Ten is a magical number!

Ten years ago this past August, on the night before school started, I stood high on that white beam splashing last minute paint over this exciting surprise for our local elementary school.  I could not wait for them to see my gift; what had grown inside their school while they were away for summer vacation!

For that entire month I worked on it, I thought of their faces when they would come!

And I still think about their faces 10 years later…

There are over 65 hidden treasures chosen with the children’s curiosity in mind. I wanted them to experience nature to the fullest so I brought nature inside! The bark includes butterflies, worms, lady bugs, squirrels, a baby owl, song birds, carved sayings, jewels, a CTR ring, a magic rubbing rock, the mascot doggy reading up on the tree house platform with a rope and necessary items for the tree fort, and a magical little door underneath where the school brownie lives who secretly does mischief. You can sit underneath it on a bench and imagine…                                                  anything…

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This year the night, before school began I wrapped Gilbert’s trunk with streamers and hung ribbons from the branches in honor of his tenth year welcoming hundreds of children and their families into SCHOOL; the fabulous place to grow and learn.

Seeing it in person is so much MORE  amazing!

A piece of my soul is in that tree…

I am so proud of it and how it makes people feel.

Sometimes I go and visit just because I miss it…

(The tree is named after my Uncle Gilbert who was one of my art inspirations who had one of his eyes shattered when he was a young child when hit by a truck, then went blind in his good eye later in his life before he passed away. He cherished nature and his art showed that love and sensitivity. His artistic spirit lives on in this tree…)

 

 

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Is there organic police?

My heart races and my palms sweat the exact minute I put on my nervous smile, take a red cart and walk right into Trader Joes. I am not kidding.

Who do I think I am?

I feel like I am walking right past all the lines of people through the airport security metal detection scanner without waiting my turn, taking my shoes off, or my wallet out of my pocket and not stopping. The alarms are ready to scream any second and I will be found out.

I literally feel like the security camera has zoomed right on me and the Trader Joes’ FBI is watching me from one of those dark rooms upstairs.

                                                                                    “Weight?

Body Fat Percentage?

Cavities?

Recycling bags?”

We have a fake. Send down the decoy.”

I fake smile and nod to the patron next to me and pick up packages looking like I am reading the ingredients with things they are selling that say things like this:

I am really only  there to get some type of chocolate covered something or dried yum. So I slowly inch my way over to all of those cookies and treats on that high shelf over “Soycutash.” (If I brought that home my family would laugh like it was some kind of joke then dump it down the disposal!)

I don’t think I have ever lingered longer than…6 minutes tops. I know the Trader Joes’ plain clothed police wearing crocks, jeans, and a flannel is going to find me, surround me and publicly  embarrass me by checking my purse for Burger King Ketchup packets or heaven forbid non-organic broccoli stuck in my teeth.

The check out at Trader Joes is the final obstacle to cross.  It’s not normal. Where is the moving belt, that is wet from raw chicken juice from the person in front of you, at the check out at a regular grocery store? Trader Joes does not have one of those belts! Another thing is bells are always ringing. I jump each time, then smile like I know exactly what that means because I’m a legit member, right? I do the Hawaiian shaka sign.

Keep calm I am nearly out! Their checkers can sniff an imposter and use guilt to make us buy one of their reusable Trader Joes bags.  If you don’t they will stare at you to see if you sweat and if you do they push the button under the cash register which will shine the big light on you and everyone stops in the store to recognize you are non ORGANIC and do NOT belong! Then the entire store will carry you out back and dunk you in hydrogenated oil that is sitting out back in the dumpster.

I ask for paper. I’m not a rookie.

I made it out alive again today. Pecan Pralines and Milk Chocolate S’mashing Smores with Graham Cracker and Marshmallows are always worth the risk.

As I quickly got in my car, checking behind my back I noticed someone hiding in the bushes way in the corner of the parking lot smoking. They had a reusable bag to show they faked legitimacy, too. Probably first timer.

I am okay about owning Lucky Charms and Oreos. I eat healthy I promise. But I can’t afford organic foods. And I have no idea what Cacao Nibs even are. But sometimes I have to take a huge chance, take that walk on the wild side and enter Trader Joes. Because the treats are calling to me…and I feel such a rush when I get out alive and drive away…and not in a Prius.

 

 

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a little summer left

Have you had the chance

to drive

with the windows

rolled down

and the tunes up, yet?

There’s still a chance

because there’s still

a little summer

left!

 

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The dog bite

I don’t want my blog to be political because then it would be sucked into a treacherous current that is difficult to get out of.

And here is one small example why.

Just two days ago, after a sweet little breakfast with a friend I had not seen in four years, I decided to roam around her little town of one fire station, one gas station, a used book store, a car tire garage, a hardware store, a junk store and a few specialty stores and restaurants. It is the epitome of quaint New England. In fact this was the town I had posted one Halloween where the pumpkin patch payment was all on honor code with a little box to place your money in, that anyone could have reached in and helped themselves. I had dressed up and tried to make it a nice event for me and my friend.

As I was walking back to my car parked behind the very cool junk store a man allowed his dog to stretch way out on those retractable leashes so I turned to pet. I love doggies and FEE-FEE was on bee-line to me. The owner said, “He’ll bite you!” And I of course retreated my hand back from my koochy-koo with the pup. And the owner then said, “Bite her, Bite her, she is obviously a Trump supporter!” And he just barely pulled Fido away from my leg but let his leash out so he was close enough to snarl.

Now it all happened quickly and unexpectedly. I nervously laughed it off and dashed into the out door junk yard, watching him laugh at me as he walked past retracting in Doggy-dear’s leash. He thought he was being very funny. I felt really hurt  regardless of who my political preference was.

I am worried about what is happening to the people in this country. I know the majority are good kind hard working people who want a good life for their families. But I also see more and more hurtful unkindness that seems to now be allowed and disregarded. That very tiny moment was completely uncalled for. 

Are Americans so distracted and hopless that we sit in a huge boat floating down a torrential river current minutes from going over a Niagra Falls type water fall but we all have our cameras out taking selfies and pictures of the scenery continually posting our lives on facebook and Instagram! We have got to collectively paddle the opposite way. Back to kindness, honesty, abiding by the rules and not bending them to fit our needs, being respectful to each other and our blessings this country offers that is truly amazing. And especially get back to God who gave us everything but our desire to follow him. And if we don’t follow HIM our future looks pretty bleak!

 

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One in every recipe

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Okay these did not scoop out in perfect squares like those in Pinterest pictures but it was a plop of sticky finger-lickin’ yummyness.

3 full trays of happy for the NYC homeless run but of course, was short one!

I honestly believe in every brownie recipe there automatically comes at least one brownie thief..

perhaps to make sure they are not poisoned…

 

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I hope it is…

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Do you ever wonder if this really is how it is for loved ones who have passed on.

That they are  really this close…and babies see them..

“Hello today dear one, I can see you and I am this close…”

Ah, what a comforting thought.

Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, MD is a fascinating read if you ponder this type of stuff to squeak out the last days of summer…

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sharing bubble tea

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The thing about summer

is that

it isn’t about all the big things

planned

but

it is about

all the little

spontaneous moments

 you make time for…

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