THE SMELL OF LOVE

Pork roasting gently in the oven with an applesauce glaze and cloves…

That is the smell of love right there. It smells so good in our house right now that the dog didn’t want to go outside even though he hadn’t been out in a few hours; he walked onto the porch and turned back looking at me pleadingly to just let him back inside.

Hey Dave, guess what’s for dinner

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ARRRRRR-BOR DAY ANYONE?

What ever happened to Arbor Day? I haven’t heard hide nor hair of it in years which is really strange to me considering that nowadays everyone is supposedly all about trees and nature and global warming and such.  According to the Arbor Day Foundation we can “green up our communities, replant forests across the country, save the rainforest and make an impact on our planet.”

But I haven’t heard a bit about it in years. Why?

When I was younger it was a big thing in school because everyone would start a seedling in a cup and then on Arbor Day everyone would go plant it. Our teachers considered it a part of our civic duties to plant trees. It was a part of our Science Classes because the teacher considered that since we need oxygen to breathe we should do something to actually facilitate that occurrence. It was about giving back with just a few moments of our own time to the world at large and becoming a bit more connected to the good of all.

Everyone is so concerned about global warming nowadays but honestly you cannot depend on any governments to take care of that issue… you need to do your part. Everyone could do their part.

When I”m at a new work site, the first thing that anyone does is clear the lot of trees and turn it into mulch and anything that can be turned into lumber gets hauled off. None of the resources go to waste but they do go away and are not replaced to their previous ammounts. When my company is done with a lot there is usually a retention pond left which is great for the Eagles that live there. In fact we had to stop for a month and a half at one site because of Eagle breeding season. If we see an Eagle on site then we’re not allowed in that area and leave those trees alone because, hey, it’s eagles, lol.

The good thing about my company is that when we are done with the retention pond there is a plan to resod and replant somne trees where we can. I have to say I like that part of the job. There is something special about planting a tree. My teacher way back in the day said that “it was an investment in our future”… and that has alway stuck with me.

To find out more about Arbor Day (and you should be starting your seedling right now to be able to plant on that day) check out http://www.arborday.org

Heck feel free to combine this with Talk Like A Pirate Day… in which case I must ask

Arrrrrr- you going to plant a tree on Arrrrrr bor day? (April 29th this year since it’s always the last Friday in April)

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THANK YOU MR. RICKMAN

I just saw on the newsfeed that one of my favorite actors has passed away. All I could do was sit here and keep saying ‘no, no, no’ even though I know that we must eventually all pass to our next great adventure. The thing is that Alan Rickman has been a favorite of mine for years, I was hooked on his skill when he played Hans in Die Hard and I’ve enjoyed many of the movies he was in including Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and the HP movies of course, but I think my very favorite part he played was Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest because it looked like such a fun part in a goofy movie and everyone should have a chance to be silly every once in awhile. My condolences to the Rickman family, and many thanks to Alan for making the world a bit more entertaining. You will be missed

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COLD SUNDAY

Ok, so you’re like, how cold can it be because Dave and Christy live in Florida right? Well it’s cold enough that Dave has slippers on because it’s wet and dreary outside, which actually kinda fits with our mood today since Nancy’s visit is over and she needs to get back to North Carolina to have her back surgery 

We’ve been putzing around this morning, Dave with his chest cold, Nancy packing up the car, Bella scootering around the house on her Yflicker, and I staring at the tree I need to take down and put back in the shed so I can have my craft desk back. Then I need to set up kiddos computer for her to do her classwork come tomorrow morning, I can’t believe it’s already the end of Winter Vacation.

I can honestly say though that today has been weird, perhaps even wyrd because we’re overdue for something strange, and anyone who knows us knows that weird sh** happens to us all the time, it’s like we’re a magnet for the off the wall, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

It was a good December for us starting with Aunt Nancy finally arriving after her car broke down like 3 times on the way down and her having to overnight at a hotel before finally making it here; Bella was so antsy and kept looking out the door every few minutes asking where she was, lol.

There was candy making for the hols in the way of homemade turtle candies with pecan halves rather than chopped bits, peanut butter balls made with PB/graham crackers/and peanuts dipped in chocolate, and yummy chocolate lollies that Bella and her friend did up with different colored chocolates in holiday molds.

We had a trip to Papa’s for Christmas and we got a chance to see everyone but Jon and Rach who were visiting up North but did leave a nifty robotic arm kit for Bella to put together (pssst Jon, Dave says he wants to have words with you over the directions and the screws being so tiny he was having an issue seeing them even with his glasses on, lol)

There was fabulous food of course courtesy of Team Warren in the kitchen (basically Dad pulling stuff out and putting stuff in to cook, Mom chopping and fussing at him, and grandkids everywhere asking for chocolate milk and juice) there was wine and laughter, and giggles, great fellowship and the loving embrace of friends and family who have no expectations of anyone beyond being the lovely people that they are gathering and catching up on life.  And that right there is the Spirit of the holiday season.

Also at this time is the celebration of the Oak King overcoming the Holly King as the days will once again be lighter longer until the wheel turns again at the summer solstice, which is super handy to know if you do any kind of gardening, lol.  Note to self: get new almanac for this year and more fertilizer to put in the garden now so it will be ready for planting in a couple months.

