Category Archives: My Home

They are back!

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I have been wanting to write about so many things lately. But once I sit down to write an entry, the fatigue sets in and I begin to yawn, then my breathing slows and then I almost fall asleep.
I truly have had some great ideas and insights lately and know that I’ll eventually write about them, but thank you for your patience!

It will soon be my 1year anniversary of my new job that I began July 3 last year. The position allows creativity, the staff are down to earth for the most part and really the worst of it is my commute. Somedays it takes up to 3 hours to arrive. Other days it only takes 1-1/2 hours. I forgot to mention that is a mere 21 miles door to door.

Halfway into my commute I drive over a bridge and through the surrounding salt flats. The Leslie Salt Company moved out years ago, so the birds have moved in. The land is marshy, with levies that are continually being adjusted and moved with the tides. This part of my drive is really beautiful as hundreds if birds migrate here throughout the year. Being in Northern California, the weather is mild. I’ve seen lots of bird use the salt flats as a nesting ground and nursery.

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When I first began this trek to my new job, I noticed huge white pelicans flying over the highway, elegant and stoic. I’m used to seeing the California Brown Pelican near the coast but not these white ones. Each day as I drove to work I would count up to 50 white pelicans all flocking together in a remote area of the flats away from all the other birds. It almost took my breath away seeing so many orange pitcher mouths together!

I eventually did a little research on the interwebs and learned these species are from the Half Moon Bay, which is around 15 miles away over the ridge. They spend their winters at the coast and breed inland! Voila! Mystery solved why I never saw any white pelicans during winter.
Here’s a little more info on the American White Pelican. I’m not a huge bird enthusiast but seeing the countries largest bird fly over my car spiked my interest to learn more. It reminded me to appreciate my life more. To remind myself to slow down and this time, to watch the pelicans.

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Tiny little things

I admit openly, that life has its challenges. At times, its easier for me to think and worry about the big issues. The problem with doing that is I feel bogged down, depressed and overwhelmed. However, time after time I am reminded that I cannot change what cannot be changed. I am reminded about the little things everyday…such as…
I had a good nights sleep last night! I woke up this morning from dreaming about some of my favorite people. Yesterday, I definitely had a case of the Mondays when another close friend called me and asked for a hug or two, she was visiting the mall I work at. I received a surprised visit and a reminder that I am special. This morning, I was watering my garden when a tiny little female hummingbird swooped in front of me and landed on a tomato cage. She sat there looking at me for about 30 seconds then zoomed off. My son is home from college for the summer. My apron strings don’t feel so tight, it’s great seeing him sleep in his bed and hear him laugh at my lame jokes!
It really is the tiny little things and small moments that make a happy life…well if it so, I feel very lucky lately 🙂

More on tiny things, my friend had a tiny little baby and I made this blanket for him.
It’s a go to pattern from Lion Brand, Little V Stitch For baby blankets I always use machine washable cotton or wool yarn. I added a simple picot trim around the edge with washable cashmere.

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I also was given some beautiful porcini mushrooms that I used to make a wild mushroom ,kale and leek soup.

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Here’s my tiny little girlfriend Miss Hummingbird.
Isn’t she adorable!

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Have a great day! Cheers to the tiny things that make a big difference!

New Chapter take 2

I began this entry on April 16 and finally got around to finishing today…
Yesterday morning I had fresh thoughts of a new entry. My husband began his internship at the hospital yesterday. It is quite a change from the white collar office job he had for the past 10 years, but strangely as we get wiser, happiness is the goal in life. And working in an office just wasn’t doing that for him anymore. He wanted to help people, make a difference and be happy. He definitely is happier now 🙂

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On a gardening note, I invited a couple friends over last weekend to enjoy the celebration of my husbands new job. I have been holding out on pulling beets and carrots until the perfect occasion. Although the temptation was strong to pull at times, I’m happy I waited. The veggies were beautiful and tasted amazing after being roasted with garlic, and new potatoes.

