31 May 2012

May Chronicle

It's hard to believe that June is tomorrow.  Where did this month go?  I've been so preoccupied.  May was a good month, full of life.

+  I started off the month by making May Day baskets
+  I knocked out several items on my fix list around the house.  It feels good to not have them hanging over my head.
+  Purchased a new refrigerator...finally
+  Attended cc's family reunion
+ Celebrated my dad's birthday, cousin's birthday, cc's dad's birthday, and my brother's anniversary
+ Received really good news from cc's sister
+  Found the cutest pet rabbit in my driveway and provided a safe home for him...for a week
+  After deciding to keep Hop A. Long his family called and they came to get him
+  Traveled to Nebraska to manifest my sister's dreams and meet my cute nephew
+  Celebrated my mother on mother's day and sent her a homemade card
+  Met a famous person that is in my sister's social circle
+  Arts & Letters Live - John Irving - a very interesting character
+  Worked on banning junk mail and somehow felt I got more this month than ever
+  Trained 350 YMCA day camp counselors in behavior management
+  Almost flooded the house when the new frig arrived and I tried to connect the water line
+  I put up 7 quarts of green beans to freeze and 11 quart jars of bread and butter squash.  In the process I managed to dump an entire bowl and sugar mixture on my floor.  I've scrubbed it 3 times and it's still sticky.
+  I turned another year older
+  Attended the cutest dance recital ever
+  Watched the entire second season of Dowton Abbey 
+  Dealt with the flu in our household. I do not wish this on anyone.
+  My parents traveled to Washington D.C. 
+  Remembered both of my grandfathers and all the others that have passed
+  Movie - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - loved it!   
+  Naturally
          - Solar eclipse when Venus crossed paths with the sun 
          - finally getting much needed rain
          - the humming birds have finally arrived
+  In the garden
          - hung the onions to dry
          - made a homemade foliar feed mix for fertilizer
          - started harvesting beans, cabbage, potatoes, lettuce, and squash
          - the raspberry crop did not do well, but the blackberries are going crazy
          - fruitful peach crop
          - strawberries will be ready soon
+ In the kitchen
          - I attempted homemade tortillas
          - chickpea and macaroni salad
          - homemade runzas

30 May 2012

Another Year Older...

I celebrated my birthday last Saturday.  I marked in my journal that it was not notable.  cc has the flu and I spent the evening on my porch with the day's mail and a cocktail.  The weekend plans had to be canceled or rescheduled. 

In a lot of ways it was nice.  I decided not to cook, do any housework, and only mess in the garden to keep the plants alive.  It was an invitation to relax, and I did.

I started thinking about my life and all the blessings I have, but also realized how boring I've become.  The word fear kept slapping me in the face trying to get me to pay attention to it.  So I spent time trying to define it and resolved to concur it.  I made a pact to find adventure again in my 33rd year.  I was the girl, after all, that picked up and moved to Texas on a whim. 

So, here's to adventure.  I suppose this is what I had in my mind when I set my word of the year.

23 May 2012

BYG: Early Harvest

They say you are not supposed to apologize for all of a sudden abandoning your blog for days. It is your blog after all and you set the schedule, but here I am about to grovel.

I have been busy. That part is true. I'm settling into a different sort of life and trying to make my relationship a little more front and center. The "good at relationships" gene seemed to skip me. And while this post is to show you how busy I am in the garden, it's also a confession. Periodically I comb through the questions of do I really want to keep blogging, and what is my point exactly? Until that gets sorted out in my head I abandon this space.

Additionally, while I try to get my garden to produce something cc's dad's garden is growing like crazy. I have a mess of beans to freeze, and squash to pickle for him. I made homemade runzas last weekend with this cabbage.

In my own garden I've been dealing with cabbage loopers and ferocious ants.  All of which are out to destroy my garden.  So I've been in the yard, and studying up in books on how to take care of the destroyers naturally. 

On top of that the weather in Texas is grand right now and I'm taking full advantage.  Instead of sitting in my studio on a computer I'm spending time outside, which limits blog posts.  Also, my busiest season to about to hit, so fair warning there will soon be summer vacation over here at indigo 26.  Maybe I'll find reason to keep this space when it's over. 

So yes I've been busy and I'm sorry to have been gone so long, but I'm also wondering why you return to this space.  What do you enjoy?  What would you like to see more of?  Less of?  I would love to hear your thoughts. 

22 May 2012

Manifesting Dreams

This is Jonathan.  My sweet, 4 month old nephew.  He doesn't seem too excited that I'm giving him lots of kisses, but he'll have to get over it.  I live 10 hours away and opportunities to show him how much he is loved are few and far between.  Jonathan has a story unlike any other, however, it's not mine to tell.  But I can say this: his is the face of dreams.  

I spent a recent weekend in Nebraska with another sister helping her manifest her own dreams.  For as long as she could walk she wanted to play with hair.  It did not matter if you were a boy or girl as long as you had hair, she could curl it or put it in ponies.  By the time she was in high school, she was doing prom hair for all her friends.  Today, she is a successful stylist and is about to cash in on one of her biggest dreams; opening her own hair salon.  

I went to help with research and detail.  We took the giant puzzle of a business plan and broke it down into all its spare parts.  It was exhausting, but there were moments when I looked in her eyes and could see that this is exactly what she wants.   

To tell you the truth, I'm envious of my sisters.  One got the baby she always wanted and the other is getting her salon.  I really couldn't be happier for both of them.  A lot of time and effort have been spent as well as endless wondering if any of it would ever happen.  They have certainly put in the work.    

How do you look at fear in the face and see through it to the other side?  Where does that faith come from to just keep moving forward with no idea what or how it's going to happen?  