I’m a pretty lucky person that I am a member of the Warren family, a nicer bunch of people you’ll never meet and not a single one gives one whit if you live in a trailer or a McMansion, if you’ve got tattoos or glitzy earrings, or what you do for a living.  Some are conservative (oddly enough those of us which earn less, lol) and some are liberal, some are retired and some work full time, some of the ladies stay home with the kids and some work full time. Nobody is out to brag about anything but all joyfully cheer each other on in any accomplishments, it’s a jolly mish mosh that has sustained me even through the darkest hours of my life and I am forever thankful for the loving support of my family through good times and bad. One phone call and an “I love you” is worth more than anything else in the world no matter what is going on. {{{hugs}}}

I didn’t do a lot for the hols in the way of gifts because we’re on the low end of the scale currently with Dave’s work hours being wonky over the past few months, but I did make some great sewn slippers for Liz and Rach, homemade bread and candy for Uncle Bo,  and  Jon and Sean got those neat engravers as seen on tv. The parental units were a bit more difficult since they’ve got everything they actually need and are a bit hard to shop for so I went with food in the way of fresh pomegranates, turnip greens (expertly cooked by Nancy) dripped with balsamic vinegar, rambutan fruits, fresh avocados, and real white sweet potatoes (courtesy of the ever awesome Diaz Fresh Produce that sets up over by the Yard Depot up the road from me, just wish they’d had those fab purple potatoes last time I went there too) and of course I took along a ham I snagged at 99¢ a lb  We did not go hungry let me tell you.

Hmm, this is turning out to be more of a newsletter than a post, lol, suppose I’ll just continue on in the vein since I seem to be on a roll.

This next year we are hoping once again to move a bit further up north. We want to start our own mushroom and herb farm and would like to have a home that is all ours and maybe some chickens for pest control which if we do it right would also give us fresh organic eggs. If you’ve never had an egg that didn’t come from the grocery store I feel really really bad for you because the fresh from the farm ones from chickens that eat everything they can get their beaks on are just scrumptious. We of course also want to do some wild mushroom hunting for morels once they’re in season because, yeah, morels! And maybe some photography on nice days and painting in the winter to keep me busy.  Dave’s got it in his head he needs a man cave/ work shed if I’m going to have an art studio to stretch out and I’m all for it especially if I get to play with the tools too. My only stipulation on our would be home and farm is that we have some kind of hill in our yard so Bella and I can go sledding.  I really miss sledding, it was like my favorite part of being a kid, even more than getting to live in Hawaii and boogie boarding in the middle of everyone else’s chilly winter.

Of course to do this we actually need the funds to move and jobs to hold until we can get ourselves set up and productive which could take a couple years depending on what we can plant our first year. I’m all for what would be a set it and forget it crop like parisian carrots (check out this great HONEY BAKED PARISIAN CARROTS WITH ORANGE + THYME recipe) to get us started while our first batch of mushroom logs get inoculated and hang out for a year and we get our hydroponic herb towers up and growing, wow fresh herbs for all my meals is going to be fabulous!  But of course, we still need the funds to get up and go which means I need to get off my rear and get my books finished, which I will now be able to do in the mornings when I’m most productive since Bella got her own desktop for Christmas to do her online schooling on.  She doesn’t really need me as a learning coach when she’s in the middle of an online class with a teacher so I can do my thing during that time frame and hopefully get done by June.

Wow it’s taking me all day to write this, I started this morning right after our weirdness for the day occurred just as Nancy was walking out the door to drive back to Gastonia.  Dave’s cell phone rang and so he picked it up, listened for a second, looked at it as if someone had lost their mind and said with a grin “ham and bacon to you too brother” and hung up [laughsnort] my husband thinks he’s a comedian or something and had bacon on the brain this morning like I did obviously. Well, the phone rang again and he was like looking at the caller id and says, “it’s from Afghanistan?” So we picked up the phone again and there’s some dude jabbering in a foreign language and I’m like, jeez, wrong number much? Well, the person rang a couple more times and he’d already been told wrong number in obvious English so Dave just dismissed the call but whoever it was left a message.  Frickin weird let me tell you, we don’t know anyone over there and Dave is the only one of us who had ever been anywhere that far from home because he was once in the Army and did his time in during shield/storm years ago you know? So he called the authorities and let them know he’d gotten the call, which is actually kinda funny that he deliberately called the FBI over the call, but hey, honestly it was weird enough to pass along you know? I mean what would you do? No idea what it was all about but better safe than sorry [shrug]

So that done, and Nancy down the road stuck in a traffic jam less than 10 miles from the house because our weirdness is contagious obviously;  we get a call from Nancy that she’d forgotten her electric razor on my desk where she’d been packing stuff up to go, in my mind though she should be fine because it’s not like the doc is going to be checking out any would be leg hair when he’s fixing her back. 

And the day moves on, and there are kids piled in Bella’s room playing Minecraft, and thank goodness her friends like it because we’re happier playing the lego games with her since there is a story and not just building stuff.

So at the moment it’s 5:30 and I suppose I’m going to wrap this up with the last weird thing for the day (thus far, and I say thus far because you never know, rofl).  Dee went to get the mail because she’s waiting for a birthday prezzie (just turned 19 yesterday!) and our lock has been funny lately so I told her to wiggle the key while showing her an up down wiggle motion in the air before she went out .  She of course wiggled it side to side instead and so now the key is bent of all things and of course my ebay feed is showing me that the mat cutter for my watercolor mats is in that box and I can’t get to it because the key is now crooked.

Oh, and Nancy just sent a message, she’s stuck in more traffic but this time 30 miles south of I26.  And just so you know, it’s still cold here, like the heat just kicked on and I wish I could find my other slipper [sigh] one of those days I reckon.

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