A heartfelt thanks

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The photo above represents a big, big, gigantic thank you for all the support I received yesterday.  It blew my mind and what it really had me realizing is, all my friends and family are beyond amazing and it had me feeling beyond blessed.  Is there such a thing as beyond blessed?  Yes!  No doubt, I felt it yesterday.  This photo also is in honor and memory of my Grandpa Hoff who on this day three days after my 40th birthday left his earthly body. It’s been 4 years today and that just doesn’t seem possible.  I know you know exactly what I mean.  I still hear his laugh, I still hear his greeting and I feel it an honor when he visits me in my dreams.   He loved his roses and when I see mine in bloom, the ones he gave me to plant I always think of him.  He left me his rose memories and also the white egrets, those too.  The roses I cut today from my garden were ones he called “The Abbie Rose”  He said the color reminded him of Abbie’s skin.  (photo credit Dylan)

I want to tell you all and show you some pictures from a garden tour I went on this weekend but I took so many pictures that I will have to spend some time narrowing those down.  I can’t possibly share all 177 of them.  I will pick my favorites and tell you a little about the day later on.  In the meantime I leave you with my new favorite drink. Matcha Green Tea.  It’s a fine green tea powder that’s 10 times more potent than drinking green tea and we all know just how good green tea is for us.  I ordered it first at Starbucks and it’s not on the menu so just ask.  They only charged me 90 cents for a grande and the other day during happy hour I ordered a large for only 30 cents which is crazy talk but I think they don’t seem to have a set price on the drink yet.  It’s cheaper than plain coffee and its way better for you.

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I’m also excited about the quinoa salad I threw together yesterday.  I used red quinoa, celery, carrots, red onion, garbanzo beans, black beans and cucumber.  The dressing I made included olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, a whole lemon, and just a tiny tad of soy sauce the gluten-free kind:) I made such a big batch I was able to fill up three jars to eat as the week goes on. Cause everything is cooler in jars right?

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Golden Yummy in the Tummy Turmeric Tea

I have been known to take on lots of things however the things I’m talking about are usually of the creative sort, not so much the productive sort to a mainstream kind of person.  I signed up for a 28 days class with Michelle   and in this class I will be participating with a group of like-minded gals to slow down and really take in the moments around us.  The first week focuses on food.  Of course I’m excited.  I ADORE food, all kinds.  I promised the group I would share a new drink that I tried this weekend thanks to a local girlfriend of mine who told me all about it.  You can find the “real” recipe HERE  but you can also follow my loose version.  Because I don’t like to follow directions all that much.

I have included some pictures of the steps I took to make this yummy tummy warming drink.  Pretty good idea for all you in cold climates and if you happen to like the flavors of turmeric and ginger and coconut milk.  My friend Leah makes hers with raw milk and we both agree the honey required is way too much money, like about 30.00 for a jar of the Manuka honey.  

So here are all the things you will need in order to make this drink the way I make it. Coconut milk, coconut water, raw honey, turmeric, ginger and ghee 

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 grate the knob of ginger

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 add a spoonful of turmeric

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 add a spoonful of ghee and mix it all together to form a paste

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 Then put one cup of coconut milk, one cup of coconut water in a saucepan and add in that paste, plus a heaping teaspoon of honey.  Heat it all up.

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Then  be sure to strain it cause the first time I made this drink I didn’t and I was eating the ginger, which wasn’t so bad but it’s so much better smooth! That’s what happens when directions are not read.

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Then sit down and take a picture of your warm golden turmeric tea!  (J/K) you don’t have to take a picture of it.

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Enjoy!! And a very special thanks to my friend Leah who turned me on to this drink and I hope you will like it as much as we do.  

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Her name is Joy…..and she is her name

If you by chance stopped by yesterday, you may have seen the pile on my dining room table, you may have read about how I emptied my crafty cupboard so that I could re-organize it so it wasn’t so frustrating when looking for things.  Because I’m queen of procrastination, I didn’t start the project until around 7 last night.  Once I began.  I couldn’t stop.  I was up until 11:30 working on that thing.  Then I was way too wired to go directly to bed so I watched an episode and one-quarter of Mad Men.  While I was organizing I found a large envelope with greeting cards that my mom gave me.  I was curious and began to read who these cards where from?  I found a Christmas card from my fraternal grandma.  As I read her cursive note I found it sweet.  It just said things like, “We all love and miss you”  she wished me a nice Christmas and New Years,  wondering if I might make my Aunt Lori’s wedding that would be that summer and ended again with “all our love….love you”

She lost the privilege to see me as much as she would have liked when my parents divorced and my mom stayed in L.A. while my natural father went back up north to live.  The distance between us was about 210 miles and around three and a half to four hours away depending on traffic. So I didn’t see her very much.  This means I only have a handful of memories.  I suppose these are the sorts of things that happen when one is a child of divorce.

I know her name is Joy, I know her eyes are very blue, I know her skin is soft, I know she not only has the name Joy but she is also full of joy and laughter, I know she is generous, She smiles a lot, she has a twinkle in those blue eyes of hers, she smells good, I know she loves life, I know she loves me.  I don’t know her middle name, I don’t know how old she is, I think her birthday is sometime in December, I don’t know where she was born, I don’t know how she met my grandpa, I sadly just don’t know enough about her.

