Monday, February 28, 2011

Renegade Farmer At Large!

Hey I am over at Renegade Farmer talking about storing all those lovely fruits and veggies that come from the garden...

To celebrate and to perhaps get us started thinking, dreaming, hoping and longing for summer's bounty...I am reposting a little ditty from a bygone season of flowers and fruits; of sunshine and starlit nights. Ok, it has nothing to do with starlit nights, but I am a sucker for alliteration!

Garden of Eatin' Originally posted September 2008

So, Friday, I am making dinner, and I go out to the garden to dig up some potatoes, and voila!  I had a little 'lightbulb moment' of gratitude.  I was amazed at the beauty and miracle 
of the earth. In May, I stuck some pieces of potato in the ground and in a few short months, the little spud chunks had each propagated a dozen or so little tater tots (this is Idaho, individual results may vary). Amazing!  Miraculous!  Perfect, beautiful, ovalish Yukon Golds.  I had watered, tilled and weeded, but the little buggers really did this mostly on their own.  What a marvelous creation is this world we are blessed with.  I was so inspired by those little guys, I began to look around the yard and snapped some pix of the last of this year's bounty...


Still eating some of these from the freezer!

I miss you most of all Tomato...

Pies, applesauce and crisps...You will be mine!

Just Peachy!

Weren't they amazing!?  The peaches are not from my garden...too cold here...I get those from yummy. Can't wait! But for now as I wait for the snow to melt, I will read seed catalogs and plan the garden. I think I am even going to take out some bulbs to make room for more tomatoes. A friend gave me a great tip on starting tomatoes early.

Quote of the Day: 

"There are plenty of people with loads of money who are anything but rich."
--Suze Orman  
financial guru

Monday, February 14, 2011

All You Need Is Love

                                                                    Got Me Some Love

So this amazing chick (we will call her  The Amazing Laurie) over at Little Blue Chairs has been spreading some Valentine love around in the form of some little blog awards.  I cannot even express in words how much I love her blog.  I really want to just move into her house, but you know, she is living there and all...
But go check her out, and my guess is you will want to move in to.  She really is The Amazing Laurie.  She can make a broom closet appear out of thin air! Seriously.

                                                                    True Love

One of the conditions of the award is to share 7 things about myself.  Well, for a couple of reasons, I am going to bend the rules a bit.  Reason one.  I am not that interesting. Reason two. It is Valentine's Day and I am dedicated to furthering the cause of love in the universe. So, I am going to share 7 things about US.  That is...NatureGirl et Hunky Hubby.

1. We met in college in a class for American Sign Language interpreters. The class was late in the evening and did not get out until after dark. Hunky Hubby (who was only known as Hunky Boy in the Class back then) offered to walk me know, for safety reasons.  He LIED and said he lived near me, but he actually lived on the opposite side of campus.  I was cute back then too.

2. He walked me home nearly every Tuesday and Thursday for like 2 months (and even held my hand) but never asked me out on a date.  I finally said, "Are you ever going to ask me out?!" To which he replied, "Did you want me to ask you out?" I am sure that needs no further comment.

3. Our first date was to a haunted house.  This was actually a good move. (Although at this point, almost ANY move would have been good.)  I buried my head in his chest and did not come out until I saw the light of day. Or, well, at least the streetlights, because it was dark outside.

4. Our first fight came when he ditched me over Christmas vacation to go skiing with "the guys." I found out a couple of weeks later that "the guys" consisted of Heather. (No, Dear, her brothers do not count.)

5. I asked Hunky Boyfriend to marry me at least a dozen times before he finally asked me.  He said yes every time, but we were not "officially engaged" until he did the asking.  Whatever.

6. When Hunky Fiance asked my dad for permission to marry me, my father said, "If you want her, Son, keep her."  He did not get the hint.

7. I finally got to call him Hunky Hubby on June 21, 1991.  And despite what most women was not the happiest day of my life. Every day since then has been even better...
                                                        And yes he is still quite hunky!

                                                                   Share The Love

I am also to share some of the blogs I read.  It would be nearly impossible to share all of the great people I follow, so to make it fair, I am going to share a few of my most recent finds...

Sweet Scented Path
Austin Homestead
Beyond Vagabond
Cherish Today
Organic Body Care
Simple Moodlings

Happy Valentine's Day to all. And remember this...

