flaming Friday

Fridays come with the light-hearted anticipation of the weekend.

Oh sure, Friday’s come with a bucket full of chores.  I am good with that.  If I clean and do the linens and towels and fill the refrigerator full of great food (a full and appealing refrigerator is a thing of beauty)………….then the weekend can be spent more on having fun than doing household jobs.

I also fill my Fridays with beauty.

To start the day, I jumped into the world of Sir Fredric Leighton.  1830-1896  I try and expand my world on Friday mornings with an artist that I have not studied.  Sometimes I work off a list of artists I would like to explore.  Sometimes a friend mentions a name or a painting and off I go.

flaming-june-frick-frederic-lord-leightonA couple of days ago, a friend mentioned her favorite painting.  Flaming June  .  Oh my, I saw in an instant why she would say that. The painting (I viewed a photograph of it, through the computer) must be stunning and breathtaking in person.  It sort of grabbed my heart and soul and wouldn’t let go.  The saturated color, the sensuously draped girl……..the gauze folds of the fabric……..I need a bigger word than lovely.  I can’t really find great words.  The painting stands on its own. Yes, it takes your breath away.

Then again, Sir Leighton’s bronze statue , 1877, An Athlete Wresting with a Python is staggering.  It catches you, somehow by surprise.  The raw power and strength slaps you in the face the moment you gaze upon the work. athelete wrestling

Music Lessons is a painting that will capture your heart and soul.  This painting seems like one an art teacher would music-lesson-1884display and discuss and share.  Again, the fabric is so life-like you want to reach out and feel it.  The meaning behind the work is well……. charming and quietly powerful.

While I instantly fell head over heels in love with Flaming June,  I think I will choose The Fisherman and the Syren 1856-1858 as my favorite of the week.  My heart and soul were somehow awakened by the natural beauty.  The remarkable attention to detail almost has you believing it is a photograph and not a painting.

If you are so inclined, maybe on your lunch hour, you would be wise to fill your spirit with beautiful works of art.   Maybe you will find time to look up this painting, my favorite of the week.

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.  Friedrich Nietzsche

in a jam

buttercupSort of toying with the idea of stopping my lunch time  (Budwig Protocol) “medicine” for a bit.

Lately it is yucky(ha, it is always been yucky) a bit on the depressing side, sincerely difficult to get motivated…  blah, blah, blah. Been a little over 2 years now and taking it is not getting easier. Maybe it is time for a change or at least a couple of weeks off?
The thing about taking full responsibility of your own health….you don’t have someone telling you when you have to take 8 weeks or 8 months of this protocol or that.  No one is telling you, leave it up to me, I have your best interest at heart. I know what is best for you.  I will tell you what to do and what to take, don’t worry your pretty little head about a thing.
You have to figure every little thing out yourself.  You have to put in 1,2 and sometimes 3 hours a day studying and researching and coming up with the best of the best health and wellness options.
Yes, you have to take responsibility for starting as well as stopping.  That also means dealing with the guilt and or fear ………...I am getting healthy so I better keep on doing exactly what I have been doing.
(Somewhat like a superstitious professional Hockey Player.  I ate a PB & J last Tuesday at 4 and we won, so from now on I better eat the exact meal at the exact time, wearing my “lucky” faded t-shirt.)
During my lunch routine, I save cards to read, funny emails, silly you tube videos, happy sites, laughter filled blogs for that time.
I appreciate the friends & family that send me “smile” videos to watch during my medicine time.   I know everyone is getting mighty “tired” of the let’s cheer her up routine.  I know I am tired of it.  I don’t have a certain color that I flaunt and wave.  I don’t look super sick (I hope), so folks always just say, “you’re looking good”.  I exercise by myself and sit in the sunshine by myself, there is no “team healthy” group that meets and lifts spirits up.
On days when it seems more messy than others, I thumb through vacation scrapbooks.  I look at pictures of the grands.  I play videos of them giggling or telling me Happy Birthday.  Just the jump start I needed to continue on down the road.
Oh sure, Mr. Right & a few friends use their pon poms from time to time and even throw in a jazz hand move now and then.  Just most of the time it is me and the dog.  Quietly, working our way through the pile up.
I am just sort of loosing my way.  Spirit dragging if you will.   Maybe I need to stick with it and just dig a little deeper for more fun, happy stuff? buttercup 2
Today, I watched a video.
I saw the words, ” traffic jam” and thought, hey that sounds like me.  In a jam.
Then I watched and sang along.  FULL BLAST.
A guy wearing cool white sunglasses, singling full out in his car, smiling at strangers as he be bopped along to Build Me up Buttercup.
I listened to it 3 times, loudly and yes, thanks for asking , full blast.
It helped me though today’s “traffic jam”.  The song and the attitude of the singing driver…went a long way in lifting my spirits.  Hey, he has troubles just like everyone else.  Except for a few minutes while in a traffic jam, he sang his way clear.
What songs or blogs do you read to get over the hump of taking medicine or folding laundry or scrubbing the kitchen floor?
buttercup 3I am grateful and appreciative that I am finding my health. Sometimes it is hidden in a silly song, Sometimes, I find talking to my dog helps me stay on track.  Sometimes being creative helps the process.
Traffic jams are tricky.  That make us slow down and give us time to think.  We can grumble and fret, however, neither speeds the process up.  Singing our way through the jam may just be the perfect solution.
I need some cool new white sunglasses.

