A Hot Minute …

This catch-up game is tough – so many photos.  The garden is rocking, and I’m refraining from a full photo tour … (you’re welcome!)  But, I do need to share a few photos … My experiments are working (so far, anyway)!  My sweet potatoes finally grew some slips, and are now in their own pot (along side the purchased sweet potato plants).  And my roma tomato (sliced from organic store bought) plant is flowering!  Yay!!!

sweet-potato-slips  sweet-potatoes-plantedroma-experiment  tomato-flowers

We’re starting to get small harvests from the garden, too.  Our first cucumber went to the chickens, but … tonight we had grilled chicken (NO – NOT ANY OF MY LADIES!), roasted radish and sautéed radish greens for dinner … It was good. 

radish-harvest   chicken-radish-greens

Speaking of The Ladies – they’re growing and are so fun to watch.  Even Chloe likes to keep a close eye on them.  Oh – they love their clown car!  Smile

Chloe-and-the-ladies   chicken-car

Last weekend, DH did a whirlwind road trip (Alabama and back in 32 hours) to bring two Neos home to our clan.  So we welcome Tito & Gaia.  And for Father’s day, we gave him a drone.  I’m hopeful we can get some neat aerial photos soon – once he reads through the huge instruction manual and figures it all out …

Tito-Georgie   drone

That pretty much gets us up to date.  I need to squeeze in a few hours of mandatory nursing competencies, and will find some pool time before heading back to work this weekend.  So for now, I’ll leave with a photo of Victor and the Bulldog crew catching a sunshine nap … Awww!


Good News/Bad News …

and catching up to date.

So, the good news – I was off work this weekend.  The bad news – it was supposed to be our oldest daughter’s wedding weekend.  The good news – she has already chosen a new date for 2021.

The good news, I’m feeling better.  I saw my doctor and we have a solid plan for dealing with the abdominal addition I’ve named Hollis …  The bad news, I have to get back to work (ER nursing), while I still have a bit of waddle in my stride!

avaThe good news – The Coopa Cabana is open for business (complete with indoor camera).  The ladies have moved in, spent a couple of nights and today were introduced to the Henitentiary (their run).  They ate bugs, nibbled on grass and ran around … well, like chickens!  The bad news – Dovey missed the automatic closing of the chicken door, which freaked her out a bit.  [She’s back in the coop, safe with her sisters now.]  We’ll work on it.

coopa coopa-cabana-henitentiaryroosting-on-camera ladies-gathering

The good news – the garden is rocking.  I have sweet potatoes, red potatoes, green and yellow squash, roma and cherry tomatoes, nasturtium, radish, beets, bok choy, basil, spinach, egg plant, cucumber, parsley, zinnias, marigolds, bush beans (in yellow, green and purple) and chives … all growing beautifully. (Struggling with watermelon and winter squash … but we’ll keep at it!)

raised-bed-garden-2020sweet-potatoes potato-potszucchini yellow-squash tomatoesnasturtium radish cauliflower-beetsbok-choy-bolting eggplants-pepper-parsley beans-partially-weededcucumber-zinnia-spinach chives

I still have a few things growing in my studio window (thyme, patty pan squash, sweet peas and sunflowers).  DH vetoed growing corn this year … but I can’t complain!

booboo-salveThe bad news … I haven’t found my studio mojo yet.  Not for glass or card making.  It’s there, just waiting for me to find it …  But here is the BooBoo (skin care) salve I made from plantain and dandelions from our yard.  I like it!

And, finally – the good news:  The pool is open and I’ve already had a couple of sun-days!  [Photos to come …]

Now for 24 hours of ER nursing fun.  Stay safe Ya’ll!

Silent/Healing …

I’m not sure why I would decide to develop abdominal cellulitis now.  I don’t know how one goes about creating abdominal cellulitis … But, I’ve been quiet lately, in part – because that’s what I’ve been doing/GROWING???


