jenny white and johnny black

by Eleanor Farjeon

Jenny White and Johnny Black
Went out for a walk.
Jenny found wild strawberries,
And John a lump of chalk.

Jenny White and Johnny Black
Clambered up a hill.
Jenny heard a willow-wren
And John a workman’s drill.

Jenny White and Johnny Black
Wandered by the dyke.
Jenny smelt the meadow-sweet,
And John a motor-bike.

Jenny White and Johnny Black
Turned into a lane.
Jenny saw the moon by day
And Johnny saw a train.

Jenny White and Johnny Black
Walked into a storm.
Each felt for the other’s hand
And found it nice and warm.

I adore this poem.  
It was introduced to my by a rockstar of a former student affectionately named, KatieKaboom.
I hope you like it too.  

Hugs and Love!!!

goodbye, dakota bread

It is with much sadness and great displeasure that I announce the closing of my favorite local bakery, Great Harvest Bread.  *uncontrollable crying* 

*said between sobs* I don't even know when this happened!

Please forgive me for losing it.  *blows nose followed by a sniff sniff *
I am so sad about this that I can hardly keep my composure. 
This hurts me to my core.  You see, they made the only bread that I like.  

*another bout of uncontrollable crying*

You see I am down to maybe 5 slices now.  Earlier today I decided to ride out to get a loaf of bread, but I could not remember the store hours.  So I decided to check their hours online and double check their online baking schedule (to make sure my beloved Dakota bread would be there today).  I could not find their website, which I thought was weird, so I looked up their phone number, dialed it and got the infamous the number you have dialed is not in service recording.  

The horror, I thought, Great Harvest did not get to pay their phone bill.  

I had not been to the bakery in a good little while because my freezer stash was chock full.  Now that my supply was bout scarce, it was time to roll out.  Down the highway I went, excited about seeing the smiling faces at the bakery and purchasing my precious Dakota bread.  When I pulled up to the bakery, I got that somethin's not right feeling, but I ignored it and put my car in park.  That's when I noticed the neon sign was not lit.  Dangit! They've already closed for the day, I thought.  Lemme go see their store hours so I know when to come back for my precious. 

I hopped out, traipsed over to the door and that's when I saw the sign taped to the window.  

Gosh, yall, this is too traumatic! I can hardly stand to repeat it.  *places hand to head*
Give me a minute, please.  *places hand over mouth and stares off into the distance*

*loud sigh*

There was a sign taped to the window from the inside of the store that read: 
"Starting Sept 5 we will be on vacation for two weeks."

I stood there like a child who had lost a puppy or dropped a freshly purchased ice cream cone.  I was happy they were on vacation and all, but couldn't help thinking how in the heck are 5 slices of bread gonna last me two weeks?!?!?  To make matters even more complicated, someone had taped a sign to the outside of the window that read: 
"We are closed." 

Someone had also handwritten on the sign:
"We went bankrupt."  
"Is that true?"

*another loud sigh*

What the hell is going on, I thought.  
I pressed my face into the glass, shielded my eyes with my right hand and glanced all around the store.  No sign of life.  No ingredients.  No breads.  No power brownies.  No menu written on the chalkboard.  No nothing. 

I slowly walked back to my car and plopped down into the driver's seat.  That's when I remembered it's almost November so they are not on vacation but indeed closed.  I felt too numb to cry so I started my car and drove home on auto-pilot. 

I have no recollection of the drive home.  

If you are anywhere near a Great Harvest Bakery, please go and have a slice of Dakota Bread ASAP.  They will let you try it for free and I guarantee that after one bite, you will buy a loaf.  

See you at the crossroads, Dakota Bread.  Please give Saint Peter a shout out from me.  I don't have any liquor here, but if I did, I sure would go pour some out on my curb.  

*singing like Boys II Men* It's so hard to say goodbye to Dakota Bread.