paint a pillow

I really wanted new pillows for outdoors.  Oh sure, we have cushions, we always seem to “steal” the other chair cushions for comfort.

I wanted rough and tough fabric in case we forget to bring them indoors

News flash, pillows are a pricey date!  Wanting at least 2  pillows…………I began the hunt.  $27.95 for one cute pillow? Times two cute pillows?  Dang.  I didn’t want to end up looking at two pillows all through the summer months, thinking to myself, gosh, I spent $60.00 on two pillows.  How dull and what a boring & lame use of money.

I want fun, happy, inexpensive.

Thinking cap on.

1.  Buy drop cloth from big hardware store.  $7.00

20150530_1426452. Buy a stencil.  $4.19   Use paint and brushes you already have.

3.  Pick a gorgeous sunny day. 20150530_144353 20150530_144146Stencil the day away. 20150530_16085020150530_145129

20150607_1718354.  Cut fabric and sew into two pillow covers.

5.  Buy two pillow forms (with a coupon) total $9.50 20150607_171533

6.  Buy two tassels from the clearance bin.  total $3.96

7.  Get a good book, light a candle, invite Mr. Right to join you,  relax and enjoy your pillows.

8. Snort to yourself…………well done…$12.33 a piece and you love the elephants!

9. smiling and so comfortable

10.  you will find me most summer evenings, reading, drinking juice, eating berries, bare foot with a cute pedicure in the gazebo, using my new pillow.

20150607_212429-1

ps.  My friend received her pattern, thread and linen today.  Let the cross stitch begin!  yippee.

1/2 price friendship

20150604_104445As all military wives do, I made a friend.

This story started 30 years ago, next month.

Our husbands were stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

We each had a two boys, under the age of 3.  Our husbands were in the US Army.  We both lived in the same town house complex.  We were both stay at home moms.  We both had limited funds (I will circle back to this point).

That my friend, is more than enough in common for two people to become friends.

We traded watching kiddos once in a while.  We planned picnics and shared boys birthdays.  We traded recipes, we tossed around the idea of home schooling our children, exchanged Christmas ornaments and once in a while when the guys were home and the boys were asleep we would take a walk or a bike ride.

Once we planned an indoor “summer” picnic in the middle of winter in Alaska.  We got out the plastic pool, wore sundresses, sun glasses, turned up the heat and ate picnic food while the Beach Boys serenaded us. The boys wore shorts and t-shirts.  It was silly but I think it might have saved some of our sanity as those Alaskan winters can seem rather long and drawn out.

coffee and ice creamWhen the boys were tucked safely in for the evening, sometimes we would sit on the back porch steps and drink mugs of coffee with huge scoops of ice cream plopped in them.  Not sure who thought that up, but we would talk the evening away.

We were both interested in counted cross stitch.  Word was out, a new Counted Cross Stitch magazine was about to hit the shelves.  Jeepers, it was expensive!  I don’t remember the exact cost, however, I am making a guess of most likely $24.95 for a yearly subscription.  Too much for me to spend.  dang.

One of us came up with a remarkable idea.  Let’s each pay half and we would share the magazine!  Talked it over with the husbands and we were a go!!!!  As each issue arrived, we would  arrange to sit on the back step in the warmer months or in one of our kitchens and peruse the latest issue.  Then we would trade-off, every other month, who got to keep it at home for the first couple days.  We would sometimes decided to do the same chart/project.  Sometimes, we would each do a different one.  Once in a while, one of us would take the magazine to the library and have a copy made of a pattern we both wanted to work on at the same time.  It cost 25 cents per copy.  ouch.

Fast forward to 2015.

Best guess, close to a gazillion gallons of water has passed under the bridge.  We are indeed still friends.  We both have much more in common these days.  These days, while we live in different states, we text and trade pictures of our grandchildren almost daily.  We still share recipes.  We have shared the good and pretty ugly of 30 years of living.  We still talk about husbands, adult kiddos, world problems, religion and yes we both still cross stitch.

