Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tis The Season

Oh yes, its that time again. Like any "holiday" canning season can certainly sneak up on a girl. This year is no different. I had been canning beans so all of my supplies and tools were already cluttering up the kitchen. Normally I look forward to this event, I actually don't mind, though it is hard work and I've discovered that the counters in this house are designed for someone about three inches shorter than I am. My back, shoulders and neck are in need of an adjustment from my favorite chiropractor, Dr. Klein!

I ended up with 30 jars of salsa, half hot, half mild. We have more red orbs coming on so I'll fill in with spaghetti, pasta and my absolute, all time favorite, t-soup. I'll post the recipes later. I have a lot to do today, in addition to canning. I have a few ki readings to finish compiling, kids and supplies to organize for tomorrow's first day of school and then packing for Z n L's wedding this weekend. We have one excited flower girl here at Rafter Lazy H! (there may or may not have been some bribery with a Jesse Doll!)

So without further ado, I'll pull myself off of the computer and get my rear in gear. I'd much rather be writing, that I know! I had a wonderful brainstorming session with Chad on the way home from Utah. It looks like I'll be able to devote more time to writing by this time next year. I have several awesome articles in the words and even a fun, fabulous kids book idea. If anyone reading this is an artist that loves to work with bright colors and is willing to do something totally new, never seen before in a book..........have I got a deal for you!

Ok, the water is boiling, that's my cue!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back At Home Sort Of..

We've been on the road since 6 am. Ugggg! I usually don't mind traveling. Give me an open road and my ipod and I'm set (sunroof preferred). I usually have more than a few thoughts encircling my brain so I'm well entertained. What I have a hard time with is excessive noise, shouting, screaming and fighting. That is what I got today. My head is pounding.

I've thought a lot about the changes I want to make upond my return. In Feng Shui, one of the best times to initiate change is upon returning home, when energies are refreshed and perspectives are broadened.

Some are minor but necessary, some will take a bit more commitment. My love and appreciation of nature has been rekindled. I am missing it already by being inside of a vehicle for the better part of this day and night to come. I've not always been a fan of morning but I see clearly that if I don't get up early to exercise, it simply won't happen, not with this family!

I'm also very energized to eat fresh and local. This has been my aspiration for quite some time now. In all the opportunity I had on vacation to "eat anything" what tasted most delicious to me were apples, peaches and string cheese. It was actually easier to eat better and more healthy while on the road than it has been at home. I need to explore this in more depth, I suspect that it has to do with time, convenience and a slew of all the responsibilities, chores, jobs and duties I've been packing around. It is time to downsize, I am uncertain, at this moment, where to begin.

I think I'll start by not thinking a little longer. One of the gifts of being outdoors is that I've been able to "get out of my head" for a bit. I need that too.

We're headed home to grab horses and one smokey colored pooch that misses me, load the trailer, make the kids run laps, throw in a few clean shirts and socks, and head to a rodeo. I'd rather be hiking, withdrawls are setting in.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I had the WITS scared out of me today...

We were up bright and early this morning for the Fiery Furnace hike. It is a three hour guided tour into one of the most amazing places in Arches NP. It did NOT disappoint! WOW and WOW again. The kids were troopers, they attacked the trail as well as the rock climbing opportunities and NOT one complaint! We saw some amazing configurations and even Surprise Arch (yes, it was a surprise and it was grand!)

The day completely quickly slipped away. It sure didn't seem like three hours, I can see how easy it would be to spend an entire day in the awesome splendor of this area. I believe it would have been amazingly peaceful had it not been for a VERY TALKATIVE little toddler! All I can say it is a good thing he was cute; Sparky and BS kept saying, "Mom, when is that kid gonna fall asleep?" Funny, this is what I kept asking their father on the way out here!!!!

We lunched at the entrance to Park Avenue and although I really wanted to hike it (only 2 miles round trip) I was out-voted. We headed to the Visitor's Center for the 3rd badge. I also wanted to hike Aztec Mesa and again, no one wanted to. We headed down Pot Ash road in search of more Rock Art. We found it and yes, it was cool!

We were in search for more when we found this trail. A man, his new Dodge Dually, and a 4x4 road=scary! I was ready to turn back when it was clear we had missed the mark. We kept going, and going and going; up, up, up. At a very high point I turned to Chad and asked to walk! We were inching along a road with a 100 ft drop, very near MY SIDE of the truck.

I glanced at the gps and noticed another switchback coming. I protested. Chad hiked on up the trail (I will not call it a road) and thought we could make it, although one dual would probably hang over the edge!!! Oh goodness! NO WAY! I'd take my chances walking in the desert.......He relented and agreed to turn around. I did get out and helped to navigate the turn-around. I didn't breathe until we were back down in the bottom of the canyon. Enough adventure.

We drove around in the canyon a bit longer and then headed back to the 'ol Big Horn Lodge for a swim. (That's all we've heard about since the end of the Furnace hike.....)

Soon it will be time to pack up. We leave at 5 am. Chad has a rodeo tomorrow night and one Saturday night.....the fun just doesn't end! Actually for me the fun will end when I begin washing all of this laundry.....joy!

