Go Get Lost in your Garden

I’m not quiet sure what possessed me to pick up my camera and venture into the backyard this weekend but I did.

In my nightgown, with a cup of coffee in one hand, my little digital camera in the other. It had rained over night, so the needed-to-be cut grass was very wet and very cold and my last minute choice of slipping on my favorite flip flops wasn’t looking like such a great idea. I was in the middle of contemplating weather or not I should just ditch the whole adventure when I noticed the row of lilies gently swaying in the morning breeze.

For an instant I wanted to just run right into that enchanting, vibrant green Lilly world.

But then I thought better of it. I was in my night gown (and that wouldn’t be very lady-like) and if I spilled my sacred first cup of coffee, well, then, quite simply the world would END- enchanting Lilly adventure or not.

I don’t know exactly what it was that I found so incredibly relaxing in my backyard, shivering in my night gown with my morning coffee. It may have been because the past week had been a long, wild and woolly one filled with many amazing firsts.

I have been learning things that I NEVER in a million ca-trillion years ever thought that I would be learning. Or even be able to learn. Especially now. When I’m 40…

(o.k. 41 ).

And a 1/2.

My mind has been somewhat overwhelmed, over stimulated, and basically, between you and me, I wouldn’t be surprised if it just went up into flames one of these days.

I’ve embraced the blogging world and jumped in with not just one foot, or even two feet, no sir-ee, but rather my WHOLE body, because that’s just who I am, a whole body jumper inner.

I have become consumed with learning everything I can about social media networking, photo shopping, photography-ing, (I know it’s not a real word, just go with it) learning how to set up various computer accounts with passwords that I pray I’ll remember. I’ve been wrapped up in learning how to use my camera the right way, with the right flash and the right settings and the right way to make food look appealing. (and not like something that my dog would gladly to eat).

At the same time, I have ideas that constantly march through my head at lightning speed, ideas about stories and projects for my next post. I have little notebooks, lots of little notebooks that I carry with me everywhere I go.

And lists, lots and lots of lists but that’s a story for another day.

Don’t get me wrong…I adore what I’m doing! I just have to find balance – beautiful, lovely, harmonious balance.

So maybe I actually do know why I was drawn into the peaceful tranquility of my wet and cold backyard after all.

I got lost outside of myself and it was magical.

So magical in fact, that I wanted to share it with all of you.


It just looks like tranquility on a stem, doesn’t it?

I’d just like to crawl right in.

Which is exactly what this little fellow was thinking, I’m sure.

I love the antenna vibrating frantically as he was struggling to get to the drop.

(I know the feeling)

Or instead, maybe he’ll just sit on it for awhile…

(I’ve honestly never seen a bug sit on a water drop!)

I was feeling very relaxed and ready to head back into the house for my second cup of coffee, when I noticed this…

Looks like a magical fairy kingdom, doesn’t it?

Isn’t nature amazing? Couldn’t you just jump right in?

Refreshing, for the mind, body and soul.

Sometimes a little refreshing rain, and an early morning walk in the garden with a cup of coffee (in you night gown) is all you need.

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life and elevating them to an art.” ~William Morris

I could not agree more…

and you don’t even have to leave suburbia.

Now go get lost in your garden.



We’re Expecting

Something miraculous is happening at our house.

I wasn’t sure if it would ACTUALLY happen,

If it COULD actually happen…

I had my doubts it’s true.

But we’re expecting!

You see we’ve ALL been waiting…

waiting with bated breath. For days…even weeks now.

We’ve waited through the long warm Spring days and the (hopefully) not too cold nights.

We’ve waited as each little egg appeared in the nest.

Our nest, that I serendipitously discovered in a beach bag hanging in our garage the day before I launched this blog. It was a sign because I LOVE nests… ADORE them.

And now we wait because the nest is full.

One egg,

two egg,

three egg,


…and finally …


Five precious perfect little eggs full of hope and new life.

Each and every one of them remind me of  Life’s Little Wonders.

We’ve all taken turns climbing up and down the step stool just to get a sneak peak at the (now) five eggs.

So game’s over, we’re not expecting…

But rather, two darling little bubbly, happily chirping Carolina Wrens.

They are the proud parents.

But it sounded exciting for a moment thinking that “we” were expecting, right? It sounded exciting to me! (And My Yanni too).

Exciting for about five minutes. Then the REALITY of childbirth set in- the no sleep, where would we put a nursery, am I too old, who would win the name game and what about our insurance plan… put a screeching halt to the whole -wouldn’t it be fun to have a baby thing.

So, I’ve been vicariously living through Lina…

Doesn’t she just look like a “Lina?” (My sweet peas don’t think so either, but I’m the mom. So I win).

Day and night, night and day, little Lina has been diligently attending to her eggs, there is rarely a moment that she even dares to leave the nest. (We as moms all know what that feels like, right?)

