Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ah summer...

Reading, laying by the pool, listening to music, catching up on movies, late nights in back yard ~ sitting by candle light and sharing a bottle of wine with good friends and family, BBQs, long walks, bike rides, creating and produce markets.

What day is it?


It's true... unless my husband is home during the day, which tells me it is Saturday, the days run into one another. I have to stop and think, 'What day is this?'
I have enjoyed my summer so far and am relishing each and every moment.


Charlie and I were doing the first major hull in cleaning the yards a couple of months ago and he said, "Ange, we can't let the yards get like this." I bit my tongue and didn't say a word but thought, 'Uhhh... I have been taking care of the yards for two years now (besides the mowing), and I might add, with going to work and school doing the best I can, Thank you very much.' I think I had that Garfield expression on my face while I thought this (You know the one with his eye lids half closed with a glazed look to them). As I looked at Charlie, he noticed my expression and said apologetic, "Ange, I know you have helped me. It's just that, I am feeling better now and I just feel like I lost two years of my life since chemo. It's kind of a blur. I want to have BBQ's and have the grand-kids over. Enjoy life."

I understood what he was sharing with me. I didn't go through chemo and didn't suffer from the effects and the ramifications it has on the body like he did. However, I could sympathize with him on two years lost and it feeling like a blur. Since we found out from his last scan there were no traces of the tumor or bone cancer (for now), we celebrate anything that should be celebrated and look for things to celebrate, raising our glass to anything and everything. I guess you can say... we have taken that thought and ran with it. I am smiling as I type this.

Our doctor said it would take some time for Charlie to feel better; not like he did before, but better then he has since cancer and chemo. Charlie has said he feels good and I can tell that he does. When he comes home from work, he doesn't collapse in his chair everyday and sleep for hours. He has started working out, hitting his speed bag, doing pull ups and push ups. In addition to getting some things done (slowly) around the house too.

I suppose the dark cancer cloud that loomed over us in the past and is now gone may have something to do with the change of how we both feel. For now, it is good and we appreciate what new lease on life it has given us.

We are enjoying this season of summer.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Doggone It!

Miss Sophie doesn't feel good.

When you have a pet that lives "inside" the house with you, one of the advantages is that you recognize when your pet isn't feeling well. I noticed Sophie licking her paws excessively and would have to get on her about it. Then she would whip her head to her tail area and lick and bite. I started checking her for fleas and sure enough, I found some bites. I picked her up and shaved all of her hair off. Sophie usually fights me on this, but she let me this time with no problems so it didn't take me all day, which was nice... but also told me she didn't feel good. I have been walking the girls around the block in the morning and at night and thought maybe this is when she picked up the flea. As the next day approached, I noticed Sophie didn't want to eat and was wanting me more to hold her than anything. It is so hard with your pet's because they can't tell you what is going on. Charlie couldn't stand seeing her miserable and asked me to take her to the vet. She needed her adult exam and some vaccinations, so I thought I might as well get this done too while I am there.

As soon as our Veterinarian's office was open I made the appointment and was relieved to get right in. As soon as I turned the corner to drive in the parking lot, as if she knew, Sophie started howling the most pitiful cry, sounding like a very sad country western song (believe me, she knows how to work it), that eventually turned into a scream. I made the mistake and tried talking to her, hoping it would calm her, only encouraging her to continue this. I think she was hoping that I would feel much sympathy and take her home. I parked the car in front of the office and a rush of embarrassment and dread washed over me as I looked to the right and saw all the outside tables full of patrons in front of Starbucks drinking their coffee and enjoying the morning. I took a deep breath and opened the door to my car and immediately, everyone looked over to see what in the world the horrible cry was coming from in my car. I started cracking up and looked apologetically at the crowd of people for bringing that sad energy to their morning and also for me for looking like I was an insensitive schmuck who enjoyed her pet in agony. Geez!

Sophie is a mess...
She has deep anal glands which were a little swollen, allergies, and some bites that were on their way of getting infected. Sophie had some blood work done to see if her seizure medication was affecting her organs and I was relieved that it came back all good. Also, no fever, a good sign there wasn't an infection going on inside.

