Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Just Breathe

Something came up last week that rocked my world.  I did something nice, with no agenda at all, just tried to be kind.  A very tiny gesture.  And it was meat with such venom and unkindness that it shocked and rocked me deep down in my toes.

But what happened internally was a realization that I need to address a few things on my end.  I didn't realize how sort of scotch taped together I was until that moment.  The event that rocked me was rather small but it brought up a lot of goop inside that I am ready more than ever to fix properly.




So I was very brave and made myself very vulnerable and took a really big personal step towards healing.  It was hard but also, in a weird sort of look at the big picture way, it was easy.  I am working on me right now and I am really proud of that!




As often happens, I took a drive.  I do my best thinking when I am alone in the car.  I can talk it out, sing it out, cry it out, scream it out, and deep breath it out.  And then I take in a view.  It's my thing and it just helps me process life.  I'd be lost without long drives and long walks!




How could I not see the good in the world with this view in front of me?  This is just perfection!


Monday, June 27, 2016

Garden Update: Peppers, Potatoes, And Peanuts, Oh My!




Goodness I have been busy in the garden lately.  As happens every year, due to loss of original plants by pests, I had to plant a second round of some plants and seeds recently.  Thankfully {or not}, I am used to it so I am prepared with extra starts and just do my best to roll with the punches.




Peppers round two went in as almost all of the first round were nibbled to stubs.  I don't think I will start peppers from seed next year.  Which is hard for me to swallow given that I start everything from seed.  But my issue is that I only have one grow light and limited space currently so a second grow light isn't really possible.  What happens is that the grow light needs to be above whatever is the tallest plant.  So things that are shorter or take longer to germinate are stuck with a grow light that is too far away from them to provide ideal growing conditions.  So when I plant out my pepper starts, they are on the small side.  I think next year I need to be practical about my limitations.  Unless I can find a way to squeeze in more growing space and a second light, it's just a better use of my time and resources to buy a dozen pepper plants.

If I haven't lost you yet, I planted 12 more peppers: 3 Rose, 3 Purple, and 6 Yellow Banana.  All are sweet as the two surviving from the first round of planting are jalapeño.  




I planted peanuts on a lark last year, knowing full well that I was right on the edge of where they would be able to product.  I had a tough go of them germinating so I only harvested a handful. .  But I saved them and used them as seed this year.  Because I'm nothing if not determined and possible glutton for punishment.  But looky look at what is popping up already {it took weeks to see any sign of life last year so I have a bit more hope this go round}!  Tiny baby peanut plants- woot woot!

I finally planted out my winter squash.  Most are under the wire and tulle mesh hoops in hopes that I can keep the SVB {squash vine borers} at bay for as long as possible.  I then planted out a second round of summer squash as well as some direct seeds.  I don't typically have issues with summer squash so was bummed to see them all nibbled.

Weeks ago I planted a slew of pea and bean seeds but very few have come up.  I'm not sure if they died in the ground or if birds and squirrels ate them.  Likely a combo deal.  This is a first for me though.  So I planted round two, this time soaking all the seeds for 24 hours first in hope that it speeds up the germination process.  Fresh sugar snap peas and fresh strawberries are what I call garden candy so I am anxious for those peas to get a move on and give me little green treats!




My brassicas look so great this year!  They are the biggest draw for the damn woodchuck so I was clever to plant them in the very center of the garden plot this year with the vein hope of keeping him away from my crop.  So far, so good, so knocking on wood!  Crossing my fingers after losing every single plant last year in August to the damn woodchuck!  (That said, I filled in two more holes where he is getting into the garden.  He took out my neighbor's entire plot of brassicas as she doesn't have a fence around her space.  




I'm starting to see cherry tomatoes forming and it's thrilling.  However by far the most exciting discovery was my very first Beefsteak tomato!  Tomato sandwiches are just around the corner {OK...they're like an entire month away...I can't wait!}.

Dare I say my potatoes look amazing.  Yes, they are everywhere.  But I love me a tater so who cares!  Digging up fresh potatoes is such a thrill.  You just never know what you might find.  




