A Little Chaotic

IMG_2471

These past few weeks have been barely controlled chaos for our families. Heart surgery in one, broken pelvis in another, then I’m having trouble with double vision. Just a lot of medical stuff. Some of it is still up in the air, but I’m confident that we’ll get it figured out.


Sewing

I wrapped up sewing classes a couple weeks ago. My final project was doing a quilted bag with a zipper.

Quilted Zipper Bag
Outside of the zippered bag
Inside Quilted Bag
Interior of the bag

I had finally finished my four training courses. I feel like I can learn to do a lot of things, and I’ve asked the really sweet sewing teacher if we might get together some, and do informal classes. I feel very grateful to someone who has taught me a life skill. Sure I paid a class fee, but you can’t ignore a wonderful personality with a giving spirit. She called to check on me after I told her I was having some double vision. The girl that was taking classes with me had to leave early for work the week before, and the instructor wanted to know if I’d like to come work. I told her that I really wasn’t supposed to drive alone, and that I wouldn’t have a ride in on time.

At my final official sewing class I earned my own pair of scissors that I got to pick out. Earned ScissorsIt’s kind of hard to tell in the picture, but it’s basically pink and white flowers.

I also got this cute paper:Sewing Machine LicenseIf anyone in the Huntsville metro area is interested in taking classes thru her, let me know. I highly recommend her, and her price really isn’t bad at all for what you are getting out of the class. I look forward to getting together with her and sewing on our own projects.

At home I had originally decided to sell my dining room furniture that is never used, and get rid of a piece of a red sectional couch that we had as an intact piece at one time until my dog named Cisco tore it with his toenails a few years ago. BJ said he thought it would be better if I had my sewing studio in the basement. We hardly ever use the basement for anything other than tornado warnings and to store things. I have some items that I can sell, so I intend to do that.

We have a plastic folding table that I will be using which is long enough for me to put my little countertop ironing board on.

Iron
This is a Black and Decker “Classic” iron. I saw it advertised as one of the highest recommended for new sewers.

I had BJ buy some white pegboard from work. He hung it above my sewing station where I would have the best way to reach everything on it. I ordered some pegs, and after they arrived I decided I could hang my thread from the pegs. A tiny curtain rod balanced between two pegs holds my scissors, and will hold another of my rotary cutters. I bought a little lamp off of Craigslist, and got an LED lightbulb for it. It’s going to work out just fine. We’re still working out the details of how fabric is going to be stored, but we’ve got a couple of ideas.Sewing Room Progress 2

 

I have gotten a few adult coloring books, and as I was flipping thru one I happened to see a sewing machine shaped sort of like the old Singer brand machines. I decided to get out my colored pencils and make a little art work for my studio.

All my things are ready, now I just have to get some ideas of what I’d like to try to sew.


Dinner Date With My Hubby

BJ and I love to go to fun new places, especially local ones. There is a new general store/game room/restaurant/bar downtown. It is near Washington Square, which has a neat vibe about it.Washington Square

There was even a neat mural in this alleyway.IMG_2445 2

BJ and I went into a couple of boutique stores around the corner from where we parked, and then we went in the the White’s Mercantile which houses an arcade and this bar. Pints and Pixels is the name of it.IMG_2444 2

BJ was in hog heaven when we went in. There were 80’s and 90’s era video games all over the place. Music from the 80’s is being played, and on their television screens are the videos from those songs. IMG_2452The restaurant housed here is another location of a place BJ and I have been to many times over the past few years. The table decor was plastic bead “sculptures” of the flowers that come up out of the pipes in the Super Mario Brothers game. IMG_2448The waitress gave us each 3 coins to play games with. I went first. I picked out Donkey Kong, Mortal Kombat, and Pac Man.

IMG_2451 2

After our black bean burgers, BJ and I got up to leave, but he wanted to play NBA Jam. I indulged him, and played a little. He had fun. BJ Playing

After eating we went downstairs to the Mercantile store and looked around. They had some neat, but expensive things there. I did get silly, and try on a hat, but we didn’t buy anything.

IMG_2459 2


 

The Garden

My straw bales are doing very well, and before we know it, we’ll have zucchini and summer squash. Luckily if we can’t eat it all, I’m going to learn how to can it. I also have several tomatoes coming up. I put some crushed eggshells on them the other day for calcium, and I have some more to put on there today. IMG_2465

IMG_2468My poor herbs just don’t seem to be doing too well. I’m going to have to figure out a plan B on some things. Summer has sneaked upon us. I can’t wait for my first homegrown tomato sandwich. Now that’s good eating!

