Thursday, November 29, 2012

5 New listing on my Etsy Shop

I got a few more pieces listed on my Etsy Shop today!
I might actually get everything listed by 


I barely had these bags listed when they got featured in an 

What an ego boost!

Maybe this will motivate me to hurry up and get the rest of my things listed.
And get busy making new pieces!

december finds by Alex L on Etsy

I have been featured in EcoWood's 
Treasury on Etsy
check it out!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Giving Thanks

I hope that everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving weekend.
I know that I did!

I didn't make the trip to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with my brother and his family, like we thought that we might do.
We decided that the temptation to make Thanksgiving about the FOOD 
might be a little too much for me.
Not to mention we need to save our pennies.
So we stayed home and kept things simple.

Instead of having one massive day of sanctioned binge eating...
with way too many choices
we decided to have several "normal" meals over the weekend.
1 vegetable
and 1 starch
with NO white flour or sugar.

Let me tell you...
I didn't feel the slightest bit deprived.

OK, maybe a little deprived.
I caved at the last minute... 
and sent Bill to the store for a bag of stuffing.
My downfall...

I could have planned ahead and prepared a cornbread stuffing alternative
that would have fit my
no white flour or sugar  rule.
But... I truly thought that I could/would stick to the meal plan.

I even blew my NO sugar with one lousy bite of coconut cream pie...
And I don't even like coconut!

I had told Bill to pick up a pie when he went to get the stuffing. 
I felt bad that I wasn't making him the 
Strawberry Pretzel Surprise.

He KNOWS I don't like coconut...
he must have thought I wouldn't be temped by this evil sugary desert.
He was WRONG!

I may have slipped...
But I think about the Thanksgivings of the past.
Compared to those my food choices and portion sizes were drastically better this year.

I didn't make the oyster stuffing along with regular stuffing or make the peas and carrots, collards, green bean casserole, creamed onions, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, strawberry surprise, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and pumpkin cheesecake that I usually make every year. 
We just had the turkey and stuffing.
Instead of green bean casserole, we had fresh green beans.
Instead of mashed potatoes we had wild rice with onions and mushrooms.
Then Mary and I split some sugar free cheesecake pudding.

I may have stumbled a bit but I didn't come completely off the hinges.

We spent a wonderful day together 

We prepared the turkey TOGETHER and then sat down for a marathon game of trivial pursuit.
(Which I dominated!)

After the game, we finished up the rest of the meal preparation.
Then once all the prep work done was done
and Bill said that he could handle the rest of the meal,
Mary and I set off to the movie theater to watch

Breaking Dawn Part 2

Which by the way was ...

By the time we got home from the movie, 
everything for dinner was ready.
All I needed to do was to make the gravy.
(which I made with corn starch instead of flour)

It was a wonderful day!

It may not have been the Thanksgiving of my childhood, 
filled with tons of food and good intentions.  
I may not have been surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents and siblings.

But what I did have was a day filled with laughter, love and cooperation.
I couldn't have ask for more.
We all went to bed that night feeling grateful and content.

Black Friday

We had a lazy morning then it was off to the barn.
I came home to a surprise message from my girl Mary Neva. 

The fact that she had sent me a message wasn't the surprise.
The surprise was that she was on her way here to play a couple nights at the 
Port-O-Call  Gaslight Bar and Grill.

I was so happy that I didn't have a refrigerator full of left-overs that I would have gorged on all day
leaving me passed out and sick not wanting to go anywhere.
Instead I was excited to step out and I didn't even need to take a nap before I went.
(Big improvement fer me)
Ya Hoo!!!

I even took my daughter, Mary out to see her 
GoGo Godmamma.

Neva pull my little sunshine up on stage to sing with her.
Mary Elizabeth was beside herself!

Back for round 2 the next night.
Does this look like the face of happiness?

The second night, I didn't have quite the giddy up and go as the night before.
I'm NOT 20 something anymore.
Those late nights put a hurting on this ole gal... 
I don't even want to think about how I would have felt if I had been tilting back the cocktails.
I would have had to crawl into a cave to hibernate for the rest of the winter.

It took me a few days to feel almost "normal" again.
But eventually life at the Marchitelli home 
fell back into a routine.

While Mary did her schoolwork yesterday...