And finally, the rhubarb is still going strong.  One of my favorite ways to use the entire plant is to make good use of the giant leaves as mulch to keep the weeds out.  They just compost in over time but they look pretty cool in the process.

What's growing in your garden right now?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Favorite Lilly Pulitzer Quote




This week has been far from sunshiny for me personally.  Sort of everything and nothing all at once.  You've probably had one of those weeks before so I trust you get it.  

But it sure is sunny and lovely outside.  So I am getting my fanny in the garden and on my long walks and on my yoga mat.  Also, my roots are going to magically get blonder today.  Nothing cures a grumpy gus mood like shiny and bright hair!  

I have little on my agenda this weekend and I think it's probably ideal.  Time to dance it out and dig in the dirt!

Happy Friday, sweet friends!  What's on your agenda this weekend?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Quick, Easy, Healthy Meal: Sautéed Spinach Baked Potato

I can't think of a period in my lifetime when I haven't answered the question, "What is your favorite vegetable?" with anything other than spinach!  I have always loved spinach.

I buy the big bag of fresh spinach weekly to use in both raw (salads) and cooked meals.  But by far one of the easiest is to simply sauté the spinach in a little olive oil with some added minced garlic towards the end (salt and pepper to taste at the very end).  I love this as a side dish but it's extra awesome on top of a baked potato.  It turns a quick single girl meal up a notch!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Potatoes Coming Up Everywhere

Last fall, when I was debating whether or not to return to the community garden, I decided to give it one more year in hopes of all around better results.  While I can't do anything about the human issues (stealing of produce has brought me to tears!), I can try to work my plot better.

We have rich soil but it's difficult to grow in because it's clay as well as very rocky.  Like many urban community gardens, it is on a spot that once held several homes many moons ago.  So in addition to rocks, rocks, and more rocks, we also have bricks and pieces of foundation and other random formerly house bits.  And then add in the fact that it's a small community garden so we manage to get every pest problem known to man.  There is no such thing as a blight free anything, no matter how hard you try, in a community garden this small.

To attempt to remedy some of these issues, I came up with a new layout for the entire garden (that I already want to change by the way...so badly that it's killing me to leave it this summer...live and learn). Then I tilled all of the new grow bed spaces really deeply.  As deep as I could go.  On top of the freshly tilled loose grow beds, I added all sorts of compostables (this is the important part of the story...so stick with me) like food scraps and whatnot.  Then I tilled the walkways.  Once that soil was really fluffy, I added it on top of the grow beds (so at this point from the bottom up it went: tilled soil, compostables, tilled walkway soil on top).  Then I added a really thick layer of fall leaves, a thick layer of newspaper, and finally a thick layer of straw.  So from the top down it went straw, newspaper, leaves, walkway soil, compostables, grow bed soil.  

With me so far?  Geeze you get 100 bonus points if you are!

Fast forward to this year.  To plant, I simply dig into all of that and plant my seedlings as normal.  I've been using this sort of modified lasagna method for years and really love it.  However, there's a glitch this year.

I must have eaten a lot of potatoes and there or had potato scraps in the fall to compost in.  You know, the compostables layer I mentioned.

Guess what I have popping up EVERYWHERE in my garden?  




That's right friends...we've got potatoes for days!  Most of them I am just letting grow where they come up.  A few I have had to clip off at the base because they are a competing for space with something I want more like cauliflower or tomatoes.  But for the most part, I have decided to just run with it and see where it takes me.  Hopefully to a giant, yummy potato harvest!  Because there truly is nothing more delicious than a new potato that came out of the soil an hour earlier.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lake George, Perfect Weather, Kisses, And The Very Best Weekend

It's been a while since I had a weekend that tip to tail was pure bliss.  This past weekend though, was exactly that!  What's sort of funny to me as I am thinking about how to explain just why my weekend was so delightful is that nothing major happened.  I just really and truly enjoyed myself.  It's high time I quit dwelling on my woes and start dwelling on my wows.  So here goes...

