Wordless Wednesday – Viewpoints

Viewpoints at sunset

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is the second of two blogs.  You can find more on my “Thought Blog” at rashellbud.wordpress.com. Wishing you a beautiful day full of the Small Stuff that transforms life into BIG STUFF.
All photos on SmallStuffLiving are the personal property of Sausmus Photography and of this blog. Please do not use without permission. Thanks!
Advertisements come with the territory but do not necessarily reflect my opinion or endorsements.

Bananas About Bandana’s

“Here. You need these.”

My SIL thrust a pile of bandanas and scarves into my hands.

“Gosh. What will I do with these?”

“They’ll make good masks. You just need them; they were Mom’s after all.”

Mom left us last March; now we were gathered in my childhood home … My Guy, my big brother, SIL, niece, and me … looking through her things.

Sophie is suspicious of this basket of cloth. As long as I don’t tie one around her neck, I guess she’ll be okay.

Mom was a collector … not a hoarder (well, I guess that depends on which member of the family you talk to) but a true collector. Her character was reflected in the fact that she had a knack for cast off things and cast off people. Simple and quiet herself (well … quiet around strangers … not so much around us or those who were subject to her teasing), she could always find a treasure behind layers of dust or underneath scarred, water-stained wood. A little dusting … a little oil and elbow grease … and a cast-off-nothing became desirable again.

Some of the things we found in the house were collections from yard sales and auctions. Some things were saved from our childhood. The bandanas fell into the second category.

In Mom’s teen years (’50’s), bandanas were fashionable as headscarves and came in any color you liked as long as it was red. They looked cute on girls with short hair. A comeback was attempted in the ’70’s, only with slightly longer hair and a full rainbow of colors. It was a look that didn’t work so well for me.

You know those memes where they show a gorgeous woman with her hair in a nice neat “messy” bun next to a Kathy-Bates-look-a-like (serial killer version) with a messy bun? The meme caption says something like, “Other women with a messy bun. Me with a messy bun.”

Well … there you go. That’s what awkward-duckling-teenage-me looked like in a bandana head scarf, compared to other girls. They all looked ready for a fashion shoot. I looked like I was going to mop floors.

Dad wore bandanas too. They were much more utilitarian in his case … around his neck to soak up sweat while laboring on one of the farms where he often hired out to make extra money … or when up on our roof in August, tearing off rolled roofing with 95 degree temperatures melting his face and his mood.

In the 50’s Dad worked on farms in central Washington … bandanas were a face covering for him to ward off the dust from temperamental windstorms. You also might see the red cloth peaking from the inside rim of his hat where he stuffed it to soak up head sweat. And he wasn’t above using one these “fashionable” pieces of fabric to honk snot into when ordinary handkerchiefs weren’t available.

While neither of my parents used handkerchiefs in the fashion of a bank robber (at least not that I know of), I’m bringing that look back to existence.

With COVID-19 overtaking our world and the recent (controversial) mask mandates, the discovery of Mom’s handkerchief collection is timely. I may look a bit suspicious when I wear them, but it is a cuter look than the cleaning-lady-aura that I rocked in the ’70’s. Most importantly, they don’t fog up my glasses as much as masks ,so I don them often.

Well … it wouldn’t be a COVID-19 pic if toilet paper wasn’t in the background.

Kudos to Mom for collecting a variety of colors (pictured above). Makes me feel like a fashionista to be all matchy matchy.

When Covid Days are behind us, I hope to find other uses. Here are some suggestions, should you have a big collection like mine:

  • Head band
  • Neck Scarf
  • Decorate the dog with an awesome neck tie
  • Ice pack (in a lunch bag or around your neck on a steaming hot day)
  • Sling (hope you never need to try this out)
  • Cleaning Rag (I have a hard time doing that unless said bandana is full of holes and ready for the rag bin itself.)
  • Dust deflector
  • Fancy handkerchief
  • Blindfold (Recommended for happy occasions only like surprise parties … nothing devious encouraged here!)
  • Instant table cloth (if you have a small table)
  • Bug zapper (If you have have speedy reflexes and stellar aim, you should be able to take out a few pesky flies with a rolled up bandana!)
  • Coffee filter (Okay, you probably have to be really desperate … but imagine that camping trip where someone forgot the coffee filter … the majority of coffee addicts I know are desperate enough that they’ll go for the bandana.)
  • And of course, a Covid mask

Here’s a complete coincidence, but I encountered my friend Danika yesterday wearing of all things … a red bandana! She had no idea that I had just written the first draft of this ever-important-bandana-post. Thankfully, I didn’t get a “you’re crazy look” when I asked for a selfie.

