Time to Make a List

I’ve found a new blog that I enjoy: Two Frog Home.  The link is on my blogroll to the right.  Its written by a woman I have much in common with.  She works a full time job but wants to be home.  She has a garden but also is involved in other stuff some of which she hopes to turn into sources of income.  She does crafts.  She has a family. 

Lately she has been posting her list of goals and re-prioritizing some things in her life.  So I thought I would use this space to list some short and long term goals of my own.   Spring cleaning of the brain, so to speak.

1)  Decide on the right color and get the porch and front doors painted!  I am SO bad at choosing paint colors.  I guess I don’t know how to use paint chips or somebody at the paint store is ALWAYS mixing it wrong :-).   Gee – wonder which it might be :-)? I need to just go to the trouble of actually taking down the door, sanding off the 2 color mistakes and use a primer this time.  Maybe the THIRD color choice will go on better and work this time. 

2)  Get in the daily habit of checking the garden, watering, pulling grass, harvesting.   I am such a newbie at this that I actually forget to go out there sometimes and then things get all wilty.

3) Paint the kitchen cabinets.  Our kitchen has been a work in progress since I sold the dog treat business in November.  First we got new countertops.  Then we had to repair the backsplash where the old formica came down and finally got a new backsplash tiled a few weeks ago.  My husband did an awesome job!  I got the walls painted last Friday (only had to test TWO colors on this one) 🙂 and now it is time to paint the cabinets which means taking down the doors, taking off the hinges – which hopefully I can reuse – sanding, priming and painting.  I have tested 3 colors and have finally decided on one.  Like my good friend Rebecca says, “Just paint it and walk away.”

4) Get back into a good Bible study.   Its so easy to drift away from the Lord when I’m not disciplining myself in this way.   If I can’t find a good group to join, I will attempt yet once again to get started on the Beth Moore online study I signed up for over a year ago.  I just need the accountability and consistent scheduling of a regular group.

5) Stay a part of the new Buy Fresh Buy Local group.  I will probably have to drop off the Transition Town OKC steering committee because I feel more confident that the BFBL project will have good results.  While the TTOKC project is a good idea, I just don’t know if it will work in a city this large.  It was designed for small British villages/town and has worked in that setting.   I just feel really good about working with farmers and relocalizing our food system, so will put  my energies there.  

6) Keep up with the laundry.  The bane of my existence.  And the ironing – aaahhhggg!

7) Exericse more.  I rejoined the YMCA so that I could go on my lunch hour.  My goal is 3 times a week at lunch and supplementing that with evening exercise at home.    Okay, I hear you laughing! If you could have seen me in Pilates class yesterday.  It was embarrassing.  Why is it that only fit people go to the Y?  Don’t they know its for fat out of shape people like me?   The Pilates instructor was having us do some balancing, standing on one leg while holding the other up in the air and moving it around and doing things with hand weights.   It was really comical but at the time was also humiliating.  I ended up just resting my big toe on the ground and doing the hand weight stuff because I couldn’t stand on one leg!   I will be working on that at home, too! 

8)   Take more photos to post on this blog. I know as a regular reader of others’ blogs, its a lot more fun when there are photos that let you see a glimpse of their lives. 

9) Make a real attempt to be less judgemental.  Being judgemental is an automatic response for me, for some reason.  I really need to work on that – maybe No. 4 will help with that.

I know there is a more to add to this list, but at some point I have to actually get some work done for my employer. 

Keep it simple.


La Vida Local!


Only 6 left!

Only 6 left!

I love the farmers market – love it, love it, love it.

There is an old market in a new location which is now on my way home from work.  Every Thursday from 3:00 to 7:00 twenty vendors sell everything from bread to bright pink and blue crocheted Eyores.  Yes, Eyores – you know,from Winnie the Pooh – a really big Eyore, crocheted, bright pink and blue.   Oh, well, guess you had to be there :-).

Anyway, I love knowing that by spending my food dollars – even just the $20 I spent – that I am helping a local farmer, baker, plant grower and salsa maker make a living.  I would rather buy my bread from Harvestyme Bakery than Walmart; I would rather buy to-die-for shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and pecans from Earth Elements Bakery than Walmart (probably couldn’t get anything close to it at WM anyway); I would rather buy my salsa from Cocina San Pasqual than you know who and the lady I bought my orange mint plant from has no competition in my book.  I didn’t buy much, but each of those vendors will go home one more time with hopefully enough money to pay a few bills and keep going for another week.  That’s all we all do anyway, isn’t it?  I know my family lives paycheck to paycheck and its not from something we love doing. 

So, here’s to all you farmers, plant growers, salsa makers and bakers who make wonderful food we can’t get at the big box store.  You keep our food systems diverse.  You grow and make things without chemicals and don’t ship them thousands of miles to get them into my hands.  I love the idea of a local economy, where people actually get to know each other across a table of freshly picked swiss chard and green onions.  See you next week!

Keep it simple.

