my favorite place...on the farm...honeysuckle in the air...the summer sun starting to set...serenity

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rekindled


The other night at the library I was looking for something to read so I picked up this book. Then last night I read the whole thing in an hour or so. (I am a fast reader). I liked it but found it hard to believe she did not recognize her own husband even if he had lots of burn scars. Still, it was a good love story.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

bed


I found somewhere on craigslist where they are giving away free bedframes so I am going to take a look on Friday. I've never had a real bedframe so it would be nice to have one so my bedroom will look more put together. This is a pretty bed I found on Pottery Barn's website, I like the canopy and the white linens look so crisp and clean.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Pennsylvania Peaches

Yesterday I was in the lovely state of Pennsylvania to attend a church convention and on the way home picked up two bushels of peaches and an apple tree loaded with apples. PA is such a beautiful state and I wanted to snap some pictures of the scenery but since I was driving a van full of people it was best to keep both hands on the wheel.

Tonight I am going to can the peaches (I'll have to ask Grandma for tips) and get that apple tree planted. One day I hope to live somewhere with my very own fruit orchard.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Z!

Happy Birthday to my cutie pie niece who turned 2 today! She is really precious. I am going to sew her an apron for her birthday which reminds me I need to get started on it as her birthday has already passed...dear me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy Birthday A!

Happy birthday to my dear youngest sister A who is a college student. This is a recent picture of her (on the far right) with my older sister.

Some of her favorite things are:
indie & reggae music
enjoying nature
photography
painting portraits (she is an excellent artist)
learning the ukulele
sleeping in
crab meat
saving the environment
decorating her bedroom

Friday, August 22, 2008

global rich list

Today I went to http://www.globalrichlist.com/ and typed in my salary. Turns out I am in the top 4.33% of richest people in the world. Whenever I get down about something it is always helpful to remember that I have basic things such as a roof over my head, food, clothing, and a job. During high school I worked for a young neighbor man who was paraplegic and had cerebral palsy. He was very smart and had a college degree but was confined to a wheelchair and paralyzed. I did basic things like open the mail for him, enter his stock quotes on a spreadsheet and fix him meals. It was a reminder that I'm lucky to have use of all my limbs.

It is easy to fall into the trap of not being content with what we already have. I like to think up ways to further simplify my life. Not having a television is a great help because I don't know how I would get anything done if I had one. Another thing I am constantly working on is my bedroom. It also doubles as an art studio so I have all number of art supplies as well as clothes everywhere. Whenever I am in there all I can see is clutter!

I have found it is good to keep a clean room / home because clutter is very stressful. My goal for now is to donate a bunch of stuff to thrift stores. I could probably sell things on ebay but it would be so much easier to have a clean room now instead of a month from now when everything sells.

This weekend once again I am going to work on the garden. It hasn't been getting watered...Eek! Luckily next week the forecast is lots of rainstorms.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I can see clearly now

Today I went and got another contact lens prescription and a new set of contacts. I had only been wearing one contact for the last two weeks as one fell apart and I couldn't find my written out prescription (plus the doctor I had seen in January had moved to a new location and taken the client files with her). It is pretty amazing how clear I can see now since I had been walking around in a half haze of blurry vision. (My eyes are pretty bad like -4.75). Of course it's my fault for not being organized and knowing where my old prescription was..plus I was too prideful to wear my glasses. Honestly I look like that actress on Ugly Betty with my cat eye glasses and braces. Even though I have good insurance through work I still ended up paying $62 for "Contact Lens Evaluation Level 3".

You might have to be careful when going to the doctor because sometimes they sneak these little things onto the bill! Now I know why my Mom always asks up front how much the bill is going to be with their insurance coverage.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Proper Food & Clothing

I am a bit confused when it comes to buying wholesome nutritious food at the grocery store. You can get a box of chocolate Debbie cake snacks for 99 cents but then it will cost you over a dollar to buy a single peach!! When I go to look at the sales flyers for our different grocery stores usually the stuff on sale is junk food, sports drinks, and processed food in a box like Hamburger Helpers. No wonder our nation is mostly overweight with everyone eating "trash". I guess that is one good thing about having a large garden, all you have to do is walk outside and pick something fresh off the vine. Whenever I give someone a friendly suggestion to plant a few tomatoes or something easy that can grow in a pot they say why do that when they can just get it at the grocery store.

I was reading somewhere that our grocery stores get their food every couple of days by trucks so if something were to happen (natural disaster, etc.), the shelves would be stripped bare probably within a day. That is why I believe it is good to have extra food on hand for emergencies and just to be prepared in general.

