Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stew Meat, Swap Meet & Singing Mermaids...

 Got to see and hear my incredibly talented and beautiful friend, Nikki Talley, last night!  A little over a year ago, she and her husband sold off all of their belongings, quit their jobs, bought a huge blue van and hit the ground running...traveling from state to state and city to city, belting out their own soulful music [mostly about birds, lost loves and the sea].  I call her the signing mermaid.  Check out her schedule and, if she is coming somewhere close to you, be sure to check her out.  You'll be glad you did!
 It was another successful clothing swap!  I was so proud of myself...only leaving with a pair of earrings and a tiny copper charm!  Lots of cool things found new homes and the stuff leftover was taken to "Safe's", an organization providing help and support for women and children that are the victims of domestic and/or sexual violence.  They are a great organization.  I've already started a bag for next far, there is one pair of tights in there!
Yum!  I cooked the most yummy pot of beef stew yesterday!  I love cooking stuff in the crock pot...delicious smells warm up the whole house all day long.  And this stew is easy, easy...

1-2 lbs. beef roast, cubed
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups water
2 or 3 carrots, sliced
2 small onions, sliced
4-6 small potatoes, peeled and cut up in chunks
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
10-oz. pkg. frozen peas
1.  Brown beef in saucepan.  Place in crock pot
2.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper.  
3.  Add remaining ingredients, except the frozen peas, mix well.
4.  Cover.  Cook on Low 8-10 hours, or on High 4-5 hours.  
5.  Toss in the frozen peas during the last 1-2 hours of cooking.
Serve over rice [if desired] and enjoy!!

[photo courtesy Michael Trufant]
So this is the secret ingredient for my next crock pot dinner [pulled pork samiches]!  Stay tuned for that recipe!  So easy!!  And this Root Beer is epic!  Made by "Oskar Blues", a brewery here in Brevard ~ yummy!

Today my heart is heavy for a sweet little friend of mine...she had to make the heart-wrenching decision to put her little dog down yesterday.  Makes me so, I wrote this for her this morning:
 hope the sun shines down bright on you today!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Shipping Rates & Snow Dates...

So we waited and waited and waited for the snow to show up yesterday and it never did!  All we got was nasty freezing rain that made our driveway a skating rink.  And Wayne was wanting to try out his new toy, to see how it worked in the snow:
 We do know the ice chains on the tires work really well, so *yay*!  And you would think, since I stayed inside all day, that I would've gotten a lot of things, just organized my colored pencils ~ lol  Oh well, like the saying goes:
But I did manage to stay warm with some delicious Hot Chai and a hot bath that was yummied up with pure Moroccan rose water...may have to repeat that whole scenario today!
 So now, for the sucky news...looks like the United States Postal Service has been approved a rate increase, which will mainly impact International Shipping rates.  International Shipping rates will increase by 100%, starting Monday, January 28th.  I had no choice, but to drastically increase my shipping rates, as well.  As you all know, I don't make any money on shipping.  My shipping charges cover packaging, labels and actual costs of shipping, only.  In fact, at the end of the year, I'm usually in the "red" on my shipping costs.  But that's okay, because my customers are worth it.  I just hate that the rates have gone up so much that most of my international customers will probably stop purchasing things from me, which will hurt my little Etsy business a lot.  And it's not just me...I'm sure this drastic increase will hurt lots of small businesses that are already struggling to stay ahead.  So that's that...nothing we can do about it, but I just wanted to give you a head's up.
Well, I gotta run and go through my's time for the annual " Brevard Women's Clothing Swap" tonight!  We have so much fun!  Looks like there will be about 50 women there this year.  We all bring clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry and accessories we no longer want and have a huge swap meet!  Last year I got some really cute PJ's, a hat and some boots!  So fun!  I'll post photos in the next day or so from tonight!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"Work is not always required...there is such a thing as sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected." ~ George McDonald

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Warm Sunshine & Water!

All of this sunshine has me wishing the Transylvania Tailgate Market had started back up!  But, I'll have to wait until April, which will be here soon enough.  So I don't know about where you live, be we've had an abundance of rain last week, which makes for great adventures to the waterfalls and rivers around here:
and one of my favorite spots along the Davidson River in Pisgah National Forest is called "Whale's Back" 
 ...I could just sit there for hours watching and listening to the water:
Well, hate to cut this short, but time's awastin''s another gorgeous day!  I'm on a mission to find some more of these [squealing!!!] ~ Get out there!!
love and peace always ~ Kathy

oh, one more thing, I just got these awesome little bookmarks made and I will be sending them [randomly] in purchases from my Etsy shop...each will be signed and dated by me.  They are so cute!
"If it is your duty to croak like the toad, then go ahead!  And with all your might!  Make them hear you!" ~ Louis Celine

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meaning of life & Spirituality...

