I was beginning to think summer would NEVER arrive - and yet, here it is! Sunshine, blue skies, roses in bloom! Lake days, beach bonfires, and bare feet... I’m loving it all!
We’ve discovered a reservoir near the ranch that’s become a regular afternoon destination when the temperature gets above 75 degrees. I managed to rustle up some stand-up paddle boards and the girls took to them immediately! I’ll get there too, but it might take me ‘till the end of the season. For now, I’m enjoying paddling around from a seated position!
I can’t believe the variety of birds in my own backyard. Large, small, (tiny!), bright and colorful, dark and muted... all with the miraculous gift of flight! I’m simply mesmerized by them!
I hope you too, are discovering new past times and pleasantries, are experiencing sunbeams and moonbeams, and feeling gratitude for all there IS and all we HAVE.
July Book Club | Laughing Through The Ugly Cry by Dawn Barton
To live, means to experience all things life brings to us. The gifts, the grief, the loves and losses. Making sense of it all, staying focused on the good, while accepting the bad… is a continuous balancing act and it’s no wonder that we get a little lost sometimes.
My July book club pick, Laughing Through The Ugly Cry, and finding unstoppable JOY, by Dawn Barton, is a book that can help you find your way back to happy moments if you’ve been wandering in a forest of sadness.
Dawn and I have a lot in common (besides our fabulous hair!) Like me, Dawn is no stranger to strife and sorrow, and yet, she willfully, purposely, chooses joy. Her bright and colorful book reflects the very essence of Dawn and in it she lets you in on how you too can get through the unimaginable and find yourself in a place of peace and happiness.
Laughing Through The Ugly Cry, is full of Dawn’s honest and sometimes raw stories. It tell us how she was able to change her narrative to that of gratitude and find her way back to a God whom she’d loved her entire life, but had not worked on her relationship with Him in a purposeful way before; it’s a primer on how to choose Joy - even in the midst of the ugliest cries!
Bright and beautifully bound with a pink satin page marker, the book also includes some great conversation starters - which is why it makes a perfect book club pick! Get a copy for yourself, and give it as a gift!
Listen to a snippet of the audio version, HERE
and, Order yours from Amazon, HERE
Recipe | Red White & Blue - Berry Bites
I’m not quite sure that this qualifies as a “recipe” as much as it does as a “craft”, but since it is definitely edible (very, deliciously edible) I’m filing under both categories.
Red White & Blue - Berry Bites are just that! Take a sweet, red, beautiful strawberry, holding the stem end in your fingers, dip the tip - up to about 3/4 of the berry into melted white chocolate, then immediately dip it again - leaving a band of white - into blue sugar sprinkles. Place on parchment or waxed paper to “set”. Voila!
Friend, and Point Hope Director, Jan made some up with daughter Erin and grandkids; while she thought that perhaps they weren’t as picture perfect as the ones from a magazine, there’s no doubt a ton of fun and even more love went into their creations.
We may not be watching fireworks displays this year, but we can still enjoy some good family fun that ends in a berry big blast of flavor! Give it a try!
Podcast | Tracee Ellis Ross & Shannon McPeek
Two awesome podcast episodes dropped in June! The first with guest Tracee Ellis Ross, who is probably most well-known for her starring role as Dr. Rainbow “Bow” Johnson, on the comedy series, “Black-ish”. Tracee joined me to talk about her new movie, and about her single, Love Myself from the soundtrack.
We have a fantastic conversation about strength, resilience, being true to ones self, and how it is a perfect combination of our differences and that which we have in common that make this world such a beautiful place.
Or as Tracee puts it, “It’s not about a color BLIND world, but a color FULL world,. That’s where all the humanity and the robustness of life comes from!”
June’s second guest was Shannon McPeek, helping to answer the question and the quandary of, who takes care of the care-givers? The vast majority of us have, at one time or another, benefitted from the TLC of a nurse. It’s a grueling profession with long hours on your feet, strange shifts, not entirely pleasant duties (understatement!) and is often taken for granted.
Shannon found the nursing profession imminently rewarding, but sooooo stressful, and six months into her new vocation, she hit a profound low. Soon after, determined that not only would she find ways to reduce her own anxiety, but other’s as well, she began “Operation Happy Nurse” an on-line support community offering a boutique menu of self-help services; fitness instruction, community forums, book club, nutrition advice, and give-aways (LOTS of give-aways!)
Join Shannon and I on this episode and if you’re a nurse or know a nurse, help us spread the word!
And yes, still with us is the novel coronavirus, that’s becoming better understood by the medical community every day, but it is still not something to be ignored! I implore you all to stay vigilant. Large gatherings and spending time in public places CAN wait!
Stick close to family and close friends who you know to be taking precautions. Wash your hands often and wear your face masks when you must venture into public spaces, and maintain distance between others. Remember, it’s transmitted in “the air we share.” I so want my children to be able to attend their schools in the fall. This will only happen if we continue to do all we can to slow (stop!) the transmission of COVID-19.