I'm so looking forward to 2019!
All of us in the Delilah Radio family have been working hard and are looking toward the new year with an abundance of energy and excitement! We plan to bring more great music and conversation your way on the air, and hope to share and engage with you in many other ways too.
This newsletter (with beautiful, newly designed templates!) is one way.
My webpage, Delilah.com, is another. There you'll find my Book Club, Recipes, the latest Movies and Music I've come across, and my Blog with the occasional musing on a topic that has piqued my interest.
My podcast series, Conversations with Delilah, saw some awesome guests joining me for heartfelt chats last year.
Talented artists, musicians, authors, movers and shakers, like Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Harry Conick Jr., Rory Feek, Max Lucado, and Stephen Twining, of Twinings Tea, all sat down with me and shared their time and passions.
Have a guest or two in mind that you'd like me interview? Or a topic you're interested in me covering? Send a note to D@Delilah.com and tell me who, what, and why!
I hope to do many more podcasts in 2019, so make sure you subscribe to Conversations with Delilah.
I'll continue promoting my new book, One Heart At A Time, and talking with anyone and everyone I can to get the word out.
December was a veritable media blitz, and I met with many different people, coming from many different backgrounds, sharing an important core belief with me; to change the world, we need to do it One Heart At A Time.
I'll say it again, and again, and again - For all the differences we have with people, our similarities are far greater.
This is the message I hope to spread far and wide in 2019. Won't you join me?!January Book Club | Still in the Gameby Devon Still
I have more than a few football lovers in the family. In fact, my 10 year old grandson, Elijah, just returned from the Youth Football Championships in Canton, Ohio (Home of the Football Hall of Fame) where his team, The Raptors, were fortunate enough to play.
The game has so many fabulous metaphors for life that many of us use, even if we’ve never donned a set of shoulder pads or smeared grease paint under our eyes. Such is NOT the case for the man, or his story I’m about to recommend to you.
For January, which happens to be the month of football playoffs, I’ve chosen an inspiring read, Still in the Game, by former NFL Defensive End, and now motivational speaker and author, Devon Still. Still was brought to his knees by his daughter, Leah’s, cancer diagnosis, but that’s where he was used to finding God.
His faith, and the lessons that life and the game of football had taught him, prepared him to support her in “beating up cancer” and showing up for life! He says, “Be proud of your scars. They’re signs that you survived whatever tried to break you.” Amen.
Still has many such scars, the emotional ones that come from growing up in the inner city and being raised in a broken home, to the physical ones from the many sports injuries he’s had to overcome, and those to his career as a result.
He wants you to know that our challenges reveal our true purpose, and no set-back is too great to prevent not only a comeback, but it may be the very thing that sets us on a path to a life better lived than ever before.
Millions of people around the world have been inspired by Still’s tireless devotion to his daughter’s victory over cancer and his undaunted optimism. I’m inspired. I want you to be as well.
Learn More and Pick up Your Copy atStillintheGameBook.com
I also have a few copies to give away. Would you like one? Write to me and tell me why!Recipe | Shaylah's White Chocolate Fudge
One of the greatest joys of parenting is watching your babies turn into adults, and do all those adult-type things you are used to doing yourself. Sometimes it even means letting them take your place - like when Shay Shay shows me up in the treat department with these delicious little morsels!
It was her sweet baby Rosalie's first Christmas and both mama and babe were patient enough to allow Rosebud to be passed around for snuggles, huggles, and the kind of Christmas magic that only babies can deliver - as long as she was frequently sent back to sit on mama-bears hip for a reassuring amount of time.
In between rounds of Pass the Baby, Shaylah whipped up more than one batch of white chocolate fudge with crushed candy-cane sprinkles. They were this year's favorite (and prettiest) treat, with orders for more already placed for the New Year's celebration.
*Not fond of peppermint, or would simply like a different look for New Years Eve? Skip the candy canes and drizzle melted semi-sweet chocolate over the top before cutting into squares for a very elegant, but still scrumptious, black and white presentation.Recipe | Pasta with Gorgonzola Cheese & Roasted Cauliflower
If you have the treats covered, but you're looking for a fabulous side for New Years Eve or New Year's brunch, I've got you covered.
