Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lessons From The Garden

Right now I'm trying to hang onto the positive and lasting things that I've learned or discovered in the last year.  I'm writing, here, these precious lessons so that I can remember them and maybe someone out there, someone I don't even know, will learn from them too...

I've discovered that gardening is one of God's greatest forms of therapy... the calm that comes while planting the first seeds, the patience it takes to wait for them to grow, the inner pride you feel when the plant is strong enough to go from house to garden, true elation when it bears fruit. 

Time is required, time is essential, it does not all happen in one day, it takes months of careful love and tending; patience and nurturing is required for all things to grow strong.

A garden is not perfect, there are weeds that must be pulled, soil that must be fertilized, pruning that is essential for proper growth.  I am reminded that we are not perfect that relationships are not perfect; every good thing requires work.

I learned how good it feels to do the work, how warm the soil is at the end of an early summer day, how the dead leaves will simply come off of the stem when they should if you are patient and let them wither, how the death of these leaves is essential to the health of the plant. 

I relished in pulling the weeds that grew where they were not wanted; creating space for the plants to grow and breathe.  Sometimes the weeds came out of the soil with ease and other times their roots were so deep that it took digging to remove them, sometimes these tough ones were the smallest.  I think of my heart and how there are weeds growing there, how some come away easily while others will leave a mark when dug out but I will be healthier when they are gone, I will have space to grow.

My sorrow is that I won't see the garden I helped tend wither and sleep in the fall.  There are lessons in that as well and I am sure that I will learn them in time.  I think the ones I have learned are ones I needed to know right now, for this time in my life.

I've started growing things of my own in my little tree house apartment.  I'm enjoying watching them grow and tending them with care, they are protected here, it's not the same as a garden exposed to the elements but I think sometimes a little protection is necessary too.

I hope you're all having a beautiful summer.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Scrapping Again and A New Flock

C and his Cousins,
 bits and pieces from all over.... finally using stuff up!

One of my favorite photos of C as a little one...
mostly from the Studio Calico kit Yearbook, buttons made by April Foster!

I always plant red geraniums in honor of my Gram... they just make me happy!

More wonderful stuff from Studio Calico and odds and ends from my desk.

and finally my fabulous garage sale find... a whole flock of 10 Flamingos for $5... don't really know why but I have always wanted a whole bunch of these cheerful plastic birds and now I've got 'em!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Best Friends... EVER... really

Image found on the web

So this post has been in process for a few weeks... but the truth is it is also long overdue.

I'm blessed to have an amazing bunch of girlfriends. I didn't always have that.  I've had a hard time making solid connections with women, I think it's a whole trust-issue thing, but I have some of the most wonderful women in my life and they support me even when they don't understand what I'm thinking or doing... and that's HUGE!

I came home bruised and broken-hearted two weeks ago.  I had just lost something in my life that I thought was forever, someone that I loved and trusted had turned their back on me hours before I was to walk through the courtroom doors and end my marriage.  I was kicked hard when I was already down.  I was a wreck.... but you know what... the women in my life surrounded me and picked me up, gently wiped away my tears, served me some sangrias and listened to me pour out the pain.  These women gave me so much of their own time even after I had all but abandoned them for this other relationship.  They held me when I was hurting.  They showed me what unconditional really means.

Thank you ladies, you all know who you are and I truly value you so much.  I love you all.

To Do: at 32

To Do:

  • Go new places.
  • Try new things.
  • Give C more freedom = let him make his own mistakes.
  • Call friends more often just to chat.
  • Write.
  • Write letters.
  • Create.
  • Play.
  • Love freely.
  • Enjoy life.

Thanks everyone for all the birthday messages yesterday!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Seeing Grey

I'm halfway through this year of "Learning" (my OLW for 2010) and I'm still just at the beginning of my journey.  You see I have always thought of the world as black and white.  I truly believed that things were either good or bad, that they were true or false, right or wrong.  I'm the girl who colors within the lines.  I thought that my way of thinking was the "right" way.  I was so very blind.

I've discovered in the last few months that the only way to really enjoy life, to truly live life, is to see and embrace the areas of grey.

It's really hard for me to embrace the grey.  The areas where things are not so cut and dry, not so mapped out, not so black and white.  I have to constantly tell myself to relax.  I must keep remembering that control is only an illusion.  I must breathe and try to live in the moment because I will never have that exact moment again. I have to take off the blinders in order to really see all the beauty life has to offer. I have to not have a plan.

So today I'm learning to see the grey and trying to embrace it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Soul Food - French Toast

I love french toast, it's one of those foods that feeds your body and the joy of preparing it feeds your soul.  I need to be fed, I'm in a place of newness that is uncomfortable and at times just heartbreaking, but the truth is I'll live to see another day and I'll be filled with this yummy recipe while I do it. 

Soul Soothing French Toast with Strawberry Sauce
I adapted this recipe from Nigella Lawson, one of my all time favorite foodies!

3 large slices of day old french bread (I used some of the giant loaf I bought at Panera)
5 eggs
2 tbs good vanilla
5 tbs half and half
butter for the pan

Strawberry Sauce -
1 package of fresh strawberries
3 heaping tbs of sugar
1 tbs lemon juice (fresh please)

Preheat the oven to 250 (to keep the already cooked toast warm if working in batches)

Get out all your aggressions by breaking the eggs into a shallow dish and then whisking them together with the half & half and vanilla.  Soak the bread for thirty to forty seconds on each side and cook in sizzling butter.  Place cooked toast in oven to keep warm. 

While your toast cooks hull the strawberries and throw them into a blender with the sugar and lemon juice, pulverize.... you'll feel truly de-stressed after making this!

Cover the toast with a generous portion of the strawberry sauce... enjoy!