~ Journal It ~

Let’s talk about keeping a journal. Do you keep a journal? Have you ever? Do you wish you had? I’m a “journaler”. I just love everything about it.From shopping for just the right type of journal, as well as the pens,to taking it with me when I travel to record events or just doodle in,to looking back over it days,months or years later….remembering.When shopping for a new journal the questions arise, is it strictly for writing or will there be art work or photos or maybe ephemera? Lines or plain paper? Thin delicate paper or heavy mixed media type? New or vintage? Maybe an old ledger? Decisions, decisions! Or, maybe you, like someone I know, just like to collect the journals or notebook and you don’t ever get around to actually writing in them….that blank page staring back at you. That’s what the blog is usually like for me, just a white screen waiting for fingers to type words to make sentences and then paragraphs. Oh, the pressure! I’ve finally begun to realize,  after 5 years, that I need to treat this more like my journal…..just start writing (or typing, whatever the case may be).

I was in a conversation with the Beekeeper about a place we had been in 2014. Neither of us could remember the street name or even the name of the town for that matter. We were going to try and find the place on google maps, but where to begin without a name? I, as I often do, turned to my beloved journal only to find a BIG gap in my entrees  at precisely the time frame I need the information from. Ugh! I find this so annoying! I often look back through my journal to remember when or how or where something happened. But it was of no help this time. I have kept a journal of some sort for years, although I threw most of them in the fire a few years back. I’m not one for writing down a bunch of really personal (as in embarrassing) emotional junk. No judgement meant if you are. I’m just not. But I did write a lot before, during, and after my “practice” marriage. I decided I wanted a fresh start, so they, like that marriage went up in flames. That being said, it took me awhile to get into a groove of writing every or most days again. So….gaps, that’s what I’m left with.

Having said all that, I’m still glad that I’ve kept a journal. It helps to write it down and get it out. I feel like it’s better to write some stuff down even if you just throw it away after. Sometimes there are things you need to say that you don’t really want or need another person to remember. So, you write it down, get it out of your head and trash it. I don’t usually do that, but it’s an option. Some people write stuff out in their art/visual journal and then create their art over top, letting the words just peak through. Whatever the case, I think keeping a log of events in your life is a useful and worth while task. How about you?

 

 

 

/

 

 

~ Lessons In Patience ~

 

We are having beautiful weather in our little corner of the world. Which we all appreciated yesterday for Easter Sunday. We assembled as many family members as we could at my sister & brother-in-law’s house for a delicious and much appreciated meal. It is always a blessing to be together, but a little bittersweet when it isn’t everyone. I’m sure it’s the same for all families. This year my aunt and uncle, our father’s younger brother, joined us. The two brothers are 84 and 82 years young, and it seemed special to see them sitting across the table from one another. We had four generations gathered to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. God is good!

Saturday we picked up 30 packages of bees in Pennsylvania, for us and a friend. Our hives are full again, let the buzzing commence! They are here just in time the forsythia is out in force and the apple blossoms will be in full bloom soon.

honeycomb tile projectThe kitchen project continues to progress. We are further along than this picture suggests. I wait more patiently some days than others. That seems to be one of those lessons that just keeps popping up in all different areas like the Whac-A-Mole game at Chuck E Cheese! Do you ever completely learn this lesson and the “game” shuts off? Or does it just follow you around until the end of your time? These are rhetorical questions. No need to reply.

We are “do-it-yourselfer” kind of people, no surprise there right? I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit as of late. Questioning whether this lies in the “blessing” category or the “other” category, you know which one I’m speaking of! Maybe that is a little extreme, but sometimes in the middle of a big project one does begin to wonder….”is it Really such a good thing that “he” can do just about anything!?!”. I’m sure from the stand point of someone who is married to someone who isn’t handy, this seems ungrateful. It isn’t meant to be! It’s just that there are only so many hours in the day and energy in the body, so why not choose the best use of yours? My definition of “blessing” in this instance would be choice. The ability to choose the projects or parts of a project you wish to do and the ability to hire out the ones you don’t wish to do, without the feeling of “I should or could be doing this myself”. Freedom, is a blessing….anyway you look at it! So then, all gifting (talents) are blessings, but not meant to lord over you. That is my “take away” from this kitchen project….and that I’m blessed with a very talented husband!

