Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Because, "life" gets busy . . .
It was recently brought to my attention
 that I didn't have a follow/subscribe button
 on my blog. Oops! 
I do now!  Join up!
And, Thanks for Visiting!

(now, I've gotta figure out the "button" thingy!)

Every Day and Every Night
for the last
9 days ...
It's time for this crud to be gone.

I have fought this head and chest cold with
Vitamin C
Lots of fluids
it's still

I suppose I should have added
plenty of rest
in there somewhere.

But, I didn't get any of that.
Maybe today.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tea Time!

Oh, how I tea time!  Anytime!

I don't understand while sitting quietly with a cup of hot tea is so relaxing.
I suppose 'cause it's "me time" and I'm not physically occupied with other things.

Rose Fruity Milk Tea
has become one of my favorite chillin' sips!
I'm hoping I will find it locally soon.  I've looked!
I believe the Asian Market told me it was Vietnamese.
So, if you see any, give me a heads up, please!

Thanks to a dear friend for keeping me supplied!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Best Part of Waking Up , , ,

DayQuil and . . .

Today the exhaustion level is high ..... very high.
A combination of a chest/head cold (going on five days now),
joining the family at the fair last night (that cool night air didn't help any)
and canning fatigue (Yes, you "heard" right, Canning Fatigue")
after two long days and nights of canning.

I still have  42#s of Granny Smith Apples to deal with.
I'm thinking pie filling and dehydrating, if the dehydrator
arrives before the last apple is canned!

Keller-Bug just arrived for the day and went straight to her bed.
She's zonked out (9am) from her first Fair experience last night.
That's "Barney" next to her! After Jen posts the fair pics
on her blog, I'll link up so y'all can see them!

And .... it's time to feed the sourdough starter and bake some bread for the neighbors, of course!

But, first .... isn't it time for another dose of  Dayquil?
I'm thinking I may throw a load of laundry on and
curl up on the couch while Keller is sleeping off
her corndog hangover and the Ferris Wheel High!
She'll be rip-roaring when she wakes up!

That's about it for the miscellaneous thoughts
bouncing around in my head this Monday morning.
It's a little stuffy up there.  Hope I didn't bore you all to tears today!
I think I hit a home run with the "mundane"!
See Y'all tomorrow for Home Tour Tuesday!

Link up with Lowercase Letters and Miscellany Monday right here!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

This is another old draft that never got published ... this was drafted nearly a year ago ... funny thing is when I find an old draft and post it, it appears as the most recent post.  This one has a little age on it!  I can report .. that I have recovered my "peaceful place" both externally and internally!

I confess.  I haven't been doing the "seek ye first" thing lately.  Perhaps that explains why my focus is off. Way off.  Blessings abound, yet the melancholy has set in.  The busy-ness of life has served as a distraction.   I've slowed things down significantly over the last six months and still have things on my to-do list that need to be dropped.  One thing at a time.  I miss my quiet space.

That would be the chair in my guest room where I used to read and meditate on the direction my life has taken.  I miss it because that room has become a dumping place for things that have no other place.  Things too nice to send packing to Goodwill or consignment shops.  It was, a short while back, where my grandbaby took her daily naps.  Now she naps in the playpen in the living room.  I've got to declutter that room so it can be a quiet place for me again.  But first, I've gotta balance my checkbook and get some things in the mail, and work on a painting commission and water the plants on my back porch, and get the laundry outta the dryer, and ..... .   This is the cycle I must break. 

I came across a blog this morning while looking for an image of a snail, of all things!  Coincidence or not.  I found Seek First His Kingdom at  January 2010 the blog went on a hiatus, silent if you will. But, if you have the time to check out the archive, it's worth it.  Lots of inspiration!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

That's what I thought this morning when I got up to this 50# pile of new potatoes!
50#s of Sweet Potatoes are standing by too!
I'm re-learning a time-old craft ~ canning!
I refuse to be intimidated by a pressure cooker any longer!
I've been perusing some canning sites online!
Food in Jars! Canning Homemade! ~ Canning Granny!

I scrubbed potatoes last night for over an hour and left them to drain overnight.
After cutting out questionable spots and cutting up into stew size chunks (unpeeled),
I dry-packed the potatoes into sterilized quart jars, added salt
and hot water and pressure canned.  I did it!!  I did it!
I can use these for soups, stews, mashing or any potato recipe!

For the Freezer!

