Friday, April 27, 2012

new diy...coming soon!

if you wanna craft along here's what you'll need:
*wooden balls (not beads)
*acrylic paint & paint brush
*thin ribbon or cord
*needle and thread
*fine mesh tulle
*sewing machine
*washi/masking tape (optional)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

r-a-g-g m-o-p-p

So the day after an epic hair day I hit up a local salon and had the stylist chop it off. I used this pin board as reference and she zeroed in on my favorite cut and that was that. if yer a central coaster looking for a sweet salon, I recommend Salon Glo in San Luis Obispo.
Lookie how cute the sides and back are! And just for kicks, click here for my favorite version of Ragg Mopp.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

snail mail?

I picked up this nifty little house shelf back when we lived in L.A. It was a creamy yellow then and I asked the mister to paint it. When he asked what color, all I said was "Not blue." And so he gave it a new look with a blast of orange paint.
I added some happy scrapbook papers for color.
And then it was ready for happy little bits.
Only, I'm not thrilled with the happy little bits save for the snail.
So I have decided it needs more snails. All snails, all the time. Who is up for a snail mail swap? You send me a small handmade or thrifted snail and I send you a happy letter of appreciation and a wee bit of goodness that you may be looking for. Anyone? There are twelve squares that are 2" X 2" and three that are 3"X 2" and one that is 4" X 2". Leave a comment here and send me a gmail and we'll have a bit of snail mail goodness!

Monday, April 23, 2012

and lest you think i am a total slob

 while the mister was away, i also:

*ate actual meals
*prepped actual meals for the week
*did some reorganizing
*created a crafty diy (project coming soon)
*planted a crafty diy (also coming soon)
*read a book
*rode my bike
*continued talking to myself
*drank jar after jar of ice cold water
*made a list and a plan for the casa
*remembered to unplug the iron which is still in the kitchen
*took the trash out
*washed the dishes and the extra dishes
*put on actual clothes at some point
*practiced my uke playing

* i did NOT enjoy a root beer float (i was waiting for him to return)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

while the mister was out...

 the mister spent the weekend camping with friends in California Valley. i was home, car free and i may or may not have...

*had cheetohs for breakfast
*watched an entire season of Charmed
*remained in slouchy pajama type clothes all day
*talked to myself
*left the ironing board up in the kitchen
*enjoyed graham crackers with cool whip and m&ms
*listened to my busta move station on Pandora
*danced to my busta move station on Pandora
*sat on the back porch at midnight searching for shooting stars
*left a heaping pile of fabric in the middle of the floor
*enjoyed jar after jar of ice cold iced coffee

happy Earth Day!

 *plant something
*go on a walk
*look at the stars
*cook at home
*spend time with loved ones
*watch the birdies
*turn off the tv
*turn off the laptop (i need to do this!)
*ride your bike
*make something with what you have
*enjoy the day!

Friday, April 20, 2012

out the window

 On Wednesday, I spent a couple of hours in the office of an allergist hoping for some relief to this clogged nose of mine*. In between bouts of blowing into a tube and sucking on an inhaler I sat and rifled through magazines. I was moved from the exam room to the office a couple of times and as I sat in his office I looked out the window.

The doctor apologized for taking so long on the computer. I told him it was okay, it was nice to simply sit. As he tip-typed away and clicked this-a-way and that, I looked out the window. do you ever get the chance to simply look?

There was a flowering pomegranate tree brushing up against the glass, its red blossoms gently dancing in the breeze. There must have been half a dozen hummingbirds, throats all fuschia bright dipping into each blossom before flying away to enjoy the buzz.

Lizards scampered across the hot sand colored walls and a deranged towhee persistently battled itself on the balcony of the office across the way.

*yup, a now have insurance...sure we have ot pay oodles out of pocket and meet a semi-stupid deductible but I can now breathe deeply knowing I can breathe. Smell on the other hand is out of the questino. The doc won't give me the evil toxic meds that shrink my polyps so my nose works. Sigh. Eating has never been so un-fun. Might as well give me a food pill for all I can taste.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

can style

 Last weekend I was still reeling from my wallow when I decided to craft myself out of the hole. Crate Paper had just announced its April Color Challenge and I thought, oooh, I have some Crate Paper product, I should make something.
So, after a little bit of stitching and a little bit of typing and a little bit of gluing, I came up with these.
And so I did...I decorated tin can planters for Earth Day garden gifts. Aren't they purdy? It wasn't until I was about to send in my entry when I realized that the largest bits of paper weren't actually from Crate Paper but from October Afternoon! Yikes! They both had lines called Farmhouse. Can you tell I am not a scrapbooker? If only I had more moolah to spend though I could get seriously addicted...take cakewalk for instance...swoon!
So there you have it, three little cans all decked out in their finery for their happy herbal if only I had someone to gift these to.

