Sharing a
creative connection™

National Compliment Day

January 28, 2010 in Friendship, Well-Being Ecard Have you ever regretted letting an opportunity to compliment someone go by or are you looking for the right moment to let someone know how much you appreciate them? I’ve been watching a great series on PBS called “This Emotional Life” and among many interesting topics one of them is about what makes us happy. The conclusion (from scientific research!) was that creating positive connections with others is how we create happiness for ourselves and for others. Sharing a compliment seems like a great way to reinforce your connections. Email everyone you know a compliment and it will make their day. (Yours too!!)


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Happy 2010!

January 1, 2010 in Calendar, Holidays, Well-Being


It’s really hard to fathom just how quickly this past decade has gone. I created this piece of art to commemorate the year 2000 and here it is 2010 already.

In this coming year, I hope we can all remember to take a deep breath and notice and appreciate the special moments that you share with others and the ones when you feel ease and peace in your heart. Maybe we can all slow down just a little bit too! Life is good and we don’t want it to pass us by too quickly

I wish you blessings and joy in the coming year.

Love, Debbie


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First Day of Fall is here

September 21, 2009 in Crafts, Creativity, Friendship, Home, Well-Being


There’s always a period of mourning as you anticipate the ending of another summer. Don’t they go faster every year that passes? Probably the best distraction from this mourning is enjoying the most beautiful season of all - which is Fall.


A great way to commemorate the Equinox event (Sept 22) is a Hunting and Gathering adventure walk. It is almost time for putting out your Autumn décor which is always enhanced by a potpourri of natural elements. Pick a crisp, sunny day to invite your walking buddy to head out to a nearby park.


With large baskets on your arms, start gathering pretty leaves, pinecones, acorns, twigs or anything else nature leaves on the ground for you. While sipping on some hot, orange spice tea, get inspired to start your Fall decorating with your hand picked elements from Nature. 

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Vacation Getaway Recap

July 23, 2009 in Excercise, Family, Food and Drink, Friendship, Holidays, Well-Being

 IMG_0371   IMG_0375 I grew up in Seattle and making a road trip to vacation at the Ocean was a favorite tradition in my family. We revisited this tradition with a recent trip to a coastal fishing town in Washington called Westport. We spent time doing all the touristy attractions. We climbed 135 steps to the top of the tallest lighthouse in the Northwest and learned about what an enormous job it was to keep a lighthouse operating. (Now replaced by simpler, modern technology) IMG_0372I didn’t realize that every single lighthouse has a different light signal soIMG_0385 sailors know where they are.  We dined at the oldest resort in Washington. (we did our best to ignore the ants that were crawling around on the table – but couldn’t help but laugh about it after) We browsed the gift shops, the Oyster Farm, bought cans of best Tuna you’ll ever taste, toured the Museum, and even spent a few hours tasting and lunching at the Westport Winery.  IMG_0367When we weren’t being tourists, we enjoyed walking the beach looking for whole sand dollars while taking in the wonderful sea air. It’s actually a pretty decent work-out to walk against the wind and trudge through the soft sand. (an excuse to eat more!) When you grow up with certain smells and sounds it is so very nostalgic to experience them again. We happened upon a great driftwood structure that we surmised locals had spent many hours constructing. But mostly we ate – and every meal was seafood.  And it was all great seafood – crab, oysters, clams, tuna and prawns and then we’d do it all over again. Don’t worry though – we ate our veggies too – my sister introduced us to the best Bloody Mary ever!

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Live a Little Bit Greener

April 19, 2009 in Current Affairs, Holidays, Well-Being
GreenBag I believe I was in Junior High when Earth Day (April 22) was established. It seems that for most of the population it’s been largely unnoticed until the last few years. It’s hard to change some of our habits that are not supportive of a healthy planet, but it certainly is worth the effort. One easy and kind of fun change is to use Re-Useable Bags for groceries and shopping. Anyone would be proud to carry this custom bag on your shoulder. And you can also be proud of your efforts to living a little bit greener.