“It’s for something really important,” I insisted.

And see! She’s one of those beauties who makes bandana wearing fashionable again. (She does good for Covid mask wearing too.) And me? Well, you see for yourself the results above. I’ve definitely got that sneaky bank robber thing going on.

While I’ve brought Danika into all of this, let me point out that she is a fellow blogger and is in the process of creating her own business, Milk N Honey Cakery. She is an amazing cake artist and you’ll love her work. Be forewarned … hers is a dangerous blog site. The pictures are delicious and the posts will leave you hungry. I can’t guarantee that just looking at the food photos won’t add calories.

Here’s her latest post. Check it out and let her know what you think.

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is the second of two blogs.  You can read more on my “Thought Blog” at rashellbud.wordpress.com. Wishing you a beautiful day full of the Small Stuff that transforms life into BIG STUFF.

All photos on SmallStuffLiving are the personal property of Sausmus Photography and of this blog. Please do not use without permission. Thanks!

Advertisements come with the territory but do not necessarily reflect my opinion or endorsements.

Nope. The cat did NOT like those bandanas. They are in HER favorite spot for looking out the window, and the raised ears make it clear that she is quite disgusted with me.

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is the second of two blogs.  You can read more on my “Thought Blog” at rashellbud.wordpress.com. Wishing you a beautiful day full of the Small Stuff that transforms life into BIG STUFF.

All photos on SmallStuffLiving are the personal property of Sausmus Photography and of this blog. Please do not use without permission. Thanks!

Advertisements come with the territory but do not necessarily reflect my opinion or endorsements.

Where the Wild Things Are

2020 has been harsh. Can’t count the times that I’ve leaned back and thought, “Wow … what would I do without the wild things?”

When I can’t stand one more debate over face masks or listen to one more news headline that starts with the letters “C-O-” and ends with the number 19…

When my stomach is all knotted up over what how kids are being affected…

When I can hardly stand thinking about senior citizens battling a cocktail of fear and loneliness…

When all this craziness boils over in my brain …

I hunt down my walking shoes and head for where the wild things are.

Where the wild things are … nature.

Nature, resolute and unflinching.

Nature, luscious after drowning rain one week … busting with brilliance of color after scorching heat the next … growing peaked when the heat persists too long.

Nature has been a classroom. Early this Spring, My Guy and I spotted two geese flying with a small flock of ducks. Birds of different feathers joining forces. The news these days would have me believing that this can’t be true of animals or of people. Not true on either front.

Nature has been a reminder that powers much bigger than me are at play.

I’m not really a fan of sci-fi, but a high school teacher turned me onto Ray Bradbury, who in turn led me to Sara Teasdale.

I’ve thought of her words often of late …

There Will Come Soft Rains
Sara Teasdale, 1920

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild-plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

When I see wild flowers boastfully fanning themselves just before the sun drops them into darkness …

When birds hop carelessly free among untamed bushes, unworried about anything but the berries they’re about to pluck…

When owls wake up the darkness with the soft wooing…

When nature does what it knows to do …

I’m a little envious.

Envious of the simplicity …

Of the steadfast continuing on whether storm or calm …

Of the inability to seek revenge or hold onto grudges.

Our small town hasn’t escaped the blow of a pandemic or the shaking of racial strife … yet, I feel that it’s all a little gentler here. With the lessons of the wild things, there’s a strong sense of, “We’re all we’ve got … let’s make this work.”

People are not unlike the wildflowers. We strive to bloom. We bend with the winds.

We may be a bit battered by storms but not easily broken.

We may fade and wither under pressure, but even in fading, we can help others to shine … just like this field of wild flowers.

Nature is forgiving.

It seeks revival after storms.

It fights against drought.

It endures its seasons.

