Monday, December 31, 2012

Quilting with Joy

I took on a unique quilting project last year when I won a contest on  Barbara's blog, Cat Patches.   The moment that I entered the contest I had the thought "if I win I'll share the prize with the blogger that told me about the contest."  So when I won a stack of fabric, I contacted Denise at Count It All Joy and told her she had also won.  I sent her half the fabric and she picked out a pattern for us to use.  I had plans for this little project to be finished by March 2012 so that I would have a 'ready made' post for you.

Life got busy, almost to the point of overwhelming, and my sewing machine made two unexpected trips to the repair shop.  I made it through all this and I am proud to announce that I have (at last) finished my block.  That's right, we were making just a simple block...  Here's the pattern by Adrianne at Little Bluebell with its own little story.  The original was a little pillow.  What did Denise make?  Here it is (along with her adventure in making this little gem). 

What did Joy do?  I promise I started off thinking 'little pillow' - something to give a friend who likes to read in bed so she could prop up her book.  But as I played with the fabric something else came to mind, as you can see in this post from July.  If I bought just a couple of yards of fabric I could make a blanket.  Off I went in search of more of the MODA 'little apples' fabric.  (This was the year I learned that fabric lines can come and go quickly.)  All I could find was a few fat quarters of the printed white, a few more of the gray fabrics, and less than three yards of the green. 

This "Mommie Blanket" is for Allison, a new friend of mine.  She recently had her second baby - two under three.  I figure if anyone could use a blankie it would be this sweet (and brave!) young woman.

My 'little pillow.'

Here is it, almost the end of the year, and I have finally finished this little quilt. Many thanks to Denise, Barbara, and Adrianne. 

Cute Fabric - Love the Squirrels!
I learned a few more things working on this little project. Like "share your joy" and "there's no job that can't be put off" and, my favorite, "be nice to strangers - that's how we make friends."

Happy New Year !



Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's beginning to look...

When I'm in the mood to create, there is such a lightness in my heart, I work without effort.  I enjoy creating things. Fabrics become quilts. A few flowers and herbs become a garden. Furniture, curtains, meals, and memories become a home.

This past month has been unseasonably warm here in Texas making it hard for me to decorate for Christmas. In my brain, cold weather and gray cloudy days demand color, sparkle, lights, and festive music, but lately my days have been all sunshine and springlike weather. It makes me want to get out in the garden or take a trip to the zoo or do just about anything except create a winter wonderland in the house.

Sunshiny days make it hard for me to focus on decorating the tree.

I am happy to report that we have had a couple of days of cooler weather and I just heard the Christmas Day forecast for a chance of snow - that's more like it. I'm on a roll now, maybe I can finish gift wrapping and just sit by the fire with a cup of tea.

When it gets cold enough to wear a heavy coat,
I can't wait to trim the tree and deck the halls.

I'm off to bake one more batch of cookies and spend some time with my family.   

At last, it's the most wonderful time of the year...

Thanks for spending time with me and my blog.
I hope your holidays are happy and bright.


Sunday, December 9, 2012


Life at our house has been crazy lately. My husband is retiring in less than a month and the parties have already started. If anyone is retiring PLEASE take time to celebrate.

I know so many people who say they want to 'go quietly.' Or you'll hear someone - birthday girl or guy - say "Oh, I don't need anything..." (Yes, I'm guilty of this.) You need it. And your friends need this celebration, too.

Each life is unique with its own series of important life events. In a world with Twitter and "In Your Face" media, you and yours are the Stars of your life.  So, please, enjoy your life - do lunch, brunch, dinner, and Sunday Supper whenever you can.

Take pictures.
Email and snail mail cards for all occasions. 
Light candles, sing songs.

Celebrate Life!

Get out there and party. Because every life needs a way to mark time. Life markers to remind us how far we've come, what we have accomplished, and who we love. Places and dates where we can look out and observe the changing of the guard and the beginning and ending of things. So go to those graduations, showers, weddings, birthday parties, funerals, memorials services, Christmas open houses, New Years parties, and retirement ceremonies.  Make time to stop and visit with friends at the nearest bar, tea room, or coffee house.

Even if you live to be 100 life is short.

Celebrate every time you get a chance.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I'm working on it...

To the many bloggers who post every day - CHEERS!

Me?  I'm in the middle of a cleaning marathon that ends with Christmas all over the house and cookies in the oven.  Also, I did get an iPhone so I'm somewhere in the learning curve trying to figure out how and when I turned the volume off - sorry about all those missed calls...

