Something to enjoy

My recent dive into new poets, and a close look at beautiful sculpture has uncovered a new word for me.

From the Greek “meraki”. We all know someone who puts love into what they do. It’s so obvious that they are committed to their project that their work just stands out.

It could be seen in a beautiful garden, or photo, or poem, or meal, or the way a home is kept, or the way a team comes together.

Have you enjoyed something recently that had “Love” sprinkled in that just delighted you?

Is there something that you do that you can’t help but put that extra “love” into?

I’m a bit of a homebody. On Saturdays when I clean the house, I’m putting love into the chore. When I’m finished, I sit in my clean home and I feel such a sense of satisfaction and comfort. My home is not fussy, and there are no “untouchable” items here. I’m definitely not a clean freak. It’s just that I grew up in an “untouchable” house and that’s not fun. I strove for something different.

The enjoyment comes when friends and family gather together and they are comfortable. The best compliment I ever got was from my Brothers-in-law Tom and Kenny when at one gathering they remarked that they would come to anything at our house because it was “warm and comfortable”. That’s when I knew that the love I put in was seen by someone else. It was the best compliment I ever received.

Now it’s time for me to put some love into my garden and clean away the spent plants from summer, put out some mulch, and let the soil rest a bit till February.

The Vortex live

Sucked back in time once again.  The phone call.  35 years later, I get to hear that Boston accent.  Hear that voice, the laugh, the humor, the heart that is my friend.

Did 35 years really pass?  Didn’t it seem like yesterday?  Are you happy?  Are you healthy?  Tell me about you and tell me you are OK.

All is well, everyone is healthy, happy, and the friendship is still right there.  I’m so happy to have reconnected, and got to hear him again.  It was like we were never apart.

He tried my phone the night before, but had a migraine and was heavily medicated.  The call didn’t last long.  We tried again today and it started something like this:

Bill:  “I’m so sorry that I had that migraine.  They come on suddenly, and the medication is like barbiturates! After we hung up, I felt much better.”

Me:  “So it wasn’t the sound of my voice that gave you a headache, and you felt better after talking to me?  I’ll take that!”

Big laughter.  We were on a roll after that.  So much fun.

But Wendy, aren’t you married?  Aren’t you worried about what your husband would think?  Not to fear,  I got his blessing before the call.  I’ve never stood in the way of his long term friendships, and he was just as gracious with me.

Bill and I were never romantically involved.  I dated his friend.  He did tell me that he had been in love with me.  I was so flattered, and somehow nostalgic that we never took the chance.  I wasn’t the kind of girl who could date a friend of a former boyfriend.  I never gave us a chance.  But that’s they way it was supposed to be.   His wife, Karen, sounds like an amazing woman, and I hope I get to meet her some day.

I think that’s how you know that you truly love your friends.  When you are happy for their happiness, even when it has nothing to do with you.

When we reconnected, he said he had been thinking about me, and when I found him as the suggestion on my LinkedIn it was perfect timing.  I guess in the wild expanse of the universe, we were just on the same wavelength.

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A Year Since the Big Flood

We’ve come along way in the Year since Harvey hit. Where we once had lines of trash and debris trucks stretching for miles and miles carrying away the flood damage, closed freeways, damaged levy’s, and a community coming together to help each other. There weren’t lines for hand outs, there were lines of people waiting and more than willing to volunteer to help their neighbors, their friends, their city. #HoustonStrong

Today I’m grateful to be in a City that knew how to come together after a major catastrophe, and the wonderful recovery we’ve enjoyed because we went to WORK on it, we didn’t wait for the Government to bail us out.

Starting off the week right

Santa Maria Tri Tip, or Prinaha bisteca.

The Churascarias of Brazil serve their tri tip on a skewer. I’m not that fancy.

I wandered around this cut for a couple of days, and decided to jump in feet first.

I sliced the fat cap, in a cross hatch and gave it a good salt and peppering, the I seared it well on both sided, and finished it in the oven.

Served it up with some beautiful Salsa Verde I made on Saturday, potatoes and zucchini.

That is a nice cut of beef to serve if you have less than an hour to get dinner on the table and need to feed several. It’s not an expensive cut either, but really flavorful.

This is the Pinterest image from the recipe I used.

We ate too fast to take pictures.