Friday was one of those days that saw a lot of boxes checked off the ever-growing to-do list.  Man, isn't that just the best feeling to get stuff done?!  Then I spent the evening with a friend and her family.  It was chaos as she has three littles age 6, 2, and 12 mos.  But they're so cute and funny and as I am just the fun auntie, I thought it was all rather hilarious.  

Saturday I was up at the crack of dawn like every day, because I am still not sleeping.  So as I often do these days, I went over to my community garden to get some things done before the sun was pounding down.  It felt great to dig in the dirt and get some more things checked off the list.  I then ran a few errands, made my favorite curry chicken salad for lunch, made the French toast casserole for Father's Day that needed to sit overnight, showered and got myself ready to head up to Lake George for a wedding, all before noon.  I'm telling you, my lack of sleep has me living an extra lifetime before lunch every day.  Of course I am good for nothing come 8 PM because I am near tears from exhaustion...

My cousin and his lovely bride got married at the most spectacular estate on Lake George in the Adirondaks.  I wasn't overly excited about giving up an entire Saturday for this wedding but once we got there, I was completely proven wrong.  The setting, the cold glasses of bubbly, the good hair day, and the company of my family was all things good in the world.  I think everyone had the most wonderful time.  The weather was perfection- nothing but sunshine and clear blue skies!




Sunday morning was Father's Day, one of my favorite holidays.  As I was raised by my single {gay} dad, this is definitely a holiday I am sure to celebrate, despite my father's protests.  I made all his favorites for brunch and we just had a casual morning nibbling on our favorites.  I ran over to the garden for a few hours too as I am babying all the newly planted winter squash, some of which have already taken their last little breath.  I also planted six new pepper plants as nearly all of those I originally planted have been eaten.  Ugh...the critters are just impossible to beat this year...again.

Early evening I headed out for a date night that once again was all things good in the world.  All the good food and drinks and laughs and smiles and stories and smooches...  See, I told you I am just a better human with summer sunshine!

I needed this weekend.  I didn't realize how badly I needed a weekend that was free of drama and sadness and frustration until Sunday rolled around and I suddenly felt lighter.  I still cry daily because I miss my Sadie so much and I am still not sleeping.  But I feel like I am working hard to find the silver lining in life and my inner jar of glitter is visible again.

Cheers to a summer full of sunshine and smiles for all of us!!  

XOKK

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Loaf Of Bread That Never Got Baked: Sourdough Starter Failure

A few months ago, my sisters (plus one brother in law) and I all decided to start making sourdough starters.  {I know...we like to live life on the wild side!}  It was adorable because we've had this group text going for months where we nerd out and share photos of our starter yeast and talk about rise and liquid and I do believe we have gotten to the bottom of why I am not married...but the group text has been fun.  We call ourselves #startersister, despite the fact that a brother-in-law is part of this text.  In fact, brother-in-law knows more and does more and in way more into it than the three of us combined.

Are you familiar with sourdough starters?  It's what you use to bake bread, specifically sourdough bread, instead of the store bough yeast.  It takes about a month before you can really do anything with it, but the process itself is very easy.  You simply take one cup of whole wheat flour and mix it with one cup water.  And then daily you remove 80% of it, mix in the 1:1 flour water again, put it in a fresh bowl or jar, and keep going with this process for the rest of your damn lifetime.
  







You can see where this is going, can't you?

So I was doing fine.  I remembered on like 97% of the days to do it.  All was well in the world.  But then Sadie died.  And my life, internally, grew into chaos.  And I kept forgetting to feed the poor starter.  But then I would remember for a few days so I never moved it to the refrigerator.  Which is really where I failed my poor starter.  Because then it sat on the counter for a full five days at room temperature without a feeding.  And it got gross.  I killed it.  I killed my sourdough starter after feeding the damn thing for two or three months.

So I pitched it.  And maybe I will start again in the fall.  Or maybe I will just walk two blocks to the bread bakery around the corner and buy a loaf when a craving hits.  I'm good at a lot of things in the kitchen, but apparently we all have a weakness and a sourdough starter seems to be mine.

