great marriage, haPPY, happy marriage, love, Uncategorized

socks tell all

“The reason as to why we are attracted to our opposites is because they are our salvation from the burden of being ourselves.”
― Kamand Kojouri

  1.  Mr. Right likes his coffee black.   I like mine swirling with coconut cream.
  2.  He loves hot, hot peppers.  I love all pickles.
  3.  He loves running.  I love swimming.
  4.  He loves history books.  I love murder mysteries.
  5.  He uses a book mark.  I dog ear the page.
  6.  He loves Brussels Sprouts.  I love currants.
  7.  Mr. Right is most certainly a morning person.  I am not.
  8.  He loves order.  I love controlled chaos.

Wait, this picture explains more than words can…….

I present our two separate sock drawers, you guess which one is his.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”― John Steinbeck

completely different

In this together, friends.

celebrating our differences!

books, gift giving, gifts, good karma, Uncategorized

staff of life

This day is full of bluster.  Wind gusts that take your breath away.  Rain pouring so hard it blocks the light of noon day.  It is a loud day.  I can hear trees and bushes brushing the side of the house.

Instead of fighting it and complaining, I decided to lean into it.  I have on warm socks and a sweater.  I made a huge cup of strong, dark, rich coffee and stirred in a spoonful of homemade caramel sauce.  I turned on the twinkle lights and flipped the switch on all the battery operated candles.   I even whipped up a mixture for the diffuser (spruce, cinnamon and orange).  Smells like winter.

Perfect day to talk about bread.  artisan bread

About 4 1/2 years ago I bought this book.  I got the supplies needed.  Then I didn’t do it. Life somehow got mixed up in MY plans and the road detoured for a bit.

I have baked many, many, oodles really,  loaves of bread in my life time.  I wanted to try my hand at Artisan Bread.

Why on earth did I wait so long?

You know that moment when you are in an upscale restaurant and they serve a slice of bread with holes and has a really good flavor and “chew” to it?  The chef simply kisses the bread with a little fire and somehow elevates everything that is served near, beside or atop it.  Yeah, that bread.

I wanted/want to learn to make that perfect texture, great color, haphazard slices swiped into the top, smell of heaven on earth, mouth-watering looking and tasting staff of life.  This is my first loaf!!!  Seriously folks, this is what baking is about.   Man alive, I wish your screen was scratch n sniff.   This is the real deal.  Oh, sweet mawma!

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“In the history of art there are periods when bread seems so beautiful that it nearly gets into museums.”
Janet Flanner, Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939

 

Once you mix the dough and let it sit in the refrigerator for a day or two or fourteen……..it takes HONESTLY 5 minutes to form it then you step away and allow it to do its thing.

I love the feel of the proofing cloth.  I love swirling the flour around with my hands.

The original recipe makes enough for four loaves.  I started with two.  It was easy peasy to divide.

Once I practice a bit more, we will share loaves with our friends and neighbors.  You can make a smaller loaf for a single friend or couple.  You can make a more generous size for a larger family.  As well as still making an amazing loaf for you and your spouse. 20170510_172200-1_resized

Baking a loaf of bread by spending 5 minutes.  What a lovely way to speak to your husband.  Yes, Mr. Right means that much to me.  I smiled to myself, the moment he walked in that back door.  His words,  “yum, smells like fresh-baked bread”.

That is why I bake bread.

That and the fact that it makes awesome toast.20170511_101744-1_resized

Gentle suggestion and nudge.  Buy the book.  Learn something new. Spend 5 minutes on making something for someone else.  You will be so proud of yourself.  Your family will be smitten with your new hobby.

Feeding yourself, family and friends fresh bread.  Nothing feels more right.

Imagine yourself, offering a loaf of fresh-baked bread to your neighbor or your co-worker expecting a new baby.  Yes, it feels that good and more.

In this together friends,

ps.  If you stop by, I promise to share a slice or at least get a loaf baking so you can take it home with you.

 

beauty, crafts, flourish, Uncategorized

mixer tattoos

My friend called it a Kitchen Aid Tattoo.    snortgiggle  (it’s a word I made up and hoping that it will catch on)

I have had my eye on a brand new fancy schmancy Kitchen Aid with beautiful flowers swirling all over it.  Yes, I have an envelope with money that I am saving for a new mixer.