I have absolutely enjoyed every minute. I am in my element! I love being outside, in nature. As much as I enjoy having a garden, goats and our ranch, I totally DIG hiking! I realize that we have plenty of land that I could hike. Chad offered to let me hike while checking pastures and windmills but that just doesn't quite get me there! I may do it to stay in shape but it doesn't quite have the appeal of "unseen territory" that mountains have.

I'm a little sad to be leaving, although all of my "beloved peeps" are back home and I miss 'em like crazy! We will be back though, we've already spotted campgrounds and have marked the trails we want to hike next time. We also want to rent a jeep and take the 15 hour road through Canyonlands! We only saw the Island in the Sky District. This is just a fabulous location!

I've enjoyed hiking and exploring since I was little. My parents introduced me beautiful places and for that I'm deeply grateful. I hope to pass the love of nature and outdoors, hiking and exploring on to my children. Who knows, we may have future Park Rangers, geologists, anthropologist or avid hikers in our midst? Or we may have children that grow up to scare the wits out of their spouse.....just like their Dad did to me today!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Now THAT'S a Canyon!

Day Three of hiking vacation started out with a refill of every water-holding device we own! We went to my now favorite place in Moab, Gear Heads (I dig the name too!) The store is an awesome collection of everything outdoors and some of the nicest, coolest people I've met work there. As an added bonus, they offer free water refills----SWEET! Our trek brought us to Dead Horse Point. Its one of three National Parks in the area. It didn't disappoint! We spent the better part of our day there, ate under an awning and watched little "chick-munks" (BS's word for them) scurry about.

We also picked up Jr. Ranger books so the kids worked diligently to complete the activities to earn their badges. We love the program because instead of just glancing at the surroundings, they are required to study, observe and report to the Ranger what they learned! Cool! (Even more nifty is the fact they are still working on activities as we wait for our pizza!)

The next location was a visit to Canyonlands. This is a very different landscape than Arches. If you want to see HUGE expansive canyons, this is the place. We oooo'd and awwwww'd all afternoon. Mind you, we live on the edge of a canyon and we all agreed.....ours is little!

We did a couple of short trails, Mesa Arch and Grandview Point, which is what is pictured above. We hiked the two mile trail along the rim. We hiked over seven miles today. BS fell asleep as Dad carried her on his back to the truck. She was one pooped little hiker!

She was asleep when we reported to the Visitor's Station to claim the second badge. We had an awesome Ranger that took her time with the boys. We laughed at some of their answers! I think she may remember the "wild Nebraska tourists!"

We've become very fond of discovering treasures off the beaten path! Tonight we explored Mill Canyon, which had several displays of fossilized dinosaurs embedded in the canyon walls. Oh, how FUN! The kids loved this and we had the place all to ourselves! We hiked up the river bed in search of petroglyphs but found none. (If you ask the kids, they'll surely tell you they found scrapers, petrified dino bones and teeth---do not believe them! The river stones are just that cool out here!)

Pizza just arrived. Time to eat, shower and head to bed. Tomorrow is Firey Furnace Hile and it is what we came for!!!!

More soon!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Anasazi Must've Known Santa Claus

To our surprise and sheer delight, we found Rock Art today. From our careful calculations, it appears.....that...the ancient Indians in this area must have known about Santa Claus! Among "Moab Man" and various other drawings, we found what clearly resembled a sleigh and reindeer! The kids were very excited to know that 1. Santa is THAT OLD and 2. He loves the desert too! (Technically this is probably not a desert, but it sure seems like it compared to our grass covered hills.) I for one totally dig the dryer climate as does my skin and sinuses!

We also saw drawings at the Wolfe Ranch, on our way to see the moon come up over Delicate Arch. These petroglyps were much easier to see and were very well preserved. We didn't find evidence of "the man in red" but we could easily pick out the Big Horn Sheep and horseback riders!

This was a gorgeous hike. We traveled up in time to watch a brilliant moon rise over a huge rock near Delicate Arch. We had taken a hike across the "ditch" earlier in the afternoon. This made us deeply appreciate and RESPECT what we saw up close. Delicate Arch is NOT on a flat little mesa like we thought. You get there by taking a trail on the left side of the fin. The right side is a sheer rock wall, pretty much straight down! We lingered awhile, soaking in this awe-inspiring view. It was one of the most gorgeous sights I've ever seen. Again I have pictures but I don't think they do justice to the real thing!

Being the "uber-cautious" Mama and Daddy that we are, we headed our little hikers back after about 15 minutes or so. It was an amazing site and we still had an hour walk back to the truck! The hike back was brilliant. We used flashlights but really didn't need them. The moon lit our path and we all found our pace, winding down the hill and talking about nothing of significance! I shared my pride and encouragement with the boys. Chad has such a long stride that we don't even try to keep up. I really am proud of their willingness to hike! They could protest and whine and they didn't. They were tired and sore and they were great sports! I hope this will be a fond memory for them someday....or one of those "Do you remember when mom and dad drug us all over the country and made us hike all day?" I told the boys I'd give them a few years before we'd go and hile the Inca Trail----that is
definitely on my list someday!

