My favorite quote (or reminder as I like to think of them)...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” (Marianne Williamson - A Return to Love)

Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm Back On...

I'm back on coffee.

My brother in law, who makes me stinkin' laugh all the darn time, kept telling us that he was "off of sugar" all during our family Christmas party last weekend. I giggled every time he said it and he was dead serious when saying it. First of all, do you think he knows that his Sister in Law opened a bakery and brought three decadent desserts for our Christmas? Apparently that didn't matter cuz he was off of them/sugar. Well, you gotta give him an A for his convictions any ol' way.

So to steal his quote, I decided that the thing I am going to bring back for 2011 (I always "bring something back" and "ban" something each year) is...COFFEE!! Rich, Dark, Bold, Decadent COFFEE. I am SO back on coffee. I'm back I tell you.

I went cold turkey about 3 or 4 years ago and switched to tea with only the occasional cup of Jo here and there. But no more I say! I want it back in all of it's glorious, mug huggin', sensuous divinity. Now, I'm not banning the tea, I'm just back on coffee -- and I see lots of it in my future! Bring it! Iced, Hot, Coconut Creamer, Peppermint Creamer, Cinnamon Caramel creamer, black, latte style, ALL OF IT! I'm back on coffee people!

You heard me Jamez, I'm back on coffee! Not sure what I'm gonna ban yet for the year, but I AM gonna make a mug of delicious black gold right now! I thought I should bring it back a little early!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thankful vs Fretting

Today I am thankful for our slowest day EVER...I'm not sure why yet, I just think my attitude should be one of thankfulness vs fret. For if nothing else, it helps me to know when our family is "safe" to go on vacations! :o)

I'm also thankful for all the great stuff my husband made for me in the bakery today that I can put out to sell tomorrow. I love being able to find stuff that he can help w/ -- not only in the making but in the generating of revenue!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Weekend Run Down

I've been a Girl Scout leader for nearly 8 years now. It's been a wonderful experience and we still have a troop of more than 10 young ladies in their teens that want to make a difference in the world - and all the while, I get to walk along side them as they make strides to do just that which moves their hearts to action. What a blessing it has been to watch these young girls BEcome such wonderful pillars in their community. I am so proud of them. I am so blessed.

Each Monday, the national Girl Scout blog I follow posts a "Weekend Run Down" report. They post about all that has happened on the business side of Girl Scouting as well as all the wonderful things that "girls" around the nation have done to earn various leadership awards in scouting.

I thought about that tonight and thought how great all of our lives would be if we did the same. If each of us posted our "Weekend Run Downs" about all that is great in our lives and all the great things that happened in our experience of our life. Even those that don't blog. Maybe you just want to journal it or tell it to God. Sometimes speaking out loud is the first great step in manifesting greatness for yourself (and others). Sometimes you need to stop and reflect to "get it" -- really get it. Sometimes seeing the DOING helps you BEcome an even more beautiful you.

How can it not work, really.

In a post I wrote much earlier this year, I quoted from the RED campaign. It still is my favorite of all of their quotes -- RediscoveRED -- "Rediscover you. Admire yourself more often. You are as beautiful as your heart remembers." Maybe in the "rundown" we can rediscover and admire and reflect and remember. Not just how beautiful the moment(s) was/were, but how beautiful we were IN the moment.

This past weekend (which came to a close for me yesterday as I had four days off), brought about rest, fun with family, snuggles, laughs, adventure, a sense of completion and organization, silliness and the realization that Christmas is full of excitement because of one thing and one thing only -- people trying to show other people how much they mean to each other. Each year, my youngest daughter (Caroline) signs her Christmas Family Memory Book page with "I love my family". However it is that you define "your family", I bet your Weekend Rundown includes lots and lots of ways that you seized the moment of Christmas and it meant a great deal to you...and them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Time to Shine

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night." ~ Steve Martin

Two things to "report" about today. First is to acknowledge that this is my least favorite day of the year. Do you really still ask why? It is the shortest "day" of the year today, Dec. 21st -- a day with the least amount of (wait for it....) SUNSHINE! Yuck. Who needs that? The good news is that from tomorrow on, the days get longer and that means more sunshine each day coming out to shine! I do love to shine you know?!

Second...As I mentioned a while back, CityGal Magazine asked me to be a contributing writer for their on-line magazine and I asked my daughters to do it with me and everyone agreed! Well, it is official that we (Annie, Caroline and I) have had our first article published this month! The Perspective Gals are in the house! Our first topic was on "fashion" and our goal was to pick a simple topic, say nothing to each other while we write, and each write about that topic in our totally and completely own perspective. I loved how it turned out and invite you to join the fun! Here are the links if you are interested!

My Perspective

Time to shine on don't you think? :o)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Secretary in my Head

Today I am thankful for perfect timing. I truly didn't stop moving today (until now). Even when I was on the computer this morning checking emails, I was also balancing my checkbook, making out my menu and grocery list, doing the laundry, etc. And today, every single thing I did fell perfectly into place at just the right time. That amazes me. All errands run, all appointments met without being late for any of them, and tasks on today's "Must Do" list done. In fact, it is 4:34 right now and Yoga starts in 26 minutes, so technically, I have all my chores for the day done and have 26 minutes to spare. What a rush?! Yup, I know...I need help......

So today, I am thankful for the little secretary in my brain that keeps everything moving along just perfectly. You know her -- she's the one that also tells me when stuff is done in the oven and in my 30 years of baking, I have never once used a timer and have burnt very little. I know, right?!

I'm so gonna have to get her something for Secretary's Day....ooooo, maybe a massage. I bet she'd love that! :o)

Friday, December 17, 2010


Today I am grateful for Megan. Megan is my new assistant at the bakery and she is going to cooking school full time. Friday mornings have become my new favorite time of the week because that young lady comes in to work! And by work, I mean W O R K! Together I feel like we actually catch me up for a few days! So today I am thankful for Megan...and God bringing her to the bakery to introduce herself to me when we opened!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Today I am thankful for cookies. Though I had to remind myself to be grateful of them on several occasions today. It seems like that is all I'm baking lately and I have pounded out some pretty stinkin' great breads of late, but alas, it's all about the cookies. Truth is, those cookies pay the bills this time of year and I am so grateful for that. I also love, love, love cookies, so what's to complain about?

Besides, at least I'm making Santa's Fav'! :o) You don't see people leaving turtle cupcakes or cinnamon swirl cheesecakes out for Santa now do ya'?

Ma'an...we need to reconsider this whole cookie thing............. :o)

Monday, December 13, 2010


This is my 100th posting. Huh. Seems there should be a cake or something -- maybe I should have baked one! :o)

People I love keep asking me if I am going to quit my blog. I don't know why they ask me that. I'm clear I don't have hours upon hours to write anymore (or even a few minutes some days), but there is time to write sometimes and I, my friends, am no quitter.

My vision, goals and rewards for my blog are different now than they were 100 posts ago, but it is no less important to me. Then I "did it" to be open to new possibilities, for people who didn't know me but may be a link to a potentially great job opportunity could get to know more about me, to expose myself to new ways of connecting, but mostly to find an avenue that built a bridge out into the world from the little island I was closing myself onto.

Sure, I don't use it to find a new job any longer, but I love the friends I have made by blogging (Dani, Mary, Carolyn, Teri...). I love that people I love have a way to learn more about me and my real self (as I'm not a very good verbal communicator at all!!) (Lisa, my step mom). I love how "safe" this form of communicating is for me -- feels like it's ok to write about what's in my heart because I will actually get it out without crying in a distracting way (like when I write about my girls, people I love, etc.). But mostly, I love that I am using my heart to tell people (that I love) stuff that is true for me in a way that I KNOW that I would not tell otherwise (right honey?). :o)

So today, I am grateful for my 100th blog post. I'm grateful for all that it has brought to my life in the past year and I am grateful for the growth I have experienced in doing it. I am grateful that you read it as in each posting I am thinking of those that I know read my words and I feel a connection to you as I pour out the words from my heart.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Family Luvin'

My niece moved out of her family house and in with my dad and step mom this past 2 weeks. I have missed her so much over the past 18 years that when I am not with her now, it hurts more than it did when I would go for months and months without seeing or talking to her (not by our choice). So today, I am thankful that the pain of missing her is one that is fleeting and will, or rather, CAN be relieved at just about any ol' time I can make an 8 minute commute to love her! And I am grateful for nieces and nephews that have filled my heart, head and life with more joy than I can ever, EVER, possibly express here or to anyone in words.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Exciting Days

Today I am thankful for a day that light up my week!

