Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dilly Beans...

This morning I decided to harvest and all I can say is WOW. I harvested tomatoes (grape, heirloom, roma), zucchini (just 1 today, thank goodness), cucumbers, garlic, and green beans.

A lot of green beans.  At the reunion, my best step daughter (I may only have one, but she's a winner) told me she'd made pickled green beans and that they turned out so great I had to try.  Well, lo and behold, this morning I harvest six pints of green beans so we set about making Dilly Beans.

I used a basic brine of equal parts water and vinegar 5 C each and 1/2 C salt.  This I brought to a boil.  Into each jar I put two cloves of garlic, one dill head and three sprigs of dill, 10 pepper corns.  Into 3 jars we also added a hot pepper (jalapeno in one, thai in another and a random hot pepper we can't remember in the third).

Several places suggest waiting 14 days to 6 or 8 weeks.  Boo.  I want one now!  How can I know if they are good enough to want to do more.  Huh?

I'd have pictures, but the battery in my phone is completely out and when I tried both back ups they are also empty.  Dang.

So, no picture today.

I really, seriously doubt I'll wait even 14 days to try.  I did resist today, which is really an accomplishment.

BTW ~ still caffeine free.  Also an accomplishment :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Family Gatherings

I never, not once, ever went to a family reunion as a child.  Never.

Then I married a guy whose family likes to do it every year. And not just an afternoon potluck. Oh, no. They like to do a weekend event. Friday evening get together. All day Saturday. Sunday brunch and goodbye. No joke.  They sit around and talk about old times.  For three days.  Three days of remember when and like that time and didn't we have fun.


Three days of getting nothing done.  Of listening to stories about people I don't know or places I've never been.  Three days!  THREE DAYS!

I'm all out of talk on Friday.

You can tell how talkative a person is by the content of their blog.  The more posts, the more likely they are a talker.  My blog says it all.  There are days, weeks, sometimes months between posts. It's not that I'm anti social, exactly, but to just sit and talk and talk and talk...  aaaaaaaaacccccccckkkkkk!

Can you tell what's happening this weekend?

Wish me luck.  Wish me love.  Wish me the gift of blarney!

Well, I realized as I was writing this some would think it sounded mean, but that was not how I meant it. Combined with the fact that this is my blog, where I get to decide what to write or edit out, I felt and still feel fine about posting my feelings.  Some people are great at sitting around and talking.  Some people are great at climbing mountains.  Some people are great at laying out in the sun.  I'm not great at any of those.  I like to knit, or read, or sew, or crochet, or cook, or bake, or sit on the porch and enjoy the rain.  As I'm off in the remote location, I'm keenly aware of just how much dust is in my house or that there is zucchini to shred or a garden that needs weeded.  I'm not judging anyone else for their ability to do it, please re-think judging me because I can't.  I'm simply saying OMG it's really not my forte and I'm frustrated and anxious about it.  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Caffeine freedom!

I've kicked the caffeine monkey off my back!  Woo HOO!

I've had a love affair with Diet Coke from the moment it came on the market.  Not a joke or exaggeration. It's been by friend, my comfort, my celebration. But, the caffeine is not my friend.  As I'm approaching menopause, my sleep has really taken a beating.

Two years ago I gave up caffeine and had significant improvement in the sleep department.  I, however, was not ready to break up with Diet Coke and within 6 months I was back to my old habits.

While on vacation I realized that I actually wanted to give it up.  This is big.  Huge, even.  I really, really like sleeping.  I also get very, very cranky when I don't get enough sleep.  Given the choice of caffeine or sleeping, I choose sleeping and will every single time.

BTW-I've tried caffeine free and, for me, it's not the same.  Might be psychological, but nevertheless it's a no-go.  I also want a break from all the artificial sweetener.  Not that I am on a band wagon or a soap box, but I'm trying to reduce every kind of food additive - get back to the basics if you will.  And I just couldn't ignore all the extra stuff in the soda.

So, I had my last caffeine Monday morning.  By Monday evening the headache had arrived.  Tuesday was tough, but Wednesday was AWFUL.  I knew it was going to be 3 days of headache, but seriously Wednesday was AWFUL!  By lunch I was nauseous and by 3:00 I was ready to cry.  I left work early, to come home and take a nap.

A miraculous thing happened during that nap, the headache receded to a dull hum!  This morning I woke up with just the barest hint of headache - just around the fringes, if you know what I mean.  And finally this evening I feel like me again.

