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Monday Musings, February 17

We are two-thirds of the way through Winter, my friends! (or, for my friends in the Southern Hemisphere, are you 2/3 through Summer?) I really enjoy all 4 seasons, but more than anything, I get all excited about the changes between seasons. I liken it to wanting to rearrange my furniture on a regular basis, you know, just for a change. Do you get me?

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I finished Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, lovely and heartbreaking at the same time. Now I am plowing through The Chestnut Man, by Soren Sveistrup, a crime/police thriller set in Norway. I am having a hard time putting it down. In fact, I stopped 1/3 of the way through to get in the queue for other books by this author only to find this was his first. (insert sad face!) For those of you who have read it, can you recommend other books that are equally good?

So, this may come as a total surprise to you, but lately, I have found myself at a local dive bar, well after my bedtime. And I use ‘dive bar’ in the kindest of terms; the first time we went and Terry asked what I would like from the bar and I answered a hot cup of decaf tea, I thought he would fall out! Not only do they not have chamomile tea, but I do believe a clean mug would be hard to come by.

Anywho…why are we frequenting this dive bar once a week after our bedtime? Well, in a nutshell, Terry was a drummer in high school but hasn’t taken his hobby back up since. Several years ago, our son brought him some drumsticks from a field trip and one thing as led to another and now Terry wants to start drumming again. Every Tuesday night this bar hosts Blues Jam sessions and so we are going to do some reconnaissance before Terry jumps in with both feet!

My SIL has proclaimed us the ‘coolest parents ever’. Not to worry…I’ll keep you posted on our dive bar exploits and Terry’s burgeoning, mid-life drummer career.

This recipe for Smoky Jalapeño Cheese Spread (kinda like Pimento Cheese Spread without the pimentos) was published last week! So easy to make and so delicious with smoky Gouda and smoked paprika, hot jalapeños and ground cayenne pepper and Gruyere.

Have you started planning and plotting your vegetable and container gardens? Right about now, when all the seed and plant catalogs start arriving, I like to plan out my vegetable and container gardens. And since this year I am starting my perennial garden from scratch, I’ve got all sorts of plant ideas/combinations whirling around my head. I always refer back to this post on Container Garden Basics to get ideas for Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers, as well as some of the posts on Container Garden Recipes for ideas of plants that play well together.

If you just can’t wait to get some dirt under your fingernails, consider a Terrarium!

You’ve got 2 1/2 months of ‘r’ months for oysters! This Oyster Shell Mirror made from salvaged oysters has got to be one of my most favorite DIY home decor projects ever.

Meyer Lemon and Dried Fig Conserve…so rich and flavorful!

Glory Hallelujah! Those of you who joined me in the 6-week Declutter Challenge are feeling the fruits of our labor as our homes are much lighter and less cluttered than they were 6 weeks ago! Not going to lie, we worked hard. But oh, the end result is soooo sweet! The final declutter checklist had us working in the garage and attic…I know, scary. But the checklist made it easy to look for things that are typically ‘clutter’ and which we would probably not really miss in the long-run.

If this just wasn’t your time to ‘declutter’, please know you can jump in at any time to join the Declutter Challenge and will receive the 6-week series of checklists and tips in your inbox every week.

The guys removing my countertops are coming any minute now, so I need to skedaddle and move some stuff from my counters. But, for my knitting friends, I have a LOVELY faux fur-trimmed blanket pattern coming out this week! Stay tuned! And to be notified whenever a knit or crochet pattern is published, be ‘in the knit know’ so to speak, sign-up here.

Have a fantastic Monday, my friends.


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