And this handsome fellow?

This is the Proud Papa.

(And how do I know you ask? Well, if YOU don’t know, then I’M not gonna tell ya! )

His job is to flit and fly around all day (& let’s not forget sing) in that “oh my goodness there’s SO much to do before the brood arrives kind of way.”

My husband did the same thing,( including the singing) with both of our girls.

And this? This is Oliver, my suburban house cat that in between naps and lounging, believes that he is a stealth panther.

Waiting, planning, stalking…

and absolutely mesmerized by all of the flitting and singing and excitement that is going on outside this window.

But don’t you worry.

Oliver is just going to have to wait for the BIG DAY to come, along with all of the rest of us.

Stay tuned for part 2…


I’m so glad that you came for a visit! I’d LOVE to know about YOUR nest, egg, or bird stories!  Please feel free to share by leaving a comment below! Thanks!

Inspire Musings

To Make…or Not to Make

Ever since I can remember, I’ve embraced the day with the “holy morning ritual” of making my bed. Rain, snow or shine. Sick, hurried, hassled or late.

I still do my ceremonial making of the bed.


I’ve come to realize that in my (ahem) older years, I have become a hardcore creature of habit. And I blame it ALL on my parents.  Yep, it’s ALL their fault, (isn’t it always? don’t worry, I’m FULLY aware that my girls will say the same thing about me).

Since I was old enough to stand, my mom taught me (or perhaps strongly instilled in me) the “holy morning ritual”. The ritual that entails the making of  the bed before the day is able to unfold.  I learned to pull up the sheets… and blanket… and comforter. Smooth out the bumps  (with both hands, it saves time) and then the final touch – place the pillow (or in my case pillows) at the top of the bed.

I remember the sense of satisfaction, the mental CHECK that would go off in my head as I perfectly placed the last pillow in its final resting position. Simultaneously, an internal sigh would be released and I would think  “o.k.- the day can start now- all is good in the world” – at least for that single delicious moment of accomplishment.

And what would happen if I didn’t?

Well…uh, I don’t know. I’ve never dared to mess with the powers that be in dealing with the holy morning ritual. Trust me, I’ve considered it a time or two. But then I get that nagging feeling like something will go wrong, very wrong, something terrible or even catastrophic.

Like…well? I dunno, the bed sits unmade all day until it’s time to go to sleep and I don’t have to pull the sheets down?  Hmmmmmm, I MAY be onto something here.

But, for now I bite the bullet and go into make-the-bed-in-a-hurry-but-neat-and-tidy mode and rush off to wherever I’m going and try to think of a better reason for being late than “I just HAD to make my bed.”

Because that would seem a bit strange… to most people…

I am now a grown woman with two darling daughters of my own, and it only makes perfect sense that I have very delicately, very generously, passed down the tradition. The tradition of sheet smoothing, pillow fluffing goodness that comes with the satisfaction of making your bed.

(They can thank me later).

This was my duty, my motherly obligation, that I started when they too, were old enough to stand and reach the covers on their bed. I still remember the day that my Mother-in- law noticed what they were doing. She was giddy with delight and in awe of their ability to pull the covers up and place their pillows on their bed before getting dressed to start their day. She carried on about it for days…even told her friends of the miraculous events that were taking place in our home.

You see, my mother-in-law is Greek and gave birth to THREE charming sons. All of whom, never made their bed one day of their lives (at least while under her roof) it’s unheard of as far as I can tell. (At least in her book).  Don’t ask me why because I have no idea…My Yanni (her eldest son) to whom I am married makes a beautiful bed…and it’s a good thing too because you know what they say.

You don’t know what they say?

Well in my book, if you make the bed, you get to sleep in it.

So, there you go.

But I was not born Greek nor was I a charming son. I was a daughter, an OBEDIENT and caring, very UN-dramatic first born…

who made her bed…

EVERY day.

Without drama. (wonder if my mom is reading this?)

So you see the ceremonial making of the bed has, thus far, been successfully passed down to yet another generation. Loving Mother to obedient daughters.

Life marches along whether we like it or not and the rituals, or traditions or whatever you want to call them, that stem from our childhood are the ones that make us who we are today.

And Mom, I wouldn’t change a single, solitary thing.


So how about you? Do you choose to make or NOT make to the bed? Please share!


Be Still.

As I woke up and looked out my window at the majestic morning sunrise, I was instantly still and quiet.

I found myself inhale and exhale so deeply that it forced a surprise yawn to push its way slowly out of my mouth.

I just sat there.

In awe.

Totally engulfed by the magical moment unfolding in front of me.

The warm golden rays looked like honey stretching through the beautiful dogwood blooms, as if they were trying to touch me…

my face,

my neck,

my shoulders,

then sliding down to my chest in a way that just seemed to comfort me and quiet me and remind me to, “be still.”