This could even serve as a main, with the addition of lobster, crab, or shredded chicken.
Click over to Recipes on Delilah.com and try out this fabulous and fancy dish cooked up by my nephew, Dalton, and his cousin - my niece, Laurel, on Christmas eve!My New Book | One Heart At A Time
I know, I know, I know... I've been talking, talking, talking, about my new book since it was released in mid-October. Oh, who am I kidding? I've been talking about my new book, loooong before it was released in mid-October! I'm kind of excited about it.
But perhaps there are new subscribers to my newsletter, or perhaps one of you, for some unknown reason, haven't yet picked up your copy of One Heart At A Time...
In it, I'll answer many of the questions I am asked by callers, when I'm at appearances, and those chance meetings in the grocery aisle:
"Where were you born?"
"Where did you grow up?"
"How did you get into radio?"
And I'll share with readers how a small town girl, hopping from radio station to radio station, became a syndicated personality, the founder of an NGO called Point Hope, and a mother of 14.
Most importantly, I'll share with you my belief that YOU have the capacity to change the world.
I'll hopefully impress upon you that you do not need position, wealth, power, or any special talent to do this. All you need is a heart willing to serve.
Someone - though I can't recall who - shared an analogy about grief with me after Zack left us. It made sense:
Grief never diminishes. Grief doesn't shrink, or fade, or ever go away. You don't get over grief, and you don't even get through it. Grief just IS.
But Life... Life changes, it grows, and if you allow it, it will grow larger than Grief. With every new day, new experience, new person you let in, and with the decision to live fully and joyfully, Life grows.
This is my goal in 2019. I'll never miss my boys less, but I will do all I can to live more.
You, my readers, listeners, friends, are part of my growing, beautiful life. You are an integral part of my support system and I look forward to spending the coming year in your company!
Thank you and God Bless. Cheers to 2019!
Family pajamas on Christmas morning. Thank you The Company Store!
"Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all, that children call
Their favorite time of year..."
If we'd let Delilah junior choose the Christmas tree this year, it might have been a Charlie Brown Christmas alright! After a good giggle, we located a perfect specimen and with hacksaw and Papa Paul's guidance, she and Blessing brought the big guy down!
We started the decorating process but got a little sidetracked with gingerbread building, playdates, and all sorts of wonderful distractions... Plenty of time to finish it up!
I'm headed to the Big Apple this weekend, taking a small band of rebel rousers. We so look forward to this holiday trip! A little business, a lot of fun, shopping, eating, skating, eating, Broadway, eating... you get the picture!
Friday Night Girls will take place in Manhattan and consist of me, my person - Janey, my Shaylah, our little rose bud, Rosalie, my sis, a niece, and several besties. Having 'girl time' is so important! Not any more important than date night, family time, kid time, friendship and fellowship of all types... but it IS important to carve out time to bond with your girlies.
With luck, we'll have a light dusting of snow - just enough for pretty pictures, you know? Nothing so drastic as to be inconvenient for anyone! We don't ask for much, do we???December Book Club | TWO Great Books!
This month I have not just one, but TWO great book recommendations for my Book Club readers.
The first is about a woman in transition, she’s been a wife and mother, executing both roles with beauty and grace but now that the children are grown she feels empty and disconnected. Remembrance is a book that will help ALL of us remember the reason for the season!
The second is an anthology of Christmas romances, spanning ages, cultures and geography. It’s the kind of book that makes you feel like love will prevail no matter the circumstances. A Season to Celebrate is just the kind of book we need for all the warm and fuzzy holiday feels!
Each will make great gifts for yourself or for wrapping up for someone else. I hope you enjoy them both!
by Mary Monroe
Beatrice Powell, happily married mother of three adult children, is the consummate party maven, but after years of hosting large gatherings for family and friends, she finds herself simply going through the motions and feeling disconnected from those she loves.
Oddly, she finds a bit of peace volunteering at a local soup kitchen, especially when in the company of a homeless man she’s befriended there. His sensitivity and his story may be the inspiration she needs to find her way back to gratitude this Christmas season.
What does Christmas really mean? If you find yourself asking this question from time to time, Remembrance will help you with the answer.
