lessons big and small

aus jimiThis child of mine is a gift, all three of my children are gifts and ultimately they belong to God.  We can teach them in the ways they “should” go but ultimately, just as we have been created with free will, so have they.  I left Austin a note recently about our love for him and how we love him so much we have to let him make his own mistakes. It hasn’t been exactly easy so far and to be honest I see it getting more difficult before it gets better.  He learned a big lesson when he had his first car accident and his insurance will be higher for three years, but with that came the privilege to rebuild the damaged car along-side his Dad and grandpa.  It should be three full years of higher insurance rates but since his accident happened on the front end of our insurance renewal, it will be more like a 2-1/2 year increase for him.  I find a blessing in this.

Watching him find his nitch in this life also isn’t so easy.  I have to believe that God created things this way as lessons for us too.  God I’m sure is continually frustrated with our choices when he knows how easy it can be if we just trust in Him.  And with our children we know it could be so much easier if they just trusted us fully but that clearly is not happening with our first-born and I just keep praying that the day will arrive when his eyes are opened and he just comes back.  He comes back to his roots. It’s a lesson in patience, it’s a lesson in trust.  And lessons are hard, even for us adults.  With each lesson comes growth and that’s also something to be thankful for.  So as his mom, I can only hope he learns his lessons quick.

This video clip isn’t recent but since art is on my mind with the art walk just around the corner I wanted to share this piece with anyone interested in watching it.  Austin had a particularly rough junior year in high school and in this video he had a homework assignment for history.  I could see from the start to finish of the project his heart softened for the time being.  It was a great thing to fully record and witness.


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”

photo (2) copy

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.


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!!



clean floors are worth celebrating


It all began Thursday morning.  The alarm goes off at 5:45, I drag out of bed because I have never been a morning person.  My ritual is feeding the animals first, and the kitties they run around my legs meowing and meowing and I think it’s so cute.  I start my coffee and then I sit and read my devotion.  This particular morning had one of my favorite references which is about not worrying. This one found in Luke 12:22-24 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the Ravens:  They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable are you than the birds!”  Those words just never get old to me.  I did all the other mom stuff and had to photograph this rose.  This rose motorcycle man ripped off the rose bush for me.  Yes, I say ripped because he didn’t use clippers or anything like that.  It just made me smile so big when he brought it in this morning. It was a good pause plus I got a kiss with it.  So this is why I begin with the picture of the rose.

Now let’s get to the floors!  Also this morning I just started to freak out a little as the beautiful morning light hit my kitchen floors.  I mean I said out loud “oh my gosh the floors are gross!” “I think I will need to do something about them today when I get home from work, I just have to. ”  And so….I did.  Below is the process and you know it was a beautiful process.  I completely enjoyed the job.  I’m not kidding you.  I crank on the music, grab my camera.  Clean a little pause for pictures and just take the entire process in.  I just know when I finish,  walking on that floor will feel so much better. I still love my cork floors, I just do.  Don’t even regret putting the cork in the kitchen.  It feels nice beneath the feet.  Speaking of feet, try not to look very close at mine.  Bluck.  They could use some major attention, but it’s real.  Just keeping it real.  So now my floors, they are clean and they feel nice and they look pretty, and they shine.  We all know though this will only last maybe 24 hours if I’m lucky, then the crumbs start hitting the floor and pushing against the edges.  And then I sort of ignore it for a time until one morning I will notice the pretty morning light shining on all the bits of chunky dust on my kitchen floor.  But today, I celebrate!  I celebrate my clean floors.  And btw, doesn’t every good mom clean her floors in her work clothes? I bet so.


The before floorIMG_6156

My mom brought me back this kitchen towel from Arkansas.  She said “this is so you”  and we laughed and laughedIMG_6158

Dylan even had fun with the cleaning of the floors, he had his own soundtrack going thoughIMG_6165

All swept up!IMG_6164

Vinegar, the secret weaponIMG_6167

I love to keep containers and re-use them for stuff like this.  My rag was an old t-shirt.IMG_6169

Okay so when I use the timer, I’m not super picky about how clear the shot is, it’s just the idea of what’s going on hereIMG_6176

See there, cleaning in my pretty work shirtIMG_6172

Eeeeek, those feet but look at those shiny floorsIMG_6182

And motorcycle man, he mowed the lawnIMG_6189

Our littlest and only girl, had a good idea when she took her school work outsideIMG_6197

and the pumpkins, they still grow
IMG_6200See the promise?

