Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
As I sat down by the Museum I looked out at the Lighthouse as the snow blew all around me, making the snowdrifts on the bike path even bigger
Friday, February 26, 2010
I dunked mine in cheese, had them warm with butter, plain, salted and I bet they'd kick all sorts of butt with cream cheese. The possibilities are endless folks!! Enjoy your weekend & do something fun with your loved ones.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
It's never too late to become what you might have been ~George Eliot
I have had this quote rolling around in my head for some time now. It fills me with hope, reflection and inspiration.
Most people know me at the happy go lucky gal who has it all. I am usually happy go lucky but what I have is too much. I have a constant struggle with this & I long to have a more simplistic life. I wonder often how we allowed ourselves to get back into this need to have, want to have type of life again. Let's back up a few years.
In 2003 we lost our first house after living there for seven years. Talk about embarrassing and humbling. After much influence and bad choices on our part we were forced to move out and forfeit everything we worked so hard for. We sold the nice pickup for less than what we owed, lost the home that we spent so much time working on. The same home we bought right before our 1st anniversary, had gutted down to the studs, and rebuilt. The same home that had the little veggie garden and a few flower gardens. The same home that we conceived our 2nd baby in, and lost it in. So many memories were left there.
After we lost the house we bought an old 5th wheel camper for $3000 and parked it in Kens parents yard. We would stay in that when we were not on the road which was about 3 days a month. We drove a pickup truck we bought for $300 from the neighbor...and we were fine. When our world was falling apart is when we, as a couple came together the most. We have always had an amazing relationship and we've gone through many struggles and heartache. But this event brought us closer & showed us the true people we were. We didn't need all the "stuff" We were happy.
During the three years of living in the camper and semi we logged thousands upon thousands of miles traveling in the semi. We traveled through all of the 48 continental United States and Many Providences in Canada. Everything that mattered was in that truck and that was each other, and our 4 dogs. Home was where the heart was...and our hearts were together. That is all that mattered.
After almost three full years of living in the semi & camper we were told by a family friend about her parents home going up for sale. They offered it to us at a great price. We decided we'd check it out, knowing that our credit was less than desirable. Ken told me if I liked the house to put money down on it...which I did. Then came the intense paperwork and jumping through this hoop and that hoop. By Ken's busting his butt on the road and my perseverance with the lenders I was able to secure financing for our home we are in now.
We were so excited on that October afternoon when we were given the keys and signed the papers. When we walked in the house we both began opening cupboards, imagining the food that would be made in the kitchen, running up and down the stairs, laying on the carpet and turning the faucet on & off. (Due to the fact that we were never home we didn't have running water or a working toilet in the camper. We bought a porta pottie unit from Walmart that we used in the camper & semi) We were ecstatic...and yet still simple. We had an old white pickup that we purchased from my cousin for $1000& a used Grand Am we purchased from a dealer that lends to anybody..even with crummy credit...and we were happy with that.
Now, four years later we find ourselves back to having it all. I mean seriously, who needs 3 honkan huge big screen televisions, a few computers, enough electronicals to choke a herd of elephants. The more we have or want the more Ken works. We have the fancy shmancy pickup truck all decked out with chrome that houses an 8.1 engine. That basically means we pour oodles of liquid gold aka $$$into it's tank and get a mere 9.66 mph on the highway. We have the camper, the Suburban. As hard as it is to admit, I have entirely too much Christmas stuff. Seriously, 99% of our attic is tubs of Christmas stuff. I am certain that I could decorate at least 10 businesses downtown with all of it. Do I really need it? no. We have the big three person exercise workout station and the top notch treadmill...neither ever get used...but somehow it was a necessity when purchased. I wonder how in the heck we got to where we are now from the people that we were just 4yrs ago.
I have expressed these thoughts to Ken numerous times. Although I am thankful for everything he does to provide us with these things, I don't need it all. In fact, there are things I don't even want but continue to pay for because he wants them. Where have the days of digging out a board game and sitting at the table to play gone? We do that on rare occasion but really...So much of our time is spent watching shows we DVR'd because he was on the road...working, to provide cable...that he never gets to watch...because he is working. How much sense does that make?
