Sharing Your Passion

They say that the best blog is one that is a medium for your passion. I have posted about DIY projects, crafts, food, clothes, travel, adventures, and personal thoughts. The closest of those that I could call my passion might be travel, but I’m still just learning the ropes there. Passion is something that is ingrained in us from earlier, even if we haven’t fully realized it.

So what is my passion? I think it is, and has always been: telling a story. I have been writing (for fun, not merely for necessity) since late elementary school, and fictionalizing adventures with my imaginary pals before that. I have an imagination that could likely write loads of books if it could be channeled. I guess that is why my posts are all over the place. I will do whatever I need to for material to write, but more important that a recipe or new city are the memories that I’m sharing.

I’m aware that it’s likely just me, my mom and a few bored friends that read these posts, which is okay. I write because I love to write and if you are reading this, I’m your biggest fan. xo

Marry Christmas and Happy New Years from my family to yours... or back to mine, since they are the ones who read this! har har har

Marry Christmas and Happy New Years from my family to yours… or back to mine, since they are the ones who read this! har har har



Oh, the Blessings that God Gives…

Today, I have a Goddaughter.

I’m pretty excited, because I’ve never been named Godmother to any of my friends’ children before. I have a feeling that the reason behind this, is that I didn’t have any Catholic friends until I started the job that I’m at now. I just suppose that is a side effect of being raised in a primarily protestant community.


Back on point.

Webster’s defines a Godmother (or Godparent in general) as someone established in faith who sponsors the child by making a profession of said faith for the child at his or her baptism. [Oh, yes, I did my research!] The God parents are also responsible for taking up the responsibility of  helping the child grow in their faith if their parents should neglect or be unable to do so. Another reference states that the Godparents are responsible for raising the child if some fatal tragedy should befall the parents. Somehow, I think that the 6 grandparents that little Annabelle has been blessed with would have something different to say about that!

Anywho. I don’t know if it is the honor that has been bestowed upon me, by the lovely Stephuhlee, or if it is that I don’t have any kids of my own to fawn over, not counting Howard of course, but I’m enamored with this baby:


I get to meet her in 99 days. That’s wayyyy too far away. Until then I will pacify myself by buying  her load of gifties to take with me when I go! I can’t tell you what I’ve already gotten her, because then it won’t be a surprise because I just KNOW Steph will tell her…. Oh, and I’ll be singing this song: (I know the lyrics make no sense, get off my back, okay?)

The Spice of Life

So I’m sitting here, enjoying a cup of my delicious Twinning’s tea, with sugar and milk, and revelling in a lovely sunday morning. Yesterday, I took a trip to a nice little farmer’s market in St Matthews, hosted by Beargrass Christian Church, in order to be inspired to do something with my new canning book that one of my delightful co-workers brought me. I found some awesome organically grown fruits and veggies and all the colors were so pretty that they were just begging to be chopped up and mixed together! I decided on a classic veggie salsa. You know, just your standard, with tomatoes, onion, bell and jalapeno peppers. So here is what I brought home:

Here’s is the recipe that came in my Ball preserving book:

7c chopped, cored, & peeled tomatoes
2c coarsely chopped onion
1c coarsely chopped green bell pepper
8 chopped, seeded jalapeno peppers [I only had 4, so I left all of the seeds in to avoid bland salsa]
3 cloves garlic
1 5.5 6 oz can tomato paste
3/4c white vinegar
1/2c loosely packed, finely chopped cilantro
1/2tsp ground cumin
In large stainless steel saucepan, combine tomatoes, onions, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, cilantro, and cumin. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat  and boil gently, stirring frequently until thickened, about 30 minutes.

I won’t bore you with the details of the canning process. I will say, however, that my new preoccupation with all things in the kitchen may be the death of me. First there was my near death incident with the butcher’s knife, and now I only have 3 fingers to type this with, as the other 7 are blistered.

My name is Barbara. I'm a 50-year-old smoker, and this is NOT my first rodeo. - Taura Schmitz

I’m now a seasoned farmer’s market pro. I’ve been here and done it all, so don’t you try to give me the run around. haha 

I’m off to make some preparations so that I can enjoy the 4th of  July with my family. Due to the fact that Mama Ballew didn’t enjoy the musical accompaniment from the last post, here is a new one. I love this man and his new album Mission Bell is great!

