good food = happy

20170725_165021-1_resizedLast year I thought we had way too many green beans.  I got the giggles 20180620_084922_resizedeverytime I ventured into the garden.  Our supply seemed never-ending.  We ate baskets and baskets of green beans.  We gave away bags full.  I cooked every recipe I could think of.  I froze some.

This Spring, I had learned my lesson and only planted four bean plants.  One didn’t make it.   Actually, three might be just enough.

It started out pretty easy.   I picked a 20180815_095417-1basket full and we had an amazing Sunday dinner.  Then a few days later I made Greek Green beans.  Oh, yes, Fried Rice with our green beans.

September has dawned and yes, I am still discussing and picking green beans.

I have given away a bag or two.  I tucked some in the bag with eggs I gave away.

I have a  friend who has the most incredible mind.  I want to call her a Renaissance woman. Self-sufficient and brilliant when it comes to making things.   She has this amazing ability to create so many different things. She is an expert knitter. Her quilting skills are admired by anyone privileged to see her work.  She designs things with beads that are so unique, they grab your attention right from the start.  However, it’s her cooking, baking, gardening skills that will make you lean in and listen.  She has much to offer to those of us willing to be still and watch/listen/learn.

“I like good food & food waste drives me nuts.  Fresh produce is a gift never to be squandered.”  FL

 

Notice every time I gathered goodness from the garden, yes, yes, indeed, more beans.  With the abundance of beans in my life, I got a bit whiney.

My renaissance friend encouraged me to dry some as snacks.   BRILLIANT!

 

Oops, I may have forgotten to take an after picture.  Suffice it to say, the bowl was empty but for a flake of nutritional yeast here or there.

“I like good food, I want those around me to eat good food.  Good Food makes everyone happy.”  FL

Last evening, I filled a pretty bowl.

Yes, you guessed it.

Green Beans.

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In this together, friends.

May you all be lucky enough to have a friend to learn from.  She makes life better.

Chat soon.

 

 

thursday has promise

20180830_074815Awwwwww, can you feel it?  The morning temperature has turned slightly.  Fall is knocking on the door.  Another day or so and it will be time to change the pillow covers & add a plaid throw over the chairs.

I went out onto the porch this morning, bare feet, coffee in tow.  Deep cleansing breath.  I can hear the quiet possibilities of the day ahead.  A million ideas floating around me.

I read the poem that is stenciled on the inside of the railing. It’s always my wish for our grands.

“May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with fairies and talk to the moon.”

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Oh, did I mention grands?  Just in case I start to lose my mind, I have their names painted to remind me.  I have to say, sitting in that chair with grand names wrapped around me, with a cup of coffee in hand…………….pretty nice way to start the day.20180830_074754

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, the possibilities.

In this together,

Chat soon.

 

chick inn

You all know the story by now.  (If not, I’ll give you the micro Cliff Notes.)

5 1/2 years ago when I was extremely ill, a life long friend drove into our circle driveway with a horse trailer full of supplies.  She & her teenagers dropped off a coop, feed dish, water container, bedding, straw, food and 3 chickens.  She got back into her truck and I yelled, WAIT!

I don’t know a thing about chickens!

She said, then I guess you will need to learn fast.  Good Luck, you’ll be fine.

Everyday after that, I had to get up and go out to the backyard and tend to my chickens.  Every single day, I read and read and read until I couldn’t find anything else to read and learn about chickens.  The first weekend, Mr. Right drove me to the library and a book store.  The boyfriend carried arm loads of new books.

Pretty wise girlfriend.

I went outside morning, noon and night to check on Lovey, Mary-Ann and Ginger.  I had to lift small buckets of feed and drag the bag of bedding.  I lifted the small, then large containers of water.  I spilled, sweat, was frustrated and kept trying.  Mr. Right only helped me when he had to.  I did 95% of the work (slow & steady) all by myself.

Fast forward 5.8 years.

My fascination (sounds way better than obsession) with chickens has grown.  I try to learn new things all the time.  I use only natural methods of raising them.

 

I include fresh-cut Rosemary when laying in fresh straw to discourage bugs and just this past week, I learned to tie a cooper coupling on the fishing line in my water container to reduce algae growth.

The time had come for a new Coop.  20180828_071910-1

While standing in the kitchen (which I do a LOT), I look out the window and can see the chickens.   I wanted to be able to see them, yet I wanted their new digs to be nice looking.

We did a little research and ordered a basic coop.  When it arrived I painted the parts and Mr. Right put it together.  Then we (read that as I picked things out, he figured out how to install them and make it all work) upgraded some of the hinges, locks and he reinforced some of the places that would get the most wear and tear.

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The run, which we refer to as the “East Wing” was designed and built by Mr. Right.  Yes, the same Mr. Right who continues to refer to the girls as “Buzzards”.  I think secretly he likes them.  haha20180828_072001

The run is actually built in two, five foot sections and can be taken apart for cleaning etc.  It is attached to the main coop and can also be taken apart.  We put clear carpet runner 20180828_071754on top of the wire in one section to provide more cover from the elements, yet still allowing sunshine and light to get through.

20180828_071813-1We made a feeder and water container out of pvc pipe.  So far, working well, with only a slight adjustment needed on the feeder.

This morning, while checking on the girls Ginger, Dolly (Madison), Margaret (Hatcher), Dixie (Chick) and Queen Frosting…. I gratefully collected egg number 2, 224.20180828_072907

I am grateful to be healthy enough to take care of them.  I will be forever grateful to my friend for slapping me upside the head with a slipper to gently encourage me to get off the sofa and back to living & working.  And of course, Mr. Right for indulging me by listening to one more crazy idea for the chickens.

Hey, Mr. Right, I did have a small idea on how the feeder would work more efficiently.  Here, let me explain……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

pearls of wisdom

Late last year, after an event, I came home and promptly broke my favorite string of pearls.  It broke right near the clasp.  I have looked at that broken string since the end of November last year.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to learn to re-string pearls.  If you didn’t know, to have a pearl necklace restrung, the cost begins around $75.00 and goes up from there.

I went to Ship Wreck Beads (the most amazing bead store in the universe) and asked oodles of questions, bought a tool, some silk thread and a How-to book. https://www.shipwreckbeads.com/

I needed/wanted to wear that particular string of beauties on Saturday morning.  They have a lovely weight to them and they are stunning.

Three you-tube videos later, one book, oodles of suggestions and 45 minutes of me trying to work the new tool WITHOUT taking off the safety tip (duh)………

Finally, I put on some beautiful piano music.  It calmed me down and helped my brain work on figuring this out.  It honestly helped.  Usually, if I remember to put on soothing music, it helps me figure out beautiful puzzles such as this and create with my hands.

I can’t really believe I can type this.

I did it.

Yes, I can now say, I know how to knot between each and put together a string of pearls with clasp.

I wore the pearls Saturday morning to a memorial.  I went home to change.  I was still wearing the pearl necklace when I went to the Feed Store.  Next stop Vegetable stand and then onto the Hardware store.

I do love the feeling of pearls next to my skin.  I still had them on and for the 4th time in one day, change my clothes, yet again,  to go out to dinner.

Still wearing the pearls.

I sort of wondered about wearing a pearl necklace to the Hardware store, then I remembered what Mrs. Kennedy said.  “Pearls are always appropriate.” 

pearls 2

 

 

 

 

 

In this together, friends,

Chat soon

ps.  Why yes, I typed this while wearing my pearl necklace.

 

 

 

Five minutes

When I was a young teenager, I had my first (of six) knee surgeries. I was in the hospital for 21 days.

8pcs-lot-Montessori-Materials-Metal-Wire-Puzzle-IQ-Mind-Brain-Teaser-Puzzles-Game-for-Adults-and_8c326ec8-a2bb-4059-abad-794b6fe0fc6f_800xAs you can imagine, I have had this swirly brain forever, so to keep me occupied, some kind person gave me a set of metal puzzle gizmos.  I worked on those for minutes, hours which fell into days.  Not all the time, just five minutes here, five minutes there.

44 years later, in my mind, I can conjure up the feel of the metal in my hands.  My fingers flying to figure out the secret to the puzzle. I bet if someone handed me one of those today, I could figure it out in a matter of moments.

I was delighted with a present and the challenge was just what I needed, however when  I say, “kind person” I think the gift was more for my mother.  With the exception of driving my sisters to and from school, running home to make dinner, she was in my room 7 days a week for the majority of the day, every day.

My brain teaser puzzles gave her, 5 minutes of peace and quiet.

Five minutes.

Five glorious minutes to go put fresh lipstick on.  Maybe she went for a break and got a cup of coffee?  Maybe she read an article in the newspaper without someone pestering her? Maybe just maybe she bought a Pepsi and poured it into a coffee cup (young ladies do not drink soda)?  Maybe she just sat and stared out the window and didn’t have to listen to a somewhat chatty teenager?

What could you do in Five minutes?

File your nails, walk outside for some fresh air, watch a bird take a splashy bath, take off your shoes, rub your feet & walk on some freshly mown grass?  There are a million things we all could do with five glorious minutes.

Our friend’s father has dementia. Because of paperwork, he is not yet settled into a new assisted home.

Often times, seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia may show signs of anxiety or agitation through fidgety hands.  Sensory therapy or fidget toys are an effective way to reduce anxiety, calm nerves, and provide comfort. 

No, I did not give a set of metal puzzles.

I made and gave a Fidget Quilt.20180817_161103-1

(Housekeeping:  I used 6-inch squares backed with fusible fleece. I backed and bound with pre-washed flannel.  I used ribbon, velcro, zipper, rope, rick-rack, buckle, coins under vinyl, elastic, shoelaces, curtain rings, trim, buttons, drop cloth, faux leather, sequins, velour, cotton, flannel fabrics and a tie.  All machine pieced and machine quilted.  The binding was stitched twice for strength.)

Some folks call them Busy Quilts or Fidget Blankets.  Lap size, no batting, all sewn by machine. Then sewn once more for good measure. All safe/harmless items, lots of texture and by the time it was finished, the quilt had some weight to it.  When I put it on my lap, I took a deep breath, very calming.

His family is hurting.  The “M” family has taken a hit and gosh does his wife NEED five minutes.

I made this quilt for a gentleman to occupy his busy hands and mind.  More importantly, I made this quilt for his wife.  With every stitch, I was thinking of her.  I was lifting her up.  The hours ticked by while I was sewing, measuring, creating.

 

I was praying it would give her FIVE MINUTES.

 

Five minutes to breath deeply. Five minutes to step outside and stretch.  Five minutes to pour herself a cup of coffee.  Five minutes to answer the door.  Five minutes to read a card from a friend.  Five personal moments to let her guard down and collect herself.

All forms of Dementia and Alzheimer’s are rough, some would say cruel to the family and friends.  My heart breaks.  Yes, I prayed for them.  Then I got to work.  I wanted to help.  I wanted to give FIVE MINUTES of rest to his caregiver.

There are several pictures on Google images/YouTube/Pinterest all with ideas for creating this type of sensory blanket.  Many have bright, childlike colors, lots of patterns, some silly and goofy.

 

Many folks often say, “oh, he won’t know/care what colors you use”.

His wife will.  His son will.  His family and friends will.

I chose to make a Fidget Blanket that was respectful of a life well lived.  I chose colors and patterns that would be of interest to his grandchildren and visitors. I chose items and patterns to invoke conversation of visitors.  I wanted to create something manly, dignified, befitting a man who worked his whole life and took care of his family.  I wanted something calming and yet interesting at the same time.

44 years later, goodness has come full circle.  I can finally give back those precious FIVE MINUTES of peace.20180817_160839-1

This disease is dreadful.  God Bless the families and friends walking through the fire.

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

August toss, continues

FB_IMG_1534171410548One of my first thoughts this morning, Happy Birthday to our 14-year-old Golden Retriever, Sweet Liberty!   Shhhh, there is a beautiful steak in the refrigerator with her name on it!  Such a sweet, wonderful companion, worthy of celebrating.

One of my other thoughts was, today, I will go through the “emergency” candles.  We all have them.  That basket you keep with dinged, stained or marred,  once beautiful candles? Oh, I should keep that in case the electricity goes out.  Okay, my basket of “emergency” candles is spilling over.  Time to toss.

Wait.

Idea.

Instead of tossing 3 candles, I went outside in my jammies.  I peeled some bark from our white Birch tree.  Came indoors, plugged in the glue gun.  Cut some felt circles for the bottom of each candle.  Glue gun ready to go.

To sum up, I went from having 3 things to toss today to 3 beautiful candles ready for fall decorating.

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Off to find something else to toss today.  (You now have a better understanding of how my brain swirls continually with ideas.  Getting things done/finished some days is tricky.)

How goes your August toss?

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

 

August toss

A wise person I met in a wellness group, offered up a quick read.  The title is, “There is actually a link between Depression and Clutter”.

Next, I stumbled upon a quote by Joshua Becker, a blogger.  https://www.becomingminimalist.com/about-us/

“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”

See where I am going with this? keep toss

Join me, won’t you?

Yes, Marie Kondo’s book is really wonderful and encouraging.  It is just a big bite to take.

Let’s go simple.?  Let’s really accomplish this.

Every single day in August, I am going to toss one thing from my life.

20180630_084740-1_resized_1Similar to my walking calendar for the month of June… I am going to reward myself with a butterfly sticker each day that I toss something.  By the end of the month, I will have 31 stickers on my calendar and at least 31 fewer things cluttering my life.

You can certainly toss or give away more than one thing a day, however, the goal is at least one thing EACH day.  Having a big ol fashioned yard sale and selling 31 items will only “count” for one day.  Yes, it will feel great, however, this is also about learning a process.  A small success EACH day.

After walking every single day in June, it has become a habit.  I continue to lace up my sneakers and get out there. Maybe, by tossing (or donating) one item each day for the month, it will become a habit I seek out?

Today, as I flipped open a cookbook, I found 4 loose papers stuck in between two random pages.   I gave a quick look and decided to toss.  Who among us doesn’t have one catalog or magazine on our coffee table that is 4 months old?  Why do I have two vegetable peelers?  Why am I keeping a pair of new shoelaces that don’t fit any shoes we own?

See this is going to be a snap!

For the month of August, I am going to seek out things I no longer need, use or want.  Heck, I could go 4 or 5 days tossing something daily from my make up bag alone!  Don’t get me started on the junk drawer ( we all have one, we all need to clean it out so the drawer will close with ease).  Our garden shed has plenty of cracked plastic plant containers, that alone will keep me on track for a week.

So, come along, please join me.  Just think, by the end of 31 days, we will be lighter in spirit and there will be less clutter around us.

First thing I am tossing?  My grater.  It has a couple of rust spots and I keep meaning to replace that thing.  This is the month!

In this together, friends,

Here’s to a healthier and happier spirit!

declutter your life

 

 

 

 

 

Who’s with me?????

Chat soon.