Quote of the Day: "In the end.The love you take is equal to the love you make."
--Paul McCartney bard

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Good morning class.  I am participating today in Mrs. Matlock's AlphabeThursday.  I am afraid however that Teacher will accuse me of cheating as today will not actually be a new post.  You see, this is a RE-RUN.  You remember those, right? From back in the golden age of television when there were only 3 stations.  The networks would show old episodes of their shows during the summer, you know, when people are outside and not watching TV 24/7... But you can think of this as an "Encore Presentation!"  The general public obviously feels less cheated when we use even overtly transparent euphemisms. "Previously owned" is another personal favorite.  Maybe you could think of it as a "Best of" or "Top 10". Maybe you don't even read this and move on to someone who actually has something to SAY!  I am just giving you a choice is all. 

This post originally aired February 2009, but it is nearly just as true today...

If you came here today looking for my usual brand of saccharine sentiment, positive postulation and life-affirming lessons, then you had better turn away now. I mean it!  You won't find any of that here.  Perhaps those of you living in "normal" habitats don't understand what it is like up here in the frozen tundra of the north.  The high today is 18 degrees, and we are grateful for it I tell ya...grateful! A very dear friend called me about this time last year and asked if I was ready to have my breakdown yet.  My what?  Your annual pre-birthday "patience is wearing thin, going stir crazy, tired of being cooped up, why is there still snow, where are my flip-flops, where is the sun, where are the tulips, get me out now" breakdown.  Oooh, you mean THAT breakdown. Isn't it funny how those near to us know us better sometimes than we know ourselves. Apparently this is normal behavior for me right before my birthday every year. (And yes, I am having a birthday soon even though I wrote this is 2009 and it is now 2011.)

I really do love the winter, but a person can only take so much! So in order to stave off the breakdown until the snow melts in April or May, I offer some blues bustin' helpful hints...

1. Break into that stack of books you have been meaning to get to.  Park yourself in a south-facing window and soak up that vitamin D!

2. Spend way more time than you should blog-hopping and/or face-booking, maybe you will get a glimpse of the sunshine in someone else's life.

3. Keep plenty of chocolate on hand (this is also helpful for the rainy spring, hot summer and windy autumn seasons)

4. Give up something for Lent, maybe it will take your mind off the cold. (Ok, so I am not Catholic, but Mormons pretty much give up everything from the get-go anyway, so...) 

5. Put on something comfy, climb into bed and watch the sappiest movie you have on hand *Caution* Studies have shown this behavior to be highly addictive, use sparingly only as needed for severe cases.

6. Do something creative--paint, sew, scrapbook, draw, write poetry, sing, play, dance!

7. Wear clothes that don't match and are borderline silly.

8. Have a sleep-over (I actually did this one year, and it was more fun than 5 grown women should probably have.)

9. Sit and pout and complain about the cold.  This does not solve anything, but if you want you can still try.  I see plenty of people doing it.

10. Take up a new winter activity. Ice Fishing, Cross Country Skiing or that one at the olympics with the heavy flat ball thingy and the brooms. You know, on the ice and they look really silly? What the fetch is up with that game anyway!?

Whew! Just writing about it makes me feel better. Now, I cannot guarantee no breakdown, but maybe just a mini one.  There are beautiful silent mornings when the snow is gently falling that I almost (almost) love and appreciate the final wrap up of one more frosty, snowy, beautiful, winter season. I know at some point I will miss the snuggly warm bed, heavy with extra blankets and sitting by the fire, skiing, snowmen building, hot cocoa drinking and still, silent snowstorms.  But today I sit staring out the window at Mr. Sun just peeking from behind a cloud and think, "You can do it big guy...You can do it!"

Quote of the Day: "Here comes the sun, and I say, it's all right."
George Harrison--musician

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Quixotic Quotidian Quirk

I am an an addict.  At first, I only popped open a new one every couple of days, and only with friends. After a while I needed one everyday, and I started partaking even when I was alone.  They say that is one of the first signs. Now I find myself indulging two or three times a day. I cannot stop. I even found myself using in the car the other day, in the elementary school parking lot while I was waiting for kids. I know it is wrong, but it just feels so good.