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This picture was at least a decade old or older.  I sadly don’t have many pictures with her

Tomorrow we drive to Yuma AZ to attend my grandpa’s memorial.  I knew him even less than I know my grandma.  You see when I was little he was a very tall and and intimidating man. I was actually sort of afraid of him.  They owned a bar and restaurant most of their lives, or at least all of my life.  So I often saw my grandpa at the bar sitting  in dim lights with a class of hard liquor and almost always a cigar in his mouth, gold rings on his fingers, you get the picture?  Grandma would say “Now go give Papa J.E. a hug, he won’t hurt ya” So I would sheepishly walk over to him and hug him like I was supposed to.  So from a little girl point of view he was just a tall scary guy while grandma was just the opposite, warm, friendly cuddly and sweet.

I’m going to the memorial because I love my grandma and she loves me.  I think it’s unfortunate that I didn’t get to know them better as an adult even.  Distance and raising my own family kept me away.  However my brother especially was close to Papa J.E.  I like to believe he was a man’s’ man, he loved hunting, fishing and out-doors type stuff.  My brother experienced all those out-door things with him and this gave him an opportunity to actually know grandpa.  He was hit especially hard when he passed because of their well-developed relationship.

brandon with grandparentsThat’s Papa J.E. my brother Brandon and Grandma Joy

There was one time a few years back Grandma Joy and Papa J.E. were traveling through my city and stopped for a visit.  We sat in our backyard and I got to see a different side of Papa J.E.  He smiled a lot, he was kind and he told really great stories while laughing out loud as he spoke.  This one small visit in my life changed the way I felt about him.  He wasn’t mean after all.  But still I didn’t know him.  It’s funny how life is, the hands we are all dealt.  But still as blood lines go, this is part of mine and because I adore my grandma and I’m also not sure how much longer she will be with us, I will go.  I will also ask her, where she was born, how she met Papa, what her middle name is, you know things like that.  While I have this opportunity I should take it.

Before I close I just want to leave you with a few memories I have of this dear grandma of mine.

She always called me the morning of my birthday, most times before I even opened my eyes for the day.  My mom would carry the phone into me and I would hear her joyous voice, “Well happy birthday Tracie!” She starts most her sentences with “well”

I always love it when she says this one “well Tracie, you have put on a few pounds now haven’t you?”

She made sure that each time I came up for a visit she took me shopping for a new outfit.

She made sure to sit in the trailer with me while Papa was watching over the bar.  They would park a big motor home just outside the bar and she would sit with me and play games and talk.

She always seemed to have a poodle with her.

They once lived in a big log cabin and in it was a Jacuzzi tub that I had fun bathing in, they even had a rooster and from what I understand, she collects all things roosters.

She was a great cook and liked things like lamb, olives, green onions, salami and cheese and of course any kind of Mexican food.  After all it was an Mexican food restaurant they owned.  I tried my first chimichanga there.

She didn’t know how to swim but they always had a pool.  One of my best, best memories was the time she invited me for a midnight swim so we could watch the moon.  We didn’t wear any clothes and we used a raft to hold on to and float around in the pool.  We talked about UFO’s and took in the star filled sky.

She hung out with my great grandma who lived with them. Often when I would visit, it would be me grandma joy and great grandma Dory.  Great grandma crocheted and would make me little slippers and scarves.  The both of them drove down in grandma’s Mercedes when I graduated high school. I remember staying all night with them in the motel room they rented.

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Check out Great Grandma Dory,  this is exactly how I remember her,  super tiny with lots and lots of wrinkles with a thick, thick accent, sounded Cajun to me.

That’s all for now.  I do have more memories but this has already gone on too long.  Although I didn’t get to see her much I feel as though somehow I got some of her qualities.  We for sure know I got her nice solid legs but also I like to think I hold a bit of her sense of adventure, her constant smile, her joy, her warm love.  She is a special lady.

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Oh my word!! One reader away from make over.  My stomach is nervous.  When I finally get that last reader it will take a while.  Be patient.  I have a busy few weeks.  I have a memorial to attend this weekend and the very next Friday is the art walk.  The other thing giving me nerves.  I’m a nervous wreck if you want to know the whole truth.  So I pulled out all the things in my black crafty cupboard because each time the kids opened it to find “something” a small avalanche would happen.  I figured I had better do something about it.  So while I type this nonsense, the pile remains, which honestly gives me even more anxiety.   This is how I feel  You know that song….I’m shakin!  But if you ask any of my family members, especially motorcycle man, he will tell you I’m easily FREAKED out and love to use that exact phrase “I’m freaked out”

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This is what I can see if I lean back in my chair.  That basket if filled with socks, all mismatched that need to be matched and all that stuff on the table needs to be organized and put back in the black crafty cupboard.

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When all else fails and you don’t really want to conquer the mountain ahead.  Just snap a picture of Pablo because as my new friend Jhanis says, Pablo after all is the cutest family member.  And I will always think it’s the cutest when I see my oldest completely focused and has the exact same look of concentration as he had as a little.  Like exactly.

IMG_6304I can’t get my scanner to work or else I would show you.  Alright.  I’ll go clean that cupboard now.  Almost Friday people.  Well for my friend Whose home is Australia not to be confused with Austria, Miss Cathie with an IE.  Happy Friday to you, lucky duck!!