cup fresh or store-bought pesto
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 7 to 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into eight 1/4-inch-thick slices, patted dry with paper towels
Pesto Mayonnaise
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh or store-bought pesto

Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Eight 3-inch-square pieces of tomato or plain focaccia bread, halved, or 8 hamburger buns, halved
4 medium tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (16 slices)Directions

Cook’s Note: Freeze the mozzarella for 20 minutes to make slicing easier.For the burgers: Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Combine the beef, pesto, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Form the mixture into eight 4-inch-diameter patties, each about 3/4-inch thick. Grill for 5 minutes. Turn the burgers over and place a slice of mozzarella on top. Cook for about 5 minutes longer until the burgers are cooked through and the cheese is slightly melted. Allow the burgers to rest for 5 minutes.

For the pesto mayonnaise: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and pesto until smooth.To assemble the burgers: Drizzle the cut side of the bread with olive oil and grill until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the pesto mayonnaise over the bottom halves of the grilled bread. Place the burgers on top and add 2 tomato slices. Add the top halves of the bread and serve.


Italian Mini Pub Burgers

mexico 13

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 1/4 pounds ground chuck
3/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
9 small ciabatta rolls, sliced in 1/2
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
9 slices (4 1/2 ounces) Taleggio cheese
9 large basil leaves


Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

Place the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the ground chuck, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Pulse until ingredients are combined. Form the mixture into 9 patties. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes each side.

Brush the cut side of each roll with the olive oil and toast on the grill for 1 to 2 minutes until slightly golden.

To serve, place 1 mini burger on the bottom half of each of the rolls. Place 1 slice of Taleggio cheese on top of the burgers. Place the basil leaf on top of the cheese and cover with the top half. Serve.

The Beloved SOUTH!


 What can compare to a genuine , home cooked Southern meal? (I still have not found an answer to that yet.) 🙂 Cheese grits with grilled shrimp, fried okra, butter beans, hush puppies, boiled peanuts, Pecan pie, oyster stew, biscuits and gravy, collard greens, red velvet cake, buttermilk pie and my favorite, fresh crab from the Inlet water ways. There is an undeniable charm and haunting beauty that captivates each visitor , (as well as  resident) in the Carolinas… One of my favorite  Southern places is the prestigious and galvanic city of Charleston,  with it’s cobble stones streets, chiseled wrought iron fences, summoning Antebellum architecture and grandiose live oaks with their long beard swaying in the soft breezes. Each one, if you listen carefully, telling a magical story, hearkening back to all the many years they have graced this historical, entrancing land.  Every once in awhile, I’ll take out one of  my southern cookbooks, (inherited from my mom,)  and make Kit a special meal.   I know to get an extra stick of butter out, (yes, we will splurge for the occasion,)  as an authentic Southern meal simply can not be prepared ANY OTHER WAY! 🙂

For the vegetarian lover, Southern Cook , Paula Deens’   Portobello Mushroom burger!
4 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared pesto
2 teaspoons coarse-grained mustard
4 hamburger buns, split, buttered, and toasted
1 cup baby arugula
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.Brush mushrooms caps with olive oil; sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Grill mushrooms, smooth side down, covered with grill lid, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender.In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, pesto, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread mixture evenly over cut sides of buns. Divide arugula evenly over bottom halves of buns. Top each evenly with peppers. Place mushrooms caps over peppers. Cover with tops of buns.

The South’s, Bobby Flay’s, Stuffed Cheeseburgers.
       (Just imagine on a freshly baked bun with all the trimmings! ) 🙂
                                           ***** 5 star’s for the cheese in every bite.



1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1 pound ground chuck
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large hamburger buns, split
Ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard, for serving
Lettuce, sliced tomato, onion, and avocado, for serving


Combine the jack cheese and chopped bacon in a bowl. Put the beef in another bowl and season with salt and pepper; use a rubber spatula to mix it in. Flatten 1/4 of the meat mixture in the palm of your hand. Squeeze together about a tablespoon of the cheese and bacon mixture to make a little nugget; put it in the center of the ground beef. Bring up the sides of the patty over the filling, making sure the cheese is completely covered by the meat. Flatten slightly for a nice patty shape. Set them side by side on a platter in the refrigerator while preparing the grill.

Place a large grill pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat or preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue and get it very hot. Brush the grates with oil to keep the burgers from sticking. Grill the burgers for 8 minutes per side for medium. (The USDA recommends cooking ground beef until it is no longer pink and the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.) Remove the burgers to a clean side plate while you toast the buns.

Rub the grill rack with more oil and place the buns cut-side down, toast for 1 minute. Serve the burgers with your favorite condiment and any garnish you like, such as lettuce, sliced tomato, onion, and/or avocado.



A beautiful land filled with a wealth of history, gorgeous sunsets,  heart stopping beaches,  resplendent waterfalls and taverns,  joyful and inspirational dancing, romantic music and some of the very best food in the world! Who doesn’t love  freshly cooked fish tacos, hot tortillas,  homemade Pico de Gallo, guacamole and bunuelos? Mexico is known for their fiery hot spices, that we all dare ourselves, (every now now then,) to indulge in.  🙂 They certainly know how to add a little “spice to life.” 🙂



The Blond Cook’s Spicy Mexican Cheeseburger.


  • 2 pounds ground beef (15-20% fat)
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
  • (1) 1.1 ounce package guacamole seasoning
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 slices cheddar jack cheese
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced tomato
  • Optional condiments: mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, etc.


  1. In a large bowl, combine hamburger meat, salsa and guacamole seasoning. Dividing into equal portions, form 4 patties.
  2. Place on a preheated grill. Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until desired amount of doneness is reached. During the last minute of grilling, place cheese slices on top of patties to melt.
  3. Place on toasted buns and top with avocado, lettuce, tomato and desired condiments
 “Cooking Light’s,” Savory, Cheese Burger, Mexican Style
mexico 14
  • 1 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 pound ground round,
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 (3/4-ounce) slices reduced-fat Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 4 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns
  • 4 iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
  • Grilled onions (optional)


  1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl; stir well. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping into 1/2-inch-thick patties.
  2. Prepare grill. Place patties on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes on each side or until done. Place 1 cheese slice on top of each patty; cover and grill an additional minute or until cheese melts.
  3. Spread 1 tablespoon of sour cream over top half of each bun, and set aside. Place patties on bottom halves of buns; top each with lettuce, tomato, onions (if desired), and top half of bun.



There is nothing quite like the genuine flavor of Tex Mex cooking. Its been described as a flavor that is ‘smoked kissed,’ with its star ingredient being the matchless CHILE. While dining in the southwest, their is only one choice to make. Do you prefer GREEN OR RED!  This region of the United States is known for their bouncing and vivacious  way of life, music festivals, breathtaking landscapes, beautiful mountains, intriguing ruins, rich history as well as world famous cuisine.  Their specialties? Mouthwatering sopaipillas, fry bread, posole and a mixture of spices in all their dishes that will keep you guessing what their hidden ingredient is, long after you’ve finished eating. 🙂 Their secret? A mixture of Native American food with an abundance  of choice spices, brought exclusively by the Spanish Settlers,  arriving to the southwest from Europe and Mexico.

Rachael Rays Tex Mex Burgers

mexico 20

Burger Ingredients

  • 12 slices  good-quality smoky bacon, 4 slices finely chopped and 8 left whole
  • 1 1/4 pounds 80% lean ground beef
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons grated onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tablespoons pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil or EVOO, for drizzling

Queso Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
  • 1 14 ounce can  diced tomatoes with green chiles, well drained

Rolls & Toppings

  • 4 soft burger rolls, split
  • Crisp yellow corn chips
  • Chopped onion, tomatoes, cilantro and pickled jalapeno



Arrange the 8 whole bacon slices on a broiler pan and bake at 375 degrees until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Combine the beef, chopped bacon, grated onion, garlic, chipotle puree and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Form into 4 patties (thinner at the center); drizzle with oil. Grill the burgers for 5 minutes on each side for medium.

Queso Sauce:

Make the queso sauce; in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk. Stir in the cheese to melt. Stir in the tomatoes.

Buns & Toppings:

Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and top with the queso sauce, crisscrossed bacon strips, corn chips, remaining toppings and bun tops. Serve extra sauce on the side.

Josh Bousel’s Green Chile Cheeseburger

Green Chile Burger


  • 3 medium poblano chiles
  • 1 half-inch thick slice of a large onion, skewered through the middle horizontally
  • 1 lb ground chuck, at least 20 percent fat
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 slices Pepper Jack cheese
  • 3 hamburger buns


Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly over the charcoal grate. Place the poblanos and onion on the grill and cook until charred on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Place the poblanos in a Ziploc bag and seal, set the onion to the side. When chiles are cool enough to handle, about 5-10 minutes, remove from the back, peel of the charred skin, and seed. Coarsely chop the chiles and onion together and set aside.

Mix the ground beef with the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Form into 3 1/3-lb patties and use your thumb to make a dimple in the middle of each one. Place the patties on the grill and cook until desired doneness. About 2 minutes before the burgers are done, top each with a slice of pepper jack cheese and allow to melt.

Quickly grill hamburger buns, cut side down, until nicely browned, about 30 seconds. To serve, place the burger on the bun and top with the chili and onion mixture.




Nestled upon the Eastern Shore of the United states, Delaware is a state that “has it all.” Tax free shopping, the infamous Rehoboth beach and its historic boardwalk, romantic and quaint Lewes beach, (the first town ever established in the United states,) alluring inlet waterways, enchanting lighthouses and junoesque rivers. This state is known for its renowned seafood,  fresh from the Atlantic ocean. One of our favorite eateries, grills up a “Crab daddy” burger that is heavenly…(they won’t give us the recipe, so we made up our own!)  🙂

Crab Daddy Burger! (our version.) 🙂

Ingredients for burger;
1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg
1/2 cup of oatmeal.
Salt an pepper to taste
Whole wheat hamburger buns
Two large fresh garden tomatoes
Large red onion
Romaine lettuce
Mix ground beef, egg, oatmeal  and spices until well blended. Make four hamburger patties, set aside for grilling. (Grill 5-7 minutes per side, for your desired burger. )
Slice onions, tomatoes and lettuce for burgers
Ingredients for crab topping
1 pkg. (8 oz.) creme cheese, (softened to room temperature.)
1 cup mayo
2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp ground mustard
salt and pepper to taste
dash of Tabasco
1 pound lump crab meat
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
Mix together creme cheese, mayo, 1/4 cup of cheese and seasonings until blended, fold in lump crab meat( stirring gently.) Top with the remainder of cheese and a few more dashes of Old bay. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
While your crab topping is baking, grill burgers on the BBQ or inside grill. For your burgers finale, top them off with a generous amount of crab mixture.  Especially scrumptious with  Cole slaw and steak fries.

