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Monday, January 31, 2011

"Weather Armageddon?"

"In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."
-  Albert Camus

Once again we find ourselves in the path of a massive winter storm.  Viewing the weather reports on T.V. this morning sent me scurrying to double check my emergency home kit (see previous posting).  I wasn't in a state of panic until the weather lady started using words like "weather Armageddon, history shattering winter storm system, blizzard conditions".  Who says something like that with people like me watching! 

After checking my list, I find that I am a few items short of being ready.  Just in case the power goes out I want  to have plenty of food to cook on my Coleman Propane Cook Stove. So a trip into Muskogee is required.  Darn, darn, darn.  Since I now have two outside cats, I must make sure they are safe and warm.  Please, please, please (I'm obsessive-compulsive so everything is done in three's) remember to make preparations for your outside animals too.

Here is my itinerary for the day: 
Hoopes Hardware (extra wick, clean burning lamp oil and candles)
Library (can always read books by oil lamp)
K-Mart (animal food)
Wal Mart (Lord help me!) (people food and more bottled water)

In the rush and crush of everyday living, we sometimes forget to give thanks for all we have.  With a winter storm bearing down on us, I take a moment to reflect on all the things we have to be grateful for.  I can assure you the list of "haves" far outweighs the "have nots".  The most important things are the intangible, the untouchable, the heart song, the smiling soul.  Have you taken time to reflect on the important things in your life?  If not, I urge you to do so.  Strip away the "material stuff" and look to your heart, for this is where the important things are kept. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cats, Cats, Cats

"When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy.  Not because I care about their mood but because I know that they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even."
Percy Bysshe Shelley
We both know who the Queen is around here.
Have you ever watched a commercial on T.V. and said, "that is me, I do that"?  Well, that is exactly what has happened to me.  The other night Becky and I were watching T.V. and the Sears Optical commercial came on where the lady gets in the police car thinking it is a taxi.  I didn't get the punch line because I couldn't see well enough to know it was a police car.  Becky once again had to explain what was going on.

The other commercial they have is the lady going out in the yard to get her cat and comes back with a skunk.  This one could be me. Yesterday, I told you about "Mooch" the black cat that is hungry all the time. Well, it seems Mooch is two cats and that is why he is hungry all the time.  You look at the photos and see if a "normal" person could tell the difference:

They look like identical twins, right? 
The grey one has a piece of it's tail missing and is a true wild child.

Do I look like the pied piper of cats?  Is there a sign up on the road that says "free food & lodging for all cats"?  Is there a GPS for cats with a big X marked on our house as a great get-a-way location?  What is the deal with cats?  Now two more have appeared in the yard!  The inside cats and dogs took a vote last night.  The vote was unanimous "no more animals inside the house". The lovebird gave a big "Heck Yeah! I don't need another cat looking at me like I'm dinner".  Sometimes everyone (c.a.t.s.) has to be reminded of the Simple Living creed:  Do No Harm

Well, got to go for now so I can make home-made dog biscuits from Becky's blog.  See you later. Have a simply wonderful day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Family: We Know Each Other's Hearts

 To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other's hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.  ~
Clara Ortega
This was going to be my catch-up day.  Anyway, that was the plan when I woke up this morning.  Cleaning to be done.  New recipes I wanted to try.  Home-made dog biscuits to make and on and on and on..............but then something wonderful happened!  I found a box of old photographs and simply got lost in the past.  I believe in order to know where we are going, it's important to remember where we've been. 
 These are moments frozen in time that I can never have again except in pictures and in my heart.  Mom and I sitting on the couch, Becky kissing the lovebird(well, this one I can have again because the Wicket is alive and well), Joyce(sister), Bill(brother-in-law) and David(brother) just chatting, a younger me with a younger Becky embossed over photo and me putting the final touches on a prom dress that I made for Beck(eighth grade I think). 

Looking at old pictures is a bittersweet experience. 
Sisters are different flowers from the same garden.  ~Author Unknown
In time of test, family is best.  ~Burmese Proverb

Top Pic: "Pa" teaching Becky on her first birthday how to be an environmentalist. Want to guess what her Master's Degree will be when she finishes very soon?
Bottom Pic:  Becky has a secret!  She has always preferred fruits & veggies(even before it was cool).