I quartered approximately 10#s and tossed one batch with olive oil,
salt, pepper and rosemary, and the other batch with olive oil, Lawry's, garlic and parsley,
and roasted them about 15 minutes at 375 degrees with the convection fan on.
After thoroughly cooling, they were placed in the freezer to partially freeze
and then scooped into freezer bags for future meals!
I figured if I can find frozen roasted potatoes in the freezer section at the grocer, I can do it!
I ended up with five very full quart size freezer bags of each flavor!
(btw, I have frozen mashed-potatoes too!  They do tend to be a bit watery
when you re-heat them.  Just let that water cook out and add a little milk and voila!)

Listening for the ping of the jars reminded me of
the countless hours spent canning and freezing
food from the garden with my grandmother many years ago!

50#s New Potatoes ~  $19.95
50#s Sweet Potatoes ~ $11.00
Relearning an old craft ~ Priceless!

Next:  the Sweet Potatoes! 
Soon, pumpkins and apples!! 
It's what's in season!

I visited a blog I follow last night called  Easy Living the Hard Way  I love reading about Holly's goings on!  The article linked is Disappearing Bees and is uber informative!!  Who knew?!!!  Thanks Holly for sharing and for the beautiful photography!!  Below is part of her post.  Please read on!

"Systemic pesticides are scary. They can't be washed off like the old kind of bug killers. So cleaning your fruits and vegetables you buy in the store to wash off the pesticides is fast becoming a thing of the past. Systemic pesticides are applied to the seed or the leaves and this pesticide becomes a part of the vascular system of the plant expressed through the pollen, nectar, and gulation droplets. It is in the fruit, not just on it."

The blog post brought to my memory when we first moved to this location and found the previous owner had left five or six honey bee hives on the property.  Knowing absolutely nothing about bees, we contacted a local bee keeper to remove them.  He relocated them to his own property.  It was quite amazing watching him suit up "smoke" the hives and just load them up!  Amazing! 

On another note, I've had issues for two years growing squash and zucchini.  I get tons of blossoms but no fruit. My neighbor had the same problem.  This past growing season he hand-pollenated his plants when they bloomed and had a bumper crop!  I will try this next year!  I see bees pollinating everything else so I don't quite get it with the squash.  We have lots of blooming flowers during the year so they do have that as well. 

This bee issue is a concern to anyone who gardens.  Hand pollinating can be a labor intensive, time consuming task.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Another art event behind me!  
Not planning on participating in anymore this fall. 
Gearing up for the holidays!

We had a great time seeing old friends and fellow artists (some met both criteria!) last weekend while participating in the National Annual Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores!  Sales were decent even though the crowds were off (per the artists' opinions) regardless of what the newspaper headlines said.  The volunteer staff did a bang-up job getting us in and out, as well as providing occasional assistance and refreshment!  Speaking of "refreshment" (weren't we?), I devoured a Cajun Pistol from Red Wagon Concessions first day out!  OMG!  I love those things!  It's seafood bisque pumped into a soft homemade roll.  Heavenly!  Be careful!  You'll be wearing it with the first bite!

The weather was beautiful ..... a little windy a couple of days ... a bit hot on others!  We were able to stay nearby ... within walking distance.  Below is what I saw first thing every morning out the living room window!  Kinda creepy, huh?!  It's the octopus over the retail store in adjacent parking lot!

It was pretty cool to see one of my larger prints hanging on the wall at the Shrimp Basket too!! 

Half Shells - 12x36

And, now, as is the usual case, I'm down with a head/chest cold.  I'm functioning ok ... just at a slower pace.  It seems after I do an event, I come down with something within a few days.  Must be stress and fatigue getting the best of me!  I'll bounce back!  Too many things on the to-do list to lay around for long!

Do some people make you feel inspired or inadequate?

Oftentimes, we share bits and pieces of ourselves ...
our lives ... only to watch as our friends or family
roll their eyes back into their heads,
blowing us off as idiots,
or worse, a "Goody Two Shoes".

Don't ask ... if you're not genuinely interested.

Don't mistake another's knowledge for uppityness.
It's a good way to encourage them not to
share any news or info, good or bad.

There is always a better way!

I came across this blog today and I'll just say .... Ditto!

Not Dabbling in Normal

. . .just sayin!

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go.  Psalms 32:8

With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.   -Dr. Wayne Dwyer

We must be the change we wish to see.  -Ghandi

Every time you suppress some part of yourself or allow others to play you small, you are in essence ignoring the owner's manual [God] gave you and destroying your design. - Oprah

Live up to the best that is in you: Live noble lives, as you all may, in whatever condition you may find yourselves. -Henry W. Longfellow

If it is to be, it is up to me!  Unknown.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. 
-M. Williamson

Go Organic!!


