Saturday, February 27, 2016

Project Weekend

The weekend is here, 
and none too soon.

It has not been one of my better weeks...
I've piled a lot on my plate...
(my mantra)
It will all get done...
It always does.

In the meantime...
I'm starting a new project.
Yikes! Go figure!

I am always up for a DIY project.  Yes, I'm the one, hand raised, 
saying, "I can do that".  Oh, how that little sentence gets me in so much trouble.
Actually, I enjoy a project that uses both the brain and hands.  And, I get so much satisfaction when it is finished.  

Actually, this one has been on my list for a while, and
the sand in this hour glass is quickly disappearing.

The table is now clear and the leaves
added.  I'll need a lot of space.

Everything is ready to go.
Have you guessed?
(I love a mystery)
I'll share my progress.

Are you a DIYer?
Do you have projects for the weekend?
I would love to see them.
You encourage and inspire me daily!

Whatever you have planned,
Enjoy, and Be Safe!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Best Guacamole' in the World

Thanks to everyone who has emailed asking for this recipe.

Many years ago having a few avocados and tomatoes needing to be used my guacamole' was created.   I am not a fan of creamy guacamole'.   I love sour cream... mayonnaise, but I don't want either in my guacamole'.   I want it chunky and full of flavor.   This is so simple and tasty, I promise.

The Best Guacamole'

3 to 4 avocados, (depending on size) chopped
1 to 2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
(a purple onion adds nice color, but I use whatever is on hand)
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
A handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Juice of a lime or 1/2 of a lemon

Throw everything in a bowl.  
Gently toss.  You want to mix it, but not mash it.
I often use my hands.
Squeeze lime juice to coat ingredients.

I hope this does not disappoint anyone who emailed asking for this recipe.
 Calling it the "best" is actually a joke between my daughter and I.  I don't really remember how it began; I may have said something about receiving a few accolades.
It is all in good fun and continues to make both of us giggle.  

And, yes, I think my pizzas rock as well.

Bon Appetite!

I hope your week is going well!

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Fear of failure is a great road block. 
 Fear of ridicule is an even bigger hurdle. 
I more often than not find myself facing both. 

Failure...isn't so bad if you jump up, brush yourself off and get back on the horse that threw you.  Ridicule isn't so easy to overcome.  We all want to be liked.  We want to be appreciated for our talents and our efforts.  This fear is paralyzing.

When I am paralyzed, I find other things to do.  Not all are unproductive.  In other words
I am often the Queen of procrastination. 

I thought I would share a bit of what I found to do this week, instead...

Another closet cleaned.

School work up-to-date... almost.

Tested a Pinterest recipe and added my "best guacamole
in the world".

Photographed opened tulips

Harvested the last of the meyer lemons.

Photographed a lemon in my hand for
size comparison.

Baked a lemon and cream cake; had to begin using those lemons.

 More photos of tulips.
Have I ever mentioned, I love tulips?

Played around on Pinterest, and may have posted a few photos on 
instagram (livingbeeslife...just getting started).  

Picked up a book my daughter introduced to me.  I'm almost finished.  I
   love this book about tackling obstacles we allow to cloud our thoughts, and finding one's own unique creative voice.   Okay, it may also be about creating a home that is authentic to the way we live.  Work with me here please, I'm trying tie this into my subject; the interpretation of text is in the mind of the reader.    

On a positive writing note.... 
I did sign up for a writing webinar this past week.  I was so excited.  I downloaded the app needed, readied my notebook and pen, and prepped my husband to sign in for me.  I would be home from school just in time to slip behind the computer and participate.   I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.  This was a productive step in the right direction.  Then around three in the morning I woke with a "what were you thinking" moment.  I am in the central time zone, the webinar was to take place at noon eastern time.  There was no way I would be home.   There will be another....something ... sometime.

