• The Lost Art of Handwritten Letters

    My favorite time of day is early morning.  I like to get up and catch the sunrise and watch the new day come in fresh and full of promise.

    I like to use this time alone to reflect and catch up on letter writing.

    Now, I know it would be so much easier and quicker to make a phone call or send an email or text, but there is just something extraordinary about receiving a handwritten letter in the mailbox from a friend.

    I have an old writing desk that I like to sit at to write, and it is stocked with plenty of stamps, pens, stationery, envelopes, and an address book.  Everything you need to write a letter.  I even have an old folder from school full of fun stickers to use as well.

    My friend Kitty brought a magazine to my house yesterday that she just thought I would enjoy.  It has an article about aprons and family homesteads that she thought I would like to read.

    Kitty is around the same age my mother would be, had she lived, and I have to appreciate her kind, motherly friendship for many years.

    Now, I could have just called Kitty and thanked her for the magazine, but here’s the thing.  She didn’t have to bring that magazine all the way over to my house while I was away yesterday.  But she did.  She was thinking of me, which is not a small thing when another person takes a second out of their busy day to think of another. 

    The very least I can do is jot off a quick note and pop it in the mail.   Miss Kitty made my day.  Why not surprise her and make her day too?

    Way back in 1988, shortly after I met the boy who would become my husband, we started exchanging letters in the mail.  We lived 23 miles away from each other, and neither one of us had cars.  It was also long-distance to call each other back then to keep our parents happy because we didn’t “reach out and touch someone” remember that slogan?

    We wrote letters. Lots and lots of funny, sweet,  silly notes.  I still have all of those letters.  Even after we got cars, and it was no longer long-distance to call, we still wrote to each other.

    There is just something special about a surprise letter in the mail.

    This second letter is going to a friend with whom I used to do yoga. Suppose you are like me and have trouble keeping your letters straight on no lined paper.  Just take a ruler and lightly make lines on the form.  After your ink dries, you can gently erase the lines.

    This last letter is going to my dear friend, Alta, in Pennsylvania.

    She and I have been exchanging letters for nearly 20 years.  We met in a Yahoo Group in 2001 that was devoted to Gladys Tabor’s books.  The yahoo group book club eventually faded away, but the friendship between Alta and I stayed.   She is also older than me and has been an excellent mother figure all these years. 

    We even stayed with her and her husband at their home in Pennsylvania one magical Christmas and experienced a Christmas carol singing at her quaker church- built in 1804. 

    What about you?  Do you write letters?
    Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear if you do;  I want to bring this gentle art back.



  • How to make Beauty Cream at Home

    Friends, you are going to LOVE this! With only two ingredients (plus some optional essential oils) it is simple to make and easy on the pocketbook.

    After experimenting with different oils and amounts, I think I have found the perfect recipe. What did I use?

    Hemp Seed Oil & Shea Butter.
    I also used a metal bowl and a hand mixer. That’s it! Easy as pie, all natural, and works beautifully!

    All of the ingredients came from Amazon and were delivered the next day. I also used these containers to put the finished product in, but you can just use small mason jars.

    Lastly, I used a few drops of Geranium, Sandalwood and Rose Absolute essential oils. You do not need to use essential oils though. In fact, the first time you make it, I would encourage you to make it without the extra ingredients, just to see how you like it. You can experiment later with different essential oils.

    If you make it, would you let me know how you like it?

    Watch the short, 4 minute video below to see how it’s done.

  • The Importance of Saying “Thanks”

    The 4 steps to writing a thank you note.

    Step 1: Address the recipient by name and say thank you, be sure to mention specifically what you are thanking them for.

    Dear Lisa,
    Thank you so much for the beautiful yellow rose bush.

    There is no need to write ‘I am writing to thank you’. That is self-evident. It is better to jump right in by expressing your thanks and appreciation, for example:

    It was wonderful to receive..

    .My sincere thanks for..

    Many thanks for your help with facilitating the meeting…

    The teas are delicious, thank you so much!

    Step 2: Continue by describing your feelings about the gift, event, favor, kindness, or service done. One sentence will do, but two or three are better (don’t overdo it though, or you’ll start to sound insincere). For example:

    As you know, yellow roses are my favorite and I have planted them in a special spot near my door so that every time I walk outside I can smell their fragrance.

    Step 3: Focus on the recipient. How are they? How is work/ school?  Any plans for the holiday season? You may also like to suggest a meet up (in person or by phone) in the near future.

    How have you been doing?  Do you have any plans for the Summer? I hope I can join the family at the beach house this year – I’ll give you a call later in the week to catch up.

    Step 4: Finally, repeat your thanks and appreciation with a brief sentence, and sign off.

    Thank you again for picking out such a lovely gift.


    Aunt Melissa

    And below is all of it put together-

    Dear Lisa,
    Thank you so much for the beautiful yellow rose bush.

