As I settle into fall, life is humming right along. I thought I would take a moment to chat with you on all of the things that are a part of my days now. I have finally moved my buns a bit to get some accomplishments on my personal projects and that is exciting. I am finally feeling more at ease with the daily schedule and routine that drives our days again. October is a low-key month so I can enjoy thinking that I am on top of it all, then the holiday season will hit and blow that little bubble world I am living in right now clear out of sight. That’s okay, I’ll take it. It’s a respite. I would be bored if I was on top of it all the time. And I would wonder who was living in my skin!

On the housing front, the undeveloped development we live in is becoming much less “undeveloped”. And as luck would have it, the developing is all around us. As in all four sides of our house. One of my favorite things to do is sit out on my back patio in the early morning with my coffee before I have to start my day. Well, it was my favorite thing to do. Now…there is not only a house going up across the street behind us in the way of my sunrise and field view, but there is also a porta-pot back there for the fellows that are working on this house. They keep the same early hours I do. I was barely handling it when a truck would arrive, back in and then sit there staring at me and my coffee from across the street while they waited for work to start. But then the straw that broke the camel’s back changed everything. They actually use the porta-pot while I am sitting there with my coffee. I am glad that they have a bathroom. Everyone should have access to one.  And I know Mother Nature waits for no one but I don’t want to know about it. I already know way too much about the bathroom habits of the people I live with. I don’t care to know them about strangers and especially when I am preparing for my day in the stillness of the morning. Ugh. Now, another house with a porta-pot is kitty-corner to us. Fabulous.

(See the porta-pot in the lower left-hand corner? That’s my sunrise view.)

All sorts of crazy things are lining up to point us toward a new direction, porta-pots included. I’m not sure where or when and definitely not how, but I can feel that some big changes are in the air. My youngest enters kindergarten next year and that was a milestone timeline for me and my “next steps”. I can’t believe that time is almost upon me. He was one and a half when I first started blogging.

Next, I have discovered that I am obsessed with sky and cloud pics.

See those cool wavy cloud bumps? Fabulous.

In a camera, my backyard sunrise view can crop out the construction house and porta-pot.

Every minute the sky changes.

Look at those colors.

Cotton candy clouds.

And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the cloud and sky pics I have. I will have to make a coffee table book someday. Hmmm…

On the “dreamer” front, I am back on the saddle again (or is it “in the saddle”?) after a long period of inactivity. I finally managed to get a few ideas for how I want the recipe pages to look in my cookbook. My dream was to hand-write them because handwritten recipes are dying out and I so love handwritten recipes for the connection that they give you to the person who wrote them. It’s like they are with you while you cook. But, my handwriting just looked messy so I will have to save that one for another project. But then I became completely stumped on how to proceed. So, I finally got out my stash of cookbooks and went through them to see what I liked and take some notes. That helped, so I was able to put another big push on my cookbook and send it off to be printed. This will be my third draft and I am so excited to see it. Each draft makes it seem like I can make this happen.

You see, periodically, the voices in my head mock me and tell me that I must be crazy to think that I can create a cookbook. But, I plug along anyway because, well, why not? It’s worth a try. Then, a moment comes along that reminds me I may as well go for it. I recently tried some new recipes from cookbooks of extremely credible sources and they did not turn out very well. The tricks that were mentioned to give me a crisp crust on the bottom of my apple pie burned it. First time I have ever burned a pie. And it wasn’t all that tasty of a pie. And the cookies I made were okay, but need some tweaking and definitely no better than any other cookie I make. It reminded me that cooking and baking are very individualized tasks that are based on varied ingredients, ovens, tools, weather, hair styles, and apron selections. Recipes are really more of a guide and the more you cook and bake, the easier it becomes to know how to read a recipe and change things to the ways that you know will work for you and the hair style and apron you are wearing that day. I’m a home cook. That’s gotta count for something, right? So, be gone mocking voices in my head. I can do this.

And then there is my grown-up coloring book. I have a few more pictures to create and then I should be able to see how that looks in print.  I was off in my math so I have more than I thought I did, which was a bit deflating, but there’s nothing else to do but plug along. It’s pretty exciting! It was two years ago this November when I walked into a stationery store near Chicago looking for a special gift and the sales person directed me to the newest arrival – grown-up coloring books. It was being predicted that they would be big. Well, she was right. I remember thinking that I wanted in on that trend because I had a feeling she was right and I love kid coloring books but I was quite bummed because I am not an artist, I am not a publisher and I am not a printer. There was no way I would be able to do anything with that trend except watch it come. I’m not anything that would point me in the direction to get in on that trend. Except for being a dreamer.  When the coloring books hit the shelves, I was disappointed because the pictures in most of them were not anything I was interested in coloring and most of them were so detailed that my limited attention span would never even finish a pic even if I was interested in the drawing. That’s when I decided that I was going to start creating my own, one page at a time. Being a dreamer was all the credentials I needed. Even if it were only just for me someday. Well. I am getting closer and have now learned a thing or two about self-publishing and other fine points, so I am forging ahead with that dream too.

Since then, I have added some other seemingly impossible dreams to the list, but these two are my main focus right now. All of my secret and not-so-secret mentors have started with a desire to give something a try and see where it goes. “Find someone who has what you want and do what they do.” (I’m not sure if Anthony Robbins is the original creator of that quote but he said something similar – just to give credit.)

Me and my bakery belly have been spending time upping the exercise routine. The scale is still talking the same trash but I attribute it to all the muscle that I have gained. Mental manipulation is the key to mental happiness.

I am slowly getting this website to a less pathetic state. But, I am enjoying the moments with my last kid at home before he heads off to kindergarten so thank you for your patience. I am a believer in the energy of the universe, of signs, of God’s mysterious ways so I started to wonder if my missing website meant that I supposed to give up blogging and just go back to loving loads of laundry, feeding picky kids, picking up endless toy clutter and being only a domestic goddess. To just wait until I could start my country shoppe and other tangible dreams in a few years. But I so love chatting with you and sharing our moments together. It may not be the way I want it to be right now, but I know that my missing website is not a sign telling me to give it up. It’s challenging me for some other reason because it is getting to be time for me to take a next step.

That’s all the chit chat I have right now, my BFF’s. Go have a donut so I am not the only one with a bakery belly. Misery loves company ya know!