LIFE GIVES US THREE ANSWERS ❀

Life gives us answers to our desires in three ways:

1~It says yes and you get exactly what you want.
2~It says no and something so much better happens.
3~It ignores you and makes you wait for the
right time,
right circumstance,
or the right person.

So don’t fight the inevitable.
When a relationship, either personal or professional
is impossible to make right,
it will behoove you to walk away.
The heartache you will experience leaving
will be profoundly less painful than if you
stubbornly cling to a place that continues to hurt you.

When I was much younger, facing a failing situation
brought out my tenacious fiery temper.
Despite the advice of loved ones,
I would stubbornly hold on to relationships,
both personal and professional,
until it turned into a painful mess.
When I finally walked away,
the scars were deep and excruciating.

How could I not see the overwhelming imbalance?
Looking back, the truth was always there;
relentlessly nagging at my subconscious.
I simply refused to accept the inevitable and in doing so,
I caused myself unnecessary anguish.

Thankfully, those days are long over.
It didn’t take long for me to understand
the pattern unfolding in my life.
Believing that my life’s purpose had been in play
since the day I was born,
has released me from the pressures
of always knowing the right answers and
stubbornly holding on to the wrong ones.

Faith allows me the luxury of following the path
God has laid out for me. ✞ Each day, each step,
and each interaction are part of my journey;
a journey which will inevitably cross with yours.
I hope and pray, that when it does,
we smile knowing that that moment
had been in his plan our entire lives. ♡

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AN ANGEL IN THE CHECK OUT LINE ❀

When I’m out and about passing by strangers
throughout my busy day,
I often think of the song – One of Us, by Joan Osborne.
Have you ever heard it?
It is about the possibility that God is showing himself
to the world through ordinary people,
challenging us to own up to our treatment of each other.
Would we approach a stranger differently
if we knew he or she was God?

Here are some of the lyrics:
If God had a face, what would it look like?
And would you want to see?
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
in things like heaven and in Jesus
and the saints and all the prophets?

Each day, when we leave our homes,
our focus is usually so intense that the thought
of any sort of spiritual interaction
never even enters the equation.
But over the years I have learned that
it is during these intense days
when God is with me and I become witness
to his divine grace through some
extraordinary act of kindness.
That is exactly what happened to me yesterday.

It began as a day with purpose.
I had 12 stops to make and I needed to be
organized. So with my detailed list in hand
I was on a mission.
Down the busy highway, through intersections,
in and out of parking lots,
I was focused and determined.
Next on my list – items for my Care Bags project.
I needed to make 15 bags next week
and my inventory of personal toiletry items
was running very low.
Into the store I went. The layout was very
familiar to me and within minutes
I had collected over 60 items.
Approaching the check out, I noticed a woman
unloading her very full buggy with what looked like
the makings of a huge children’s party.
I could see that she was getting worried
that her large order was holding up the line,
but with only me behind her, I told her not to worry.
With some friendly chitchat, I learned
that she was the Den Leader for a Girl Scout troop
and her purchase was for their end of year
picnic and awards ceremony.
She was expecting over 150 people.
I commended her efforts and expressed how lucky
that troop was to have such a dedicated leader.

At this point there were 4 other women in line behind me;
all of them carrying only a couple items in their arms.
Oh boy. I still hadn’t begun my purchase.
As I looked back, I apologized to them
and expressed my intentions of going as quickly as I could
when one of them questioned my odd quantity of items.
As I started loading up the conveyer belt,
I mentioned that the 20 deodorants were not for me
and that this was in fact a donation for my charity.
While trying to relieve some of the tension
with a little humor, I unwittingly peaked their interest
and they began asking questions.
As I briefly told them about the circumstances
and needs of these young girls,
I could see the look on their faces change.

One woman commended me, telling me that she
was a child of drug addicts and would have loved
a bag like this when she was younger.
Another woman shared with me her
son’s own history with drugs and yet another
wanted my phone number so she could send a donation.
Before I realized it, the Den Mother was finished,
turned and handed her email address to me.
Her Girl Scout troop is always looking
for volunteer projects and she wanted
to talk to me about a time when they could help.
Before I even realized it, my order was bagged
and the cashier announced my total of $62.10.
While I was pulling out my payment,
the lady behind me laid down
three twenty-dollar bills and some change.
I gasped. What is she doing? My mind was spinning.
How do I respond to this? I thanked her profusely
before the words became caught in my throat.
A tear ran down my face as I looked into her eyes.
There was God; standing there,
looking at me through the soft brown eyes
of a lovely middle aged woman. ✞
She told me how blessed her life was
and that paying it forward was something
she most definitely wanted to do.
We exchanged a big hug and I thanked her again.

