MiA …

But I’m back.  I’m sorry.  I’m doing the best that I can.  The nursing toll is feeling heavy this year.  Add to it: Mandatory competency deadlines; another level of hot flashes; and T-8 days until Christmas … OMGosh!

Got through my birthday, Thanksgiving, figuring our pottery kiln problem, annual work competencies … And here I am.  Add the stressors of Christmas countdown, Covid surge number 86 – along with increased volume, acuity and overnight HOLDS in our free-standing ER; Growing our farm, daily chores and maintenance, on top of what HAS GOT TO BE the LAST level of menopausal power-ups [PLEASE?!?] … I’m struggling.  But it’s all good.  We have also been moving forward.

And the rest will be covered via photos … 

We have bunnies … Meet Babs and Thumper, so cute!  They are 3 months old now and  acclimating well …  We hope to add a male for them soon.  Meanwhile, they are adjusting to us – while getting used to daily treats of carrot, spinach, melons, cucumber and alfalfa.  I think they might just love me …

babs thumper

TWD-zombie-lungWe worked our way through a kiln issue and finally fired our first (and second – in the kiln as I type) batch of ceramic pots.  Live and learn is the message of the week!  And we are learning … But, check out that Walking Dead/Zombie Lung interior we created … Dang!!!

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We are throwing ‘pots’ – gaining knowledge to control clay on the potter’s wheel daily.  Again, DH has more innate skill, and patience – than I do.  But, I have better glaze-dunking abilities (… so yeah, he’s still ‘beating’ me …) … Smile


hydroponic-wk4My hydroponic plants are growing … Here is a quick photo of our dutch bucket cucumbers, doing AMAZING!

Ava-Disco-BallWe’re keeping up with animal upkeep.  We cleaned out the chicken coop today, while DH has added a disco ball to the ladies run … Right?!?  Because EVERYONE needs a disco ball!!!

new-cardAnd my latest card, trying to wrap up gift making in time for Christmas.  We Can Do This!!!

Oh, BTW – DH told me that our oldest wants to host Christmas.  As he and I were just discussing the long list  of hurdles and challenges of meeting that deadline (hosting here), baby girl comes through!  Yes, please!!!

Meanwhile, on the ER nurse front – I continue to bob-&-weave through covid patients, sick patients and the influx of volume met with holiday-season staffing challenges … as best as I can.  Good Golly, this STINKS!

And, my latest trick in the hot flash/menopause department has added palpitations and dizziness on top of igniting my whole body in internal heat/flames.  Cool!!!

Finally, DH and I have eaten well … so many good recipes, great soups and awesome meals have been created. [No photos, but amazing food!]  Will do better with updates, I hope!

Merry Christmas, peace and hugs ya’ll!

Goodness …

If this works, we will have some 26+ vegetable, fruit and herb plants growing in our basement this winter.  SWEET – I am so excited to see how this rolls out!


20211026_204940Meanwhile, DH is pleased with the hydroponic space, too.  But, he did say to me, “This is interfering with my ceramic time …”  Doh – DUDE, you are so easy!  Wait until that green house arrives!!! Winking smile

It’s taken a bit of doing, but all things worth-while do take a smidge of time.  My ceramic studio is up and running.  The hydroponic basement is ready to move forward.  I have some 122+ plant-starts in their water medium, as of tonight.  AND – we have barley fodder growing.   Why?!?  Because – Oh My GOODNESS – the chickens will LOVE IT (supposedly) … as will the rabbits(!) … and pigs(!) …

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Oops … getting ahead of myself again.  Speaking of which – DH is supposed to be building a nursery … AKA the  (rabbit) hutchery.  We’ve talked about this … Bunnies this year, pigs coming Spring 2022 …

Self sustainability … I still love the idea!!!  And, we’re slowly taking steps to make it more real!!!

Peace and <3, Ya’ll!!!

Oh … Wow!!!

On so many levels … Jeesh, where to start.  Ok … my hot flashes have taken it up a notch.  Yep, we are at NIGHT SWEATS now … Praise Sweet BABY JESUS – let us pray there aren’t too many more power-up levels beyond this … Star-Fighter here we come. 


