Herrin Family Rocks



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my blogging friends! I am planning some great projects in 2010 and one of them is to go back to blogging everyday. I miss blogging. I have been so busy with other things that it was very difficult for me to do all the things that I wanted to do, but I am getting organized for 2010 and it feels good!

I love new beginnings!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My New Scarf


I finished this scarf this week. I made it for myself! It is my first hand knitted item for me! I am still working on my Nutkin socks, and now we have started at KAL on Ravelry with the Yarn Garden Gang for the Nutkins. I have several projects on the needles and I am really trying to finish most of them in the month of December. With the holidays fast approaching, it may be difficult to finish as many as I would like, but I am not giving up. I have asked for Knit Picks or Yarn Garden gift cards for Christmas, so we will see what I get. I really want a complete set of the Knit Picks Harmony straight needles, and I also want a ball winder and a swift. Those things are expensive. Aw heck, I would like all the needles, straight and circular. I love Knit Picks needles. I like their circulars better than Addi's even. What is it about knitting that is so addictive? I spend the majority of my time trying to find a way to knit. I carry it in my purse, I have it in every room of the house, and I am constantly looking for new patterns, yarns and ideas. Oh well, I guess I will just give in to the addiction!
til next time~

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Socks and Other Stuff too

One of my knitting projects that I am determined to finish is a pair of socks that I am knitting for me. I have never made a pair for myself, and when I saw this pattern, it was love at first sight, so I have been working on the first sock as much as I can. Here is my progress so far:



The pattern is called Nutkin and it is by Beth LaPensee for Knitzi. It is a free pattern on Ravelry. I am doing it in Malabrigo sock yarn and it is so soft and yummy. I just loved the colors and the way the cuff is done. I am hoping to have them finished so that I can wear them at the holidays.

I am learning how to do Dorset Buttons and there is a class tonight at the shop. I am not sure if I am up to going out, but I really would like to take that class.

I am not one who gets sick very often, but I have been sick for about 10 days now with an upper respiratory infection and I am so sick of it. The doctor gave me antibiotics and I think I am starting to feel a little better, but I have not been able to do some of the things I normally do.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chilly Weather and Other Things

The weather sure turned cold quickly. It is supposed to be fall, but last night it seemed like winter to me. I have several projects in the works, as usual. I think that my problem is that I start a project and then don't finish it because I start another project. I am trying to change that. I am working on 2 specific projects right now. A pair of socks and a scarf. Both are a lovely pattern, and I am determined to finish these two before I start anything new. I have enough already started to keep me busy until early 2010. So, I am seriously working to complete all the projects before I start something else.....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone! The ghost and goblins are on their way to get treats! My 2 little goblins will be here on Friday and we are going trick or treating on Saturday in the neighborhood. I have instructed Poppy that he is to film the whole event. I have a few knitting projects going, and I just ordered some Malabrigo in silky merino for a shawl that I want to make for me......

I am developing a hand soap and hand cream for knitters that I hope to sell on Etsy. It is heavenly. Once I get some in production, I am planning to give some away. Stay tuned!

The holidays are fast approaching and I am already starting to get in the spirit. I so love this time of year, and I want it to be COLD. Really COLD. Some snow would be nice. I am going the simple method for Christmas this year. Minimal, simple decorations, food and gifts. I want to make it more about Jesus and less about gifts. How are you planning your holiday this year?

Til tomorrow (or whenever)~~

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall

Here it is, the end of October and fall is here! I am looking forward to Halloween this weekend since Brian and Anna are coming here to trick or treat. I am also looking forward to Talladega this Sunday. Haven't been to a race in a while. I have been extremely busy with work, family, church and trying to stay one step ahead of life. (I know that it is impossible). I have been diligently working on ways to save and cut expenses, and I have done very well. I am still amazed at how little you can live on if you really try. I think that sometimes God just says "Whoa, you need to back up and regroup". And then he makes that happen, whether you are ready or not. I am blessed and I try to remember that every day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Posting

I can't believe that it has been over a month since I posted. Time just flies right on by, and you try to hang on and hope that you don't crash and burn. I just don't know how some people post as much as they do. Truth be known, they are better organized than me, and have their life together. I gave up on that years ago. I am lucky if I can just be productive each day and do something for the good of others. It seems to me that every morning is a brand new day full of the unknown, waiting to become today and all the sweet anticipation of what is to come. Then all of a sudden it is late afternoon and I wonder what happened to the day. I will admit that I spend more time than I should on Facebook. I love it though because it helps me keep up with the outside world, especially my children. They all lead such busy lives and I like the fact that I can be a small part of that through Facebook.