Ode to Dakota:
You are so light and fluffy with just the right amount of crunch.  Your flavor is delightful.  I savor every bite.  Now that the nearest loaf is so far across state lines, I don't know what to do.  When the 5 slices are gone, I will contemplate a very long drive to see you and bite you and chew you again because no other carb will do.  Dakota, it's always been you.  

and now a haiku:
I will miss you so
Nutty texture flavorful
Breakfast is a bust

Look at her.  Isn't she lovely?  You are the sunshine of my life, Dakota Bread.  Breakfast just won't be the same without you.  Jesus, take the wheel!!! *uncontrollable crying*
image credit

best day ever

Jadyn Noelle Photography

Funny how the best days are usually the simplest days.  Yesterday was one of those days.  Beautiful weather. The only item on the agenda: fun times frolicking with friends.  I may have told you this before, but I believe I have the greatest friends on Earth.  Truly.  My friends = fabulosity personified. We ate here and it was DELISH! For reals. I wanted to lick my bowl and I actually thought about licking it more than once.  I refrained ONLY because the bowl was lined with paper and I knew I couldn't lick the juices without eating paper.  If I figure this dilemma out before my next visit, it is on like Donkey Kong.  We talked, laughed, enjoyed the silence, ran light errands together and then meandered about.  


And it didn't end there.
I finished the evening by "geeking out on my own terms" in a "judgement free zone" with another pal.  It was heavenly hash, downright divine and totally kosher.  The perfect finale to an utterly fabulous day.  

Navigating blog platforms
Swooning over this jewelry 

Friends = Brains, Lives and Hearts that are divinely connected.  

Show and tell your friends how much you love em.   
Enjoy each other's company as often as you can...  

"God made friends so we'll carry a part of His perfect love in all our hearts."  -Jill Wolf 

Hugs and Love!!! :)


If you're gonna fall, stick it!

image credit
Growing up involved in cheerleading and gymnastics, the term "stick it" has significant meaning.  In any given practice session, "stick it" is yelled countless times as an encouraging reminder to keep your composure and nail your jump, stunt or flip.  Oft times, hearing a team mate yell it (in a tone that made you know they were not messin' around with you and very well meant every word) could make the difference between wanting to give up (and bail out on said move) and actually committing to finish (or stick it) with excellence.  

Back in the day when I taught public school and was great with child (almost full term pregnancy), I walked across the hallway to ask a fellow teacher a question.  On my way back to my room, half of the hallway had been mopped (unbeknownst to me!).  It was after school and I was wearing flip flops (such a beloved shoe!) so when my left heel hit the wet side of the hallway, I headed south in a hurry.  As my left leg continued to slide further and further in front of me, I quickly evaluated my choices: 

try to fight it (no way of stopping this big belly train!) 
land on my back (attempting to turn would break at least one if not both legs)
stick it (and you know I did...)

I heard the old, familiar command from my inner being and decided to relax and work with the fall.  I let my left leg continue to slide out in front of me, kept my right leg behind me, squeezed my pregnant butt, tightened my thigh muscles and landed with my head and arms held high (a la Mary Lou Retton) in the most fabulous pregnant lady split you have EVER seen.  I had nary a scratch and I felt rather Olympic on the ground there.  Why, I think I held my split for a few seconds... then I called for my fellow teacher to help me get up!

Today, my encouragement to you is this:  STICK IT!  
Whatever you are doing...

a new job
the same old job
a new fitness routine
caring for others
caring for yourself
branching out
or walking through a transition
newly married
happily married 
or living single
single parenting or
maybe you've got an empty nest
in school or 
learning a "new normal"
state/nation/globe trotting 
creating your dream or
living out your dream...

Whatever you are doing, do it well.

Stick it like Mary Lou, ya hear?  Love & Hugs!!!

