Are We Ever Happy With Ourselves?

Are we ever really happy with ourselves?
I ask myself this question quite often as I continue to hear others complain about themselves. Weather they are skinny or fat, sick or healthy. I give an eye roll and say under my breath, "do something about it". I'm tired of hearing the complaining and pessimistic outlook on things.

But then wait....I'm the same way. I am guilty.
When I was over weight I complained that I was fat,
My clothes were too tight,
Muffin tops were more like cans of biscuits.
I covered up at the beach when I would walk past others.
I complained my jaws were fat,
nothing I wore looked good.
Pictures were pathetic
and I felt like a sack of potatoes in bed.

I finally did something to fix it.
I went on a diet.
I lost 45 lbs. I've gone from a size 12 to a size 4.
I'm all excited with my new size,
I couldn't wait to sport that bikini,
buy some tight jeans
and smile a little more without the chubby cheeks.

Now what?
I buy those jeans in a size 4 and they are too short.
I wore that bikini at the beach but what the heck is all that loose stuff rippling and swinging back there? I may need to cover that up now.
I wave at everyone with my new fitted t-shirt on, only to find that my bat wings were waving faster than my hand and I was afraid Id take off in flight if I didn't stop.
My boobs have almost disappeared so my shirt choices are minimal.
My knee bones hurt against each other when I sleep in fetal position.
Those chubby cheeks? They are wrinkles on my neck.

So you see. Can we ever be completely pleased with ourselves?
Can we stop looking at the negative things and focus on what really matters?

Even though my appearance will never please me 100 percent,
I feel better.
I can run and walk without pain.
I can now curl my legs up in the chair and still have chair left over.
I can shop in the junior department
and I can own bathing suits in more colors than just black.
I no longer suffer from heartburn,
My skin is healthier,
The heels on my feet are no longer smashed,
I have ankles now,
and no fat hanging over my jeans.
I can now roll over in bed without actually sitting up and turning.
My arms no longer fall asleep at night due to my weight putting pressure on them.
My grocery bill is smaller due to less junk food purchases
and I have more energy,
which puts me in a better mood.

So now
Just ask yourself, "Am I ever really happy with myself?"
Work on those feelings. Why are you not happy?
We are always going to find something wrong,
but we need to find the positive in the negative and own it!

Pumpkin Painting

My Daughter spent this past weekend at home (she does this at least once a month). We spent the weekend shopping, baking some goodies, preparing candy and painting pumpkins. 
Pumpkins were not all we painted....



My husband had to get his fun in with a little paint fight. They are always at it. He'd much rather do the picking than helping. These two are more like brother and sister than daddy and daughter.

I wanted to keep my pumpkin with a fall look so I could use it throughout November. I started by painting the already white pumpkin, white. Yea, my husband didn't understand that either. Its like applying makeup, just gives it a good base.


Then I drew my initial and applied live leaves with modpodge. 


My Daughter is having a get together at her apartment for Halloween, so she wanted to go with more of a Halloween theme and created a "day of the dead" skull face.


I think it turned out great. 

We painted instead of carving them this time because its less mess and pie pumpkins are not to good for carving. 

She is gone back home now and it always leaves me a little sad. I'm usually ok by the time I get the house back in order and start a new week. 

Her next over night visit, we will be preparing for Thanksgiving and trying some new recipes.

This Bible


A few years ago, I'd say about ten years actually, I found this Bible in an old used desk drawer in an unoccupied area at work. I left it there thinking it may be used by someone.

More years went by and the Bible never moved. I loved the size of it and how soft and gently used it felt. I noticed it had a name and address stamped on the inside covers, back and front and around the gold leaf of the pages. This made me think that the owner of this Bible didn't want it lost.


I took the Bible, as I wondered, " maybe it was given to one of our workers from a customer that thought he could use it. Maybe it was stolen or maybe an employee left it when he left the business". As all these thoughts crossed my mind, I took it anyway. I could use it. I wanted a Bible this size to keep in my car. You never know when you need to pull out some instructions while on the road. 

I ended up keeping it in my car for about five years occasionally looking up scripture when I was in question about something. Like I said "instructions".

Well recently I decided to purchase a nice larger print Bible to use. That's when I decided to use the stamped address and mail it back to the owner. I sorta always felt guilty having it anyway. It was not mine.

