Monday, November 27, 2006

planting a seed

On Sunday Pastor Matt talked about being deeply thankful. He also talked a bit about what the pilgrims went through to start a new life in America. Later that day I watched a special on the History channel about their journey. Can you imagine what those people would think of what our country is today? They were a group of 100 or so people with a dream of living a better life. And they made it happen. And now there is a better life for MILLIONS of people. Now that is a seed for which we should be very thankful.

We had some warm weather here over the weekend. So I was out in the yard planting one last round of bulbs - the irises this time. We also put some topsoil and mulch over the other bulbs to help them out. Those are some seeds that should produce a lot of joy come spring. And I will be very thankful that I spent the time planting them and patiently awaited their fruit.

We planted another kind of seed recently, too...

We're having a baby!

We are really excited about it. We have known for years that we wanted to have kids... just had to wait until we really got our life together established. But talk about planting a seed and then having patience. There is plenty to do, but 9 months sure seems like a long time! And thankful... we are soo, sooo thankful for this. We just stared at each other in odd disbelief when we saw that blue line. WHY are we so lucky?!

So here's to planting seeds, having patience, and being thankful in the journey as well as the result. :-)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

creative turkey leftovers... you know you're gonna need this

I'm not much of a cook, but last time I had some leftover turkey and was hungry for nachos, I improvised. So here is a recipe that is quick and easy and won't make you dread finishing those turkey leftovers!

Turkey Nachos

  • Leftover Turkey, torn into small strips
  • Taco seasoning packet
  • Nacho chips
  • Mexican cheese
  • salsa
  • can of pinto or black beans
  • black olives
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce, shredded
  • guacamole

In a skillet, heat the turkey pieces with a little bit of oil. It's been cooked, so you'll just warm it up. Follow the directions on the taco seasoning packet. In about 10 minutes, your turkey is spiced up and ready to go!

In a separate pan, warm a can of pinto or black beans. Very low heat, just want them warm. (Or you could microwave, but you risk blowing those bad boys to smithereens.)

Spread nacho chips on a plate. Cover with cheese. Microwave for 30 seconds, or just long enough to melt the cheese. Remove from microwave and add your turkey, beans, and salsa. If you are really feeling festive, add black olives, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and guacamole (or if you are a cheater like me, just some avocado will do!)

Monday, November 20, 2006

catching up

The blog posts aren't quite flowing as freely as they were. So here's one to catch us up.

My latest article on Crafty Places is called "Scrap a Feeling." I had the idea for it back in May when I took the photos at Mammaw's house. I completed the 4 pages at the weekend crop in October. I love when I have ideas that come together. Since this layout was pretty well thought out, it was very easy to execute. Next time though, I will have my writing done in advance. I spent about 30 minutes pre-writing my thoughts.

I submitted another article last week, so I'll let you know when it is posted as well. It's the most recent layout I did. It's fairly simple, but I love how it turned out.

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Are you hosting or travelling? John and I are hosting both of our families here again this year. I'm looking forward to it. I unearthed a couple fall table cloths I bought last year on clearance. I'm pretty psyched for it. Even though the house is a disaster... yesterday I was viciously attacked by a dust bunny in the hallway. I dust-busted his ass pretty quickly, but I heard the menacing threats of his buddies who are still in hiding. Don't worry... I'll get them.

Are you going shopping on Friday after Thanksgiving? I never used to be into it. But now that we are home for Thanksgiving and I live so close to the shopping, what the heck, I'm in. Last year I went to Target at like 5:30am. It is an experience, that's for sure. I have a little experiment that entertains me for hours in there. I go and stand in front of the most random thing. Act like you are pondering and pondering. Fill your arms as though you are trying to decide. Pretty soon... the people will swarm the aisle like, "Oooh, what's she finding?!" Really, try it with the lamest thing... like batteries or envelopes. Or head to an aisle in a remote corner of the store. And when you've attracted a crowd, move on to another random item.

Hehe. I'll let you know how it all goes. With any luck, by the end of the week I will have a turkey dinner and some early morning shopping behind me. And maybe on Friday I will get some work done on the Christmas gifts I have been hoping to MAKE.

Have a lovely week.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

yo ho ho and a bottle of . . . Ron?!

Tonight was 50 cent movie night. The girls met us at Grinders for dinner and then we bought our cheap tickets for Pirates of the Caribbean 2. We got there a little late, but were lucky enough to find 5 seats together mid-center of the theater. Mind you, the 5 of us are slightly noisy, so the couple we snuggled up next to decided to put a seat in between us.

So halfway through the movie, some dude taps on AP's shoulder and says "Excuse me." What the heck?! All these single empty seats in the theater and you want THAT one?! As he makes his way across my 3 girlfriends and my husband, I realize it's Trucker Ron.

Amy had heard from him at Grinders saying he was 40 minutes outside the city. So he must have found us.

After the movie... our friend Ron took off. We looked all over the plaza for him and/or his truck but found no sight of him. So if you see our friend Ron out on the highway, tell him we said "see ya next time!"

Thursday, November 09, 2006

camping w/McDreamy

Alright... who wants to go camping with McDreamy in Washington state?!!

