Saturday, March 5, 2016

chatty saturday

 Welcome to March in my part of the world...gray and gloomy, and still obviously cold. I see people posting on social media and blogs about how they're already gardening and planting flowers. Trees are bushes are budding and daffodils are pushing out of the soil. I'm so jealous! Next week will be in the 50's and one day even in the 60's but rain is forecasted every single day. Blergh.

It has definitely been a stay-at-home day today. I'm reading these two books: It Was Me All Along is a memoir about an overweight woman's long journey to self-acceptance. It's another book from Blogging for Books that I will review when I'm done reading it. I'm sure you're all familiar with Simple Abundance. I've had this book for many years and even though I've read it numerous times over, I still pick it up from time to time and glean new wisdom.

 It's also been a good day for puttering. I'm always playing with this bookshelf. A few days ago, I picked up those creamy Shawnee pottery pieces that you see flanking the books in the middle shelf. I had just visited my lymphedema therapist (for those of you who don't know, I have late-onset primary lymphedema in my left arm, which is a rare disease) and got fantastic news from her. My arm swelling has gone down to where I don't have to wear a compression sleeve during the day - I only have to wear my nighttime garment, which I lovingly call my "oven mitt". I also did not need any manual lymph drainage therapy and bandaging, which I was dreading (the bandaging, not the therapy - the therapy is  painless) AND she said she didn't need to see me again unless my arm is noticeably more swollen. They don't treat lymphedema unless the swelling is over 2 cm. All the points along my arm that they measure were under 2 cm. If you're interested in learning more about primary lymphedema and/or want to see photos of my arm when it's bandaged after manual drainage therapy, and also pictures of the "oven mitt", click HERE to read my old blog post. Coincidentally enough, tomorrow is Lymphedema Awareness Day.

So, anyhoo...I was so elated after that appointment that on the way home, I treated myself to a bouquet of flowers, an iced coffee, and a stop at a little vintage shop. These pottery pieces were one of my finds. They're not marked on the bottom, so I put them on Instagram to see if anyone would know who they're made by. It was Claudia of Mockingbird Hill Cottage that suggested either Shawnee or Haeger. I figured Claudia would come to my rescue, as she's a big collector of vintage pottery. (Check out her blog to see her beautiful collections of McCoy and Roseville!) 

After doing some searching online, I found they are Shawnee. I was also relieved to find I paid a lot less for them than the asking prices I found on eBay and etsy. ;-)

 It was also a good day to dig out my spring bunny collection. This is only part of them. I'm still playing with where to display the others.

 I don't recall a winter where I've made so much soup. Which is's something I enjoy making because it's easy to throw together and I can be creative. I usually don't follow any soup recipes - I make up my own. Yesterday, I had roasted of pan of various veggies...broccoli, cauliflower, parsnip, and white carrot. (Trader Joes sells packages of organic tri-colored, purple and white.) We never ate the roasted veggies and today I was wondering what I could do with them. Eating them as is wasn't doing it for me. Looking around in the fridge, I also found a container of my homemade stock. So, I simply simmered the veggies in the stock and to give it some flavor, I added curry powder, turmeric, garam masala, and a little cinnamon. I tasted the soup and to me, it still didn't have enough flavor! I obviously didn't go heavy-handed on those Indian spices. So I then added just a little bit of Thai green curry paste. Tasted again - perfect. I then got out my immersion blender and went to town and pureed the concoction. 

I then added half a can of coconut milk, topped with some croutons, and...

Nom nom.

Lest you think my day has been all fun and games with vignette arranging and playing in the kitchen, you'd be wrong. I also did a 45-minute yoga practice (though admittedly, that was fun, too), washed all our bedding including the pillows, and started working on cleaning off shelves full of tchotchkes in the dungeon basement. Hope your day has held some simple pleasures for you, too.


  1. Wow, you've been busy! I like your bunny collection. I need to get my spring things out, although like you, it will be a couple of months before we can do any planting or gardening around here. It's not really 'safe' until after Mother's Day, and even then we can get a snowstorm and cold weather.

    Great news about the lymphedema. My brother-in-law and friend are both affected by it, so I can understand how happy you must be to be on a night-time regime only.

    Love Simple Abundance! It's been a while since I've re-read my copy, but this would be a nice time of year to do so.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Melanie!

  2. The soup looks yummy. The pottery is nice. Good news from the doctor. I am familiar with the edema but only in cancer patients. My doctor expected it when I had cancer in my leg. But I didn't.
    It's dark and gray here as well. Cold too. Warmer days are coming. Have a good Sunday.

  3. Wow you've been a busy bee! I took a lazy day today...I guess I needed it! I have both those books although I haven't read the top one yet. Our weather is the same as yours - today was damp and cold and horrible!

  4. Good news on your arm. Beautiful pottery. I almost hate to tell you we almost hit 80 today. Gorgeous day. I am so ready for some good warm weather. Stay warm.