Susan and Kits Mushroom and Swiss Cheese Turkey Burger.
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup oatmeal
dash of Tabasco
salt and peeper to taste
1 box sliced, fresh mushrooms, cleaned
1 red onion
1 large , fresh garden tomato
romaine lettuce
Swiss cheese, or Mozzarella
1 TBSP butter
Mayo, Ketchup
Onion Hamburger rolls
Mix together in bowl, turkey, egg and oatmeal until fully blended. Add Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste. Make 4 hamburger patties . Heat up your BBQ and grill for about 5-6  minutes on each side, for medium rare. (Each grill cooks differently, so make sure you test a burger to see if it’s at the right consistency for you, before removing from heat. )
The last minute of your grill time, add your cheese and allow to melt.
While burgers are grilling, or this can be done before hand,
In small saute pan, melt butter at low-medium heat. Add your mushrooms and seasonings, cook until tender.
Slice your onion, tomatoes and lettuce.
Serve with condiments of choice, putting the warmed, sauteed mushrooms on at the last minute. A great side for this flavorful burger is sweet potato fries, hot from your oven.
                                         ***** Delicious and low in sodium!


Lastly, Two great sauces for your summer sandwiches and burgers from Rachel Ray.
Tangy and sweet;
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • Mix the first five ingredients, and season with salt and pepper

 California-style sauce from Rach’s Cobb Club Burger sliders.

  • 1 cup sour cream,
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • handful of chopped herbs your choice – parsley, chives, dill, etc.
  • salt and pepper
PHOTOGRAPHS; In placing your computer mouse upon any of the  graphics or photos, it will display where the picture originated from.

A Summer Time of Blithe.



THE DISTINGUISHED QUOTE CORNER:Adorable Baby Boy in Suit on Cellphone

“Each fairy breathe of summer, as it blows with loveliness, inspires  the blushing rose. ” ~ Author Unknown

” In summer, the SONG SINGS ITSELF.” ~ William Carlos Williams

“The Summer night is like a perfection of thought.” ~ Wallace Stevens

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” ~  Sam Kean

“Oh the summer night, a smile of light and she sits on a sapphire throne.” ~ Barry Cornwall

Summer is one of the few seasons that actually begins calling out to you, before it’s glorious arrival. The very word, gives our hearts a friendly wave and gestures us  to come and enjoy all of our felicitious expectations, that we hope to fulfill within the next three months. It is our ‘last hurrah’ before the chilly breezes of autumn knock upon our doors.


Summer is a time where we eagerly leave the beauty and quietness of  the inside of our desired, charming havens and venture outside to the long awaited, sun filled, warm, breezy days…The garden is nodding, motioning us to; “Come and play, create, daydream and unwind in the fresh air.”  Our picnic baskets are taken out of the attic, dusted off and we are already looking on the internet for the perfect place to go fishing, hiking and enjoy an ambrosial meal beneath the inviting and serene, blue sky. It’s an occasion of celebration for our little ones as they are on vacation for what seems to them, an eternity, but when fall arrives, they will look back and think, “How quickly our summer zoomed by….where did the time go.” 🙂   It is also a season of travel, visiting dear friends and family, summer BBQ’s, an abundance of beach days, excursions to amusement parks, a retreat to a beach cottage, alfresco dining,  boating, crabbing, dressing our homes in a lighter attire, changing our own wardrobes to shorts, flip flops and short sleeved shirts… There is so much to do in only three months…read our favorite novels, clean out our storage sheds and garage’s, give our yards a makeover, go boutique shopping or garage – ‘sailing’ 🙂 for special summer finds and of course, celebrating our nations glorious birthday. Don’t you just love Summer and all of it’s magic? I hope this vignette inspires you to “get out in the fresh air,” be creative, adventuresome, (walk barefoot in the grass….)  but most of all, JUST HAVE FUN!S-400


“Our beautiful Porches.” Summer is the perfect time to bask amongst your magnificent and resplendent flowers, refreshing cool breezes and enjoy chatting the hours away with a dear friend over sweet tea with fresh mint sprigs on your verandah. To feel really pampered, maybe bring out your antique crystal glasses from your great grandmother with some fresh sliced lemon cake, sweet blueberries and in-season melon.


What is more appealing than white wicker furniture embellished with bright, cheerful pillows in the summer. Bringing some fresh cut flowers from your garden to enjoy as you relax upon your porch, along with animating hanging flower or fern baskets above the balustrades, is another cozy and alluring decorative touch for one of your favorite summer retreats.  Our front porches are such a gift, especially in the spring and summer months.


There is nothing like a summer sunset on your front porch!SL-419

Summer whites, bright flowers, warm sunshine and our beloved piazza swings speak clamorously that the wondrous season has arrived.




Summer time is beach time… Everyone loves the ocean, sea shells, the smell of fresh  blue, briny water, creating enchanting sand castles, ‘people watching’, sauntering along the  Boardwalk enjoying fresh salt water taffy or a delightfully cold ice cream cone. There are so many exciting andtk5 blissful things to do at the beach…It feels as if you have escaped to another world as you sit under your umbrella, cold drink and best selling novel in hand, listening to the soothing sounds of the gulls squawking, children laughing and the roaring of the waves. It is a very inexpensive reprieve from the hustle and bustle of life. If you do not live close to a beach, your summer vacation may be to travel to some of our countries most  renowned  seashores such as; Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, Newport Beach, California, The outer Banks in North Carolina or our very own, prestigious and renowned Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, (right next to Ocean City, Maryland.)   A week at the beach in a summer rental is a short novella, all in itself. 🙂 My husband and I feel exceedingly blessed as Delaware is probably the grandest maritime state we have ever lived in. Water surrounds us at every corner… We are a twenty-five minute drive from Rehoboth or Lewes beach and we have Slaughter Beach, (I never have liked that name,) 🙂   only ten minutes away.  (A remote, quiet strand with ample natural beauty surrounding its shore line, as well as home to many of the famous horseshoe crabs.) In the winter and autumn seasons, the lifeless shells cover the beaches, resembling helmet shaped, cobble stoned steps. It truly is a sight to see.  It is said that if you go to this remote beach on a  bright, moonlit night in the summer, you will see the beach full of horseshoe crabs mating and laying their eggs upon the sand. (We will have to do that one night. I’ll take some photos and post them so you can share in this magical phenomena.)  My family, while visiting from California said they had never seen anything quite like it!  A great eatery if you come our way is The Buttery in Lewes, Delaware. A quaint, historic restaurant where you will experience succulent seafood, gourmet cooking and an ambiance that is so alluring, you won’t want to leave.




The Buttery in Lewes Delaware…Our favorite pick for fine dining! S-51

The renowned, famous horseshoe crabs… The first photo is when the cute critters are alive and kicking…swimming the ocean blue and loving life. The second photo is taken during the winter season, many of them are no longer alive and their helmet shaped shells cover the  sandy shores of Slaughter Beach.

Horseshoe Crab Ritual - Slaughter Beach - Delaware




There is nothing quite like going clamming in the magnificent  ocean or hushed and peaceful bay. It is a blast! We took Graham, (our Brobdingnagian Briard dog ) with us in the boat at Bethany beach as we ventured into the clear, blue waters. He loved it!  The wondrous thing about clamming is that you get to enjoy a ‘quick reward for all your fun work,’ 🙂  Clams casino  made on the grill the very night you catch them…The clams accompanied by a fresh salad and hot loaf  of sourdough bead with melted butter is a wonderful, maritime meal.





Camping, whether inside your home, ( a children’s enchanting sleep over,) on the beach, in your backyard, or up in the mountains is another Summer favorite. I love camping out as it brings forth a great measure of  creativity in everyone…no TV’s, (OK, maybe a laptop with a DVD,) no phones, (OK, maybe a cell phone or two,) 🙂  but, their is no electric coffee pot, curling irons, hot water, or many of our presumed ‘necessities of life’…Instead we have conversations, an abundance of stories told around the camp fires, flash lights, fresh fish cooked over the open flames and a brilliant show of the night sky with its cream cheese moon and glistening stars every evening before we fall sleep.  We go hiking, (pray there are no bears,) enjoy fishing, crabbing, shrimping or reading our long abandoned novels that we finally have some  free time to read. 🙂 Our kids? They have all the magic and supplies they need…their best friends, great snack foods, flashlights, books and their abundant imaginations! :

Aren’t these homemade, enchanting and magical tents creative?







For the times where we are all vacationed-out or to sun burnt to go back to the beach, it is a great time to do a “summer-makeover ‘ within your home.  I adore using an abundance of whites during this warm season…somehow, it makes me feel cooler! 🙂  I enjoy creating and decorating with all shades of whites, soft pastels, fresh flowers and cheery, light, throw pillows. White slip covers for your couch or chairs are quite  refreshing and very striking. Invite a few friends over for a sure-to-please, light meal. Maybe  serve a potpourri of salads, fresh shrimp or French bread baguette with homemade crab dip, and an angel food cake with whipped cream and decadent, sweet strawberries for a tempting dessert. (Set your dining room table with a variety of textures and shades of whites and don’t forget the fresh flowers.)    Lighten up your bedroom for the season with a mixture of soft , creamy yellows, amidst soothing and serene blues and whites. (Duvets are a great and inexpensive way to makeover your bedrooms.)






Alfresco dining is a lovely gesture for the summer season…whether formal with fancy desserts and gourmet cuisine, ( I love these delicate, creative cakes adorned with fresh roses,) or a lay back BBQ with fresh fruits, ice cream and corn grilled to perfection with hot, melted butter…  Great food, wondrous company, laughter, fulfilling conversations and a convivial ambiance, makes for a wonderful  summer get-together with friends or family.








Summer would not be summer without a trip or two to one of the countries renowned Amusement parks… Disneyland, Disney world, Sea World, San Diego Zoo, Knots-berry Farm, Six Flags or Marine land…Children, (even the youngster inside of us,) 🙂  love the awe and wonder of animated characters, exhilarating rides, enchanting and mysterious sea life, and exploring old mines after a thrilling ride upon one of the scariest roller coasters in the world. (Somebody in the crowd always has to “dare you” to ride…  🙂   I accepted the dare years ago and thought I was going to be departing for heaven a little early…) never again! (Somehow, the kids have no fear whatsoever…oh to be a child again!) 🙂







(I want one of these!) 🙂 He is so cute and cuddly!




Escaping to your Beach cottage for a few weeks is like a little taste of heaven… Pack up your car with some groceries, the kids, your dog, a variety of your favorite DVD’s, books and extra candles. Prepare  to have a wondrous time away from your normal, everyday life. (Yes, our dogs want to be a part of every family excursion as well!) 🙂


This  special time away will be a bonding as well as  intimate time with you and your family. Enjoy the breathtaking sunsets on the shore line, collecting seashells for a craft project with your kids, wading in the ocean waves, (watching your little ones run in as the water recedes …and then run out as the frisky waves chase after them.) 🙂 With all the superb eateries, there is a myriad of fresh seafood to choose from, (the kids can always get a cheeseburger or chicken tenders,) 🙂 and then there is always an afternoon spent at the neighborhood fun zone at the beach. (You always see the most interesting people there as you enjoy your popcorn, cotton candy and salted peanuts.) Relish each and every bonfire you share on the beach, sharing a potpourri of stories with your kids. (Childhood only happens once…) Take a few of their favorite movies for a movie night, some table games, a few extra candles and allow it to be a time of “treating yourselves and your family.” with all the things you love to do, eat and don’t allow any guilt to get in the way. 🙂  It’s your families special time… When the kids are asleep, maybe take a  romantic stroll along the beach with your husband… enjoy the quiet and soothing  sounds of the night birds singing and the soft, ocean waves crashing against the sandy shore, the fragrance of the fresh sea air and allow yourself to get back to that peaceful place you may have lost in the busyness of everyday life, back home. I adore trips to a beach cottage…there’ s nothing like it’s charm and magic.