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I also pulled out all the arugula that went to seed the past couple weeks. They grew 6 feet tall! Amazing and at this size…BITTER and SPICY!

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Happy Monday everyone! Here’s a little love(ly) rose to start your week off positive…stop and smell the roses…

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Cool new shaker!!

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I’ve been meaning to share with you my new shaker I ordered! It repurposes a Mason Jar into a cocktail shaker! How cool is that?
Once Lent is over I will give it a whirl..I mean shake!
Two guys from the South, who now live in Brooklyn, organized a Kickstarter for their invention. You can read more about it here.

Here is the link to order! Bottoms up! Cheers to the Mason Shaker

Insomniacs Unite! But only from the hours of 1am-4am

So as long as I’ve been a mother, that’s 19 years, I have had bouts of insomnia. It’s actually getting worse as I get older. I used to discuss it with my doctor who just said, ‘Amy you have too many things on your plate. Try to relax, don’t drink coffee after 3pm, when your body needs the sleep, you’ll be the first to know!’
Since the boy, I mean young man, is away at college I hardly have much to do. I work of course, but I have always done that. I have insomnia at least 3x a week now. Tonight’s reason is stomach issues. My reaction to food in general has gotten much worse. I’m beginning to believe the two are related along with my fatigue.
I’m not going to blame all the insomnia on food allergies. I have always been a do-er. I take after my dad in that way. Often he would be up late working at the computer, and up early working too. Both my brothers have bouts of insomnia too. We just don’t need much sleep it seems. I think of it as a fortunate trait. I always did my best work during school in the late night hours.
And luckily for my son, he has acquired the trait too.
Before Facebook, life in the wee hours were lonely. I read, I knitted or just rotisseried in bed waiting for sleep to take over. Now, I have an insomnia community of like minded people sharing thoughts, pictures and tips because we get it. We laugh at each others stories, read up on breaking news etc…
It also gives me time to knit. I am still in my Do Something for 30 Days challenge. It’s coming along nicely. I’ll share more in that project later.
I better get to bed before the sun comes up…I’ve got to work in a few hours.
Have a great week, day or night!

Not counting days but it’s a start

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As I shared previously I set out a goal to do something for 30 days. I was inspired by Matt Cutts and his TEDtalk. I admit I have been in a rutt, knitting small stuff that takes no real commitment other than to sit down and knit straight for 2 hours and voila a hat is finished.
So after lurking through TED one night I got inspired. And when you get Inspired about something, magic happens, you then begin to DO something and then after that the Motivation kicks in! So here I am, maybe a week into it and what you see is the bottom. Knowing that when you knit stockinette the edge rolls up, I changed color to create a surprise, added a couple rolls of ribbing then onto the intarsia. I’m definitely excited the way it’s turning out. The body of the sweater seems mammoth to me, I hope it goes by fast as my attention span wanes on monotonous types of knitting. Enough about that, I’m sneaking some stitches in before I get ready for work.
Cheers to Just Doing It! Hip hip hooray!

When the going gets tough the tough gets cooking…

I heard on the radio today that the third Monday in January is called Blue Mondayhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2265639/Most-depressing-day-year-Feeling-Blame-Blue-Monday-2013.html. Often people are low because the holidays are past. Resolutions have been made and not being practiced…etc…So if you are feeling a little low today it’s alright, everyone knows… It will be better tomorrow.

Here’s a sweet little posy I picked from my yard today…

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I did some gardening today. We are getting ready to add lavender and white sage to our plot. My husband dug out a narly root. The sun was out, the dogs mowed down the kale patch. Yes my dogs love kale and arugula! Crazy dachshunds!

