Sunday, March 24, 2013

A week in review

Not much goin' on this week.

It has mainly been spent jumping back into the routine of it all after calling the couch my home for the duration of  "the great cleanse of 2013". I do miss couch time something bad. I got quite used to it, and fond of ignoring the most mundane aspects of everyday life. Hanging out under fleece blankets, a glass of iced ginger ale by my side, having myself a little Weeds marathon on Netflix. It's amazing what your brain throws away. I've watched the series before, yet have managed to forget 90% of it, so it was like seeing it all over again. Fancy that, getting old and forgetful. The perks are few, but fun.

The house renovation that has been eeeking its way forward for the past two years at a slugs pace is finally progressing.

This is a before picture of my little pantry:

And this is after the cloud of drywall dust and loud obnoxious noise:

Uh. Help?

This is my new pantry space, minus the toilet, of course. Booyah. I know. I can't wait to do a little jig in there, and play house in my new space. Lots of work has yet to be done, but I can taste the organization. It is toxic and heady, and I am so excited to not have to unload a whole pantry shelf to get to my rice cooker. I need not jewelry, fine cars, or swanky restaurants. Dangle a new pantry in front of me and I am all yours. Lucky for me, Jeremy is very handy with that sort of thing. My kinda guy. ; )


Grace has been taking sewing classes. I am a little jealous and want to hide behind the quilts that hang in the studio and secretly learn too. As a serious seamstress wannabe, I will forgo being taught, and have my daughter live the dream, instead. She is tickled with the lessons, and has already made tote bags, a skirt for her AG doll, and a headband. This is a craft I am very happy for her to learn.

When I enter this shop, my brain does these cartwheels and my heart goes a little flippy flop. You can smell creative in here. It smells just like fabric, but with color. The sun pours into the work area where the girls sew, bathing the tables with soft golden light. Machines hum, and a puff of steam escapes into the air as one of the girls is done pressing her seams.That is the atmosphere in there. Quiet. Calm. Warm.

The miles and miles of fabric is kept away from the rays that may fade it, but it is still well lit in the back. As I wait for the class to be done, I gaze longingly at the potential that is begging to happen.

There are these tight little aisles that run the labyrinth throughout, just the right size for meandering, and chewing on ideas. Everywhere you look, the selection grabs you. Cat paws, polka dots, Santa Claus, spiders, chevron stripes, mushrooms and cute owls. You name it, it is there. And, Nesting doll fabric??? Dude, you already had me at hello. I just might buy the bolt only to keep in my closet and hug once in awhile. I am sold.

Ahhhh. The Quilt Shop. Sigh. Move my new pantry in here, and I just might move in.


I am taking next week off to do some Church goin', egg hunting, Easter feasting, and family loving. Wishing you a lovely Easter to you and yours. Do enjoy.

See you in two weeks!! XOXO~M

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Whole body cleanse

About a week and a half ago, I was folding clothes and watching TV in our bedroom. It was one of those afternoons I call "gentle." You look at the clock and it's at least a good two hours before you have to be anywhere. Sunshine was busily searching the room, looking for new spots to shine upon. Favorite fleece clothes were worn, only the kind you dare wear at home, and the room was *gasp* on it's way to being clean. To be very honest, for me that is quite a feat. I will share the blame with Jeremy as we both use the room for what it is: a place to crash at night, shed clothes, don new ones, and leave. It can get a bit, ahem, messy. Our room is our crash pad, and not used for much else, so, being in our bedroom in the early afternoon, humming to the TV commercials and folding laundry was kinda something nice. It felt productive. I liked it.

 Dr. Oz was on, and I have to admit, I am a fan of his, but have never watched the show. It sucked me in, and I learned all I wanted to know about belly fat and hormones. I nodded a lot, as if he could see me through the TV screen. Groaned with the audience when he mentioned no matter how hard you work out, it won't do anything to shed weight unless your hormones are in balance. He went on to talk about his three day smoothie cleanse which intrigued me, and I wanted to learn more. Do tell, Dr. Oz. It looked doable, eating nothing but four smoothies a day for three days, and my mind searched for the best three days to do it when I would be busy enough not to be tempted with such things as wine and dessert, aka, NOT on a weekend. I told Jeremy about it, and he said he would do it with me. I started to get excited. I've had this five pounds hanging around which stuck to my a** the second I turned thirty five that I wanted gone. Maybe this could kick start loosing that birthday bulge?? Could I be so lucky?

Let me just tell you, Dr. Oz, sometimes your body does things to you once a seed of thought has been planted into your mind. I was busy thinking about this cleanse when a couple days later my body decided to do a little (a LOT) of cleansing of its own. I came down with the freaking stomach flu. I haven't had the stomach flu since the fourth grade, which I remember very well because it was so awful. And, this was just as awful, and it wasn't no 24hr bug, either. We are talking 48 hours of ridding every single speck of food out of the body, then living off small bites of apple for the next three days after, because just the smell of food may bring the past two day nightmare back for a repeat visit. I still don't feel back to normal. Silver lining? Those five pounds I wanted to loose? Gone. Bad thing? Two have already come back since I have started eating small amounts of food, and, I may never eat a Trader Joe's turkey corn dog with hot and sweet mustard ever, ever again.. I'll take it, tho, loosing the three pounds. Even though Dr.Oz's cleanse might have been tastier, healthier, and doesn't require you to be on your knees hugging the porcelain throne, I don't think I will be doing the smoothie cleanse anytime soon. The great cleanse of 2013 has been done. Mind over matter, Dr. Oz, mind over matter.