Summer is also the season that hosts one of America’s biggest days of celebration! Independence day…other wise known as the 4th of July. This is a time for BBQ’s on the beach, watching resplendent displays of fireworks, (whether on the shore or in the big city,)  and sharing great and wondrous new memories with your friends and family. It’s America’s birthday and if ever there was a time for jubilee and gladsome hearts, it’s this beloved holiday! Summer would not be summer without it!





I love the garden quote by Abram L. Urban; “In my garden, there is a large place of sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers and the dreams are as beautiful.”   Gardens are a “good thing” (like Martha Stewart always says…) for a multitude of reasons. They teach us, provide a place to nurture and be nurtured, create beauty and restore our souls. My favorite garden flower is the rose…but there has yet to be a flower that I do not enjoy…Vegetable gardens are also a lot of fun, (as long as you don’t have ground hogs and deer near by. 🙂 (They enjoyed our  romaine lettuce and eggplant way to much! ) Spring and Summer are the season that our gardens ‘explode’ with a bounty of color and bring so much majestic beauty to our lives, (outside of the home as well as within.)  A summer garden has been the muse for many a poet and novelist!  It is a wondrous gift of this beloved season.






Lastly, as I wind up this vignette on having a blithesome summer, two of my ‘all time  favorite’ summer joys is beholding the illuminating and captivating fireflies, as well asS-2  watching and partaking in an awesomely majestic thunder storm. The dancing, twinkling  fireflies flutter from one tree to another … for some reason, they make me smile.  I love it when they create a frame around our window panes, bringing forth the nostalgic feelings of being on my favorite ride at Disneyland. ( My beloved  Pirates of the Caribbean…)  They are a beautiful creation and bring  forth an exceeding amount of mystery and enchantment as well as excitement to our souls.  There is nothing like catching lightning bugs in a jar as a child…With tiny holes placed on the top, they preform their magic just  for you and they put on a  phenomenal one man show.  🙂

There is an abundance of mystique and wonder in a summer rain storm accompanied by the rumbling thunder as the heavens light up with each bolt of lightning. I feel like a child again, ready for a suspense, (not to scary) movie, a big bowl of buttered popcorn with all my siblings huddled together with me, biting our nails as we wait  for the next jolting moment to happen. At this time in my life, I am happy to be with Grantham and my husband, in the midst of the storm…(still watching the suspense movie and sharing popcorn, but now it’s without salt, less butter and we don’t bite our nails!) 🙂 Have you ever just sat on your porch and actually allowed yourself to become a part of the storm? Feeling the tepid breezes, smelling the fresh, damp air as the rain falls hard upon the roof top…watching the sky get darker and darker. It’s not quite a light shade of black or a dark tint of grey, it’s baronial, grandiose and a little frightening.  As you hear the thunder in the distance,  you know that soon, the storm will be right at your front door. Its an experience for sure…and one of my greatest and  most looked forward to, summer joys!






Fireflies, Cootes Store, Virginia


May your summer time be a season of lightheartedness, gladsome get-a-ways, new adventures , great pleasure and ridiculously filled with FUN! 🙂

PHOTOGRAPHS: In placing your computer mouse upon any photo or graphic, it will display where the picture originated from.





“All Aboard” the maritime home.


“The sea  is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.” ~ Christopher Paolini

“Hark, now hear the sailors cry, Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic…” ~ Van Morrison

“Waves are the voices of the tides. Tides are life. They bring new food for shore creatures and take ships out to sea. They are the oceans pulse and your own heartbeat.”  ~ Tamora Pierce

What is it about  “life on the sea” that captivates and thrills our hearts? Is it the sound of the waves crashing upon the rocky shores? The nostalgic fragrance of the damp, briny air? Hearing the halcyon and untroubled seagulls, coasting above the crystal blue waters, cooing, squawking, creating serene, melodic melodies for our ears and souls? Perhaps, the romance of the sea is made up of all the seafaring tales that  have been passed down by sailors, fishermen and sea captions.  The legends of the mermaids, stories of “old ghost ships,” abandoned by their crew and fables of the dangerous  pirates, rum runners, frighting Leviathans of the deep and buried treasures? Perchance it is the myths and tales of the ominous, colossal storms they weathered at sea and lived to tell about. How about the legends like old Alias, a sailor lost at sea, who comes back to haunt  his maritime home on the water. It is  a Folklore told in the renowned  movie Mystic Pizza…


(The imagined ghost of  Alias visits his home on stormy nights, causing the floorboards to creak as he paces back and forth upon the back balcony, overlooking the sea.)  There are so many mystifying fables that allure our hearts and create within us an abounding love and desire for the arcane sea , filled with all of it’s Brobdingnagian and countless enigma.



  Two irrefutable stories that are uncanny and a bit haunting, are the two schooner ships that truly were abandoned by their crews mysteriously. One ship, The Carroll A. Deering was found run aground in 1921 off of Cape Haterus, North Carolina. Investigators propose that the cause was possibly rum runners or ship pirates. In 1969, The Teignmouth Electron was also  found adrift, deserted and forgotten in the Atlantic Ocean.  These two stories are not folklore and they are not of old. 🙂 (Spooky!)  The sea embodies an abundance of  intrigue,  mystery and impeccable  beauty…  It is fabulously romantic, inspirational and is popular as ‘the perfect muse’ for many prestigious novels such as, The Old man and The Sea, The Phantom Island and The Mermaid. It is also the galvanizing influence of  countless, famous paintings such as, Monet’s La Terrace de’ Sainte Adresse and Niebenkorn’s Ocean Harbor, as well as  the classic and memorable films, The Titanic, Life of Pi and Lifeboat. (And, for many, a MUSE to inspire the decorating and creating of their lovely homes.)


It has always been one of my husband’s and my lifelong dreams to one day live by the sea and host a Bed and Breakfast for people who are in need of a retreat away from their everyday lives… a  convivial respite. 🙂 We adore the foggy mists that come in over the water in the early mornings… the diverse sea birds gliding above the glistening water as the sunshine breaks through mid-morning,  the breathtaking sunsets that gloriously arrive at dusk, (the enchanting ‘gloaming hour,’) and listening to the waves, softly flowing into shore as the day ends and the stars have announced their  brilliant presence.  SL-60SL-64corbiere  pic david ferguson



In creating your maritime home, remember, you may not live on a rocky cliff, over looking the ocean or upon a sandy marsh where you watch the tides roll in and out, BUT, You can create the inside of your berth to look as if you do! 🙂 Capture a part of the romance of the sea, it’s legends and fables, it’s mystery and beauty by bringing forth the decor of a seafaring  home.S-183

Most of the maritime homes that I have visited are dressed in soothing blues and whites and embellished with an abundance of maritime ornamental decor. It is not surprising as the colors of blue and white represent serenity, peace, clarity of mind, fresh beginnings and relaxation. All these qualities make for an exceedingly inviting and cozy homestead.


Our first stop will be the main room of your home, which is the Living room…It is the room that sets the mood and theme for the rest of your resplendent abode. As with any decor that you choose, there is always the ‘formal rendition’ as well as the relaxing, laid back. I have chosen both of these looks for inspiration to begin creating the  Nautical home of your dreams. Lets start off with the living rooms that are a tad bit more “dressy.”I-15







The living rooms in the next few photographs, are still a beauteous and striking maritime  look, but are a bit more on the masculine side. I think all of these living rooms are inviting, galvanic and cozy…It truly depends on your taste and the colors you choose to create with. These rooms are less formal and more on the “comfy” side. 🙂  H-85




I simply adore this antique fireplace festooned in a maritime theme… It is breathtaking and exceedingly CREATIVE! It would certainly be the “conversation piece” in any home. 🙂


One of my favorite nautical decor displays thus far! The whimsical  grapevine wreath amidst the two enchanting topiary trees is prizewinning. I adore this decorators bethnic extravaganza of the life-like and animated ‘sea bird’ amongst all the starfish, sand dollar and weathered beach wood. Her tableaux upon the green wooden chest, creates not only a magical ambiance but exudes charm and  class. I love it! 🙂



Our next stopover will be another renowned and important room in your home …The Dining room. The room where you gather with friends and family over ambrosial cuisine, fine wines, laughter, sharing and story telling in a convivial and warm ambiance.   I think it is fun to mix up your rooms a little bit, still carrying the nautical theme throughout the house, but perhaps in different styles.










The advantage you have with a seagoing look, is that you can create any room in your home, using a variety of shades of white…(eggshell, opalescent pearl, butter cream, off white, even tones of light greys or brown for your keystone.) Once your furniture and color pallet is established, you can begin adding the blue decor along with  alluring benthic ornaments such as lighthouses, old ship compasses, sublime fresco’s or photographs of  sea captains, nautically shaped stars, seagulls, pelicans, sea shells or whatever treasured collectables you desire to display.  You can do the same thing with establishing your primary color pallet in a shade of blue that you love… Then highlight your room with a variety of hues and textures of white. ENJOY the creativity within you and remember, don’t hesitate to bring forth the dream inside your heart and make it reality! 🙂


Here are some decorative ideas to ‘add to your rooms’ for that nautical, cozy look, along with some beautiful blues…I absolutely dote on the color combination of blue and white… Whether in a bedroom, my wardrobe, a fresh flower arrangement, decorative throws or the paint colors on our walls. There is nothing quite as soothing, eye catching and picturesque! (Adding creamy, soft yellows to this famous color combination is an enlivening warm touch as well.)







A ‘nautically themed tree’ is a welcomed sight all year round. It adds a rustic seafaring ambiance to any room… It’s twinkling white lights create charm and appeal as well as ‘romance’ within your room and brings forth added texture and dimension to your colorful haven.


