Tag Archives: Marjolein Bastin

August Monthly Box

Yeah.  August in October.  We’ve been having some fun and I kept saying, “Tomorrow, tomorrow…”.  Uh huh.  But I didn’t get this box out last year and I was at least going to get a few days out of this.  I’m contrary that way.  You can go to my January Box to see how I got started with my monthly boxes.

Another Marjolein Bastion creation. It has two matching mugs.

Another Marjolein Bastion creation. It has two matching mugs.  (My mother or BFF got me this, umm…)

Marjolein Bastion again. Yeah, I really like her stuff. Too bad I can't remember who got me what with some of these.

Marjolein Bastion again. Yeah, I really like her stuff. Too bad I can’t remember who got me what with some of these. o_O

Guess whose teapot? :D And my BFF did get me this one! It has two sides and supposedly 4 matching mugs. She could only find two.

Guess whose teapot? 😀 And my BFF did get me this one! It has two sides and supposedly 4 matching mugs. She could only find two.

Such a lovely teapot! It's supposed to represent the four seasons.

Such a lovely teapot! It’s supposed to represent the four seasons.

Can you tell these mugs are well loved?

Can you tell these mugs are well loved?

This is a cute single serve set by Price and Kensington. My Mother-in-law and Sister-in-law got this for me.

This is a cute single serve set by Price and Kensington. My Mother-in-law and Sister-in-law got this for me.

They know how I like gardening stuff.

They know how I like gardening stuff.

Awesome lid! I love little details like this.

Awesome lid! I love little details like this.

One candle holder for August. It was a clearance item.

One candle holder for August. It was a clearance item.

The usual cabinet shot.

The usual cabinet shot.

Today's mug of the day. It's a generous sized mug.

Today’s mug of the day. It’s a generous sized mug.

Hope you enjoyed the tea stuff!  Don’t blink too hard, September’s box will be up in the near future! 😀

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July Monthly Box

Because of everything that has been going on I haven’t been posting my monthly box pictures.  In fact, I haven’t changed them out in several months.  But I did get July out a bit late and figured I should post it as a way to keep going.  So there will be August in August, you know?  Go to my January Box to see how I got started with my monthly boxes.

Tracy Porter the 'Evelyn Collection' "Embrace the Sweetness of Life!"

Tracy Porter the ‘Evelyn Collection’ “Embrace the Sweetness of Life!”  This was another teapot I spent clothes gift cards on.  Someday my mother will learn that clothes from certain stores will never fit me! 😀

These are the matching sugar bowl and creamer.  So lovely!

These are the matching sugar bowl and creamer. So lovely!

Another Marjolein Bastion teapot.  This is one side.

Another Marjolein Bastin teapot. I love her work! This is one side…

And this is the other side!  Isn't it lovely!

And this is the other side! Isn’t it lovely!

There were two of these old Lipton teapots when we unpacked stuff from my Grandmother's house.  We couldn't tell which one was my Grandmother's and which was my Great Grandmother's.  So my mother and I each took one, but we have no idea who got what! :D

There were two of these old Lipton teapots when we unpacked stuff from my Grandmother’s house. We couldn’t tell which one was my Grandmother’s and which was my Great Grandmother’s. So my mother and I each took one, but we have no idea who got what! 😀

My mother got me this.

My mother got me this. However, I’m thinking of passing it on.  I never use it ’cause it says not to put water over 200 degrees in it.  Water boils at 212 degrees.

This month's candle holders.

This month’s candle holders. These lanterns do well outside ’cause they’re enclosed.

Tucked into the china cabinet!

Tucked into the china cabinet!

The table slash work station. :)  And I think there is something going wrong with my camera.  That computer does not have stripes!

The table slash work station. 🙂 And I think there is something going wrong with my camera. That computer does not have stripes!

July mug.

One of the July mugs.  Yay, for the 4th of July!

