Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Garden

My garden is experiencing severe neglect. Despite that fact, its nice to look out and see these garden faces. They make it seem so much less dismal.

Maybe there's a certain serenity in letting nature take over (by nature I mean weeds galore.) My garden statues seem to think so.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I'm making up a bunch of samples of Moody Mud, my aromatherapy stress dough, to send to a shop in California. I thought they were so cool looking that I just had to snaps some shots of the colorful little balls.(to those of you who saw the title and expected something else...shame on you.)

Bad Hair Day

Yes, dogs have them least after coming out of my daughter's self proclaimed Doggie Hair Design Studio.

And hats off to this avant gaurde design perhaps inspired by Star Wars?

(*No dogs were harmed in the making of this blog entry.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Blackberries, Blueberries and Pie...Oh my!

I'm ready for fall. I bought an apple scented candle and as its aroma filled the air I had a sudden urge to go apple picking. Think of it, a cool fall day, rows and rows of apple trees standing like soldiers just heaving with red fruit. Alas, fall was not ready for me. I'm a few weeks too early and my yearn for fall is a little misplaced in this 85 degree heat.

So, on a whim Sage and I decided to go berry picking instead! We hopped in the car and headed out to a berry patch just south of Kansas City. I'd never been berry picking before but I'd heard it could be hard work but just think of the end reward, a lovely berry pie. Besides, we really had nothing else to do on an August Saturday morning. So, armed with our little white pails and directions to walk down the path a ways we headed out to the open berry patch about a quarter mile from the berry outfitters.
We started with the blackberry patch since it was the first one on the path. Blackberries are tricky. They like to hide. They offer their unripe bright red fruit in plain sight while the fat juicy black ones hide well in the back under the brush and leaves. This was frustrating at first but as we wandered the rows and adjusted our blackberry eyes, suddenly plump purplish black blackberries were spotted everywhere. The red ones held so much allure at first though that we couldn't help picking some.
I really got into the zen of picking blackberries and I could tell Sage did too. We went off down different paths exclaiming in triumph each time we found a big ripe black one. I was thankful no one else was around because I really actually started talking to the tricky bushes and thanking them for such beautiful berries once they decided to reveal them to me. Sage would have been mortified to hear me even if no one was around. Its a good thing she was a few rows over.
How can you not be gushingly thankful for such a lusty berry?

It took us a good hour to collect enough berries for a pie. An hour of zen disturbed only mildly by the buzzing of horseflies and huge blackberry-eating beatles. Sage found a snail lazily making its way across a blackberry leaf. A butterfly landed on her and rode with her all the way down one row. This hour gave me newfound respect for the price of berries in the store. Its hard work but ever so pleasant to be so close to nature.

We walked a ways over to the blueberry patch next. As you well know, blueberries are quite a bit smaller than blackberries. I picked a few and quickly decided it would take an awful lot of picking to make a blueberry pie....and the berry outfitters store DID say they had an abundance of already picked we wandered a few more steps, admired the breathtaking view of niceley spaced blueberry bushes contrasting ever so nicely with the pale blue sky and paused just long enough for me to snap this shot before we headed back to the store.
Ahh but the blackberries....just look at this bountiful harvest.

I can't wait til apple season!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pay It Forward-Part Deux

I love it when I buy something and first time out it gets noticed or gets compliments. I'm always afraid to wear "showy" jewelry. I am almost always seen wearing black perhaps so I can fade into the background and not be noticed....or perhaps I need Garanimals to help me match anything else. Alas, I checked, they only make Garanimals for kids. (For those of you who don't know what Garanimals is... )

I digress, sorry.....This is my second purchase as part of my "Pay It Forward" plan, (AKA my excuse to buy things I clearly did not need.) Its a beautiful necklace and I couldn't be happier that my blank black canvass is decorated so beautifully.

By the way, this is a picture from the seller's site, its not me. The necklace unfortunately did not transform my cleavage for those of you who know me and wonder where that came from.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Ah who can resist the allure of fresh laundry? Certainly not my not so fresh dog, Yeta.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pay It Forward

I posted a challange of sorts in the Etsy forums for sellers to generate some good Etsy juju by engaging in the concept of "pay it forward." For those of you who don't know what the heck an Etsy is, you're missing out. Etsy is an incredible venue for artists and crafters to sell their handmade wares. I felt that by buying from Etsy and giving someone else an Etsy buzz, it might also generate that vibe in my store as well. It worked, I made my first sale just after my first purchase. I bought this cube soap that I thought just looked so cool on the chrome stand from a shop called Red Leaf. Its a novel idea and I like novel ideas. I had initially wanted to buy from a shop who had yet to make any sales but this soap was calling to me. I dig cubes.

It was shipped super fast and it even came with a bonus sample of room spray in Lime Basil that smells fab. I love the scent of the soap, its called "Beach" but smells pretty similar to a perfume oil I wear called "China Rain." The soap lathers great, but I have yet to use it for shaving as suggested. Maybe I'll tackle my prickly legs today. I was a little surprised at the size since the soap was pretty pricey at $5 for the soap and $7 for the stand. I guess its pretty hard to judge scale by some photographs on the shop site. The stands are actually egg cups. Thanks to the free sample and the super-saturated scent, I was pretty happy with my purchase.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

School Supplies

Sage starts school in a week. I can't believe this summer is already gone. We went shopping for school supplies and I don't know what it is but I'm like a kid in a candy store where school supplies are concerned. Is it the smell of fresh paper? The allure of pencils to sharpen or fresh pens that no one has used yet? Or is it more?

Every time we shop for school supplies we both get a little giddy. We love getting the list and checking off each item as we find them. Its not only the fresh, virgin spiral notebooks and the smell of crayon wax, its the excitement of a new year. It signals new beginnings and the scary yet exciting adventures that lie ahead. Its the promise of something bigger and its a welcome glimpse into fall when its 103 degrees outside. I feel the rush too. Just like I did every year when it was time to buy new school supplies.

It may sound silly, but these are the moments to savor in life. I know I have only a few more years left to shop for school supplies with my daughter. Yet still, somehow I think I will still buy them even long after she's gone off to college. Just so I can feel that rush again...and maybe flashback to the excitement and promise of a new year. Screw New Years Eve, I'll take new school supplies any day!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Best Sandwich Ever! (ok maybe just this week)

I have this recipe for homemade Pimento Cheese Spread that is NOTHING like the processed pimento spread you are used to from the grocery store. In fact, I think its so good that I crave it occasionally. Strange, I know. Who craves pimento cheese spread? ME! I use roasted red peppers so maybe I should call it Roasted Red Pepper Spread. Are pimentos and roasted red peppers the same thing? Hmm.

1 lb shredded cheddar (I like sharp)

1/2 lb shredded monterrey jack

3 TB finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper (or add more or less to taste)

4 TB mayo (please no Miracle Whip! I mean, eww.)

1 TB Chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp dried

There are no fancy directions here, just mix all the ingredients together and there you have it. You may have to add a little more mayo to your preference also. Personally I think this tastes better if allowed to mellow in the fridge for a day or so but you will probably want to dig right in. Its especially yummy with lettuce and cucumbers. Yum.