Friday, January 27, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Happy Friday!!
My sweet serious boy being silly for just a moment.

Inspired by Amanda Soule - Feel free to join in and share a link to your moment.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not a Food Blog

OK, this is not a food blog.  It's never going to be one.  I love cooking and am told I'm pretty good at it but when I cook I have to be efficient.  I have two teenage boys and a husband with very full schedules, so I have to make sure that I can get food on the table sooner rather than later.  That means I don't have a lot of time for photo taking and staging and making things look pretty.  Let's face it, I'm also not the best photographer either.  I get lucky sometimes, but more often than not, my photos are mediocre at best.  And I'm okay with that.  I learned a long time ago that we all can't be good at everything.

Yes, this is my pantry...loving my mason jars!
That being said, in my quest for getting back to simple (and getting back to me), one of the places I have to do a little revamping is in my kitchen. I thought I'd share our progress so far. It started this past weekend when we had sausage and lentils over brown rice.  All the ingredients were purchased at our local co-op.  We aren't members, but I'm seriously thinking about it.  The only downside is that they are getting ready to move the store, which will make it about a 1/2 hour away.  We have a farmers market pretty close, but I'm really wanting to make sure that there aren't a lot of chemicals (translates to pesticides and hormones) which I can't guarantee at either of our farmers markets....anyway, I digress.  Car guy was not thrilled with the idea of lentils because he had them once (really?!?!) and didn't care for them.   I told him that he hadn't had mine....he said it was pretty tasty :)

Last night was another simple, healthy meal.  We are southerners and as such, we love all things fried....which is absolutely terrible but so yummy.  Also, I'm in a house of males, so giving up meat is not an option. This just means I have to rethink how a cook.  I decided to inflict cruel and unusual punishment on said males and made a salad to go with dinner. (No the salad didn't have bananas in it. Those are for The Boys to help prevent leg cramps when wrestling.)  I have to start with baby steps so we had romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions and a little cheese.  

We also had roasted potatoes and baked chicken.  I lightly breaded the chicken by rinsing it and rolling it in bread crumbs.  It gives the illusion of frying. The potatoes were drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with some spices.  This was great because they could cook in the oven at the same time while I made the salad.
Ta Da!  There it is.  Simple, healthy and delicious.  I hope I can keep it up.

We are going to have a garden this spring.  It's the first one we've ever had so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, particularly since I have a tar black thumb when it comes to plants.  I have a tendency to kill them.  One thing I was told was to plant basil in between your tomato plants to keep the rodents out.  Who'd a thunk it? So all you prolific gardeners out there, tell me what you know. We live in the south, so I'll probably have to water my garden on a regular, if not daily, basis.  I know that tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers do really well - as do a lot of herbs. But other than that, I don't know. What about lettuce, potatoes, carrots, etc.  I could go on and on.  I don't expect this first garden to be a smashing success, but I am hoping to have a little something to show for my efforts. 

Finally, last Friday night was Senior Night at the wrestling match.  This is when all seniors are recognized for their contribution to the team.  Number One Son was a four year starter and regional qualifier.  I was so very proud of him.  At the ceremony, each senior presents his mother with some flowers and a kiss on the check.  I don't have any pictures to show because I don't allow pictures to be taken when I'm trying real hard not to blubber like an idiot, so I'll just show you the flowers.  There was some baby's breath as well, but I have little kitties that like to eat it, so it "hit the can" when we go home. 

I would love to hear your thoughts/ideas for my garden.  As I said, I so totally do NOT know what I'm doing, so any help would be appreciated :)  Also, don't get used to this daily posting thing.  You caught me on a good day :)  Hope yours is good as well.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Finding Peace

There are so many things going on in my life that have left me very pensive. Things that are not mine to discuss but have had an impact on my life. Things that make me want to find me, find purpose again and find peace. None of which is going to be easy.

You've heard me make reference before to being a "hippy chick."  I used to eat healthy food, get plenty of sleep and live quite simply.  Somewhere along the way, I've lost that.  I got caught up in life and "things"....Things I don't need, but have convinced myself I want, which somehow translated itself into need. So things are going to change around here.  I'm going to find that inner hippy chick and reacquaint myself with her.  I'm going to find strength in what I know is good.  I'm going to trust my heart and listening to it more carefully. And I'm going to find the woman I was supposed to be.  No more drama.  No more stress. Pleasure in the simple thing. A lot more laughter and friends because lets face it, life is too short to put up with a lot of crap.

