Saturday, February 28, 2015

:: ten things

a reminder to be grateful for the daily things --

1:: a cup of tea

2:: my sweet Yaya

3:: yarn

4:: books and journals

5:: new projects

6:: comforting food

7:: opportunities

8:: good sleep

9:: happy things

10::  fabric

with thanks to SouleMama

Friday, February 27, 2015


I had a visit with myself yesterday. I went for a massage and opened my mind up to a conversation with just me. No input from anyone else. No worrying about the opinions of others. Just me, checking in with myself and God. 

What do I want? What does God want for me and from me? Forget everyone else and all the shoulds and shouldn'ts. As the masseuse worked out the kinks and knots in my muscles, I felt my mind and heart opening up. Putting aside everything else to really look at what I want. And it felt good.

There weren't any epiphanies, but there was peace. True relaxation, and the realization that I need these visits more often (the massage and the conversation). That means more quiet time. Maybe finding a new place to go for a bit of quiet meditation and journaling. 

I'm going to calendar in regular visits with myself. Because I can't follow God if I don't take time to listen for Him. 

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Do You Believe in Magic?

When I was a little girl I wanted to be Samantha Stephens. From where I sat in front of the television on Thursday nights, Samantha had a perfect life. She was married to a successful business man, she had a nice house, she got to stay at home all day, her mother visited regularly (and wore REALLY COOL clothes), and, best of all, Samantha could do magic! 

She was a witch, now it would have been better if she'd been a fairy or an angel maybe, but clearly she was a good witch. She had everything I dreamed of including the icing on the cake. Sure she had to take care of the house, but she had magic as her backup plan. If things weren't quite right or the way she'd planned she could always finish up with magic. 

I think "Bewitched" ruined me for homemaking. Then again, television in general may have ruined me for homemaking. No TV home looked like mine did. Everything was always immaculate even when they complained about how messy the house was. (I am not saying my mother was a bad housekeeper. She wasn't. But we did live in the house and had lives and things to do, so it didn't always look like a sitcom set.) Sure, Samantha ran the vacuum, but she looked cute doing it, and the rug looked just as good before she vacuumed as it did after. 

I could use a bit of magic around here today, especially after 2 weeks of winter weather and a major injury that led to an ER visit. Where was my magic that day?

linking up with Writer's Workshop

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . February 24, 2015

Outside my window . . . gray, cloudy skies (again!). We're in the mid-20s and not looking for much improvement. February has definitely staked its claim this year as the grayest month!

I am thinking . . . about ways to improve the mood and energy level in the house.

I am thankful . . . for my warm house and plenty of good food to eat. I know there are so many who are not that lucky/blessed. I'm trying to share what we have at every opportunity.

In the kitchen . . . well last night was pizza, because today is grocery day. I really need to get back into my menus routine as cooking as become haphazard at best!

I am creating . . . my afghan. I'm just about ready for a "Ta-Da" moment. Finished the rows yesterday and working on weaving in the remaining pesky tails today. Big reveal tomorrow, I hope :)

I am going . . . to therapy, the library, and the grocery store today. All definitely on the "needs" list.

I am wondering . . . about springtime. I'm so ready (along with everyone else). Sandals, flip flops, capris, shorts, and bike riding are on my mind right now.

I am reading . . . Rise of the Elgen (Michael Vey, book 2) by Richard Paul Evans. 

I am looking forward to . . . a massage and sauna treatment on Thursday. Hopefully it will lift my mood.

I am hearing . . . the dogs puttering around and a plane flying over my house.

Around the house . . . there are things that could be done, but nothing terribly pressing.

I am praying . . . for improved moods and energy around the house. Also for Lila (2 yo with cancer), and our houseguest who injured his foot last week. Looks as if he'll be having surgery in the near future.

One of my favorite things . . . spring. I am really ready for it this year!

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . errands with dd on Wednesday, the massage on Thursday, and then we will see what the weekend brings.

Here's a picture for thought I am sharing . . .
spring dreams

linking up with The Simple Woman

Monday, February 23, 2015

Cheese Muffins

We've been ice/snowed in for the better part of a week, followed up with torrential rains and winds. Getting out wasn't a reality and when it was, who wanted to? So I've been making do with what's in the house. I actually enjoy this kind of cooking. Kind of survivalist except of course my pantry, refrigerator, and full size freezer might negate my street cred. Anyway, I remembered these muffins my mom used to make, and baked a couple of batches for Room in the Inn last week. My husband was like, "Where are ours?", so this morning I whipped up a batch just because.

A couple of usual disclaimers. First of all, this is a Weight Watchers' recipe from the '70s. I know, right? But they're really good. Secondly, I've eliminated and substituted a bit based on what I had on hand and my dislike of certain prepared foods (e.g., butter flavoring and freeze dried onions). Also, I always keep bread crumbs in my freezer. I grind up the heels and dried out bits and let them accumulate until there's enough to do something with, or if I need bread crumbs for a casserole. I did thaw my crumbs before making these muffins. 