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Hug, Love, Save, WIN!

March 26, 2009 in Crafts, Creativity, Friendship, Quilting, Well-Being
HeartQuilt Our seamstress, Nancy recently came to Monica with an offer she couldn’t refuse. Nancy (whose Mother is a Breast Cancer Survivor) volunteered to make a Quilt to help raise funds for Breast Cancer awareness in collaboration with Monica’s Non-Profit Organization, HUG LOVE SAVE. Monica, said "YES, by all means!" Friends of Nancy and all of us at the office donated dollars so Nancy could purchase lots of pretty Pink and Brown fabrics. She used The Buggy Barn's "Heart Crazies" pattern and we all fell in love with the quilt when we saw it.

HeartBags HUG LOVE SAVE is selling raffle tickets at two upcoming events. Just in case you’re in the area, see them in Booth 326 at the Northwest Women's Expo in Seattle, WA on March 27th-29th. Or if you're in Spokane on April 19th for Race for the Cure you can also purchase $1 tickets in their booth at the Spokane Women's Show. Nancy who doesn't let a scrap go to waste made four tote bags for Hug Love Save team to carry to all their events. The winner will be notified April 20th. All money raised will be donated Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Eastern Washington Affiliate. Isn't it great to know that savvy and talented girls like Nancy and Monica are getting together to make great things happen!

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Put a Little "Spring" in your Step!

February 26, 2009 in Crafts, Creativity, Quilting, Well-Being

At this time of year, those intermittent sunny days are a welcome reminder that spring has to come eventually. On days when the sun doesn't shine, here are some ways to put a little "Spring" into your step.

A 1. Wear some flashy jewelry. The other day I wore chandelier earrings to work—even though my ears drooped, my spirits lifted.

B 2. Make cupcakes and share with co-workers. Before last week, the last time I made cupcakes my son was in grade school. Besides having goodies to share at the office, I had a fun trip down memory lane.

C 3. Buy yourself flowers. Mandie brought in a beautiful bouquet of Gerbera daisies and tulips for our monthly luncheon today. I vowed to buy myself some flowers on the way home. 

DWalker 4. Visit a greenhouse or conservatory. We have a beautiful free conservatory at one of our parks here in Spokane. What a great way to get your fill of blooming greenery and oxygen-rich air.

E 5. Rearrange accessories in your house. I love to move vases, pictures, pillows, and other accessories around. I've had my post-Christmas décor for six weeks now—time for a change!

B 6. Make a dangler to hang outdoors. This fast little project gives me the chance to combine beading, painting, and some scrapbooking on a project that I can complete in an hour or two. I love to make danglers for friends in their favorite colors and themes.

C 7. Watch a lively and warm movie! A couple of fun ones are Under the Tuscan Sun or Mama Mia with all its great music and sunny Greek scenery. This is definitely not the time to watch Dr. Zhivago!

D 8. Feed the birds. You may not get immediate payoff, but in a few days, when the birds are enjoying your generosity, you'll get a great dose of chirping!

A 9. Work on a spring quilt. Combining all those pretty colors and spending time sewing is a sure-fire way to lift the spirits.

E 10. On the warmest part of Saturday, get outside and go for a walk. Invite a friend to join you and discuss all your ideas for sunny vacations. Send me ways that you put a little "spring" in your step and I'll pass them along.

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Buttons, Bows & Boobs!

February 23, 2009 in Crafts, Creativity, Quilting, Well-Being

Look what we discovered - Members of Quilters of South Carolina have created one-of-a-kind bras for Breast Cancer Awareness. The exhibit consists of 49 original works of art which are unique, entertaining, humorous, and beautiful to make the public aware of breast cancer, to memorialize those lost to the disease, and to honor survivors those lost to the disease, and to honor . What an impressive and light-hearted way to bring attention to raising awareness! Click on this link to see all the bras.

