Friendship is good. We all need to have friends and especially the ones that “get us”. Those kindred spirits. The ones where a spoken word sometimes isn’t necessary, they just know.

There are so many levels of friendship.  Some refer to you as their best friend but you hardly know them and somehow they think they know you. Some are just acquaintances and some are those Facebook “friends” that you accepted their friend request but still have to wonder who they are when they appear in your newsfeed..

But those kindle spirits. Those people. The ones that just understand your words and hear your heart. Those are the ones we cherish so much and feel such a loss when they are gone.

This past week I lost two of them.  Not to arguments or disagreements, but to life on this earth. These two left us for the arms of Jesus. They are truly the lucky ones and no more earthly pain for them. This makes me very glad because of my faith, I know I will see them again. But they left a hole in my heart here on earth.

Susan Irene Fox, a fellow blogger, is gone from us and greatly missed – her smile and melodic voice, both in words and on Skype. A true kindred spirit even though we never met in physically proximity the love and friendship was there.







And there is Sandi.  I met Sandi many years ago, MANY. She was a single mom of several kids…… Her smile lit up a room and a neighborhood. We were instant friends – kindred spirits.

Sandi’s journey in life wasn’t easy. But she always kept smiling. Her love for God and family was endless. She was full of hope.  She spent the last several years of life in sickness. Weak, but her spirit was strong. The morning of the pending solar eclipse she went home to her beloved God and I know she is dancing again.  Some say she caused the eclipse – LOL

She is greatly missed. But I am blessed abundantly for having known her and laughed and cried with her and saw many answered prayers for us both because of our prayers together.

Sandi and Me – 2007 California









I love you girls and see ya later!

Cate B



You’ve Got A Friend

One of the beauties of humanity is when you find people of like mindedness. Kindred Spirits. Someone who thinks similar to you and even understands what you just told them.

For me that seems few and far between. But when I find one it is like a bowl full of gems and jewels and chocolate!

The church we attend has a Wednesday night meeting. I do not always go to the midweek meeting but the last three weeks they have invited three different young adults from a college in the Kansas City area. These kids (I call them) get the opportunity to share what they are learning and going through with the intent of helping others. Youth. So refreshing.

Last night a young man walked up to my husband and I and introduced himself as the guest speaker for the evening. He proceeded to say that he likes to get to know his audience by asking what it is they have been going through lately. Well, having just posted my last blog about the seasons of my life I jumped right in and talked about that. Bam! He totally understood what I was talking about.

Don’t you just love it when you find someone who gets you? It is so important. We all have friends and acquaintances of different degrees. It is important we know that. Some are friends and the relationship may be more one sided. Those are good. Some, well, some are just “hey, how ya doin'” kind of relationship and you keep on walking. That’s ok too.

I’m not saying that this young man is now my deepest friend. I may never see him again. What I am saying is that we all need someone or a few someone’s we can rely on. The someones that don’t question your every look or move. The someones that have your back. The someones that hand over their back to you. The trust that no matter what you go through or how you go through it they will not judge or walk away, even if they don’t understand totally. The love.

Recently, my husband and I saw the need for others to come alongside and hold us up through changes in our life. It’s all good things. He travels from time to time and I cannot always go along. We needed prayer support and friend support while he goes and I stay or when we both go.

So. We formed “Our Posse”. A group of friends of like heartedness and like mindedness. A group of loving and caring friends from quite the variety of life. A Motley Crew. We send out group messages when we have upcoming things we may need wisdom about and they pray. What a difference our life has become. We feel so much lighter. So less burdened.

And for me, I belong to a “Posse” of a few women who understand me and are there for me. A “Tribe” of support that I love so much.

I recommend this for everyone. It is not good for man to live alone. We were born for relationship. First one with God and then others.

I had a call from a friend of twenty plus years. We use to take nature walks or just gab over coffee and tea. Instant friends. Now she lives in Puerto Rico. But we are still strong together and always will be. It’s as if we never parted geographically.

Don’t stand alone, Dear Reader. There are people out there for your back. Even this blogging community has someone or someones for you to connect with.


Cate B

and another cuppa………

Hey!  If you were coming over today to visit with me I would offer you a fresh cup of coffee – or tea – in a Pioneer Woman Mug – and cut you a slice of warm Apple Pie….


