“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


and we have a winner: Bella Grace

we step from august to september.
and we have a winner.


thank you to everyone who commented, who told me some of their sweet nothings. every day - every day - it made me smile to read your thoughts and happinesses. it's been such a fun week. i've felt a connection with each and every one of you.  i've visited many new blogs and found new friends and rediscovered old friends.  thank you once again so much.

and remember - 
keep holding out your hands to catch the everyday magic that is always there.

my neighbor's granddaughter came by to sell me some kind of school fund raiser thing and i negotiated a deal - if she would draw the winner's name from the bowl i held out before her, i would buy coupons.  i'm sure she thought i was crazy, sure she was thinking that most people just say yes and hand her money, or no and close the door.  but she smiled a shy smile and said yes and drew out a name.

the winner is deb from deb posted from home.  i just took a tour of her blog and she has fun news of her own -  i recommend paying her a visit.  i know i'll be back.  in the meantime, deb, i'll be getting in touch with you and we'll work out shipping details.  congratulations!  the magazine and the print of my painting will soon be on their way to you.

again - thank you all.  you made me happy.  i want to say you were the small nothings of my week, but you were more than that.  you were magic - all of you.

in the meantime, don't forget you can enter more giveaways (this blog hop ain't over yet), by keeping up with who's on first and who's next and who's still accepting entries, with the Bella Grace blog hop link.  Right here.



august rain

suddenly rain on a friday evening before a long weekend, and i feel my muscles loosen all at once. obligations slip away and my heart rate slows. never mind that my long weekend started this morning - there is just something about this rain that gives me permission to do nothing, and never mind that i am a woman who needs no permission given.  

the cat is asleep, sitting on the bathroom window sill, window open, screen rolled up, rain just inches away. the song of cicadas encircles the house. we are home.



Sweet Nothings - A Bella Grace Giveaway

i've said for years that the universe tosses you gifts daily, that you just have to hold out your hands and catch them.  most of those gifts are overlooked moments; we get busy or tired and we just miss them. we expect them to be big and wrapped in silver paper, a red bow on top, and i'm as guilty as everyone else; i get lazy and don't want to peek into the shadows or even under my pillow, but that's where they live, these gifts.  the sweet nothings of the everyday.


the first day you spy cherries at the grocery store.
ditto clementines.
sweet sweet ordinary magic.
both days.

full moons.
crescent moons.
all the moons in between, even the ones on stormy nights, hiding behind nighttime clouds.
magic, each and every one of them, without costing you a dime.

outside tonight is hot and still,
and as always i have a door open and bare feet propped in front of the fan.
that cool air is a sweet nothing.
a small magic.
just ask my toes.

ordinary magic comes with good times and it comes with the hard. when my mother was dying, i mentioned on this blog that my phone never stopped ringing with bad news, or with relatives checking in, and suddenly into my open hand a gift was dropped - an online friend began to call every day and leave a voice mail for me, the small and ordinary stories of her day.  sweet nothings to which i never had to respond.  another online friend messaged if i needed anything, she was only 3 hours away.  another gift.  more small magic.

heart shaped leaves and newly painted walls, white linens, lazy pink tulips.
the flight of owls through the darkness. crows on fence posts. early morning robins.
dark chocolate. well done steaks.
back porches and candlelight and friendships with no need for conversation.
gifts, each and every one.  ordinary magics.
just hold out your hand and catch them.

movies watched for the hundredth time, books falling apart for the very same reason.
stripes and polka dots and pale blue cotton.
campfires. starlight. cowboy boots.
cello music.
the sound of sleet against the windows.
fallen flower petals.
granny smith apples and auld lang syne.

it's about building your life where you are.  it's about at last using the tablecloth you bought on that trip to florida, the one that said ignore the winter cold, take me - the one you've never used no matter how much you love it, the color saying summersummersummer ocean beach heat.  it's new shoes and old shoes and pink rainboots that keep your feet dry when the creek overflows and you are knee high in water fast flooding your yard.  even the almost annual flooding becomes a magic.  an adventure. will the house flood or won't it?  no matter.  watching the creek rise brings a smile to your face. mother nature kicking up her heels.


And now Bella Grace.  A new magazine by Stampington that believes in all those things, embraces all those things and magics and moments and sweet nothings.  It is unlike any ordinary magazine you've seen before: ½" thick, full of images and poetry and stories and interactive spaces and places.  I am honored to be a part of this new venture, celebrating life and adventure and the magic in the ordinary, and honored to be among many of my favorite writers and photographers. As part of the Bella Grace blog hop/magazine giveaway, I've been given a copy to give away to one of you. Just leave a comment below - I'd love if you told me one of your sweet nothings, but it's not required.  With the magazine, I'm also including a canvas print of that painting up at the top, in the hopes it will remind you to just open your hands and catch that everyday magic.

Remember, just whisper a sweet nothing in my ear down below in the comments.
I'll draw a name on Sunday, August 31, and announce the winner on Monday, September 1.

You can keep up with the blog hop,
with even more magazine giveaways, and wonderful people to meet,
with this link right here.
Stampington will be updating the page daily.

above painting: when emma still believed in magic / d smith kaich jones
flood image: robert langham