It refreshes a weary spirit.

Thank God for nature.

Because of later than normal rainfalls, wildflower season stretched further into summer months this year. Hope these photos gave you a break from the regularly scheduled mayhem, now known as 2020 and let you breathe a little deeper … where the wild things are.

How have you “de-toxed” from the craziness of this year?

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is the second of two blogs.  You can read more on my “Thought Blog” at rashellbud.wordpress.com. Wishing you a beautiful day full of the Small Stuff that transforms life into BIG STUFF.

All photos on SmallStuffLiving are the personal property of Sausmus Photography and of this blog. Please do not use without permission. Thanks!

Advertisements come with the territory but do not necessarily reflect my opinion or endorsements.

Sheep and Stuff Like That

You could say I live in cattle country. Actually, it’s wheat country … farmers proudly boast of the highway signs that announce our county as one of the largest wheat producing regions in the nation. When it comes to livestock however, you are most likely to see cows and horses in pastures … and here and there, a few sheep are scattered about… usually for County Fair or 4-H projects … rarely more than a half dozen or so. Oh, and llamas and alpaca’s … we’re seeing them around more and more as well … but this is a blog about sheep.

Large flocks of sheep are not the norm, so My Guy and I were impressed when we rounded a curve and met with this view.

The sight compelled us to let up on the gas pedal, roll to a stop, and climb out of an air-conditioned car into more-than-warm heat to watch and … even more, to listen. Listening is the key here … these guys could ratchet up some noise … bleating … bawling … noisy children vying for attention between gulps of grass.

An odd thought occurred to me …

Sheep have been maligned.

Yup. It’s those darn “sheeple.

” Sheeple”. With political tempers flaring these days, just about everyone, it seems, is labeled a “sheeple” … the dig is meant to suggest that one doesn’t have a mind of their own. I think people really mean to call their opponents “lemmings” but instead it became sheep … you know, those mindless sheep.

However … trust me … sheep have minds of their own. These guys did. It took three sheep dogs and a hawk-eyed shepherd in a golf cart to keep these baaaadies in line. They had all kinds of ideas about where they wanted to wander and several were clever enough to find a way to that greener pasture along side the road … on the wrong

My brother raised a lamb for a high school FFA (Future Farmers of America) project, and I tell you, that little lamb was clever. He found a way to unlatch the gate of his pen and wander across the street to my grandmother’s back door. I don’t know why, but she fed him cookies (may be why he made weight for the showing), and that little guy remembered those cookies. Every chance he got, he escaped and made his way back to Grandma’s house. He butted the screen door with his head until she answered. Pretty smart, if you ask me.

Sheep are clever, useful (for wool), and cute. And tasty … for those who like lamb chops … but I won’t go any further down that road!

Did you also know that sheep are loyal and tend to have friends? I grew curious and found several interesting articles about sheep. Check out this one. Looks like I’m not the only one to feel that sheep have been given a baaaad rap. (Sorry … it’s hard to resist stupid puns!)

The individual personalities of sheep stood out to me that afternoon.

“Listen to all those voices,” I said to My Guy. “They’re talking to each other.”

Sure enough, it seemed like scores of conversations were transpiring amongst the flock; melodic voices, gruff voices, pleading bleats, sharp reprimands, complaints, humored tones, bossy ones. I was certain that a group near the road was gossiping about the ewe that had slipped through the fence and was happily chomping on grass untouched by any of her comrades.

“Greedy,” her friends seemed to say.

“Just wait! That shepherd dude is about to sic one of those hyper dogs on her,” another retorted.

Sure enough, the shepherd rolled up in his cart and with the help of one of the dogs, had her hopping over the fence pronto and back to the herd.

Listening to sheep chatter, I was reminded of the Bible’s word picture … a sheep know a shepherd’s voice, especially a good shepherd’s There’s another side to that … a shepherd knows the voices of his (or her) sheep too. They are as identifiable as a room full of kindergartners would be, similar, but certainly full of individual personalities.

