Sunday, February 28, 2010

Garden Time

In Western Oregon, there is often a 'nice spell' of weather in Feb that's condusive to gardening, & flowers like this patch of violets on the way home from ballet yesterday. Last Sunday I planted peas & divided garlic (a few 'hidden' cloves) with my granddaughers.

I made my first Nettle Pesto yesterday, after taking seeds I picked up at Rose Marie Nichols McGee's talk on Container Gardening at our library over to show my former hubby, a botanist. (he has a lovely nettle patch)

I knew he'd be particulary pleased to have a few more Crambe maritima (Sea Kale) seed - he has a small patch with both seed he harvested from the Coast by Newport (where a small colony has been on a hill for more than 100 years) & a few from seed he ordered. It needs to be 'stratified' - soaked, outer cover removed, then put in & out of the fridge for several weeks before planting. Since it's perenial, it needs a permanent home in the garden. (Nichols offers a generous 25 seed, the company he ordered from supplied 5!)

Other seeds I am trying inc. 'Okahijiki' (Salsola komavovi) - 'land seaweed' (will add kelp to the soil of both these babies!) Fun to read that it's in the tumbleweed family, as I grew up on the 'dry side' in Central Oregon, where tumbleweeds abound!! The name okahijiki is literally land (oka) seaweed (hijiki - a black 'worm like' crunchy seaweed, which was my son's favorite!)
Suggestion is to briefly blanch (bring to a boil & turn off) then marinate or saute, or add raw to salads. I think one of the venders at our Farmer's Mkt. had some last year. A bit salty & crunchy. It also has edible seeds! (Wiki also says several of the other species have edible shoots - who knew?)

Purslane, is also a nice, crunchy salad addition (& high in Omega 3 fats!) This is one we've encouraged on the garden beds across town (where my former hubby caretakes his almost 94 year old mama). I'm working on trying more greens from different plant families (amaranth - good for both seed & greens, etc), as different plants have different health enhancing properties.
I've been doing a seed inventory - do you also tend to buy seed, & plant a few, but then forget to plant again, or to plant them AT ALL?? I still have the CSA share, & enjoy the variety of fresh OG veggies available; but I also plan to do more gardening, as it's something I love, & I enjoy having some greens fresh from my own yard daily!

In Rose Marie's talk, she recommended using ANY containers you have available - just be sure that you poke drain holes! & add fertility (I intend to soak some of my seaweed - Nichols offers granular 'Sea Magic' to "Use as a foliar spray for quick effective results and/or water in around the roots."- The instructions are to empty the 30 g packet (1 oz) into a gallon of water (the concentrate), then use 3 tsp. of concentrate in a quart of water for the spary & to put around plants. I have Kelp I've gathered at the coast, & some from the bulk bin at the Feed & Seed, so will use my own to make up a batch.

A fellow with a soil ammendment & such shop downtown recommended seaweed as a spray to enhance blossom set on my peach tree, & for other applications. & carries a range of 'goodies,' inc Molasses.

Another of Rosemarie's gems - bring your Meyer Lemon (& other citrus) in during the winter - it will live outside, but not set blossoms!! Sigh! Mine is full of fruit, but I left it on the porch too long. 'no wonder' . . . She said folks often proudly state 'well, I left my lemon out on my porch, & it did fine!' & she'll innocently inquire "& did it have flowers??" which add such a delightful fragrance in the dead of winter! NEXT YEAR I'll bring it in early, I promise

She detailed root pruning - take ~ 1" off all the way around, plus any brown root 'spirals' that are at the bottom, add back new potting soil & some (organic) fertilizer when you repot (can keep in the same pot if you take 1" off, or move to a bigger pot if you could still move it :) & take about the same amount off the top of the plant - do 'good pruning' where you remove crossing branches, etc. (This advice is for any perennial pot plants)

She had slides of gardens she's visited, & their use of containers. A rooftop above a Portland Restaurant with 12 or 13 wading pools was delightful! They poked holes in the bottom, filled with kitchen compost & potting mix, & produced all the produce for the restaurant! They also had little 'green sheds' for tomatoe plants (protection from the wind!) & other containers. Made me realize that this pool from last year might just make a good garden, lol! Colorful (theirs were the harder plastic, mostly blue or green) Link

-- The first batch of 'milk' (Coconut this time) kefir was done this AM - & YUM!! I shared some of the yogurt with my daughter, & she asked if I'd make it 'all the time' for the girls. It's mild & no extra ingredients - just the agar agar - more seaweed :) to help it gel!