you are what you speak

image credit
Our words have tremendous power.  I think we all know this, but do we live it?  My awesome auntie says that we must exercise wisdom regarding the words we speak for we will live in the reality of our words.  Today I am thinking about the words I speak.  Living in them.  Makes me want to exercise wisdom and restraint just a little more.  For the most part, I am an extremely positive person; however, I have a tendency to make off the cuff comments that are equal parts hilarious and inappropriate.  I like to make these types of comments.  Did you see that: I like to make these types of comments.  I think they're appropriate because they're truthful and hilarious.  How could you go wrong with laughter and the truth?  Easily.  I promise.  And so it is my dear friends that my thoughts are precisely where the change must (initially) take place.  It is likely that I have resisted for so long because I'm not being super raunchy or anything like that; however, if my Granny were sitting there, I probably wouldn't say it OR I would find a more graceful way to express the thought or idea.  As long as I can remember, I've always had little quips to throw out here and there, but it is time to exercise a higher degree of discernment, wisdom and grace when it comes to my speech.  It is time to be impeccable with my words.  I believe that I am a world changer and I believe you are too.  Let's harness the power of our words and move forward in our calling, purpose and destiny.    When we are salt and light (in word and deed), we will season the atmosphere with love, hope and grace.  And that sounds like a tasty dish.  


dwell in possibility

Push a little further.
Dig a little deeper.
Extend your reach and
keep going full speed ahead
towards your Destiny.
You are right where you are supposed to be
right now, so have faith
and keep moving forward.
You will reach your goal.
Nothing is impossible. No thing is impossible.
All things are possible. 
ALL THINGS are possible
to those who believe.

Foolywank Friday: quality versus quantity

Quality: a degree of excellence
Quantity: an indefinite amount or number  

Why do we believe that bigger is better?  
Where did the notion if a little feels good then more is even better come from?

Although I don't know the origin of these statements, I do know one thing about them. They are both synonymous with one word: foolywank.   

In many areas of life, I am beginning to see that quality trumps quantity.  Dare I say in all areas of life, quality trumps quantity?  Yes, I dare to say it loud and proud: Quality trumps Quantity.  Always.  

As I pondered this post, I attempted to discover instances where quantity was most important and every time I thought I'd discovered an example, I could always spin it to make quality the winner.  

Money?  A quantity of rupees (basic unit of currency in India, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Seychelles and Sri Lanka) in the middle of Aldi (local supermarket) won't do me any good because the rupee has no standard (or quality) in the US.  A quantity of rupees in the right location would be fantastic if the money is quality (not damaged or counterfeit).  

Next, I thought of Love.  An indefinite amount or number (aka quantity) sounds fabulous, right?  Right.  Until I realized Love without quality would connote crap-tastic, lackluster love.  And a whole (indefinite!) lot of it.  Pass!

Don't believe the hype.  

Lack of quality = useless.  

Quality over quantity.  


Would love to hear your thoughts...

If you can't find your cell phone...

If you're like me and you somehow manage to lose track of your phone several times a day, allow me to introduce you to my online pal, I can't find my phone.  We know each other very well and let me tell you he is reliable, accurate and extremely patient when you use his *free* services over and over again.  Not that I would know anything about that... teehee

Am I the only one who loses and finds said communication device multiple times throughout the day?  Did you just use I Can't find my Phone to call your phone for fun-sies?  Talk to me, Goose ;) 

Today I am grateful for


the smell of clean laundry

Vitamin Water Zero

the most loving and supportive friends and family EVER

Bacon... we've just recently fallen in love with each other

My all-time favorite-est writing utensil, Precise V5 "Extra Fine" (Fine sux!) :)

homemade caramel corn (click here for delish recipe)

fellowship :)


Classic Chapstick

What are you grateful for today?

Foolywank Friday: Pretending like pain lasts forever

Today I am in pain.  

It feels like I'm walking through the valley of the shadow of death,

But I ain't scared.  

Hurting and sad at times,

But I will fear no evil.  

My Dad is a king.   

The King, actually.

So in the midst of tremendous angst and funky feelings,  I have peace and a hope that supersedes my understanding.  That's how I can keep moving forward with the knowledge that everything is gonna be alright. 

My friend reminded me that it's ok to cry and know everything will be alright...  

I heard a good man say, "brokenness and hope live in the same room ...because they hold hands." Two weeks ago, his words inspired this post.   Today this message is my reality.    

If you're in the midst of a difficult situation, a tough transition or 
You have lost someone you loved...
If life is not turning out the way you expected or
You're aching over a dream delayed or a promise forgotten...
Maybe your plans went kaput or 
You don't have a plan at all.
If someone you love is going down a path you can't follow or 
You're the one taking that new path...

