My Last List for 2016

WARNING: this list contains language and alcohol. If you like it, cool, stick around. If you don’t, move on, there are plenty of other vanilla sites you can visit. last-list-of-2016

I love lists. I make a list every day and I even add things to my list that I’ve already done so that I can highlight it — it makes me feel productive. I made this list this morning, then almost finished the office before I sat down because I felt compelled to write.

When I first started the list I was sitting down with my coffee and thinking about the things I had to do TODAY. After my pen hit the paper (and kept going over and over some of the items on the list as my mind worked overtime), I had more things to say, so I kept listing and decided this is the last list I’m going to make for 2016. I think this is a pretty solid list of things to do. Starting in 2017, I’ll make al list of “Fucks I Do Not Give” but that list I will keep off the interwebs. 😉 Now my hunt for a new journal on Amazon begins. I will revisit this list as a reminder to keep working on the last 5 things (the first 4 things are pretty perennial in my life). Now how to balance snark with positivity?

Now that I have my list out of the way, here’s my holiday recap in photos!

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We toasted Christmas Eve with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire and friends!
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We ate so much amazing food. Hello roasted garlic ! Delicious and also people repellent. Double win!

 

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I wait 364 days to wear this shirt. Inconceivable!!! Best movie ever. I’m thinking of breaking out this shirt in July because I was really sad put it away for a year.
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Three days into winter break and we are fighting. By ‘we’ I don’t mean me….but I am considering  fleeing the scene and I’ll see who is last man standing when I get back. Someone get me more of that Jack Daniel’s.
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He was a good sport….but notice the “I will not make eye contact with you, human, because I’m planning my revenge.” Revenge looked like him rolling in mud outside and then drying himself off on my living room carpet. Well played asshole. Well played.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and have a Happy New Year! See you in 2017!

 

 

Free Garden Labor

My kids are now 10, 12 and 14 and I’m just starting to reap the benefits of having kids…..FREE LABOR!!!! On Thanksgiving weekend I still had a shit-ton of tulip bulbs to get in the ground. If anyone needs to know the quantity of shit-ton, I think it falls somewhere between 500 and I lost count.

Here I was with a lot of clean up and planting to do, a Christmas tree in the house and I was running out of time when a light bulb went off! Well, it was more like a tulip bulb. I said in my most excited voice “Let’s all go out and do it as a family!” (insert moans and groans here) Let’s revise the question: “You are going to help me plant the bulbs so we can decorate the Christmas tree. If you don’t help with the bulbs, no Christmas tree for you!” So we all bundled up, grabbed some rakes, shovels and started opening boxes of flower bulbs.

planting

A few things occurred to me as I was half listening to the 14 year old complain about having to do this “horrible” job. 1) When I was his age, I had already been mowing the lawn for 5 years and knew how to change the oil in the 76 Monte Carlo  and 2) complaining is an effective way to annoy someone so much that they just need you to go away. He’s either really shitty, or really clever (likely a combination of both). I still made him do it – I just walked away with my headphones on and ignored him….like a teenager. Boom!

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My kids have been helping me garden for years. My 10 year old daughter is the most interested and asks me a bunch of questions and is always offering to help (her attention span is about 10 minutes into helping before she’s done). My 12 year old son will do whatever job I ask, and he will do it really well. My 14 year old….well, we already covered that one. My dogs kept grabbing the bulbs and running away with them which made all three kids laugh and chase them around the yard. I love every one of my little weirdos. They make my heart happy and now they make my landscape pretty.

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Regardless of the complaining, dog thievery and a couple of situations with dog poop on a shoe, we had a really good time outside planting bulbs. The kids planted while I decorated the porch with evergreen pots, garland and the ‘big balls’ (as my husband likes to call them). Because we did it together, it only took 2 hours and we are ready for spring and Christmas!

porch

ready-for-christmas

 

 

RIP Dahlias

I know it’s only 15 sleeps until Christmas, but I have dahlias on my mind because I did this really cool thing and I never wrote about it! So, take a break from your regularly scheduled holiday garbage online and let’s rewind to the time to when it was only Halloween…..

