Old Friends and New Friends

This week I was reminded again of the value of friendship.

First, a treasured friend of mine from 2002, whom I have not spoken to for quite a while, called and we had a wonderful time catching up.  Eight years ago she was traveling through my state on vacation, bought some of my soap at a boutique and then called to re-order.  We have been friends ever since and I have gained so much from having her as a friend.

Then today I took a new friend out for coffee.  She is soon to be my sister-in-law and because we don’t live in the same town, I haven’t really had a chance to get to know her as well as I wanted to.  I really enjoyed our coffee time and look forward to many years of friendship with her.

Unfortunately having special friendships isn’t something that everyone is blessed with, but I hope each of you has friends you treasure.  If you do, don’t forget to take the opportunity to let them know! =)

Are you looking for a way to find more friends?

My two daughters and I have a plan that we began this fall.  Every week, usually on Sunday afternoon, we invite either a lady or group of ladies in our neighborhood or nearby (with the exception of a few who are out of town) over for tea.  We set the table a little fancier than usual, serve our favorite teas in the treasured tea-sets that were handed down from my aunt and offer some special baked goodies.  So far we have had 4 of these tea-parties and thoroughly enjoyed them… we have had a neighbor lady  come whose children are grown and gone, and 3 times we had mothers with their young daughters.  A tea party fits all ages and it’s a great way to get to know people better!

Midweek Minute – Gratefulness

I’ve been trying to impress upon my children the need to have gratefulness continually.  The 1828 Websters Dictionary defines grateful as:


GRA’TEFUL, a. [from L. gratus. See Grace.]

1. Having a due sense of benefits; kindly disposed towards one from whom a favor has been received; willing to acknowledge and repay benefits; as a grateful heart.2. Agreeable; pleasing; acceptable; gratifying; as a grateful present; a grateful offering.3. Pleasing to the taste; delicious; affording pleasure; as food or drink grateful offering.

It seems that gratefulness is a 4-step process.

  1. realizing that benefits were received
  2. being kindly disposed toward the one who gave the benefits
  3. acknowledging that the benefits were received
  4. being willing to somehow repay the one who gave the benefits

Here are some ways we can repay:

  • being pleasant
  • being thankful with words to the person who gave and others, with written words
  • expressing appreciation
  • obedience
  • a good attitude

Here are some things we can always be grateful for:

  • good health
  • clothing, food and shelter
  • family
  • the freedom that we still have
  • our senses of taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing

One thing I wanted to write about today was a blessing we received over the weekend.  Last Saturday we volunteered at our local soup kitchen as a family.  Since they had an excess of fresh produce and bread, they shared with us.  Not only were we able to give away a large box and ½ of green beans, 3 cases of fresh spinach and 2 cases of melons and even more, but we also came home with a case of melons, a case of green beans, some ciabatta bread from a local bakery, organic spinach and a pineapple.  I’ve been pureeing the melons in my Vitamix and freezing them for future use!I am very grateful for this blessing!

Thoughtful Thursday – Convenient Cards

Do you ever forget a birthday or special event?  I recently forgot the birthday of a special friend… and the worst part is, I could have very easily prevented it!

I’ve been using this amazing card service for several years now.  They send me a reminder a week or two ahead of time.  I can upload all of my contacts and include their birthday and/or anniversary.  I can even write the cards and then schedule them to go out at a certain time.  But my special friend wasn’t in the system, and I forgot…

The best part about this system (besides the convenience of never having to go card shopping again and still having thousands of cards at my fingertips) is the price.  For a non-member, it’s only $2.99 to send a card.  (Keep in mind, this is a REAL, paper greeting card…NOT an e-card! ) You type in what you want to say at the website and they print it and send it for you.  All for only $2.99.  As a member, I can also send the same card to hundreds of people at the same time (holiday wishes, birth announcement, etc) and I can customize it with my photos and my handwriting.  PLUS, member prices are as low as 75¢ per card including postage.  If I want to, I can even include a gift of chocolate, a magazine subscription, a gift card to Starbucks and much more… for additional cost, of course!

You can send a card using my account for only $2.99 and see how easy it is.  Send it to yourself and see the high quality of the card and how fast it arrives.  Or send it to your sweetheart and earn some brownie points! =)

Here is my link:  Convenient Card Shop

Have a home business?  Watch this short video to see how Convenient Card Shop can grow your business!

Thoughtful Thursday – Neighborhood Basket

In the next few weeks I want to try something new in my neighborhood.  It’s not an original idea, but I don’t hear about it very often.

First, I want to find just the right basket or container, and then fill it with some home-baked goodies, hand-dipped candles, home grown from the garden, or soap or similar items (could even be coupons to mow the yard or rake, etc) and then take it to my closest neighbor’s house with a note inside that says:

This is a traveling basket for the neighborhood in _____.  In a sincere desire to let you know that we appreciate having you as a neighbor, we wanted to share some things from our home, to yours   Please keep these,  put some of your own items in the basket and then pass it along to the next neighbor within the next 5 days.

We have included a list of the neighbors names as well as some ideas of what to put in the basket.


  • Flowers from your garden
  • Produce from your garden
  • Something you baked
  • Something you sewed, crocheted, etc
  • A set of new kitchen towels
  • Something you picked up in town specifically for them
  • It could even be a note with a promise to offer your service to them (from your business, raking, hobby or shoveling snow, washing cars or windows, etc)

If everyone does it within 5 days, it should be back around in about a year

Teaching Tuesday – CSA

On Monday, the children and I watched some clips about the food industry of the movie by Food Inc at BulkHerbStore.com You can watch 5 of them here. I purchased the complete Food Inc DVD at Amazon so we could watch the rest of it.  The DVD comes with a chance to watch it online at no extra cost.

Here is a teaser trailer:

In the discussion afterwards, the audience suggests joining a CSA, so I went to look it up.  What a fantastic idea! If you live in the city and there is not farmers market, there is a wonderful website that lists all the CSA’s around the country at this link.

So what is a CSA?  It is Community Supported Agriculture.  Here’s how it works:

Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

This is the first time I have heard of this, so I really don’t know much about it, but I certainly think it is worth looking into and for those who cannot have a garden of their own, it sounds like a good alternative to purchasing from the grocery store.