My hope today is that we will all be encouraged... 
As life goes on... 
In spite of difficulty, trauma, hurt or pain.  

It has always amazed me how your world can come to a screeching halt in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life all around you.  

That's when you're in the eye of the storm.  
The safest place to be, actually.  

It is a quiet place of peace, inexplicable awe and total surrender... 
(Mainly because you have no other choices at the time.)

In this motionless space, a new part of you comes alive with amplified awareness and appreciation for this circle of life.  

It's painful.  
It's peaceful.  
And it's divine.  
Even though it hurts like hell.  

In the ever so still and quiet eye of the storm (as ruckus swirls all around!), there comes a moment of clarity and immeasurable insight into that which matters most: 

The many blessings in Life (despite the yuck)
And the Blessed Assurance that all things work together for good.  

You see,  in the eye of the storm,  God is made manifest.

And that is why I ain't scared.  

Don't you be either...  

If you are in pain today, be encouraged!  

My Granny says, "Trouble don't last always" and she is one of the wisest women I know.  

Everything's gonna be alright! :)

I done got me a internet ad!

*said in my best Mater voice* 

Ladies and Gentle-cars, the neeeeeeeew (and only haha) Above the Fray ad:

You likey?

Well, Amanda J. Cobb is the awesome designer officially known as a "freelance graphic designer."  Let me tell you, she is worth her weight in gold.  Girlfriend has some serious design chops and she is peachy keen to work with.  For reals.  No drama.  Pure fun.  Excellent customer service.  Exceptional quality.  She took my scatterbrained words and random ideas and turned em into a this fanciful picture.  You can check out Amanda's portfolio here.  It's pretty doggone snazzy!  

Amanda didn't ask me to tell yall any of this.  You know I love to share the good stuff and she is AWESOME, so I'm tootin' her horn today!  *cue horn blower*  

Mosey on over to her website or pass it along to anyone you know with design needs.  Amanda is the cream of the crop!

Amanda's website:

Jury Duty Part Deux

In the event that you missed my initial post about my  jury duty woes, you can read about them here.  Part Deux is about my final day of jury duty.  Things got worse before they got better, but they did get better so YAY!  

Since I knew where I was going and what I was doing (somewhat...LOL), I arrived early determined to get one of the good, comfy seats.  My tailbone was talkin' and it ain't have nothin' nice to say.  So, I get there and the windowless basement is practically empty.  The hard knock life ladies who keep the joint running were there (with smiles that were sincere yet somehow disconcerting all at the same time) and so were fifteen to twenty others.  

*Yes! I will get a good seat today!*

Since the room was awkwardly divided into three sections and I had never seen the other aspects and features of el basement, I went to explore my options before choosing my seat.  I was determined to sit in a new location in a more comfortable chair so I roamed to the "left wing" of the basement and discovered a gigantic flat screen TV with endless rows of chairs.  


So I stroll over to the "right wing" which housed a ping pong table from 1957 and a foosball table from 1932.  Couches lined half of the room while sturdy chairs lined the other.  There was a "bistro" area with 3 or 4 tables and chairs, a table with a puzzle from 1853, an area that resembled a studio livingroom and a cool bat cave looking recessed area at the very back of the room.  

Jury Duty Promised Land found!  

This side was much larger and better decorated than "center section" where I'd sat the day before.  Thinking I'd hit the jackpot, I strolled over to a couch and plopped down only to discover that this was quite possibly the most uncomfortable couch ever.  My feet could not reach the ground and my back was tilted in the most awkward angle... some weird place between completely reclined and sitting straight up.  I fidgeted and finagled trying to make myself comfortable but soon realized: this ain't gone work.  So I hoisted myself out of the polyurethane loveseat, stepped directly into the "bistro" and had a seat.  Much better.  Sitting straight up, yes, but much better than gradually disappearing by sinking ass first into pleather.  

If you can't tell by this post, let me just confess: I was having a pretty rotten attitude about jury duty.  The intrusion on my life... the windowless basement... the crappy anti-climatic seat on the couch and I wasn't feeling the greatest to boot.  I was crying a river on the inside.  