We knew we had to acknowledge and make a point of celebrating 30 years of friendship.  Each of us wanted to make something to show our boys.  Instead of talking about being grateful for friends, we wanted something tangible to show while we shared some of the stories. 20150604_104938

We decided we would choose and purchase a cross stitch pattern to do together.   We would begin stitching on the same day.  We may slip in our initials or a twist of some kind. Share snippets of our progress. Finish our projects, have them framed and mail them to each other.  We have placed a deadline of the end of August, because we want to celebrate our friendship during these summer months.

Enter technology.  With mugs of coffee in our hands (no ice cream this time around) we sat at our separate computers, states apart.  For the last month or so, we have each been looking for “our” pattern. We each submitted suggestions via email.  We each gently but politely vetoed one after another.   It was taking a LOT longer than the olden days.  We had thousands upon thousands of patterns to sift through as opposed to the 12 or 15 per magazine issue.

The moment we found “our” pattern.  We both knew it.

So, it was with a thrill that we placed our order.  Yes, we agreed to each pay 1/2 the cost of the pattern. (told you I would get back to the money “thing”)

Yesterday, I received the pattern in the mail.

Technology strikes again.  I was able to make one copy from the printer in my home.

20150604_104513I mailed the pattern, thread and fabric this morning.

I made a “girl scout” promise (even though I LOATHED the girl scouts, another story for another blog post) that I would not begin one single stitch until she sent me a text saying that she received her share of supplies.

To be honest, I had to put my supplies away.  My fingers are itching to begin.   Just looking at that color drenched linen, the gorgeous hand dyed thread………..let me at ’em!

Sort of can’t believe it has been 30 years.  I think I can wait another couple of days to begin our celebration.

I promise to keep you in the loop.  I will share updates as the pattern begins to take shape. I thought it might be fun to have you tag along with this happy summer project.

I would love to hear how you celebrate friendship.

friendship

turtles, tape and tp

Two words.  Toilet paper.

I read earlier today that our son and daughter in law were “celebrating” (not sure to what extent) that a Costco was finallytp opening today in their neck of the woods.  They were super excited to buy toilet paper at a reasonable price and in large quantities.

Made me giggle a bit.

Did we teach our kids to be grateful?  You bet we did.  We celebrated everything.  I mean it.  We celebrated Johnny Appleseed’s birthday.  We celebrated National cheese day (yes, by the way, it is today).  We celebrated the invention of the Ritz cracker.  (buy some, open a sleeve, dump them on the concrete, go barefoot and stomp, stomp, stomp…….such a great feeling. Leave the crumbs for the birds.)  lots of happy right there, folks.  Mr. Right and I made sure as a family we lived a grateful life and celebrated what we had.

 “If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” 

~Frank A. Clark

To be grateful for the everyday “mundane” things.

toilet paper……I am grateful, ’nuff said on that subject.  Okay, maybe not ’nuff said.  I am grateful for indoor plumbing. The idea of walking outdoors with boots in my pajamas and a coat, carrying a flashlight, nervous and jumping up and down……….yep, grateful.  While traveling in Europe, I collected a square or two from different countries.  Crazy girl that I am.  I sort of liked that the toilet paper in France was pink.  The toilet paper in the Republic of Czechoslovakia was ROUGH.  They sold toilet paper by the single rolls in Poland.  Like I said earlier, ’nuff said.

road bumpsturtles.  No, not the animals. The “turtles” on the freeway.  You KNOW you’ve been saved from sideswiping a car next to you by rattling over those things.

scissors.  I use them for sewing every single day.  I use them in the kitchen.  I use them to get insanely difficult plastic packages open.  I use them to cut out coupons.  I use scissors to cut out felt “food” for my grandgirlies.  (side note:  today, our daughter in law is celebrating left handed scissors.  Yep, today is National Left Handed day!  party on)

garbage collectors.  Yesterday, I was shucking corn right into our yard waste bin.  Between yard clippings, and corn husks and chicken coop straw and on and on………………pretty stinky.  Just think, what the heck would we do with all that if the garbage collector didn’t come around?  Think if they stopped picking up our every day trash?  Okay, sure we could all buy old pick up trucks and drive once a month to the dump.  I don’t want to. I am grateful for garbage collectors.

salt.  Food would be bland, boring, dull.    How would I kill slugs?  How would I brighten my colors in the laundry?  I use salt when boiling eggs so the shells don’t crack.

tape.  Good golly, Miss Molly we use a lot of Scotch tape.   We tape a 10 pound bag of carrots shut each day.  We use tape to wrap packages.  We tape book pages back together.  I used tape to put together a bigger piece of graph paper. For some reason, we go through the tape.  Okay, it might not be life changing, but is sure makes things easier.

clear mind.  After a while, living with brain fog can really tick you off.  I mean it.  It’s the pits.  Then once you start to climb out of the fog, you (by you, I mean me) beat yourself up over not remembering things.  I picked up an embroidery project 20150603_211143last night.  I had forgotten that I started it in 2013.  I am grateful to begin again.  I said stuff like, wow, so pretty.  Wow, you picked out such a nice pattern.  What an ambitious project you started.  I am grateful to be back.  Thinking a bit more clearly each and every day.