20170501_184326_resized_1Here’s the reality, my 20+ something year old mixer is working as well as it was the day we brought her home.  Seriously, works perfectly!  There really is no reason on earth to buy a new one.

So, I just put a little paint on the old barn door.  Spent $15.00 on etsy for some vinyl decals.

Ta Da!!!!!  Brand new tattoo covered mixer.

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Just sharing the goodness!  Isn’t she pretty?

 

 

 

grateful, haPPY, Uncategorized

handyman measures up

Everyone has one.

No one takes pictures of them.  Not one person on earth says, “Welcome to our home, would you like to see our utility closet”?

The dreaded vacuum/extra shopping bags/yard stick/dog leash/mop/broom closet. 20170429_204857_resized

99% of those closets are a scary, dark, smelly, small, who knows what you’ll find HOT MESS.

Just as you came in, through the garage, my grandparents had one such closet.  Dark & Scary, check.  Vacuum, extra shoes, grocery bags, a coffee can filled with rocks (?),the yard stick  & also a shot gun leaning against the door jamb. (they lived in the country)

The closet my mother kept her vacuum in was tiny.  In addition to her vacuum, she also kept the ironing board, extra vacuum cleaner bags, extension cords (that were always loose and you used your foot to kick them in to be able to close the door) and a couple of yard sticks.

Ours was no exception.  No matter where we have lived, that one utility closet was a nightmare.  Last week our closet was a jumbled mess of stuff.  Toss it in and close the door fast.  A clothes rod that only one dog leash was hung from, a mix match of bins and bags. Most certainly NOT picture worthy.

How is it the one space used the most in any and all of our homes is the one most likely to win the “sad face” sticker?sad face Stuff just tossed in, cram it there, tuck something next to that, put up another mismatched nail, needed & useful stuff, yet never a pleasure to open that door.

You have to be ready to block a falling soccer ball or a dog grooming brush that could quite possibly come tumbling down. Resulting in mental or physical scars for life, I tell ya!

Hold onto your feather dusters and get ready for an “oh, I WANT that closet” make over.  I fell in LUST with these shelves.  Seriously??????  He had me at those shelf fronts.20170430_114020_resized

We are talking about a 24″ wide vacuum closet.  (Down-sizing forces you to use your noggin and imagination to come up with solutions.)

I am talking about some white paint ( so long ugly, weird, honey, orange-colored wood) , a trip to the container store, one amazon purchase, two trips to the hardware store, some money to buy the supplies and the best Handyman a girl could ask for!

BEST, HAPPY, NON-SCARY   Before & After photos EVER!!!!

WAIT, before I show you, let me tell you my favorite part.  The item my handyman used to face the front of the shelves.  He knows I love yard sticks.  If I wasn’t already married to the handyman, I would marry a yard stick (not really)…weird and wacky but I love those things.

He was wise enough to keep my very favorite one.  It happens to be the yard stick that some little home school person drew feet on the 12 ” marks to learn how many feet are in a yard.  swoon.

This closet holds an amazing amount of things and yet at the same time, doesn’t make you want to grab an item and slam the door.  You want to linger, savor the beauty.  ha

mop, broom, vacuum, dust pan, feather duster, laundry folder board, basket full of do grooming supplies, basket of dog food containers, container lids, wrapping paper, 4 aprons, 4 shopping bags, dog travel bag, carpet cleaning products, mail box key, indoor plant food and one beautiful yard stick

Drum roll please………………………………..   I give you pictures of my new and improved, beautiful, organized, clean, useful utility closet.  (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my handyman.)

GOD BLESS handy men near and far.  In the famous words of Red Green…..

Red Green

crochet, friends, haPPY, Homemade gift, sewing, Uncategorized

oh boy!

There are people whom one loves immediately and for ever.  Even to know they are alive in the world with one is quite enough.  Nancy Spain

I am not a fan of attending baby or bridal showers.

Yes, I have hosted several.  Yes, I always R.S.V.P and yes, I will be attending.  Yes, I take a gift and yes, I thank the hostess for including me.

That being said, let me explain.  First, after being a career Army wife, just imagine how many baby showers one is invited to?  Seriously, think of all the young families and how many children they have.  Each of those families is away from their home town friends and kinsfolk, so Army wives step in and fill that gap.  You attend.  You just do.  You help them celebrate, you are their “family” so you show up with a smile.

Second, I loath the goofy , often times embarrassing parlor games.