Time to get out in the SUN!!

Went on a walk with my daughter & the girls, then (having asked if I could use last summer's pool) proceeded to make a couple of Gardens. I have orchard grass, morning glory, & some pretty heavy soil (great for the nutrients, but challanging at times!) Plus my daughter's big dog doesn't recognize 'garden' borders.

The pool was ~ 7' across, so I cut it in half - down the side, across the middle & up the other side, to make two ~ 3 1/2' garden pools! I poked more holes in the bottom, put a bit of duck tape on the strip, & filled partway with the leaves I pulled off the other gardens, compost (full of worms) & a bit of dirt from the garden next to the pools!

Here are views of the outside & inside one of the new gardens.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


The Water (& milk) kefir 'grains' arrived in the post today! (Thank you, Marilyn 'kefierlady')

I went off to a square dance, & (horrors!) popped them in the fridge -- then got home & opened the packet, which warned against refrigerating them - yikes!! Poor babies! (the outside of the package didn't mention that!)

So I held them, warmed them up & did some Reiki, then 'as suggested' - stirred 1/3 Cup raw sugar into almost a quart of purified water, added a scant ~ 1/8 tsp Cal/mag powder, & the 'water kefir grains' - & set them on top of my stove hood, where the light provides a bit of warmth - & they're bubbling!! Looks a wee bit like a lava lamp, bubbles float up, . . . .

The instructions say "don't worry about all the other ingredients for now. This will feed them for a few day while you gather (them) In other words, do not make them wait to be fed just because you are missing an item or two. Keep them out of the refrigerator!"

I'll move them to a cupboard, as they don't really need to be warm (40 - 80*) but thought they needed a 'head start' after I so rudely made them cold!! I've been enjoying the coconut milk yogurt (there's a suggestion of using coconut milk with the water kefir grains, too) & have eaten/drunk about half of them. I found powdered agar agar, so will try that in the next batch.

Our Health Food store has a water purification system (filtered & alkaline), & you can ask them to fill bottles you bring in so I got a gallon or so yesterday, plus some grapefruit probiotic to wash produce.
A favorite herbalist author, Lalitha Thomas, suggests using GSE in her '10 Essential Foods' - & when I asked the owner 'OK, it's a grapefruit probiotic for washing veggies?' she took me right to the shelf, & commented 'oh, yes! We use GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) on the produce here!' It's very concentrated, so you use ~ 10-20 drops in a gallon of water, & soak the fruits of veg ~ 20 minutes.
Check out the website - there are so many uses for the GSE!! My daughter has been fighting skin problems that have flared since going Gluten Free - maybe this will help! & a bit internally can help fend off an upset tummy if you ingest allergins!

For the milk kefir grains, I asked the friend from whom we get Cherve if I could get some goat milk, that will come Monday! I don't tend to buy milk, but my daughter does, & could prob. spare a quart of 'store milk' till I get the goat milk . . . (I shouldn't 'make them wait to be fed' either!) Her girls love yogurt - hope they enjoy the kefir as well!!

The dance tonight was fun - I rode with severl folks from our club to the town just north of us, for their dance with a different caller - interesting adapting to his quirks & sense of humor! I thought to bring along a GF cookie, so had my own 'cake' (um, cookie) with their ice cream (it was their 'birthday dance')

I'd picked up a dress awhile ago at a thrift store with an intriguing Egyptian print fabric. I'd meant to do 'something' with it, as I didn't really like the style - a 'tent' with full elbow length sleeves. Ah ha! Cut off the skirt, hem the top to make a square dance shirt!
I began the project yesterday, & when I found the red & black ribbon in my sewing box, decided to make it into a 'ribbon shirt'. Our club is 'Braves & Braids,' & while my native heritage isn't obvious to most folks (a little bit of Cherokee on my daddy's side), this seemed like a fun dance costume! I found a black tiered skirt at a thrift store Thur, which I wore tonight.

