My Very Good, Candy-Free, Feeling-loved Day

The Case of the Shrinking Bloggers

The Case of the Shrinking Bloggers

What an amazing day. For starters, I woke up to this:

Wishing Dear Alys a Very Happy Birthday !

Here’s something you may not know if you’re new to blogging. You will get to know wonderful friends all over the world. If you’re really lucky, you’ll even meet up with a few of them. Then, if all the good karma you ever saved up is on your side, you’ll become the best of friends. True that, I’ve made a life long friend in Alys. She’s optimistic and generous in spirit, caring and adorable in every way and my biggest cheerleader.

Please help me to wish Alys a Very Happy Birthday and enjoy the high-lights of our get-together’s over the last two years.

You can view the rest of her post and watch the highlight reel at Boomdeeadda.

I wept tears of joy and gratitude as the lovely music and memories played on. Thank you, Boomdee from the bottom of my heart. What a treat!

Lovely birthday wishes in the form of blog comments, texts, greeting cards and Facebook posts have kept me beaming all day. Just five minutes ago the UPS driver arrived with a gorgeous arrangement of flowers from my dear friend Laura. They smell divine.

roses and mums

Stunning and fragrant roses and mums

In the spirit of Halloween, I received a mystery gift with an unsigned card: a lovely pot of lavender hand cream. I’m pretty sure I know the giver, but I’ll confirm with the sender: Lavender Abbey of Carterton, New Zealand. Thank you!

I used to keep quiet about my birthday, but once social media came along, the jig was up. Now I embrace it.

No-Candy Countdown:

Throughout October, I’m keeping track of the candy I **don’t** eat.  I’m going to enjoy all the things I love about October while continuing to lose the extra pounds.  It’s day two and I’m in the all clear. We’re celebrating my birthday this evening with a small ice cream cake from Baskin-Robbins. It’s a family tradition. The calendar says fall, but the thermometer says 94 degrees (35C) . Friday’s forecast: 100 degrees.

Under-the-sea Costume Updates:

In addition to carving pumpkins this year, my husband Mike is also dressing up for Halloween party season. I’ll be a sea gardener and he’ll be a guardian of the sea.  We purchased the foundation for his costume at Natasha’s Attic. Now it’s my job to make it sea-worthy.

Pumpkins on Parade

Special thanks to my most recent blog follower, Maria Damitz. She tossed out the first suggestion for pumpkin-dress up month on yesterday’s blog, NEWS FLASH! Halloween Takes Over Gardening Blog

Maria said:

You are adorable! I love this blog and love Halloween. We’re doing a pirate theme this year; kind of common, but inspired by friend who is dressing up with family as pirates at Disney World now, so if you could do a pirate pumpkin that would be fun to see. Going to do one or so myself!

Maria, this one’s for you.

pumpkin pirate

Pumpkin Pirate

29 thoughts on “My Very Good, Candy-Free, Feeling-loved Day

    • Oh Pauline, you are so good for my soul. Thank you, thank you. I’m feeling good about the changes in my life, grateful for my dear friends of which you are one and feel life is indeed at a wonderful place.


    • Thank you, Cathy! I had a great day.

      Dressing up the pumpkins is both fun and challenging since I dress them over and over again before we carve them later this month. I use a liberal amount of tape, gravity and my imagination to make them work.


  1. 55 is a great age Ms Alys. Maybe you can slow down a bit when you hit triple digits but for now it is all hands on deck Matey…ARRGGHGHGHG! Excellent pumpkin Jack Sparrow by the way. I would have personally eaten him rather than run him off the plank but each to his own 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fran, agreed! 55 is off to a great start, and I’ll not be slowing down as long as my body doesn’t cave in.

      We grow carving pumpkins, so they aren’t as tasty as the sugar pies (or so I’m told). You’re a fabulous cook and would no doubt turn them into something amazing. Ms. Pauline has been cooking them all winter too from what I understand. Yum!


      • We are only just starting to get carving pumpkins in our supermarkets around Halloween time. Australia doesn’t really do much in the way of Halloween but my daughters buy a carving pumpkin every year and carve it out and light it up on their porch. Regular pumpkin is delicious. We tend to use it in savoury dishes and with roasts etc. Its funny how different countries view certain veggies but at the end of the day, they are all treated with respect and taste delicious and that’s all that matters 🙂 Cant wait to see your home grown carved punkins Ms Alys 🙂


  2. A huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you dear Alys! I hope you had the most wonderful day – with an yummy ice-cream cake to boot. I’m trying to follow your impeccable lead and have no lollies (candy) this month, either. It’s not that I’m tempted by Halloween, I’m just tempted all the time! So, this is a great little challenge. Can’t wait to see yours and Mike’s Halloween costumes. And I love the pirate pumpkin! MANY HAPPY RETURNS and HUGE HUGS. xoxoxox

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello dear,Dani. I had a wonderful day, enjoyed my ice cream cake, but then realized later that it didn’t sit with me as well as it used to. I’m really shifting away from sugar as I go and it feels good.