After we stuffed ourselves we would probably talk about the weather.  It sure was windy yesterday and warm for November.  Much cooler today and more on track for  our location.

The conversation begins to shift and I can share with you how things are getting much better here in The Burg for me.  I really like it here.  I don’t see too many people outside the home but that is changing.  We spent some time with a friend who became a brother the other day.  I saw a whole new side of him that I didn’t see as clearly before.

I love when that happens, don’t you?  I’m a bit of an observer (not the kind in Fringe).  I try really hard to listen to people as they talk.  I tend to hear between the words – their hearts.  Not always.  It can be hard and a bit foggy at times.  I know I can be a bit guarded.  I don’t always want people to see too much.  That’s not always good.  It has to go two ways if you want deeper relationships.  Step out on a limb, take a risk, let some walls down.  Trust………

Ugh, there’s another one of those “get out of your comfort zone things“.

Another slice of pie?  Can I warm your coffee?

I could tell you I am looking forward to Thanksgiving week.  No kids to watch (as much as I love them), sleeping a little later, watching a holiday movie that doesn’t involve princesses, Tinker Bell or Octonauts.  It will be a week of baking for the holiday.  More pies, a cheesecake, some homemade rolls.

Back to relationships.  They are so much harder these days than when I was younger.  More people work outside the home.  Computers and smart phones have become so much of our socializing.  But this getting together in person and enjoying pie and coffee with the company of each other, is really a good thing.  It’s a slow process to get to know each other.  Looking for our similar likes and dislikes. That just means that we need to do it again.  Maybe Cinnamon Rolls next time!

If there is a next time.  What do ya say?  Am I worth it?  Are you worth it?  I say yes, you are worth getting to know.  I hope you think I am………

Till next time…….. Enjoy!

Cate B

Let’s Have Another Cuppa………..

A fellow blogger started posting “if we were having coffee……….” on her blog site now and then.  She starts off by stating the above and goes off from there about what you would possibly talk about.  I thought it was such a great idea.

Since I like my site to be a place that is homey and warm I thought I’d do that now and then from the standpoint of what I stated in my “About” page: “I call this “Let’s Have Another Piece of Pie” because to me, pie represents more than a piece of incredible sweetness, but a moment of bliss with people you love.  It brings to me a type of peace that flows and flutters around a room of nostalgia and contemplative thoughts – even if I’m alone at the moment.  Add a piece of good home-made pie to those moments and you’ve got a recipe for joy!”

With that in mind, I actually made a pie yesterday.  A savory pie.  A Chicken Pot Pie as we call them in the USA.

So, if you came to my house, I would set a place for you and cut you a great piece of this pie and I would tell you how happy I am to have you with me.  I would also tell you how I tend to be a homebody and rarely make the initiative to get together with people that I love.  That is a downfall for me.  But when I get together I just love it and reflect back on what a great time I had and my heart gets encouraged by the company.

I would pour you another cup of coffee or tea and ask how you have been.  I really want to know.  And how about those Kansas City Royals?

I would not bring up politics and hope that you wouldn’t – that just gets me in a tizzy!

More pie?  Then I would tell you about my grand daughters that I care for while the kids attend University.  I would tell you that I love being a part of their upbringing and giving them a safe and secure second home.  I would also tell you that it is hard and some days I feel like I’m not doing anything for the greater good.

I know you would comfort me and encourage me and I would be looking forward to more times like this together with you.

So, next time I may just make a sweet pie.  So much more fun with coffee.  Thank you for coming by…….


cate b

Around the Burg…….

We had a great time with Friends this weekend.  We drove about an hour to a town that has a population of 159!  Say what?   Yes, 159.  That’s one hundred fifty-nine people.

They have a restaurant that is famous for it’s pie.  The lunch was also good. But best of all getting together with Friends is the whole pie!  We went with a couple from The Burg and met up with a couple from Springfield, MO.  Now the Friends have more Friends.  I love to connect people.

After we left the booming town of Collins, with a population of 159, we took the old highway and enjoyed nature!  The wildflowers were in full bloom and I was so caught up in the enjoyment of The Creator that I did not take so many pictures.  Not to mention the two turtle crossing the road were left behind (much to their delight I’m sure).