IMG_3721 IMG_3719

Pastel-Party-Bra-3688 IMG_3759

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Make the Best

November 16, 2008 in Quotes, Well-Being

Here are some words to help us stay grounded and strong while we deal with uncertainty.

1 Be GRATEFUL for every Blessing that you have.

2 Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.

Flowers Being resourceful makes you stronger and more resilient.

4 Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything and everyone has sorrow intermingled with the gladness of life.

5 Create your own standards. Be YOU. Don’t let criticism worry you.

6 Do things you enjoy – and make choices that manage your debt.

7 Envision your future to be everything you desire.

8 Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.

Laugh, smile, feel good at every opportunity.

Remember the sage advice, “This too shall pass.”

Be GRATEFUL for every Blessing that you have.

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All About You - Part 2

August 28, 2008 in Family, Quotes, Well-Being



22. FAVORITE SMELLS? The ground after it rains, fresh rosemary and coffee.


24. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Gymnastics (have to admit I'm getting tired of "diving.")

25. HAIR COLOR? Natural or colored?  Oops - "Only my hairdresser knows for sure."

26. EYE COLOR?  Depends on what I'm wearing.  Usually green, but sometimes blue.


28. FAVORITE FOOD? Adams Crunchy Peanut butter

29. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? I'm under the seat at a scary movie. Happy endings, for sure.

30. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (recommend you see this one as a rental only - the first one was much better)

31. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Green with blue and tan owls.

32. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer (I still have 14 things to do before it's over)


34. FAVORITE DESSERT? Homemade Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie

35. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?  "Have your Cake and Kill Him Too" by Nancy Martin

36. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Wireless Mouse - no pad

37. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Guilty of watching "Swingtown" that I DVR'd.


39. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? I'm not sure if it's further to Brazil or Australia.  Both were long, long flights - especially coming home!

40. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?  Some tell me I'm artistically inclined.  I have to work at it though.

41. DO YOU FORWARD CHAIN E-MAILS?  Almost never.  However, in this case.....I suggest you delete my answers, fill in your own and send them to your friends to get to know you better.

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All About You - Part 1

August 22, 2008 in Family, Quotes, Well-Being

Blogphotos1_2 Blogphotos2_2 1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Sometimes I tell people that I'm named after Debbie Reynolds, or maybe Deborah Kerr, but I might have made that up.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? When I stepped on the scale.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Not as much as I wish I did. When I write fast, it's pretty sloppy (which is most the time).

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? I always get chicken, but I do have a fondness for roast beef too.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes, my son is Murphy.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I'd like to think so.  I'm not nearly as high maintenance as everyone tells me. HA!

Apparently, I'm not completely "sarcasm-free."




11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I've eliminated "tie-shoes" from my wardrobe.

I can't decide if I'm getting emotionally stronger or weaker over time.  Physically, I'm no Incredible Hulk, that's for sure.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?  Chocolate, no question.


15. RED OR PINK? Pink.

My memory.  It seems to be diminishing.....I'm sorry, What was the question?

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Murphy, when he is away at college.

18. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Brown.  (I know, how boring)

19. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? 3 strawberries and a Wasa cracker

20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? I'm listening to a downpour of hail and "Smoky Mountain Hits" is playing on the CD player.

(2nd part of the list to come!)

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14 Things to do before Summer is over

August 15, 2008 in Books, Food and Drink, Friendship, Recipes, Resolutions, Travel, Well-Being
  1. Loose the swimsuit weight - ha!
  2. Sit in the canoe by the waterfall at Horseshoe Lake and sip Lemon Drops
  3. Drink Get one of those European Pedicures that Carolyn keeps raving about
  4. Have an old fashioned picnic with fried chicken, potato  salad and strawberry jello (wow, that one brings me back to my childhood) 
  5. I need at least four more “floats” in the pool. Crystal, come on over!
  6. Be the willing recipient of all the homegrown tomatoes and zucchini that I’m offered by my zealous gardening friends.
  7. Finish up my fun summer reading before they're due back to the library. Currently enjoying Nancy Martin's Blackbird Sisters Mysteries including, "Cross your Heart and Hope to Die," "Have  your Cake and Kill Him Too,"  "A Crazy Little Thing called Death."
  8. Take a ROADTRIP to Seattle to see the Mariner's play. (and win, hopefully - however, I hear you can get tickets cheap)

