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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❤️

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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?

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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 😄

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Elvis Has Left The Building

My cat Elvis is quite the character. He loves to snuggle and trip you while you walk. He often perches on the windowsill to watch me do dishes (on the outside). He has yet to realize that his recent poundage is not simply that luxurious fluff that he wears for a coat (he is half long hair). He will sometimes lose his footing on the narrow ledge while watching me do said dishes. *cue dramatic cat yowl, scrambling paws followed by a dull thump* No, he has never been seriously injured but thank you for your concern.

With all that I love him dearly. He is smart and comical. And a big sissy la-la who whines about everything. Seriously, he used to steal food from his mother well into adolescence even AFTER she caught him his own mouse. If he sees you through the window headed toward the door- ANY door- he will meet you there and dart as quick as he can through your feet to get inside and get another snack. Unfortunately, he can only stay in the pantry or the laundry room as I am allergic to cats….go figure. If I do not pet them or pick them up I am fine but the minute I start ruffling fur I am in trouble.

Elvis and I have learned to live with it though. I let him stay in the laundry room which has a large glass window panel. I “pet” him through the glass. Basically, I put my hand on one side of the glass and he rubs his head on the other side. Sort of like visiting hours if you know what I mean.

Anyhow, I love his crazy furry self and he loves me. That’s all that really matters. And since he has no social media I sure as shootin’ am going to do my best to get a video of the narrow window sill episode. That is something you do not want to miss!

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Hey everyone!

So I know I’ve been pretty quiet lately. Truth is I’m not all that energetic sometimes. But today I am a happy girl! Yesterday I had a procedure done to check out everything in my abdomen. It went pretty well and I think we are moving forward. By this time next year I hope to be fully charged and back on track!

Without further ado I will share what else has been keeping me busy:

*Decluttering

*Streamlining chores and other ” must do” tasks

*Completing small house projects to improve function and / or efficiency

*Self care ( much harder and more time consuming than I would have guessed)

*Keeping up with appointments for my kids and myself

*Staying connected to far awayfamily and friends ( also sometimes difficult when you start phone tagging)

*Scheduling writing projects ( not so successful here)

In short, I’m trying to get my life together 😄 Well, I’m just trying to make things more manageable around here. I know people do not consider hobby farms to be anything like real farming. And its not but its still work to keep up animals, homes and property. And if you are like me and lacking your usual spunk (albeit temporarily) it can feel like a mountain.

So I’m living lighter and I have never enjoyed myself more. I’m starting to breathe easier and love more freely and edit whatever is not benefiting me. Whether it be time wasters, clutter and even relationships that bring me down.

Change is never easy but as I give myself permission to let go I’m finding a stronger trust in God and a greater ability to live in a mindset of abundance. I am truly blessed.

I thank you all for taking time to read my little blog. One of my main goals is to become more faithful and schedule more posts in the future!

Love to all,

Have a beautiful day!

Veronica

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Sanity for the School Hustle

For those of you who have your lives all pulled together I applaud you. I don’t know how you do it! I seem to be one hot mess after another but that’s all fixing to change.

On a positive note, I did find my sign. And it’s absolutely true. Every word.

I’ve been about the business of simplifying life lately. If its not useful in my life RIGHT NOW I just don’t want it up in my space anymore. So what’s a scatter brained gal who is trying to improve her quality of life supposed to do beyond the basic decluttering? I’m So glad you asked! Ok, so maybe you didn’t but I’m going to tell you anyway! 😄

Currently I have reduced my clothing options into a capsule( ish) wardrobe as seen here:

Which should help get me dressed much quicker without looking like a slob. Nice, right?

I have also bought a new planner that has more writing space to give me room for detailed planning. I ended up getting more of a student planner as I will be using this for my lessons as well as personal appointments. Have I mentioned how many appointments I have missed this past year? No? Well, I would tell you but I kinda lost track…..😶

Next on the simplify list is my menu board. I down sized for the actual board size but the process is the same. Make a plan and work it! You have to know what is happening for dinner when everyone is hungry and nobody (including mama) is wanting to figure out what to put on the table.

Finally, my trio of kitchen helpers helps me to make a plan for healthy meals and stick to it!

I just bought a veggie Spiralizer so I can have delicious noodles without the gluten. Yes, please! If I didn’t already have a dinner plan I would be using this bad boy right now😀

Next is my adorably wonderful time saving genius of a product….instant pot, I love you! This guy is the Farberware version which I like for the nonstick surface on the liner.

And to round out our kitchen trio I recently purchased a cookbook that promises to deliver quality breakfasts, lunches, dinners AND snacks!!! Yes, I said snacks. All designed for the school year hustle. Um, sign me up!

It is appropriately titled ‘The School Year Survival Cook Book’.

As the school year rolls on I’m sure there will be a refining process as we settle into a routine. I don’t know about you but this gal is ready to get some sanity back in the schedule.

What are your top tips to keep things running smoothly?

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Living Lighter

I’ve been vigorously decluttering for the past couple of months and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can also think more clearly and make decisions more easily. It’s been great! I also learned more about myself (and my family) along the way. It makes me think about who we really are when I sort through the things we collect.

I seem to have a very strong attachment to first aid kits. As in, I had at least 4 of them….( not counting the extras for camping). I have down sized to 2 kits (one for camping and 1 for the car) and sorted what was useful to be left in my cupboard at home. That may seem odd but the truth is I absolutely love bandaging up booboos and being prepared for any emergency. Yep, I’m the lady who always has a bandaid or cough drop or Tylenol when you need it!