Giorraíonn Beirt Bóthar

In the Irish language there is a saying, “Giorraíonn Beirt Bóthar”, which means ‘Two Shorten the Road’. It’s an acknowledgement that life is not about what you do, where you go or what you acquire, it’s about who you have by your side to share it with. I’ve been incredibly blessed concerning the people in my life already! There are some people who I have had to accompany me on this grand journey who are no longer sharing my road, but certainly left an impact, and I thought it would be cathartic to share them with you.

Edith Andrews Denney
If ever there was someone to whom the term “self-made” applied to, it was my grandmother. I’m always proud to consider her, not only as part of my lineage, but as part of the person that I have become. Abandoned by her mother and sisters and relatively uneducated; she made herself into a woman of a caliber that few ladies now-a-days could hope to reach. This is a pretty terrible picture of her, but it’s what I have…

She always said that she wanted me to have the necklace that she has on in that photo, and even though it isn’t worth a lot of money, it’s probably my most prized possession. Whenever I have a big day or event that I really wish she was still around for, I wear it.

Lewis Franklin Denney
My favorite thing about Frank was that he was who he was, regardless. He wore a bathrobe every year at Christmas and whenever he stoked the fire everyone giggled. He persevered for more years than I’ve been alive to overcome addictions and demons, even though any normal person would have just given up on being clean. He loved like no one else could and if you needed someone on your side, there was no one better to be found. He called me one day on my way home from work just to tell me that he loved me and that I was part of the system of encouragement that helped him stay clean.

Mary ‘Ginger’ Ballew Mills
My daddy’s sister, whom I only got the opportunity to spend time with once, was pretty incredible. She baked with me… which most people won’t do, because I don’t follow recipes. And when we had one afternoon free to spend just the two of us, we watched the movie Waitress three times in a row and now every time I experiment in the kitchen, I feel like she’s part of my inspiring force. She’s the loss that makes me a little upset. I don’t think its fair that I had so little time to get to know her. But life isn’t fair, so crying over it doesn’t do any good. She was hilarious and there is a very good story about a stuffed squirrel that I’ll have to tell some other time!

I was just having a bad day and I thought that talking it out would make me feel better. I really, really miss them. You know sometimes people come up in your thoughts or conversations during the day and they just stick with you. I think people who leave their mark on the lives of those around them should be praised and remembered.
I’m not sure how much this helped, but crying is something that has to happen on occasion and I’m trying to learn that. I hope you have people this great in your family. If not, I have a few pretty swell people alive in my life who I would be willing to share with you. Happy sailings, everyone…

Howard the Deaf Wonder-Dog + My New Reading List

While I was on my trip, our tour guide, the marvelous Peter Dundon, would routinely ramble about anything and everything to do with historical Great Britain and Ireland. By routinely, I mean continuously, only stopping for the occasional gasp of air. He knew the age of every building, church, road, and wall. When we youngsters were teasing and laughing about
Peter’s incessant chatter about the  epoch of every passing sight, one of the girls aboard stated,  “Next thing we know, Peter is going to start chronologizing the trees!”. Right about that time, driving through Melrose, Scotland, we passed the Hanging Tree, which is where a very specific type of justice, known as Melrose Justice, was exacted. Peter then aged the Hanging Tree at 450-500 years. It made us all laugh really hard, because irony is the stuff from which life is made.
That was fairly unrelated to the point I was trying to make… I was trying to make it to this: Peter was so knowledgable on so many things… and while the stories of the castles and the little villages were interesting, the times when you could really tell that Peter was excited about the subject of his discourse were in the area of literature.
He talked about sooooooo many books that I had never even thought about reading. So I’ve started a reading list, or more of a list of authors whose works I would like to read. Since I like to buy books instead of getting them from the library, I went to mom and dad’s and pilfered all of the books from my list that mom had…

These should keep me busy for a few weeks at least! After these, here are the rest of the authors on my list:

Sir Walter Scott
Robert Louis Stevenson
James Herriot
Anne Bronte
Oscar Wilde
James Boswell
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Samuel Beckett
Ernest Hemignway
D H Lawrence

I also wanted to share this super cute video of Howard, who, if your memory fails you, is my deaf boxer. He loves flashlights and I got a video of him and daddy having a little male bonding time… He will dig in the carpet to find the light, and even try to gnaw on the floor! I hope you think my big, drooling beast is as precious as I do!