Uncategorized

Oh, the Irony

I have been spending some time “yardening” as I call it. My garden (vegetable) has yet to become this season and so my efforts have been purely of an aesthetic nature. Weed, fertilize, plant, prune and water. As I putter around and fuss with the sprinkler I can’t help but giggle at myself. I’m basically trying to control nature on my plot of dirt. This sectioned off piece of land that I call my property, which was someone else’s before me, is being sprayed and mulched and molded to my liking. But you know what? Every time I think I have all the weeds eradicated those filthy buggers pop right up again. I can’t help but smile ( a little) at the sheer tenacity and the force of nature. Adam’s curse come to life, right here in my front yard.

I think of creation and how we are formed. We are not the creator, we are the creature. And in our frailty we are still curators and cultivators. If I let my yard go it would run rampant in no time. And so I pluck away at the never ceasing weeds. Here we live and tend to our little things as if we have control. Who am I to tell this plant that it is unwanted? Who am I to force this one to grow? And yet we do just that. Irony at its best.

If you have never grown a garden you really should. It may not be a success but you will learn a lot! One thing I have learned, and there are many more besides, is that you are never in control. Ever. Not even a little bit. Crazy, right? Another crazy thing I’ve learned is that it’s ok and actually preferred to release all pretense of control. The less we hold tightly to in this life the more we are free to live. Forcing a flower to bloom when you want it to isn’t going to happen but with some care and attention that flower will blossom in it’s season and be the gem of the garden.

There is a wonderful message titled “Let it Unfold” that gets me every time I listen to it. Every time one of my roses bloom it is a reminder to keep tending my garden but to remember who really opens the blossoms.

Uncategorized

What’s On Your Mind?

Wow! It has been a while since my last post. I have been busy doing stuff and busy doing nothing in the last few weeks. By nothing I mean gardening, napping, reading and generally enjoying my summer break.

There is something that has been weighing on me lately. I’m not sure what others think of me and frankly it’s none of my business but I often wonder what would happen if I actually spoke all the things that come to mind (within reason). So many times there is a flittering spark of a thought that dances through my mind and in a moments hesitation it is gone. I once read that if a thought is not “married” with an action within 30 seconds the thought will not be acted upon at all. Wow, 30 seconds is all it takes to kill an action that just very well may change the course of your life. The impact of that is huge.

I’m by nature a cautious creature. Wary and hesitant. But I also want to live a full life and reach my utmost potential. I want to leave this world happy and secure of my final destination and knowing that somewhere along the way I made a difference in someone else’s life. And so I am at odds with myself most of the time.

In the midst of this I know God is working on me. His voice is ever calling me to be just a bit braver and step one more foot forward. How lovely it is to walk with Him. I cannot be who I am destined to be unless I trust in my maker and His plan.

How small we really are when we think of the vast universe. I recently took a trip and while driving home the rolling hills were criss crossed with roads. The cars motoring along reminded me so much of ants crawling over an ant hill that it made me giggle. Is this how God sees us as He peers down from above?

And yet I know that we are so precious to Him. He loves and cares for us. He watches and guides us. He heals, changes and helps us. I’m ready to see what He has in store next.

Whatever your journey entails I urge you to do the things, live a big life and give it your all❤️ I’ll be over here cheering you on as I endeavor to do the same!

A camellia I picked at my grandparents house shortly after their passing. This flower will always remind me of time spent at their home.
Alterations, DIY, Farm, Home

Personal Evolution

First, I must show you this beautiful painting that I bought at the local thrift store. I really never buy paintings because it seems like you never really know if it’s actual art or possibly just somebody’s Saturday amusement. However, I saw this painting and it just fit. I live on a farm surrounded by mountains and I am in love with the soft colors and the beautiful scenery.

When deciding colors for my kitchen office and living room I was incomplete puzzlement. I simply could not decide and my brain did not see colors.  I had been so good at this before but my frazzled color chooser had a short in it.  Prior to a couple years ago color had been my thing. I love color and the brighter the better.  Case in point, my previous kitchen was egg yolk yellow, my bedroom purple and my living room teal. It. Was. Colorful. But in this painting I learned something of myself. I learned that I had changed. I was now seeking the serenity and the calming effect that simple palettes and soothing colors had on me and my home and my family. In other words, I was growing up and I wanted  more peaceful and calm surroundings. I could tackle whatever things that lay ahead for my day knowing that I would come home and what I would find there would be soothing.

This came somewhat as a shock to me. I thought I knew myself better. But apparently as we age we become new people. It is also been found that the human brain doesn’t fully grow up or make connections that are relevant to good choices until about the age of 30. Let’s just say I am a few years after that but not much. It’s been interesting to me to see how other things have changed in my life.

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Can you smell me now?