Right about that time a cute lil' lady named Janet strolled over to the bistro section and sat down next to me.  We *clicked* right away so we talked and laughed until lunch time.  We got over an hour break for lunch and after being cooped up all night, it was wonderful to go outside.  As we evacuated the basement, Janet struck up a conversation with three other girls (Donna, Dianna and Rhonda) and invited them to have lunch with us.  We traipsed down the block, chatting and laughing along the way.  I was booking it because I was huuuuuuuungry!  The food was delish and the company was fab.  We talked, laughed and even shed tears together.  Connecting with others is such a beautiful thing.  

So the weirdness of jury duty: 

The guy who threw a hissy fit when he did not get his same seat from the day before.  
Taking an oath that I am not "mentally retarded" (seriously.) 
The fact that it takes legislation to remove/change the phrase "mentally retarded" in said oath.
Incessant sitting
The irony of systems in place to protect our rights and the exploitation of those systems 
The rusted petty cash box (that was shaken exactly 5 times before EVERY name was drawn for EVERY jury pool.  I can still hear the sound "chuga-chuga-chuga-chuga-chuga")

The beauty of jury duty:

Meeting new people 
Breaking bread and making connections with new friends
Realizing that I had a connection with Dianna (I know her daughter, son-in-law + their kids and they are ALL awesome peeps!)
People watching (I think I overdosed for sure!)
Good eats downtown and...
That sweet moment we were released to go home

Word with the Wise Wednesday: Laura Francis

1. What important life lessons have you learned so far?
Think before you speak.  You do not have to say everything you think.  Everything you think doesn't have to pop out of your mouth.  Think before you speak. 

2. How is the world today different or similar to what it was like when you were a child?
As a child, I had an experience where I knew that I was different.  My mother would give me my lunch and lock me out for most of the day.  I can remember sitting on a salt lick in the corral in my little white dress with no shoes on... I was eating a bologna sandwich and drinking koolaid when all of a sudden, I had this epiphany.  I felt so much peace, joy and LOVE.  I knew that I was loved and that I was beautifully, wonderfully made.  I felt like God was saying, "It's you and me, kid."  That moment changed my world in a very positive way and the revelation has deepened over time.  In my heart, I am still that lil' girl who receives His love.  As I keep growing and seeking, I continue to have full circle moments where I am reminded that I am different and that it's not so much how the world has changed (or stayed the same), but how I have changed.  

3. What has been your hardest lesson to date?
Embracing silence.  I continue to deal with that because when you're telling, you're selling.  Ask a question and be silent.  If they're saying it (the answer), they're learning it as truth.  

4. What do you want people to remember about you?
That I was a possibilitarian.  One of my greatest joys in life is helping others become better people.  Empowering others to know this: You can manifest your dreams.  God made this world and we have creative power as well.  Everything in your heart is do-able.  

Isn't she AMAZING?!?! 

For reals, Laura Francis is one of the wisest, kindest, most knowledgeable, compassionate and encouraging people I know.  She is a true possibilitarian, which means if there is a way, she will have it figured out.  I have observed her in action many times and she is flat out awesome.  With Laura there is no box to think outside of because quite simply, there is no box.  She sees a world full of endless options and possibilities and she truly loves to help others discover and fulfill their purpose and passion.  She has helped me many, many times!  I like to call her a catalyst because she definitely creates and/or accelerates the pace of the process, opportunity or event.  I love learning from her and just being around her.  She is positively radiant like that.  Holler if you'd like to swap howdy's with her!  

Happy Wednesday to yall!  :D

Block Party!

Last night we had our annual block party.  Fun Fun Fun time to connect with neighbors and friends.  Kids played Redlight-Greenlight, chased each other, giggled endlessly, dog-piled, wrestled, ran, romped and wrote on the sidewalk with chalk.  Adults conversed and laughed.  Friendships formed and connections forged as we broke bread together.  

It was really beautiful to see community spirit on display.  

Do you know your neighbors?  
If not, I challenge you to reach out to one of your neighbors today.  

If you do know your neighbors, why not throw a block party to foster some community love?  You can keep it sweet and simple or make it haute and fancy.  It's totally up to you!  

Just reach out.  We need each other because we're all in this together.  

Be sweet. 

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