Next stop, Osceola Cheese store! Samples galore of all kinds of cheeses.  A must stop if you find yourself in western Missouri.

Without further ado, here are some photos.


cate b

And The Beat Goes On………

Prior to moving to the mid-west we lived in a beach community on the east coast.  If it weren’t for the beach I do believe the county would have been more united and cosy and family-like.  A true community.  But tourism ran many residents lives, and I can’t blame them.

When you start making money on your historical home as a Bed & Breakfast or your small business of selling anything from surfboards to ice cream…… well, I can see why it turned that way.

Don’t get me wrong.  It was a privilege and a blessing to live there for twenty plus years.  We made good solid friendships and the kids grew up in a small town atmosphere where most people seem to know who you were.

What I want to focus on is a small local business we fell into one day back in 1994.  I say “fell into” because once we crossed the threshold they made a way into our hearts as well.  Stuck for life.

We had moved to this lovely area when our daughter was a senior in high school.  They fact that she was more than willing to leave her past three years of high school behind and begin again in a another school was proof enough that we were meant to be there.

After a few days of her school year she came home and asked me to take her to a small music store to buy guitar strings.  Over the bridge we went and found this little “mom and pop” store front in the owners home.  It helped that the young man working there was cute and adorned bright red hair.  I still don’t know who he was or his name.

The owners of this business were also employed in the school district we were a part of.  Mr. and Mrs. J.  Mrs. J taught at the Junior High School – music of course.  And Mr. J at the High School, also music.

Well, our daughter talked about Mr. J often.  His kindness to her is what pulled her in.  I, a concerned parent, had to meet this man whom my daughter seems to be quite taken with.  You know what I mean – I was cautious.

What can I say.  When I met Mr. J for the first time, in his store, he had me.  He was a rare human being.  He looked like a hippy (which was a plus for me) and when he opened his mouth the kindness of God came out.  Let me tell you how.  He had a way of saying just what a person needed to hear.

I remember one warm summer day I had put on sandals.  I have always been self conscious of my feet.  They are long and I always thought rather ugly.  I walked into his shop that day with thoughts of covering my feet up and he says, “Mom! (always called me mom)  You have beautiful feet!  You should never cover them up!”  I have heard him over the years encourage so many people of all ages with similar things.

Our daughter became good friends with their oldest son and we became regulars of his shop.  We bought strings, guitars, basses, keyboard, cords, picks, tuners, lessons, etc. over the years.  He handed me a harmonica one day and said, “You need this, Mom”.  I walked out with a harmonica.

Our two youngest sons took classes in school with both Mr. and Mr. J and excelled.  Our youngest learned guitar from their son.  I remember picking him up after his lesson and peeking in the room to find the two of them rocking out and jamming on their guitars.

Their store was magical.  You could walk in there and find Mr. J with a captive audience telling one of his many stories of his colorful life.  The time he met James Bond (Sean Connery) or James Michener in the small town he grew up in.  Or his stories of Linda Ronstadt and countless others.  Oh, and his love for Tom Waits.

I could go on and on about Mr. J and Mrs. J.  Don’t forget the Mrs. J!  She even let me assist her in her strings/violin class in Junior High (Lord knows I couldn’t play that thing!) – it was an honor and a privilege.  It’s because of Mr. J that I play the Ukulele!

Well, we just saw them on our trip back east a couple of weeks ago.  They are well and retired from teaching and closing the store down.  It is a good time for them and a sad time.  The end of a good thing for the community and themselves but the beginning of a new chapter of their lives.

You see, they were teachers to our family and we respect them and always enjoy seeing them.  But one day an incident happened and we became a part of them.  Mr. J suffered an ailment and we were privileged to pray for him through this ordeal.  When troubles come upon us it is an opportunity to get close.  To be real.  To become a part of another.  They are stuck with us.

And when our family suffered the loss of our daughter they were there.  Their son, in California, was our ears and eyes of what was happening out there (see my post Our Darkest Day) .  They have been good friends.  We only get to see them once a year or send a note back and forth now and then, but this kind of relationship runs strong and deep.

I want them to know that.  I want the J’s to know that their faithfulness and kindness to so many kids and their families has not been in vain.  They have brought the power of music, poetry and art to so many.  We will all miss their store and all the fun times that happened there.   But I am confident that if I stood in the middle of the small shop area I could hear the whispers of all the stories spoken over the years.  I’m sure I could hear the melodies written and taught to so many.

Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. J for all you have brought to our family!

the Mr. J
the Mr. J
Mr. J, me, Mrs. J
Mr. J, me, Mrs. J

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.44.36 AM Version 2 mr-j-splash

Bring On the New!

I always love the end of a year and the anticipation of a new one.  As I reflect back on 2013, I don’t have too much to get excited about except for the birth of our fifth grandchild!  She will end this year at the ripe old age of  two months and ten days.

The last five years of my life has been anything but really exciting.  I mean that in a reflective way.  Not much has happened since we moved to the mid-west in the beginning of 2009.  What I mean by that is that I still feel as though I’m looking for “home”.  Understand that a greater amount of good has happened since arriving here.  My husband and I have met many wonderful people and some of them are now friends for life.  We have learned what not to do and can laugh about it and we have learned what to do and what we can do.  It has been very good.

So now that 2013 is rapidly coming to an end, what does 2014 hold for us?  I get excited.  I do believe it holds a lot of good.  It holds more hope and dreams coming to pass.  We are now one year closer to finding “home”.  We are closer to our dreams being fulfilled.

I have great expectations for our future and for you, dear readers.  Don’t give up.  Sadness and loneliness can strike at anytime and to any of us.  But choose to rise above.  Look around when the darkness comes and see who you can grab a hold of.  Look around and see who has come into your life’s journey to walk with you and at times push gently from behind and at times pick you up and carry you.  Those are the ones to surround yourself with.  Surround yourself with the ones – or the one – that see you for who you really are!


Happiest of New Year to all of you!  Hooray for 2014!


cate b

Chocolate Cheerios and Jason Mraz

Being a grandparent is amazing.  I never knew I could love so much.  Having the four children I gave birth to was pretty amazing also.  Each one was a bundle of unique personality that I just adored.  I still do.  But a grandchild……. a whole different ballgame.

You hold them for the first time and look deep into their eyes and wonder ….. who do they look like?  There’s a bit of everyone wrapped up into this little human.  They change almost daily in their looks and their personalities unfold just as fast.  I was blessed to be in the birthing room for our third grandson’s birth.  When he cried and cried laying there on the table waiting to be measured and cleaned up I went over to him and said, “It’s OK.  I’m here”, exactly as I would tell him when he was in his mother’s womb.  I did that two times after his birth and both times he stopped crying.  He knew me.

Our fourth grand child is the first girl grand child.  She is two years old now.  I talked to her in the womb also thinking I would have the same rapport.  No.  She cried for me for the first six months of her life as I cared for her a few hours each day.  I tried not to take it personally.  Then one day she came over and smiled and loved me.  It is an awesome feeling.  Now, she sings with me and plays with me and snuggles and argues.

girl-singing-10390228She tends to prefer songs with a good beat to bop up and down to.  She know what she wants.  Jason Mraz is a favorite of hers.

She spent the night the other day.  When I entered her room here is what took place:

Me: “Good Morning. Lovely.”

L:  “I have Cheerios?  Chocolate?”

I girl after my heart…… cheerios that are chocolate.  Of course I said yes.  My kids never ate cereal like that – but nothing is too good for my grandchildren.


We now wait excitedly for another grand daughter who will arrive in October!  Who is she?  Will she look like me?

What will be her favorite treat from Mammy and Papa?

Love your family and friends – they are priceless.  There is much to be learned about life through our families and friendships.  There is much to be learned about ourselves.  I love that.  I love them.


cate b

Write and Write and then Write, Right?

Author  I really believe I am to put my “Prisoner of Hope” writings into a book.  I have no doubts.  Sigh.  It’s hard for me to sit down and do this.  But I will, by golly.  After all, the meat of it I already blogged, so how hard can this be to read and add and rewrite and so on and so on…….

It’s hard.  For me.  But I will prevail!  I am thankful for a writer friend who comes by and encourages me.  I couldn’t do it without her or my husband and family and the friends I have that believe in me.  And my most faithful friend of all who lives inside me and by me and gently loves and laughs with me in all I do and who gave me the gift of writing from the start.

So, onward I go!  Thank you dear readers for staying with me.



cate b.

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