22 December, 2008

Introspective Medical Post

Many Anniversaries are happy, some are sad but filled with warm memories; tomorrows is neither. Ten years ago, tomorrow, I got the diagnoses of Fibromyalgia. It was wonderful to know what had been making me so sick for years; but it was disheartening to find that there wasn't a "cure" or a lot of information on symptom management, especially for a Juvenile patient. But I got a good doctor and created a management plan that worked.

But some how, over the coarse of ten years I have gradually gotten worse. For a NON-degenerative disease (syndrome technically), this is not a good thing. I am resentful that I can't manage my health now; I know some of it is my inability, but I know some of it is just my body working against me.

And now nearly ten years to the day I am diagnosed with an additional issue. I was to the endocrinologist today. My Thyroid is still unhappy. I officially have hypothyroidism and have meds for it. Yay, one more pill to take for the rest of my life. He thinks the nodule is because my thyroid is working double time to produce hormones. This is a common and controllable illness; but is yet another item on my almost comical list of medical issues.

Sometimes I think God placed my brain ans spirit in the wrong body.

Once again the year goes out with me wishing and hoping that the next year will bring more good health then then one that has passed.

I hope you are all well.

16 December, 2008

We Need a Little Christmas

Yes, I took an unannounced week off. We had a little case of lie here. Things are okay, I just had a number of doctors appointments and things to do.

One of those was working on the Nativity Pageant at Church. I re-wrote the old play, really i used the old play as a guild line for length and form. I am also directing it. This is the first time my work is being preformed and the first time I have directed. I know it's only a Church thing and the children in it have minimal/no experience, but it is still very cool. And I am very excited.

However the house has suffered; it has become very cluttered and I still haven't gotten our decorations up. Today is cleaning, tonight is getting boxes out of the attic and getting our tree. Tommorow is cleaning the kitchen, making soup and decorating the rest of the house.

Hope all is well in your worlds,

04 December, 2008


Usually when people have a crisis of Faith they find that their Faith is lacking something and that maybe they had Faith in something that isn't really there. This past week I have been finding that I am having the opposite. I am finding that maybe I don't have enough Faith and that maybe I need to close my eyes and just trust and believe. I was raised very Catholic, as a teen with issues and opinion I found that a) the Church didn't support and help me enough and b) I didn't agree with a number of the Church's positions on things. I have learned I don't have to agree with everything. I am also realizing how members of my family find comfort in ritual, tradition, prayer and the idea of there being more.

And through all this and all my wishing, that it was as easy as when I was little and had all the Godly Faith in the world, I still find that I have a block in my path.

picture credit http://www.rosaryaday.com

Getting to Know You

I was not tagged; but this has been floating around and I thought it might help you all to get to know me better.

The Rules

1. Copy the questions and then answer them (post it on your blog remember).
2. Tag 4 people and let them know you have tagged them.
3. Let the person [who tagged you] know that you have done a post for the tag.

What are your nicknames?
Kate is my diminutive, my family, acquaintance and coworkers call me this. My husband and close friends call me Magpie, my husband also calls me Baby Bird. And some people know me as Marguerite, it is the name I use for my fifteenth century (hundred years war) recreation.

What TV game show or reality show would you like to be on?
Does Antiques Roadshow count as a reality/game show? I find most of the others demeaning and mind numbing.

What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD?
Hmm I'm not sure, I think it was Prancer, on VHS, I loved that movie when I was little. I'm still pretty fond of it.

What is your favourite scent?
Oh I love so many; as far as perfume goes I would have to say Lavender, Amber, and a mixture of Sandalwood and Rose. For room fragrance I love the smell of baking bread or pie. And I love seasonal smells, cinnamon, pine and cranberry for autumn/winter, and lilac, lotus and sage for spring/summer

If you had one million dollars to spend only on yourself, what would you spend it on?
A nice house with lots of land; then I would fill the land with heirloom plant, vegetables and livestock.

What is one place you've visited, can't forget and want to go back to?
England! I went to London and Bath for my 18th birthday. My parents and I only spent about four day in England and I would love to go back for at least two weeks. And then take a side trip to Ireland and France to finish out the month.

Do you trust easily?
I want to, but I am cynical, I've been hurt in the past.

Do you generally think before your act, or act before you think?
I can be very impulsive and sometimes not in a good way. I try to think before I act, and many of my actions are very planned out. However I sometimes I do just go with my gut and act.

Is there anything that had made you unhappy these days?
My health getting worse, and having to face the fact that long term disability may be a reality. Unfortunately being so chronically sick and not able to work has effected my ability to keep the house in a clean and organized manner.

What is your favorite fruit?
Berries, all of them. Clementines are a very close second.

What websites do you visit daily?
My Gmail home page, I can check my email, the weather, basic news bulletins, and daily quotes to ponder. I also visit Live Journal and various blogs.

What have you been seriously addicted to lately?
The internet, and playing with my dog, Fozzy.What's the last song that got stuck in you head?
I piece form the Nutcracker, the March of the Toy Soldiers to be exact. It appears in a lot of Christmas commercials and movies.

What is your favourite thing to wear?
My wedding and engagement rings. But my favourite article of clothing is skirts, they are comfortable and lady like.

Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?
Not as a cereal, but I love Rice Krispie Treats, they are a good Gluten Free treat.

What items couldn't you be without during the day?
My buckwheat heat-up pillow, a blanket or warm sweater and socks, a book or good magazine and a comfortable place to sit.

What should you be doing right now?
Nothing, it's my scheduled break; but I need to get up and do the dishes in a few minutes.

Well I'm not tagging anyone, but I would love to read about everyone. So if you read this and haven't done it already please post your responses in your journal and post a comment here so I can find you and get to know you better. Have a lovely day, ~Kate

03 December, 2008


I'm having one of those days where my pain levels are high and my energy levels are low; it causes the smallest tasks to seem daunting. I feel overwhelmed and frustrated. My poor husband, R., is having a very similar sort of day; but he has the added stress of being at work. I just want to go back to bed. But Life needs to be met and dealt with. And all one can do is pray and meditate, then gather their self up and do.