Also on my list is to do a backcountry hike in Canyonland. This may sound nuts, but I really LOVE to hike and I really dig this place! I'd like to spend at least a couple of nights in the park. Its likely, I won't get to do this anytime soon but its sure on my mind.....

We came back to our room, all tuckered out and ready for bed. Dad went to the store to replenish tomorrow's food/lunch supplies and Mom downloaded some 315 pictures to the computer. In addition to peaches that melt in our mouths, we were also treated to ice cream, Carmel Caribou and Mint Chocolate Chip! It was $2.97 for a pint and a half (two scoops at an ice cream shop would cost more than that).

I'm thinking we should've fed them ice cream before the hike because the boys will not stop giggling......reminds me of when my friend, Jamie, and I couldn't stop laughing one night in a motel room with my mom. We were to compete at a high school rodeo the next day and couldn't go to sleep. Never knew my payback would come in the forms of an 11 and 9 year old boy, in Moab! And since it is still August and not December, I can't say, "Boys, you'd better be quiet, or Santa will skip this house." At least we know he's real. We have evidence!

We'll see what else we can find tomorrow! We head to Canyonlands and Deadhorse Point. Our navigator is on a mission to see and cover as much ground as possible! We'll be up and at 'em at dawn.

Happy Trails!

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day

Today was a FULL day of hiking. To be perfectly honest we didn't have a clue where to start, so we just headed out.

After a brief stop at the Visitor's Center we made our way to Balanced Rock. Park was off and running, trekking pole in tow! He was on a mission! Thankfully our kids love to be outside, explore and hike! We've managed to get at least one hiking vacation in for the last couple of years. It was much easier this year since "the baby" is five. To her credit, she kept up with her Dad's long strides far better than I! That man left me in the dust most of the day....

We've seen some gorgeous places, Fish Creek Falls, near Steamboat, Harney Peak in the Black Hills, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and now Arches. We really, really, really like it here. It is definitely a hiker's paradise.

I realize that a picture is worth 1,000 words. I will post some shots later. I brought a smaller digital camera and handed it over to the boys. They got some great shots!

We spent the day at Devil's Garden. It was an amazing site. These were the arches we saw today: Skyline Arch, Tunnel Arch, Pine Tree arch, Landscape Arch, Double O Arch, Black Arch, Private Arch, Navajo Arch and Partition Arch.

We came back in time to eat at a fab pasta joint and then headed to the grocery store. We won't be eating out much, its on the pricey side. We have a cooler packed and bulked up on fruit. We were all craving fruit today! We also found Chad a real pair of hiking shoes. Good shoes are a must. He'll be elk hunting later in the fall so this will be a great time to "break them in". I found a pair too, and as comfy as they were, I let the store keep them. Merrell shoes are the way to go. I think mine have a few miles left in them!

I've just finished a refreshing cup of Gypsy mint and rose tea. The shower felt divine. I have an entirely new appreciation for water. I've been drinking all day and still haven't gotten enough. I do love the dry climate. I do not, in any shape or form, miss the humidity we left at home. I could get very used to this location!

Time for a little shut eye. We'll be up bright and early to hit the trails again!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

And We're Off

Note to self: Do not attempt to travel in a five earth month. Though that may sound like jibberish, that is the advice that I'd give to my clients when looking at energetic themes for the month. This doesn't mean travel is impossible, just that there is more of likelihood for challenges, changes plans and disruptions.

Challenges. I've had more than I care to mention. In the last 24 hours I've had to say good bye to a beloved pet and somehow ended up with a corneal abrasion, which landed me in a very busy ER. Thanks to my sweet friend, Stef, I wasn't forgotten. (I have been left in an ER room before but was so out of it, I didn't care!) We made it home at 1:30 am.

We've packed and we are now on the road. It took a lot more to get organized that what we realized. We'll only be gone 'til Friday. I'm ready to be gone for a month. I hurt, inside and out.

Why would I write about such challenges, because this is life. We all have challenges in various forms. Sometimes they shock us, break our hearts and leave us reeling in confusion and doubt. They also let us see the depth of love and support around us at all times. A big part of me wanted to cancel this trip and feel sorry for myself. A bigger part of me knows there is a choice here, I could drown in sadness and be a victim or I can open wide, feel it all, cry a little, and move on. And sitting next to me is a man that only looks forward! Obviously since I know there's a choice I'll choose the later option.

I don't feel like there is a black cloud over me. I don't necessarily believe in bad luck, it just is what it is. I believe things happen and we try to put a spin on events to make them make sense to us. I can see trends and tendencies and in the end we all have to just play the cards we're dealt, even if they really suck sometimes. I believe my outer reality matches my inner thoughts, beliefs and programs. To change something on the outside, I have to go within. That's what I'll be doing this week, taking an inner and outer retreat. Its time.
One thing I've discovered is how this blog keeps things real. The last thing I wanted to report was more drama and yet, perhaps this can be a testament to someone else who's having a bad day, tough month, or challenging year. If this is you, or someone you know, hang in there. Ride those waves, become a "life surfer". You'll take some crashes but you'll also glide at times, and those are the times we stop and savor. Those memories and experiences give us the strength to drag ourselves back up on the surf board.