My very first blog award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I just very recently met a really cool blogger whose name is Dean  and yes Dean is a gal who lives in England with her darling little T and her hubby!  Her blog is really full of good stuff; I encourage you to visit if you have not already.  So Miss Dean from England gave me a “blog your heart out” award today!!  My very first blog award EVER!!  Well according to Dean, it’s not a “real” award however, I’m gunna say it’s very real to me, like I have arrived or something!! Little old me with not even 100 readers.  Yes, I’m going to say significant award even because I feel honored to have been recognized by my fellow peer in this blog world and to be alongside some really awesome bloggers. Some of these gals have like in the thousands of readers!  It’s completely mind blowing to me.   And here I am!  Completely honored and may even try to do a real live cart-wheel cause of it, in my mind I’m already cartwheeling in a big open field of poppies.  Okay, get ahold of yourself Tracie, deep breaths.  With this award I’m to answer a few questions and then nominate five bloggers who I think are most deserving of this award.  I’m so excited!!!  Dean, you have no idea how special you have me feeling today…on top of the world!

Who/What encouraged you to start blogging?

Life in the Wylde West has been going about just barely over one year now.  However like many of us, I was a big time journal-er growing up, I had diaries when I was a tween, I had journals as a young adult, I used to type in my word processor notes and milestones for my first born and placed them in a binder so sort of like a blog in a binder, then there was a site called VOX, I blogged there years back until they went under.  I came back to blog on WordPress mostly because I have a skin condition that drives me crazy and I was blogging about healthy eating and dealing with my skin troubles and OCD’ness.  But then it became much more fun to write about every-day-ness, and a poem here or there, or an interview with someone I admire.  So it went from Healing the Natural Way to….Life in the Wylde West.  I live in California on the West Coast, our last name is West and had our third child been another boy, his name would have been Wylde but that third child came out a girl and we couldn’t name a sweet girl Wylde.  So I named my blog Wylde!

How did you choose what topics to blog about?

I’m going to say, the topics choose me.  I just get up each morning and as the day progresses I decide what I may talk about. Whether it be a recipe, an interview, a poem, or just what I did that day, of course my kids (that’s a given) or like today, I got this awesome award so, it chose me!

Tell us something that people don’t know about you?

Gee, I’ve literally almost put it all out there already but…..maybe the time I was engaged to my now husband and my parents were out-of-town so we took Mom’s convertible Mercedes, worked to get that top off, and drove to Beverly Hills to act as if we were among the Rich and famous. She left the keys, what do you expect?

What three words best describe your style?

Colorful, mismatched and repetitive (meaning the same few outfits get rotated around)

What do you like to do when you are not blogging?

There’s that new obsession for Mad Men, tinkering in my garden, taking tons of nonsense pictures, hanging out with Motorcycle man and the kids.

Now for my five pix all fellow WordPress gals because I wasn’t sure if I could go out of this WordPress world, I’m really very new to awards and all.  I have a few really awesome friends who blog on blogspot or blogger, or something like that name but today these awards are presented to my fellow WordPress bloggers.

Susan because since the very beginning she has visited my site faithfully and sometimes is my one and only “like” or comment on any given day.  Plus she takes really; really beautiful pictures and I love how she sees the world through her lens.

Heidi someone relatively new to me but I love that she is a witty farm girl from Canada who tells really cute stories about her girls and shares recipes too!

Joyce because she is a working mama who loves her two babes like no other and shares openly and honestly and most often I’m nodding my head in agreement, like I feel just like you Joyce, like exactly!

Vivian   I just love her and I don’t even know her!  I found her one time while I was just looking around one day and I love her heart for God and she is so encouraging to me, she always stops by with kind words and advice even.  Although she hasn’t blogged for a good long while, it’s my hope she can find some time because I just plain like her.

Caitlin a very talented young, HARD working gal who is one of those bloggers who has over a 1,000 readers!  She is just incredible and although I’m twice her age, I completely enjoy what she has to share on her blog.  She’s darling, entertaining and she also shares recipes! And even though she is very popular she still will come visit little old me!

the red pants


Do you know what it’s like to take a jump picture with your timer.  Fun.  I will just say fun.  I have no remote.  My camera only takes one with a cord.  So I have to practice lots.

So I got those red pants.  I can’t believe how happy I am about it.  16.00 and they fit well and they are RED!  I’m living on the edge.