Parkway SunsetAs I say good evening to you, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

 

I Haven’t Forgotten

 

Rose
Rose from our front flowerbed

I really haven’t forgotten about the blog. I’ve just neglected it. We’ve had a whirlwind of activity around here in the past few weeks. There have been many changes in our family’s lives in both scary and exciting ways. My father-in-law had a massive heart attack, and after several scary days of waiting, his body healed enough for the doctors to put a stent in an artery that was 99% occluded. He is on the mend, but he has two more arteries that need stents. Those will be done after more healing occurs.


 

Princess

Princess2

When I was 18-years old, I moved into BJ’s parent’s home. I lived in the basement. One Saturday I came home, and there was a little fluffball of a puppy. BJ had gotten this sweet little dog for me from the local flea market. We named her Princess, and she was so much fun. She slept in the bed with me at night while she was little. When BJ and I moved into an apartment in 2000, I had to leave Princess with BJ’s parents. Before long they moved further out into the country and Princess had plenty of room to run and play. She was so fast and smart. She was part border collie, and part jack russell. She would run beside your car as you drove up the long driveway, and she could keep up with us while we were going as fast as 25mph. She lived a very long and happy life. She always recognized us when we came to visit my in-laws, and would try to “talk” to us with little noises. As she aged she finally lost her sight to cataracts and appeared to have lost her hearing. A couple weeks ago we went to my in-law’s house, and I noticed I didn’t see her sitting in her normal spot by the kitchen door. My mother-in-law didn’t want me to know, but Princess was missing. Apparently she wandered off, perhaps to cross the rainbow bridge on her own. It is so hard to believe after so many years that I won’t see that sweet pup when I go to my in-law’s. She was one of the first major gifts BJ got for me, and it was like the end of a chapter or our lives to realize she is now gone forever. We searched for her in the dark, and the family had searched the day before. She will forever hold a piece of my heart as my Princess, the thing BJ calls me each night as we say goodnight.

Princess
Princess a few months ago with a coat my mother-in-law got her.

 

Plants and Spring

Bluebells
Bluebell flowers BJ got me.

Spring has now made it’s appearance after a rather mild winter. All the seeds I’ve been looking at for months, are close to being ready to plant. We should be getting a truck bed full of dirt soon to fill the large cinderblock flowerbed. That will be filled with different flower seeds. I’m ready to fill the holes of the cinder blocks with herbs. We have started this year’s straw bales. You prepare them for 12 days before putting down a layer of soil on top, and then you are ready to plant your vegetable seeds. I had originally wanted to do 10 bales, but the bales are slightly expensive so we decided on 8. To prevent the avalanche of straw during the middle of the growing season like last year, BJ cut up some wooden pallets, and held them in place with pieces of rebar.

Straw Bales 2016

There will be T-posts on each end, and several levels of wire strung across to each T-post to use as a trellis. We’re also planning on putting something on the ends of the straw bales. Side of Straw Bales

I will be growing some things in buckets too. This past weekend I planted dahlia bulbs in medium size flower pots. I stuck them on either side of the patio paver walkway near the main flowerbed. I repotted some plants I had in the kitchen. BJ had gotten me a couple of beautiful pots that I used.

I put my jade an aloe in the pots, and I had another pot with an overgrown mother-in-law tongue that had a lot of dead leaves. I dumped it out, and sorted out the green growth, and then centered it in the pot.


Moving Forward

As long as I can remember in my life I have always looked towards the future, and what my plans and goals are. It catapulted me thru college so quickly that I had a master’s degree in nursing by the time I was 23. Many things in my life have changed over the years, just like they do in everyone’s lives. I am looking at life in a different way than what I had planned for years. Although things will be very different than what I had envisioned before, I’m still hopeful. On April 4th, BJ and I celebrated the 18th anniversary of us becoming a couple. It has been wonderful having him in my life, and the vision of us spending our lives together remains the same. Our ability to grow and change together as time goes on keeps us strong.

My thoughts about my personal future is that I’ll be taking time to learn many things and devoting time to my health. I will be studying things that will improve our self-sufficiency like gardening, sewing, herbalism, homemaking, and maximizing our finances. There are many things I am interested in, and of course there isn’t time for everything, but I’m dedicated to doing the most that I can. Like the quote in my craft room says, “Bloom where you are planted”. I want to make the most of each day ahead of BJ and I both.

 

Catching Up

Purple

The weekend after I visited my mom I spent mostly hanging out in the craft room. I was feeling a little down, so Saturday night BJ took me to Big Spring Park to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful night.

Gorgeous Night

This park is always pretty, but that night it was especially magical looking. The spring is full of koi fish, some are absolutely huge. There are lots of ducks to feed. We walked some so I could get a little exercise. I stopped to take in how pretty the city looks at night.

Big Spring Park 1

Night Out


The week started out with BJ working closing shifts. I went for a walk in the neighborhood Monday afternoon. I had gone to get acupuncture and then some groceries. I hung out in my craft room listening to music.