Me, Jimmy(nephew, handsome isn't he?), David, Joyce, Becky and Mom.
Looking for the last family photo I have, it is with regret  that I realize it has been much too long since we all smiled for the camera at the same time in the same place. There are some very important family members missing from my collection.  How could that have happened?  We have all changed a great deal since this photo was taken and Mom shed her earthly worries and pain in 2009 and joined Dad.    A family is too valuable to misplace or ignore. 
Note to self:  take the time to spend with my family and friends.

Speaking of misplaced--Does anyone recognize this cat?  He? She? has taken up residence in my scary barn and begs for food night and day. I feed him? her? of course and have named the cat Mooch for obvious reasons.  I thought at first he? she? was just a hungry traveler but the lure of our pet friendly environment seems to be screaming "pull up a bed and move in". 

 When all is said and done, we have to remember that our family started with a beautiful life-time love story.
Lois Barnett and her beloved husband James (Short) Barnett.
Mom and Dad

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nightmare In My Closet

I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.  ~
Tammy Faye Bakker
I dream of the day when I can walk into my closet and find something to wear without excruciating mental anguish.  You know exactly what I mean, don't act so self-righteous!  It happened so gradually, that I was unaware of the sneaky, compulsive addiction consuming me.  If I hurt, shopping was the cure. This is the true story of how my love of beautiful clothes turned into the nightmare in my closet and my many attempts to tame it. 
I'll give you a little peek but it's just a fraction of the error of my wicked ways!
If I could pinpoint the most aggressive period of my affliction, it would be when I took on a second job in retail sales to supplement our income during one of our difficult times (d.i.v.o.r.c.e.).  Guess what?  The job was in the Ladies Clothing Department in one of the "better" stores. Oh, yeah! Put the clothes junkie to work in a sea of expensive, beautiful, wonderful designer clothing!   I took to the job like a duck takes to water!  The employee discount, the employee credit card, the 50% off the 30% off, the 75% off the 50% off the 30% off.......well, you get my drift.  Needless to say, I was hooked!  After eight years, I finally had a moment of clarity and quit the job.  However, the nightmare was already in my closet, on my dresser, in ten storage boxes, hanging on walls and in doorways.  Did I mention, we turned one bedroom into a walk-in closet and still needed more room to house our wardrobe?  Hello? If I'm not careful, I could end up on a reality show!

After carefully assessing the situation, the problem becomes abundantly clear.  Most of my lovely clothes are one or two sizes smaller than my ample rump.  I, therefore, have two choices and I don't like either one of them.  Choice #1:  Lose weight (not my favorite choice).  Choice #2:  Sort through and give away what I can no longer wear (I'll be naked because I refuse to buy the larger size that fits me).  Please, please, please let me keep all my "stuff".  I will need it when I lose weight next year (it's always, next year).  It makes me feel "safe" to have so many pretty clothes even if they don't fit anymore.

A girl needs tubs and tubs of socks, don't we?
O.K. before we do anything drastic, let's imagine a "worse case scenario"
I deposit all my clothes that don't fit in one of those Salvation Army bins.  As I drive away, I have a mental breakdown.  After two days of being listed as a missing person, the police find me in a fetal position inside the bin, clutching my discarded clothing murmuring over and over again "but they are so pretty, they're mine, you can't have them."  The Salvation Army employees are called to release me from the locked bin and I am "escorted" to the nearest place of confinement for someone in my condition. 
Does anyone really want to see me in that pitiful situation? 

Boy, do I need counseling or what?  A psychiatrist could have a field day with my psyche!  A "skinny closet" is a very painful step for me in my desire for Simple Living.  I recognize that I have a problem.  That is the first step toward being whole.  Can we just leave it at that for the time being?  I'll address the situation on another day when I am more mentally stable.  The thought of purging my closet has proven to be too much for me to endure!  As Scarlet would say "I'll think about it tomorrow". 

