haPPY, Uncategorized

oh say

Odd random memory popped into my head.

One of the beauties of having a blog is that I get to write about random happy thoughts.

Well, maybe not so random.

Favorite son #1,  has embarked on an amazing “find fitness and take care of himself” journey.  He recently asked for some pictures from the photo albums.

(Secret happy moment,  1.  He knew I kept photo albums.  2.  Since moving,  I actually knew where the albums are located.  3.  I knew how to send pictures via my phone.)

Here is my happy, random memory.

Back in the junior high school days………  I remember sitting on those extremely hard bleachers.  Mr. Right and I were waiting for some performance or another.

Que the music. star-spangled2

At the far end of the gymnasium, a student started singing “The Star Spangled Banner”.

He was good, really good.

A few bars in, Mr. Right and I glanced at each other.

Is that…..?

Yeah, it was our kiddo.

He never once mentioned that he was asked to sing, never heard him practice.

Kids are the best.

Kids never cease to amazing me.

Hope some random kiddo amazes you.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

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grateful, husband, sewing, Uncategorized

feels like home

Not only do curtains add privacy and warmth to a room, there is a certain something that you can’t quite put your finger on.  I think it is sound? A solid sound, sort of grounded I guess?

When you walk through a new home to look at the rooms, you can hear a slight echo.  It doesn’t feel homey, yet.

I have a military, wife, friend who once asked me, “How long before you live in a house, until it feels like your home”?

I first thought the answer was time.  Then I thought maybe cleaning.  Once you clean or paint every square inch of the house or rake every single area of lawn, it feels like your home. Then, I sort of decided it was when you went away on vacation and came back to your home.  We are closing in on one whole year in our new home.   I think I want to add the word curtains, to my list of things that makes it feel like home.

20170131_122036_resized_1This map fabric makes me smile every single time I see it.  It is the perfect window treatment for two small windows in our library.  Stacks of maps, books, a library table….. oh, I get giddy just thinking about it.

No, I did not purchase the expensive Roman shades.

These20170131_122023_resized_1 curtains are a snap.  I sewed them in a giant circle.

Then used 3 inexpensive spring rods for each. (Let’s hear it for Spring Rods!!  The under rated, not so glamorous piece of metal that makes curtains easy peasy.)  Ta-Da!

Finished  and mighty happy.   A bonus, I didn’t think of the glorious warm color they throw when the sun shines behind them.  Warm, beautiful and makes you want to sit a while and read a book.

 

Next, the great room windows.  Much to my surprise, same huge open room, two different size windows.  I had Mr. Right put the curtain rod up a little farther out on the right hand side…..gives the illusion of a bit bigger window.  The “matchy matchy”  part of my brain is satisfied.

20170221_110052_resizedI love Buffalo Plaid.  Seriously, I SWOON over Buffalo Plaid.  My grandfather had a black and red hunting jacket in Buffalo plaid.  I love the boldness and yet at the same time, the traditional feel.

I did not love the prices I was seeing for plain, straight curtains to purchase.  So to satisfy the frugal part of my brain, I ordered fabric ( 1/4 the cost of the finished curtains that I fell in love with.)  I spent some time at the sewing machine and hemmed those beauties.   (Side note:  I bought the rods and curtain hangers from a big box hardware store. Simple and exactly what I had envisioned.)

Once hung (Full credit to Mr. Right, not one cuss word during the hanging of the curtain rods), they add a certain warmth & yes, by golly those curtains somehow magically make the room more like home.  20170221_102349_resized

I know, a home is a continual process.  It is always evolving, changing, adding this or that.

However, having the curtains hung makes the “old Army wife in me” feel like it is home.

What one thing makes you house feel like a home?

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

crochet, Homemade gift, Uncategorized

do over

Mistakes happen, all the time.  Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who makes goofy lou-lous and then I talk to my dog and she assures me, humans make mistakes.  Dog? Never make mistakes, just humans.  snort

In this world of social media we conveniently “forget” to share the OOPS, the mistakes, the Mulligan pictures.   I sort of wish more people would share the goof ups.  I think it would make me feel more normal.

Currently,  I am thick into “learning to crochet”.  I am figuring out a new stitch or process every couple of days. 20170208_154540-2_resized_1-1

In the olden days, If I was stuck or confused or made a mistake,  I would walk down the street to my grandma’s house or aunt’s house or a kind elderly neighbor.  As if by magic, every person over 50 knew how to do some type of handicraft.

Once, when I was in college, I was taking an evening class and there was a 50 something gal in the class.  One night, I waited until after class was over and shyly asked her if she could help me.  Oh no, not about the class study, no, I’ve got that.  I needed help and I thought maybe she could teach me how to make an embroidered French knot?  (My heart was racing and dramatic music was drumming in my ears.)

