Thursday, July 31, 2008

even though

even though i have old suitcases coming out the whazoo around here these days, i just about tackled a Hutterite man at a garage sale over lunch, when i saw him carrying what looked to be a PERFECT ivory colored round luggage bag with a single strap on the top. thank goodness, i don't think he noticed.

i am pretty sure i need some sort of treatment for this.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

falling asleep and missing it

dang it all. i have been really excited for the release of third day's new album called revelation. i downloaded it yesterday, and the first listen promises much.

so, last night the guys were on the tonight show ... i laid down on the couch at 10pm and settled in, so that i was ready when they came on, and promptly fell asleep. woke up at midnight and shut the tv off and went to bed.

oh well. watching this intro to the new cd instead :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

cloudy day

although it's almost 90 degrees and sunny today in south dakota, i'm feeling a little cloudy on the inside.

i have some long and deep anxieties rearing their ugly heads again, and i am trying to push them under. i hate it when fear pops in, for no good reason. also, i'm thinking of my dear friend kirsten, who is battling clouds of her own.

thankfully, when i turned to one of my FAVORITE devotional writers, he had a great word for today about God and clouds:

My Utmost for His Highest

Just a short excerpt:

Behold, He is coming with clouds . . . —Revelation 1:7

In the Bible clouds are always associated with God. Clouds are the sorrows, sufferings, or providential circumstances, within or without our personal lives, which actually seem to contradict the sovereignty of God. Yet it is through these very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were never any clouds in our lives, we would have no faith. "The clouds are the dust of His feet" ( Nahum 1:3 ). They are a sign that God is there. What a revelation it is to know that sorrow, bereavement, and suffering are actually the clouds that come along with God! God cannot come near us without clouds— He does not come in clear-shining brightness.

It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials. Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in using the cloud is to simplify our beliefs until our relationship with Him is exactly like that of a child— a relationship simply between God and our own souls, and where other people are but shadows. Until other people become shadows to us, clouds and darkness will be ours every once in a while. Is our relationship with God becoming more simple than it has ever been?

click on the link above if you want to read the rest of the devo...i hope that you (and i!) remember that God is building us up for the more than we can ever know, even if it just looks like another cloudy day.

tuesday blooms

happy tuesday.

here's a bouquet of sweet flowers from the garden that i picked just for you guys :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

crafts and chicken nachos

i had a very relaxing weekend, after vacation last week. i don't really know how to relax much, i am figuring that out. but i had alot of free time on my hands, so i did some fun stuff.

first up: i made this cute tote bag! cassie, lou and i went to a great shop in northfield, mn, called digs last week. i bought the faux wood fabric, and although you cannot see it, a great turquoise and orange fabric called "bird seed" with, you guessed it, birds all over it. a tote bag was calling my name when i saw it! luckily i had a GREAT vintage potholder in my stash to finish it off. finally, i have a cute bag for my yarn projects. which i never work on. well, maybe i will now.

i also decided to actually COOK something, instead of going out to eat. that is a nasty habit we've been falling into lately. but, i was lazy and did not want to shop. so i used what i had on hand to make some FANTASTIC chicken nachos! i wish i had a photo, but we were too excited and had to eat them immediately.

here's the recipe:

Chicken Nachos:
Approx. 1# frozen chicken breasts

Add to crockpot with about a half cup of water, 1/2 onion, a few cloves of garlic and some seasoning to taste. i used a spice blend for chicken, and some salt and pepper. put on low, and cook for several hours. when chicken is done, remove from crock pot, drain (if needed) and shred. Add approx. 1/2 cup of salsa and mix together. keep warm until ready to eat.

Homemade Refried Beans:
(these should be outlawed, they are so so good!)
Approx. 1# pinto beans

Add to large pot, with water to cover (maybe 6-8 cups). Add 1/2 onion, and about 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to boil, then turn to low and simmer for several hours (mine took about 5) until pinto beans are soft. Add 2-3 T. bacon fat (i am convinced this is the secret to the goodness). Melt fat, and pour beans in small batches into blender. Puree til they are a good consistency (I left a little texture in there, but they were pretty smooth). Makes a TON of refried beans. i will never ever buy a can of crappy ones again :)

Mexican Coleslaw:
Shredded Cabbage (I used red cabbage from the garden, rough chopped to make a couple cups)
Approx. 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
Approx 1 T. sugar
Approx 1/4 t. salt

Mix together and let chill for awhile while the flavors blend.

To assemble nachos:
Scatter tortilla chips on a BIG plate.
Add refried beans, then some shredded chicken.
Top with cheese of some sort (we used the canned stuff that is yellow and kind of goopy).
Melt in microwave for a minute.
Top with your choice of:
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped cucumbers
Sour Cream
Homemade salsa
Serve cabbage on the side.

