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It's the Little Things in Life

Written by Deborah Hernandez-Pascolla June 15, 2022, after the passing of a loved one.

This morning I sit at "my desk" in the hotel in Brentwood St. Louis reflecting on this journey, the moments of spirituality, sorrow and relief. Reconnection with family, grounding in yoga, and the comfort of old familiar friendship. All of it much like a warm blanket with a couple of cold showers thrown in to beat the heat. My body is reminding me to care for it as I slowly pour hot chamomile tea down my throat while sitting back on my sitz bones to take some pressure off my spine and allow it some much needed relief from a 6-hour sitting pose in the car over the past couple days. I have learned more on this trip about acceptance, non-judgement and of course, adjustments. That I am here to be a fellow human to take care of myself first, so I am better equipped to take care of others, to discover, to create and to venture forth. Be not afraid I remind myself there are always good folks to help you along the way. Release the past with gentle tears and embrace the future and the glory it has yet to unfold. Wisdom has been imparted to you, entrusted to you and you know that you must use it well. Remaining true to our ideals as we grow older may be one of our greatest personal challenges; the causes you know to be noble in spite of the noise, teach what you can, listen when an ear is needed, speak when a voice can provide much needed guidance and above all share so your own table and gifts continue to overflow. Be happy within yourself and your achievements whether great or small; learn from the failures and quietly embrace the triumphs. Expect not perfection from your life or your presentations but knowingly share the gifts of your true being and soul.

Above a floral arrangement to honor a woman who adored blue carnations called for a creative approach. Although the natural color of flowers is part of their beauty this was an occasion to create something out of the ordinary and spray paint the look the patron wanted to achieve for a memorial service. It occurred to me later that by adding red roses or geraniums it could easily be transformed into a 4th of July or Memorial Day bouquet.

Flowers for a Mexican Fiesta Going boldly with colorful blooms.

Road Trips & Destinations


Engrained Brewery & Restaurant

I have become accustomed to staying in Airbnb rentals when we travel but this road trip called for something different and here’s where I stayed: SpringHill Suites by Marriott

Although most towels in my King suite were fluffy and white I appreciated the black washcloth for washing my face that was provided. I don’t always travel with my Mary Kay makeup remover which works like a charm and never want to soil a white cloth with makeup.

MISSOURI - Maplewood Neighborhood

and a special thanks to longtime friend, Matthew Kemp for introducing me to a neighborhood with an artistic soul and small town feel within the city of St. Louis.

Chateau Maplewood

Vom Fass - Upcoming Wine Tastings

Missouri Botanical Garden

On a recent trip to Chicago, I was able to squeeze in some time to spend several hours at this garden on my way back home. It had been recommended by P. Allen Smith at a recent visit to his own house & garden tour. So impressed was I with P. Allen’s home gardens and philosophy it seemed fitting to make the time to partake at his recommendation. Here is the inspiration from the day.

To see more of the fabulous Missouri Botanical Garden please check out our YouTube channel Italy: Little by Little.

Creative Couples

Douglas and Heather Dawson & Family

U-Pick Vineyard and Muscadine Jelly

Local Finds

Green Grub Group

Organic Local Sustainable

greengrubgoup on facebook

Summer Dates & Nights - When the temps remain at a soaring 92 degrees after sundown, we decided to skip the outdoor music and head for an old school movie at the theatre to see Maverick. The perfect movie to sandwich between Memorial Day and the 4th of July. You have to hand it to Tom he's a master at timing and not just in the movies but with the marketing of his movies.

Heading out for a gelato or ice cream and here in Benton, we can almost count on running into one of the neighbors while we are there. Taking in an airshow or car show is what we’ve tried in years past and this year neighboring Bryant is hosting the air show of the season.

The first sunflower of the season signals Summer to me here in Arkansas in a way that is different from the end of Summer in the Midwest and in Tuscany. If you are looking for a flower that can beat the heat, here's your girl and hence the name. We have tried Mexican sunflowers this year and the vibrant oranges set nicely against the fuschia amaranth and golden yellow of the classic sunflower.

