22 August 2018

seeking peace...


Is it just me or does it seem like the world is in complete chaos?  


I think in a way, there has always been chaos running rampant.  I think it seems so much worse due to social media.  It feels like we are bombarded with anxiety inducing words/images every where we turn.  

At least, that's how it feels to me.

I used to love Instagram.  I liked seeing the art people were creating, how their gardens were growing, what foods they were making and just fun things they were doing.  (It's easier to get through then blogging and faster to share as well.)

Then the "algorithm" changed.  Now, if I want to follow along with someone's process, I have to search out their account and scroll through their feed to find the first post, then the next and so on.  My crazy brain really likes chronological order, but that just isn't an option anymore.  

So I started to fall a little out of love with Instagram.  (I gave up on Facebook years ago and only use it to check in - very rarely - with online groups I joined - art, cooking, genealogy).  

Now I've noticed a new thing (I hesitate to call it a trend because even though everyone seems to be doing it, it isn't trendy).  We all seem to be experts at something.  And it seems to be our sole purpose on IG to tell each other how we should be doing something.  

I'm going to try to explain, but without specifics so this may get confusing.  

Example A: So & so is a specialist in a certain field.  They share how they got their specialty and how other types of the same field are not the same thing that So & so does.  They show how they work their work and that you shouldn't try to do like they do because they are specialized.  Then So & so says you can't put this & that in that space there because it won't work.  But you shouldn't even be trying because you aren't specialized like they are and you shouldn't try to "appropriate" something that isn't yours or your history.  All the while, mixing in posts about how they went there and learned that.  Then went here and learned this.  And since you haven't done that, you can't do this.

Example B: Such & such is REAL.  They tell it like it is and don't give a f*#k what you think.  A lot of their posts are about "keeping it real" and "you should be you" kind of posts.  They talk about how wrong racism is (well, duh!) and how people need to work together and defeat racism and racist people.  Then they post about how all white women are white supremacists.  (Um, isn't that a bit racist?)

I could go on with more examples.  But I don't think I need to.  I know you're probably thinking I should un-follow things that bother me.  Yep, you're right and I will be.  

My issue isn't with them saying what they think and how they feel.  My issue is that they seem to be saying the rest of us are wrong about how we think and feel.  My issue is how we are using these forums to say that we are right and you are wrong and you can just f off if you don't like it.  Worse, to me is that our children are learning that they can do and say anything they want, all on social media, and it is okay.

When social media first came along it was all "oh we can grow closer."  All I see is division.  All I see are accusations and condemnation.  Honestly, it drives me crazy.  I can't sleep at night because things I've seen or read have wormed their way into my brain and are scraping their sharp little claws into my soul and ripping it apart.

I'll say this.  I abhor confrontation.  I can't do it.  I get physically ill at the thought of it.  When people get into arguments around me I have to leave the room, sometimes even the building.  Because of this, I don't discuss religion or politics with anyone.  Ever.  If someone starts a discussion, I try to change the subject or I excuse myself to another area or room.  

Because of this people tend to think I don't have any knowledge about those subjects.  That isn't true.  I do have knowledge and I also have opinions.  I just chose not to share them so I can avoid a conflict.  

I try hard to follow where my intuition leads.  I listen to it with regards to pretty much all aspects of my life, particularly the magical.  

The last month or so I've been feeling angry.  Not just a little angry, very angry.  Banner going Hulk angry.  It just seems to keep building and building.  I don't know if it is all the anger out there in the world (and this country in particular) or if it is something inside me.  I do know, I don't like it.  Not at all.

Maybe Instagram isn't the place for me anymore.  Or maybe I should stick to just following art, knitting and gardening people and stay away from the other stuff.

Sorry, I just needed to get this out of my head.  I really didn't have anyone/where else to go with it.

I'll leave you with a photo I took of the shadows cast by some of my potted plants.  I just love the way they look.


Oh and before I forget, a Pig Pickin' is what southerners (USA) call a barbecue. (The having a party, cooking on the grill kind, not the shredded pork kind, that's actually called barbecue.) hee hee...

Thanks for stopping in for a read!
love & blessings
~*~

 

15 August 2018

Pig Pickin' Cake



I bet you think I forgot all about my promise to share my Grandmommy's Pig Pickin' cake.  I didn't.  I actually made another one not long after my first post about it.  It's just taken a long time to get the photos edited and get the post done.  So here we go!  (Warning: Picture Heavy Post!)

This is a cake my paternal grandmother used to make.  I grew up with this being our go to celebration cake.  My aunt gave me the recipe when I was in my 20's but it took awhile before I started making it.  

You see, my grandmommy died when I was 14.  It was very traumatic and honestly, I'm still not "over it".  She was the most important person in my life and the one person who loved me just as I was.  The only thing she expected from me was to try my best.  I guess for a while, I couldn't eat it without missing her terribly.

Enough of the sappy, let's get to the recipe.  

This cake is super easy and requires very few ingredients. 
You'll need:
  for the cake:
 1 box yellow cake mix
 4 eggs, beaten
 11 ounces mandarin oranges (do not drain)
 1/2 cup salad oil (I use canola or vegetable oil)

  for the frosting:
 20 ounces crushed pineapple
 1 8 ounce container cool whip
 1 3 ounce box instant vanilla pudding

 I like to make the frosting first as it needs time to chill in the refrigerator.