People are always surprised [I don't know why] when I say that I don't believe in "God".  It's really not that I "don't believe", I just don't believe in the same God as most people.  I don't believe in the God I was taught to believe in at the First Baptist Church.  I don't worship something/someone, I don't pray, I don't go to church, I don't read the bible and I don't praise his holiness.  I also don't use his name in vain, just because it doesn't sound nice.  There, I've said it, I've said what I don't do.  But what I "do" do is believe that human beings [and all living things, for that matter] have a purpose in life and a reason for being here.  I don't know exactly what my purpose is...I may never, but it makes me happy when I do things for others.  I'm a very "spiritual" person and love everybody and every tiny being with all my heart and soul.  I see my "God" every time I open my eyes and every time I get kisses from Ozzy and every time I see a tiny little creature meandering about.  So, I guess I do believe in a God of sorts, a spiritual being, just not the same one that others believe in.  In other words, I don't think God has any control over people's lives, what they wish for, what they pray for and what happens to them.  Some people get upset when they find this out about me...maybe they just don't get why I'm so happy and so upbeat and have good things happen to me and laugh and have fun and love life...all the while not "believing" in what they believe in.  And, for the record, I don't believe in Big Foot, either.
I believe we live in a world full of good least they all started out good.  Teaching children about love, compassion and caring for the earth, each other and what they have [to me] is way more important than teaching them religion and teaching them to ask for things and pray for things to an open sky that only pours rain and sunshine.  Of course, they should be taught to be thankful for the rain and sunshine, but show their thankfulness by being a good person and doing things for others.  So that's my 2 cents on "my" meaning of life and spirituality...ah, and now it's time for my daily meditation.  Hope the snow finds you well!

love & peace always ~ Kathy

wow!  when I post my quotes at the end of my blog messages, I usually find something on the internet, or randomly open and select a quote from one of my many little books.  Just now, I opened one of my little books to this [how perfect for this blog post!]

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy that is translated through you; and because there is only one you in all of time, this expression is unique." ~ Martha Graham

Monday, January 14, 2013

Straw Bale Gardening & Mantis Pods...

I don't know if all of you know, but I'm somewhat addicted to Kale.  I could eat that stuff [literally] for every meal.  
 Sauteed in sesame or roasted peanut oil is my favorite way to cook it ~ yum!:
I will only buy it if I can get it organic, but it gets pretty expensive when you eat as much of it as we do.  So I found out yesterday that a friend of mine actually grows it in straw bales in her greenhouse and I went to check it out ~ pretty impressive:
We are going to try and grow some in bales this Spring...wish us luck!  While I was there, I spotted this beautiful little creation:
Come to find out, it's a "Praying Mantis Egg Pod" and they are used to eat the little bugs that would otherwise prey on your veggies.  I'm in love!  Now I really can't wait until Spring, so I can not only grow my own Kale, but hatch some baby Mantid...thus, my drawing for today:
love it!  I ordered 100 bookmarks featuring some of my little journal drawings and they will be signed and dated by me and then randomly placed into orders from my Etsy Shop!  They are so cute!  
I did get this made and listed for sale today in the shop:
The carved bone roses are gorgeous!  This is a limited edition...only a few will be available.

Happy Monday!  Heading down to my chilly basement to check out my new Yoga DVD and walk on the treadmill...hope I can keep it up...wish me luck!

love & peace always ~ Kathy

"Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them." ~ Russell H. Conwell

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hello, hello!!!!  Congratulations to Nichole!!!  She won those awesome earrings from my last post!!  I think Ozzy was more exited about picking "Bettie Lou" than Nichole, but I won't tell him the difference.  Enjoy them Nichole, and thanks for the comments!  I'll have to get a food dehydrator and see what I can concoct.  Right now, I'm just keeping up with my daily doings on "My Fitness Pal"...not really wanting to turn that into yet another social network...we'll see.
So who, besides me, was upset about the trapped Whales earlier this week?  Ugh, my heart was breaking...but then, here came Mother Nature to the rescue!  Such a wonderful story!  I love Whales so much, just like my friend Ashli!  They are such amazing creatures!  I drew this in my journal last night, while I was watching television and saw the updated Whale story on the news...hee hee
This is a photo I took yesterday of one of the horses down at Shadowbrook Farm.  It was perfect for this week's theme "texture" in our "2013 Project 52" group on Flickr!  And please do join the group!  It's going to be so much fun!  Next weeks theme will be announced on Monday and you can start posting your photos Tuesday :)
And if you are ever having a bad day, these sweet little donkeys can always make you smile!  So adorable and a bunch of large puppies.
Until next & peace always ~ Kathy

