Osage Oranges / Hedge Apples

I like bugs. I think they are very interesting and have a unique perspective on the world. Plus, they have the added benefit of bringing excitement to kids everywhere.

However, I have drawn a line in the gravel at the front door and it seems a few have brazenly crossed it. So, I have called upon the knowledge of my grandparents who a very long time ago taught me about osage oranges (otherwise known as hedge apples or monkey brains) and their ability to ward off insects.

I used to keep them in my bedroom when I was a kid to keep spiders away.

After putting out an appeal to everyone I could think of to help me locate them, they were discovered by my family roadside somewhere between here and Indiana. A caravan of my relatives spotted them. They pulled over and gathered them up for me.

I know plenty of people who believe they work. I’m not sure, but I can say they are a great conversation starter and they look kind of interesting in bowls around my house.

Doing something that has been passed onto me also makes me feel a bit closer to my grandparents. I can’t ask them about things like that any more, so I’m glad when something they taught me comes back into my life. It’s like a hug from the past coming into my today.

Giving Thanks

At the risk of sounding a lot like an acceptance speech at a major awards ceremony, I realize I have much to be thankful for. I don’t think about how lucky I am or how much in my life is wonderful only on Thanksgiving. I think about these things constantly. But, since today is turkey day and all… I decided to make mention of them.

Because I don’t want to bore everyone with the sheer length of all of the things I am thankful for, I’ve decided to group them into categories.

1. First and foremost: Love. I have a lot of it in my life right now. I am surrounded by it. For that, I am eternally thankful. I feel love in every cell of my body and it puts purpose in my life and song in my steps.

2. Family. The people who did not elect to be connected to me but are–well, they are pretty awesome people in my opinion.

3. Friends. These people truly deserve an award because no matter what nutty behavior I exhibit or what hair-brained ideas I come up with, they support me and keep coming back for more–by choice. Thanks guys. I’ve got your back if needed.

4. Assorted necessities. I am thankful that I live in a place where I have clean air to breathe and water to drink and plentiful wonderful food to eat and the ability to make choices of my own and to believe what I want to without fear. And, I am thankful to all of the people who make this happen.

5. Comfort. I am grateful that I am able to curl up on a warm couch with a soft blanket in cozy clothes with fuzzy socks to read a book.

6. Health. Every day, I think about how lucky I am that I can run, swing, dance and laugh.

Oh, there is so much more–everything from the sunshine above to the dirt below the grass and the worms that live there. But, I don’t want to bore you any more than I already have.

So, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thanks for reading because I am thankful you did.

Colors to Live in

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been surrounding myself with new colors.

When I say “surrounding myself,” I mean it quite literally. I’ve been painting. The paint is going on walls and frequently on my hands and clothes.

My family is in the midst of fixing up a wonderful old farm house with hopes of soon moving in. The fixing up is a lot of work mixed with a whole bunch of fun. My favorite part of the whole thing is that I get to pick out colors. I get to chose colors and textures and materials for the walls, floors, and counters. Because the house is so stripped of things, I also get to pick lighting fixtures and faucets. Fabrics and artwork are the final touches and I’m saving them for last.

Here is my color scheme.

I’m pulling in colors that remind me of the outside–browns, golds, greens, oranges, and blues. I’m going to be decorating with metals, stone and glass.

The kitchen.

The living area.

The dining room.

For the past eight years, I’ve been living in jewel colors. My walls have been red, green and purple. I’m very excited to move in a visual direction more connected with nature and more reflective of who I am today.

Out on the Town

I went out on the town with my family the other evening.

Because the people I was with are so very special to me, I took a little extra time with my appearance. My hair and makeup had to be just perfect for the occasion.

Here’s the finished “me.”

I also had to wear a dress that was suitable for such an exciting evening.

My husband was quite dashing in his spooktacular attire.

My boys were as adorable as ever.

It was a fun family evening out on the town.
(Note: Pictures featuring me were taken by assorted family members)