Please respect the silence

This was a request that I certainly had no problem honoring.

We found ourselves in Monterey CA, wondering what to do next.  We had already experienced the sights, sounds and smells of the area, and we were ready to go explore.

I stopped by the hotel desk to get some brochures about “things to do” in the area, brought them back to the room, sat down on the bed, and as I started to flip through the colorful brochure, a pamphlet fell out.

This pamphlet had exactly what I was looking for.  A spa resort that was affordable!

The place is called Refuge, and it certainly holds up to all that the name implies!  Nestled in the Santa Lucia Preserve, near the little town of Carmel, CA, this is one of the most amazing places I have been to in a very long time.

We were a little hesitant to go at first, it just seemed a little too good to be true, but the brochure and their website didn’t lead us astray. It was just as they described, if not better.

The day was overcast, a slight mist in the air, but not cold.  We had the facility pretty much to ourselves, I guess it’s one of the benefits of being able to go during the week and not on the week-end.

It was relaxation at its prime.  Pure, clean, quiet, peaceful, serene.

We decided if we were going to do this “right“, we would  follow the steps as suggested by the spa:

1. Heat Up

(5-10 min.)

This could be achieved by one of two options, either the cedar sauna, or the eucalyptus steam bath.  Both were amazing in their own way, but I think the steam bath was the one I enjoyed the most!  Breathing in the hot steam, smelling the eucalyptus, it felt like my whole body was going through a huge dishwasher!

2. Cool Down

(10-60 Sec.)

Now this was the challenging one.  The host at the facility encouraged us to try this at least one time.  The thought of stepping into water that is icy cold does not sound relaxing (or fun), but I thought if I am going to experience this place for all that it is, I need to give this a try!

Oh boy! Yes! It’s very, very cold, but when I stepped out of the water, it was not like anything I imagined.  It was very refreshing!  I ended up taking this challenge 3 times!

3. Relax

(10-15 min.)

This sounds like it should be easy, but sometimes I find this step to be one of the most difficult.  I often find it hard to just sit back and relax, and not focus on a list of things to do.  I think I was finally able to achieve this feeling of being totally relaxed by about the time for us to leave.

And, most importantly….please respect the silence!

This was a very invigorating, relaxing, refreshing, and a pleasant experience all rolled up together.

As we relaxed in the hot tub, letting the sights and sounds of the area soak in, we watched a family of 4 beautiful deer take a little stroll along the mountainside!  It was breathtaking!

My only disappointment is, it’s too far away from my house!

I know we will certainly be going back to Refuge the next time we find ourselves in the area!

In fact, we might just plan a trip around it next time.


When the rain comes down

I am on another adventure with my best friend.

Today, the weather forecasters got it right, and it’s raining.

I don’t mind.

I had my breakfast cooked for me, and my coffee was hot and oh so good.

While I was enjoying my breakfast, my room was cleaned, and my bed was made for me.

Now, I am relaxing by the fire, enjoying the peace and quiet. Watching the rain fall softly outside my room.

It’s a beautiful day. A perfect day for reading a good book.


One down, more to come

I’m celebrating the one year anniversary of my blog today! It’s been a year since I started on this journey, and oh what a journey it has been!

I approach this new world rather cautiously, trying desperately not to compare myself to other, more experienced, and verbose bloggers (this is so hard for me)!

I am continually amazed and consider it a real honor when someone I may never meet, “likes” my post, comments on it, or even more amazingly…they make the decision to follow me on my journey!

It’s humbling, and inspiring, and gives me the courage to carry on. I’m so glad I made the decision to explore places I have never been before by going on this “blog journey”.

I can honestly say I am at a much better place in my life today, both mentally and emotionally. I am happy to be who I am, and where I am.


Oh, I know there is always room for improvement. Some days are a little more difficult than others, but my goal each day is to look for the good things in life.

And with that in mind, I’m looking forward to another good year of “meeting” new friends, going on adventures with my husband (my best friend), and celebrating this life!

One year down….and hopefully there will be many, many more!

Weekly photo challenge: Thankful

I am so thankful for these very special people that fill up my life.

They bring joy to my heart and make me smile!

My son, my daughter, my in-law kids, and my grandchildren.

God has blessed my life….abundantly!

Thankful Thursday – A Grateful Gift

It’s been a very full day.

Full of family, full of good food, and full of love. A day I want to capture in my memory and hold on tight!

We waited too long to take the picture, and the kids were tired and silly. We might be able to use this picture at one of their weddings some day though! 🙂


I am so grateful for my family and the love we have for each other. We might not always see eye to eye on everything, or always agree with each other, but we have an abundant supply of love that we are always willing to share with each other!

And, I am so thankful for my husband. He is my rock, my safe and secure place in this world. I am so thankful for the love we have for each other.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to our grandson. Today is his 7th birthday!

Of course the time has gone by much too fast, and it really doesn’t seem like it was that long a go when we were welcoming him into our family.

Our first grandchild!

He holds a very special place in our heart, and we love him very much. He has his own style, and looks at life in a very unique way. He opens our eyes to a whole new world!

I am so glad that we have been able to be a part of his little life.

I know he has made my life better!

Happy, Happy Birthday….and many more!

Long distance Grandma

Next month we will be celebrating our second grandsons 1st birthday!

I was so excited for his arrival, but I was also a little reticent at the prospect of being a “long distance Grandma.” I was afraid that I would miss out on all the special moments and changes that happen in the first few months of this little guys life.

If ever there was a time that I would want to be in two places at one time, this was it.

Since the day he was born, there have been multiple pictures, face time sessions, and frequent visits either by car or by train.

It’s the life of a “long distance Grandma”, but I’m pretty sure that as a result of these efforts, when he saw me last week-end, and his little eyes lit up, it was because he knew who I was!

And once again…my heart melted.

I’m so glad we have made the effort to be committed to the priority of connection across the miles.
I have to admit it though…I would still like to live closer to him.

Thankful Thursday: 3 gifts golden

Continuing to count the gifts….

1. My wedding ring

2. the glow of the fire burning in our wood stove

3. homemade applesauce

Don’t shut your eyes tight

We were sitting at the kitchen table playing with the play doh. She was making ” spaghetti and meatballs” and he was making “solid shapes”.

I grabbed a chunk of the play doh and started mashing and squeezing it through my hands. Transported back in time at the smell of the fresh new play doh.

Then I just listened.  I listened to the happy chatter of our 4 yr old granddaughter and 6 yr old grandson, as they talked about their lives!

And as I listen, I find out that the life of a 4-year-old in preschool includes taking a nap, and she is not real fond of this requirement.  It is in fact, a very traumatic event in this little girl’s life.

So apparently her big brother has come to her rescue, and has been giving her some advice on the matter.

“Did you do what I told you to do?” he asks?   “When it’s time to take a nap, you just lay down, but you don’t shut your eyes tight, just squeeze them almost all the way closed, and it will look like you’re asleep, but you can still see everything that is going on!”

Sounds like good solid “big brother” advice to me!  I ask him if that is what he did when he was in preschool.

“Yes! One time when my dad came to pick me up, he thought I was sleeping, but I could see everything”.

“Do you think your dad ever found out that you weren’t  really asleep?”   He assured me that his dad never found out.

Ahh…the “innocence” of youth!  Or is it?