Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"What Are Your Mantra's Your Mission Statements For Life?"

As my son and I were together driving in the car last night I simply, out of the blue, don't know why, asked him if he has any Mantra's he lives his life by..
He kind of looked at me as if I was some kind of a looney tune, in just that way that a 19 year old lad can..which admittedly I can be (said with affection for myself)
Mantra? he said...what is that?
So I talked about Mission Statements/Mantra's and such..well he uttered "I hadn't really ever thought about that, do you?"

Of course I do I took me 54 years to figure out what they are, but everything truly amazing comes in its own time...someday you will just know what they will be struck by something or someone and you will feel a passionate response to it...that is the moment when you know that there are certain things you just feel deep down about your life and the world around you...
I have always of course felt very deeply about truth and honesty and do unto others and leave people and places better than you found them and have worked hard to teach my kids the same...
Of course though, there is that little prevalent factor that I am human and because of that fail tremendously at times.
To fail is to be human..and in the midst of what we see to be mistakes and failures in our lives, those moments become those great big memorable moments where our Lord then quietly teaches us about Forgiveness, Mercy and Grace!!!
Oh for heaven's sake I have diverted..
Anyway as I was saying he asked me if I had a "Mission Statement" or "Mantras" I live by...and...
Here are the ones I truly try to live by with a funny one I saw the other day thrown in..

Or in other words: "One Foot In Front of the Other, One Step At A time"

Huge words for me!! 

I absolutely love and strive to live by this...and it pretty much sums up what I told my son..."Don't ever be afraid to try the things you are most afraid of, for those things will most definitely shape and define who you are" 

Pretty much says it all for me..

And lastly...I spotted this little precious thing the other day and it made me smile and then it made me think...and I think I love it..

On our drive the other evening, when this "Mantra-Mission Statement" conversation began, I was actually driving my son 2 hours north from our home so that he could join up with his Dad and Brother in-law who were camping.
He wasn't able to go on the original day as he had to work, but then was joining them the next day..
They are at a beautiful little lake up in the mountains very close to the Washington/Canadian border called Lake Leo...

It is the absolute perfect place...
little lake, good fishing, swimming if you so desire, no big boats with motors, only small water craft and only little trolling very quiet...just 8 campsites spread a good distance apart, restroom facilities, running water and most importantly no cell service...I mean come on...cell phones and camping??? How is that getting away and enjoying nature..
Oh and a cribbage board and cards...

In such a place...I wonder, in sitting by the fire in the early morning time with coffee in hand, have any "Mantras" come to mind for him??  Maybe...

Take Care and love your life cuz it is good even when its bad!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"How Great Is Our God"

My absolute favorite video of this song...Chris Tomlin's voice literally brings tears to my eyes and chills in my soul..not to mention the words and content of this song...

May you have a most blessed Sunday!

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Friday's Song For Me Anyway"

The memories this song conjures up for me are too many to put words too..
I am at a loss for words today...all worded I will just let her
speak for me...and who better!!! Amazing!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Tuesdays Song For Me..Just cuz it makes me smile"

"In Prayer I Ask For Strength"

Tomorrow is a big day for me..
 3 years of work, 3 years of trying to prove something to people in places that hold a part of  your life in their hands in a way.
3 years of perseverance, 3 years of never giving up!
Ah yes, but an incredible 3 years of finding strength I never knew I had..
3 years of incredible struggle with incredible lessons learned..
3 years of prayer and faith and trust in a God that I had walked away from, only to find out that he never walked away from me..he was right there all along waiting for me to just ask!
I look back now over the last 3 years and I am amazed at all the gifts received...
Amazed at what I have come to know about who I REALLY am inside this sometimes uncooperative mind of mine...
And I love her...I love me...after all these years, I can finally say that with no hesitation...
Its so freeing to not be at war with who you are in this world...
Ya know what I mean?
Thank you Father for loving me, for seeing beyond the muck, for lifting me up when I couldn't lift myself, for guiding me with the soft touch of your hand, for bringing me
to this place I now know as your loving GRACE!
I am thankful, grateful, hopeful and astonished!

In God's Heart I am loved, always was..
But now in my own heart I am loved by Me and that is huge..


Monday, August 22, 2011

"Today's Song For Me"

"My Monday Quote and a little Sharing"

I read this quote today and frankly I just had to go with it..

how true is this...?  For me quite..

I also wanted to share a lovely new blog I happened upon today...
I think I might have accomplished a little more off my list this day, but honestly I just had to keep looking and reading..
Such a talented lady, such beautiful art, what wonderful writings...

A couple pieces of her work..I am enchanted!!!

Have a most lovely evening time..