Tuesday night we found out that my father-in-law had had a massive heart attack. I had actually been the one to talk him into going to the hospital. He thought it was just heartburn. I had missed a few days earlier and his family doctor also thought it was something like heartburn.

Wednesday morning we found out how serious my father-in-law’s heart attack had been, and we drove to see him in the ICU. It was a very scary time with a lot of worried family members. Since I have a medical background I did a some translation of what the doctor and nurses were saying to the family. We stayed at the ICU waiting room with the family until the last visiting hours. We came home to let Joey out and to feed Denver.

Thursday morning the rain was pouring. A few days earlier I had noticed a spot on the ceiling of my craft room that looked like it had some water damage. BJ went into the attic, and didn’t see any signs of a leak. He figures that the rain at another time had blown under the soffit. While he was up in the attic he found a box of wedding momentos that I had been looking for. I’m so excited, because some of the things in there will be used in my shadowbox displaying some items from our wedding.

Tiara Later in the day we went back to see BJ’s dad. We got to see our nephews that live part of the time in Boston. One of my nephews I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. We didn’t stay too long because the weather was going to get bad. I have a phobia of tornadoes, and as we were leaving the hospital the tornado sirens started sounding. I found the radar on my phone, and then pulled up a live stream from television of the weather. It was just north of us as we travelled home. The sky was so ominous looking. We finally made it home safely, and I was feeling less anxious.

Friday morning BJ went fishing with my stepdad, and I worked on some product reviews. I began having a headache, so I fell asleep a couple of times in my recliner. In the afternoon my dad came to visit. I stayed home while BJ went to visit his dad who had been moved to a regular room, because he was slowly improving. My dad and I went out to eat, and I had some vegetarian chili with cornbread, and my dad had a different kind of chili.Doggie BookendsI had requested that my dad bring these doggie bookends from my grandmother’s house to me. I don’t know exactly how old they are, but I know for sure that there are pictures from the 50’s of them in my grandmother’s house. I’m so excited to be able to use them in my craft room. I’ve always loved them. My bookcase is full, so this will hold books on top of a plastic shelving unit. I have too many books.

Saturday my dad went to buy us breakfast. I’m not supposed to be eating anything processed, but I do good the majority of the time. I had an egg and cheese biscuit. BJ woke up after some well deserved sleep. After eating and hanging out a little while he went to go buy a few of the straw bales for this year’s garden. We had originally planned on doing 10 bales, but due to costs and the fact that we have other projects going, we decided on doing 8 bales this year instead. We had 5 bales last year. I’m going to be growing some things in buckets and flower pots, plus we’ll have the big “H” shaped flowerbed of cinderblock. All the holes will be filled with edible herbs and maybe some vegetables.

We went to Jason’s Deli for lunch. We all ended up eating salads. When I started acupuncture the Dr told me to cut out as much oil as possible. I asked his staff what kind of dressing to put on my salads, because I usually put high fat ranch on them. They told me to use honey mustard instead. I found out that I really like the taste of it on a salad. I have made a couple this week using soy “chicken” strips that I cooked from frozen in a skillet.

Big Salad

My dad stayed for a while in the afternoon with us. He loves his grand-doggies and he took this picture of Denver getting one of his natural beef stick treats.

Happy Denver

 

We went out for a little dinner at Which Wich and drove thru downtown before heading home. BJ mostly watched basketball on tv while I looked at things online. I was sleepy by 8:30. So I went ahead and went to bed.

 

Visiting

Thursday morning I was packing, and getting ready to go to my mom’s house. She has a hurt foot, and my stepdad was going on a fishing trip, so I wanted to help her out.

While drinking my morning coffee I visited with BJ for a little bit, because he was going into work late. I finished packing up the car, and we left the house at about the same time.

I drove over to another town to meet my dear friend Rachel. She had her 2 year old daughter and her mother-in-law with her. We met at Moe’s, and my diet went off the rails for that meal. I had a yummy bowl with rice, black beans, tofu, mushrooms, onions, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, and a little shredded cheese. I also ate chips and their tomatillo salsa. It was so great to see them. Rachel is about to give birth to her second daughter. I originally met Rachel through the church we used to attend. She moved closer to where she grew up, and I don’t get to see her very often anymore. She’s a busy RN at the hospital and a mom, so life is pretty busy. Her mother-in-law is so sweet, and it was a pleasure to visit with her as well.

After eating, I gassed up the car and hit the road. It took me about an hour to get to my mom’s house. My stepdad was there to help me unload my stuff. I must’ve looked like I was moving in. I had a heavy computer bag with several things in it, a suitcase, a bag full of food, and a huge storage bin filled with my yarn and all the components needed to work on both my knitting looms, and for my mom to teach me to crochet. I had kiwi and frozen steamed vegetables for dinner. After dinner I spent time with my mom visiting, and working on my loom. I have been very slowly been working on making hats for the homeless. I finally finished one that night, and I couldn’t have been happier. I snapped a picture, and went to Facebook to share the picture with the couple who had donated that yarn to me.