I tried to get some "work" done as well.
I managed to get a few new items listed on my etsy shop.

3 Sunflower Birdhouse Gourds

They are even signed and dated 

Wok Horseshoe Bird Bath

These were the only pieces I got listed before we had to head out to the barn.

We switched our regular barn days up a little this week since we had to be at the barn on Thursday to meet the vet.

No surprise injuries...
Thank God,
just a follow up appointment for Phoenix's leg wound and his yearly float.
Well, we got a call from the vet's office asking if we could change our visit for that day instead of Thursday.
We of course said 
Mary was so excited ... I thought she was going to jump out of her skin.
Squealing... "I might get to start walking Phoenix today!!!!!!"

We cut class short and headed out to the barn.

It was a BIG day for Phoenix


 Dr. Shanna REALLY loves her work!

She told Mary that if you work hard there are two roads she can choose in life.
To do what you LOVE 
To work a job that allows you to do what you love.

So work hard and do your very best on your school work,
It's important 
and it will help you choose your path.
Thank you Dr. Shanna for the words of wisdom.

Mary was able to get up close and personal.
And really get a FEEL for what's going on inside Phoenix's mouth. 


Can you see the points?


Now for the news that we are all waiting for...

How is Phoenix's leg?

A little over a month ago...


November 27, 2012


The bottom flap that we almost cut off because we thought it would most likely die...
And completely reattached. 
Now we just need to combat the proud-flesh.


This next shot is a little bloody.

It had to be removed with a razor til it was below the skin.
Then we wrapped it back up.
The good news is...
Phoenix is healthy and sound.
And he is released from the vet's care and the stall confinement.
We can start gradually working him back into his old routine.
And even start going back out into the pasture.

Finally ...
he went out for his first walk in over a month.
He was a "little" wobbly and needed to walk off his sedation.

Mary took Phoenix around to see all his buddies.

he got out and exercise.
Mary took him out to the round pen and he cut loose!
He was so happy to be out of the stall.
He went buck wild.

We are hoping to get him out into the pasture for a little while tomorrow.  
And make sure he is still cool with his old pasture pals.
We don't want him getting hurt again. After a couple days of that... 
if all goes well, 
he may get turned back out. 
Then it will be back to business as usual.

With some gradual exercises, Mary may be back in the saddle by next week.
She is one happy young lady!

Thanksgiving may have come and gone but the attitude of gratitude still remains.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Girl...

Gettin Her Kicks!

Southern Culture on the Skids

Talk about QUALITY TIME... with her God Mamma!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Blog Additions

I have been busy making some renovations 
here on the
Green Gourd Blog

Along with a new look and layout,
I have also given the Green Gourd several new additions.

I updated my Blog Profile aka...
About Me.

I finally got around to utilizing the correct "gadget" so I could add a list of books to...

Books I LOVE

Please check them out!
You will find them on the sidebar 
with links to Amazon
where you will find descriptions, reviews and options to buy both new and used.

I couldn't name all the books that I love, 
so I attempted to add as many as I could for now.  
I am sure that I will be adding a few more to the list over time.

I also added a "Translate" function,
 with the hope of picking up some new globe trotters.

I am also adding some new pages to the blog as well.


Homemade Cleaning Products


Food Addiction
Horse Tails

It is my intention to keep these pages updated with 
helpful links, recipes, tips 
along with my experience, strength and hope.

This is also where I hope that others will share their's as well.

Please,  leave comments with suggestions of what you would like to see on these pages in the future
as well as your favorite links, recipes and experience.

Check back soon to see all the progress!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Now that the dust has settled and things are getting back to a 

semi "NORMAL" pace,

I felt like it was time to give my Green Gourd Blog Space 
a face-lift.

What do ya'll think?

Please don't be shy!
I really do want your input.

I keep going back and forth on the fonts.

Before the show last weekend I made a few changes to my 
business cards and my birdhouse tags.
This must have given me the itch to remodel my blog.

I hope that this make-over will fuel a forward motion in the creative department.
I have so many things that I want to do...
but I seem to find myself constantly falling back into the things
I think I "SHOULD" be doing.
what I need to do is...
stop "SHOULING" on myself.

It just might be time to
"open the jar"!

Christmas will keep the juices flowing with creative homemade gifts ideas. 

