Super Worm Moon

When I first heard the term “Super Worm Moon”, I thought that I had entered a Dr. Seuss book. How else could the word “worm” be connected with the word “moon”? But after a little research, it all made sense. And so I stepped outside on Thursday morning and gazed at the shining moon. I cocked my ear toward the ground and whether in imagination or not, I heard the faint rustle of hundreds of creatures…

 

The Super Worm Moon

-by Andrea S.

Sky so dark—

Moon so bright;

Close to earth

It gave great light.

Worms so cold—

Earth so warm;

Up to surface

Creatures swarm.

Draw them up—

Coax them out;

Let their movement

Be the shout…

                              …that Spring is here!

 

The March full moon, known as the full worm moon, is the last in a series of three supermoons.

The March full moon, known as the full worm moon, is the last in a series of three supermoons. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

 

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Posted in philosophical ramblings | 2 Comments

Winter and Spring Shelf

This past fall, I decided to add one spot to my home that I could decorate seasonally. I’m glad to say that so far it’s working!  Here is how I decorated it for Winter and now for Spring.

Winter Shelf:

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an owl candle, a wintery print, and a list of my favorite winter things

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I love the Betsy O’Neill print of a fox traveling through a winter landscape under a full moon.

 

Spring shelf:

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a wooden butterfly carving Josh gave me when we were dating, a crocus bulb painting, a pot of fake greenery, and a welcome to Spring

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The amateur crocus bulb painting was painted by myself at a fun mother/daughter painting session. I had a blast and want to dip into painting again!

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The pot of greenery came from Ikea. To give it a more Springy feel and add more white to the decor, I pulled off flowers from another fake stem that I had and nestled them into the greenery.

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after adding the flowers

 

….and now I can’t wait for Spring to REALLY arrive

because right now it’s snowing outside!

Posted in decorating from scratch | 3 Comments

Cooking Woes and Wonders

The running joke in my house is that you better enjoy your meal ’cause you might never have it again! And that includes meals that were wonderful. There’s a restlessness in me when it comes to cooking, and while I have favorites that I repeat, I love trying new recipes. When company comes, a wise piece of advice is to serve something that you’re comfortable cooking and will taste good. But what did I do when my parents were over for the weekend? Try new recipes every dinner, of course! Thankfully they tasted great!

While cooking this past month, I snapped some pics of a few things that have been gracing our table: both woes and wonders.

Woes:

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I love this recipe for brussel sprouts, but in the past, I made it with a different topping (a squeeze of lemon, salt, and grated parmesan). But this new topping (fish sauce/soy sauce/oil, chopped peanuts, a chile, and mint) was gross. Thankfully the sausages from Tanglewood Ranch were delicious!

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I tried making sauerkraut. While the recipe turned out (my sauerkraut didn’t mold as it aged), it was just too sour for me. Needless to say, it went down the drain.  I don’t think I’ll be making sauerkraut again!

Wonders:

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I had to use up the leftover mushrooms from my science experiment at school and this was the result: breaded and fried portabella mushrooms on homemade sub rolls, with a pesto/mayo spread and baby arugula to add a little bite. Delish!

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Making a birthday treat for a crowd resulted in these: Cherry bars (made with a homemade cherry sauce). An excellent recipe to feed to a crowd!

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Avocado and grapefruit “salad”. Includes mint, cilantro, toasted hazelnuts, scallions, and an oil vinaigrette.  So good in the winter when avocadoes and grapefruit are both in season!

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I’ve been messing around with sourdough (making a starter and keeping it fed) and have tried a few recipes for bread, pancakes, and flatbread. 

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The sourdough pancakes were pretty good, but I’m going to tweak the recipe a bit next time.

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Sourdough herbed flatbread. Super easy and had a nice tang to it.

 

But don’t expect to see these if you come for a visit…

I’ll be cooking up something new by then!

Posted in food | 3 Comments

Seasonal Decor Shelf

  • I love decorating, but I don’t decorate for the seasons. I don’t have bins of seasonal decor that I rotate through, and I struggle with even changing out the wreath on my front door!
  • BUT! I admire people who DO decorate with seasonal items. It’s warm, inviting, and a gracious nod to what’s happening outside their windows.

And so I decided to have one little spot in my house that can reflect what I see out my back door: a riot of golden autumn leaves, the silvery silence of a snowy landscape, the fresh lime green of Spring shoots, or the gorgeous colors of summer produce.

Choosing a spot for seasonal decor was difficult: I don’t have a fireplace mantle (which would be perfect), nor do I have a console table in my entryway. My mind drifted to the spot where I sometimes write seasonal quotes: the chalkboard wall by my back entry.

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But I wanted a place where I could also display 3-D seasonal items such as vases of flowers, branches, candles, figurines, etc. There was no room to add a table, but adding a shelf could be a perfect solution! I purchased a shelf at Hobby Lobby and painted it with the same black chalkboard paint I used on the wall. After hanging the shelf, I added my autumn seasonal decor: gourds that mysteriously grew in our backyard and a gold frame with a text that I wrote on scrapbook paper.

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I’m pleased with the result and am confident that it won’t be too hard to switch out the decor as the seasons pass by.