I'll use the skirt fabric from the 'old' dress with yardage I found today to make a new, fuller skirt. (& pulled the 25% discount slip, so got that discount on my whole purchase!)
There's also a 'club fabric' which I can get from one of the other dancers; they ordered a bolt of print, & a harmonizing brown solid. It's fun to see the different way each gals have put the fabric together, & the matching shirts for the guys.

It was a rainy afternoon, so after my weekly grocery shopping (on 10% when you bring your bag day) I asked if I could 'tuck in' to a cushy chair in the local yarn shop, so I could finish putting the ribbon on the shirt. The bookshop, a couple of coffee shops & the library have comfy corners, too; but the yarn shop seemed a better choice for a crafty project.

Yep - the water is still bubbling away - yea!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


YEA - The Yogurt Maker arrived today!!
I was excited to see the big box on the porch, & took it over to my daughter's to unwrap . . . then home again with my granddaughers to have a 'play date' (ie: 'let mom & dad watch a movie for grown ups!) & to make some yogurt!

We went to the Natural Food store to pick up some Agar Agar (seaweed to help the coconut milk jell) & home again to fix dinner, wash the jars, & then make the first batch.

I ground the agar agar flakes in my trusty seed mill, which broke it up some, & emptied two of these cans of coconut milk into a glass saucepan to heat (just above 110* - warm on the wrist) with the agar agar.
I LOVE Greek Gods yogurt, so got a small one to use as my starter. The 'live & active' cultures include S Thermophilus, Lactobacilis Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, & L.Casei. (for a dairy free starter, I could have used the S O Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk, or the contents of dairy-free acidophilus capsules.)

After taking the pan off the heat, I put ~ 1/2 C of the coconut milk into a glass measuring cup, & added several Tbsp of the Greek Gods yogurt, then returned the mix into the pan, & stired some more.
Two cans of Coconut milk filled 6 of the 7 small glass jars. I usually add ~ 1/2 C of filtered water to a tin of coconut milk (transfer to a quart glass jar as soon as I've opened it) to make it a more 'milk-like' consistency, but I hadn't for this batch of yogurt.

To fill the last jar, I heated ~ 1/8 C water with 1/2 tsp of the agar agar, & let that simmer a few minutes, then added coconut milk from the fridge, & a tsp of Dalmatia Orange-Fig spread & a tsp of honey to the milk as it was warming. After I took the pan off the heat & let it cool, I added a spoonful of the yogurt, & stirred before pouring it into the last jar.

For the next batch, I'll simmer agar agar in a 1/2 cup of water at the beginning, then add the coconut milk. I intend to experiment with using tapioca starch (already a powder) - simmering the starch in water first. And I can culture futer batches with some of my own yogurt!

The black bar on top of the lid indicates the time the yogurt should be done - then it should cool in the fridge for an hour before eating (ha!)

Within the next few days the kefir 'grains' should arrive, & I'll begin making some sugar water kefir.
On Sunday I attended a wonderful Gluten free BD party with my daughter & granddaughters, & had a brief conversation with a friend who's made water kefir in the past, & said she really likes it! (here's a tutorial on making Water Kefir)
I also found this blog - & happened on a post on water kefir!!

I look forward to these new adventures, & to experimenting with different adaptogen herbs during the second ferment, & experimenting with the milk kefir grains. They culture at room temp, & are a more liquid 'product' than Yogurt.