Pour the crushed pineapple (do not drain) into a mixing bowl. 
 Add the instant pudding mix and stir until mixed.  
Once it is well blended, fold in the cool whip.
Stir gently until well blended.  Then cover and refrigerate.
While the frosting chills, grease and flour 3 nine inch cake pans.  (I don't like to use cooking spray.  Whenever I do, things stick.)

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Into the bowl of the mixer add the yellow cake mix and add the mandarin oranges. 
In a separate bowl, whisk 4 eggs together.
Add this to the bowl with the cake mix and oranges.
Next, add the oil.
Mix well on medium being sure to scrape the sides down.

Once it's mixed, pour evenly into the three prepared cake pans.  
Bake at 350F degrees for 25 minutes only.  (This is very important!)

Once done, turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

When you're ready to frost the cake put a little bit of parchment paper under the edges of the 1st layer to help keep the cake plate clean.
Frost the top of the bottom layer.
Add the second layer and top with frosting, then the third layer.
I like to try to get a nice think layer of frosting between the cake layers.  If your frosting starts to break down and turn a bit runny put it and the cake into the refrigerator until it sets up again.  I was frosting this under the stove lights and realized it was too much heat.  :-)

Remember, when you're done that the cake needs to be kept refrigerated.

Well, there you go.  Pig Pickin' Cake.  

I hope you enjoy it!  

If you give it a try let me know how you like it.

Thanks for stopping by for a read!
love & blessings
~*~


 
 
 
 

 

04 August 2018

August...



August, already?  Sigh...

August is not my favorite month.  In fact, if we could just do away completely with the month of August, that would be great with me.

When I was growing up, my dad used to call it Austerity August.  Basically, it was his way of saying don't ask for anything.  He wouldn't spend money on anything, like books, movies, clothes, shoes, etc for us.  Of course, that ban didn't affect his weekend golfing.  (I'm pretty certain I've written about that before.)

That's nothing compared to what August has brought over the years.

Last year, I decided to see if I could change my relationship with August.  It started out nice and smooth and ended with a bit of a bang.  But I felt that August and I made friends. 

So far this year, it seems we aren't on the same page, August and I.  I'm hoping that will change.

Oh well, I'll just have to wait and see.

Do you have a particular month or season that you just dread?

Thanks for stopping in for a read...
love & blessings
~*~

27 July 2018

FO - round 2...



Yes!  Another Finished Object! Wooohoooo!!

It only took me 2 years 6 months and 6 days, but hey...it's something completed.  Once I finished the last scoreboard, something in me just wanted to finish this throw.  It helped that I've had Shark Week to keep me entertained and glued to my chair this week.  

The throw ended up being a little longer than called for, but I'm okay with that!

I have nothing on my needles right now.  That's a weird feeling.  I did order yarn for a new project.  Do you remember the movie Sweet November?  There is a shawl that Charlize Theron wears that I've always loved.  I found on Ravelry a pattern for it, but it's in French and crochet! 

Well, I used Google to translate the pattern words.  There is a diagram too but since I don't know how to crochet (despite my trying to teach myself with the raggedy crochet practice blanket) it feels quite daunting.  If anyone out there knows of a knitted version or can help me figure out the crochet, please let me know!  The yarn arrived yesterday and I'm excited to get started.  :-)

Wouldn't you know, just now I went to a different screen to find a pic of the shawl to share here and found a knitted pattern on Ravelry.  Maybe I'll have some more knitting to share in a few weeks.  :-)

Today is the full moon with a lunar eclipse.  Don't do anything I wouldn't do!  ;-)

Hope you have a great weekend!

thanks for stopping in for a read...
love & blessings
~*~
 





19 July 2018

FO...finally!

I finally finished last season's Steelers Scoreboard.  It only took me 10 months and 9 days.  :-/  

I'm just glad to be done now, because football season starts next month.  

My plan is to make one for each of my family, so I need four.  The first one I did a few years ago, was made using the wrong weight yarn and the wrong size needles and ended up being HUGE!  I'd made it for my brother so that was okay because he's a pretty tall guy.

I plan to give this one to my SIL and the next to my mum.  

I'm excited to get back to working on my Lake Country Throw.  I'm going to try to finish it before football season starts.  

Have you finished any projects lately?

thanks for stopping in for a read, 
love & blessings
~*~

11 July 2018

little things...






Little things that make me happy...

playing in a homemade art journal for the first time...

a basket full of art papers (many of them I've made)...

experimenting with new mediums (brusho crystals)...

being happy with how a little journal girl turns out...

finding small ways to honor those important to me....

These are kind of behind the scene images that have happened around here over the last couple of months.  Last week and this have been filled with Wimbledon, catching up on The Originals, watching Justice League (finally!), playing around on Ancestry again,  and trying to finish a knitting project (last season's Steeler Scoreboard) that I need to get done before football starts in a month.  Yep, football starts next month...hard to believe.

Anywho, I've been wanting to get here, but I swear time just disappears on me.  


Now I'm off to work on my knit and watch more tennis. I'm hoping to get back in my studio soon.

Tell me, are there little things that make you happy?  

thanks for stopping in for a read, 
love & blessings
~*~

02 July 2018

garden visitors...




I've had quite a few visitors to my little garden this past week.  These are just a few that have been hanging around.

The remarkable thing about these photos (at least to me) is that I took every one of them from inside my house.  Not bad, huh?

It has been pretty hot out so I've been spending my time indoors.  I head out early morning to water and check the plants, but that is about it.  

What kind of visitors do you get to your garden?

thanks for stopping in for a read...
love & blessings
~*~