Eh...can't win 'em all!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sadie Sunday: Happy Father's Day

I know you loved me.  With your whole heart.  I never ever doubted that.  But you loved your Poppy, my daddy, just as much.  He was your best buddy, or as I called him, your best Poppy.  If he was around, you never left his side.




You two had the most special bond and I am so grateful for that.  I'm so grateful that he got to share in your perfect love.  But more than that, I am so grateful that you got to have him in your life.  He's the best dad and he sacrificed the world to raise me.  He continues to do whatever he can for both of us, baby bunny.  He was so good with you.  Poppy walked you when I couldn't, took care of you when I was sick or out of town, carried you when the salt hurt your paws or when you were too tired to walk more, helped me give you medicine when it was so difficult in the last year, and loved you every single day.  Never ever has a better Poppy existed for a puppy in this world!

My world continues to feel empty and flat without you.  Not a day has passed when I haven't looked for you out of habit.  Part of me wants that to end and part of me hopes it never ends.  And all of me knows that's a weird thing to say!

I'm making Poppy a big Father's Day brunch today and no doubt we will talk about you and how much you would have liked to sweet talk us into a nibble.  And how helpful you always were in the kitchen.  

I wish you were here to give my dad kisses and cuddles on his special day.  I will simply have to do the spoiling and loving for the both of us this year.

I miss you baby bunny and I know Poppy does too!

XO Momma

Friday, June 17, 2016

Why I Hate Yoga...Filmed Before I Decided I Kind Of Love Yoga (But Shhh Don't Tell Anyone)

About 10 months ago I filmed this video for YouTube but never posted it.  I just looked at it and decided to post it now.  I talked about the two reasons I dislike yoga.  A month or two after I filmed this video, I started doing yoga.  And a few months after that I started saying I was "practicing" yoga because I no longer hated it.  In fact, I have grown to really like and value yoga.

I'm still not great.  But I am a far better me when I get my ass on the mat, regardless of how I move through a practice that day.  Something is ALWAYS better than nothing for me.  It has really helped tremendously with my anxiety and depression and overall mental health.  And I can see a difference in how I feel and move, physically.

So I decided to post this silly video as a personal reminder of how I can grow and change on topics I am seemingly firm on.  This old dog is keen to learn new tricks!




XOKK

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cute Summer Gift Idea

Just a quick post to offer up a cute gift idea.  All of which can be found at your local TJ Max or Target.

I just took a cute little lemon shaped ice cube tray, a pack of cute cocktail napkins, and a set of coordinating plates (paper or plastic both work), all in coordinating colors or theme.  Slip them in a clear cellophane bag and tie with a colorful grosgrain ribbon.  Done.  




I swear I could put rocks in a clear cellophane bag and make it look cute.  How did I ever wrap gifts without them?!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

All About The Peonies

Peony season is about over in my part of the North Pole, but I managed to snap a few pretty photos for Instagram (@preppycrocodile) that I thought I'd post here too.  It comes and goes so quickly, but it's always worth it in the end.









Oh sweet peonies...until next year!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Garden Update

So last year around this time in my community garden, there were about six empty plots.  As I am always itching for more growing space and loathe weeds, I got permission to take over the plot next to mine for the season.  I worked my fanny off to weed and turn over the soil and mulch it in.  And then a new gardener decided she thought it should be part of her plot.  Emails were exchanged and in the end, I offered to split it with this new gardener (despite having it in writing that I could use it).  But then they split it weird and ugh it was annoying.


Last year's garden


Long story short (I am skipping a whole big part of this as to not bore you to tears), I found out this year that the garden HQ just added that "bonus" plot into my plot, without even asking.  I had no idea when I signed up, etc.  It wasn't until about a month ago (sign up is in Feb) that I put all of that together.  I was happy but shocked.




So I now have, I think, the largest plot in our garden.

Thankfully, I do all of my prep work in the fall so the new section was all I needed to weed/till this spring.  (I'll never understand why everyone doesn't do prep work in the fall instead of spring.)