Today is my baby boy’s birthday, so I’m off to make him dinner. 

Bye for now!

~ The Art of Showing Up ~

Some pages from my journals:

 

 

To create….is a daily practice, whether it’s painting or drawing or writing or cooking or crafting or gardening or making pots….etc. It’s about daily practice, Doing it! Brush to canvas,pencil to pad,pen to paper (or fingers to keys), pot to stove,needle to yarn,trowel to dirt,hands to clay….you have to show up to get better. It’s not about wishing or making excuses or even just about studying the “Masters”. We have to make the quality decision to just show up each day. Put the time in. Make the space for what is important to you, what you feel you are gifted or called or just love  to do. Because the days are going to go by anyway, and unless you are willing to stuff that desire (if you even can), it is going to be deep inside calling out to you. I believe we all have gifting, talents that sometimes surprise even ourselves. We just need a door opened up or the encouragement  of a friend, to be brave enough to step out and give it a try. What is holding you back? Is it the “I’m just not creative” speech? Or the “I just don’t have time right now” line? We all have creativity inside of us, it’s in our genes (DNA) from our Heavenly Father, whom, might I remind you, created the Universe. We also, all have the same 24 hours in a day. Some of us do have more demands on us than others. Some of which we have put on ourselves! There are also seasons in our lives that are busier than others seasons. But don’t put off what very well my be a God given desire because of busyness or God forbid, FEAR! Jump in with both feet and take a chance. ” In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”

PS….This is me “showing up”! 😉

Update: Here is a link to a TED TALK on creativity that I thought was really good.

~ Spring Ahead ~

seersucker knit scarfIt’s Spring! We’re ready for sun and warmth. Ahh , the changing of the seasons….I love Spring! Spring is my favorite. It’s brings with it such a sense of hope, new beginnings and new life…and apparently, a new blog post.

We are head first in the middle of a kitchen remodel. My former kitchen has exploded into three rooms. We now have a temporary “kitchen” in the living room, which Delilah thinks is great, “everyone should have a living room kitchen!”. The new, heated tile floor is in, appliances are ordered, dry wall is being spackled and I’m working on a tile decision for back splash. Cooking has been interesting, my refrigerator is in the dining room and my stove is on wheels (which makes it about 5 inches higher than normal). I, on the other hand, have remained the same height. But, I do like progress, even if it’s messy, so it’s all good.

The girls are both four now, and amazing, of course! They make me smile and laugh every single day. It’s a different view from the “Nana” seat, relaxing and joy filled. Some things seem more important, so you stop and take the time. Others, not nearly as big of a deal, so you smile and let it pass. My mom always said it was different and so great and no one understands until it happens….again Mom was right!

teal bulky scarf

seersucker knit scarf

So on another note, I’ve started knitting. Well,I actually started last winter with two garter stitch scarves. Since I’ve crocheted for years, I’m much faster at that, so I set the knitting aside. Then over this winter I saw a scarf that I liked, it happened to be on the Creative Bug website that I belong to and take classes on. I watched the preview and this was suppose to be the perfect 2nd project for a beginner knitter, so I was in. Long story short I’m on my 4th scarf and I guess I’m a knitter! Having said that, all things “knitting” are catching my eye. I saw a clip on FB and googled it and found this video of  “Knitted Knockers”, catchy name for a sweet idea and  touching story. The website has pdf  patterns for knitting and crochet (not such a catchy name when they are crocheted). Sweet, if you know someone in need.

Bye for now, I’ll forgo any promises of frequent posts!

 

 

 

~ Summertime ~

John Michael and Angelina

Angelina

Delilah 7

John Michael

John and Greta

John Michael

playground

Delilah 6

Delilah

Delilah 3

Delilah

honeybee swarm

honeybee swarm

potager

potager

zucchini blossoms

blueberries

blueberries

blueberry cobbler

blueberry cobbler

 

blueberry pie

garlic scape pesto

succulents

honeybee swarm

bee swarm prep

bee swarm prep

honeybee swarm

bee swarm prep

bee swarm

Greta

Summertime….the pool, bee swarms, and lots of fresh fruits and veggies.