20150604_092012-1It’s June folks, half way through the year.  How is your Grateful/Happy jar coming along?  This morning I wrote on a slip of paper ………grateful for almonds soaking to make milk…………..grateful for sprouts drying on a kitchen towel…………..grateful for my dog……………….grateful for coffee………………………

I am learning not to be so hard on myself. I am healing slowly but surely.  One small step at a time.  I am trying not to beat myself up so much.  I work on being happy and grateful for what is on my plate today.

I am mighty grateful for Mr. Right and some friends that are helping me back to the land of the living and thriving and creating.

I am extremely grateful for the small, not OUT LOUD, simple things.

Yep, I am grateful for toilet paper.

shout for sprouts!

brocoli-1Broccoli for Breakfast anyone?

Only 14 short days until National Eat Your Vegetable Day!  I am sure there is a bright green circle around June 17th.  Hip, Hip, Hooray for Vegetables!

Parades?  Banners?  T-shirts?  Are you planning a big ol Vegetarian dinner party?  I am sure everyone can feel the excitement building!

I feel all giddy and want to do a little dance.  Jazz hands of course, of course.

Ah, the vegetable.

One of my daily goals is to get as much nutrition bang for my buck that I possibly can.

We all are aware that conchiferous veggies are at the top of the list of cancer fighting, cellular enzyme boosting, blood building miracles. YET, you would have to eat 10 SERVINGS of broccoli every day to get its benefits.

I like broccoli but not 10 servings every day like.

We know that the stems of the broccoli plant hold all the nutrition and pure goodness.  I am guessing that a whole lot of us chop that part off and toss?  Steaming the pretty flower parts and covering them with butter and cheese sauce to get our kids to eat “just two” bites.

While I like broccoli, I am not up for eating a whole bowl for breakfast.

Enter the Sprout.

The “magical” compound in broccoli is a precursor to sulforaphone.   If you want more top-notch scientific mumbo jumbo, head over to NutritionFacts.org.  You can find out that 3 ounces of broccoli sprouts contain 2 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber if that is what you are counting.

20150603_093340You can find out 1 pound of broccoli sprout seeds will make over 10 pounds of sprouts…………translation……………….as much cancer protecting phytochemicals as 1,000 pounds (half a ton) of broccoli. That is a LOT of broccoli.

You can get all scientific or you can just get a mason jar and a sprout lid and grow your own.  Easy peasy.  Takes 3-4 days and you are eating sprouts.  You can toss them in a salad, top a sandwich or garnish your hot ancient grain cereal for breakfast.20150603_094349 (1)

20150529_094020I bought my sprout kit and seeds from SPROUTPEOPLE.ORG.  The seeds are certified organic and non-gmo.  The website is super helpful with oodles of information.

It feels pretty cool to grow your own sprouts.  You see results in a matter of hours.

I find myself smiling every time I spy that jar full of sprouts.

I am grateful for clean filtered water.  I am grateful for the means to purchase the seeds.  I am mighty grateful for the healing power of the sprout.  Let’s all give a SHOUT for SPROUTS!

This morning for breakfast I put my hot cereal of Ancient grains in my bowl.  I topped with fresh strawberries and broccoli sprouts and toasted almonds.  My morning juice of a red pepper, 1/2 a lemon, 1 orange, 3 carrots and 1 inch of turmeric was a nice splash of color & flavor, the perfect accompaniment.

In this together friends.

Here’s to our health and wellness!

Love to hear what kind of celebration you are planning for June 17th!!!

eat your vegetables

red fingers

20150602_093648Seems like we wait “forever” for local strawberries.  You know the ones?  Red all the way through, juice drips on your shirt kind of berries?

Grateful to be typing with red stained fingers.  Yes, that red.  That amazing.  That delicious.

So far this berry season we have purchased 2 1/2 flats.

This morning we brought home another flat of those red beauties. 20150602_111751

So I cleaned and cut up one of the half flats.

I made jam. I licked the spoon.

I might have dipped 5 in melted chocolate.

I made a Strawberry Raspberry Gallete.  I licked the spatula. 20150602_114221

I cut up some  & heaped in a white hob nail bowl, just to have fresh berries ready to eat.

I ate a few…….okay several,  just out of the box. 20150602_131128

May I gently suggest you run out, quick like a bunny and buy you and your family some fresh grown berries?

Seriously, GO. NOW.

BUY BERRIES.

YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE SO WORTH IT.

20150602_110745ps.  huge thanks to the farmers and the strawberry pickers who made this blog post possible.