Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Week From Today



One week from today we will be dropping my daughter at Barnard College and beginning a new stage of our lives. My husband took his daughter to her school yesterday, so next week really is the end/beginning for us.  I have so many things I would like to accomplish, I really hope I will be able to be organized and motivated enough to do it. It has been 24 years since I have had as much time to myself, as I believe I will have this Fall and I plan to make the most of it!



Transitioning from full time mom and homemaker to full time mom of college kids and homemaker, I plan to concentrate a lot of my efforts on the homemaking part, especially at the beginning. I spend most of my time at home and my surroundings are pretty important to me. I believe creating a pleasant home environment is vital to encouraging a calm, mellow vibe. I like natural materials, muted colors, earth tones, and have recently begun experimenting with removing/reducing clutter. I have a lot if ideas and lists of projects to complete around the home.



Another aspect of my life that I would like to really focus on is self care. Being a mom is often all about putting your self care at the bottom of the to do list. No more excuses to not take good care of myself in every way!



And in my role as mom I plan to keep in close contact with all three kids, send occasional packages/gifts, and spend time preparing for winter break when we will all be together for the holidays!

Peace and Love,

Stephanie

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Home Is Where The Heart Is



water lily blooming in the frog pond


I have a task at hand, and going forward I can use this blog to update my journey towards experiencing peace in the moment, acceptance, love, creativity, and contentment, in this situation, as it is. I have spent a good deal of time, over the past nine years, feeling that the place where I live is not "right" for me. There is a whole story around how I got to be here, and why. I bought this house and four acres at a time of huge changes in my life. Also, I was "under the influence" of new love. Looking back, I would say that I made a really rash, uninformed decision, without weighing all the options. To put it mildly, this is not our "ideal" house, and I have not found this location to be "ideal" for me, either.

Now that our youngest two are heading to college, we have been considering the possibility of relocating. The reality is the woodworking shop is here. We own this place free and clear, as long as we pay our yearly taxes. We have no savings. We live off a small part time job my husband works to supplement his woodworking and a small allowance I receive from my mother. To be the best home based support system for our four young adult children we have decided to stay right where we are for at least four more years!

The years since 1990 have slowly passed and now my youngest child is eighteen and heading to college. I can not put off doing any of the things I think I would like to do, or creating the experiences I would like to experience. The time is now to live the best life I can. Time to take all the assets I do have and create a fulfilling life. Right here, right now.


small, red mushroom in the front yard


lying back, in the woods, looking at the sky

Peace and Love,

Stephanie


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Shallot and Cider Vinegar Vinaigrette

My oldest son, Fred, and his friend, Chelsea, came here last Friday and had Friday night pizza with us before heading out to see the of Montreal movie with his sister, Sarah. She just graduated from high school, and turned eighteen,and she is my youngest. Her graduation was especially nice for me because both her siblings came. It isn't very often that we are all together.




Yesterday, Fred asked me about the salad dressing I made for the large salad we had with our pizza on both occasions. I found the dressing  here.

Shallot and Cider Vinegar Vinaigrette

6 T olive oil
3 T apple cider vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1 garlic clove minced
3 T finely chopped shallot
1 t dried oregano, crumbled
pinch sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix everything together well in a bowl or jar.

The important thing here is the olive oil and apple cider vinegar used. The olive oil needs to be something that actually tastes good on it's own. I used to buy a fairly expensive organic olive oil, until I actually drank a small taste, on it's own, and discovered it tasted bad!!! A good olive oil has a pressing date on the label. I like California Olive Ranch. You can get it at Food Lion, Lowe's Foods, Earth Fare, etc. It is really good. It is more expensive than some of the other grocery store brands, but you don't have to use a lot.
The apple cider vinegar should be raw, unfiltered, and include the "mother". Of course, Bragg's is classic, but you can also buy ACV in the bulk section of Earth Fare. Earth Fare also has bulk herbs, including oregano, that are organic, non irradiated, and very inexpensive. Just buy a very small amount so you always have really fresh dried herbs.
If you can't find, or don't want to use a shallot you could use a bit of red onion. Also, if your shallot is a little more or less than 3 tablespoons, use what you have.
Enjoy!!

Peace and Love,
Stephanie

Monday, June 23, 2014

Breath

All the while...
     the universe,
        Breaths through me...

My mind makes up,
   'elaborate stories'
to fool me into believing,
   I am in control!!

All the while...
     the universe,
        Breaths through me.


Peace and Love,

Stephanie

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dreams

Should I dream of Hawaii...

   gentle breezes rustling
             
             the palm fronds.

   clear blue sky,

             fluffy white clouds.

   endless Sunrise and Sunset,

   endless waves...

   like a heartbeat,

             as old as the earth.

My soul connects,

   and returns.

in one heartbeat, one dream.


Peace and Love,

Stephanie

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November 2013

This year the autumn is gentle and subdued. The leaves have been changing colors at a slow and steady rate and are now falling, falling, falling. The woods are emptying of their leaf cover and beginning to show their bones. Now, I plant my feet into the earth and draw into the steady force of gravity. I ask for grounding, grounding, grounding. Everything, including myself, moving down, to the ground. It's a cycle, and here we are, at this place. Grateful to be.




Peace and Love,

Stephanie

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Grape Vine Wreaths

Hello,

We have lived in our current home for the past six years. The property includes about three acres of woods, along with about one acre of yard and garden space. The previous owners had some of the larger trees cut from the woods, leaving space for sunlight to reach the ground. Because of this, there is quite a bit of blackberry growing and also lots of grape vine. So, I figured if life gives you grape vines...make wreaths!!

Grape vine wreaths are best made during the growing season. The vines are supple then and can easily be cut and fashioned into wreaths which then dry. I wanted to make some wreaths last December though, so I went into the woods and cut some vines. 




The next step was to soak them in a bucket of water so they would soften up enough to allow me to shape them into wreaths.



After soaking for a couple of days, I was able to create a couple of wreaths.

I'm very happy with the results, however, from now on I'll be making them during the summer. The process is just so much easier.

Here's one I made for my mother in law's December birthday...





And here's the one that is on our door now...









I'm really looking forward to making more wreaths this summer!!

Peace and Love,

Stephanie