Wednesday, February 27, 2013

all the single ladies.

The title of this post has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm writing about's just that the photo made me think of that song. So I wrote it. And then chuckled at myself. What a dork. (I don't even like that song...)

And so here we are in the middle of another week...closer to the end than the beginning. It's good to be back at work...I hate to admit it but I do better when my time is structured. Although I will say that working sure impedes on my blogging time. Ahem.

So guess what? I am coming up on 1000 posts here at Give a Girl a Fig.
I think it's a reason to celebrate!! celebration of having written 1000 posts I am going to have a little giveaway in the next week or sure and visit so you can enter to win!

And believe are going to love the giveaway. It took me a week to figure out what I wanted to give away...but when the idea popped into my head it was like an a-ha moment...of course that's what I will give away. Why did it take me so long to think of it?

I'm so excited! I almost feel like writing six blog posts real quick just to make it to 1000 sooner!

But I won't. I will be patient. And I will let the posts evolve as they always have...naturally and sporadically. (Almost makes it sound like I intend to be "natural and sporadic", doesn't it?)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


“Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus.” 
― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

Monday, February 25, 2013

Pinterest: Friend or Foe?

Inspiration for choosing exterior colors for our house.

So by now I'm sure you've heard of Pinterest. You know, the web site where you can virtually "pin" things you, design and decor, gardening tips, craft personalized "boards"?

Yeah, I'm not gonna lie...I love Pinterest. I browse it a lot. And I pin lots of ideas. And sometimes I even try some of those ideas. Really, I do. But I can't help but wonder...if I spent as much time doing these things as I did "pinning" them, how many cool things I might actually get done?

I go back and forth with these thoughts: Is it inspirational? Is it a convenient place to keep all of those "great ideas"? Or is it similar to the glossy pages of all those magazines I no longer know, the ones that show you what her house looks like and yours does not? (On an aside...I stopped buying magazines several years ago...partly to save money and partly because I had to stop comparing my home to the ones in the magazines. It was no longer inspirational, but rather a source of envy and frustration. Now if I want to look at magazines I borrow them from the library. It's great!)

So I ask Pinterest friend? Or foe?

I think that depends. I have to say, it's been helpful when trying to decide things like what color to paint the house...or what type of wood flooring should we install...or what color area rug to keep an eye out for.
It makes it easy to look at your "board" and see which colors you are constantly drawn to. It helps narrow down the possibilities. (Which is helpful to someone like me who gets easily distracted. Ahem.)

It's shown me how to keep apples from browning after slicing them (dunk them in salt water!)...and how to make my own cough and cold remedy. Not to mention all of the great recipes I've found...Swedish meatballs, delicious shrimp, ham and potato soup, to name a few. Mm mm mm.

Sure...Pinterest can definitely be a time waster. But sometimes I need something mindless to do. Sometimes I need to zone out and look at pretty things and create inspiration files.

Will I do/make/cook/sew every single thing I pin? I think it's safe to say...NOPE. Especially things like knitting projects. Um...yeah. Hello? I don't even knit. (But my mom does...does that count?)

Do you have a Pinterest account? What do you think?  Do you find it helpful? Inspirational? More trouble than its worth?

Do tell...inquiring minds want to know...*wink*.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

quarter after eight.

Good morning. It's just after 8 on this windy Sunday morning. We go back to school's been a nice week off.

I've got bacon frying on the stove. Guitar music is coming from Seth's room...already. It could be Seth...or it could be Chris. They're both in there...talking music...already.

Ian is dressed and ready...watching World of Darts...which is weird. Or is it weird that we were kind of into it? Although we have good got us talking about the best dart thrower in our family...Papa Chuck. Papa always had a dart board in his garage...and I'm pretty sure he almost always won. He could throw a mean dart. I was telling Ian of memories playing darts with Papa when I was little...and then he shared some memories of his own. I love that we have some of the same memories of Papa...a generation later. It made me cry as we talked...I sure miss him.

The guys are going to go on a hike this morning. The original plan was to take the canoe out to the lake but the winds are kinda wild this morning. So a hike it is...and possibly a canoe ride if they find the secret cove they've heard about. They say it should be protected from the wind. Adventure either way, I'd say.

I keep thinking I want to join them...but then I remember I'm not as adventurous as I think I am they are and I don't want to hold them back. Next time...for sure.

Instead I helped them pack a cooler...trail mix, peanut butter crackers, canned peaches, bottled water and a couple apples. Not bad for not having much in the house in the way of portable food. Every time we leave the house to go on a road trip or some sort of adventure I pack as if this will be the time we have to survive. I know, I watch too many survival shows. But really, do you think the people on those shows knew they were going to get stranded somewhere? No. They did not. So as far as I'm concerned it's better to be safe than sorry.