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Dahlias are awesome. If you’ve never grown them before, I highly suggest it! I plant mine in very early summer when I pull my tulip bulbs. They take a while to come in and bloom, but when they do, I get flowers well past Halloween! I’ve never saved my dahlia bulbs, but I was inspired to do so this year in the spirit of conservation, nurturing what I have and out of a genuine sense of curiosity…..yeah, I wanted to see if I could do it. In past years I’ve tried and failed miserably so I really had nothing to lose! So I put the Halloween decorations away and got my garden shears and shovel out to dig up some dahlias. I found a new method and hopefully it will work!

dahlia

This is Gallery Bellini. I love this dahlia. I love the depth of colors and I love that she’s named after a cocktail you drink with brunch. I love this dahlia so much I want to grow her again next year! So I’m going to store my Bellini tubers using this really simple method.

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  1. Trim stem down to about there (I’m pointing to photo on the left).
  2. Dig around and lift the tuber, careful not to damage the bulb (I’m pointing to the photo on the right).
  3. Place tuber with whatever dirt comes out around it in a plastic garbage bag and store in a cool place (I’m pointing to the bottom photo). You don’t have to clean the dirt off the tuber. Close the garbage back and store in a cool place that’s not too warm and not freezing cold (now I sound like the garden version of Goldilocks). I’m storing mine in my attached garage.

Pretty simple, right?!

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I’m going to check on them occasionally to make sure they aren’t getting too moist or freezing (who am I am kidding….I don’t have time to babysit tubers). Next June one of two things will happen….. 1) RIP Dahlias for real, or 2) the dahlias will go back in the ground and bloom beautifully for me. I’m hoping for the latter.

Before I go into planting tulip bulbs, here’s your complimentary cute dog photo. He’s glad Halloween is over because the whole holiday scared the shit out of him (as if he could possibly shit anymore than he already does). I caught him trying to kill Halloween before it killed him. I think he won.

miles

Bloom on!

“You Are Amazing”

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It’s been about a million years since I blogged here. Back in September I got a notice saying that my domain will expire on October 31 and needs to be renewed if I want to keep it. I’ve been playing mental ping pong in my head for the past 2 months, bouncing around the pros and the cons of renewing. Since I’m trying to get control over my budget, I’ve been cancelling all the weird things I’m subscribed to (stereotypical stuff like the gym, health drinks, web servers, etc). I couldn’t decide if this was a waste of a budget line item or worth it. I decided today it’s worth it….and it’s the last day before I lose the domain. I’m a fan of making decisions in the 13th hour – I postpone making decisions until I absolutely HAVE to. Everything is SO important and timely at work when I get ‘home’ (I work at home) I just let it all hang out and ignore anything pressing until the last minute. Because of this, my personal life can get a lot out of control.

In the past few months I’ve lost control over a lot of things. I’ve lost my faith, I’ve lost connections, I’ve lost the battle for a clean office, I’ve lost inspiration for creativity and I’ve lost some sleep. Too bad I can’t lose about 20lbs….it sure would make running a lot easier. Ha! So today I’m flexing my control muscles over this domain and I’m owning it! Bloomadore.com domain – you are MINE. It’s the little things, right?

Little things are the good things because they pile up into great big things. Fall is a great big thing because it’s full of little things. Kids go back to school (I get my house back), the leaves change (gawgous!), I stop sweating just sitting on the porch, the garden gets cleaned up and it’s time to plant my bulbs! I love bulbs….little seeds of hope to a brighter spring. This blog is my little seed of hope to a more inspired life.

I’m writing today because I feel like I need to use what I paid for. I’m taking a late lunch at work (truthfully I lost track of time and my stomach growled) and a few minutes while I eat to write a welcome back note to myself. This week I’m going to remember it’s these little things that can make great things happen.

Bloom on!

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A New Little Flower

Nothing is sweeter than a new baby! There is so much love and hope for the future bundled into a tiny package of coos, smiles and poops. I fondly remember the newborn baby days of my three ducks. These days I am so exhausted I wish they’d get back inside me where I was only physically exhausted versus emotionally, physically and financially exhausted. Sometimes I would trade the figurative crap I deal with on a daily basis today for sleepless nights, sore nipples and the shitloads (literally) of diapers of their baby days.

At the ages of 8, 10 and 12, my ducks are awesome, but I admit I am bias. They are funny, happy, talented and smart. It’s amazing that three small humans can send me to tears with love….or to tears of ‘wtf was I thinking.’ In those ‘wtf’ moments when I need a large glass of wine and a time out, I reflect on our history and how wonderful those baby days were. Their baby days keep me grounded when we face drama, attitude, bad smells and the incredible amount of money that seems to pour out of my bank account and into their futures.