One of THOSE Days

Well, what can I say.  The Enemy is at work.

After having such an uplifting day yesterday, today was just awful.  I actually shouted in anger at a coworker.  Now, I have a tendency to get mad about things, but normally don’t actually LOSE IT like it did today.  I feel bad but am still a little miffed.

I work in a museum.  I am responsible for keeping donation records straight and lending a hand to the curators with their cataloging backlog when it gets big.  With that said, here’s what happened today.  There was a donation that came in back in 2005.  Now, that’s a long time for something to be sitting around uncataloged.  I asked the curator to help  me catalog these very heavy tapestries last week, but was asked to delay it until yesterday.  Well, she had not returned from vacation yesterday, so I took it upon myself with the help of another curator to get the things cataloged, rolled, wrapped in muslin (take special note) and put in a temporary location until she returned to select a permanent location.  I asked the other curator to tell her I would be happy to help her move them when she was ready.

So this morning she returns and asks to put off the project again.  I told her I took care of it yesterday and that we left them in a spot that was not permanent and I would be happy to help her move them.  Okay, no problem.  But about 15 minutes later she storms into MY ASSISTANT’S office (the local hanging out spot – don’t get me started on that) and rants and raves that I used the WRONG MUSLIN!  Now, you would have to know this person.  Everything turns into a crisis and she can be quite the martyr.  I know this sounds bad for me to say, but this type of behavior is not unusual for her is all I’m trying to get across.  I hear my assistant say, “uhoh, the angry face” and I go in to see what is going on.  She immediately gives me the cold shoulder and stops talking, so I know I did something wrong.  She won’t answer when I ask what is wrong so I just return to my office and upon questioning my assistant later discover that she is angry over the muslin.  Did she come to me and tell me I used the wrong material and ask that I switch it?  No.  She goes to my assistant and another coworker and spews her anger.  I couldn’t find her to talk to her about it so left a note on her computer that I was sorry for the mistake and would be happy to rewrap the tapestries in the correct muslin.  No response.  She later comes to my office and slams some paperwork on my desk and when I apologized for the mistake and offered to correct it, all verbal hell broke loose from both of us.  I was mad because she went behind my back instead of coming to me and basically told her I didn’t need the martyr act and that everything was not a freaking crisis.  She stormed out and we haven’t spoken since.  I could go on and on with she said this and I said that, but the fact of the matter is I am still a little bent that she blew everything so out of proportion.  I probably should have waited until she returned, but I was dressed for the dirty work and was in high gear to get it done.  I also know that this project has been put off for four years now and didn’t want to hear an excuse to put it off longer.  Since I outrank her I did not need her permission to proceed.  I offered to correct my mistake but all she could  think about was that I did it without her supervision, basically. I knew I was risking her wrath by doing so, but I did it anyway.   I just get tired of walking on eggshells around her and today was the perfect example of why. 

So, now that I’ve vented and made myself mad all over again I guess I should just sign off.  I hate it when I lose my self control.  Not exactly portraying the gifts of the Spirit today!

Nourishment from the Source

I’ve been catching up on reading one of my favorite blogs.  While the writer and I really don’t have a lot in common on a spiritual level, he said something in a recent post that said it all for me. 

“When you’re getting your nourishment from the Source, that other crap  doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t.”

He was speaking in the context of having spent a soul nourishing day in the wilderness of New Mexico where the Rio Grande and Red River come together.  After returning to their old adobe rental in Taos, he and his wife spent the rest of the day taking in the “indescrible” and “intoxicating” air and sunlight.  Returning inside to sit at his computer out of habit, he realized that reading blogs and writing, one of his favorite things, just didn’t matter at that point for he felt he had communed with “the Source.” 

Who other than God?  I’ve felt the pull lately to return to His side.  I always have the tendency to get so wrapped up in my activities and hobbies, painting the house, going to meetings, quilting, watching TV, creating a vegetable garden out of nothing, that I put aside studying the Word and communing with  the Source of all life, joy and peace.  I was going to play hooky from church for the 3rd week in a row on Sunday, but felt the pull to go, to hear what was going to be said.  The message was about intimacy with Christ.  That voice saying ever so gently, “Come back.  I’ve missed you.”   Now, I haven’t completely gone sideways.  I still pray a lot – A LOT.  And prayers are answered.  My son was given a passing grade in a class he felt sure he had failed.  So he gets the credit hours and his GPA is still good enough for scholarships.  The nephew who made some bad choices in his teenage years has turned his life around lately, but was still facing permanent felony charges.  The judge dismissed them out of the blue!  His attorney said that NEVER happens.  Answered prayers.   He is faithful even when we’re not. 

So, its time to slow down and rearrange some priorities.  I will still enjoy reading John’s blog – his photography of his New Mexico surroundings is incredible – and I’ll pray that he’ll get “nourishment from the Source” more often.  Thanks for the reminder.

Keep it simple.