"Can I sing now, said the Sparrow...
not just yet, said the Owl...
one more minute, said the Sun...
Good Morning, Everyone!" ~ 01.10.13 - Kathy Hardy

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Getting Fit and a "Freebie"

I've never been one for counting calories, carbs, fat grams, etc., but I was getting so frustrated with my weight and the inability to take it off, or even be motivated to try, for that matter.  We had joined a health club over a year ago, but never hardly went.  So, back in November, I signed up with an awesome personal trainer named Hiro Martin that works with small groups [8 peeps max].  Our little group only has 3 people right now and it's awesome!  Hiro is trained in lots of different areas and she's so good and patient.  Plus, Hiro holds me accountable...since we are a small group, she knows when I'm not there and she'll call me!  She keeps me on my toes!  We do a combination of Zumba dancing for cardio and then TRX, free weights and other things for strength and core training.  We do lots of stretching and balance on the ball and yogo on the mat.  I can tell that I'm getting stronger and having more balance, but so far, no weight loss.  Then I discovered "My Fitness Pal" and started logging in everything that passes my lips...boy have I been surprised!  Here I was all along thinking I didn't eat much...when, in fact, I've just been eating wrong.  And the good thing about keeping the log [which is totally free and also tracks your daily exercise]  is that you can check on a food or drink, just if you're thinking about consuming it...I've changed my mind about eating or drinking something more than once [well, except for last night]... 
 ...when Wayne and I ate out at Papa's & Beer and I had chicken quesadillas and 2 margaritas!  According to "my fitness pal", if I ate everyday like yesterday, I would gain 15 pounds in 5 weeks ~ lol.  Okay, back on track today!  Papa's & Beer will have to be a quarterly treat at the most!
This is a brand new little bracelet I made today.  The bone turtle is so cute!  I love it!  Of course, it's for sale in the shop...check it out.
And then there's these and I'm giving a pair of them away!  All you have to do is comment on this post and tell me what your most favorite "diet" food is!  Lol...I need to start compiling a list.  Ozzy will be picking the winner Friday!  Good Luck!!
*Update* - yesterday we took Lita to get her 6 week x-ray on her back leg and Dr. Crouch said she was doing great and we could start taking her on short walks!  Yay!!  All four of us are going to take the walks...and I think Ozzy had the most fun, which is what life is all about!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door." ~ Irish Blessing

Saturday, January 5, 2013

In Sickness & In Health...

Wayne has been fighting a terrible cold the last several days.  I've been trying to pump him up with good food, teas, local honey and drugs!  Last night I made this delicious Potato Soup, using Ree Drummond's was sooooooo good!!  The best potato soup I've ever had [think it was the bacon and cheese that put me over the edge]!  It made Wayne feel better, but he's still not well.  I've got to go find some more local honey for his tea...I've been fixing him a combination of "Gypsy Cold Care Herbal Tea" and "Throat Coat Herbal Tea" with a huge dollop of local honey ~*sigh*~ sick husbands are the worst!
We've also just found out that Ozzy may have "Cushings Disease"...when I read about it, it's just way scary :( ~ we'll know for sure next week, after he goes through a series of testing.  Fingers crossed he don't have it, or at least we've caught it in the early sweet little Ozzy.  He was so crazy as a puppy - and he loves playing in the water:


Hope you have a great weekend! I'm off to cook these for breakfast! I'll let you know how they turn out.  They were delish!!!  And, since they are only 100 calories each, I tossed in a yummy english muffin, slathered with almond butter...soooooo good!!
  Stay tuned!  I'll be having another give away [random act of kindness] soon!
love and peace always ~ Kathy
"Sometimes we need someone to simply be there.
Not to fix anything or do anything in particular.
We just need to feel that we are supported and cared about, regardless." ~ Dave Hedges

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

 Yay!  Dana was the winner of that cute little Moustache necklace!!  Congratulations, Dana!  I know you'll wear it well!
 I'm so stoked about my new colored pencils that arrived today from Dick Blick!  These are some brand new colors available in the "Prismacolor" collection.  I can't wait to get them sharpened and do some drawings with them.  I also thought this would be the perfect object to kick off my brand new "Flickr Group".  I started a Project 52 group on Flickr that will have a weekly theme.  The first week's theme is "newness", so my pencils were perfect.  If you would like to join the group, please do so.  It's going to be so much fun!  And that's what this year is going to be all about...having more fun!

Happy New Year!  Love & peace always ~ Kathy

“What day is it?"
It's today," squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day," said Pooh.” ― A.A. Milne