But I sliced up my tri-tip, gave the more rare pieces a quick dunk in the cast iron skillet that I cooked it in, and served the Salsa Verde (Chimichurri) on the side. My Salsa Verde go to is parsley, cilantro and oregano with garlic, red onion, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil.

I’m a firm believer that how you start a week sets the tone. So why not give Monday a boost and have something really fun.

I’m ready for Tuesday…..maybe?

Today, I’m really grateful for a meal to come together, and my family to spoil. When my youngest gets up from the table ready for seconds before anyone else finishes, I know it’s a good meal.

Bon Apetit.

Triple Digit heat index

It’s a little hot, as it usually is here in S. Texas in July.

We are officially in the Dog Days of Summer.  Or maybe the Frog days of summer?

Check this out.  There are still nice people out there.

 

 

 

The soap continues

The soap has cured, it’s un-molded, and drying. I am very pleased.

A batch unscented, 1 lavender, 1 rosemary.

7 pounds of sudsy stuff that I can wrap up and gift.

Why soap? Well, when I spent 18 months unemployed, I needed something to do to be productive. Between working on our acreage, and getting the bees established, I really needed something to do to be creative.

I’m not a crafty person, but being creative with a purpose appeals to me. Like cooking, making things that makes someone happy, or hearing them ask “you made that?” It’s a good thing.

I also nerd out measuring everything by weight, mixing the lye and water, getting everything to compatible temperature. Then I use an immersion blender to whazz everything to trace, adding the essential oils, molding, keeping the soda ash from forming. Ooh! It’s fun.

Who doesn’t need soap? These are Lux Bars. Really luxurious, velvety, sumptuous lather from Shea butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Caster Oil, Coconut Oil, and Olive Oil.

Today, I’m grateful for things that come together well, and for a supply of a little bit of my care, time, and talent to wrap up and gift.

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You wouldn’t know S#*T from Shine-ola

I’ve heard this saying since I was a little girl.

But I never knew what Shine-ola was. I knew for sure what s#*t was. So in a little girl’s mind, I thought Shine-ola must be some kind of shoe polish. Right? Cause if you weren’t careful, you could step in s#*t, and it was brown, and shoe polish was either black or brown.

Reasonable conclusion? Maybe for a little girl.

Imagine how surprised I was today when I went into a nice jewelry store to have my wedding ring checked over and cleaned when I saw the Shinola Display.

It peaked my curiosity immediately.

Shinola is out of Detroit, and they make fabulous watches, journals, and other haberdashery. Now I know!

A little sight seeing


Driving around Detroit, we found the Motown museum.

We saw a beautiful Church in Ohio.  Attending a wedding in an old church with no A/C on the first 90 degree day, it was a wee bit hot.  The Priest was really cute, he cut the service short stating the bride and groom would be just as married if he spoke for 20 minutes or 60.  I adore clergy with a sense of humor.  

We enjoyed a bit of Americana at the War Memorial in Findlay, OH.  I adore small towns with a sense of honor and history.


Lest We Forget.  Three haunting words in the midst of the flags, the names of the fallen who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and the tribute from their grateful neighbors and friends.

Finishing up the day with a local brew.  Some of the names made me smile.  I’m glad they make an IPA for a Rough Day.  But I went with the Fathead’s Sunshine Day Dream.
Have you seen anything good in this Lovely Month of June?

In the garden


The light was just right, and the flowers were ready to show off.

In the time before the heat bleaches the color from the leaves,

The rain has brought out some very happy blooms.

Photos by me. 

Fun and games at Total Wine

Shopping for wine can be a down right hoot!

We got a Total Wine down the street, so I popped in to check them out.  LOTS of wine choices is an understatement. Most of them I had never seen before.

Check it out. 


A Wink between Butter, and on top of the Sexy Wine Bomb.

I liked the bold labels.  The Sexy Wine Bomb had a bomb on the top wrapper too.  The Wink had a big Smoochie on the screw top.   That meant I had to pick up a bottle of each for my neighbor, she keeps her novelty bottles.

I passed on the Bitch, and What you see is What you get.  The white looked too pale, and there is something in my soul that can’t buy a wine called Bitch, even if it has a pink label. That’s just me. 

I will find out tonight if “blends have more fun.”

Cheers!