Still Life

by-dawns-early-light

I love the early morning light as it filters in my kitchen window and illuminates evidence of a previous day well-lived or the promise of today’s possibilities!

Between my last post and this one I’ve been faced with yet another challenge: DON’T use it or lose it… contrary to the ol’ adage spurring us on to greater fitness and/or efficiency: “Use it or lose it.” Hello to another life-altering event, which hopefully I’ll overcome.

Basically I can’t use my left arm — or I won’t be able to for the rest of my life! Turns out, I’ve got bone spurs on two neck vertebrae pressing on my spinal cord (exacerbated by last month’s use and abuse) and anything “arms forward” aggravates it undeniably. Life has come to a standstill. Sit still. Still life…?

jan-2017-snow

I haven’t been able to write outside lately (obviously) thanks to our recent unprecedented snowfall (which thankfully disappeared), but it gave me pause for thought. Sometimes you have to go it alone. Endure the seasons in your life. Expect the unexpected. See the beauty in fleeting moments and appreciate ’em all. Accept your limitations and adapt!

I wrote this post on notebook paper on my clipboard whilst sitting in my recliner with a heating pad on my neck. (No piano playin’ today… limited time on either/or my piano and computer… thank goodness I can type fast!) But, that doesn’t mean life has to be limited, or bound by unchosen boundaries! I’ll continue to fit in whatever I can whenever I can and love the light… and still life.

jan-2017-snow-back-yard

Enjoying weathering changes at the lake, unprecedented or otherwise…

~ Kim

Happy New Year

sunset2

Happy New Year! (a few days early…)

Hoping your holidays were merry.

Sending you a lil’ sunset love from the lake, xo.

sunset1

Would love to expound, but I’m recovering from nerve compression in my neck. (In laymen’s terms: OUCH!)

No piano, minimal computer. Will catch up with you soon.

Wishing you a glorious New Year!

Enjoying anticipating 2017,

~ Kim

The Desk

I never imagined I’d fall for such a modern-looking desk to house my “creative space” (especially in a room I’ve been trying to make look cozy for two years), but with its full-length keyboard drawer and room for treasures on top (my monitor and printer included), I was smitten.

Nothin’ like combining the new with old. If that’s the story o’ your life, too, do tell!

I’ve come to relish unexpected blessings and spontaneously altered floor plans.

garden-room-aka-office-in-flux

Above is my Garden Room (aka office) in flux. Still a tad crowded, but it’s getting there.

My plan, my dream (neglected ’til now) involved moving things around a bit, but it’s coming closer to the vision of what I “want” it to be… HOPE it will be… some day.

The the rest is trial & error. And Trust. God works all things for good! (Romans 8:28)

One thing that’s made my seemingly impossible dream possible — besides moving furniture, ongoing prayer, and a huge dose of grace — was this recent purchase of art supplies to pursue yet another “creative dream.” (See some day above.)

More on that soon!

There’s still FOOD — yay, food! — even though I haven’t pulled out the ol’ Nikon as often as I once did. I make it a point to treat myself to something tasty every single day. (Once in awhile I’m even compelled to share a glimpse.)

walleye-1

Pan-seared Walleye & Caramelized Onions atop Spring mix salad lightly dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, Tuscan veggies, Quince preserves, & Moroccan olives

Enjoying moving forward ergonomically, artistically, musically, and TASTEFULLY!

~ Kim

Muted Magic

leaf

Autumn is oft noted for its splendor, breathtaking colors, and audacity (taunting the bleak black & white Season to follow), but it literally snuck up on me this year. Even though I had a brief encounter with Minnesota’s red, gold, and blaze orange glory earlier, I was relieved that Autumn arrived here subtly.

Softly…

(And a tad soggy.)

on-deck

While I was away, The Man Of Few Words (TMOFW) constructed a deck overlooking our backyard jungle. A new playground! (Or at least another place to think and write without being baked to a crisp; it’s still in the 90’s yet.) Shade is a blessing.

I’ve had very little control over my creative surroundings for much of this year and I’ve been longing for some Seasonal inspiration — without screaming for my attention. In my opinion, one of the greatest downfalls in this age of “immediacy” is the lack of mental space. Take time to ponder the Muted Magic surrounding you (whatever the Season).

All that’s required is noticing. Ahhhh…

Enjoying a lil’ breather,

~ Kim

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch…

Living The Dream

I can’t tell you how glad I am to be home. (Or, maybe I did already.) If so, sorry for the repetition. It’s just that I’m acutely aware of the contentment, relief, and multitudinous blessings that the Universe has continued to dole out since my arrival here last month — without asking.

Pinch me.

Maybe it was that lil’ side table that recently arrived from Jaipur…

Jaipur Coffee Table

I’ve since remanded it to my Garden Room (aka “office”) because it didn’t afford adequate space for cocktails and remotes and whatnot in the living room as my beloved & I attempted to re-acclimate to our long-neglected “mutual space” while we got used to each other once again. (Such is life.)

