monday motivation – Autumn comfort

Although we are still having some warm days, the evenings bring a little chill and my kitchen and cooking are motivated by Autumn comforts. Soups, bone broths and the color orange all seem to be what I crave at this time. Last week, I had a call from a local charity to donate items that I no longer needed or wanted. So, this week, I am taking some time to gather items and then to find comfort in sharing with others who are in need. I found some sweet little jars to deliver soup in so I will be making a huge cauldron of soup to share as well.  A sweet neighbor delivered freshly picked apples from a farm, so I have been making applesauce and adding them to roasted veggies.
The above photo is from a dear friend who created and served soup to me a few Autumns ago but I will never forget how artfully prepared this was. What comforts and inspires you in Autumn?

question, darlings

illust7LHello Darling readers. Kiss, kiss. I have a question and I would love your honest answer. I had to put a few things on hold this Summer but am ready now to forge ahead on a few projects that were tabled. One question is, should I go by my name or keep to my “PvE” which everyone seems to know and I have built a reputation and body of work with “PvE”- Here is an illustration done years ago under my name before I had signed “PvE” – so what doth though think? Keep “PvE” or sign with my name?

keep going

During this time of grieving, I take great comfort in all the beauty around me. From the lovely cards, to all the flowers along with visits and hugs from friends and family it does remind me to focus on the beauty and find a way to keep going. I am slowly getting back in the game of life and there are moments when my mind and my heart find memories of times gone past. As much as I want to keep moving and going forward, I also want to take time to savor the endings. Like a really good book that you never want to end or a weekend of celebration that seems to fly by, it is important to stop, dial things back and then plan to find a new routine, a new normal to keep going. I am so thankful for your kindness during this time.

This beautiful orchid welcomed me home from some dear blogging buddies. Thank-you. The Enchanted Home, You may be wandering, Pretty Pink Tulips, I-dream-of, The Buzz – Diane James Home, Preppy Empty Nester, The Zhush and The Relished Roost. I will link up later as I need to get to work now. Love to each of you.

monday motivation – better together

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Some things are just meant to be together. Last week, my Mother passed on to join my Father. A mere 40 days apart, from my Father’s passing and now my parents are back together. I take comfort in knowing they are at rest. It was an honor to write and read The Eulogy at the Funeral Mass at Holy Spirit Church where I was married nearly 27 years ago. Many friends asked, “What happened, was your Mother ill?” The Doctor said, if she had to give it a diagnoses, it would be “brokenhearted.”

It was so great to hear stories from family and friends about the fun times they had with my Mother and Father. A dear elderly lady told me “Your parents were meant to be together, they are better together.” I take comfort in such endearing words. I thank each of my sisters and brothers for all the support provided to one another and for our parents safe voyage. My sister, Liz – read the Eulogy she wrote for our Mother at the Visitation and it was about the Voyage of our Mom’s life. I shall cherish the memories and hold tight to the love of my Mom and Dad being together. Thank-you to each of you for your kind and comforting words.

monday motivation – an apple a day

I have chosen to begin this monday motivation with the old “apple a day” quote. I plucked this charming apple which is an adorable bank from here.

Not to bore you with any details but to fill you in on my latest foray, I ended up in the hospital last week for 5 days with severe abdominal pain.  I was what they call “NPO” Latin for nil per os, nothing by mouth, only ice chips.  Laying there, on IV meds for an infection gave me time to rest up and to think about how our health is our greatest wealth.

I am back home now but still have several tests to complete before I can rest easy for a clean bill of health.  After so many questions asked of me during my hospital stay, I have been doing lots of work in order to stay motivated for the best of health.

“An apple a day” does seem like the perfect motivation for starting a new school year and as they say “keeping the doctor away.”  Honestly, after being poked and prodded to find diagnose my problem really was rather scary.

Has anyone tried  or follow the Paleo diet, from what I have read, it seems to be very good for curing many diseases and producing excellent results.

Summer lobster















A Summer Lobster dinner. I ask you, is there anything better than a steamed lobster with corn and butter other than – maybe this painting.

It sure is making me crave a Lobster dinner. Painting by Colin Page.


reprise_of_fairys_tears tearsLately, I seem to be leaking tears everywhere I go and cry and the smallest thing. I think grief affects each of us in ways we never imagine. After taking my daughter to her annual physical in her fifteenth year of life, I cried thinking of all the time, all the years of Doctor visits and the growth from infancy to where she is now.
When my sons were babies, my Father came to New York for their baptism and I caught him in the rocker holding them in the nursery and he was crying. I wanted to know what was wrong and he said, “Honey, enjoy these beautiful babies because it goes fast.” Then before I turned around, they were turning five and I felt the desire to be with them more than all the time I was spending at work. Again the words of my Father come to mind, “The greatest reward, in life is to be a parent” – you will never regret your decision to spend more time being their Mom. He also told me, “It was the hardest job ever.”

So, the tears flow and I keep reminding myself that they are perfectly normal as they wash away the dust and clear my vision to keep going. After a good cry or a good rain, everything does seem clearer.

oh she glows (book give-away)

91X36fxqi1LOh yes she does, she glows inside and out and do you know why? Well, it’s true, you are what you eat. If you have ever had a junk food binge and then noticed how you felt and how your complexion suffered, did I hear a yes and see you shake your head?
A1SyTrrvolLLoving these gorgeous healthy creations and recipes found over at “oh she glows
51a1zBtk2dLI have ordered this book for myself and one to give to a lucky reader.















Angela is a beauty and also about to welcome a little newborn bundle into her world. No wonder she is glowing!
Leave a comment and let me know what makes you glow?


Thank-you for the flowers, the notes and the outpouring of love that has been received over the past few weeks. The one message which I would like to share with each of you is to “treasure” everything around you. If you are in need of a little inspiration or creative encouragement, try to create a little corner with some fresh flowers, books and time to treasure everything and everyone you love.

One of our twin sons left last Saturday for his senior year of college. My husband and I were mindful of his departure and the fact that he seemed so nonchalant about packing up his car. We were both worried that he might forget something so we kept asking him if he had everything. The very next morning, he sent me a text that he had forgotten two id’s that he had left in the scanner. Part of me wanted to get upset or angry at him as to why he could not be more organized, the other part of me knew that sending them was what I had to do and did. I reminded myself to focus on what I treasure.

There is always so much to do the end of August preparing to send twins back to college and prepare another child for high school. I feel the door of Summer closing and the window of opportunity opening with the start of a new Fall season. The ending of Summer and then the beginning of Fall. Night seems to be coming earlier with darkness falling around eight o’clock. Mourning the loss of a loved one, a season, a treasure to remember and to find comfort with family, friends, books and flowers that things will keep one moving ahead.

Thank-you to Leslie of Hadley Court for her kind post and for sharing my artwork with her readers. I treasure each of you for your support and the outpouring of love for my artwork.

The winner of the Anne Ward, Garden of Intention cards is “Lee.” I know you will treasure them and the positive messages that each card inspires.

monday motivation – garden of intention (give-away from Anne Ward)


Motivated and inspired by the paintings of artist Anne Ward. Anne has offered to share a gift of one box of


Garden of Intention cards to one lucky reader.


18 Intention cards and a sweet little stand to align and inspire your day.  Gentle reminders are always motivational.photo_3 (1)