Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend in Review

Good morning everyone!

First off, thank you to all of you for the well wishes and good luck for our move. You guys are awesome! It's been a HUGE project but we almost have everything in. Now starts the process of going through every single box and deciding if the stuff we've accumulated over the past five years is worth keeping or if we'll be making a trip to Goodwill next weekend!

I don't have pictures today because we don't have our Internet connection up yet. However, pictures aplenty have been taken and I can't WAIT to post them! I do, however, have one I can post:


My husband picked up the keys to the loft on Friday. Instead of calling me, he sent me this picture. Yes. That is a gigantic map of the world. It's almost two stories tall and occupies one wall in our loft. According to Loft Lore, as told to us last night by our neighbor, the former occupant used the loft to film a variety show for HGTV. The map was a backdrop. We're not sure of everything that was done on the show, but there was a cooking segment performed by local chefs in every episode. Seeing that my husband and I both are HUGE Food Network junkies, this is great news indeed!
Our neighbors are the most helpful and friendly I've ever met! They came over and brought fresh baked cookies and then helped unload the U-Haul. I'm not making this up! It's the perfect community setting. Every one's super friendly but not nosy. My good friend lives four doors up from us and her daughter is just around the corner in a loft of her own. The city of Hampton has done a lot of work making Main Street look better and they have musicians on Friday nights at the old train depot as well as festivals and craft fairs on weekends throughout the year. The park is just a two block walk from our front door so I'm expecting to get in better shape now that I have someplace to walk without the risk of death by dirt inhalation (or crazy drivers down narrow dirt road careening around corners and over hills!).
It's quiet and if you hear anything from your neighbors on either side of you it's a dog barking or a group of friends laughing. I know, I'm idealizing, right? I've only been there a total of two days as an official resident. We have yet to actually sleep there as we haven't had our gas service connected. Yes. I have a gas stove! Do you have any idea the happy dance I did when I discovered that? Just an added blessing. I grew up cooking with real fire and, while they are a pain to clean, I relish every single moment of struggling with taking the eyes apart and getting the crumbs out from around the gas light. Real food demands real fire underneath!
We were able to take a bit of a break on Saturday. Jon bought us tickets a month or so ago for the tenth anniversary filming of Good Eats. This show is a riot! I love cooking shows in general, but NOTHING beats Alton Brown's quirky take on food and life in general. What? You've never heard of Alton Brown!! Get thee here now!
After watching people blow up water coolers and spray paint pancakes with icing (yes, stuff like that amuses me), we moved everything out of the garage to our loft in an unexpected monsoon! It started flooding right as we began loading the truck, let up for the drive to the lofts, and began again as we unloaded. How kind of the clouds to think we needed cooling off! Hey, the floors needed mopping anyway.
This week will be busy, unpacking boxes, finding a place for everything, making it feel like home.
Home. What a wonderful word. One with which I'm going to get very well acquainted in the upcoming weeks.
Happy Monday all!
Jen

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Frivolities

Happy Happy Weekend!


Monday, August 24, 2009

Lessons I've Learned in the Past Week

- It feels good to see your name in print

- Perspective is everything

- You CAN make it to work on a 1/4 tank of gas

- Oranges look pretty on your desk and make you look healthy

- My new ring tone is ridiculous

- The right name makes all the difference

- Dreams really can come true...

...after five years of being married (1 of which was spent in perhaps the worst apartment complex ever and 4 spent in a garage graciously sacrificed for our well being by my mother and father in law), Jon and I are MOVING!!!

A friend of mine (whom I have known for over 12 years) has lived in the most spectacular lofts for the past 5 years. Every time I go to visit her, I am amazed at the peace and creativity that surrounds her home. Last Tuesday, I sent her an email, just to check in, to see how things were going. On a lark, I asked if there were any lofts available and she said there was one, sent us her landlord's phone number and told us to call. We didn't have to be told twice. We went to look at the loft on Thursday. The landlord (who is a WONDERFUL lady) remembered us and took us on a tour of a fabulous loft. We wandered around, blown away by the space and the quiet environment. She asked us if we liked it. She asked us if we wanted to move in September first! Long story short, after an enthusiastic YES, some paperwork and twelve hours of waiting for the official "yes", we're moving! This weekend to be precise!

Things have a way of happening all at once. I warned my husband of that when we first got married. Any time in my life when something big was to happen, it would happen at the drop of a hat, the last possible moment you think anything big or momentous is going to happen. Thus, after only a week and a half of inquiring about the lofts, we're moving in!

This week should prove to be a busy one, but I do so like to be busy. We've got to box everything up, take care of all the legal issues that moving entails, rent a U-Haul, pack and unpack and then go back and clean the garage. And we have to find an evening to take my mother and father in law out to dinner. Seems such a tiny thank you for such a huge gift as allowing us to monopolize their recently refurbished garage for four years.