Today I am celebrating something big in my life.  It has been one year, one week, and a day since I colored my hair. 

Some day soon I will update my profile picture.

Life is good.  Really and truly one of the best things I've done for myself this past year is not put color on my hair.  It was almost a two year process.  The first year I changed over to temporary (28 day) color and every few months I bought a lighter shade.

Then I just quit coloring my hair and - although I can't figure out what I've done with the extra time and money - I can tell you I feel better.  I know, I know, the commercials will tell you that my life is flat and boring and my hair is wimpy.  But I will tell you I'm smart enough to not be bored and a good hair cut (thank you, Jessica!) can keep just about any body's hair from being wimpy.

Unfortunately, this change has not made me smarter - I had to take several pictures before I figured out I needed to "look up" when I pushed the little button.

Next week I'll work on taking better pictures.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Waiting for My Crown...

You know that gas the dentist gives you, before he gives you a shot so you won't feel the really big shot he's going to give you, so he can work on your tooth, so that next week he can yank off the temporary crown he's putting on today, and permanently attached your "crown?"  Well, let me tell you, it has worn off...  the gas is gone.  At this moment I do not feel like laughing.  I think the feeling is coming back to my right ear now...  While I wait for my body to come back online, I can't help but feel out of sorts. 

So I'm just moping this evening.

Of course, when you're not up to working you can not help but notice everything that needs doing. 

Bless my cozy, cluttered kitchen - 

The hutch in the breakfast room has caught as much junk as I can stand.  So when I finish typing I plan to start thinking about dusting and then I'll put on her winter look. 


But not tonight, I've been to the dentist, and tonight, I'm moping.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sweet Potatoes

I know sweet potatoes.  Or maybe they are yams... 

Sweet potatoes (is that darker one a yam?), our half eaten pie,
and small 'crustless' pie.
Just playing with my food.

Whatever this vegetable is, I do know how to make pies with it and this is my favorite recipe.  The recipe makes two 9 inch pies.  I experimented with this batch and I made one of my pies without the crust - would that make it pudding?  or a casserole? 

I could have added to my crustless pie a half cup of Bourbon, 3 more tablespoons of melted butter, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, and thrown miniature marshmallows on top and it would have been my Aunt Jo's Sweet Potato Casserole (I remember it was a great side dish/dessert at family gatherings - as long as we didn't let it get too close to candles).

I got this recipe from my friend, Freddie.  Sadly, she died just over a year ago.  She had lived a long, full life and was well respected by everyone who knew her.  For me, she lives on in my memories  - her sweet smile, soft southern voice, gentle ways, and even in her pie.

Recipe -  Freddie B's Sweet Potato Pie

Before you can make this pie you'll need to wash, peel, cut up, and boil your sweet potatoes.  I used  three large sweet potatoes in this recipe (and had some left over).  I cut them in to small pieces and put them in a pot, added just enough water to cover them, a dash of salt, and put the lid on.  Put the pot on the stove top with medium heat.  I set my timer for 22 minutes and just let them cook.  I stirred the pot 3 or 4 times.  When the timer went off, I turned off the heat and just left the pot there while I made the pie crust.  Here's a link to my pie crust recipe.  After I made the crust, I drained the sweet potatoes and mashed them.  The recipe mixes up best if the potatoes are almost room temperature.

1 3/4 to 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (really, this is a very flexible recipe)
1 teaspoon salt
1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring (that was my idea - Freddie's recipe only calls for a teaspoon)

Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, keep the mixer on low, mixing until everything is well blended.

Pour 2 2/3 cups of the mixture into each pie shell (I've added a little more and nothing terrible happens - you just have to cook a bit longer).

Place into oven and then turn it on to 425F / 425 degrees.

Bake 20 minutes, maybe a little longer, until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cool 20 minutes (minimum) I think an hour or two is best.  Tastes good hot, warm, or cold.

Vanilla ice cream is a nice garnish or a little whipped cream.

This is what Autumn tastes like. 



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween, My Pretties!

I love the whole trick or treating thing for the way I get a chance to meet my neighbors.  Here in my little Texas suburb, we're tucked away from the rest of the world.  The children and teens who come through here are local.  My husband and I both dress up... well, he (always!) wears his "Steve Martin" arrow through his head "costume" (the 70's were very good to him) and I try something witchy.  I have enjoyed watching the children grow up and learning what's "hot" in Halloween fashion every year.  Trick or treating ends when we turn off the lights, which happily coincides with running out of candy.

