Sweet Sedums & Violets

Most times, the girls are busy with midterms and projects and haven’t made it home for Mother’s Day. That’s OK; the MR fills in in a pinch, but this year we had them both home together.

We were looking at wedding venues on Saturday, but Sweet Miss gave me these sedums early before they overheated in her car.

She’d painted the jars at her preschool, and while her kids added footprints, mine were plain. Perhaps her feet were a bit too big for canning jars.

I think they’re delightful. Her plan was that they’d wind up on the front porch, but for now, I’m enjoying their colorful addition to the table.

 

 

Making My Own Sunshine

I’m not a trusting soul. When the weatherman last night promised sunshine, I took a wait and see attitude. The rains pelting the roof this morning were no surprise. 

Perhaps with only seven days without rain this year he was trying to throw us a bone. 


It is what it is. Eventually the sun will come out. Me and the MR spent the weekend apart, but we still had that couple’s intuition happening. He bought flowers for the outside, while Baby Girl and I chose flowers for the inside. 


I have a habit of buying vases and just leaving them sit there for days, weeks, months, years…. 

Now at least we have a bit of brightness in the great room. And while I love real flowers, these add cheer and won’t wilt. I do believe there’s room for both. 


I was telling the MR over dinner last night about how a rainy spring and moldy, hallucinogenic flour may have contributed to the medieval witch trials. It’s feeling like that kind of year. 

Don’t worry. I’m keeping an eye on the flour. 

How do you add a bit of sunshine to your world?

Me and BG purchased our flowers at Pier 1. If your interested in how chemistry changed the world, check out Napoleon’s Buttons by Jay Burreson. 

Saving the Planet

My sweet sister-in-law, who’s rather awesome, has been working for the last few years to raise awareness about plastic bags and their impact on our environment. She’s attended local city council meetings encouraging the banning of plastic bags. I’m not sure if the towns have followed her advice, but she’s certainly made me more mindful of how much plastic I use.

Along with remembering to bring my reusable bags to the grocery store, I’ve also tried to lessen the use of plastic in the kitchen. First I bought Bees Wrap which is basically organic cotton fabric covered in bees wax. You simply get it warm in your hands and use it like you would plastic wrap. While you can’t use it on meat, it works well on most other things. It’s not as tight a seal as plastic, but I’ve been happy with it.

So happy that I was surprised when I noticed that my set of three wraps has dwindled down to one. Baby Girl and the MR have both assured me that they would never throw these out, so it appears to be a mystery. Browsing Pinterest, I did find a tutorial on how to make your own Beeswax Cotton Wraps. And while I’ve bought the beeswax, I haven’t quite got to the making part. Perhaps now that I’ve mentioned it to you, I’ll be more motivated.

And last month while we were wandering around Sweet Miss’ downtown, we browsed the shelves of her favorite housewares store, and I noticed something else I’d been wanting to try. I find these silicone bowl covers intriguing.

Designed to look like flowers, they take the place of plastic when covering bowls and pans. I bought the large size, but a smaller one might have been a better choice. We don’t have leftovers in such large quantities any more with just the two of us.

Then on Facebook—I know I’m addicted—I saw an ad for huggable silicone vegetable covers. On Amazon I found out they even have them for avocados. I’ve ordered a variety set of these. I don’t know how many times, I’m left with half an avocado and don’t know the best way to store it.

With just a little soap and water, I’m going through a lot less plastic wrap. Maybe I won’t save the world, but each little step counts.

How are you reducing your environmental footprint?

In other news, Baby Girl—our sweet breath of spring—celebrated the big 2-0 yesterday. Knock out those finals; we can’t wait to celebrate with you in just a few days.

 

When you were 2, I wanted you to wear a party dress. After lots of fighting, Dad stepped and let you wear old hand-be-downs—the big softy. You had some attitude. 

 

Duvall Bag Ladies

I’m super excited to share this post with you today. We have bag ladies in Duvall.

Now you may be saying, “Kim homelessness is nothing to get excited about. Let’s have some compassion.” And I’d totally agree with you, because it’s not those kind of bag ladies. Sandy, a local woman and recent retiree, saw stories of women recycling plastic bags into sleeping mats for the homeless. I saw those stories too and said wow, isn’t that nice. But the difference between Sandy and me is that she decided to mobilize local efforts and take on this problem as well. She is a woman of action.

She talked to the local grocery stores to gather bags from their recycle bins. She contacted the local yarn shop—Quintessential Knits—and has enlisted willing volunteers to crochet mats. At the store, she has a basket of prepared bag yarn ready to be crocheted up. And she has friends who work with the homeless at local camps and in the soup kitchens who are able to distribute the finished sleeping mats.

So last Tuesday, I came home from knit group with a bag of plastic yarn and a mission. The first set of mats will be handed out this week.

bl-mats

I went through my drawer of bags and whipped up some yarn of my own. The mats are light-weight and compact. And the store bags add color and interest.

bl-bag-close-up

While I’m opposed to plastic bags in general; let’s face it; they’re everywhere. It takes about 600 bags to make one mat. Maybe these mats will keep at least a few from blowing around parking lots and polluting our oceans. And perhaps they’ll give homeless people a bit of comfort knowing someone cared enough to make one just for them.