Today is the BIG day.  Abbie has her try outs for cheer.  I have sent up so many prayers today, I tucked a note inside her P.E. clothes and have both speeches ready for if she makes it and if she doesn’t.  We will not know until Friday.  The waiting will be killing me.

Last night Mr. motorcycle man did make his pasta dish and cheesy bread and I’m so happy I have a partner who helps out like that.  I sat with Abbie and went over vocabulary words as he made our carb filled dinner!  My kind of thing you know.

pastaAustin ordered the right fender for his bug and once that arrives they can fix it back up and actually start driving it again.   And guess what!!  It arrived!!


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It arrived today.  That’s what the big box is!! Austin will be happy. 

I picked up my prints at Costco yesterday and mailed them to my friend and as I reviewed what I had picked I actually wondered why I picked what I had?  I enlarged an artichoke for pete’s sake.  I started to sort of panic, like why didn’t I have the pin wheel printed or something more interesting.  Then I started to talk to myself about how it shouldn’t matter and how I’m just glad to get my face out there in public and talk to some people.  I mean I never claimed to be awesome or anything.  I just shoot what I love and things that make me happy and well sometimes it’s an artichoke.  I should really stop worrying about this art walk and go with the flow.


I have to finish today’s post on the topic of Farm Fresh to You.  I’m in love with this service.  I took  a picture of the delivery in the morning light Tuesday with my “real” camera and I have to share it here with you.  I also never like to waste a single stitch of what they deliver and since it’s farm fresh, with no chemicals and stuff, it goes bad sort of quick.  Not all of it but say the things like lettuce and spinach.  So today when I got home I made the spinach with some tomatoes and garlic over last nights left over pasta with a sprinkle of cheese.  Pictures below because you know I’m a lover of food photo’s.  Plus I need ideas for the radishes.  Please let me know if you have any ideas about that.  I have a bundle to go through.




the usual this and that

Silly I know to even go on like this but here I go.  Today is busy.  I have to pick up my prints from Costco, then get to the post office to mail them off to my dear, dear awesome friend who will then place them on foam board for me cause she is awesome like that, then pick up the soccer player from school, to then take him to his physical so he can play on the soccer team, in which he has already let me know “mom, you can stay in the waiting room” Not so excited about what the physical will entail and no way does he want the mother who birthed him and breast-fed him to be anywhere near the room when the “exam” is done.  So then I need to pick up the littlest and only girl from her cheer clinic.   And well that’s really all because Motorcycle man already let me know he has dinner covered.  Pasta dish with cheesy garlic bread, in which I say “you don’t even like pasta”  in which he says “I’m taking one for the team”  Gosh it seemed like so much more in my mind but I’m pretty sure I can pull this off with ease.  I guess I just needed to write it out.  I may even have time to read, but most likely I will be watching the girl practice for her cheer try outs for Wednesday. I also have half a notion to pick up those red pants I saw at Costco.  I know really huh? Tells you how much style I have that I’m gunna buy a pair of pants at Costco.   I just realized when I went to the funeral on Saturday that I had not too many clothes, like two pairs of jeans (one really tight pair) and a few maxi skirts and that was about the extent of it.  So I think a few more pants in different colors would be a good idea.  Oh and there’s that one thing that I need to do, fill the back pack with school supplies for the outreach Abbie’s school is part of.  There is that too.  Oh, I can do it.  Wonder Mom powers activate!

photoThis morning as the sun peeked in.  I’m so grateful for another day.

 And last but of course not least, farm fresh to you was on my doorstep this morning as it is every other Tuesday and those days are the best kind of days.  It was most likely there when I got a tap at my back window at 1:30 a.m. as the first-born was locked out and I ran first frantic to the front door even though I heard the tap at my back window.  It was probably there then but I was too in a panic to find where to let my son it at;)

farm freshWhen I proof read this, still could have mistakes but anyway…I read this and it’s all about me, me, me but I just write these things so us gals can stand united and be nodding our heads like, yes! yes! I get that or the mom’s who have already done it…yep, yep…I remember that.  Or the mom’s who have this in their future,  oh wow, so I have that to look forward to?  So even though it’s all about me, it’s really all about US.


unexpected things happen….it’s just how life can be

desert flowersSunday while on my way out, I saw this and I had to stop.  So vibrate they were hard to capture.