I sold $250 worth of gift certificates today for someone who wants to give them to her employees and family! How amazingly wonderful is that? I am also thoughtful that I built it and they are coming as we have sold more than a dozen of our new homemade cards by Lisa and just today sold two of the pictures off our walls that Kelly photographed! It's amazing!

I don't think I could lay my head down on the pillow tonight anymore grateful than I am feeling right now!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


"Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears..." ~ Charles Dickens

I've noticed as each year passes that I am able to cry with much more ease. All jokes about peri-menopause aside, I don't fear crying anymore. I used to. But I'm not afraid to cry anymore - ever. Though I do make fun of myself when the Huggies commercial comes on and the baby's diaper doesn't fit her, but otherwise I have an entirely new view on it.

I think that I am not afraid to cry anymore because for the last dozen or so years, I have been a work in progress and my biggest exercise has been in authenticity. So inauthentic was the old me that friends and I have named my "old" personality, Molly. That bi_ch never cried. Well she couldn't. She was too busy being tough, ever-strong, the leader -- cold if you ask me (now).

Truth is, I think crying, in any form, is the authentic self coming to the surface. Holding it back, keeping it down, trying to stop or hide it is disingenuous. You want to cry, you want to feel, you want to experience. So why then do we make up stories that we can't, shouldn't, won't?

I want to spend the second half of my life paying attention to my life, feeling all that I can, and learning who I am in that moment. I want to feel like I am a tough, brave, strong woman when I cry because I tell my daughters how much I love them, or when the stress is too much to bear some days, or when my cats are so stinkin' cute and loving that I want to burst, or when the character in the movie/book/story dies or suffers in some way or better yet celebrates joy. I want to feel all that there is to feel in that moment.

I'm not ashamed to cry anymore. I'm not ashamed to cry while talking to you, or sitting quietly by myself, or watching a movie. I'm just not. But it does weird me out when "you" look (stare) at me when I am. I don't want "you" to not see me, I just want you to know that the woman you are looking at isn't afraid to BE my authentic self. I'm not afraid to experience all of my emotions. And I hope when you are done staring, you will see a part of your own self that just missed out on the experience, because "you" chose to be something other than free to cry, free to feel, while you were staring at a woman not afraid to show her heart to you.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'm so tired........

Today I am thankful for all the people that came out to our little town to have fun making cookie ornaments and writing letters to Santa and having their picture taken with him too. I'm thankful for my niece Hannah Lynne and I'm thankful for my friends and family that think soooo much of me that they would drive all the way out to our sweet little bakery to have some holiday fun with us!

I'm also thankful that days end and that my couch is a mere 7 steps away.........goood nighttttt!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kitties, trust, prayers

Today I am grateful for kitties that love me so much, daughters that trust me, and funny prayers.

I am so impressed by how Bigearra hears the garage door open and runs to the lockers to wait right by the door until he sees us and then meows at us about finally being home to rub him. Caroline has "trust issues" -- big time. I keep working thru' them, but nonetheless, they show up all the time. I finally got her to trust me enough that she needed her eyebrows waxed for the first time and the pain would be minimal. She gave into "peer pressure" as she calls and is thankful she did it. And tonight at prayer time, Annie said thanks for weekends FOUR different ways, didn't realize she did it, and then we reminded her it's only Wednesday. HA! Good times!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Energy & Letting Go

Today I am grateful for energy and all of it's colors -- red, yellow, white. I am grateful for healing. I am grateful for friends and their power. I am grateful for my hands and their ability to let go.

Mom helped me in the bakery all day today and we got a ton done. Then I came home to shower and headed over to Three Sisters' Spirit for a little Reiki-sage (NO idea how to spell that) in my desperate attempt to do anything to help heal my shoulder/arm/wrist/hand. I don't know how energy and the world and God work. I just know that right now I am typing without much pain and numbness and I couldn't wait to do so! I enjoyed the heart connected visit of a friend I see very little of anymore and I learned more about myself again.

OH! And I am thankful for help in the bakery and for tears that gently fell as I learned to release. And I'm thankful for Dani and popcorn.

Yes, popcorn.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Today I am grateful for not being claustrophobic, for being organized, and for my Diet Coke. I started my day by having an MRI to see if they could figure out this shoulder/arm/hand thing and just shy of 7 hours later, I am finally home to unpack all the days errands.

I don't need no stinkin' GPS thingee -- the little secretary in my brain mapped out the entire day for me and I barely missed a beat -- with a cool refreshing beverage of my choice in my hand for most it! :o)

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I am SOOOO thankful for finally being able to pay attention to my hair. Which is sad really, because my sister has been doing my hair since she went to "Beauty School" -- 20 years ago -- so you'd think it would be easy for me, but what a whirlwind the last 4 months have been. Let's just say I am also thankful for no more outgrowth and those newly blossoming hairs of a new color! I am also thankful for traditions, for daughters who don't want for anything, and for best friends.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pecan Pie, Tears of Laughter

Today I am grateful for Pecan Pie, for daughters that make me laugh so hard that tears come out of my eyes, for sisters and nieces and nephews who love to come to my bakery and help, and for customers that go out of their way to bring their good, kind and full energy to our little Sweet Shoppe.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gratitude is my Attitude

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough...makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." ~ Melody Beattie

Back at the beginning of my 30's, I became aware of my desire to speak, listen, see and feel graciousness. I started to come into my authentic self and each day I became more and more aware of one of the most important things to me -- a thankful heart. I became increasingly full of wanting to express what I noticed, to pay compliments to others that were of value (as in: that dress looks so great ON YOU vs I like your dress), to not be afraid to tell complete strangers (including children) something worthy that I noticed about them. I became fully and completely aware that all anyone wants is to feel of value and BE of value.

And I started keeping a gratitude journal (not my original it from Sarah Breathnach). It was simple for me. I wrote down at least one thing everyday that I noticed that I was grateful for. Some days it was the weather or a good friend...others it was baby geese or a beautiful tree. It didn't matter the subject, what mattered was that my heart opened itself to awareness, to light, to life, to living. I still have that journal, though I don't write in it anymore.

I'm still having (a lot) of pain and trouble w/ my arm (I can NOT tell you how much this hurts to type right now), but I've decided that I'm thankful that I can feel pain and I'm more grateful now for when I don't feel pain. And that is where this foundation for me will start. As you know, I miss my blog. I miss being able to spend a half hour a few times per week spilling out what I've noticed or become aware of. So, in keeping with my ideal not to settle for a life any less than great, I've decided that at the very least, as many times a week as I can, I will (again, at least) spew out what I have noticed to be grateful for that day. In doing so, it will be my full expectation that my heart will become more full, my eyes more open, and my mind more clear. In doing so, I may even remind someone else of what they are grateful for that day. And in doing so, another day will pass in my life's desire for great life.

And on the days when I can handle more than a day's quick observation, I shall write more...and on that day, I shall be grateful for being able to do so.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Need a Disco Ball

"We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

I've decided that there's something missing in my life. A disco ball. I really, really think that if people made the day a little more silly, goofy, playful - that perhaps life would just be that much more incredible. So, I need a disco ball.

I would hang it in the bakery so that when the Jackson 5 come on or perhaps KC & the Sunshine Band or maybe a little Earth, Wind and Fire, well, I can be ready. I can dance my little fanny around my bakery and have a silly, fun moment.

I'm also thinking I need one in my house. Right above my kitchen island. Though, I would have to be careful not to think I have any talents at all that would allow me to dance with a large chef's knife. I thought about putting it in my Laundry Room, but honestly, when I was a little girl, I remember my Auntie Lisa saying that she was gonna put one in her laundry room someday to make laundry more fun. I didn't do laundry at the time, so I had no idea what she meant, but since I now love doing laundry, I think it best to put it out in the open (plus, I don't want to steal her idea). Maybe I need to buy three. One for her too.

Anyway you slice it, I need a disco ball.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Know Awesome

"I know awesome" ~ My husband

I'm typing this literally as he is saying. "I know awesome." He cracks me up. And he has no idea that he just inspired this blog sitting next to me. That cracks me up too.