It seems that the more I try to simplfy my life, the more complicated it gets. Things don't always work out the way we want them to, and so we have to make adjustments. The adjustments lead to changing the plan and that leads to making new lists and priorities, and on and on. I try and keep a running TO DO list, but somehow I can't ever get it all done. Since I was laid off in May, I have been doing some contract work and working part time. The schedule is crazy and I am not always productive because of it. I used to think that if I could work part time or retire altogether, I could move mountains. Spotlessly clean house, manicured lawn and beautiful gardens. I would cook gourmet meals and make all these wonderful hobbies.

Was I dreaming? You betcha! Life doesn't let that happen. Life just takes over. I guess all that I can do is try and improve as each day comes......

til whenever~

Monday, August 17, 2009

Angels in Our Midst


I had the kids last week and what a good time we had! They are so precious and I love spending time with them. They wear me out when they are here, but it is the happiest fatigue anyone can imagine. Here they are on Tuesday morning, watching TV.


Monday

Wow, has it been 13 days since I posted? I can't believe how time passes. It is just so bizarre. I have been busy! I am always doing some project or the other, trying to downsize and simplfy and also save money. I am knitting alot too. Randy has been having epiderals for his back and that has taken alot of time also. I am so ready for fall! Cool weather, leaves turning, football. I just love fall and all that goes with it.

Take care!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Talented Friends

Today was a good day! I managed to get all the bill stuff and Randy's medical stuff filed in addition to getting all the cleaning done. I want to start a new quilt, but I am hesitant to do so since I might be going to work soon. I visited some of my favorite blogs today and I am just so impressed with the talent that these ladies possess. I would so love to have that talent. Keep up the good work ladies!

til tomorrow~

Monday, August 3, 2009

Simplifying

I had a great weekend, but didn't get as much done as I wanted to. I managed to feed Randy and me on about $45 last week, which I consider a major accomplishment. We are having BLT's tonight. We love them. I am planning to get the rest of my cleaning out done this week. I have interviewed for a full time job and if I get it, I would like to start with my house in order. I have a busy week ahead, so I am going to try and do as much as I can each day.

I made this really delicious casserole from scratch that turned out so good! I call it Chili-Mac. I am working on a new macaroni and cheese recipe. Lots to do!

til tomorrow~

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Knitting Projects


I am making this prayer shawl for my Mom for her birthday. It is my first shawl and also the first real pattern that I have done. It is turning out great! It is a much prettier pattern than the picture when it is actually done. I hope that she will like it, and I hope that I can get it finished before her birthday, which is August 9!






I am also working on my first pair of 2 At a Time socks. This is a technique by Melissa Morgan-Oakes that makes knitting socks so much easier, and eliminates the dreaded "Second Sock Syndrome". I had some problems with the technique, but one of my friends, Mary Ellen, helped me figure it out. I can't wait to finish them. They are for me!





I also made a knitting roll up for my needles. It was my first try at making one and I think it turned out pretty good. I used the tutorial on Multicrafty's blog. Click here for the pattern. The tutorial was easy to follow and I really enjoyed making it.

I am about to start on sweaters for Anna and Brian. And, I am thinking about knitting stockings for them to hang at my house instead of the ones that I bought. I love handmade things.

I guess that catches me up for now.

til tomorrow~








Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sweet Slumber Dream Pillows

Well, I finished the dream pillows today and listed them on Etsy. I also made a knitting needle case for my needles. What a great thing! I had needles in zipper bags and baskets and all over the place. It was a really nice day. Check my Etsy shop if you are interested in either the dream pillows or my herbal soaps. I guarantee you will love them!

til tomorrow~

Dream Pillows Are Ready!


Sweet Slumber dream pillows are ready! If you don't already know about dream pillows, you need to try these! I know that it is hard to believe that something as simple as fresh herbs and flowers can quiet your nightmares and help you get a restful nights sleep. Dream pillows have been used for centuries to help with sleeping problems. One of the ingredients in our pillows is Hops, and it has been used to quiet fussy babies for years.


These dream pillows are made from all natural herbs and flowers. There are no preservatives, chemicals or oils in our blend. All pillowcases are made from 100% cotton. Tuck one of these in your pillow and drift off to dreamland.......


til tomorrow~


Monday, July 27, 2009

The Plan

Well, I am having to change the plan yet again, but I think I will be able to do it much easier this time. I am beginning to get really good at this, and I am so happy! I went to Aldi this morning and this is what I got:
Total - $31.39. I also got a dozen eggs that are not in the picture. I am learning that Aldi far surpasses even Walmart. They don't have as good a selection as I would like, but they far make up for it with the bargains that I get. Today, I bought boneless chicken breasts and center cut pork chops. Both look really fresh and delicious. I have plenty of staples in the pantry and I think that I might be able to feed Randy and me this whole week, without going back to the store, except maybe for milk or bread.