But, this current level of female HELL-ON-EARTH has me sleeping like the peaceful dead – only to come awake as my body sweats from the inside out and I have this ULTRA-NEXT-LEVEL-DURAN-DURAN/MEETS-DAVID-BOWIE/MEETS-BLADE … Blade - Vampire Dance Club Theme - YouTubeummm, that’s BLADE I, II, and Blade III … All in my previously slumbering body … TO BEAT TO THE DRUMS OF MY OWN PULSE REACKING HAVOC ON MYSELF – AS IT IS TOO DANG HARD AND TOO DAMN FAST.  And then, the sweat GOD’S descend upon us.  SHHHHhhhhhh – we’re still sleeping …  BUT NO … That Blade music TECHNO POP is jumping … OM MY GOSH – I have sweat glands behind my ears, and on the insides of my knees, AND –  on the outsides of my EYELIDS  … WTF?!?

These new night sweats are apparently some kind of MASSIVE inner battle, because they leave me EXHAUSTED – once my own heart rate slows to something less audible … and then I go back to sleeping like the dead!!!  And, I do!!!

I don’t even know what to pray for … So, I sleep … Sixteen hours last night, like the DEAD!

MOVING ON … because, really what else can we do???

We’ve been making stuff on the potter’s wheel.  It’s not as INNATE as I felt it should be.  Truth be told, DH has better skill than I do, but … I like to think that my end-objects are ARTIER … Well, sure it’s a word.  More art-like …




Love and <3’s … until I BURN UP!!! Smile

I Cooked My Butt Off …

So, we had some family out … Our first-borns (daughter and son) and our new(-ish) son-in-law.  It was a great visit!  I thoroughly enjoy listening to their journeys, tasks, accomplishments and obstacles.  They are amazing young people.  (BTW – our youngest [the Twins] are too, it just makes my life a bit easier to divide and conquer! …  So – next visit will be with JUST THEM!)  We had a great time tonight.  20211007_152345

While we were unable to enjoy pool time this week, as the 75+ degree heat promised by Michigan meteorologists did not hold true for the last few days … It did give DH and me time to prep food, prepare spaces and create a good environment. 

I picked flowers from our garden for a beautiful centerpiece … I’ve planted flowers for years – but have not ever made arrangements with them … WTH?  WHY NOT?!?  DOH!!!

We slow cooked meats (rabbit and chicken) … I will share photos – but you need to understand, nothing you see will equate to how amazing our Teriyaki-marinated meats were …

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I didn’t take photos, but THIS girl loves her some vegetables … including coleslaw and ‘vegetable medley’ – which, for this meal meant cauliflower, carrots and chayote.  My first born has not liked vegetables since she was 8-9 months old.  But she tried them tonight.  Did she love them – NOPE, NOT YET!  But we’re still working on it.  They were beautiful and amazing vegetables (… and, nope – no photos)!!!

Our baby girl does like salad.  We made an AWESOME Strawberry Spinach Pecan Feta Balsamic salad (link to the recipe … because IT IS TRUELY AMAZING), and THIS GIRL (YEAH, me again) FIRMLY believes Balsamic vinegar has been recalled from nursing use as SMELLING SALTS … (YUCK!) … But this salad is SOO GOOD!!


20211008_015216And … Yep!!!  An official success in the books for me.  I’m learning to enjoy the moments – so I did tonight.  Grandma T is finally teaching me – it doesn’t have to be all about Martha Stewart.  I can reach a compromise … And STILL MAKE KICK-ASZZZZ FOOD!

Hoping for a pool day tomorrow – or maybe early next week.  Keep on Dreamin’ Folks!  HUGS!!!!

I’m Trying to be Creative …

While I’m down and out!

So, my back is not happy.  Apparently, she’s trying to disband from this union.  I’ve been nursing her back to homeostasis, if not happiness – for the better part of a week.  She’s just not falling for it.  I ice, take ibuprofen, ice a bit more, try Ultram, add more ice … Maybe I can move.  So I play in the studio … Until I can’t bear standing any more, and then I try it again:  Ice, ibuprofen, ice, tramadol … rinse/repeat. 

20210924_201010So then I was trying to make food.  I got a beautiful loaf of bread finished.  Made up a vat of cabbage with burger … Apparently, DH’s favorite … 20210923_182928A mock on the inside out stuffed-cabbage recipe.  He’s not sharing those left-overs with ANYONE!  Wow! … And we added some cooked squash from our garden to freeze for the first AUTUMN soup!  So excited.

Slowing down in the studio, not only for my back, but we have family coming out this week.  Our oldest boy is turning 27 years old!  Wow!  You go Dude!20211005_020022

So, we invited family out.  My Dad and stepMom bailed, but Brooke and her beau accepted.  We’ll be trialing rabbit and home-grown chicken, vegetable medley, hibachi garlic noodles, along with a strawberry spinach salad and brownies with whipped cream/vanilla pudding frosting … A good meal to share with family, while celebrating our oldest son’s birthday!  I am happy.