Do I think it'll last.  Yes.  I feel differently about the whole process this time.  Last time I felt like I was backed into a corner and had to make the choice because my sleep pattern was so out of whack.  This time, I'm happily making the choice to give it up.  I prefer good sleep to soda.  Geez, this is growth.  I feel really good about it. This is the year of Light! And this choice feels light.  Yes.

And so, this is how I've spent my week.  You?  Have you been growing this week, too?

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” ~ C. JoyBell C.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Better Days!

Rose of Sharon
Today is better.  Yesterday, after the dreaded blues post, I had lunch with friends, who are all in the same boat.  We laughed, we cried, we hugged and I'm better for it.

Here are some pics from the yard this morning before the storm blew in...  In the midst of all the turmoil of the last couple of days, the serenity of home is very welcome!

Interestingly, I looked at my blog today and thought what happened to that post...  Ooops.  Obviously got distracted and forgot to finish it.  

Now it's Sunday night and I've been ticked all day.  Not raging or anything, just a low level pissy that I really cannot support.  I'm trying hard not to beat up on myself, as I know that it's important to take the time you need to feel as you feel, but it's such a drag to be in the middle of the grief stages.  I'm trapped somewhere between depressed and angry and I'm not enjoying.

At any rate, we took the kid apartment shopping yesterday and it was all around good.  He is excited and it's fun to see him weighing the pros and cons of dishes and silverware.  
Dooryard Garden

On a side note I found a light I might like for the stove area.  I'm currently muddling it over as I cannot commit.
Daisy, enjoying the rain

And now, I believe it's time for all cranky momma's to be in bed and that's where I'm headed... PDQ
Pond - you can see the rain on the surface!

Friday, July 19, 2013


One of my kids is moving out and I am heartbroken.  I don't want them to live here forever, but having been through this once, I know it's going to suck.

Look at that face!
In my rational mind I know how great this is.  How exciting and nervy and giddy moving into your own place is.  I am genuinely thrilled and looking forward to seeing how this new phase develops.

All the same, I'm going to miss that kid.  Dang.

It hit me two days ago, the blues.  And I don't want to be blue, because I think it's a little selfish and I don't want to ruin this experience for my sweet, sweet boy.  I also want to enjoy it and right this minute I can't.

Today sucks.  I'm sad and weepy and snotty (too much information?). I can't hardly stand myself.

So, dear blog, I'm writing this post in hopes you will work your magic and help me get to a place where I can celebrate with my son.

My son, who is sunny and bright and smart as a whip.  My son, who is charming and challenging and hardworking.  My son, who is a caring, compassionate, quality human being. I have loved him from the moment I said to my husband "Let's have another!" and I'm going to miss him when he moves.

Like I said, I've been through this before and it's sucky.  REALLY SUCKY!  But I also know that this will be a whole new amazing chapter in our relationship.  It will add dimension and richness because we will each miss the other and our times together will be sweeter for it.

It's just the right now, anticipating the empty chair and quietness, and then once he moves, adjusting to the quietness and empty spaces - that is where the blues reside.  AAAAAAAAAACCCCCKKKKK.

I really, really, really have to get away from myself.  So, I'm going to shower and get out into the world.

Thanks for listening.

“Accept the children the way we accept trees—with gratitude, because they are a blessing—but do not have expectations or desires. You don’t expect trees to change, you love them as they are.” ~Isabel Allende

Monday, July 15, 2013

Back from Vacation!

Hello World Wide Web!

We've been on vacation that wrapped up with my nephew's wedding.  It was amazing and wonderful and I am very glad for the chance to be there.

And just as glad to be back home.  Hope the time apart has treated you as well as it did me.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's my birthday!

Today is my 50th birthday!  I feel really good and fine about the number.  We had a party on the weekend to celebrate and my sweet niece asked me if I felt any different.  I immediately said no, but then I thought about it and said "No, I guess I feel like 50 is a kind of accomplishment that I feel really happy about."

Some other things introduced in 1963:

Computer Mouse
Chips Ahoy
Hang Glider
Push Button Phone
"I Have A Dream" by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Smiley Face
Lava Lamps
"Happiness is a Warm Puppy" Charles M. Schultz
Pop Tarts

Since it's my birthday, I'm asking everyone to do something for me... Please do something kind for someone else today.  Big or small, doesn't matter.  What matters is the love.  Here are some ideas:  Smile at a stranger, help someone in need, give your kids an extra hug, take flowers to a relative, pay for the coffee of the person after you in line.

The stranger you see smiling at you today is me!  I'm celebrating 50 with love so I'm sending love out to everyone today!

“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.” ― Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life