And now you're up to date on my space.  So in photos, the lighter straw section to the right is the new bonus space.  This year I will be growing a small row of tomato plants, okra, artichokes, bush beans, and the bulk of the space will be used for winter squash.  




The section between the old and new is a giant row of brassicas, most of which have survived the early critter nibbles.  I have (if they survived), regular broccoli, purple broccoli, romanesco broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Swiss chard, and Brussels sprouts.  Last year every single one was eaten by the damn groundhog, so this year my dad has helped me completely reinforce my fence to keep him at bay.  




Moving to the left I have peppers (which are currently not doing well as they have been eaten by I think grasshoppers), potatoes (separate post forthcoming), peanuts (I'm glutton for punishment and trying again), summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, tomatillos, ground cherries, carrots, beets, parsnips, strawberries, beans, peas, leeks, garlic, flowers, herbs, and of course Ruby the Rhubarb plant that is determined to take over the world.




I post almost daily on Instagram but promise to do blog updates, if nothing else, so I can keep a record from year to year.  So far the strawberries are doing well and my little strawberry rocks are looking charming.  Beyond that, only time will tell.  But I have high hopes, as always, for a bountiful year in the garden!

What are you growing this year?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Love Is Love Is Love Is Love

Turning My Anxiety Issues Into A Bridal Shower Gift

OK, so I didn't gift the sweet bride-to-be my anxiety.  I like her too much to pawn this host mess of a human issue off on her.  But I am pretty plum proud that I was able to turn my near meltdown due to anxiety into a pretty adorable bridal shower gift.

It starts with the day of the shower and me finally running out at lunchtime to buy a gift.  Way to be on top of life, KK!  But I digress...it was lunch and I went to a store I have managed to avoid for about a decade, Bed, Bath and Beyond.  It's the "Beyond" that kills me in there...oy!

Except that I pulled up to where I thought it was, only to realize it had moved years ago.  Quick texts exchanged with District and I was back on the road to the correct location.  In I went...to the "Beyond."

I could feel my anxiety welling up with just the first foot in the door so let me spell out my foggy head issues in hopes I can help you understand.  First, it smells in there.  Not like stinky foot smells.  But all the smells.  They sell a gazillion candles and scented everything ever made for your house products.  And my hyper sensitive nose just does flip flops and majorly overreacts to stores with all-the-scents coming at me full force.  Even in a nicely appointed candle or homemade soap shop, I find myself running for the door.  It's just too much for me.  Second, there is SO MUCH STUFF.  Floor to 15' ceiling, just jam packed with product, product, product.  And I know that to many, this is a dream come true.  So many choices and so many colors and so many scents and so many textures and so many of everything.  But to me, it feels physically encroaching and very overwhelming.  

My reaction is very physical.  Internally I feel nauseous and tight.  Externally I feel warm and get flushed.  

Anxiety is real, my friends.  And it crops up sometimes in unexpected places.  Like Bed, Bath and Beyond.

So I can't figure out who works there or where I should go to find a registry.  I printed an item I intended to buy but I couldn't find it and don't think this store carried it.  I sort of walked in circles, which could absolutely be a metaphor for how I was feeling at that moment in time too.  I was melting down next to the tablecloths.  Truly tears were bubbling up and I was having hot flashes and needed to get out of there.  As I was walking to leave, I spotted some wooden spoons.  I grabbed them and headed to the checkout to buy a gift card.  My 20-something soon to be cousin-in-law could take herself on Triple B shopping spree and buy whatever was missed on her registry later.  

The checkout line was a near miss for me too.  My anxiety was taking over as I was realizing that everyone had 63 expired coupons and the cashiers were having computer troubles.  I switched lines and nearly left.  (This is why I love free shipping codes and online shopping!). But I stuck it out, flop sweat and tiny tears running down my face.  I bought the spoons and the gift card and got the heck out of dodge.