Hope you enjoyed the tea stuff!  tea

May Monthly Box (in August, I know, I know)

So much for my posting in July.  While the Tour de France was utterly enjoyable (and crazy this year), it did complicate life a bit by taking a few hours out of every day.  This meant some things were neglected or handled sketchily.  Also during July, I had to get my son up and out on another bike trip to DC (a week).  And he was home for one week and then I had to pack up both him and The Husband for Boy Scout camp (both adult leaders). And that was another week.  They came home Sat. afternoon (July 26th) and Sunday night my nieces and nephews came for a week.  Can anyone say, “Dirty Laundry”? They left for home this morning. Oh, and let’s not forget the car repairs!  I was busy.

None of that explains the May box in August.  It was one of those, “I’ll get it tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…”  And now it’s August.  Part of the problem is I’m not using my tea stuff.  I’ve just been throwing tea into cups while I keep going.  I used to sit down every afternoon for a break.  I started doing this when the kids were little and I realized my melt down time was about the time they came home from school.  I had no interest in what was done at school or patience for their after school moodiness.  And so 3 o’clock became tea and snack time.  So I could deal with them sanely. And when they got home they needed a little pick me up to keep them sane till dinner.

There is no reason for me not to sit down and take a break.  Clearly running myself ragged and skipping ‘Me Stuff’ hasn’t improved anything or gotten massive bunches of extra stuff accomplished.  In fact, I think it has actually slowed me down.  It’s hard to focus and be energetic when you’re fried.  So it’s back to scheduling ‘Me Time’ every day.  And it will start tomorrow with a sleep-in day.  And I’ve put post-its on my calendar so that every weekend I will be changing out my boxes; not just to get caught up, but also as a weekly reminder to take some ‘Me Time’ every day.

This teapot goes with my dishes.  "Flower Market" by Pfaltzgraff.

This teapot goes with my dishes. “Flower Market” by Pfaltzgraff.

A seashell tealight holder from a friend.

A faux seashell tealight holder from a friend.

Tea for one. I don't remember how I came to have this one. But it has birds and flowers, so it is just right!

Tea for one. I don’t remember how I came to have this one. But it has birds and flowers, so it is just right!

 

Got this on clearance many years ago.

I got this on clearance many years ago. A cute little something for a table or shelf.

A cute little pot by Jan Karon. A Christmas gift.

A cute little pot by Jan Karon. A Christmas gift.

A tealight holder.

A tealight lamp.

A gift from my BFF. A teapot by Marjolein Bastion.

A gift from my BFF. A teapot by Marjolein Bastin.

My clean kitchen table!!!  (This is a constant battle...)

My clean kitchen table!!! (This is a constant battle…)

Some of the mugs to big for the mug rack.  And Spider Bait's beer stein from Germany. And my jars of cookie cutters.  And a pitcher I use as a vase...

Some of the mugs too big for the mug rack. And Spider Bait’s beer stein from Germany. And my jars of cookie cutters. And a pitcher I use as a vase…

And, of course, the teapots in the cabinet.

And, of course, everybody in the cabinet!

 

March Box (Yep, I Got To It In March!)

Yes, I actually got to the March Box before March ended!  Hopefully, April will find me back on track.  Enjoy!  (For those of you who want to find out how my boxes got started, click here on The January Box.)

Here is a Marjolein Bastion tealight holder.  I have two!  Both my mums-in-law and my BFF got me this for Christmas the same year!

Here is a Marjolein Bastion tealight holder. I have two! Both my mums-in-law and my BFF got me this for Christmas the same year!

This was given to me by an older friend of mine many years ago.  She left for Oregon to live with her daughter and take care of her grandkids.  She is much missed.

This was given to me by an older friend of mine many years ago. She left for Oregon to live with her daughter and take care of her grandkids. She is much missed.

This is adorable.  But I can't remember where or when I got it!

This is adorable. But I can’t remember where or when I got it!

Another Marjolein Bastin creation. I can't remember who got me this.  Probably my BFF, but I also could have gotten it for myself.  I love that the teapot is a watering can.

Another Marjolein Bastin creation. I can’t remember who got me this. Probably my BFF, but I also could have gotten it for myself. I love that the teapot is a watering can.

On the shelf.  The bits and bobs on the bottom shelf are mostly keepsakes.  Most of them mine, but some belong to my kids.