When the boys and I drove to Donner over Christmas break I stocked a bag full of water, crackers, peanut butter, canned fruit, jerky and trail mix. It wasn't much but I figured it would get us through until someone found us stranded in the snow. I also packed extra clothes and blankets.  (Hey...I never said I wasn't a bit of a drama queen, OK?) now it's after 9, I'm still in my pj's, the kitchen is a mess and I have a lot to do to get ready for the week. Time to get this day moving. I'm going to plan some meals, shop for some food and wash some clothes.

How about you?

Whatever it is...enjoy your day.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

and then the days got longer.

When winter rolls around and the days grow shorter and darker the chickens take a break from laying eggs. It's the natural thing for their little bodies a break.

Sadly, our winter has been very mild. (I know, call me crazy, I just love winter. What can I say?) It hardly seems like we had any winter at all. But we did, of course, and during that time the girls took their annual break.

A couple of weeks ago I went out to feed them some kitchen scraps and load up their feeder and decided to check for eggs. And what do you know? There were three!

Since then we've been getting 3-4 eggs every couple of days or so.
Beautiful, brown, rich, healthy...from happy, healthy chickens.
I like that.

Friday, February 22, 2013

a friendly reminder...

this can be purchased...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I knew this would happen.

I held off for as long as I could. I really did. I fought the urge...told myself I didn't need the latest and greatest...or all the bells and whistles. I told myself that not only did I not need it...I really didn't want it, either.

I mean, come on. Did I really need something else to occupy my time? Did I really need to be walking head down, eyes glazed over, squinting at the too-small screen of a smart phone? Did I?

Why yes...yes I did.

What? Did you really expect me to keep my super cute silver flip-phone forever?

OK, I had to give up my beloved flip-phone 2 years ago when I dropped it in a pool. I was so sad...I loved my little silver flip-phone. I did. But since it drowned I was forced to get one of those slide type phones, you know, with a fancy keyboard for easier texting?

And it was did the job.
But I never loved it.

Well as it turned out, right around Christmas time my cell phone was due for an upgrade...and then of course iPhones were on sale...and I really didn't want much else for Christmas...and truth be told?...I really, really wanted to be able to use Instagram. BAD. (Words with Friends was also high on the list of reasons why I needed a smart phone. Ahem.)

So I caved and  made the very educated and well thought out decision to get an iPhone. I bought it for myself and gave it to Chris to wrap up and put under the Christmas tree for me. (Oh yes I sure did.)

And now? I am on Instagram. (Pretty sure I downloaded the app ON Christmas morning! With the help of my boys, I admit.) And just like I thought...I am loving it! How fun to just grab my phone, snap a quick photo and keep on going.

Don't get me wrong...I still love my real camera. I do. Very much. I love photography in general. But Instagram (or IG as some say) just satisfies something else for me...well, I guess like its name implies...I love the instant gratification of it.

I'm a little ashamed to admit that...but it's true. No lugging around a heavy camera in a very heavy camera bag. No digging out the adapter to transfer photos from the camera to the computer and then to flickr and then to the blog. Not to mention all the steps in between of re-sizing photos, deleting photos and storing photos. It's a lot!

Don't get me wrong...there is no comparison to a photo taken out of a real camera. IG doesn't allow me to adjust settings or zoom in or out therefore it will never take the place of my Canon. Ever. I love that camera.

But for fun? And for a quick documentation of things going on throughout the day when I don't have my camera with me? It's good. It's fun. And I'm glad I finally jumped on the IG bandwagon.

Hmmmm...why does the word "lemming" keep coming to mind?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

sunshine on a cloudy day.

Aunt Lisa came by yesterday...and guess what she brought? A loaf of crusty french bread! She showed up at my door with this lovely loaf of bread and when I looked at her wide-eyed she said, "I read your blog." I love it. (Oh, and Aunt Lisa? It went with the soup perfectly! Thank you!)

But guess what else she brought? Yep. A bagful of Meyer lemons from her backyard tree. That tree produces like you would not believe. The lemons are so juicy and delicious (not to mention, photogenic).

We visited for a while...talked "shop" (we both work for the school district)...talked about my cousin's upcoming wedding (SO exciting!)...talked, talked, talked. Conversation never lulls with any of the women in my family, really. That is something we never lack at family gatherings...good conversation. And lots of laughs!