You can find out more information about the Duvall Bag Ladies by contacting Sandy at DuvallBagLadies @gmail.com

When Sweet Miss was in high school, she was part of the Random Acts of Kindness club, and they had t-shirts saying “Be the Difference You Want to See in the World.” That’s a wonderful saying to take to heart.

How are you making a difference in the world?

By the way, Baby Girl did make it back to school yesterday. The snow and ice that hit Oregon over the weekend left many travellers stranded. When Portland and Eugene airports closed, one of BG’s friends wound up at SeaTac, so she even had company on the road. Hoping for safe travels for all the kids going back to school.

Making the Most of It

You know how you have errands, and appointments, and commitments that force you to drive all over the place? Well, why not make the most of it?

Every six months or so, I have to visit a specialist in Seattle for my MS. It’s not a big deal—simply routine. The MR comes along, we fight traffic, catch up with my doctor for a few minutes, I drop the MR off at work, and then drive home. Simple enough, right?

Well, what if we decided to explore the wonders of Seattle instead of just driving home? We could play tourists and make a day of it. That’s what we decided to do a few weeks ago when my semi-annual appointment rolled around.

We went to the doctor and then headed on over to the Seattle Center where the old fun forest amusement park has been replaced with  Dale Chihuly Garden and Glass. We’ve been to Venice twice, as a child I collected blown-glass objects, and have you counted the windows in our house? Let’s just say we like our glass.

I’d actually seen the gardens in an old episode of Top Chef and was intrigued. It was the intended destination for my birthday back in September until we were exhausted by all the running around the rest of the week and decided to stay close to home.

We wound up with a lovely, sunny day—the perfect day to visit gardens. Just walking into the place brought a huge smile to my face.


It’s whimsy, and beauty, and sparkle.


It’s abundance, and exuberance, and fun.


So much art and imagination goes into each piece. I want a ceiling of glass.


No, wait, I want giant glass bowls.


Maybe I need a giant glass still life.


I loved the inside. It was amazing, and then we reached the atrium leading to the gardens.


Perhaps we need some color and excitement at our house. I’m sure a garden of glass would scare away the deer and racoons.


The monochromatic design of many of the flower bed was stunning.


If only …


Maybe we can just have a few small pieces.


Since we were there, the MR figured lunch at the Space Needle would be a great way to finish off the day. The food’s a bit pricey, but the trip to the top is included, and the view is amazing.

I remember when Sweet Miss was little, I used to pick up a loaf of french bread as soon as we arrived at the grocery store. For 99-cents, I bought a stress-free trip while she snacked.

Sometimes pairing necessities with something fun makes all the difference.

What do you do to make the everyday special?

(By-the-by, for the first time in over a year, none of our windows are broken. The fellows from Sound View were here yesterday, and the new pane went in without a hitch. Now to schedule the window films.)

 

 

 

Simply Pretty

A few weeks ago, after we moved Sweet Miss out of her duplex, attended graduation, helped host a BBQ, went to dinner and breakfasts with Her Fella’s family, moved Baby Girl out of the dorms, and drove hundreds of miles home, my first thought was to check on my garden.

The MR was busily untying ropes so we could get Baby Girl’s stuff out of the pickup, and I needed to stretch my legs and see what a weekend of sunshine and neglect had done to the garden and the orchard. As I headed out the back door, I was surprised when Sweet Miss asked if she could come, too.

Well, sure, and when did my children grow up enough that they went out to the garden without being forced? The broccoli and beets were growing; it was time to check out the berries. As we walked over to the orchard, Sweet Miss grabbed a fistful of daisies.

Daisy Stand

We have clumps of daisies growing wild around the meadow and the fields. The MR likes the flowers, so he takes extra time to mow around them. Sure they’re pretty, but they’re weeds, right?

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Our pocekts filled with blueberries and currants, me and Sweet Miss made our way back up to the kitchen. She cut the stems and plunked the flowers down into a canning jar. I added a bit of orange ribbon, and suddenly, we had sweet, humble centerpieces for our dinner party last weekend.

Daisy Bouquets

Pretty doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. It can be as simple as a few daisies in some old jars. Thanks Sweet Miss for teaching your mother a thing or two.

Do you enjoy fresh flowers? Any centerpiece tips?

 

Sweet Dreams

Last month during our travels, I became enamored with turn down service.  It wasn’t simply fluffed pillows, turned down sheets, and a bit of chocolate on the pillow, it was a wish or a blessing, ancient sayings and tiny prints. 

On Maui, little cards declared, “May the waves of the Pacific caress you dreams with tenderness” and “Sleep soundly with the scent of ginger blossoms.” 

In Cancun it was inscrutable Mayan sayings and art. 


Maybe these resonate so strongly with me, because I still kiss my grown up girls on the forehead and wish them sweet dreams before bed when we’re together. 

Perhaps if we turn our thoughts to good things, sweet smells, blessings, and beauty before bed, we’d have fewer restless nights chasing sleep. 

I know when I’m bogged down with busyness and my to-do list stretches long, sleep flies out the window. 

So much of life is about perspective. 

Wishing you sweet dreams and a little chocolate.