A Mom's hug lasts long after she lets go.
Author Unknown

Celebrate Spring!
(a $100.00 value)


How to Enter: From ancient times to modern days, send me an e-mail telling what notable woman in history you most admire and why.

I'll post some entries in future updates.

Box contains:
Box contains: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life, 8 - 5x7 blank Note Cards by Kohler Studios, Emerald CD by Celtic Woman, Fresh Flowers Collection Scarf, featuring work of Seattle watercolorist Julie Paton, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Forgiveness, and a Cottage Flowers Scatter Garden!

*** U.S. entries only please

A little wisdom from my favorite bear,
Winnie the Pooh

"If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear."

"Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake."

"Love is taking a few steps backward maybe even more...to give way to the happiness of the person you love."

If you look the right way, you can see the whole world is a garden.
~ Francis Hodgson Burnett

Fresh Starts

Beginning the spring season many of us celebrated Good Friday and Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. From the Bible's Easter story in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus invites each of us to a fresh start and to follow his example when he declares, "Father forgive them."

While the forgiveness Jesus offers is free to all who come to him and ask, for many people extending forgiveness isn't easy. My newest article, "A Heart Restored," shows the struggle I faced to forgive those involved in a violent attack on our teenage son.

As I considered the act of forgiving I thought about my theme for this year, words matter. I realized three of the most powerful words ever spoken are, "I forgive you." While easy to say they're not always easy to practice, but they can be the balm to mend a broken heart, heal a marriage, restore a friendship, or as I discovered set someone free.

So in celebration of spring, let's consider the possibility of fresh starts!

Readers Sound Off on Best Mother's Day Presents Given & Received

Sonja - My best gift on Mother's Day was a quilt that my daughter made for me with photos of all the stages of my life, childhood, teen, wedding, mom, grandma, employee, etc. It was her first quilt ever and it brought me to tears. She knew that I had always wanted a quilt and she was determined that she would fulfill that wish!

Joannah - The best Mother's Day gift I ever gave would have to be to my adopted children. Ten years ago just two months before Mother's Day I gave my love and home to three siblings all under the age of five years. A year and a half later my husband and I adopted them.

Kathy - For me, the best gift was one I gave. My husband mentioned to his aunt and cousin that he had no pictures of his mother (she died when he was 10). So, they found several to give to him. I took two of those pictures to be framed and gave them to him. He loves having the pictures of his mother, and they hang in our home.

Susan - Best Mother's Day gift to me was the birth of my son on May 8, the day before Mother's day that year. The nurses were all so sweet and told me he was a special Mother's day gift. I love how he still makes each year Mother's Day special for me even if it falls on his birthday - he says it's about me, not him. What a precious boy!

Jane - I got a plant in a sprinkling can from my daughter, she planted in Scouts.

Michele - I think one of the best Mother's Day gifts is the one coming up. My daughter, I and my mother are going to enjoy a performance of "Wicked." Then we'll stay overnight at a hotel and spend the next day bonding! I am so excited!

Bonnie - Last year I wanted to honor two really good friends who have been like moms to me. I got them both gift cards to a restaurant and a special card. They were both really surprised, but for me it was well worth taking that extra time to honor them.

Visit the Pacific Northwest & Explore Whidbey Island

The rose room at the Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast on Whidbey Island is my favorite place to escape with friends for a relaxing weekend getaway. I also choose this destination for my creative retreats, where I devote a whole week in August to sketching, painting, and writing.

Adorable bunnies featured on three of the cards now available through Kohler Studios roam the garden paths at the Farmhouse, who by the way is a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2014 Winner.

A big thank you to innkeepers Gary and Janie who were kind enough to share one of their special recipes!

Famous Farmhouse Granola

10 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
2 Cups Sunflower Seeds
1½ Cups Sesame Seeds
1 Cup Coconut
1 Cup Wheat Germ
1 TB Cinnamon
2 Cups sliced Almonds
4 Cups Grapenut Cereal
1 Cup Canola oil
1½ Cups Honey
¼ Cup Water
1 TB Vanilla
1 ½ Cups dried Cranberries

Combine wet ingredients in a turkey roaster pan, spraying first with Pam. Put into 325 degree oven to warm up. In a big bowl, combine all dry ingredients except cranberries. Remove pan from oven and stir in combined dry ingredients.

Bake, stirring often, until grains look dark golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven when done & stir in cranberries. Cool thoroughly overnight. Store in zip-lock bags in refrig or freeze. Makes about 2 gallons of wonderful granola, often featured at the Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast on Whidbey Island. www.farmhousebb.com