Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dime-store Dreams

...or reflections on reading the "The Help" for the second time.

I want to read something inspiring -
A promise in a dime-store paperback -
And pull the edge against my lungs:
Suspense, and daring, and bravery,
and something fought for.

To find love fought for,
gained by footholds of mercy,
as neighbors and comrades,
made stronger alongside each other,
breathe the pesticide of inequality.
Like cheap coffee, salted, and burned through,
it opens the eyes so life is
not flesh tones, or promotion tones,
skirt tones, or loose change tones
but heart tones.


To cry breakthrough tears.
And exhale.
To claim the call to something higher.
And join the cause of the inspired.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gushy moment....

I stole this from facebook.....

You'll have to excuse me, for just a moment, as I gush sappy all over my blog.

But hey, it's my blog.

I love this man.

A lot. 

He is my inspiration to be brave. 

He's my sense of humor, when I've lost mine completely (sticky penguins get stuck). 

He inspires me to create, but to stretch out to the very edges of what I am capable, and come back with something amazing.

He listens to a lot of sciency cooking jargon that means nothing to him, but appreciates that this research towards a healthier lifestyle makes me feel better. 

His arms are where I find home, and he looks pretty darn good in all the new clothes he bought for his fancy new job. ;-) 

He prays for me, and with me, and over me. 

And I don't think I'll ever tire of this rockabilly fairy tell I've been blessed with. 

(The end. Y'all can resume eating now.) 

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I still sometimes have those throw back to middle school moments. The ones where no matter how good your grades were, you still felt gangly, awkward, and in awe of girls with smooth, shiny hair that weren't afraid to wield an eye lash curler.

I also occasionally have throw back moments to my first year of marriage, being broke, and either bumming product off my mom, or scraping together a semblance of a beauty regimen from the Dollar General.

Y'all have those moments, too right?

Well, Saturday, I stared both of those insecure visages in the face and... spent $200.00 on new make up. Between graduation and new jobs, it was time to stock up on items you have to buy in bulk (next week, I'm stocking my pantry!). Paul needed jeans, and I needed skin care....because I've been using St. Ives lotion on my face since March. But it's been such a long time since I bought any decent make up or skin care, and my face is so sensitive, and runs red, that I was sort of at a loss as to what to do.

Enter Lush. A couple of girls in my small group swore by it - girls who always look good, but not diva good (girls who also value sleep in the morning as much as I do!) - so that's where I went.

There's a Lush counter at Macy's, but best I can tell they are based in Great Britian. I have never bought make up from a cosmetics counter in a department store. It was a good experience - one every woman should have, I think. It's rather...confidence boosting. But I digress.

So, skin care, for red oily skin. The nice lady at the Lush counter helped me try on several things and I ended up with:
Fresh Farmacy facial cleanser, Vanishing Cream moisterizer, Tea Tree Toner, and Jackie Oates  color supplement (for normal folk). Oh, and a lip scrub. This all came to about a hundred bucks....but the quality is top notch. I'm loving it, and plan to go back for their body care items as well. Also, because the quality is high, so little is required...this stash will last me at least 8 months. Not too bad when I buy new Walmart stuff every month or so because my skin quits tolerating it or I get bored with what I have.

I also needed color products that stuck, so, for about another hundred I got two Mabelline 24 hour lip sticks, two Essie gel polishes, 2 MAC eye shadows, one paint pot, and one eye liner. All of which lasted through my 100 degree photo shoot this afternoon, and eight preK kids in Sunday school tonight. I'm sold.

(And to top this whole experience off, my hubby bought a TV (for graduation) that I could actually curl up and sit in, assuming it wasn't a flat screen panel with less than a 3 inch depth. Seriously, I'm 71 inches tall, and it's 60 inches across.)

So ladies, take it from me, the hippie look, while eco friendly can be refined ever so slightly, for a more polished gypsy look that doesn't take forever to apply, and doesn't sweat off!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Before good hair products were discovered....


There are some women in my life that I couldn't do my job, my marriage, my house, or my faith without.
Cyd gets the I'm a model award for this shot!

Some that know exactly what to say and when not to say it. (And who will love the caption on the above picture!) 