And speaking of bread, I read an article about making a starter for sourdough bread from organic red cabbage. Anyone familiar with this? I am thinking of giving it a shot. I haven't made bread in many years, but I haven't forgotten how wonderful it is.

I am working on the new plan this week, as well as the August spending plan, and cleaning the house from the party on Saturday, which, by the way, was a great success. I have plenty to do this week, and I feel that next week, I will go to orientation and start working at Publix. This will be a truly new experience for me, but I am looking forward to it. I will be making about 1/3 of what I made before, but I have found, as Angela says, I don't need that much. It is a low stress job and I think it will be a fun one. It is funny how you can really live on less if you want to. I am hoping to retire in 2 more years, even though I won't be old enough, and can't get Social Security. I want to spend more time with my family and my grandchildren.

til tomorrow~

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Randy's Birthday and Other Stuff

Today is Randy's 50th birthday. We are having a big party on Saturday with our kids and some close friends. I am very excited that all of our kids and grandkids are going to be here, except the California gang. We are working on having the Cali gang home for Christmas, so that will be exciting too. I didn't go to the farms yesterday because I didn't want to spend the 2 days before the party canning and freezing. I am planning to go one day next week. I took my Mom to Dahlonega for the day. It was fun, we walked around the square and looked in all the little shops, and I bought some walnut fudge and fudge covered oreos at the Fudge Factory. They are so sinful! We had lunch at the Smith House and it was so yummy!

I got a call yesterday from Publix, and I am pretty sure that they are going to hire me, so I have to go back and revise the plan AGAIN! I need the job though, especially since Randy is having to take unpaid furlough and I have not worked in several months. Don't want to do too much dipping into savings. My house is looking so beautiful. The clutter is almost gone, and the changes that we have made, though small, are really nice. I am still working on my deck and back yard. The biggest accomplishment for me as been getting my office/studio done. I did not realize that I had yarn, fabric, paint and all kinds of stuff all over the house. I found supplies I had completely forgotten. But now, everything is in one place and it is so great! I am working on soap and dream pillows, and I am hoping to get them on Etsy soon. I am also making knitting needle and crochet hooks holders. I hope I might be able to sell them at my LYS. I have some great ideas for some new ways to store knitting needles and supplies, so I might just invent something.

til tomorrow~

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Great Day

I have had a really great day! Tim, one of Randy's friends sent me a bag full of cucumbers from his garden. There was not enough to make pickles or anything, but more than I could eat. Randy doesn't like cucumbers. So I had been trying to figure out what to do. I was determined not to waste them. I decided to make a vegetable spread that I made all the time when my kids were little. I needed tomatoes and onions, but I needed those anyway so I went to Aldi, and got 4 tomatoes and a small bag of Vidalia onions. I had all the other ingredients, so I made the spread and had a sandwich for lunch. It was so delicious! I didn't realize how much I missed vegetable sandwiches!

I am hoping to go to Beechwood Farms on Wednesday to get tomatoes, corn, beans and peas. That means I will spend Thursday and Friday canning and freezing, but I am looking forward to that. Fresh green beans in the middle of winter are so worth it. I canned for many years and now I am doing it again. I started back 2 years ago just canning green beans and tomatoes, but this year I am branching out again and adding corn and peas.

I want to complain about something too. I don't understand why you can only buy 12 croissants, or 8 kaiser rolls, or 2 baguettes. Why do the stores not sell these in singles? I am frustrated because I love these fresh baked rolls and Randy doesn't, so if I get them, most of the time at least 1 or 2 are wasted. I don't buy croissants most of the time because I know that I can never eat that many before they start to mold.

And finally, Randy challenged me to use everything in my pantry and freezer to make our dinners, with the exception of meat. I do have some frozen chicken and a chuck roast that I am going to use. Other than that, he will get all the meat fresh from the meat market that we love so much. I accepted that challenge, and I am going to see how many meals I can make with just what I have. The only exception to that will be if I need spices, onions, garlic, that kind of stuff.
I might even start a talley of how much money it is, to see what I save. The reason that he did this was because when I inventoried that pantry and freezer, I had to throw out so much food that had expired. Some of it was 2 years past the expiration date. I was so ashamed when I realized that I had done that. I learn from my mistakes though, so that will not happen again.
Starting tonight, the Pantry Challenge is on!

til tomorrow~

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lavendar!

I harvested about 4 pounds of lavendar yesterday and oh my goodness, my house smells so fabulous! I can already see tons of potpourri, dream pillows and creamy, luscious soap! I am growing herbs in pots on my deck and they seem to be doing well so far. My side border is really beginning to come to life! All the perennials that I planted last year are doing great this year and I am harvesting from some of them. Next year, should be a bumper crop of herbs and flowers!