I’ll use all those book review adjectives like “Uplifting,” “Heartwarming,” and “Inspiring,” on Remembrance. It’s a fine read, from New York Times bestselling author, Monroe; absolutely perfect for the holiday season!
Visit Mary Monroe’s Author Website
A Season to Celebrate
by Fern Michaels, Kate Pearce, Donna Kauffman and Priscilla Oliveras
A perfect book for this busy time of year celebrating love from different stages of life and from sea to shining sea. In between errands, gatherings and gift wrapping, you can still indulge the reader within by taking a little time to yourself to enjoy the four great stories in this volume of holiday romances - one at a time.
A Texas Christmas tree farm is the setting of Ferm Michaels, Christmas Homecoming, wherein a returning US Air Force serviceman unsure of his future meets the new town surgeon…
Indulge yourself with A Season to Celebrate - the perfect stocking stuffer!
My 12 stockings are back and I'm filling them to the brim, once again, with some of my favorite products, music, and caaaaaandy!
You know the drill by now. Each year I put together 12 big piles of prizes, and Give. Them. Away!
Entering to win one is easy. Listen to my radio program in the evening and when you hear me highlight one of the items and share the keyword, jump on your computer or mobile device and head to Delilah.com where you can enter the keyword on the Entry Page. Another way to do it is to text the keyword to 48484. You may enter each time a new product is highlighted - I have 13 of them this year!
Here's a rundown:
Balsam Hill has been the leading retailer of highly realistic artificial Christmas trees and holiday décor for over a decade, and do I LOVE their products! They have beautiful décor for your year-round needs; fantastic fall displays, signature Christmas trees, elegant ornament sets, flickering flameless candles, and a gorgeous spring floral line. My studio always looks amazing with Balsam Hill décor!
For beautiful holiday décor, you owe it to yourself to visit Balsamhill.com!
You know what store has been around for over 100 years and has set the standard in quality bedding, bath, and décor for your home? The Company Store, that’s who! They carry the cutest FAMILY pajamas, (I've ordered my families) and beautiful holiday décor; they even have great products for your pets. I love everything they have from their down comforters and pillows still made in the USA, to their towels and sheets. Have family or friends coming this holiday? Get ready by freshening up the linens in the bedrooms and bathrooms with beautiful accessories from The Company Store.
They’re great for last minute shopping because they have guaranteed delivery by Christmas if you order by 10am (ET) December 21st (see website for details). They’ve been all about comfort since 1911!
You’ve told me how much you love the music of for King & Country, and how breathtaking they are to experience in concert. Lucky you, because I’m adding autographed copies of their new CD, Burn the Ships and their holiday release, Christmas | Live from Phoenix to my 12 Stockings.
Their music is both uplifting and spiritual, and all about the reason for the season. They’re on tour this holiday season and if they come to your town they are not to be missed. You can check out their music and tour schedule at for KING & COUNTRY’s web site. Both albums are available everywhere.
I’m welcoming eight-time Grammy nominated Train back with, Trains Greatest Hits. The new album comes fresh off a sold-out summer tour with Hall and Oates and celebrates 20 years of TRAIN music. It pulls together 16 fan-favorites including Drops of Jupiter, Calling All Angels, and
Hey Soul Sister as well as a special cover of George Michael’s Careless Whisper, featuring the amazing saxophonist, Kenny G!
I’m also including their wonderful holiday album, Christmas in Tahoe, filled with holiday classics we’ve come to love. Keep them in mind when you’re shopping for the music fan on your list, and be sure and pick up copies of each CD for yourself.Put a little TRAIN underneath your Christmas tree this holiday season! They are incredible supporters of Point Hope, and I love them!
Everyday is Christmas, from Sia, is also making it’s way into my 12 Stockings. It’s composed of 10 fun original songs - You’ll hear last year’s favorite Santa’s Coming For Us, as well as her latest single, Candy Cane Lane.
The artist has written and composed some modern-day holiday songs that will certainly become classics, like, Underneath the Mistletoe, Sunshine, the title track, Everyday is Christmas, and the so-adorable-it-can’t-be-real, Puppies Are Forever.