A quick stop at a neighbor's garden for some peonies and I was back in business.  In the end, I have to say, I was really pleased.  Not only with how cute the gift turned out, but that I didn't bail on the mission to buy something before my anxiety got the best of me.




So for those still reading, I simply took a little white metal pail that I had on hand in the gift bin and made a bouquet with peonies and wooden spoons.  I added a card (that included the gift card of course) and that was it.  I didn't even add any ribbon as I thought it looked lovely just like that.  The bride loved it and it felt good to get a little creative with my gift.  


Sunday, June 12, 2016

I'm With Her




If you've read my blog or followed me on any social media account at all, it's no surprise that I lean way left when it comes to politics.  I've been a Hillary Clinton supporter for as long as I can remember and was absolutely heartbroken when she didn't secure the nomination in 2008.

That said, I fully admit that I struggled with who to support this time.  (The three people following me on Snapchat know who I finally decided to vote for on Election Day.)  I really love both Bernie and Hillary and saw positives to both great candidates.  I think Bernie Sanders running in this election is the best thing that has happened to the Democratic Party in a long time.  He's raised the bar and I think it's made our party and our nation stronger.

That said, I cried actual crocodile tears as I watched Hillary Clinton give her victory speech after the win in California. 

I remember talking to a friend prior to the '08 election, probably closer to '06, saying I couldn't wait for her to run and win.  And my friend said that she just didn't think our Nation and world were ready for a female president.  I still feel shocked today as I reflect back on that conversation.  

I'm not looking to debate anyone here.  You're either a fan or you're not, and that's beautiful that we all have that option to have a myriad of opinions.  




But I have cried a dozen times reliving that moment of watching Hillary secure the Democratic nomination.  She did it.  She broke that glass ceiling.  She has proven to every little girl out there that they are just as capable and just as worthy and just as ambitious as little boys.  From this day forward, children won't know that leaders can only be boys.  And more than that, she's an amazing example of working hard for a goal, taking the long road, not succeeding on the first try, being graceful and supportive of the winner, working even harder, and finally achieving the goal.  It was a long, hard road.  It didn't happen overnight.  It wasn't ever easy.  But she worked and then worked harder in the face of so much adversity.  If that's not an outstanding example of #RunLikeAGirl, I don't know what is!  

So #HillYes, #ImWithHer!  


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Sadie Sunday On Saturday: One Month Without Her

It's been a full month, baby bunny.  It's not easier.  In fact, now that everyone is long over being sympathetic, I think it's harder.  Because I have to grieve in the closet.  There's a strange, unwritten rule of how long you are allowed to grieve.  And it's not very long.  Which for me, just adds a layer of shame on top of the unbearable heartache of missing you.

I refuse to stop talking to you or talking about you.  You will always be the little love of my life and want to make sure I remember everything about our 14 years together.

This is one of our last photos together, just a half hour or so before we said our final goodbye and I gave you my last kisses on your sweet nose.  




But I also want to remember one of our earliest memories together.  When I adopted you, Little and her cute dog Sophie were living with me for a few months.  Sophie wasn't but six or so pounds and you were probably 15lbs at the time.  And much taller and longer.  Sophie had a bed and I bought you one the first full day I had you.  You're bed was much bigger than Sophie's as you were a bigger dog.

But Sophie was older and Alpha.  You never had an Alpha bone in your body.  You're just like your momma!

To train you to sleep in your bed, I would get down on the floor and tap the side of the bed.  You would come over and get in it and settle in all cozy.  I would walk away.  But Sophie was determined to get her paws on that brand new bed.  So she would come over and just stare you down.  She didn't growl or bark, she would just stand in front of the bed and stare at you until you got up and got out of the new, big bed.  She would get in your brand new bed and claim it as her own.  And then...oh man do I wish I could find a photo of this somewhere...you would go and happily get into Sophie's tiny little bed.  That even as a baby puppy, you were way too big for.  Your head would flop over one end and your four legs would flop over the other end.  You never cared.  As many times as Little and I would get you two out of the wrong beds and into the correct beds, Sophie would exert her Alpha dominance and you would gladly give her what she wanted.  