I admit I was felling a little blue at times today but cooking really changes my mental state. Maybe it’s the act of creating something nourishing. The smells from browning sausage permeate throughout the house…mmm…I follow a great blog called Tartlette.
Being gluten free, I do need to be careful following some recipes, however Tarlette is great inspiration to me. And I make recipes up too. There are sweet and savory recipes on Tartlette. Check it out. I’m making Ratatouille tonight.
Heres the recipehttp://www.tarteletteblog.com/2009/03/recipe-ratatouille-in-kitchen-with-mom.html?m=1

Over gluten free penne, it’s divine!
Also on the back burner , literally is a sausage, mushroom, pesto sauce which I’ll serve over penne as well, that I just made up, I used my favorite prepared pesto. Here’s how it’s done…
Brown 1 lb Italian sausage, I used hot
Drain fat, sauté sliced mushrooms, 1cup
Boil and drain 1lb pasta
Combine pesto, mushrooms and sausage. Sprinkle cheese if you want.
Eat up!

Have a great week friends!
My pups felt a little blue too today:-)

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Ratatouille stewing…

Home For The Holidays

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Winter break is coming to an end for my boy. Although I worked more than I wanted to while he was home, I loved him and kissed him and laughed along with him as much as I could.
We all enjoyed a day down in Big Sur last week. As a child my family would go down to Big Sur and it would be cold, dreary and gray. The last two times we visited the sky was blue and clear!
The weather could not have been any better for a winter day in Big Sur!

We parked on the side of the road and hiked a half mile to Partington Cove.The water was turquoise! I immediately felt the urge to jump in! Of course I did not…The California Coastal waters are frigid…we decided I would quickly catch hypothermia…

The link above is great if you were ever planning a trip to Big Sur. If you are a rock hound, naturally occurring jade is all over the coast. It’s fun to sift through and find the beautiful hues of green jade on the beaches in Big Sur!

Because I knew we were going to be out all day, I planned ahead by putting a pork loin into the slow cooker for BBQ sammies when we returned home.

Here’s how I do it…
Chop 1 onion
Crush 2 garlic cloves
Put in slow cooker
I used a 2-3 lb pork loin or shoulder, low fat.
Add into slow cooker on top of onions.
Pour 1 cup Coca Cola and 1 cup orange juice onto the pork.
Add 3 T BBQ sauce to slow cooker.
Set slow cooker on low for 8 hours.

When time is up, take out and shred with more BBQ sauce.
Mmmm so good! Since I can no longer tolerate gluten, it’s been a challenge to find a roll or bread that is tolerable. I’m such a lucky girl because after trying Mariposa’s sandwich rolls last week from the farmers market, I’m hooked! They offer breads and sweets, pizza crusts and more …all gluten free. Check out their website…here.Mariposa Bakery
So I piled the pork high with a few homemade pickles I canned last summer. So yummy!

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Happy New Year!

Every year we have a New Years Party. The night revolves around eating and drinking, dancing and eating more. We have a great group of friends who make the trek from Sacramento to bring in the New Year with us. They stay the night and when we all wake up, we go on a New Years hike then back to the house for breakfast.

In case you would like to have a Non New Years Eve party/sleepover here’s the menu I created…
For starters
Black Bean Chrorizo dip the biggest hit among the friends
Onion Dip
Guacamole
Tomatillo-Arbol Pepper Salsa
Kale Chips

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For Eats
I got lots of help from a website called Mexico In My Kitchen and a great suggestion from a friend to make beef tacos.
Pozole
Chicken Enchiladas
Shredded Beef Soft Tacos
Making shredded beef tacos is way easy in the slow cooker. I learned a cooking tip from a friend of mine when making meat in the slow cooker…add dark soda as part of the liquid. I used 1/2 cup Coca Cola and a 1/2 c chicken broth for a 4lb sirloin roast. I browned the roast on all sides first in a Dutch oven, then cooked on low for 8-10 hours and voila!

For Dessert
My dearest friend Mark, brought me a gluten free cake, and a Red Velvet cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes

The signature drinks of the night were Tequila Mojitos and the Urban Bourbon.

New Years Day Breakfast
Beer
Breakfast Burritos
Chorizo and Papas
Tons of Bacon
Triple Berry Scones-gluten free

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Happy New Year Friends!!

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