  9. Have an old-fashioned double scoop chocolate ice cream cone. If I'm going for all those calories, it's gotta be chocolate.
  10. Drive up to Greenbluff to pick ripe Peaches. Just slice the peaches, sprinkle with powdered sugar and arrange in pre-baked pie crust - Yum!
  11. SunbathingTalk Murphy into a day at Silverwood Theme Park to get soaked on the Thunder Canyon water ride. (forecast is 100 degrees on Sunday)
  12. Go up to Priest Lake, lay on the beach and watch the Meteor Shower on August 18 
  13. Throw the final pool party of the season - but make it easy - Pizza and beer!
  14. Meet girlfriends at Anthony's to watch the Falls from the patio - if I leave right now, I can make it for the earlybird dinner special.

What's on your List? Write up 14 ideas and do AT LEAST 3 of them. 

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My dear, what big PIES you have!

July 31, 2008 in Well-Being

Msechovalley_2 Debbiespies Monica had another "BOOBIE" event selling t-shirts and other paraphernalia to support Breast Cancer Research for "Walk for a Cure." This particular BOOBIE booth was for the Mini Sturgis at Cruisers in Post Falls, ID. The crowd here sported lots of tattoos, leather, piercings and BOOBS. (real, fake and some shockingly enormous!) Even though they couldn't fit her into one of their t-shirts, Ms. Echo Valley was still more than happy to pose for a photo with Monica and her friend, Jen.

As we were reviewing Monica's Biker Event photos and Debbie's lake photos, we noticed a similarity between these two shots! See if you see what we saw? :):)

To read more about the BOOBIE girls or buy a shirt, visit

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July 28, 2008 in Recipes, Travel, Well-Being

I just finished a glorious week at the lake. Most of the week was about reading novels, easy hikes, tooling around the lake and laying in the sun.

Berries However, I did have a birthday party for my good friend Lynn while I was there and she requested a Birthday Pie instead of cake. The last thing I did before driving up to the lake was pick raspberries from my backyard patch and pick up a box of fresh peaches. I brought up Betty Crocker’s peach pie recipe for inspiration. (you can always count on good old Betty Crocker for a reliable recipe for basic baked goods)  I added raspberries to the recipe.

Murphyanna I asked Murphy and Anna to pool their baking talents with me to put together the pies on party day.  Peeling and slicing peaches takes a little time, but who cares when you’re at the lake –  it becomes a fun activity. We had a blast making them and even though I left evidence of juicy run-over on the bottom of the condo oven, they turned out luscious looking. In fact Dan, (official lake photographer) couldn’t resist snapping a shot of them right out of the oven.

Pies After all the oohs and aahs, TEAM PIE starting feeling pretty good themselves and thought we should be photographed with our masterpiece pies.  Here we are, swelling with pride:

A few hours later, we finally all gathered together to sing “Happy Birthday” and cut into the pies.  The crowd started flooding us with compliments and we recieved so many “Hmmmm’s” and “yum’s” that we almost started to believe that we had actually invented pie. 

Group Not-So Humble Pie
Peach and Raspberry Filling for Two Pies

Pastry for Two, Two-Crust Pies
1 1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8- 9 large sliced peaches
3 cups raspberries (drained)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg white

  1. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry. (I used the (almost homemade) kind you purchase premade, but needs to be baked)
  2. Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon in large bowl. Stir in peaches, lemon juice and add raspberries last. Turn into pastry-lined pie plates. Lay out top crusts and baste with egg white.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Cut into strips to make lattice for top of pie.  Place lattice strips on top of pie, trim off excess and flute edges.  Dot butter in openings between lattice strips.  Cover fluted edge with 2-3 inch strips of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning.
  3. Bake about 45 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through. (Line bottom of oven with foil to prevent mess) Cool in pie plate on wire rack. Serve with vanilla ice cream and a big (not-so humble) grin!

