Serene Picture Perfect Memories

Serene : this weeks photo challenge from the Daily Post Photo Challenge

I haven’t participated in many challenges lately. But I stumbled on this week’s challenge. Thoughts of last month’s technology break (which did me a world of good) popped into my thoughts. Figured I’d share a few moments of the serenity found in the middle of the ocean.




Happy Black Friday. Are you shopping?

Day 41 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Today is Black Friday. It’s the day when the holiday shopping madness officially begins. It’s a scary thought. Are you out there shopping? Or, like me, do a little online shopping? It’s a great time for deals even online in the comfort of your home over a cup of coffee.

The guys were up early and out the door. I packed them both bags of baked goods, complete with cinnamon rolls, to share with their early morning teams. I’m hoping the treats keep them motivated throughout the shopping madness.

Today is my last day in Des Moines. I head home tomorrow morning on the 6am flight. 😳 I’ve enjoyed my visit but I can feel it’s time to get back to my real life and give my son and Gregg back their time. I’m sure they are ready, but I’ll miss them.

We took some cute pictures on Thanksgiving in front of the Tree Beau put up. Picture almost perfect memories. LoL. You should have seen us trying to get Mr. Abraham to look at the camera with his ears up. Oh well. A few of my happiness moments.



Take A Walk On The Spicy Side

Day 38 – #100HappyDays Challenge

It’s Tuesday. Already. The days are slipping by here in the heartland. At least for me. Beau had today off which we spent together shopping. He took me downtown to this wonderful spice shop  All Spice, where you can find just about any seasoning you can think of. We picked up this smokey salt that smelled like it might work great with the maple glazed turkey planned for Thursday. I’ll let you know how it goes. But if you cant get to Des Moines check out all the spices you could ever want here.

The day was bright and sunny but the wind was bitter, cold. I was grateful I brought my warm coat with me for the walk downtown. It was a balmy 35 degrees. Bbbrrrr

I’m horrible at selfies but it doesn’t stop me from trying. LoL. My kid is so patient with me. He’s a good sport while I try.

Next stop was the greatest store in the universe. Really. The sign even said so.

I almost forgot to mention popping into this gourmet kitchen shop. It had beautiful things at beautifully expensive prices. It’s a fantastic shop for inspiration but a bit beyond what I can afford. Needless to say, I’m so grateful for HomeGoods where I can purchase a mug for under $88 dollars. 😳

What can I say… it was a good day. My whole day – this whole week – has been happy. I’m grateful for the time I get to share with my family. I just hope I’m not driving them too nuts.



Home Goods

Day 35 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Mr. Abraham was thrilled when Beau came home from work. He’s such a happy little dog. Especially with all the belly rubs and head scratches.

Today was Gregg’s day off which he graciously shared with me. We headed out this morning to pick up all the things I forgot yesterday. Then we went to HomeGoods. Cue the music and the lights, clouds part, and doors open. I just love the HomeGoods here.

The store is neat. There isn’t combat shopping carts careening down aisles littered with broken product. Every time I turned a corner there was more items to admire. More to add to my cart while Gregg patiently put up with my wandering.

I did take some time to admire a stunning cake platter, pondering on how I could get it on the airplane in one piece. Not that I need another cake platter but I did think about it for quite a bit, before deciding against it. Instead I picked up a rolling pin that will come in handy for the apple tart in our near future.

We made it home just in time for me to gently push down the bread I had put on to rise before we headed out in the morning. It’s always a new adventure when baking in an unknown oven. But over all, even though I think the bake could have used a few more minutes in the oven it turned out pretty good.

I love using a mix of fresh and dried cranberries in this hearty cranberry walnut bread. The tartness of the fresh cranberries lend a brightness to the hearty loaf. I really enjoy it toasted, slathered with butter and honey in the morning with coffee. Try it. You’ll love it!



Day 34 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Des Moines is a cool 50 degrees today. It’s my first day spending it with my favorite pooch, Mr. Abraham. He kept me company once I got home after dropping my son off to work.

I was a bit nervous driving his car. I haven’t driven a 6 speed in years but muscle memory took hold saving me and the car’s transmission. Thank goodness for GPS which allowed me to navigate to the grocery store where I stocked up, before helping me find my way back to his house.

Abraham met me at the door waiting patiently as I unloaded the bags from the car. We head to the back yard where I meet my son’s fancy chickens. Very fancy chickens in a very fancy coop.

What is it about stocking my kid’s kitchen that just thrills me? I don’t know. But I’m happy as I fill the pantry and fridge. I bought staples to bake with from flour, yeast, sugars, chocolate chips and lots of butter. You can never go wrong with having lots of butter on hand.

Putting on a pot of chili for dinner, my mind ran over plans on what to bake for the guys. Maybe bread tomorrow? Cookies is a favorite. Decisions, decisions. Maybe banana bread…



Airport Mind Chatter

#Day33 – #100HappyDays Challenge

I watch the rolling cart drive by carrying a half a dozen passengers, the driver raising his voice in a strange singsong trill, alerting the startled people in front of the motorized vehicle, who are toting luggage or rolling bags in zigzag lines, scurrying to the side trying to avoid being ran over. “He needs a bell or a horn or something,” I think, looking on from the safety of my seat.

A little boy skates by on what looks like a small child’s suit case secured magically to the front end of a skateboard. What I can only imagine is his little sister, both with longish, blond hair and matching grins, skates close behind him, only her board was pink. Two frantic adults race after them. My money is on the kids.

A man tugs on a long salt and pepper beard, a black felt hat sits on top of his head, strides purposely towards the gate. He reminds me of a farmer with worn jeans and work boots. But what kind of farmer rolls his jeans into neat cuffs to brush against his boots? I’m confused.

A baby toddles across the polished floor, his mother following inches away trying to keep him distracted. He waves his chubby hands at the people sidestepping around him. I’m impressed with how calm the young mother is. I don’t ever remember being that relaxed with a toddler. I’m so grateful those days are behind me.

A long queue of people line up in front of the gate long before any boarding call. Why? I sit watching the queue get longer. Do they think the plane will leave without them?

These and other thoughts tumble around my mind, their sharp edges worn smooth from the churning current of the absurd mind chatter. I sip my coffee enjoying people watching.

Today’s happy moment is arriving in Des Moines. There is nothing better than spending time with those you love.

Here’s to a week with my son!



Off to Iowa Tomorrow

Day 32 – #HappyDays Challenge

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? I’m sure thoughts of lots of food and family come to mind. This year I’m off to Iowa to spend it with my son. I’m so happy that I get to share time with him. He’s in retail so I can’t remember the last Thanksgiving we’ve shared.

It doesn’t matter how old your children get, they still hold your heart. I’m feeling blessed that he’s willing to put up with his old mom for a week. LoL I haven’t given much thought to the menu. Guess I’ll wait until I get there and we can come up with a plan. But I think a pie may be in our future. Or those delicious apple tarts. Mmmmm whatever shall I bake?