My “little’s” (I had that book as a kid, THE LITTLE’S, and loved it. I just realized that as I typed it!)…but I digress (to quote Pastor Bujno), are all learning to swim this summer. Such fun! The bees have not been behaving! The beekeeper has had to drop everything to catch swarms several times. Sometimes, literally in his hands. Diona and Delilah found the first swarm of the year, in my little blue spruce tree, which was sacrificed for the cause. My potager (kitchen garden) is doing well, but more weeds than I would prefer…… three year old’s don’t stand around in the garden long, and Greta, well, she is quite wonderful!

The motor home/playground is new at a park up the road, and I just couldn’t help but take a picture it’s so cute! I tried my hand at stuffed squash blossoms at my neighbors suggestion. Some were just blossoms, some had the baby zucchini still attached, so cute! They are time consuming, but tasty. The “Hubs” prefers fried green tomatoes. We have loads of blueberries again, so blueberry crisp and blueberry pie were in order. The pesto is garlic scape pesto and it is great on pasta.

As you can see “The Beekeeper” had to be pretty creative to get the upper hand on one of our honeybee swarms. Success was the word for the day! Those little buggers better be producing a lot of honey for the trouble.

Summer is speeding by fast, as usual. This coming weekend will be the first one in a month and a half that we don’t have a commitment. Yay!!! Maybe by Monday morning I’ll have a few less weeds. One can dream, right? I haven’t canned the first thing this summer, and I really don’t feel bad about it. I have found myself at my art desk more, which doesn’t usually happen in the summer. Carving out a creative space in the living room is proving to have been a good idea. Who knew when I did it that I would be entertaining a three year old this summer!?! Who by the way has her own “art desk” in the living room also. Start them young!

I’m reading a series of books that I found by default on Amazon. You know how you go on to search for one thing and they suggest another that sends you down a bunny trail, where you end up with a totally different thing than you started out looking for? Yeah that! That’s what happened. I found this book that looked interesting, read the reviews, bought it, read it, loved it, and then found out that it is the middle book in a series. As it turns out they don’t have to be read in order, in fact the author didn’t even write them in order. So, now I’m reading the second, which is actually the third, ha! I truly enjoyed the first one I read, which is actually the second. The books are her(Susan Branch) story, her life so far. They’re also filled with her watercolor illustrations and some photos. A lot going on, on the page. Maybe too much for some people, but it keeps the right side of my brain very engaged. I’m thinking that the one I started with may very well be my favorite, but I’ll continue on to see after I have actually read the first one..

The Beekeeper and I are coming up on our 10th anniversary, and I surprised him with reservations at a seaside resort in Maine. Needless to say, I can’t wait to go back to the rocky coast of Maine. It truly is one of those places that is a must for a bucket list. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures to share, and of course the hunt will be on for some great treasures to bring back. 

Enjoy the sunshine!

This post contains my affiliate links.

~ Days With Nana ~

Delilah and GretaIt’s July already, the summer always speeds by. Maybe everywhere else also, but I know in the Northeast we seem to have this window of time that is ticking away in our minds similar to the maternal clock of a childless women (although, I’m sure not nearly as desperate feeling). Still, we view our opportunities for outdoor activities within the window of Memorial Day to Labor Day, with the daring and more adventurous extending it through Columbus weekend (which can end in disaster!….or at least rain… lol). Graduation parties, weddings, family reunions,baseball games, barbecues, picnics, pig roasts, camping trips, boating adventures, family vacations and yard sales, all fall into this window. As well as, weekly lawn mowing, gardening, outside home repair and of course, leisurely laying by the pool with the list of “summer reads”. It’s no wonder it goes by so quickly!

With all that being said, I’ve added a 3 year old to my summer schedule, seeing how her mom, my baby girl, got a new job. Three year old’s are nothing new to me, mind you. I’ve had 5 of my own….it’s just been nineteen years since I’ve had full days of caring for one. So, I’m adjusting! She is napping right now and I can’t leave her alone to go mow or garden, so, here I am typing away. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll find me here more often. Although my lawn may be able to be cut for hay within a short time……..stay tuned!

~ A Long Time ~

It’s been a long time since I’ve sat here and done this. Sometimes it seems hard to just think of what I have to say…what is “post worthy”. I often tell myself, “nothing, I have nothing to write about.Nothing new has happened.”sunset in the Adirondacks

Just life, day after day. Not that life is bad, on the contrary, life is going along quite well. Sometimes it seems to be a challenge to put everyday life into words that would be interesting enough for someone else to want to read about it. But being a lover of journals, the “old-fashioned” pen and paper kind or the online “newfangled” way, it  just doesn’t matter, it’s the concept that I like.  So, here I sit typing out my thoughts for random (unknown in some cases), passers by. 

