The Art of the Thank You Note


As young ladies, we learned proper
etiquette and to write a thank you note
when a relative or friend gave us
a gift. The initial thank you notes

were simple and brief. On hand I
keep beautiful boxes of thank
you notes from art museums
in a variety of colors and styles.


Thinking of the recipient is the
key. An assortment of beautiful
stamps from the post office is at
the ready too. The importance of

writing a thoughtful thank you note
in a timely fashion cannot be understated.
Writing the note by hand
personalizes and completes the task.

It is the mark of a classy person
and one with integrity.
Waiting weeks and months
is a huge faux pas.

We recently were invited to breakfast
with our former pastor who is the
master of the thank you note. It
is quite simply the right thing to do.


Imagine his joy when he opens four
thank you notes from us! Each one with a
different style of card and stamp. He
will cherish them as much as we do his

generosity. Chalk it up to the hectic
pace of life and technology? No.
Slow down. Write that thank you card
and smile at your good deed.


Posted in an assortment and variety of cards, proper etiquette, writing a thank you note | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

A Chip Off The Old Block!

As the daughter of an engineer,
I learned early on that there was
always a better way to do things.

Take for example the handles on
pots and pans. Always turned in
on the stove top and never out.

bumping into the handle of a
hot pan might lead to an accident.
Safety first. Good thing or curse?

Words out of my mouth
sound like my father and
mother. My husband, bless

his heart, reminds me of
what my father said when
he visited us from Colorado.

Before he loaded the
dishwasher with dirty dishes,
he would ask my husband:

I suppose there is only one
way to do this? My husband’s
affirmative answer brought

chuckles and smiles. Added
to that my husband would remark:
she always rearranges how I do it.

“She” was standing there listening
to the banter adding, of course, there
is only one way to do this, Dad.

Your way! You drove our mother
crazy too. I watched my father
using an old credit card as

a pan scraper before washing it
for our mother. As he pronounced the
“best way” to wash pans, I smiled

and demonstrated Mary Ann’s way.
I had sprayed the pan with Pam spray
prior to cooking. He watched me

Niemczura family pueblo (2)600 (4)

in disbelief at the ease with which
I washed the pan using simply a
paper towel and swish of the hand.

The engineer in him advised
that he had taught us how
to think ahead. We were a

chip off the old block.
Of course he was right. He instructed
us with love. I wonder if I do


the same with my family? Their
lessons learned and passed on, I
await a better way from our children.

Actions have consequences. What
goes around, comes around. A chip
off the block and with a smile.

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Posted in a better way, actions have consequences, chip off the old block, engineer's daughter, lessons learned, loading the dishwasher | Tagged , , , , , , | 21 Comments

You Are Cordially Invited!


We received an invitation to a Scrabble game this week. Our daughter sent the delightful note to play a barnburner Scrabble game. We take the game seriously and keep several dictionaries on hand. Recorded each game are the names of the players, the date, day, weather and the scores. We don’t get together often now so we look forward to quality time and a good game of Scrabble.


When the children were young, we formed teams consisting of one parent and one child opposing the other parent and child. Arguments ensued as to which parent would play with which child. As they grew older, the teams consisted of both children versus both parents. Eventually we played as individuals. Teacher Mom no longer won each game. Sometimes Dad won or our lawyer son or nurse daughter. The objective when they were younger was to “destroy Mom.”


Laughter and love abound as we challenge words put on the board. Family time is making memories and sharing love as we catch up on the latest in their worlds, miles away from us.



Posted in an invitation, barnburner game of Scrabble, BYOD(Bring Your Own Dictionary), family love, refreshments | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

On Being Grateful


As the new school year
is about to commence, I
am grateful for the years
I was able to teach German.

I watch the young ones
in the neighborhood as
they play with one another
and shop for new clothes.

I am grateful for having
had the love and passion
for teaching. Grateful for
precious young people

entrusted me. I am
grateful for the myriad
of well-trained new
teachers full of hope.

I am grateful to be
retired after many
moons in the classroom.
I am grateful for a


new found love of
music and voice lessons.
I am grateful for many
new friends in choral

groups. I am grateful
that I am able to sing
and find pure joy in
life when I do. Joy.



Posted in choral singing, grateful, music, teaching German | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Sumptuous Feast Awaits!

Costa Rica reveals itself as
a tropical paradise! Breathtaking
wonders leave me awestruck!
A veritable feast awaits.

Brilliant hues in the sky
and on earth below. Ubiquitous
flora and fauna, butterflies,
Rainbows, streams and forests.

An endless array of actors
appear on stage. My niece Sally
is the photographer and director
of the unending array of images,

a sustenance for us to savor.
Awestruck by the lush
tropical environment,
I am at a loss for words.

Such a sumptuous array!
Exquisite treasures. Surely
heavenly angels have
spread gentle pink and

IMG_7748 081618

blue blankets over the
earth. A hushed prayer
as I ponder the rainbows,
searching for that pot of gold.

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Many thanks to photographer and blogger extraordinaire, my niece, Sally Rose Dolak who lives in and blogs from Costa Rica. Her site is:

Posted in Costa Rica, photographer Sally Rose Dolak, rainbows, tropical paradise | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

What If?


What if there was no music?
How would we feel?
There would be no delight.
The days would be gloomy.


The human race clamors
for the beauty of music.
Words and hymns have
powerful sounds and meanings.


Music streams beauty
and truth to our hearts.
Feelings overflow with
passion in our souls.


The sweet sounds and
words overflow and
overwhelm as
tears of joy are shed.


What if we had no music?
We would be very poor
without singing. Music is
devotion and salvation.



Posted in music, singing | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Here Comes the Mail!


the mail arrives

arrives with Ashley

Ashley is kind

kind and takes time

time for a word

word and smile

smile goes a long way

way for route

route is long

long and winding

winding through neighborhoods

neighborhoods with flowers

flowers and trees

trees high up

up and down

down to the truck

truck parks nearby

nearby neighbors

neighbors walk dogs

dogs on the green

green median

median and cul de sac

cul de sac to play

play basketball

basketball and softball

softball by girls

girls across the street

street is safe

safe for play

play and conversation

conversation and gardens

gardens with herbs

herbs and vegetables

vegetables for grilling

grilling shish kebab

shish kebab with lamb

lamb and chicken

chicken and beef

beef and mushrooms

mushrooms and eggplants

eggplants and tomatoes

tomatoes from the garden

garden with collards

collards, rosemary and basil

basil adds to the feast

feast your eyes

eyes on food grilled

grilled outdoors

outdoors where Ashley

delivers our mail.

Posted in gardens, herbs, mail, postal carrier | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments