Sunday's Child

Celebrating gratitude every single day & trying to do that with wellness & grace. All while avoiding canned peas & ugly shoes.

spark joy

At this exact moment in time,  I have 5 shower curtains with matching hanging rings (and two shower curtains already in current use) 2  Bundt pans, 2 electric blankets (which I stopped using 3 years ago) 4 extra guest room pillows, 2 shirts and 2 jackets with the tags still on them.  I kid you not.

This may not seem monumental to you, however, it is a huge part of my life right now.

We are moving.

This is huge for us.  We have lived longer in this one home than any other in our entire married life.  The USArmy has a way of “encouraging” you to move every 3 or 4 years.  So when you find that you have “hunkered” down for 16 years, it is time.

It is time.  Way past time.  We have zero interest in becoming stars on a reality show about hoarders.

We have rolled up our sleeves and the work has begun.

This move is something new for us.  No one is telling us to move.  We have chosen this path.  That my friend, is scary.  In the past, if we didn’t like a town or a home, we could blame someone else.

This time, it is all us.

We have decided that we would rather spend our time & money (read that as 6 hours at a time doing yard work, a couple times a month)  on travel and visiting our grands.  No longer do we wish to be tied with guilt and fret over an enormous back yard.  No longer do we wish to have a formal living room that we don’t step foot in.  No longer do we wish to have places in our home that we never use.

So we have chosen to downsize.  It sort of feels freeing to even type that.

Oh, hold on, don’t think it is easy.  It is not.  When we first told the real estate agent we wanted to go smaller and he showed us a home that was indeed smaller, I nearly fainted. Okay, I lied, not that small.

We have found the Goldilocks size for us.

Something that will facilitate a shorter commute for Mr. Right (hallelujah!), smaller backyard, open and bright with lovely tall ceilings and a front porch.  A wonderful clean slate.

While we have not converted to being Amish, we are choosing to let go of many things that no longer bring us joy.  (Please see above mention of 5 shower curtains and rings.)

I found a book that is helping.  Spark Joy by Marie Kondo.  “the life-changing magic of tidying up.   Does this item bring you joy?  Can you, with a grateful heart say thank you and let it go? Can you take a picture and keep that while you ease into letting go?20160204_095208-1

I am making progress.  We are making progress.  It is very easy to wash, iron & package up shower curtains and rings that you are not using and say tah, tah.  It is not so easy to let go of the wedding shoes I danced with our son, (after my knee replacement).  The shoes are beautiful and make me smile.  I can’t let go, just yet.

As you know, Mr. Right leaves me a written letter each morning.  It is a privilege to be his Mrs. Right.  I am reminded daily that he loves me and is thinking about me.  Every single note, every single day makes my heart skip a beat.  Every sticker and stick drawing makes my soul sing.

However, let’s do the math, shall we?  (It nearly always comes down to the math, doesn’t it?)

One love note a day

X five days a week

X 12 months a year

X 33.11 years………

A beautiful hand written love note with drawings and hearts is a lovely and valued thing.

75 notes stacked into a dresser drawer and now the drawer doesn’t open easily, and some of the notes get bent corners and you have to use all your might to close the drawer…..see where I am going with this?

Balance.

I love my letters.  I love the man, more.  I love our life together.  I love that we are starting fresh in a new home.

It is time to let go of some paper.  While I do not know all the words by heart, our grands can sing at the top of their little lungs…………LET IT GO!  

I am learning.

I am learning to let go and make room for new.  Or, just maybe I am letting go to make room for empty, calm, peaceful.  I am learning to take away “the noise”.  I like pouring the brown rice into a glass jar and recycling the loud, colorful package it shipped in.

We are taking steps to be grateful for the time we used something and grasp the idea that it is now time to pass it along.

Giving away a bundt pan that you have two of is a snap.  Giving away a set of dishes you love but never use?  Pretty easy.  Think how much joy you will get?  Think how much clutter in your cabinets and heart you will remove?  You will be making space for something happy and joyful to take it’s place.

Or space just to breathe.

Here is an experiment:  Marie Kondo suggests getting out your “good” dishes out of the box or the far reaches of a cabinet.  Temporarily replacing your everyday dishes with them.  No, you won’t break them, you are not breaking your dishes on a daily basis now are you?  Will you smile and reverently use your “good” dishes to serve warmed up pizza? You chose those dishes and they brought you joy.   Instead of once a year, Marie suggests living your life in joy on a daily basis.

I am a work in progress.  I am making huge strides on giving away, letting go.  Elizabeth Gilbert reminds us,

“You are allowed to be both a Masterpiece and a Work in Progress, simultaneously.”

Giving away the Candy Land game that I played hundreds of times with our son’s?  Darn near impossible.  I am not ready to let that go, just yet. c757e01cd68a7e0daca1e4a13d0a0014

The Candy Land game is moving with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I spy

I have been plotting, planning, cutting, sewing, stuffing, typing.  Or in other words, I have been making Valentine gifts for 3 of my favorite people on earth.

Our grands!

This gift is for the parents as well.  I always try and think, will this help or make the parents want to pull their hair out.  I am thinking I hit the jackpot on this idea!

Maybe when in a restaurant and you have placed your order and the fidgeting and whining start (not that our grands would do that, I am just saying maybe you know some child who may do that)……….this little gift might be helpful?

When the parents are driving and the little people in the back seat just can’t stand it one more second, maybe this would be the perfect thing to gently suggest?

Nap time just needs to be quiet time, this might be the perfect solution?

Our grands are ages 5, almost 4 and 1.

It has not been our practice to give our grands candy, so I am on a continual search for things that are creative, fun, happy, thoughtful, educational and won’t cause a headache for their parents.

I had to come up with something that would suit all three ages.  Oh, and maybe the 30 something “kids” will like it, too?

The “I spy” bag itself is small enough to put into a purse or backpack.  I sewed a small bag (about 9X5″) with a “window”.  For the window, I used plastic vinyl I found at the fabric store.  I used cotton fabric for the rest of the bag.   I then filled the bags with three cups of uncooked rice.   Then I added all sorts of things.

top hat, penny, sword, plastic Army guy, beads, buttons, key, chicken, fox, lego, plastic fly, googly eye, gems, coffee bean, marble  and on the list goes.20160111_161218-1

Then I added a polka dot ribbon loop and sewed the bag closed.

Next I made cards.    I wrote a list  of things to “spy”.  For the younger grands, pictures to find.  The older ones have a picture and a word on the card.  Then for the oldest a card with a clue.  “find something that is round”.  “Look for something that is yellow”.

Busy grands equal happy parents.

Happy parents equal parents who take more pictures.

More pictures equal happy grandparents.

Grandparents love pictures of grands.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Just doing my part to spread the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ch, ch, ch, ch, changes

One of my least favorite things to do is to shop for and buy clothes for myself or anyone, really.  If I had won the big power ball drawing a couple weeks ago, right this minute, there would be some single mom or dad that needed a job and loved to shop, would be getting their list together to go out and find, shop, buy me some clothes.

Seriously.

Even when I was a young girl.  I didn’t care for shopping one iota.

My mother would buy our clothes at Nordstrom’s before Nordstrom’s was cool ………… some summer outfit sets from Sears catalog & I do remember standing in the downtown JC Penney’s store while she shopped for our socks, slips and undies.

Some of the clothes I liked, some I really loathed.  It didn’t really matter, I wore the stuff anyway.  I did not voice my opinion.  That’s just how proper young ladies behaved.

One morning it was chilly, by then girls were allowed to wear pants to school (for the record, my mother was against this ruling), I put on a brand new pair of tan colored corduroy pants and I am sure, a matching cardigan set.  One thing I liked about those pants were that they were bell bottom.  Another thing I liked, they were hip huggers.  Finally, I was starting to dress like a cool kid.tan pants

While walking down 7th Street to school, you KNOW what I am going to type next…… I was day dreaming.  I was looking at the clouds and trying to find animals.  I was looking at tree branches and looking for hidden shapes.  One thing led to another and down I went.

Ripped knees (yes, both), bloody, gravel, heck even part of the corduroy went missing.  Weird, I didn’t know you could rub that stuff off?  My palms hurt and had little pieces of gravel embedded into them.  They were red and ugly.

I turned and walked back home. crying.

I had to ring the bell.  My mother came to the door, hands on hips and before opening the screen door,  sternly inquired:  How did this HAPPEN?

me:  I don’t know.

her:  think

me:  I guess I was day dreaming and my long legs somehow got tangled into the bell bottom part and I sort of tripped on the uneven sidewalk & I fell down.

her:  Was it because you didn’t like the pants or the color that you were not careful? (how do moms know that stuff?)  Go get cleaned up and I will lay out another outfit for you to wear today.  I will drive you to school or you will be late.

me:  yes, mom

I don’t even have to type that she chose a dress for me to wear and she hurried me along so that I would not be late.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

3 years ago, when I was told I was extremely ill, one of my first questions was “How did this HAPPEN”?  Four “specialists” later, no one had an answer.  They told me to focus on the here & now and not to worry about that nonsense.  “These things just happen”.

side note:  I can’t even begin to imagine saying to my mother, “these things just happen”.  I can tell you, even typing those 4 words feels like sassing 40+ years later.

I wrote down 15 things I thought got me in this pickle.  I finally found a wise person who asked me one question, you guessed it, “How do you think this happened?”  She was the first & last medical person to have asked that question.

I handed over my list.  She added another 2 things at the bottom of my list.

Great starting place, she said.  Now , we at least know what we need to address so this does not happen again.   Let’s get to it.

Today, 3 years later, 134 positive changes and choices……..I am doing better.  I am too much of a chicken, realist, nervous Nelly to say I am fixed, cured to slip back into my old undereducated, non-researched ways.  In no way do I want to JINX my FLOURISHING good health. Flourish, texas logo

Here’s the thing:  most likely you need to sit down, be honest, begin a list to figure out how this thing (heart attack, cancer, divorce, job loss, fender bender, lost phone, friendship break-up  ….) happened.  Then you need to take positive action!  legal pad.jpg

You (me) had a huge part in the problem.  Take ownership.  It feels powerful.  It feels like you are taking control and could actually solved this puzzle.

Maybe you were day dreaming or not paying attention and caused a fender bender or maybe you did not value the job you had and were sloppy?  Are you dressing for the job you currently have or the one you want?  Friendships take effort, just maybe you didn’t put in your fair share?   Have you fallen into the trap of over glamorizing the excuse of being  “busy”?  Quite possibly, your poor choices of:  water, lack of iodine, lack of vitamin d, daily sugar fix, no exercise, stress, heavy metals, extreme poor food choices, lack of green food had something to do with your illness?

You can blame the other person, luck of the draw, bad luck or “these things just happen”. The truth of the matter is , blame heals no one or situation.

Maybe you didn’t like the ugly tan color of the pants in the first place?  Maybe you should have been strong enough to politely say, no thank you to begin with? You may need to work up, gather, learn courage now to politely say, no thank you and walk away, head held high.

I am here to tell you,  if you put enough effort and action into your HEALTHY HEALING, THRIVING, FLOURISHING list the odds are stacked in your favor.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Aristotle

We are in this together, here’s to our good health and wellness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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grace in progress

The very moment, the numbers on the safe dial all align and CLICK!, the vault opens.  In this case, my brain CLICKED and I finally “get it”.

Yesterday, I almost didn’t share a counted cross stitch picture with a private cross stitch group.  It was Wednesday.  They call it WIP Wednesday.  Work in Progress.  The idea is to share the piece you are working on, sharing inspiration or an idea.

When you join a group like that, you have to be willing to share & trade.  No, you may not sit on the sidelines and judge. If you do, well, you are a wall flower and NOBODY wants to go sit with the judgey wall flowers.  A huge, beautiful part of the group is to gain confidence and be brave enough to share your art.  Being a beginner or expert, it matters not.

Almost daily, I take.  I take inspiration from other members projects along with Work in Progress Wednesdays as well as Finished Fridays. I take ideas and I take the goodness they are sharing and it helps carry me through the day.  I smile thinking of some of the remarkable creations that are offered up.

The ying to that yang is, I have to share.

Like I mentioned, I almost didn’t share.  Then I thought, gee whiz, he is so cute, I want to share my happy.  As a recovering perfectionist, I am taking huge strides. 20160120_083136-1

I counted 6 mistakes in one little stitched dog.  Would anyone judge me?  Would anyone point out the mistakes?  Oh sure, maybe the folks sitting on the side lines not willing to take a chance themselves.  However, for me, leaving in a couple mistakes makes me proud.

Oh don’t get me wrong, this piece alone I have taken out several stitches and tossed around some swear words like a crusty, old sailor.

Speaking of the military, I recently learned a VALUABLE lesson from some current and retired Air Force pilots.

There is no such thing as a perfect mission.

“The goal is to have the number of take offs equal the number of landings.” 

Click, I GET IT!

Um, what is my goal?  My goal is to delight in a hobby I really enjoy.  My goal is to spend an hour or so a day creating.  My goal is to look for and find the joy in making something with my hands.  My goal is to sometimes make a gift to share.  My goal is to try new fabrics and new threads and stretch my limits.   My goal is to enjoy the process, learn along the way, go easy on myself.

In other words, sometimes it is not the perfect piece, it is the process.

Some days I feel myself buckling under immense weight of self-induced guilt.  The need for perfectionism.

I am learning to bathe myself in Grace. It is a process.

Vanessa from (in) courage said it beautifully-

“Truly giving yourself grace isn’t about giving yourself anything.  It’s about being open to His grace & fully accepting it, not just for the big hurdles , but for the tiny every day stumbles.”

onward my dog lovin’ friends, onward.

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a spoonful of goodness

This is the year that I toss aside kitchen gadgets, utensils & do-dads that I do not like.

Toss aside is a gentle, more refined way of saying throw in the trash.  Buh-bye!

Ever grab a spatula and grumble?  Ever choose a pancake turner that was never quite big enough? Every take hold of a plastic utensil that is slightly melted on the end? Wait, here’s something to ponder; you use a plastic spatula, you accidently melt the end, you love the color, shape, purpose etc, so you take scissors and trim the end  to continue using?  Okay, maybe that one was just me.

2016 new year, new  approach………each time I pick up any utensil and grumble, I instantly turn and toss it into the garbage can. The time has come to only keep those utensils that make me giddy.

It is very liberating.  Now, I don’t know about flag waving, start a rumble kind of liberating, it’s just time.

You know it is.  I know it is.

I adore swoon over wooden spoons.  I have one or two that are my favorite at the time.  I love wooden spoons.  The more seasoned, loved, cruddy looking the better.  I like the worn feel, the smoothness of the wood.  Very rarely do I toss a wooden spoon. Once in a while, one breaks my heart by , well breaking.   I make some type of weird-oh connection with wooden spoons.20160119_113614-1.jpg

Oh sure, I remember a childhood where my mother would YANK open the utensil drawer and slam a wooden spoon on the counter and speak harshly and state,” you are going to force me to use this one day.”  I can only remember her once maybe twice actually using said spoon.

A quilter I met in Germany said she remembered growing up and her mother had a wooden spoon in the glove box of their station wagon.  If her or her 6 siblings started to get out of hand , her mom would hold up the spoon and they would settle down.  She doesn’t ever remember her mother actually using the wooden spoon.

Our teenagers used to use them as drum sticks on the kitchen counters.  One year, I actually found wooden spoons with drum stick handles.  The perfect gift to the guys.

Wooden spoons are powerful utensils.

Every once in a while one has to buy new wooden spoons. I seem to be in the cycle of new and improved and not cruddy, well seasoned.

This is where having a Mr. Right comes in mighty handy.  I take the four or five spoons that come in a package and mark the handles with a pencil.

“Magically” he takes them out to his tool bench and chops them off and sands down the rough edges.  Just right.   I don’t know a soul that enjoys using a 2 1/2 foot long wooden spoon?  Question, who among us (besides Army cooks) uses a stock pot that tall on a daily bases?

I have been known to “accidently” leave a new spoon in a pot of sauce while it simmers away.  I am trying to age them faster, allowing more magic, more flavor to impart on the next creation.

By simply tossing the old unused things that I no longer use, need, want I make more room for the things that I love.  Like wooden spoons.

Wait, that seems like a great metaphor for life!

Look at me, growing up and making good choices!

Would you please hand me that wooden spoon?  Thank you.

 

 

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honor food

Today, I have a treat for you, yes you,  my super terrific, wonderful readers.  I have a guest author.  (Between you and me, I gave him an A+ and a Gold Star sticker.)

It is my pleasure to introduce to you our oldest son, Dustin.  His gifts, talents, palpable energy and generous spirit make me puff up a bit when I type his name.

My “kids” never, ever cease to astound me.  When your adult children end up being humans that you (and others) would love to go to a long lunch and end up talking for 2 hours, you get this sneaky suspicion that you did something right.

I have a favor to ask, if you like today’s post or have something to add in the way of conversation, PLEASE share.   Please leave a comment. Please share on social media.  Please share with your friends.   Please add to this conversation.  It is a topic near and dear to our hearts.

We would love for this topic to be the springboard for conversation around your dinner table tonight.

 

Honoring the ingredients and the guests

 

I am not a chef.  My wife is a chef.  She has spent countless hours in schools and kitchens and classrooms perfecting her art.  She is a master in the kitchen and gives back to the epicurean world by empowering countless classes of students as a culinary arts professor at a community college in a rough part of town.  She inspires healthy eating, or creative cooking, or passions hidden deep down inside of people.  Some of these passions have been repressed by years on food stamp programs or eating unhealthy, cheap food.  The gift she selflessly gives away every day is amazing.

My mom is a food writer and aficionado of not only healthy eating and living, but of ingredients.  She has a wealth and breadth of knowledge about so many foods and ingredients, herbs and spices that it boggles my mind.

So with all of this in mind, it’s humbling beyond belief when someone tells me, of all people, they liked the food I cooked for them.  It’s an even more powerful statement when I’m told that some humble, meager dish is one of the best things this person has ever eaten.  It’s truly a one of a kind experience to know I honored the ingredient and the guest.

Let me back up.

I’m son #1.  Call me Dustin… yeah that’s a good internet name.  Dustin….  I’ve known the author of this blog for almost 34 years now and am finally brave enough to submit a piece of work as a guest author.  I have been interested in food as long as I can remember but that interest has changed significantly in recent years as I have evolved from a creature of habit to one of exploration and expectation.

I have only informal culinary training but have passion for good food that transcends almost any other passion in my life.  I love ingredients.  I love food.  There are so few things I don’t like it’s incredible and yet I’ve only tried a tiny portion of the number of tasty things out there!

Currently, I’m taking steps to lift my pop up restaurant off the ground (shameless plug incoming) find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/prixfixemobile   Creating a pop up has taught me a few things about people and ingredients and I’d like to share them with you.IMG_3695

First, you bought too many daikon radishes.  Yep, that’s something I’d like to pass on.  You bought too many and now you’re stuck.  They smell terrible, they are taking up a lot of room in your fridge and quite frankly, you made the one thing you were going to make with them and now you are stymied.

You have to be aware that this is your golden ticket to do one of two things.  Create something amazing or let it rot.  When we started out, I spent WAY too much of our precious few dollars making sure we had enough food.  Never mind that we are serving 4-7 course meals, I damn well wanted to make sure everyone had full portions of everything.  I think we needed maybe two cups of daikon pickles for a Vietnamese dish we were doing and I bought three HUGE daikons.  By the time we finished eating those things I was sick of daikon.  That’s a sad thing actually.

I LOVE daikon and I should have used the opportunity to dial up 1 of a 100000 different recipes out there to honor my ingredient and try to push its boundaries.  Honor the farmer, the trucker, the buyer, the seller and the hundred people along the way that brought that daikon to your fridge!   Try to only grab enough for what you need, but if you wind up with too much, EXPLORE!  Use the opportunities presented to you for good and expand your universe!

Next, people will eat bugs if you cook them right.  It’s true.  We served a very traditional Mexican dish at one of our dinners called Chapulines.  For those that don’t know, its grasshoppers roasted and spiced with chili.  We made tacos out of them and they were excellent actually.  Point of order here, I didn’t want to eat them, cook them or serve them, however my partner vetoed me.

He took the time as we are both apt to do, to research the bejeezus out of preparation methods, reliable, ethical and sustainable sources for the bugs, and how to best present the final dish.  In short we took the time to get to know more about grasshoppers as food than I ever cared to.  The end result of serving grasshopper tacos to 18 people dressed to the nines and expecting anything but grasshoppers, was only one of the 18 tacos coming back uneaten.  IMG_3670

There is a craft to honoring your ingredient by knowing it.  The more you know the better you can honor it.  Anyone can eat a bug because it’s a gross out extreme type thing to do.  Honoring the ingredient lets you serve a room full of people carefully crafted works of art that no one is afraid to try.

Lastly, (for now) whether you are cooking or eating, trust that the person you are connecting with over food has your best interest in mind.

This may come off a little rant-y, however even with my limited experience behind the stove, I’m already really, really tired of special requests.  If you choose to go to a seafood dinner and you have a shellfish allergy, trust that you’ve made a bad choice and are not honoring the chef or their ingredients.

Immerse yourself in the experience that is eating food that someone else prepared.  You can sense, feel and taste their culture, their influences and their art when you let go and just eat what the chef made for you.  Give ten chefs ten pieces of tuna and tell them to sear it and serve it, chances are you’ll get ten distinctly different pieces of fish, each honoring the guest by having had love, time, experience, effort and personal touches poured into them.  If you know you don’t like one particular thing, don’t order it!  If you still want whatever it is, then just pick out the part you don’t like!

By the way Millennials, I’m looking at you.  You’re not special, just eat it.  You’ll like it.  Taste buds change.  If you don’t like it, at least you can say you tried it, and move on.  No one wants to make you something special just because you freak out at your beans touching your pork chop which by the way also touches your salad which you specifically ordered without tomatoes because thinking about tomatoes makes you itchy but you can tell there were tomatoes near your plate because while not itchy.. well….,  you have a small rash over there near your butterfly tattoo….  I’ll show you butter flying… at your head….!

Conversely, if you are cooking and you chose to use pre-tubed garlic, get out!  Who doesn’t have time to chop garlic?!?!  Your guests can dump boxed pasta into water and pour some jarred tomato product over it, but can they craft a quick marinara from scratch?  It takes seconds to learn, minutes to cook and years to perfect, but it honors the guest you brought to your table.  Don’t take short cuts when the better way takes mere moments more.IMG_3451

In conclusion, find ways to honor your guests.  Find ways to honor your ingredients more and find ways to up your food game.  It’s a short life, do you want the last thing you ate to be a yellow sponge cake filled with processed HFC “crème” or a Chioggia Beet salad with first press olive oil, cracked tellicherry pepper and French feta cheese?

Live well, eat better and raise a glass once in a while!!!!!

 

 

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toasted walnuts and coffee

I am in the middle of eating my daily medicine.  I had this wack a doodle idea of sprinkling chopped up toasted walnuts (left over from last night) on top. toasting-walnuts My thinking was it would be a lovely garnish.  It would bring great flavor to an otherwise yucky dish.

News flash, it still tasted like crap.  I still ate it.

Some times people send me funny videos or funny stories and I save those to read while I shovel it in.  It makes the time go by faster and I sort of (not really) forget I am eating medicine.

It is not dramatic in a movie star sort of way.  It sucks.  You just get over it and do it.  Yeah, no pretty people stopping by to hold your nose for you while you get through it.  Almost 3 years later and I am not really getting better at it. I take that back, I am an expert now at complaining about it and griping about eating the stuff.  I am almost 3 years of healing, so I am going to surmise that the complaining and griping and “swear word” is working.  ha

Day after day the dog leans up again my leg and it makes me feel like she is in this with me.  one time, I tried to get her to lick my bowl clean.  The thinking here was, I wouldn’t have to eat as much.  ha, she shook her head no and look at me with pathetic eyes.  As if to say, come on, really? nice try. (in that serious, dog voice)

A couple times a week, I jump over to the Bloggess and read what’s up with her.   I don’t  know Jenny personally (see how I slipped in her first name,  already call each other by our given names), yet for some reason, I want to think of her as someone I meet for coffee.  Okay, I don’t really want to get dressed up and wear the right boots and jewelry just for coffee.  So what I really want is to be able to text her and drink coffee in my own home, wearing yoga pants.

Cup of coffee

It has recently come to my attention that not everyone has heard of the bloggess. What?  My brow is all wrinkled up and the eleven (two lines forming the number 11) wrinkles are between my eyes.  Never hear of her?  Why?

Go NOW.

Her blog and random thoughts will make your day better, I promise.

May I gently nudge you over to her site.  You will fall madly in love with her and her spirit or you will think I am nuts and never speak of it again.   Both are fine, your life will be so much more “knees dirty good” if you love her like I do.

http://thebloggess.com/http://thebloggess.com/

I don’t know if she would take this as a compliment or not, I don’t feel so weird and different once I read her musings.  She would probably call me out on using the word musings.  Who am I kidding?  I wouldn’t use that word in real life anyway.

In my make believe friendship,  she wouldn’t judge me.  She wouldn’t think it was weird that as I type, I am cooking 3 pounds of bacon.  Yes, we are vegetarians.  I have owned a gourmet dog treat business for 10 years and someone has to cook the bacon that goes into the Belly Rub Bacon biscuits.

I sort of feel like she would get it that I use 7/8 of our wine rack that is suppose to hold 48 bottles of wine, as a holder for dog towels (clean).  Currently their are 9 dog towels folded in the wine rack and 4 bottles of wine & 6 bottles of sparkling water.

She would totally “get it” that I  am celebrating 2 days of “good hair days”.

I like that the Bloggess swears.  I was just swearing at this computer.  Or the keyboard.  Why the heck can’t it keep up with my typing?  I am not some super human typist.  I feel like I am normal.  It just can’t go as fast for some reason.  Of course, I can’t find it in me to slow down.  I just like swearing and screaming at the keyboard.

Some of you know, I am in the middle of co-writing a book.  I outlined a chapter this morning, “please pass the salt” and then I doodled and went and got my gel pens and drew some squiggle lines.  I then “needed” to vacuum.  I felt pulled to fold a load of laundry and of course start the above mentioned bacon.  Okay, I guess I don’t really want to write that chapter after all.

I really needed to empty out my brain and make room for some new interesting crap. Thus I started writing all these fascinating things down in my noggin.

You know how you feel after you drop off a huge donation to Goodwill?  All full of yourself and proud?  Wait, maybe that is just me.  I always feel like, look how great I am donating nice, clean, pressed items that I no longer have a use for.  (reality is more like, geesh, how did I collect so much crap?)

Then I feel cleansed and totally justified in going to the quilt shop and buying more random beautiful fabric that I have no idea how I will use yet.

If I empty out my brain of useless stuff:  bacon cooking, dog towels, folding laundry, how mad I am at this stupid computer, putting out more peanuts so I can watch the Stellar Jays grab a snack, talking about liking to secretly swear…………then I think I will have all this extra dancin’ room in my head.

With all that extra space, I will come up with a glorious chapter and the New York Times best selling list people will  highlight those beautifully put together words and the caption will read………….”if you only read one chapter this year, let it be this….”

I just got up and wrote down, with a green gel pen,  a note for my Happy/grateful jar.  This morning put on tall outdoor work boots,  without holding onto something for balance. Then I drew a smiley face with cute glasses.

Onward, my elephant loving friends, onward!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on toasted walnuts and coffee

meatball Monday

Social media and I have this love/hate thing going on.  While I am not comfortable with the lack of etiquette, rough & tumble comments, and don’t get me started on the “like” button…………..I do love using social media to share pictures of food and recipes as well as harvest recipes from others.

Every once in a while, I love to share a snap shot of something I have cooked that is just waiting, waiting, waiting to be devoured by Mr. Right.  Hey, nothing wrong with giving him a little preview of freshly baked cookies or a savory dinner all prepped and waiting just for him!

The goal is to make him feel lucky that he is headed home.  Home to perfectly behaved children, a spotless house and freshly applied lipstick on the wife.  WAIT, that was the 1950’s!

By the time he comes through that door,  I do try to have the table set and the meal prepped.  While the house isn’t always spotless,  when I hear the garage door opening, I make a dash for the bathroom and quickly tie up my hair and slap on some lipstick.

Monday night’s dinner was worth coming home to.  The aroma of savory garlic and sesame oil was swirling about.  The hint of ginger in the air made your mouth water with anticipation of a great meal.

I searched for and found natural, no chemical, fresh ground turkey.  While we do not make it a habit to eat meat, (I can’t remember the last time I bought meat to create a dinner with) this recipe was one that I wanted to try.

20160111_131544-1Asian Meatballs .  While somebody thinks I am to loosey goosey with my stars, we both agreed 5 Stars was the right amount.

1/4 cup panko

1 egg

1 Tablespoon ginger

1 clove garlic (HAHAHAHA, I used 12)

salt

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

4 scallions thinly sliced

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey

Mix together and form 12, 1/4 cup size meatballs. Seemed rather large to me, so I made 18 meatballs.   Bake in a pre-heated 500* oven for 17 minutes.

Sauce (ends up as a lovely aromatic Ponzu sauce):  2 Tablespoons soy sauce (I used tamari), 1 Tablespoon sesame oil, juice of one lime, 1 Tablespoon water, 1 minced garlic clove………Whisk

