Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Nailed It!

You know sometimes when you know you have picked the right present for someone?   Like, 48 colors of nail polish for one of my daughters……..

Christmas 2012 011

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry and Bright


I have enjoyed our Advent theme as we journey from darkness to  light together, each week adding more light into our worship space. 

I am grateful for a sense of light that I am carrying in my heart. In spite of much sadness in our world, our country, our family, I am more confident than ever that indeed the light DOES shine in the darkness, and the darkness has not put it out.  (John 1:5)


Saturday, December 15, 2012

June Apples

Rather than calling the roll all of the time, I tell my DH and kids that I am having dinner with the Mean Moms, or lunch with the 4 Season Friends, or am headed to dinner with the Weenie Moms.  Pretty much, those key words spoken, they know exactly who I am with. There some friends who are in more than one group. And some friends are not really in one of my “groups” (or “gangs” in the case of the Mean Moms.

Tonight I had dinner with my Apples in June friends.  I’ve linked to this video in the past. The first time I heard Carla Gover sing it I cried all the way through.  I’m older now, and my gatherings have become less hurried, the kids are older, we find more time to talk about who we are and how we are making it. Especially with the Apples In June friends, we cut to the chase and dispense with the small talk.  And sometimes, just their company and the chance to lay down my load does indeed make me feel “magical, wild, and free”. More often than not, I just feel rich and fortified.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Nap Nook


Our sweet little pug dog Odie went blind a couple of months ago. It happened overnight and nearly broke my heart.  I have adjusted, realizing that he is not in pain and that this will not shorten his life.  At first he was very befuddled and hesitant to move about, but he is slowly getting back to his little impish self.  Early on, one evening I couldn’t find him.  Luckily he is such a loud snorer, I could follow the sound and found him behind the bathroom door tucked into DH’s clothes that he left there after his shower.  Since then, this happens several times a week.  I guess he wanders around and finds a soft place to land that smells like his favorite person in the world.  Now, I don’t have the heart to gather his laundry until after Odie is tucked in for the night in our bed.  Anything that makes him feel more secure is okay by me. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Welcome Back Old Friend!

Oh my!  Just the sight of this and I can hear the steady ding ding ding and see the rotating patterns on the wall.  Somehow I had forgotten about angel chimes!  I loved them.  Not so much on putting together the sharp and bendable little tin parts, but oh so worth it!  Okay, I’m ordering one now.  And I hope it comes….tomorrow. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Some major Alicia link love

I wrote this post a little over a year ago. Refresh your memory. You need to read that post to go to the next one.

It is fitting that I mark my return to Wednesday Link Love with a new link to the wonderful Alicia’s blog and this beautiful post. Go there now and read it.  Really.

And then, of course you will want to read the next 7 weeks of posts and look at the pictures.  I have always found her blog to be a sensory treat, with her beautiful photographs of her lovely home and the beautiful things she makes and the sweet creatures she shares her life with.  Today’s post is just so beautiful and so lyrical that I have to insist that you also hop over and read it too.  And when you are finished reading it, go back and read the last  paragraph all over again.  It is pure delight.  I love the blogging world and the amazing women I have come to “know” because of it. Okay, just read this passage one more time.

Sometimes I have to go out by myself to get some stuff done and then, alone in the car, driving my old familiar routes out to the post office, the fabric store, over the little mountain whose village-like view I like to treat myself to in every season, I usually cry a little bit, thinking about everything that came before, how hard it was, and how hard some things are, and how tender life is, for everyone. Everyone you meet. December, with its fog and dark trees, and delicate branches waving in the cold, and its white berries hanging heavy from wire-thin black branches waving in the cold, makes me feel soft and tearful. I wind the car through the trees. The cold air smells of cedar. The route is old but I am new. I hurry to return home even though I'm trying to go slow, to let myself go slow enough to feel it all, to settle into every mile of this journey. Every season of this life. This glowing, golden gift

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Primed and ready


Last year my friend Beth encouraged me to join in on a 12 Days of Christmas Art Swap that she has been participating in for several years. It was so very fun that I have looked forward to being a part of it again all year.  Each of the women in the swap make 12 gifts with the only rule being that it has to be able to fit through a mail slot.  Each of us was assigned a day and given the addresses of all of the participants.  I am Day 7.  The person who is Day 13 makes one for each person to open on the day that is their own gift day so that you have a gift to open each of the 12 days.  Mine went postal last Friday, and AFTER Day 7 I will post a picture of what I made. 