It’s the end of January, and I find myself thinking, “where did this first month of the year go….and what have I accomplished?” January is usually my hunker down, get creative, take an online class, forget the rest of the world month. But this year seems very different. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it feels like winter hasn’t started, or at least not what we were use to the last two years. I mean we didn’t light an inside fire until after Christmas. We have no snow. The beekeeper hasn’t plowed once. It’s all good, I’m not complaining or anything. It’s just different. So, maybe this is why I’m out of wack with my normal January train of thought.

So to quote Pastor Bujno, “I digress”.  About this blog and my absence…..It’s unexplainable or maybe unacceptable! I just went looking for a picture to post with this and realized that I had some shots that I hadn’t uploaded to my computer yet…ummm, 534 to be exact! Opps…well I guess there may have been a couple of things to blog about after all! MY BAD!!! Here’s a few……

The Beekeeper

The Beekeeper doing his thing!

Adirondack island

The island being beautiful.

My boy…just being a boy.

My girls…..being country girls.

kiddos and their pumpkins

All three together being A-dorable!

Having fun with Grandad.

mixed media

mixed media

Me being artsy.

stuffed acorn squash

Squash being delicious! I made this more times last fall than I care to say. Here is the recipe.

I’ll try to do this more often…no promises though. Just enjoying life…..

~ Tomato/Tomahto ~

I find myself overrun with wonderful, homegrown tomatoes this time of year….I’m not complaining! It does motivate me to find yummy ways to use them. So I decided to share a few….

Fisher's Beehive farm cart

First homemade salsa, so fresh and delicious.

homemade salsa

The amounts are going to depend on how much you want to make of course, but for ingredients: 

Tomatoes, green peppers,onion, garlic (we grow all these, so they are nice and fresh and chemical free).

I add fresh ground sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, fresh lime juice, red pepper flakes and fresh cilantro. These will be to taste, however you like it. I also drizzle a little of our raw honey on in the end.

homemade salsa

This little gadget is from Pampered Chef, I really like it, but it is a little pricey. You can see it here.

I bought it thinking it would be handy for camping, since it doesn’t require electric, and my cousin’s daughter was selling Pampered Chef at the time. This Zyliss Manual Food Processor  is one that looks similar,but costs a little less and this one Chef’n Veggie Chop even less, but I haven’t tried these.

homemade salsa

 So, just add your veggies, pump the little handle, it chops them all up…

salsa

salsa

salsa

homemade salsa

fresh salsa

….and voila! A bowl of fresh yumminess! (This is a word, in “my world”!)

Okay, next up, Tomato Cobbler. My Dad actually found this recipe and gave it to me. I made it three times, changing it up a little each time. In these photos you can see I used fresh leeks and Italian kale from our garden.

tomatoes

Tomato cobbler

tomato cobbler with kale

tomato cobbler with kale

tomato cobbler

You can tell how late we eat by how dark my photo is, sorry!

Here is the original recipe that I began with. There are a lot of others on Pinterest.

Next, this recipe was found, made and shared by my lovely sister-in-law, Lisa.

Lisa's salad

Lisa's salad

Lisa's salad

So fresh and delicious, I felt like I could have eaten the entire bowl!

Lisa's salad

We had a lovely “catching up” time with a close friend, enjoying a beautiful fall afternoon in NY.

Here is the recipe she used.

Sad to say this last recipe, which was given to me by a friend, has no picture, because I waited too long to try it out and we got an early heavy frost. Which, of course, was the demise of my tomato plants for this year. Do check it out though, it looks like a keeper….Quick Pickled Tomatoes.

While you are contemplating all these juicy tomato recipes, I’ll leave you with this….

Enjoy!

~ On The Home Front ~

So much time has passed, I have no idea what to post about. It’s been months! Something must have happened that is post worthy! My garden is growing, somethings better than others. My baby girl and her little family visited from Florida (I don’t know why I didn’t take pictures of this!) We’ve been camping, to a pig roast, going to another, invited to a third. We’ve been on a couple of great picks and a really good, on sight auction. The booth is full, as is the shop at home and the overflow tent! We have 20 hives going right now, so the Beekeeper has been busy. For now let’s take a walk through the garden.

