Wednesday, August 31, 2011

HGTV 24/7

Michael is working all day here in Montana. He brings the laptop and iPad with him so I don't have access to the internet during the day. We should have brought the MacBook so I could have had it during the day - yes we are geeks with too many computers.  I don't watch tv at home but being stuck in a hotel room all day - I am watching tv - HGTV to be precise.  Michael leaves in the morning with HGTV on and comes back in the evening with HGTV still going. He can't understand how I can watch so much decorating/house shows.  I have broken it up with some Food Network. :)

Source: via Darby on Pinterest

I really liked The Antonio Treatment. He did this kitchen above - the back splash is metal made to look like it was cut from old rusted signs into long planks/tiles.  I want to have that in our kitchen as our back splash.

Watching this much HGTV has given me lots of ideas and inspiration.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dinner with Friends

Tonight Michael and I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Jeff & Kathie from Two Frog Home.  I have known Kathie for many years online. We have exchanged emails, snail mail, and gifts.  She has been an inspiration to me and been on that mental list of someone I wanted to meet - someday. So when Michael said he was going to Montana for business and I could come - I checked the map right away. As soon as I told her we were coming  and where we would be -  she invited us to have dinner with them at their home.

Such a lovely home. We sat on their porch and ate a delicious dinner.  Kathie has a big garden and many of the things we enjoyed at dinner were from her garden.  Dessert was a cherry tart that was outstanding that every time I think about it - my mouth waters. On top of all that and  the lovely evening of conversation and laughter - Kathie sent us home with a big basket of goodies.  Her canned Vanilla pear butter, Balsamic Berry Jam, hand knitted dish cloth, cookies, massage oil she made, stickers and jelly beans. It was so thoughtful.

I was so nervous when I would call to talk to her to set up the dinner but then the night before dinner I realized something that made most of my nervousness go away. I knew without a doubt Kathie was someone who would accept me for me. And that made me feel free to just be and that is rare. I know in this world we are just suppose to be ourselves but I don't feel often people can be truly open and free around people. We all have masks we have to wear to get through the day and I knew I wouldn't have to do that with Kathie. And the evening was exactly that way - I could relax and just be.  Jeff and Kathie made us feel right at home and comfortable.  Kathie is such a lovely person and it made me wish we lived close together as I just had such a nice time being with her.

Michael will probably have to go back a couple more time and one of those times I will probably get to go with him.  I look forward to the next time we can all get together.

*photo by Michael - was taken on our way into the area on Saturday. That is Flathead Lake which was so beautiful. It took us almost an hour to get around just one side of the lake.

Monday, August 29, 2011

You Could Be Happy

I hope you are happy.


We are in Montana.  It was a long drive here but so pretty.

In Utah, we saw a double rainbow. Those were the most gorgeous rainbows I have ever seen. One of them you could see the whole thing from one end to the other. It was incredible. I am not sure I have ever seen a full rainbow before.

Here are some picture Michael caught of them. You will see in the second picture the faint double rainbow. If you click on the photo, it will take you to a bigger view of it.

photos by Michael McGruder - taken August 27, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I love and they post things that make me stop and pause and reflect almost daily. So just sharing a few titles with a little snippet from the post.

Dealing with Conflict: Knowing when the Battle is Internal - "When daily life and all its trappings take over, we can sometimes lose ourselves and neglect to do the things that help keep us strong—and that can lead to conflict all around us."

Letting Go of Insecurities with Two Realizations - "We really can be ourselves if we can remember that it’s our perception that matters—and it’s a waste of energy to try to see ourselves through other people’s eyes. Odds are, they’re paying far less attention than we think."

Creating Happiness from Within Even When Times Get Tough - It goes into each of these more....
How to cultivate happiness from within, right now:
* Control what you can, and let go of what you can’t.
* Learn to love yourself.
* Spend time with people who make you happy.
* Get some perspective.
* Pay it forward.
* Get your OM on.

Letting Go of Painful Memories - "We just need to learn what it means to let go in a moment, and then remember what that looks and feels like to do it again when necessary.

It may mean practicing mindfulness, or reminding yourself that it wasn’t your fault, or revisiting what you learned through the experience. What matters isn’t that we find letting go to be easy; it’s that we find it to be possible."

Sometimes No One is Wrong - "Maybe we can define the conduct we believe to be good and kind, without assuming we know people’s intentions, thereby labeling them right or wrong when they stumble. Maybe we can decide and honor what we believe and allow other people the same freedom, choosing not to be threatened if they see things differently.