I love this painting… It would go perfectly in a living room filled with blues and accented with a hint of the grandeur color of red…This little girl looks identical to my brother’s daughter when she was about 3 years old, with her bright, gorgeous auburn hair, running into the waves  of the ocean. Now she is a  beautiful young woman, (still loving the sea,) but gosh, does this bring back happy memories of my younger days as she brought so much joy, laughter and smiles to our lives…(And still does.) 🙂


Bring the natural things of the sea, to the inside your home…sea shells, star fish, sea horses, anchors, old ship compasses, and a diversity of mason jars filled with fresh sand from the shore,  topped with a tea light candle. Tie a blue and white  decorative ribbon around  the jar and display it upon your hutch.  (If you make a half dozen of these homemade candles, and light them all in the evening, it will add charm and pizzazz to your room.) 🙂





The next ‘layover’  is the most certain and sure place for rest and relaxation that  I know of...Our bedrooms. There are so many beautiful blue and white linens, duvets, Eiderdown  comforters, decorative pillows and blue and white collectables, that this room should be an easy room to make over or to newly create. Your bedroom is your sanctuary, place of retreat, hide-a-way and wondrous place of slumber.  Embellish this room with  serene, blissful and soothing decor…soft candle light and subtle, yet enlivening  scented fragrances. When I wash our linens and  make up our bed,  I love to spray our sheets  with an ambrosial, redolent scent. (For some reason, I think it helps us to sleep better.) 🙂 They even have ocean scented sprays, decorative candles and scented oils with reed diffusers available in the stores now a days… What a perfect idea to enhance your oceangoing decor style. (Wow, with the nostalgic fragrances of the beach filling your room, all you would need is a sound machine that has the inviting calls of the sea birds, along with the roaring waves…you could close your eyes and be right on oceans shore.) 🙂  SL-408






This bedroom is a little different with its shades of pale, light green amidst the soft, pristine whites, yet It still brings forth a feeling that ‘the soothing ocean breeze and sound of the crashing waves could come through the window at anytime.’ 🙂  A few ideas of some winsome additives are  a lighthouse tapestry for the wall, an engaging Thomas Kincaid nautical throw, a seahorse pillow and a sea shell frame, displaying one of your most cherished ‘beach memories.’




This is my dear friend Ellie’s guest bedroom in her lovely nautical home in Delaware. She just finished painting her contrast wall in a fetching, wispy, gossamer, pastel blue. It adds an exceedingly stunning  and visual ambiance amongst her white walls. She made her  own creative and bethnic lampshade.  Isn’t it adorable?  Yes, Ellie, you have “quite the creative touch.” 🙂 This room is not only soothing, but filled with warmth and charm. Eleanor1

With the warm and inviting, navy blue stripes upon the comforters, the ocean blue carpet and the freshly painted pastel blue wall,  she highlighted this maritime room with a  mixture of vintage and country-cottage, captivating white wooden dressers, adorned with a potpourri of her sail boats and merchant ship collection. Great job Ellie! 🙂 This room beckons our hearts to go and  spend a day amongst the ocean shores. 🙂   Eleanor-Dressers


Now, we enter the room that is the most popular…You have heard the saying, “No  matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best.” 🙂  Kitchens are the place we “CREATE.” Whether it’s a fanciful confection for a loved ones birthday, a savory and spicy pasta dish with sweet Italian sausage and fresh herbs from our gardens, or we are baking Christmas cookies with our kids…there are so many wonderful conversations that take place within our kitchens…(Along with delicious cuisine and some great aromas that fill our home…) This truly is one of my most cherished rooms of all!

These first few kitchens are all bedecked in blissful blues and whites… all they would need to awaken the pelagic feeling  throughout the room would be a few pieces of nautical decor; a framed photograph of a famous lighthouse, an ornate helm from a schooner ship,  decorative anchors as well as accent towels evoking the emotions of life by the water.






In these next photos, I got a little inventive and imaginative. 🙂 These kitchens are not the standard, maritime colors of blue and white, but with dressing these rooms up, adding the  right decor, they would bring forth the nautical look  in a charming, elfin kind of way.   Below each photo are some ideas that I hope will inspire you and get your ‘creative juices flowing.’

For this kitchen, I  thought the perfect accent colors would be red, white and blue… all the eye-catching, maritime  decor items would fill up the mantle above this fabulous, eccentric stove, except the accent towels. 🙂  (The rooster is adorable, but for now, he has to find a new home! ) 🙂





This Kitchen already has an ideal foundation with it’s rustic, warm Faux painted walls accompanied by the rich navy blue…By adding a maritime picture on the far wall, some Lighthouse plates, blue and white dish towels and a lighthouse canister set, your kitchen would come alive with the romance and mystique of the ocean..


KT-20Beach painting 3


These two kitchens would look great with a few starfish, a lighthouse spice rack, blue and white accent towels as well as a diverse collection of seashells. I would leave the warm hues of the yellow…It’s very cozy and inviting.



This has got to be one of my all time favorite Cucinos, (as the Italians would say!) 🙂 It’s soft white structure and delicate woods, accompanied by a combination of blue and white china, maritime plates and homemade, sand filled mason jars with a potpourri of taper and tea light candles along with intricate, motley  seashells, would make for a beautiful, enchanting and notable kitchen. (Maybe add a blue and white runner on the stunning wood floor to tie in the mixture of blues and whites. )




This white kitchen would  look wonderful with a highlight of green and soft hues of tan to bring forth your nautical theme. A lovely ship for your counter top, tan linen accent towels with the nautical star, a topiary star and once again, the beautiful soft light of candles burning in your mason-jar, sand filled candle creations.




Lastly, one more ‘White kitchen” to bring into our theme… How about some blue flowers on the counter top, blue and white china as well as light house plates to fill the ‘show stopping’ window-paned cabinets, an enchanting lighthouse and nautical pillows to top your bar stools? A bright, beach themed painting would be a spectacular addition to bring out your vibrant colors that you’ve chosen.  Add a few blue and white accent towels and your set to go!



KT-12Bouquet from Forget-me-nots (Myosotis)

Here is a back splash tile mural with a maritime theme for the back of your kitchen stove. I love these new ideas…. What will they think of next? 🙂



We will take a short stop at our next room…the bathroom, Ladies room, powder and Mens  room as we call it!  Because it is the smallest room in your home, ( and no, I do not plan on illustrating a nautical walk in closet, ) 🙂  this room is very simple and  easy to create… I love our bathroom as it is the place that houses one of my favorite things in all the world… OK, two of my most cherished….A bath tub and luxurious bubble-bath… 🙂

Here are a few ideas to inspire you with the ‘soul’  colors  of your room, blue and white.





These decorative ideas are all fabulously soothing and festive highlights for ‘this very important’ room! 🙂 I especially like the greyish-blue tinted walls amidst all the creamy white sea shells and shelves, (The 4th photo.) This unique color is definitely a stunning and impressive maritime color…



Here are a few SEAFARING “powder rooms” already finished! 🙂








We can’t forget the passages that take us to our beloved rooms…our foyer and hallways… Here are a few inspirations for you..Some of these are quite formal, others very cozy and inviting…again, add some of your own touches amongst the blues and whites to bring forth your personal, signature touch and  theme within your own home.

There are not many foyers like this one… It’s extremely formal and regal, but it presents the  idea of how wondrous and appealing mixing different shades of blue amongst the white can look.


I adore this color of blue mixed with this butter cream white, not to mention the breathtaking structure of this foyer. I can just imagine how majestic it would look with seafaring decorations.


This foyer is simple, yet elegant…again, the soft tans amidst the white is resplendent.


This hallway is immense…it’s charm reminds me of the South… I love the soft blues amongst pearly white.


This passageway to the porch speaks it’s own fabulous introduction. 🙂


Lastly, the mixture of the blues, pastel green and sunny yellow is so charming in this foyer. It is not only refreshing, but sure to make everyone who enters this home feel ‘very welcomed.’




Our second to last stop is the land that surrounds our homes. If you are blessed to live on the ocean, (and don’t have to dream that you are, 🙂 your views alone will be captivating. If you do not live by or on the ocean, these are still some great ideas to enhance the natural loveliness of your yard and bring forth an abundance of beauty, peace and serene days to your lives. Alfresco dining , creating a floral arbor in your garden, sitting on your porch watching the sunset, and adding seafaring decor to your outside piazza with decorative sea shells and fresh, crisp, white lace table runners.



I love the wildflowers, straw basket, (great for gathering your sea shells,) summer hat and maritime throw amidst the weathered wooden fence. It goes to show you that almost every place on our property can use a little touch of love and ‘fixing up’ to bring forth charm and warmth.






OKAY….our seafaring journey has just about come to an end…I feel like I have been to the beach and back! 🙂 I wanted to leave you with a few ideas for a magical, dreamy, Maritime and “Merry -Time” 🙂  Christmas! 🙂  (I just got that as I was writing.) 🙂    I am amazed at how many ideas there are for a nautical Christmas theme… Not only is it a beautiful decor style for everyday life, but it is eminently eye catching at the most wonderful time of the year. ENJOY even though Christmas is a ways away…( But…have you heard of “Christmas in July?”) (“Just saying”…) 🙂

Welcome your guests with a beautiful, fetching alfresco Christmas tree, adorned with starfish, sand dollars, as well as ocean blue, silver and white decorative balls. (Don’t forget the enchanting, twinkling white lights! ) 🙂


This certainly would  change the memories of the traditional festivity of “Bringing Home The Tree,” (the day after Thanksgiving,) wouldn’t it?   Yes, Christmas by the sea is very romantic, magical and sublime.


I love these very ‘unique and informal’ Christmas stockings hanging from the mantle, all homemade in alluring red, white and blue. SL-410

This mantle is much more formal, yet very refreshing, taking a turn from the norm. These photos and ideas make me want to rent a cottage at the beach for Christmas… (Or change my whole house for the holidays to create this enchanting seafaring ambiance.) 🙂


A beautiful nautical Christmas tree…I love the mixture of the light blues and whites…and the tree topper is gorgeous!


This table top tree is adorable and accents the color of the walls to a “T.” (And it would be an easy decorative addition to create.)


I love the traditional Christmas tree, but this one gives you a little magic and awe of both styles…the decorative shells yet ample decorations of the glorious reds and greens… A very festive and picturesque tree, evoking the joy inside of us as we think of Christmas’ past. (As children, we always wondered how Santa could get down that fireplace chimney…) 🙂


This nautical tree is  not only striking but magically kaleidoscopic. It’s  abundance of sea shells amongst the colorful ornaments, (I love the purple added in,) is very alluring. (The mermaid tree topper is so unique and definitely brings this tree to life.)


Rustic and enchanting garlands with miniature white lights to bedeck the outdoor porch for the holidays…How about adding a string of sea shells, intertwining them within the greens and berries? What a great idea for the enchanting season.


WOW, a white Christmas dream come true, right on the ocean! I still find it miraculous to see a fresh snowfall on the sandy shore of the beaches. This charming tree, the warm fire burning, and the inviting alfresco dining, is a wondrous Idea for a cozy Holiday evening.   (Bundle up and make some homemade beef stew with a loaf of hot bread …That would be the perfect, wintry dinner.) 🙂C-71

For the front porch, decorating the balustrades with this picture-book, festive cheer is breathtaking.  The decor is traditional, yet against the soft yellows and whites of this regal home, it looks incredibly stunning. For a more nautical look, you could add some starfish and lighthouse ornaments amongst the  lush greens. What a great way to welcome home your loved ones for the holidays!