I am making some new recipes for dream pillows and potpourris that are just delicious.

More to follow!

til tomorrow~

Catching Up

Gee, where has all the time gone? I have been so busy! Randy has been home for his summer vacation, and we have worked non-stop in our house and yard. The transformation is amazing! I can't believe how much we cleaned out, decluttered and organized in just a few short weeks.

He is back at school now, and I worked a temp job last week, so I am now back to blogging. I have been trying to catch up with my reading on all the blogs, and I still have a few to go, but I am starting a new week tomorrow, so I am sure that I will get caught up.

I am making great progress on simplifying my life. I am very pleased! I am still struggling with making ends meet, but I am determined to make it work. I have been getting some really good ideas from the blogs. Thank you so much ladies! I am working on making more soap and dream pillows for my Etsy shop. I harvested a ton of lavendar yesterday and my kitchen smells so wonderful. I am planning a garage sale in 2 weeks, and I have signed up for a consignment sale in the fall. Life has a way of forcing you to make changes doesn't it? I think that all these changes have been very beneficial for me, even if at times, it doesn't feel that way. I am very positive about the future and I am feeling that my life is FINALLY going in the direction that I want and need it to.

til tomorrow~

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer

Summer is definitely here. It is very hot and humid in Atlanta, and the herbs just love it! I have some large rosemary bushes in the side border and down by the mailbox that are just loving the hot sun. My neighbor, Liz, cuts a few sprigs as she walks her dog sometimes, and that helps the rosemary. My side border is doing very well this year, it has many herbs as well as flowers, roses, peonies and a big butterfly bush. I have herbs growing in pots on the deck, and it is nice just to walk out and snip a few when I am cooking. I made this delicious BBQ sauce last week, and it was nice to walk out on the deck and clip a small bouquet of thyme to add to the sauce. I am planning a raised bed for the side of the house over by my side border for next year, so that I can grow more tomatoes and maybe some cucumbers. The bed will be built in the fall and left to settle til spring. We never seem to get enough rain, and watering is sometimes a chore because the beds are in different locations, but it is all worth it. Fresh herbs are just fabulous!

til' tomorrow.....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Gardening with Herbs Then and Now

I have been downsizing and working on simplifying my life. In this process, I have been cleaning closets, cabinets, bookshelves and various other things in my home. As I have been working in my office/studio, I have discovered that I have a large variety of books on growing herbs. When I started growing herbs in the early 90's, I wanted to know everything that there was to know about them, and so I bought every book I saw. Not only that, I kept every article from every magazine and newspaper that I came across. Needless to say, I have a vast collection of herbal information. I even started files with a single file folder for each herb and began collecting material and filing it in these files. Over the years those files have grown and are now bulging with clippings, articles, snippets, poems, pictures, recipes, medicinal information, etc. I have decided to scan all these pieces of paper into my computer and store them on a flash drive. The amount of space I will gain by doing this is just tremendous, not to mention the fact that all my information will be right at my fingertips at anytime that I need something. It is amazing to me that when I started in the 90's, I didn't even own a computer, just a greenhouse, large backyard gardens and books, books and more books. We have certainly come a long way in technology, and little did I know then that someday I would have all this info in a little notebook computer that I carry around with me............

'til tomorrow

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Correction

If any of you emailed me at gardenlynnrh@gmail.com to order the Making Compost information, I apologize that I have not sent it. I just discovered that this email is not working, and I don't know how long it has been this way. If you did email me for that info, please send another email to

lynnherrin@yahoo.com

Thanks so much!

New Soaps and Dream Pillows

It has been a while since I posted, but I have been so busy working on new packaging for the soaps and making the potpourri for dream pillows. I also make all the pillowcases, so I have been extremely busy. I have also been growing an herb and tomato garden. I am still working on my project to simplify my life, which if you read my other blog, you are familiar with. I am hoping that starting today, I can post everyday. I have a ton of how-to info on herbs, flowers, gardening in general and composting. I will post them here from time to time, and maybe even have a running list of what is available that you can email me to get.

'til tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Future is Bright!

The wedding was beautiful, and everything was perfect!  I am glad that all the preparation and planning paid off for Tiff and her family.  Parker and Tiff are off on their honeymoon, and all is right with the world.  I have really started to get my simplifying under way.  I am shocked at all the stuff that I have in my house.  I am doing really well though.  I took 3 large bags of trash to the can this morning from the kitchen alone.  The puppies are still a handful, so I am not getting as much done each day as I had hoped, but I am still making progress.  Randy has been helping me at night, and we have done some heavy duty cleaning out.  I have some really good ideas for changing some things in my house, and I am putting them in my sketchbook when I take a break.  I have to take breaks more often because of my foot, but I am going to the doctor tomorrow, and hopefully will have surgery soon, and then my foot problems will be over.  I am so happy and feeling so much better since I am not sitting behind a desk all day.  I have even lost a few pounds by watching my diet and the activity that I have been getting.  This is exactly what I have been hoping for.  After the wedding on Saturday, Richard, Kate and kids spent the night and Sunday we had lunch on the deck.  It was so relaxing and fun.  These are the kinds of days that I want to have more of.    Things are looking up!  God has been so good to me, and I am determined to repay him with obedience and thanks.

love ya'll~

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wednesday - Where have these days gone??