I know that Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I "should" 
already have all my plans set and ready to go.

But I do NOT!

I am flying by the seat of my pants right now.
is not my friend.

Should Old Acquaintance be FORGOT!

This is a little different for me.
I may share many personal things on this blog,

I keep this subject very close to my vest...
not to mention
my thighs, belly and butt to!

I have been vague when it comes to my health and my food.
But in order for this blog to continue keeping to it's original intention...
"a positive and intentional journal in my adventures of 
I want to be a little more HONEST about some of these issues.

I have once again been inspired by my little sister


She has been so open on her blog.
Sharing very intimate details of her personal life and her battle with depression.

I have spent many years
building a wall, with an illusion that I was some how protected from those "out there" that wanted to harm me.

These are the words of a survivor of sexual abuse.

However, it is so very much more than that.

I no longer need to survive...
I choose to LIVE!

Food is and always has been my DRUG of choice.
I am a Food Addict.
I am a food addict who now struggles with complications from diabetes.
I have had diabetes ever since I was pregnant with my daughter.
2 years later I stopped drinking and smoking.
This is when my food addiction really went into over drive.
I was able to manage my diabetes fairly well but not my weight.
It just kept creeping up the scale.
Unfortunately when we lost our insurance several years ago I no longer could afford the medications that had been keeping my blood sugar under control.
Things really began a downward spiral for me.
My sugars went crazy...
thus causing serious feelings of hunger...
being the good food addict I happily appeased those urges.
Causing me to fall into a full blown relapse with my food.
Inevitably I began to have complications from my diabetes along with other health problems.
Even if I wanted to move I couldn't physically do it.
Leaving me to stew in my own juices...
fat, depressed and dying.

But I have been making some positive changes in this part of my life.
Which is spilling over into my Green Gourd Side.
 Things are not always pleasant and I may not always have warm fuzzy antidotes.
But I will try not to hide in the dark with my secrets.
I am trying to tear down this wall!
Sometimes with dynamite and sometimes one stone at a time.
But it feels like I have little gnome masons following behind me, replacing the stones faster than I can take them down.
This Holiday Season...
may be tricky, sticky and uncomfortable.

I hope that you will all bare with me.

It won't be filled with traditional celebratory festivities.

I caught myself holding my breath while I was writing that.
Yikes... smells like FEAR!

So many societies celebrate 
through food.

I can't recall a single family gathering that did not revolve around either food or alcohol.

Come to think of it...
I can't think of ANY gatherings that didn't.
It is how we do things.

I guess it is time for me to create
new traditions.
I don't assume that it will be easy.
Not for me or my family.

Bill is already asking for
Strawberry Surprise 
for Thanksgiving Dinner.

I don't think I am strong enough to make it or have it in the house and not fall prey to my temptations.

How I want to be...
and who I am, don't always come out to be the same person.

I want to only make healthy intentional choices...
but the truth is...
I am weak
It would be easy for me to say...
"Thanksgiving should be about giving thanks..."
But we all know that when it comes down to brass tacks, Thanksgiving is all about the FOOD!
Damn those starving Pilgrims!
If the folks around me are not on the same page ...
trying to support me...
well I guess they will be making the Thanksgiving dinner themselves or going out to eat.

While I am being honest about the holiday food...

I think of all the Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Birthday gatherings I have had at my house.
I was always so busy cooking and preparing food that I missed out on the actual socializing.
Even when I had help in the kitchen...
I was always so stressed to actually be present in the moment.

This was sometimes intentional, (you know how family can be)
but usually it was simply exhausting.

Keep me in your thoughts
send me all your creative prayers and ideas.

I will need all the inspiration I can get to keep me creatively distracted from the food and all the holiday gatherings
while keeping the peace in my family
and not isolating
myself from the people that love me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Bazaar or Bizarre Weekend

After Tying Up Loose Ends

I soaked and pre-washed all these knitted washcloths.
(in my homemade all natural laundry soap of course)
The yarn I used for these cloths have been through some serious torture.
These skains and balls of yarn have been drown in coffee,  attacked and held hostage by kittens then they rolled on to play hide and seek at the barn.

I wasn't sure if all the coffee "stains would come out.
But guess what ...
They did come out, every last one.