01 December, 2008

Home and Hibernating

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and Thanksgiving. R. and I were up in Connecticut visiting my family. I really miss them and the state I grew up in. My mother made a wonderful holiday dinner for our small clan; and my grandmother made a warm comfort food dinner for us on Saturday, before we drove home. I was very thankful to be "Home", how ever it was nice to arrive home late on Saturday.

Were I was raised will always be "Home"; Connecticut and my family are a large part of who I am, and who I want to be. But were my bed is will also always be home; it's were I rest my head and live on a daily basis. I can not just occupy a house, I must live in a home.

On Sunday our house went from home to den. After putting on our winter weight over the weekend, R. and I decided to hibernate on Sunday. We were both very worn out and in need of a quite rejuvenating day. We woke up a few times to walk the dog, have some dinner and watch a few Christmas movies; but other than that it was a day of sleeping. It really is a Joy to have a day were you can lounge around in your pajamas with one of your favorite people.

However, this morning began a new week and a new month. R. went off to work and I am here trying to organize the week. There is a lot to be done this week; the laundry is waiting for me and the house needs to be put back to straits and thoroughly cleaned before we decorate for Christmas.

I hope you all have a productive and peaceful week.

23 November, 2008

Mother Letter

I found this blog via another blog I read; I love the idea and wrote a letter myself (even thought I am not yet a mother).

Dear Mother,
I am not a Mother yet, and do not have any sage stories or trials of child rearing to share with you. But as a young woman who can still remember her years spent being reared I do have one plea: The rules aren't always right! When I was very young I was diagnoses with a learning disability, and at the time one of the ways for helping children who were LD and ADD was to remove all distractions from their learning area, and environment in general. My parents realizing my creativity did not do this, they just worked a little harder with me. And they gave me the gift of my very own desk; with drawers and cubbies to fill with crayons, paper and other creative distractions. My spelling is still not the strongest; but I later went on to the Talented and Gifted program, a Charter School for the Art and Humanities and a great small highly rated College. I now write poetry and essays, blog, and craft. And though I had many hard years in school, I learned how to focus myself, work at my faults, and were able to keep the things I loved and brought me joy in my life.

Much Luck and Peace,
Kate (a young writer with a rocky start)

20 November, 2008


So far this week has been cold here; colder than most of last winter was. I'm not dealing with the chilly weather as well as I have done in prior years. I'm the girl who would walk around New England with out a coat on, in the dead of winter.

I have also noticed today, that I would really love some plants in the house. The only real problem is that we have one sunny window and it's in the bedroom. Our main living area gets very little sun light. I hope Santa can find me some shade friendly house plants.

Photo: Light Collector by Lori Archer

17 November, 2008

A Little Box of Sunshine

Sometimes it really is the simple, little things in life; one of my greatest joys of this in-between season (no longer really Autumn and not quite Christmas) is a clementine, or three. They are so small, bright and juicy; really I could devour a whole box, if they didn't cost so much. So instead, I try to savor each one.

16 November, 2008

Thankful for Thankfulness

Sometimes we just need to be thankful that we have the ability to be thankful!
"What a happy holiday it is, how social and pleasant and comfortable and easy! How near and dear all the bright faces gathered around the long table at Thanksgiving-dinner, seen to be. Truly, we should all be thankful that we have a Thanksgiving."
- The Original Girls Handy Book, by Linda Beard and Adelia Belle Beard 1887

04 November, 2008

Simple Beginnings

At many times my life could have gone many different ways, and most of those times it was my own choice that shaped things. But in my early years my parents made a series of choices, and though I can't say whether one was better than the other, I do know that my life could have been very different.

When I was born my parents lived in a small pre-war house settled on a long narrow strip of land. It had a lawn to play on, flower beds to hide in, berry patches, vegetable beds and a few fruit trees. My mother made most of my baby clothes, including bibs and bedding, and cooked most of our meals from scratch. She worked part-time and I was cared for by my grandparents or in someone's home with a hand full of other young children. It was the start of the 80's and my parents had a budget to live by and a whole lot of energy for a good life.

I remember playing outside, or in the lower cupboard where the pots and pans were stored, and going to the library. We didn't watch a lot of television and what I do remember watching was on PBS. And my baby sister was my favorite playmate. We never wanted for things, and most of the things we owned were of quality, not quantity. Bedroom furniture was bought from a good store, in a classic style and piece by piece. We still have the high chair, cradle, head boards, dressers and desk that my sister and I shared. What was gifts and what was saved for, I don't know, but it was all saved.

This life, though seen through nostalgic, blurred eyes, is the kind of life that I aim for, for today. Though I loved the later years of living on a child filled cul-du-sac, in a new house, with cable and pretty much anything I wanted. Part of me wonders how my life right now would be different if working at the simpler things had ingrained on me as habit and not just memories.

The sad part, I fear, is that living that life now would cost twice as much as it did then, even after you adjust for inflation. (but that's another day's post)

Watering Can on Chair by Cecile Baird

03 November, 2008

Good Heavens...

Has it really been over a month since I last posted? Well, I apologies. Life here has been both hectic and dull. I had a little set back in my health, but am doing better. I have come to the point were I need to add a little structure to my life.

I am thinking of choosing a day of the week to focus on a special topic. Is there something special you want to read or learn more about? Maybe health issues, or green cleaning tips, reciepes or prodjects. I would love to hear your opinions.

Also I think I am going to choose a day to write about daily life. Like I said I need a bit more structure, and a little motivation; and I think this blog, and you Dear Reader, can help with that.

28 September, 2008

Holiday Help

For some of you this might not be on your mind yet, and for others it might be to late; but non the less I have a little sharing to do, and if you can't put it to use this year hopefully you can use it next.

I have been one of those people standing in line on Christmas Eve, buying the last minute gift, and my husband has been saddled with expedited shipping costs, and the tension of waiting because he waited to long to order a gift. But no more, not in this house. After last year we decided to implement a new rule: If it's perfect buy it now! I don't care if it was August, but when my favorite shop to buy gifts, back in CT, was having a side walk sale, and I happened to be home visiting, you bet I bought presents for family and friends. Over the summer I have managed to buy for the two trickiest people on my list. Even stocking stuffers can be bought ahead of time; my husband's favorite after-shave goes on sale, or fuzzy socks are on clearance, I'm at a craft fair and find cool wooden toys. It all gets picked up and tucked away.