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An Explosive Fourth!

July 9, 2008 in Family, Friendship, Holidays, Well-Being

Well, my holiday weekend plans took a big change of course........

Firework1 So much for the Rooftop party downtown to watch the Fireworks, so much for going up to Green Bluff to pick Strawberries and have a picnic, so much for going to see Steve Carrel's "GET SMART"........

I conducted my own (internal) symphony of Fireworks with an ambulance ride to the hospital with a ruptured Appendix!

Firework2 I'm still home recovering after the surgery - but thought I shouldn't wait any longer to explain my absense. By the way, there will be no photos in this blog! Although, I wish I had my camera when they had to pull over the ambulance so the Newbie Paramedic in training (her 3rd call!) could insert my IV. There was much fumbling - I just looked away. I wouldn't have minded having a photo of my son sitting by my side in the ER and the next couple days attending and comforting me. The McDreamy ER Doc would have been a good shot too. (and we thought that only existed on TV) I would have been pretty glamorous in a shot of me trying to get a spoonful of broth to my lips while every appendage was hooked up to some monitoring device. My whole body was bloated and swollen and I looked 20 pounds heavier too. Yes, that would have been a good one - but I forgot my camera.

A shot of Murphy and Anna accompanying me in my hospital gown with my two day old bedhead while I shuffled around the 4th floor with my IV tree would have been a cute one. I would have loved to have had a photo of my friend Lynn making up batches of soup for me to eat while I recovered and Dan hooking up my DVD player so I could watch movies from the sofa. My friend Jennifer brought me a new (cute!) set of pajamas from Victoria's Secret which was a big lift for me because now I have daytime PJ's that are different from my night time PJ's. Even though I've been home for days now and I know where my camera is, I'm still not going to take any photos. I'm sure you understand. Hope you all had a Happy Fourth!

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BOOBIES – Hug them-Love them-Save them

April 4, 2008 in Current Affairs, Well-Being

Boobs1 We’re so proud of our Boobies and so glad to have them! We all jumped at the chance to show them off.  The saying on our t-shirts says

BOOBIES – Hug them-Love them-Save them

We’re wearing them in support of “Race for the Cure” on April 20 here in Spokane. Our Monica (center in photos) put a team together to walk the race, but she didn’t stop there. She and her team (Team GiGi) have created these t-shirts, tanks, necklaces, buttons & bumper stickers to raise additional funds. Boobs2 All proceeds taken in will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Monica, in shock by her Mother’s recent diagnosis of Breast Cancer was inspired to raise money for Ribbon Breast Cancer research and awareness as a way to feel like there was something she could do to make a difference. The good news is that her Mom (who goes by the nickname, Gigi) recently finished chemotherapy and is doing very well. We, here at DM Studio are very proud and inspired by Monica for being proactive and also for using just the right touch of gentle humor to deal with a scary diagnosis. So many of us have experienced a family member or friend who has dealt with the devastation of Breast Cancer and/or live with the fear of negative results from a Mammogram. My mother very bravely dealt with this diagnosis 5 years ago. It was a mammogram that revealed her cancer. Boobs3 The good news is that it was caught early which made the prognosis as well as the treatment a little less traumatic. So remember the slogan, “BOOBIES – Hug them-Love them-Save them” and do your exams and get your Mammograms. Check out this link if you’d like to support Team GiGi or get a t-shirt.  Grace and Blessings to all who have suffered.

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These boots are made for walkin'!