 

My garden

 

Black Raspberries

Black Raspberries

My garden

My garden

My garden

My garden

 

My garden

Buttercup squash

My garden

 

My garden

My garden

red currants

blueberries

honeybee hives

honeybee hives

Annabelle Hydrangea

Hosta bloom

My garden

 

The Beekeeper and I designed (well, my design, his measuring, cutting, welding skills) my new potting bench, from an antique iron bed. I’m loving it!

iron bed potting bench

He is a handy one….swoon!

pld iron bed potting bench

The galvanized tub holds my potting soil (which has a cover to keep the rain out). On the top he cut a hold and we set in an old iron grate, so when I’m potting my plants it allows excess soil to fall back into the tub. The front pieces that hold the wood are the actual side rails of the bed. The small shelf at the top is made from a piece of another bed. The whole bench is constructed so that the wood could come out to be stored inside for the winter and only the frame would be out in the bad weather.

antique iron bed potting bench

potting bench from iron bed

potting bench made from antique iron bed

 

 We went  to the Adirondacks camping with our new puppy and new camper. It was awesome!

camping

Golden Retriever

Adirondacks

Adirondacks

Adirondacks

nesting Loon

camping

This young man graduated pre-k….(proud Nana).

Pre K Graduation

 One last thing for this post. I’ve had a special request from a faithful follower (and awesome cousin), for more recipes on the blog. So, this is my favorite soup recipe just for you, Lisa!

meatball soup

Sunday Supper Soup

I add a little pasta to the bowl before I ladle the soup in.

Enjoy!

~ My Midori ~

 When I was in Florida in February, I discovered an interesting little journal/planner that I just couldn’t stop thinking about. It’s called a Midori.They’re not new, and I have found that there is a Midori obsession out there. Just doing a quick search on Pinterest or YouTube will verify that. There are videos from a guy’s point of view to a scrapbooker’s dream, and everything in between. Intrigued, I had to have one, so I treated myself to this Traveler’s Notebook for my birthday this month. I was so excited when it came. They are just a piece of leather (brown or black), with an elastic band down the center. Each one comes with one blank book. You buy whichever inserts you want, according to what you want to use it for. They are an empty canvas, ready for you to create on.  Here is a look at my Midori so far.

 

Midori traveler's notebook

 

Midori traveler's notebook

 

This is it, in all it’s chunky goodness!

Midori traveler's noetbook

Midori traveler's notebook

 

 

Midori traveler's notebook

 

This is a zipper insert to hold my pen/pencils etc…, the other half is in the back of the midori.

Midori

The books are all plain like this. Of course, I couldn’t leave mine that way, that’s part of the fun!

Midori traveler's notebook

This is a file insert.  Then my first book is a by-the-month calendar.

Midori traveler's notebook

 

The green tea bag came in my order. The clear pockets were an add on.

Midori

Midori traveler's notebook

Midori traveler's notebook

 

The next book is just lined paper, I use it to  journal, write notes or lists, keep track of “what I learned”.

Midori

Midori

 

Midori traveler's notebook

 

The middle book is watercolor paper. I ordered this one and a mixed media paper from this shop on etsy.

Yes, you can find places to order handmade inserts to fit the different Midori sizes, and even buy a”faux” dori.

Midori

 

This is a pocket insert.

 

Midori

 

Then a blank page insert that I sketch in (this isn’t great paper for sketching on though, but I already decorated the front and back covers, so…I’m using it anyway!).

Midori

Midori

 

You can never have to much washi tape on hand.

Midori traveler's notebook

Midori

Midori inserts

 

This is how the inserts come…

 

Midori traveler's notebook

 

and there it is, I actually have four books in there now, but I took out the little leather change pouch. It’s amazing how much you can fit, and for those that know me, you know I “HAVE” to stuff it full!

Midori

 

This is the fountain pen that the Beekeeper made for me…

Midori..and this is an antique pencil sharpener (made in Germany), that I bought at the Marketplace, it fits in my zipper insert with my eraser perfectly.

made in Germany antique pencil sharpener

So, that’s my Midori! I love it, just wanted to share.