Modern sheep are bred to not have horns, thus they are not as well suited to protecting themselves, but there was a day that could fend off just about any enemy/predator with sharp horns. They throw a pretty vicious kick so aren’t entirely without protective instincts. Still, sheep are vulnerable, particularly to predators like wolves. They need some protection; guidance is a good thing for sheep too. They’re stubborn enough to wander off until they are in over their heads and fat pickin’s for a starving wolf.

Maybe we disdain “sheeple” because we don’t like the idea that humans might be just as vulnerable as our little, wooly friends. Humans seem pretty convinced that we don’t need anyone to tell us what to do. Not sure it works like that though … something to ponder, for sure.

Share your sheep facts and stories in the comments. I bet there are some great ones out there.

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is the second of two blogs.  You can read more about my life experiences on my “Thought Blog” at rashellbud.wordpress.com. Wishing you a beautiful day full of the Small Stuff that transforms life into BIG STUFF.
(All photos on SmallStuffLiving is the personal property of Sausmus Photography and of this blog. Please do not use without permission. Thanks!)

Small Stuff Christmas

Our new family motto: Make memories, not injures …

The Christmas forecast played with us.

Snow.

Oops …

No … rain.

Oops … hold that.  It’ll be a cloudy, dry Christmas.

Warm (winter warm) temperatures.

I love white Christmases, but with family driving over mountain passes and flying to an airport an hour away from us, I was okay with the final forecast of a mild Christmas day.

SURPRISE …

We woke up to a dusting of snow.

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White, frosted hope … a sprinkling of all things refreshed, made new.

How appropriate for a Christmas day.

A couple of days earlier, at our little church, the pastor asked the kids why they think people like snow so much at Christmas.

After giggled answers of  “It’s fun” … “I like sledding” … “Snowmen are awesome”… a second grader piped up.

“Snow reminds us that baby Jesus came so our bad stuff can be white … like what snow does.”

Well said, little boy.

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I have to say, the fresh snow felt like a gift from above … a little reminder that in a moment, life can look fresh and hopeful once again.

Since that snow dusted Christmas morning, we’ve slipped into the new year … a whole new decade, even.  A heavy snow met us on the last day of 2019, only to be washed away with heavy rain by the bursting of New Year fireworks.  At least, I think it was all washed away …  our weary bodies didn’t last until midnight to ring in the new year or watch any fireworks on TV.

That doesn’t mean we didn’t celebrate the New Year though … well … at least half of us did.  We’d been looking forward to pot luck and Bunco Night at the town restaurant.  We had joined in last year and had a blast, making new friends, laughing over simple, silly things.

Darn …

I was smote with a nasty sinus head ache late in the afternoon, so sent My Guy to forage for pot luck food at the little market where he found chips and store-bought cookies, while I sat by the fireplace and waited for the the essential oils and pain reliever to kick in.

As I sat there, looking at the fake flames in my otherwise cozy fire place, I thought of all the small stuff that made this holiday season and the upcoming year feel so rich:

The mystery plate of cookies at the front porch.

Another plate of cookies handed to me at work by a woman I admire but rarely get to interact with. It was such an unexpected, heart-felt gesture.  (Not to mention that my family was super pleased since I haven’t taken the time to make cookies the last few years.)

An unexpected text and then exchange of photos and more texts with a friend from childhood. We grew up together just 12 miles away from where I live now, having both travelled parts of the globe, and here we are, still connected at the heart.

The festivity of our small town, including a stunning show of lights across the train trestle that is soon to be converted to a bike and walking trail. 

The kindness of the community to put together a Sharing Tree that provided gifts for families needing extra support this year … a long standing tradition in the community.

The joint effort of two churches who come together at Thanksgiving to worship and then take up donations to provide meals for families during Christmas.

Mom “willed” herself to join us on Christmas.  It was not one of her easier days, but she came, and we so enjoyed the time.

Visits with our kids. Something I know we can’t take for granted. I was very aware of the huge gift these small moments were as many around us lost family and loved ones of late or just were too far away to be with family.

Well-thought out, simple gifts from family. (We kept our budgets very low this year, and somehow, I think the gifts were far more meaningful.)

Laughter as our son-in-law ventured up a giant tree to rescue My Guy’s brand new (bargain-priced) drone that magnetically drifted to the highest limbs of a 50+ foot tree.  (Well, laughter afterwards.  I actually was at work, so wasn’t told of the hi-jinks until all were safe on the ground again.  Thus … our new family motto: Make memories, not injures. Thankfully, we were successful!)

