Sunday, October 23, 2016

Currently, October 2016

Books: Nothing I didn't write. (Seriously. Ego centric and so true. Not just the books I wrote but old blog posts and journal entries. Trying to wrap my brain around various thoughts and feelings.) This maybe a sad year when I read less books than months in the year. Normally it's more on par with weeks of the year.

Gratitude: Electronic help - computers that connect everything to everything and everyone (don't we live in the best age???), home appliances that make jobs faster and easier. All the non-family friends who treat me like their family.

Happy: A corn maze + movie night with kidlets; friends who emote Good-bye Earl when needed; celebrations with friends; waterfalls by night; continued partner in crime excursions - usually involving alcohol -  with Roxanne (#GirlsPintOutMichiana); tiny adventures, including concerts with the guy - basically, we are acquiring a collection of bad selfies at various concerts. (Also, why isn't it called a maize maze? So much more fun....)

Perfume: Still Pacifica. Specifically, Tunisian Jasmine Lime. With occasional forays into Paper Flower by Love + Toast. Light, quick, fun and very wearable. (I get a heartnote of the rose with dewberry very quickly which stays well.) As the weather shifts to almost autumn, I've been reaching for Les Perfumes de Rosine Majalis. (Read more about my first encounter with Majalis here.)

Random: My obsession with soap is growing. I've gone long past Zum. (Hello, pound bag!) The Soapy Gnome trip a few months ago unleashed some kind of weird obsession. I'm now basically obsessed with getting my hands on a bar of Old Fort Soap, specifically Tobacco Flower.  (I did not buy it at a summer festival and have basically been obsessed ever since. The scent was fantastic!)

Stress: In August, La Gram Russe passed. There have been many family challenges as we worked through the funeral (Maria's Dream Funeral* - it was fairly pink and extremely Russian Orthodox), the additional services, the estate, etc. I have to remember kindness - for my own limited patience with their drama, for their emotional needs at this time, and - not the least - in dealing with people who made a choice long ago on how to see me. (Possibly I need one of those rubber band snapping habits to keep me focused when dealing with them.) As an imperfect human, I forget sometimes - and snap, much like a rubber band.

*PS - this is the source of the need for Good-bye Earl friends and outpouring of love from other friends. Some days love can be armor, especially against the slings and arrows of those who should love you and obviously don't understand the verb "love"  is a choice to accept  and support rather than attack. 

Take-away: Patience is precious. Are you any less worthy of patience than others? When you are patient with yourself, you have more patience for others.

Remnants of a celebration
Other posts you may enjoy:
- Message in a Bottle (2016)
Currently, July 2016
Currently, June 2016
Currently, May 2016
Currently, April 2016
Currently, March 2016
Currently, February 2016
Currently, January 2016

---As usual, all pictures by me and you can tell!---

If you like journalling, you may like my book - 52 weekly journal prompts with beautiful imagery. Seasonally grouped but you can start anywhere, anytime.

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

New Space, New Garden, New Bunnies

You may have noticed among all the havoc and mayhem in my life that we moved.  We found a nice space with a yard for the dog, a bit of garden for me and enough green for yard bunnies. Tulips and daffodils greeted us - still trying despite neglect  - which told me it was home, for a while. A sunny spot with birds told Coco and Lulu it was home, for now. And the 3 of us told Rusty he was home, again.

It's a pretty, sunlit space. Nice arched spaces, wooden floors. Relatively quiet neighborhood. Near several co-workers, so instant location information. All in all, a good space in this transitional period of our life.

The getting here was bumpy. It took months to find somewhere suitable, at the right price point, that allowed pets. The move came at a bad time with too much work, and the beloved niece was ill. It felt so overwhelming. Boxes for days. Deciding what to do with all the relics of a life I don't have any more.

Like all things, slowly the strange became normal. The new normal is a house that needs Swiffered daily as the gorgeous wooden floors attract pet fur, a lawn that needs mowed every 4 days, bunnies that visit, and a bathroom with no air conditioning. The kitties like the wide windowsills and the birds that visit the windows. Rusty is delighted to be reunited with his kitties - even though Coco is the boss of the house. It's becoming our space. I added a few plants. Bright and happy geraniums to greet me as I drive up. A few tomato plants, a pepper, some herbs in a box with my ridiculous bird ornaments in the backyard. My favorite part of having a garden is being able to run out and add a bit of fresh, delicious flavor to whatever I'm making. Even a small herb box makes such a difference in my happiness. Plus such a delicious difference to my food!

Left is a little dessert I whipped up for friends: 
- Fresh Michigan peaches (3), diced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves (Thai globe)
Toss. Garnish with a touch more honey, cinnamon (to taste) and crushed walnuts.

This can be eaten fresh. It can be served over angel food cake, shortbread, vanilla ice cream or mango sorbet. (In our case, we took it to an outdoor music event - where serendipitously there was a food truck selling ice cream!)

The basil came out of the tiny herb-box garden. The peaches came from a roadside stand I pass on the way to work. The inspiration for the recipe came from my desire to waste not and use what's available. 

Take-away - Never forget the small things that bring you joy. Share them where possible.

Other posts you may enjoy:
The Call of Home
Winter Lights
- Avocado + Black Bean Salad
- Summer Bounty
- The Incredible Edible Egg

(Interested in more easy, tasty recipes? Check out In the Kitchen.) 

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