Third, I never really enjoyed putting on stockings,  the traditional pumps or sandals depending on the time of year, the pretty party dress to walk around someones’ living room, sit like a lady for 2.5 hours and drink weak coffee out of a proper cup and saucer with 99% of the people I have never met.

Fourth ( and this is just me grumbling), I can’t have the sugar laden punch and for some reason, often times said punch is served with globs of floating colorful sherbet.  I can’t have the amazing, lush,  array of desserts that are always, always served.

Most weird feeling  of all, the opening of the gifts.

Let’s talk gifts, shall we?

I have done handiwork since I was 12 years old.  I have practiced sewing, quilting, embroidery and as of the last 3 months, I am learning to crochet.  I feel compelled to do my very, very best and make something with my own hands to give as an offering.  The idea of a shower is to SHOWER the recipient with love & goodness.  I want to be part of the celebration and join in the tradition of giving handwork made with love.  I have been practicing for so long, that when the time comes to offer up a beautifully wrapped surprise I want the person to feel bathed in Grace with what I have made.   I want them to know that they were thought about and I started making something just for them weeks, often times, months prior to the party.   (Who knew it would take me so long to crochet a baby blanket?) 20170428_111916-1_resized (1)

Here’s where the awkward part comes in, it’s not you, it’s me people, really.

I honesty want to make gifts for some folks.  However, when said gift is opened in front of 28 other people who exclaim, “You MADE that”?  It is a tad weird feeling.  My face feels hot.  My hands start sweating. 20170428_111810-1_resized

 No, I did not make it to impress you or to “show off”.  No, I don’t really want to make something for your twice removed cousin, I don’t even know you, let alone your cousin.  (Whom I am sure is very nice.)  No, I don’t sew for money.  I’m truly sorry you “hate’ me for making something.  THEN, to top it off, I never really know a sincere, pleasant way of saying, “Oh, your present of a “gift card” will be so nice for them to go to the store and buy something they want.”

I just want to take a moment out of my life and make something from my heart. I want to give a gift, just not the opening in front of people thing.

I was graciously invited to attend a baby shower.  At first so excited to be included on their list of friends, then the worry about attending set in……… this past weekend I went and golly gee, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

With the exception for my own daughter in law, I have not been to a shower in a few years.

The food.   Holy Guacamole!!!!    There was a Nacho Bar!!  Really great choices and you got to build your own. In essence, no one cared what you put on your creation, no one gave a hoot if you ate meat or not, liked hot peppers or not.  It was a WONDERFUL idea and so dang TASTY!

Yes, there was a glorious dessert table, chocolate fountain and candy bar….there was also a gorgeous array of fruit to choose from.  Glory be, something for everyone.  dessert bar

From the invitations to the decorations, all was charming and well thought out.  Very festive and felt so happy.   Everyone attending was friendly and a pleasure to be around.

Huge news!  There was only one game and it was more of an interview of the parents to guess each other’s answers.  So sweet and kind, nothing rude or embarrassing.  It was fun to listen and watch, very entertaining.20170429_105336-1_resized

Good gravy, I even wore a cute outfit of jeans, sassy shoes and fun jewelry.  No stockings or stuffy proper dress! (My girlfriend challenged me to take a selfie.  Seriously, this selfie “thing” is a weird hobby.  I did take the picture, pretty sure it won’t become a habit.  ha)

When it came time for my present, the gift opening still felt a bit awkward.  My cheeks blushed and my hands felt sticky.   I thought about it on the way home.

Grown up Girl, Light bulb moment!!!!!!! Listen to this pearl.

You know, I love those parents-to-be so much, I don’t honestly care what others think.  How’s that for personal growth????

 I wanted them to know, I was trying my very best to make several homemade gifts for their new sweet babe.  It wasn’t about what others thought.  It was about my heart & soul and wanting to lift them up in celebration.  It was about showering them with love.

I’ve been practicing for over 40 years with needle and thread.  I got the call!  These are the moments I have been working towards, learning new, even stitches.  I have a reason to wash my hands, warm up the sewing machine, buy some yarn and get a move on.

Their sweet baby boy will be having his birthday sometime in June.  That gives me plenty of time to hand stitch a “welcome to the world” gift.  Oh, you know, each stitch will be made with love and prayers for that new baby and parents.

Love to hear what you have made for a baby or bridal shower.  Please don’t keep me in suspense.  Please tell me there are others out there who make something with their hands to celebrate life and love!