I had my supplies with me, needle threaded and ready to go. She didn’t make a big deal out of it.  Just said, sure, dropped her purse and book bag and got right to it.  I will show you a couple of times, until you understand.  It took less than 3 minutes.  I still make the French knots the same way.  I can still hear her kind, non-judgmental voice.  I can sort of still hear the “relief” in her voice.  The sound of…French Knots?  Oh, that’s easy peasy.  This college learning stuff is way more difficult.  French Knots, I’ve got this”.

I am well over the 50 mark and not many of my acquaintances or friends do much handwork.  Sure there is a Master Knitter here and an amazing quilter there…….just……

I am sort of tempted to go to an Assisted Living place and ask if anyone over 70 could help me with a crocheted Shell stitch!

Today, I can’t find anyone who stitches in my neighborhood or circle.  I’ve turned to YouTube videos to help teach me. If I can’t understand their teaching methods, I move on to someone else.

20170213_130302-1_resized_2I learned the “puff” stitch.  Easy, very showy20170213_115424_resized_1

I learned the reverse single crochet stitch. Twisty, A bit tricky, worth reviewing the video 17 times.

20170211_215102-1_resized_1Changing yarn colors was/is a bit different,yet somehow, I am pushing forward.

Then came the shell stitch.  WHOMP, WHOMP, WAAAAAAA

Today, I am unwinding the entire thing.  Finding a new video to watch over and over.  The elusive shell stitch.  I want it and I want it bad.

How hard can this be?  Apparently, for me, pretty dang hard.

a-life-spent-making-mistakes-is-not-only-more-honorableWith each round I crochet, it gets a bit more “off” a bit more wonky.  Sigh.  This isn’t calm and relaxing.  This is frustrating and I can feel my blood pressure rising.  Yet, I refuse to cuss!  I won’t.

I put it down yesterday.  I baked instead.  Baking I can do.

The prettiest, pale pink, soft yarn.  I paid extra because I just loved the feel.

Seriously, at this rate, if I keep going, some baby’s head will have to be the size of an oval shaped 15 pound watermelon.  Let’s face facts, that won’t be good for anyone. 20170215_082030-1_resized

drats.

In this together, friends.

Onward.

PS. I made a really fancy sign…...

Will trade a beautiful loaf of homemade baked bread ….. for the shell stitch crochet lesson.20170207_131803-1_resized_2

food review, haPPY, health, recipe, Uncategorized

W4D?

The age old question:  What’s for Dinner?

Kids ask, girlfriends ask, spouses casually slip in the question…..This question crosses the lips of all families across our land.

I have an answer for you!  Friday night dinner idea is taken care of.  done.  you’re welcome.

The Lenten season is fast approaching. Lots of folks will be trying to do away with some meat and dairy products. Maybe you just need a fresh new to you idea for dinner tonight?  Maybe you want to know what the heck your vegetarian friends eat for supper?  Maybe one of your resolutions was to eat with a healthier twist?

Giving up familiar items or trying new things can be tricky and frustrating.  Change is hard for everyone.

Adding something new to the dinner line up has to be slipped in carefully for some family members.

What’s For Dinner?  Secret insider information…. when I am plum out of ideas, I send a message to girlfriends…. W4D????  That means I am looking for dinner ideas, please help!

I thought I would share a dinner solution….we enjoyed last night.

falafel-2Vegetarian, quick, delish and you can build your own.  You can cut open a piece of naan, you can build your Falafel sandwich folded between the naan, you can even cut it up and make your own little stacks of goodness.

Tasty, great texture, filling, packed with flavor and pretty darn easy to make.  You can make the mixture early in the day, cover and refrigerate.  When dinner time comes around, you just use a cookie scoop (or spoon) and flatten them onto a pan or put into a black iron skillet.

Did you know there are restaurants in Europe and the only thing on the menu are Falafel???

While the Falafel patties cook, you have plenty of time to set the table, and chop some cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce. 20170209_172248-1_resized

I do not own a Tandori oven, I buy Naan Bread (Trader Joe’s has some for $3.69).  Sprinkle with a bit of water, heat in a 400* oven for 3 or 4 minutes, brush with garlic butter.  If you can’t find Naan Bread you can always use pita bread.

Serve with plenty of Tzatziki sauce and a big ol bowl of hummus.

Falafel Patties  http://www.myhdiet.com/Fall-In-Love-With-Food-Again/

1 onion, quartered, 3 garlic cloves, 2 cans of chickpeas, drained (or 3 cups of cooked chickpeas),  2 Tablespoons tahini, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon olive oil , 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, 2 to 3 Tablespoons flour, pinch cayenne

Recipe notes:   When did the world started calling Garbanzo beans , Chickpeas?  I sometimes leave out the coriander (because I am too lazy to reach to the top shelf), I always use way more parsley than they suggest, I never use cayenne and I use a gluten-free flour blend.  For just the two of us, I make a half a batch. Sometimes I bake, other times, when I want it fast, I use a little oil and get that outer crust pretty crispy, yum. 

Process the onion and garlic in a food processor until well chopped.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until well mixed and fairly well-chopped.  Scoop and pat into patties on a baking sheet, then bake at 400* for 35 minutes (flip over after 20 minutes) or saute in a skillet for about five minutes per side. 