This for example is something new. It is my favorite perfume in all the world. ( Dolce & Gabanna I’m ready for my sponsorship now.)  Never in all my born days would I ever consider buying a luxury item such as a designer perfume. But I have discovered that I like to smell pretty. And in order to smell pretty I do not mind spending a little bit more if I know it is a quality item that I will every day.  And I bought it at Marshals at half price… so, yeah.

Same for the cut flowers I don’t get them very often but every now and then I do like to have a splash of color. That extra bit of nature that brings life into your space. And they’re so pretty. I used to think it was so selfish and frivolous to buy them.  Now I’m ok with it. It’s fine. It makes me happy.

I guess I should’ve known that my likes and tastes had taken a turn when I simply could not throw this rug out. For whatever reason I kept it and I did not even know why.  It was an inexpensive find and was totally replaceable. But I held onto it and as I look around I see that I have used the soft colors again and again throughout my home. I think it’s safe to say the bright and bold colors that I still love so dearly are not going to be finding their way onto my walls anymore. I’ve grown up just a little bit And now I’m seeking calm and comfort and simplicity. And I invited a friend over for dinner so I could borrow her color eyes and now I have a color plan for my downstairs.  *happy sigh*

I cannot wait to finish all of the painting on the lower floor and post pictures of its transformation. You will be sure to find a soothing color scheme throughout my house when I am done. I guess growing up isn’t so bad after all.

Family, Friends, Things I find funny

Personality

I’ve been practicing for the Easter drama most evenings. It’s been fun but also trying. We have seen the best and worst in each other as we log the hours. I’ve made a few observations along the way as well.

One thing I should mention is that our play is put on by church members. As many church bodies are we are a community within a community. A micro culture if you will. We see each other a lot as it is. Three services a week and a private school four days a week keep us in close contact. Many members are related and/or live very near to each other as well. And we live in a small city that has no strangers. Everybody knows everybody here. Add to that four two hour practices a week and I think you can safely say we are ” all up in each other’s business “.

First, I do believe we are blessed with the best. I know it’s corny and canned but I do actually believe it. We have some crazy talented people at our church. We also have a lot of regulars that just kinda want to be done already (me).

To begin with, we have struggled through practices to say the least. Some songs were new and some went unlearned and we just weren’t jiving. But I am pleased to say that through these moments I have a better appreciation for my fellow church members. We have made it to the end. We have stuck it out. We have had disagreements and frustrations and still treated one another civilly. We have joked and laughed and rolled our eyes in unison…. repeatedly. We are a team.

I have discovered a few personalities that stuck out as well-

The everyday Joe: These cast members are logging the hours, trying to not mess up and goofing around behind the curtain on off scenes. I would say about 75% of our cast are Joes.

The hot head: They are belligerent when something isn’t right with their scene and get hot pretty quick. They also like to point out what other people are doing wrong. (they are not directors)

The “Over it” : They are just fed up. They missed their nap. They are hangry and want to go home. Probably about 15% on this one….

The exhausted sideline coach: They are tired of prodding others to participate. They also want to go home but cannot. We need them.

The want-to-be sideline coach: They just showed up. They will jump in and they are there for you. They will change absolutely everything at the last second but they will get you lined out wether you need it or not.

The cautiously optimistic: Those still are hoping for the best and inviting everyone in town hoping the peer pressure will bring out the best in everyone (me).

There is one lurking non member that always seems to crop up as well. The one that waits for disaster to strike. The understudy. The one that just might put exlax in your coffee if it would better their chances.

Well, that about sums up my experience in this years Easter drama. When they said drama, they weren’t kidding! It would really help if someone had specified which side of the curtain the drama would be on though…

To my fellow cast members:

You are awesome! I love you all and if you read this understand the spirit in which it was written and take it with a grain of salt😉

Break a leg!

Being Mama, Family

Dancing In The Kitchen

My girls and I were preparing for the annual dessert auction today. As we moved around the kitchen it was like we were synchronized in some sort of baking routine. It’s funny because yesterday my husband was trying to cook and was so frustrated because there was a chair in his cooking space. He hollered and he yelled. He may have thrown a few things. I pointed out that maybe he was having a bit of an attitude and that most certainly didn’t make matters any better. My son, the mechanic, tends to stay out of the kitchen unless he’s very very determined to make something of his own creation such as his famous (at least in our house) pleasant pheasant dish. Otherwise you can count on him to be about as helpful as a pimple on prom night in the kitchen.

As my two girls and I walked past one another dumping cups of sugar and stirring in handfuls of salt and baking soda it made me think of that saying “kitchens are made for dancing”. Although we weren’t actually dancing it seemed as if we were. I was in complete home maker happiness at that moment. We scooped and stirred and mixed and waltzed around one another reaching here and leaning there and moving aside so the other could get to the cupboard or stove. It was all so timely and without a mishap I thought perhaps maybe I was dreaming a little. Then I realized It was just a bit of déjà vu. This what happens when my mom, my sister and I are in the kitchen together. It’s a perfect seamless dance as we maneuver raw ingredients into a delicious meal. That made me a bit homesick I’m afraid.