  5. I agree on this weather, Mel--I was so excited to see the warm temps forecasted next week. But rain? Well, if we can open our windows and turn down the heat I guess that's good enough for March!

    I love your little vintage bunnies and your pottery. I need to haul my spring stuff up but I've sort of been liking a more minimal look. Maybe I'll just do a little.

    Your soup sounds fantastic. I've never heard of green curry paste. Tell me more. Soups and stews are fun, you can really experiment. Funny, I did a lot last winter but this year I've been doing a huge variety of new recipes, actually trying to put my Pinterest boards to use! Yet every time I start to make things, I always find a way that I think makes it either more flavorful or to just use ingredients I have on hand and can substitute. A great way to add an original touch!

    So glad to hear your lymphedema is improving---great news! Less doctor appointments for sure. I didn't know you were still using the oven mitt at night, grrrr...I hope you continue to improve.

    I read both of your books. It Was Me All Along, read it about two years ago. It was great. The writer really had a great social life and some true friends which you don't expect in this sort of scenario. It seems that you are always reading about people with body issues hiding away eating twinkles. I loved this gals's spirit and she had that before and after she succeeded in her goals. She has/had a blog. It's been awhile.

  6. That's my kinda soup. Good news on the arm. Hope it stays that way for a long while. Every year I also pick up Simple Abundance and start reading again. Our weather is kinda strange. Not sure if it is dusty or cloudy, maybe both, but some days i feel rather gritty and stinky when I'm out walking so always need a quick shower before doing anything else. Claudia definitely knows her pottery. Have a good Sunday!

  7. That soup sounds wonderful!
    We just had another round of snow recently; all melted now and warmer temps on the way again. It's a back and forth winter for sure this year :)

  8. Good morning Melanie,
    Your soups sound delicious. But your weather sounds yucky. We have not had much winter weather in OK this year.
    The little birds on your shelf are my favorite.
    Have a good Sunday

  9. Our weather has been much of the same, but this morning the sun is shining and I feel energized. Good news on your lymphadema, Melanie!! I love your pottery finds. I started a collection of cream colored pottery, but somehow I've not added to it. Hmmmmm.

    Have a great week!

  10. Shawnee! You sleuthed and found the answer! I really love them, Melanie. Great find. And, like I said on IG, that soup looks incredibly yummy!


  11. Forgot to say that I'm so happy to hear your good news from the doctor! Wonderful!

  12. Glad to hear that things are well for your arm! I hope that it stays that way. Homemade soup is always delicious isn't it! xx

  13. Gloomy days are perfect for digging out fun spring decor and playing around the house. So so happy to hear your arm is doing much better.
    Mary Alice

  14. Wonderful news about your arm, I have a friend with this and never knew much about it before then.

    Soups are amazing in that they make use of all the little odds and ends in the fridge. Such a thrifty dish. I sometimes think I could skip entrees all the time and just have soup and salad-- well, dessert would be nice too!

  15. Great news about your arm. I hope it continues to 'be well'.

    My DH bought me Simple Abundance many, many years ago when he saw it at a thrift store for $1. He said it looked like a book I would like and I did, and do.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  16. Glad to hear about your good news!! AND my you were productive!! :)

  17. Melanie,
    This is such good news, you are really doing well with your Lymphedema, I can only imagine the relief you are feeling.
    Simple Abundance a well worn and beloved book in my house too!
    Very soon you will be having gorgeous weather and I will be drooling over your amazing gardens while I melt in the Texas heat.


  18. That is fabulous news! I am happy for you! I love your pottery finds too. We are supposed to be in the 60's for the next week or so but not a lot of sun in the forecast. I will take it though! We won't be planting anything around here for two more months so I feel your pain with that.

  19. I'm glad to hear you're doing so well, Melanie. That is wonderful news. I hope your weather isn't too bad this week and you can get out some. I saw the book It Was Me All Along in the library and wondered if it was a good one. I look forward to your review. I changed all three beds yesterday but I didn't do the pillows or my duvet cover, which is the only one that needs washing at the moment. Hopefully this coming weekend I'll get to all of those. I hope you're having a good day and a good week to come.

  20. Melanie, love the name "Comfy House." It just might be the most important adjective for a house. I see you have cats. Even when it's gray and gloomy, there's nothing quite so comfy looking as a cat.

  21. Melanie I'm in Oklahoma and people are already planting tomatoes. It's crazy. I loved my immersion blender I miss it so much.

    Glad I found you . I'm your newest follower.

  22. Spring has left us again too. My tulips came up, but it's going to be in the 20s tonight, so I'm not sure how well they'll do. And don't feel bad... we can't plant until Mother's Day here, because we usually get an April snow. Spring will get there eventually ;)

    I'm glad you got good news about your lymphedema.

    hugs to you,

  23. What great news about your lymphedema. Not having to wear the compression sleeve must be a major relief. I have to read back to see how you developed it.

    Have a lovely, almost spring, week.


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