Wednesday, July 31, 2013

{TH} read

New crafting magazines for reading, perusing, and crafting ideas -- 

and my training book for Nitrox certification --

I finished my bathroom curtain --

and still working on my half granny square shawl --

linking up with {TH}read

Fresh Clean View

linking up with Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . July 30, 2013

Outside my window . . . it's cloudy, but cooler this morning. We may get some more rain later today. 

I am thinking . . . too many things! I need a chance for some meditative quiet.

I am thankful . . . to be feeling better again.

In the kitchen . . . last night was a summer pasta dish that I hadn't made in quite a while. Tonight is looking like hamburgers.

I am wearing . . . my cotton batiste nightgown.

I am creating . . . a new curtain for the back bathroom (almost done -- just lack the final hem); a sewing machine cover (which I've kind of gotten stuck on); the corner to corner afghan (which is in basket. That counts as working on, right?); and the half granny square shawl. Here's my progress on it.

I am going . . . nowhere today because my bestie, Linda, is coming over for another sewing day. It's amazing how much more productive I am with her here to chat with while I'm working.

I am wondering . . . Enriched Air Diver course I'm working on right now. Dh and I are headed back to Cozumel in August, and I'm working on nitrox certification.

I am reading . . .  The City of Shadows by Michael Russell on my Kindle Fire which is moving slowly, and still listening to The Girl with No Shadow by Joanne Harris although I'm not really enjoying it.

I am looking forward to . . . autumn. We've had an odd summer, weather-wise, around here. I'm curious if our change in season will follow suit.

I am hearing . . . the dogs whining for breakfast and dd packing her lunch.

Around the house . . . dd cleaned for me over the weekend, so things are looking quite well. It's so nice and relaxing having things in order.

I am praying . . . for my husband's friend who had a tumor (benign) removed from her pituitary gland. She is a young married with a small child. I am praying for a quick and full recovery.

One of my favorite things . . . is chatting with my daughter while she gets ready for work each morning. I sit at the computer while she cooks her breakfast and packs her lunch, and we chat about her plans and mine.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . meeting in the morning, yoga tomorrow afternoon, more crocheting and sewing, dh's 50th birthday is Saturday and I'm still not sure what all we are doing to celebrate, so it could be a very busy weekend!

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
my dd (and her friend Audrey) in their natural environment!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Special Surprise

I got to help with something very special this weekend. A group of us got together to help a friend in need, and I just wanted to share it here as well.

I've been friend with these people since high school and we still hang out together regularly. The older I get the more I realize how special this is.

Keith and I have been friend since we were 7 years old and came to my school from Maine.

I think this is exactly what friendship is all about. As my husband said, 

Keith, you have blessed me and Melanie and countless others over the years and it has given us both a great deal of happiness just to have some part in your surprise. The wonderful thing about a gift is that it is free. There are no obligations. Just enjoy it. Love you!

So I hope you enjoy this video of friends celebrating friends.

Happy Monday!

Zucchini (Squash) Muffins

The other night as I was getting dinner ready my daughter asked if we were having any bread with dinner. I hadn't planned on it. Then I remembered I had some squash a friend had given to me. I have a great Zucchini Muffin Recipe that's really easy. No reason squash shouldn't work, right?

Right! They were super yummy, and just as easy as I had remembered. Hope you enjoy this recipe as another way to use up your bounty of fresh squash.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup fat free milk
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated zucchini (or squash)

Stir the dry ingredients together. Beat eggs till foamy. Add to the milk and butter.

Add the liquid ingredients and the zucchini to the dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened.

Grease (or spray) a 12-cup muffin tin. Fill each cup 3/4 full and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with butter. 

Happy eating!

linking up with Made by You Monday

Saturday, July 27, 2013

{this moment}

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.

Friday, July 26, 2013


1 : violently separated into parts : shattered
2 : damaged or altered by breaking
3 : a : made weak or infirm
b : subdued completely
c : bankrupt
d : reduced in rank
4 : a : cut off : disconnected
b : imperfectly spoken or written
5 : not complete or full 

I've been broken. By abuse. By neglect. By evil. By life.

Broken is a terrible, hard way to live. Shattered. Disconnected. Incomplete.

Broken is how we all live, though. It's not just me. Not just the legacy of abuse. Broken is the legacy of our humanity.