Celebrating the season in a rustic, yet a bit formal wintry wonderland style, with the feel of the sea being close by would be heavenly.  Winter whites are hard to beat in setting a festive, holiday table and the tree, adorned with shells and sand dollars combined with  the pearl like strands, is very Victorian, lovely and elegant.

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A cozy summer, beach house, embellished with Christmas cheer! (Though it doesn’t look like snow is in store for this Balboa Island, CA. cottage home. ) The blue and white home bedecked with the festive and cheery red is so lovely…


A very simple and  beautiful Christmas wreath for your front door! (I think I will make one of these  for this upcoming Christmas…) Very soothing and calming. This wreath reminds me of  my childhood years … You know the days  when you’d  lay in the freshly mowed grass and look up at the sky, mesmerized by the wonder of the stars and bright lit moon, on the clear, balmy summer nights?


This home went all out with it’s maritime decor… I love how all the colors chosen in this festive garland go PERFECTLY with the sandy brown paint color of the home, accented by the bold whites and the rich, dark wood of the front doors . (The decor even draws in the color of the shudders! ) Very Classy!


Lastly, a tranquil, serene and festive holiday table … Again, there is nothing like the combination of  the color and textures of blue and white, sea shells, accompanied by natures beloved hue of green. (I would have never thought up the idea of a bench painted blue and white….it’s so pretty!)


OK, I am  now ready for a hot, freshly brewed, cup of coffee and something to eat after this home tour! 🙂 Happy house creating….Enjoy bringing forth your individual and magical nautical  home as you add some new ideas to your abode. Whether you  decide to just change one room or change them all, treat yourself to the house decor that fulfills YOU and surround yourself with all the things YOU LOVE!

( And no, I do not think that mermaids are real! 🙂   Well maybe in the dreams and imaginations of  our children… 🙂

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Yours always, HOPE!




When the ‘first flicker’ of creating my blog site, “Living winsomely” entered my heart, I envisioned it to be a site where every writing would be colorful, felicitous, resourceful and filled with beauty, as my whole concept of writing these blogs has been to inspire you,living winsomely my readers, to bring more beauty, joy and winsomeness  into your lives. I stared thinking the other day, about how much strength, beauty and life, HOPE brings to our lives. HOPE changes everything… The hard part of it is, that we usually have to be in a difficult place, or “season” of our life, to really appreciate the powerful gift that lays within this resplendent bestowal. I decided to write this blog on loss and hope, because loss is a part of all of our lives in one way or another...especially peaking its head out during the holidays, as we have such a treasure of golden memories during this festive time, of those we no longer have with us. In this blog, I want to share with you a writing about the loss of a love that only comes once in a lifetime. It is a true story that I wrote, when something magical happened, in facing the loss of my my best friend for 33 years, my mom.beautiful mom I want to  share it with you, because it is a writing of HOPE and when I  was given this gift in my ‘letting go stage of accepting her death,’ it truly changed me inside, bringing a peace I never wanted to leave my soul, and it changed me prodigiously… I will always love this word HOPE. ( But it is so much more than a word,) 🙂 …I look for it everyday in the small things that come about that are in need of its help, but always know I can count on it 100%, when the monumental storms of life hit. Hope never fails!

We all suffer losses everyday, in many forms… relationships, our health, jobs, a miscarriage, financial stability, our beloved pets, a friendship, a dream deep within our hearts, a home or the loss of  ourselves, from being abused.

When we experience loss, there are such a wide range of emotions that flood our soul…we try to “avoid those emotions,” for as long as we possibly can, but they always seem to surface and come out in some other way. (Don’t they?)   (I always have loved the “numb stage”.) 🙂  Someone very wise once told me that when we suffer a deep cut physically upon our bodies, the body goes into a place of numbness and we do not feel the injury’s “real effect and pain”  until later. The human body is built that way…it protects us. In the same way, our minds protect us from our emotions that seem unbearable to allow ourselves to feel. When we do “Feel” and embrace them, the  miraculous gift, that begins to unravel, is the gift of becoming whole again and  healing. I myself would not dare to “feel” loss, alone…that is where my faith comes in. We all have different ways of coping, different beliefs, faiths and tools for accepting and grieving our losses. For me, it has always been my faith in God. (Not to say that at times, it took longer to get to the place to be able to receive the precious gift of hope that comes in our losses, than others.)jim and I When I lost my brother Jim unexpectedly, ( who was also one of my best friends in life,) it took me a lot longer to connect with God and for some reason, I took the elongated way around!  But the HOPE came, then the healing and now instead of sadness and what seemed an endless well of despair,  when I think of Jim, I feel a warmth, love and a joy... I miss him now more than words can say, but  with such a gratitude that I was able to  love someone so deeply, that in loosing them,  I could feel such a magnitude of grief and loss. I thank God for allowing me to have him in my life on this earth  for 52 years, as he was one in a million.  I smile now, (inside and out,)  at all of our treasured memories, (which are many,) and my tears are happy tears, celebrating that I had such a phenomenal person as my big brother, in whom I KNOW I will see again one day. HOPE CHANGES EVERYTHING…

To give you some background for this writing, let me tell you a little bit about my mom and I… We were like two peas in a pod…knew exactly what the other was feeling, thinking, loved to spend time together, were each others confidants, and she taught me so much in life about Love, forgiveness, family, etiquette, cooking,snowmen27 decorating,beautiful kat  joy, fun, makeup, apparel, humor, laughter, truth, unconditional love and acceptance. She was actually the one who introduced me to the Lord , as she had been praying for me , (and all my 6 siblings,) for many, many years. I was blessed beyond words to have  her for my mom and best friend. My mom got married young and started her family early with a beautiful baby girl, then after four  baby boys in a row, (she whispered to the Lord;cathy “I’d like another little baby girl again…these boys are wearing me out.”) 🙂 (Sorry guys…) and low and behold, she had twin baby girls, my sister Kathy and I. (One of us was a BIG surprise as she had no idea when giving birth, she would be delivering two babies into this world, instead of one.) 🙂 It was a happy time for her as we were her special gift from God, fulfilling a place in her heart that she had prayed and longed for. Suddenly and unexpectedly,  my twin died when she was 8 months old and my mom , (as well as our entire family) suffered a tragic loss and went through a very dark time… I was told that It was in loosing my twin, that my mom and I began to form the close bond that we were blessed with in life…bebe 18192She protected me like a mother hen looks after her baby chicks, never wanting to loose her other precious ‘care-package,’ God had just given her. ( Three  years later, she did have one more baby boy,) declaring to the world; “Okay, 8 is enough!” 🙂  ( My baby brother was not only magical, but a true bundle of joy to my mom, family and everyone who knew him, and he still is, )  but that will have to be a whole other story! 🙂

As we enter  into this Thanksgiving and Christmas season, and you are personally going through the loss of a loved one, or a loss of any kind, I hope that “my story” will bestow upon you a ray of hope, and that in some way, you will feel a strength and peace in the midst of your journey and season of loss.

 Yours always, HOPEbeautiful kat2

I will never forget the arduous day that changed my life forever. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, late in the month of June. I drove from Irvine California to Laguna Niguel to visit my folks just like I did a few times each week. I loved going to parents lovely home. Every time I’d open their front door, I would always get that same warm, gregarious feeling.allabaster2 I don’t know if it was because of all the heavenly and familiar aromas cooking and simmering in my mom’s kitchen, (her legendary shriharbormp creole with a ‘southern touch,’ savory brisket stewing together with red potatoes,carrots and onions or  her scrumptious, (secret sauce,)  spaghetti and mouthwatering, “seconds please,”  beef stroganoff.)  Perhaps it was the buoyant and content sounds of laughter, a favorite television show playing,  melodic music wafting from my fathers study upstairs or the voices of one of my 6 siblings, harbor10conversing over a cup of freshly brewed chicory coffee with my mom and dad. All I know is I always got so excited knowing I was going  to my ‘second home.’ I headed upstairs to see my mom as I knew she would be resting. merriment14 Her cozy, southern style, beautiful bedroom had become “the gathering place” for our family since she had been recovering from her illness. Being a southerner and a connoisseur of coastal, daunting yet thrilling, summer lightning storms, (  Southern California did not offer that amenity very often,) 🙂  she always  asked me to put her “Thunderstorm tape” in her boom box beside her bed …she played it over and over again, as it soothed her body and soul. 🙂 ( Twenty-two years later, I find myself listening to that same tape, feeling its magical comfort  each time.) 🙂   Everyday, she looked like a radiant angel, in her pretty nightgown and matching robe, always smiling as she greeted us and asked us about our day… You see, my mom’s whole life was about her family and she was ALWAYS interested in every detail of our lives…each one of us could talk to her about ‘anything,’ and WE DID! 🙂 Even our friends felt the same way!

My dad met me on the stair landing, where he stopped me and spoke the very words my heart had dreaded and feared the most.

“Susan, after your mom’s appointment today, her doctor told me that her cancer has returned and has spread throughout her body. He doesn’t expect her to live beyond six to eight weeks time, though they are going to run more tests.”

All of the hope, faith and confidence I had clung to that her cancer was  healed and gone, deserted  me. I felt as if the wind was knocked out from under my feet, and I truly  believe it was at that moment, that God Himself, filled me with His strength and grace. His arms were holding me on that stairway as I didn’t collapse or run out of the house, screaming in despair.  Without preparation, notice and totally unexpected, I was just told that the best friend I had ever had in my life was going to die. I was flooded with so many fearful and angst emotions. A deep sadness overcame me and I felt that a part of me inside was beginning to die as well. The HOPE was gone. I don’t remember what I said to her that day, (as she had not been told yet.)  I don’t even remember driving home…

merriment13My husband Kit held me close as I shared the news with him that evening. He tried so vehemently to comfort me in every way he knew how, but his loving arms and kind, compassionate, words could not penetrate the pain in my soul. Oh, the awful painI never knew a heart could hold something so massive.


The warm summer days passed. All I remember is  that I was merely functioning. Although brideI was a new bride and should have been feeling blissful joy, and pure felicity with Kit, the man that I had always dreamed of being married to, I felt lifeless. Going to visit my mom , with the knowledge that this time she was not going to recover, I felt empty, helpless, dismayed, fearful and my heart was overwhelmed with anguish, especially because she had not yet been told the full truth. ( Amongst my melange of multifarious emotions,  I TREASURED every moment spent with her, holding on so tightly to everything she said, her smile, touch, the scent of her favorite perfume that she wore everyday, (Carolina Herrera,) not wanting to miss out on even  one moment of the precious time we had left with her.)  I remember the afternoon I sat in my grandmother’s old rocker, caddy-cornered to my mom’s bed. She was sitting up that day, her animated, beautiful brown eyes filled with excitement as she spoke to me in her sweet southern accent about us returning to her home town in South Carolina the upcoming fall.

“Susan, won’t it be wonderful to visit Marion and see all of our cousins this autumn?harbor2 The fall leaves will be so beautiful with bursts of reds, amber and yellows, and the air will be harbor1so crisp and cold. Maybe we’ll get a few thunderstorms while we’re there?  We can drive down to Pawley’s Island and Murrell’s Inlet, see the Spanish moss on the huge old oak trees and eat as much fresh crab and shrimp from the inlet waters as we want.”