I saw a lot of kindnesses displayed this Christmas … more than I listed here, as many of the stories are not mine to tell.

I don’t watch news much anymore because I see so much cruelty and unkindness.

But, here, in the small stuff, I’ve seen that kindness and compassion for others is still alive and well.

That’s a good note on which to end one year and start another.

 

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Wishing you a year overflowing with kindness and small-stuff possibilities!

 

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Our main street and the whole town was so pretty and festive this year.

 

 

Color With My Mother

My Guy and I moved far away from the fervor of city life and embraced small town quietude primarily to care for my mother.

The scope of what that was to look like has changed multiple times once we got here and began to understand what Mom’s needs look like.

Lewy Body Dementia is rough.  Any disease that steals a loved one and molds them into someone only loosely familiar, someone who is often scared … frequently worried … and possessing little control … well … its rough.

But there are the small things that make it tolerable, even special.

It was a typical Friday afternoon visit in her cozy room.  I poked my head in never knowing if this is a visit where she’d welcome me to sit awhile or look up lost, listen to a few words from me then say her ritual, “I think you’d better go.”  The second is hard … I try to push my welcome so that she knows we’re always here and so that she doesn’t have to be alone.  But the plea comes with a look in her eyes that almost begs … “I don’t want people to see me like this.  I’d rather be alone.”

The Friday she was standing by the sink looking at things on the counter.  I would be welcomed to stay.

First was rehearsing some things she’d been working hard to remember to tell me.  Personal items to pick up.  A table cloth back at her home that she wanted me to look for and pull out for the holidays.

Then she sank into the soft recliner from her old living room and pulled out her color books and pencils.

Three Christmases ago, a family member gave her some colored pencils and books, thinking Mom would enjoy them.  She didn’t seem the least bit interested.  Then one day, after moving to where she is now, she asked us to bring her books and pencils.

It’s sporadic for sure, but more and more she’s been filling the pages with color.  Detailed. Careful.  … I don’t remember her ever paying so much attention to artistic detail except for a brief period over 40 years ago when she enjoyed a stint painting ceramics at our neighbor’s shop.

She set out all her pencils, then gave me orders.

“Here.  You color the top.  I’ll color the bottom.”

Quiet. Working.  We only talked to consult color choices.

Peaceful.

This small moment mattered … every huge achievement in my life paling to mush.

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Mom has always loved color …

And gardens …

And flowers …

And bossing me around.

More about our journey with Mom and with dementia here and here.

Can You Spare A Little … Time?

Our little town of 800 boasts a grocery store, restaurant, pharmacy, clinic, restored Theater, library (that’s where I work), coffee shop, hardware store, antique store, and gift shop/art gallery … all within two and a half blocks.

We live right behind the theater, so I guess that means we live in the theater district.

Everything is walking distance for us … love that about living here.

Yesterday, I walked to the store for a candy bar. (Yes … it is a problem that I live that close to the store and can run over there whenever an indulgence strikes … and to clarify … it was DARK chocolate … I’ve been on a modified Keto eating plan of late.)

On the way back one of my neighbor’s and her son were coming down the street.  She was letting her little guy try out his battery powered kid scooter that he was finally old enough to steer without running into her ankles.

After chatting a second, I dismissed myself as I was clearly walking much faster (and had in mind wanting to get home and dive into my chocolate). “I won’t keep you guys … see you later,” I said as a way of escape after a reasonable amount of customary, polite small talk.

“Wait,” called out Little Guy from his little scooter.   “I want you to watch me drive.”  No whining … just a sweet smile and a sincere invitation.

How could I turn that down.

I slowed my gait and backed up so that it took two minutes instead of one to walk down the street.  One extra minute in order to escort Little Guy and His Mom which also perked into a much more meaningful exchange with His Mom in that two minutes.

We crossed the street and came to the juncture where our paths split.

Completely unprompted, Little Guy looked up and beamed.

“Thank you for watching me.”

You would have thought I’d just handed him my chocolate bar (a thought that didn’t even cross my mind in that moment) from the glee.