Okay so I got sick.  It happened.  I came home Thursday just hoping the Vick’s would fix everything and I would be good as new for work Friday.  That didn’t happen.  Not at all.  I couldn’t even get out of bed Friday morning; I can’t remember even hearing the house being awake.  I’m supposed to get up at 5:15 to take the soccer player to his zero period and I slept straight through.  Lucky I have a really great partner who just did what had to be done and didn’t even wake me because he knew I needed the rest.  He then took the littlest and only girl to school and I slept and slept and slept.  I didn’t realize I could sleep so much! Lucky I had the weekend to rest up however I received an unexpected invitation to a funeral on Saturday and I felt I could muster up enough energy to be there for my friend.  I got up late Saturday and oh boy the house!  My guy and the house it’s not exactly his priority like it is mine.  The accumulation of shepherd hair was all I could see, I felt like every square inch I looked I saw clumps of hair.  I had to vacuum, I just did!  Or else I wouldn’t be able to fully relax, I’m working on this issue. It shouldn’t be so important.   I also felt this urgency to strip our “sick” bed sheets and wash them in very hot water.  I thought I was doing pretty well; I got all this stuff done before I headed out.  I didn’t take a picture at the funeral I attended.  I didn’t think I should.  It wasn’t my grandpa after all.  I was there to support my friend and I love her family very much.  They are such a beautiful family and when I say beautiful I mean on the inside and most definitely on the outside.  My friend’s mom reminds me of a mix of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Audrey Hepburn, just a very stunning lady and just as beautiful inside. It felt like an honor to be a part of this day.  It was small, it was meaningful and the music was simple and pure.  I had a hard time leaving my friend on this day.  I rarely get to see her since she moved to Arizona a decade ago so having coffee and reminiscing was so nice.  She and I both have 18 year old young men who graduated this past June from high school and all we can remember is sitting side by side breastfeeding them together as our husbands played cards in the other room.

Which brings me to this, as I drove home from the day’s events I got a call from my oldest, he had run out of gas on his way home from work and needed my help.  I was already out and about so I could help him out.  It was a long night and lucky the only thing I had to do after church yesterday was rest.  I sat in a recliner most of the day, using tissue after tissue as I read “Mansfield Park” and I do like the character Fanny very much.  I can relate to her, I really can.    I was craving limeade from Sonic so my guy went and got me a really big one, we shared it.  He is so good that way.  I don’t have many pictures to share either cause it was just a real weird kind of weekend.

reading with pablo

me and my buddyI had Pablo cuddled next to me as I read, and I had Garfunkel up on my shoulder for a time.

sonicvery impressive image right?

Lastly my girl the littlest and only one, she is trying out for her 6th grade cheer team.  Oh boy, I’m so nervous for her.  There are more than 20 girls trying out and they can only have 10 total on the team.  She already had her small group at church pray like this “I pray I make the team, but if I don’t I pray I will be okay with it” This morning she told me, “Mom, I have never tried out for anything in my whole entire life” Big deep breaths.  I can only hope she does make the team that would be amazing.  But she even said if she doesn’t, she can always try again next year.  I hope she stays so resilient.

Apples and Rain….yes more apples and rain;)


Someone read my blog about CHANGE and she did something about it.  I received the most beautiful handmade necklace today in the mail.  It read “change” and it truly touched my heart.  I have a dear friend who has a name but I like to call her Ocean’s Child, first because she adores anything to do with the ocean and the ocean it reminds me of her.  Second, I like John Lennon, he is my favorite Beatle and well wouldn’t you know, it’s his birthday today!  How crazy is that!  I really love that song Julia so very much and in the this song it has a line “Ocean Child”. My friend has a  beautiful Etsy store called Two Mermaids  and she makes beautiful hand blown beads and she sells fun ocean themed gifts and mermaids of course….everything mermaid!  You should go visit her store, you will not be disappointed.

So remember earlier today I talked about rain and apples?  Well since it rained we wanted to bake of course but not our apple pie, nope.  We decided to make apple pizza instead.  Below are some of the images from our rainy day baking.  I don’t like writing recipes out very much, I’m not a big measurer and things like that so sometimes it’s hard to stop and really think about how to tell someone how we make things but I have tried of course, after all I do have a recipe tab.  This recipe does have measurements though because it’s not really ours, it’s Mrs. Ostgaard’s apple pie recipe from when all three of my kids went through the 5th grade.  They all made this pie, we just happened to use her ingredients and turn it into a pizza instead.  Meaning we just rolled the dough flat instead of placing it in a pie dish.









While the apple pizza baked, we ran out to play in the rain.  Below are my two favorite shots of the rain girl.