Plus… feeling selfish, but entirely blessed… I love it so.

That, and it needed some green to offset its rich, dark brown hues. (See it there on the left?) Apologies for the lighting. Every day is an adventure at the lake.

Garden Room update

I still have to break out the paint to transform that bench on the far side of the room to the glory I once envisioned. (Tangerine? It may end up paprika!) Or, as the Monet I dreamed of painting in my Music Room long ago… which has since been converted to a “Tool Room.” My hubby gets to play, too! (We miss our garage.)

In the meantime, I’m relishing creative license — revising dreams daily — and going with the flow.

I wish you the same… and some mighty tasty vittles. (Sneak peek below.)

When life — or your surroundings — or painting projects — don’t work out as planned, feed your soul. Enjoy every bite and every spontaneous revision along the way. It’ll work out eventually!

You’ll know when it’s “just right.”

And you’ll be glad you waited. (Or changed your plans.)

Enjoying flux,

~ Kim

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Avocado Deviled Eggs 3

I realize that Avocado Deviled Eggs have been “done” before by Martha and umpteen others (thanks for your inspiration!), however I give original credit to Dr. Suess’s Green Eggs and Ham. :)

Often the simplest things in life are the “funnest” (and tastiest) when you use your imagination.

There’s truly nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9), so here’s I came up with:

Avocado Deviled Eggs

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled & halved

1/2 ripe avocado, peeled & pitted (reserve the other half for pure pleasure)

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (yes, lemon,  not lime… I wasn’t goin’ for Tex-Mex at this point… do ya hear me, Adam Holland? tee hee!)

Several grinds of cracked black pepper & a pinch of smoked sea salt “to taste” (despised culinary term that it is — use your judgment and your taste buds!) I added Pepper Creek Farms Applewood Smoked Sea Salt, although  I don’t currently see it on their offerings — oh well… just picked up their Mayan salt the other day. I’ve been away from home 1/3 of this year…. whatever works!

1-2 green onion tops, thinly sliced diagonally (save some for garnish)

Remove yolks from hard-boiled eggs and place them in a small bowl; mash with a fork until crumbly. In a separate small bowl (I know, I know, more dishes….) mash the avocado with a fork until creamy. Sprinkle with lemon juice, pepper, and smoked sea salt. Add green onions and stir well to combine.

Transfer avocado mixture to the egg yolk “crumbles” and blend well. Using two teaspoons (or a piping bag), fill egg-halves with avocado-egg yolk mixture.

Garnish with green onion slivers. EAT! (I promise you won’t miss the mayo.)

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Enjoying simplifying things and “new” recipe creations” at The Lake,

~ Kim

How High Is The Water, Mama? (Rhapsody in Blue VII)

Old Boy contemplates a cloud

Old Boy (my Great Blue Heron friend) usually sits in the “driftwood tree” farther out in the lake. Remember? 

These days he’s roosting elsewhere and I can’t blame him.

The tips of the branches you see in the photo below are the top of that tree after two weeks’ worth of rain… with another weeks’ worth of thunderstorms in the forecast.

High water

That’s a lot of water!

(Or, as they say around here: a “Lotawatah.”)

There’s a road by that name not far from here — for good reason.

High water 1

This photo is more “brown” than “blue” but you get the idea…

A neighbor called to check on the flooding by his cabin. (This is the photo I sent in reply.) Somehow it reminded me of Johnny Cash’s song, “Five Feet High and Rising.”

How high is the water, Mama? Two feet high and risin’… three feet high and risin’… four feet high and risin’ — and on it goes. Whether or not you’re a Johnny Cash fan, The Man In Black wrote real-life lyrics (even though his song pertained to flooding in next-door Arkansas at the time.) Yup… that’s our “real life” at present.

According to the Army Corp of Engineers — the efficient folks letting out the deluge day by day at the dam 15 miles east of here (yes, our lake is THAT big!) — Lake Eufaula is hovering around 598 feet… 13 feet above “normal.”

Disappearing driftwood tree

Generally there’s a 15 foot “drop” between the lake and our “lakeshore”

It’s comforting to know that the ol’ Lightning Tree has witnessed this before — and oh, how I love looking at things from a tree’s perspective! There’s less chaos and more calm about the rising water level when witnessed by a stalwart soul — merely a phenomenon to note (despite the waves crashing ashore on windy days) — ho hum, been there, done that. Que Sera Sera.

Thankfully we live farther up “the hill” and are safe and well, other than the occasional water moccasin (aka poisonous “cotton mouth” snake) in search of a place to sun themselves. Can’t blame them either! Their habitat is in more danger than ours.

Please pray for our friends and neighbors (vertebrates and invertebrates alike) living in the low-lying areas. We may be treading carefully these days, but at least we aren’t treading water!

Enjoying “life on the lake” in spite of things,

~ Kim