FinishedHat2

I’ve got some more yarn in the same color to start another one. I got sleepy, and ended up going to the guest room about 8:40. I was going to do some reading before I went to bed, but I was just too sleepy.


 

I woke up off and on thru the night, and finally woke up about 5. I went downstairs and started some coffee. I sat and watched the news until my mom woke up about 6:30. By then the sun had started to shine, which was a vast improvement from the really hard rains from the day before. I had driven thru patches of rain so hard I had to slow down to about 25mph. I stepped out to get the newspaper and bring the garbage bin back down to the house. It was much cooler than it had been the day before.

I cooked scrambled eggs for us, and got the food ready to put in the crockpot for our lunch. We ate our breakfast, and then we sat in their recliners in the middle of the living room. While my mom was out of the room taking her vitamins I started on a basic chain stitch for crochet. I learned to do a basic chain when I was much younger, and wasn’t even sure if I’d remember it, but I did. I had never really learned how to do any actual crochet.

We spent a little time watching television and I got online for a little while. I started getting a migraine. I had one the day before, but I assumed it was from the cold front coming thru. When I get a migraine concentration is hard for me.

For lunch we had a soup made from quinoa, great Northern beans, diced tomatoes, kale, onion, vegetable broth, and some spices. It had cooked about 4 hours on high, and I put the kale in to wilt for the last 15 minutes. I brewed some black currant tea, and soon I got the table ready. We enjoyed the meal, and I’m going to keep making it at home because it really is that good. You can find the recipe for this soup at this blog. I have tried several meals from this blog, and so far they’ve all been great.

After lunch my mom started showing me how to crochet. I had this gigantic plastic crochet hook, and some #6 bulky yarn. I seemed to have gotten the hang of it. I’ll just need lots of practice. So far, I’m really pleased with how I did.

First crochet

I will use Youtube videos to help me learn some of the other stitches. It’s something else I can do besides just working on my loom, but I still have a lot of other things I’d like to try on my looms.

I started loading my car. I got the leftovers of the soup, and my mom gave me some free-range eggs which thrilled me greatly. I left about 5:30 to start my trip home. I do not see very well in the dark and prefer not to drive out in it, so I wanted to give myself ample time to get home in time.

I arrived home, and BJ helped me unload the car. He had gotten me a Subway sandwich to eat, so I sat down for dinner. I was feeling very drained from the headaches, so I went to bed about 8:30.

 

Week in Review

Joey begging for real

Monday was an interesting day. I woke up early, and did my normal routine. I have been having migraines every single day in some form for about a year now. I’ve tried medication, massage, a chiropractor, and finally Botox. None of them giving me lasting relief. After seeing the bill for two Botox treatments, I decided that I wasn’t going to be able to continue those. I decided I was going to try something different. I looked up acupuncturists in my area. I found a guy named Dr. Ly who has been practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine for decades. I made an appointment with him, and on Monday afternoon I went to see him. I took a list of all the medications, vitamins, and supplements I take. They put me in a room and I waited to see him. He is a very nice man, and said that migraines are one of the main things he treats. He pushes on certain points along your body, and asks which is the most tender. He places a acupuncture needle in a spot, and then pushes on that tender spot again. Every time he pushed on a spot after the needle had beeen inserted, I didn’t feel any tenderness in that spot anymore. After I had all the needles in place I rested on the table for about 10 minutes. I was given Chinese herbs to take before and after meals. Then there is a specific diet I must follow for a little while. It is basically a “clean eating” diet. I am supposed to eat a piece of fruit before every meal, no processed food, no sugar, lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and no oils. I’ve been a vegetarian now for about 3 1/2 years, and it’s still going to be difficult to follow a diet like this.

After my session, BJ and I went to Whole Foods to eat some dinner. They have sort of a buffet at one end of the store where you can get different things to eat. I did the best I could, but there was a quinoa salad that still had some oil on it. While I finished eating, BJ went to the produce section to buy some fresh fruits for me. He picked apples, tangerines, and strawberries.

After we got home I prepared to cook a meal to take to my mom’s house the next day. I decided to make one of BJ’s favorites Quinoa Enchilada Casserole. It’s very easy to make, and tastes delicious.


Tuesday morning I woke up around 4:30 to get ready to go to my mom’s house. I ate some cantaloupe for breakfast, and stopped along the way and got a plain biscuit. I know that’s not on the diet, but I was really hungry. I arrived at my mom’s house, and we sat and worked on our craft projects. I was working on a hat, and she had started a scarf. She had a hat made for me out of some yarn she had made a scarf for me earlier in the winter with.