Everyday is Christmas has a song for everyone this holiday season; perfect for your holiday playlist and your favorite person's Christmas stocking.
The FUJIFILM Instax Camera, is back! Did you know I use one when I go to Africa for Point Hope? The children love walking away with their pictures in hand. The Instax is a great stocking stuffer, perfect for capturing every moment of every special occasion; birthday celebrations, weddings, parties and Christmas morning. Just snap and watch the pictures develop instantly.
There are Instax pictures all over my house of the kids, the dogs, and our farm animals too.
Put some fun in your holiday stocking this Christmas by sharing an original Fujifilm Instax SQ6 Square Camera!
If you’ve tuned in to the show lately, you know I’ve written a new book, One Heart At A Time, released on October 16. It was a labor of love, and became even more so after the loss of my beloved son, Zachariah, the previous year. Writing stopped for a while, but telling his story became such a pressing need that I pressed on, finished the book, and created a new chapter just about him.
But the book is more than that. This is my story and my plea. The world is facing some trying times, we are more disconnected and lonelier than ever before. I hope that the book will bless you and inspire you to reach out and help me change the world - One Heart At A Time.
I’ve just discovered the Gravity Blanket! Are you hosting relatives, cooking over-the-top meals, spending hours shopping for gifts, and feeling that holiday stress? You need a Gravity Blanket! It’s a weighted blanket that’s designed to help improve sleep and decrease stress and anxiety.
I gave one to my daughter, Shaylah - baby Rosalie’s mama - and she loves it. A Gravity Blanket is the best gift you can give someone who deserves some rest and relaxation this holiday season - and all year through. Buy yours today and use the promo code ‘DELILAH’ for 15% savings.
Original PeachSkinSheets® are so comfortable and soothing! That’s why I’m adding them to my 12 Stockings this year. They start at $55 for a complete sheet set - even King size! They won't change body chemistry of course, but they will help keep hot sleepers cooler,drier, and more comfortable during the night.
PeachSkinSheets® are made from a breathable, athletic grade, performance SMART fabric that wicks away moisture and dries super fast. These ultra-soft, pill-resistant bed sheets have a luxurious 1500 Thread Count level of softness due to their brushed PeachSkin finish on both sides.
Order free swatches of 19 colors online so that you can Feel to Believe, and purchase with confidence under their 30 day, risk free money back guarantee!
I fell in love with the SpinStyle so it just makes sense to add it to my 12 Stockings of Christmas. The perfect gift, SalonTech’s patented Technology Curl Dial works like an extra set of hands to pick up, separate, and guide hair around the barrel, to create easy, fast, and tangle free curls with one hand (make sure the hair is brushed through!) From tight bouncy curls to loose, voluptuous beachy waves, at the touch of a button, the SpinStyle takes half the time of a regular curling iron.
I do my hair in the morning and I am set for the entire day! I have one for home and one for travel. It makes for the perfect stocking stuffer, and my listeners can get an exclusive,special offer through SpinStyle.
New music is the perfect gift for everyone! I’m adding Calum Scott’s amazing debut album, Only Human, to the goodies in my stockings. You’ve heard You Are the Reason played on my show and have seen the heartfelt video on my Facebook page. The entire album is filled with music meant to connect people. Calum is quoted, “I wrote this album with the intention of connecting with people all around the world, using my own personal experiences.” Every song on Only Human evokes wonderful emotion and his videos too are beautiful and emotive.
You won’t go wrong by adding Calum’s Only Human to the list of What To Buy for your favorite people this holiday season.
I am so excited about one of the most anticipated albums of the year, Steve Perry’s Traces! It’s his first new music in nearly a quarter of a century, and it’s available everywhere NOW.
Traces is the legendary singer-songwriter’s most honest and vulnerable release to date, chronicling love, loss, and, ultimately, hope. Perry leads with the track No Erasin' and reassuringly greets fans with the opening line “I know it’s been a long time comin’.” The track is an emotional homecoming; everyone is celebrating his new music. Forbes Magazine exclaims “for all of music it is damn good to have Steve Perry back.” I couldn’t agree more.
Traces has received critical acclaim from many, including USA Today, who highlighted it as one of “10 Albums You Need Too Hear This Fall.”