Say grace and dig in.  Use lots of napkins, these beauties can get sloppy and messy and oh so good.  🙂

Here’s to our good health!

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

crochet, haPPY, Uncategorized, volunteer/donate

hats, hats and more hats

I’ve taken 3 knitting classes.  I have made a scarf for every member of my family. Let’s get real here……it was a hot mess.  Seriously, I thought maybe it was the teacher? Then I tried another teacher and yet another.

While I can distinctly remember the clicking noise of my mother in law’s knitting needles as she flew through a project, and talked on the telephone and watched television (it looked like she enjoyed it and she produced really well made and beautiful items), that never once happened to me while knitting.

I never heard my knitting needles click.  I never enjoyed the craft nor did I relax while attempting to finish something.  There may have been a few cuss words sprinkled here and there.  The whole idea of knitting has become so popular and hip.  I wanted to be hip and cool.   Still it wasn’t clicking with me. I bought books, patterns, yarn etc.

nothin’

I had to face facts.  It was not the teacher.

It was the student.  Plain and simple.

I’ve always loved to look at the yarn.  The textures and colors.  I am drawn to it.  I want to touch it.  I want to buy it for some reason.  Heck, once, I even took a class on how to spin your own yarn.

About two weeks ago, I heard a story of a woman who watched (I’m guessing  the number here) about a gazillion You Tube videos and built a house.  Did you catch that?  SHE BUILT A HOUSE USING YOU TUBE VIDEOS.  Seriously.  A very nice, large, multi bedroom house.

Wait!  If she can do that.  Certainly, I could learn to crochet.   Maybe?

Okay, You Tube bring it on!!!  The student is ready and willing.  Let’s see what I can do. 

I want to only make stuff for babies or children.

Babies & children are non-judgmental.  They will not tell me I dropped a stitch or I crocheted it too tight or too loose.  Only thing that will happen is that they will have warm heads.  Their moms will take pictures. Their Grannies will be over the moon happy to adjust the hats just so and gush & fuss.  In my dream, Grannies will do what Grannies have always done, smile and take pictures and say how cute their grands are.

Easily I found a beginner video on You Tube.  I opened my bin of yarn I have been storing/stock piling/hoarding for the perfect project.   This hat made me smile even before I learned how to make a rose!  The yarn sort of reminded me of a cactus or a sea anemone.

I give you my first crocheted hat.

20170202_191947-1_resized

Next, I found some yarn called “Sprinkle” yarn.  Again, made me happy.

20170205_191317-1_resized_2

Here in the Seattle area, we were in for a doozie of a snow storm.  Perfect.  I can crochet.

That’s what I do now. haha, I do other stuff like work and make food and I figure out how to crochet.   I can add that to my list of hobbies.  Because it makes me happy and not once have I used a cuss word.

Seven inches of snow and some free time………

I stumbled across this really great project.  Little Hats Big Hearts.  It is for the American 20170206_194916-1_resizedHeart Association. During the month of February, people make & donate hats for preemie babies.  The hats get taken to hospitals and then little babies get to have a special hat to help keep them warm.   20170206_153108-1_resizedSounds simple enough.  I could try to make one?

small, quick, simple

If you would like to learn more, just go to this website.  They have all the details and information.

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/General/Little-Hats-Big-Hearts_UCM_487734_SubHomePage.jsp

I am a “Doer”.  So give me a project and a goal and well…..

here’s the rest of the story…

20170207_190936-1_resized_2-1

In this together, folks.

Hope you are smiling as brilliantly as I am today!  Please share what makes you smile/happy lately.

Chat soon.

gifts, good karma, good marriages, haPPY, Homemade gift, Uncategorized

chop, chop, lollipop

Hello February!  Such a beautiful thing to say.  In our family, January has always been a tough, ugly, tricky month.  2017 was no different.

On to the fresh, clean slate of February.  Valentine’s day isn’t too far away.  It’s time for love and smooches and lollipops, of course.

I tied the sign, filled a jar and gave this to Mr. Right.20170131_154015-1_resized

Start with making the tag.  Next, fill whatever size (I used plastic) jar with bubble gum or suckers.  I thought Blow Pop suckers was silly, sweet and funny.

This is such an easy way to remind your Mr. Right, you love him and you are thinking about him.  You do send him to work with silly things he can share with co-workers, right?

Um, yeah, take the time.  How on earth do you think this thing called marriage is going to thrive and swirl?  You gotta feed it, girlfriend.  YES, even after 35 years of being married.

Yes, I know you are very “busy”.  You are going to tell me, “he knows I love him, I am lucky, I don’t have to show him.”

wrong.

Everyone needs to be reminded that they are loved.   It feels good.

It is HAPPY all stuffed into a jar!

That’s why this project is so dang tootin’ easy, quick and full of goodness!

Chop, Chop, Lollipop!  

Fill and give a jar of goodness, TODAY!!

In this together, friend.

Go share some happy!

20170131_154015-1_resized