After getting probed, poked, pricked, expressed and much $$$.$$ later, she is on the road to recovery.

I don't feel good.

I want to go home.

Waiting for the blood results, looking at the bottom of the door hearing footsteps. Oh my gosh ~ he is coming!

I am not looking at the camera... you know I hate coming here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mmmm ~ So Good!

My daughter Diandra loves to make these delicious muffins and I thought would share it with you. They are Hungry Girls two ingredient recipe.

Chocolate Brownie Muffins

1 box chocolate cake mix (we also use spice and carrot, prefer reduced sugar, but regular is good too! ).
15 ounces pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix).

1. Simply mix the pumpkin and the chocolate cake mix together with electric mixer until well combined. The batter will be very thick. At this point you may also want to throw in some nuts, raisins or mini chocolate chips, if you like.

2. Spoon into paper lined small muffin/cupcake tins, 2/3 full.

3. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Serves approximately 18

Enjoy ~

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Succulent Love...

Thrives on neglect ~ but so forgiving.

I don't know about you... but for me, it's hard to walk by, disregarding how interesting and beautiful they are.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tomato, Tomaato ~

Does it really matter? Either way it is good!

"It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato."

Lewis Grizzard

Last year we planted two tomato plants in two half-wine barrels. Nothing happened. They didn't even grow! Charlie and I figured out it was the soil we used and I think I over watered them. This year Charlie has been in charge of the tomato plants and they are standing almost 6' tall! I have strict instructions not to have anything to do with them; I keep wanting to water them. Charlie said they like to be thirsty. Whatever he is doing, it is working. The cherry tomato plant has little green cherry tomato's all over it! The beefy tomato plant is getting ready to burst with tomato's too!

I may not know how to grow them, but I do love to eat them!

I have memories of when we lived in Merced, my parents turned 1/3 of our backyard into a huge vegetable garden. During the summer we would plant squash, tomato's, corn, strawberries, and several different type of melon's. I would swim all day and eat tomato's and strawberries almost as fast as they would turn their shade of red. My mom would yell from the house, "Angela, you are going to get sick!"

My mom would have us do our share of weeding the garden. If we didn't do our part, we couldn't go swimming. My mom was smart because it gave us a good incentive and kept the garden weeded (okay ~ it also taught us how to be responsible, to appreciate where our food came from and all the hard work it takes to provide it). However, my sister wouldn't always do her part, and therefore would not get to go swimming. My aunt who also lived with us and is not that much older than me, would not always want to go swimming; she burned very easily. Do you know how lonely it is to swim by yourself when your little? I would end up doing my sister's part so she could go swimming, or rather I had someone to swim with (ulterior motives). Let's just say she learned quickly how to manipulate the situation, taking advantage and pretty much not have to do any weeding.

I can remember my mom and dad being proud, besides the meat entree', it all came from our garden. My mom would cut beef stake tomato's into thick slices adding sliced red onions and cucumbers, putting this all in a dish and pouring a homemade red vinegar dressing over it. This would marinate for a good part of the day. My dad would come home from work and BBQ steaks as my mom prepared the rest of the meal, picking from the garden.

Wow ~ all that from a tomato!

As I compare our two little wine-barrels to the garden I grew up with, it brings pleasant thoughts of that sweet taste of summer and reminds me to embrace the summer as it unfolds before me.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Brand New Day ~

The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn't, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there.

~Monica Baldwin

Now that I don't have to go to work at the break of dawn, I can take my walks/runs much earlier. These are pictures I have taken with my cel-phone during those walks/runs.

As I start out walking, I try to get through the aches and pains of getting older and hope the stiffness will subside with every step I take. Something I do enjoy during these walks so early in the morning is the smell of lavender, coffee, eggs, bacon, cinnamon-french toast and syrup wafting in the air. Mmmm ~

As I start my run, I thank God for the possibility of what the day will bring. Whatever it may be.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Gathering Room ~

I have noticed I write a lot about where we end up in the evening, the place where we gather the most. It seems it is the heart of our home, where we play games, watch television and share our meals. So I thought I would post some pictures. I always enjoy when bloggers share their home and admit, I haven't really done that. I have posted some of my favorite treasures and that is about it.