What adventures have captured your fancy this week?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

God of Wealth

Feels like spring!! Sunny, sunny day, & flowers are starting to bloom! Here are some violets & a bit of daphne (mmm) from my yard!
Thursday marks the 'God of Wealth's birthday,' & again my lovely friend Gwynne will be at Portland's Chinese Gardens, doing ritual & talk. I want to visit the gardens again soon - haven't been there for more than a year!

This seems to be a week for ordering goodies! My daughter helped me sign up as a practitioner with Pure, so we could order vitamins & other supplements (it's the brand her doc's office carries) & they should arrive on Friday! They're very high quality & 'hypoallergenic,' a real plus for us Gluten Free folk!

I love using mineral make-up! Most of the time, I don't bother; but I tend to use some when I go to a dance or other 'dress up' activities. A little over a year ago I ordered sample sizes from CMH Essentials, & I've been very pleased!! The 'sample' 5 gram size is $1.95m & I've only used up two - Chamelion Sparkle eyeshadow, & the Shimmer Veil!!
My order included an eye shadow collection, so I substituted the Chamelion for 'Enchanted Emerald" (which I have) & got the 10g size of the Veil (the only larger size I ordered - a little really does go a long way!) One reviewer said:
"This eyeshadow (Chamelion Sparkle) is FUN! It adds a great twist to any other darker eyeshadow you may have, reflecting lots of different colors. The base color for Chamelion Sparkle is brown." It's the one I use most, & do still have a bit left! Link
Christine writes: "Being natural, they are allergen-free and contain no chemical dyes, added preservatives, fillers, perfumes, oils, talc or other ingredients commonly found in traditional mineral makeup products. CMH Essentials makeup contains only pure mineral pigments in concentrated form. Due to their concentration they perform the functions of concealer, foundation, eyeshadow and skin care all in a single application which binds to the skin so well that very little touch-up is required as the day progresses."
What a treat that is!! I looked at 'mineral make-up' in our local beauty supply shop - & there were lots of fillers inc talc!!
This line doesn't contain
"Bismuth.Oxychloride, a thick, heavy mineral, which makes it difficult for many people to wear. It must be packed into your pores (heavy application), which can sometimes result in plugged pores and irritation of the skin. B.O will feel smooth between the fingers." The popular 'Bare Essentials' line contains B.O.! I've gotten a few of their products, as a local spa carries them, & I went for a 'make-over' several years ago. CMH also carries make up brushes - again, a lot less expensive than elsewhere.

The other item I ordered is a yogurt maker!! I found it on Amazon a few weeks ago, & called our Health Food store to see if they might be able to stock it, as I'm trying to buy local when possible. The manager called back, to say she'd looked it up, & was having trouble finding a distributor she could buy from - & that Target seems to stock it! Since we don't have a Target in town, & I don't know when I'd get to one, I decided to order from Amazon, as it qualified for the free shipping . . .

The 'Yolife' yogurt maker comes with glass jars & has 2 lids, a short one for the little jars, & a higher one for using your own pint or quart jars - nice option! I've written before about our trecks to buy raw milk when my kids were young, & finding a great little local dairy. We also frequently made our own yogurt, wrapping the jar of warm milk in a towel, & leaving it in the oven (turned off) overnight.
A common problem with gluten sensitivity is developing problems with other foods, which frequently includes milk. (after 6 months or so aftter going Gluten Free, the other sensitivities may go away!) These days, I use coconut milk for most recipes, & did try making my own coconut milk yogurt once or twice. It didn't set too well, so I plan to experiment with adding tapioca & perhaps a bit of gelatin.
I also like the 'greek style' yogurt (OK - Greek Gods yogurt is almost better than ice cream!!) & intend to use some of that as my 'starter' . . . another suggestion is to use buttermilk as a starter for one's own 'quark' (that was in one of the Amazon reviews!) . . .
I found this post on making coconut yogurt - she used 2 T agar agar - (seaweed) (I'd grind it in my trusty seed mill!!) & I think a combo of that & some tapioca (either starch, or making a batch of tapioca & using some of that) should work well!
When I want a sweetish treat, I often make tapioca, adding dried fruit & cocoa or carob powder, & a bit of sweetening. My son-in law also REALLY likes tapioca, my daughter's more neutral. It's so easy to make 'from scratch' rather than using a pudding mix! Just soak the tapioca for 20 min or so, then add some more liquid (I add coconut milk) & bring to a boil, stirring frequently, & simmer for ~ 15-20 min more!