On the shelf. The bits and bobs on the bottom shelf are mostly keepsakes. Most of them mine, but some belong to my kids.

Ta Da!  The first 'big' thing I knitted after I did a wash cloth or two were these placemats.  Multicolored yarn was a mystery to me and I wound up with four very different placemats!  Check out the front left placemat.

Ta Da! The first ‘big’ thing I knitted after I did a wash cloth or two were these placemats. Multicolored yarn was a mystery to me and I wound up with four very different placemats! Check out the front left place mat.

A bunny!  My kids used to call it a 'demon bunny'.  Hey, Saver, do you remember why?

A bunny! My kids used to call it a ‘demon bunny’. Hey, Saver, do you remember why?

Here's what it looked like after I put a bunch of stuff back on it.  Plants I'm trying to save (orchids) and some given or purchased.  The ice cream bucket has baby aquarium plants in it.  Hey, that table's pretty empty for around here!

Here’s what it looked like after I put a bunch of stuff back on it. Plants I’m trying to save (orchids) and some given or purchased. The ice cream bucket has baby aquarium plants in it. Hey, that table’s pretty empty for around here!

I had some help taking pictures.

I had some help taking pictures.

I made myself a treat.  Anadama muffins!  Mmm, Mmm good!

I made myself a treat. Anadama muffins! Mmm, Mmm good!

Mug of the Day

A springtime mug!

A springtime mug!

Time to wrap this up.  It’s midnight already!  Sheesh!

‘Me Time’ On The Lake

Random Thoughts

I have some more news on our internet troubles.  Apparently our neighbor’s tree has grown big enough to be a problem.  It means every time it rains or there is a heavy dew, we lose our connection (the tree becomes more ‘solid’).  Our roof is in too bad a shape currently to move our receiver up there and it’s possible that it won’t be high enough.  Our internet has been paid for by my husband’s company in a deal they had, but with financial problems at the company, we won’t be able to ask for them to pay for hardwire internet.  Which means at some point we are probably going to have to figure out a way to bring it in and pay for it.  For now we suffer till the leaves all fall off and we should be good to go till next May.

On the top of the hill, on the other side of the four lane is the hospital with our internet provider’s towers. No you can’t see it. That’s the problem.

*****

About three weekends ago, I decided to leave the Sat. football game after half time and take myself for a boat ride on the lake at our local State Park.  I love being near water and cruising along on it even though I have drowning issues.  When Saver had been home at the end of July, she talked me into a 2 person kayak, which I survived, so I decided to try a single person kayak.  They are not as stable as a two-person kayak and I was wobbly and muttering imprecations at my daughter.  But I persevered and began cruising around the lake at water level.  It was awesome.

Not shown in the pictures is a Great Blue Heron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Blue_Heron) that I was attempting to get close enough to get a good picture of when my cell phone went off.  (Note to self:  Put the damn phone on vibrate next time!)  Oh, and Saver, the bird you and I saw when we were out was most likely a Green Heron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Heron).  It is the only thing whose body shape and size matches what we saw. (It was in dark shade, so we couldn’t really see markings.)  Also not shown were the waves that came up with the wind when a storm blew past near by.  I was too busy not tipping over to take pictures.  They weren’t huge swamp-the-kayak type waves, but enough to keep me busy.  And the storms in the area meant I practically had the lake all to myself.

A small creek that feeds the lake and a good spot to find wading birds.

I have a thing for lily pads.

Heading out into the lake.

Can you see what’s on the tip of the kayak? They were constantly hitching a ride.

More lake.

I couldn’t get close enough for a good picture of this cave. The wind was up and kept blowing me away faster than I could paddle and picture take. But it goes in a little ways.

I love this eroded overhang.

Another little creek that feeds the lake. The water is really shallow here and little fish swim around your boat.

Hey, Saver! Remember this? (She tipped her kayak messing around when the cousins came to visit. We had to tow it to shore to dump it out.)

Time to head home for dinner.

Life At Our House

I am currently sick with a cold and crossing my fingers that it doesn’t turn into bronchitis.  This is what stress and lack of good sleep can do to you.