Right from the get go, you were the sweetest, happiest, most loving little girl.  You loved Sophie with your whole heart right from day one.  And it just never phased you to take her tiny, old bed.  

For your second birthday, you and I walked from our apartment on Capitol Hill over to the {then} new pet store on 8th Street.  We were there a lot as they loved you and always gave you treats.  They had these beautiful donut beds that they custom made.  We picked out the most beautiful fabric, yellow with pink and green and white plaid, and had the perfect bed made for you.  You slept in it every single night until the day you died.  I miss that bed so much but it was yours.  It was your happy, comfortable place.  You passed away in that bed and we buried you in it too.  You get to sleep in that perfect pretty bed forever, my baby bunny.  It is the perfect size for you, my perfect puppy!



Friday, June 10, 2016

DIY Craft: Strawberry Painted Stones To Fool The Garden Birds

I saw this a while ago on Pinterest and am finally giving it a try.  It was easy and fun to do while watching TV one night.  And while I am sure you can use any variety of paints, I used what I had on hand...nail polish.

DIY Craft: Paint Rocks To Look Like Strawberries 

Materials:
* Rocks (washed and dried)
* Nail polish or other paint of your choosing

Directions:

* Coat rocks in one to two layers of white nail polish.  This makes a big difference in how the colors will look.  Don't skip this step.  Allow to fully dry.






* Coat rocks in red nail polish.  Also decide which part of the rock is the top and which part is the bottom of the strawberry.  Will likely need two coats.  Allow to fully dry.




* Add white nail polish in shape of green top to berry.  Allow to fully dry.




* Top white with green in shape of green top to berry.  Will likely need a few coats.  Allow to fully dry.




* Add small black dots to make strawberry seeds.  Allow to fully dry.




* After the entire rock is dry, add a nice shiny top coat.  Allow to fully dry overnight before putting outside in your garden.

In theory, if you put these out before your strawberries start to ripen, the birds will see the rock fruits, go to peck them, realize they are not edible, and learn to avoid your fruit in the future.  We shall see if this really keeps the birds away or just adds a bit of whimsy to my garden.  Either way, I'm pleased as punch with how cute my little strawberry rocks turned out!

Wait until I show you how this simple project has spiraled into a mild obsession that my dear friend Maple Syrup revers to as "KK's getting stoned."  


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Life Goes On...

I have started and even finished a whole heck of a lot of posts lately.  But I can't bring myself to hit publish.  Most mention my Sadie and well...my heart just hurts so much and I break down when thinking about her.

But life does tick on.  And despite my heart being so broken and sad missing my best baby bunny, let me tell you what is making my world keep spinning these days.




Garden Season.  It's here.  It took bloody forever to get here because winter decided to show up this spring.  But now it's in the 80's and the sun is shining and I am outside in that garden getting my hands dirty nearly every day.  It really is my best therapy.  I just sweat it out in my little plot.  It's funny because I am what I call a situational type A personality.  As in, not in all aspects of my life.  The garden, however, is my type A+++ zone.  I want it how I want it and it WILL BE PERFECT.  Honestly, it's kind of in my best interest most of the time because it means I always have something to do and a reason to sweat my fanny off.  My garden increased in size this year {proper post forthcoming...I promise...I even have pics} and I am just tickled about having the extra grow space!

Walks.  I walked Sadie three times daily, but our evening walks were our longest.  We walked miles through our little city, eventually using a dog stroller so she could still go with me.  Those walks saved me more times than I care to admit.  The thing about having a dog is that you have to walk.  It is just not an option, at least when you live in an urban environment without a big yard, to skip or skimp on walking.  So often I would find myself tired or sad or stressed or overwhelmed, but we would go on our long walk and it would change me.  My head always felt a little more sorted out after our walks.  So I still walk.  Almost every night, I take the same walk.  And it's still saving me.

Summer Clothes.  I am a summer.  You know how people are like my colors or style is a specific season?  Yes well, nothing about me is a winter.  I crave bright colors and sundresses and flip flops.  I look better and feel better in all things summer.  Hello Lilly dresses and pony tails and my skin seeing the light of day again!