My heart was breaking inside as she spoke these words for I knew that this trip would never be. How I hid my pain from her that day, I will never know. (She knew me so well.)

I begged the Lord not to take my mom. I prayed like I had never prayed before for a miracle… (I believed with the faith of a child that God could do anything and I ached for Him to intervene in this paralyzing news my heart kept trying to reject.merriment1 The heaviness in my soul would not lift for somehow,  I knew in my heart, that this time, her cancer was not going to be healed, the way it was the year before or in the way we expected .  I had a knowing, deep down, that the Lord was going to take her home to be with Him and that would be her healing. At other times, when my mom was ill and I felt the fear that the Lord was going to take her home, (her cancer when it first  arrived, and the 90% blockage in the major artery to her heart), He would always assure my heart that it was not her time. This time, He was silent.

My visits to see my mom were much more frequent and more difficult, (yet in a  strange way, a bit  freeing,) now that my dad and the doctors had shared with her how progressively her cancer had returned, spreading throughout her body and that unless God gave us all a miracle, she was not going to live much longer. One of the hardest days of my life, yet now one of my most cherished, was the day my mom and I sat together on her bed talking.IMG_0272  With her captivating and warm smile, ( almost as if she was reliving time, 24 years earlier,)  she told me that she wanted me to have her grandmother’s Haviland rose china, because when I was a little girl, I admired and reveled in its beautiful roses, each time she took it out for special occasions. She cried as she shared how hard it was for her to know that she would never meet my children.merriment18 She and I had always talked about the day that Kit and I would have a little baby girl …’Kathryn Anne’, (named after her of course.) 🙂  She told me that she was so happy for me that God had brought Kit into my life, that he was a great man and that she  truly adored him, and knew I would always be taken care of. Lastly, we both acknowledged that God had given us a bond like no other and what a wondrous and special  blessing it was in both of our lives. Our tears at that moment were endless as we embraced and held each other, allowing our selves to feel the pain and fear of her death, our loss and having to say goodbye,  together.

One evening in the midst of all of the disquieting and daunting  pain and sorrow, Kit asked me to take a drive and get out for a little bit with him. (He is always so thoughtful.) We decided to drive down to Dana Point Harbor. (The place we met, courted, fell in love, and got married, so YOU KNOW it brought great comfort every time we visited it’s maritime charm .)  Upon arriving to this quaint port side community, we drove up to the marina . harbor5There before us were an abundance of admiral boats, tied up at the docks, bobbing up and down from the strong wind and choppy waters. The harbor was astir and alive with all of the summer visitors, bright lights and the sound of musical bands that often entertained during the summer season. I needed and longed for a quiet place where Kit and I could be alone. Kit drove further down the road, and we arrived to the jetty.  This long strand of jagged rocks with the ocean waves  calmly caressing their intricate banks, was perfect.  Kit and I were the only people sitting upon the serene and quiet quai that evening. It truly was the place my soul needed.harbor9 Kit held me so tight as we sat there in silence. It was a bit chilly with the  cool wind blowing off of the ocean,  but we did not care. Together with Kit, yet so terribly alone in my despondency, I looked out into the vast ocean, the grey, damp fog and the darkness. It was then, I cried out to God.


“I need you Lord so much! Please will you speak to my breaking heart.”

Loosing my mother, my dearest friend in life for 33 years was the hardest thing the Lord had ever asked my family or I  to walk through. harbor15 I was so frightened and terrified,  of what life would be like without her. Outside of Him and His power and grace, there was no way that I could go through letting her go. I absolutely, no matter how hard I tried to muster up the faith and BELIEVE we would all be OK without her,  could not surrender her to God.

As we continued to sit on the jetty looking out into the ocean, I saw two brilliant lights together out at sea, looking as if they were floating in mid air. They were the lights upon the main masts of two boats traveling side by side.two lights The darkness and fog hid their forms so that all I could see, were two shining lights nestled together. Suddenly, one of the lights disappeared. I found myself surprisingly impelled to look for the lost light. I searched everywhere to find it, but it was no where to be found. I only beheld the one light.  I felt a stabbing pain in my heart, as the lost light reminded me that soon, my mom would be gone and the ‘fearless duo’ and best friends we had always been throughout my entire life, would no longer exist. In this uncertain and capricious world, she would no longer be beside me to share my heart, laugh, cry and pray with. I would be without her presence for evermore. I became overwhelmed with a sense of devastation and fear, in an even greater amount than I had been feeling since my dad told me the news. I began to speak to the Lord again;

“Why God are you allowing me to feel this horrible pain as I am crying out to you? Where are you Lord? I felt chilled to the bone and so alone… It seemed like God was silent.

The fog began rolling in, becoming more dense.  As I looked out to sea, I could barely see any light at all as the heavy mist continued to thicken. I stopped searching for either light for awhile, very aware of my despairing emotions, until in a sudden moment, I looked up to my left and there to my surprise, adjoined to the shore line, were the two lights together again, beaming ever so brightly. merriment4It was at that moment that a peace, (I had not felt in weeks,) permeated my soul…  I Knew it was Gods presence and I felt the Lord begin to show me and minister to me in a way that changed everything…

This is what I believe He was speaking to my spirit;

” Susan, look. Now the two lights are together again, safely arriving to the shoreline. It was but for a SEASON that you did not see your light that you thought was lost out at sea. Like the fog, hiding from your sight the glowing light out in the ocean, the light was still there….you just could not see it… so it is with your mom’s parting.merriment5 Your mom is only switching places, she will still continue to live, only she will be with me in a new place. It will only be a season of time before you see her again. And Susan, oh what a glorious time of reunion the two of you will have together in heaven.”

With this new revelation, and the peace that had laid rest upon my soul,  my heart felt so much lighter. My spirit embraced a hope it had not known. I felt a new strength to face my days ahead, as hard as they may be. I thanked God over and over for ministering to me as He did, and enjoyed the  HOPE and peace that continued to fill my soul, praying it would never go away.

I  do not believe that it was a coincidence that Kit and I drove to the harbor that particular evening or that God used the ‘lights’ to set my heart free from it’s hopelessness.snomen 19 He knew that I could not bare to loose my closet friend, my mom. Gently, He showed me a new perspective, His perspective and through His mercy, power, grace and kindness, I was able to begin to let her go, with the knowledge that one day, she and I would be together again, and at that time, we would never have to say goodbye again.


It was but a few weeks later when we were all called to my parents home in Laguna Niguel. The day was August 14th, a Wednesday morning that will always be engraved upon my heart. The hospice nurse said that for all purposes, my mom should have died in the midnight hours, but she would not give up, and continued to fight for her life. It was not until the last of her seven children arrived to her bed side, and she had the opportunity to partake in her goodbyes, that she was free to “let us go.”  I remember when all  of us arrived that morning to the house, my father told us, that it was very important that  we each  let my mom know that it was OKAY for her to go. (She needed to hear those words.)   Because of the revelation and HOPE the Lord had given me that night at the harbor, I was ready and able to do just that, truly LET HER GO.

As she and I looked at each other, we both knew with confidence (and I spoke it as she could not) that our goodbye was but only for a season of time and not forever. I told her how much I loved her and would miss her beyond what my words could express, but for her, it would feel like only seconds when we’d all be together again…her yes smiled.  She took her last breath after the last of her seven children said their goodbyes. My father was holding her, and we, her devoted and adoring children, surrounded her as she was laying in her beautiful bed . What a wonderful gift that God gave us all to be with her, as well as with one another, as He took our beloved mother to be with Him.merriment6 She was no longer in pain or sick with cancer, but free and full of joy, already having a marvelous reunion with the Lord, her mother, her little girl,( my twin, Kathy,) her grand parents and all of her loved ones that had gone before her.


I will never forget how God rescued me that chilly summer night… His peace, loving words and the HOPE He bestowed upon my soul and spirit was undeniable.harbor6 His  Hope changed everything. The days were not easy, as grief never is, but there did come a day, I was free of the devastating pain, and instead of that heaviness and mourning, my  heart began to fill up once again with joy and happiness and a grateful heart that I was given such a beautiful gift and stupendous mother and friend  for 33 years of my life. I knew  in my spirit that she was not “gone”, she was alive, just in a different place.I think of her every day, always with a humongous smile or tears of joy, I miss her augustly, but I am assured and looking forward to that reunion day that God so graciously showed me. His wondrous gift of Hope…


Hope never fails…Hope changes everything…Hope is not a word, Hope is God and a very real gift to us, His kids.


PHOTOGRAPHS: In placing your computer mouse upon any of the graphics or photos, it will display where the picture originated from.

“Things that make you go HMM.”

“The pondering heart is a thankful heart.” ~ Todd Stocker
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Besides being a popular dance song released in the early 90’s by artist C+C Music Factory and a fantastic song to do aerobics to,  “Things that make you go hmm,” is a phrase that we often do, (without realizing it,) when we see, feel or hear something that is ‘out of the ordinary’, thus leading us to take the time to ponder…If you are a ‘deep thinker’ as myself, it can get you into trouble, as sometimes I “over think” some of my ‘hmm’s,’ to my detriment…(but I am learning.) 🙂

I am a lover of (most things) that make you go ‘hmm,’ especially the things that are new, thought provoking, controversial to the human mind or case us to  feel hope, magic, faith, wonderment and awe . They bring color to our everyday life, as well as accelerate the blood flow to our brain, increasing brain cells, which  keeps our minds growing . It is also a known fact that when you  exercise your mind, you become a more compassionate, understanding and kind person. (Another reason to challenge your mind with the things that make you stop , think, contemplate and challenge yourself to resolve your questions or embrace your amazement, about the topic at hand.)

things that 55I believe that everyone has stories of things in their life that make them go ‘hmm’. They begin to occur when we are old enough to observe, hear and talk and will continue happening as long as we live. I don’t think we we will ever stop questioning life, world events, human behavior or cease to  fully grasp  the  things that spark our curiosity and cause us to revel, evoking our minds to take the time to arrive to a peaceful conclusion and belief.

There are  a medley of categories for this fun topic... In my research , I was amazed at just how many articles, posts and writings are published about “things that make you go hmm.”  In this blog, I would like to share an array of real life occurrences  that will perhaps cause you to question your own beliefs, laugh, or smile as you find yourself  fully  identifying with their unique “hmm.”  Most of all, I hope this writing brings your day amusement, entertainment and enjoyment as it did for me. ENJOY!





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How many times have you turned on the news, a favorite talk show or seen an article in the Newspaper about children who have talents or knowledge that far surpasses their age? CHILD PRODIGIES… Unfathomable  Hmm’s.


I was amazed to learn about Akrit Jaswal, a child surgeon in India. This young boy performed his first surgery at the age of seven years old, operating on the hands of a burn victim. No, Akrit is not a doctor in India but he is  considered a “medical genius” by his native people. At the age of 13, his IQ is 146 .