My husband seems to have an envelope fetish. I’m really not sure why any one person needs to have 300 envelopes at any given time but maybe he’s secretly a collector. I asked him about it and he’s not sure either. Its a mystery…. He also owns a LOT of wire. Like big 50-100 lb spools of wire. I know nothing about computers or electricity but he tells me its invaluable for such things and to keep-my-decluttering-mits-off-of-it-thank-you-very-much! *sigh* I guess everything has its limits.

Daughter #1 is as neat and tidy as can be. She keeps all her things in order and regularly purges all her drawers. She also stole all my matching white hangers with the rubber grips…I guess its a price I’m willing to pay for not having to nag at least one of my kids! Yes, she is the middle child and truly falls into her role.

The boy is more or less a train wreck. But an organized one. He is a “piler” and he knows where his things are for the most part but nobody else could possibly make sense of his system. I gave his room a complete overhaul while he was at camp and set up little areas in his room for his various projects. He plays his guitar in a comfy chair and he repairs/builds small r.c. motors at his desk. He reads a bit too. True to form he is a bit scattered in his ways but I think he appreciated that I thought out what his needs/wants were. Each activity was given a zone and appropriate storage. I hope it lasts!

Daughter #2 was a walking disaster. She can destroy a room in nothing flat. I guess its the “baby” syndrome. For her I had to start from the ground up. I gutted her room (there were 6 trash bags of unneeded items!). Then we had to do a whole learning process. I asked her a few questions to find out why she was struggling so much. She just couldn’t reach the hanging bar in the closet very well and was over run with toys! Oh, and blankets…she’s the one with the blanky obsession and being the “baby” she is the snuggler of the 3. Anyhow, we went with the dresser for nearly all of her clothes and greatly reduced her toys and blankets. I did daily reminders for about a week for her to make time to tidy up and… BOOM! She’s got this.

I’m no minimalist. Not even close! But I have learned that less is more. I love cleared surfaces and now if an item is going to have a place in my home its going to have to work hard to keep it! Bye-bye clutter home and cluttered life!

If you are feeling overwhelmed and things just seem to keep piling up clearing out a drawer or 2 is pretty good therapy! And its free! Who knows, if you sell a few things you might even come out ahead!

Have a great Saturday!

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Get It Together Woman!

So I have been a busy bee lately. I am currently on summer break and while I would love to read all day and lounge in the sun (ok, maybe I did that for a couple of weeks already) I am feeling an urgent need to simplify life.

Let’s be honest, things can get harry sometimes. For me that looks like a wild woman running around 9.7 acres trying to keep 2 cows, 20 chickens, 4 goats, 5 cats, 1 dog, 3 kids and 1 husband from destroying everything. Yeah, you can see how well that might work. So I have started clearing the clutter in a major way. Like, they know I’m coming to the thrift store EVERY. DAY. (to donate, not shop)

I’ve decided to keep only what is useful in my life RIGHT NOW. Not in a few years or even a few months. I do have seasonal things but I’m not holding onto the “just in case” items. No more unfinished projects lying around. Not more “maybe it will fit me” or “it was such a great deal”. If it doesn’t add value to my life in some way it’s out the door!

Guess what I found in those closets and boxes? Stuff that I never wanted in the first place! Weird right? Who in their right mind would even bring this stuff home? Um…..this girl! I am always on the look out for a project and I have found that my creative nature sees the possibility in EVERYTHING. This is all well and good when you want to remodel or maybe repurpose something, not so great when you are taking a slow meander through a yard sale and you are chock out of storage.

In the past week I have taken an average of 3 bags to the thrift store every day. That may not seem like a lot but remember this is DAILY for a weeks worth of days. I have also filled the large trash can outside 3 times. It holds about 6 bags of trash and we usually have at least 2 bags of garbage in a week.

The result? I feel so much lighter. I can see what I have and what is important to me. I don’t feel overwhelmed or weighted down by stuff. I like my rooms. Every one of them! I can easily find things and get them out because I know just where they are!

We had a real struggle with our move to this new place last year and we have had to just let things be and learn the ‘lay of the land’ for that time. We have done a lot and made many changes but it’s just now starting to feel like home and I am just so thankful for the space of time to get things to a point that I feel like is manageable. I love where I live and I wouldn’t trade it for anything but this girl has got to get organized!

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Project Season

Here was my little project yesterday afternoon:

As you can see I had a little fun getting my little corner looking a bit better. My crusty mailbox had lost the ability to stay closed and the numbers were a joke. It was time! I cleared some sod, edged it and added a few flowers with a ladder trellis.

The honeysuckle and hollyhocks get to climb the ladder in the back and in the front I have a lavender plant on one side and a white flowering ground cover one the other. Rock chunks courtesy of my dilapidated side walk. I can’t wait for it to grow in!

The thing that really struck me though is that a year ago (or even a few months ago) I wouldn’t have been able to complete something like this. I was exhausted and my mind had no order or clarity. I was in a fatigue so deep that I ran strictly on autopilot and anything that took any amount of problem solving was beyond my capabilities. I am thankful once again for my doctor and the things that have helped me along.

And I do hope the mail carrier has an easier time of dropping off our mail!

Wishing you a spring full of lovely projects and new possibilities!