What are you making a new baby in your life? I would love to swap ideas.

Oh, boy!

friends, garden, gardening, Uncategorized

just checking

20170423_174116-1-1_resized_1A friend sent me a message.

“Hey, you still there?  Just checking.”

I proceeded to answer with 4 long paragraphs.

Oh dear, I think the salutation was meant just as a “hi, how ya doin’ ” kind of thing.   Guess, I was over zealous in my response.

Lately, it seems to be a weird season in my world.  I feel like I am moving along quietly, making things to give, studying………oh, I don’t know, keeping my head down and moving forward.

When someone gently taps me on the shoulder and asks if I am still here, the dam breaks and I gush about this and that.

I rambled on about my gardening.  One entire raised bed is planted with potatoes. Before you know it, I will be sharing pictures of deep verdant green leaves of my growing Yukon Gold taters!   I also mentioned that I crushed all my saved up egg shells and worked them into the bed that will be lush to overflowing with tomatoes!

20170415_165650_resizedI was excited to announce that I finally bought a fig tree.  Oh, I dream of the day when I am complaining about what other recipe I could find to use up all the figs I grow!  Waiting for the soaking rain to lighten up just a bit so “we” (read that as Mr. Right) can dig a hole and plant my new tree.

I blathered on about crafting and sewing. During my yucky medicine time during lunch, I like to concentrate on a new crochet stitch to learn.  By the end of lunch time, I have figured out the stitch and then find pockets of time here and there to finish another hat to donate.   (Good news, I think I have a line on another place to donate baby hats instead of just the hospital and that makes me happy.)

I am still here.

I am on the last coat of white paint for a baseboard project.  I am toying with the idea of painting the back of the front door.  Two outdoor, humongous flower pots are emptied, cleaned and drying…just waiting for a non rain day, so I can paint them.   I purchased a new bar stool that is working very well.   Bought new sheets. Spent 16 plus hours learning and studying The Truth about Vaccines with Ty Bollinger.  (Excellent documentary 5 STAR rating)   Watched Hockey playoffs.  Then out of the blue, last week, I made the best crepes I think I have ever, ever made.

Oh, and I wanted to share one last thing.  I made a silly, goofy, happy Jelly Fish finger puppet.  Then I put it into an envelope and mailed it to a certain grandson.  Everyone loves snail mail.  Hey, funny….. I sent a jelly fish using snail mail! We were thrilled goofy grandparents watching a video of him being happy with his new creature.  heehee. Certainly, time well spent.  I think he really likes it.

Made him giggle.  SOOOOO worth it. 20170420_160714-1_resized

THANKS for checking in on me. Even if you didn’t want an entire run down of life in my neck of the woods, it sure felt nice to have someone ask.  Thanks for listening to my long-winded answer.

When I asked how life was in your neck of the woods, I really meant it.  I am interested in what you are reading or planting.  I want to know that for some weird reason you splurged and went out and got frozen yogurt with toppings. I will be happy to hear you too are waiting for the heavy rains to pass so you can plant your garden.

Makes me smile & feel safe knowing there are other humans out there that are kind enough to check in and see how life is tumbling along.

Gotta Swish Jellyfish……….I am headed into the kitchen to do a little baking.  Also into the sewing room to frame a just finished counted cross stitch piece.  I have 3.5 miles of biking to do and going to spend some time jumping on the rebounder. Fingers crossed the mail man comes to deliver a new vacuum ( you KNOW I will have something to say about that!)

Gotta tell ya, it feels mighty nice to have a friend check in on you.

Let’s make that happen today!  Just send this brief message to someone in your world today.

“Hey, you still there?  Just checking.”

In this together, chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

balance, melancholy, Uncategorized

more photos fewer words

20170415_152818_resizedI recently read where people want more pictures less writing on20170415_152703_resized blogs.

Really?  I wonder why that is?  Makes me a tad bit melancholy.  I want to write and share.  I love reading and catching a glimpse of other writers lives through their blogs.  It is a pleasure for me.

more photos fewer words20170415_152723-1_resized

Today, the words swirling in my brain are serious like Aluminum , Thiomersal and Magnesium.  I want to talk about those.  I want to study more and have an in-depth discussions.  I want to write about and learn more about and share.

For this time, I will share pictures.  Pictures from a brief walk between rain drops this past weekend.