If the recipe is vague, it's because i made it up as i went. but really, i don't think you could mess it up much. Just customize it to what your family likes. i'll be eating leftover refried beans for days. yum. i wonder how good they would be for breakfast?!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

shiny happy

as you might have seen on lou's lovely blog, we went flea marketing in a BIG way last week in minnesota. i was in heaven at the second hand rose!

so much so, that i came home and went on my own little extravaganza. i guess i went kind of nuts.

none of the stuff above cost more than $1. most of it was .20 or .25 cents. i have had this idea of making my own serving plates for my wedding, using old china. now i am changing my mind. what if i started collecting my own "fine china" set from old vintage finds? wouldn't that be fantastic? i can imagine the dinner party now :)))

and in the non-food category, here is my little dear (!) found at the flea market in minnesota. it's actually a self-portrait, if you look closely....

Friday, July 25, 2008

it's good up there

so, last night i returned from our road trip to the north shore of lake superior. i hadn't camped in quite a few years, so i wasn't sure i would be up for it, to be honest. turns out i pick traveling companions well, 'cause cassie had "the mansion" to sleep in, and kristie had a tote full of camping stuff that could have taken care of us for a month in the wilderness. as for me? i forgot to bring a coat :) yeah. i pick my friends well.

anyway, after a night testing out the tent in the backyard of cass' friend amy in minneapolis, we were on our way to two harbors. bert likes the north woods, i think, he fits in there.

when i uploaded the photos from the trip, i noticed a unifying theme.

can you guess what it is?

the water was absolutely gorgeous. and peaceful. and not even too scary for a non-swimmer like me.

the girls were actually able to talk me into entering the water in a small plastic vessel. once i got over the fact that i would DIE if the thing tipped over, i relaxed and had fun.

before you know it, i'll be like this guy! he was practicing his "rollovers" in a kayak off the water near two harbors. check out the turquoise color of the water! is that even real?! i want a dress to match this photo :)

naturally, much of the trip was spent designing in our heads. there is nothing better than hanging out with people who see the world much the way you do. i love this shot of lou concentrating on the pretty texture of the bridge.

and cass posing for our "senior picture" session taken while hiking!

although i am tired today, i'd probably go back tomorrow, if somebody suggested it. i know that i will go back someday, because good things are waiting there for me :) thanks lou and cass, you guys are the BEST.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

vacation at last

yesterday was the first day of my first vacation this summer. working from home, i never really take a whole week off. it's hard to do that, but i do manage to work alot of part-time days, so i don't usually complain.

but, there is something about getting away for an extended period of time. so tomorrow, my 2 art girls Lou and Cass and i will head for the woods of northern minnesota. no computer will be allowed on my end, although the other girls have laptops, so maybe i will peek at email. maybe. or maybe not.

anyway, the weekend has been relaxing, knowing i am done for awhile. yesterday we spent the evening with phillip's aunt and uncle from cedar rapids. they have a really cool new rv that they are taking on its maiden voyage out to the hills. thank goodness sioux falls is a pit stop for rapid city, we get alot of guests that way :)

they are delightful. phillip hadn't seen them in a LONG long time, and we enjoyed catching up. oh. and rosie the dog wanted to take phillip home :)

in other news, i think i found THE fabric for the bathroom. i was wandering thru the fabric store yesterday waiting for something to catch my eye. i am going to make a laundry bag that will fit on the hook at the back of the door, so that errant dirty clothing will have no excuse for hitting the floor :)

anyway, i got it home and i LOVE how it goes. i am thinking maybe a shower curtain in this might be nice, what do you think?

in still OTHER and possibly more important news, the tomatoes are here. this is a cherry tomato on the sweet 100 plant (which actually produces 1000's) but for now, it will make do. ahhhhhhhhh. gotta love summer.

happy week everybody!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

garden update

it's that time of the year i always WAIT and wait for. when i look out at the back forty and think to myself "good Lord, what have i done?" things are looking pretty lush around here, thanks to almost an inch of beautiful rain over the last two days. call me hardcore, but i don't water my garden, especially flowers, that much. except for pots (which i have a bazillion of) and my tomatoes and peppers, everything else is kinda on its own.

i sort of lose it with the weeds this time of year, too. hopefully, by next year at this time, i'll have all of the extraneous sod in the back yard dug up and replaced with walking paths and mulch. that will help the look of things immensely. but i seem to filter the weeds, and just focus on the good stuff anyway. hmmmm. wish i could carry that over into other parts of my life.
not a ton of new perennials, although some are just starting. these are phlox from my neighbor adrian's yard. he is my gardening hero, but doesn't have a ton of flowers. he gave me these last spring, and i love them.
this straggly old begonia came from my aunt in brookings this spring. it's now about 3 feet wide, and set on taking over the world.
the cutting garden is starting. funny how things don't look like they do on the package :) but hopefully they will keep going and become more fruitful now that it has rained.
i used to have a bunch of these big daisies, and most of them died. i love the 5" blossoms! must try to find more next year...
the ivy on the house really took off this year. probably next year, i'll have to start giving it haircuts, or i will not be able to enter the front door.
waiting....waiting....waiting for my favorite orange day lilies. they are planted facing north, and always bloom, but not until later. anticipation!!!
the porch makes me happy :) let's see how many coleus i try to save from the jaws of frozen death this year, only to let them die in the basement in january :)) perhaps i will just savor them now.