Also it would be nice for once to see pretty dresses and skirts on sale instead of ripped t-shirts and jeans and ultra miniskirts. It is sad when I see little girls (age 10 and under) wearing very short shorts and skirts. I don't know what their parents are thinking! Yesterday when I was out at lunchtime I looked around to see if anyone else was wearing a skirt besides me. Um, no. I was the only one and most of the people around we were all women. So ladies, please keep wearing your skirts and dresses.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Silhouettes


I found a delightful website today (www.simplysilhouettes.com) that creates silhouettes from your photographs and makes canvas art, stationery, clothing, stamps, dishes, pillows and much more. This couple silhouette was my favorite, I love the lady's hairdo.

Monday, August 18, 2008

beating the heat


Today during lunchtime I headed for the bank. It feels like it is 90 degrees out and of course my car was overheating...so I had to crank up the heat and sweat it out. I'll have to figure out what the problem is because when I bought the car the guy said he replaced the radiator and all the hoses. Then I told myself I couldn't complain because at least I have a car. It seems to only happen in stop and go traffic in hot weather, whatever that means.


This week I'm attempting to save money by packing lunches and not doing any shopping unless it is for groceries. Yesterday I spent most of the day rearranging and cleaning and ended up sneezing all day and night. Today I am grateful I haven't sneezed once and my nose seems back to normal.


Also last night I watched the movie "The Last Sin Eater" based on the book by Christian author Francine Rivers. Overall I thought it was good although some parts were sort of slow and other parts I was like well how come that person didn't think of this or that. It made me want to read the book as I read her other book "Redeeming Love" and it was pretty good.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

lazy river days

Today a group of us gals headed for the Shenandoah River and went tubing. It was very peaceful and relaxing (took us about 3 hours to drift down probably less than a mile). I think I drifted in one spot for about 1/2 an hour because the current wasn't carrying me anywhere. I didn't take my digital camera because I didn't want it to get soaked. The water of course was only about a foot and a half deep so there was no fear of tipping over. It was waist high water near the end where we got out of the river and I felt like I was walking to a baptism.

This lovely evening I checked the garden and picked a bunch of roma tomatoes, heirloom yellow tomatoes and a few jalapenos. I don't know how all the weeds sprouted up but it seems like I am walking through a jungle just to get to my garden patch. The romas went into tonight's chili and they added a sweetness to it. (Or maybe that was my imagination)

Tomorrow I will be spending lots of time in the garden making up for my laziness in not keeping up with the weeds. I'm wondering about my lettuce plants because they are supposed to produce a head of lettuce but look like they are just going to seed. My watermelons are doing good though, climbing all over the creation.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Big Island sunsets



Gorgeous sunsets every evening. This was the view from our house, looking right out at the ocean!






When I was visiting Ree's website yesterday (www.thepioneerwoman.com) and saw her sunrise photos I actually thought she was really on the Big Island. It is eery how the colors in my top sunset photo are almost the same as her Oklahoma sunrise photos. She could of fooled me :)

That is one thing I miss about the Big Island... lovely sunsets and sunrises everyday and clear skies at night where you could see all of the stars. Not to mention the 77 degree weather! We lived next door to a botanical garden so sometimes we'd hear the wild birds.

Hopefully I can save up enough money to take an extended vacation over there...

God's creation is so beautiful!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

porch swings


What's not to love about porch swings? A spot where you can sit on a lazy summer day drinking mint tea cozied up to a good book. Or perhaps gliding away in the evening breeze nestled close to your love.

Oftentimes it is nice to get away from the constant media we have in our lives (cell phones, internet, radio, tv, etc) and just enjoy nature!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

I better not put how old she is because she might be reading my blog, ha ha. She is a mother to 6 children, one grandchild, a westie, several kitties, many sheep, ducks and chickens.

Some of her favorite things are:
gardening
Williamsburg
west highland terriers
farming
quilting
photography
sewing
oil painting
writing letters
and of course her family :)

XOXO

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

blueberry pie

I made a blueberry pie on Saturday night. This is one of the easiest pies to make because unlike apple pie there is nothing to peel. All you have to do is mix blueberries with a bit of sugar. You might want to make sure they are well coated because mine turned out a little tart. Then stir in some flour to make it set up (a few tbsp is good). Line the pie dish with pie crust dough and dump in the blueberries. Then add a couple pats of butter and put the top layer of pie crust and pop in the oven. So easy and yummy! I think I ate half the pie myself. Actually, I know I did...haha.

I made this with the easiest how-to recipe from Ree's Pioneer woman website. Here is the direct link:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/08/blueberry-pie-for-betsy/

Sunday, August 10, 2008

my hawaiian Grandma

My hawaiian grandma passed away on Friday. I'm glad I got to spend some time with her when I lived in Hawaii a few years ago. My Grandpa passed away several years ago but they did make it to their 50th wedding anniversary. We called my sister who was over there and got to tell Grandma over the phone that we loved her...she tried to respond but was just to weak to form any words.