Local Haunts

Brooklyn Pizza

Bryant AR


When it’s hot outside we need to create new activities to keep Dario healthy and happy. We take a morning walk to beat the heat and he takes a rest afterwards while I get a swim in. Here’s a game we can play when I have computer work to do. I tie a knotted old t-shirt around my stool and he works on untying while I type.

When Dario started scratching incessantly, Michael made a vet appointment. We’ve ruled out fleas after seeing the vet. Could be environmental or food allergies, chiggers, etc. It’s really hard to know with pets. Here are some things we are trying: prescription drugs, medicated and natural shampoos, changing his food in case the manufacturer changed the ingredient, wearing a neighbor’s dog’s boppie around his neck to keep him from scratching and allowing him to heal, more indoor exercises in case it’ s caused out of doors, Children’s Benadryl, melatonin and CBD for relaxation to help him sleep. I wish I could say we’ve been successful but for now we continue to do what we can to bring this sweet canine some relief.

Another find in the Maplewood neighborhood was the Airedale Antics - a healthy pet paradise is how they describe this shop for furry friends.

Staying with Friends

One of the bonuses of traveling to a destination where you know people is the reconnecting in real time that can take place. On a recent trip back to Chicago I felt fortunate to have the time to catch up with longtime and dear friends Jodi & Todd Hill whose home was truly a welcome respite from the road. It was a delight to have had a moment to play with their canine family of 4!

Sometimes you just know you are in the right place. There was a literally sign to let me know.

The Bookhouse & SUMMER READS

Playing for Pasta by John Grisham

Still Life with Breadcrumbs


Sometimes it's a much-needed spa day recently after a long Spring/Early Summer gardening season, plenty of physical work with local retailers and 24 hours round trip in the car I decided to pamper myself.

Please take a look at this Invitation for Beauty, Health and Fitness Industry from Monica Marrone of Living Younger Longer

In the Garage

Here’s Michael’s big news from the garage, the lift is installed and the TR6 has been replaced by a 2005 Mercedes Benz 500SL.

Mike has talked about many vehicle projects over the years so you can imagine my surprise when these two vintage vehIcles made their way past me on the highway and then left me in the dust. I was just grateful to get the shot to share with Michael who truly has a passion for vintage cars and hot rods. Mike loves motorcycles it’s true and recently he introduced me to Valentino Rossi one of the fastest motorcyclists of all time.

I’ve truly been blessed with men around me who understand the mechanics of a vehicle and a willingness to help keep the Fiat 500 running smoothly down the road. This all started with my dad who was always ready to change the oil or a tire or whatever else needed maintenance on my cars when I lived at home. Dad was more than willing to help out on my recent return home- a check of the oil, wiper fluid and the tires gave me peace of mind for the 11-hour journey home.

Outrageously Practical Style - SIMPLE SUMMER OUTFITS

For years now a simple summer wardrobe is what I need most and now that I am living in the South; I’ve come to appreciate already beloved natural fabrics on a much grander scale. Summer tends to be a busy season for us- lots more social activities, longer days in the garden and opportunities to get out in and on the vehicles, Michael holds so dear. What I need is a wardrobe that is always ready to go on the fly. If you can relate; here are my tips for an easy breezy yet elegant summer style: 1. Summer White- it’s so easy to layer whites on top of whites with an occasional ivory to mix it up, I stock up on all linen, rayon, viscose, silk and cottons so all my looks are woven. Knits tend to be too warm for me now in the Arkansas sun heat and yes, humidity and I find the wovens make me feel more polished than the casual look of knits. 2. Go Monochromatic- I often have women tell me things like “I don’t do white.” Or whatever magic rule they’ve created for themselves. I understand this completely because it’s part of how you create a simple formula for getting dressed like buying a pair of pants that fits you well in every color or having a uniform that you change up but always feel great in like my all-white outfits. If you don’t do white go with the color, you think suits you best. 3. Variety is the spice of life- keep 5 favorite colors in your wardrobe this makes it easy to mix and match without getting bored or overwhelmed by your choices when you need to make decisions fast. Some prefer solids to prints and vice versa, go with what works best for you, your body type and comfort level.


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