Two minutes.

Two minutes and I completely made a three-year-old’s day.  I may have made his whole week.

We moved here to slow down.  To relish family … each other … and life … in a more sane and reasonable manner.

Thank you, Little Guy, that this means taking time to watch a kid do something that to him is remarkable. I’ve written about the gift of time before, but the lesson never seems to get fully learned … and unfortunately that is even more true when a chocolate bar is at stake.

I love the small stuff that makes a big difference.

Tekoa Empire Theater
My neighborhood. (This photo was taken in 2014)

 

No Small Tomatoes

It’s supposed to snow next week.

There’s nothing overly crazy about snow on the Palouse the last week of November, but our little town is still traumatized from the endless blizzard called February and March … a mere eight-ish months ago.  We made regional headlines because the state highway leading out of town got buried by drifts for several weeks.  Workers couldn’t even find the road but had to walk in front of plows with their shovels poking through the drifts to locate the pavement.

That was wild.

We’d thought we were getting away with a mild winter last year … but no.  BLAHM! After weeks of sunny, frosty days, the wind screeched out of nowhere and snow swirled …

and swirled …

and swirled …

and turned into ginormous drifts.

Most of  us are thinking that if we can just please make it to Christmas this year, we might be okay with endlessly shoveling the walks, wobbling like penguins so as not to fall on our butts on the ice, and piling on fifty layers of clothing before sticking our noses outside.

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This is what last winter looked and felt like.  My lazy person’s snowman re-appeared after the thaw took place in March.  Before that, he disappeared altogether under about two feet more of snow.

But the weather man is messing with us, so what am I doing? (And mind you, I like snow … in the “correct” season anyway).

I’m scrolling through my photos looking at all the summer and fall adventures we had, wishing I had started blogging Small Stuff then.  So I’m going to back up a bit … right into our garden.

As soon as that FebruaryMarch blizzard stopped, one thing was on the mind of every farmer and every gardener around here …. PLANT SOMETHING!

Gardens and crops went in late … evidenced by the latest harvest known to ‘most every farmer around.  Combines were in the field in October trying to snatch a few more garbanzo beans, many having lost some of their wheat crops altogether.  And this with snow on the hills from the first freak snow storm of the fall. And as recent as last week (mid-November) we drove by several farmers still doing their fall plowing.  Completely unheard of in “normal” years.

heirloom tomatoes

After the spring that was really a winter, we were just like everyone else and couldn’t wait to dig our hands deep into the soil. At our house, a rental for the last few years, it meant breaking up long ignored garden beds so that we could bring in bountiful harvests.  Our dreams were a little ahead of our energy and actual garden space, but one thing that caught hold of the spirit was the heirloom tomato seeds I started on my own.

Here’s the results in late September.

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This was about a third of our harvest, all from about 8 plants.  This doesn’t include an equal number destroyed by the freak, early snow I mentioned above.  We were gifting tomatoes to everyone we knew. (People turned and fled when they saw us coming at them with a bag in our hand.)

And we ate tomato sauce-included recipes for weeks.  Here’s one such dinner:

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Crazy as my harvest looks, many of the longtime gardeners around here raked in 3 and 4 times the bounty.  They’re hard core gardeners and canners.  I’m not up so much for canning tomatoes as My Guy isn’t so big on tomatoes in everything, but I did manage to learn a few new techniques for perfecting homemade sauce.

I’m still divided on whether or not to peel tomatoes first.  The experts around here don’t fiddle with peeling … they just cook the sauce for a very long time, getting the skins to dissolve.  That worked in the sauce I made above, but not all the varieties I grew were so cooperative.

What do you do?

And do you have any secret ingredients you’re willing to share for the perfect homemade sauce?

I threw in a little brown sugar, other garden veggies, lots of garlic and store bought tomato paste to achieve the consistency and taste I like best.

My garden bed is flattened now, but if the weather man is right, I’m going to be longing for garden beds and spring blooms as soon at the holidays are over.  Here’s what’s shaping up for what looks to be a White Thanksgiving. The weather channel shows the cold front and snow continuing for several days into December, past what I’ve captured in the screen shot of my weather app, taken on Nov. 20.

Show weather in my current location

Here we go again!