Just for the record, I haven't gone shopping for myself in over a year.  That part of the sickness has been  stabilized.  It's the purging that leaves me trembling with fear!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just In Case: Emergency Home Kit

When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.
Alice Hoffman
This image and others still haunt me! 
Past experience has taught me Mother Nature can be fickle.  All the local weather stations are warning us of incoming winter storms with snow and ice.  Oh no, the dreaded word ice.  Been there, done that! This time I will be ready and I want you to be too.  This is a partial list of things to have in an emergency home kit in case the power goes out or the roads are too dangerous to travel.
  • Three- to seven-day supply of non-perishable food that needs little or no cooking (please don't wait till the last minute to buy your food or you may find many items are sold out)
  • Blankets and pillows
  • Portable, battery-powered radio and clock
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Manual can opener, bottle opener, and utility knife
  • First-aid kit
  • Bottled water (minimum two quarts per person per day but preferably one gallon per person per day)
  • Candles
  • Matches in a waterproof container or a lighter
  • Cooler (and keep ice or ice packs ready in your freezer)
  • Personal hygiene, sanitary supplies
  • Cash (ATMs and banks may not be available)
  • Pet supplies for three to seven days (don't forget the water and any medicines they take)
  • Playing cards, games, and books for entertainment
  • Car charger for cell phones
  • Emergency telephone numbers easily accessible
  • I have the Energizer Rapid Recharge Battery Kit with car charger (15 minutes to charge)
  • I also have a Coleman Propane Camp Stove. To cook food and warm water for bathing.
  • Believe it or not, I also have an old rotary telephone that worked great last outage.
  • Lots of seasoned and green firewood. (I know the difference now)
  • If you take prescription medicine, be sure you have enough to last through the bad weather. 
Assemble as much as you can and put it in a storage tub in a place that is easily accessed in the event of an emergency. Everyone's needs are different, so taylor your emergency home kit to meet your personal needs.
I keep a flash light in every room so I don't have to stumble around in the dark.

There is a huge difference between being inconvenienced and being in a life threatening situation.  I hope  by publishing this list that I can save you the misery and desperation that  Beck and I suffered the first ice storm.   Perhaps the worst of the storm will miss us.  However, if we are not so fortunate, we will be ready.

Simple Living is not doing without, but doing more with what we have.

Thank you for visiting Secrets of Simple Living.  Here's wishing you fair weather.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Neti Pot 101

You already have the precious mixture that will make you well. Use it.

I'm sure Rumi wasn't referring to a Neti Pot when this was spoken but I took it as a sign when I came across this today. In recent years, I have suffered from allergies which leads to sinusitis which leads to bronchitis which leads to pneumonia which leads to a very expensive doctor visit and medications.  It is a vicious cycle. 

However, the preventive medicine for this malady has been sitting in my medicine cabinet for over a year, the Neti Pot.  I have avoided using it because it involves water in my nose.  To me, a non-swimmer and scared to death of water up my nose, this was not my first choice in the "heal thyself" scenario.  It has come to my attention, after checking the cost of my last brush with an infection, this is less expensive and painful than a doctor visit (and my doctor uses it herself).

First, let's identify the source of my allergies.  Mm.....surely it can't be.......................cats and dogs?
It's not me. It's HIM!

It's not me.  It's HIM!

It's not me.  It's HIM!

It's not me.  It's HIM!

It's not me.  It's HIM!

It's not me. It's HIM!

It ain't easy being the only guy in a household full of women!
Upon discovering the possible source of my symptoms, I move on to the cure.  The Neti Pot box says "Allergy & Sinus Natural Relief ".  Now your talking.  Then it says "for nasal irrigation" as in nasal=nose and irrigation=water, therefore;  water up my nose.  Oh, boy! Oh, boy!  This ain't no cure for the faint hearted.

Upon opening  the box, I discover a small library of instructions enclosed.  Why can't they just say "mix the stuff in the pot and pour it up your nose?"  They lure you in with "nasal irrigation" and "sinus rinse". 
The dreaded Neti Pot.  Looks harmless enough, huh?
This is a five step process.  First read the Warning Before Using the Product.
Step One:  Wash hands and rinse pot.  Fill the pot with 8 ounces of warm distilled water. Hey, wait a minute!  If you can drown in less than an inch of water in the bathtub, why am I getting ready to pour 8 ounces of water up my nose? 
Step Two:  Put sinus rinse stuff in pot.  Place one finger over the hole of the cap and shake gently to dissolve mixture.
Step Three:  Stand in front of sink, lean forward and tilt head.  Sounds simple so far.  Without holding your breath and with mouth open, apply tip of device snugly against nasal passage and allow the  solution to gently flow until the solution starts draining from the opposite passage.  Ugh....gross.  It should not come in your mouth unless you are tilting your head backwards. (now they tell me). 
Step Four:  Gently blow nose.
Step Five:  Repeat steps 3 & 4 on other nasal passage.  Obviously, if you make it to this step, you didn't drown on step three.