I long for that more simplistic life. I don't care if someone looks at us funny because I don't have it all. We got so much of that when we lost the house and it's no big deal at all. Through the ordeal of losing the house we found out who our true friends were...and believe me, there weren't many who stuck around. Plus we had each other & looking out our windshield was a postcard. We were blessed without even realizing it.
I know how and enjoy growing food, canning & preserving it, crocheting afghans, slippers, toys, clothes, dishcloths for the home & gifts, sew and quilt. I make our laundry soap, spin yarn, love hanging clothes on the line. There is so much more I'd like to learn and implement. I am able to make do...and God forbid...GO WITHOUT!! I enjoy the almost choreographed dance we do in our small kitchen when we cook together. We have it down pat so we don't knock each other over but still are able to prepare food together. There is nothing better than taking a ride to the woods and foraging for blueberries, baking from scratch, watching a sunset. You know, the simple things in life people all too often ignore.
What do we really "need"? For me, I know...and had it all 4yrs ago when we had basically nothing but one another. What do I desire or hope? To get rid of the stuff we don't need. Donate, give away, sell, re purpose into something useful. Simplify our lives. We don't need all this stuff. I will work my hardest at doing what I can to simplify...Each week I will do something...
This quote reminds me that with dedication and hope I can & will become the me I want to be. I don't have to follow what people view as the "American Dream" to have happiness and be successful.
Monday, February 22, 2010
I made my way to the front desk where I approached the Librarian who was checking out my other selections. I asked her if she knew where "The Shack" was located and I then, in my whispering library voice ...that I can't even hear told her that I did a search & it yielded F YOU. I then said F as in fish, Y-O-U. I wanted to bring it to her attention. I was still certain it was some sort of joke & Ms Librarian needed to know that the library is basically telling people off. She then calmly asked me the authors name & I responded...William Paul Young...still NO clue...she responded with a smile "Fiction Y-O-U...as in Young" Good golly grapes Katherine!!! I should have KNOWN that!!! Ken & I made it to that section & the book was checked out. We both scurried out as fast as possible.
I have to wonder if Ms Librarian thought I was nuts. Oh well. It gave us and many of my family a good chuckle. Perhaps they should change it to Fic You....just a thought
The shack : a novel
Young, William P.
249 p. ;
Escanaba Public Library
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Immursed in my stash of yarn,
1. The fact that my biological Mom has an aneurysm on her brain has me scared. She also has MS, osteoporosis amongst other health issues. I was not raised by her and just began having a relationship with her in the past 5yrs. I have always known her but life never brought us to know one another. I am very blessed to know her now. She's made bad choices in her past but she is a kind, compassionate, loving person.
2. We are still amidst the big remodel & my house is a blasted mess...for real. It stresses me out. But I know it'll be awesome when we are finished. I am so proud of my hubby for tackling this project on our own and he's doing a remarkable job.
3. I am thankful that my little brothers JJ & Josh & real dad came over today & helped with the remodel. I am so fortunate to have an amazing, helpful, and strong family.
4. Last night I had horrible nightmares that my good friend passed away. I woke up wanting to call her.
5. I'm not afraid anymore of what Meniere's has done and can do to me. I am at peace with it. I have the utmost wonderful people in my life who love me just the way I am. I am so very fortunate
6. I'm getting excited for Spring & cannot wait to start my seeds indoors. We just need a yard for a big honkan garden now. We are looking into participating in the local gardens where you rent a plot for $20 for the growing season. Hopefully we can secure one or two of those plots.
7. The snow is almost melted (not that we had much this year anyway) and very soon we will take the peddle bikes out & return to our daily 15 mile bike rides. I love that we live right by the lake!!!
8. I feel so fortunate to have been able to go on one cross country ski run this year. It had been well over 5yrs since we had been due to my balance issues. We would have gone more but remember...Mother Nature kept forgetting about us when it snowed. =(
9. I am thankful for my stocked pantry in the basement. Home canned tomatoes, sauces, jams, jellies, veggies & fruits, toiletries, other canned goods and miscellaneous items we use daily sit on the shelves just waiting to be used. I look forward to the canning/preserving season & hope to can at least 2 new things this year.
