Thursday, April 27, 2023

read, watch, listen, cook

What I'm reading ~ Daring Greatly by Brene Brown & You Could Make This Place Beautiful. Both fantastic. Just finished reading Sensitive: The Hidden Power of the Highly Sensitive Person in a Loud, Fast, Too-Much World - which I highly recommend if you're a HSP.

What I'm watching ~ Season 5 of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (the acting! the costumes! the drama!) & Season 2 of Somebody Somewhere (Bridget Everett is brilliant and hilarious; the show hits you in all the feels.)

What I'm cooking ~ Half Baked Harvest Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs with Garlic Butter. I'm a big fan of Half Baked Harvest's recipes and this one was no exception. I don't care for ground chicken, so I used a mixture of ground turkey and ground pork. I also didn't use the chili flakes called for in this recipe, as I'm sensitive to hot spices. 

What have you been reading, watching, listening to, and cooking that you would recommend? Please share!

Friday, April 21, 2023

snippets of april goodness

April has been a super busy month. Some not-so-good stuff, but I'm focusing on the good. We had a week of 80+ degree days (and in true Illinois weather fashion, we then crashed 50 degrees and had snow) which pushed everything into hyperspeed bloom. As I was driving the other day, I noticed the street lined with the brilliant green, newly emerged leaves on the trees and all the dogwoods and red bud trees in blossom. I said out loud, "Everything is so beautiful." Coming out of our overwhelmingly long, gray, dark winters into the brilliance of spring is akin to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz stepping out of her farmhouse into the colorful world outdoors. 

(Flowering dogwood)

(Emerging peonies)

(Unfurling ferns)

(Crimson King Maple)


(My friend's daffodils...I think they're Sir Winston Churchill daffodils)

Some other good snippets of April ~

The beautiful spring weather called for dining al fresco once again...

and taking walks in the sunshine along the riverwalk.

Went to my first outdoor farmer's market of the season. I got farm fresh eggs, grass-fed burgers, artisan cheeses and microgreens. I petted dogs and a cat in a cat carrier backpack. Everyone was smiling and friendly and talking to each other. I think the nice weather not only makes people in a general better mood, but the freedom of being "back to normal" after the pandemic makes us more appreciative of life's everyday pleasures.

Walking a labyrinth with one of my best friends was good for our souls.

In my March 24th post, I mentioned going to a women's circle on a horse farm. I went again this month! I swear this farm has magical properties. Even driving down the long, winding gravel road to get to the farm is a surreal experience. The first part of the road is lined with dimly uplit trees, then dense pine trees. You come to a clearing and voila...there are the barns, the beautiful house on a hill, a little log cabin with rocking chairs on a porch, horse pastures, a huge pond, swings hanging from trees...and beautiful land as far as the eye can see. 

I am still taking care of the feral and stray cats that come to my house just about every night, by feeding them and keeping a bowl of fresh water on the porch. Blanco is the feral. Photo was taken out my front door, through the glass. There's no way I could get this close to him in person.

Smokey is the stray. He's so sweet, rolling all over the porch as I talk to him. I've been petting him but I'm going to have to stop. He has open, raw wounds behind his ears from excessive scratching which means he has severe ear mites and they're highly contagious to other cats. As a stray, he probably has fleas, too. I can't take a risk of bringing anything into the house that Clementine could catch. I've been in contact with local cat rescues about Smokey. Only one said they could take him, but they don't have any room right now.

Clementine is still amazingly hanging in there with being in stage 4 kidney failure. She's a skinny little thing, only weighing 7 lbs, and looks even more pitiful with fur loss on her belly, legs, some on her sides and halfway down her tail from obsessive biting and chewing. Over the past years, we've been to two different vet dermatologists and between them and her regular vet, we've tried everything from natural remedies to every prescription medication possible. We've changed her diet, too. Nothing ever helped, at least not in the long term. Her regular vet said it's probably anxiety and since she can't be on any anti-anxiety medication because of her kidneys, we just let her be. Our sweet kitty still has a healthy appetite, is active, uses her cat box, and sleeps snuggled up next to me every night. When she was diagnosed with kidney disease 4-1/2 years ago, the vet said she probably only live another 1-1/2 years. She's a fighter! In this photo, she's waving her paw to get Brian to pet her. She either does that or taps you on the arm. So cute. She loves a lot of attention.

Have a beautiful weekend!