After she left I decided to make fresh lemonade. (I should have made it while she was here! What was I thinking?) I got Noni's glass juicer out of the hutch and got to juicin'. I ended up squeezing about 3 cups of lemon juice. It smelled divine. Then I followed this recipe...loosely. (Do I need to keep telling you that I follow recipes "loosely"?)

Meyer lemons are sweeter than a regular lemon. So I knew I didn't need to add as much sugar. The recipe called for 2 cups. But I only added 1 1/2 cups. And even that was a bit too much. So here is how I will make lemonade the next time...which very well could be today!

Meyer Lemonade

3 cups of fresh lemon juice 
4-5 cups water
1 cup sugar

And I can't help thinking about how good God give us beautiful, vibrant citrus fruits in the dead of winter. Like a little glimmer of hope to get us through the long, dark winters.What a beautiful plan He has...

My soul, wait in silence for God only, 
For my hope is from Him.
Psalm 62:5

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

it's raining. was not raining.
Oh's finally raining. I've been waiting for this for weeks. A while ago it actually poured...and even hailed a teensy bit. It was amazing...

The chickens aren't appreciating it. And Reggie barked his demands from the garage to be let back in. But Bear sat at the front window completely enthralled with it. As did the boys and I. Seth wanted to run through it, Ian and I watched out the back door as it came down with a vengeance. We all love the rain.

I decided it's a great day to use up those fresh tortellini I've had in the fridge for almost too long...gonna make this soup for dinner. I've got delicious and nutritious chicken broth defrosting on the counter-top and fresh parsley in the garden. It's going to be just right for this rainy day. The only bad part? I have to go to the store for french bread...I was trying to not leave the house on this glorious day. (Hmmm...maybe Seth will go for me..:)

So I'm off work this week...which means staying in my jammies for longer than I should and watching morning TV. I admit, I've missed watching Kelly and Michael...they make me laugh.

Oh...and guess what I just realized? I'm coming up on 1000 posts! I'm thinking I want to do something special and fun to celebrate.

What to do, what to do....?

Monday, February 18, 2013

hold on.

"there must be someone...up above
sayin' come on baby girl, 
you got ta get back up!"
-Alabama Shakes

* * *

Have a listen. 
The lyrics are perfect.
I love this song.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday morning...for me and for you.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message Bible)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

If you give a mom a list...

I made a plan of things I would do this weekend...clean our room, dust and vacuum the living area, clean the kitchen including washing and scrubbing all items on the counters and the walls.

I got started in our room, hanging clothes, piling laundry, making a donation bag, dusting...and I needed some Windex so I went to the hall closet. And as I reached for the Windex I saw the Arm and Hammer bathroom cleaner so I grabbed it and decided to see if it would work on those little rough spots on the tub floor that prevent us from slipping. The dirt just sticks in those darn things.

So I spray the cleaner in the tub and scrub with a doesn't work well enough. So I go to the garage to get a green scouring pad and while I'm out there I realize I hadn't started the load of wash yet. So I start it...and trip over a flip flop on my way back into the house.

So I tidy up the shoe pile...for safety purposes.

I pass through the kitchen and realize I'm thirsty so I get a glass of ice water.

I head back to the bathroom and scrub those little spots in the tub with the green scrubby. And it works. Although I think I may have scrubbed off the non-skid stuff altogether. I suppose we'll see when one of us bites it in the shower. I don't really care because at least those little non-skid spots are not permanently brown anymore...they were driving me crazy!

While I'm at it I spritz the bathroom sink and give it a wipe know, since I was in there.

I head back to our room and pick up where I left off. But then I notice the light coming in through the old stained glass window and decide I need to take a photo. And of course I need to load it to Instagram. Then I need to see what others have shared. I like a few things and then get back to work.

But then Chris comes home for lunch so I make him a nice sandwich. Then I realize I'm hungry, too. So I make an amazing salad. I was inspired by these while perusing Pinterest earlier this morning.

I sit down to eat my salad and decide to check email. And I'm notified that there's new activity on Flickr. So I click the link and decide that I want to share my Instagram photos on Flickr...which reminds me that I need to do a blog post. It's been quite a while since I last wrote.

So I sit down to write a blog post while the original Planet of the Apes plays in the background. It was one of my favorite movies as a kid. That and The Blob. Anyone else remembers Creature Features? I always felt so cool when I could stay up really late to watch scary movies.

Seth's friend just stopped by...he got to walk over piles of sorted laundry in the hallway. I guess that's my cue...

Time to get back to that list...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

easy for me to say...

Flickr loveliness...snow makes for some amazing photos.

I can't hardly drive in it. I've never shoveled it. And I walk like a chicken when I'm in it. But I still want to live someplace where it snows...someday.