Ooo - & then I decided to check out Kefir, & found Dom from Austrailia's fascinating site!! So much info - inc. how to make 'water kefir' - cultured on sugar water (& possibility of adding herbs, fruit, etc, to make your effervescent potion even more delicious!) He responded quickly to a question about ordering - but pretty expensive to ship stateside . . . . (do check his site!)
So I poked around on one of my yahoo forums, & found the suggestion to check out Marilyn the Kefir lady - so will be sending her $20 for live Water Kefir Grains!!! She only takes cash ("I don't bank!") & ships on Monday - so one can order today & have the 'grains' next week!

Have a great week - SO enjoying the sunshine! Red Hat 'do' Friday :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chinese New Year's Eve

Count down to midnight & Chinese New Year!

My daughter & son want Valentine's weekend Dates, so we're juggling kids throughout the weekend - two stayed overnight with me last night - this morning the youngest just came from next door to see if her cousins are up yet!! YEP!! Now time for breakfast (millet,buckwheat, amaranth, teff & hazelnuts - cook in ~ 20 minutes, so a great quick grain combo)

& Oranges! I have a bowl of oranges & a bouquet of flowers on the dining room table, so KaKay peeled SEVERAL to share! I've been getting fresh flowers for my office the last couple of weeks, so brought my flowers home last night & added them to a few others.

My girlfriend Gwynne has lovely tips on her blog for celebrating Chinese New Year on Sun the 14th, inc: 'Roll 88 cases, or 88, or 8 single oranges one by one through your front door (& every exterior door that enters your home) and across your threshold, as well as real coins, ingots, gold chocolate coins into your home & business to symbolize filling them with abundance of good luck & prosperity. Then share with friends & neighbors.

Here's my 'money tree, (there's an old Chinese legend of a tree with branches of coins & gold, 7 when you shake it, the gold falls like rain from heaven) - I need to add some coins in red envelopes :)

I'm still working on the preparations (which 'should be in place by the afternoon of the 13th . . . #1 - Give your home & business a fabulous spring clean! Clear away dirt, clutter, & old stagnant chi to welcome new energy for the New Year. Everything should be sparkling!!

Pay off debts, & "Treat yourself to a brand new purse & wallet, & fill it with lots of cash!"
I've been paying bills, got a new red wallet, (guatamalan - I got a new purse a month or so ago.)
When I was making my deposit Fri (inc an IRA contribution :) I asked for 27 uncirculated $ bills, & 33 new 1 $ coins! The teller was intrigued, & quite helpful - I got some extra $ coins for giving in red envelopes . . .

I didn't have any of the lovely 'official' ones, so yesterday I stopped at the Dollar tree, & found a set of invitations that came with Red Envelopes! They have a white box for address, so I pulled out the gluestick & red & gold napkins left from last year's beeswax collage Valentine project to give these a more traditional look, & some of that sparkly gold (which doesn't show as much in the photo) - what do you think?

Other suggestions inc. getting a new haircut & red jewels - (I got one a few weeks ago, & two of my grand daughters got their hair cut Friday!!). I found earrings & a red necklace this last week at two local shops (one locally made!), &

My son's kids caught fish at the sportsman show, so that's part of dinner (the word for fish, 'yu' sounds like the words for both wish & abundance, serving fish at the end of the New Year's eve meal symbolizes a wish for abundance)

The kids have danced (ballet) & are fed & tucked in watching a movie at Mary's - back to that 'shining' & clearing!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dancing Tigers

I've been square dancing for about 5 months now, & our class (inc several teens) just 'graduated' in January. (Here I am with my certificate & our teacher /caller, Leonard)
I'm still getting the mind-body connection, making the leap between what's called & what I'm supposed to DO - after several years excelling at ballroom, I am humbled by my many 'oops!' moments - when I'm headed left & should be going right, or I'm facing out & should be facing in, . . . or not moving when I should be . . .