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Born in the year 2000, this beautiful young singer, with her extraordinary musical talents has already gone Platinum. Jackie Evancho was discovered at a very young age, causing awe and inspiration in her followers, with her unique style of  American Classical Crossover music. Since the age of 9 Jackie has issued five albums including platinum gold, 3 Billboard  and 200 top ten debuts.Great Performances: Jackie Evancho-Dream With Me in Concert

I was first introduced to these two precious  “young ladies” on The Ellen Show. Two pint size Brits, 5 Year old  Rosie McClelland and her cousin, 7 year old Sophia Grace Brownlee. They became an overnight sensation with a video they made that went viral. Now 8 and 10 years old, they not only have their first movie out on Warner Brothers, but will soon have their very own Television show. I can not watch these two little girls longer that 5 seconds without smiling, laughing and just being in complete awe at their captivating, sweet personalities, dancing, singing and acting abilities.  thingsthat10003


 This adorable little boy is  Akim Camara. He is a violinist prodigy in Berlin. With an extraordinary memory of musical tunes he’d heard as a toddler, Akim began playing the violin at the early age of two. He began taking lessons twice a week, and within 6 months time was playing the violin far beyond his audiences expectation. At the age of 3,  this little guy made his debut performance in December 2003, at a Christmas concert.

Das Adventsfest der 100.000 Lichter in Suhl - Violinist Akim


This very talented  artist, known as “Akiane,” began drawing at the age of 4 and was painting by age 6, using acrylics and oil.  Her mission is to INSPIRE OTHERS, with the subject matter being God and nature. She is now 13 years old. Unbelievable!  thingsthat1000


I don’t know about you, but I have always been awestricken by the creatures of the deep sea…There are no two creations alike. The Mystical hmm.

A econometric Scale worm, one of many bio-luminescent inhabitants of the ocean, with its scales glowing in the dark.  (Kind of looks like a alien from outer space?) 🙂


The mystifying, kaleidoscopic colors of the creatures of the sea are inconceivable.


Oh my gosh… This little guy looks like a human being, that just tasted something very sour.. The Ghost Hunters of the Ocean call this one a ‘scary deep sea creature.” thingsthat80077

A Hawks-bill Turtle in the warm Egyptian waters. Amazing!thingsthat80045

This Brobdingnagian sea creature makes me think of what the bible says about the leviathans, (sea monsters) playing in the ocean… He’s none other than a “whale Shark,” unbelievable in size.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

SUPPOSEDLY HAUNTED houses, beaches or hotels…The “spooky, unexplainable, is this for real ” contemplations.

lampost1Everyone , I am sure, has heard at least one ghost story or two of presumably haunted houses,  or about someone who swears they saw a spirit-like presence walk by their door, or that have heard strange noises in the middle of the night, that are still to this day unexplained… Perhaps you are one who has a story to tell.


I personally know of two people who have a haunted house story… Now these are not people who exaggerate the truth for the sake of a ‘good, old scary campfire tale.’ When they shared it with me, they meant it and believed it 100%! I heard these stories  many years ago and I am still thinking about them 🙂

“The Lady in the windows.”

Spending many years  in the deep south, it was not uncommon to hear stories of the supernatural. My mother often spoke of her childhood home where she grew up in the late 1920’s…  Suddenly, out of nowhere, (the air languid and still,) she would see their high back, white rockers, rocking all by themselves on the porch, unexplained noises from the hall closet and creaking sounds coming from their old staircase . She and her little brother would run and hide, spooked by what  they could not explain.  I will always remember this one particular story she told me that has been passed down through many generations in our family.

  Kathryn Winders - Susan's  mothers home in Marion South CarolinaThe home that my mother grew up in, was  an Old Victorian home, (which from the outside did look a little spooky, perhaps accented with a tiny bit of Gothic charm.)  (Sorry mom, but it really did.) 🙂  My mom was blessed to live with two generations of her family living in this home,(something very common in the south.)  Her little brother Willie , her mother Virginia, her grandpa, (as well as father figure,) William and their friend and butler, Porter.  My mom recalled an exceedingly vivid dream she had the night her grandpa died.  She dreamed he came to her bedside and gave her a big bear hug, (like he always did) kissed her on the cheek and told her how much he loved her. He then told her that he was going to go away but he would see her again one day. 

The night of her dream, while sleeping,  her grandfather became very ill. His dlampostaughter Virginia, by his side,  asked Porter to get a glass of cold water for William downstairs in the kitchen . When 20 minutes had  passed and Porter had not returned, Virginia went down to the kitchen herself. She saw Porter standing in the dark, the glistening light from the Edwardian lamppost outside highlighting his slender form. As She walked to  turn the light on, she concernedly asked;   “Porter, are you alright?”

Porter , in a trance- like state of mind,  answered back: “Miss Virginia, I don’t know how to tell you this, or if you will believe me,  but when I walked into the kitchen, I saw a woman within the midst of the windows above the  sink. (My moms vintage home had two large, towering encasement  Kitchen windows.)  She was so beautiful…I  know I should have been scared as she was not real…she was more of a spirit, ghost or vision. She was so peaceful, I just couldn’t stop looking at her.”

Virginia, a little awestruck, sat down at the kitchen table and  said;    “Porter what did this woman look like?”

As Porter began to describe the woman, Virginia’s eyes lit up as she continued to listen.

“She looked so  beautiful  dressed in a mauve colored  tailored dress, her hair was up off her neck, softly fastened with a gold clip in a loose bun upon her head. She wore a beautiful silk green scarf that matched her earrings and she was smiling, her lips a deep red color.”

Virginia, feeling bewildered, yet at the same time , comforted, replied;  “Porter you probably won”t believe me either when I tell you who you are describing. The woman you saw was my mother. The very way she wore her hair, her dress, her scarf, her favorite earrings, and she loved her red lipstick. Your description fits her to a “T” of  exactly how she was dressed and looked when we buried her many years ago. You never knew her as she died long  before you came to live with us.”

As they sat together at the kitchen table, they chatted a little more about my mom’s grandmother and then headed back up stairs to see William, trying to grasp and understand this unexplainable occurrence.

In the morning when Virginia woke up and went in to check on  her father, he had died within the night.

When Virginia sat down with my mom and Willie,  to share the news that their beloved Grandpa had died, my mom began to cry. She told her mother about her dream and how  her grandpa had kissed her and told her goodbye. Virginia, hearing about the dream, began to weep as she recalled the night before and the woman Porter saw in the kitchen windows , trying so hard to make sense of it all.

They all came to the conclusion, (and have passed this story down through the generations,) that my great grandmother came to escort her husband William to heaven the very night he died. It gave them all great comfort as they remembered the years William and his wife were together on this earth…they were exceedingly close and shared a love  that was a blessing to everyone who knew them.

merriment18I  am blessed to have at least mamagin1two photographs of these five “very important ” people in my history who lived in this Victorian, ( a little bit Gothic,) 🙂  home of many a ‘Hmm story.’ My mom as a little baby and her mother, Virginia as a young woman. Two amazing and beautiful southern women.


“Ghost Soldiers.”

thingsthat7004A friend of mine, Shepherd, who I have always called “Shep”, bought a beautiful Antebellum home in the grandiose and breathtaking city of Charleston  South Carolina. The home had heroically stood through the Civil war, which only made it a home with more stories to tell as well as gave it an extra added charisma…but Shep never knew it was haunted. He and his wife did a wonderful job restoring it to its magical historical charm, and decided to keep the original staircase..thingsthat7001. When finished,  their home was absolutely  breathtaking. Being the night-owl that Shep is, every evening, after his children and wife go to bed, he sits in his study and enjoys an hour of reading. (He is a connoisseur of many diverse books as he loves to learn.)   He tells me that many a time, when the house is still and quiet, he hears the footsteps of heavy boots walking up and down his staircase, creaks in the hardwood flooring upstairs and then begins to hear the men talking. He even knows their names.  They are soldiers who fought in the war. When they speak, they are often talking of the days events on the battle field. When I asked him if it scares him, he said “NO. They actually comfort me, I feel like they they are protecting our home.”


The Legend of The Grey man

graymanIn the mysterious , fascinating coast and inlets  of South Carolina, before a hurricane hits the shore,things that10003 the Grey man, (believed to be a  ghost,)  is often times seen on the picturesque shores…his presence is known as a warning to visitors and the residents to leave the island before it is to late. Sure enough, his appearance has saved many a lives. It is also noted that the people who encounter this spirit and heed his warning, are in complete awe as they return to their coastal  homes,  as they have not even been touched by the storm.  This particular “ghost story” is one that many people in the south will tell you is absolutely true and not a myth or fable.

The story of Alice flag and The Hermitage.

alice A tragic story of a refined young woman, who though forbidden by her brother and legal guardian, accepted the marriage proposal of a handsome, young lumber jack in town. She was sent away to a prestigious boarding school in Charleston, where she died suddenly of malaria. When her brother found the engagement ring,(secretly worn as a necklace,) on her body, he threw the ring into the marsh. “People say,” they see Alice, (even 150 years later) at the Hermitage and amongst the family graveyard, looking for her lost ring.  The Hermitage draws in many tourists and Alice still receives flowers and sentiments upon her grave site to this present day. Even now, people are still reporting her visits to this South Carolina Historical, haunted home.

California has a haunted hotel?

thingsthat80030You would never know it as you look at this beautiful, renowned historic hotel on the sandy beaches of San Diego, California, built in 1888, but it has now been officially declared ‘haunted.’ Chris Donovan, the hotels historian has written a book on the young ghost that frequents this grandiose estate by the sea. She was a young woman who checked into the hotel Del Coronado under an alias name, and took her life upon thingsthat80029the steps leading down to the ocean’s shore.  Her ghost has not only been seen but felt in many areas of the hotel, including the beach, her room and the boutiques within this luxury estate. Other guests who have stayed at the  renowned and prestigious, (supposedly haunted,) Del Coronado are Babe Ruth, Bette Davis, Kathryn Hepburn, Ronald Regan and George W. Bush.


                                 The “I can’t believe how cute my pet is,” hmm’s.


How many times do we catch our precious cargo’s in a Kodak moment?things that1029things that 1030

They are so endearing with their  hearts of ‘boundless love.’ dad56

They surprise us with their comical expressions as well as  their humble, quiet and inquisitive spirits.


And the “things they get into” brings a smile to our hearts and we love them all the more. (If that is even possible.) 🙂 things that 1009

Love x 2 = ‘more Hmm’s. 🙂  dad50

I didn’t think a little domesticated lamb could get any cuter! (Her handmade sweater is definitely her color.) 🙂 thingsthat1012


Natures, “This is too beautiful for words,” reflection.