We have lots of good memories of Grandma :) She was in the Women's Army Corps and my Grandpa was in the merchant marines. When her and Grandpa would visit us on the mainland they would bring over candyleis and lots of poi. I have a cute picture of my older sister and I in our pajamas when we were about 2 or 3 years old with Grandma and Grandpa, I'll have to find it and post it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

braces

I'm glad I have braces so my teeth will finally be perfectly straight. However I am starting to wonder what people did in the olden days...I guess if your teeth were crooked, they stayed crooked.

This is from http://www.bracesinfo.com/
  • The first "braces" were constructed by Pierre Fauchard in 1728. Fauchard's "braces" consisted of a flat strip of metal, which was connected to teeth by pieces of thread.
  • Bands were invented by Schange in 1841. The first bands consisted of an strip of metal, with a screw to adjust their size.
  • Orthodontic Brackets were invented by Edward Angle in 1915. The brackets consisted of little hooks of metal, which were attached to bands which went around your teeth

My braces are the "Damon System" so they are supposed to move faster and have a shorter treatment time. We'll see!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hawaiian Concert


Last night we went and saw the Cazimero Brothers, Ledward Ka'apana and Halau O Kekuhi. It was a great concert! That is a picture of the Caz from way back in the 1970s. Dad got to see Robert afterwards (they all went to Kam school together). Of course I starting missing Hawaii again so I better save up so I can go back and visit next year!

My workplace is sponsoring a free self defense class and it was a good refresher course of some of the stuff I had already learned in my thai kickboxing classes. I started to think of how fun it would be to do kickboxing again. Maybe I can find something affordable near my home as I really do not want to be paying $180/month like I had been...funny how at the time I thought it was worth it but now I am like whoa that is a lot of money.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

farm boots



I have been looking for farm boots that I can wear when feeding hay and other miscellaneous farm stuff. It's probably not a good idea to wear slippers! I just found these lovely boots by UGG. They are $228 and shearling lined of course. They would look cute with a skirt or dress as well. I wish it didn't have a 1 1/2" heel, if I buy these I might be 6'1".

p.s. These boots are a lot of money and I probably won't buy them unless they fit right and then will plan on wearing them for a long long time. It would be nice to have one pair of boots that I really love and can wear with skirts and dresses (then I can sell all my other dress boots on ebay).

Sunday, August 3, 2008

car stuff

Today I polished up the honda's headlights and had a friend install the hood release cable. It took a couple hours but I saved hundreds of dollars! Hurray! I am coming in way under budget and all the car stuff is going better than I could of imagined. I'm very happy that I won't have a car payment, that is best thing about owning a used car.

One thing I don't understand is people that look down on you if you don't have the latest and greatest car. Hello, not everyone wants to make payments their whole lives or be in debt up th their eyeballs! I want to live a more self-sustainable lifestyle...live out in the country, grow my own food, be self-employed, learn permaculture, etc. Actually I already do a lot of those things, but I need to work on the self-employment part a bit more so I can quit my day job...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Frugal Supper

This morning I went out to the garden and pulled the weeds off of the watermelon plants. I think three survived but that will probably yield a lot of fruit! Then I picked about ten roma tomatoes, a few yellow heirloom tomatoes and two yellow squash. A thunder and lightning storm came through twice today so luckily I didn't have to worry about watering.

Tonight for supper we had pork chops and the recipe is very simple. Simply fry the pork chops in a frying pan with a can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup and a bit of Lawry's salt. Serve with rice and vegetables (or whatever you like). The cost for four people comes to about $6-7 total.

I got outbid on a ton of Victoria magazines. Grrr!! I didn't want to put in a huge bid because there are lots of other sellers selling them. Victoria is one of my favorite magazines. The latest issue has a pretty dress by Whitewash that I love. I'll see if I can find a picture of it on their website.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Stroopwafels

I discovered these lovely dutch treats today (my co-worker spent a few weeks in Holland and came back with some)...they are called a "stroopwafel". It is a thin waffle cookie with a layer of syrup or caramel in between.

They are very delicious! Try your local Trader Joe's to see if they are in stock.

I wonder if I could make them myself...Then I could eat one every day :)



Pies

Today we are having a bbq at my work so I went to Giant's and bought a lemon meringue pie and a chocolate meringue pie. The regular price was 7.99 but each of them had a 2.00 coupon. I didn't get home last night until 11:30 pm so I didn't have time to make anything. The only bad thing about the pies is when you look at the ingredients it is a lot of weird sounding chemicals! That is why I like to bake from scratch because you know what you are eating.

Another thing I like to bring to bbq or potlucks is the ambrosia salad. It is basically a five cup recipe Mom pass down to us...1 cup of each of the following:

shredded coconut
mandarin oranges
sour cream
pineapple
mini marshmallows

Drain the oranges and then mix everything into a bowl. Let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so. Yummy! You can adjust the sour cream and coconut to your liking.

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