March 12, 2008 in Excercise, Well-Being

Hazardousduty Right now, I'm beaming with self esteem, because (after a long winter) I went out for my first outdoor walk of the season. The treadmill serves it's purpose - but it's not the same as the great outdoors. I saw some amazing sights this first walk. Amongst still quite significant mounds of snow (6"-18" high), I saw all the classic signs of Spring in Spokane: a lady attempting to garden, a man hosing down his driveway, a teenage boy washing the family car and a girl walking her dog in a sleeveless top.

As I was walking, I was thinking about all the great benefits of walking. At first the obvious comes to mind - it's great for heart health, it helps you lose weight, and it boosts your mental well-being. But if that's not enough to inspire you - you can also sound really healthy to your couch potato friends when you casually work it into conversation that you were out for a brisk walk in the elements yesterday; your neighbors will notice that you didn't blimp-out over the winter; it's 45 minutes that you know you won't have your hand in the cookie jar (unless you sneak them with you in your jacket pocket), and it's virtually a free activity (unless you buy an ipod and numerous books on CD to keep it interesting after your second walk of the season) Guilty!

With all these benefits - it's still a push to get myself out the door. But I'm always SO glad I did, when I'm done. 

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My weekend - yikes!

October 1, 2007 in Well-Being

I’ve been trying to shake some very annoying neck/back pain lately….so I decided I really needed to just “lie low” for a few days. My good friend, Lynn who loves to nurture an ailing friend, also lives on a mountain in Idaho where the lifestyle can be very relaxing. So I went up to the mountain and hung out with her and her husband, another friend, Mark and the three cats, George, Gracie and Zeus. (oh, and Rachel the talking parrot)

Friends As I mentioned Lynn loves to cook and she’s good at it. The ingredients are always hearty and nutritious. We were just starting to taste one of her delicious soup/stews when she started coughing and choking. She jumped up in a panic and it soon became apparent to us that she wasn’t able to get air and was seriously choking. Her husband ran to her and started to do the Heimlich. I had been sitting next to her and knew she really hadn’t done more than test the broth and hadn’t taken a real bite on anything large enough to choke on. She signaled us that her throat was swollen closed. My first thought was that maybe ice would take down the swelling. I ran to the freezer and in my naivety, I tried to hand her one ice cube. In desperation, she grabbed the bag of ice and wrapped it around the front of her throat. Almost immediately she started to get some air and regained her ability to breathe again. Naturally, we were all pretty shook up – especially her husband. The rest of our evening was in recovery from that incident.

The next morning, we got a call from Crystal and Dan (my good friends and Lynn and Neil’s son and daughter-in-law). They had been in a car accident. They were okay, but Crystal had a mild concussion, both had whiplash and were shook up. They needed advice and comfort. We are all full of both!! By now, things were starting to seem a little weird and not completely relaxing. So even though my need to relax and recuperate from my own “issues” still existed, I was feeling a little restless and I was needing to do something! I guess I wanted some control over something. So, I made the announcement to Lynn to get everything in need of cleaning into her laundry pile (which was already HUGE!). I was going to do all their laundry while I was there. (she was thrilled to say the least)

Thank goodness, there were no more major incidents for the rest of the weekend. (and I got all her laundry done) We watched old movies and very carefully chewed and swallowed our food. I guess that’s the great things about friends. The weekend started out with her “saving” me and it ended up with me “saving” her right back! 

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From an Inspired & Healing Friend

September 18, 2007 in Well-Being

Images Throughout the past year I have waited each month for your beautiful and endearing desktop patterns. Each day I wake up and see the cute little ones on my laptop… a wonderful way to start the day. You have helped me through a hard time of getting through breast cancer since, after reading your story, I am going to try and do something with Prim Annie dolls and make Breast Cancer for the Cure Quilts. I have already sold everything I have made so far. I owe it all to you. I have followed you and learned to use my imagination and ideas as you do with items that appeal to others, what a winning spirit. Thank you again for your wonderful site. Looking forward to all the new ideas I know you have coming our way.