Who make life increasingly more enjoyable, and make this learning experience that life is actually learnable.

A cord of three strands....we need many of these in life, yes?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Picture perfect moments

So Monday night, I left this....for a few go out and see my yard via camera lens. Our house came with lovely raised flower beds, full of gorgeous flowers, that I neglected last year in lieu of trying not to double over in pain while standing. (Have I mentioned yet that I love eating and that God has been SO good??? I'm amazed at the healing qualities He built into our bodies. But that's for another post.)

So given the rubble state of my back yard, I needed some help! I hate yard work. I really do. But I'm hoping that like cooking, which I used to despise, enough practice will turn chore into joy. So with some help from a green-handed (not just thumb!) friend, who actually enjoys getting dirt under her fingernails, these overgrown flower beds were tackled.

And I took a moment to step out into the breeze and admire our hard work.....
clematis on back deck
 ... and play with my puppies.
Sierra pink tougue
excited Kona

rose bush, Cyd bought me


red roses

grape vine, hiding behind a/c unit                    

pretty painted irises

brilliant rose bud

pink rose bush


purple star light

doesn't it look like it's worshipping?

Because sometimes, you slow time, by fully stepping into it's current.
climbing roses


so, I really like these ones

rocking chair on porch

baby squash, for church

I love this color contrast

lavender I thought died last year


If you get simple beauty and nought else,
You get about the best thing God invents.
-- Robert Browning. 
Filling it with yourself, and forcing focus. Forcing sight, and smell, and touch. So as to not miss anything. To taste every gift, every moment. At least that's what I'm learning from One Thousand Gifts.                                                                                 What moments have you stepped into this week, to soak up and enjoy?

Friday, May 18, 2012

New ingredient faves

It's graduation weekend! Yay! So much to do. So I'm taking this short window while my car battery sits dead in my drive way and I can't go run my errands anyway to listen to this and update you all on my healthy happenings.

It's been a bad couple years of eating. Or trying to eat. Or getting sick, all the time. But it's been better recently!! The first week I was quite skeptical, but after four weeks, I think I'm sold.

I'm owing my happy digestion to four things:
1) My chiropractor.
2) Probiotics.
3) Yoga.
4) A healthier diet.

I've been driving Paul (my almost graduate!) crazy with really sciency nutrition research. I'm not a huge fan at all of the FDA and the food pyramid. What I am finding is that our "clean" American food is stripped down of the fat and dirt our bodies really need to digest well and heal themselves. I've been slowly adding new things into our diet (as economically as possible! Thank you Cyd!!!), and have three new ones this week that I'm very pleased with.

The really dark green powder is Spirulina. It's algea, I think. But it's full of all sorts of vitamins and minerals and such. And mixed into a smoothie, you really can't taste all the health you're eating.

The little seeds are chia seeds. One teaspoon has more fiber and protein than most protein bars. You soak them in water to break the shells and "gel" them. The longer they soak, the gellier the water gets - and it's actually a natural binder and can be used in place of eggs. Who knew?

Coconut oil - might be my new favorite thing ever. It takes the place of any butter/oil in baking but it's solid at room temperature and SOOO much easier to measure than butter! It smells good, and it so good for rebuilding cell walls, especially of internal organs. Often used for people with digestive problems.

And, it can be used to make applesauce muffins! 

I found this recipe, but I used a cup each of whole wheat flour and whole oats. Made with coconut oil, and chia seed they are moist even a couple days after baking and I really don't feel bad eating two at a time! 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pre-mom's day musings

A very tired version of myself suggested yesterday that mother's day may be a bit over rated.

Not because moms across the world aren't worth honoring for all the time, patience, care, and love they poor into their little ones - they totally are. But because it misses a whole lot of women that give just as much to non-genetic offspring.

So I'm suggesting a Women are Awesome and Nurture Life Into the World on a Daily Basis Day.

Might be a little long for a Hallmark card, I'll give you that.

But I think it's important, I really do.

I myself, owner of one very black thumb, have kept four butternut squash plants alive for 7 days. And I have remembered to water it on at least three separate occasions.