Is it Marketing Hype or The Real Thing? 
How Do We Know For Sure?

"It's important to realize that there are several different organic labels out there, but only one relates directly to foods: the USDA Organic seal. This seal is your best assurance of organic quality. Growers and manufacturers of organic products bearing the USDA seal have to meet the strictest standards of any of the currently available organic labels."

•Products labeled "100% Organic" must contain only organically produced ingredients

•Products labeled "Certified Organic" must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients

•The label "Made with Organic Ingredients" can contain anywhere between 70 to 95
   percent organic ingredients

"In order to ensure you're actually getting your money's worth, you need to make sure the food you buy bears the "100% USDA Organic" label. The problem with the latter two labels is obvious. Anywhere from five to 30 percent of the ingredients may be conventionally-grown, so you're still exposed to pesticide residues and other questionable ingredients. The "Made with Organic Ingredients" is often misused and misleading, just as the "natural" label, as it allows for plenty of conventionally-produced ingredients.

A "100% Organic" product on the other hand cannot be irradiated, and cannot contain preservatives or flavor enhancing chemicals, nor traces of heavy metals or other contaminants in excess of tolerances set by the FDA.

It must also be grown and processed using organic farming methods that recycle resources and promote biodiversity—so it encompasses organic in a holistic way, from start to finish. Crops must be grown without synthetic pesticides, bio-engineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers, or sewage sludge-based fertilizers, and livestock cannot be given growth hormones.

So, in terms of organic food, there's really only one label that can provide you with any real measure of quality, and that's the "100% USDA Organic" label. As the Cornucopia report clearly shows, the "natural" label can be close to worthless in terms of protecting you from harmful ingredients and informing you about the manner in which it was grown."

Visit this link on Dr. Mercola's site to learn more!

Be wise! Always check more than one source for info!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Inspired . . .

This morning, while going thru countless emails, I came across an art related newsletter I've been receiving for several years.  Robert Genn's site - Subscribe to The Painters' Keys newsletter! Always a good read!

A couple of clickbacks later, I stumbled upon these words . . .

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away."

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma--which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Steve Jobs, Apple

Remember that country song by Tim McGraw ... Live Like You Were Dying?
He said: "I was in my early forties,
"With a lot of life before me,
"An' a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
"I spent most of the next days,
"Looking at the x-rays,
"An' talking 'bout the options an' talkin’ ‘bout sweet time."

I asked him when it sank in,
That this might really be the real end?
How’s it hit you when you get that kind of news?
Man what'd ya do?

An' he said: "I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

He said "I was finally the husband,
"That most the time I wasn’t.
"An' I became a friend a friend would like to have.
"And all of a sudden goin' fishin’,
"Wasn’t such an imposition,
"And I went three times that year I lost my Dad.
"Well, I finally read the Good Book,
"And I took a good long hard look,
"At what I'd do if I could do it all again,

"And then:
"I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."

An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."
Like tomorrow was a gift,
And you got eternity,
To think about what you’d do with it.
An' what did you do with it?

An' what would I do with it?
"Sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I watched Blue Eagle as it was flyin'."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,

"To live like you were dyin'."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Keller's First Krispy Kreme Experience!!!

See the chocolate face on Jen's blog at

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Need a Gift???

Remember!!! We have a gallery at Metro Glass!
Come by for a visit!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

He Said "No" . . .

He said No.

I asked God to take away my habit.
He said, No.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No.
His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;
it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings; happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares
and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own, but
I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

(author unknown ... but, God knows)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Clutter Busting.  The word sends chills up my spine. What is it about that word that is intimidating?  And do advertisers think we should only be prompted once a year to toss the things we haven't used in ions?  Shelves and organizing bins and storage systems magically appear barely within seconds of New Year's Eve kisses, as well as magazine covers which expect us to start tossing and organizing remnants from a year that only seconds before became our past  I disagree.  I believe we should edit, edit, edit, daily!  If looking a the pile brings on anxiety, it needs to go .... not a minute sooner than right NOW.  And don't leave it sitting by the front door for three months waiting on your teenage daughter to haul it to the drop box either.  It ain't happening!  Trust me on that one!  Clutter causes me stress.  Not being able to find something causes me stress.  I can deal with it in a timely manner through out my house ... except for my studio and garage.   Both locations seem to be a dumping ground for whatever needs to leave the house.  Need I say more? 