I picked up this cute hat Etsy shopping.  What?  You don't know about Etsy?  I don't know everything there is to know, but I've purchased from four different buyers and they've all been wonderful.  I have "saved" my name JOY & COMFORT just in case I find something I can create and sell... still looking for that little miracle.  Here's my Etsy adventures (no, I'm not being compensated, I was just very impressed with these 'shops').

My first a photo from Robin at INSTANT fine art and photography

My book from Vintage Spoken Here

My hat from ChineseArithmetic

My favorite shop is Diane's Yonks

My next one..... who knows?


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bad Spellers of the World Untie

I am not the world's greatest speller trouble is I usually spot other folks mistakes much easier than I see my own.

Why is that?  I don't see my faults, but just let me walk through a shop or read a letter and poor spelling just jumps out at me.

Does anyone else have this problem?


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Let Them Eat Pie

Finally!  My moon flowers are starting to bloom.  I guess after a long, hot summer maybe plants enjoy a bit of cooler weather, too.  I was out in the dark garden a couple of nights ago and saw this beauty, which I would have missed if sunset had been any later.

It is in the cooler weather that I enjoy cooking things in the oven.  The fragrance of pies, cakes, cookies, stews, roasts, even a simple baked potato (yes, they are better in the oven than the microwave) - the list goes on and on and each in its own way makes the house smell wonderful.

When I wrote the post about my apple pie, several folks told me that they just couldn't make pie crust.  All I can tell you is keep trying, really, it's that easy (hopefully you can still eat your mistakes).  But it's one of those cooking lessons that usually works once you get the hang of it.  The recipe I use was given to me long ago and far away, and I have used and trusted and played with it for years.  Many thanks to my Charlotte, North Carolina friend, Bertie, (circa 1979), she was kind to me when I was the new kid in town and for that she will always hold a special place in my memories.

"Easy" Pie Crust:

For a bottom crust (double recipe for top & bottom)

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening (a butter and lard mix works best)
Ice cold water

Sift flour and salt. 

Blend in shortening until there is no loose flour left in bowl. 

Add 3 tablespoons of cold water, mix until water is absorbed.

You may need to add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of water, add each spoonful slowly, mixing well after each. (I usually add 5 tablespoons.) 

Handle the dough as little as possible. 

Place ball of dough on floured surface.  I work with a piece of freezer paper under everything and then roll out the dough on the freezer paper - makes for an easy clean up.

Roll. (Sprinkle flour on your rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking to it.) 

Place in 8 or 9 inch pie pan. 

 Follow directions with pie recipe on cooking the crust.  Usually with cream pies you cook the crust first, and with all others you cook the crust as the pie cooks.

The pears were bought three days ago, I wanted to make sure they were ripe.  Peeled, sliced, and covered with a three tablespoons of sugar, a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and a few dashes of ground ginger and cinnamon.  I was going to try fresh ginger but forgot to buy some, so I just went with the powdered spice.  These waited patiently for me in the bowl while I made the crust. 

Before dumping the fruit into the crust I added:

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

(It was about here that I remembered to preheat the oven - so I turned on the oven about 5 minutes before I put the pie in (I'm telling you this so you can see that even if you don't do everything 'perfect' you can still make a pretty good pie).  When I remember, I like to preheat the oven for about 15 minutes.)

I mixed all this up and poured into the pie crust, then I took a heaping tablespoon of butter and dabbed it across the top of all this.

I only made 'one' pie crust, rolled it thin, and then pulled the edges up. Somewhere I've seen this called 'rustic.' I like that. I'm using all the dough and this is an easy finish. 

I sprinkled a little sugar and cinnamon on the top.  Then popped it in the oven - 425F for 40 minutes.  After 40 minutes it was bubbly on top with just a little brown on the edges... Perfect.

I took it out of the oven to cool.  After dinner, Mr. J&C and I each enjoyed a slice with a little vanilla ice cream.

We didn't eat it all.  I have plans to have some with my breakfast coffee.. and maybe with my afternoon tea....


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Friends and Neighbors

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."             Ralph Waldo Emerson

Good friends are one of the best things about being human.  Those friends you can talk to once in a blue moon and it's like you've never had a break in the conversation.  Friends who hold you when you cry and don't remind you how bad you look when your eyes are all red and puffy.  Friends who signal you to get the parsley off your front tooth or remind you to check your zipper - they are priceless.  Aren't those friends who gently hand us a breath mint or even a fuzzy cough drop wonderful on days when we don't notice our breath is less than beautiful?

