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Movie or Swim?

As parents know, a day can either go good or bad depending on your children’s moods.  I was pleasantly surprised by my eager to help oldest today for our last garage sale. Doing solo parenting and trying to do a garage sale can be stressful, to say the least.  The other parent, dad, is busy unpacking our belongings in our new home.

He called me after his torturous drive, which he left for on Thursday evening after 11 pm, and arrived Friday at 9 pm, after waking up Thursday am at 5. You do the math!  The only pit stops were pee stops for he and the dog.  Insane!  He was deservingly lying down, and feasting on freshly picked raspberries, cuddled up with our veteran heeler, and resting for his second wind to unpack the Budget rental amongst the chill and light sprinkle.  I on the other hand, was a tad jealous he was there enjoying those conditions while I was sweating like a summer pig in this sticky California heat.

The garage sale did little.  It was so slow that I discounted everything by 1/2 and gave most of it away for free. At least I earned us some gas money, and was able to chat with old friends and new.  As I mentioned in my last post, we have incredible neighbors. Seriously, I wish we could take them with us. Our neighbor Mike woke at 6:30 am to help me pull things out to set up. Honestly, that was so valuable. Our neighbor Marde made us a platter full of cut fruit; the peaches were perfect.  Then, to top off her already thoughtful ways, she later brought freshly made hummus along with persian cucumbers, red bells, pistachios, and pretzel crisps. I could not have been more delighted!  As I said, parenting alone; my mind was in two spots, and a snack was needed and severely appreciated.

So, I followed up that lackluster garage sale, pleased to have it slow and be able to visit with friends.  The girls and I celebrated the end of the sale with some much needed frozen yogurt, a Goodwill donation, and picking up signs.  It was then I realized why there was no foot traffic; the signs had fallen.  Oh well!

So as I prep to paint for the tenants, I allowed my kiddos a choice to swim or watch a video.  I guess their fatigue is a tell all. They chose to relax.  I don’t blame them in the slightest. I can hardly wait to do the same!

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Tears.

I am a complete mess right now.  Today we picked up the Budget rental truck; all 16 feet of it.  One of our very best friends, Peder Beck and his kind friend Rink assisted in packing the truck in a Tetris style manner, as Kevin and I continued to pack up lingering items.  It was amazing to have their assistance since we didn’t start packing until 5 pm and ended at 9:30 p.m. Amidst the chaos, my children were unattended, and relocated at my neighbors home 2 doors down; who is also their ballet teacher.  We had a couple neighbors filtering in and out to see if we needed anything, and bringing us more boxes.  It made it that much harder having such kindness bestowed upon us. The feeling of gratitude was heavy.

Some of my favorite items did not fit. Though, the receptionist swore that 16 feet would pack a two bedroom home. I had to leave behind my vintage orange armchair with the love tear that is stitched together with blue thread. The children’s Christmas roller coaster did not fit, nor the front porch vintage recliners that I waited 8 years to have stained and find the perfect cushions for.  Many more things that were little just could not fit.  It was both saddening and a realization that they can stay behind and come at a later date.  What we are leaving behind that means much more, are our family, our neighborhood, the kid’s rad school, and our amazing church. Last but not least, friends. Particularly the ones that have become more like family. You know who you are.  We will greatly miss our gatherings, our late night guitar lullabies, potlucks, etc.  You have may this departure incredibly supportive, and we thank you so much for your support.

As I cried in the kitchen,  Kevin and I compared our tight chest and lumps in our throat. I pretty much lost it when my inherited sister called. But, I felt I needed to keep composure for the kids.  So, as I watch them sleep soundly in their sleeping bags on our wood floor, I cannot help but wish I was able to sleep.  I have never, in our almost 13 years of marriage been able to sleep without my hubby.  He departed this evening with our dog in tow.  A boy and his dog.  The girls and their mom.  So strange to be separated in this way.  Much of it felt surreal.  Now, I lay here with phone beside me, typing, and praying for his safe journey.  Praying for his safe return so we can finalize our move and set off together as a family, on this crazy journey.

 

 

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The Garden of Long Beach

This place is so dear to my heart! In the 2 almost 3 years we’ve attended, we have met some truly amazing people. It is a place that lives out what it preaches.  I will truly miss the depth of which I’ve grown in this time due to the solid teachings.  The lyrics below are part of a song that resounds in me.

 

With every breath I breathe
With every song I sing
I want to shout it out
Lord I am listening
To every word You speak
I’ll go where You will lead
To love the least of these
My greatest offering

 

*** The photo is from the annual church dodgeball team.  Best thing to do is sign up with a team of little kids; they come out on top.

 

 

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Red Cabbage, Cranberry and Apple Coleslaw

My dear friend knows how much I love my vegetables.  Having taken the last two seasons off from our own garden, due to our move, her garden fresh cabbage was the perfect gift. Thank you Brianne Wells for knowing the ways to my heart.  You’re a very true friend in all matters, and I will miss the heck out of you.

This simple recipe is perfect for a summer afternoon.  Light and crisp.

COLESLAW

(yield: 8 servings)

Ingredients:

5 cups thinly sliced red cabbage

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/3 cup agave syrup

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. olive oil

3/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 1/4 cup fuji apples, thinly sliced

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Directions:

Combine cabbage and cranberries into a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl combine: vinegar, agave nectar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.  Mix throughly.  Cover the cabbage combo and allow to chill for 2 hours. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

 

 

 

A Little Piece of Joy!

Arrived home today, to take my afternoon dose of frozen chocolate chips as a pick me up before my sun soaked run, and was throughly delighted to see the new camping items arrived.

This will give me more wind in my sail for this jog I’m procrastinating. I love exercise; I hate heat. Maybe that’s why the great northwest appeals to me so much.

Some girls are excited by diamonds. I on the other hand feel my heart beat more rapidly and that inner grin when I’m surrounded by outdoors and camping “toys”.

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Maple Sweetened Pecan Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries

I know this is not in season, but I was craving this light fluffy pumpkin bread all day today. So, I threw caution to the wind, and went for it.  For my gluten free visitors, just substitute the barley flour for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. It turns out just as delicious.

PUMPKIN LOAF

(yield: 12)

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup barley flour

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 Tbsp. of pumpkin pie spice

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup safflower oil

1 cup organic pumpkin puree

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 heaping Tbsp. of flax seeds

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 cup dried coconut flakes (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In one bowl combine: barley flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt.  In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, safflower oil, pumpkin puree, coconut milk, flax seeds, and vanilla extract.  Mix wet into dry, and then fold in cranberries, pecans, and coconut flakes (optional)

2. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.