The brochure says a lot of other stuff but this is the condensed version. If my family doesn't hear from me by noon, the first place to check for me will be leaning over the bathroom sink in a puddle of "Sinus Rinse".

Hope this will help you find a "natural" preventive cure for your allergy symptoms.  Natural healing is a staple in any Simple Living household.

Thank you for visiting today.  Hope I didn't bore you with the details.  But as they say "the devil's in the details".  One little detail omitted can change the outcome of a really great idea.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Find The Hidden Object

“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

Albert Einstein

I love playing hidden object games on my computer. However, playing it in real life is not so much fun.  Where are my glasses?  Where are my car keys?  Where are my favorite shoes?  Where.....well you get the idea.  Today we are going to play:  Where is the treadmill?  You may be asking yourself, how can she lose a treadmill?  I show you exhibit A:
Can you find the hidden treadmill in this picture?
There are two ways that I can approach this mission (I choose the word mission as opposed to problem because the latter would indicate there is something wrong here.  I think every good treadmill should serve a dual purpose. One:  extra storage space  Two:  extra storage space.  Becky disagrees).  Anyway, back to the mission.  Approach #1--just pile all the "stuff" somewhere else to be moved again when it is on something else we need or Approach #2--find a proper place for all the "stuff" and move it once.  I am terribly conflicted!  After careful thought, I decide to do the right thing because it is in the garden room that I so enjoy. 

Clearly this is not as easy as one would imagine!  I know that I threw away a train load of junk so where did all this come from?  Apparently, this stuff was declared "not junk".  What was I thinking?  O.K. now I must once again purge before the project even gets started.  I'm beginning to really dislike my clutter.  First we sort:
This is not junk this time either!

Becky's exercise stuff.  My yoga mat is the "like new" green one

Two hours later, I have finally located the missing treadmill, and my glasses, and my shoes and lots of other stuff. Sometimes it feels like my entire house is the lost and found counter at the mall. 

 Becky will be soooo happy!  You didn't think I would do all that for me did you?  A lot of the stuff now has a place to call it's own.  Unfortunately, some of the stuff got piled up again. Shoot, shoot, shoot!
I win the game! I have found the hidden treadmill!
I don't have the strength left to turn the treadmill around in the other direction today.  Maybe, after a little rest, I will be able to drag it around to face in the opposite direction so Beck can look out the window while she runs.  Speaking of run, it's time to start dinner preparation and carry out the trash (remember, way up the road, seems like to another time zone).  Out of one pile of clutter, I have found simplicity.  At least for one day. 

Thank you for visiting today.  Hope to see you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Afternoon in Keefeton, America

Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week. 
Joseph Addison
Well, another weekend is almost gone.  I have completed my shifts at the little store.  The time that I spend there is more like front porch visiting than work.  Most of the time, the pace is slow and easy, so I have plenty of time to do the necessary chores as well as catch up on what all my neighbors are up to. The hours fly by because I believe in staying busy.  Friends love to sit in the booths, read the Muskogee Phoenix Newspaper and discuss the issues. Believe all you hear at your own peril.  If I can't be right, then I'll be louder (definitely a political discussion). I love living in this rural community.  This is our country store:
Frank B. once referred to the store as "The Keefeton Learning Center".
Across the street from the store is the Keefeton Volunteer Fire Department and a sub-station of Tulsa Life Flight. No volunteer fire station could survive without the help of the Ladies Auxiliary.  They provide food and volunteer their time without complaint.  Everyone works very closely and truly care about the community. We are very fortunate to have these services in our area.