As soon as possible, I'll be posting some pictures! I can't wait to see where this new adventure will lead!!

Have a great week, everyone and now, if I don't post regularly this week, you know I have a really good excuse!!

Jen
PS: if you read my other blog, the most recent post is the same as this one :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom

I was reading updates on Facebook one afternoon and I came upon this quote in the status section of a dear friend:

"God can't launch your abilities until He's established a foundation of stability in your life. Be patient in preparation."

I really like that. It makes so much sense and gave me an "Ah ha" moment most profound. We must set ourselves up for stability in our work, our lives. That means cultivating discipline and seeing our projects out to the very end.

It's funny when you read something and throughout the day the essence of that first quote resounds in almost everything else your eyes consume. Later that same day, I read "Concentrate on making sure your schedule matches your stated priorities in work and life." (A super duper thank you to whomever posted that. Forgive me; I have forgotten.) We have to make our choices carefully, weighting the options of all that is important in our lives, and then make sure our schedules, our daily goings and comings and doings, uphold them.

Here was the biggy: "YOU have to see what you do as important before anyone else does." As you can imagine, I left a comment on that one (again, see the above belated thank you!). It is so easy for us to care about what people think of us, of what we do. But the truth of the matter is that what your heart is telling you is what is most important. If you have a dream, if you truly believe it is God given and the best for you and your life (including those directly involved i.e. spouse, children), then you have an obligation to seek it out. Not just an obligation to yourself, but to your family for if you are miserable, you're not only harming yourself but them as well. You also have an obligation to God, as He is the one who gave you those dreams in the first place. He doesn't do anything without reason, even dolling out gifts and talents and abilities.

You have to step out to find out. Yes, this is the hardest part. But once our priorities are in order, once we have rooted ourselves and grounded ourselves in the commitment of seeking out our dreams, our bliss, once that stability is there, THEN we can take those first, shaky steps and know that our feet will be placed on solid ground.

Just some wise words for thought!
Cheers,
Jen

"When you step out into the unknown, in faith, one of two things will happen: you will land on your feet, or you'll learn to fly."
~ Unknown

PS: in the mood for a little wackiness? Wander on over to my other blog Woolgatherings where it's being served up liberally!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Musings

"I have arrived at this outermost edge of my life by my own actions. Where I am is thoroughly unacceptable. Therefore, I must stop doing what I've been doing."
~Alice Koller An Unknown Woman

A little shot in the arm for a new week. In order to grow, progress, and succeed in life, we must take responsibility for where we are. It is our choices which determine who we are and where we end up. If you aren't happy with where you are, take responsibility. Admit you've made some rough decisions and start making plans on how to make things right. Even the smallest step can change things in the right direction. A tiny rudder guides even the largest ship.

Eating food for thought and enjoying it,
Jen

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bliss

I guess you could say I'm making up for my lack of posts this week with two in one day. That's not entirely accurate, but it sounds good so we'll run with it *big grin*. If you want the REAL story, pop over to my other blog . It offers a better and more thorough explanation.


I've yet to see the movie "Julie and Julia" but I'm anticipating a great one. My mother already saw it and called me the moment she got home to tell me it's one of the best movies she's ever seen! Mom and I have differing tastes in movies. (The last movie I saw was "G.I. Joe", which will probably be one of the last movies my mom will ever see.) But I have a feeling we'll end up with the same opinion on this one.


I was reading blogs this morning, perusing my favorites, when I saw this heading: What is it you REALLY like to do? The version I read can be found over at Life at Willow Manor. You should check her blog out. It's beautiful! Anyway, it got me thinking. What DO I really like to do? I mean, sure, I love to write, I love to read. But....REALLY like to do?


Ask yourself (are you brave enough?):
"What do I REALLY like to do?"

enjoy?

love?

live for?


What makes you excited, gets your blood pumping, make you leap out of bed in anticipation of the new day?

When we can answer this question honestly, take the bold steps toward your bliss, and greet each day with an enthusiastic grin, THEN we will have found not just true happiness, but what we were created for.


This question is going to take a few days to ponder, at least for me. It's one I've been needed to ponder (honestly) for quite sometime. Here's to a great weekend, and some answers come Monday :)


Happy Friday,
Jen


PS: What do YOU really like to do?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"The Earth laughs in flowers"

Emerson's quote comes to mind as I think of my little garden. I finally got it planted and I must say I am quite pleased with all of it's 4x4 goodness. I've helped plant gardens before, even grown my own container gardens, but this is the first time I've ever had a plot of my own. It may be little but it's mine...all mine!

Plant Roll Call:
Begonias (2)
Sun Coleus (3)
Mona Lavender Swedish Ivy (2)
Asparagus Fern (2)
Lemon Balm (2)
Turenia (2)

And now...on with the show!

Here stands Awesome Photographer husband in the area that will become my garden
Mu the cat decided he enjoyed the plants right where they were


Inspirational little piggy, isn't he?