The beauty in broken is the promise we've been given. 

His broken bones were healed, and he lives again. He walked into death and came out into full and complete life. Fully healed. 

And that is his promise to me -- to all of us. Walk into his death and be reborn. 


linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

She said they'd never believe me.

She said they wouldn't even notice if she killed me.

She said they'd abandon me if I told.

And I believed every word.

Sometimes I still believe the lies. It's hard to let go of lies I've lived with for over 45 years. It's difficult to remember the words of my therapist, husband, and close friends. It's easier to remember her words. Especially when they were reinforced by disbelief and abandonment. 

It's easer to believe the bad stuff if that's what you've been trained to believe. 

And it filters over into everything else. If my husband and I have an argument, unconsciously I believe he will leave me, even though I know he never would. If I speak my feelings I believe that I will be hurt, even though I know that's not rational. 

Abuse that happened a long time ago. And yes it still bothers me. And I hate that question, "Aren't you over that yet?"

So I talk and I write, and I listen to the good stuff, and I really do try to snuff out the bad. Some days are better than others, but some days are worse. And when it's particularly bad, my head feels as if it will explode rather than let reality be revealed. But the revelation brings relief . . . after the pain, and only with help from others. From the compassionate witnesses.

I have my series of mantras:

The truth will set you free.

This too shall pass.

I survived it when it happened, I will survive working through it.

Time heals only those wounds that are shared and understood.

There is no right way to heal.

Healing is a process. Like recovery. Like faith. It has it's ups and downs. It's not a straight line. It's the light at the end of the tunnel. So I keep my eyes on the light.

linking up with imperfect prose

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Stacks of summer reading are scattered all over my house . . . 

I'm working on two new crochet projects,
finishing a sewing/quilting project,
and started new bathroom curtains

linking up with {TH}read

Still Life

see more at Wordless Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday Bloggers

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . July 23, 2013

Outside my window . . . the sky is scattered with fluffy clouds. Thunderstorms are predicted for later in the day, but for now it's lovely outside.

I am thinking . . . that it's nice when conversations go well and don't lead to crises.

I am thankful . . . for friends helping other friends, and for the opportunity to organize these things.

In the kitchen . . . barbecued chicken breasts, red cabbage slaw, fresh strawberries, and squash muffins.

I am wearing . . . newly finished gown that I made for myself. You can read more about it here.

I am creating . . . a new curtain for the back bathroom; a sewing machine cover; the corner to corner afghan I showed you last week; and a half granny square shawl. I finished the little amigurumi I was working on. I let off his ears so far.

I am going . . . to continue sorting through boxes of photos and letters from my FIL's house. It is so amazing the number of letters he had received and kept over the years. People don't write letters like that anymore, I fear.

I am wondering . . . about the best way to keep calm in the face of a lot of activities planned for the rest of this week.

I am reading . . .  The City of Shadows by Michael Russell on my Kindle Fire, and still listening to The Girl with No Shadow by Joanne Harris.

I am looking forward to . . . having people over for meals this week. It's funny how on the one hand it stresses me a bit, but on the other I really love cooking and seeing people enjoy my meals.

I am hearing . . . peace and quiet, and it's lovely.

Around the house . . . things are looking pretty good, except for the ping pong table. We got it cleaned off over the weekend, and then dh brought in more stuff from his dad's house. So now it's covered again!

I am praying . . . for friends awaiting the birth of babies, another friend whose daughter is suffering from an eating disorder, my cousins and their new baby, my kids as one finishes up college and the other prepares to start his second year.

One of my favorite things . . . is chatting and crocheting with my bff, Linda. I got an unexpected visit with her last night while dh helped her daughter with some calculus, and it was lovely to sit and chat.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . appointment on Wednesday, tea with a friend on Thursday morning, yoga on Thursday afternoon, dinner guests Thursday evening, a day of sewing on Friday, and crafting on Saturday with the besties. Sunday the besties and families are all coming for potluck to celebrate all the summer birthdays. Busy days!

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
more odds and ends from FIL's house

Monday, July 22, 2013

A New Nightgown for Me!

When I was a kid, my mother sewed a lot of my clothes. Actually, she sewed for all of us, and professionally for clients. Her mother had been a professional seamstress and I guess it just came naturally to her. Money was frequently tight, so she'd use whatever she had or could find on the cheap, especially for her own clothes and ours (the kids). 