But really, he's wrong. Cuz I think I KNOW AWESOME! Afterall, there was no way I was marrying again. And then I found him. HE is Awesome. I know you already know that I think the world of him, but I don't think you know what he has done in the last two months (plus) to make my little "endeavor" successful.

My husband selflessly gives up every spare minute he has to helping me in the bakery. He measures ingredients for recipes for me so I can do more. He cleans the floors and does dishes so I can concentrate on baking more. Not to mention all the extra chores around the house he has picked up (like mopping our floors!). He manages all the bakery deposits for me. And he joyfully shows up to my/our customers in a sassy, loving manner as if to say "thanks for coming to our bakery and showing my wife how great she can be"!

All this while still being the world's best daddy, and working his own job, and being all the other things he is and does. What I do know is this, I couldn't do this without him and I don't think he knows that.

Well, "Buddy", I couldn't and I wouldn't want to do this without you. You are, as always, my Man o' Steel.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Valuable Commodity

"A man who dares to waste one hour of his life has not discovered the value of life." ~ Charles Darwin

It seems that I've kinda lost something in the last few months...something that is more precious to me than anything else at all. Time. It seems to be moving faster than I can even comprehend these days. Again, for me, there is nothing more important than time, so I'm finding myself out of balance. Now, don't get me wrong, I am starting to get my groove on at work so there is a routine starting to develop, but I am still having a hard time adjusting.

For instance, we didn't go apple picking this year. I have gone apple picking every year that I can remember for more than 20 years. But not this year. Insert sad face here. There is just something so wonderful about noticing what God did a simple tree and how much joy it can bring to me, our family, other families.

I clean the bathrooms in between stuff now. I dust while doing other things. I vacuum floors on different days (or my husband does it). Weird and yet, not wrong. Just noticing how I'm/we're squeezing stuff in lately to maximize time. This kind of "time crunch" stuff doesn't seem to bother me so much.

However, not having time for spending with people I love is getting on my nerves...rather it's getting on my heart. We haven't played with my sister and brother in law in months! We still haven't been down to see our friend Keith and Randy's new condo. Yoga hasn't started back up. I don't even know whose turn it is to host our next Luv Fest w/ my girlfriends and husbands.

I miss the time I used to have for luvin'. I miss the time I used to have for self-luvin' too -- like keeping up my blog. So I'm just working through the frustration of all of that right now.

And I'm remembering to be grateful. I'm grateful for the opportunity, strength, wisdom and knowledge to run my own business. I'm grateful that I married the world's most perfect husband and am grateful for all he does to help me keep up with my chores and errands and stuff to fix, clean, do, make, go to, get, etc. I'm grateful for all my friends and family who have bent their schedules around mine to spend time with me. And I'm grateful that I know that this too shall pass....just like time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thank You's

I'm cheating a little with this post, but it is important enough for me to put in both places, so I hope that if you haven't, you will visit my post today on Sally's Sweet Shoppe blog (see right side menu).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Perspective Gals

Annie, Caroline and I have written our intro articles, our first official topic articles, and have submitted them to CityGal Magazine. It was really, really fun doing it!

For our intros, we were asked to come up with a name (something Gals - we went with Perspective Gals) and introduce ourselves, list our favorite quote, and then discuss our goals for writing. So, I thought I would copy and paste our intro articles here for you. I do not know what the final, edited version will be, but will post the link here as soon as we get word. Our first article is on FASHION, and as soon as those are edited, I will also link here for you.

I think the girls did a fantastic job! And I even learned something (more) about each of them in reading their intros! And that's what this is all about after all....

Perspective Gals, Mom

Favorite Quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” (Marianne Williamson - A Return to Love)

My name is Tracey, but you can call me Sally ~ as in Sally Sunshine. I have had that nickname for more than 15 or 20 years now and I earned it!

Since before I was a teenager, though I didn’t know it, I was a stand for making an impact in children’s lives. Back then, I was the world’s best and busiest babysitter. When I was 19, I became a volunteer at Children’s Hospital of WI. When I was in my lower 20’s, I became a Big Sister (and still am in love with my “little” – she is now in her mid-twenties). Ten years ago, I became a step mom to two of the most beautiful children you’d ever want to meet. Annie (Gracey as I call her) is 14 and has just started High School. Caroline (I call her Mary) is 12 and just entered Middle School. They’re not your typical teenagers by any stretch of the imagination. They are love and joy-filled, confident, aspiring, respectful, and fun. Eight years ago, I became a Girl Scout leader and even though our girls are in High School and Middle School now, we still have a troop of 13 amazing young woman determined to make a difference in their communities. Fast forward to 2009…we decided to become a Foreign Exchange student Host Family. Our daughter, “Stefi” stole our hearts within the first hour and when she left to go back to Mexico, a little piece of me left with her and the other parts are still weeping from the loss.

I love to acknowledge children – smile at them, talk to them as equals, compliment them, High-Five ‘em – simply acknowledge their greatness in the course of any given day. You see, what I hold so important in my heart (to make an impact on children) has been what has had the greatest impact on me.

And that is really what these articles that my daughters and I will be writing about – the impact of everyday issues on each of us from our very own perspectives. We are going to broach a topic from three different, yet equally respectable positions --everyday topics that have different, not right or wrong, viewpoints. We’ll take these topics and tell you what we each, separately, think about them in the hopes of opening your eyes, your children’s eyes or your parent’s eyes to another consideration ~ to make an impact on your thinking.

Our goal will be to open up discussions within our community that expand possibility, that inspire change, that move you, and that touch your heart.

Annie Burdick
Perspective Gals, Daughter, 14

Favorite Quote: “In life, there are no mistakes, only lessons.”

I am not going to start this article by saying, “Hi, my name is Annie and I like swimming, reading and laughing” because that is beyond generic. But, other than that, I really don’t know how I want to start this. Well, I guess I can sum myself up like this…my sister Stefi always said I was quite charming and I loved it. But it’s not entirely true; I am totally quiet around people I don’t know. Most people who know me would say I’m funny-which I like to think is true. And I’m smart and pretty awesome (I hope). I do love swimming, reading and laughing and I adore pizza and French fries. I think the best things we are given in life are family and friends. But enough about me.

I hope our articles will make you smile, but mostly I hope it will make you think and understand a different perspective.

Caroline Burdick
Perspective Gals, Daughter, 12

Favorite Quote: “Well, we can’t all come and go by bubble!” –Elphaba (Wicked the Musical)

Let’s start this off with a question. Have you ever looked at life differently? I have. In fact, I try to do it often. Because, when you look at the blue sky through purple colored eyes, your life can change. My step-mom (Ma) always says that my “sky is purple” and that I’m “her butterfly”. I know that, theoretically, she’s right. I see a sunset as God’s painting, and a daisy sticking up through the concrete as a lonely friend, and everything is a good idea for a story because I’m a writer.

I like to make people laugh, or smile, or see things in a way they never would have seen them before. I am full of ideas, laughs, smiles, songs, dances and love. My friends say I’m awesome, smart, crazy, funny, and sweet. Bottom line - I am a creative, joyful, 12 year old girl.

In this article, and my section, I will share my opinion or perspective on the topic. The topic will be a situation that you would find in a lot of everyday households. We will give our opinion on the topic (agree, don’t agree, like, dislike, and why) and you can read our opinions and create one of your own. I hope you can use our perspectives and reasoning to think about the topic and your opinion and maybe change it. I hope kids and teens will learn (from someone other than their parents) why the topic is a rule, and that parents will discover (from someone other than their kids) why their kids don’t agree with some rules.

Because, when you look at something through different eyes, your perspective can change.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Love vs Fear

"If fear is only in our heads, than what are we so afraid of?" ~ Natasha Bedingfield

I've spent a great deal of time in the last 15 years working on my authentic self and one of my greatest lessons has been that all actions, thoughts, words, etc. come from one of two places -- Love or Fear. Note the use of the word "or". While sure one can coincide with the other, it really is one OR the other that wins out.

One of my all-time, EVER, favorite songs is called "Happy" by Natasha Bedingfield (click on Happy to hear it and see the words). Never has a song resonated so loudly in my heart. I simply love it. There are quite a few songs that move me and my heart is tied to it because it reminds me of my daughters, my nieces/nephews, sisters, mom, hubby, friends, etc. but this song is mine! And what is ironic about it is that it tells a story about my "old" life. I don't have these troubles or woes anymore, but without fail being happy is a lifelong quest I have. And I do have SO many reasons to be happy!