I bought a special box to hold my  gifts in as they arrive, and 8 of my little gifts are already poised and ready to be opened on their given day.  It is so fun to have something to look forward to every day.  I’ll be sharing what the gifts are as they are opened, but I can already tell you that every single one is a treasure!

It’s beginning to look a lot like……August

There is just something very wrong with having to run the fans in the house as I decorate for Christmas.  In Kentucky.  On December 3rd.  I saw a dandelion popping its little yellow head up when I walked the dogs tonight. 

I put Christmas afghans on the arms of our living room chairs tonight in good faith that there will be a chilly evening when we want to hunker down beneath them while we drink our hot chocolate.  Holding out for some “cozy”!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dark into Light, Rich into Richer

Today we entered into our Advent journey- a journey from darkness into light. 

A friend reminded me today of an old practice that I have fallen away from.  For a long time I had a standing “date” to meet a good friend online each night around 10 and we would chat about our day, often mentioning what “made us rich” that day.  When my girls came along, this also became a part of our night time ritual.  I would ask, “What made you rich today?”, and one of the girls was the scribe and we kept track of it in a little notebook.  Somewhere in this house I feel sure those notebooks that we filled with riches are still floating around.  While I can’t put my hands on them right now, I can tell you with certainty that you could look through every page and you would be hard pressed to find mention of anything that money could buy.  There were plenty of cardinal sightings and visits with friends or books we were reading.  But never once a mention of “stuff”.  How I hope that my girls never reframe their understanding of wealth.

That said, this is my list for today:

  • Walking into the church and finding it lovingly prepared, the stage fully set, to guide us through the journey of Advent together. 
  • Dinner tonight of wonderful Ethiopian food shared with a large group of church friends and our Eritrean refugee family in a local restaurant.  It was toasty and cozy inside and the food was great and the conversation interesting, and we were all beautiful at that big table.
  • A brief street corner visit with neighbor friends.
  • Feeling well fed and well loved and ready to rest to rise to meet a new week.

Thanks be to God for the wonderful gifts of this day.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Oh, it’s cryin’ time again……

Last night I got weepy looking at a site I used to make our Christmas cards.  All of those sweet families, all different configurations of family, all looking so happy and so dear to each other.  And the sight of my own design, with my own dear family tipped the balance into a full fledge cry.  Yes, it’s that time of year.  Everything I see, every person I see, every song or snippet of conversation I overhear are all conspiring to make me tear up.  I’m just a sap that way.  And something about the season of Advent just makes me take my heart out of its protective shell and hold it right out in the palm of my hand for all the world to touch.  And in some tiny tiny tiny way, isn’t that indeed what God did for us at Christmas?

So, would you care to join me for a little sap?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Finding my way back…..

I’m not even sure if anyone even still stops by here…..but I’m working in the direction of becoming more regular with posts.  It has taken me all week to tinker with the layout!  I’ve gotten kind of rusty. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Making up for lost time…..

One thing I learned a long time ago about myself is that when I wait too long to do something, I become paralyzed and can’t find my way back.  I made a promise myself to at least get all of my Fresh Stop weekly photos up before the season ends….and it ends on Wednesday.  And so, with no further ado, I give you…..