Keefeton Volunteer Fire Department (too big for one photo)

Other half of Keefeton Volunteer Fire Department

Life Flight-Keefeton, Oklahoma
And last but not least, my sometimes church.  Don't misunderstand, the Church building is always there but I am the sometimes part of the equation. Brother Danny and his lovely wife Sandra (sings like an angel) are a real asset to the community.  I don't see a lot of Brother Danny since he went to the beach (South Beach Diet).  I don't know if he went voluntarily or if Sandra tied him to the hood of the car and just took him (an intervention of sorts).  I now work Sundays so he reminds me that they have church on Sunday and Wednesday night as well.  Yeah, yeah.  I believe that he had a lot more material for his sermons when he had more time to visit with me at the store and see how my mind works (I told you my mind was a scary place even on the best of days).  I had the opportunity to ask all the burning questions that we would all like to ask regarding passages in the Bible (inquiring minds want to know).  He was ever so patient answering my many questions (I'd been saving these questions for years. Can't really raise your hand in the middle of a sermon and ask).  So, here is the Church:
Keefeton FreeWill Baptist Church

One final photo that incorporates store, church, fire station and life flight. (view from church parking lot).

I am so very blessed to live in such a place where "the salt of the earth", "good people" live.
When hard times come, these are the folks that will survive using their good ole country know how.
If we just remember, Simple Living is not just for hard times but for everyday living, then I believe we will find peace and a sense of balance in our lives.

Thank you for visiting today.  See you tomorrow for more Secrets of Simple Living.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Small Town, U.S.A.

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.  ~Buddha

My Deep Thought For The Day:
I view each day of my life as a mystery, a secret if you will, waiting to be revealed.  Some days the answers reveal themselves and some days I have to search to make sense of it all.  But no matter what the day brings, it is a precious day of my life to be spent wisely.

This afternoon, I have to go into town.  Not Muskogee town but Warner town.  Huge difference!  Instead of being filled with dread (because it always takes me at least four hours to get all my stuff done in Muskogee), I can anticipate an enjoyable trip to Warner.  A quaint small town atmosphere permeates every inch of this lovely community.  There are no stop lights in town, everyone knows everyone and friendliness is the key ingredient in everyday life.  It is the home of Connors State College (a two year college full of eager and not so eager students). 

My first stop will be Cross Telephone Company.  Before online bill paying came along, it could be a little confusing to pay utility bills in my neck of the woods.  The water comes from Muskogee, the electric from Okmulgee, Oklahoma Natural Gas from who knows where and, as I said, the telephone from Warner (I have no choice here).  When I want to dig in the yard, I have to call OKIE first to mark any existing lines.  It can get complicated.

These are some of the places I stop when I go to Warner, Oklahoma:
This is a real hot spot in town.

This is the only grocery store in town.

The local hardware store is the real heart of the community.  If you need anything and can't find it, the great people who work there can take you to it and tell you how to use it.  Many times when I go into the store, they will ask, "What are you trying to do?' (most of the time I don't really know) and then offer great advice on how to do it.  They are #1 in my book for customer service.

They have just about anything you would need.

 Now it's time to visit my favorite place in any community.  If the hardware store is the heart of this community, then the library is the soul.  The wonderful people who work there are so friendly and helpful.  I just heave a big sigh of contentment when I walk into this oasis in the middle of the chaos of the world.
Love, love, love the library.  The small size of this building belies the content.

And last but not least is the Warner Post Office.  I still have a P.O. box there because I haven't had time to change my address with all the junk mail companies (killers of trees).
The Warner, Oklahoma Post Office is located next door to the library.

And so my day went much too quickly.  I am now home with my reusable Eco bag full of books from the library.  I am one happy girl.  Living Simply is just my style and small town (eight miles away) living suits me just fine, thank you very much!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Slow Start to A Slow Day

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant."-  Anne Bradstreet

It is bitterly cold again today.  I really just wanted to stay snuggled in my bed with Sophie (c.a.t.) this morning but the smell of fresh brewed coffee enticed me to venture into the kitchen. 
Can I have breakfast in bed today?
Winter has just begun and already I am counting the days till spring (65 days).  There is something good about each season but sometimes I have to look harder in the winter.  I just stepped out to the porch for a moment and the sweet smell of firewood burning drifted through the air.  The stars are so bright this time of year and the air is fresh and brisk.  There was just enough sunshine today for my rainbow maker to project little colored lights throughout the garden room.  O.K. I guess it wasn't so bad after all.

Today, after my usual round of wiping, swiping, litter scooping, dish washing and never ending in and out for the dogs (they just want Becky's homemade dog biscuits for their trouble), I decorated a T-Shirt for Becky.  It is so easy to do.  First I wash the shirt.  Then I press it with the iron.  Now comes the fun part.
I create an image that Becky will love (Maggie) and print a mirror image.