I can't believe that it is Wednesday already!  I have had a great week!  I have managed to do alot of cleaning and organizing and I feel so good!  Randy and I have been working as a team when he is here, and then I have been taking "baby steps" to get other stuff done.  I still have alot of work ahead, but I am so much better than when I started.  I think I just might pull this off!  I am still a little uncertain about my food shopping, but I am working on that.  Have some new pics of the kids that are just adorable.  They are growing like weeds.   I am having them down for a few days next Thursday.  I can't wait!  They are so sweet, and Brian is my best bud.  We tell each other all of our secrets, and we talk about everything.  He helps me in the house and yard, and always helps take care of his sister.
love ya'll~

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hard Work

I have always heard that hard work never hurt anyone, but I am here to tell you that I am hurting really bad.  I have a backache, my feet are hurting and I am tired.  This scrubbing and cleaning is hard work.  Not mention the puppies, who are like taking care of 6 babies.  But, hey, I feel a sense of accomplishment that is worth all the pain.  I can see a big improvement in my house, and that is enough to motivate me to continue.  I am having a hard time trying to figure out this food thing.  It seems that I have been spending more at the store, and getting less.  I did have $17 worth of coupons yesterday, but I am still not convinced that I did a good job at shopping.  This simplifying is much more difficult than I thought it would be.  I need help!

love ya'll~

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Morning Update

My first 2 weeks were not as productive as I had hoped.  It seems that I have had so many interruptions, and not only that, but I have been a bit overwhelmed as well.  I seem to have been spinning my wheels, but not accomplishing much.  So, today is brand new day and brand new week, and I am hoping to do much better with my plan.  I have been away for almost 4 months, and though things at home haven't really changed, I have.  This week will be a planning week.  I am going to try and get a plan into place so that I can accomplish my goals.  I know what my goals are, I just need a way to get to them.  I think that because I have been feeling so overwhelmed by the goals that I have set, I have not looked at it from a "one step at a time" viewpoint.  That is what I am going to try and do this week.  Wish me luck!

love ya'll~

Friday, May 15, 2009

Food

I have been trying to find the most economical way to shop and cook for Randy and me.  Since we have had no structure at all for the past who knows how many years, it is difficult.  I have looked at several options and still can't decide which is the best.  I want it to be as easy as possible, but still save money.  I really like method of cooking 30 days worth of dinners in one day and freezing them, but Randy doesn't like that idea very much.  I really like purchasing the food each day because I like fresh food, but that is time consuming and you also pay more if what you want that day is not on sale.  I have a huge freezer, but it seems that we have let alot of food go out of date and that is totally unacceptable for me.  I do think that we did that because of our hectic schedules and that we would not do it since I am not working now.  It is a major decision to figure out what is best.  I am thinking that I should try each method for a week, and see which one saves me the most money and takes the least amount of time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

GardenLynn Herbs

Now that I am in the process of simplifying my life, I am also starting my herb business back again.  I think it could be a way for me to make a little etra money and hopefully, help me toward my goal of working less and spending more time at home.  Please check out my blog GardenLynn Herbs.
I am adding things daily, so please check back often......

love ya'll~

We Are Back!

Finally, we are back and running smoothly!  Due to so many other commitments, I had to take some time off from the blog.  We have soaps in full production, as well as dream pillows, potpourris, sachets, tussie-mussies, and many other wonderful products.  Over the next few days, I will be adding pictures and ordering information to the blog.  I will also have FAQ's, so please visit often.

Herbs Make the Difference~

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cooking


I made this applesauce bread today and it is yummy!  The ingredients are simple and very low cost.  It makes a great bread for breakfast, or for a coffee break.  I also made a new recipe for chili.  Chili is a dish that sometimes turns out good and other times doesn't, at least for me.  This is a new recipe that I tried, and though I haven't tasted it yet, it smells good cooking.   Kroger had bone in chicken breasts on sale today, so I bought several.  I am going to roast them and put them in the freezer.  I really like to make things ahead and then all I have to do is take them out and warm them.  Tomorrow I am making chicken salad and egg salad for mine and Randy's lunch this week.  I love to cook, and I think I am a pretty good one.  I have really changed my cooking from down home Southern, to healthy Southern.  I have replaced many things in my cooking to cut the fat and sodium, and to make them healthy, but still delicious.  It can be done, I am proof of that.  I am famous in my family for my potato salad and for my dressing, or stuffing, as some call it.  And, I make pretty mean apple pie.....oh, I am getting hungry....