I also brought my wristlets that she had made me, and had her sew on the buttons I bought last week. They turned out beautifully. Wristlets with ButtonsI ate steamed vegetables for lunch while my mom and stepfather ate the casserole I made. I really wanted to eat some of it, but I’m not supposed to have the cheese.

After lunch, I worked on my hat that I’ve been very slowly loom knitting for a couple weeks. I was almost finished with it, and was pulling the yarn tightly to cinch the top of the hat, and the yarn broke. I’ve never had that happen before, and I didn’t know what to do. Mama looked at it, and really couldn’t think of what to do either. So I turned it inside out, and stitched up the bottom part of it as best I could. It looks like a little handbag, and I will probably just store little things in it. That particular yarn is hard to work with anyway.

I left my mom’s a little early because I had to get back to another acupuncture appointment. I got to the office early, and was able to get right back. This time they taped 3 seeds on the inside of my ear. They are on acupressure points, and I’m supposed to squeeze each one for 30 seconds before eating. I also got a shot of B complex in my leg.


I had to go back for more acupuncture on Wednesday morning. I ate some cantaloupe before I went. I was having a bit of a headache as I woke up. During the acupuncture I felt not too bad. I got another B complex shot in my leg. After I left I went to Panera Bread and had an egg white, spinach, avocado, and whole grain sandwich. It had some cheese on it, so it wasn’t perfect.

After eating there, I did some shopping. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a 16×20″ frame for a picture that will be featured on the back wall of my craft room. The more I shopped, the worse my head began to feel. I slowly started heading to eat lunch with BJ. I stopped in a vintage/thrift store, and browsed around for a while. I ended up finding a cute little bracelet that I liked. I keep wanting to buy this little dog planter that I saw last time I was there, but I didn’t. I also saw a teacup I’d like to buy to plant a succulent in, but I didn’t buy that either.

I stopped at UPS to drop off a package, and there was a restaurant called Atlanta Bread Company a couple doors down. I wanted some coffee, so I ran over there. I slowly enjoyed a latte while passing the time.

Latte

I drove to wait on BJ to come eat lunch. I was feeling worse by the minute. We went to eat lunch at an Asian restaurant called Bento Box. It has some really good steamed vegetables, including something called lily flower. It is so good! I had steamed cabbage, steamed broccoli, and lily flower. I really wanted a spring roll, but that wouldn’t be on my diet, so I just stuck with what I had. I was hurting so badly that I really just ate the broccoli and a little of the rest of it. I took the rest home with me.

After lunch I had an appointment, and it was in a new location. Thanks to m phone I found it rather easily. We did some guided meditation/breathing exercises to help ease my headache. It did help a good bit.

After my appointment I did a little more shopping. I went to a thrift store, and didn’t see anything I couldn’t live without. I do think it will be a good source for more picture frames for my craft room, once I get pictures printed and BJ makes more of the photo ledges.

Close to home I decided to go into a little antique store that I’ve noticed for years, but have never been in. I immediately found this cute little fish bead for $1, and I had to buy it. I don’t know what I’ll use it for. It’ll be in some sort of craft project I know, or it will be used to make a piece of jewelry.

Fish Bead

After I went there, I decided to go home. My head was still hurting, so I took a nap. I ate leftovers from lunch for my dinner.

I got my African violet repotted into a pot made specifically for those plants that my mom gave to me. It will live in our bathroom where it will get filtered light and humidity. Potted African Violets

 


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I do have some Irish blood running thru my veins, and I love St. Patrick’s Day. The hat in the picture is one my mom made for me, and has a beautiful scarf to go with it. It was cool outside, but I chose not to wear the scarf.

I had acupuncture early in the day, and then came home for a little while to visit with BJ before he went to work. After he left I had an appointment to weigh at one of my doctor’s offices at noon. I went in a little early, and they got me back fairly quickly. Of course the weight on their scales never goes with what my scales at home say, but the important thing is that I’ve lost weight. I had lost 3 pounds by their scale. Since last year I’ve lost 66 pounds so far. I was doing Weight Watchers, and then I thought I might be able to do it without counting the points. Right now I’m using an app on my iPhone called MyFitnessPal. I’ve been doing pretty well with it so far.

After being weighed I went to Juice Bar nearby. I was hoping to get some fruit and a salad. They didn’t have any fruit cups, so I hoped my juice with pineapple in it would be enough to count as my fruit. I had a salad with kale, quinoa, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, sesame seeds, and olive oil/vinegar dressing. I souldn’t have had the dressing, but I’m continuing to find this diet very hard to do. The pineapple juice also had various vegetables in it. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t like it at all. I had to force myself to drink it, and it wasn’t cheap. I’d rather have had a smoothie with some different things in it.