Here's the funny thing....

The person the Bible belonged to, lived only two blocks away from me. We even walk past his house on our daily walks. I just could not bring myself to deliver it to him personally. I though it would just be too weird that we were neighbors and its been so long since the Bible was found.

So, I wrote a short note, put the note inside the Bible and remained anonymous. I didn't even put a return address on the package.


It felt good to put it in the mail. I hope he was excited about finally getting his Bible back. Or was he? Maybe it really was suppose to be a gift and he might feel sad.

What would you have done in my case? Did I do the right thing? Maybe it was meant for me to have for a while. Maybe it all turned out the way it was suppose too. Anyhow, I've seen this neighbor out a few times and I just smile because he got his Bible back. 

October Beach

October is usually when we take our last trip to the beach for the year. My husband says "we can maybe make it down here one more time". But then I see him purchase the big bottles of pink stuff and pull out the pump to also blow out the lines. I know then, that the camper will be winterized and no way will he want to come down for a day or two just to mess that up and re winterize it again.

This trip was nice with temperatures in the 40's during the morning and warming up to the 80's by noon. We even got wet in the ocean. It was cold but we had to get a last dip.


We did a lot of walking up and down the beach as I like to look for sand dollars, sea glass, drift wood and odd sea life. I didn't find of those things and the only sea life we saw was a huge stingray reeled in by a surf fisherman. It was beautiful and probably weighed two hundred pounds or more. I didn't have my camera with me to get a photo. "I know, bloggers nightmare". 

We also spotted something cute and furry on the beach. Just laying there half alive soon to be supper for the seagulls. It was a bat! Yes a bat on the beach! Again.. No camera! 

We did more walking around the campground wishing and dreaming of having a place down there that was permanent with an address.

Later on in the afternoon we ate at our favorite joint called Hamburger Joe's. My husband had a burger while I had a fried bologna sandwich loaded with slaw onions and chili


and we never turn down getting an order of Joe's Gold Wings for an appetizer.


None of this was good for my diet but who counts calories on vacation? 

Well the beach is back two hundred miles from us again as we now prepare for the holidays and Christmas. I'm counting the days until spring so we can return and drain the pink stuff out of the lines. AKA antifreeze.

Motorcycle Apples

Motorcycle Apples- That's the response I gave when my parents came back from the mountains with a bag of apples.

After one bite of these apples I immediately text my dad and asked...
Me: "What kind of apples are these?" 
Dad: "I cant remember the name but it was something that sounded like suzuki as in motorcycle".
Me: "Well they're are really good".
Dad: "Glad you like them. Enjoy your motorcycles".

I got a little chuckle and began referring to them as motorcycle apples. 



After returning to the mountains for more, Dad found out that the correct name for these delicious apples is "SI-ZUKI". I could not find them anywhere on the internet but found "Shizuka" apples.
Shizuka Apples are a very sweet and juicy apple that deliver a pleasantly surprising, tropical flavor with hints of pineapple.
That pretty much explains these motorcycle apples which are crispy and juicy with a sweet and sour taste. Either way. They are perfect for making just about anything that requires apples. I like to eat them alone or drizzled with caramel. I think they are the best apples I've ever had.


My sister-in-law made me some homemade caramel that was out of this world. I used some to create these apple nachos that quickly disappeared. 
Just another thing I like about fall. The smell of apples. I will also boil a few with some cinnamon to make my home smell welcoming. Oh and ill eat that too.



Cheese Cloth Ghost


I've been trying to come up with some homemade ideas to decorate for Halloween. Im not big on Halloween as I was brought up in a Godly home where it was only about wearing a mask so we could anonymously get free candy around the neighborhood. It was so fun. Then we would attend our church activities for the occasion. We didn't get into all the ghost and goblin decorations and neither did we visit those homes. But we never missed the Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin. Every year we would think he would finally come.

I kept the same rules as I raised my Daughter, but instead, I always liked to add a seasonal touch of Autumn then adding a little cute ghost or Jack-o-lantern here and there. 

I was looking around online for some ideas that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg. I found lots of cool ideas of making these ghost using starch and cheese cloth. I found some cheese cloth at the dollar store.


My first attempt was to use spray starch then using a hair dryer to hard dry it, That was a flop. It didn't work for me so I made a paste of cornstarch and water and started over.