As you can see in these photos I like a blend of new and old. I believe that if you surround yourself with things that you love or enjoy, you can't go wrong. Although during Christmas, I noticed a lot of my friends on fb posted pictures of their homes and I couldn't help notice that I have a Hodge Podge feel in my home compared to theirs and a lot of other people. Sometimes I feel as if I were collecting scraps of material and making a quilt that had no rhyme or reason. I have been corrected and my daughter will say, "It's called eclectic with a bit of eccentricity mom!" I have to admit... the way she puts it sounds better.

Charlie and I went into a consignment shop years ago in Pacific Grove and found this moss green couch. We fell in love with it at first sight and it replaced a huge sectional. It is filled with feathers and it is getting close to having to be re-upholstered. I will have it done in the same color. I am constantly picking up feathers off the ground. I told my daughter the other day, I like to think it is really from the wings of our guardian angels ruffling their feathers. The stained glass hanging in the window was purchased at the same time as the couch.

The corner of the family room ~ the wood stove.

In the kitchen looking into the family room.

In the family room looking into the kitchen.

As you can see, it is truly open.

Charlie built this shallow wall case for me to hold some treasures we have found throughout the years.

We are currently looking for a color we can both agree on to paint the walls. We both know we want something warmer than off white. I would also like to have a interior decorator come in to help me weed some of our things out or maybe even bring something in to help pull it all together more. We will see.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Shades Of Green ~

I am not talking about the green-eyed monster or being green with envy. It's interesting how we describe our moods or where we are in our life by colors; green when starting something new - inexperienced, untested, untrained. In addition to greenhorn - novice, trainee, beginner or green around the gills. How about feeling blue?

Our human nature tends to think there are greener pastures on the other side of the fence. There are people that have green thumbs or wait for the green light that gives permission to proceed in life. Just do it!

Green is life. Abundant in nature, green signifies growth, renewal, health, and the environment.

These are shades of green ~

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Yummy Papaya!

Do you ever come across something that has you at first glance? So much, it is hard to take your eyes away, making you want to be part of the art. The words speak to you as if they were just for you... inspiring you.

I discovered Papaya Art last year while in Monterey. I have been hooked ever since! This company has a little bit of every thing. Be sure to check them out!

Papaya Art

My Journal

Below are some cards I bought for myself... sometimes you have to be your very own friend.




Friday, June 4, 2010

The Market Place ~

After my morning walk, I ventured over to our local farmer's market to get some blueberries and spotted some organic baby squash, which also ended up coming home with me.

We have the best produce market's in the Valley, and the produce gets better and better with each passing week!

Angela's Sweets...

A sweet, charming little bakery, lined on the street at the produce market.

I love this! ;)

Lottie ~ Modern and Handmade Originals

If you are looking for a one of a kind gift (or something for yourself ~ wink) you need to check out Liz and her girlfriend's (I can't remember her name!) vendor. They are two very talented ladies who need to open up a shop. Seriously! There are so many cute things, it's hard to not leave without getting something they created!

Lawina Bags.

Summer dresses for infants and toddlers. You can also custom order bean bags or bridal purses.

Assorted braided elastic head bands.

Fabric Alphabet letters. In the baskets are baby blankets, onsie and bib gift sets for a boy or girl.

We are the flowers of one garden ~ Peace.

Hair clips adorning fabric flowers and buttons.

Cosmetic bags and clutches.

Sweet head bands, "Popping" colorful fabric flowers and buttons. See the summery little tops? Absolutely adorable!

Baby bibs.

Love Lottie!

Allen Flower Shop ~ From Simple to Sublime

Cottage Garden Blueberries

Fresh Farm Veggies

Berg Block ~ The Old JCPenney Building

Pageo Lavender Farm offers local herbicide-pesticide free produce as well as yarrow, lavender and a variety of herbs, scented lotions, soaps, and lavender sachet bags.

Green at Home ~ Container Gardening Specialists

You can sign up to learn how to Stamp and Stencil bricks. In addition to compost boxes and container's for your garden.

My Thing Bead Store

You know I had to go in!

What a perfect way to start the weekend early!