It started in December when Hunky Hubby got a new iPod for his birthday.  I inherited his old one. This is, BTW how I get most of my gear and gadgets, but that is a post for another day. I now possess an iPod, or as I like to call it...portable Scrabble player, à la Morty Seinfeld's "tip calculator." My children have been relentless in their mocking sneers and jeers. "It does OTHER things, Mom." Why would I need it to do other things? I can play Scrabble anywhere.  ANYwhere!

Well, I guess that is where the trouble started.  Even when I am not using, I find myself thinking about it. Adding the point values of the day's newspaper headline. Word scores racing through my mind like greyhounds after the proverbial RABBIT. (Or HARE, on a double word score.) Anticipating the chance to use a beauty like QUIXOTIC or JUMBLE. Forming words from nothing but a rack of seemingly useless vowels; squeezing every point possible from those little 1point tiles with gems retrieved from the recesses of the mind like OOTID, EERIE or QUEUE. Adoring those little guys QI, JO and AX that pack such big punch with just a couple of tiles. Always chasing the next high.  Thrilling at a single-play score like 96; triple word, all 7 tiles... It was a thing of beauty. A subtle mix of art and science.  I do not remember the word, but I remember the high. Oh, the high.

There you have it.  Hope this makes the grade Teach! This post is dedicated to my father, a recovering addict, whose one-step program consisted of everyone finally refusing to play with him. I am currently searching for a program or a support group myself. Preferably one where the patients sit around a large table with a dictionary and racks of little lettered tiles and a board with pretty pink, and blue, and red squares...I gotta go.

Quote of The Day: "One forgets words as one forgets names. One's vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die." --Evelyn Waugh user of words

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Speaking Words Of Wisdom...

I am trying something new.  And no, my computer was not hijacked.  I really am going to try something new. Well, newish.  Ok, something old, but that I haven't done in a while so that kinda makes it kinda new. Sort of. Ok, you were right.

I like to write. When I was in the 7th grade I started a journal. Her name was Jenny and we talked every day. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a day until I got married.  I guess after Hunky Hubby moved in,  I had a somewhat captive audience and no longer felt the need to write so often. I think I missed it.  I know I did. I kept a journal still, but it was consigned to the unimaginative function of "keeping records." You know, marriages, births, deaths and the milestones of life that, while we want to remember them and pass the information on to posterity, is at best a dry catalog of cold hard facts. I gave up the imaginative part.

This blog has been an experiment in getting back to that part that I let slip away.  A way of reclaiming that creative power that came so easily as a young, spirited girl with things to say and ideas to express...even if only to herself and her notebook named Jenny. Wondering where the "try something new" part is? Well, I find that while the blog has restored some of that creative space, it does not go far enough.  I try too hard. Try to hard to find the right word.  I often rearrange a sentence two or three times before I am satisfied with it.  This is due to the ease of use of computer technology.  There is no delete key with a pen and notepad.  So back then, I just wrote. Freely. Uninhibited by the fact that someone might read it or that the grammar may not be "just so." Or spelling. Or punctuation. You get the idea.

I have been reading Brenda Ueland's  If You Want To Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit and becoming inspired again to write just for the sake of writing. Without spell check, without reservation and almost without purpose, except to write.  Allowing imagination and inspiration to reign. It will never be read or published or remembered. But it will be created. Each of us is meant to be amazing in our own special way.  To create, to wonder, to dream and to do.  We all have creative power.  It comes in so many forms that I could not begin to list them here.  We have more talents than we probably even know. But it takes quiet and solitude and daydreaming to unleash them.  We get so hurried and busy that we do not take time to just be. 

There you have it. My something new is to just Let. It. Be. (Thank you Mr. McCartney). I will write or paint or draw. I will cook, walk, listen, read, sit, dream, create or just be, everyday without inhibition. Giving that most intimate part of ourselves over to the world to perhaps be criticized or ridiculed is scary beyond all scary.  I know.  That is why I spell check and rearrange sentences. But there comes a point when we must let go and just put ourselves out there.  To say to the world and ourselves, "I created this. I made something out of nothing but imagination and the Spirit that is in me. And it is therefore real and true and beautiful."

My little man, Ethan.  He is a pro at being.

Quote of the Day: "I learned... that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.”--Brenda Ueland