Monday, April 16, 2012

it's monday and i'm moving on...

...until i'm not and the blues come back.
So, we all have our moments, right? Good moments, not-so-good moments. And so we laugh or cry or freak out or bury ourselves on the sofa under a pile of thrifted vintage blankets and quilts, watching bad television on Netflix whilst possibly indulging in a half dozen or so Vanilla Jo-Jos and then Monday hits and we move on. We have to. The world doesn't stop spinning even though we wish it would. When I wrote out my sad-sack of a bottomless post on Friday, I was mighty fearful readers would think I was fishing for love and while the love does indeed keep a gal going, I posted the bottomless wallow as a way to connect and share, to keep me honest. It also helps me immensely to release those feelings and get them out of my heart even if they return on a regular basis. It's good for the soul. Good for mine at least.
And now it is Monday, time to move forward. Time to wash my face and put a smile on. Things aren't always gloomy-doom around here, there are good things. On Friday, we went on a rainy day wander where I became entranced with the large snails slowly making their way from one side of the trail to the other. We lunched with family at a favorite burger joint, hung out with the nephew a-go-go and picked up root beer float fixings (there's a tiny story to that I may remember to write about later). We watched good movies and bad movies, ran errands and spent the weekend out and about. Today I had work and even though there was an incident that involved a tiny overflowing toilet and a wonky mop it also involved kiddos racing to fit themselves into my lap. Tonight is breakfast for dinner night at the homestead and I am bringing homemade beer bread. The ukes will come out and the visit will be dandy.
Tomorrow I will finish projects and call my sister back. I haven't had time to plug into the phone and she is at the top of my list. Oh and did I tell you, I got my hair cut? Chopped it off and am loving it except for right now at this moment I look like a deranged mall walker or something. Oy. Tomorrow I will have some crafty pretty to share. Happy Monday and thank you for you!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

luckily there is laughter

  To me, laughter is worth so much more than gold. Little snorts, quiet giggles, loud guffaws and nose snorting laughs are so, so, SO valuable.

After I wrote this post I was a solemn, quiet lobster-girl. I tried to hide the tears from the rest of the family as I was at the homestead hanging out with the gang after a failed attempt at a rainy day wander. Mr. a-go-go however saw, knew and would simply walk by and squeeze. He knew that if he asked anything or acted any kinder I would be hiccuping snotty tears like a toddler who scraped her knees on the cold cement. After I had packed up all the gear and we were on the car, he gave my hand a squeeze and we talked. He's so good, that guy. I know it kills him just as much as it kills me but he doesn't give in to the wallow. That actually worries me a bit, he bottles up so much and he rarely explodes though he does get moody and golly, those days are quit unpleasant but we move through them gracing each other space with the occasional arm pat, gentle hug or lovely look.

We do talk about adoption. But because we are the kind of thinkers we are, we think it is a little too late for us. Not in an "oh poor us" kind of way more like we have settled into out small shared life doing our small shared things. Children are an enormous responsibility and we would be up to the task with all of its enormity in the ways you need to be there and with the love you have to share but the practical matter is that we are on the lower end of the moolah spectrum, fancy college degrees and all. There is a trade of to the life you wish to live and we are lucky, quite lucky to live our "almost" life. We have chosen to live in a town with less opportunity than the great big Los Angeles. Chosen to be closer to family and in the middle of this great big beautiful space. We have chosen our work based on locality and hours. I make very little but get to work with children and a handful of wonderful teachers in a lovely school biking/walking distance (which I still need to walk) from the casa. The mister gets to cram his forty hours into four days giving him an extra day off and he gets to bike to work as well, which he does, every day unless it is raining. Neither job offers health insurance and it took us more than a year to find something for me that was semi-affordable (I was rejected from four different insurance companies due to infertility, menopause and asthma, two of those things can be attributed to the DES) so now any chance of socking away a wee bit o cash is now sucked up by insurance but now the mister can breathe easier since I can breathe easier and it's all a matter of personal priorities.