Lettuce Lettuce Everywhere and Way Too Much to Eat

Oh, my gosh.  I have never seen so much lettuce in my ENTIRE life!  I have been harvesting lettuce and eating or giving it away for a couple of weeks now.  But with much warmer temperatures on the horizon I knew it wouldn’t be long before it would be bolting and inedible.  So, last night, about 7:00, after driving 3 hours from my parents’ house in Texas, I put on the big floppy hat and starting cutting lettuce.  Before long I had 8 huge bowls full.

Picture this times 8

Picture this times 8

So I start washing…and washing…and washing…and washing.  DH and the Son From College come in after a round of golf and we go out for Mexican food.  Back to the sink about 9:00.  Back to washing….and washing….and washing.  No end in site.  My goal is to wash it ALL and bag it to bring to work for my co-workers.  After filling 10 of the gallon freezer bags I still have 3 big bowls left and realize that the 10 bags will not fit in my fridge much less another 7 or eight.  So, I stopped there, CRAMMED the 10 bags in the fridge and went to bed about 10:30. 

Fade to morning.  The alarm goes off an hour later than usual because the DH set it for early church and forgot to change it back.  So, with only 40 minutes before I actually have to be out the door, the dog got leftover pork – not the best choice – I got nothing and the rest of the lettuce sits wilting on the countertop to be addressed tonight.  I was only 10 minutes late to work, believe it or not.  Hopefully, a sink full of ice water will bring the lettuce back to life.  Still need to decide what to do with it.  Perhaps the local mission will take it or the local food bank.   My co-workers were really excited this morning and started putting their names on the bags before I could get them all in the office fridge.  That’s a good feeling. 

I also harvested the first of the broccoli. 

lettuce 002

Its much darker green than what I buy at the store and smells and tastes MUCH stronger.  Actually, it smells kinda weird.  Maybe I left it on the plant too long, but Friday it wasn’t ready to harvest and it matured very quickly over the weekend while I was gone.  If it tastes too weird I guess I will throw it on the compost pile and  harvest the next round before it gets this dark.  This is definitely trial and error :-). 

Keep it simple.

Garden Update

Just a quick post.  The broccoli is finally actually making broccoli!!!  I was beginning to think otherwise.  The green caterpillars have only returned in very small numbers, easy to control.  The lettuce is out of control and I am slowly harvesting and giving most of it away.  My intention was that if I grew it we would eat a lot more salads.  I do make salad more often but not enough to warrant growing it again next year.  I will harvest the rest before the heat hits and it all bolts and is inedible.   My neighbors have all gotten some, my in-laws as well, so that leaves my coworkers.  That should take care of just about the rest of it.  I only planted a 4 x 5 spot and it really produced a ton!  I will use this bed to plant my okra.  I will turn under the lettuce roots and let is sit for a few days.  Can’t wait for the first fried okra of the summer!

The green onions are coming along.  I pulled a few for the family meal yesterday and they are still a little small.  The tomato plants are growing well – still too early for tomatoes, I guess.  We desperately need some sun!  The purple hull peas and squash seeds are in the ground.  The gherkins are starting to come up, although there is a large patch that is still bare.  Don’t know if I planted them too deep and they are taking longer to hit the surface or maybe had some bad seeds.  The dill is about an inch tall.  The strawberries are going through a growing spurt and not bearing right now, but see some new blooms.  The fruit has been very small, but sweet and tasty.  Maybe they will be bigger next year. 

The only good thing about the soil being so saturated is that it was really easy to weed the front flower bed on Saturday.  All the dandelions are gone, the bermuda out and a nice new layer of mulch really spruced it up.  Now I just need to buy geraniums, begonias and impatience.  Its been several years since I’ve tried impatience.  I grew them for too many years in the same bed and it depleted the soil.  The begonias get really big and fill in nicely.  My Russian sage plant is pretty this year since I cut it back last winter.  Its in a shady spot so doesn’t bloom a whole lot, but smells wonderful. 

Hope everyone is having as much fun as I am.  Of course, all the hard work lies ahead once I have tomatoes and squash everywhere, but it sounds like a good problem! 

I made a trip to the farmer’s market on Saturday and bought some strawberries.  Very expensive, but good.  I paid $5 for a quart grown in the state, although not close by.  I then made the weekly trip to Walmart and of course, the trucked in strawberries are $1.50 for the same amount.  The market strawberries haven’t fared well.  They were almost too ripe to eat this morning, some developing soft mushy spots.  I know the “foreign fruit” at the big box store is probably picked green and uses a ton of oil to get here; and I know that by buying at the farmers market I am supporting local agriculture, but for $5 I wish they had lasted a little longer than a day and a half.     Oh, well, I should have some more of my own soon.    I did get a great fresh baked pretzel from a new artisan baker that was wonderful!  Free range eggs rounded out my purchases.  It was good to see old friends from my days as a dog treat vendor and great to be able to shop and go home!  Yea!!!

Hope you’re enjoying growing your own food and knowing that if times get really bad, we can feed ourselves.  

Keep it simple.