Last but certainly not least, I complete my 12 Stockings of Christmas by adding my favorite candy, Almond ROCA. This delicious treat brings back the fondest childhood memories of Christmas’ past, and I love giving, and getting into, those pink tins all year long!
Brown and Haley make every batch of ROCA with rich creamy butter, California almonds, and the best quality chocolate! Choose from Almond, Cashew, Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt Caramel, Peppermint, and Mocha ROCA. SO YUMMY!! Something for everyone.
This holiday season every stocking should be filled with Almond ROCA. Visit them online or find them at local retailers.
My 12 Stockings are hung by the chimney with care in hopes that you'll win one (and with family will share!)Food | Be the Star of the Show with Star Fruit!
I don't have so much a recipe this time, but a tip; Star Fruit! You've seen it in on your grocery aisles, maybe even purchased it to satisfy your kids curiosity, but if you lead your holiday meals with this bright gold star, you'll be considered a true wiseman!
Carambola, or Star Fruit, is native to Indonesia but is now cultivated in many tropical areas. It's about 2-6" long and when ripe it's a deep yellow color. Most of the fruits have 5 ridges, giving it a classic star shape, but some can have more or less. The skin is thin and waxy and may be eaten, just like that of an apple or plum.
There's no special preparation to eating - just wash, then slice it up as thick or thin as you desire, and remove the seeds.
Use it on your salads - like the spinach, red onion, pomegranate, and star fruit example here. Or in your traditional fruit salad. On your cheese platters, to dress your ham alongside the pineapple, and in your jello-treats.
It's mild flavor, both sweet and a tart, make it a complementary companion to just about every thing on your holiday buffet!*
Be the star of the show with starfruit!
* Star fruit should not be consumed by people with kidney disease or on dialysis and can interact with prescription medications much like grapefruit. Do your research if you have any questions!
I say this every year, but it just seems utterly impossible that Christmas is upon us once again!
I've always loved Christmas; my dad seemed to come alive during the holidays and I have nothing but fond, loving memories of he and my mother exchanging secretive looks, gleeful winks, and satisfied nods in the weeks leading up to the Big Day! I don't think they slept more than a few hours per night those last few days; long were the hours in the shop or at the sewing machine.
The scene on Christmas morning was a sight to behold! Stockings so stuffed the nails couldn't hold them, and gifts flowing flowing flowing from the tree far out into the living room. 99% of them made by hand and with so much love!
When I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior, this sacredness of this holy day brought such gladness to my heart! I try to make each Christmas with my family just as memorable as those I spent with my parents, grandparents, and siblings, by sharing traditions - old, new, and holy.
While I celebrate this year, I will also ache for my Zacky and Sammy, and there will be moments that will feel crushingly unbearable, but I'll continue to speak their names and celebrate their spirits, which I know are with me - are with all of us - as we celebrate the Christ Child's birthday.
Merry Christmas my friends, may all your days be merry and bright! Love Someone,
For most of us in the contiguous United States, the fact that fall has fallen, is not in dispute. Oh, I know there are those of you in the southern areas who are still seeing temps in the 80's but if you were to stop for a moment and take a good look around you, give yourself time to feel the breeze on your skin, and breathe in the November air, I doubt you would argue that a change has most definitely taken place.
Here in the PNW we've had an unseasonably dry fall, and I have to say, it's been glorious!
Life's been busy too! My new book, One Heart At A Time, was released on October 16, a day I found myself in New York City talking with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. Next up was Megyn Kelly on Today, and a whole slew of media appearances followed.
I'm pressing "SEND" on this newsletter from Washington, D.C. where I'll be talking to the House Ways and Means committee tomorrow about our foster-care system crisis. Say a prayer that the folks I talk with will listen with open hearts and feel compelled to action.
On a more personal (and FUN) note, I spent last weekend at an art workshop learning from a brilliant woman, Elizabeth St. Hilaire, about a paper painting technique. I've admired her work, purchased some of her how-to books, and started experimenting with this mixed media technique last year, so when I heard she was going to be in my area I jumped at the chance to learn from her.
What a fabulous experience!
I took two friends with me, and there we met more. Elizabeth was warm, wonderful, helpful and inspiring! I created a rooster that I'm pretty proud of and hope to continue building my skill-set.
