How to Organize Your Jewelry

DSC_4903 DSC_4902










Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Looks like it is going to be a scorcher today in Michigan! Glad I work in air. I recently dealt with a bout of pneumonia. With all of that down time resting I decided to get my jewelry organized. Somehow it had become a piled mess everywhere. I started with the necklace board. I took a trip to my favorite crafting store, Hobby Lobby. There I purchased a large bulletin board, some chevron fabric and some heavy duty tacks. Once I gathered my materials I painted the outside frame of the board. I chose gray to match my fabric. It’s really easy to do because it doesn’t matter if you get it on the cork board because you will be covering it up. I used spray glue to attach the fabric to the board. I then pushed the tacks around the edge of the board, not only to make sure the fabric doesn’t peel, but it decorated it up a little. I had some fancy looking, large push pins and I just lined them up on the board. Now I can clearly see each and every one of  my necklaces. I can tell you, I found a lot of necklaces I didn’t even know I had!

Now to organize the earrings. I went into my craft closet and started thinking. I saw an embroidery hoop that I no longer used. I had enough fabric left to put in the hoop. After getting the fabric in the hoop I ran some hot glue around the back of it so it didn’t pop off. The earrings nicely just pushed through the fabric. It was pretty easy and once again I can see my earrings nicely arranged. It was a good job accomplished and so far I have managed to keep it as neat as when I created it. Just an idea to share on a summer day.

Stay cool!



The Music Man – Honoring a Man of Inspiration!


Happy Monday Everyone!

I was sitting in church yesterday being led in a resounding chorus of Alleluia and started thinking about the man leading us in song. His name is Bob Stasiuk and I can’t image what our church would be like without him. I think of him as “Mr. Happy.” He is always walking around the church with a smile and a welcome to everyone. I’m pretty sure he greets every person who walks in the door as he weaves in and out the pews. Mr. Stasiuk, as many a student remembers him, was the school music director. While he retired from teaching by no means did the music stop. First of all he graces Sandusky First United Methodist Church every Sunday, except during the winter when some lucky church out in Nevada gets him! Of course, when summer comes we do have to share him with another Methodist Church on the lake. But I would like to lay claim to him as our music man!!


Bob was married to a wonderful woman named Char….it is talking about her when you will see a gentle smile and maybe a little tear. She was the most wonderful, genuinely, kind, compassionate woman I have ever known. She died a few years ago and she is greatly missed. Sometimes though when I look at the choir I swear I still see her sitting there. They made a wonderful kind couple, and she is greatly missed. I can’t really say enough good things. Bob is well known in the community for spreading music wherever he goes. He is always trying to teach us a fun new song, or get the whole church singing in rounds. Bob played at the weddings of 3 of my 4 children, and he didn’t do the 4th because she lives in Georgia. He is a strong part of my church family! You can’t help but smile when Bob is leading a song. He is also a very Godly man who likes to share his love for God through story and song. He encourages us to do daily devotions and get to know our bibles. When it’s highway clean up time it is Bob that is standing up there recruiting volunteers. We are a blessed church.


I’ve realized that many a pastor has come and gone, but one things has stayed consistent – the joy that Bob Stasiuk brings with his music and smile. If you had Mr. Stasiuk as a teacher, or have a story to share, please feel free to leave a comment, we would love to hear from you!!



Is it Worth It?

Recently I was meeting with someone and we started talking about personal struggles and goal setting. I really like the AA mantra of Living Live One Day at a Time. However, my twist on that is that we have to set goals and plan for the future and then take it one day at a time. It’s kind of like climbing a mountain; you look up every once in awhile but you need to focus on the steps in front of us. I think we all have something that we might struggle with or want to set a goal for  whether it be addictions (alcohol, drugs, food, shopping etc), health issues, getting exercise or whatever your challenge might be. Getting through those struggles and achieving the goal can be hard. I like to use the example of my excursion to the frozen lighthouse in January. It was a long walk over some pretty slippery icy conditions. I really had to focus on where I was going because of the unstable footing. Every once in awhile I would look towards the lighthouse just to keep my eye on my goal. As I got closer, things got a little more treacherous. Some people decided they had went far enough. I started asking some people that I knew had been to the end…”Is it worth it,” I asked. Overwhelmingly I heard YES! That gave me the push and encouragement to push on. And yes….as you can see from my pictures, it was worth it!! Now isn’t that how a lot of things work? We look to those who have already traveled the path we are on. It might be your pastor, a group leader, a fitness trainer, someone in a career you have dreamed of, do you think they believe it it worth it? Look to those who have walked the path before us and don’t miss out on any adventure. Yes, you might have to work for it, because that is how achieving goals works; we have to put a little effort in. So tell me, what is something you have wanted to do? Do you know anyone you can ask, is it worth it?