That said, I ventured onto the infamous Clutter Busting a couple years ago and continue to peek in for insight into this chaotic phenomenon of letting go.  They have certainly kept me from derailing and imploding.  Take a stroll over to their website and find them on Facebook too for periodic tips!!  You'll learn something you didn't know before!  I'm sure of it!  Just, please don't tell Brooks that my studio is still in waiting mode. : }

My favorite line from the site is "TAKE BACK YOUR SPACE".
The MEGA Fall To-Do List!
(after Shrimp Festival Weekend)

1.   Prepare for company coming last weekend of this month.

2.   Get onion bulbs IN THE GROUND and off the kitchen counter.

3.   Clean out the pantry.  Really?  You don't have expired stuff?

4.   Canning!  It's Sweet Potato, Apple and Pumpkin Season!

5.   Clean out garage!

6.   Clean out studio!

7.   Start Christmas shopping (which prob won't happen til Christmas Jubilee.
      That usually jump starts me and puts me in the shopping mood!

8.   Get started NOW on those special projects intended for Christmas gifts. 
      No! Really!  NOW!

9.   Check inventory for holiday baking supplies (do this simultaneously with #3).

10. Remember those Christmas cards you were gonna address in July ahead of time

11. Get out some paper and begin the Holiday To-Do List (which begins November 1st).

12. Enough already! And, this is just the beginning!  In the words of a dear friend ...
       Oy Vey!

Disclaimer:  It is highly unlikely (given my desire for building lego towers and reading story books and pulling the red wagon around the back yard) I will accomplish everything on this list before the end of October.  Just sayin!  But, for now, I've gotta get off the puter and punch some dough for Cinnamon Raisin Bread and prepare for a national art festival (which begins Thursday!  TTFN!


Monday, October 10, 2011


I only grew bell peppers and banana peppers this year.  The bells were bountiful.  The banana peppers flopped.  We only got three all season from five plants.  My neighbor, however, grew every imaginable pepper you could think of .... from bells to habaneros!  She generously shared!   Most were used in some form or fashion. 

Last week I found myself with a tray from the most recent bag I received waning a bit and no time to use them. They were a little too wilted to de-seed and freeze, so I opted for dehydrating. I put them into the oven on a cooling rack inside a baking sheet - whole with stems intact - at about 170 degrees for maybe six hours. Turned the oven off and left them in there over the weekend. I actually forgot about them, til I turned the oven on this morning to bake my weekly sourdough bread ... but that's another story.  Anywho!  This is what they looked like after drying and then crumbling:

I ground them finer with a mortar/pestal.  You could always use your extra coffee grinder too!  I'm sure you have one!  I don't!  I have one, but I don't grind coffee.  I bought it years ago for herbs ... but guess what?  It's still in the box.

I stored the ground chili peppers in a cute little jar
I found at a tag sale last weekend!They smell really smokey/peppery!  Can't wait to use them!!!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Other than that, I've been baking bread today! 
I used my sour-dough whole wheat starter.
Experimented a little with the flour .....
60% whole wheat, 20% bread flour and 20% rolled oats.
Also added honey and olive oil! 
OMG!  It turned out amazing!

I can't leave out building Duplo towers,
reading to my granbaby girl, and prepping for an art event. 
It's been a busy Miscellaneous Monday kinda day!

Guess what I had for dinner last night?

Collards from my garden!  Yes! A little bit larger than palm size picked from around the outside of the plants.  Enough for two generous servings!  Actually, except for a couple of bites, I ate them by myself.  My hubs is not a "collards" kind of man.  He said they were good though!  He opted for a salad (greens from my garden!!) with a Roma tomato and a generous amount of bacon pieces!  I didn't prepare the collards in the traditional "cover and cook with water" method.  I rolled them up and sliced them (chiffonade style!) and then sauted them in a little olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper, a teaspoon of sugar (even small leaves can be bitter) and a tablespoon or so of the bacon fat, along with some of the bacon pieces (from my hubs' salad fixins). You should try them cooked this way!  Very High Yum Factor!

Monday, October 3, 2011

What's on  your Plate Palette?

My Favorite Project!  My Granbaby Girl,
Keller, strikin' a pose!

Square Foot Gardening!!  Labor, creativity and prayer!

Knitting is another palette I'm experimenting with!

And a bread baking palette!

Still Juicing too!  Maybe not a palette thing,
but creative combinations!

Add to all that, and I'm also busily preparing for an art event. 
The National Shrimp Festival is less than two weeks away. 
My dining room is in chaos with prints and originals everywhere
 ..waiting to packed in the trailer for the haul to Gulf Shores! 
Y'all come by and visit my booth!!  Would love to meet you all!

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