My daughter’s soccer coach and her awesome husband just welcomed their 2nd girl into their family. What a joy to be able to visit their little flower today! While I was holding her, I gave her some rules to follow about being the 2nd girl of the family. I hope she remembers them, but I suspect they are rules of the sisterhood that are somehow written into our stars. They are really important things like 1) ‘borrowing’ your older sister’s things is expected 2) as the youngest, the rules don’t apply and 3) always ask ‘Can I come too?!’ whenever big sister goes anywhere….and when she says no, go anyway. As the little sister she’s going to be the most annoying and wonderful best friend her big sister will ever have. I know this because I am both the younger sister and the big sister.

Bloom on little one! We are looking forward to watching you grow! And someday your big sister will be excited too….I promise. 🙂

Welcome to the world little Ellie-Mae!
Welcome to the world little Ellie-Mae!

Winter Wander-land

As a work at home mom, I’m used to getting my shorties up in the morning, off to school and home from school. These 4 hours of my day, to quote Charles Dickens, are “the best of times and…the worst of times….” Last week (thankfully before Juno hit the east coast) I was in New Jersey for work. I feel VERY blessed that I have the best job in the world. I feel even more blessed that my kiddos miss me when I am away!

Upon arriving at the airport, I texted my 8 year old (she texts from my iPad) to let her know that I landed safely. Kids are so honest in a raw and super cool way:

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Despite my suitcase arriving slightly later than I did, I did not die….and to an 8 year old girl, that is grounds for true gratitude. I can appreciate the simplicity of that. The week consisted of texts flying at me from 3 different directions between the hours of 7-9pm all about how daddy isn’t doing things correctly. These just made me laugh from the comforts of my quiet hotel room.

I had a great trip because 1) I love to travel for too many reasons to list here in this particular blog, 2) the meetings were very productive and 3) it’s important to be there. Travel also makes me miss my kids; and let’s be honest….absence really DOES make the heart grow fonder. However, I think re-entry into a busy family of 5 is harder than total submersion 100% of the time.

At my fabulous job we just wrapped up the winter indoor selling season and moving into photography for next year as well as gearing up for the spring-planting season. I feel compelled to tell you if you’ve never grown paperweights or amaryllis, I suggest you put it on your 2015 top 10 things to do list. If you don’t have a list, make one RIGHT NOW and put this as #1. I promise you won’t regret it!

Look for some winter blooms from me as I intend to plant some amaryllis soon! Bloom on, friends.

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A Bowl Of Friendship

About a year ago a friend of mine emailed a recipe. I love it when people email recipes without me even asking just because they think I’d like it. I loved it!

Recently I was cleaning out my closets and kitchen cupboards when I pulled out my cookbook (yes, I still have a physical cookbook). My cookbook is made up of recipes in my grandmother’s handwriting, my first ever Thanksgiving dinner recipe from a Parade magazine 15 years ago (that is still my family’s favorite) and a collection of other tasty snippets that I’ve collected over the years.

In the process of clearing things out, I found this amazingly delish Black Bean and Lentil Soup Recipe. I love preparing food….I love the hiss of sauté and the soft bubbling of liquid. Through the process of cooking this rather simple recipe, I realized that it means so much more. This bowl of soup warmed my stomach and my soul because it was given to me by a sweet friend.

Sometimes it’s the most simple things that remind us of the importance of our relationships no matter how great or small. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy, my friends.

Black-Bean-and-Lentil-Soup

Lentil & Black Bean Soup
1 Large Sweet Onion
2 Cloves garlic (I use my garlic press, but you could chop)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp tomato paste
4-6 cups water, 2-4 tbsp vegetable bouillon (just follow the
recommendations
on the jar for your broth, or buy broth)
1 cup uncooked lentils
2 cans black beans

Sautee chopped onion and garlic in pot with oil (I use coconut oil) with
chili powder, cumin & paprika until onions are translucent. Add broth (or
water and bouillon) and bring to a boil. Add lentils and simmer 25
minutes. Add black beans, salt & pepper to taste. Simmer another 10 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro if you have it.