6 slices bread, crumbed (or 2 cups already crumbed)
6 eggs
4 1/2 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese (or whatever)
1 1/2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. butter, melted
1 t. garlic powder (I like the kind with parsley added)
1/4 t. salt
1 T. minced onion (optional, I left it out)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients until fully blended. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin and divide the batter equally into cups. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool a bit and remove from pan. Serve piping hot, or save for later and serve at room temperature. (I've done these in mini muffin tins and served them as appetizers with great success!)

Serving size -- 2 muffins

linking up with Made by You Monday

Friday, February 20, 2015


We opened our home to a young man a few weeks ago. A friend of our son's who was in need of a place to stay. He's a lovely fellow. Kind, considerate, and generous. Always grateful for anything we have to offer.

We've been iced/snowed in most of the week. Yesterday the boys took my son's car to campus for classes, and then came home to get C's car unstuck. I was making hot chocolate for them when I heard the door fly open and my son yell, "Call 911!" I was on the phone at the time, so I yelled something to that person, hung up and dialed 911. The emergency operator was kind and helpful as I repeated information from my son back to the operator. Hearing the story as I was telling it. I could hear my son assuring C everything would be fine. "Don't look at, dude. Just look at me. You're going to be fine." I threw towels to my son and he placed pressure on C's foot to staunch the blood flow. We waited and prayed and offered assurance, all sensing relief when the paramedics arrived.

Later in the ER when stood around offering moral support, making calls, touching C, and laughing to ease the pain as the doctor's determined the severity of the injury. Three broken bones in his foot and a flap of skin sheared from the ball of his foot which required 21 stitches to close. One attempted departure from the ER only to return from the waiting room to rewrap the wound because of bleeding. 

We opened our home, but I forget that means opening my heart too. He is okay. He will be okay. We are caring for him just as we would one of own, because we opened our home and he became our own.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . February 17, 2015

Outside my window . . . ice, ice, ice. The predictions had us excited for a significant snowfall (possibly up to 8"), but as usual we got a heavy covering of ice, freezing rain, and sleet with just a dusting of snow on top. The city is pretty well shut down as we wait for warmer temperatures to help melt the ice. 

I am thinking . . . about so many things that I can't get them sorted out in my head.

I am thankful . . . for my warm home and electricity. Many are not so lucky around here right now.

In the kitchen . . . chicken and white beans with biscuits last night. I'm not sure about tonight. Maybe a big pot of chili.

I am creating . . . still working on my afghan (this pattern from Attic 24, and a lovely set of DK yarn from Stylecraft). I lack about 20 rows and this will be completed. It's been lovely working on it as it grows. It keeps me nice and warm as I work.

I am going . . . nowhere in this weather!

I am wondering . . . why having it icy/snowy outside seems to sap my motivation. 

I am reading . . . Almost done with Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote. 

I've already started my next book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

I am looking forward to . . . warmer weather so I can ride my bike around the neighborhood and get acclimated it.

I am hearing . . . my husband and son discussing the weather and our game of Spades last night.

Around the house . . . there is laundry to be done and lots of crafts, but my crafting area is COLD!

I am praying . . . for Lila, a 2 year old with cancer, and for all the homeless people during this VERY cold weather. Our church is offering meals and sleeping accommodations over and above our usual outreach, but I know there are many people still out in the frigid temperatures.

One of my favorite things . . . a really good snow. I though we were going to get one, but again with the ice. It's just not as pretty, and is much more dangerous!

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . try to stay warm. Cook breakfast for Room In the Inn guests. Hopefully get out of the house tomorrow or the next day, but we are predicted to get above freezing until Saturday.

Here are some pictures for thought I am sharing . . .

photos by Alan Pennington (dh)

linking up with The Simple Woman

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hollow Times

It's flurrying outside my window. Thirty degrees with a cold wind blowing. The wind chimes have a hollow sound in the crisp, cold air. 

I've been feeling a bit hollow myself lately. Some struggles that have been intense. Intense in a different way than the childhood abuse issues that I know too well. I've been asking myself a lot of questions about choices and decisions I've made over the years. I've been thinking a lot about what I want from the future.

I haven't had any epiphanies or movie moment catharses, but I have been reminded again of my own strength. I've had to put into practice all the "training" I've been doing for the past years in therapy. I've studied situations and relationships. I've questioned my motives and desires. I've looked for and found evidence to support my reactions, but perhaps most importantly, I've been reminded, yet again, that secret keeping will kill you. Maybe not physically (although that is a possibility), but definitely emotionally. None of us were meant to live in a vacuum, and attempting to dwell there is a sure path to living death.

I've also been reminded that people are kinder and more generous than I imagine them to be. The abusers taught me that people can turn on a dime. I developed a "trust no one" mentality based on the actions of a few horrible people. That has led me to follow the same path in most of my relationships. And that is a lonely path. I've reached out this time, trusting that my circle of friends won't turn on me, and they haven't. They have lifted me up and supported me, with words of love and kindness and, well, support. 