My favorite line from the song is the quote above. I think of it often and wonder if that is right, and I believe that it is, why do we fear so many of the things we do if fear is all in our heads? Now, I really don't care what you say here, cuz I am NOT going in the water. Fear may be in my head, but the sharks/fish are still in the water. Even so, I get that it is still in my head.

I think about that often. I think about what makes people tick and do what they do and I identify their fear or love. If you've not read The Mastery of Love (a VERY quick read), you must do this for yourself. For you too will discover your own fears and loves and in doing so, you'll discover why others do what they do, and in the knowing, you can be happy because you don't own their fear.

Having said that, you could be part of their love.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Just the facts, Ma'am...

"Life is short and it's up to you to make it sweet." ~ Sarah Delaney

Ma'an, I gotta use that quote for my bakery! :o)

My sister in law, Julianne, turned 50 this week. My baby sister, Doli, flew home today (and I stinkin' miss her so much already!!). My 25th class reunion is tonight (and guess who runs it?!). And that's just since yesterday! :o)

The bakery has been doing better than I could have ever imagined. In a zillion years I don't think that I could have imagined that people would have been THIS supportive and in love with having a little bakery in their town. This was the start of our third week in business and I have already made 10 specialty cakes for customers! I find that to be simply amazing! Maybe Genesee Depot will rise to be a mini-Cedarburg or Lake Geneva kind of place for folks to gather! I can say this, the restaurants are awfully busy from what I can see. I'm just so happy about it all! I started (today actually) being featured in some of the local restaurants too. Pal's Ice Cream and Grille will be featuring our dill/cottage cheese rolls with their salads and soups and The Cornerstone Restaurant will be featuring our (completely decadent) Dark Chocolate Truffle filled Cupcakes. I'm so excited to see what their customers thought!

My sister was here for a whirlwind visit - came Wednesday and flew out this morning. I cried myself to sleep when I left her. I just stinkin' love and miss her so much (and her family and my Momma). It always feels like it's going to be 5 years before I see her/them again.

My daughters and I have written our first articles for CityGal and now I need to submit them for editorial review, etc. I will be sure to show you all what we have written, but I just loved doing that with them. We wrote about "fashion". That's it. We pick a topic and simplify it so we can't sway each other's thinking and then we write our individual takes on the subject. I loved what I learned about my girls and their age group on this topic.

And my reunion is tonight. 25 years. That kinda weirds me out. And while I never did drugs in school, I have an absolutely terrible memory of high school, yet it still feels like I was just walking down those halls -- and not for my daughter Stefi's open houses or my nephew's games either!

Having one of those "just the facts" kind of posts today. Not too inspired, yet I had some facts to report, or so it seems. Hope everyone is having a fun fall preview weekend! :o)

Sunday, September 12, 2010


"The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Lately, I've noticed that my blog circle of friends is filled with the written words of their prayers. And what I have noticed above all else, is that these beautifully vocal women who choose their words so very carefully and intentionally do not pray FOR anything. Rather, they give thanks in their prayers for so very much.

I have come to believe very strongly in not asking God for anything but rather to thank him for what I have been given even when I can not see or understand it. I have believed this for a very long time. I practice it in my mothering too. When we pray before meals, my family does not pray for anything from God, but rather we speak what we are thankful for that day. It's our end of the day gratitude reflection, if you will.

Amy Grant has a song out right now that so touches my heart called "Better Than a Hallelujah" and I just love the "permission" she sings about to cry out to God...that even though we pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody". While I think it's not wrong to cry out to God, I have come to believe that I have so much to be thankful for in my life that I just want God to know I hear him too.

When I open my blog every day, I read over and over again the thanks all these deeply thoughtful women pour out and it seems that of late, it has been resoundingly loud. I'm touched when I read their words of gratitude for their experiences (no matter how grave), their new beginnings and discoveries, their past reflections and growth, their compassion and their undying love for others and belief in raising others up, and for their playing BIG despite all those that would try to crumple their greatness.

I'm thankful tonight for the all the prayers I have read lately that seem to once again want to lift up the world and I'm thankful again for being able to feel their love for others...since I consider myself to be one of the "others" in the world any ol' way.

Dear God,
Thank you for your many voices in the world that remind us of the beauty and love you created in us and around us. Thank you for my voice to say thank you and thank you for all the changes you have created in me. ~ Amen

I think my blog is an opportunity for my own growth even more than it has been. I used to keep a gratitude journal, but I KEPT it to myself. I've been looking for a new purpose for my blog (since I found a "job" and all) :o) and since what really moves me is noticing the greatness around me, I think that is the direction I will take my blog. I will still want to chat about what crappy gardener I am or how I've noticed things and people in my world, but I feel strongly pulled to be more grateful.

And I have a lot to be grateful for.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Miss My Blog

Haven't had enough time lately. Not enough time for much of anything but, well, you know. I miss my blog and I miss spending 20 minutes a day with all my "blog friends". It's now 8:26 and I am actually gonna go to bed. Yup, bed.

I know right? Even before my daughters (or most children for that matter). But I'm pooped.

My (step) Mom helped me in the bakery today almost the entire day. It was so nice to have her there to help me. She ran the cash register and kept up my dishes while I baked. We both got to delight in our customers and it was nice to have her to help carry some of the conversations.

I'm blessed. But I'm still tired and going to bed. Even though a part of me wants to write down all that has happened in the past week including Caroline running in her first Cross Country meet tonight. I'm soooo stinkin' proud of her, but that story will have to wait cuz (again), I'm going to bed!

Sweet dreams! :o)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Friend, Bill

"One day we were brought into the world knowing love only as being what we had for our toys, family, and friends. Then you meet someone who alters your conception of love, and you never know how you loved anything before because of this kind of love."

About 5 years or more ago, my close friend, Pedro, who I have vacationed with many times, bought a week vacation at house in Jamaica that had six bedrooms. So of course John and I were in. But so were four other rooms of people which meant that I was going to go on vacation with strangers and also have to share Pedro and Karen's company. Pedro said, "Sally, you are going to love these people".

"Pedro, I don't need to 'love these people' -- I can barely keep up with the lovin' of my friends I do have. Really, I just wanna go on vacation and love and have fun with you and Karen and my husband and that's all."

I fell madly in love with most of them and have told you about this before in brief when talking of my "twin" friend, Keith (Solly). Well I haven't talked about my friend, Billy. And yesterday, my friend Bill came up and spent the entire day with me at the bakery. THE ENTIRE DAY! Now let's be clear; Bill is an emergency room nurse who works long, long hours and went to bed early on Tuesday and had the day off yesterday to spend working in the bakery with me on my first day!

I'm trying to express what I feel about this gesture but words escape me. The tears however, do not. I am welled up with tears as I write this (thank God I know where "home-row" is on my computer so I can type w/o looking). My heart has swollen from his graciousness and it is truly hard for me to imagine being able to ever "pay him back" for such generosity and support. I love, love, deeply love, that he did this for me. He just opened up his heart and said "THIS is how I am going to support Sally"!

And truly, I could not have made it through the day without him. I'm also so glad he was there not just to make such lovely treats that he did for the bakery (see my Facebook page), but also because he made the day seem real for me. He held me up yesterday and believed more in my success and me than words can express. As I said, words escape me (Merry Me or Dani or Pam or Carolyn, can you help a girl out here!) :o)

So, Billy, my friend, today I salute you. I salute the stand you are for people's greatness. I salute your energy and generosity and graciousness. Mostly, I just love you. Deeply. Thank you for all of this, for seeing the beauty of how much my Daddy and Papa adore me and how the little girl in me wants to be adored. And thank you for loving me back.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Prayer

Dear Lord ~ Thank you for the plan you had for me when I didn't know. Thank you for the past year of discovering and of crossing things off my forever list. Thank you for reminding me each day that it was in your hands and that when I was ready, another great adventure would begin. Thank you for teaching me that my story is true, that I'm not punched in to money and that what I have has always been enough. Amen

PS Here's to Sa-Weet Success! Now let's go get this bakery open!! ;o)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Do What Makes You Feel Alive

"Don't ask what the world needs (from you)...ask what makes you feel alive (and do that)."

I heard this on my (Christian) radio station today and it has resounded in me all day. I've never heard it said that way before. Don't ask what the world needs - ask what makes you feel ALIVE! I SOOO love this. Just saying it awakens little sparkles in me.