    As you know, yellow roses are my favorite and I have planted them in a special spot near my door so that every time I walk outside I can smell their fragrance.

    How have you been doing?  Do you have any plans for the Summer? I hope I can join the family at the beach house this year – I’ll give you a call later in the week to catch up.

    Thank you again for such a lovely gift.


    Aunt Melissa

  • Lindy’s Perfect Beauty Cream

    This recipe is fairly easy but keep in mind that you are trying to combine oil and water which don’t normally mix.

    Follow the recipe closely.  If it does not turn out right, don’t be discouraged.  Try again; this cream is worth your effort!

    Be sure to store your cream in very clean jars.  If you make up extra or do not plan to use it in a couple of months, store it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.


    2/3 cup distilled water

    1/3 cup aloe vera gel

    1 or 2 drops of lavender or rosemary essential oil.

    A few drops of vitamin E


    ½ cup Extra Virgin Coconut oil

    ¼ cup Cocoa Butter or Shea Butter

    ¼ cup Sweet Almond Oil

    1 oz. grated beeswax

     Combine ingredients listed under “Waters” in a glass measuring cup.  Set aside.

    • In a double boiler over medium heat, combine the oils and beeswax.  Warm until melted.
    • Put the oil mixture in the freezer to cool for about 5 minutes.  It should be above temperature and might look like it has hardened on top.
    • When oil mixture has cooled, insert your stick blender and start mixing.  In a slow, thin drizzle, pour the water mixture into the oil mixture.
    • The mixture will quickly start to cream.  The cream will thicken as it sets.
    • Pour into clean jars.  Store in a cool location.

    If your cream does not thicken up immediately, put it in the freezer for a few minutes then whip with the stick blender again. 

    I have made and used this cream for several years and I love it! Your skin just wants to drink it up!

    If you make it, let me know how it turns out.

    Thanks for stopping by!



  • Bedtime Ritual Cooling Spray

    You’ve probably seen the old saying “happy wife, happy life”?

    I am sure that it is true, but I think that in order to have a happy life as a whole, you’ve got to do little things that keep both spouses happy.

    That is where this bedtime ritual spray comes in. If you treat your husband like a king, he will usually, in turn, treat you like a queen. And if you want a good, loving, happy and long-lasting marriage – you have to do those little things that count.

    But I digress.

    Let me tell you how to make this bedtime spray and then I will tell you how I use it.

    Ingredients for Bedtime Spray

    Witch Hazel


    Small, 4oz spray bottle

    Essential oils such as lavender, sandalwood or patchouli or a gentle E/O Blend.

    To make the spray, you fill the bottle 1/4 of the way full of witch hazel, add 15 drops of essential oil and fill the remainder of the bottle with water.

    A note on the ingredients: You can use Vodka in place of Witch Hazel, but Vodka can be drying and some folks just don’t like to use alcohol. I get that. I have also used this on my kids when they were younger and in my opinion, Witch Hazel is gentler.

    T. N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel is my favorite. It is made in America and only contains 14% grain alcohol. Grain alcohol is gentler on the skin than synthetic alcohol or isopropyl alcohol

    Some good essential oil choices for this bedtime spray are Lavender and Sandalwood as they can be soothing.
    Another favorite is the Medieval Mix by Aura Cacia which contains Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus X Limon (Lemon) Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Red Thyme) Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (White Thyme) Oil, Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil.

    How to use: Shake well and spray your bedsheets or in my case, my husband’s legs and feet.

    Here’s a little back story for you. My husband gets up at 4 am every morning for work and because he works long hours, he goes to bed early too. He likes me to go to bed with him, but I like to stay up and do my thing at night. We had to come to a compromise and that is where this bedtime spray came in.
    When he gets in bed for the evening, I spray his legs and feet with this cooling spray and rub his temples with some Jasmine essential oil. This lulls him into a blissful state and he feels like the king of his castle when I do this. If I do it when the lights are out, most of the time he is asleep before I can put the cap back on the essential oil.

    Then I am free to run back downstairs and paint or do whatever until I am sleepy.

    Now, I have had women scold me and tell me that I am spoiling him and wasting my time doing that for a man. I am not sure what was going on in their lives for them to say those things. Evidently, they were not happy people. But, it is so very important to show gratitude to everyone, especially those we love so much!

    My husband goes out to work at a stressful and demanding job every. single. day. He *might* call in sick once a year. He deals with the public, he sits in traffic, and he drives for 45 minutes both ways.

    I GET to stay home and raise the children and keep the house. I am so grateful for him and I will spoil him as long as we live, and give him the refuge of a wonderful home life because of everything he does for me and our children.

    Remember; you get what you give. So give a little love and gratitude to your sweetheart.

    If you make it and use it, let me know. I would love to hear about it.

    Thanks for stopping by!