As items come into the house they go into a big plastic bin and some time right before Thanksgiving I will go into it and take stock, the few people left on the list will get shopped for over the next week or so. I can apply the same principle to birthdays, as those sneak up out of nowhere, but except for kids we tend to do a nice card and a gift certificate or a bottle of wine.

By buying early and/or on sale I have saved money in purchase price and shipping, I have saved worries and stress. Also you avoid going bankrupt; instead of spending $1,000 plus in December, you are spending $20 here and there threw-out the year. My husband and I just don't go to the movies that week, or we spend it out of our “fun/mad money” if we are on vacation when we find it. I spend less on myself as well by doing this. That vacation or craft fair, in the past I would have bought something for myself, but now I think of and buy for others.

Also, another forward thinking thing we do is buy paper and cards after Christmas; the other year we bought a ton at Target on clearance and only used about half last year. Strings of lights, ornaments, hooks, ribbon and the like all need to be sold at the end of the season. And, while what you need is still fresh in your mind, and this years stuff hasn't quite been all but away is the perfect time to stuck up. It saves money and hassle. When everything goes up the following year, you have everything you need.

I am really looking forward to being on top of things for the Holidays this year. I can happily walk around 'main street' and window shop, and I can avoid the mall if I am so inclined. Everything will be at home just waiting for me to do my favorite two things; sit under the tree and wrap gifts and then sit under the tree again while I watch my loved ones unwrap them.

(photos are of family Christmas Trees, top left is my In Law's, middle right is my Parent's, and bottom left is mine, all from 2007)

Just Popping In

Yet again I didn't get "the fabulous job", and even though I am disappointed I'm beginning to be okay with it. Even though I have been feeling better, I don't think my body is ready to sustain regular activity. I have also been trying to think of something interesting and thoughtful to share with you all. But as of yet I have nothing. You will however be the first to know, when I do manage to hobble together an informative post.

But until then I hope you all have (or have had) a restful weekend!

25 September, 2008

Wast of Energy

Today I spent the better part of an hour talking to a neighbor; she had herself in a flutter about what happened to her this weekend. To make it brief, more than one neighbor has made more than one complaint about her to the management. And this is not the first time that I have politely stood and listened too such things.

Living in a small court yard of neighbors who largely have nothing to do (nearly all are retired) has opened my eyes to what excess time and boredom can do. Idleness has led these people to gossip and childish games.

Ladies and Gents, please don't waist your time with soul hurting. There are much better ways to spend ones time, even those who are old or sick can do things. Read a book, call your family and talk about their week, volunteer, start a garden; there are millions of things one can do. But please, people stop wasting your time and burdening your soul with childish gossip and games.

Open your hearts and your minds to your neighbors and be kind not only to their face, but when they have their back turned or their door closed.

16 September, 2008


Back in May there was an opening for a position at my church; I really wanted the job. I couldn't have written a better job description for myself if I tried. Well by the time I had found out about it, it was filled. But a new development has come along...

The lady they hired for the job has left do to health reasons. My health issues are beginning to improve and I was about to start looking into getting a new job. I spoke to the two women doing the hiring and have emailed my resume.

I really really want this job, its exactly what I want to do; if I can't be a stay/work from home wife and published writer. I hope that things have happened this way for a reason. I was pretty sick when the job originally came up; and I'm doing better now and it looks like I'll be getting better still.

Please keep your fingers crossed, and a few prays may help to. But if you do, please give a prayer for the former DRE who had to leave. Though I want her job, I would like her to recover quickly.

12 September, 2008


I love baked goods, especially ones involving fruit. And one of the easiest is Crumble; here are two different flavors that use the same easy topping.

5 Tbl flour (I used an organic stone ground whole wheat, a GF mix would work well too)
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 stick of cold butter cut up into small pieces

I usually make the crumble while my fruit marinates.
Combine flour and sugar in a bowl, then work in the butter pieces. You are not trying to cream the butter, just turn it into tiny flour covered pieces.

Blackberry Basil
1 1/2 pins blackberries
2 grany smith apples
1-2 Tbl basil based on your fondness for the herb (I used Thai basil, it's a bit more hearty than Italian basil)
sugar to taste (I only used a tea spoon or so, I like tart things)

Peach Ginger
4 large peaches peeled and chopped (I blanched the peaches in order to peal them)
1 pint strawberries, cut into smallish pieces
1 Tbl fresh grated ginger (if you have powdered use that, you may just want to add a bit more)

Combine and let sit for 10 min. (I did this in my pie dish) place crumble on top and bake at 350 until all the butter is melted and the edges are bubbling.

11 September, 2008

Wee Hours

Once again I find myself awake in the early hours of Thursday morning. I did not find my pillow restful, even though I am tired. So instead of dream land I tried blog land.

You might find a few things different today; a new title, a new template and a new user pic. Things are a changing! The seasons are shifting and so is my blood. The summer has gone by with little progress on my part. I have felt more of a difference in the past week than all summer. (But my new found sinus infection is not helping)

So as the leaves on the trees go from green to red, orange and yellow; I am going green.

04 September, 2008

Couting Blessings Instead of Sheep

Because it is technically Thursday and I can't sleep: I present to you, Thankful Thursday.

I am thankful that my husband's company offers health insurance; and that I have a family doctor who cares.

I am thankful that I have a neighbor who brings me flowers from her garden, loans me books and offers to take walks with me.

I am thankful that I have caring supportive in laws, who treat me as their own, it makes being away from my family easier.

I am thankful for a husband who opens doors for me, holds my hand and brings me tea; he helps me along the path of life when I can not help myself.

06 August, 2008


Sometimes its the small innocent beings in our lives that can effect us the most. I know many women in my life who have had their eyes open to a whole new array of things by there children. I have yet to be blessed with a human child, but a about three weeks ago my husband and I adopted a fuzzy child. Actually so fuzzy that we named him Fozzy. In the past week I have watched the lights on the Delaware River, a robin chirp in the early morning, seen mother duck tend to their ducklings and found were the bunnies who eat my garden live. I have met more neighbors in a week than in the whole prior year of living here. He has been great company for me during the day, and is an eager walking partner. He is definitely what our life needed right now.