That's a little glib. But think of all the women in your life that may not have children (or do, but you're just not one of them!) that take care of people, animals, and things around them. For instance, Miss Karyn (wonderful barista) of Crazy Day Gourmet who pours me one very large cup of coffee (with two creamers) whenever I come in (which is generally when I'm slightly stressed on my lunch break). I'm not her child, but she nurtures me.

And thanks to my husband's inspiration and a lesson or two learned the hard way, I've decided that some truths need spoken more often. And this is one of them:

Women are nurturers. It's what we do. And it's an important, life-changing, life-giving role to play. And regardless of stretch marks, morning sickness, or number of diapers changed I do something important. I care for my husband, for our house, our puppies, our tenant. I work, and create, and help manage a garden. I help file medical papers, and babysit, and teach Sunday school. My life matters.

I'm not on a bra-burning, feminist kick (this time), I promise. I just needed to say, this week, that as tired as I've been, and as many "other people's" problems as I've dealt with, it's good to be necessary. And it's okay to be honored in this role I play, because it is important.

And even if I'm not a biological mother yet, my nurturing of little souls and bean sprouts alike has earned me some sleeping-in tomorrow, I think. So whoever that woman in your life is - whether or not she was involved in the birthing process of someone important to you - let her know tomorrow how much she means to you. She'll appreciate it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday thoughts

Thursdays can get stuck.

Behind dishes, and dog hair, and putz putz cars that are too slow on Highway 30 (and a frazzled red-head that drives one).

And then this:

Thanks-giving might literally become thanks-living.
Our lives can become the very blessings we have received…
A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ...”
~ One Thousand Gifts
And then Thursday can be a gift.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Anti-Hunger Games

I need your help!

Yes, you.

Honest to goodness, it doesn't really matter who you are, I just need opinions.

I'm launching a slightly-secret project, and if I don't get input from people, I get to make things up. And given my odd sense of reality, it could be interesting!!

So, if you're brave, and willing to participate in my vague goal, please, please answer the following questions. There are only five, it should take you less than two minutes. And small guilt trip, this will be influential (hopefully) city-wide -- so you're not just helping me! I know that leaving comments on blogs can be tricky (you have to squint real hard to see "I'm not a robot" text thingy), so if it's easier, just email me here.

                                   The Anti-Hunger Games
1. How much do you spend on groceries per week?

2. How much time are you willing to spend in the kitchen each night making dinner?

3. How much time would you be willing to spend each week "prepping" food so nightly dinner prep was quicker?

4. Favorite place to get recipe ideas?

5. What terrifies you most in the kitchen, or makes it difficult to cook? (Ie: I'm slightly afraid of my food processor.....)

Okay, ready, set, go!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mountain Musings Part 2

We drove into the mountains Friday night.

Not very far - just to Florence, Kentucky. It's a sizeable enough city, but you miss it if you're not looking for it. You just assume it's the back half of the Cincinnati skyline. 

And on the way in, through the storm clouds, I wondered about the magic in the mountains. 

(Sidebar: There really is some magic. After a much too busy week, my itchy fingers wanted to play with beads and wire. So on a whim, while Paul drove and we jammed out to Train and Matchbox 20, I made a half dozen pairs of earrings. It's the magic, I think.)

I'm calling these - Christina Aguilera at Woodstock

But Paul and I were talking on the way in. As we start to drive over the swells in the roads, and you can't quite see what's over the horizon anymore, my soul takes a deep, deep breath. And, I find this to be unique to the Appalachian Mountains, in the mountains, the land is moving. And this moving slows me down. The rise and fall, the clarity of the air, it pulls you in, settles you.

I can't take credit for this one...stole it off a travel blog.

Which seems odd - unless you travel back out within a few days. There's one last swell on 69 N...the car goes up, over and lands with a thud on the flat, flat ground. Which is finally green (thank goodness) and tilled for planting. It looks alive, but it is flat.

And I always feel like an elephant just sat on my chest. Unnerved, like my skin doesn't quite fit. I'm in such a still, silent place that I feel the need to gain speed, hurry up, and move. Move where? I'm not sure. Out? Through? Motion seems to silence the awkward feeling.

Funny how much the landscape affects our perception of home, hm? Where feels like home for you?

*This was our second trip to Kentucky this month. To read Mountain Musings part one, click here. *