A faithful crafter and loyal fan,

Gloria - thank you for sharing your story with us. The healing power of purpose and joyful activity is incredible. -Debbie

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Lying down on the Job

August 24, 2007 in Well-Being

Debbieonfloor This looks pretty bad doesn't it? 

"Careful, don't trip over the boss -  She's lying around on the job, again!" Yes, I do have a very good explanation. I threw my back out and after returning from the Chiropractor I was just following his instructions. Honest. My eyes were open and I was thinking about art the whole time. See, that's the problem with having a photographer right there in the office. Next thing I knew, my disregard for decorum had been captured on film. Talk about a vulnerable position. So, why fight it - I might as well let you see the real me at the office.

At least someone is hard at work at her art table.  (That's my super duper wonderful painter, Gil-Jin)
Take it Easy!  Debbie

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Maya Angelou's Best Poem Ever

March 29, 2007 in Well-Being

Hi There - I'm sure we all receive a variety of things that have been forwarded to us via email. Some are down-right hilarious, some make you weep on the spot, and some just really strike a chord. Here's one that applies to being a healthy, strong woman who knows how to take care of herself and interact with world no matter what comes up.

I love Maya Angelou.


enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own even if she never wants to or needs to...

Truthstamp_2A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...

a youth she's content to leave behind....

a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age...

a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...

a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...

eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored...

a feeling of control over her destiny...

how to fall in love without losing herself...



when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...

that she can't change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

that her childhood may not have been perfect...but its over...

what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it....

whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally...

where to go...
be it to her best friend's kitchen table...
or a charming inn in the woods...
when her soul needs soothing...

what she can and can't accomplish in a day...
a month...and a year...

After reading this, I feel pretty good about what I know - but I now realize that I need to head out to Victoria's Secret and get me one of those black, lace Bras!

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Go Red for Women!

February 12, 2007 in Well-Being

Gored_2Room_1 I got to attend the American Heart Association "Go Red for Women" annual lunch event this week.  First of all, it is quite a visual sight to witness a large room of people all wearing red (at least all the ladies were).  The purpose of the lunch is to bring women together to educate them about how they can prevent heart attacks and heart disease and understand that it is now the number one killer of women (as well as men). 

Before the luncheon, they had a silent auction,  I had donated a large bed size quilt to help raise funds for the AHA.  Yes, the other purpose of the event was to raise money to continue to fund research and education. 

Of course the Luncheon was delicious (very yummy!). The keynote speaker  was Jennifer Bushman (the Kitchen Coach) who reminded us how important it is to have family meals (with real food).  Besides eating a nutritious and delicious meal with the family -  She said that action also relaxes you which is also good for health.

In our goodie bag they also included some Go Red pins and a small stack brochures with Heart Health tips and asked attendees to share these will people you care about. So, I thought I would share with you:

Heart1 5 Simple ways to love your heart:

It's not hard to reduce your risk for Heart disease.  Start today with small, simple actions like these:

Debbie_11.  CELBRATE WITH A CHECKUP: Let each birthday remind you that it's time for your early checkup and talk with your doctor about how you can reduce your risk for heart disease. 

2.  GET UP OFF THE COUCH: Step, march or jog in place for at least 30 minutes most days of the week - you can even do it while watching TV

3. QUIT SMOKING IN FOUR STEPS: Can't go cold turkey?  Cut the number of cigarettes you smoke each day in half; then cut that number in half; cut it in half again; finally, cut down to zero!

4. DROP A POUND OR TWO: Cutting out just 200--300 calories a day - about one candy bar's  worth - can help  you lose up to two pounds per week and gradually bring you closer to a heart=healthy weight. 

5. BECOME A SALT DETECTIVE:  Check out the Nutritional Facts panel on packaged foods to see how much sodium (salt) they contain.  Aim for a total intake of no more than 2,300 milligrams (ABOUT 1 TSP. SALT) PER DAY.

Love your heart!  Debbie Heart2_1

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The good life!

