I decided to try a few new things in the garden this year. A few are not quite camera ready yet, those being the yellow watermelon, lemon cucumber, and a couple new varieties of tomato. However, a few are ready for their close-ups full of promises for bigger and better prizes in the new future.
Yellow bell pepper (tried green and red in the past, but not yellow- I promise it will turn yellow).
This girl is so ready for summer. We had a really mild winter and now it seems like mother nature is playing catch up and messing with our spring and summer. It is finally starting to warm up, though it is still fairly wet around here. Hmmm...this must be what it is like to live on the other side of the state. I have been taking advantage of the warm sunny days that have occasionally blessed us with their presence. In addition to evening walks and hikes with my honey I have also wisely used my lunch breaks for walks around campus. I am wonderfully blessed to work on a campus that snuggles up next to Lake Coeur d'Alene so this is my view for the majority of my lunch walks. Yesterday the view included some parasailers as well.
I also spied this gorgeous Dogwood tree along my path yesterday. It is one of my favorite flowering trees and they are always a welcome sight.
This Sunday is also the Coeur d'Alene Ironman and it is one of the qualifiers for the Hawaii Ironman so I have gotten to see the progress of the little Ironman village in the park next to the lake. The bike corrall is probably the most impressive sight. I have to say I have zero, and I mean zero, desire to ever to an Ironman, but I am horribly impressed with the work the participants must put into their bodies to even attempt such an event. Yikes.
Wow! Where have I been? I apologize for the mini disappearing act. Between being sick, trying to stretch my creative muscles, and give the big old heart muscle a jump start, the days just flew by before I realized that I had not shared any tidbits of my life for well over a week. So here is a little catch up...
First. I was sick. It was miserable. At least the Pacific Northwest has not figured out it is summer yet so I didn't really miss out on anything.
The most exciting thing that happened to me on my hiatus was that I learned to make cold processed soap. My very own from scratch soap that if I don't make safely could burn my flesh off. It was fun! Hey, a little flesh burning threat never slowed this girl down. The soap I learned to make is lye (the flesh burning stuff), olive oil, palm oil, and coconut oil. That is it. Talk about natural! I also added a little dill weed to make it look pretty (promise, no pickle scent) and my scent of choice. I put together my own blend of lilac and hinoki wood. One of my fellow classmates described the scent as romantic and I think that is pretty fair description. Here is my first baby:
My batch is now sitting on a shelf in the basement properly aging. Yep, just like a fine wine, a fine soap must age. Luckily I only have to wait for 20 days as opposed to the years necessary for a wine. Or so I have been told. It doesn't usually last that long around here.
I have also been working my little (well maybe not quite so little) butt off. Our work is sponsoring a Biggest Loser competition at one of the local gyms just for employees. We have workout assignments each week to get entered into a drawing and I am doing my best to get all my points in. One week under my belt and I am having fun. It helps to have buddies!
Oh! I finished a couple projects somewhere in there too.
I have mentioned before that I love attending the Farm Chicks Show every year. It is fun looking at all the booths and making great finds. This year I decided to show near when it opened the first morning. I usually wait until later in the day or for the second day to skip some of the most chaotic moments, but I guess I was feeling adventurous Saturday morning. My greatest finds included some great vintage jewelry. I found this great necklace/choker....
And this necklace....
My favorite find are these three great bracelets...
I also picked up a spoon ring made with a baby spoon that is perfect for my pinky...
By the way, the other ring on my middle finger is also a new lovely in my collection. It was given to me by a new friend on Ravelery in my beer lovers group. It is a beer opener! Eeekk! She saw that I was eyeing one and found a good deal so she shared. Next time I am ready to pop open a beer I just need to flip and ring around and there you have it! I think it makes a nifty looking ring all on its own too.
My last (literally the last) big find for the day was this fantastic apron. I love it!
I am always recharged and refreshed after spending time with my family. I just wish it didn't take a nine hour drive to settle into their presence and take it all in. Whether it is sharing a beer and stories with my true and steadfast Grandpa, being surounded by the never ending rambunctious energy of my sister and her brood, or laughing and singing karaoke (oh, and maybe a few more beers) with my beautiful cousins, I soak it all in and quietly recognize the hum of my battery reaching full charge. Really, it doesn't matter what I do with any of them or how long, it all soothes me.
This past long weekend I also discovered that listening to the three most important men in my life (Grandpa, Mark and Charlie Bear) all peacefully snoring around me in their own little worlds of cozy chairs, couches and laps while I read a good book was surprising refreshing to my soul. At one point a just set down my book, looked around me at the people I love, and just smiled and hoped for the moment to never end. Of course, eventually everyone woke up and began moving, reminding me that our most favorite moments are often fleeting.
When yesterday morning rolled around I regretfully realized it was time to pack it up and head back home. We cooked a good breakfast with Grandpa and then hit the road. We got a lot in though. On the way down Mark and I discovered a great new brewery and I took him to my absolute favorite pizza place, that alas can only be found in Boise. It was greating seeing how much bigger my nephew and nieces have become, as well as meeting the newest nephew edition. I got in that karaoke as well as precious time with my cousins. We also had one perfect night of just Grandpa, Mark and I where we stayed up late talking politics, philosophy, and just enjoying each other's stories and laughter.
I now leave you refreshed, recharged, and anxiously awaiting more fleeting and prescious moments with some of the most important people in my life...family.