love ya'll~


Monday

I am working on the kitchen still today.  I am also working on a plan to get my soap business back up and running.  I had put it on hold because I was never at home, and couldn't really work at it.  So, I decided that I will start back working on it, get my Etsy shop back up and start marketing to places here in Atlanta.  I am also working on a brochure.  I found this great blog, Click Here that has a ton of information about simplifying.  Her name is Angela Barton, and she has inspired me to find a way to make enough money to live on less, and spend more time with my husband and family.  I have been brainstorming with myself (don't laugh) about ways to actually re-use and recycle.  I have some great ideas about doing some really substantial things toward my goal.  So, I am off to simplify!

love ya'll~

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Family

It is amazing how time flies and families never see each other.  My favorite aunt, Inette, passed away on Thursday.  I went to Greenville yesterday to be with the family, and some of them did not even recognize me.  I don't think I have seen most of them since my Dad died in 1994.  That is such a shame.  I was so happy to see them, and they were all the same, just older.  We all seem to be caught up in our own lives and one day just seems to fade into the next.  I want to find a way to get them all together for a family reunion.  I have been working on our family tree for several years now, and I would love to share all that information with them.  I am going to put that on my list for simplifying and getting my life back together.

love ya'll~

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Rest of My Life

In the past few months, I have been trying to figure out how to simplify my life. I have found that it is a much larger project than I thought. It seems that things aren't as easy to change as I thought. For quite some time, I have wanted to stop running around trying to do more than any one person is capable of, and really have peace and contentment. It seemed to me that the more I tried to do that, the busier I became. I have spent the last 3 months working in Alabama, and that has been a very stressful time for me, to say the least. I came home last week, and was told that I was being laid off. It came as a surprise, even though I knew that something was going on. At first, I was so distressed and felt hurt and sad. But after a few days of thinking and soul searching, I realize that it was a good thing! I truly feel that now I can start my plan to simplify my life. All these years that I have been doing this job, I have slowly stopped doing anything else. I don't clean my house the way I used to. I only do laundry when I have to, hardly ever work in my gardens, and basically have done nothing except eat too much junk food, sleep and gain 30 pounds. The commute was herendous most of the time,(I live in Atlanta, GA), the job was so stressful all day long, and by the time I got home, I was too tired to do anything. I spent all my at home time, worrying and fretting over things at work. Then to make matters worse, as the chores at home were not getting done, I started feeling guilty and overwhelmed about my house and all the money I was spending. I was upset that I didn't have time to do the things that I wanted to do, but at the same time, I was too tired to do it. Does this sound like some kind of downward spiral? Let me tell you it was and is. Since I have been home for a few days, and started to really look at my life, I have realized that I have been hurting myself.
So, now on to bigger and better things! I have been reading and looking for ways to simplify on the internet and I have found some really good stuff. I am also working on an exercise plan and eating better. I am going to post my progress each day. I want to see it on paper (so to speak), and of course, if I find any good tips and tricks, I will pass them along as well. I want to be happy and healthy again. I am in my 50's and it is time to take control of my life. In addition, I am also going to look for ways to make money without working a full time job, which I know will be difficult, and I may have to take another job, but I will not take another job like the one that I had. I want to be a new person, and with God's help, I will succeed!

The future is bright!

love ya'll~

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Brian's Birthday

Went to Kate and Richard's last night for Brian's 4th birthday.  He is growing up so fast.  And, not only is he growing, so is Anna.  I could not believe how big she is and how beautiful.  I am one lucky girl.  This week has been very unsettling for me, but seeing those babies made things so much better.  I love this "Mommo" thing.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

PUPPIES!

Our Little Miss Daisy brought 6 brand new babies into the world on Saturday morning.  3 boys and 3 girls and they are just the cutest things.  Parker and Tiff were the standby doctors since Randy is in New York and I am in Alabama.  I just don't know what Randy and I would do without those 2 sweet kids!  We are excited about the babies and I just can't wait to see them....The pics are on my Facebook page.....

Friday, April 24, 2009

Disney World

Randy and I took Beany to Disney World in Orlando the week of April 6.  It was an absolute blast from the time we left the driveway until we returned to the driveway a week later.  We had a great hotel on property and Beany slept in his own bed every night.  We saw everything and did everything that we could and just had such a great time!  We played, watched street parties, drove race cars, got hugs from royalty such as Tigger and Pooh, saw animals, fish, plants, movies, and on and on. I could probably write a book about our trip.  I am so glad that we made that trip, I will never forget the good time we had there, and all the smiles and giggles that came from the beautiful 3 year old curly top angel.  I am still in Alabama, but will post pics when I get back home.