Arizona’s prize possession of the wondrous Grand Canyon. “Simply amazing.” thingsthat8019

The breathtaking  Marble Cathedral cave in Chile, nestled in the second largest fresh water lake in South America. It’s unique light show is caused by the reflection of the water on the marble walls.  thingsthat8011

The spectacular Aurora Borealis in Canada. This photo was taken at its peak,  when the sky was filled with opalescent sheets of dancing waves of light.  thingsthat8009

Jeita Grotto in Lebanon. “Beyond Implausible.” thingsthat8008

Ha Long Bay has now been accepted as one of the 7 new wonders of nature …They are celebrating in both Hanoi and Quang Ninh Providence for the beautiful phenomena they possess.  thingsthat8006


 Man made Wonders that blow our minds.

The gorgeous St. Basils Cathedral, built in 1555 in Moscow, Russia. This beautiful work of art symbolizes the growth of the city since the 14th century. (Reminds me of the magic castle at Disneyland.) thingsthat8005

 The renowned Mount Rushmore in America’s South Dakota…a monument carved in stone. (No matter how many times I see this, I am still speechless.) (My husband told me he bets that George Washington got tired of posing for this explicate work of art.) He’s a funny guy! 🙂 thingsthat8004

“Christ The redeemer in the Tijuca Forest National Park in Rio de Jeniero atop Corcovado Mountain. This cherished statue weighs 635 tons. WOW!thingsthat8001

The spell bounding  Petra. Located on the slopes of Mount Hor in the Arabah section of Jordan, it’s beauty and age is made mostly of red sandstone. Built in 106 AD it is known as “A rose red city half as old as time.” thingsthat8000

Located 1 mile from the shoreline of Portsmouth Harbor, UK, this ingenious , 134 year old Split-bank Fort has been transformed into a luxury Hotel. things that 1000



 Undomesticated animals and the wild, our “Awestruck Hmm’s.”

What can compare to the majestic elephant and her baby? (The creation of the elephant itself makes me go hmm…everything about them just fascinates me.) 🙂 thingsthat1023

No, these are not created characters from a “Happy feet” movie sequel, they are the eccentric Adelie Penguins…A unique and stunning bird of the antarctic Ocean with a life span of 20 years. So stunning. thingsthat80024

Heart capturing Polar bears… If you are fortunate enough to live in Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland or Norway, then your chances of seeing them up close in the wild are much greater. They are beautifully amazing! thingsthat10078

This docile, charming creature and its baby, fills your heart with a hope, that there truly is innocence and enchantment abounding in our world. 🙂thingsthat8023

There is something so regal about the Lion… I could look at them all day long and never quite take in and absorb their stoic beauty and mysterious natures….(from a distance of course.) 🙂



“Oh the things our children do” Hmm’s.



Who wants to be the first to take a bath?dad39

Have you two been brushing your teeth or getting ready to shave?dad34

I truly hope those are washable paints!oops1

The wondrous innocence of our kids…they really believe with boundless faith.oops2

Precious moments caught on camera… a toddlers first encounter with a giant sea turtle and a babies first dance moves…what can you say? You just smile and treasure the moment forever. 🙂



 MIRACLES… The “Is this for real and if it is, WOW”  Hmm.


 The Parking Lot

A story shared on ainglkiss.com

I wanted to share my own personal testimony of a miracle God performed in my life a few years ago. I went to cash my check one afternoon. After returning to my car, I was putting my money away and preparing to pull out of the parking lot. A guy approached my car and knocked on my driver’s side window. Startled, I rolled my window down and asked what I could help him with. He asked me a question and pointed behind me. I turned my head to look behind me to see where he was pointing and when I turned my head back towards him there was a gun in my face. Before I could yell or even think, he pulled the trigger 3 times. Not one bullet left the chamber. The gun jammed. He ran off and I took the opportunity to run back in the building and alert the staff who of course called the police. Mind you, when I ran in the building I left all of my money on the front seat of the car, car running, and car door open. He could have at taken anything, more importantly he could have taken my life. There is no other explanation than the fact that God was with me. So anytime I question whether God loves me, or if He’s still with me, even when I’m selfish and disobedient, I think back to how He spared my life and more importantly gave His for little ole me. Thank you Jesus! ~ Taken from the website…. ainglkiss.com



A Double Revival

thingsthat6000On Christmas Eve, Tracy Hermanstorfer’s heart stopped beating while she was in labor with her third child, a baby boy she and her husband, Mike, had named Coltyn. Just after receiving an epidural for the pain, she lost consciousness and went into full cardiac arrest. Doctors attempted to revive her but couldn’t, and began an emergency C-section to save the baby. But Coltyn was born limp and seemingly lifeless.

“Half of my family was lying there right in front of me, dead,” Mike said at the time. “I lost all feeling.”

Then, to his astonishment, Tracy’s pulse returned, and moments later, Coltyn began to breathe. “I’m not big-time religious,” says Tracy, “but I know this was in God’s hands.” Within a few days, mother and son were sent home with a clean bill of health.

Hospital staff commented;“We did a thorough evaluation and can’t find anything that explains why this happened.”

Mike Hermanstorfer credits “the hand of God.”



  The Dog, The Chicken, and The Bomb

thingsthat6001When David Newkirk, now a youth pastor at Church of the Open Door in Glendora, California, woke up in the middle of the night, he was still exhausted from a college basketball victory the day before.

“Twenty minutes after my head hit the pillow, I was catapulted out of the deepest sleep,” he writes in the book. Along with his mother and sister, he was jerked awake to pray for his brother Dan.

Dan was in Israel. Running out of money, he had chosen to sleep on a park bench for the night. In the wee hours of the morning, a snarling dog woke him up, battling with a chicken under the bench.

Unable to break up the animals, Dan found another bench and resumed his rest. The next morning, a bomb exploded right next to the first bench, hurtling it through the air, leaving “a mess of tangled metal and concrete.”    WOW!



 Renowned Doctor comes back from the dead.

 ANS NEWS STORY , Reported by Dan Wooding

things that 10009 Dr. Sean Thomas George, an Indian born doctor who is now a consultant physician in a West Australian hospital, told his extraordinary story before more than 220 Christian medics on the first day of the 8th Annual International Christian Medical Conference called “Spirituality and Medicine” that was held June 11-12, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia and organized by the World Christian Doctors Network.

“I was dead for 1 hour and 25 minutes, but came back to life after my wife prayed a simple prayer,” said Dr. George, who provided all kinds of medical data that he put on a large screen for the other doctors to check out.

He said that on October 24, 2008, he returned from the dead to amaze colleagues who had battled for almost 55 minutes to revive his lifeless heart.

Later in the article  it was noted,  that Dr. George spoke regarding his wife,

“Holding my hand, she prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, he is only 39, I am only 38 and we have a ten year boy. I need a miracle.’

“As soon as she said this it was as though someone had breathed life into me again and my heartbeat came back.”

The Lost Wedding Ring.

OK, I know this is not a headline breaker or a story that would ever be on the 5:O’clock news, but it was a MIRACLE to me. 🙂  (And before I experienced this miracle and had shared with others my loss, I was surprised to hear so many “miraculous” accounts of their lost wedding rings being found against all odds.) 🙂

thingsthat80039Never being a jewelry box kind of girl, I took my rings off when I would get ready for bed. I always put them in Kits bathroom drawer, (as ladies you’ll understand this,) my drawer had so much “stuff” in it, my rings could easily get lost.  One morning, when I went to put my rings on, I noticed my wedding ring was not in the drawer… I was a little jolted, but felt assured, it was somewhere in the house…thus for the next week,  and ample uncounted hours, I tore  our house a part to find it. My frustration and sadness grew daily as truly, there was no place left to look within our home, the vacuum cleaner, trashes, car etc…    I asked many people  to pray for me and received  a medley of helpful thoughts on where it could be. After about a month, exceedingly disheartened, as my wedding ring was hand designed by Kit and a jeweler with his family’s precious gems, I  felt I would never see my wedding ring again… Every time I thought about it or looked at my ring finger, it just broke my heart. I prayed so many times it would just show up, but it didn’t…

I remember a friend of mine saying, “Susan, I bet it will show up one day in place that you have already looked..” The thought comforted me as I truly do believe in miracles.

Months later, while preparing for a birthday dinner my husband was cooking in my honor, I went to our dining room hutch to get my beloved (inherited from my mom,) wisteria crystal sugar and creamer. As I took the sugar bowl from the shelf, there in the bottom of the crystal bowl was my wedding ring. I was absolutely ecstatic and began yelling out to Kit “Oh my gosh…you’ll never believe it, I found my ring.” (He too had given up hope.)  OK, the answer to the question you’re thinking? Yes, I had looked in the sugar and creamer months before ...and no it was not there. I truly believe it was a birthday gift from the Lord and that He gave me back my wedding ring.I never take it off anymore, not even when I sleep. 🙂

 I asked a few  friends te share five things that  personally makes them go “Hmm?”

Bob, A Delawarean ,(No picture please.)

1.People who wear their pajamas to shop at wall-mart. 2. People who show up at your home, unannounced, morning, noon and night, 3. O.J. Simpson, (everything about him.) 4.Randy Jackson on American Idol. Why did he say the same thing over an over for 9 years?  “YOUR IN IT TO WIN IT.”   5. Why  cat owners in my neighborhood allow their cats to roam free and pee on my porch rugs all the time.

dad206Patrick, Dana Point  California

1.  Flying squirrels   2. Oxymoron’s (actually, any moron)   3. Paradigm shifts   4. Patterns in nature – like a spider’s web,  the human brain,  or  a black hole.     5. Technology


neillNeill, Belfonte Pennsylvania

1. The phrase; ” This is gonna hurt me more than it will hurt you.”    2. Spiritual, but not religious (SBNR)   3. It’s absolutely free, no obligation…for the first x months, year, etc.    4. Wars on Terror (WOT?!)–everybody’s got one.    5. Processed cheese food substitute (even if edible, why would you want to?)

graham102Sir Grantham, Delaware

1. How come mom and dad get to go “potty” inside and I have to go outdoors? 2. Why do the adorable little kitties always run away from me, I just want to play? 3. Why do mom and dad sing Happy birthday all day, then make me a yummy steak, (with a big bone) and then, it takes sooooooooo long until they do it again? Every day,  I keep waiting for them to say the word “Birthday” again  4. Why doesn’t everyone love my big kisses? 5. Why does that man in the big brown truck come over to our house and bring great big boxes? (He makes me bark so hard, I almost loose my voice.)


formal6Susan, Delaware

1.God has no beginning and no end.(I get into real trouble if I ponder that to long.) 🙂 2. Strangers who drive by your house very slowly, turn around and do it again, and then do it again.  3.To God, a thousand YEARS is as a day, and a day, a thousand years. (Baffles my mind.) 4. Rainbows! 5. That a woman can actually carry 6 babies in her womb at one time, bring them to  full term, with all of them born healthy…(I guess that is really two Hmm’s .) 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed this vignette and that you have at least once, shaken your head and said “HMM” 🙂 In closing I will ask you the same question I asked my friends and myself, “Can you think of at least 5 things lately that have made you go hmm?”

PHOTOGRAPHS: In placing your computer mouse upon any of the photos or graphics, it will display where the picture originated from.