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"What a Disaster in the Midst of Ideas Galore"

I awoke this morning with the realization that I have 2, count them 2 whole days off...time to devote to a little nest tidying..with a little creative fun thrown in for good measure..
But first I have to deal with this..and feel free to go ahead and judge me...I admit it, when ideas are swirling about in my head I tend to throw things about and create not only my art but a re-decorating of sorts in my special little place in the world...having said that, this is what I am faced with...

This used to be a closet and an organized one of sorts...eeeekkkk!

Since when is the floor an additional space to make a mess..well basically since there are no other spaces left to mess...

I don't even know what to say.. do I even find anything? But amazingly I do..

Now this little part isn't quite so bad, I think I will start there...

But this...????

Another floor storage area...

So off I go...
But there is also a story here..
Not only will I be setting off to de-clutter this space in an attempt to have a more functional, organized working and creating space...but I have to be able to fit a queen size blow up bed in this space as well..
You see..
Of late my Mr and I have adopted the habit of snoring to the umpf degree..
He in the beginning of sleep, me at the 3-4 am time..
Needless to say we have not been having very restful rest times of late and we are getting to darn old to take to the sofa on any kind of a continued basis...
Since our children are no longer children and the married one obviously living elsewhere and the recently returned son inhabiting the whole downstairs space my Mr. and I took over their former claimed rooms and converted them into our little places in the world, not allowing for extra sleeping arrangements...
Who knew that as we aged we would cause sleepless nights for each other...
So off I go with my 2 goals in mind..
Less mess and a place to snore in peace..

Happy Sunday to all..


Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Do you have to stand outside and yell...REALLY?"

Today I started my beautiful peaceful morning by yet again hearing the lunatic neighbor behind me screaming at the top of her lungs my other neighbors name...

So I wake up the sun shining in that early morning way that is just so darn pretty, the birds were singing, a slight cool (but not to cool) breeze in the air...
With coffee in hand I head out to my serene patio space, sit myself down at my picnic table, covered so lovingly by a quilt I made for my son when he was young boy, start to reach for the current book I am reading.."Change your Thoughts, Change your Life" by Dr. Wayne Dyer...a study of the lesson of the ironic..
Can you picture it?
Heres a little more...
My backyard is parklike with tons of trees and overgrown deciduous many shades of lovely green in the morning sun...the leaves twist slowly in the breeze, the birds are lining up on tree limbs about, waiting for their turn at the ever popular bird feeder...
The lunatic neighbor behind starts this is not a scream like she needs me to call 911...
This is the screaming of a lady that is pissed off because our other neighbors young dog has found a way over the fence into her yard...
Now I realize that some of us humans do not take so easily to others canine friends, but REALLY?????
Sara is the pups name and she is a total doll!  A medium size dog, a mix of some sort probably lab and a little pit bull...rescued by our loving other neighbors from a local shelter..

Now this isn't exactly what she looks like, but kinda close...anyway..
She is so smart, sweet and kind..
But she is a curious girl and I am sure that backyard over there with two other canine friends was just to darn appealing, so she climbed and jumped..

Why would someone approach something such as this by standing at 7:15 in the am in the middle of her yard doing nothing but screaming someone's name 20-30 times at the top of her lungs...
So here I am just sitting staring at the open book, my hand still grasping my coffee mug and first I try to see the humor in it..but not for long...I quickly morphed into this...

Well except with pajamas and my husbands robe best morning look no doubt..
I couldn't take it anymore...I stood up, started to walk towards the back of my yard and yelled, not to nicely I admit..
"Can I help you?"
to which she replied
Ok now, just for a moment, use your imagination and wonder at all the possible ways I might in my now trashed serenity respond...
I took a deep breath and said


Dead Silence...I almost started laughing..
Now this woman is not an elderly woman, she is late 40's to early 50's and quite healthy..

So off I go in my jammies, husbands robe, hair standing on end from sleep and I am sure a scowl of mondo proportions on my face...

Arriving at her dwelling, not too happy to say the least, I find her throwing dog treats about her front yard in an effort to get sweet Sara the Pup out of her backyard...
Sara spots me and comes running for rescue...leans against my legs for a pet and looks at me as if to say "GET ME OTTA HERE"...
The lunatic starts to say something..honestly I don't even know what..
We both stop for just a moment, turn to look at the lunatic as we begin to walk away and all I can think to say is
"I would rather you just say THANK YOU!!"

I looked down at Sara, she looked up at me with those darling puppy eyes and I think in that moment we made a very special bond..The pup and the rescue lady...

I can live with that...better than I can live with the screaming lunatic!!!