*****

Spider Bait has SAT’s this Saturday.  From there he goes to the stadium for Homecoming.  The Husband will be cooking and selling Boy Scout chickens from a float in the parade.  It is going to be really strange for me not to be doing parade and band things this year.  I will be on standby to pick Spider Bait up from the SAT test and then get him to the game.  One of the band members will have his uniform and instrument waiting for him at the stadium.  Weird.

*****

I am on a bruschetta frenzy as the tomatoes are going away.  *Sniffle*

And look at these beauties that I got at the Farmer’s Market.  You better believe I’ll be roasting some of these to make into a spread.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

Corn cob treat for the Hermies

This is what happens when you leave it in the tank for 24 hours or more.

Out In The Yard

Our header today is pink phlox that is invading my yard.

And since it is now past 11:00 pm I am calling it quits.  Here is our

Mug of the Day

By Marjolein Bastin.  Yep, I’m a fan.

Le Tour de France (Just Past Half Way)

Random Thoughts

Le Tour de France.  The toughest bike race in the world.  Twenty-one days of racing, 22 teams, 198 riders risking their lives every day, 4-6 hours every day, averaging 23 – 54 kph (14.3-33.6 mph) depending on terrain, 2,173 miles (3,496.9 Km) total,  and just 2 rest days.

I said it before, I’ll say it again.  Bike racing is the toughest, most grueling sport around.  I love it.

The race first started in 1903.  A couple of nasty wars got in the way so this is only the 99th edition.  It runs from June 30 to July 22 this year.  I could write a novella on what’s happened so far this year, but I’ll leave it to you if you’re interested to read about it here http://www.cyclingnews.com/ .  Go down to Races and Results and under Tour de France you can click on whatever stage you’re interested in.  Want short video Stage Wrap-ups?  Go here: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/42363489/ns/sports-cycling/  Just scroll down to the videos.  And if for some reason you missed signing up to watch the stages live online or at your leisure, there is still time to fork out your $29.95 here:  http://tourdefrance.nbcsports.com/stages/   Just click on ‘Get Access’ in the video square.  You can watch every stage anytime for the next year.

Fun Fact:  There is a Caravan of advertisers that precedes the race start by 2 hours.  Think Macy’s Parade. It costs 150,000 Euros for 3 vehicles.  There can be up to 250 vehicles in groups of five roughly covering 20-24 km (12.4 to 14.9 miles) along with 600 caravaners, 12 gendarmes, 4 traffic motos, and 3 medical vehicles.  They estimate that the advertisers put out about 11 – 16 million pieces of merchandise a year, roughly 3,000 to 5,000 a day, each.  Investment by advertisers can cost 200,ooo to 500,000 Euros.   One total kept by a 1994 advertiser:  170,000 caps, 80,000 badges, 60,000 plastic bags, and 535,ooo copies of their race newspaper.

But what’s really fun?  These vehicles have to be stripped down to street legal every day for the road trip to the next day’s start and then reassembled.  So, too, all the media booths, awards stages, advertising booths, and staging areas for the race.  Every single day.  It’s a small army moving around the country of France for 3 weeks every year.

Life At Our House

Not much to tell here.  Did some shopping and found out that they have all the school supplies out already.  This year I will shop early, I swear!  And I took Spider Bait’s clarinet in to be repaired and cleaned and about passed out when I heard the cost.   Credit card/savings account time!  Yeesh…

Fur Babies and Other Critters

In an effort to keep my lizard from bankrupting me (this is what I get for assuming things…), I am raising crickets.  I’ve had the tub set up for a week or so, but no one was obviously laying eggs in the egg tub.  So I decided to put a ‘ladder’ (toilet paper tube) on the egg tub.  Now the females are fighting each other for good ‘spots’.  I watched one female watch another female dig her hole and when she was done the first female knocked the digger out of the hole and took it herself.  A few more days of egg laying and I’ll move that Cool Whip container into a tub by itself so when the babies hatch the parents won’t eat them.  And, of course, put a new container in for more eggs.

No cats allowed! (They think crickets are yummy, too!)

 Out In The Yard

Our header today is a rose that was here when we moved into this house.  (Ignore the blasted date.  It is my camera’s default setting.  Argh.)