Our club dances the 1st & 3rd Saturdays, & I was working on talking myself out of going Saturday (classes ended several weeks ago, 'everyone' else got to attend Mid-Winter the weekend before - with lots of clubs, classes, demonstations & dancing - while I was hanging out with my grandkids . . . I was rather tired) when my college roommate Charlotte phoned, telling me she & her husband were coming to our dance!! YEA!

Now I need to go back a few (mumbldy mumble) years:
Feb 1968, college 'priview' weekend at OCE (now WOU) in Monmouth. I came over the mtns with my dad, & Char was there from the next town, to check out the school. Two shy, bookish & musically inclined gals, we decided to be 'alone together' & went to the orientation meetings, walked around campus, checked out the library & the dorms, . . .

We both opted to attend OCE (not a hard choice for me, since I wanted to be a teacher, & both an aunt & Great Aunt attended in the 20s, when it was 'Oregon Normal School' (teacher's colleges were 'normal' schools - setting the norm)
Char put me as her roommate choice (we wanted to live in one of the older dorms, not a modern one! & my mom wasn't sure I 'knew her well enough' to list her for a roomie choice - but I didn't know anyone else, either! I think she was nervous 'cause Char was one of 10 kids, & I was an only - we got along fine!!)

She was a music major, with Secondary Ed minor, I was El Ed with Music Minor . . . & that first year we jumped out of bed ~ a quarter till 8 FOUR mornings a week, for our music Theory class! I was in Honors Western Civ, we took creative writing together, & worked on getting those 'basic' classes out of the way. She took flute lessons, while I studied voice, we sang in her church choir, & I only locked her out once! ('No, you can't lock me out, I don't have anywhere else to go!!')

A friend of Char's introduced me to my boyfriend, she began dating as well, & a few years later, both Charlotte & I were married & raising kids (her daughter just turned 39 on Feb 3rd, mine on the 7th) . . . Char went back to school (while working) & finished several degrees over the last 40+ years, most recently a Doctorate in Psychology! I became an LMT in the early 80s, & though I have lots of education, mostly in the healing arts & music, I don't have a degree.

We have one of those psychic connections, & would often 'think of each other' just before one or the other called. She went on to adopt several children from two of her sisters, & we visited back & forth. Our kids looked like they were siblings or at least cousins! We ate a lot of popcorn, slathered in butter, had giggly slumber parties, & drank white russians (our kids liked it when we did that, then we were sure to stay overnight!)

In the 80s, Charlotte began Square dancing, & I was taking Ballet. With her beautiful voice, she decided to become a 'caller.'
Now women
don't often 'call' - it's pretty much a men's world - tho women often 'cue' the round dances. (One of my best friends from Grade & High School was square dancing as well, & BOTH those gals met their husbands @ sq. dances!!)

Back to the present: I'd been regretting that when I began taking Sq. Dance lessons, Char had taken a break from calling - boo~!~!~! OK, So she was finishing that degree program, her husband had knee & hip replacements, & her music is all in 'vinal' form!!

So a few weeks ago, she was at that Midwinter Festival, & talking to our Caller Leonard, & mentioned that her friend took the fall lessons at his club ~ but I going by a nick-name, hard for old friends to adjust to - so she used my 'old' name!! It took awhile for just who I was to register :)
When it did, Leonard urged them to visit our club, & invited her to 'call a few tips!'
She & Leonard began calling at the same time, & would often run into each other at used book/music stores, & 'fight' over the records, & often called at each other's dances. I appreciate the graceful way he includes other callers at our dance. Our Cuer, Jackie, is great about that, too; down to coordinating outfits with a gal she frequently shares cuing dances with!

That weekend Char ran into another old buddy caller, who told her he could transfer her music to disk (or computer?? They have some pretty fancy systems these days!) So she's decided to begin calling again!!