My friend and neighbor, Patti, was kind enough to suggest (in her own sweet, non judgemental way) that I might want to put curtains on my front door.

We (Mr. J&C and I) were so happy to get rid of the double front doors that were here when we moved in.  On cold, windy nights, I could stand in front of those closed front doors and feel the breeze.  We found this Texas Star pattern at Lowes and added the sidelights to fill in the space the second door had occupied. 

The light coming into the house is so wonderful.  Before the change out it was like standing in a closet, once the new door was in, sunlight flooded the room.  The door is on the north side of the house so the extra sunlight adds light but not heat, it is just a thing of beauty. 

Being neighbors, Patti and I enjoy discussing the comings and goings of the neighborhood.  As Jane Austen so cleverly put it, "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?"  Who knows what the neighbors really get up to, but it is fun to speculate.  Rumor has it there's a sweet little lady with a telescope in her front window and she lives on my street.  Patti pointed out to me that if she had a similar door, she would have curtains.  I can see her point.  If the lights are on anyone and everyone can see into our house.  So, I've been pricing curtain rods and curtains.  I'll put up curtains but I'm going for the lacy ones - I love the light and don't want to get rid of that, I'm just looking for a bit more privacy.

I hope Patti is not suggesting curtains because one day she dropped by and saw more than she planned to see...  But then she's my friend, she can be discreet and I trust that no one else knows what goes on at our house... Then again, maybe it is something that Patti does in her own home that has her worried for me?  Hey! We're old friends, I will keep her secrets. We're also neighbors, so naturally I'm wondering what she's been up to...


Friday, September 28, 2012

Growing Wiser

Sunday, September 30, I will turn 53.  There, I said it. Growing older and, I believe, wiser - not afraid of aging, just curious.  I hear there will be a full moon - I love full moons, stars, and the beauty of the night.  I do not enjoy the scary stuff...

Last Saturday night my husband and I were invited to spend the night at the country home of a friend.  We had spent the better part of the day at Baby's university and that evening we joined with 86,000 of our closest friends to watch the football game and cheer the school on to victory. As we drove through the night exhausted and grateful for a nearby bed, we were two happy campers.

There are so many stars in the sky. I don't really see them in the city. Sure I go out and check on them, but in the suburbs only the biggest and brightest are visible.  I love the night sky in the country.  I stood looking upward trying to commit to memory the beauty of the night.

Well after midnight, we settled in for a quick sleep, everyone had to return to Fort Worth early in the morning so we planned to sleep until 6-ish and leave for the city no later than 7 a.m.

The view from our bed was so wonderful I didn't want to take off my glasses.  The north and south walls are almost all windows and there were two skylights above us.  Eventually, exhaustion took over and I put my glasses on the side table and went to sleep.  Just about 4 a.m. I woke up with a start - I felt a burning sensation just below my right elbow as I was sliding my arm under my pillow.  I grabbed my glasses and my phone and flipped over the pillow to see what my attacker was.  Nothing.  I kept searching with my phone - still my flip phone (I'm working on that) and eventually I reached over and turned on the bedside lamp.  Nothing.  My arm sort of throbbed and felt warm - this is Texas, I was thinking rattlesnake or killer bee- my imagination was starting to get the best of me.  I made enough noise to wake up Mr. Joy & Comfort and, as I told him what happened and he looked at my arm, I got the feeling he thought a large mosquito had gotten me.

Frustrated that no monster could be found, I flipped on the overhead light and pulled at the covers, nothing.  Mr. J&C was hinting maybe we should go back to sleep as he pulled the covers all the way to the end of the bed.

There, were I would have put my feet if I had gotten back into bed, was a scorpion. Before I could say "I told you something stung me!" My husband grabbed his shoe and beat the little monster to death.  (No pictures - sorry, he was too quick for me to get a 'living' picture. The flatten creature looked so pathetic I was sure PETA would complain. Also, I didn't Google a photo of one because I really don't want to see another one. Thank You.)

I washed my arm while he put the carcase in a plastic bag to show our host in the morning.  He insisted I use a bit of antibiotic ointment and I took an antihistamine.  My arm got just a bit puffy and red around the sting area, I survived.

I couldn't go back to sleep. Seeing that it was a scorpion made me want to throw-up. They are the stuff of scary movies and creepy crawlies that can hurt people... they can be a real danger - unlike the mystery diseases that drug commercials promise to save us from - only to finish with the legal disclaimers of side effects, many worse than the original disease. This is where I tell all the drug companies out there, "Hey, when your commercials come on I change the channel. Sometimes I don't go back to what I was watching."  Life is tough enough without being threaten into buying a product. Sorry, don't get me started with what is wrong with television.

