Happy Places

My New Happy Place

In this chaos-filled world it’s important to find or create Happy Places to feed your soul. Somewhere to step back or away. A hopeful point of view that renews and regenerates.

Today it was as simple as splurging on a pot of flowers.

(Okay, two…)

Posies

I’ve been looking at that burned up ol’ stump long enough. Time to add some color to it! The end result made me happy.

I was also tickled to be grilling out this Memorial Day weekend. Thank you to every soul who contributed to such unabashed freedom. (Feeling blessed.) Your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed, nor unappreciated.

Grill Full of Goodness

Make the world a happier place, beginning with yours. Do whatever you need to do to give… thank a Veteran… and remember the fallen. We owe them so much.

Enjoying a peaceful (and tasty) weekend at the lake,

~ Kim

Flowergram VIII

Dogwood blossoms

(Hover over the photos for the full effect…)

Spring is in full bloom and it’s time for another Flowergram!

(Can’t tell you how good it felt to wander about at will again, ahhhhh…)

I feel like I’ve been playing catch up here forever and a day, but the truth is: there’s no catching up with right now. You’re either in it or you’re not.

Lavender

Lately I’ve been re-prioritizing things, or at least re-scheduling them. Sometimes my creative soul doesn’t want to be confined to a time slot, but it’s necessary for me to discern measurable progress. (Plus I don’t get a dang thing done — or at least the important ones — if I don’t!)

That means making time for regular exercise (did I just admit that in public?!!), enjoying the beauty & benefits of “small plates” (more on that in an upcoming post), getting back to writing on a regular schedule, and practicing the piano like I just got booked at Carnegie Hall! I’m giving another concert in less than a week, I had a dual speaking & musical engagement yesterday, and life has been an all around profusion of activity.

Last month, The Man of Few Word’s son (my step-son) moved in with us temporarily, and with two fellas needing to get to work at different times and places (with one vehicle), guess who’s been designated taxi driver? I run TMOFW to work at 5:30 a.m. (10 mile round trip), take my step-son to work at 7:30 a.m. (20 mile round trip), pick up TMOFW between noon and 4:00 (such fun not knowing “for sure” what time) and, as things turned out last week, had to make the final pick-up of the day at 4:00 (four days in a row) to get my step-son, too. (Whew!) Thankfully, all of that will change soon (if Mama ain’t happy… tee hee!) and normal life will resume shortly.

Please.

Speaking of “profusions”… here’s one of my favorites:

As for the writing part, I’m thrilled beyond words to have an official part-time, work-at-home job as an editorial assistant/copywriter on a BIG project. (Details are confidential as of yet, but I’m doin’ the happy dance!)

If a picture could describe my elation, it would be this “homegrown” contribution to my Flowergram…

Color me tickled pink — with a lil’ bit of purple for fun. ;)

Flowerbox

How will you spend the hours you’ve been given today… backtracking or living?

It’s a delicate balance sometimes, and as fragile and fleeting as Spring blossoms.

Never be “too busy” to do the things that make you happy!

Dogwood Tree

Enjoying re-prioritizing,

~ Kim

© 2011-2014 Kim Bultman and a little lunch

Before & After

A global thank you

Before blogging, I lived an interesting life, although somewhat rather local in scope.

After blogging, I found myself having conversations with folks around the globe!

(Have I told you lately how much I appreciate conversing with you?)

Our favorite game

Before The Man Of Few Words, I thought I knew what true love was.

After The Man Of Few Words, I discovered I didn’t.

(He proposed to me via Scrabble board twelve years ago and I still feel like a “bride.”)  Sigh…

Oklahoma sunset

Before Oklahoma, winter consisted of shoveling snow, scraping windshields, and “layering up.”

After Oklahoma, winter consists of watching sunsets or star-gazing on the deck in the dead of December — without a parka!

(I love this State.)

Year Round Christmas Tree :)

Before writing this post, I had a point to make.

After I started writing, I forgot what it was.

Some days (or nights) are like that… Happy Holidays anyway! :)

Enjoying before and after moments,

~ Kim

Flowergram V

Hi there!  I was going through some photos from earlier this year and ran across this one — a flower garden that I happened upon one fine, sunny day.  (Photo taken out of my car window at a stop sign!)

It made me think… even though autumn gets a lot of acclaim, summer has its profusion of colors, too.

Actually, every season leaves a calling card.  The important thing is to notice… and carry a camera in your car whenever possible. :)

Wishing you a colorful day!

Enjoying a little post-summer beauty,

~ Kim

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Good morning (or afternoon or evening), wherever you are.  Thought I’d start your week with a sunrise from my recent mini-vacation.  Take a moment to enjoy…….

Okay, back to business.  (I know you’re busy — I am, too.)

First, hearty thanks to Mike at The Culinary Lens for “tagging” me.  His website is a treasure — food, photos, travelogues, restaurant reviews, creative get-togethers, you name it!  (Do yourself a favor and click on his links.)  I feel honored to be among Mike’s “tag-ee’s” — thank you, friend!

Let the games begin…  Since I’ve only been blogging a few months, it was difficult to select The Magnificent Seven.  (Or at least that’s the idea behind this venture.)  I’ll cut to the chase.