January 17, 2007 in Well-Being

There are some things that I do, experience, or receive that are reminders to me that I'm living the good life.  Hand's-down Number One indicator that I lead the good life is to be able to have someone come in and clean my house for me.  My ship would sink without that - since I've had my memory swiped clean Spa_day- and I have no recollection of how to vacuum or clean the toilet.   

Another indication of the "good life" was last weekend.  My good friend JoAnn and I had a couple treatments done at our local Zi Spa (located in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) just about 45 minutes from home.  The day had come for our treatments and we were soImg_0236for_blog_1 excited.  First of all you get to put on these warm and oh-so-cozy robes to wear.  You head down to the Zen room to lounge in reclining chairs, drink tea (or wine) and enjoy the fire and soothing music.  I started out with a facial - she put all kinds of yummy smelling stuff on my face.  It's nice because you also get a little neck and arm massage too.  I noticed a positive change in my skin - plus, I was starting to feel more relaxed.  That is the other major benefit to spa time.

Next I went for a soak.  The Tub room was lovely with a very zen-like ambiance, nice music, and  candles.  The Tub has a contant overflow, so the water is always up around your neck (where I need  it most).  The aromatherapy and ingredients in the soak were all meant to bring some relief to sore muscles and joints.  I heard the "knock, knock" on the door - I couldn't believe it was already time to get out. I did not want to get out of the tub - not no way!!  But at least my heated robe awaited for me.  Back to the Zen room where I ordered a yummy (healthy too) salad and tea and hung out enjoying the environment for another hour.

Awwww........the good life.  (No complaints, here.)


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Your Comments & My Sleep Strategies

January 11, 2007 in Well-Being

Dear friends out there in Blogsville......It's funny, the comments so far have typically been along the lines of: "Enjoying your blog; Thanks for blogging, Like your stuff, etc" (which I do appreciate!) - but Waning_moon_3 "Wee hours in the Morning" struck a chord and inspired some advice of how to get to sleep; what to do in the middle of the night; to "why don't you go down in your basement and work on art!" I guess there is always the choice - do you keep trying to fall back to sleep, or do you just resign to the fact that's probably not going to happen and do something productive!  My current policy is to try for at least an hour to fall back to sleep. (of course, it does depend a little on just how early it is!) 

Sleeping well has been a life long challenge for me.  I remember as a little girl, lying in bed and hearing the opening and closing music for The Tonight Show coming out of the "rec- room".....(my dad was a big fan of Johnny Carson!)

And it just seems the older we get - everything gets a little more challenging - including a good night sleep. I don't know how you keep from waking up in the middle of the night, but after years of struggling to FALL asleep, I have quite a list of strategies that I've tried over the years....  So, hopefully - Sweet Dreams.  Debbie

My (Counting Sheep has never once worked for me)Getting to Sleep" Strategies:

1.  Wear Socks to bed - so your feet don't get cold

2.  Take a nice soak in the tub (with Epsom salts) and stretch before hitting the hay to relax

3.  Drink warm milk before bed (calcium helps make you sleepy) - if you add a little drop of whiskey- that might really zonk you!

4.  There's always the good old standby of a glass of wine on your bedstand paired with a good (but not too good) book

5.  Layer blankets - so you can shed one if you get too hot  (don't you just love those middle of the night hot flashes!)

6.  Put your pj's on at least an hour before getting into bed - signals your brain that it's almost time to sleep

7.  Plan on working on something in bed (like your blog!) - and you will barely be able to stay awake

8.  Treat yourself to the softest sheets and the most comfortable pillows you can afford

9. Remove the TV from your bedroom - clicking the remote control from one stupid show to the next (that I really don't want to watch) puts me in a trance - but not to sleep.

10. Run a fan in your room for white noise (don't point it towards you if it makes you chilly)

11. And it's easiest to fall asleep when your teenager is home and safe (and his car keys are under your pillow)

Good luck getting to la-la land.....Debbie

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