When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to tell me to “be still” when I was bothering my little sister  (like squeezing the daylights out of her cheeks…affectionately, of course)  or being  in general too rambunctious.

It was  such a very sweet and very loving way to say, “be quiet,”  or, “now keep your hands to yourself.”

But the words “be still” have taken on a whole new meaning for me in my adult life. Of course I’m always remembering my grandmother’s words while frantically trying to suck back in the less eloquent ones that just seem to bubble out when I’ve had it with my kids.

Sometimes life just has a way of pushing you along. It’s almost like a ginormous broom is just sweeping you forward, one big swoop at a time.

I find myself running up on my tippy toes just to keep up.

You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all fallen into that insidious cycle of never enough time, too many people pulling you in too many directions, not enough sleep, what’s next on the list syndrome.

I don’t know about you, but every now and then, I need a little reminder of what’s really important in life.

What I’m talking about is that surreal moment in the middle of mayhem that catches you off guard and reminds you to “be still.”

For me, that happened today.

Just a few moments ago.

As the rays of the beautiful sunrise stretched through my grandmother’s dogwood tree.

Thanks Grandmother,  I will.



Did Someone Just Say FREE Starbucks?

Do you by chance have one of these?

If the answer is yes, then you probably love coffee, especially Starbucks coffee, as much as I do.

And if you don’t…

well, then…..

I just don’t know what to say, frankly.

BUT, if you DO have a Starbucks tumbler then this is…




Today…Starbucks is giving you a free cup o’coffee when you bring in your own Starbucks reusable tumbler.

I’m serious.

I don’t mess around when I’m talking coffee.

So grab your keys (and tumbler), jump in your car, (and buckle up)…

Safety first.

take a moment to enjoy the beautiful Spring scenery..

and drive into the parking lot of your local –

then enjoy your FREE cup of fabulously delicious perfect every time Starbucks coffee.

“One person can save the trees, together we can save a forest.” ~ Starbucks

Now if that doesn’t make you SMILE than I don’t know what will.

See ya at Starbucks!



Spring In Suburbia

Spring is one of my favorite seasons and this is why…

Finally, all of the long, dark, dreary, cold of Winter just seems to melt away with the snow.

It’s like I get seasonal amnesia or something.

For months I whine and complain about how cold I am…

and how many LESS minutes of daylight we have…

how much I STRONGLY DISLIKE all of the slush and salt that gets trampled into my house…

and how many more times I can tolerate wiping my dog’s feet after he goes in and out for the gazillionth time…

and how will I make it through ONE-MORE-all-the-kids-at-home-bored-on-a-snow-day??

And then all of a sudden, when I’m quiet sure that therapy is eminent, I walk out my door, right here, smack dab in the middle of suburbia…

and see this…

and this…

and this!

And I’m reminded of all of life’s possibilities. I mean, if these fragile, delicate, little hosta leaves can push through this hard, cold, ground then I can surely push through MY life’s challenges, right?

And hold on to the hope that Spring brings.

Even if I feel like a red tulip in the middle of a Day Lilly patch sometimes.

I can find reassurance in the spectacular display of Spring in all her GLORY. It’s the promise of a new beginning, a fresh start and a warm reminder of what’s in store.

Even if that does include wiping Oakley’s face of the fresh Spring mud.

Wishing you a Spring in your step as well as your heart!


(See more flowers from Reluctant Entertainer)


Have a Starbucks and a SMILE!

Today started just like any other. Woke up. Stumbled into the kitchen, turned on coffee pot ( Starbucks, of course) and considered sticking my head (with mouth open) under the stream of hot java rather than the carafe.

Assisted the kiddos – animals -breakfast mess – lunches – school work – back packs AND finally out- the- door.

Next on the agenda…the gym.

UGH, the gym. Not today, I’m too tired, it’s raining and I have a gazillion things “To Do.”

But, before I realized what I was doing, I was driving to the gym in the rain.


BUT, I got a decent spot  (I’m all about good parking spots, especially front spots….more on that later)! Wrapped up chatting with my mom, put the car in park, looked up and noticed a new sign – “Parking for Salon Only! Others Will Be Towed”

But it’s raining. This was a GOOD spot. Evidently the good spot mojo wasn’t with me today.

I made it in to the gym, at least my favorite machine was empty…(O.k. mojo was coming back) – ipod on, stretch, (crack, snap, pop…not the body it used to be) and I was on my merry way. Instantly the music filled my head and my body followed. I was getting into the groove.

And maybe, just maybe, there was a little air guitar going on.

I was on a roll…until the blasted machine went back to start! WHAT!?! I had NO CLUE how long I had been all arms pumping and sweat flying and singing (inside my head I hope). 20 minutes? 15? 30? So I started the whole thing over…

Only to have it happen again.

