friday morning relaxation

What I like best about waking up on a cool, crisp autumn morning is the steaming pot of coffee that my husband has left for me. Coffee is delicious. I don’t even mind it black, and it’s healthier that way, too. Just 2 calories a cup. I love coffee, but sometimes my stomach does not. I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s the drinking a cup on an empty stomach. Maybe it’s too strong. Black tea does the same thing to me, and so does soda, though I always figured I got a stomachache from soda because of all the sugar. Perhaps it’s the caffeine. That doesn’t really make sense to me either because I’ve never been that sensitive to caffeine. All I know is that some mornings, I cannot drink coffee. It’s depressing. I guess it’s a good thing I like tea of all kinds.

Today I decided to switch to green tea when I realized my stomach didn’t want the coffee. Green tea is even better than coffee, for obvious reasons. It’s also really delicious. Though you can’t steep it for too long or it gets quite bitter. This morning I am drinking Yogi Green Tea: Blueberry Slim Life. The stuff is amazing with the blueberry flavor. It also helps suppress one’s appetite, which makes it an ideal morning drink if one is trying to lose weight. I think you have to let it suppress your appetite, though. It’s all too easy for me to ignore.

With my tea I am eating two slices of homemade whole wheat bread, toasted. I put a little bit of real butter on each slice, as well. I love butter. Having married into a family that is in the dairy business (my husband hauls milk to cheese factories!), I can have all the butter, cheese, etc. that I want. I suppose I could never be vegan because of this. Well, and the fact that I seriously love butter. And cheese. But I haven’t eaten butter on my toast all week. I’ve put it in some of the foods I cooked, yes, but I didn’t just slather it on toast. Instead I used Smucker’s Spreadable Fruit. Gosh, that stuff is good! And at only 40 calories a scoop (a small one), I feel pretty good about it. Not to mention the fact that it’s fruit.

Today though, I used butter. Why? Because it’s Friday. I’ve been on my feet all week taking care of the house and cooking and baking and gardening. It’s what I do. Actually, I was more diligent about keeping house this week than I was all summer. (I’m positive the lack of 100 degree temperatures has everything to do with this.) So, today I am relaxing. Nate, my husband, left for work around 6:30, and I slept until about 8:00. After I finish my tea and toast, I am going to do the daily reading out of the Treasury of Daily Prayer, which is a fantastic resource for any Christian looking for a daily prayer routine. I prefer to read it with my husband, but I need some serious focus this morning, and there’s nothing wrong with reading it twice! Then I will practice my yoga routine, which is another fabulous way to get myself centered for the day. And, you know, it’s good exercise.

Granted, I am beginning my day rather later than I would like, but it’s Friday, and I’m going to take some time for myself today while Nate is working. Tonight he doesn’t have to work, so we’ll probably go out for a fish fry at one of our favorite bars. It’s a Wisconsin tradition, after all! In the meantime, I’m waiting for Advance Auto to call and let me know that the parts for our (well, his dad’s, but he told us to have fun with it) 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass S are in so I can go pick them up and put them in. Both Nate and I hope to take that out tonight.


“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858

Though I doubt God actually forgot to put souls into flowers, I do firmly believe He gave them to us for our enjoyment. There are not many people that I know that would think a garden ugly. I absolutely adore gardens. Working in them is something I used to fight, though. When I was young and my parents wanted help with the yard work, boy would I kick and scream. Maybe not really kick and scream, but I generally tried to hole myself up in my room with a book and avoid them. Eventually, I began to realize that cultivating growing things is actually a balm for the soul. When I visited England six years ago, one of my favorite sights was that of the English garden. Oh, there were so many! So beautiful. My grandma, aunt, and uncle with whom I went are all gardeners, so I guess at that point I began to get a green thumb.

In my college years, there wasn’t much time for gardening, so I didn’t really try. Now that I am in my own home and not in school, I have more time. Today I wasn’t entirely certain what I was going to do with my time until I took my cup of coffee to the window and looked out. Our yard is small and there isn’t much we can do with it, but there is a small and narrow bed next to our deck that was hopelessly overgrown that I could see from the window. Every day I looked at it and groaned, thinking it could be so much more beautiful. Earlier in the year I had planted a few things in there, but they didn’t grow; this was partly because I forgot about them and partly because we had a severe drought combined with a ridiculous heat spike. Basically, this summer I gave up doing anything in the yard. We didn’t even have to cut our grass for almost three months! (That was actually nice.)

So, today I decided to at least tackle the overgrown bed and clear it out. For what, I wasn’t sure. (I wish I had taken a photo of it — it was crazy!) As I pulled out little weeds and big weeds, I noticed there was an enormous plant that had a stalk the size of my wrist, and it was growing from behind the lattice on the bottom of our deck. Oh dear. I tried using a sickle, a hoe, a shovel, a scissors…none of those worked. The angle was terrible. The only tool for the job was a hedge trimmer. But I don’t happen to have one. (I need to fix that.) By this point, I had figured that I would plant some mums in the bed, since they are in season, so what I did was call over to the local florist shop and ask if they had a hedge trimmer I could borrow! We’re on first name basis, so I knew it would be okay. The owner said she did have one I could use, so I drove over there to pick it up and to purchase some potted mums. I love supporting local businesses!

I came home, cut the stubborn plant down, worked up the soil (who in their right mind puts bed liner only THREE INCHES BELOW THE SOIL?! I certainly didn’t….), and planted the mums. I had four of them, which turned out to not be quite enough. Since I had to return the hedge trimmer, I was going to drive back down there, but our car was acting funky, so I just walked. I must have looked hilarious walking down the side of the state highway while carrying a long hedge trimmer. On the way back, it was probably even more amusing since I was carrying a huge potted mum. Ah well. It was good exercise.

The point of the story is that gardening is good for the body as well as the soul. I really should do more of it.

musings no. 1

My “Portrait of Me” page has been updated! There is more information there now. Probably more than you ever wanted to know, but there you have it. I’m sure I’ll change it as life goes on. That’s all for now.

absence makes the heart grow fonder

I have neglected this blog, and I am really very sorry for this. There is so much I could have been posting, I’m sure. Our first year of marriage is going very well, though unfortunately my hubby works a lot of hours…and by a lot, I mean generally 14-18 hours a day. Thankfully, he got last weekend off, so we spent some quality time with each other and some of our friends! It was a grand weekend.
I also have finally begun meal planning, as I realized I have more cookbooks than I know what to do with, other than actually use them. Obviously. So I made some delicious foods over the past week. But I do not have a working camera, so I honestly don’t think I will post any recipes for awhile.
Soon I am going to begin a mostly vegetarian diet, mainly for weight loss and health reasons. I also thought it might be fun to try. I love eating greens — my younger sisters used to call me a rabbit because of this! My hubby is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so we’ll see how this goes… I certainly don’t intend to make him eat vegetarian, but it will be interesting to see how I manage the cooking.
So I hope I can keep this blog up. It might get kind of random for awhile…since I’m attempting to lose weight and get fit. Ugh. I used to be skinny and able to run…I don’t know what happened.