01 August, 2008

Chronic Illness and the Web

It is no secret that I have chronic health issues and that sometimes it gets the better of me, or at the very least my time. So to break my rut of not posting for fear of complaining too much I would like to share some of my favorite websites for dealing with Chronic Illness.

This site has some great info on integrative and alternative therapies; many people like non-drug options, or just need to help improve there overall wellness and quality of life.

This is a fun website with articles for the young and spunky who happen to be sick.

A great anecdote and lesson to learn by, 'don't use up all your spoons'

This site has some good general health and illness info.

And because a Lady needs pretty things in her life.

If any of you have sites you or your friends like, please share.

12 June, 2008

Cooking with Venison

As promised two recipes using venison. I multi task, so if you aren't good at doing two things at once, or are new to the kitchen, you might want to do some prep work. Do all of your chopping and measuring first; just line it all up on the counter and things will go smoother. Have fun and I hope you enjoy these dishes. :)

This first one is based on a recipe in "Nourishing Traditions", I adapted it do to what I had on hand.

Venison Stuffer Peppers
4 green peppers
1 pound ground venison
1 small onion
1/4 pasta sauce (tomato paste was called for, and this is what I had)
1/2 cup beef stock (you may need more if u you use tomato paste)
1 cup of brown rice
spices and herbs to taste (I used basic green herbs and a pinch of cinnamon)
olive oil
grated Parmesan cheese

Set rice to cook, per directions on the package, and preheat the oven to 350F. After, start by browning the meat in your trusty skillet, using the olive oil and add desired herbs and spices. While this is going on chop up your onion. Once the meat is ready pushed it to the perimeter of your skillet, you may need to remove it if your skillet is small. Then add a touch more olive oil and put the onions in the center. While they caramelize carefully cut the peppers, I chose to cut them in half, from top to bottom, so they would cook quicker. Greased a Pyrex dish, 9x12, with olive oil and place the peppers in. Once the onions are ready stir them in with the meat and add the tomato sauce, beef stock and rice. Once combined carefully scoop it into the peppers, cover in graded cheese and bake. The baking took about 30 minutes. I server this with a chopped salad.

Onto the next recipe... This time I was basically just trying to clean out the fringe, so feel free to substitute for what you have. Or just get creative.

Venison Chili
1 pound ground venison
1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper
3 carrots
1 small onion
1 can kidney beans
3 table spoons olive oil
spices and herbs to taste (I used cumin, chili powder and garlic powder)
1/4 red wine vinegar
1/2 beef stock
1/2 cup tomato sauce

Plug in your slow cooker, or put your stock pot on low. Put olive oil and meat in pot and turn it on. Chop peppers, carrots and onions into smallish pieces, and add them to the pot. Add kidney beans, vinegar, beef stock and tomato sauce. Spice to taste; I eye ball it when I add the meat and then go back once it is all cooked and sample. I usually end up adding more spice at the end. I served this with toasted tortillas, just brush them with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet in the oven on low. You may need to experiment with it.

Well that is all for now. There will be more coming. Tomorrow is my last day of work; I'll be on sick leave the rest of the summer, while I heal my body and soul.

05 June, 2008

What's Up, What's Down

It's been a while, hasn't it. Things have been quite and busy all at the same time. My health has been poor, still. But it will be doing better. We have answers and we have plans to fix them. However in the mean time this blog will be taking a bit of different turn. Don't worry it's not for the worse.

Actually it may be for the better... The Better Health of All. This summer Healthy Living will be a major focus of this blog. I'm not yet sure if I will be doing any series or not, I guess we will figure that out as I do my research.

Also I will be posting some yummi new receipts, as I experiment with new healthy foods. Actually I have two receipts involving Venison that I need to type up and post for you all :)

So until then, I hope all is well in your worlds and that it continues to be.

19 May, 2008

Slow Down for Slow Food

Whether you are a big family or a single person, I believe a myriad of problems can be solved by simply slowing down, cooking a meal at home and enjoying it at the table. And that sentence is far easier said than done. My husband and I both work and I know how hard it is to find the energy to cook when you get home late (and if you are me, are in pain too). But this excuse will suffice no longer. My husband and I have been living off of bought lunches and pre-made meals from the grocery store for weeks now; and though it has been a timesaver the novelty of it has worn off. Eating this way strains our purse strings and encourages unhealthy eating habits. There has been more fried chicken, Chinese food, frozen meals and cookies in this house in the last month than in the last year.

I have read about the Slow Food Movement before and took great interest in it. But today I decided that it is time to implement such an idea into our daily lives. So I am joining the Slow Food Movement. It's about being more than just a consumer of food. The main principles of the SFM is to have a relationship with your food, know where it comes from, and to buy local, organic and fair trade when you can. It's about preparing and sharing your food; have friends over and cook together, or just sit at the table, light some candles and spend an evening with your husband lingering over a home cooked meal.

Now with everything that is going on in my life jumping into this fully may be a bit much for us right now; so I am going to ease into this lifestyle. I am pledging to prepare lunch for my husband and myself every day. I also intend to cook one homemade, from scratch, meal a week. Quick frozen veggie skillet creations don't count. I am talking about cutting, chopping and cooking. And once this has become routine and my health is better or my work situation has improved, I intend on increasing the number of 'from scratch' dinners. I also pledge to post these dinners in my blog, so that I can share with all of you.

16 May, 2008

Could it Be?

For many of us there is something in our lives that is a point of contention. And for me that point seems to be the need for me to work. I am thankful for having the job I do, but really I am not happy with it. I don't want to need a job, it is not that I want to be lazy, but to me having a job seems to have kept me from things. I have a limited amount of resources and I've been using them to pay the bills, when I have wanted to use them for the good of those around me.

But now a possible opportunity has come before me. My church is looking for a director of religious education; it is a paid, full time positions. It is a really wonderful opportunity that would allow me to do so many wonderful things. I'm just not sure if I am fully qualified. I have been looking to get more involved at church, and was thinking of RE. I was also planning on starting the search for a new job, but thought I might wait until later in the summer, because I have a vacation planned for August.

