Sunday, January 6, 2019

Gratitude Meter

Oh my gosh…. It’s Sunday evening and the end to a quiet week-end.  I was going to turn on the news ….. and thought yuck!!!  I didn’t want to see or hear about any of the negativity that would be reported on.  So instead I propped my feet up by the fire, poured myself an adult beverage, put on a play list of music, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Adele…. blissful!  And decided to write to you instead.

Food, friends and gathering around the table

With the beginning of the New Year I’ve been mindful to take ( and make) the time to spend quality time with family and friends.  Here’s a quick overview, Thursday evening a gathering occurred that was a reunion of work pals and their spouses.  We were a band of very different kinds of people who were either hired (my case) or elected to Executive Officer positions (my guests) and through the good and sometimes not-so-good times at work, we forged a genuine affection for one another.  And after a few years apart, the idea had been put out by a fellow colleague to have  a “reunion” and he suggested going to a restaurant.  While I do love going out to dinner, this event just begged for a quieter setting. And with that,  I suggested that I host a dinner to encourage lingering at the dinner table where we could  enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed fashion.  The other’s eagerly adopted the idea and an impromptu dinner party came together.  It was glorious…I have to admit.  I have some very basics on food that I can fall back on and the menu consisted of Dijon Pork Lion,  Gourmet Mac n’ Cheese,  Apple-cider cranberry sauce, and the guests brought a salad, bread, dessert and wine.  We gathered, shared stories, poked fun at each other and laughed a lot.  It was a beautiful evening.  As everyone was leaving, one said, let’s do this more often…..  it seems as a whole, that we fail to set aside time to celebrate friendships forged by shared experiences.  Alas… another resolution for me!

On Friday, I took the leftovers and shared them with my mom, we played Scrabble and I got beat by my 82 year old mom…..she gloated over the winning.   Lol

Saturday I baked and baked.  I called my daughter Jen and asked if she could take a few photos of me to help submit to a magazine I’m trying out for.  After the quick photo session,  a heart-to-heart chat over coffee with my beautiful girl.  Mom and daughter time is always a blessing.
Chocolate Shortbread, Espresso Chocolate Cake,  Nutella Bread,  Cinnamon roll bread (a few successes, a couple of need to work on the recipes)

My other fav place to write when I'm not parked by the fire
This morning on my way to visiting a new church,  I dropped the yummies off to the Sheriff’s office (they were excited). It’s my way to show my appreciation for their dedication and something that I’ve been doing for several years now. Truth be told, I’m not sure who gets more excited, me getting to bring “baked with love” yummes to them, or them when they see my arms laden with baked goods.

And after church, a cup of tea with some dear friends.  Then a nice phone chat with my sweet man.  Can it get any better….?

And I have to tell you, that connecting with friends and family keeps my “Gratitude Meter” fully charged. The beauty of taking the time to spend with those you care about are the kinds of memories that warms this girl’s heart on a cold winter day.  

I hope your first week-end of the New Year was meaningful and that your Gratitude Meter is fully charged as we begin the new year.

All my best, Gayle

P.S. I’ll be getting the recipes up on the website soon – Good Farm Food ( the Espresso Chocolate cake is already on the Cake of the Month page.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Unexpected Lovely Start to 2019

Some serious bliss and indulgence

Greetings and blessings to you on the first day of 2019

Sometimes unexpected quiet days are truly a treasure to cherish and indulge.  For some reason the unplanned day to spend in pj's by the fire just evolved and it feels like a guilty pleasure of pure bliss.  The snow-covered ground with its bone chilling temperatures make me feel grateful to be able to snuggle in the warmth of the sunroom and fireplace.

Yesterday while at Starbucks, I suddenly had an urge to write down some goals, hopes, ideas…. Random thoughts and words.....

  In case you can’t read my chicken scratch …..

Good Works
Balance – life + work
Being the Best Version of You!

From that impromptu list hastily scribbled down, inspiration has formed and in its infancy, I feel this is a vision from our Creator.  And let me tell you that I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I  have found a co-conspirator to join me.   More to come on this and I’ll be excited to share this new adventure…. let me assure you!!!    As I’m hoping you may want to join in.

Later today I plan to make some potato soup, write, read and watch a beautiful day fade into a wintry dusk.  

In closing, I wish for each and everyone that 2019 evolves into a year where you find all that feeds your heart and soul.  

All my best, Gayle

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Merry Christmas and I'll take a Chance on You

Greetings friends!

A couple days ago I went to a retirement party of a colleague.  He talked about how he had started his long career.  It began when he walked in and asked for a job, and the man behind the counter said “I’ll  take a chance on you” and started him in a temporary hourly position.  From there on out, as he advanced, again each person of authority said the same, “I’ll take a chance on you”.  And when my friend had advanced to a position where he could be a source of help and guidance to others, he stayed and excelled in his role.  And his parting words to us, his well-wishers, were to reach out and keep trying until you find your niche, and remember to take a chance on others and help your fellow man anytime you can. 

With that, it is a great message to take into 2019.  And I understood what my friend had said, as I too have been the recipient of many opportunities where people gave me a chance.  I hope I have helped others along my pathway as well. I have come a long way, but I still have a ways to go. So I’ll continue to reach for the stars and put one foot in front of me all the while to be mindful to help others as I continue on my journey.

As 2018 draws to an end, it has been a year filled with more ups than downs and I know I am truly blessed.   I have found a wonderful partner who is my rock( fair to say we both took a chance on each other), we have great families and friends and we know every day is a gift from God.

A beautiful winter sunrise on my little piece of heaven
My rock
With that, I wish only the best for you in 2019, and hope as you seek what inspires you, that others will give you a chance to shine and that you will the same for others.
Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.  All my best, Gayle