Umm, my back is still not happy.  I have time to tame this crazy beast.  I’ve reached out, again to my PCP – and I may be ready to try a chiropractor – as something needs to break this evil cycle!  Meanwhile – between icing and resting/Motrin-ing and Ultram-ing, I can create in bits and spurts … Here’s what I’ve been making:  Our third round of red sauce … Oh, I think I’ve perfected it!  😉


And, my cards.  Because this is something I can do between motrin highs and back-aching lows, with ice on the spot for cycles at a time.  Gearing up for a Christmas Gift batch for my family.  Here’s what we have so far …

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Yep, it keeps me busy.  It keeps me off the streets. And, it keeps me tied to my couch in the studio.  I’ve home-nursed this craziness for years, but I feel like this time – it’s giving me a run for the money … Just about to get stable – feel a snap or twinge – back to square one.  It could be so much worse, I know … So, I’m not really complaining.  I am frustrated as so many folks are depending on me, and I don’t like to be down and out, doing nothing!  Must get this back of mine in line!!!

Hugs, Y’all!

Indian Summer–I’ll Take It!!!

20210907_155835We started this past week off with a huge batch of seafood alfredo – enjoyed by both of us as we worked through the weekend.  And then, this week – while pulling together a quick salad of spinach, carrots, peas, water chestnuts, romaine and a mayo-style dressing, I decided to shave off a few deep layers of my nail bed, with our new – extra sharp, paring knife.  No worries – no special sauce in the dressing, but DARN – that hurts!

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20210917_164036Moving on … We enjoyed as many Indian Summer pool days as we could.  Meanwhile, DH is dealing with some wicked family issues.  It’s so crummy when family turns on you!  I’ve been listening, supportive and trying to feed him through this major family let-down.


Through it all, our garden is producing.  We’ve put up about 15-16 quarts of beans.  I have a batch of tomato sauce, and will be making another this week.  We froze our basil pesto cubes, for future use … And the Ladies (my egg-layers) are loving all the melons we grew.

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I put together another batch of dandelion plantain (anti-itch) salve, as the MOSQUITOES have been relentless this year!

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Time for another ‘Bob-N-Weave’ weekend of ER nursing fun.  It feels like we’re seeing so many folks who present as ‘Covid +’ – and they just want confirmation that they’re Covid POSITIVE … WTH???  Stay safe (and STAY HOME) Y’all!  [HUGS]

He Really Only Had One Job To DO …

And, honestly – isn’t that typical!?!  Doh!!!  20210901_160755

But we did it!  We got a farming task ‘under our belts’ …

I believe our SKOS birds had their best life.  Wednesday afternoon, they peacefully – Met Nirvana; Played in the sandbox in the sky; Found joy … and, Joined My Freezer.

Reflecting back, it’s not undo-able, should we decide to go again.  DH had the major daily upkeep (moving them to fresh grass, keeping up with their never-ending supply of feed, moving them to fresh grass, refilling water – and then, moving them to fresh grass again!).  My job was to talk with them whenever I could.

Then came processing day …

 20210901_161127 20210901_173352 20210901_160739 (2)

The goal behind this endeavor was for sustainability.  I think it was a win.  I have other ideas for sustainability, but with DH, it has to be one step at a time … Rabbits ONLY when he is READY!

20210901_204031So … We put up 10 healthy, processed birds.  We did say a prayer to help guide us into the best frame of mind to perform these tasks … It was not emotionally heartless – but, we were able to do the job that needed doing …. And, as DH so lovingly put it, ‘We have to, they will break their own legs if we don’t’ … At the end of the day, we added 60 pounds of meat to our freezer, while joining the ranks of other self-sustainable folks!!!

Because everything can be used:  I have 4 quarts of bone broth added to our stash … and, the extra bits were repurposed for dog treats … NOTHING goes to waste!

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Tonight we had our first (home grown) rotisserie dinner.  It was a lot of hard work.  Our dinner was good.  We can be sustainable!


Ending with pretty photos from the garden.  I love sunflowers, zinnias and dahlias … Oh MY …

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Next up, piglets!!!  (Maybe …)

I’m Pretty Sure It Was Retribution …

But – only time will tell …

On Thursday, or was it Friday(?) of my vacation days … DH loaded me into the car – in the wee hours of the early AM, drove me up to Algonac, and arranged to have my  shoulder SHOT full of [POISON] … Umm, health-saving Covid vaccine!