I really think this job would be wonderful and provide a great opportunity for growth. I don't normally ask, but please keep me in your prays/thoughts. I am going through a period of trial, I may not be trying my hardest to get through it, but this opportunity is so wonderful I think it might be the bit of hope to help me start working harder.


15 May, 2008

Words of Wedded Bliss

Tomorrow my husband and I will be starting a new group at our church. It is a social group for newly married or about to be married couples. Our church has never had a group like this before and we have a number of newlyweds at different phases of their lives, otherwise. I'm very excited but not entirely sure what to say to these people. The point of the first meeting is to get together and see what we all want, and what the group direction might be.

But I do want to set a tone. And am considering some passages on marriage to share with the group. But there are so many fine words on the topic; the Bible, literature and history are filled with quote ables on marriage and married love.

So my question to you is: What is your favorite passage/quote on the topic of marriage?

11 May, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to my own mother and mother in law; and to all of you wonderful women who have the wonderful vocation of raising the best of blessings. You all have my greatest admiration. And i hope your day was beautiful.

I apologize for not keeping up in my posts quality or quantity as of late. I have been feeling more for the wor
se and have been 'convalescing'.

Seeing as I have not been out of my bed, I am posting this image to represent the past two day for my WIFD. I do intend to continue this my week, so that you may all see a full seven days. I really enjoyed looking through others blogs today and through Cheri's blog I have found the blogs of some other Lovely Ladies. I hope next week to do some page layout up dates; and add a side bar so that I may link to the other journal I enjoy reading. As i enter a very difficult week for myself I wish allof you a smooth and blessed week of your own.


07 May, 2008

WIFD days 2 and 3

And I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

This was from yesterday. I'm wearing one of my favorite skirts; it's a wrap skirt with a blue satin under layer and an embroidered black over lay. I love how exotic it looks.

Here is todays, taken at work. I think I forgot to dust myself off first :) This is a great light sundress that I wear at a jumper. When it's really hot I wear a cami under it instead of a blouse.

And a close up of my shoes, you can see the subtle poke-a-dots, I LOVE POKE-A-DOTS

And lastly me cuddling with my faithful cat, my purring fluffy heating pad. There is nothing like the love of a fuzzy child.

Please Excuse this Interruption...

of you regularly scheduled programing. I have day 2 photos and will post them with todays in a double duty WIFD post.

But at the moment I wanted to share with You, dear reader, a little bit of what is going on behind the blog. As many of you know I have had long term chronic health issues. Well in the past weeks these issues are getting worse. Extreme pain and muscle weakness are the main complaints. But I have exhaustion, and my mental clarity and fine motor skills are also effected. My husband and I are in a position that calls for me to work 30+ hours per week, out of the home. This causes complications because I have a 45 min. commute and don't get home until nearly 8pm. By the end of my work day I have done nothing for my home or my husband.

It deeply bothers me that Ro has to do the work of both the Husband and the Wife. And not just for a short time, while I recuperate from the flue or a fall. Oh no... when I have a “flair-up” I get a ton of new or revisiting symptoms and when my flair up is over some of them stay. This leaves me sicker than when I started.

I believe I have a place in this world, and that my illness may seem like road block it really isn't. But right now this road block is keeping me from going anywhere. And I'm running out of gas!

05 May, 2008

Day One

Hello Dear Ones,

I'm participating in a Week in Feminine Dress. I usually wear dresses and skirts but as of late pants are finding there way into my wardrobe once a week or so, when I don't feel well. My husband prefers me in skirts and dresses. This is not only an exercise in ladylike dressing, but also at having my photo taken and not critiquing myself to death :)

This was taken after running around at work for 9 hours; I've been really ill these past weeks and it shows. I'm wearing a navy cap sleeve dress and pink short sleeve cardigan; also I'm carrying my tin lunch pale. I almost always wear my hair up when I'm not out with Ro (the hubbs), it is a bit messy hear though long hair doesn't always want to stay in place for hours on end. Well it took me 15 mins to get dressed today, tomorrow I hope I'll have more time to put into this.

Have a lovely evening.

03 May, 2008

Guerilla Gardenging

This may be illegal; this may be one of those occasions were idealism, principal and the greater good out weight earthly law.

Shock gardening troops attack urban eyesores

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) - They work under the cover of night, armed with seed bombs, chemical weapons and pitchforks. Their tactics are anarchistic, their attitude revolutionary. Their aim: to beautify.

An army of self-styled Guerrilla Gardeners is growing across the world, fighting to transform urban wastelands into horticultural havens. To document and encourage their victories, one of the movement's top generals has written a handbook.

"On Guerrilla Gardening", by Richard Reynolds, defines the activity as "the illicit cultivation of someone else's land".

"Our main enemies are neglect and scarcity of land," said Reynolds, a 30-year-old former advertising employee who wrote the book after his website guerrillagardening.org became a global focal point for would-be green-fingered activists.

"Land is a finite resource -- and yet areas like this are not being used. That seems crazy to me," Reynolds told Reuters.

"And if the authorities want to get in the way of that logic, then we will fight them -- but peacefully -- through showing them what we can achieve with plants."

As he spoke, Reynolds and several London-based troops were enthusiastically digging over soil in a rough patch of grass outside a tower block in the south east of the capital.

Defying darkness -- and risking arrest for criminal damage -- they continued their "attack" on the otherwise grim, grey surroundings, forking in a hefty load of compost and planting lavender and Paris daisies for a splash of colour and scent.


Thousands of "troops" worldwide have now signed up to Reynolds' website -- each with their own troop number -- where they post reports and pictures of their battles, or "troop digs".

For those inspired to follow suit, his book outlines tips and advice on everything from the most suitable clothing and what kind of lighting and communication equipment to use, to how to carry out a "seed bombing" raid.

"Scattering seeds is the easiest way to guerrilla gardening," he writes. "You do not even have to stop moving to do it -- GG (Guerrilla Gardener) 830 Tony releases handfuls of Welsh poppy seeds while driving along the M60 motorway."

Reynolds says he was inspired to write the book after his first nocturnal gardening experience outside his own 1970s concrete tower block in London, when he discovered he was part of a largely secret but worldwide movement.