An hour or so later, our shocked host was apologizing as if he had been the one to hurt me. I had calmed down by the time he got up and accepted what had happened. In fact, the thoughts racing through my brain at this time included a lot of thanksgiving that I had been stung in the arm and not on my face, don't know if that is a vanity thing or I just worry about my eyes and brain more than the next person.

I'm happy to report there were no side effects. I will admire the moon from my own backyard. Mr. J&C and I plan to sleep in our bed this Saturday night (after he's checked it for creepy crawlies). 

Wisdom... maybe it does come with age.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Autumn Arrives

Happy Autumn! or Spring!  - depending on where you are at this moment.  Many thanks to Rhonda Jean at Down to Earth in her Weekend Reading this week she called this little blog delightful.  Since Thursday afternoon, Joy & Comfort has gotten about 1,500 extra hits (yes, at first I thought the new Blogger workings were messed up - then I realized, no, somebody out there likes me).  To any new readers I may have 'Welcome.'  To the delightful group of followers who read this blog (and try hard to understand my sense of humor) "Thank You" - especially everyone who comments. 

The apple pie I made was pretty good (I've made better, someday I'll share that recipe). There are two pieces left. I played with my food and I'm looking forward to experimenting with other fruit and spice combinations (pears and apples with ginger, or maybe apples and raisins, or blackberries, or cherries (I put up some in the freezer last month), or pears and cranberries - the dried 'cranraisins' .... or maybe...)


That is the beauty of a fruit pie, use the fruit you love, anticipate the moisture that fruit will release (that's why there is a bit of flour and butter in the fruit mix. I would tell you it's magic, but I'm pretty sure it's science), and have fun.

Recipe - Apple Pie

I used three apples (a Granny Smith apple, a Jazz apple, and a Golden Delicious) for my pie. I peeled them, cut them up, and tossed them with
3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (you can use 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon of allspice
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 Tablespoon of flour
2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of regular (granulated/white) sugar
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 Tablespoon of butter (cut into little bits and stirred into the mix)

I put the above ingredient in a bowl, mixed well, (sampled a couple of slices of apple), let stand on the counter about 1 hour.

You could buy your pie crust. I saw them in the refrigerated section at my local grocery store - two pieces of pre-made flatten stuff to fit a deep dish 9 inch pie pan for almost $4 dollars. Hello? I just didn't want to pay that much.  However, I'm not you, if buying a pie crust makes you happy, go for it.  But if you want to try and make homemade do it - so what if it's not perfect?  Trust me, perfection is highly overrated. 

For five inch pie plate I used:

2 Tablespoon of butter, soft (room temp - the room was about 77 F)
2/3 c. of all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon of salt

Mix together in a bowl with a fork until the ingredients look like cornmeal. 
Add  2 - 4 Tablespoons of cold water (sorry, I wasn't paying attention - I was just trying to get the dough to come together). 
Stir flour mixture and water until it comes together in a ball. I did this whole thing 'the worst way possible' just to make sure it could work. (Right now you could sprinkle a bit of flour across your nice clean counter top or a favorite table and, using a flour dusted rolling pin, roll out a beautiful crust.) Or you could do what I did and put the dough in your pie plate and start mushing it with your fingers, shaping it to fit the plate. Yes, I did that. Some days my laziness knows no bounds..

The topping is

2 Tablespoons flour
3 Tablespoons Oatmeal (I used the quick cook Quaker Oats)
2 Tablespoons of soft (room temp.) butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of the 'juice' from the bowl the sliced apples are in (you can skip this, it's the butter and sugar that seem to hold everything together.  I was just experimenting/playing with my food.)
a handful of pecan pieces

Mix together in a bowl.  I used a fork, it's a bit crumbly, you just want to mix everything up evenly - I started with a fork and eventually used my hands.  Then I pressed it on top of the apples, juice was squishing out - I tried to be gentle.

I preheated the oven to 425. Put the pie plate with pie crust inside on a cookie sheet (face it, it's probably going to bubble over and even if it's just a little bit burning sugar in your oven it will smell yucky).
Pour in the apples - if you have too many I give you permission to put them in a little bowl and eat them. Trust me, it will be o.k. Next I poured the topping on and pressed it down with my hands.

Put the pie (on cookie sheet) into oven and cooked it 30 or 35 minutes. My husband took it out of the oven for me so I'm not sure of the time.