IV-bruiseAbsolute craziness!  Not what I had programmed.  But, there you have it – this body has it’s own plans … I don’t recommend it.  I don’t like it!  If you get a choice, don’t choose it!  Deep belly ache, crazy Native-American-esque red slashes across your gut, and they are HOT!  Brew for a few days … Next up –  a super-fun ER visit!  Great Nurse, Great Doc, GREAT CARE … Here’s my IV bruise – so colorful!!! (I bruise easily … It’s something I’m naturally good at!)

Now, add in some stomach-CLENCHING oral antibiotics for a couple/few weeks … Meanwhile – my HEAD wants productive stuff to HAPPEN here!!!

DH is helping, as much as he can.  I’m waddling around with a 7 month pregnant BELLY (down from 9 months), F.U.L.L. –  with that short-of-breath abdominal gut … Uhmm, WHO ORDERED THIS?  Waiter, can I send it back???  Any way – moving on!

brooke-ahne-creativeDH is building the chicken coop.  Our oldest daughter sent a hand-lettered sign, “Coopa Cabana”  for Mother’s Day … I love it!

And, he’s building a PALACE for these Ladies!


received_584951955738185   coop-almost-done

Our girls are growing.  This, I can watch over!  We have 10 LADIES, and I’m sure we will get into all of their names –  and their shenanigans!


The garden is planted … mostly.  I hope DH can help make the last few parts happen …  Here is a quick pic of the pre-starts I still have growing in the studio window:


I am happy.  I’m waddling – which is not on the happy list!  My Coopa and my garden are in … I can waddle – until the antibiotics kick in, SOMEDAY!

Lastly, I stumbled on a salve recipe, made from readily available yard ‘weeds’ (plantain and dandelion flowers) … It’s supposed to be anti-inflammatory and help with arthritic pain … Who couldn’t use some of that!?! … So I have it ‘brewing’ in a crock-pot:


So, This Happened …

DH woke me to tell me we have chicks!  OMGoodness, they are so stinkin’ cute! Now the pressure is on him, as these babies will need their coop within the next 3-4 weeks …


We talked at length and settled on some plans for building the raised bed garden.  Here’s my non-architect sketch.  Those are 15 foot beds in there, which will also need to be ready within the next 3-4 weeks!  Who’s a spoiled girl?  This GIRL!!! Winking smile


sweet-potato-slipsSo, with that in mind, I continue to scour the ‘net, searching and learning all things gardening.  With my latest discovery, I’m trying to grow sweet potato slips.  It may or may not be too late to start these for a successful growing season … It all depends on what kind of Indian-summer (mild fall) Michigan decides to give us … We’ll see.  Here’s a quick photo of my (indoor) ‘kiln garden’ starts …

I had a few requests at work for additional thank you cards for our (ER nursing) unit to hand out.  So, I made some … 

more-thank-you-cards thank-you-card even-more-TY-cards

Next week, I need to clean this studio and work on a few glass projects.  And, play with chicks, and puppies, and … … …

Have a safe weekend, Y’all!

Hello … Spring???

Where are you?  Michigan and spring are so NOT-IN-TUNE with each other …

seafood-alfredoSo, while we’re experiencing frequent snowfall in between teaser-weather days, I’ve been cooking.  We made Seafood Alfredo, a big pot of Spinach Sausage Bean soup (with added vegetables), and tonight we triedsausage-spinach-bean-soup Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto – with a substitute … I couldn’t find any fresh basil, so I used watercress instead.  That may have been the mistake, as we just didn’t love it.  I paired it with chicken (Spinach Chicken casserole), which helped …

zoodles avacado-pesto chicken-and-zucchin-avacado

I played with embossing folders and a ‘faux metal’ look with distress inks/perfect pearls to make some pretty card tops, and pulled a few together as cards.

faux-metal-embossed-backgro   faux-metal-hi-cards

I’ve also been stream-line producing spoon rests in the production kiln all week.  I have 25 blanks completed, and another batch ready for slumping.  I hope to get our ornaments back up to par in little production-kiln batches over the next few weeks.