I'll be reporting from the road. I'd love for you to come along on this little adventure and see the view from my right eye (my left one is sorely out of commission for now!)

Happy Trails!

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Road Trippin

One thing about getting up early to do chores has taught me is to appreciate the cool, calm vibes of morning. I enjoy morning travel, the sun shining, wind blowing my hair and tunes blaring from the radio. I haven't always been a morning fan but I'm turning into one now!

It took me most of the day to get home. We had several errands to run, supplies to replenish and a head of hair to beautify (thanks Barbie!!! U so totally rock!!!) The chicken, duck and guineas are stocked. We have another pack of pint jars to fill with beans (and boy do we have beans!) And we have one Mama that is ready for a bath, jammies and bed. I'm sure my five-year-old would be more than happy to tuck me in. Think about it, she's have the run of the house, access to my lip gloss and no one to tell her to get out of the freezer (she found the chocolate stash). Don't worry, that isn't going to happen!

I'm going to do chores, as soon as I can muster up the energy to do so. All the lattes in the world are not going to energize me at this point! I'll take an early bed and rise at 6 am for a thorough garden picking. We've got beans, corn, cukes and tomatoes that are bursting now. Its time to get serious about the harvest.

Horrible timing too. We leave Sunday. This means that I had better get my ducks/ chicks/ goats in a row. I've hit a wall though. BS has lovingly shared her new favorite germ with me. My throat is sore, eyes watery, head heavy and I have chills. What is this?!?! A cold? Boo! Time to drag out the herbs. I don't have time for such drivel nonsense! (Like the virus will listen!)

Chad is packing up for his rodeo run. He's got a pack to hit. He's not too far away from qualifying for the NSRA finals. I'm sure hoping he has a good weekend. He appears to be healthy so its good that he won't be near me for a few days.

The sun is going down. Its become very clear that my best work is done in the early hours of the day. Like the sun, I seem to dwindle the closer it gets to days end. This is quite a change for me, a self-proclaimed, perpetual night owl! I guess I never had my heart seat on being any certain way, just an observation I'm making.

Here's to a lovely day's end to you and yours.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Travel Essentials!

These are my favorite items to travel with: one Blue Sparkle, a vintage suitcase and a goat milk latte. I have these babies and I'm pretty much set. Throw in great tunes on the ipod and an open sunroof and I'm nearly in heaven on the open road.

We are sneaking away for a quick trip. We'll be home very soon. It feels good to be on the road but I never tired of the scenery near home. It calls my heart back, no matter how many miles I log!

I'm not sure how many miles this old suitcase gone. I found it in a Goodwill store three years ago. It immediately caught my eye. I took it and its larger sibling home for a grand total of five bucks! I use them for decorating, storage and especially travel!

My other travel "essential" was supposed to be with her Grammy and Grandpa today. After several minutes of big tears, I got a phone call and ended up with BS in the back seat again. I didn't mind. I kind of missed her too! I know there will come a time that she probably won't shed any tears and will excitedly head in the direction of her heart. That day, I hope is a long ways off. I can wait. She keeps me awake and entertained with her constant chatter. Her excitement for life is contagious, I can't help but smile when she makes a mew discovery or when runs into her Daddy's arms saying, "I misted you!" Lately she's been wearing skirts and scarve, which tickles me pink! I've been waiting for this! However watching her jump from one bed to the other, here in the hotel room, is not nearly as cute to witness. I about fell over when she took the first leap! It was a lot further in between
beds than it looked but she made it. Clifford is on the tv, a rare treat. She's now barking and growling and playing with her pet wolf! Yes, one should never leave home without their Blue Sparkle!

And finally GML (goat milk latte) my new favorite drink, is what I sip on as I'm driving down the highway. I doubt they serve this at Starbucks, but just for fun, I think I might ask for one! Like my daughter, I like to have a little fun too!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I've heard this could happen. I have a healthy respect for pressure cookers in light of the recent burn I'm sporting. I was very cautious when getting my tools gathered for this morning's bean canning.

I set the water on to simmer while I went out to milk Egypt. I came back to this: lid on the floor, rubber behind the pot, the tray standing on its side and water EVERYWHERE! Thanks be to God we were not near the stove. I've not had a smooth run with my canning experiences this summer; I have to say I got lucky on this one!

After a search I discovered a slight piece of something in the vent. I don't know if this would have been enough to cause the explosion but I wasn't going to test again and see. I have switched to a using a different pressure cooker, one I recently bought on a farm sale. So far it appears to be working just fine but I'm definitely keeping my distance. I may have to invest in a new one today or tomorrow. I had gotten along fine until recently.