Turn face down on counter top and iron (do not use ironing board).

My Bed.  My Hat. My Rules.
Maggie in her flannel jammies wearing her princess hat guarding against any c.a.t.s. that might want to get in her bed.
Yes, I do want to sleep with my princess hat on!  Don't touch it!!!

When all is said and done, it was a pretty good day for all of us.  Making vegetable lasagna for dinner tonight.  After watching The Beautiful Truth video that Becky posted today, I hesitate before I put the first bite of food into my mouth and think long and hard about what is in each ingredient.  Kinda makes you think, huh?

Thank you for checking on us today.  Simple Living goes on.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One Way Ticket to Hawaii, Please

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home."  -   Edith Sitwell
I vote for moving to Hawaii.
 You know it's cold when the monk lawn ornament pulls out his winter hat and scarf! Today is even colder than yesterday!  Browsing the Internet, images of Hawaii catch my eye.  Sure would like to be there today. Instead of making traveling plans (I can dream can't I?) I'll stay in again today and work on the house.  Sounds like a great plan to me and Maggie agrees.

The kitchen ceiling trim is a good project for the day.  I just need to put up one more piece and then I will be finished with that.
Problem? Little trim meets big trim. 

Big trim eats little trim.

 Oh, dear!  I think I see a problem.  How do I connect the little kitchen trim with the big living room trim?  Hang a picture over it?  Plug the end of big trim with caulk?  Stick a white sock in it?  Call David?  The last option seems the most logical.  He has always known how to fix my messes.  Well, this project is on hold until another day. 

What can I do next?  The second spice shelf still needs to be put together, so I'll do that.
Shoot, Shoot, Shoot!  I can't  find the rest of the boards that I cut!  O.K. I'll  just put this aside and wait for the lumber goblins to bring back the rest of my boards.

Ever had a day when you just can't seem to get it together?  Apparently, this is such a day for me. I just need to grab a good book and watch the birds enjoying themselves at the feeder.
Molly in search of sunshine on this winter's day.
Sometimes you just have to take time and make adjustments.  My day didn't go as planned.  So what?  I'll just get a new plan or maybe just play it by ear.  Life is only as complicated as you make it.  I like my life Simple.  It's all small stuff  compared to the burden others must carry.

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you'll check back to see what goes on in our neck of the woods.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Seed Catalogs, Herb Gardens and Other Dreams of Spring

"There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter.
  One is the January thaw.  The other is the seed catalogues."
 Hal Borland
Remember when we received seed catalogs through the mail?  Well now we can view the whole thing online and order too!  Here is a link to Burpee Seed Catalog for 2011. I wonder if we can still get the old fashioned paper ones?
Looking outside, the sad remains of snow covers the ground.  It is so cold with the wind chill it is only 4 degrees.  Brrr..................  I need something to cheer me up and remind me that winter doesn't last forever.
Green Grass, Snow, Icicles and Sunshine! Nature Gone Nuts!
Thinking of spring gets me in the mood to plant something.  A winter herb garden in our converted garage/garden room is just the fix I need.  As if in agreement with me, the sun has burst through the clouds. Browsing on the Internet for seeds, I come across this video and thought I  would share it with you.

This is a perfect day to cook a pot of pinto beans (Southern comfort, you know).  Not only will I get a head start on dinner, but the extra heat in the house will increase the comfort level (remember, everything must serve at least two purposes).  A package of ham left over from Christmas (the gift from guardian angel, Gene) is now removed from the freezer.  While I am in the kitchen, I might as well bake triple chocolate brownies.  One can never have too much chocolate in the house (we might get snowed in and then what would I do without chocolate?).

While shopping for seeds, I have found a couple of books to add to my wish list that will combine my love of gardening and cooking; not to mention my love of books.  Nothing comforts me more than a book, the feel of paper, the kind that goes in my personal library on a shelf (not an e-book but a real book thank you very much).

Oops! Being new to this blogging stuff, I didn't get the pictures inserted. The books are: The Resilient Gardner, Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times, and the other is The Herbal Palate Cookbook.I will provide photos when the books arrive.  
Amazon.com is one of my favorite places to shop for books.  If you are very careful (checking the shipping and handling) you can save a ton of money even on college textbooks.  Becky paid less than $8 for a hardback (C.D. included) textbook for this semester.  And that included shipping and handling!

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