IMG_6066Singing in the rain….what do ya think?  She loves to sing and dance of course.  She has my mom’s old ski jacket on from back in the day.

TA DA!  Apple Pizza


This and That….apples and rain


Well of course 88 is great but I can’t do a make-over until that number reaches 100.  I’m not in any rush believe me.  This would mean I have to carve the time to actually do the make-over.  The exciting part is that my friend Sara has offered to take my portraits for the make-over when that day arrives and well, she is wicked talented and it’s really going to be an honor for me to have her shoot me. That sounds sort of weird…shoot me.   I can’t wait to be shot!   I’m most looking forward to the massive fun I will have with Sara and my sister as they have their way with me.  So this will be in the future.  I have not forgotten.

We have rain in the forecast for today, which means apple pizza.  I had three apples delivered from last Tuesday and have been waiting for a gloomy day to flatten out some homemade dough and arrange sliced apples on top for what we will be calling an apple pizza.  I just can’t wait to have the smell fill our home!


I’m only two pages into my Jane Austen “Mansfield Park” I have been busy writing notes to my mom and it took center stage.  Vanessa has described reading Jane Austen like this, and I quote directly “Reading Jane Austen, to me, is warm blanket and warm milk, tea, cozy in bed, sunk on a sofa, lost in thought, frozen in time. This is why I like reading her, it requires that I actually do just one thing, read. I guess we forget to do one thing for ourselves, put ourselves first, do something for the simple pleasure of it.”  She does make it sound like a really amazing thing.   But I’m the girl who likes simple books with simple words but I have not given up, I will keep trying and I’m hoping to find that same love she and my friend Teri share.  Teri loves Jane so much she actually wrote a book inspired by her.

I’m just typing out a nonsense blog today because….a wise woman I know told me I should blog more.  So I’m trying, even if it’s nonsense like this!

Happy Birthday Mom!

dcI love this image of my mom and our friend Carmel, a candid portrait of who she is to me.  She if full of spunk, and laughter.  Her laughter is big and I love it.

It’s my mom’s birthday today!  Happy birthday beautiful mom!! As I spent the last several days writing out memories and thoughts that I have regarding my mom, I was taken back to special times, I was reminded of how amazing this woman is. As I wrote out these words for her on simple note-cards I smiled a lot and even laughed.  I shared stories with the kids as I remember special moments in my life.  How in so many ways, I am who I am because of her and her example.  I’m very blessed to have been given such a terrific mom.  It was easy for me to focus on the negative things growing up and really, honestly there were not very many but I had a way of keeping those negative things stored in my heart and as I spent the time to write about all the positive things, all the good memories, all my mom’s really good character traits, I realized the good far out weighed the bad, and I mean abundantly so.  Holding on to bad memories is not good for growth.  They must be released so we can move forward.  How is it we can be told 10 amazing things about us but we like to focus on that one bad thing that’s been said?  It’s time to focus on the good and release the bad.

projectsShe is super handy and I believe she can do anything.  She helped me hang pictures of my sister and her family when they moved to France.

One of the most thoughtful gifts I have received was a basket of good thoughts and wishes from a far-away friend I had the pleasure of forming a friendship and bond over a period of one year, just 365 days of sharing moments and thoughts and in that time she was able to get to know me on a level where she could fill a basket of thoughts and wishes that were specific to me.  It  gave me such an amazing feeling, that I plan to give this gift as much as I can to special people in my life.  Just write out things about them that I find special, shared memories and things they have taught me.  This is what I did for my mom, she will get a box of memories, wishes, scripture and things that I admire in her as a person.   This way she could reach into the box each day and pull out a memory or thought specifically about her, about us or simply reach and get a special scripture, one she just may specifically need on that specific day, it sort of works out that way…you know?

kitchenThis moment isn’t clear but I love it.  It’s my mom playing cards with her grand-kids on the my kitchen floor.

walksA while back we would walk nearly every day, even though she lives a good 45 minutes away.  She supports me always.

climb fenceThis is shortly after her gallbladder surgery when she was supposed to be taking it easy.  I was supposed to be helping her hop the fence, instead I took a picture and giggled first. She is the kind of mom who also thought it was funny.  I helped her of course…after I took this picture.

sillyEach year for Mothers Day my mom treats us to a house tour.  The kind where we go to beautifully decorated homes, this is the sort of fun we have.  See grandma there pushing us out-of-the-way to take center stage.  You see where my light heart comes from?

rosieThree generations.  My mom holding her Rosie cat whom she completely adores.