I'm not giving up, this is part of the twists and turns along the 'ol road of experience. I've never claimed to be an expert on the subject. I learn as I go. I make mistakes, a lot of them and sometimes the same ones. I can be a slow learner. I hope to model for others and especially my kids, that mistakes are vastly important steps in whatever we are learning to do. For me the desire to learn and experience surpasses the desire to "get it right" and be perfect. I'd love to "nail a landing" some time. It'd be great to birdie a hole in golf or cook a meal without burning something, cut straight edges on paper, have a car without door dings, or clothes without stains. This is just not me though. I'm perfectly content with the imperfection that runs through me. I haven't always been but I'm settling into it as I get older.

I do have to laugh at myself. I've not heard of anyone else getting a leg twisted in barbed wire, cooking their arm and then blowing up a pressure cooker all within a few weeks! That kind of drama is worthy of an award.......(I know just what award you are thinking of Carl!) Just picture me in a haz-mat suit, with thick rubber gloves to my armpits, goggles and a safety helmet. I'm going to give "home canning" a new look!

I've got 7 quarts in the cooker now. I forgot to put the weight on so I have to start the time over. Nice, very nice (sarcasm works on occasion to get me through the day!) It is a gorgeously cool, over-cast and perfect for canning. I've got golf tonight, a road trip tomorrow, an appointment with my hair goddess on Thursday, two days to gather veggies and can 'em, pack clothes, edit a newsletter and "head on outta here"! Life is good!

I don't remember what its like to be bored. I'm sure I was as some point in my life I just can't recall what it would be like to have nothing to do.

Here's to finding all the wonderful things about yourself to have a good laugh over. Go ahead, put that helmet on and join me!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Garden Is Bursting

I was on my way back out to pick more beans but the sky is threatening to downpour. I can hear the wind whistling through my beat up screen door so I doubt I'll get anymore hauled in tonight. Too bad. I'm no quitter and one thing I don't like is to leave a job unfinished. I didn't make it to the end of the first row. Drat!

I am working on a tight schedule this week. Every minute counts. We are Utah bound by the week's end if Chad can get a trade for Saturday night's rodeo performance. I'm crossing my fingers and in all honesty, I'm leaving in larger hands than mine!

I need to go milk Egypt before the storm hits. More soon!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pickin Up Bales

Tonight was gorgeous, a perfect evening for picking up little square bales. Our friend, Billy bailed up 149 of these beauties, future goat food!

This was the easiest job I've ever done---I drove! I sweat not a bead and felt zero guilt. I did my sweating this morning, I started the BS's room detox. I think we're all even. Truth be told, she's had it the easiest of all, all day. I guess that's what you get when you are the youngest?!

I was very proud of the boys. They worked hard without a complaint. They shouted commands like old pro's, obviously they've been spening ample time with their father!

I caught a whisper of autumn in the air tonight. I do believe that more than a few leaves are changing. I'm sad that summer is on her way out. It seems that she's just arrived.

There's no time to ponder, the kids are wild with excitement, we are rewarding them with a campfire and s'mores! They are happy, we are happy. Tomorrow, we have the joy of unloading all these green packages.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My burn is healing!

Thank you to everyone who's been so kind and supportive on my healing path.

I do appreciate the tips/guidance and well wishes. It is kind of looking but a mess less graphic view than Sunday's version. I didn't post that one, I barely could look myself!

Povidine and AmeriGel have been absolutely amazing. These will now be permanent residents in my medicine cabinet. I am all about herbs and natural healing and, I am also a fan of modern medicine, I sure do appreciated these products.

It's time to wash hands, wrap this wound and hit the road. We have a 4-year-old's birthday party to attend!

Happy Trails!

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This is what I'm up against.....

As much as I can, I have been avoiding this pit of a room. I have walked by, closed my eyes and just given a toss to whatever item was in my hand. I have to admit, that part has been pretty fun. I see something and I just toss it to the right as I walk by. Sooner or later, I knew this reckless behavior would catch up with me. It has.
I have put it off as long and I can and now I have to roll up my sleeves and dive in. I’ve managed to stay in my office, and attend to other tasks and I now realize my procrastination must end. We are approaching an insanely busy line-up for the remainder of August. I will be home Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I have three days to pull off a cleaning and organizing feat, the likes of which I haven’t mastered in my adult life.

Pryce’s room, the downstairs and my beloved craft room need attention ASAP. I want this all cleared, clean, organized and beautified before we hit the road. It is official now that we’ve booked a room, we are headed on a quick vacation/hiking adventure very soon. I didn’t expect this. I was planning on being right here at the ‘ol ponderosa, but I’m sure not complaining at all! I actually think it could be invigorating to see new country and be on the road for a bit.

I have a lot to do between now and then. I will be processing dilly beans for my favorite brother, I have a newsletter to sew together, wonderful client sessions to facilitate, beans and cukes to pickle, corn to freeze, tomatoes to pick, goats to walk and an entire house to clean and organize. Let’s not forget packing, always packing.
Next week my spouse is home for an entire 24 hours. Two of my helpers are going to hang out with their Grandma J. I have a road trip east planned for Wednesday, full day in town on Thursday and home Friday to pack. We could leave as early as Saturday. We’ll fly home in time for the Old Settler’s Reunion on the 28th. Chad will be at a rodeo on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. The kids start school on Wednesday. We leave Friday to celebrate Z and L’s marriage! Yay! Yay! Yay! We are sooo excited for this event!
So that’s my life. Fast forward, roller coaster speed, buckle the belts, hang on, yippie………..
I’m focusing now. I have an hour before we leave to celebrate my nephew’s birthday. I’ve successfully managed to procrastinate one more day of not entering the “disaster zone”!