Week Nine

                             WEEK NINE

00Week Ten4

                               WEEK TEN

Week 11

                                 WEEK ELEVEN

Week 12

                                 WEEK TWELVE

Week 13

                                  WEEK THIRTEEN

More to follow, and recipes too! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fresh Stop Week Eight


On Wednesdays, my office mate Jacquelyn and I speculate and hope all day as we prepare to go pick up our produce.  A few weeks ago, DH went with me to pick up and last week he had to go for me.  Now he is hooked, enjoying the fun of seeing what we get!   Pictured above is what we got today, and boy did we feel like the richest people in Louisville as we pulled away.  In addition to what you see, we also bought more melons and tomatoes off of the market table.  So, what we have here are tomatoes (yellow and red), green peppers, apples, cantaloupe, zucchini, peaches, carrots, cucumbers, and watermelon.  I’m thinking of trying my hand at refrigerator pickles, and will definitely freeze some more tomatoes. 

Fresh Stop- Week Seven


Week Seven found me a little under the weather, so much of it is still waiting to be cooked this weekend.  I did work up a window sill of tomatoes for the freezer and it is a great feeling to think of pulling them out some winter day for soups or sauces.  What we have here are: onions, tomatoes, eggplant, carrots, corn, peaches, okra, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and blackberries. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

At Long Last, some Link Love

Check out the Summer Porch Party over at Southern Hospitality.  Be sure to scroll down to all of the links of the great porches that were submitted.

Since I read this wonderful piece about Stranger Dinner Parties, I’ve thought of it and thought it would be very neat.  And so contrary to the way the world works.  Should I try it?!

By far my favorite blog of late is one written by my next door neighbor’s sister.  She and her husband are kicking off their retirement by spending six months in NYC.  Their  blog is wonderful!

And now for a little eye candy.  Aren’t these playgrounds amazing?  I can barely finish a granny square…….. 

I first heard of Meghan on Kind Over Matter and became a huge fan immediately.  This song makes me happy.  Check her out!

Meghan Tonjes - 'This Year' OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO

Fresh Stop Week Six


I’ve gotten a little behind!  So, this was week before last.  As you can see, beets, tomatoes, zucchini, apples, broccoli,yellow squash, green pepper, cucumbers, and corn. 

The zucchini and yellow squash were made into kabobs with onions and grilled with these chicken breasts and they were great. 

The broccoli played a starring role in this crockpot dish.

And the corn got thrown in with one our summer favorites around here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fresh Stop Week Five


Another great week that included peaches, kale, cantaloupe, green beans, cucumbers, sweet corn, yellow squash, and tomatoes.  In addition to all of the things we got in our regular share, we also bought extra peaches and tomatoes and the blackberries.

Since I had the green beans, I finally made some of the pistachio dust.  I pan seared the beans in a cast iron skillet and then let the dust do its magic.  It was great!  And I have enough of the dust to embellish many more things.  Or to eat with a spoon!

Most of the peaches got eaten straight out of the bowl, but we did roast some one night and served with goat cheese and honey. 

If the corn hadn’t tasted so dang good straight off the cob, I had plans to make this blueberry and corn salad.  Maybe this week!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fresh Stop- Week Four


This week’s haul included: peaches, beets, (and beet greens!), broccoli, green peppers, zucchini, swiss chard, Chinese cabbage, and tomatoes. 

The peaches got eaten pretty fast, and straight from hand to mouth.  They met the criteria of good peaches- so juicy that you get peach all over you when you eat one.

The beets were pickled and eaten- by me.

The zucchini paired with some yellow summer squash were used to make this salad which was delicious!!

The Chinese cabbage was HUGE and it took lots of slicing and dicing to bring it under submission.  But, so worth it when we sat down to this yummy salad.

Looking forward to trying my hand at making stuffed chard leaves.  No  picture, but Sounds great.

Hopefully, all of these great fresh nutritious dishes will balance out the Texas Sheetcake I made tonight for a co-worker’s birthday.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fresh Stop- Week Three


And, as you can see, it just keeps getting better and better!  This week: potatoes, lettuce, red and white onions, green beans, sugar snap peas, spinach, yellow squash, kale,cucumber, and tomatoes. 