      I completely understand being tempted all the time. Me too. It was really hard getting started, but now I’m not craving it and in its place eating wonderful things. Isn’t that amazing?

      Best of luck with your own challenge. I’m here to cheer you on.

      Thanks for all your well wishes for the day, and for the love pirate sentiments. Stay tune for pics!

      Hugs back ‘atcha! xoxoxox


  3. Happy Birthday Alys. Sent your card to email address. Maybe you don’t still have it. I love how you do Halloween. I’m looking forward to the unveiling. Love the photo of you two in the big chair. Wish I could lose weight that way.:) Trying to un-sugar myself too. The flowers are beautiful. A pirate pumpkin is an interesting idea and especially since you will be doing a sea theme. Glad you had a happy day. I vaguely remember 55. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Marlene, thank you for sending an ecard. I haven’t changed my email address, however I did change (upgrade) to Office 2013 and I’ve had lots of problems. I’ll leave my address here and perhaps you can check or will they allow you to resend it?

      If not, I’m just so happy you thought of e.

      Yes, sliding into an over-sized chair is the easiest way to look tiny. Fun, too.

      Good for you on the sugar front. Halloween is just my test run. I want to end the year in the same way, avoiding all the sugary treats that come through the front door (school fundraisers are among the worst…I can never say no to those sweet faces at my door). I was happy to learn a few years ago that you can now donate Girl Scout cookies to a shelter or the troops. They certainly deserve them more than me.

      In fact, I’m going to do another calendar. My new mantra: “Chocolate is not your friend.”


      • Their resend button isn’t working so I sent an e-mail for assistance. It’s the same address I’ve been sending you cards. It has to be their problem.

        I’m trying hard to get my food cleaned up because the sugar affects everything and my sister is bringing in so much (healthy junk). I’ll be glad when she gets back on her own. I wish my problem was just chocolate. 😦 I have done the buy and donate for many years. When I’m strong. 🙂


  4. Awwww, I’m arriving late here to see one of my favourite pics of us! Thank you for sharing your special day with us all and linking back to Boomdeeadda 😀 ❤ Birthdays have begun to be a fun celebration again now that we have each other. For a number of years I'd rather sweep them under the carpet and let them fly under the radar. I wasn't embracing them at all. I was feeling more apprehensive about upcoming Birthdays than Joyful. But what wonder change you've brought to my life hon! It's so much more fun to celebrate friendships, achievements, travels and joys of the past year and look forward to so much more of the same next year. Thank you for all you bring to my life xo

    You've done a bang-up job on Captain Orange Sparrow. Ha, I like the jewelry! He also kind of looks like crazy John Stossel, who I also consider rather scary….so double whammy! Spooky split personality pumpkin, way to scare us Milner, haha xoxoxox


    • That is one of my favorite pics as well. What fun we had sliding into the chair, taking the little hay ride and wandering around the pumpkin patch. I can’t believe it has already been a year.

      It makes me so happy to hear you say that about your birthday. I feel exactly the same way. Beloved friendships add sparkle to our days, and soften the hard edges of life. xooxoxox

      PS So glad you like Captain Orange Sparrow Stossel. That was fun. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A belated happy birthday to you, Alys! And it’s so easy to see why you are as beloved a friend as one could wish for. Your spirit and heart are boundless in their depths. I can only imagine your Karma cup runneth over with pure delight.
    And speaking of delight, I love the whole new look.
    So here’s to a month of luck in achieving your goal, and a glorious celebration of October (high heat or not). Hope you’ll post some pictures of your Halloween costumes – and of course the two of you in them.


    • Thank you, Shelley. My goodness, how you spoil me with your turn of a phrase.

      Sharing a birthday month with Halloween is okay by me. I’m having fun and trying to ignore the heat. My skin says “British Aisles” but my address is in the semi-arid Bay Area. I simply can’t muster the lawn decorations while the temps remain in the nineties.

      For now, I’ll enjoy my altered WordPress digs where I have more control over my setting.

      The costume construction begins in earnest this week. Thanks for your interest.

      PS Is your internet up and running yet? How about the A/C


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