Quesadilla Recipe

Hi All!
I am amazed at the requests for the recipe, and so I decided to post it here.  I am not blogging often as I am working so many long hours, so I haven't had a chance to do it before now.

Easy Chicken-Mushroom Quesadillas
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
8 oz. fresh, white mushrooms, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chicken breast, boneless, skinless, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano, dried
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp.pepper
2 cups baby spinach leaves, sliced in ribbons
4 whole wheat tortillas, 10 inch
1 cup mexican cheese, reduced fat, 4 cheese blend, shredded
cooking spray
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream (I used fat free)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and onions and cook until the mushroom water is evaporated and they begin to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Add chicken, cumin, chili powder and oregano and stir until all spices are incorporated.  Add spinach, salt and pepper and cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.

Lay one tortilla flat on your work surface and sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheese.  Spoon 1/2 chicken and vegetable mixture on top of the cheese, then add an additional 1/4 cup of cheese. Top with another flour tortilla.  Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray at medium heat.  Carefully place the quesadilla in pan and cook 3 minutes.  Using a large spatula, gently flip the quesadilla over and cook an additional 3 minutes.

Slice each quesadilla in quarters and serve 2 quarters on a plate with salsa and sour cream.

Ladies, this is so good and so healthy.  I got this recipe from Ellie Krieger's website and we have it at least once a week.  You can dress it up with different salsas, add pico de gallo, beans, rice what ever you like.  Let me know how you like it!  Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Healthy Mexican Food

I found the most FABULOUS recipe for chicken and cheese quesadillas! Many of you know that I ADORE mexican food, and that was the first thing that had to go on my quest to get healthier. This recipe uses all natural ingredients and it so delicious. I can't imagine making quesadillas any other way from now on. If you would like the recipe just leave a comment and I will email it to you, or if I get enough requests, I will post it here....

No Time for Life

I have no time to live my life! It seems that all I do is work. But, it seems that even the darkest cloud always has a little sunshine behind it. Spending time in Alabama has given me alot of time to reflect on my life. I have learned alot about myself in the past couple of months. And, that has been really good for me. This has been one of the most difficult assignments that I have had. For many reasons, this assignment has tried my strength, my character, and my determination to always work hard and do the best job that I can. I think that all this has helped me see myself in ways that I never did before, and in many ways, has shown me that I have so much more to give than I ever believed I did before.
On a much lighter note, I got to see Anna and Beany last week. I had not seen them since Anna and her Mom came home from the hospital because of being in Alabama. She has grown a foot, it seems to me and Beany has just gotten taller and sweeter. Here is the most recent pics I took of them.




Saturday, March 7, 2009

Blessings

I have been thinking this morning about all the blessings I have received in my life. They are too numerous to even try to count. God is such a wonderful God. He loves us no matter what we do, and always forgives us. He continues to bless us, no matter how much we don't deserve it, and I know that his heart must be bigger than the universe. I try and remember this at all times, but when life is causing me stress, and I am upset, I sometimes forget that he is there to help me with all the problems, no matter how big they are to me. Our problems are small to God, he loves us, helps us, blesses us and makes our lives good. I am his child, and I try to never forget that.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Anna Kathryn Starkey


She is here! Anna Kathryn was born February 17, 2009 at 9:49 am. She weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and is 19 inches long. She is perfect!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Baby-Eve is finally here!


Today is Baby-Eve, and I am so thrilled and excited I can hardly contain myself. I am leaving in just a couple of hours to go to Kate and Richard's house to stay with Beany tonight, and then head to the hospital in the morning. I have been looking forward to this for so long, and now it is here! Not only that, but I have not seen Beany in over a month (that is a record for me) because of working out of town, so I am as excited about seeing him as I am the baby's birth. I bought her this beautiful little doll, that I am hoping the nurses will let me put in her crib. I also knitted the blanket that the doll is lying on, and I want to cover her with it if that is allowed.
I am taking Beany a "CARS" camping set that includes a sleeping bag, pillow and flashlight so that he and I can "Camp out" while Mommy is in the hospital. I know that he is going to be confused about what is going on , even though he talks about his baby sister and about her being in Mommy's tummy. So, I want to make sure that it is a fun time for him too.
I will post pics of course as soon as she is here!
love ya'll~

Friday, February 13, 2009

Home!




I am home today for a week. I am so glad to be here, I missed Randy and my family so much! Gulf Shores, Alabama is a great place, warm, sunny, close to the beach, and the people there are charming and true Southerners, but home is home! We are 4 days away from Anna's birth, and I am so excited, I have butterflies! This is the property in Alabama where I have been working.

love ya'll~

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Winding Down the Trip/I Received An Award!