We got our indoor seed starts planted.  I’m trying an experiment with a store-bought Roma tomato.  It may work, and it may not … we’ll see.

indoor-seeds  roma-experiment

chcken-warmerOur pups are opening their eyes, which means we can step away from the whelping box for short spells … I’m hopeful DH can make some progress with our coop next week.  Our chicken warmer arrived this week … I’m so excited!  We may be bringing some chicks home soon!

Leaving with a quick photo of one of our girls, who is just barely peekin’ … Winking smile  Happy Weekend Y’all.  Stay safe!!!


Bring on the Spring …

I have spring fever.  I am so ready to do some things in the yard.  I’ve been reading up and watching YouTube videos, and I think this year DH and I are finally ready to bring home some chickens!  I’m so excited.  But first, we’ll be converting an old shed into a coop for them.  Kind of like this photo (Not My Photo), but with a large attached fully (fenced) enclosed ‘run’.


And, I’m excited about the garden this year.  I’ve researched and recorded the best planting dates for the various vegetables we hope to grow, and I’ll be starting the seeds that I can next week.  We plan to do all raised bed and vertical gardening (also not my photo) this year, so I’m hopeful we’ll have better results. [Fingers crossed!]


unicorn-cardI’ve donated some of my cards: Thank You cards for my nursing unit to give for all of the generous meal contributions we’ve been receiving over the last few weeks; Hello/Thinking of You/Just Because cards for a friend to deliver to some elderly/nursing home residents. Which means I’ve been finishing card fronts that I made over the last couple of years; And, I made a special birthday card for a great coworker!

thank you cards  card donations  more cards

We’re staying busy with our four-legged family. too.  Our Xena had babies last week.  She’s doing great (and getting her appetite back, thank goodness) and her pups are growing by the minute (eyes aren’t open yet though); Viola was giving her sexy pose by the arborvitae; And Linda and Vi taking a much needed nap …


I even have a few glass loads planned for the production kiln, and some new recipes I’m ready to try in the kitchen … But more on that later.

I’ll leave with a quick photo DH caught at dusk over our pond.  Our house = My happy place!  Stay safe and out of the ER’s!  Hugs Y’all!


It’s called FAITH!

TWD-daryl…  I needed to remind a couple family members of this recently.  I’m an ER nurse.  [Apparently, I’m also AN ESSENTIAL … (Wow – doesn’t that sound post-apocalyptic!  You and me Daryl – We Got This! Smile)]

But honestly – it’s just FAITH …  I struggled with this early in my nursing career.  When we ‘intervene’ to give life saving drugs/techniques/measures … are we stepping-on-Jesus or playing GOD?!?

No.  We are doing our jobs, through Him … What is meant – will be!  Fast forward 30 years … If I am here, it is because I’m meant to be here.

And, if you wake up with me wearing this mask … It’s because I’m an ER nurse, and I have a twisted/sarcastic sense of dealing with STUFF!

jason mask covid

So, I’ll be heading off to work in a few hours.  In the meantime … I share.  This week I played with pups, cooked some good food and ‘created’ with paper – because it was my down-time … 


Soon, I will put on a MASK  (not the one I’d really like to wear, and there is no guarantee the one I wear will protect me any better [- PLEASE DON’T GET ME STARTED ON THE NECESSARRY PPE TANGENT!]  … take a deep breath, relax my shoulders, …) and  I WILL TAKE CARE OF THE NEXT PATIENT …

Peace, stay safe, and – have FAITH, please! heart emoji


She dances around the fire, beats her fist on her chest, high-steps it Gene-Kelly-like … SHE DOES ALL THE THINGS!  Her family is protected!  Her family is INSURED … She can breathe again!

So, next up – ‘Margueritaville’ … YOU stand NO chance CORONAVIRUS!!!  [I’m a rum and coke (Jamaican) girl at heart!]  Winking smile   But, we WILL defeat YOU!

defeating the enemy

I will rejoin after this regularly scheduled weekend!  PEACE & HUGS Y’all!