Home to me really isn’t a place anymore. It’s more the people that belong to the deepest part of my life. I miss the nearness of my loved ones. I miss seeing their faces on a regular basis. I miss my best friend who no longer lives 15 minutes away. But I have to be thankful for each and every blessing that I do have. And what I have is a beautiful family and a church full of wonderful people that I call friends that I can call on anytime I am in need. Looking forward I also have many wonderful people that I’m sure will become dear friends to me in the future.

I chose to live where I do because that is where God planted me. I have no regrets and I’m in love with what God is doing in my life. But the truth is I hunger sometimes for the nearness of my family. And though they are not far away it is still a sacrifice.

But as always when I face these moments I think about my simple phrase that always carries me through another day and that is “today I choose joy”. I will enjoy this snap shot and treasure it always as a beautiful moment in time. A time when my girls and the girl I was danced together in perfect harmony.

Being Mama, Family, Kids, Life, Love, Marriage

Where Have All The Housewives Gone

We just had our yearly chat with the gal who does our taxes. I have been contemplating working a few hours in the summer. Something very part time. I asked if upping our income a bit was going to help or hurt us in the long run. Funny thing is if I make over $10,000 annual ( which I probably won’t) we up our tax bracket and lose some of the return we are now getting. Essentially, it’s a wash.

My kids are teens now and looking for work of their own. I love this age and yet I yearn to just be out of the house. They don’t need me as much now anyway. I love home but I’m not thrilled with staying there all day, ya get me? And yet, I hear my mother’s voice saying how she wished she had not gone to work when my baby brother entered his teens. He had a very troubled adolescence and she still feels a bit guilty.

And if I’m being honest, there are days when I’m not really up to the task. I’m working on myself this year to improve that. After chronic pain had become intolerable and migraines ate up the hours in my days I stepped back and made few changes in order to better myself physically.

I’m sure this all sounds like I am justifying my choice to remain out of the work place ( at least for now). I guess it is but it’s so much more than that to me. It’s a calling. I’m made to nurture and to love. I don’t understand how being a housewife has gotten such a bad rap. No, we are no longer living in the 1950s but there is truly something satisfying about providing the best for your family.

On any given day I am a driver, a cook, a teacher and tutor, a cleaner (NOT maid), a mentor, a help meet, a friend and lover, an encourager, an organizer, a planner and appointment maker, an economizer and financial assistant, a dreamer and reader, a prayer warrior and a keeper of the home. It’s a big job.

I was purging paper work recently and found stacks of report cards and college applications. Among these were several letters of reference from various mentors and teachers. I read them and was amazed at their kind words. They were chock full of sincere praise and promise. How did I not realize I was a golden girl? I was one of the few that would “amount to something”. I was just now seeing what my teachers must have seen in me then. A bright future. A world changer. Someone destined for more.

Did I squander my life? In the world’s eyes, maybe. But as I sit here writing this my 10 year old is bringing me her school poster to inspect, my 16 year old is explaining his newest dilemma with his vintage motorcycle and I am nagging my 13 year old to feed the goats. I know this may sound like your definition of crazy but this is my little slice of heaven and I wouldn’t trade a second. I’m here for my family and that’s right where I want to be.

I may be in the minority on this one but that’s ok. I’m proud to be a mother and housewife. And, if you ever need a cup of coffee or a hot meal there’s a good chance you will find me in my kitchen and I will gladly bring you in and make you feel right at home.

Family, Health, Life, Love

Passing

My grandparents have been in very poor health this year. There were several times we nearly lost them. This week we got news of grandpas passing. Only two days later grandma passed too. It was expected and it was sad but I think also it was a bit of relief as well. They had suffered much in the last few years. In one week I have lost my only two remaining grandparents.

We often note at a death how great and noble the person was. How they will be dearly missed. How things will be altered without them. This is absolutely true. I loved my grandpa. His silly ways and sharp wit. His ornery streak that he just may have passed on to a few of us. His musical ear and gift of language and love of the old country. I love it and will think of it with wistful admiration and longing.

My grandmother, for all her quirks, taught me to love the green and growing things. She was a master gardener. She was generous with gifts and hospitality. She loved to bake and tried to feed us every time we came over, even in her feeble years.

However, there is another side of death that I’d like to address. I’d like to speak for anyone who may have been hurt at their hands. Those who have endured insults and lies. Those who have been abused. We tend to overlook the bad and really, we should. I know that. But it is still right and good to liberate those that have been bound.