Let it cool maybe 10 to 20 minutes, then sliced a couple of pieces - he had vanilla ice cream on his - I went plain. It was good.

Thing is, you don't have to follow this recipe exactly to get a good pie. Play with it - if you don't have allspice don't worry. If you use two pears and one apple you may want to use ground ginger instead of allspice and maybe half the cinnamon - it is your call. No brown sugar, use granulated sugar.

Next time I make a pie I'll roll out the crust and make it all beautiful. I just love trying different fruits and making sweet treats that make the house smell wonderful. Yes, this was better than store bought, better than most bakeries, almost as good as my mom's...



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

No Fear

I have been amazed by some of the television I have watched and the online news and information that has come my way over the past few months, so much of it fear based. "Eat this or Die!" "Do this and Die!  How did our ancestors live without the constant media reminders that we are nothing without the help of someone or something else (who will gladly 'save' us for a price)?

I don't enjoy scary stuff. I try to surround myself and my loved ones with happy pleasures. Sure my house has been neglected for the past few months, slowly but surely I am getting it cleaned up and back to my level of normal (not magazine perfect, I prefer homey and comfortable). It also smells wonderful here today - cinnamon, allspice, sugar, and apples.

I love apples.  Do you eat them for business or pleasure? Seriously, do you eat "an apple a day to keep the doctor away" or do you just eat them for the pleasure they bring you? I eat apples just because they taste wonderful. During the last few weeks I've decided to ignore the EXPERTS and to only eat food I like - because that's how life should be. I suppose if all I wanted to eat was dirt I would probably not be so bold, but I love a variety of foods and can't imagine any of them as "bad."


I'm currently working to create a delicious apple pie for two, shrinking our favorite pie recipe from an eight serving to a four serving pie plate.

I'll share my recipe on my next post - I'm not sure how this will turn out and I would hate to give you a yucky recipe.

I am very curious - Do you purchase things to make your life better or because you're afraid if you don't have 'it' terrible things might happen?  What motivates you?


Thursday, August 30, 2012

De Clutter

I thought if I wasn't busy I would have lots and lots of time to blog.  For me it doesn't work that way - if I'm not busy, I don't have anything to blog about.  I 'm a little busy these days - Physical Therapy (PT) is work.  I'm doing all the recommended exercises - if you want to get better (read "healthier") you have to work.  Some days I dread the PT but afterwards (a few hours, pain meds, and an ice pack or two afterwards) I feel much improved.  I'm very thankful for the doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and others who have had a hand in fixing my knee.  The progress is much slower than I imagined, I'm having a hard time not being critical, I think it's because I have a bit of brain clutter.  You know, ideas or beliefs you have that no longer work or that you know to be untrue.  If you keep acting on what doesn't work it will make you crazy.  I used to believe if I had surgery I would miraculously be healed by the time the stitches began to fade.  Turns out most miracles need a bit of work.  Sometimes you just have to clean out the clutter so the rest of you can change and grow. 

This cleaning up business is a lesson I learned years ago from gardening.  Weeding, deadheading, clearing out the old dried up plants makes room for new growth.  Just clean out the old and in comes the new, usually it's a year later.

This summer I haven't done much in the garden, just watering the plants in containers. The green oxalis I got from my mom back in February and planted beside a purple one I had purchased locally were getting along beautifully back in the Spring.

Early April 2012

They were beautiful back in April, however by August, after 20 plus days of 100 F heat, they were cooked and I was a little afraid they might not come back.  On August 11, I was out sweeping the front porch, watering my plants and startled by how sad this container looked.

I started cleaning up and was surprised by how easily the old, dead stuff lifted out of the pot - almost no roots holding it down. 

It's very embarrassing to realize you are letting things compost right outside your front door.

I left the lone purple shamrock and went inside think about what to plant next.

Thursday (8/16)
I had expected the plants to go dormant and was surprised the next Thursday (8/16) when I remembered to water the containers on the front porch and there was 'new life.'

This picture was taken on Monday, 8/20.
I went inside and got a damp cloth to clean up the pot - just trying to do my part to make it look good.

This picture was taken Wednesday afternoon (8/29). 

Those little dots next to the purple oxalis are new plants.  I don't know when the oxalis is supposed to start growing again.  I can't help but wonder if I had not cleaned out the dead plants would the new plants have started to grow?  Was nature waiting on me to do my part so the miracle of life could 'show off?'  I may have to look into that one of these days.  Right now, I am going to go stretch and do a bit of exercise.

Life goes on.