Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No fluke

Dutchman's Breeches

Bloomington is blooming.  I took a walk about the property and took these photos last Saturday. Dutchman's Breeches and Trout Lily grow wild in the nearby woods.  Trilliums are budding, but no blooms, yet. 
Trout Lily
 Violets bloom abundantly in the front lawn.
These are ground cover in the woods.  Can someone tell me what they are?  I do not know.  I refer to them as "L.W.F."  (Little white flowers.)
I believe this is Maiden Hair fern.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  Last summer I tried to move some of the ferns that grow wild in the woods to shady parts of the yard.  Each time I got poison ivy on my forearms.  I get it something terrible.
Maiden hair fern
This tree is in the front lawn. Apple or crab apple?  It was a buzz with bees.  I shot carefully as I am allergic.
Apple, crab apple?
We have a lot of hostas in the front yard.  The tree that used to shade them has died so we will see how they hold up this summer.  I just read something about encircling hostas with pennies and slugs won't bother them.  I am going to try it. 
I planted this and it has grown and comes back every year.
Jacob's Ladder
I planted this, too and can't remember the name of it.  Another perennial. 
who can tell me what this is?  I don't remember!
Taken out back of the property at the edge of the woods.

Redbud out back of the farm
Lamb's Ear that I brought with me from New Castle.  Comes back every year and spreads.  (Notice Miss Nosy Chelsea's nose at the right edge of the photo.)  I have read that deer won't eat plants with fuzzy leaves. 
Lamb's Ear
Forsythia.  Grows in the back yard.  The fragrance wafts through the windows and smells delicious. This grows up and tangles through the trees growing nearby and drips back down.
 In the woods across the road from the farm.
Redbud in the woods near the farm
Bleeding hearts.  I planted a few years ago and always comes back.  I would love to have a ton of these.  I love bleeding hearts.  So perfectly hang.  So delicate.  Loves morning sun.
bleeding heart
At the edge of the woods on our road.  Both pink and lavender redbud.  Lavender is common.  Only a bit of pink redbud blooms.
redbud trees on our road- pink and lavender
As you pull into our drive, a salmon dogwood and lavender redbud dwarfed by the majestic pine towering over. 
salmon dogwood and redbud
More redbuds in the woods bordering the farm.
redbud trees in woods near the farm

redbud trees in woods near the farm
As you can see, we are literally surrounded by beauty.  At first, I thought the unusually high temperatures signaled a "false" spring.  It doesn't seem to be a fluke.  It seems Spring has truly sprung.  They are saying we are running a good five weeks ahead this year.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oh to be Betty

Are you with the rest of the world...watching Mad Men?  I'm not much of a t.v. person, but I love Mad Men and I'm watching!
I had a Combat Cardio class this morning at ten a.m. and then I painted the bedroom ceiling for three and a half hours, until I ran out of paint.  It hadn't been painted in many years and it just soaked up the paint.  I've done a lot of crazy things before, but I've never stood on a bed while painting the ceiling.  I won't be able to move tomorrow. I've lived here for four and a half years and we are just now getting the bedroom painted.  In my past, my bedroom was always my haven.  I'm just now getting around to that, here.  I have a vision for this room.
I'm off to relax and watch Mad Men. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

This is war, she roared

After last night's basketball game, you probably think I'm talking sports. 
I'm not.
I'm talking body.
I'm talking weight.
My weight, to be exact.
The countdown is on.
I leave for Paris in eight weeks.
Seven weeks and three days to be exact.
Let's just say that I have some baggage I would rather not take to Paris. (J'aime manger!)
Two weeks ago, I re-joined the tough gym.  If you are a long-time reader, you will recall in April of '10, I did bootcamp at the tough gym.  I was in there nearly every day.  Some days twice a day- before and after work.  I starved.  I sweated.  I killed myself.  I spent a lot of money for classes.  Tough classes that got results.
And, I won.
It is ran something akin to biggest loser, and I fuhreaking won.  I was the women's overall winner, combining weight loss, inches and percentage of body fat lost.  I was down to 140 pounds. 
Fast forward to March of 2012.  I would not describe myself as a winner right now.  I've continued to stay in shape, some what, but my diet has gone to hell.  I am an all-out person.  Either I'm on the wagon, or I'm off.
I'm back on the wagon.
I got on the scales on Thursday morning, and after being back at the tough gym for two weeks, I was up five pounds.
This is war, she roared.
Plus, after work on Thursday, I was showing a colleague some photos of my art.  There is a photo on facebook of me holding a shadow box that I created for Papertrix.
I shyly said "that was me, after I finished bootcamp, when I was down to 140 pounds."
She blinked, leaned towards the computer screen, giggled, and said in an incredulous voice
"Oh, I didn't even recognize you."
This is war, she roared.
In '10 before I did bootcamp, I did no sugar, no flour on my own and lost 23 or so pounds.  Then I did bootcamp and lost another 23 or so pounds.  I haven't gained it all back.  I can still kick ass in the gym.  (Sorry, I can.)
When I'm "off" I grab whatever and shove it into my pie hole.
When I'm on, I'm conscious and making healthy choices.
A friend of mine calls it "being kind to our bodies."
One of my best gal pals, Jennifer,  (go read what she has to say about her body, and read a portion of the incredibly encouraging email she sent to me, yesterday.  (Which I printed out to keep as encouragement.)  Until this very moment when I went to link with her blog, I had no knowledge that she wrote this post.   
As women, why do so many of us feel nothing but disdain for our bodies?  Our bodies do so much for us.  My body helped me to produce two beautiful children and I have the "scars" to show for that.  Our bodies carry us through life and help us to embrace and love and touch and encourage.  Why can't we encourage ourselves?
This is war, she roared.
I have a fire burning in my belly.  Deep beneath that belly fat, there is a fire, roaring.  It helps me keep going when I've worked all day and I don't feel like going to class or climbing onto Jacob's ladder or picking up some weights or pushing myself on the rowing machine. 