Hope your week is wonderful and YOU find pleasure in the simple things.

Friday, January 20, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Happy Friday!!

Inspired by Amanda Soule - Feel free to join in and share a link to your moment.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Simple Prayers....

Well, it's happened.  At the age of 18, Number One Son finally got his drivers license. So this morning I watched as he and Number Two Son got into the deathtrap car and headed to school -  for what felt like the first time - as this mama watched, squeezing the life out of her tube of mascara.  I literally felt like a new mom putting her children on the school bus for kindergarten for the very first time....Will they get there OK?  Will they be safe? How long will it take them to get there.....Yikes! What am I going to do next year when he heads off to college?  I'm not ready! What happened to my sweet cherubic red headed angel? Who is the 6'2" stranger air kissing my cheek as he slides out the door with a barely intelligible "love you Mom" and a huge grin on his face that screams "FREEDOM!"  How do you get 10 lbs of waterproof mascara off your hands because you squeezed the tube so hard? *sigh*

So all I ask for today...and for the rest of his life...are for your simple prayers...good mojo, safe vibes, whatever you be sent to this boy and his brother for their safety.  And happiness.  And success.  And love......

Thank you for putting up with this mama's fraught nerves.

Friday, January 13, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words  - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Happy Friday!!

One last cuddle.

 Inspired by Amanda Soule - Feel free to join in and share a link to your moment.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

In and Out

I try not to get philosophical here too often, but sometimes the events in life just kind of take me there.  I've been thinking a lot about how people come in and out of our lives and the impact they have.

Some people come in like a bolt of lightening - all flash and sizzle - and then leave burn marks as they blaze out.  For whatever reason, these marks can heal quickly since they weren't there long enough to sink in.

Others quietly enter with a shy smile and gentle supportive hand.  They can leave just as quietly, but leave a profound hole because they were so deeply entrenched in every day life leaving  those moments of  "Oh! I'll have to tell.....oh, wait...."

Then there are the ones that remove themselves and leave us  trying to figure out why...what did I do?  Did I hurt them?  Don't they like me anymore? When it's actually that their lives have just changed and it's time for them to move on.

I've discovered that knitting and crochet are very much like this.  The needle/hook goes in and out, the yarn wraps around them, producing a rich fabric.  Sometimes stitches get dropped or skipped, leaving a hole, but the fabric remains strong.  Once it's done, there is a garment full of colors and stories...When I made that my sister-in-law was pregnant with her fourth child, my oldest was a senior in high school....We might like some of the garments better than others, but they have all enriched our lives. They've kept us warm and protected at some point. They each had something to offer even if they wear out or no longer fit.  They all had a purpose.

I hope all your "garments" have enriched your life and you take from them what you need to keep and let go of the rest.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quietly Knitting

Hello everyone!  Hope you are doing well.  Things have been kind of quiet here, which is a good thing after my little crime spree. I haven't picked my sock back up yet.  I'm dreading ripping those few rows out.  I thought about leaving them as a reminder of my time in the big house.  What do you think? 

Since then, I've been pretty busy with my knitting. I have made two items that are...are you ready for this....of my own design?!?!  How cool is that?  I've only designed a few other things and those items were some crocheted bits for my sainted mother, so I'm totally jazzed by this.  The first item is a hat that is a late Christmas present for my sister-in-law.  I'm not going to post any pictures of it until she gets it.  I think that's only fair since it is her hat.  I will say that the yarn played a great role in the design.  You'll understand when I finally show you.

The other item I designed is something for me.  Sometimes my hands get cold at work and I've found that I don't type very well with gloves or mittens on, so I've made myself some mitts.  I looked around at some patterns and everything that I found, while beautiful, just wasn't exactly what I wanted. So I sat down with my needles and some yarn and came up with this:
What do you think?  I embroidered the little flowers on there too.  If you can't tell, I've never done any embroidery before, so it shows.  But that's OK.  The cuffs have a  little faux cable that doesn't really show up that well because the yarn is so dark. Bu all in all, I'm pretty pleased.