Well, I am headed home on Friday, and I am excited! I can't wait to see Randy, it seems like it has been months, though it has only been 3 weeks. He came down here the first weekend that I was here and we had a wonderful trip over to the Gulf Coast in Missisippi. I have been in Alabama for 4 weeks, and will be back on February 24 for another couple of weeks.



We are in the countdown now for Anna Kathryn. She is being born by C-section on Tuesday, February 17 at 9:30 am, and I will have my first granddaughter. It still amazes me that God has seen fit to bless me in so many ways. I certainly do not deserve his grace and love in the ways that he has given them to me. He is truly a kind and loving God.



I am spending the entire week with Kate, Richard, Beany and Anna, and I can't wait. I am going to spend the weekend with Randy and my dogs, Max and Scruffy. I miss them, and Randy says that they are wondering where I am.




I received a very special award from my close friend in Australia, Sew Prim Khris. Thank you so much Khris! This award is for those who strive for excellence in their crafting and I am honored to be chosen. I must pass this on to 5 other friends and here are my choices:




2. Nan



Love ya'll~









Friday, January 30, 2009

Simple Life

Remember a few months back when I was saying that I was planning to downsize and simply my life? It is alot more difficult than you might imagine. I am on a business trip right now in Gulf Shores, AL and the days are long and crazy. I have gotten a pretty good start, but have had to put it on hold because of work.

I hope to accomplish alot when I get back home this time. It is really pretty here, about 5 miles from the beach. Most days it is warm and windy, but we have had some cold temps here since I have been here. One of girls told me that if it got below 40 degrees, they don't know what to do because it is freezing to them!

I made Kate a pair of "hospital socks" to wear when she has Anna, so I decided that Brian Sr and Brian Jr need some "hospital socks" too. I knitted them both out of the same yarn, charcoal gray, and used the same pattern, just reduced it for Little B. I am calling his "Big Brother Socks". Now they will all have socks to wear to the hospital when Anna is born.

Love ya'll~

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Things I Would Like to Accomplish in 2009

  • I would really like to do more volunteer work at 12Stone. I do as much as I can now, but I feel that I could and should do more.
  • Ok, I admit it. I have gained a few pounds that I need to get rid of. It seems that exercise takes a back seat to all the other things I have going on, so I am going to try and get back to the gym more often. I have already started eating healthier and less. I am doing alot of Weight Watchers recipes and also the High Blood Pressure recipes.
  • To improve my knitting - I want to be able to be as good at knitting as I am at crocheting, and to also maybe teach a crochet class. I think I would really enjoy that.
  • To Make More Time for Quilting - I have not completed a quilt in several months due to the fact that I really have had no place to sew. You would think that with this big house, I could find a place to set up my studio, but there is no place. So, I thought it was time to take matters into my own hands and make this happen. I ordered a sewing center from JoAnn online, and it arrived just before Christmas. It will keep my machine and all my tools and projects in one very well organized place.
  • Organize More - I still have some areas of my home, office and life that need additional organizing, and I would like to get that done in 2009. It would be great to start the new year in 2010 organized and happy.
  • More Time with Family and Friends - It seems that since our children are divided between 4 states, my family being in South Carolina and California, Randy's in Mississippi and us in Atlanta, it gets more and more difficult to spend time with our children and our extended families. In a perfect world, we would all live in the same state, same town even, but we all know that the world is not perfect. I do have a family blog called "Everyday is a Winding Road". But, even with that, I can't always keep everyone in touch with Randy and me, and the other family members. So, one of my TO DO's is to find a way to spend more time with my family and friends. I am open to suggestions from any of you who are in the same position as me.
  • Really work in my herb and flower gardens. They need to have plants added, plants moved, plants divided and some other things. I need to make compost and compost tea, add some fresh top soil, and do cuttings.
  • Family Pictures and Scrapbooking - This year I will get all the photos and mementos organized and into scrap books. It is a BIG task, but Randy has agreed to help me, so I think I can get it done by the holidays 2009.
  • And, last but not least, to work more on my Family History. I have so much work to do on this........research, talking to relatives...... it seems like the more I do, the more I find, and it just goes on and on.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy 2009!

I can't believe that it is 2009! WOW, it seems like only a few months ago, everyone was worried about Y2K or whatever they called that. I have lots of new plans for 2009. I am planning to work less, craft more, and spend more time with my family. I do some work at my church, but I am planning to do more. This is going to be my year, I feel it! Hope all of you had your peas and collards for New Year's dinner. Mine were delicious! I am counting down the days until little Anna Kathryn makes her debut. February 17 is the magic day! I have pics to post and blogs to visit, so take care all!

love ya'll~