To bad I am not selling my Laundry Detergent
this would be a great marketing tool, huh?
Well, now that they are clean...
these wash cloths are ready to sort, tag and price for the bazaar.

To-Go Projects

The plastic bag does "help" keep the yarn protected from any further attacks.
However, since I take it where ever I go and pull it out just about anywhere it isn't always a fail safe way to protect the yarn or what ever I am working on.
This is just fine with me...
since any cloth that is not Green Gourd sales quality...
gets put in my personal stash.
And I ...
can not have too many wash rags.
I use them in the shower, the dish sink and for cleaning around the house.

Sewing Tote

There are more than just a few unfinished pieces in my sewing tote.
Some doll cloths pieces that I left unfinished from last year.

I also have some pieces in here that I started when Mary was still a baby.
Shew... I wonder if I will ever finish those pieces.?
I may have some new motivation ...
my younger sister is pregnant again and I am really hoping that this time around it is going to be a Girl.

I did manage to finish up some of those doll cloths projects.

American Girl Doll

These doll cloths didn't take much time to finish up either.
For the first time in a long time...
all the moving pieces "seamed" to work together without a snag.
I would sew more often if my sewing machine would cooperate with me on a regular basis.  
To my machines defense, it is more human error than the machine.
It is all about having the right tool for the job.
I was armed and ready this week...
with just about every type needle and thread I would possibly need for any job I decided to take on.
I wasn't about to have any "tension" issues this week.

Friday Night Lights

After all the work put into getting enough pieces together for the show.
 Then scrambling to making sure that we would have enough tags to price all of our pieces.
It was time...
Time to pack up and head out to Jarvisburg to set up our table.

We also needed to stop by the barn and re-wrap 

Phoenix's Leg

It is really healing up nicely don't ya think.

Any hoo...
Bill is taking a little longer to get home from work than we expected.
It is funny how we...
hurry, hurry, hurry ... then WAIT!

Well, Bill finally straggles in the door with a long tired face.
What is going on?
I didn't hear the bike pull into the drive way.
"The bike ran out of gas, and I had to walk home from Nags Head Elementary School."
Oh my!
Why didn't you call?
No response.
He grabs some gas cans and gets into the truck and heads to the gas station.

We load up the truck, take him to the school to fill up the bike then come back to the house to drop off the bike.
Don't ask me why that order... this is my husbands logic.
 We pull out of the driveway to head up to Currituck.
By this time it is already dark.
As I am backing out I notice that it is a little more difficult to see behind us than usual.
This is when Bill and Mary become aware that there are no lights on at the business across the street.
Then we notice that the porch lights are not on at our house anymore either.
this is curious?

No street lights either.
I don't really think too much of it and continue down our road.
Once on the bypass I realized that there are no lights anywhere.
No stop lights, no business lights...
what the heck!?
Again... I'm not too concerned, just curious.
Living on the coast we have surges and salt on the lines etc...
It should be back on soon enough.
Plus, we are set with candles etc. from the storm, just a couple weeks earlier.
Which we never used.
Further up the road we go...
the lights are still out.
now I am starting to get a little worried.
Salt build up on the lines is not as common as it use to be and it generally caused outages in spots.
This power outage seems to be a little more wide spread.
We try to find a radio station that would inform us of what was going on.
Dead Air.
We did find some stations still up...
but nobody was talking.
This is starting to feel a little spooky.
Any Revolution watchers out there?
By the time we are in Kitty Hawk
we have gotten in touch with our friend Ashley from the Jarvisburg Fall Bazaar.
She informs us that the power is out in Lower Currituck as well
and we wouldn't be able to set up at the church.

we still need to change Phoenix's leg wrap so we continue up the road and over the bridge.
Once over the bridge it occurs to me to look at our gas gauge.
Why this did not occur to me earlier I do not know.
Guess what?
Yep... on empty!

As I look around and see the power out everywhere, I realize that there is

Now I am in a panic.
Poor Bill... I turn on him like a mad woman.
"What the heck, you were at the gas station getting gas for the motorcycle and you don't put gas in the truck?  What were you thinking?"

We decide that we should just try and get to the barn, wrap Phoenix's leg and then maybe ...
just maybe the power will come back on by the time we are finished.
Ok, this was not a very well thought out plan.