It MUST BE DONE. If you see no further posts beyond this one, please come find me. It will mean that I’ve fallen under a landslide of stuffed animals and useless trinkets and that I can’t get out! I’ll repay you with garden produce and the tastiest GML (goat’s milk latte) that you’ve ever had. I will be grateful to you for the rest of my life. (Aren’t I so good with drama?!?!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mama I'm soaked!

Today was THE PERFECT sprinkler day. Altogether, it was just a pretty perfect day and please know I use that word sparingly!

I've had an awesome week; I've been blessed to work with six clients/friends that I adore. The courage and awareness that come through these beings are truly awe-inspiring! I am deeply honored to share guidance, insight and support as it comes through. In return, what a joy to feel their love and support coming through to me! Isn't it amazing that when we do what we love, we are free to offer that loving support to others? It sure feels that way to my heart! Thank you Sweet Ones, keep up the FANTASTIC forward movement! Rock on!!!

So after an awesome morning session, we hooked up with our buddies and had a little play time. The four boys, P, T, T and P hit the pool to cool off and splash around. Their names and ages are coincidentally close together and not at all planned that way! Their Mama, one of my BFF's, and I just holler "BOYS" really loud instead of going through the tongue twister of names. We've found that "Hey YOU" works too! (For the record, my boys absolutely despise being called their sister's name but she has no problem when she is called one of theirs! She's now dropped the P in each of their names and added an H (in honor of her BFF) to "Hakie" and "Harker". They.....hate this too. Isn't that what siblings are for?!?!)

As the boys played in the water the girls hit the greens. Yes, it was HOT, but there were sprinklers, BIG ones! Without any hesitation, Blue Sparkle ran straight for the jets! I wish I would've recorded her giggles and squeals of utter delight. She came back to the cart soaking wet! This is what I captured.

I forget sometimes how important spontaneous, simple joys are. Running through a sprinkler on a hot day, hearing the laughter of a child, a hug from an old friend, turning up your favorite song on the radio and singing at the top of your lungs, the first taste of sweet corn, hitting a golf ball on the green on #6, watermelon juice running down your cheek, coasting down the river on an tube, watching a sunset, listening to the crackle of a campfire and being surrounded by people you love and people who love you, right back......even those living hours, states or countries away!

In all the movement I've been involved in, I really haven't taken much time to stop, listen, and open to all the wonderful people and blessings that are already here, dancing in my life!
I didn't get soaked with water today, but I did get soaked, completely saturated,with the awareness of how fortunate we all are to be living in this time and in this place and with wonderful people and pets. We have homes, cars, clean, running water, electricity and food! we have SO many blessings it may be impossible ti count then all. In fact, I dare you to try! Why such a bold dare? When you start to recognize what you already have, you begin to notice more and more of the same! Blessings multiply.

Please know I do realize some of you are in tough places at this time so my enthusiasm, while meant to be inspiring may not feel that way as you read these words. Maybe you are sad tonight, maybe your little boy or girl is headed off to college, maybe a job is ending, maybe you've had to say good bye to a loved one? The good thing about getting "soaked" is that all your senses are open, you are blessed with the ability to feel and.....to feel deeply. Sadness and pain, happiness and joy are all part of this human experience. High and lows are not what define us, instead it is our ability to perceive love, no matter what the situation is. Being able to know and truly FEEL that you love and knowing someone loves you is the "raft" that keeps us floating during any "soaking".

Tonight's post is dedicated to my life-long friend, Jamie Dee, in memory of her Grandad Covey.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

1st Onion Braiding

I really had no idea how to braid onions before 6 pm tonight. I've seen fancy braiding with garlic and onions. I probabky could've "You Tube'd" it or gone to e-how.com but I didn't even fire up the 'puter today. I spent the majority of the day cleaning and organizing and tidying up the kitchen.....a NEVER ENDING JOB.

The idea of actually sitting down, braiding onions was actually a welcome one.

Though I was sweating profusely, I was determined to put fourth and effort. Even if it looked like something a preschooler did, I didn't care.

Apparently I have some kind of throw-back knowlege in my DNA. I had no prior knowlege but my hands instinctlively seemed to know what to do. I just went with it. I trusted the flow and what appeared to be cellular intelligence beyond my ability to comprehend (and I liked it very much!) I imagined what it would like to have been an Indian woman braiding wild onions for her relatives for winter stew. I don't know why but it seems my mind usually goes "native".

Wherever the origin or the knowledge came from, it was welcome. We have several nice sets of braids. Weeding early and often and mulching paid off. I do love a successful harvest!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

With these ingredients...

I can make just about anything! These are the staples that I use in just about all summer dishes. From fresh green beans to cherry tomatoes, no veggie is safe!