A Quick Escape …

From Margueritaville – where NO Corona is served!  [HaHaHa!!! … while pounding chest!]

I received my new Tim Holtz alcohol inks today (ordered back in late January/early February).  So, I had to pause for a moment and try a J.McGuire technique. 

  • Maybe, 1):  I shouldn’t be so SURE of myself [Umm, listen and follow all instructions!  What?!?  Me???]
  • and 2):  Maybe I shouldn’t take her instruction quite as literally as I did (Heavy, liberal ink application … ???).  Not sure – but I like the results.  I can definitely make a card or three from what I’ve done so far.new-AI-inks---JM-lift-off

A couple of hints: 1) For certain – DO NOT use translucent Yupo (very thin) … it just begs to be warped under any amount of FAST/GENTLE heat; 2) Four passes (2 each way) of my regular cardstock (Neenah 80# Solar White) in my manual Big Shot die cutting machine to ‘capture’ the re-wetted surplus ink is probably 2 times too many – allows for EXTRA (too much!) smooshing/oozing of the alcohol ink … ummm, EVERYWHERE!!!

But, I like these first trials, and I have four more pieces waiting to go.  So THANK YOU, Mrs. McGuire!  I appreciate YOU!!!

Now – moving forward with my own family (insurance) crisis … Apparently, I will be spending several hours on the phone later today, combining the right amount of pleading and strong-arming conversation, along with a ‘hold no prisoner’ attitude until I have an answer – one way or the other.  (We do have a plan B, and plan C … but they stink, to be honest!)   FINGERS CROSSED!!!

I made my favorite once a year comfort food, [No photo – but it’s my great-grandmother’s fridge-cleaning meatloaf recipe.  Nothing penicillin-esque, I promise – just some burger, rice, onions, cottage cheese, spinach, eggs, chicken mushroom gravy (IT WAS IN THE FRIDGE!), and a few spices …] apparently in preparation for the mental/verbal phone battle to come –  along with much-needed preparations for another 24 hour fun-filled ER nursing weekend in Margueritaville!!!  Fingers Crossed!  Winking smile 

Have a safe weekend, Y’all!  And stay out of the ER’s if you can! 

In Limbo …

While I wait to hear back from my boss, who has offered to ‘check into things’ regarding my family insurance situation … So, I’m (still) staying busy. 

I made cards:  A few Hugs & Kisses cards; I turned some alcohol-inked background pieces into birthday and Hello Friend cards; along with a couple die cut rose-thank you cards.

hug-kisses-cards AI-smile-friend-cards rose-thanks-cards

We’ve tried a couple of new recipes:  Air Fryer air-fryer-cauliflower-frittersCauliflower Fritters (a blending of a few I found online), and Smothered Chicken with Bok Choy  (Thank you April!).  We used regular bok choy – as that’s what I had on hand, but I’m sure baby bok choy would be better (more tender).  This is essentially all cooked in one (cast iron, stove top) pan – but I made a double batch, so we had to pull out our 12″ electric skillet.  Our youngest son stopped in, just in time for dinner, and he agrees both recipes are keepers!

Smothered-chicken-with-bok-choy steamed-bok-choy chicken-mushroom-gravy

I even have the studio production kiln revved up, cooking glass!  It’s a batch of spoon rests.  I cut for 15, so it’ll take a few days to get the blanks done.  And, I hope to play with some silk screening glass designs … maybe tomorrow!

In between, I play with pups.  Rotunda is all baboon-aszzy (in heat) at the moment, so she’s sticking with me in the studio when we aren’t all together.  My poor hormonal girl is sleepy – and needy!  Luv you, Ro!sleepy-Rotunda

Have a safe weekend, Y’all!  I’ll be heading back to “Flu-ville” for 24 hours of bob-n-weaving ER nursing fun!  [There will be no mention of Corona – or any other beer-brands here!]  Winking smile