I can't help but wonder what I'm sitting on because fear is just a little too scary to look at right now.  Am I busying myself with the piddly parts of life as a cover up?  I have not always wanted to be a mother and certainly not a hair stylist so what is my dream to manifest?  Since I've been back I haven't been able to shake this thought.  

After realizing that both of their dreams have been manifested they inspired me to go back to my old journals and lists and a dig a little deeper.  When I look at Jonathan's face I feel like he is cheering me on.  He's telling me to get off my butt and do something.  Ok, maybe that was his aunt when she said, "Abby, I'm tired of hearing about it until you actually do something about it."  Ouch, but she's right, and her proof is in the pudding.  

What dreams need manifested in your life?   

11 May 2012

Mother's Day Accordion Card

Mother's Day is this Sunday. I'm a little sad that I can't spend the day with my mother. I miss her. We always have so much fun when we're together. This year I decided to make her an accordion card. I've had these vintage, floral gift tags for quite some time. I knew they had a purpose I just didn't know right away what that purpose was.

My mama loves flowers. Well, preferably fresh flowers, but I thought this little accordion card would remind her of how much she is loved. I also decided to send her a few wildflower seeds. Every spring I sprinkle a few bare spots in my yard with wildflower seeds and I'm always surprised by what comes up. It's a little something we can both share.

I made this little envelope from a recycled, security envelope to hold them both.

Happy Mothers Day to you. 

09 May 2012

Chickpea Salad

Do you remember a time when women would make food for everything?  Funerals, showers, hospitalizations, births: You name it, there was always good food.  I started thinking about all of this when I was going through my greatgrandmothers' recipes.  There were so many for salads.  I remember them being one of my favorite parts of the meal besides dessert.  My mom even used to make this pistachio fluff for Thanksgiving that I looked forward to every year.  Where have those days gone?

Naturally, salads have been on my mind.  So last weekend when I had a family reunion to attend with a pot luck dinner it was the perfect opportunity to make a few salads.  The chickpea salad I made was a highlight and I can see it being a regular at the dinner table all summer long.  It's cold, refreshing, and filling.   

Chickpea Salad

15 oz drained chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 medium cucumber diced
1 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 medium tomato, diced

Note: The vegetables can change with what you have available from the farmers market or your garden.

1 tsp dijon mustard
3 TBS apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (any vinegar will work)
3 TBS olive oil
salt and fresh cracked pepper
fresh parsley or other herbs (optional)

Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together until the mixture turns from transparent to cloudy. If you have fresh herbs, toss everything in the food processor to blend well.
Add the diced cucumber, tomatoes, beans, and corn to the vinaigrette and mix.  Refrigerate.  It can be consumed immediately, but it's better when the vinaigrette has a chance to marinate. 

08 May 2012

Never Give Up

After a very sleepless night, I needed to see this today.  It's very inspirational.  Take a minute to watch it.

03 May 2012

May Day

May 1st was a holiday I celebrated as a kid growing up in Nebraska.  My mom kept the tradition after celebrating May Day every year in her one room country schoolhouse.  My favorite part of the day was passing out the baskets I had made to my unsuspecting friends.  Some years they were just dixie cups filled with goodies, and other years the baskets were a little more creative.  It didn't matter as long as it brought a smile.  Here is a little history on the day.  

History of May Day 

May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries. May Day is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility and revelry with community gatherings. Seeding was usually completed by this date and it was convenient to give farm laborers a day off.

May baskets were typically made as part of the festivities. These are small baskets filled with flowers or treats that are left on someone's doorstep. The giver would ring the bell and run away. The person receiving the basket would try to catch the fleeing giver. If they caught the person, a kiss was to be exchanged.

When I got into high school I no longer celebrated the tradition. This year I decided to bring it back and make a few baskets for the little people in my neighborhood. I used what I had on hand to make them and filled them with goodies and other little trinkets.

I used scrap fabric, fruit baskets, an old t-shirt, a plastic food container that I glued tissue paper on to, and paper scraps.  The handles were leftover ribbon from various projects.  The only thing I purchased were the contents of the baskets.   

I drove around our neighborhood on my bike and left the baskets on the doorstep.  I didn't get caught, so no kisses for me, but I got lots of hugs later on.  I think I'll keep this tradition alive.  It brought me joy just to make them.   

01 May 2012

May 4(for) Green Acres Challenge

These monthly challenges are your opportunity to cultivate your own acres. They are designed to challenge your creativity, test your will power, and pull your awareness to the footstep you are leaving behind.

By participating in these challenges and sharing them with others you are spreading the message. Over time, those around us will be making better choices as well. The goal is not to change how you live your life, but rather think about the implications of those choices and tweek them for the best outcome.


I have noticed an increase of junk mail in my mailbox in the last several years.  Like solicitation calls, junk mail is a hassle to deal with and unnecessary.  An average person can receive 41 pounds of junk mail a year.  An average letter weighs about 1 ounce.  There are 16 ounces in a pound, so you would have to receive 656 letters to equal 41 pounds of junk mail.  That is a lot of junk.  For those that don't recycle it ends up in the landfill. 

This month's challenge is to put your name on the do not mail list.  Unfortunately it is going to take a lot of work.  There is not one magic place that will get you off every list, but you have the entire month to work on it. 

Below is a list of places to start.  Don't forget about catalogs.  I get a lot of catalogs from places I never shop from.  I'm going to be calling the customer service departments of those companies and have my name removed from their list. 

Click on the links below to manage your mailing preferences

If we all minimize our junk mail think of how many unnecessary pounds of paper we can prevent from ending up in the landfill.  There is no reason to cut a tree for a credit card application I will never use.  

Excited about the challenge and want to spread the message? Grab a 4(for) green acres project badge for your blog by using this code to let others know you're growing your own greener acres. I've added the badge to the sidebar as well.

indigo 26