I've had an itch I've been needing to scratch.  Pinterest has been teasing me with these cute little terrariums floating around its site. So, I scrounged up some containers all found for a buck or two at our local thrift shop, and I started to plant. And not just terrariums, but I planted in any cute container I could find. If it can hold soil, it can hold a cactus.  So, if you have a green thumb, and have a love of cacti, plant some. Bring some green inside.

This is my favorite container I found. I researched the stamp on the bottom of it which led me to the history of where it came from. It was made for the Arlington Hotel by Wallace Bros. Silver Co. The hotel was erected in the late 1880's then was taken down board by board and moved by train 300 miles away to be re-erected, only to have it burned to the ground on New Years day ten years later. How this piece ended up here on our little Island over 100 years later for sale for $2.50 at Granny's Attic, I will never know. Go figure. I do love it though, and it's history.

Creamers and sugar containers make great houses for cacti. They shined up nicely after a good cleaning from the thrift store and now live on my windowsill.

If you are interested in making a terrarium, it is super easy.

Good things to have on hand are:

                       GLOVES (cannot stress that enough, especially if you are working with cactus)

                       A straw


                       A small spoon for moving the rocks around

You will need:

                      A terrarium container

                       Small cacti or small plants

                       Rainbow or crushed rock. Or, sand, if you like

                       cactus potting soil

                       potting charcoal

First, gather your supplies and pick a place where you can spread out. At our place, unfortunately that meant the dining room table, which would have been fine if I didn't accidentally tip over the open bag of potting soil which fell all over the chair and floor. If you are using your table like me, line it with some newspaper for easy clean up.

Next, you want great drainage, so you fill the bottom of your container with crushed rock. Then, sprinkle on about three or four tablespoons ( more if using a big container) of potting charcoal onto your rocks. It will look like this:


      Next, put in a layer, not too deep, of potting soil, and if you can, use the potting soil that is made especially for succulents. Once that layer is in, carefully plant your cactus. It will be a tight squeeze, so this is where the gloves become important as your hands will constantly be brushing up against the cactus. A small spoon is good too, for putting the soil around the plants. Once the cacti are planted, cover that layer of soil with more of the crushed/rainbow rock and use the tweezers to pick out rocks from the cactus, or the straw to gently blow the dirt off if there is any in the cactus crevasses.


The terrariums like lots of light and thrive on neglect, so they make pretty good houseplants. Place your little science project somewhere bright, and water very rarely. And, there you go. Insta cactus garden.


Today is my mom's birthday. I cannot tell you how much I love this woman. She is the kindest person I know, I could literally melt into her hug, she has a goofy/corny/silly sense of humor, and she still dresses up for Halloween. You cannot not love her. She is the best. I love you, mom, more than you will ever, ever know. XXX's and OOO's.

                                                          Happy Birthday to you!!!!!

                   A lemon bliss bundt cake with blackberry glaze I made for my mom's birthday table. : )

Sunday, March 10, 2013

See you next week

I'm in the midst of The Monster Stomach Flu of 2013. Feeling too weak to write. Be back next week!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Chasing a little Grace

I took a little time off of the blog to do some thinking. I went back and forth, working with the ebb and flow of weighing the decision on whether I should keep writing and sharing on the blog, or to put it down for a while. The easy thing to do would be to stop and shut up tight like a clam, and retreat to my once quieter existence. I definitely take the easy route sometimes, and that option sure looked very appealing. However, once I thought I had made the decision to stop writing, that part of your gut that won't let you rest, let me know that I wasn't done yet. It is unfinished, it told me.

I have had trouble in the past accepting support. So much so, that the day of Vanessa's funeral I spoke to no one, and didn't hardly let anyone talk to me, or give me their condolences, even though the church was packed. Looking back, that was a huge mistake. I feel very badly about not letting those people grieve with and for me, but I just didn't know what to do, so I put up a big wall and kept everyone out. Everyone. Those years of darkness that followed, I pushed everyone away, refused to be helped, and wanted to go die alone. And, I did.

To say the least, those dark years were very difficult to go it alone. Partly because I lost so many people during my retreat, and I don't blame them. I blame myself for the shut out. What I didn't let happen, hurt me more, which left the road to recovery a road I had to pave on my own. A job much harder left to one.

As said before, mostly this blog is for my Grace. It is a journal for her, a gift from her mother. When she is older, she will have a piece of me at this age to relate to, have, and to love. I will be different years from now, but this is me now. In my mid thirties, and these are my thoughts while she is still young.

I could share only with her, and keep this blog for our eyes only, which is a possibility someday. But, for now, part of this blog is for you. To share, and to hopefully reach someone that is needing a lift to their day, or to connect with a loss they can relate to and not feel so alone, or to get a new recipe for their cooking repertoire. It is also for me. Your support, I am finally letting it fill me. The kind words, thoughts, prayers have all settled deep within, and I am grateful to you. A kind circle is what I want for this blog, and that is what you have given me. I may not be as consistent with it as I have been in the past, but I will try and find that courage and balance to write until my gut lets me rest.

So, I will continue to chase my little Grace.