My husband asked me if I was going to keep my blog going, you know, now that I've found a job. Which is what started this whole thing for me. I wanted a way to express my greatness and the greatness that I saw in others and I wanted a way for people who didn't "know" me to get to know me in an intimate way.

I AM going to continue to blog as it makes me feel alive, connected, authentic, and in communion (of sorts). I AM going to continue to blog because I STILL am a stand for greatness (mine and others). I AM going to continue to blog because there are more stories to tell about how great people are and how all these great people people are connected to their next level of greatness.

My stand is still the same ~ I am still on the path to creating the grandest version of myself that God has intended for me. I am still determined to fill my life with joy, love, and creativity. And I am still loving all that I have discovered along the way.

There is clearly a morphing that is transpiring for me this past few months as I discover this next "me" that I am becoming. Not just as a business owner, or a baker, but also as I begin my seventh body ~ you know, the shedding of yourself (literally and figuratively) every seven years. This body seems to be more connected to my brain and my brain seems to be struggling for every single scrap of authenticity it can capture. I like that this body is less afraid than the others and I like that this body doesn't give as much of a crap about everybody else's stories. I really like that this body/brain knows they are just "their stories" and I don't have to make them mine.

And I like blogging. It gives me a way to touch another's heart and sometimes I don't even know who's heart I'm touching by just speaking my story. It's just one of the many things in life that makes me feel alive.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm supposed to be sleeping!

No quote's too darn early in the morning to do research! :o)

It's 4:30 in the morning and I, on one of my last days of being able to sleep, or rather wake, like normal people, am wide awake. The pressure of the bakery is getting to me. Not like "oh no", but like "uggh...enough already...let's just be done and get going". My brain simply will not turn off and any little noise will wake me.

You know, like the sound of cats wanting to play, or a husband lightly snoring, or this weird dripping noise that the gutter outside of our bedroom window makes (even when it's not raining). My brain is so wide awake that after an hour, I just gave up and came down here to pout. I don't pout much, yet it feels "safe" to do so here.

I'm a get it done, do it great and as near perfection as you can kinda gal. You simply can't do that when you open a new business. There just aren't the funds or resources to do it that way. So I find myself stressing over the things that aren't just perfect. I keep telling myself that in time it will come or that it doesn't matter ~ but truth be told, those little sentences never work for me. Mirror Mirror on the wall, I am my father after all.

But it really IS OK. Maybe the sleep will come after we're open. Funny. I thought that was when I was going to miss sleep. For now, there simply aren't enough hours in the day, so I shall allow myself some grace and acceptance if I find myself not sleeping at 4:00 in the morning and blogging about it instead. And then I shall move on to another task that needs to get done ~ like my Girl Scout agenda for this year or an article for CityGal magazine or figuring out my next class or one of the millions of tasks that still need to get done for the bakery.

As my best friend's husband says, "I can sleep when I'm dead", right?! I have a feeling that at about 2:00 this afternoon, I may feel like the walking dead! Verona Blend Starbucks with Coconut Creamer here I come!! Now that's making lemons into Vodka and Lemonade folks!! :o)

Sweet Dreams!! (unless you're dreaming of muffins and truffles and cookies and chocolate dipped brownies and lemon raspberry cupcakes and and and...well then you should really open a bakery if that's the case!!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Just Love, Love.

"The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift of life is yours; it is an amazing journey; and you alone are responsible for the quality of it." ~ Dan Zadra (The Book of Moxie)

One of my bestest friends of my life got married one week ago today. Rhonda has had a difficult, crazy, fun, challenging, sad, love-filled discovery of her self and her life the past dozen or so years. She came to the self aware, self loving, thump on the head realization that she is gay. I think God wanted her to discover her true self when she did so she could have the children she had and I now think the same of her partner, Michele and her three children.

So there they are -- a Brady Bunch for a new generation. A generation that has hopefully learned to speak more from love than from fear. A generation that hopefully will learn that all people were created in God's image to create the greatest version of themselves that God intended for us to. Hopefully.

I'm proud of Kay (my nickname for Rhonda) and The Professor (my nickname for Michele as she is on the track to securing her PhD and become a professor - go her!!). I'm proud because they found it important to invite the 60 people they love and cherish to come and celebrate with them as they announce and profess their commitment, desire, and belief in each other and their partnership in love. Take that Wisconsin and your "laws".

Because really, isn't that what it is REALLY all about? Isn't what we have found for another human being beyond anything written down as a law or rule or jurisdiction? Does your heart listen to what others tell you? Not if you lead with love.

And Rhonda always, always does. She ALWAYS leads with love. She has for the 29 years that I have been friends with her and she never waivers from her stand. For me, a good day is the day that we all understand how much better HER stand is than where we are currently planting our feet. For me, her stand for love is nothing short of beautiful. As for me, I always have and I always will stand with her.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I can't believe how much I suck at this!

"A good garden may have some weeds." ~ Thomas Fuller

HA! Some weeds? SOME! I'm not sure how much more I can take. If I read one more lovely blog about how your garden grows or see one more beautiful picture of how lovely your tomatoes (or cucumbers, Mary) :o) grow, I might just throw up. OH -- don't get me wrong and DO be clear...I am TOTALLY JEALOUS!

I'm not afraid to admit that. Look, there are two things that I am REALLY REALLY REALLY bad at...gardening (apparently) and making Chinese food. Yes I went to cooking school, but what can I tell ya', it wasn't in China.

My ex-mother-in-law taught me how to garden and to her defense, I USED to be really pretty good at it. I planned out my gardens, knew what to plant next to what, knew what I wanted to grow (as in what was worth the effort to get garden fresh taste), tarped my garden to keep out the weeds and warm the soil, even started my own seeds in February so they'd be ready for the 14 growing season in Wisconsin, and cared and tended to my lovely babies.

What the hell happened?

I (now) only grow tomatoes and peppers and I have to say, "GROW" might be a stretch of a new definition. It really is as pa-thet-a-sad as my stir-fry. I can't take it! Mary posts pictures of her lovely plants, Dani posts pictures like these of beautiful items she buys from the local farmer's at the market, people I don't even KNOW (from the "blog circle of love" as I call it) post this and this and this! OH! This last one REALLY got me! I implore you all -- STOP the madness!! I can't take it!

Maybe I should post my very own pictures so you can see what I am talking about. In fact...I WILL. OK -- I JUST took these.......

And you thought I was kiddin'! Puh-lease, for your own good, if I ever invite you over for dinner, ask me what I'm making! And NEVER, EVER suggest we get together for a homemade Chinese New Year -- especially if you want to do that at the height of gardening season -- just for fun.

This will be my last garden for I simply can not take the slap in the face year after year after year. I don't make Chinese food either anymore.

Sometimes it's just good to acknowledge...and move on!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Looking for Inspiration...

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working." ~ Pablo Picasso

Some days, no matter how you try, you just can not make the black letters type out anything that moves or stirs your soul. I can't help but wonder why that is. Seems there's a lot to talk about in my life lately, but nothing is moving me or the end of my fingers across the keyboard. Is this then stalling actually? Hmmm....

Life is moving very quickly now (as those of you who read my bakery blog know). Construction is in full swing and I am hoping to be open before my next rent check is due. Cuz that would just be nice, right?! Seems like I can not do things fast enough right now, which, for those of you who know me well, know that it would be darn near impossible to get MORE things done in a day than I do. Yet, it's still not enough right now. Far cry from 6 months ago.

I'm excited to start writing for City Gal magazine. I have been mulling over the plan for that with execution to follow shortly. I'm nervous to take my next class but refuse to take a semester off -- just 9 more classes until I have my Associates!! WhooHooo!! But the excitement is tempered by the nervous energy of anxiety. How much can one pack into a day before breaking? Huh...I'm pretty tough...I gotta think a bit more!!

My heart has been touched by so many people lately. Maybe that is what I should write about today? My bestest friend, Jeanne (Cupcake) spent 1/2 of her Saturday helping us paint -- something that she simply doesn't have enough of (time) with all the transitions going on at her work. But she gave me that time anyway and I loved it and her help! My Dad worked the entire day yesterday cutting the pieces for his crew to install so that I would only have to pay the guys for their labor hours building -- Not to mention the trips we have used in his big ol' truck w/ his trailer to haul the materials in and out. My (step) Mom helped John and I for a couple hours on Sunday getting ready for the contractors to start first thing on Monday and NOW my sister Tam's family (all 5 of them!!) are coming to help me w/ their truck and my dad's trailer to haul out all the debris from the shop. How could I/we ever do all of this without them helping? Truthfully we could, but it would be sooo much more work and I wouldn't have a piece of all of their hearts with me in my shop! OH! And don't even get me started on all of the kind things people have SAID and or prayed for for our success and joy!