I was honked  (to say the least). But I finished the workout…hopped in my car and drove to destination #2 of my day.


Oh my Starbucks how I love thee…

I mean The Statue of Liberty has her torch.

Venus has her shell.

Joan of Arc had her sword.

I have my Starbucks…in hand…every day.

It could be worse.

This is how I start my everyday.

This is what I order.

Venti half caf with cream and a venti water (must stay well hydrated as well as caffeinated).

But you know what the best part is? Besides the warm, delicious, rich goodness that I can never seem to replicate at home that is. It’s the people who work there that make Starbucks what it is. The personal customer service and care that is poured into each cup.

There have been days when I’ve pulled into the parking lot all tangled up in the drama of life, (too many to count in the past year) on the phone with a loved one who’s informing me that I need to meet them at the ER. I’m not sure why I always end up in the parking lot of Starbucks, probably because I secretly hope that holding onto that cup of coffee will somehow give me strength. And do you know what? Every single time as I sit there trying to wipe the mascara from my eyes, magically a barista appears beside my window holding my venti half caf. They deliver MY coffee to ME for free. I kid you not. Baristas may come and go but one thing remains the same, the quality of care that they give is as good as the quality of coffee that they serve.

Today started out not so fabulous.

But by the time I walked out of Starbucks, I had my coffee AND a smile.

Wishing you the same!



Life’s Little Wonders

I am always amazed and humbled at the little surprises that life seems to dish out.

Sometimes we need to look really hard to see these surprises and other times they just seem to show up in front of you when you least expect it.

In my case, it was in my beach bag in my garage.

It was just an ordinary day at the end of an extraordinary week (more about that in the days to come). I went into the garage to grab some sunscreen before the first round of Spring cleaning in my flower beds. It had been a crazy week and something about the warm weather and sunshine just helps me clear my head.

And there it was, a bird’s nest. A perfect, little nest. In MY garage.

I love nests. And eggs.

This was a sign – a real sign that life had given me letting me know that I was walking on the right path. I was getting ready to launch my blog the very next day and a bird was part of my logo. My site was Robin’s egg blue, AND I love nests. I basked in the glory of my little sign for a moment. Then I ran in the house, told everyone my good news and immediately took a picture of the nest (my nest) for proof.

The next day I made my first post and I shared the nest with all of you (but you don’t know the rest of the story).

I kept looking for the momma bird. I never saw her again. I was panicked. Did I ruin my life’s little wonder? Did I scare the momma bird away by unknowingly touching the bag before I knew of the nest? Oh dear, dear, dear. My heart sank. For 24 hours I felt like doom and gloom were hanging around my neck like a synthetic scarf on a hot day.

Until I got the phone call from my daughter, Sassafrass, (my eldest, my tween, my nothing gets past her first born) “MOM, THERE IS AN EGG IN THE NEST!” My heart stopped. “Really?” “Are you sure?” Of course I knew that she was sure, she is my nothing gets past her first born but I just had to hear it again.

Sure enough, there was an egg in the nest. My heart sang!

Then the next day on Easter, another…

and another…

and another!

Today there are four precious, sweet, full of hope, little eggs in the nest.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much strength and inspiration I have gathered with each egg. The beauty of this story is that I’ve had all of this strength and inspiration and hope inside me all along! I just needed a little nudge to remind me.

Sometimes life just gives you little gifts…things that only you would understand. Take a moment, stand still and look around. What gift is life trying to give you?

Wishing you a day full of wonder,



Little Birdhouse In My Soul

I have always adored nests. They represent such hope and inspiration.

And I love the color of the eggs. Soft pastels, all smooth and perfect, nestled within the twigs and branches that have been dutifully collected by the parents.


In the Spring I decorate with nests tucked all around my house. I even have this wreath that I made, greeting guests as they come into my home.

I really LOVE nests. And Eggs.

Interestingly enough, as I have been creating and building and planning this blog (with my husband, or My Yanni, as I will call him) a little bird has been building right along with me, without me even knowing, until this weekend. I looked into one of the beach bags in the garage for sunscreen and I couldn’t believe what I saw! A tiny, perfect, little nest. A REAL nest. I was speechless (which for me is rare, at best).

Because I love nests.

And my blog is Robin’s egg blue.

And I have a bird as part of my logo.

And did I mention that I love nests?


I thought it only appropriate to write my first post on this blessed day filled with hope and promise and inspiration (especially after a weekend filled with awe and serendipity).

Today Jesus gave us all a new beginning and I can’t wait to spread my wings knowing that I have a little birdhouse in my soul…

…and in my garage…

…and on my door…

…and in my foyer…

…and in my kitchen…

I’ll stop now.