I spotted a Preying Mantis hunting on my window screen over the sink at night but the pictures sucked.  Then, presto!, there it was (or maybe another smart one) on the window at lunchtime.

Movement 

One of the fun things that happened to me while the boys were away at Boy Scout camp was I fell down the basement steps.  No, I don’t know from how far up.  See, I was carrying boxes of cereal and snacks and stuff down to the pantry, using my chin to balance the load, and my mind was fussing and chewing over other things.  (I really need to stay out of my own head sometimes.)  The next thing I knew, lumpity bumpity,  the world was spinning and there’s pain and, bam!, I’m on the floor looking up at the light.  I think I overshot a step and slipped on the edge, ’cause the last three toes on my left foot felt like I curled them up and jumped up and down on them.  The balls of both feet were unhappy and the joint below my pinky toe on my right foot was really unhappy.  And I must have been an idiot and tried to hold on to the boxes ’cause I had edge bruises on my arms and a deep bruise under my jaw up into my mouth, like maybe a box corner got me, so talking and certain tones of voice were interesting.  But the good news?  I landed on my hip and nothing broke!  So all these years of iffy health haven’t trashed my bones into a bad zone.

Anyway, no walking for awhile.  I was going to try going out today, but was told ‘no’.  Somebody threw up in my shoes.  My one and only pair for walking/running.  *sigh*  I hope the sun is out tomorrow so I can wash them.  It’s too humid to let them dry without help.

Mug of the Day

Another by Marjolein Bastin.  And it’s midnight, so I’m off!

Delicious Berries, Posting Takes Sooo Much Time (2 Hrs.), Recipes for Saver (Cornbread, Potato Soup)

Random Thoughts

I have been rather crushed about how long it takes me to get these blog posts done.  And frustrated.  It takes me an average of 1 1/2 to 2 hours, sometimes less, sometimes more.  That doesn’t count the time picture-taking/cropping or looking stuff up.  So when I posted on ‘All About You Monday’ at Re-Inventing Fabulous (http://reinventingfabulous.com/) I asked the writers that post  there where I was in the ball park of posting time.  Evidently I’m not all that far out of the park.  *Sigh*  So I’m going to have to figure out how I’m going to deal with that.  I confess I didn’t really take into account what this would do to my day.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy this, I do.  And I was surprised to find out that I actually enjoy knowing I have a small group of lurkers who come here on a regular basis, from other countries, yet!  (Thanks! to all of you out there.)  But I definitely need to plan better, and figure out how to better incorporate this into my life and time frame.  Staying up late every night isn’t going to work over the long haul.  So I guess it’s time to sit down and  come up with a plan.

*****

My serviceberries on my wee tree were ripening all at once, so I went out and picked them.  I didn’t have any yogurt, but I did have vanilla ice cream.  So I put about 1/2 cup of ice cream and some milk in a bowl, mixed it and topped with berries.

***** 

“To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to keep your soul alive.”  — Robert Louis Stevenson

Life At Our House

Look what my son brought  back for me from his Band Trip.  Isn’t it sweet?  I forgot to put something in for perspective, but she would fit on a 50 cent piece.

*****

Saver of Bugs, is this yours?  I found it while looking for my running shorts.  It is a much brighter green than the picture shows.

*****

Okay, Saver of Bugs, here are a couple of recipes.  Also, when you go shopping you should consider looking for a small mixer so you don’t have to mash potatoes by hand.  Also a brush to brush butter on chicken or corn or water on bread…

Corn Bread

  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup veg. oil
  • Oven at 425 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl beat egg and oil together and then add milk.  Add to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.  If you mix too much the cornbread will be flat.  Bake in a greased 8 x 8 pan for 20 to 25 minutes.  Top should be golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean.