Maybe loving ourselves is feeling secure without having to convince other people we’re right; and loving other people is wanting to understand instead of wanting to tell them they’re wrong."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. seeing a woman jogging over Vail pass in a hot pink tutu
2. the chance to get meet Kathie from Two Frogs Home when we visit Montana
3. taking a road trip with Michael
4. Michael being my champion and getting me a nebulizer to take on the trip with us.
5. several friends who had been looking for jobs - finding them recently - I am so happy for them!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Won't Let You Go

I think sometimes we have unfair expectations of our partners to be there in ways they can't but other times I do think there are times they should be there when we are falling and maybe aren't. This video made me think of past relationships. I am really lucky that Michael has been here so much for me when I am falling.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for my...
1. inhaler
2. kleenex
3. allergy meds
4. cough syrup
5. pillows 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Miracle Worker

Mick Jagger in a Hot Pink Suit....hmm :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. my doctor - I will miss him.
2. Michael is getting help with his hearing!
3. M&M cheesecake bars
4. inspiration all around
5. dreaming

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Where is the Air?

It is going on three weeks of not being able to breath and it really has got me down. A couple weekends ago we were suppose to go and be with some friends moving to the area. Help them paint, just hang out and talk but with my asthma we couldn't.  Then last Friday there was a group of friends getting together for a picnic where there would be a few smokers in attendance and I couldn't risk making it worse so we didn't go.  

I don't have a lot of energy and just can't do a lot without causing more breathing problems, because I can't get in a good breath. I have several obligations I have fallen behind on. It is very frustrating so I have gotten down. I have had several days of melt downs which of course doesn't help my asthma. Being upset just exasperates it more of course so that doesn't help me but I just get so down about not being able to do anything. Michael of course has been great and understanding. He has gone out of his way to help me in anyway he can. Even to the point of thinking of getting me a nebulizer to have here at home. 

It is so strange - I didn't have to use my inhaler for over 2 years. Actually I haven't used it hardly at all since moving here to Western Colorado.  Then this spring allergies started up and all of a sudden I needed it. I was shocked. I had to have my doctor call in a new one as all mine were expired. This inhaler has a counter and I used 20 puffs in 2 days (2 puffs per dose - so used it 5 doses per day). I am doing anywhere from 4 to 6 doses a day. 

I had a doctors appointment today - just my annual exam. I talked to him about my asthma. He feels it is just allergies.  It was a hard appointment today as I had to say goodbye to my Doctor. He is moving so leaving the clinic. So I will be getting a new doctor - which is why I had my annual before he left so I didn't have to have it with someone new. Anyway he has been my ROCK STAR this past year - helping my migraines and my sciatica. Also urging me into therapy. So without him - I can't imagine where 2010 would have ended up at. I am so grateful for him. It will be hard to see someone new. 

Monday, August 08, 2011

Turn My Head

Live - Turn My Head

I heard this the other day and it brought me back instantly to living in Topeka. Listened to Live a lot then. This month has been full of past memories. I don't think it is going to change for a bit...working through a lot of things or at least trying.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. - - Rumi

Friday, August 05, 2011

Gratitude Friday

Source: via Cathy on Pinterest

I am thankful for...
1. Michael and I being able to take an afternoon to see the final Harry Potter movie
2. Michael getting me hooked on Harry Potter
3. J.K. Rowlings for being so imaginative in thinking up the Harry Potter world and entertaining me
4. Harry Potter books allowing me an escape when I am feeling so awful with my asthma problems
5. Harry Potter dvds allowing me to escape also 

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Cheesy Chili Hash Brown Bake

I found this recipe via Pinterest and then followed it to

This recipe isn't health food and involves what I consider convenience foods. But it was easy and tasted like comfort food.  I changed it slightly. They baked it in individual dishes and I didn't want to go through that hassle frankly.  So I just made it in a 9 x 13 so I am writing the recipe like I made it. Follow the above link if you want to see the original.


  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey (I used turkey)
  • (15.5-oz.) can sloppy joe sauce
  • (15-oz.) can chili with beans (I used hormel turkey with beans)
  • 1/2 (30-oz.) package frozen country-style shredded hash browns (about 4 cups)
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese


  • 1. Preheat oven to 425°. Brown ground beef/turkey in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 7 to 10 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in sloppy joe sauce and chili.
  • 2. Spoon chili mixture into a 9 x 13 pan that is lightly coated with cooking spray. Top with frozen hash browns.
  • 3. Bake, covered, at 425° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 10 more minutes or until browned and crisp. Sprinkle with cheese, and bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
NOTES:  It took longer then 10 minutes for my top to crisp up and still wasn't crisp all over but was hungry so just topped with cheese and did the final 5 mins. So allow for 10 to 15 mins on the time to crisp the tops of the hash browns.  I think next time I make it I might bake covered 25 mins and uncovered 15 to 20 mins. And then top with cheese. 

Monday, August 01, 2011


Coldplay is one of my favorites.  I really like the graphic elements of this video.