Not a lot of snow. Just a little. Just to experience it. Just to be able to hunker down in a warm, cozy house and watch the flakes fall outside my window while something warm simmers on the stove or bakes in the oven and a fire flickers wildly in a wood-burning stove.

I know, I know...I make it sound so romantic. I'm sure some of you would beg to differ and probably even find me crazy for even considering living in snow. But I guess when you've lived someplace where winter lasts about 5 weeks and it only consists of rain and maybe a few frozen windshields here and there...

...well, I guess it does sound a bit romantic to live in the snow.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

lavender oil and a rabbit trail.

lavender oil
Remember when I told you I was meeting with some friends to make some herbal goodness? This is the lavender oil that we made...fresh lavender leaves, chopped up fine and topped with organic olive oil. We were instructed to shake it and turn it once a day...which I have done...for a month. Now it's ready to turn into something wonderful.

The next herbal meet-up is this coming Tuesday...the plan is to use this lavender oil to make lotion. Sounds great, doesn't it?

There's only one problem...I started going to Zumba...on Tuesday nights...and I really like it. (Who knew?)

I have set some goals as of late...exercise being one of them.

But so was learning more (and doing more) herbal remedies and beauty products.

It's going to be hard to choose...

I really enjoy learning about herbs with a group of people.

But if I listen (which I haven't done so great at lately) I know that the exercise needs to take precedence.

Because really, I can make lotion at home, on my own, following recipes in one of the many herbal books I've acquired.

But the chances of me doing Zumba at home? Yeah...pretty slim.

I think it's settled.

Either way...this gorgeous lavender oil will be put to good use...maybe just later rather than sooner. And that's OK. Priorities...right?


Friday, February 8, 2013

not enough winter.

It drizzled a little yesterday. And my weather app says it's going to drizzle a little more today. But then for the rest of the week...sun, sun, sun.

I need clouds and rain and wind and tree branches in the middle of the road. I need storms and cozy days being stuck indoors with old movies on the tv and soup on the stove.

It's been cold. And that's better than hot. But it hasn't been a good, winter-y winter. I need some of that. And as I say all of this I hear on the news there's a storm watch back east.

I really need to reconsider this whole "living in California" thing.
I'm sure there's a happy medium somewhere.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

nothing new.

What has been will be again, what has 

been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Sunday, February 3, 2013

the game, etc.

We're going to mom and dad's to watch some football today. She's making enchiladas. I'm making guacamole and some Spanish rice. My sister in law is making lumpia. Yeah...we'll be eating pretty darn good. As usual. We know how to cook for a gathering, that's for sure.

Being from Northern California my whole life, it probably goes without saying that I am cheering for the 49'ers. I'm not a huge football fan...much prefer baseball, really. But I do like the Super Bowl, and even the playoff games.

We watched Trouble with the Curve with Clint Eastwood last night. What a good movie. We enjoyed it. It was good for the whole family so long as you can handle a bit of language. And don't you just love Clint Eastwood? He's still got it...although looking every bit his age these days. Chris and I agreed we will be sad when he's no longer here.

I suppose I should get going...gotta make sure my avocados are ripe. I had to put some in a brown bag to speed up the ripening process. Did you know you could put a banana in the bag to make it even faster? least that's what Google said. We'll see!

Enjoy your day...and if you are driving somewhere please be might get kinda crazy out there.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Saturday morning.

thanks to Instagram my camera is being neglected.
I am about to get my day started but wanted to pop in and say Good Morning.

It's's gray outside...the kids are stirring...Chris is working...and I am about to shower and get going on that paperwork. (Yes, I'm procrastinating a little...but it'll get will.)

I went to bed at 9 last night and was asleep within 5 minutes. I like to blame the early morning rising...I'm up at 5. But maybe it's My days seem so full...

I gotta admit...I didn't do so well with my listening this past week. I let anxiety get the upper hand a bit. But it's OK...I am not going to dwell. I will pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.

Have a blessed day...xoxo

Friday, February 1, 2013

this weekend.

I will be:

  • spending time in the and baking.
  • organizing and organizing and organizing paperwork for taxes.
  • wearing yoga pants...don't judge me.
  • making a weekly menu.
  • tumbling laundry...over and over and over.
...and maybe, just maybe, if I get all my "have-to's" done...I'll take some time to browse the seed catalogs and decide what to plant in seed trays to christen our tiny little cold frame/greenhouse. I can't believe it's time to start thinking about the garden!

I was just talking to my neighbor yesterday about eating with the seasons...I'm looking forward to those fresh tomatoes. Would you believe I never liked tomatoes? At least not until I had a garden fresh makes all the difference in the world. 

Happy Friday...xo