Frequently mother use bedsheets to make loungewear and play clothes. She'd use a flat sheet from a set where the other pieces were ruined, or she pick up sheets on clearance and use them.

Recently I acquired a set of king size sheets from my FIL's estate. We don't have a king sized bed. So I've been using the sheet set for various other things. The pillow cases (along with some pillows from his house) became the new cushion for my swing.

The fitted sheet became a new summer gown for me. I love cotton gowns, but don't love paying $40 plus dollars for one, so I found this pattern, and made myself a new gown.

I'm in love with it! It's cool and comfy, and of course washes like a dream since it's made from a sheet. 

The ultimate recycle.

linking up with Made by You Mondays

Saturday, July 20, 2013

{this moment}

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.

Friday, July 19, 2013

:: Crocheted Mandala ::

I recently read a post about crocheting mandalas and I wanted to try my hand at it.

I did a little looking around on the web and found this pattern. While I didn't want to do the embroidery hoop portion, I did like the variance in rounds.

I had plenty of Premier Serenity Garden Yarn  in Gem to play with, and I am partial to variegated yarns, so I went for it.

I only had one false start, otherwise the pattern was a dream and went really fast. After I finished it, I did a light blocking using steam only on my ironing board to smooth out the ruffling edge a bit.

The colors make me really happy, and I'm always thrilled to find another quick and easy crochet pattern. I see more mandalas in my future!

linking up with Crafty Girl Linky Party


to belong -- to be attached or bound by birth, allegiance, or dependency

I always wanted to belong. But belonging requires trust, acceptance, and honesty. I never felt those things growing up.

Everywhere I went, whether it was church, school, or even with my family, I felt as if I were an outsider. At church I was outside because I had questions that seemed inappropriate. At school I could never figure out what group fit me. At home the closest I came to feeling I belonged was if I toed the party line and never rocked the boat. I was the good child.

Abuse does lots of terrible things to a person, but perhaps one of the worst is taking away that sense of belonging. I longed to be attached to others. To be bound by birth or allegiance. 

When I met my husband I wanted to belong with him. Sometimes I felt it, but I was still busy keeping up my armor. It took 15 years of marriage and 2 kids for that armor to fall. And I am so glad it did. Letting him see the real me, and have him accept me as I was, made it possible to rethink belonging to God, and open myself up to others I could trust.

belong -- to be a member of a club, organization, or set

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Reading: According to my Goodreads account, I'm reading 4 books right now. Storm Front (a novel on my Kindle). The Girl with No Shadow (listening to on my iPod). Mom in the Mirror (which requires me to think and answer questions at the end of each chapter). And one thousand gifts (I can't even remember when I started this or how I got bogged down with it.)

Listening to: my yoga station on Pandora because it keeps me calm and motivated while doing housework. But in the car, especially if it's a top down kind of day (the convertible . . . get your mind out of the gutter) it's The Monkees' Greatest Hits cd that stays in my car so I can relive my youth at a moment's notice.

Thinking about: too much! I've got my stuff. My husband's stuff. My daughter's stuff. My son's stuff. Housework. Crafting. Blogging. Vacation plans. Cooking. Entertaining. I tried to explain it to my husband last night. How there's always something to bring on the stress. He just doesn't get it! 

Watching: Psych. I know I'm late to the game, but I just love those boys (listen to me sounding like a little old lady!). I've also been re-watching Life. I think it was criminal that the show got axed. I love those characters. At night the hubs, daughter and I catch an episode of Doctor Who. Yeah I know I'm late on that one too!

Bummed out on: allergy season which is lasting all summer this year. Seriously impeding my pool time. It's hard to get motivated to go swim laps even with the promise of lazing in the sun with a good book afterwards, when you can't breathe and snore all night long, thus being kicked and prodded by your husband who you're keeping awake.

Loving: having SO much conversational time with the whole family. Who knew having both the kids at home this summer would lead to such great conversation! At 23 and 20, I'm guessing this could be our last summer together in the house. So I'm relishing each conversation, especially when there is no arguing involved.

So that's my "Currently" for today. What's your "Currently" looking like?

linking up with Writer's Workshop