happy weekend everybody!

creepy cool movie

we went to see "the dark knight" last night, on the first day it was out. is it so wrong to love movies that just creep you out? 'cause this one really did.

i already posted about my sadness when heath ledger died a few months back. the movie really reinforced that emotion, because the joker character was really such an acting feat. he was awesome. he was scarier than scary, and funny too. he was an exact opposite from my OTHER favorite heath ledger movie, a knight's tale, which is sweet and truly more fitting for his blonde good looks than this joker stuff.

the movie had other good characters, too. christian bale's batman character is extremely odd, but more likeable than some others have been. that is why batman is my favorite comic book hero, he is nuts. bale plays it with a lot of levels of nutsiness, but you kind of believe he is for real most of the time. he's cute, i never noticed that before :) oh. and the car. wow. i will not give away too much, but that car scared the crap out of me! it was super duper cool and fantastic.

okay, it's totally out there, i am a weirdo super hero comic book geek. but dang it, i'm proud of it. go see 'the dark knight' and you might become one too :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

hip hip horray!

no more hippie hair!! i feel so much more like a regular person now :) apparently regular people get haircuts once a year or so...!

sit down and put your feet up.

every morning i go out to the garden to do a walk about. some days - the really good days - i actually sit down a minute and reflect on how much i love this place, and my family and friends, and God. it's a great chair, i got it from my friend kit when she sold her lake cabin a few years back. i'm sure there have been many good women in this chair over the years, sitting and reflecting also.

oh yeah. and i take pictures that sometimes look like a drunken sailor took them, but sort of look cool anyway!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

do you know the way to san jose?

'cause i want to go somewhere, now that i have some brand spankin' cute new luggage to take with me :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

weekend away

a wonderful time was had by all the girls this weekend at the brookings summer arts festival. the flatwear booth looked amazing, and miss lou was the star of the show. i wish i had taken pictures, instead of leaving the camera in the car the whole time. doh.

i was dead dog tired when i got home at about 7:30 last night. i guess spending a weekend doing absolutely nothing (mostly) but sitting in a lawn chair can be tough on a person! ha.

anyway, it was fantasically fun. i am so happy to have a "rock star" jewelry making friend.

ok. here is the rest of the stuff i bought:

a cute glass ring from this neat girl. turns out nearly everyone from our booth bought something or other from her too.

kirsten's adorable little flower pins made from leftover banana husks or something :) i had a hard time not picking more than 3!

and then there are the infamous chimes. i liked them so much when i saw them, cause you cannot wear kristie's stuff in the garden! then later in the weekend it became clear that the guy who makes them is kinda like one of those bad dating service matches where on the surface he seems cool! and cute! and just right for you! and then you find out he is actually everything that makes you want to remain single. sigh. i will promise to try and not remember that when i look at them....

it was good to come home to the boy, who did all of his chores perfectly. the plants are all doing well. and the garbage was taken out :)

and lastly but not at all leastly, the small furry one only gave me the cold shoulder for a couple of hours. all is well, and back to "normal" monday is well on its way.

Friday, July 11, 2008

i vote for him.

this morning, as i was reading through yet another of the seemingly endless stupid discussions about whether obama is more on the side of the "religious right" or "the liberals," i had a thought pop into my head.

and of course, when i googled it, i saw that not only have MANY people had the same thought, but someone had the good sense to make tshirts, too.

i am going to order one each for Phillip and I.

:) happy weekend, y'all!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

oh yeah. there it is.

every freaking morning i walk into the kitchen, stand there looking around for my toothbrush, and then forget why i came into the kitchen anyway, so i have a snack, and then walk back to the bathroom and go, oh YES. i have a bathroom now. and a place to put my toothbrush in HERE.

and then i walk to the kitchen sink after i use the bathroom!

sheesh. i am like one of those chickens that Carey used to wrangle when she worked at Reptile Gardens. or maybe not.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008


the finishing touch for the bathroom. this little pottery bowl from etsy. there is something about it that just captivates me. i love how simple it is, and soft. go here if you want to see more of this artist's work.

Monday, July 07, 2008

sweet (almost) completion

oh, i love the sound of that. after spending almost the entire weekend in the bathroom, i just want to stop and reflect at having joined the rest of the civilized world again.

i still have some things to do:
• caulk around tub
• touch up paint
• paint door and frame
• hang towel bar and toilet paper holder and towel hook
• frame artwork
• buy cute candles and smelly things

it was hard to decide on decor for this room. i love the light turquoise, but those who know me well know i need COLOR. finally decided on a beautiful deep red and pumpkin orange to go with the turquoise. i wanted desperately to find a beautiful coordinating fabric because i know one exists. did not, so for now i have all solid color.

which is okay, because i saw that i have this lovely little 25 cent garage sale tin that coordinates perfectly.

and my nate duval print, which will be very very cool in the space. gosh, i love art and design. my eyes are pretty happy right now, except for when i look in the mirror! whoops, guess i forgot to do that for the last 3 months....!