"I began because I moved to a tower block and had no garden, and yet all around me there were bits of land that nobody was looking after -- so I have made it into my own garden. But it's that one everyone shares and can get involved in," he said.

"I stepped out into the world to cultivate land wherever I liked. The mission was to fight the miserable public flowerbeds around my neighbourhood."

The book charts what it says is a "revolutionary history" of a movement which has its roots in 1970s New York and has since inspired urban dwellers across the world to defy authorities and adopt and cherish neglected public spaces.

GG 3516 Greg, in Zurich in Switzerland, tells of Saturday-night sorties to beautify a traffic island in the city, while GG 158 Luc, in Montreal, Canada, documents a "pavement garden" he has been cultivating for four years.

GG 013 Julia, one of the movement's leading lights, posts pictures and descriptions of significant victories in Berlin, where the Rosa Rose garden in the east of the city has grown out of a vacant lot once covered in rubble and rubbish.

GG 1168 David, and GG Michael 1169, graphic designers in Tokyo, say their motivation was a passion for growing food.

According to Reynolds' book, they began in 2005 by "chucking pumpkin seeds into a vacant lot near David's home" in the city, and, encouraged by the pumpkins' progress, continued with a small guerrilla farm on waste ground in the Kamiyacho district.

"It's about living in an edible jungle," David, who now also grows broccoli and radishes land owned by Tokyo city authorities, says in the book. "Vegetables are best fresh, so I thought they should be grown locally."


Guerrilla Gardening is a crime in Britain -- digging up land you do not own is classed as committing criminal damage -- but Reynolds insists it is a victimless one and is clearly unfazed by encounters with police.

"Yes, by law this is criminal damage... but common sense would suggest it is quite the opposite," he said.

He described a recent night-time dig on a large roundabout in central London where dozens of police pulled up, and ordered him and fellow gardeners to down tools or face arrest.

"We reluctantly withdrew," he said, adding with a smile that they returned to finish the job an hour later when the coast was clear.

Reynolds has now largely given up his more mainstream work in advertising and devotes his time to writing about Guerrilla Gardening, maintaining his website and spreading the word.

And while he characterizes the activity as a battle and uses the language of war, he insists there are no losers.

"This a win-win war," he writes. "Take a public place of wasted opportunity and turn it into a garden. In time victory should be clear to everyone, and probably fragrant too."

(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Sara Ledwith)

Article and photo credit:


25 April, 2008

The Simple Life

Simplicity and the Simple Life seem to be on the minds of many in past days. I don't know if is a symptom of Spring Fever or a side effect of rising gas and food prices; but it has been on my mind too.

The search for something simple has always been in the plans for my husband and I, and now that we are coming up on our first wedding anniversary and have settled into our life together a little, it has become a goal of ours. However for us is not as easy a goal as we thought. We both work, I mostly full time and him more than full time. This makes convince food and instant gratification an easy way for us to eat at 8pm when we get home from work.

But while we try to work on the bigger issues there are some simple pleasures in our lives. I love to garden and have started growing veggies in pots out in front of our condo, hopefully this summer they will bless us with food at out finger tips. Also one of our favorite "dates" is going to the farmers market or during the winter the indoor Amish Market; my husband and I love to stroll, hold hands and talk to the sellers, it a louse us to feel active in our community and in our food choices.

One of the gifts that we give to each other for birthdays and other special occasions is parties; we throw something into the Crockpot and invite friends over to share the afternoon with us. The memories are fare better than any trinket that could be found hastily at a store. And this year for Christmas Ro got me crayons and paper, we'll sit and draw our dream home or just smiling little cows. Colouring is one of the small joys that adults seem to forget.

Eventually I will raise our own chickens and sheep like his mother does, embroider baby blankets like his grandmother does, bake bread like my mother does and grow bushels of vegetables like my grandmother does. But until that day, we will slowly slow down and begin to find what our Simple Life is.

22 April, 2008

Falure to Frugal-ize

I took most of last week off from work as a preemptive strike; more long hours are coming at work and I was still having some residual infection issues and the diet of doom was a disaster. By Friday I was feeling better and to make my week complete Saturday I was surprised with a trip to the day spa. My indulgent and frugal husband found two special offers at the day spa in town; and I got to have a day of guilt free pampering. I had my hair cut and and a lemon grass manicure/pedicure combo. It's been nearly a year since I had either. I felt so refreshed and relaxed. And after a nap he took out for Sashimi, yum. And a little shopping (the only non essential was some terracotta pots). I love my Hubs!

All of this luxury has me thinking. There are two very distinct sides of me. A) the barefoot, organ gardening, save the planet side and B) the Coach shoe/handbag , pearl wearing gourmet food eating side. And I know that somewhere there is a balance between these two halves of a whole, but there is one large wedge between them. Frugality! In many ways both of these things can lend themselves to saving money, and to each other. Turn your lights off when not in the room saves energy and money; buying one high quality purse and using it for 2 or more season is better than buying more than 2 purses and sing them for less than one season. But sill you have to have the money to by the one high quality purse to being with. I'd say you even need the money to keep the lights on, but we are at least safe from that.

My spending habits have improved a lot over the past year and a half. But still, most days I don't think I'm doing enough, and then not long after I think about how I miss seeing the J Crew and Lord and Taylor bags sitting on the floor, after a triumphant day of shopping. Is it possible to ever stop wanting? Seeing that many can't even live of a “six figure” income, I'm not so sure.

20 April, 2008

Summer Reading List

It's spring and for me that means it's time to make my summer reading list. Being in the world of Academia for so long means that Fall through Spring was usually filled with required readings, and research readings. So, Summer has always been my fun readings time.

The first book up, which I am actually reading right now is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I have heard great things about it from some lovely Lady Bloggers and my N.D. lives by some of its principles.

Next up will be You the Owners Manual, by Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz . I'm sure some of it will conflict with NT, but it's been awhile since I took an Anatomy class and it may be interesting.

I also really want to read The Four Fold Path to Healing, by Thomas Cowan. It's from the same publishers as NT and I think it may be filled with info that is truly helpful to me.

If you can't tell yet, there is a theme to all of this reading. It's all about my health. I've been sicker than usual lately and I know there is a connection to my diet and lifestyle. I don't think it's 100% do to how I live, but I know that at the very least there is room for improvement. And at the very least what I do may not be making me sicker, but it not making me healthier either.