We did have a wrestling tournament this past weekend.  Neither boy wrestled but our school hosted, so we parents had to bring food for the hospitality room and do various other tasks to help out.  That makes for a long day. We also have a match tonight, so cross your fingers.  It's Number One Son's first match in a while so I hope he comes up with a win. Number Two Son has a few more days of recovery for his cauliflower ear before he can return.  I know that they both have missed the actual competition.

So that's pretty much it.  Keeping a low profile and trying to stay out of trouble. Hope all is well in your world!

Friday, January 6, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words  - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Happy Friday!!

Missing the warmth of the decorations already.
 Inspired by Amanda Soule - Feel free to join in and share a link to your moment.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year! NOT!

I hope every one's New Year started out beautifully!  I was able to spend mine with great friends and family, so I couldn't hope for anything better in the coming year.  As with everyone else, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on 2011 now that it's done and, as much as I hate to rush this life, I'm glad to say it's done....

~~~~~~~~ This post has been interrupted by life ~~~~~~~~~

Well crap! This was started early Tuesday morning.  I was optimistic and ready for the New Year.  I just knew that 2012 was going to be better. Then I went to take The Boys to wrestling practice and it rapidly went down hill.

I was driving down the highway and was pulled over by the county's finest.  The police officer informed me that the tag was expired on my car. I explained that the tag was expired because the car won't pass inspection because of a problem with the emission equipment. She told me to wait. She went back to her car and played on her computer and talked on her radio.  I called a friend that has a son on the wrestling team and she agreed to take The Boys to practice. As I was talking to my friend the officer came back to the car, asked me to get off of the phone and step out of the car.  I did as I was asked. Then I was asked to place my hand on the trunk of my car and she proceeded to handcuff me and tell me I was being taken down town....

"What?!?!  EXCUSE ME?  You are doing what? Why?  There must be some mistake?! "

"No ma'am, there is a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear."

"Appear for what?"

"A court appearance for a traffic violation."

"You've got to be #$%^%$# kidding me?!"

At which point I was literally "cuffed and stuffed"  into the sheriff's car and taken downtown - Not one of my finer moments.  It was just adding insult to injury, as I was riding down the road behind the protective plexi glass barrier, to watch the officer type on her computer while going 60 mph.  Part of me felt like pulling a Barney Fife and shouting "citizens arrest!" because I know that can't be legal.

Anyway.....Once we got to the jail, she lightened up, removed the hand cuffs, gave me my phone and let me call Car Guy.  I guess she looked me up and realized that I have no record and am not a hardened criminal.  The warrant for my arrest was for a failure to appear for a speeding ticket in...wait for it.....2009.  So Car Guy had to come get me, pay bond and I had to promise to appear in court in February. I was not booked, finger printed, photographed or anything else, so I don't have a record.  I got to stay in the "holding" room the entire time I was there. The whole thing was a unique experience that I don't EVER want to have again.

The really funny thing about all this was the look on the police officer's face when she gave me back my purse and I asked if it was alright if I knitted while I waited. "Ummm...OK."  So there I sat, in the cold concrete holding room of the jailhouse, knitting a sock on my dpn's. Periodically, she'd peek out there and just watch with a completely befuddled expression. Of course, I'm going to have to rip out the rows that I did because they are a complete mess and my tension was all over the place, but it did help calm me and that was worth it.

Car Guy picked me up and bundled me home all safe and sound.  My Boys aren't sure what to think of the whole experience, but I did learn a few things...

:: My husband is a wonderfully sweet man (I knew this already, it was just reinforced).  He wasn't mad at me because he had to leave work, pay money we really couldn't afford for a stupid, forgetful mistake on my part.  He just wanted to know why they had to put handcuffs on "possibly one of the sweetest women on the planet."  Bless him.

:: My Cheese Biscuits are the BEST. They laughed with me, offered support, hand holding, bail money and even said they'd go to court on my appointed day and sit in the front row and knit as a show of solidarity.  I LOVE these ladies.  They have enriched my life immensely.

:: A good sense of humor in a time of crisis is invaluable.

:: Home is possibly one of the most wonderful places to be after a bad day.

:: Hugs from your family can make you feel 100% better.

:: Things will look better from a the next day.

So Happy New Year to you all.  I have a pretty good idea, if this is any indication, that 2012 isn't going to be a dull year...Hop on and enjoy the ride!