We live small. We eat out maybe one a week and even then it is to share a plate. We don't go out to movies or shows mostly because movies are too expensive and we are awkward and anti-social and well...old fuddies. I haven't purchased any new fabric or crafting supplies other than glue and such and any new clothing other than jeans (and one trip to Penneys and maybe a Target or Old Navy run...or two...) comes from the thrifts. I desperately need new shoes, the kind that are cute, fit and will last. I know these will cost a pretty penny but that is okay since it is important. We spend our days puttering about, working on projects, talking, laughing, arguing, playing the ukes and watching bad B-movies on Netflix. We aren't quite settled into this space as what we had in L.A. is not here as far as home goes but what we have here is family, the ocean, the mountains, the quiet and each other. We'll figure out a garden space and a home someday, I hope sooner than later. I really miss our garden. I really miss our friends and yet I still feel a bit more heart settled here than down there.

I want to thank you for your comments on the post that had me spiraling. I will be responding individually now that blogger has a reply button. I do like a reply button. Soon, I will make my sad sack and angry fits of pepper lemonade public. Soon. I think I need to share the hurt, share the anger. I am in need of an upswing, I can't spend my time being sadder than sad. I can only allow the wallow to hit, to wrap myself up in it until it becomes too warm so that I can shrug it off and head to happier places. Thank goodness for happier places, for laughter and for friends both in person and online. We need to share more keeps us connected. At least it keeps me connected so that I don't feel so alone.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Sometimes I tell myself everything is okay even though the tears tell me otherwise.
Sometimes I succumb to the envy I feel when I happen upon others who live the life I wish I had.  Sometimes I wallow, wallow, wallow and then feel foolish, foolish, foolish for not feeling grateful and joyful for all the good that I do have and sometimes I say fuck it and give in to that wide wallow and throw myself a pity party, balloons and all.
If you don't happen upon this space frequently you might conclude that I (pity) party a lot. I don't, not really, I'm just honest about the wallow and feel right now that I'm a smidge entitled to it. And if you are wondering, the wallow is almost always kicked off when I see a bump in the road...the baby kind. See, the mister and I did not choose to be baby-free a-go-gos. Nope, though we were more inclined to adoption than birthing our own because the whole population growth dealio scares the ducks out of us but the weird thing is adoption costs more than good old fashioned procreation. No, the choice was taken from us even before I knew where babies came from.

Back when I was a tiny growing thing nestled in my own private womb, my family went through an awful experience (that still carries a ripple effect) that left the doctors sincerely thinking my mother might miscarry the wee that was me. They professionally prescribed her a miracle drug (or so they thought) to keep me safely tucked inside. What they did not encounter and what was only discovered months after I was born was that miracle drug was really a dangerous dose of synthetic estrogen that gifted all of us "miracle" babies with all sorts of ilk. The kicker being infertility. A good many of us DES children managed to live average cancer-free lives with kiddos upon kiddos while others, like me, became text book cases. Even my old nurse-practitioner couldn't believe how text-book I was. She was ecstatic to see it all live and in person. Go me.

Along with the infertility, I spent my twenties getting cancer screenings and paps every other month. I hit menopause at the ripe old age of 38 and now I get to look forward to new cancer screenings.

I should have a sash or tiara or something.

I also hate to admit this but I almost wish I got pregnant when I was in my twenties, bad relationships be damned. And I hate, hate, hate that I get so darned jealous of the people who have unplanned pregnancies that turn into happy babies. I want to stamp and stomp and wail "It's not fair" but I don't, at least not out loud. Instead I purge my feelings into another blog, a very whiny and sad and angry blog and hope for the day, the minute, the hour where I don't feel like crying or that my self worth is zero because I do not and will not have children. I know that isn't true but it feels true to me. I feel like I lack something profound that will give me common ground with other adults that could be friends. But who wants to be friends with us childless a-go-gos? I snark but I feel it is true and that we are frequently misunderstood. I think parents assume that childless people do not want to be friends with child-full people and though having kids is not a requirement in the friends department, the mister and I seem to never fit in. We're not out-on-the-towners or bar goers. We don't watch the hip shows or listen to the now music. We dress down, not up, we live slow and make our own mostly off-key music. I worry that when we are old, we will truly be alone. Who will take care of us when we can no longer take care of each other?

