Monday, April 29, 2013

Just a little thought

Since I was posting fairly regular and have sort of hit a lull, I find I miss it.  Life if just a little "too" at the moment...  Too busy, too many choices, too tired, too far from the computer.  You get the idea.

But, I miss it.  So this is just a little post for anyone out there who might be reading this and also feeling a little "too".  I find lots of wisdom and comfort in what are often termed children's literature and today is no exception.

“If things start happening, don't worry, don't stew, just go right along and you'll start happening too.” ~Dr. Suess

Allium - close up

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tiny Kitchen Update

OMG! This just doesn't even show how great the new counter is, but I can't wait until morning to take better lit pic.  The granite is much lighter in person and once you see the "befores" you will understand what I mean.  I hesitate to put this out there because the electrics are under way and exposed.  Plus you can see where the backsplash on the old top ended because that's where the paint color changes :)  Oh well.  Try and ignore all that.  More soon.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sucking Rocks and Tissues

Ever have one of those days.  Me, too.  This has been an interesting week of 'those days'.  Let me just say this:  right now being a bigger person sucks rocks.

I'm fairly passionate about things.  I feel strongly.  I also come from a family of yellers.  I've been working my entire adult life to recognize and counteract the yelling.  My entire adult life.  And I've gotten pretty good at it.  No, really.  I am really good at it.

But, sometimes other people don't see how you've grown, how you are changing life long habits, how you are being a bigger person every single day.  This goes back to a previous post and a new unpleasant exchange with the same loved one.  I cried myself to sleep last night after tossing and turning for hours.  I'm sitting here now, tearing up.  You know, if I didn't love this person it would be no biggie, but I do and that we've had a kerfuffle is upsetting.  And the lack of sleep is icing when no icing is needed.  So, tissues for everyone.

I'm being a bigger person.  Not THE bigger person.  A bigger person.  I want to yell, I want to slam things, I want to whine about my situation, because that would feel like doing something and would distract me from just how sucky I feel.  And it's how I grew up and learned to react when unpleasantness came around.  But I know that's not really helpful and often is destructive, so I'm just sitting here feeling miserable and being a bigger person.  And just right now it sucks rocks.

This Debbie Downer post is now closing.  Hopefully the wisdom of Pooh will offset the downer of me.  :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You are more beautiful than you think!

Well, you are.  No matter what you say, no matter what you believe, no matter how you compare with "ideal beauty" - - you are beautiful.  We all are.

Take a few moments to watch this video:

PS: there really isn't a single ideal beauty.  take a good look at your family and friends, there is beauty everywhere.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Love to Boston

We are with you.

“There is a saying in Tibetan, 'Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.'No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster.” - Dalai_Lama_XIV

Monday, April 8, 2013

Peel-able Hard Boiled Eggs from farm fresh eggs!

We raise chickens and therefore have an abundance of fresh eggs.  Anyone trying to peel a fresh egg that's been hard boiled or soft boiled will know that it is a tricky proposition.  I've tried just about every method, here are just a few: using vinegar, or salt or vinegar and salt, plunging into ice cold water then dipping the cold egg into boiling water for 10 seconds and peel while hot, to baking them.

All of these methods work to create hard boiled eggs. There are differences in the end product that are noticeable, say between boiling and baking, but they are all delicious.  That is not the problem.  The problem is in the peeling.  Fresh eggs, really fresh eggs are hard to peel.  So the taste is great, but the look isn't.  If you want to make deviled eggs or use egg slices as a decoration - forget about it.  And the peeling process is long and frustrating.

Today, after many, many attempts I found a combination of tricks and tips that worked perfectly:  Take room temperature eggs and poke a tiny hole in the fatter, rounder end of the egg.  Place eggs in a medium saucepan that has a lid,  filling with water, enough to cover eggs plus a 1/2 inch or so.  Put the pan without the lid on the burner and set to heat to high.  You want to bring the water to a boil, but not a full rolling boil.  It took my water about 12 minutes to boil.  All this will totally depend on the temperature in your house, the temperature of the water  and how your stove heats the pan.  So testing will be required.  You will definitely have to figure out what works best for you.  Once the water is just boiling, geez, wish I had a picture.  Rolling boil juggles the eggs in the pan.  What you are looking for is one or two minutes before that happens.  Anyway, once the water is just boiling, turn off the heat, put a lid on it and set the timer for 12 minutes.  remove the eggs from the hot water to icy water to quick cool.  They will peel great and have fluffy, yellow centers.