To those I love: you are free now. We can all move on to a more peaceful life together. We have an opportunity to start fresh as a family and love one another more dearly. In our grief may there be blessing. As we mourn May there be hope. In sorrow may love grow. My heart goes out to you all.

Again,I say be free and live well

Your loving daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend,

Veronica❤️

Being Mama, Family, Food, Frugal

Crunch Wraps For The Win

I’m seriously into food. I love it. It makes me happy. A while back I went to a restaurant with a girlfriend and neither of us was fully satisfied with the offerings. As soon as the waiter left our table after taking our orders we both began rummaging in our bags. She came up with REAL butter and I with my secret stash of tea. We know what we want when it comes to eating and weren’t taking any chances.

That being said I also live a great on the go meal. This crunch wrap is what a busy moms dreams are made of. Portable. Self contained. Good now and still good later. AND….It freezes well! Heaven sent I tell ya!

But the true test is will they eat it? Um, if they like Taco Bell they will hands down like to see this guy in their lunch boxes.

So here is the skinny….

You’ll need:

Ground beef -2 lbs will get you roughly 6 wraps so expand or decrease according to your need

Tortillas- one for each wrap

Shredded cheese- about 1 tbsp for each wrap

Salsa or sauce of your choice ( optional)

Large frying pan

First cook and drain the beef then assemble like so…. Tortilla, meat, cheese, sauce

Then you will need to get a large pan on medium heat to fry these guys

If you have non stick you probably can get by with no oil added, otherwise just add a scant amount to prevent sticking

Now the folding….

Continue all the way around until you have something like this

Press your palm into wrap to keep the tortilla from unfolding and place it fold side down in pan

It is important to keep the folds down when placing it in the pan. As it cooks press down gently to help the cheese to melt and “glue” the wrap together.

Flip and cook until golden brown on both sides ( if you plan on eating these immediately I would cook them just a bit longer to thoroughly heat it through. My kids will be reheating these at school so I cook them just enough to hold together )

Here is the pressing- make sure you do this if your wraps have to be carted to school or work- it ensures your wrap is not going to unwrap itself

I got these ones a little toasty but after they cool I’ll toss them in baggies and into the freezer for a quick grab and go lunch!

Yum!

Hope you liked this!

What are your favorite quick meals?

Get Happy!, Health, Life

Breath

Do you every have an experience that just seems to breathe new life into you? We recently had a women’s conference at church. It was refreshing and strengthening and made me think about how I live my life for God. I brought home a few of my decor items and used them at home to remind myself of the lessons learned:

1) Go after your goals in God

2) Be an example that others can look up to

3) Holiness begins with a pure heart

There was so much more that rang true for me but these three were the ones that stood out the most. This conference was nearly cancelled and I am thankful that it wasn’t! God was talking to me and I was blessed to be a part of it!

What restores your soul?

I love a good rollicking church service and zen farmhouse decor apparently 😄

DIY, Farm, Frugal, Getting Girly, Home, Organize

My Pantry

Ok, confession time…. I actually posted this by complete accident.  I meant to just get the pictures and then go back and write the post but obviously I reversed the process. So here is the *actual* article.

Now, this room is shabby at best.  It’s basically shelves in a half sunken room off of my kitchen.  Nothing special.  Concrete, unfinished boards and canning supplies.  But I took a shine to this ratty little corner of my home.  It became a pleasure to see my canning jars lovingly lined up on the shelves.  Some bursting with past produce and some awaiting their turn to be filled up with home canned goodness.  Not only does it hold all my kitchen essentials it can serve as a shelter should we need it.  (We don’t get hurricanes or tornadoes here but you never know)

And so because this little room is near and dear to me I have a plan to give it a make over.  Of course. The first step was sealing all those pesky cracks because old saw dust insulation kept trickling down on me…. not fun…especially when there are spiders and one might accidentally mistake said sawdust for a spider running down one’s back…maybe.

Anyhow, that was a simple fix.  I DIYed a quick wall paper paste and used large sheets of white card stock to paste over the cracks. Ta-da! Take that tricky saw dust!

The next faze will be to white wash the whole shebang.  I am planning on going totally old school on this little jobby so  I am going to mix up another DIY for white wash.  This will be my first go with that and if it works well I plan on using it for the interior of the smaller outbuildings to brighten things up (so I can see when I go hunting in the large freezer).

Finally, I plan to use those awesome vintage wall papers to dress up those plain white shelves.  It’s going to be all granny blissed out I tell ya’!

I am super excited for this little make over and as soon as my little self is able I want to put some time into it.

Happy DIY!

 

 

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What awaits down the pantry steps?
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Shelves full of jars and totes full crafting supplies … these are a few of my favorite things!

 

 

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Though she be shabby- she be useful!
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Are you in love with these vintage papers?! Guilty!

What do you think?  I will put out a  completed “tour” once it is finished.  Until then, have a wonderful day!