We pull up to pitch black barn.
I pull right up to the barn... Phoenix is in the very first stall.
Darn it...
I can't leave the truck running, we will run out of gas.
But we will need light.

We will use the headlights on the truck!
Seems like a BRIGHT idea a the time.

Well we also had the radio going to hear the updates on the power outage.
There seems to be power in Moyock...
maybe we can hobble that far without running out of gas.
We finish up with Phoenix and Bill crawls behind the wheel, he didn't like how slow I was driving on the way up.
He turns the key...

Yes... Really!
We ran the battery down.
we will call Ashley or Wendy.
What... we can't get a signal now... "Emergency calls only".
But this IS an emergency!
Not really but it sure is a pain in my arss!
Do we have any jumper cables?
Of course not.
We start hunting around in the dark for a way to jump start the truck.
Yes, there are keys in the gator.
We at least have some light for the tool barn.
And Yes, we found some jumper cables.
Now we just need something that will jump the truck.
The tractor is the only thing that might have enough juice to jump the truck
but Bill can't figure out how to get it started.

Just as Bill and Mary were about to walk to find someone to give us a jump,
the power came back on.
We are even getting a sporatic signal on the cell phone now.
I finally am able to get in touch with Ashley who lives about 15 miles away.  
Being the angel that she is, 
she comes to our rescue.

The Shell Station up the road has power now.

We even have about 45 minutes left to set our table up at the church.

What an adventure.
Let's hope Saturday will be less eventful.

Show Time

Well, I wasn't as organized as I would have liked to be.
I didn't have the sheet that I was going to use for the table under the table cloth.
I forgot the zip ties to hang the horseshoe bars on the screen with.
I even ran out of tags.

But I WAS there!

Gourds and Bags

Wash Cloths

Fringed Doll Coat

Copper and Oak Lamp


Made from one of our retired woks and some horseshoes.

This craft bazaar was a little disappointing.
We didn't do as well as I hoped.
We didn't even break even.

The American Girl Dolls, were the biggest hit of the day.
My table had more visits from all the little girls
admiring the clothing models than customers checking out the merchandise.
Mary was a good sport.
She actually sold her own doll's jacket that I made for her several years ago.
 The only other thing we sold all day was a pair of jeans for an 18" doll.
Then to add insult to injury, I spent more than I sold.

There was a woman with a booth who went to Vietnam every year as a missionary.
Then she brings back items to sell to raise money to continue her missionary work.
I couldn't help myself.

Folks who know me well
know that I am a sucker for books!
Especially children's books.

A friend of her's did all the artwork for the books as well.

She had so many beautiful items
that I just couldn't walk away from her table empty handed.

Hand-painted Fans

Chop Sticks

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my fan and chop sticks.
I may have to retire my old hand fans from Ben Franklin now.
And my chop sticks are Off Limits to the rest of the family.
Mary has already tried to give them a test drive.
No Way...
at least wait till I have the first go at them.


I know that I make my own dish cloths.
Why would I buy someone else's?

This is why!

For the Love of the Tag

In case you can not read the tag, it states:


Thank God for dirty dishes;
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We're eating very well.
With home,  health and happiness,
I shouldn't want to fuss;
By the stack of evidence,
God's been very good to us.

So with that in mind...
I will not lower my head and feel sorry for myself.
Even though I didn't even make my money back on this event.
I have gained so very much.

I have gained back my motivation and desire to create.
To get back into the 
Green Gourd Game again.

It seems that the doll cloths got the most buzz at THIS bazaar.
I wasn't expecting that.
Several people took cards for possibly custom doll clothing.
Christmas is coming up... doll items are certainly something that may be worth focusing on again.
I already have a decent collection of ornaments.

All the build up for this craft show has left me feeling a little blue.
However, I have all kinds of great ideas and intentions 
for the weeks to come.
One of these days I will get around to washing and carding all the wool I have stashed away on my shelves.

But until then...
or at least for today, I will stay busy with my ordinary chores.

Neglected Laundry



And the countless other unsung ways we fill our days.

I am grateful that I have the strength and imagination to accomplish these tasks in a way in which I can be proud.
I have been blessed with a loving healthy daughter and a husband that allows me to follow my dream of an intentional life for our daughter and family.

We may not be rich,
but we have a life filled with riches!