Wait...DO get me started! That sounds like my next post!! :o)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

And it Came Crashing Down

"God always teaches us patience when we don't have time for the lesson."

OK, so we've established, often, my lack of patience. But yesterday, God really tested me. I had my first computer virus/crash EVER in my over 15 years of owning a computer. Yesterday sucked and the rebuilding of today (and I'm sure days to come) isn't much better. Still can't believe it happened. I'm so good about knowing that stuff, but this one got me...damn it.

Yeh, like I have time for this!

Well, thank God my last class just ended. And thank God Building Inspectors and Dads still communicate by phone. And thank God in all actuality, I DID have the time yesterday to take care of this issue. I didn't WANT to, but I did, and that is the distinction. So, technically, I guess I should be happy about the whole thing.


My Papa had another mini-stroke last week. It's hard to imagine my Papa not being invincible. He will be 85 in a month and he and my Nana still live in the house that he built in 1953 and they raised 7 children in. It's my favorite house in the whole wide world. Ever. Well, I clean their house for them once a month. I can't even tell you how much I love seeing them when I do this! Well, maybe I can...I am the oldest of about 40 grandchildren and great grandchildren and just think -- I get them all to myself for this hour-ish. Yes, I said 40. That is no exaggeration. So to have them all to myself for any amount of time is so special to me. And they appreciate very much how pretty I make their house again!

OK, I need to wrap this up. I'm typing this while I am blanching my veggies for broccoli-cauliflower salad for dinner tonight and the girls and their daddy have just jumped in the pool. Which means the Bloody Buddy Basketball game has started and so I need to hurry and get in the pool in case someone needs to call 9-1-1. And usually we do....... :o) Seriously, I gotta get this on film. It cracks me up!

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Bakery Blog

"Come give us a taste of your quality." ~ William Shakespeare

I have had so many people ask me "When are you gonna open?", that I decided to start my Sally's Sweet Shoppe blog before we actually open for business. I promise to update on a regular basis our progress, what has happened or is happening, and of course the answer to the question so many are asking (as soon as I know it!!).

I hope you will all join me there (you can link at any time on the sidebar as well) and I hope that you join our bakery blog as a "Follower". I will use it in the future to send you super sweet-cret (secret) discounts that you can use when you come to visit us!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Momma's Words

“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave…”

My Ma doesn't know this, but I decided that SHE is gonna write my blog today. Rosie (as we call her, nicknamed that because she is SOOOO the Golden Girls character, Rose Nyland, played by Betty White) is a fiercely passionate person about our US military.

Fierce, unyielding, passion.

My brother in law, Big Joel (well what do you call a man that is 6'8" and 275 pounds of solid muscle -- and a little beer, he'll tell ya') has been in Kuwait for almost a year for this most recent tour. He was also promoted to Major this past year and my two nephews and my (baby) :o) sister are all holding down the fort w/ my Momma until Big Daddy comes home in three weeks!

So there's the background on my military family, that I am soooo proud of, and here are the words of my Ma from her email to me/us today (seriously, can't you just feel the tears of pride welling up as you read her words!!??!)...

Just a note to let ya all know that Joel received the Bronze Medal two days ago for his service in Iraq. Not that you will hear this news from Joel or Taryn, especially Joel, but allow me to toot that horn. Joel of course feels he did not sacrifice enough to earn this medal of merit and honor, but that's Joel. Even though he was selected to do a report that went to the Pentagon and on to the Sec. of Def. that has nothing to do with his service, the man is way too humble. Which all our service men and women are, I wish that they were appreciated more and people would thank them for their service. When I worked at Home Depot, any person whether in uniform or not (once I found out they were in the service) I said Thank You to them!

Thanks to PAPA for his service, thanks to my stepfather for his service, my brothers for their service in NAM, to Uncle Mick, to grandpa Gee, and grandpa Sam, and Joel's great great great grandfather who fought in the civil war. Just say THANK YOU!

Ya gotta appreciate what these people give to this country. I have seen the sacrifice that these people go through, just these kids being without their father for a year is tough, don't kid yourself. Taryn and her duties are endless and yet she, like so many other service wives keeps it together and keeps the home front safe. In Taryn's case, she builds on to the home front. Love you all! Dot

You go Ma! You stand on that hill I am convinced you will die on! For your pride and love is contagious and beautiful!!
OH, and, congratulations my baby brother-in-law...hope you don't mind that we tooted your horn for your -- on behalf of ALL of our service men and women! You totally rock our world!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Isn't she cute...

OH MY! Isn't she just the cutest?! I love her, and I shall squeeze her and call her Sally. After all, she IS my new logo and I couldn't be more pleased. Now, where ever will I get shoes like that and how will I ever be able to wear them all day in the Sweet Shoppe? Then again, who cares if I'm THAT skinny and have legs that look like that!! :o)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Steady on the Path

"If we stay steady on the path and don’t lose heart. If we open ourselves up to the whispers of our soul and listen in faith rather than fear." ~ Dani Sutliff

I had a lot to say today, a lot of things I wanted to blog about. It's very peaceful in the morning when you start your day out with a hot cup of lemon tea and check all of your favorite blogs to see what's true for so many terrific people that day.

I had a lot to say today. I don't anymore. As I was reading all of these fantastic insights into the world around us as seen by all of these women, most of whom I don't even know, the words, my words, seemed to leave me. It was as if a stillness came in and quieted all the chatter. It's almost like therapy some days - both the reading and the writing.

I had a lot to say today. But today, the words of my friend (above) seem to be all that I want to say. For today, I am steady on my path to open my bakery, be a contributor to CityGal Magazine, and still be the mother, sister, friend, wife and daughter that I want to be. I think fear has left me entirely about so many things and I truly believe that I am "listening in faith". These words resognated so loudly in me today, that I feel like I could conquer the world, and based on the results of this morning's actions, phone calls, emails -- I AM!

I had a lot to say today. But it sure is quiet when I don't.

Monday, July 26, 2010


"Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be." ~ Kahlil Gibran

Trying to do anything that requires one to have a permit or a license is much akin to watching maple drip from a tree in January. It makes you want to say - Get Out of My Way, PUHLEASE. Sometimes I don't even want to use manners when saying it!

Because I was in construction for so many years, I at least know what I can and can't do, so I am not sitting idol waiting for all the blessings of others to be bequeathed upon me. With so much to do to open a fabulous, indulgent little bakery, one can not say that there is nuthin' to do while waiting!

I thought I would post some pictures that I took yesterday of the fun color we picked out. It's bold, playful, bright, retro, and very Aqua-Mint-Teal-y. Very appropriate, I think! :o) The girls helped John and I this weekend to remove wallpaper (a LOT of wallpaper) and to start painting in the areas where construction will be minimal. My favorite part of the weekend? When Gracie (Annie) told me to go work on something else "cuz she's got this"! Music to my ears!

Lisa wants to stencil a fun starburst throughout the walls that matches the retro font we will be using. I think that will look so fantastic!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Girl Effect

When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90% of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40% percent for a man. ~ (Chris Fortson, “Women’s Rights Vital for Developing World,” Yale News Daily 2003.)

I've seen these Girl Effect ads everywhere lately. I'm sure it's because God wanted me to notice them, but I've not trusted that it was a real "thing". So, I decided to see why God keeps whispering to me about this and I clicked. And I cried. And I felt empowered and I feel like you should know too. (video above)

For as long as I can remember -- no really, even back to my teenage years!! -- I have been a stand for young women (girls) finding their courage and finding their strength. I'm still not sure why God doesn't have me working with Oprah, but I am starting to get it. The work that I have done with Children's Hospital, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and now, as a Girl Scout leader for a troop of 12 AMAZING teenage girls is why. You see, I'm starting to understand that these young woman, who I believe so strongly in, are already making a difference in our communities and will continue to do so long after I'm not a part of their daily lives. They already feel and think and want to move the world. They already want to lead with their hearts and show the world what they are made of. I was/am just the vehicle by which to help them.