Note:  For your viewing pleasure (and expediency), I’ve linked the photos to the respective posts, too.  Click away!

Most Beautiful Post.  Last Of The Magnolias (Flowergram III) ~ Fiction, flowers, and a few thoughts about aging gracefully.

Most Popular Post.  Granita ParfaitThe little champagne flute that could.

Most Controversial Post.  Alright.  I’ve posted everything from “Close Encounters” to “Cow Tipping,” so I had to think about this one for a moment.  In the end, it boiled down to “credibility,” which my last post surely jeopardized…  Who in their right mind would admit to eating __________?  (Click the link if you must know.)

In my defense, I’ll answer that question with a question.  Why do folks drool over Red Velvet Cake with more food coloring than my afore-hinted-at choice (not to mention 2 pounds of cream cheese and powdered sugar), or vinaigrette sweetened with sugar or honey liberally drizzled over a perfectly good plate of arugula?  Because sometimes ya just gotta.

Food is supposed to make you smile, yes?

Most Helpful Post.  I submit a recent post, with this summary:  Don’t hurry, be happy. 

Post Whose Success Surprised You.  My very first post, Almost…  (Thank you, friends, for your comments.)  Any post that generates comments is a success to a novice blogger.

The Post That Didn’t Get The Attention It Deserved.  A Tribute To Trees.  “The Lightning Tree” is worth the look alone — probably the most dramatic photograph I’ve ever taken.  So far.

The Post You’re Most Proud Of.  Boy howdy, aren’t we proud of all of our posts?  It’s why we blog, right? — to give others a glimpse of our corner of the planet?  Or, at the very least, the inner workings of our __________minds?  (Feel free to insert your own adjectives…)

I’m downright proud of Encouragement: The Ripple Effect (thanks, Isabelle!) — not only for the encouragement, but because you meet some of the nicest folks in that post (tee hee) — and Gumby, too.

Tag, you’re it!

1)  Food Served With Love and Calories

2)  An Italian Cooking In The Midwest

3)  Cooking With Books

4)  Running With The Devil(ed) Eggs

5)  Welcome To Shirley’s Luxury Haven

Go!  Play!!!

NOTE:  Due to the length of this post, highlights from the mini-vacation will be coming soon to a blog near you.  As for the title of this post… please disregard.  I’m including the kitchen sink.

Kim’s Kitchen Sink Biscuits

2 c. flour

4 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. cream of tartar

2 t. sugar

1/2 c. shortening (or butter, chilled and cut into small pieces)

2/3 c. whole milk

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

*4 strips of bacon, fried and crumbled

*1/4 c. green onions, sauteed in bacon drippings (drain on paper towels before adding)

*1/2 c. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

Additional butter, melted

Garlic salt

Preheat oven to 425°.  Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Cut in shortening (or butter) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Fold in garlic, bacon*, onions* and cheese* and stir gently to coat with flour.  (*Measurements are approximate — it’s a Southern thang — use your judgment.)  Add milk all at once; stir just until moistened.

Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  (I generally check them around 9 minutes; if the bottoms are browning too quickly, move them to the top rack to finish baking.)  Remove biscuits to a cooling rack; brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt to taste.  Serve warm.

Enjoying all things Southern, and tag, too!

~ Kim

What I Eat When Nobody’s Looking

I’m no slouch in the dietary department.  I’ve studied nutrition right down to the molecular level and I know what’s good for me.

Most of the time, I snack on healthy treats.

And eat balanced meals.

Or transform leftovers into meatless entrees now and then.

All good.

And good for me.

But…

I have a weakness.

Yup.  Froot Loops.  (Gasp.)  Sugar laden, full of dye, and absolutely delicious.  Sometimes, nothing else will satisfy.

Blame it on the kid in me.

What do you eat when nobody’s looking?  (Remember — nobody’s perfect, least of all moi.)

Enjoying life one covert bowl at a time,

~ Kim

P.S.  If you don’t want the world to know, just put “confidential” at the end of your comment — your secret’s safe with me. :)

Music, Inspiration, and Caramel Corn

Gumby here again.  Figured I better write something to keep the ol’ blog going.

(Don’t tell Kim I’ve been jumping on her keyboard.)

I see alot from where I stand — like how thrilled she was to bring home fresh Mozzarella and prosciutto and olives from Lovera’s Italian Grocery.  Made a nice looking antipasto plate for lunch, if I do say so myself.  (Sorry…  the camera’s bigger than I am, so I couldn’t take a picture.)

Lately, she’s been hitting the “other” keyboard (piano), too — something about helping a friend record a CD?  Whatever it is, she looks happy.

Music inspires her more than any other art form.  Except maybe for caramel corn.

(Yikes.  That close-up is bigger than me, too.)

Kim added honey roasted peanuts, so it was like homemade “Crunch & Munch.”  Good stuff.  (For the recipe, click here.)

In between practicing, she’s been watching movies (musicals, mostly) — it’s been too hot to do anything else.  Tell me about it.  How do you think the expression “rubber legs” got coined?”  Whew!  A little green guy could melt in this heat.

Here’s where she likes to relax.  Comfy and cozy.  And green. :)

Oops… movie’s over.  Time to lean on the ol’ paperweight.  Bye.

Filling in for Kim,

~ Gumby

P.S.  Woohoo!