Friends.  I have leaned on my girls more than ever lately.  For the first time in my life, I've even found myself asking for help.  I've called up District multiple times to ask if I can come over for dinner and a hang out session.  I have called Florida bawling.  I've sent more rambling texts to Godsister than she knows what to do with.  Cancer Sucks has been an absolute dream friend, especially considering we've never actually met.  And Maple Syrup has been my lifeline every single day.  I am overwhelmed and grateful and it's amazing to be reminded how much love is in my world to lift me up and cheer me on.

Dates.  I told District a while back that I am better at dating in the summer.  She thought I was kidding.  I was not.  I am just better at everything when I get to have a little sunshine in my life.

Raspberries.  When we were kids, if given a choice for a treat, bestie Florida would pick white bread and I would pick a bowl of berries.  We laugh because we aren't that different today.  It's summer berry season and like every year, I will spend my left arm to fill that craving.  

Ice Cream.  For better or worse, our summer love affair continues.  A few days after Sadie died, I drove up to VT to hang out with Maple Syrup and we had ice cream for dinner.  I'll never tell but it's possible it's happened a few other times.  Listen...don't judge...I don't do drugs and barely drink...my weaknesses are summer fruit and Ben and Jerry's.  It could be worse!

Yoga.  I fell off the consistency wagon a while back but I am getting back on it.  Sweating that cuckoo back in the clock is the key to me being a better human.  And will hopefully help counteract my ice cream addiction.

Fans.  I think I need a sound machine because I sleep so much better when I have my fan on.  I say this every year and then forget all about it come fall.  Someone remind me come October to buy a white noise sound machine, please!

The Big Bang Theory.  In the days after losing Sadie, I needed a brain break.  The news is insanely depressing these days and it all just gives me a lot of physical anxiety.  TBBT is the new Friends in that it's always on if you take the time to search for it, it's always funny, and it doesn't matter what episode you watch because you can always manage to follow the plot lines.  

So that's what has been making my little life better as of late.  Food, friends, and belly laughs.  What's making your world brighter lately?  

XOKK

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sadie Sunday: Last Kiss Memory 4 Weeks After She Died

Four weeks ago today, your soul left this little earth, my baby bunny.  I just have to believe you are in a better, happier, pain free place now.  You are chasing squirrels and sunshining your days away.  And playing with your other fur and human family members to pass before you.  And looking down on me giving me kisses.

Dreaming up this euphoria is the only thing that gets me through the nights.  I hope it's real.  And I hope it means we will see each other again.  

I have so much to say.  In fact I have so many posts banked that I just have yet to find the courage to hit publish on.  But today, let me just tell you that I love you.  I love you with every fiber of my being and still feel you near me daily.  You will always be my little soul mate and the love of my life.




On this day four weeks ago, your very last few hours with me, early that morning when we got up after not sleeping and you being in so much pain, you gave me the greatest last gift I could have imagined.  And I am writing it down so that I never ever forget it.  

You gave me kisses.  A bit later when Poppy came to you, you gave him kisses too.  It was something you always gave me first thing in the morning.  But not when you felt ill.  I think you knew that I needed them.  I needed them not only in that moment but to have that memory for my lifetime.  You found the energy on your very last morning to give me those sweet, special kisses.  We were in our bedroom by the door.  I can still feel them on my face.  That one moment has carried me through so many sad moments, Sadie.  No gift will ever top those kisses!

Your kisses were gentle and slow and just so sweet.  You loved to kiss my face first thing in the morning.  And you loved it in the summertime when Poppy would let you kiss his bald head.  (Something he said he hated but we both know he grew to adore.) You were the sweetest, kindest baby from the moment you came into this world and remained that way until your very last breath.

Thank you for loving me, Sadie.  Thank you for teaching me about love.  Thank you for making me smile.  And thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your last kisses

I love you all day, everyday, my baby bunny!  

XO Momma 

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