I do believe that girls have the power to change the world. For they already have.

Monday, July 19, 2010

About a Year or So

"Perseve(RED): It takes a glacier about a year to move as far as you can walk in a few minutes. Eventually it carves out canyons and slaps up mountains. It permanently changes the world. So can you." ~ Be Inspir(RED) book

It's been one year since that fateful day that I quit my perfectly good job. Not sure how that can be since I would be willing to swear that it was just last month. In this past year, I have learned many new lessons in life, the least of which being patience -- the most of which being humility and creativeness. It's been a most productive year too. I was able to get so many things done that I only wished I had the time to do (no, I did not put a single picture in a photo album...I'm guessing it's just not my thing). Time was definitely on my side and my friend.

And then...not so much. Time became the enemy. Time became all it felt like I had. And that was frustrating. It was hard to "Shine" some days. But in that "time", I was learning lessons and creating new possibilities, and expanding my energy, and growing, and I persevered. And what I have discovered on my quest is exactly what today's quote is -- that like the glacier, it took a year to carve out this new path, and like the glacier, my life has been permanently changed.

I did that. I permanently changed my world. Now who could sit around feeling sorry for themselves when, if you think about it, you are doing something as significant as that? Granted I didn't know it at the time, but it was all part of the REDiscovery of myself. Fascinating.

I've made some good progress this week getting the bakery going and that's good. It will never be fast or enough for me, but appeasing all the departments, and officials, and rules, and regulations isn't a fast process -- no matter who wants to do something. So, I just keep pluggin' away at it crossing each thing off the list as I accomplish it.

And then something unexpected and exciting happened out of the blue today. I was on the computer, making arrangements with the folks who are taking the carpet out of the bakery, and I got an email from one of the other people also interested in it. Rewind one week ago, and one of the interested parties just happens to the owner of a publishing company and owns CityGal Magazine (online mag). We had chatted via email and I politely told her and the other people who were interested that I already had the takers, but should something fall through...well you get it. She sent me an email thanking me anyway and telling me that she checked out my blog and really enjoyed.

Fast Forward one week to today and this kind lady, Melanie, sent me an email today asking me (you should really be sitting for this) if I would be interested in having my own blog for CityGal!! OK, first of all, WHAT?! Secondly, is this a joke? And thirdly, REALLY?!?! And fourthly (that is SO not a word and I don't care)...HELL YAH!!! Sorry...heck yes!!!

It is not a joke and I am SO excited and honored and touched and excited and excited! :o) I researched the publication and love what it is a stand for! It's a publication devoted to "educating, uniting and empowering our community". No...seriously! I did not make that up! But how fast can I SIGN UP!!! I am besides myself with creative energy right now. I actually have a buzz headache because my mind won't calm down. I will of course keep you informed of what happens, but I did call them back and let them know that I think I would love to do this. I can't say for positive sure as I am not sure how big of a commitment it would be and since I'm opening a little thing called my bakery, I have to make sure that I can do both, and do them both GREAT!

So that is what this year has brought for me. It's almost as if I have carved out a path in the landscape just for little ol' me to shine down the path of! Who knew?! And I can only stop and wonder now how the landscape will shape itself in the coming year!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stronger than you Seem

"Promise me you will always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." ~ Christopher Robin

This is one of my all time favorite quotes but I didn't really notice until my girls started growing up. Now I find myself thinking about it all the time. I hope that I have taught them courage and I hope that I have taught them bravery and more than anything I hope I have taught them strength as women.

My mother is the strongest woman I know. She had a horrific childhood including loosing her parents before she was even an adult, got pregnant much too early for a young woman (with me!!), divorced a husband and lost another, does not have any contact with her siblings (part of the horrific childhood), and has a daughter who has been suffering terminal cancer for the last 15 years with the most valiant effort of any human being (dare I say) EVER. I know my sister learned to fight her cancer from my Momma. And I too learned that strength as did my other sisters. We are blessed because of her suffering.

And relatively speaking, I have suffered very little in this life. In fact, I have led a pretty sunshiney life. I am convinced that is because my Ma showed me how to be tough. How not to be a victim. How to take charge of the world and make my way without fear. I hope that I have, and am, teaching that to my girls.

John and I are starting to "let go" as they say as Annie has 4 years left until college. We are starting to teach our girls life lessons that have direct consequence and reward in life. Like making their own decisions - not us making it for them. Not giving our opinions about things that we shouldn't as it should be theirs to choose or decide as they feel so. For instance, next weekend, Annie leaves for band camp (I know, I know...this one time, at band camp....) and I told her that I was not going to help her with her packing but that I would simply check over her stuff before the final put away to see if I may think of something she may have forgotten. She said that she's happy about that, but in a way, not. She wants to do it, but it doesn't feel entirely safe I bet. It also can not feel like your success if you don't do it yourself, nor do I think one learns a lesson unless having suffered the consequence of that lesson.

I'm glad she's happy about it. I think it shows that she is building courage and belief in herself. And I'm glad she's "scared" of it too because I think it shows her respect for me/us and that she trusts in us. Caroline said she is happy at times and at other times not (like she will be soon because she forgot the book she was reading at this house when she left to go to her other one this morning -- I saw it, but what would I be teaching her if I once AGAIN reminded her of it). She's 12, so the lessons are smaller, like forgetting your reading book, but I think children will rise up to the expectations you set for them and become better for having them. That's what I think was key to my success. My mom had a lot of expectations for me and rising to meet those expectations has taught me so much!!

I like the direction that John and I are going in our parenting. I think it is really important for the girls and I wish my generation of parents would stop doing so much for their kids. We do so much for them that we are raising children who can't. I want to raise children who can, will and DO!! And I think that John and I are doing that. They are such little "mules" when it comes to helping us (or anybody) out. They would rather give than receive, of that I am sure and they don't want for much (other than traveling to Mexico to see their "sister" Stefi) and I think they MAY want their whole family to live in one house too -- as long as they still got their own rooms!

I think my children have learned value and I think in a round about way, they can thank Gramma Goo for that for she still struggles with her own worth and value. But I value her more and more every day. And she taught me everyday that I am valuable.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mole Lake Family Fun

"It's just down-home fun. It's good family fun, and it gets you away from the city. It's my favorite place to be." ~ Brenda Morris
This past weekend was our annual family mini-vacation to "Mole Lake", Wisconsin. It's really Bishop's Lake or Buffalo Lake or something like that, but I didn't know that and for years I called it that. Come to find out last year, my sister in law, Lisa, informs me of this world altering information! How can it be? It's NOT Mole Lake? What? We drive THROUGH Mole Lake? I can't take it. Nor can I change it (nor does she expect me too). :o)
So each year, John's family gathers at James and Lisa's cabin on Mole Lake (Ha) for a long weekend of family fun. We've been doing this for at least 7 or 8 years now. By year two, Lisa decided to give this weekend a theme -- and a carnival was born. James built booths for the carnival games, we had a clown, candy, fair food, etc. It was a hoot and my daughters thought they died and went to heaven (as I'm sure did all of the grandkids). And it snowballed from there. Each year I swear gets better, though I don't know how that could be?!

To date, we have had Summer Family Fun weekend, Around the World weekend, State Fair weekend, Adventurer weekend, Craft weekend, etc. etc. etc. This year our theme was "Game Show" and I think it was the best yet! Each family (5) had to entirely host a game show of their choosing. And let me tell you, these people came out to play!

We had Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, The Price is Right, Family Feud, Minute to Win It, and Match Game. It was so fun (say it with me -- How fun was it?!) that at points in the day, I was crying from laughing so hard! These families did not take this year's theme lightly. We had a homemade chalkboard of sorts, a showcase showdown $1.00 wheel, a panel FULL of celebrities, and on and on. And we did this all outside, in the sun, having fun with 20 other family members that we don't get to see very often. I mean really people...this is the good stuff! We even had commercial breaks, prizes galore, theme songs, and great hosts like Micky Foxvalley since Jeff Foxworthy wasn't available (or from the Fox Valley)!! It was the "best day evvveerrrr"! :o)
I thought I would add a few pictures of the family fun and hope that you find ways to still have fun with your family(s)! If not, just keep reading my blog...I think next year's theme is gonna be............ :o)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Follow Up to Never Enough

So, Annie went to the volleyball open gym again -- to try it again and see if it was any more time.

She liked it better.
She said "HI".