When I am thinking healthy, I cook and produce lovely dishes to feed myself.  Last night I made a pizza with a tortilla.  (I have been craving Italian spice and tomato.)  I should have "crisped the tortilla, first.  I like to bake on my stone on top of parchment paper.  Such easy cleanup. 
I cooked up mushrooms, zucchini and spinach.

Added shredded mozzarella cheese.
For those of you who are counting weight watchers points, I was surprised that a tortilla (pkg says "burrito size) is 4 points. 
I was in such a hurry to eat it, that I forgot to take a photo after the cheese melted.  It was very good and very filling.
This morning I cooked up zucchini, sliced thin and quartered.
Added fresh mushrooms.
In the blender I blended 2 farm fresh eggs, (1 point each), a splash of milk, a teaspoon of sour creme, a teaspoon of pizza sauce (I often put catsup on my scrambled eggs- I think it is a southern thing) and 1/4 c. shredded mozzarella. I blend my eggs because I like them fluffy and don't like to see egg whites, I like them to be creamy yellow. I sprinkled the eggs with dill and ground pepper.  I also sprinkled a twist of this Florida sunshine stuff I have which is sea salt, orange-lemon-lime zest, ginger root, rose petals and peppercorns.  Then I added a teaspoon of this stuff from The Bread Dip Company which is called Artichoke and Caper All Natural Bread Spread & Dip.  Yum.  Flavor, people, I want flavor!

It was delic.  The toast is Ezekiel bread which is 1 point per slice.  The spread is Brommel and Brown yogurt spread which not only tastes like butter, it smells like butter.  I love it.

This is war, she roared.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


This is truly March Madness.  The crazy weather we are having- and now, the Hoosiers are in the Sweet Sixteen.  As much as I love my Hoosiers, I did not think we were going to with the game the other night.  But we did, and that is the beauty of it. 
Now, Go Hoosiers!  Beat Kentucky!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


How can today be the first day of Spring?  My last post nearly three weeks ago, I was jonsin' for some green, counting down to the first day of March when I could sport my new green trench, and now it has been blazing eighty degrees.  I've been about to pass out. 
I started a new job on January 23rd (which I love) and it seems the days have been flying by.  I don't know when I've gone this long without posting, but somehow in my absence, I have a new follower.  (Thank you very much.)  I've been taking photos and writing posts in my head, but haven't gotten them out there in cyberland.  (Do you do that, too?)
I've been so insanely busy and longing for some down time.  What do you like to do in down time?  I LIKE to get to my art table and make cards and use stamps and create.  More likely, you'll find me scurrying about the house, cleaning up the kitchen, doing dishes, loading the washer and dryer, folding clothes, changing the bed, ironing.  (Yes, I iron, get over it.  I also do dishes and eshew the dishwasher, leaving that to dug.)
I could write an entire post on cards that I haven't shown you. 
I went to the Heirloom Arts Show in Indianapolis on March 3rd and I found it to be boring. (Sorry, Heirloom, I did.) All of the same old boring stuff that I've seen over and over. Except for the folks at 100 proof press.  I had been looking for an Eiffel Tower stamp and found one with them.
100 Proof Press booth

look closely, lower left and you'll see the Eiffel Tower stamps
 I was looking for an Eiffel Tower stamp so that I could write a thank you card to my girls for my upcoming Paris trip with them.  If you are not a regular reader, this was my Christmas gift from them and Jen over at Cottage Nest has decided despite the fact that we are both from Indiana, we are both going to Paris and we should rendezvous there.  (The count down is on and I leave in eight weeks!) (See you there, Jen!)
Thank you card for my girls
 Here is the birthday card that I made for my little Bee.  She turned one on March 8.  I found the perfect stamp "wishing you a very happy bee day" with a little bee on the end of it at Papertrix.  (You know I always love Papertrix.)  With one little bee, you can make it zoom around wherever you wish.
First Birthday card for little Bee
 While we are playing catch-up and I'm showing you cards that failed to share with you.  (And if you are a personal friend or family, I probably failed to send to you.)
Polar Bear Christmas card
 Here is another card I designed this year and sent very few of.
cabin Christmas card
I didn't get many cards out because at the last minute, I decided to make altered books for dug's daughter-in-law and one of the son's girlfriends.  I loved making the books and I think they appreciated the books, but I poured hours into them and then my lack of planning constituted an art emergency, so I didn't get many Christmas cards out.  
Another store that I got really jazzed about was Paper Source in Bethesda.  The duggles, me, my daughter and the baby dashed out to Georgetown Cupcake in Bethesda on the day of the Bee's party and there was a Paper Source on the same street.  I had never been in one and managed to find a few stamps in a very short amount of time.  While my daughter and I picked up cupcakes and checked out Paper Source and a toy store, dug sat in the Kia with the sleeping birthday girl.
Do you get the picture?  Do you understand why I am flummoxed?  Overnight it is eighty degrees and my fireside sittin' days are over for another season.  Tell me I'm not the only one.

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