So, here are my plans.  The spinach went fast- some stuffed shells the night I picked it up, and the next night it was a perfect bed to serve this realllllllyyyyy good salmon on.   Of course, we made it for two.

Tomorrow I’ll cook the traditional green beans and potatoes of the south, laced with bacon and a lot of salt.

Today I used some of the red onion in this salad.

I was going to make kale chips, but then my friend pinned this recipe, and now I’m leaning toward this.

And I’m definitely going to use some of the yellow squash and some zucchini to try shaved since I keep running into recipes.  Maybe I’ll do this salad.

I started eating the sugar snaps in the car on the way home with them, and I personally sliced and ate all three of the tomatoes…… Can’t wait for next Wednesday!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fresh Stop, Week Two


Cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, yellow squash, snow peas, onion, radishes, zucchini, collard greens, and romaine lettuce!  I’m pretty pumped about the first tomatoes!  Really, about all of it.  It is so fun to show up and see what we get this week!

So, here’s what I’m thinking for my meal plan this week:

Probably going to make these tomorrow night.

Clean Eating Roasted Summer Squash

My slaw last week was delicious, but I think this week we will pop that cabbage on the grill

If I can figure out what mirin is and where you get it, I might give this salad a whirl.


And then I might make this…. as a complimentary side to local veggies, a Kentucky Butter Cake!


Can’t wait til next week!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wednesday just became the best day of the week!


Yesterday began my second year of enjoying wonderful fresh local produce made available to me by the Fresh Stop program.  Last year I never blogged about it because I felt like it was all just too good to be true!!   This year I hope to give a weekly report.

Sooooo, yesterday we got cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers. zucchini, yellow squash, green onions, kohlrabi, green beans, beets, swiss chard, and buttercrisp lettuce- three big heavy bags. 

For years, Wednesday has been my least favorite day of the week, but I think that’s about to change!  I can’t even tell you how excited I get each week to see what we will get.  My friend and neighbor Mr. Al runs the program, and he lovingly selects each and every item and has developed a great network of farms and auctions for the highest quality local produce. 

One of the things I love most is that it pushes me to find new ways to prepare things, some of which we might not have tried otherwise.  For this week?  I’m thinking about this-

Swiss Chard with Olives

Swiss Chard with Olives

Pinned Image

Tonight we had stuffed zucchini


Cracklin’ Cauliflower on the docket this weekend…

Roasted Beets with Balsamic Vinegar

And some old-fashioned slaw.

Can’t wait til next Wednesday!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wednesday Link Love

If you haven’t read this story, do.  You never know what kids are thinking  (or will say!).
Love these bowls!  And doesn’t he make it look easy?  Probably not….
I think I want to go on vacation with the Hamptons!
While this would not work for those folks who don’t want their foods to touch, sounds great to me!
So, now I MUST have some pistachio dust……
A bank for your riches!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Manifesto


Inspired by Ali Edwards and her Summer Manifesto, I decided to make my own list of intentions, in no particular order.

1.  Sit outside every night.  Even after the baby possum slinked past tonight and scared the heck out of me.

2. Get the grill back up and running.  We ran out of gas in the middle of last summer and have yet to replace it and start grilling again.

3. Fresh fruit or veggies at every meal.

4. More lunches with more friends.  I have a miles long list of people I’d love to have some time with, and I need to get started on making that happen.

5. Keep cut flowers in the house.  Even if I have to buy them.

6. Take a weekend trip with DH.  Maybe the MegaBus to Chicago?!

7. Try spray painting.  So many folks doing so many cool things, but I’ve been easily intimidated out of doing it with the excuse of too much wind or it not being warm enough out.  I can do this.

8.  More Guerilla Kindness missions.

9. More regular blog posts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday Link Love (if I have any readers left!)

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a bit.  My kids bugged me a bit about it tonight, which was the reminder I needed.