I'm hoping that by June I will have gotten through my reading and have implemented some changes for the better. Then I'll get to update the Summer Reading List with some light readings.

Do you Ladies have any good suggestions or recommended reading, for me; what are you currently reading or planning on reading? I'd love to know. :)

17 April, 2008

Gram and Poppy

I have not yet mentioned that my Grandparents, Gram and Poppy, are my model for marriage, after all these years they still love each other and still show affection for one another. Poppy calls gram “the Bride” and Gram lets Poppy have his way, most times. They have learned what is worth fighting over, and really I think at this stage in their life they have decided nothing is worth fighting over. They freely give all that they have to their family and have taken more than one of us in when we needed it. Really I think they are my model for life.

Gram and Poppy, aka Bud and Muerial (Muky) as their Cronies call them, have lived their entire lives in H, CT. Poppy was school chums with Gram's older brother and they were High School Sweethearts. Actually there is about 3 years age difference between them, and Poppy spent some of Gram's senior year over seas. During WWII he enlisted in the army and served in Hawaii and other warm Pacific places. After he was discharged they were married on January 26, 1946 (does part of this date look familiar to anyone?) Poppy worked with his father as an independent plumber (and general repairs men) until he passed away, and Poppy took over the business. Gram was a 50's house wife who thought the occasional art or craft class for extra pocket cash; and later after her children finished school became a floral designer, specializing in dried flowers, and silk. They had three children, my father being the eldest, all born at the end of November. Mind you Gram and Poppy's Birthdays are the 7th and 11th of February, just do the math.

Early in their marriage they bout a house on Dixwell Ave, actually for those DSH-ers, its now the yellow hair salon on the other corner to the Keefe Center where practice is held. They lived there and rented part of the house out to others before buying the farm. Mind you the farm house was once not as big as it now is. In fact there were only two bedrooms; upstairs the kids slept in one room, parents int the other and Grams mother took over the small first floor 'parlor' (now the “green room”). When my father was in High school they finally decided to add on to the house, Poppy, Dad and Uncle B, along with some handy friends, built the addition that over doubled the size of the house. The half that now houses all the bedrooms, but mine, the kitchen and formal living room was all built by them. They tried their 1970's best to match the addition to the original 1800's house, owned by the street's name sake. The farm now has 4 acres, with a pump house and an awesome post and beam barn. The large bit of land now owned by the farm next-door was originally part of the property, but sold off at the same time as my grandparents purchase of their parcel.

The farm is no longer really functional, but in my life they used the back few acres as a Christmas tree farm, they always grew their own vegetables, enough for them, my parents and I (ok and M too) and still had enough to share with friends. Also at one point they had ducks. But if they didn't grow it they knew someone who did. The farm next door had chicken and Gram's dried flower provider had goats and sheep.

I have always been closer with Gram and Poppy then with my mother and father. I was born on their Wedding Anniversary and spent a lot of time at their farm when I was younger; and I am the oldest grandchild. Actually they had a large hand in raising me. I joke that my sister (M) is a Daddy's Girl and that I am a Poppy's Girl.

Poppy and Gram have been married for over 60 years, and have known each other and been close for at least 70 years. They have Cronies, people who they have been friends with for years, some they have known since grade school. Many of their Cronies are like Aunts and Uncles to me, they went on the Wedding guest list before any friends outside the Bridal Party did. They have watched me grow up and I have watched them grow old. Some have aged better than others.

The funny thing is that Gram and Poppy, by most modern agencies, do not have a healthy lifestyle. They still eat meat, red meat and pork, regularly, they drink and eat sweets, lots of sweets and few non-root veggies. But these two people in their late 80's are some of the healthiest people I know. Most definitely healthier than me.

Actually my family has a strange distribution of health. Most O'Connell's are good strong healthy people, with robust constitutions, Gram, Poppy, Dad, Aunt K and M are prime examples. But then there is the recessive sicky gene that Uncle B and I both have. We both have low body temps and throat susceptibility, not to mention bodies that like to attack themselves.

But regardless of this; I have found the key to my grandparents' health.

1.They are early to bed and early to rise. Retiring at 9ish and rising between 5 and 6 am. Poppy has taken to getting up in the middle of the night for a bit, but he makes up for it in afternoon naps.
2.They are active. Still very social and giving of their time to charity, they also keep up a large house and 2 of the 4 acres of land the other 2 are now wood with pine treas and grape vines. Poppy is always tinkering with something, and Gram is always moving, rearranging and decorating (or gardening in the warm months).
3.They enjoy themselves. Resting in the afternoons, or going out with friends. They maintain a time share and used to travel a lot with friends, they have however slowed down a bit in the past 3 years. But non the less they are at the Elks club or out to dinner weekly.
4.They are very religious. Going to mass daily; it gives them spirituality, a sense of community and something larger than themselves. And it gives them their moral compass and great compassion. They are the kind of Cradle Catholics who love and except everybody, regardless of sin, persuasion or background.
5.They eat what makes them happy, don't feel guilty over it and they eat at home. They eat sweets but don't eat a lot of things containing high fructose corn syrup. No soda. Their cookies, pastries and cakes are home made by Gram or come from a good Italian Bakery. They don't eat fast food or take out, but instead live off of left over pot roast and meat loaf. They drink beer daily and Gram loves her cocktails. Poppy hates most veggies but will eat all the spinach and carrots if you let him, and Gram will cover most raw veggies in Mayonnaise. When they do go out its to real restaurants, where they sit and linger with friends and family.

There is something in their generation and life style that we are missing. Up until maybe a year or so ago I thought they were going to still be kicking until their late 90's. Sort of like the Queen Mother, minus the cake like hats. But one keep part of their life style is fading away. They are starting to watch their friends, relatives and acquaintance pass on. Many of them were only 10 or 15 years younger then them, yet old by many standards. They people led good lives but were not as fortunate to have Gram and Poppy's health.

It seems that Old Age has become contagious.

On a daily basis I miss Gram and Poppy; I think of when I was younger and they would show me how to do things. And every time I pack Ro's lunch into the black metal lunch box that was Poppy's I do so with a bit of pride.