Julie Lighthouse 2 Julie at lighthouse



The Love of a Dog

The Love of a Dog

“Until one has loved an animal,

a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

…Anatole France

So this is what happens when your kids grow up and leave the home. The pets now become the focus of your entertainment, pictures and laughter. As you can see I have been blessed with three of these four legged creatures. The oldest one, Riley, is the matriarch of the family. She was my daughter’s 16th birthday present. (My daughter is now 24, has her own house but doesn’t want that “hairy thing” in her house!!) The next lovely pup is Maya, Riley’s daughter. Maya doesn’t know she is a 85 pound golden retriever, she thinks she is a lap dog and when my recliner goes up she feels that is an automatic invitation to climb on my lap! Last summer, God only knows, we added this spunky little Schnauzer named Oreo. It was made very clear, very quickly when she arrived that there was a new boss in town. This tiny little thing pushed those dogs around and they let her. She is their chew toy, her cuddler, her personal warmer and probably a big pain in their necks, but they are always kind and gentle with her.

I don’t really remember a time in my life I haven’t owned a dog. And while I may complain a lot about what a pest they are, I don’t think I could ever be without one. I mean, who else greets you at the door like you have been gone for 20 years, even though it might have only been a few minutes. Is there anything more comforting than covering up on the couch and have the warm body of that dog curl around you. I think dogs are truly the only creature that loves unconditional. What great companions they make!! No matter how much we might yell at them, curse them out or secretly wish they would disappear, they still love us. And beyond being a great pet, dogs are therapeutic, service dogs, seizure dogs, anxiety dogs, drug dogs, bomb dogs, and have many other uses. A great story about a dog is called “Until Tuesday” by Capt. Luis Carlos Montalvan. It is an amazing story. I am both excited and honored to be able to hear Capt. Montalvan speak in a couple of weeks.

So, if you have a dog, give it an extra hug. If you don’t, go visit one. Don’t forget to check out rescue sites. There are so many loving dogs just waiting for a home. As a matter of fact the fundraiser Capt. Montalvan will be speaking for is a Golden Retriever rescue.DSC_9920Well, now I think it’s cuddle time! Happy Friday!!

Low-Fat Potato Soup Recipe

These cold winter days have had me on the search for some healthy alternatives to classic “comfort food” recipes. I did a search for potato soup and found this recipe.  It was a hit with the whole family, which hardly ever happens!  It was rich, creamy and very filling!  I doubled the recipe and it was enough for two dinners for my family of four.

The first time I made it, I did not have fat-free evaporated milk, so I used whole. I was curious if it would taste the same using  fat free.  The second time I made it, I used 2%  evaporated milk, which did not affect the taste at all. It still got a thumbs up from the family.  Next time, I will go for the fat free version.  The calorie count is the same, but why not save fat grams where you can!



Hubby chose to garnish his with soy bacon and broccoli. (I’m sure he would have preferred real ham or bacon but that was all we had on hand!)




Low Fat Potato Soup Recipe

From: Taste of Home


  • 1-3/4 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk, divided
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese


  • In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes, onion, celery, broth and
  • pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-18
  • minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Combine cornstarch and 1/4 cup milk until smooth; stir into potato
  • mixture. Add the remaining milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for
  • 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in cheese
  • until melted. Yield: 5 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 cup equals 178 calories, 2 g fat (0 saturated fat), 9 mg cholesterol, 274 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 14 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 medium-fat meat.
© Taste of Home 2014
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family!
Stay warm!

Oh Mr. Postman…….


Remember when we used to send and receive real letters? I honestly can’t say when the last time is that I sent a letter to someone or received a letter from someone! I was going through a closet with some of my daughters stuff and found an old can with letters my sister (Jen) had sent her when she was out of state with her military husband. She has kept them all these years because they were important. My mother in law talks of writing every day to her husband who was stationed in Korea. I wonder if she kept them. When I was a kid I remember going upstairs in my grandpa’s house to cut the stamps off of the letters my dad had sent from Korea. At that age I had no interest what was in them…I would give anything today to have the opportunity to read them. I remember after visiting my cousin in California when I was about 10 we would write back and forth for awhile. I think I even had a few pen pals. I don’t think kids today would even know what that is. I take that back, they talk to people all over the world through gaming systems and consider them friends. I am not convinced this is the same.

I think as a society we have become to used to email, Facebook and text messaging. But really, I think there is nothing as special and intimate as a hand written letter. I am as guilty as anyone, and I’m not knocking any of those other modes of communication; they have all let me connect with old friends and family members. But, a letter, maybe we should reconsider this. After all, how many emails, texts or Facebook chats have your folded up and put in a can??

A love letter to someone you love…who wouldn’t like to get that. It is pretty special to know someone actually took the time to sit down and write you. So I challenge you to think…is a handwritten letter important, or is it something that we let fade into the past? Let me know what you think.