When I was finally sitting in my car,
I was overcome with emotion.
That song “One of Us” came to me again.
What started out as a group of tired strangers,
evolved into the merging of compassionate and caring ladies -
having more in common than they initially realized.
Was God there? He most certainly was!

So to Barb, I would like to say:
Your generosity today was totally unexpected
and supplied enough products for me to fill fifteen bags.
The girls and I THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!
You represent what is truly good and holy in mankind.
I believe that God was definitely present today, Barb,
and he was showing his divine grace through you.
How lucky I was to be standing there in his/your presence.
I hope and pray, that if you ever need anything,
someone steps up and pays it forward to you.
May God continue to bless you, Barb.
Thank you!

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GRATITUDE ❀

GRATITUDE

I am thankful for this day – just this day.
Separating myself from yesterday
and avoiding any thoughts of tomorrow,
I am feeling grateful.

It is a cold and dreary day here in the city where I live
and its affect on my body is reminding me
of my tumultuous journey to this particular place in time.
Complaining is not an option for me.
I don’t want to waste a single minute carping
on the effects of a life well lived.
Of course, I would love to wake feeling deliriously new,
but time does not allow us humans the luxury of rewind,
although, secretly I wish it would.

I sit at my keys listening to the honks of the geese
flying over my house in search of the lake nearby.
The tapping of the rain against my window
lifts my head away from my thoughts.
Gazing over the new spring growth of the grass
and the tiny buds on the trees reminds me
that the warm weather is days away.
A pregnant robin is perched on my porch,
searching for twigs to cushion her nest.
Her only thoughts are here and now.
So peaceful.

This moment is already passing.
The next one is here and when I end this sentence
another will be gone
and I am grateful to have been here
to live through each of them.
I look at this day as a gift from God. ✞
There is no more reason for me to be here
than there is for another to pass.
I have surrendered to this mystery.
No, I won’t complain for that will diminish
the importance of this day.
Its purpose is clear to me. Live it! And I will.

Thank you – Today. I feel grateful!

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GOOD FRIDAY ✞

As Christians, the friday before Easter Sunday
represents the death of Jesus on the cross.
This has always been recognized as a solemn day
of fasting, prayer, and introspection.
Why shouldn’t it be?
We are remembering and in some way mourning
the death of God’s son.
He died a cruel and unjust crucifixion
for the simple fact that he believed in God
and the goodness of his grace.
It made no sense then, and it makes no sense now.

Still today, thousands of years later,
we are experiencing a similar injustice
at the hands of a malicious group of fanatics
who are blatantly trying to take over the world
and control it with torturous domination.
Christians, Jews, and all the other peaceful religious
need to join in our belief that good will prevail
and that God’s love is more powerful than any force
the devil tries to inflict on us.
Not only are we witnessing God’s grace
throughout our lives here on earth,
but we have proof that there is eternal peace
with him in heaven through those who have seen
and lived to share his word.

So today, on the holiest of religious holidays,
I hope that your faith carries you through
whatever hardship you are facing.
Please, pray, and allow God’s grace
to fill you with peace.
My mortality is just as real as all of yours
and I pray every day for God to accept me in heaven,
just as he did his son, when my last day comes.

Easter Sunday we will celebrate the
resurrection of Jesus into heaven;
a day that has defined our life, death,
and faith in God. On this day,
God showed the world that there truly IS
eternal life and that it is beautiful
beyond anything we can imagine.
So through goodness, kindness, compassion, and love,
those who truly follow God’s word
will continue to show the world that goodness
will always prevail over evil,
and that eternal life in a peaceful heaven
is our greatest reward.

May God bless you and your loved ones
and I pray that his grace embraces you
and fills you with peace.

Happy Easter to you! ♡

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INTERNATIONAL WOMAN’S DAY ❀

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMAN’S DAY

On this one day out of 365 days, as women,
we can join together and celebrate each other.
No matter what your circumstance,
you are my equal on this earth.
I am a woman. You are a woman.
We may be different in a thousand ways
but each of us has a strong heart and a loving spirit.
So today, despite who or where you are
– I feel connected to you!
I can feel your need to achieve,
your desire to love and be loved,
and your wish to feel spiritually full and at peace. HAPPY
My wish for us is that we try more vehemently
to understand each other;
that we slow our judgment and embrace our differences,
but mostly reach out and help one another.
I can’t save or even help everyone, nor can you;
but together we can lift each other when we fall
and teach our daughters how to live with empathy,
compassion, confidence and honor.