I am lucky enough to have the Best Grandparents in the world. I have learned a lot from them, and they still have vast amounts to teach me.

13 April, 2008

Seed Cups

I have finally started my seedlings; I know it's a bit late in the season and I hope it wont effect them too much. I have not planed seeds in years and this year I decided to try something different. I did not want to use those plastic trays that are bad for the environment and I didn't want to spend a ton of money on eco friendly seed trays... So I made my own!

First I made two boxes to hold all of my individual seed cups. I used the box that a juice flat comes in (I got this from work but if you shop at whole sale clubs they should have some there). First I wrapped it in a layer of cling wrap and them a lay of foil wrap; I covered both the bottom and the inside just in case. I don't want water leaking all over the place.

Next I made the seed cups. I used toilet paper and towel rolls, you could use any sturdy cardboard roll. I cut the toilet paper rolls in half and the towel rolls in thirds. Next I cut four slits, about one inch long, on the bottom of each. I folded the cut end in on themselves and taped them using masking tape, sort of like wrapping a present. Now the little seed cups can stand up on their own, even if some are a little wobbly.

I filled them with soil and them planted my seed like you normally would. I also labeled each cup with the sort of seed I planted in it. When the seedlings are ready to be planted I can just remove the tape and plant them or I can remove the seedling from the cup and then compost the cup (after removing the tape). And the components of the tray I made are all recyclable

I hope this works!

31 March, 2008

Just a weekly update... My seeds didn't get planted this weekend; after my SIL's baby shower and some public crying in church on Sunday I just didn't feel up to it. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow, we'll be going over my new diet ect. and I will post in detail about my research on Elimination and Rotation diets. They are great for food allergies or intolerances. Also The sheep aren't getting shoarn until later in the spring, but we do have new baby chicks; I'm hoping to get something up about them too. Hope you all have a lovely week.

25 March, 2008

Needing and Wanting

I have been thinking lately about the things we need verses the things we want; sometimes the line between the two is so faint that one may not be able to tell the difference. I need shelter, but I want a nice (simple and modest) home. I need to eat, but I want to create nutritious, delectable organic meals. I must cloth myself, but I want to wear feminine and flattering clothing.

There are things that I want so badly that I have convinced myself that I need them.

I think I may be suffering from a case of the green eyed monster. There are many things in life that I want; good health, secure finances, a comfortable hospitable home, babies, time and energy to write, sew and craft, and a hobby farm/home stead. There are a number of people in my life who are in a similar place, but they are attaining the very same things I want. I am over joyed for them. And though I try to be as pure in heart and thought as possible; part of me envies them. I do not deny these people their blessings, I think they are wholly deserving. It is not for me to question, but I still want to know why. Why it is that I am plagued by bad health and a broken body when all I want is a strong healthy body and soul that can till the earth and create.

I don't mean to sound whiny. I intend to be inquisitive and contemplative.

Is it that I am doing something so wrong that I am denying myself or sabotaging myself? Or despite all that I want for myself, does God want something different for me, or of me?

I have been meditating on this for few weeks, quietly thinking about it. I'm strong willed and I pray for others, but I don't pray for guidance. It maybe time for me to start, but I'm not sure where.

Maybe what all this boils down to is that I want to know what it is that I need verses what I want; and what it is the "Universe" wants and needs of me.

24 March, 2008

Just popping in to say; HI!. I hope everyone is doing well and had a restful weekend and joyous Easter. I have been a bit more sick than usual and am catching up on everyone's blogs. I'm doing a bit better, but will be making some lifestyle and health changes starting this week. The main one will be starting a detox and rotation diet. Also with spring here and the weather warming up I will be starting my seeds and shearing the sheep soon. I will be posting about both of these soon.

10 March, 2008

The Heart of A Marriage

Our bed is very important to us. My husband and I both love to sleep; and one of our luxuries is our bed. After our wedding we bought a new mattress and antique bed frame, we also received amazing bed linens as wedding gifts. Our bed is were we cuddle in the morning, and giggle late at night. We talk about what is on our mind and we play; its were we rejuvenate our bodies, our spirits and our marriage.

One of my favorite things is Clean Sheet Day. And I have realized that one of the easiest things I can do with the 10 minutes I have to do house work is... Yep; make the bed. My husband was actually still asleep in it when I left this morning, but when I got home from work I went up stairs and made the bed. I love to smooth out the sheets and spray them with lavender water. I pull the covers up and spread out the quilt that was made by a good friend as a gift to my saragget mother, who has passed of cancer. And I put all of our "bed friends" in there place; the porcelain doll I have had since childhood (-R's childhood doll is to fragile to bed on th bed, he lives in my old wicker doll bassinet.) and a three monkeys that were gifts between -R and I, there are also two poppets (hand made dollies with no faces).

So in ending my ramblings. Our marriage bed is more than just a place to sleep. It is a place for US.

What's important in your marriages?

06 March, 2008

Thankful Thursday

My job has been a point of upset lately, some days I am even resentful of it. I shouldn't be. So today I decided to be mindful of all the good things about my job, and to give thanks for them.

~I genuinely like all of my co-works, and they not only like me but are concerned for me and give me extra help on my bad health days.

~I work on a college campus and have access to a library, gym and cultural events.

~I get to work book-signings were I hear interesting readings and lectures; and meet fellow writers.

~I have a generous discount and can order books from almost any publisher. I also get to take home snacks that are expired (but still yummy) for free.

~I provide and important serves to students, I'm the one who processes book request and order the books. I help in the educations of many.

~my job provides the money we need to cover my medical expenses.

So... Today I am thankful for my job and my awesome co-works.

02 March, 2008

First Post

Hi I have had a live journal for years as a way to keep up with daily life among myself and my friends who I don't get to see regularly. This blog's focus is my job as wife and homemaker. I was married in June and moved from Connecticut to Philadelphia. My goal is to meet new friends and share thoughts and experiences of home and life.

Right now we are a two income family, my husband has an average paying job; but he came with debt. My pay check only covers my health care and medication. I have Juvenile Fibromyalgia, Peripheral Neuropathy and a low immune system causing frequents colds and infections. I'm expensive and don't always have the energy or am in to much pain to do my household duties and work.