I didn't mean to stop writing. Yet every time I tried to write it felt inauthentic. I've said before I write what I feel and experience. If what I'm feeling and experiencing is tied up in someone else's struggles I have difficulty sharing, because it's not all mine. 

The good news in all of this has been my ability to stand up for myself and have a good outcome. Everything isn't roses, but it's better. And it's true and real. 

A special thank you to my bestie for listening and giving humor, comfort, and advice. Also too, MLH in San Francisco for all the same and a chance to get out of town and have some fun. 

I hope I'm back to writing more regularly, because I missed it. 


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . February 10, 2015

Outside my window . . . gray, gray, gray! In all fairness we had a lovely weekend with plenty of sunshine and warmer temperatures.

I am thinking . . . that asking for help isn't such a bad plan after all.

I am thankful . . . for a pleasant dinner last night with a full dinner table and lots of chatter and laughter.

In the kitchen . . . last night was Enchilasagna, romaine and apple salad, and hot fruit compote for dessert. Tasty! Tonight may be Cowboy Beans and cornbread. We shall see.

I am creating . . . still working on my afghan (this pattern from Attic 24, and a lovely set of DK yarn from Stylecraft). It's coming along, slowly but surely. I haven't done as much on it this past week as I'd hoped, but it covers me quite nicely now when I work on it.

I am going . . . to find some activities to get more involved with. I need more personal interaction.

I am wondering . . . this quote -- 

"There's this youth culture that is really, really powerful and really, really strong, but what it does is it really discards people once they reach a certain age. I actually think that people are so powerful and interesting - women, especially - when they reach my age. We've got so much to say, but popular culture is so reductive that we just talk about whether we've got wrinkles, or whether we've put on weight or lost weight, or whether we've changed our hair style. I just find that so shallow."–Annie Lennox

I am reading . . . Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote. I realized I'd only read 2 of Capote's works -- In Cold Blood and A Christmas Memory, so I've decided to do a bit of backtracking and read some of his other works. This has been an interesting read. I need to finish it up as I checked it out from the library and it's due in 3 days.

I am looking forward to . . . the weekend and some crafting time with my bestie.

I am hearing . . . quiet.

Around the house . . . just need to do the general pickup and some dusting. I've got a bit of ironing to do but it will have to wait for tomorrow.

I am praying . . . for a little girl, only 2 years old, who had surgery to remove a renal growth. The prognosis is good, but I hate that she and her family are having to go through this difficult time.

One of my favorite things . . . is biking. Sunday dh and I bought me a new bike! I'm so excited as my old one had fallen into disrepair. It was a mountain bike, and I'm quite sure I'm passed that stage. The new one is a cruiser and I should have it in about a week.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a massage today (woot - woot), lunch with my parents and dd tomorrow, a day at home on Thursday, and then Yaya goes back to the vet on Friday. Of course this weekend is Valentine's so there will be a bit of celebrating, but also some craftiness with my bestie.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . .
latest Perler bead project

linking up with The Simple Woman

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . February 3, 2015

Outside my window . . . sunny, blue skies! It's only 25 degrees, but the sunshine is lovely.

I am thinking . . . getting back into my routine now that the virus is past and I'm home for my long weekend.

I am thankful . . . for a WONDERFUL weekend in San Francisco/Oakland with a dear friend from college days. We have kept up over the years, but this was so lovely to spend a weekend together, just the 2 of us. So much fun!

In the kitchen . . . the cupboard and refrigerator are bare, so it's off to the store I go!

I am wearing . . . a gown and my dh's robe and my Skechers.

I am creating . . . still working on my afghan (this pattern from Attic 24, and a lovely set of DK yarn from Stylecraft). It's coming along, slowly but surely. I'm not tired of it so that's a good thing! I did start a smaller project for the trip over the weekend, but it's a secret!

I am going . . . to find some activities to get more involved with. I need more personal interaction.

I am wondering . . . about communication differences between the sexes.

I am reading . . . Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote. I realized I'd only read 2 of Capote's works -- In Cold Blood and A Christmas Memory, so I've decided to do a bit of backtracking and read some of his other works.

I just finished Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans. It's a good YA read that doesn't include vampires, sex, or a dystopian future. Some reviewers complained about it being cliched, but I found it enjoyable, especially given that the hero is based on Evans' son who has Tourette Syndrome.

I am looking forward to . . . setting up a more specific schedule of sorts for crafting projects. 

I am hearing . . . quiet.

Around the house . . . I have unpacking to do and a bit of picking up from the weekend. All in all things look pretty good.

I am praying . . . many of the same people I was praying for last week. I am also praying for marriages. May we all see the value in in commitment and covenant.

One of my favorite things . . . is trying new things. I so enjoyed all the tasty food in San Francisco. Walking around the market at the Ferry Building. Riding the BART, and handling all of the buses, trains, and planes made me feel quite capable!

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a good week of normal. I'm looking forward to it!

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . .

hedgehog mushrooms -- who knew!?!?!

linking up with The Simple Woman