I don’t know if you have ever tried making a cake pop.  I have.  They tasted great.  But they were not attractive.  Now, I have a cousin who is a full blown cake pop artist and I highly recommend hers!   So, I cannot even fathom the work it took to pull this baby off, but isn’t it just amazing!

Now this may call for a road trip.  But, I think Louisville has some fine establishments too.  (Personal fav- The Unique on Preston)

Oh, I’d love to have been at this Book Group!

Not having ridden a bicycle in a good 40 years, these pictures fascinate me.  Some very interesting options for cargo carrying!

Aside from the obvious favorite (the pug), there are at least 20 others of these I would love to have!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Link Love


Dear Alicia- There are many things I envy about the beautiful home you have created…..but this lovely yard tops the list.

I think Maize is so so clever!

Love this little happy bird!

I’m about the last person who would ever go camping, but I am still always fascinated by tents.  And this is a cool one.

Love looking at these agemaps.

DH has wanted a scooter for ages.  At this point, maybe he should look into one of these.  Maybe we could both get one and be in a scooter gang.

I love these, and the artwork is about my level.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Survival of the Fittest…..

I’m not even sure how it is that I stumbled upon the pocket survival kit contest, but once I saw it I’ve spent more time that I want to admit thinking of what I would put in mine.  I’m quite fascinated at all that the folks who have entered thought to include.  I think I would fill mine with pharmaceuticals- allergy pills, my diabetes meds, pain pills, phenergan, lomotil…….if only a can of Dr. K would fit in.   What would you include?  Since seeing these, I think I must have a swiss army lite

And then somehow I found my way to 22 Manly Ways to Re-use an Altiod Tin.  Wow!

Any other great ideas for a tin?!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Link Love

Ohhh, I love this!

So, if you think orange won’t work for a wedding dress….you are wrong!

This looks like a fun read!

Add this to the list of things I want to make after I have my little sewing lesson.

Oh, I want to live in one of Ross Chapin’s little pocket communities!  This is my house of choice right now.  Be sure to click the link at the bottom to see some pictures.

If you are thinking about planning a dinner party with a decade theme, this is a good reference point.  And maybe the reference point will make you want to have a decade dinner party.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Christ is risen.

Don’t debate it, or try to prove it or understand it.

That’s like trying to prove that the moon is lovely.

Just let it be true.

Give up, and let it be.

Don’t try to guess (which is all we could do)

what kind of body, what sort of process.

Just let the sun rise.

Let God have the way of love and life.

Let goodness overpower evil,

love drive out fear, life defeat death.

Christ is risen.

Don’t try to make it into a theory;

let it be a mystery.

Let it haunt you, let it startle you,

let it push you out of bed in the morning,

let it draw you into love.

Christ is risen.

Let Christ rise in you.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I am good at things……

So, I saw a blurb about this book….

and then watched this video…..

So I asked my family tonight what unusual things I am good out and they say that I am good at knowing how to get anywhere without getting on a freeway, at finding a youtube video for any repair needed in our home, at identifying drug deals that are going down (family joke….I am ALWAYS thinking that something I see is a drug deal going down…), I am good at making friends at stores I frequent, and I am good at finding recipes.

What are you good at?  I’d love to know!

Friday, April 6, 2012

To Remember and to Receive

Our time at Jeff Street on Maundy Thursday looks a lot more like this

Maundy Thursday Love Feast 2009

than this-

Our foot washing more like this-

than this-

It is such a treasured and important time for us to gather around the table together  for a meal that we all put our best into and then to remember the life of our Lord and to follow the Christ’s example  in love and service to each other. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Link Love


Isn’t this beautiful?!  Brit-Arnhild is always bringing me beauty in pictures and in words.

Heard about the Tutu Project?

Check out Slimkicker!  Looks like a fun way to track your goals.

I wonder if I had a happy jar like this if I would make more cupcakes?

I’m looking forward to a little sewing class a friend of mine is going to do at my church.  Not because I want to make my own clothes, or really anything practical.  But I could be making this!

I hope you will take the time to read Jen’s very moving letter here.