So today, on the 8th of March, 2016, I send to you – love.
For no other reason other than I feel connected to you,
care about you, and truly respect you! ❤

~ This day is actually very pertinent to me because
this blog was created solely from this sentiment.
I have lived long enough to have seen and
experienced how difficult and rewarding
life can be and through it all,
there have been incredible women
who have influenced and helped me.
I want to pay it forward in honor of
all those women and try my best to reach out to others.
Thank you to all of you who have helped me
throughout my life.
You have truly made a difference and
I feel blessed to have known you.
Now it is OUR turn to reach out to each other.
Happy Day To You, my FRIEND! ♡

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NO-KNEAD BREAD ♨

I LOVE BREAD!
Growing up Italian certainly had its perks.
My favorite, of course, was the wonderful
aroma of fresh baked bread filling our home.
I was never able to wait until the loaf cooled
before cutting into it.
Delizioso!
I try to carry on my family’s traditions
and make bread on occasion but when I tasted
this particular bread at my friend’s home,
all those childhood memories came flooding back to me.
It tastes so much like my grandmother’s and
wait until you see how EASY it is to make.
I’ve made six loaves already.
You actually never have to touch the dough.
It is ridiculously simple.
Now, go get some yeast, flour and water.
That’s all you need. ☺

NO KNEAD BREAD

3 C flour, bread flour, or whole-wheat flour
½ tsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
~Blend together

1 ½ C hot water

~Stir into flour mixture. I use a spatula.
Dough gets very sticky. Do not over mix.

~Transfer to a lightly greased bowl;
cover with plastic wrap then wrap in a towel
and let sit on counter for 4 to 12 hours.
It really doesn’t matter.

Dough will get bubbly but remains sticky.
Dump onto a floured surface and
using a wide spatula or scraper,
fold dough over several times.
Transfer to a bowl lined with parchment paper.
Cover with a towel and set aside.

~Preheat over to 450˚.
Place a cast iron pot with lid or a Dutch oven
into oven for approx.. 15-20 minutes.
(Large or small, the size of the pot doesn’t really matter.
But it must be a very heavy pot.)
Carefully remove from over and
place dough with parchment paper into pot.
Cover and bake for 35 minutes.

Carefully remove from oven; remove parchment paper,
then return bread to oven without the lid
for approximately 15 more minutes.

Carefully remove bread from pot
and set on wire rack to cool.

ENJOY! It is FABULOUS!

•Does not stay fresh for more than 2 days.
But don’t worry; it will be gone before then. ☺
~Thank you Pam Demezza ♡

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THE SURPRISE OF A PRAYER ❀

Yesterday, my sister called informing me that my parents
had been in a car accident.
She assured me that they were not hurt
but that mom had fallen when they arrived home.
I was in my car before I hung up the phone.

As I pulled out of my garage
a car was coming around the corner,
so I had to wait at the end of my driveway.
In those few seconds, I reached down
to plug my phone into the car adaptor
to charge its battery.
Not paying much attention to it,
I leaned over my shoulder to make sure
the car had passed and began
to back out onto the road.
As I turned forward and put the car in drive,
the light on my phone flashed, I looked down quickly,
and this prayer appeared out of nowhere.
I slowed down my car and stared at the words.
Why did this pop up? Where did it come from?
I know that I had saved it a while ago
into my notes folder, but I hadn’t looked at it in months.

Isn’t it funny how God sends us signs?
They aren’t always in the form of a prayer,
but he sends them constantly.
A phone call from an old friend,
a sudden meeting at the store,
an overheard conversation at the coffee shop,
or even a smile from a stranger;
none of these are accidental.
I believe my grandmother is my guardian angel,
and when I feel worried or afraid,
I pray directly to her to watch over and guide me.
Considering that she is my mother’s mother;
I believe she was letting me know
that everything was going to be alright ~ it was.

Thank you Grandma.
Your sweet presence is felt every day.
I love you, Claudia.

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TEXTING- When and Where ❀

Teens aren’t the only ones
whose texting is inappropriate.

We all text. . . no big deal.
Right? Wrong!!!
There are most definitely times when
texting is the worst thing we can do.
Sending a message by text can be fun,
uplifting, quick, efficient, and effective,
but when the content and/or timing aren’t right,
it can become a disaster!