Potato Soup

  •  6 cups of potatoes with or without skin
  • 1 clove garlic (or – 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/2 onion (or – 1 tsp. onion powder)
  • 1 or 2 tsp. freshly ground pepper (or – 1/2 tsp canned ground pepper)
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 3 cups milk

Cut the potatoes into 1 inch-ish chunks and put into cold water.  (If you like having potato chunks in your soup, cut the potatoes into small cubes.  Hold back 1 to 3 cups of them when mixing soup and add when heating soup back up.)  Rinse potatoes and then add just enough water to cover and bring to a boil.  Once the water begins to boil, boil for 10 minutes and then check for doneness.  When you set the timer for 10 minutes, begin sautéing the onions.  Cook to preferred doneness.  When the onions are partially done throw in the garlic.  Garlic will brown quicker than the onions.  When the potatoes are done, remove from heat and pour all but about a quarter to a half-inch of water off.  Mash/mix potatoes and butter to desired consistency.  Put back on the stove on medium heat.  Add all remaining ingredients, mix and heat through.

*****

Don’t forget you can broil chicken and fish.  Don’t forget your fruit and veggies.  Buy some of them canned and you’ll have a back up for when you don’t have fresh stuff.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

I don’t particularly like Raccoons.  They are nasty, destructive little thieves.  They come to our house to steal the bird seed.  I have a large broom downstairs with their name on it.  I run and jump and whack them out of the tree with it.  If they try to get in my face, they get a face full of bristles with an occasional whack with a handle.  I’ve used the broom to golf baby raccoons off the bank behind our house.  We also shoot them with a BB gun set low so it won’t pierce their skin.  Some of them learn the sound of the gun being cocked and bail as soon as they hear it.  One raccoon even learned the sound of the front door opening (we sneak out the front and go to the side of the house to shoot them) and bailed as soon as he heard it.  It gets annoying.  Especially the ones that come after we have gone to bed and decide to start fighting.  Ever hear raccoons fight?  It sounds like you have wolves out there trying to kill each other.  And the small ones scream like a human being hurt.  *Sigh*

This is our 5 pm dinner time thief.  In the last picture she hears my son and is looking for him.  She immediately turned, started down the tree and then jumped from 10 feet up.  My cheapo camera didn’t recharge fast enough for me to catch the jump (grrrrr).

Out in the Yard

When it quits raining I’ll get back outside in the yard again.  Our header is the yellow violas I planted weeks ago.

Movement

So I managed to get out of bed on my own.  🙂  A little sore, here and there.  I will have to do some work on my shins and knees.

 I got out again today and took Spider Bait with me.  He’s thinking about running with me.  Mom went into sMother mode and gave him the lecture about never letting anyone drag you into a car even if they have a gun (Mom,  you told me this before).  And the lecture about never getting within grabbing distance of a car that pulls up near you and stay the hell away from van doors (Mom, you told me this before).  And never leave the route you gave everyone before you left (MOMMMMM….).  Well, you get the idea.  Couldn’t help myself.

Did only 1.1 miles today and got back in 20 minutes.  Heart rate post walk was 150 for me (better), Spider Bait was 144.  Heart rate at 10 minutes post walk was 84 me (Yes!), Spider Bait was 96.  Twenty minutes post walk was still 84 for me and 76 for Spider Bait.  Tomorrow will be a day off.  I get fewer injuries on a 2 day on 1 day off schedule when starting out.

I found one of my old running outfits. (Saver of Bugs, what did you do with the shorts to my other outfit?)

Crystals

Turquoise is a common stone of blue, green, or blue/green coloration and can be found in the United States, Egypt, Mexico, China, Iran, Peru, Poland, Russia, France, Tibet, Egypt, Afghanistan, Arabia, and Myanmar.  It’s astrological associations are Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Pisces.  Chakra is the throat.

A protective stone, Turquoise has been used in amulets since time immemorial.  It assists in creative expression and the ability to see beauty in everything.  Emotionally it helps with balance and assists in meditation.  It promotes spiritual clarity and psychic abilities.  Traditional thought holds that it unites earth and sky.

Health wise, Turquoise is a multipurpose healer.  It is good for detoxification and strengthens the meridians of the body.  Wear or position it anywhere.  It is especially good for the throat, third eye, and solar plexus.

The little silver medallion says, “See the miracle that is in a single flower and find clarity.”

Mug of the Day

Another by Marjolein Bastin.  It has a teapot to match it.