Elevating Everyday Life


Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different. Enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes. (which it will) Being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way. (which it won’t)~James Baraz


Three things occurred this week that stirred my little gentle soul. in a wonderful way

1. Joe retired.

2. A dear friend turned 86.


3. I had an aha moment.

I recently enjoyed a scrumptious Italian dinner at a friend’s home in celebration of her 86th birthday. While experiencing the joy of sharing stories and memories with her family I had an aha moment. I was reminded how everyday life holds many special moments. This past week I experienced moments of time that I want to experience more deeply.

The pleasure of wearing a new pair of earrings recently given by a friend from her summer travels🚗

Enjoying my first pumpkin spice latte.☕️🍁

Relishing in a delicious breakfast prepared by my husband.💕

Having a small barbecue on a misty rainy afternoon.🏡

Capturing the sweetest photograph of Darjeeling.🌷

remembering the many special garden moments of summer….🌻

and hanging a new Welcome flag for Fall.🍂🍁

My friend’s wonderful dinner was the perfect aha… that there is no better time than now. That the day to do all those things you’ve been waiting/hoping for is today. now is the day to create the happiness and joy you want. No need to wait until you retire or that future celebratory event. Create it in the situation you find yourself in now.

I’d love to hear about yours.

Fall Blessings🍂

I’ve decided to challenge myself by preparing a new recipe each week shhh…don’t tell anyone😉 One that I haven’t prepared before. I enjoy cooking & really didn’t get much practice until I retired so now I’m loving it!  This week I chose Linguine with Shrimp Scampi. The recipe is courtesy of Ina Garten. thank you Ina! 

I followed the recipe except for using kosher salt & red hot pepper flakes. I didn’t have any on hand & didn’t realize it until I had started preparing the dish. therefore I didn’t use them.😉

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi


vegetable oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons

3/4 pound linguine

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1/2 lemon, zest grated

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds

1/8 hot red pepper flakes


Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to  10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp. 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve. Enjoy!


Here is a view of the end of summer. I had taken a walk to the jetty hoping to find some rocks to place around the cottage. Enjoy!

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8 Responses to Elevating Everyday Life

  1. Joe says:

    Thank you so much for the reminder to enjoy the ‘moments’ of life!
    And the linguine was one of those, yummy,thanks

  2. Carol Hingle says:

    Love reading your blog!

  3. Mary Schumeyer says:

    Congratulations to Joe on his retirement.

    Your photos are consistently beautiful. I especially love the photo of the grill because Cami’s little face shows through the handle perfectly. It’s so adorable.

    I’m trying to count my blessings, and do things I truly enjoy at this stage of my life. The cliche of, “stopping to smell the roses”, is the attitude I’m working towards.

    I appreciate all you share with us. In a way, it’s kind of like looking at some of the magazines (ex: Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens) that my Mom used to get in the fifties and sixties where the photos were just so lovely, inviting and cheery.

    Have a wonderful weekend. My husband and I, along with my daughter and daughter-in-law, are going to a baseball game tomorrow. Their daughters, our granddaughters – lol, will be performing a special cheer routine. It will be a long day! Oye!


    • Marcia Ren says:

      Hi Mary!
      Thank you for such flattering words. It’s very nice to know my readers enjoy the photos and see a few of the funny details…such as Cami’s little face being framed by the grill. Ha! She is fun to take photos of because she doesn’t like them…and usually looks the other way. I’m pretty sure the smell of veggie burgers got her attention.
      This time of life is special because we do have the opportunity to take time and “smell the roses” since we are free from our work schedules. Ironically sometimes we do have to work at it, since we are so use to rushing around.
      What a nice compliment about enjoying my sharing and the idea that I could even compare with those fun magazines is the ultimate! Xo
      I hope you had a great time watching your granddaughters cheers. And now it’s time to stop and smell the roses for a new weekend.
      Take care Mary.

  4. Jane says:

    Hello sweet friend!

    First, Happy Retirement to Joe!!! Now, there will be so many firsts as you embark on this new journey with one another… I loved it when my Daniel retired as now we get to spend much more time together…. being married to your best friend as you and I are is such a blessing!! Actually, everyday is a blessing we have been given and one must make the most of each one…. I start each weekday morning with morning Mass at our little Chapel on Balboa Island…. It is a good way to mediate and thank God for all the blessings…. Not to say that I don’t take some days for granted but I try to play the glad game like Pollyanna…

    This time of year my heart sings for I love Fall, my favorite season… Yes, summer has gone with all its warm sunny days, lovely flowers and the barbecues at the beach…but we are left with sweet memories of the blessings of another summer……
    but Fall brings everything Pumpkin Spice and cozy evenings… I can smell it in the air… I have my front porch all decorated for Fall…. and this morning after Mass I scooted right over to Trader Joe’s to purchase Pumpkins for the porch… When Fall arrives… I find myself with boundless energy…

    I love the earrings your dear friend brought you from her travels and the thought of her thinking of you as she picked them out just for you… little surprises are always such fun and a way of showing a person they are special to you…. I am sure you have lots of special moments with friends….

    The celebration for your 86 year old friend with friends and family is another blessing for all of you attending to share her life with all of you… stories and memories…She was surrounded by all those who have shared in her journey…. a blessing for her…

    I love the thought of you making something new for dinner…. I think that is a fabulous idea and a great way to try out new recipes…. Yummy!!! This one I am definitely making…. I will add the red pepper flakes…. I am a spicy type of gal…. haha…..

    Thank you sweet friend for another beautiful and insightful posting reminding us to enjoy each day and to not put off something that we could do today….. Please give Cami and Darjeeling a pet… and hello to your handsome Joe…. what a beautiful and sweet couple…..


    • Marcia Ren says:

      Hi Jane!
      Yes Joe is retired and I look forward to spending more time together. We are like two pillars…standing separate and yet supporting one another along our journey in life. I’ve had 6 years to get use to retirement so he has some catch up time.
      Everyday is a blessing & I admire how you start each morning with a morning mass. That little church on Balboa Island is a wonderful spot.
      I remember I loved Fall too ( when I lived in California) the weather would begin getting cooler and I’d have scented candles and pumpkins everywhere!
      Here on the coast there isn’t that much change in temperature…at least not yet. And lately the weather has been so gorgeous with lots of sunny bright days. Anyway I can just imagine how adorable your home must look with all those pumpkins! You never told me when your birthday is. I’m guessing sometime soon Pray tell so I can send you birthday blessings.
      As I write little Cami and Darjeeling are snuggled next to me…so I gave them a sweet hug. Thank you for your wonderful kindness and sweet words. Wishing you a wonderful week my friend.Xo

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