Personally, I love knowing that I can send a
message without interrupting someone who
may be engaged and unable to speak at that time.
Also, texting allows me to stay in touch with my children
without barging into their busy lives.
(God forbid!)
Lastly, I have received sweet, loving, kind, funny, and
comforting messages through texting.
Knowing that people are thinking about you
simply by typing a few words on their phone,
can be very powerful. ♡

Like it or not, texting is here to stay
but we all must remember to send messages
that are appropriate and timely.
Keep texting for the fun times and leave
the more serious or questionable comments for
face-to-face communication.

When NOT to text:

While driving! NEVER!!
When breaking up with someone. (Ouch)
After a night of too much partying. (Oops!)
When you are angry
After midnight
In church
During a concert
At the movies
When someone is trying to kiss you. (Awkward!)
During dinner – in a restaurant or home.
While someone is talking to you.
In a: doctor, principal, boss, lawyer, or dentist office
During a medical proceedure
In court
On a date
To give someone bad news
While on the toilet (Really? Please wash your hands.)
While attending a sporting event
If the verbiage is indecent/it cannot be erased
In a spa
In the gym
During yoga
In a classroom
While arguing
When the subject matter is emotional
~(emojis aren’t appropriate)
During your book club
When someone is holding you.
After someone texts: TTYL
If you send several and they don’t reply – STOP.

I find texting amusing, so
don’t ever hesitate sending one my way.
I am constantly amazed at the technology
and the speed in which these little words
are transmitted. Fascinating!!!!
Just don’t get angry if it takes a day or two
for me to respond.
I am a very busy lady, after all! LOL ♡

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TIP OF THE DAY❀

MY LAUNDRY SHAKE DOWN

What exactly do I mean by shaking my laundry?
I didn’t even realize I was doing it until one day,
my son asked how to wash a quilt and
a barrage of laundry tips came flooding out of me.
I’m sure most of you have your own technique at
doing your laundry, so unless you want to shake
your heads in utter disbelief at how neurotic I am;
don’t bother reading it.
But, if you are like my son and
haven’t been schooled in the art of laundry;
please go to my TIPS page and experience a
well thought out AHA moment about your
washer and dryer!
Happy washing!

http://womenarewe.com/tip-of-the-day-the-laundry-shake-down❀/

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TIP OF THE DAY- THE LAUNDRY SHAKE DOWN❀

Most of us don’t think much about our laundry.
We separate the whites from the darks
and then throw the clothes into the dryer.
That’s about the extent of it. Right?
Not for me it isn’t. In fact,
I didn’t realize how much detail I gave to my laundry
until my son asked how to wash a quilt.
That one question opened up a litany of laundry tips
from yours truly. The conversation also made me aware
of the detail in which I was tossing
items into my washer.
Which brings me to this post.
What exactly do I mean by ‘shaking up my laundry’?
Let me share. ☺

Quite simply; I literally ‘shake out’ my clothes.
Each piece gets a once over;
looking for stains, tears, loose buttons, and empty pockets.
I also turn every piece inside out,
zip up all zippers and unbutton all buttons.
(Open zippers cause snags and tears
and closed buttons unnecessarily pull at the item
and loosens the buttons.)
I spray every neckline (and stain) with Shout
and rub thoroughly with an old toothbrush.
I have a top loader, so I carefully place all the pieces
in an even circle leaving the center open.

The second shakedown comes
after I hear the loud end-cycle buzz.
Before placing the items into the dryer,
I pull each one of them out of the washer
and give them a quick shake.
This opens up the fabric plus separates any
other items that may be stuck together.
(Have you ever pulled out a t-shirt or towel
that is twisted and damp?)
Most importantly, shaking out my clothes
gives them a chance to dry evenly and tumble freely
throughout the drying cycle.
(Please don’t throw your clothes into the dryer
in a big wet lump. It will make them sad.)
Also, I throw two tennis balls into the dryer
to break up sheet sets and smaller loads.

Don’t forget to pull out any shirts, leggings,
sweaters, and delegates after about 5 minutes
to air dry. The heat from the dryer
will destroy these particular fabrics.

For most of you, reading this post seems elementary.
But if for some reason, you walk towards your
washing machine with trepidation; I hope this helped.
I ask you, if following a few simple steps
can dramatically extend the life of your favorite pieces;
why wouldn’t you do them?

So, while most of you are saying to yourself;
“this woman is a wacko”
I’ll be heading to my laundry room
to shake down a few pair of jeans.
Maybe, I’ll find some forgotten change. ♡

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