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"What a Wonderful World"

I woke up this morning to a cool, sunshiney summer morning..
The last couple of days have been just slightly cooler than of late, with cooler mornings...rather fallish in nature and the flowers are taking on a new life in my front yard garden...
I absolutely adore the time of late summer when although the days may get on the heated side, the nights and mornings are slightly seems to breathe new life into everything that grows, including me..
I didn't have quite enough time to do some picture taking this morning, but found this picture of the Palouse area close to where I live and it is amazingly gorgeous on so many levels...Enjoy!!

I am blessed to reside in a place surrounded by incredibly beautiful farm lands and also surrounded by so many lakes of all sizes and shapes...

I am thinking this photograph is inspiring me to do a mixed media canvas...hmmm...!!!!

Have a most lovely day full of blessings you are able to see with your eyes wide open...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Remembering My Daddy"

Sorry Mama if this makes you cry...made me cry to...I miss him still, always will, he was the best!!

"A Beautiful Way to Begin"

In our gardens, sunshine peaking through and highlighting the most beautiful of sights...
Coffee in hand, brain beginning to awaken, sleep making its way from my eyes, I gaze out upon our outdoor surroundings and say a prayer of thanks!

Life is is really good!


Sunday, August 7, 2011


"To Coin A Phrase"

"In The Still Of The Night"

I lay upon the soft sheets, freshly laundered,
in thought of many things yet little.
Most prevalent on my mind is the day behind.
One more conglomeration of moments lived with no aid of medication.
many moments without notice, others a battle of mind and body.

I have been medicated for years..used to seeing life the way the pills have chosen me to see..
Pills which altered natural chemicals in my brain for the supposed good.
I have conversation with myself as to whether I have become the definition of those  chemicals, those pills and if so, is this person, the person who used to hold the glass of water and bottles each morning, is that person who I was mean't to be or become after all the pain, all the survival techniques..or am I now, after 10 days without, a new version of self?
Will this self be better for it?
Or is this another self to get used to.

I desire to know...I have faced the demons and sent them on their way..
I feel strong, enlightened, valid...Or do I really? Is it or was it an illusion.
Its frightening, honestly.
I am sure not to far removed from facing life without the veil of any addiction..

My husband's theory is that pharmaceuticals for the mind are not that far removed from any reality deferring method we may a disclaimer I don't believe he is talking about severe illnesses such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and such..
However he does have a point to be heard...we do become dependent regardless. Whether we find our method at a pharmacy, in the beer and wine aisle of the grocery store, in the myriad of liquor bottles so neatly displayed in the liquor store or on a scary street corner.
He called me a "drug addict"...not said with hatred or disdain...but said in truth..his truth for me.  He never liked that physicians tended to start writing on their prescription pads before anything else..he never bought into it for me, refused to support their choice..
And after 10 days of withdrawals I hear his voice, his opinion.
It doesn't seem like such a stretch now.

Its hard, but then it was hard before and I know hard. I embrace hard, I don't shy away.
But it is frightening, I got used to the numbness, the steadiness..
I can handle the bouts of dizziness and nausea..
I can handle the adrenaline rushes...the stomach problems...the shakes..
What feels more difficult is the experiencing of emotions that I am not used to.
The questioning inside..does this place feel better than the numb place?
Things look different, I look different to myself, I feel outside of myself..
The Dr says that is takes approximately 24 days for the chemicals to be out of your body and it will get better..
Is that true or their best guesstamation?

I have to remember I WANTED THIS!

So here I am again, in that all too familiar place..."one step at a time"

For all those that have known and stood by someone with any kind of mental illness...I thank you from the bottom of my heart, I salute you...we are: misunderstood, alienated, shied away from, scared of...please know we are in here, in our bodies, in our minds, fighting the good fight, wanting to be heard, needing to be loved regardless.
I know from the outside it is difficult...but nothing like our insides!!!

Tim, my friend, our friend for many years, I hope you read this...the ear of listening that you shared recently with a lost soul of a man was a gift...a gift of love and validity and humanity... you are an the epitome of
"human kindness and compassion" by definition..
that man is forever changed by your gift...the gift of being heard, truly heard!

Before I end you must know...!!! I am a fighter, I am a survivor and I will prevail..
I have chosen this fight, I have chosen to move forward living without and it will be that choice that will drive me on...but having said that, it is always easier knowing whether you turn your head to the right or the left, forward or behind there will be soldiers marching right beside you..whether seen or unseen...!!!
After all, a fighter always has those guys in the corner with the chair, the towels to wipe the sweat and the one who tapes the wounds up...!!!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Love Them Beans"

Thank you my most favorite inspiration in all things of life..