Art and nature. Nature and art. Two things high on the list of That Which Sustains Me. What's on your list? How do you tap into that deep deep wellspring of joy that is truly responsible for getting you out of bed each morning to experience another day?
I want to know. Write me at D@Delilah.com?
“After the one extravagant gesture of creation in the first place,
the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances,
flinging intricacies and colossi down aeons of emptiness,
heaping profusions on profligacies with ever-fresh vigor.
The whole show has been on fire from the word go.
I come down to the water to cool my eyes.
But everywhere I look I see fire;
that which isn't flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames.”
― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker CreekNovember Book Club Ι A Healing Justice
by Kristin von Kreisler
A Healing Justice, by Kristin von Kreisler, is my book club pick for November. You’re going to like it!
At first, it may seem an odd choice for me. After all, in the first pages of the book, a teenage boy loses his life.
How does one make sense of death? Can you make sense of it? Not really. But one must learn somehow to cope with it, and continue to live with the weight of it.
No one knows this more than police officer Andrea Brady, who fired the shot that killed the teenager, after he violently attacked her police dog and came at her with a knife. Vilified by the press and traumatized by the events of that dark night, Andie finds herself resigning from the force, as she tries to find her new calling in life.
Luckily, she has people in her corner, and better yet, she has Justice, her beloved German Shepard. Justice had wandered up her drive and into her life two years earlier, and become her constant companion and K-9 partner.
After the attack, Justice had a long road to recovery. It wasn’t in his nature to become a victim however, as pointed out by Andie’s counselor, but instead, he became a survivor. And, after a time spent in denial, stuffing her feelings, and blocking her emotions, Andie vowed to be more like Justice, and leaned into the situation. Healing could then take place.
Some things I LOVE about this book:
If you love animals the way I do, the way that officer Andrea Brady does, and the way that our author, Kristin von Kreisler, obviously does, you’ll love A Healing Justice. Bravo
Pick up A Healing Justice at Amazon
Visit the Author’s Page
I've got a stack of A Healing Justice to give away! If you'd like one, write to me and tell me why the book interests you! D@Delilah.comHoliday Recipe & Craft | Gobble It Up Cheese Ball
I've was cruising the ol' googlio internet 'tother day looking for some holiday inspiration and crashed into a rendition of this fine (?), not-so-feathered fella.
He's so cheesy! And completely nuts! In fact, he's gone crackers! (And that is how I humor myself friends!) So if you find this funny, and clever, and aren't worried about your teenagers groaning and rolling their eyes when you present him with a proud-as-a peacock (er, turkey) flourish. Then get your nutty cheese on!
Back by popular demand, I'll be giving away 12 Stockings STUFFED with my favorite music and gifts! Be watching my web page, Facebook, and Instagram feeds toward the end of the month when the sweepstakes will begin.
I have some great new music, fabulous products from cameras to curling irons, and of course, CANDY!
Keep your eye out for the 12 Stockings of Christmas coming your way!My Book | One Heart At A Time
As I mentioned earlier, MY book, One Heart At A Time, finally hit the bookshelves mid-October. This has been a few years in the making and I am over-the-moon happy that it's finally available!
The message is simple. If you want to change the world - and I do! - start by meeting, knowing, touching, healing, one heart at a time! That's it. No super-human powers, no millionaire's nest egg, no college degree, the only thing that's needed is a heart that is willing to serve.
I have that, you have that. One Heart At A Time is my story. In it, I write about my upbringing, my influences, my choices, and my precious boys that have changed their address to Heaven. I hope it touches your heart and creates a spark of interest to know yourself more deeply by reaching out and sharing YOUR special, unique, God-given abilities, talents, and love with someone. Just one heart at a time.
I've recorded a pod-cast which talks about why I wrote the book and my hopes for it. Please give it a listen. If you go to my web page and navigate to Conversations With Delilah - my podcast, you can choose your preferred listening platform, Google Play, iTunes, or Stitcher.
The quote by Annie Dillard was recently shared with me, and in it I saw Autumn; a season where indeed the universe has gone all out in extravagance, flinging and heaping upon us the plunder of a spring and summer well spent.