The big news of the day is that I had almost no headache at all. I came home from eating and took a long nap. For dinner I started with a kiwi, and then ate some frozen corn. I sat in my craft room, and worked on a new hat. I listened to music on a little bluetooth speaker, streaming it from my phone. Every day my craft room becomes better and better. BJ hung up our picture on the back wall. The rest of this wall will be covered in pictures of my family including lots of pictures of my ancestors who came before me. I’m going to get BJ to build some more photo ledges right away. Picture on the Wall

 

 

Vacation Adventures

Buttercup
Beautiful Daffodil

Wednesday was rather quiet. BJ took me to an appointment at noon. BJ’s dad had a doctor’s appointment in town, so we wasted some time while we waited on his appointment to finish.

We went to Hobby Lobby, and believe it or not, I didn’t buy a single thing. I suppose it was because BJ was with me. If left to my devices I will always find something to buy at any craft store. We then went to Walmart where I found a couple of containers to hold my 5 pound bags of wheat berries. I bought hard white wheat and hard red wheat berries, and I wanted something airtight to keep them in. We then went Lowe’s where BJ bought some spray paint for me to work on some of my thrifted photo frames, and he also was looking for something to use to hang the picture ledges he made.

After BJ’s dad was done with his appointment, we met up with them at a Mexican restaurant for a little late lunch/early dinner. After we ate with them we decided to go home. I finished the inventory of my seeds, and had gotten a package for a online seed swap. I found a few things that I wanted, and now I’ll add a few things then send it on to the next person on the list. While I was doing that BJ was preparing the photo ledges to hang. He got the first set of them put up, and I’m thrilled with them.

Picture Ledges
These ledges will be filled with pictures of BJ’s family.

Thursday morning BJ and I woke up early, and decided to take a trip to the river. He had hooked up the boat the night before, and it didn’t take long to get ready. I usually bring a ton of reading material with me.

On the Road
On the road

It wasn’t too bad when we got on the boat in the river. BJ fishing, and I looking up things on my phone. BJ used the trolling motor to move us around some near the ramp where we had put the boat in. The wind started picking up ahead of a weather front, so we went under a bridge and went into a sheltered area of the river.

Im On A Boat
Bundled up from the wind.

The winds started picking up even more, so BJ decided we should go ahead and get out of the water. As we went out of the sheltered area we could see just how choppy the water was. I’m already a little nervous of being in the boat, so the waves didn’t help. We got to the dock and BJ hopped out. He tied the boat up to the post on the dock, and ran to get the truck with the boat trailer. The waves were bashing the boat against the dock, and suddenly I heard a noise. As I looked up I saw that the strap holding me to the dock had snapped. I was being moved away from the dock. I started yelling for someone to help me. There was a guy getting his boat put on his truck, but there was nothing he could do to help me. I’ve never driven a boat, and know very little about how it operates other than watching BJ drive. BJ saw that I was floating away and was running at top speed toward the water. He tried to tell me how to drive, but I was already stuck in the mud. I tried putting the boat in reverse, and all that did was throw mud up in the air. BJ took his shoes off, and waded out to the boat. It took a little while and a lot of work on BJ’s part to get the boat out of the mud. There was a crowd of fishermen standing at the boat ramp watching the spectacle. The whole time we were trying to get out of the mud the waves kept crashing over the side of the boat. After we got unstuck, BJ drove his boat over to the dock where he tossed his car keys to a good samaritan who backed BJ’s truck with the trailer down the ramp where BJ was able to get the boat up onto the ramp. Once I was on terra firma I decided it will be a while before I get out on the boat again.

We drove home in our water soaked clothes, and once we got home I immediately changed. BJ got ready, and we headed toward his parent’s house. It takes about an hour to get there. I had a migraine, but wanted to go visit so we headed that way. We went to eat some supper before making it to their house.

I’m on a mission to find pictures to put up in the craft room. My plans are for it to be like a photo gallery. BJ’s mom pulled out some of the family photo albums. I used my phone to take pictures of the ones I really like. I’ve never made copies of photos from my iPhone, so we’ll see how they turn out when printed.

Robyn and BJ 1
This is baby BJ with his sister Robyn.

I uploaded a few to the CVS photo website, and hopefully they will turn out nice. BJ and his parents started playing Scrabble, but my headache wasn’t cooperating. So I laid down on the couch. After they played that, and a game of SkipBo we headed home. The rain had been coming down for a few hours, but we had a smooth journey home. We watched a little tv and relaxed before going to bed around 9:30.

 

 

Weekend Roundup and Vacation

Friday BJ was off work, and we mostly stuck around the house. I made pancakes in the morning with a new set I’m product testing.