It's the pin in the bottom I think that makes the eggs peel well.  It took me 4 batches of eggs to arrive and the perfect amount of time to get the desired done-ness inside.  I strongly recommend you do the same.    I boiled three and four eggs at a time because we have chickens that lay dark brown, light brown and green eggs.  They are all different in size, shape and peel-ability, so each batch included one of each.  If there is one thing I've learned through this whole process is that whatever times I've laid out here are guidelines only.  Not one, single technique prescribed by any other blogger, food site or expert worked exactly as described.  I've tried over 30 different methods in the last year.  There are so many variables: the chemical makeup of your water, the size and age of the eggs, the type of eggs, the size of the pan, the heating rate of your stove, etc., etc., etc.  Test. Test, test, test.  You'll be happy you did.  I know I am!

Once again, we can have pretty egg slices!  Woot!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Warmth, shelving, and puzzlement

Today is warm.  72 in fact.  It's lovely, sunny, windy and warm.  Perfect for tossing some seeds and perfect for poly-ing the new kitchen shelves.

So here's what we've done...  Wandering around our home improvement store, we discovered these planks made from pieces of aspen that had been joined together into larger planks, sort of butcher block style.  It's tough to tell from this picture, but trust me, they look great!  We cut them to the correct size and put polyurethane on them, leaving them the natural pale color, which fits our light kitchen neutral plan of attack.

The shelves will be setting on track shelving, which my handy hubby painted a beige color, which blends so nicely with the wall color. We went with three for the time being.  A 15 on top, a 12 in the middle, and a 9 down low.  The dogs eating destination is under these shelves and we didn't want her to feel crowded.  Now we are waiting on the poly to dry.

Bet you are wondering about the lighting, aren't ya?!  Well, it took four hours and a lot of discussion and visiting every place in a two hour radius, but...  We finally purchased a single light.  One light fixture.
I think that's all I'll say about that.  Call me Forrest Gump.

Today I ordered new plates.  hee hee.  I didn't tell anyone, didn't ask their opinion, didn't waffle, didn't evaluate, just went with my instinct.  They should be here this week.  eeep.  I'm excited.  When they get here, I'll post a pic with my rationale for what I bought and why.  Until then, mum's the word.

So, here's something I'm currently pondering.  Let's say you notice someone who is not having a great day and you're concerned enough to want to help.  Then you try and that someone promptly bites your freaking head off.  So, now that they've told you they clearly do want your attention, you turn said attention to something else.  You know it's not about you and since you've had some rather crabby moments in your life, you just go on about your business.  Some time later, head-biting someone decides they do want to talk, but rather than say that, or address what happened earlier, or God forbid - apologize...  They say nonsense things and jokes.  And because nonsense and jokes aren't conversation and the elephant in the room is hard to ignore, but you do it,  the head biter says "Are you upset about something?"  Can anyone explain this to me?  Anyone? Anyone!

Never mind, I know what it is.  I'm well versed actually, but there are times when I find it exhausting when other people absolutely refuse to do any sort of soul searching, or inner exploration whatsoever.  For crying out loud, we all have life lessons to learn.  Put on your big girl panties and prepare to be schooled.  It's never as bad as you think and there is such tremendous relief in the newfound knowledge. Besides, you don't pay attention this time, that lesson is just going to keep showing up again and again and again.

"Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future."-- Deepak Chopra

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Kitchen Update

We've seen the layout on the granite and it is beautiful.  We've ordered the backsplash tiles.  We have the new cork flooring.  We have a new faucet....  Now we are waiting.

In the meantime, we are going to look at lighting this morning.  We need some additional lighting in the kitchen over the peninsula and over the stove.  I might even take a look at under counter lighting.  The granite  is sparkly and the tile has some glimmer, so a little under cabinet lighting will provide the light when the sun does not.  Hmmm...

Also, we are going to resolve the shelving situation today.  What was going to be a refresh has turned into an update and it's taking quite a bit longer than I anticipated.  Which is fine, except that the overflow is sitting on the kitchen table and the floor in the front room and I'm starting to feel a little crazy.

It's not like I'm a total neat freak or anything.  If you come over to eat off the floor plan on finding a stray dog hair, some dirt and probably a pebble from the driveway.  No, I'm not a neat freak, but it makes me just a little jangly with all this random stuff everywhere.

And my favorite husband is jumping from one project to another and I've had to put my foot down.  We are doing the kitchen.  Period.  Until it is finished.  Just the Kitchen.  Jangly and foot down.  YIKES!

But it's not all bad...  Whenever I feel stressed out, I clean.  So, just maybe you will be able to come over and eat off the floors without any extras!

Wish me luck out there in the wide, wide world of lighting.  It has been the setting of many a frustrating conversation with my husband ;)