Fruits and vegetables, nuts and leaves, and leaves and leaves and leaves... Whirling about, dancing and floating, spinning and spiraling, gently and with urgent harshness, piling up and up and up. The whole world sparks and flames!
I asked you earlier about what sustains you. If you don't know, I invite you to take the time to figure it out. If you find yourself anxious, irritable, tired and more often frustrated and sad than happy (or at least content for all you pragmatists out there,) it's time for you to get still and quiet and LISTEN to the inner you.
Find your joy, tap into it, it will get you through the upcoming holidays with your sanity intact. And once you've found it? Share it! It's one of those rare commodities wherein the more you give away, the more that returns to you.
Thank you, my friends - you are also on the very top of my list! I wish you a love-filled, peace-filled, turkey-filled November.
Love Someone - One. Heart. At. A. Time!
It's been an emotionally difficult few weeks.
A year ago yesterday my son Zachariah took his life. I write this in my newsletter, and share my raw truth with you, because to skip over it and write only about the wonder and joy of autumn would be disingenuous. I grieve.
Grief is like the wake of a great ship, beginning as a mighty and powerful wave that smashes against that which is closest, but continuing as many, many, many spreading ripples, reducing in size and fury, but still felt long after the ship has passed by.
It's been a year of firsts. The first day without him, the first Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's. The first winter without his snow boarding gear piled up after a day on the slopes, the first spring, birthday, Mother's Day. The first summer of bonfires with his friends present in the evenings and he missing. The first anniversary of the last day I spent with him, and the last day he spent here on earth. I grieve.
And I hope.
I hope that you are not taking a single moment of a single day for granted. I hope that you are holding those you love close to you, if not physically, in thought, heart, and prayer.
I hope that you remember how much value you have to the world, how much you are loved, and how your absence would be felt not just by those who gave birth to you, by those who grew up with you, by those you brought into the world, but by the hundred, thousands, millions perhaps of lives that would be impacted by your absence.
I hope that you are greeting autumn with open arms and an open heart, marveling as I am, at the colorful display of turning foliage, the flight of birds overhead, the sounds of children gathered in school yards.
And I hope that as the bushes and leaves shed their leaves, preparing for a Great Sleep so they may awaken in the spring refreshed, green, and Alive, you, as I, are taking a cue and learning to let go...October Book Club | The Testament of Harold's Wifeby Lynne Hugo
Grief demands a villain. A target. Something or someone to pour itself into, to rail against, to destroy. This I know. So does Harold’s wife, Louisa.
I found a kindred spirit in Louisa, a somewhat eccentric, aging, bereaved woman who finds solace in conversing with her chickens. Her heart is empty and her rage is full. Relatable. Loss does that to you.
Louisa finds her target; it is Larry, the drunk driver who killed her beloved grandson, Cody, which lead to despair so great in her husband, Harold, that he took his own life. A domino effect of pain and sorrow that has left only Louisa standing, alone.
This will not do, of course, so Louisa and her ol’ hens hatch a plan.
Alas, as Robert Browning pointed out many years ago, “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley.” Which is another way of saying, things don’t often work out as you expect them to.
In Louisa’s case, there was a couple of young bucks, one, a wounded creature of the forest, and a another of the human realm, that wandered into her path and distracted her from her mission. As the spring sun warmed the earth, so too did Louisa’s heart feel a creeping warmth and a something else that had been missing for far too long; the human connection.
She had lost that which could never be replaced, but she was learning that she too could FIND.
The warp and the weft of Lynne Hugo’s characters in The Testament of Harold’s Wife are woven into a rich tapestry of life, where the irreverent, unconventional, quirky flaws become the very thing that make it absolutely perfect and fills one with a sense of hope.
I think you’ll like as much as I did!
One of the best things about living amongst a goat herd is the abundance of fresh feta cheese - I kid you not! (See what I did there?!) And one of the best things about having an abundance of fresh feta, is this recipe using another of my favorite things - beets! In combination with a bed of vitamin and iron rich spinach, and protein packed walnuts, it's pretty much a win, win, win, win...
* For a heartier meal, add some grilled and sliced chicken to each plate!
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