And, on a serious note...
A great big thanks to all who have encouraged me after my post on writing.  I honestly don't know where this desire, this love of words, will take me.  I ask God to lead me to a purpose and to quell my fears daily.  It is true, fear is probably one of my strongest enemies.  It is the reason I haven't shared my blog with many who are close to me.

You my friends lift me up; I am grateful,
and I am blessed.

Do you let fear get in your way of something important?
How do you get past it?
I would love to hear from you.

Friday, February 19, 2016

In Memoriam

via Town & Country Magazine

Monday, February 15, 2016

Stay on Task

We were out of school today.  It was most definitely a welcomed day of rest.  Last week was a roller coaster ride.  We partied and paraded for Mardi Gras, took a day for reflection on Ash Wednesday, and exchanged Valentine's Friday.  Wow, there was lots of glitter swirling around in my room as we prepared for each event.   Today was a welcomed treat.

If we had received a bit of snow I might have been inclined to settle in with a book.  I have several I have been reading.

But, there were things needing to be accomplished.  
So, I took out my pad and made my "to do" list.
Do you make a daily list of things you want to do? 

I tend to get a little distracted, if I don't have a list to tic off my finished projects.   I've seen several different methods of keeping track of projects and other information on Pinterest; they are fabulous.  I have found keeping a simple little notebook near is easiest for me.  

My daughter gave me a package of these little notebooks for Christmas a couple of years ago.   This pad is always in my purse or book bag.   I use it for everything, my to do list, grocery list, measurements for a project, and on and on.   I was once notorious for keeping little snippets of paper with notes, and they always seemed to disappear into the abyss.   Keeping one notebook is easy and keeps me on track.

How do you stay the course when there is a list of tasks to complete?

Almost everything on my list is checked off.
It's time to relax.

I hope your week is off to a good start!


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday Book Talk

"We are not ourselves
When Nature, being oppressed,
Command the mind
To suffer with the body".
                                  William Shakespeare
                                    King Lear

Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.

When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream.

Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.

Through the Learys, novelist Matthew Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art; one that reminds us that life is more than a tally of victories and defeats, that we live to love and be loved, and that we should tell each other so before the moment slips away. 

From Goodreads

Tomorrow night my book group will discuss Matthew Thomas's debut novel, We Are Not Ourselves.   This book was hard for me to read.   It was not the 600+ pages.  I actually read it over a weekend.  The subject was difficult.  Though it is not mentioned in the above review, other reviews make no secret this is a book about a family's life detoured by Alzheimer's.

Thomas builds his story and develops his characters gradually seeming to drag at times.  Once the reader is invested (a couple hundred pages in), the necessity of the history is realized.  The author gives us a remarkable and accurate portrait of the onset and progression of Alzheimer's/Dementia, and the effect on the family.  So much of this story
 hit very close to my heart.

Despite the difficult subject, I loved this book;  I am genuinely looking forward to talking about it with my book group.   I strongly recommend We Are Not Ourselves.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cleaning Out and a Cake

Yes, the ugly continues.

The stack of magazines was only the tip of the iceberg.   I have declared this the year to declutter, clean out and reorganize.  I have lived in this house longer than any other; a lot can get shuffled, stored, stuffed in twenty years.   I frequently take on organizing projects, but am guilty of keeping a lot of "stuff" for sentimental reasons.   "No more!", she screams.

I am committing to 52 weeks of decluttering.  Well, maybe not a straight 52 weeks.  I will be taking a break this spring to welcome our second grand baby.   All the more reason to simplify and get this home in order now.

I really thought I could get the laundry/pantry area cleared out and reassembled over the weekend.  I wanted to have it finished before my husband returned from New Zealand.  And, I wanted to share my success with you.  My husband returned mid-mess, but rolled up his sleeves and helped install new shelves in the laundry room.   I'm almost there...  I'm pacing myself....

I've taken a little time to write, to read, and yes, I had to make the
Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pudding cake.  And it was divine!

I would love to hear your tales and/or woes of organizing.

I hope your week is going well.  Hugs!