What’s winter like where you are?  Are you dreading it or excited … and what are your favorite winter past-times?

Cheers!

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My Guy binge-watched past seasons of Master Chef while I pretended to know what I was doing in the kitchen.  Guess I was feeling a little inspired from the shows. You can see that the other thing that grew well in my garden was Spaghetti Squash.  They were the only plants left when I went to buy squash plants … good choice it seems!

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is my second blog.  You can read more about my life experiences and the faithfulness of God towards a simple country gal who took a long hiatus in the city on rashellbud.

Please note that all photos, unless noted, are mine and permission must be sought to use them.

Wishing you a beautiful day full of the small stuff that makes life wonderful and amazing. 

Small Beginnings and Endings

My life is starting to resemble a Big Stuff Oreo Cookie™.

My life is starting to resemble a Big Stuff Oreo Cookie™.

My beginnings were in a small town, and I’m talking small … the population topped out around 100 people before I left home. At 18, I transplanted to a sprawling metropolitan area in order to attend college. From 100 to 3.5 million people (50 thousand on the campus alone!), I lived the urban life. I finished college … worked in the heart of the city … married a fellow college student … did stints in various suburban neighborhoods where we raised our family … enjoyed the luxury of being minutes from shopping malls and numerous restaurants … fought traffic … listened to constant barrages of sirens and gunshots (seriously) … attended theater and concerts and festivals and other big city offerings .

But now I’m back to small town life … just 12 miles from where I started.

And I. LOVE. IT.

For awhile, city life made me feel like Big Stuff … somehow important .. . somehow in a position to change the world … somehow a big deal because I was close to where everything “important” happened. Like that gooey sweet stuff in the middle of the OREO … that stuff for which people yank off the ordinary old outsides and cast them off in order to inhale the sweet cream of the middle.

For me, however, the big stuff has grown stale. I don’t think as much about changing the world … or know that I even want to. All the sweet, enticing stuff in the middle of my life has faded in its glamor.

These days, I just want ordinary, and I’m kinda enamored with it. My big, hairy, audacious life goals have morphed into wanting to leave what’s right in front of me a little better than I found it. AND … I want to do so at an easy, kind-hearted pace.

So here I am (well just not me … My Guy and me) … city folk for nearly four decades, now sporting country duds in a town of about 800 people … this after maneuvering live in a metropolitan area of 3.5 MILLION people.

There are many, many things to appreciate about the last four decades of city and suburban living … but …

But … every day here in small town America feels like a celebration to me.

That’s what this blog is for … to celebrate small town life … small stuff. It’s not meant to rail against or even a be a comparison to city life … well … except maybe when it comes to traffic.

Loved the recent visit with our daughter in the Seattle area, but DID NOT miss this part of city life.

And to be clear … small town life isn’t an escape from human problems … from suffering … or sadness … or disagreeing … or disappointments … or hardships … or anything that comes from living life on  a broken planet.

Small town life is simply a season for me to take on all the hard stuff at a slower pace with a bit more realistic view of who I am and who I am not. 

Today I celebrate simple walks and beautiful drives with My Guy and end with a few shots of a drive just south of us into the Idaho panhandle.

Freeze Church near Potlatch, WA
The Freeze church near Potlatch, ID. This simple little church still has an active congregation and is the perfect example of what I love about small stuff.

These pictures are for real … this is the bathroom situation at the Freeze Church.  Now, I guess we know the reason for its name.  HaHa.  (By the way, it’s pronounced Freez – y … rhymes with Breezy.)

Seriously, though, I know people who have left churches because the music was too loud or the parking lot wasn’t big enough or the children’s department didn’t provide enough entertainment for the kids. 

And then I see something like this church along with the sermon notes and song list inside the building.  Simple … small … and maybe a little outdated (whatever that really means) … but earnest and alluring in a way that only small stuff can be. Give me more of that!

Sunset at end of highway

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is my second blog.  You can read more about my life experiences and the faithfulness of God towards a simple country girl on rashellbud.wordpress.com. 

Please note that all photos, unless noted, are mine and permission must be sought to use them.

Wishing you a beautiful day full of the small stuff that makes life wonderful and a big deal.