When meatballs are done, drizzle them evenly with a  Tablespoon of the sauce.  Garnish with scallions and the remainder of your sauce is for dipping. 20160111_181710-1

~~~~~

While these were savory, flavorful, moist and cooked perfectly the equal star of the show was the spiral zucchini noodles.  I sliced another dozen cloves of garlic and used some lovely Olive oil we purchased from a farm in California.  (Lucero Olive Oils are simply a game changer.)  I simmered the garlic for a couple minutes then turned off the heat.  I let it set until I was ready at the last minute to heat the noodles for about 4 minutes.  Right before plating, I tossed in some chili flakes and about 1/2 cup of just toasted walnut halves. 
Mr. Right had seconds and as of right now we have 8 meat balls left over.  Thinking tonight I will somehow creatively work my magic with some bok choy and other veggies and snuggle some brown rice right up next to them and devour the last of the meatballs.
Okay, maybe I don’t hate social media.  By embracing and using technology in a way that makes me comfortable, sharing a snapshot of a meal being prepared, or a dessert just bake…..I like thinking of the photograph as the amuse bouche of a lovely meal just about to happen.
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Flourish

My heart is beating faster, stronger, I can feel the tempo building.  The music is becoming louder, more intense as the momentum builds.  The excitement is palpable in the auditorium.  The conductor is moving with purpose.  He is up on his toes, the tails of his jacket are jumping up and down, the fabric across his shoulder blades is being stretched taut and tested.  If you have ever seen Gustavo Dudamel conduct a symphony you know exactly what I mean.

Webster’s Dictionary describes it this way: flourish conductor

to brandish dramatically; gesticulate with; a conductor flourishing his baton for the crescendo.

to be in a vigorous state; thrive

to be at the height of excellence

to sound a trumpet call or fanfare

to grow luxuriantly or thrive in growth








 

Smell that?  It is a really old fashioned black magic marker.  (? what was the magic part?)  Really stinky and thick.  So thick the magic ink bleeds through the paper.  It makes the paper wet with the ink that transferred from the felt wide tip. I just grabbed the marker and went back and forth across the page.  It is messy and stinky and my guess is full of nasty chemicals and dye.

That was me drawing a before and after line. Feels wonderful, amazing and the time is right.  Fresh clean paper, oh the possibilities.

I have walked this road for 3 years.  I am tired of hurting.  I am tired of being the ill, sick girl.     I spend at least 2 hours of my day healing.  I take 52 supplements 6 days a week.  I daily bike 4 miles and rebound.  I drink 64 ounces of fresh green juice 6 days a week.  I research and learn and study 1 hour each and every day.

The time has come.  I am ready.  I want to gently let loose of the very sick, broken and not well, quiet, fearful person and replace with excellence, vibrancy and wellness.  I don’t want to allow my illness to be my “thing”.  flourish, Chinese ribbon dancer

Sure, sure, I have those days when I am still not tip top, however, this is the year that I want to choose to thrive and flourish in wellness and health on a regular basis.  I want to focus on flourishing.

When I was at the bottom of the old barrel, I was dumbfounded at my poor handwriting.  I would cry and be so upset.  This is not me.  This is not what my handwriting looks like.  What happened?  Why is my brain not working correctly?

The other day, I was writing a thank you note.  The envelope was laying there next to my basket of colorful pens.  I used the traditional Palmer handwriting method……………except to the graceful, classic, fluid look……….I added swirls and curls and well, I added FLOURISH.

I ended up smiling.  The flourish was back.  Time to get out the gel markers and make a statement to the world!  I am back and nobody or nothing is going to erase my curly ques!

You can earn 14 points for the word value in Scrabble.  Yes, my brain is working again and once again, now and then I am victorious during a Scrabble match.  I throw my arms in the air  with flourish and yell in a very un-lady like  fashion…………I am the winner!

I have chosen my word for the year.

FlourishLogo-copy

Last year my word was Mercy.  It served me well.  It was the perfect choice for me at the time.  This is a brand new clean slate and I am ready.  I am more than ready to flourish.

Have you chosen your word for 2016?  I would love to hear about it, please share in the comment section.

The time has come.  The trumpets are blasting and fanfare is so loud you can feel it in your very being.

All the work and effort and practice and studying has paid off.  The music has built to the crescendo.  Arms are flailing and concentration is at the very peak, you can feel the energy.

Happy and Healthy New Year to each and every one of us. 

May we all FLOURISH!

Flourish, texas logo

2 Comments »

65 is perfect

I met a short person last night.

The conversation began just like any other.

me:  My name is Miss Daleen.   What is your name?  How do you do?

short person:  My name is “short person”.  I am fine.

me: Wow, you are a very fast runner.  How many miles per hour do you think you run?

short person: About 27 miles an hour.

me:  Do you play the harmonica?

short person:  no.  I think I will learn how. My teacher is 65.  I will ask her.

me: How old are you?

short person:  seven.  How old are you?

me: 53

short person:  That is the perfect age for you!

me: thank you

short person:  My teacher plays the guitar for us each morning. We sing songs.  “It is great to be a first grader” is my favorite.

short person:  My teacher says we are the perfect age to be in first grade. She says, every age, no matter if you are 7 or 65 is perfect for each person.

me: Your teacher seems extremely smart.

short person:  yes and she is nice.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May all teachers be as smart, nice and wise as the one I learned about last night.

smiling.

 

 

 

 

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