The very special "Pioneer Woman"

I absolutely love her...and boy do I love her cookin..
Whenever I am making my menu for the next couple of weeks I always have to check-in with whats new her kitchen!

Such a beautiful multi talented lady...
Here are a couple of my newest choices..

Spicy Beans

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  • 4 cups Dry Pinto Beans
  • 1 whole Ham Hock
  • 1 whole Onion, Diced
  • 2 whole Red Bell Peppers, Diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 whole Jalapenos, Sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Black Pepper, More To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Rinse beans under cold water, sorting out any rocks/particles.
Place beans in a stock pot with the ham hock and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure the water level is fine. Add more water as needed.
Then throw in diced onion, red bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno. Cover and continue cooking for another hour or two, remembering to check the water level.
Add salt, chili powder (if desired) and pepper, then cover and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until beans are lovely and tender. Serve with cornbread as a meal, or spoon on top of nachos, tacos, etc.

Grilled Veggie Pizza

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  • Pizza Crust
  • 1/2 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
  • 3/4 cups Warm Water
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Pesto
  • 3/4 cups Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Zucchini, Cut In Diagonal Slices
  • 2 whole Summer Squash, Cut In Diagonal Slices
  • Olive Oil For Brushing
  • 1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper
  • 12 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced
  • 4 ounces, weight Goat Cheese
  • Extra Basil Leaves, For Garnish
  • Grated Or Shaved Parmesan Cheese, For Sprinkling

Preparation Instructions

To make the crust: Sprinkle yeast over 3/4 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand for a few minutes.
In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined, and the dough comes together in a sticky mass.
Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 to 2 hours, or store in the fridge until you need it.
To make the pesto: Add basil leaves, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Turn machine on, then drizzle in olive oil while it mixes. Continue blending until combined, adding additional olive oil if needed. Set aside.
To make the toppings: Brush zucchini and summer squash slices with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat until vegetables are tender and have nice grill marks. Set aside.
Place whole peppers on grill and allow to blacken. Remove from grill and immediately place in a large ziploc bag. Allow to sit for 20 minutes or so, then remove peppers from bag and peel off blackened skin. Deseed peppers, then slice into strips. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Arrange a rack toward the bottom of the oven.
To assemble the pizza: Roll out pizza dough on a floured surface; get it as thin as you can. spread a generous layer of pesto all over the surface of the crust. (You might have a little left over; if you do, store in the fridge.)
Lay slices of mozzarella all over the pesto. Arrange grilled zucchini, squash, and peppers in a pretty pattern on top of the mozzarella. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubble (watch to make sure cheese doesn't get too brown.)
Remove from oven and crumble goat cheese all over the top of the pizza. Lay basil leaves on top, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve immediately.

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

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  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 16 ounces, weight White Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 1/3 cup Sherry Or Wine
  • 3 Tablespoons (additional) Sherry Or Wine
  • Kosher Salt And Pepper To Taste
  • 1 bag Baby Spinach
  • 12 whole Flour Tortillas (Soft Taco Size)
  • 8 ounces, weight Fontina (or Monterey Jack) Cheese, Grated
  • 3 ounces, weight Goat Cheese (chevre)
  • Extra Butter, For Tortillas
  • Salsa, For Serving

Preparation Instructions

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet and add sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then saute over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, then pour in sherry. Add salt and pepper. Continue cooking for 6 to 8 minutes, or until all liquid is evaporated. Remove mushrooms from skillet and set aside.
Return skillet to stovetop and reduce heat to medium-low. Melt additional 1 tablespoons of butter and add a couple of tablespooons of sherry. Add spinach to skillet and stir gently as it wilts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cook for 2 minutes, max. Remove from skillet.
To assemble the quesadillas, arrange grated Fontina, spinach, and mushrooms on top of one flour tortilla. Dot with goat cheese. Top with a little more Fontina, then top with second tortilla. Smear softened butter lightly on both sides of the quesadilla, then grill until golden brown and until cheese is totally melted. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
Slice quesadillas into four wedges and serve immediately.

 Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce

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  • 3/4 cups Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan (additional)
  • 12 ounces, weight Pasta (cavitappi, Fusili, Etc.)
  • 2 whole Tomatoes, Diced

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta until al dente.
Add basil leaves, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Turn machine on, then drizzle in olive oil while it mixes. Continue blending until combined, adding additional olive oil if needed. Set aside.
Heat cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add pesto and stir.
Drain pasta and place in a serving bowl. Pour pesto cream over the top. Toss to combine. Add diced tomatoes and toss quickly. Serve immediately.

Now thats what I'm talkin about!!!

Good Eats to all..