Pancake bottle

Pancake

BJ painted my picture ledges with some spray paint, and hopefully they’ll be up sometime soon.

Painted Shelf

My dad came to visit after he got off work. We had some Mexican take out for dinner. I didn’t really feel like going out, and my dad was tired.

Saturday my dad and I hung out around the house until he left to go home a little before BJ got off work. I haven’t felt as perky as normal, and fell asleep a couple of times while he was here. We enjoyed watching the birds coming to the bird feeder he made me a few years back. We had a special visitor that I’ve never seen at this feeder, a red-headed woodpecker.

Woodpecker

Sunday BJ had to close at work, so I held the fort down. I was still having a lot of sleepiness. I was hoping I wasn’t getting sick or something. I got a little cleaning done around the house, but spent a lot of time on and off sleeping.

BJ’s weeklong vacation started today. I’m so excited when he gets time off. He had to get a tire replaced first thing this morning, because he got a razor blade in his last night while he was at work. He had to change the tire on the way home. I was just thankful he could find a safe place to change it. We went to eat breakfast, and then we went to Lowes trying to figure out how he wants to hang the picture ledges. Then we went to pick his tire up, and headed home. After we got home, he decided to get started on a flowerbed we’re going to have in the back yard. He decided a while back that he wanted it in an H design. I just wanted to go on record saying that I didn’t pick the H. He had already gotten the blocks from work that he was going to use to make the bed, and some pavers to create a path. He had laid down cardboard a few weeks ago to help kill off some of the grass and weeds where it was going to be. It didn’t take him long, and he had a pretty cool flowerbed all set up.

FlowerbedThe inside of the flowerbed will be filled with all kinds of flowers, and each hole of the blocks will be filled with either an herb, vegetable, or flower. I’ll also have some random flowerpots that I’ll fill. I’m hoping to attract some butterflies and bees to the backyard.

Later this week we’ll probably get started making the surrounding structure of our straw bale gardens. This year we’re doing two rows of 5 straw bales with supporting T-posts and wire going across to form trellises. I look forward to gardening this summer.

My, My How Time Flies

As a kid, I always heard that saying and didn’t get it. Well buddy do I ever get it now. Time just slips thru my fingers like grains of sand on the beach. I’m on Topamax now for migraine headaches, and it’s giving me some monster side effects. My doctor said they should subside within 2 months. Gee, thanks! Anyway, my thinking is a little jumbled, I’m a little clumsy on my feet, my speech a little slurred, and I’m still having the migraines. Every week I go up on the medication so I guess I will be “Dopamaxed” for a while.

Anyway, I’ve spent a good bit of time online looking a Facebook pages and looking at seeds for my garden and planning out what I’ll plan and where. Turns out MrB will not only be getting the cinder blocks  and patio pavers to make paths in the yard, he’ll be getting some material he can build a fire pit with. I’m so excited, because in the 8 years that we’ve lived at this house, we’ve never made full use of the land that we own. It’s ours after all, we should be maximizing every square inch of it. A few seeds I have ordered online, and I’ve also found some generous people on Facebook groups who are sending me seeds for simply a SASE. I have quiet a few vegetable seeds that I need to check the viability on. I saw an article about placing the seed in a glass of water to test for viability. I may try that.

I found out that I can still do product reviews Amazon, so I’m going to continue to do that to a degree. I will not be participating in any of the pushy, extremist groups on Facebook who are mean. I don’t need that in my life. So I’m simply sticking with online groups that I’ve worked with, and had great results with. I started with a new company last week, and I was approved to review my first book. It’s all about aromatherapy, which I’m a little obsessed about right now anyway.

Last week was fairly quiet. My dad came to stay with me some. MrB had to work so I had company while he was at work. He took me to meet someone I had connected with on an amazing local program called Buy Nothing Project. BNP is a hyper-local group of people that create Facebook groups for their area and people only in that designated area can join. It is structured to feel very neighborly and pleasant. They ask that you use the terminology of Ask, Gift, and Gratitude. I had recently asked if anyone had any spare yarn to donate for my homeless hat effort. I hadn’t heard anything, when out of the blue, a guy  wrote that his wife had cleaned out some of her stuff and had some yard to gift to me. I asked if I could meet him at a nearby local store the following day. My dad took me, and I received a box full of wonderful, beautiful yarn.Yarn

I was almost done with one hat I had been dragging my feet, so I went ahead and finish it. The man told me that his wife would be so excited if I could post some pictures of the hats that I made from the yarn she gifted to me. So I finished up the white hat, and got the new yarn on the loom.