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Never Enough

"Never Enough"

I often ask myself, how much love do you think you can cram into this life? The answer always seems to be "never enough". When my step father was diagnosed with brain cancer, we were in denial that he had only so long to live. I was SOOO in denial that I didn't even read the Christmas card he and my mom gave me that year because he wrote heartfelt words in the card and I was convinced somehow that if I didn't read it, and how he felt about me, that all the "drama" would go away. He died May 13th, 1993. I have only read the card once but still hold it as a treasured possession to this day.

I realized that while I had spent a lot of time with my mom, step-dad, and my sisters when they came up, I had let my friendships drift. I'm not sure if that was simply a matter of the distance (as we lived and hour plus north of them now) or just how life tends to go. Or both. Or maybe, I thought, neither. Maybe it was due to lack of effort. I started to look at that as the answer.

When Dave died, I was 26. Not really well versed in the whole funeral protocol and in fact, Dave is STILL the only person in my life/family that has died (not including my spouses' family or my friends' families)...other than the occasional great uncle that I didn't know very well. My best friends didn't really even know of the funeral and they were not pleased with me and in fact one of them said, just because we don't see you often doesn't mean we don't love you.

That's funny cuz that's kinda exactly what I thought, sorta. I mean, I didn't blame them or myself, I just thought this is what people do in life. It's not. As a possibility, people love and it is endless and infinite and you can NEVER get, give, or have enough. They were right...they wanted to be there for me and my family who they loved so much and had most of their lives (after all, they had been around since Jr. High!!). And I essentially took that gift from them because of my thinking, or rather, lack thereof.

I've learned from this lesson and believe very strongly that life must be lived outloud with as much love as you can possibly fit in it. Keep asking for more cuz it will keep giving! And I do. I have earned the title of "Sally the Cruise Director" because I think it is one of the most important things I/we do -- plan for the next luvin', as we call it. Not like I'm looking for the next best thing -- but instead, like it was soooo good, I can't wait to have more.

This past weekend was filled with just about as much love as I could possibly fit into one space. James and Lisa came to play on Friday afternoon and stayed for luvin' until the next morning. We talked, swam (floated really), drank festive beverages, talked, played, shopped, golfed, get it. And my sister-in-law, Julianne joined us for even more luvin' on Friday night! The next day, Keith and Randy came up from Chicago for more floating, eating, drinking, talkin', plannin', luvin'. Then on Sunday, we went and played at Rhonda and Michele's and Chelley's family was there and Momma Ev, and Chelley's parents, and there was old friends from HS I never see, and there was love everywhere! On Monday, I was a bit pooped, but did miss that I didn't go see the fireworks with my sister and dad/mom....after all, there was more love to have, right?!

The other day, Annie went to an open gym in Mukwonago (not where she goes to school, but ironically where I went to school and where my sister's kids do/will go). I asked her how it was and while she didn't like the structure of the program (which I totally get) she also commented that not one girl even said HI to her. I asked if she said HI to any of them, which you know the answer to. I don't believe in waiting for someone to say HI to me first, or to get around to planning the lunch we "should do". Just grab life's reigns and giddy-up people! People simply don't say HI, because they haven't been taught that people don't inherently dislike them, or that they are worthy or valued, or that if nothing else, it's just good manners. Insecurities suck and they keep people from experience love -- a lot of love.

It has been 17 years since my step-father's death. The people I love will be the first people I call should anything tragic happen again in my life. They will also be the first people I call to play with, to laugh with, to tell stories to, to share joy with and possibly the only person who said "HI" to them today.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sally's Sweet Shoppe

"When will you be open by?!" ~ Town of Genesee Board of Directors Member

Well, it is official that Sally's Sweet Shoppe has been approved by the Town of Genesee to open for business! In fact, the first question or comment directed at me by the board was simply this, "When will be you be open by?!". Now, how's that for support? ;o)

There is so much to do it makes my head spin!! Thank God I'm such a great Project Manager (sorry for being boastful, but really, I can do like 457 things at one time - well!)! That is one of the greatest gifts that God has given me and has helped me in my career as a caterer and as a PM in the construction industry. It has also helped me as a mom and my friends consider me to be Sally the Cruise Director for these talents. Sometimes you just have to say, "Thanks God" for what you've been blessed with! And right now is one of those times as my fingers are flying on this keyboard and have been all morning!

Morning?! It's 8 minutes 'til noon! OMG! OK, gotta run! Those building plans aren't going to draw themselves I tell you! Just had to share the good news with everyone!
Sally's Sweet Shoppe...Bakery & Indulgent Treats...coming SOON to Genesee Depot!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Life as I have come to know it, ends TODAY!

"Enjoy Life...Its Delicious"
Today is the big board meeting day! I say "big" but if you have no idea how small the little town of Genesee Depot is, let me just suffice it by saying - as you are driving through it, if you blink, you shall miss the entire downtown! Which I must say will be one business bigger, I assume, as of about 8:00 tonight. Well, isn't that just exciting.

I understand the Town Planner is just a little excited for my little Sweet Shoppe to open. I think he may even know how many steps it is from his desk to my counter! And I thought my husband was going to be my biggest fan!! Nice to know that there will be others!

What I have noticed about today is that I have no fear. That's just weird to me. How can that even be? And maybe that's not entirely true. I'm fearful of how many hours I will be working or when my first day off will be (this is one girl who likes balance in her life), but that will all work itself out soon I'm sure. But that's it. OK, so that's not true either as I keep thinking of what Dani has been struggling with lately -- finding enough time in the day to run a successful business that also fills her up and finding time to do it ALL. So, maybe I should stop talking about fear now as this paragraph seems to keep growing. Let's do that! Let's move on!

Kelly has taken some pictures of my cookies recently and I just love them, so I thought I would share them with you all. Not sure how, but they almost look more delicious than when I saw them in person! She's good, right?

I've been dreaming of bakery again. There is the weird thing when you are in the food service industry (or maybe it's true for other creative industries too???) where you think about food and how you can make something better, stronger, faster (no really!) or how you can invent something so unique and different. My life used to be like this. Ideas would just hit me at any time of the day. Time to go back to keeping a notebook by my bed again. I can look at a color and think of something creative to bake centered on that -- or a seasonal offering, or a theme, or really anything. That must be what poets and painters and writers and sculptors and dancers do. Before now, I never put myself in the same "category" as those artists, but I have come to appreciate the creativity and ownership in said creations since I have left the industry. In fact, my latest obsession has been how to make my daughters' favorite candy bars into a yummy indulgent treat at the bakery! Ummmm!!

Speaking of indulgent -- I've decided that's my tag line. Sally's Sweet Shoppe - Bakery - Indulgent Treats. I just love that! And I just ordered a neat WallWord (love these things!!) for the bakery that says "Enjoy Life...Its Delicious". I love that too! :o) How could I not get that?! I'm hoping to plan some neat kind of Indulgent Afternoon and/or Evening Getaways both at the bakery and at Three Sisters. Picture it: Women, Chocolate, Wine, Chocolate, Love. I think I may be a little too excited for this part! Well, and one can see why -- after all, I love chocolate and wine and have the best darn friends a girls could ever ask for -- all of them! Just makes sense to put all those things in a room and see the magic rising. Makes me think of when Rhonda Kay asks us to picture a white light circling our bodies when we are ending our Yoga sessions. I see that light!

OK, one last thing for today. Something to whig out a little over. So, you all know back in May when I first introduced my cookies at Three Sisters' big spring event, right? Well, at that event, Dani asked me to meet someone she respects very much and has regularly at the store to offer his services. Dani and I were chatting in the back room over a deck of Tarot cards and her Mochalotta (jeepers those things are good!) and Brett came back to get set up for his appointments that evening. Dani asked Brett to stop and tell her/us what he felt about me (please keep in mind that I have never seen this man before in my life!!) and he said (you should really be sitting) that something big was going to happen to me soon and by October IT will be open...oh, no wait (he said) August you will be open, by October you will be running your business as it should be.

Seriously, are you kidding me about this? For those keeping score in the Brett accuracy column (which Dani doesn't do anymore since it's like at about 98% in her book) that "prediction" from this man who has known me for all of 34 seconds would be dead accurate. It is my hope that I am on track with today's meeting to open by August. Someone should catch me now cuz it still whigs me out like the 5 of Hearts did!

OK -- wish me luck! :o)