 

 

Posted in decorating from scratch | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Grilled Pears

I love grilling during the summer months! I mostly stick to meats and vegetables, but I have recently rediscovered the deliciousness of grilled fruit. Besides, after grilling your main course, how easy is it to pop some dessert on the grill while it’s all fired up?

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Ingredients:

  • pears- halved, cored, and then rubbed with oil. I’ve used both Bosc and Anjou. You could easily eat the skin with the Bosc; the Anjou were juicier but the skin was tough.
  • toasted pecans
  • cinnamon honey (2 Tbs honey mixed with 1 Tbs cinnamon)
  • ice cream (I used vanilla)

Directions:

  • Grill the pears flesh side down until warmed through and grill marks appear. Depending on your heat, it might take 5-10 minutes. You can also spin the pears to make a crosshatch grill pattern half-way through.
  • Let the pears cool slightly and then top with ice cream, pecans, and cinnamon honey.

Enjoy!

 

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Wildflower Walk

Barney knew the woods as a book and he taught their lore and craft to Valancy. Valancy learned the different fairy-likenesses of the mosses–the charm and exquisiteness of woodland blossoms. She learned to know every bird at sight and mimic its call–though never as perfectly as Barney.   -L. M. Montgomery

It was a lovely walk. I focused on the abundant springtime wildflowers, eagerly scanning every hollow, ravine, and tucked away spot on the forest trail. His gaze was upward, his ear listening intently to the trilling of the birds. As a result, we both came away richer in the sharing of each other’s hunt.

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Spring Beauty: it grows from an underground tuber similar to a small potato.

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Marsh Marigold: Latin family name is Ranunculacae, which means it is found where frogs live.

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Large Flowered Trillium: showy flowers easily identified by their 3 large leaves and white petals.

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Wild Geranium: If you look closely at the leaves and flowering stems, you will find them covered with white hairs.

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Jack-in-the-pulpit: if you look under the “hood” of the flower, you can find the “jack” inside.

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Jack-in-the-pulpit: Look for a 3-parted leaf on the end of a single long stem. Under the leaf, you might find this unusual flower.

 

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Great Horned Owlet poking his head out, looking for his mama that was several trees away.

 

 

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fluffy gosling and protective parent

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in front of a wild crabapple tree in bloom

 

I would highly recommend some local authors if you’re a novice who’s interested in identifying wildflowers in western Michigan. The book is called “Spring Wildflower Scavenger Hunt” by Barb Beck and Judy Bergman. By choosing a local book, the information and tips are very relevant.

Posted in life's happenings | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Bathroom Refresh

Believe it or not, in the 8 years we’ve lived in our house, I haven’t done a thing to our bathroom (besides cleaning it). I haven’t painted it, the flooring has stayed the same, and we’ve used the three existing cabinets and towel bar set. The bathroom was perfectly acceptable when we moved in, and so it remained a low priority on the to-do list.

But recently I’ve been getting the urge to freshen it up. The problem was that we’re planning on doing a bigger renovation in a year or two which would involve this bathroom, and so there was no point in spending too much time or money on something that would eventually be changing. And so I had to prioritize.

What I would keep (even though they weren’t my favorite):

  • the flooring- peel and stick vinyl that is starting to pull apart
  • the bathroom vanity- lots of room for storage
  • the mirror/medicine cabinet- also good for storage
  • shower curtain rod- straight (I eventually want a curved one)
  • towel bar set- white and chrome

What I would change (and wouldn’t cost too much money):

  • paint the ceiling white
  • paint the walls cream
  • move the towel bar set to better locations
  • get a smaller hamper
  • remove the one wall cabinet and replace it with an open shelf from IKEA
  • paint the bathroom vanity and replace the knobs to match the chrome
  • replace the shower curtain rings to match the chrome

Here is the before:

 

A warm beige not only covered the walls, but also the ceiling. I painted the ceiling white, and I decided to stay neutral on the walls, painting them a lighter and cooler shade of cream called Pebble Rock.

Here’s a contrast of the old warm beige and the new cream:

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The new cream is the color along the edge of the ceiling and corner.

 

I wanted to add a pop of color on the vanity. The vanity cabinet was white, and although it looked fresh, the cream faux marble top looked dingy against it.

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I wanted to paint the base a color that would make the faux marble stand out and look more intentional. Seeing that I’m not afraid of color, I went for a bold, jewel-toned greenish blue:

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Which looked terrible! I tried to convince myself that it was okay, but it wasn’t. And so I made another paint run, this time getting the color right: a muted grayish blue:

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Here is the final before and after to my small bathroom “refresh.”

 

 

Changes: hand towel on the left wall, toilet paper holder on the cabinet, vanity painted with new chrome knobs, a shelf instead of the wall cabinet.

 

Change: I hung the plant in the actual window frame.

 

Change: I took the top towel ring and put it by the vanity.

 

Change: smaller hamper and new chrome shower curtain rings (instead of yellowing plastic ones)

 

And some final close-ups:

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We got these shells and sea glass from all over the world: New Zealand, North Carolina, PEI, and New Jersey

 

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my air plant that I’m surprisingly keeping alive, and a shell night-light my sister made

 

 

 

 

Posted in decorating: before and afters | Tagged | 5 Comments