My latest article is posted on Crafty Places. The article is about finding inspiration. It's mainly geared toward scrapbookers, but a lot of it could apply to any art, craft, or hobby.

Gotta go... still watching Grey's Anatomy. The people drama is nice, but I'm sure jealous of those guys at the stream... it looks so peaceful... aaahhh.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

rekindled an old flame

I rekindled an old flame today. Tazo Refresh Tea. It's not really tea, but an herbal beverage made of peppermint, spearmint, and tarragon. It actually has a lot of body and flavor and doesn't taste like a tube of toothpaste, like you might suspect from the ingredients list. And I think the best thing about it is that it's delightful without sugar or any sweetener. Even the last cold sip is lovely.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

good things

This weekend was chock-full of good things. I mean, it's not Florida... but it was a pretty good fall weekend in Ohio. Here's the list of good things:

  • Noticed that my Christmas cactus has a TON of buds on it. I'm pretty excited. Last year it had a couple flowers. Apparently even that is a good thing because sometimes they will look healthy and not produce any flowers. But we should have a good showing from this guy pretty soon.
  • Pizza bagels and salad. I've never made pizza bagels, but I am apparently very good at them. Whole grain bagels topped with pizza sauce, pepperoni, black olives, baby bella mushrooms, and mozzerella. We may not get pizza delivered for some time!
  • The Departed. I treated John to a first-run movie date for his birthday. It's an excellent film. Marky Mark has some BAD potty mouth though. If you do see it in the theater, get there early enough that you aren't so close to the speakers though... it is LOUD when they are shooting or yelling... which is often in this film.
  • French toast. Whole wheat bread... can't be all bad, right?
  • A long walk with my iPod around my neighborhood.
  • European Papers... this week's artist date.
  • Raking leaves. Ok... not a great aspect of the weekend. But we spent some time out in the sun getting exercise and the end result is that our yard once again looks very nice.
  • A little TJ Maxx fix and Starbucks hot chocolate.
  • Watched Amélie while I did some mending and catching up on reading.
  • Some marketers somewhere think I am made of money. (At least they know what I like though...) We now get catalogs from Wisteria and Sundance. Seriously... if you ever want to get me a gift, just pick a page from either of these! ;-)
  • Great message at church today.
  • Another long walk with my iPod around the neighborhood.
  • Made a great dinner - turkey breast, broccoli, and redskin potatoes. Good cool weather eats. And leftovers for the week ahead.
  • Got a lot of laundry done. Oh crap... it's all over our bed. I'd better go put it away if I'm going to sleep tonight!


Saturday, November 04, 2006

the Artist's Way

Whew. It ended up being a rough week when I went back to work. Between the weather, time change, and working my butt off during the day, I think I went to bed by 10pm every night this week.

While we were in Florida, I started reading The Artist's Way based on a recommendation on Melody Ross' blog. It seemed like the next right step in my artist process. I liked the "You Think You Know Me" class... still working on my book. It had a similar introspective approach. But this book takes it much deeper. Makes you think hard about all the negative and positive things that make you who you are.

The author, Julia Cameron, insists that you have to do "morning pages" and a weekly "artist date" to unblock your creative self. Morning pages are 3 pages of journaling every morning, first thing in the morning. The artist date is 2 hours every week that you spend doing something by yourself that feeds your artist soul. At first read... it seemed like a hefty commitment. :-)

But since I was reading on vacation, I figured I could start doing the pages while I had plenty of time and see if I ended up liking them. I wasn't so good at getting them done first thing in the morning on vacation, but I did them every day. So when I got home, I resolved to get up early every day and write my 3 pages. For the past week, I did just that. Talk about painful! That's another reason I've been tired and going to bed early. I have to get up 45 minutes before we go to the gym to get the pages done.

But I've found that I actually look forward to writing the morning pages. It's quiet and the sun starts coming up as I'm writing. It's a peaceful and calming way to start the day. I love it. And the words come fairly easily, too. I'm certainly not a great writer by any means, but I can use it as a chance to brain dump whatever's rolling around in my head. Which is exactly the point of writing in the morning, get the crud out of your head so you are unblocked for your day.

I have taken myself on 2 artist dates so far. The first day was in Florida when I went shopping around downtown Dunedin. It was like shopping with purpose. Looking at the things I liked in the sense of "could I make that?" Rather than, "oooh, I'd like to buy that".

Today for my artist date, I visited a local shop that I recently discovered on the internet. It's called European Papers. How perfect for a scrapbook artist! They have a gallery on the first floor and a store/workshop upstairs. They are currently exhibiting a travelling display of artist trading cards. There are 700 cards from all over the world. 700 fit-in-the-palm-of-your-hand pieces of art. Some of them had so much detail and others were a simple drawing and a few words that packed a big impact. Some were about beating cancer, others were comic. It was a fabulous display and the gallery is so quaint.... I highly recommend it. This display runs through December 9, 2006. And I learned today the next exhibit in the gallery will be handbound books.

So that's what's new with me... spending a lot of time unwinding and thinking about art, not really creating so much (although, tonight... it's on like donkey kong... as my husband says). Happy times.