10. My sister Jamie & I have secured an abundance of sheep fur once Spring comes. Bring on the spinning of yarn!!!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I have such strong feelings right now & I really hope she will be ok. I just got to know her, as an adult...and she is a great person with a wunnaful heart. I am not ready to let her go & look forward to sharing more of our lives with one another. I know she made some not so swell choices in life but I don't hold that against her. I had a great life & am very thankful I was adopted.
I am not completely sure how she is other than she is having a hard time talking and her right side is not working properly. She also has Multiple Sclerosis, osteoporosis and a few other health woes...I ask that if you are the praying type to please say a prayer for her and keep her in your thoughts.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
This is not a "human recipe", rather it is for our feathered friends. After all, they need to eat in the winter too. All too often people only feed the birds in the summer months. Winter is a hard season for our feathered friend up north so we feed in winter as well.
I gathered up some pine cones when we were in Massachusetts from Nana's & took them home thinking I would use them all for decorating & whatnot. Well, Ken's Nana really enjoyed feeding the birds so I opted to use the pine cones from her yard rather than our Upper MI ones.
What I do is take a couple cups of wild bird seed, a handful of dried fruit, and enough peanut butter to make it spreadable & smear it on the pine cone, attach a loop of yarn around the cone & hang it on our lilac tree in the front. Birds flock to these lil things & eat it up. Sometimes the squirrels get to the cones after the birds are finished & chew on the husks & the yarn can be used in the birds nests. A perfectly green recipe for our outdoor feathered friends.
Hope you are having a fantabulastic weekend & have a very happy Valentine's Day.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Anyways, last week we decided after 4 long years of not liking the dining room & den that we would remodel. The house is in complete array right now so I won't share oodles of pictures. Instead I would like to talk about this one....
We had a built in desk/curio cabinet along the one whole wall. When we took the bank of drawers out this is what we found: 1 completely empty vodka bottle, another vodka bottle with a tiny amount in it and a cabinet making book from 1949.
I posted a few pics of the whole remodel on my facebook for friends to see & because almost all of the pics have "orbs". Now keep in mind, we know the family who owned the home prior to us. Sandy, who is John & Helen's daughter commented on this particular picture & said that she remembers when those bottles & book were put there. This is what she said:
"I remember when my dad put the vodka bottles in the wall, Donald and Thelma came over that night. They shared what was in the empty bottles, and then they (dad and Donald) put the bottles there for kicks, mom was upset but laughing. They said in 100 years who will give a shit, and then he threw his cabinet book in there too. I will tell you there ... are many stories those walls will tell, and I know exactly which ones have the biggest tale, I will say be careful with the sledge hammer you never know what is behind old walls;). I often think I should have bought the house, just so I can dig stuff back up. I will tell you one spot if you have not already removed. The kitchen counter top that was by the sliding doors. Every time dad would place something to be covered up for the future mom would say "John Rickel I might want that", or she would say "I might need that" of course, he never listened."
We are having fun finding out the stories beneath the walls but at the same time, we are sooo ready for this project to be done!!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
We had an old jalopy of a washer that came with the house when we bought it. But she worked nicely until...she had a sudden seize this past week. She would fill up with water & it wouldn't drain or spin at all. Her twirling days were over...Ken was thinking he would be able to fix her, that it would be mechanical. But alas, her motherboard or something electronical went on her & we had to part with the 20 something year old beaut.
We both had desires to get a front load energy efficient model. Those things are beyond gorgeous & are supposed to save big buckaroos & are way awesome for the environment. All pluses in our book. We did some research & found that their electronical system lasts about 5 yrs...now, to pay a handful of hundred $$$'s or a grand or more how would that save us any money at all in the long run seeing we'd be replacing it in a handful of years? We priced them around town, checked online to see what they usually go for, did comparisons & in the end we bought this one at Sears. Don't get me wrong, the dandy bright, shiny green front loading green beaut had me almost drooling, envisions of doing laundry in it were running through my head. I could picture me with that having "loads" of fun with her. Really. That's how pathetic I am. I quickly snapped out of it & told Ken I would love to have the Kenmore in the picture. Anything with the name Ken in the brands works for me =) I anticipate a long, productive life for her.
After she was installed, the 1st load put in we started gutting our den/dinging room. Talk about chaos!!