Mix: 1 cup cornstarch and 2 cups of water together. 
Microwave in 30 minute intervals for a total of about 2 minutes. It will turn into a thick paste. Squish your cheese cloth into it until its covered. Then place it on your frame which consist of a balloon on a bottle. You can get creative and ad arms using a clothes hanger but I decided to keep it simple since my patience are only about two minutes long.
Let it dry over night and wah lah.


A ghost. I love it. I let my Daughter add the special touches to make it come alive with cuteness.

Speaking of Charlie Brown; This one looks a lot like the one on the Halloween special.


I may make another so my Daughter can use it at her Halloween party. Or better yet, Ill just let her do her own. Either way, they are fun, easy, and quick. Perfect to do at home with the family.


I've shared this at:
.cooking-and-crafting-with-j-j at pluckys-secondthought 
the-wednesday-showcase at asavoryfeast
dare-to-share at pamspartyandpracticaltips
be-inspired-features-and-link-party at elizabethandcovintage
amaze-me-monday at dwellings-theheartofyourhome

Cheese Pumpkins

I have been putting off making this recipe because I was not sure it would be good. I have also been pretty busy doing other things....OKAY! really, it was gonna take me out of my summer comfort zone and calls for NO sugar!

I had all my house work finished and I was waiting on my daughter to get home from a trip so I was fidgety. I grabbed the recipe and a block of cheese and made these....and...lawd have mercy! These little boogers turned out delicious!


They were really easy to make. Other similar recipes tell you to put the dough in the fridge a few hours to firm so its easier to work with but I didn't. I just whooped up a batch and stuck them in the oven. The dough didn't know it was not cold. [smh]. I mean after all, the ingredients had just been in the fridge for days.

Now Id love to share this spicy little recipe with you. Here it is...

Cheese Pumpkins
1 Cup plain flour
1 Stick butter (softened)
1 Block (1/2lbs) Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Grated)
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Pecans

Preheat oven to 350
Mix flour and butter, then add cheese and seasoning. Mix well.(use your hands).
Pinch off about 2 inch balls and place on ungreased cooking sheet. Use a spoon or your thumb and slightly mash each one and place a pecan piece in the center. Bake for about 20 minutes or until set.
[Makes about 60].


Here are a few options.

1. You don't have to make pumpkins. You can just make wafers by pressing each ball with a fork and laying a pecan on top.
2. You can also mix chopped pecans in the dough. (I'm going to do this next time because I love the taste of the toasted pecan).
3. You can also make in the shape of sticks then you have the famous cheese straws.

 
To me, they taste sort of like sausage balls without the sausage but the cayenne pepper makes up for that. wowza! These will be great for fall festivals, Halloween parties and more. 

Enjoy!


 

Painting with Friends

haven't written a blog post in a while. I have been down in the dumps with my back pain. It seems to get a little better each day but its now going on week 5 and I still suffer. Two doctor visits and an x-ray later, there are no answers. Its still most likely a pinched nerve. But enough of that. Lets get on to the fun paint party I attended despite the pain.

I was tired of laying around the house and wanted to get out.
My friend Edwina asked me to go to a paint party down by the river at what used to be a fish camp that is now a Raw bar. A paint instructor has a room set aside next to the balcony where friends get together to paint the picture of the week.

I had to get a shot (unedited) of that beautiful sunset over the droughted and thirsty river. By the way, we finally have rain now after a month of dryness.


The sun goes down earlier now making the room low light so it was rather hard to see. But we managed and had a great time. This week we painted a pumpkin to bring in the fall.


It was fun watching everyone else paint too. None of us were masters at this so it was fun to see how everyone's turned out. The instructor was great.


Everyone's painting turned out awesome. I was even pleased at how mine turned out. So much that you can find it sitting in my Etsy shop for sale. Yep, going to actually see if I can sale one of my paintings. Never thought about doing that with my other ones from the past. I heard some of the other girls mention that they will sale theirs. So hey, why not.


I hope to get well and back into the swing of things really soon. We may even try out another paint party in town. Its nice to settle down with a paint brush and canvas.  It's relaxing and all the bad things going on around seem to just disappear while I step into my paint mood.

I found a large canvas in my closet the other day. I cant wait to turn it into another painting.