On today's menu is broiled cherry tomatoes slathered in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkled with licorice basil, feta and parmesan cheese. Who cares that I burned the brats!

Bon Appetit!

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Friday, August 6, 2010

We've been waiting for this....

It can be a challenge to find a food we ALL like. We are five different people with very different tastes. The eldest prefers meat, specifically steak to any other item out there. He would eat steak for breakfast if he had a mother that would get up to grill it that early for him. He's crossing over to the "hot side" as his father is a huge influence in the spice department. That spice isn't referring to romance, we're talking jalapenos and hot peppers. Pecos loves peppers. He's been watching the ones in the garden and has a plan to nab them before I do. I know how this boy thinks.

Then there's Sparky. He is a fruit-aholic. I don't think that is a bad thing except when we splurge on cherries or pineapple and he eats the entire bowl. He would have fruit and fruit only if he could get away with it. He also likes carrots. He once made the rest of us shake our heads in awe when he refused the m n m cookie ice cream bars and asked for the baby carrots we'd just bought instead. Huh?! Stange kid! His father blamed that one on me, saying "He sounds like you!" Really? If only I could turn down ice cream for a vegetable as a natural inclination, and not something forced from guilt. Sigh. He really does set a good example, the rest of us don't follow it often, but its there!

And then we have Blue Sparkle, the child who refuses anything other than sugar! Sugar, in her book, is a necessary part of the food groups. It really should be the ONLY one. She's addicted. If she has veggies  you can bet they will be adequately dipped in a sweet sauce, usually Famous Dave's Sweet and Zesty. If it is something I've made, her nose turns up, she flicks her hair and says, "Humm, I guess I'm not hungry. You can have it though!" Nice. Thanks.

Chad is not the least beat picky. This happens when you are no longer the cook. You are so darn glad to be released from the gathering, preparation and the horrid clean-up that you don't really care what you are served. He'll eat nearly anything, save my favorites lobster, clam, crab and shrimp. If I lived closer to the ocean, I feast on an array of shellfish daily. Yes, I would.

Pecos refuses cheese and dairy, (he will eat pizza so this usually isn't tolerated.) Sparky thinks the devil himself invented soup. He despises anything close to potato soup. He goes on an immediate hunger strike, retreating to his room. He's been made to sit at the table all night. He was even tempted with fabulous dessert. Since he is not a dessert fan, it didn't work. He was hungry the next morning and never once complained about breakfast, but there sat the 'ol potato soup. If BS could have grilled cheese and tomoato soup every day, her world would be so joyful. She on the other hand, LOVES soup. How did we manage to create/grow such diverse children? Who knows? Recessive genes must about in these bodies!

The one food we all LOVe is fresh, sweet corn, plucked right from the garden. We haven't had store bought corn in years. We either try to raise our own or find friends who have a suprlus and pluck theirs. In our books, there's just nothing better! I prefer home cooking to eating out. I strive for healthy, balanced meals and sometimes I get darn frustrated because it is nearly impossible to cook something at every meal that everyone likes..........except in the summer time..........usually around August we all eat in peace. WE ALL LOVE SWEET CORN. From the first crunch we relax into a joyful chorus of crunching, slobbering, and devouring that would make pigs blush. Its must sound terrible. The dogs look at us as if we've all gone mad. We have. We do this when we have something so deliciously good, cheap and FREE. We avoid buying any from other farmer's though this wouldn't be a sin! We just like the anticipation of waiting for our own delicious shucks to pop up and award us with this creamy, sweet goodness. We're all just a little happier in August. We've waited an entire year for this veggie and..........its been so worth the wait!  We picked six precious ears. I could have gone for a few more but hey, there's more where that came from!
I also want to extend a big THANKS to my wonderful friends Shari and Steve for being my "medicine people". I deeply appreciate your help in doctoring and healing my "ballerina wound". What can I say, I'm a "tree" and we trees move faster sometimes than our brains can think! You two rock! Thanks for the love and support!

Here's to abundance of delicious corn and sweet friends~

Thursday, August 5, 2010

All In A Day's Work

Yesterday I wrote about how un-gracefull I am. I forgot to include on that list that I am also determined and self-reliant. I didn't quit until the last can was boiling.....I went to sleep at 1:30 am. A quitter I am not.

I had a WONDERFUL client session this morning, cooked a down-home meal for my (surprised) family and spent the afternoon puttering and picking in the garden. The basil, dill, sage and lemon balm are bursting! Oh how I LOVE herbs!

I've been meaning to tackle a couple of disaster zones in the house but thanks to the abundance of my garden, I'm focusing on canning dill beans this afternoon.

As far as I can calculate, my knight in shining armor isn't going to mind the mess, when he comes to sweep me off my feet and rescue me from this messy house that has kept me hostage all summer. I've sent out distress signals, applied to Calgon commercials and yet.....here I remain. Grounded. In my kitchen. Ready for another round of "sweat my a*# off"! Bring it!

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'd Make A Horrible Ballerina!