Two weeks later, my left bicep is still PUMPED!  No, please, Arnold … Don’t touch it!  It hurts!

He SAID he did this to help me …

But, weeks later – I’m pretty sure I understand now what it was …

I’ve ordered all the necessary bits for hydroponics, a potter’s wheel – AND, a GREENHOUSE!  I’m fairly certain anything DH has done this week or last was all about being ANGRY!!!

The great news … I am currently suffering endless RUQ pain … Gall bladder, BUGGER!?! …  Not vomiting yet, but I think it’s coming!  DH win?!?  DOH!!!

Only time will tell …

When You’re Happy & you Know it …

AND I am!  I’ve started the long-list project of turning my old studio into a ceramic studio, clearing out a large (which now will be 8 foot long x 7 foot tall x 2.5 foot deep – THIS is the BEFORE photo) area in our ‘storage’ basement for hydroponic growing; reorganizing the mini-closet/tanning bed space for smaller hydroponic systems); cooking, harvesting from the garden and making chamomile tea for the first time; planning future building projects [due to our ‘debut’ rabbit meal – I opted for teriyaki as I felt it would be safer … DH is SOLD!] … But first – the basement renovation/repurposing/cleaning photos, including new molds to create ‘medallions’ for my future ceramic coffee mugs:

studio curtains 20210818_224009 20210818_224140 20210818_224039 20210818_224828

20210818_224104What will be the larger hydroponic space, and gathering seeds to grow, along with the smaller hydroponic units.

I’m happy also – BECAUSE after 6 days of living with limited modern-day necessities [umm, I mean ABSOLUTELY – First World CONVENIENCES!] … We have electricity!  (ALRIGHT! – we got it back late Monday, but … ER nursing weekend, crashing hard, etc. …)  All I can say is: [1] I’m so pleased we have the generator we have (not a WHOLE house, but it gets the job done!); [2] I’m SOOOO glad it was just me, DH and the non-human crew (NO CHILDREN – that was always a nightmare, and we never had to endure SIX DAYS without power when the kids were young); [3] POOL TIME, warm temperatures and the remainder of Swamp Juice – I mean SANGRIA – helped us get through any ROUGH TIMES!

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20210812_201216So – YAY … ELECTRICITY!!!  I’m so happy!

Here is the promised Hasenpfeffer photo (No – it does NOT look like an INFANT!  DH, stop saying that!), with our garden-grown new potatoes, what’s left from some of our chamomile tea (love it), bread machine zucchini bread (NOPE! We won’t be making it that way again!) …And tonight’s herbal harvest:

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Leaving with a quick photo of My SKOS … who eat AROUND THE CLOCK and thoroughly LOVE meal-time, are moving (=being moved!) within their mobile coop 3-4 times a day now (for greener pastures/fresh grass) – and growing quite nicely, while still taking their own sweet time to grow feathers …


PS – Sorry Lara … He LOVES it!  😉

PPS – no potter’s wheel yet [I ordered it 16 days ago!!!], meanwhile –  all the other supplies keep ROLLING in!!

PPPS – Apologies for the crazy ‘stream of consciousness’/difficult-to-follow post … I’m trying to clean out/prepare several areas at once, while keeping up with all other mandatory daily/SUMMER tasks! … Swamp juice, anyone??? …  🙂

PPPPS – I DO realize Hassenpfeffer is actually a stew, with onion/gravy sauce … HOWEVER, when dealing with someone with ‘sensitivities’ – code words HELP!!!  Just sayin’  … Hugs Y’all!

Baby Steps ….

Anyone that knows DH – knows he has some strange, unnatural affinity for rabbits.  I understand, and truly appreciate that he is not a hunter.  (Totally!!!)  But – available, sustainable ‘GARDENING’ … Oh, we’ve reached a cross-roads, Brother.

EF-BB-hassenpfefferSo, I am cooking up his (and my) first bit of Hassenpfeffer.  Umm, yeah, that’s rabbit for anyone that didn’t grow up with Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam and/or the Road Runner.  It’s a trial run.  It was purchased.  It cost way too much … But, it is supposed to be our controlled experiment.  If he likes it, we move ahead.  If we don’t … Well then, Bugs gets to fight another day!

I’m rooting for team HOMESTEAD … But, we’ll see!  I’ll post a photo of our beautiful meal, (with real-life responses/criticisms) later today – after we have dinner.