Loom

My dad left on Friday afternoon when BJ got home from work. When he got home he showed me a plant he had gotten me. It turns out that some of the little houseplants we had gotten before were too finicky to take care of, and they were already dead/dying. So MrB brought home a prayer plant for me. I love them, and it came with a hanging basket. That was a nice little surprise.Prayer Plant

We went to eat at Whole Foods to try something different. We got a new Whole Foods not too long ago, and last week was the first time we had been in it. MrB was boring and stuck with pizza. HaHa! I decided to get an Asian rice bowl. It was so good. It had brown rice, fried tofu, a bunch of diced veggies like carrots and cucumber, an Asian BBQ sauce (it was hot!) green onions, and sesame seeds. We sat at one of the tables in the eating area, and it had fresh flowers sitting there.Rice Bowl Dinner

Centerpiece at Dinner

After eating, I talked MrB into taking me to JoAnn Fabrics. These evil doers send me 50% coupon text messages, and it’s just so wrong. I couldn’t get that scrubby yarn that I could use to make a kitchen sponge out of my head, so I picked some up. They had several colors, but I stuck with red. Then I decided I wanted to try some more yarn for the Zippy loom. I think I can make a scarf with it if I try really hard. We’ll see what happens.

Yarn Haul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LoomLoom

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is It Spring Yet

Snow Jan 22
As seen off my back deck

By the looks of things, spring won’t be here for a little while. I like looking at snow, love watching it come down and pretending you’re inside a snow globe. However, I do not like the cold. I usually stay huddled under an electric throw.

The winter does give us time to plan to-do projects for the spring. I want to make a flower bed close to the back fence. I keep going over it in my min to decide how I want it done. A lady that works with MrB gave him some seeds for “Purple Angel Trumpet” flowers. Then I found a guy on Facebook who is willing to send some flower seeds from his garden for free. All you do is send 3 stamps and a SASE. I’m so excited for spring.

My vegetable garden is going to be more organized this year. Last year I had a foot injury and then surgery that prevented me from getting down to our back yard. I tried to supervise what MrB was doing. We did the garden using 4 straw bale (not hay bales) which are usually about $5-6 a piece. I’m going to go for 5 bales this year, have really good trellising, organic pest control, and the main thing we’re going to do is stabilize the straw bales with wood to prevent them from collapsing.

My goal is to try to do all organic gardening, but boy is that ever expensive, but we are a family of 2, and I think that it won’t cost as much as it would for a lot of people.

Right now I have my seeds from last year in a mason jar in the back of the refrigerator. I’m very much a novice gardener, but I’m going to keep at it. My dad told me that I was like my grandfather, because when I got a seed catalog in the mail, my eyes began to twinkle.

For now I’ll keep dreaming and learning about gardening and herbal medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Do We Go From Here

 

IMG_1075 2
Manatee Tea Infuser

So, I let my poor blog go off the rails. In fact over the holidays I must admit I let everything go off the rails, but the past is the past so now we’ll look forward.

We’re trying to get re-established in our budget habits. It’s amazing how quickly bad habits can sneak back into our lives, and how hard they are to break.

So what have we been up to? We had a wonderful Christmas with all of our family get togethers. We were blessed to receive some wonderful gifts. I loved the presents, but time with family is the most precious thing of all.

MrB had some time off for a vacation. We spent that quality time together just enjoying life, listening to old Christmas songs and watching Christmas movies. We discussed some of our plans for our future. I’m always glad to find out that we seem to be on the same page in most aspects of things.

IMG_0772

I’ve spent some of my time recently reviewing products from Amazon. I get a chance to get a product for a deep discount or free in exchange for an honest review. I’m going to try to restrain myself or the whole house will be full of junk. I am enjoying it though.

I’ve been working on some loom knitting. I’m planning on making knit hats for our local homeless. I’ve actually gotten a few really generous donations. My mom is trying to teach me to use a long loom where I could make scarves too. I’m slowly learning.

IMG_1076 2

I’m also working to turn my craft “junk” room into a true sanctuary for me to do many things. I want the space to be used for loom knitting, reading, and surfing the internet. I’m doing planning on how I want it to look. I went to Big Lots after Christmas and found a comfy recliner, and believe it or not, there was enough room to put it in there. Enough junk had been removed. I bought an end table off of Craigslist that has a small drawer. I went to Hobby Lobby with my dad to spend some of the gift card he got me. I bought a small lamp, and a decorative drawer pull for the end table.

I made true progress the other night while cleaning, because I actually threw away a stack of magazines I’ve been hanging onto for several years. I only saved a few important (to me anyway) magazines. I still have a little ways to go, but I’m confident I can do it. I will take some pictures as I make some progress


So the purpose of this blog from here on out is to follow all of the things that encompass my life. Like many others, I have a very wide array of interests. I may not write every day, because I put too much pressure on myself to come up with something to say. I want to write all kinds of different material here, and I hope it is interesting. Hopefully from here we’ll have a blog that is consistent and will be something that I can do for a long time.