Her parents were madly in love with each other and anxious to have a sweet, pink little baby girl on which to shower their frills and kisses. They yearned for a daughter who would need the rivers of love and attention they had to offer.
This little girl was born into the protection and adoration of three wonderful big brothers and many far-flung grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who were over the moon excited to see her for the first time.
She entered the world with eyes that would soon turn the color of Caribbean shallows, but she lived in the desert. Already evincing miracles. She was a delicate, whispery thread of loveliness spun from the heart of her unusually beautiful mother. And she was destined for grand adventures.
Clearly on a path to uniqueness, this little speck of a girl delighted her family by preferring edgy rock music to nursery rhymes.
She started off life as a good eater, nursing and bonding and cooing throughout the day, every day. All day long, even at parties. Never stopping except to breathe. Even at The Lazy W. She was hungry because she had a lot of growing to do. She knew deep inside her wordless but thriving mind that she would be needing the energy.
Every strand of her gypsy tutu represented a wish bestowed on her life. Cheetah print for speed and agility when she might need it, red lace for romance when the time is right, gingham for wholesomeness. Graphics for sharp thinking. Blue seersucker for extensive daydreaming beneath the clouds, paisley for growing things, denim for hard work
Now the whole world, and not just the desert, is waiting to see what this special little girl does with her life. Which paths she might follow, what webs she might weave. How the blue of her eyes might change when she falls in love, and how she uses the magic in her tutu.
- We’ve been celebrating Handsome’s 36th birthday all week long, and we have had some serious fun doing so. We are blessed with abundant freedom in our adulthood, incredible friends, and a good appetite for fun. I hope he has had as much fun on his birthday this year as I have.
- Earlier this week I received an early morning phone call from my beautiful Momma, whose voice, affection, and laughter brighten my day like freshly squeezed lemon juice. I realize that not all of my friends have their mothers still in their lives, and mine happens to be a very special woman, so I am doubly blessed in that respect.
- We are thrilled to be sharing our home with friends for a few days, my blogging buddy The M Half and her Hubs, who happens to be an old school friend of Handsome’s, and their sweet and vivacious pup Rue. (It may or may not surprise you to learn that she and I are writing in the same room at this moment, resisting the feathery advances of Pacino the Macaw.) Last night we had the best time while our men and some other old friends played catch up on all the years lost. We laughed until our faces hurt, we soaked up the vibes of friendship that has matured with adulthood rather than dissipated, and we got to see everyone in a slightly younger light. Through the lens of teen years from back when we didn’t know each other, and that was cool as beans.
- My transplanted tomatoes are thriving, and the pink roses are blooming again. We’re still in a drought and heat wave here in Oklahoma, but early morning well water is doing the trick for now. And our weather forecast has us anticipating a twenty-degree cool down in just a week. That, friends, deserves to be on Joy Pockets ahead of time.
- I am between book club assignments and also finished with previous reads, so this week and next I am indulging in a brand new author and a story about (big shocker) writing.
- I mixed and have been feasting on Roasted Olive Dip.
- I got to hold an eight week old (human) baby for whom I am not even one bit responsible. I got to sniff him and cuddle him and make him grin tiny baby grins. I propped up his beautiful, wobbly head, sewed him a little shirt, kissed him good bye, and felt not even one scrap of longing for new motherhood. It was a stand alone pleasure.
- A short list of sewing orders, which I had allowed to vex both my mind and my promises list, which affects my relationships, is now completed. The relief of having these done and having happy customers cannot be overstated.
About halfway through making this exceedingly simple yet exceedingly decadent appetizer, I thought maybe someone else might want to know about this and make it. We are, after all, fast approaching Labor Day weekend, a great time to roll out a snazzy new recipe. This qualifies as snazzy in my book.
- First, let all of the cheeses come to room temperature. Have you ever tried to stir cold cream cheese? Nobody should be that strong.
- In a 400-degree oven, roast the olives in a coating of Italian dressing, for about 20 minutes. This smells incredible.
- Once they are all roasty and tender and shriveled, pull them out and let them cool a bit.
- Now coarsely chop the little gems and set them aside.
- As thoroughly as possible, mix together all the cheeses and season with hot sauce and garlic salt, to taste.
- Now just add the chopped, roasted olives. It looks like edible confetti. I swear, it makes me so happy. And Handsome doesn’t have to worry about finding this particular confetti under the seat cushions or inside the fireplace. Or in his hair. Or in the buffalo’s hair. Because we eat this confetti. At Least I do…
That’s about it! Now I would place a sheet of waxed paper over the top, wrap it up in plastic like your life depends on it and abandon the fruits of your labor to the cold fridge overnight. Serve this manna with crackers or just a spoon. It is so good.
- Stop everything and go get an incredible work out! Sweat and burn for twice as long as you normally do, then stretch until you want to fall asleep. You will feel better instantly, and it will be worth every minute.
- Mow the front lawn, weed JUST the flower bed, sweep the sidewalk (for me this includes scooping horse poop), and then water everything. It takes less time than you think, and it makes the whole front of the house look pretty incredible.
- Paint something. Anything. Preferably with either red or turquoise paint. Or chalkboard paint.
- Make exactly one phone call that you have been dreading.
- Empty and scrub every single trash can in the house then cut one fresh flower bouquet for every floor of the house. Light candles in every bathroom.
- Skip one meal and instead make yourself a fruit-yogurt-honey smoothie and follow it with some ice cold water with lemons. Let the inside of your body rest for a few hours. Use the time you would have spent cooking and cleaning up doing something you’ve been really, really, really wanting to do.
- Groom exactly one of the animals moseying around the farm. Groom him or her from head to toe. Pour your tender lovin’ care all over that beloved pet as if it is both the first and last day you have together.
- Choose exactly one project on Pinterest that is within reach today. Do that thing.
- Good grief, take a remodeling shower already and give yourself an at-home mani-pedi. Lotion up. Fix your hair. Wear some perfume. WHEW that’s better, and check it out… You can still work and be productive!
- Gloss up the house, make something wonderful to sip, and sit down to write an inventory of both your blessings and your answered prayers. Allow your focus to shift from problems to comforts.
- Clean the floors mercilessly. Like a shining clean sink, clean floors are contagious. So are dirty floors.
- Make contact with the people who are always on your mind. Show some love.
- Bake something incredible for Handsome, even though he INSISTS he doesn’t want any more sweets, because when you DON’T bake he might think you don’t love him so much anymore.
- Lay in the sun and read about fifty pages of something that loosens up your mind.
- Repot a living plant or reframe a beautiful photograph or some artwork.
- Choose and prepare fabrics for one sewing project. Cut the pieces and package them together with the pattern. If you have time to sew it, go ahead! But if not, that’s cool. You are half way there for next time.
- While doing laundry in the garage or starting a meal in the kitchen, STAY PUT. Stop multi-tasking and just stay in the room where the big action is. See what you can accomplish there during the waiting times. Pretend there is a force field at the doorway. Resist every urge to wander off and layer in other activities. Organize, clean, or decorate exactly one room at a time. Seriously, girl, focus. F-O-C-U-S.
- Do a good deed that you are pretty sure cannot be found out. Help someone in secret then walk like an Egyptian.