I told her she was just picking up my mental 'prodding' to do just that!! Well - it just didn't seem fair that she was such a fantastic caller, & I'd begun dancing after she stopped! I was 'on the ceiling' the whole evening!! That whole 'only child' bit - I get to 'choose' my siblings, & those oldest & bestest friends are so precious.
Char & Bill invited me to visit their club (in Milwaukie) next weekend - &, as the other dancers say, I need the 'floor time' to really integrate the dance!! &, when she rejoined Leonard to sing harmony on his last call, he told her she doesn't need to ask if she wants to jump in on a call - just - jump in!!!
He reminds me, just a bit, of my dad or one of mine uncles - this is a good thing . . . .

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Imbolc & Count Down

Imbolc is one of my favorite 'cross quarter' holidays, (the ones between Solstices & Equinox) : the time the goddess washes her face, & is renewed!
Fiona Morgan, writing in the We'moon calendar says: "A pure new light sparks as we emerge from winter's dark sleep. . . We recharge our psychic batteries as the entire universe begins to quiver & pulse its cosmic rhythm. Earthlings feel Her intensity acutely as the Wheel shifts in these troubled times."

I often play harp, light candles & incense to honor this cross quarter (tho astrologically, the halfway point is closer to the 6th or 7th)

Last Thur, I 'attended' my friend Gwynne's 10K Feng Shui confrence call on preparing for the upcoming year of the Golden Tiger last week, & am working on her suggestion of getting as much clutter cleared, & systems (filing, bills caught up, etc) in order over the next few days!

Gwynne shares many lovely suggestions & a wealth of information on her website & blog, & offers 'case history' suggestions, like this one for a Home Office makeover! The conference call was inspiring - Gwynne always is! [We were 'sisters' at Breitenbush in the early 90s, & share a birthday (tho I'm a Tiger, & she a Rabbit) - I always have admired her integrity & her ability to hold space.]

It was frustrating to need to wait to begin the clear out, as I watched my grandkids from Thur - Sun (& all 4 overnight Sat - which is actually easier, as they entertain each other!) at my daughter's home, while she was off on an anniversary trip to Las Vegas!! & tho I live just next door, I needed to put 'my' projects on hold.

I intend to make a soul-collage card soon, "I am the one who delights in her warm & welcoming home! I am the one who entertains with ease & grace, I am the one who has streamlined her life & surroundings, to flow graciously & gracefully."

  • I've been working on my first of the month bills (& Gwynne suggests pre-paying any you can, & going into the year as 'debt free' as possible)
  • Cleaning off the front porch (the Fly lady 'mission' for Tue - this week's focus is on the entrance & dining room - great, since I've been planning to move my sewing project & 'Sally' (Singer) upstairs, & reclaim the dining room table.
  • Following my 24 hour dish rule - not let dishes sit around more than 24 hours before washing up! At my daughter's Ihad the kids load the dishwasher after meals, & ran it several times over the 4 days they were gone. I have a dishwasher, but as a single person, rarely use it!
  • Getting behind the L room couch & restoring order
  • Sorting through my closet & piles (& piles) of clothes, earmarking some for a couple of jumble sales planned this spring, taking others to the thrift shops.
  • Getting & hanging/placing some new art - am replacing my dad's photo of Mt Jefferson from the Head of the Metolious River with a waterfall photo in the prosperity corner of my upstairs bedroom. My dad took SO MANY photos of Mt Jeff & the Metolious, one of his favorite places - when I found the nicely framed waterfall @ Goodwill, & noticed it had a PDX photographer's stamp on the back, 'guessed' that it was the falls at Oneonta Gorge on the Columbia River, a place my dad & I hiked into when I was a teen! So another place he enjoyed, off the beaten path!
  • Kitchen counters & floor! FInd them :)
I'm enjoying the focus of this project - I've been working on clearing clutter for awhile - with greater & lesser success, lol; it feels good to be at it again!

What are you up to this Imbolc & eve of the Year of the Tiger