Yep, that's me, doing the ancient Native American newspaper dance!

Viola! Behold, my garden in all it's splendor!

And the little bird and toadstool that call it home :)
Happy weekend, my friends! Get out side and have some fun!
Jen

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Musings

"I've arrived at this outermost edge of my life by my own actions. Where I am is thoroughly unacceptable. Therefore, I must stop doing what I've been doing."

~Alice Koller, An Unknown Woman

Aren't we all guilty of doing things that we aren't proud of or don't necessarily like? Those things have a direct impact on our lives. I can look at things in my own life, things I don't like, and complain and gripe all I want but until I face the truth, nothing is going to change. What's the truth? I make my choices and it's these choices that have put me where I am. If I don't like where I am, I need to make different choices. Simple? Profound? Yes...now for the hard part: doing.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Divine Intervention

I had originally planned to write about my dreams for a garden. A garden of my very own. I'd planned to sketch it out, plant by plant, posting pictures I'd found of gardens on-line, using other's genius as a stand in for my own dreams. I had planned to write this up as a fantasy. Most of you know, I currently reside in a garage apartment six feet south of my in-law's home. We live in a backwater, southern town on five acres with no trees save for those that line the property line in the back. It's hot, dry and thirsty during the summer. So hot in fact that it's hard just to walk out the door! I grew container plants last year but lost most of them due to heat and, in the case of my eggplants, to some strange little worm that wanted to feast on my eggplants innards. I'm used to dreaming. It's what I do best. However, I've just been handed the most wonderful surprise!

After a bout with locational depression, with a side of Vitamin D deficiency, I told my awesome photographer husband that I needed to get outside and work in the yard. I was born to parents who worked outside. Since I was old enough to walk, I have helped out in my parent's gardens. Anytime my mom calls now to ask if I can spend a Saturday helping her fix a chicken coop or pick an over abundance of basil I get so excited I can hardly sit still until Saturday. But these random jaunts that happen, at best, once every other month or so aren't enough. My heart, my soul, my fingers belong in the dirt. My husband, dear man that he is, announced to me yesterday that he's going to help me plant a garden. Not just any garden, but a Secret Garden. Oooh, this had my radar up. A Secret Garden? For me? But where? The dirt is hard, dry, Georgia clay. All attempts to sow have been wrought with defeat, the winner being old man sunshine. His idea: a shade garden, along the back property line, hidden amongst the pines.

Needless to say, I'm excited!

I've been spending all morning at work searching out shade plants and fall veggies I can plant. I've found a good starting point for my plantings. Now I just have to build a raised bed, fill it with good soil and organic matter, and get to planting! I also have to figure out how to keep the deer away. But I don't mind. I'm looking forward to this little venture. And I'm looking forward to sharing it's progress.

Have any of you ever planted a garden where there was more shade than sun? What about some fall veggies? I know the place we have picked gets some sun. When I say hidden among the pines, I mean that it's hidden away from those who won't know it's there. Sneaky, yes, but very, very necessary!

Here's to a Secret Garden of my very own!
Jen

Monday, August 3, 2009

Back to the Daily Grind

As I was writing this title, I remembered a coffee shop which, sadly, is no longer in existence. I thought it a very clever name for a coffee shop. I hope they moved on to greener pastures and weren't put down in their prime.


But I digress...


This weekend was wet, but good. It has been raining off and on for the past week and a half in the South. I like it. I love stormy weather and rain gets my creative juices flowing like no other weather can. I love when weekends seem to last longer than their actual two days. For one reason or another, this weekend did. Though I spent the majority of my time relaxing and enjoying the company of some friends for dinner, I was able to get a few things done. Nothing like starting a new project or three to make you feel like you really are on your way to making your life a closer reflection of what you dream it will one day be.


If you read my Woolgatherings blog, you already know I've got my query up and running for my fantasy trilogy. I also started a new story yesterday which I'm really excited about. I won't be able to give it my full attention until those queries are out and on their way to agents, but at least I know where my next literary trek will take me. Also, I'm plugging away at a few little crafty things for my go at a small business (which I do hope to have up and going by September 1 on etsy). Not sure how much I'll have, but it's just a way to keep my hands moving and my mind creating. It's also a way to keep my sanity! I have a few things up on my Polypodium blog (which just happens to be the name of my little business). If you're interested, pop on over there and see what's happening! I hope to have a few more pictures up by the end of this week. I'll give you fair warning: that blog is in it's humble beginnings so don't pass judgement too quickly!


Whew! All this and I just was asked if I could work until 5 instead of getting off at my usual time at 3. Honestly, I wanted to answer no, but, the more hours, the more cash, and the more cash, the quicker we can get out of debt. The quicker we're out of debt, the quicker we leave La Garage. As tired as the idea already makes me, the thought of having my own abode in a year's time (our self-imposed goal) makes it worthwhile!


Here's to staying busy (and keeping sane)!
Jen