I'm sure you're thinking I'm some sort of drama queen and believe me, I think I could agree with you. Thank goodness I bottle it up for the most part but it seeps out and pops out and explodes as if you dumped mentos down my throat whenever I read of another happy blogger expecting baby number two or three or four and I see their published lives, their owned homes and thin vintage cloaked couple-ness in their magazine worthy living room cooking up garden fresh goodness, crafting up viral prettiness as feathery, feathery chickens dance around in the background. I wonder, do they all really have such magical lives? Lives where 9-5 jobs are nowhere to be seen, where their blogs generate their mortgage payments, where bodies are so healthy there are no worries about hospital bills. Can it really be that magical? I sit on our battered and borrowed sofa in our overpriced rental with the mis-matched white paint speckling the walls and the boxes of craft crap tilting this way and that and wonder if it would be okay if I splurged and bought the organic eggs instead. And then I think it's probably better that I can't have kids, that I would suck at the mom thing anyway that there is no way we could do it, could afford it when we can barely find our happy medium as it is. And I wallow and wonder who I am...who am I?

And my heart hurts, it aches so and I wanna smack the crap out the adults I see yelling at their children for being children. I want to flee and run away and unplug myself from everything. I want to be different, someone else, someone worthy, someone likeable, someone who is settled and happy with who they are and what they have and I think this life of mine is wasted on the me that is me and just as I reach the highest heights of my heartache and sadness I spy something, it could be anything really, that makes me catch my breath. It could be the pink of the sun set or a lizard sunning itself on our porch. It could be the rolling hills that surround this new home of ours, the opening notes of a favorite song or a picture book that makes me laugh. Whatever it is, it pulls me down and stills my sadness, tucking it into bed underneath the faintest faded quilt of goodwill where it slumbers as ling as it can so that I find myself in my moment. A good moment, a moment filled with sweetness and song, with a whistling mister beside me on a battered and borrowed sofa that is piled sky high with quilts and happy colors. A moment filled with rainy day wanders and family filled Mondays. A moment that helps me realize that the magic is with us as well. It's just a little less showy.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

mini fig jam & cheesie nummies

 So, so, SO nummy!
*fig jam or other 
*sharp white cheddar or swiss cheese
*cookie sheet
*parchment paper
I'm not sure how readily available the crescent round tubes are available. We have one market in town that carries them. If you can't find the rounds, go ahead and use the crescents, you'll have to modify them to get this shape. Cover your cookie sheet in parchment. The jam oozes a bit and makes a terribly sticky mess. Unroll your doughy bits so that you have eight long strips ready for some goodness.
Slather a bit of jam onto each strip of dough.
Slice up your cheese (mine was a sharp white and gruyere blend) into eight thin slices then cut each slice into about six pieces. Place pieces on top of jammy dough.
Roll each piece up and rearrange on cookie sheet. Pop into a preheated 375 F oven and bake for 12 minutes.
While rolls are baking, whip up a pot of coffee or tea. Pour into a happy mug, grab two rolls while they are hot and enjoy!

other recipes I've made using the happy dough:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

the april bed

 trying to bring the spring inside. i don't think i will tire of the pink, orange and yellow combo anytime soon. at least i hope i won't. check out scrumdilly-do! for the how-to. happy april!

Monday, April 09, 2012

pinterest: recipe round-up

I was on the ball the last few weeks regarding groceries and dinner. I am still wandering happily through pinterest-land pinning away all sorts of pretty and have been trying to weed through and actually utilize those happy boards. Here are a bunch of recipes that happened...
korean bbq tacos

Super duper tasty, I cheated and used Trader Joe's Korean BBQ and added additional ginger and garlic. The meat cooked up so much in the crock pot, it was like butter. Will definitely make these again.
thai grilled peanut butter sandwich  
This is my own original recipe and still a favorite. Had some bean sprouts left over from the tacos and didn't want them to go to waste. Served with roasted green beans. Yum!
homemade falafel and quinoa tabouleh
I love me some falafel and the weather was warm enough to get a bit summery. We had a bag of dried garbanzo beans from a local farm so I soaked 'em up and went at it. The falafel fell apart even though I followed the recipe as it was. I ended up adding an egg and some flour to get it to all stick together. It was delicious. The tabouleh was awesome. The last time I made quinoa tabouleh, the recipe called for way too much parsley. This recipe was perfect. I forgot to add the mint but it was still really tasty.
quick curried chickpeas
The curry chickpeas were crazy easy and super tasty. I used a can of organic fire roasted tomato sauce and served it up with roasted curry cauliflower and homemade cucumber sauce. Will totally make this again!

This week I will be using up what we have and attempting a no-spending kind of week. We are almost out of milk and apples o there will that. Wish me luck! What have you been cooking lately?

Sunday, April 08, 2012

two days later...

and two sites away from some of my favorite peoples...

it's like shared experience but extended.