Monday, November 25, 2019

busy week and destressing

This is going to be quite the busy week, as I'm sure it will be for most of you. I went grocery shopping this morning at Trader Joe's and it actually wasn't that crowded. Otherwise, I have vet appointments, a Friendsgiving to attend, lunch with the in-laws, visiting my father-in-law in the nursing home, food to prepare for my mom's house on Thursday, and somehow finding time to meet with a friend who's going through a particularly hard time. Of course, this also includes keeping up with everything at home...all the homekeeping, laundry, making meals, spending hours online looking for a new/used SUV (time for a "new" vehicle for me!), rearranging things in the house to accommodate things that Tim has been bringing over to store...

My "baby" is moving to California on Friday! He has lived in our little town since the day he was born. He wants to go for new opportunities while he's young and single and childless. Like he said, if he doesn't do this now, he'll probably be kicking himself in the butt when he's older. He'll be moving in with his aunt ~ Brian's sister ~ in the Los Angeles area. So, at least he has a place to go and will have some family support. I am happy and excited for him, but heart is breaking. We went to our favorite local restaurant and pub (they have the  best pizza!) the other night for the last time before he leaves. 💔

One thing that helps in this season of shortened days and extra stress is to get outside in nature. Brian and I went for a hike yesterday afternoon in the State Park and despite me needing to pee halfway through our hike (!!) and my feet being sore due to...who knows...probably a combination of something like metatarsalgia and improper footwear, the fresh air and exercise felt wonderful. 


The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
as if orchards were dying high in space,
Each leaf falls as if it were motioning "no".

And tonight the heavy earth is falling
away from all other stars in the loneliness.

We're all falling. This hand here is falling.
And look at the other one. It's in them all.

And yet there is Someone, whose hands
infinitely calm, holding up all this falling.

~ Ranier Maria Rilke

Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours.
I am grateful for all of you.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

how to make a "faux-yer" when your house doesn't have one

A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I visited a local shop that we enjoy exploring. The owner of the store fills it with all kinds of found vintage treasures, as well as some creative handmade art pieces of her own.

You might remember my "new" quilt from my last post. This was found at the same shop.

The quilt wasn't the only thing I came home with. As we were browsing around...

I came upon this coat rack.

I have been toying with the idea of hanging a coat rack on the wall inside our front door for a long time. I knew I wanted something handmade and/or vintage; not anything from a commercial store. I had looked on Etsy several times and never found anything I really liked. I took measurements of the shelf and went home to measure the space on the wall.

Our house doesn't have a designated foyer. When you walk in the front door, you'e right in the living room. I made this little area right inside the door into a "faux-yer" (you heard it here first, folks) by using a bench where guests could sit down to take off and put on their shoes. Coats always went into the small hallway coat closet, which wasn't a bad thing, but I always thought it would be better to have some kind of coat rack in this space.

I bought this mirror years ago and always liked it and thought it went well in this faux-yer space, but it competed with the large, round mirror above the fireplace. And I love the mirror over the fireplace, so that wasn't moving. Anyway, I measured the wall space for the coat rack and...perfect! Buh-bye round mirror.

Hello coat rack!

Here's a view of my small living room. See the round mirror over the fireplace? Now you can see why the round mirror that was previously in the entryway competed with the fireplace mirror. (That's Monkey in the cat tree and Clementine on the blue chair.)

Looking into the living room from the other side.

There's other changes I want to make in the living room, including new furniture and painting the interior door white ~ but for now, the faux-yer was a good start.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

for today ~ november edition

I haven't done this series in a long time, so thought I'd give it a try again. I hope you enjoy this...and perhaps you'd like to join in if you have a blog.

Looking out my window ~

It's dark, gray, cold and gloomy. That's how November tends to roll around here. Add in the time change where it now gets dark at 4:30 and you have a nice recipe for Seasonal Affective Disorder. This photo was taken yesterday out my living room window when we actually had a rare day with a little bit of sun.

I am thinking ~

That I need to buy one of those light therapy lamps for SAD. On my to-do list!

I am thankful ~

for my yoga community. Not only do we have an amazing yoga teacher, but the people in this class (mostly women; two men) are down-to-earth, friendly, supportive, and humorous. We all talk before and after class, sometimes go out for coffee after class, and join together in community events.

One of my favorite things ~

I found this gorgeous, full-size, vintage quilt (at a bargain price!) this past weekend while treasure-hunting with a friend. I'm not going to be using it in our bedroom as shown in the photo, as it doesn't "go" in this room. Where I'm currently using it is coming up.

I am creating ~

Soup! It's a staple in our house all through fall and winter. Leek and Potato is a favorite and is sooo easy to make. It's incredible how something with just a few ingredients can taste absolutely delicious. Magic and nourishment before your eyes.

3 T. olive oil
3 large leeks, white & pale green parts only, halved lengthwise & thinly sliced
2 large organic Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & diced
4-1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth (if you're using veggie broth, be sure it doesn't contain
tomatoes, as it makes the soup look & taste weird)
2 T. chopped fresh chives, for topping

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks; stir to coat with oil. Cover pot; cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes begin to soften, but do not brown, stirring often, about 10 min. Add broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until veggie are tender, about 30 minutes. Puree soup with a hand blender or in a regular blender until smooth. Thin with additional broth if soup is too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Optional: can stir in a little bit of cream. Garnish with chives and serve.

I am wearing ~

black leggings, turquoise and white striped shirt, gray vest.

I am reading ~

I just finished Olive Kitteridge and give it five stars. One of the best books I've read this year! It's hard to get into at first, and I wasn't sure where the story was going, but then it all came together and I couldn't put the book down. I feel like I personally know Olive (the sign of a great writer when the characters seem real!) and I want to know what's in store for her next. I'm so glad the author, Elizabeth Strout, just published the follow-up book, Olive, Again which I'll be starting tonight.

I am watching ~

The Amazon series, Modern Love

I am hoping ~

That my son's chronic tinnitus gets better. Anyone that has experience with this miserable condition have any suggestions that have worked for them? 

I am learning ~

That our problems are not unique. Sometimes when you're in the middle of something, you feel like you're the only one. But the more you talk to other people, the more you find that others are going through ~ or have gone through ~ the same things. It's all about connection and support.

In my kitchen ~

Like I mentioned before, there's been a lot of soup making going on around here! Yesterday, I made a pot of Minestrone. Tonight, I'm making my famous chili recipe.

Shared quote ~

A moment from my day ~

This room used to be Tim's bedroom. I'm slowly transforming it into an office for Brian. I love the way the sunlight was streaming in the window yesterday morning. (OK, so I'm a day off on this prompt.) That's mine and Brian's baby pictures on the wall. Phil and Tim's baby pictures are on the other side of the curtain. The "new" quilt is on the chair.

Post Script (add a favorite link that you would like to pass along. It can be someone else's website, etsy shop, Instagram feed, Facebook link, OR it can be your own) ~

If you've ever considered starting an art or junk journal, check out Art Journalist. Full of how-to's, free printables, painting and journaling tips, and all sorts of other helpful and creative tidbits.

If you would like to create your own daybook, check here for the guidelines and list of prompts.

Be well, be happy, be peaceful.