I see myself as energetic, willing to change and try new things. I can be daring and even take risks. I like funky, quirky, authentic and unique styles. I honor creativity and adore handmade!

I think I am a hard worker, sometimes a "wanna-be over-achiever" and usually a pathetic perfectionist. I am a lot of things but one thing I am NOT.....is graceful. Nope. Not even close. I miss that mark by miles, even when I'm not trying!

I would love to "float" through the kitchen, delicately cut vegetables, cook in an organized fashion and follow daintily in Martha S's footsteps. Whatever! I'm convinced its not going to happen in this lifetime.
How do I know this? Easy. I just fsizzled my skin when I lifted the lid off of the pressure canner. Like a firearm, they are only dangerous if the user doesn't know what the crap he/she is doing....or if the user is careless, in a hurry, tired, etc.

I had not realized the lid was sealed when I went to lift it off. Steam shot out instantly. OUCH! Yes, I should have known better. The proper action would have been to turn the heat down, wait and then, calmly and gently lift off the lid later. Why didn't I? Who knows! I like the feel of scalded skin?!

I knew it was bad. So as soon as I caught my breath I headed to the medicine cabinet for some outdated "silvadine" the best dang stuff for burns ever invented. I'm sure it will heal. It's been two hours and I feel like my skin is as hot as the sun.
So, I'm not going to win any Julia Child's cooking award. However, I share this because maybe, just maybe, you were doubting your cooking abilities. Don't! Anyone can run a kitchen, it takes a super-talented, non-graceful, impatient, muli-tasker to really make canning exciting! Have you hugged your pressure cooker lately?

More Beans

In my great wisdom I sent the boys out to pick beans. I incorrectly thought that they jad picked them all. Not. Even. Close.

I have been in the garden all morning and I'm not yet making a dent. I came in to empty my dish pan. I am blessed with an abundance of beans!

The only thing about canning beans that I dislike is picking them. That is why I tried to pawn the duty off on my offspring. Lesson learned. I guess this one really did need my expertise, or just extra hands. It was pretty hot yesterday. I'm sure that is probably why so many beans were missed. Yes, that's it!

so while I really would love to be doing other things I have to remember it is garden season. All those fabulous craft projects are now officially on the back burner. I did have an inspiration as I was picking my life away; I believe this fall I'd like to host one craft/creativity playshop a month. I'm going to open our home to those interested in working on creative projects or crafts in the company of others. we can knit, sew, quilt, scrapbook, whatever! I think it would be fun and inspiring to come together in this way and maybe, just maybe, I'd be accountable and HAVE to sit down and do something FUN!

Break is over, back to the garden I go!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rodeo's Aftermath

If you haven't already figured it out, I'll just say this.....I am not a fan of endless piles of laundry. I don't know a lot of people who are. last weeks was more than taxing; I did the brunt of the chores, garden and other errands that are typically shared by the family. I was ready for extra hands by week's end.

This week, I am most content to have children and Chad closer to home. What I forgot about was that during their gallyvanting (is that a word?) across the country, no Mama was there to do their laundry. Being the thoughtful boys they are, they brought it ALL home to me. Thanks boys, thanks so much!

I've torn into the two-mile pile with gusto at 8 am. In the midst of whipping up ice cream, washing beans, cleaning floors,cleaning the bathroom doing dishes and other household tasks, necessary but too boring to mention, I shared the task of hanging these babies up to dry with their owner. Spark was happy to help. In all the complaining I do, I have to say I'm very thankful to have a son who genuinely loves to help. He does so with a smile on his face, happy to be of service. He actually sets a positive example for his mother!

I'm thinking we'll use this week to clean and reorganize. It amazes me how far behind I can get in relatively short blocks of time. Its time to can beans again and soon, I hope the tomatoes will come on. They are slow to ripen, probably thanks to the lovely "goat munchings" that took place in May. We also need to work on the water system. They aren't getting enough water and the rains seem to be missing us. It's hot and humid, perfect weather for tomatoes, don't you think?!

This looks like a fairly quiet week, which I am welcoming with open arms. I have a few developments to report but I'll wait until tomorrow to share when I know more! It involves a car and.....a trip. We have somr thinking and planning to do. Things could not look more different this summer from what I was thinking in May. Somedays I really have to wonder if I hit a wrong button somewhere! Its not bad, just different and nothing has gone according to plan. I guess its time to make a new path. The old one just hasn't been very smooth.

Oh well, there's always golf, right when I need it most, to give me something different to think about!

Have a great evening, wherever you are sweating your tail off tonight!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

He looks.....thrilled?!

My family is now getting iused to me snapping pics with my phone and camera right and left. The second she hears the click BS will ask, "Mom is that going on your blog?"

So, tonight, ever so NOT amused I captured a pic of my cowboy husband who stood just long enough to take this shot. I see now, where my children get their smart a#* attitude from. All this time, I thought it was me! *gasp* I don't think so now......!

So being the supportive wife I am, I'm sitting in the trailer, in the ac and waiting until steer wrestling to go watch! It's probably time. I'm reading a "Old Jules Country" and its hard to put down. Duty calls.....

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