Saturday, October 10, 2015

Show Sockwave Spirit!

Mary "shocked" me several weeks ago
when we were at a tournament.

She told me that she wanted a...
Big Ass Bow!

OK, big bows have been a "thing" in softball that we have always kinda 
poked fun at.

It's not like she never wore ribbons or sparkle headbands...

There was a vendor at the tournament in Tennessee with LOTS of bows.
Even with Shockwave colors.
But when I saw how much they cost...
$10 a bow
I told myself...
"I am not going to pay $10 for a I can make"

Well, the next weekend we played in Elizabeth City and guess what was having their 
Grand Opening 
right down the street from the ball field.

I couldn't help myself!
So we stopped before we headed home and I picked up a few supplies.
And the next day she was rocking her very own
 and Ribbons...

It may not be my most creative endeavor
however it is more than
I have done in a while.

So what to do
with the left over ribbon I picked up?

I have one for every girl on the team if they want one now.

It is NOT my masterpiece,
inventory for my Green Gourd Shop
but considering it has been a 
since I have been motivated or inspired to be creative in any way...
This is as good a place as any to 

I am going to challenge myself to post at least once a week from here on out.
So, feel free to 
me if I am not living up to the challenge.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

When You Play in RED Tennessee Clay

 I lived in Virginia
until I was 17 years old
and thought I knew a thing or two
about red clay.

However, after the showcase tournament 
Mary played at last weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee...
I have a new level of awareness when it comes to red clay.

I know the REAL reason Tennessee is 
Big Orange Country.

It's NOT because everyone LOVES
The University of Tennessee.

It's because of all that INTENSE red clay
they have over there.
Everything is forever orange once it comes in contact with that stuff.
It is insane.

When I first saw the Shockwave uniforms
I cringed...
But they do look sharp.

how do I keep them looking sharp and white?

In the past
I used a carpet cleaner for tough stains on the white parts on the uniforms
and it worked fairly well.

But as many of you already know,
I like to make a lot of my own cleaning products.

One of which is my

Recently I have been seeing posts on Facebook
about stain removers.

And with the new white uniforms and this recent encounter with Tennessee red clay I thought this might be an excellent opportunity to give them a try...
especially since the carpet cleaner is full of some nasty chemicals.

Because these uniforms are polyester,
hot water and beach are not an option.
what to do with red clay stains?


So, first I used a hard brush and brushed as much of the loose dirt from the uniforms as I could.

I decided to try two different stain removers.

On the "Teal" Uniform 
(teal shirt & orange trim pants)
from tournament day 2 
I decided to use the 


This is an ingredient I use in my 
homemade laundry soap. 
I hate admitting this... 
But, I have never used it alone on a stain.

I got the uniform wet then simply rubbed the bar over the stained areas.

The "White" Uniform 
(white shirt & teal trim pants)
from day 1 of tournament,  
which by the way, was the worse of the two.

I decided to use the

Hydrogen Peroxide & Dawn 

2 parts hydrogen peroxide
and 1 part Dawn dish washing liquid.
From everything I have read it has to be the original "blue" no other.

Spray Bottle 

Then applied to stained areas.
I have to tell you...
Going into this I thought this version of stain-remover would be the least labor intensive.

I was WRONG!

After applying the spray, you must then rub the fabric together and when pretty much the whole uniform is stained...
this is not a "Quick" treatment.

As for quick and easy... 
Fels-Napth is the way to go.

Off to the washing machine...
I used my homemade soap and washed in warm/cold water then hung to dry in the sun.

Not too bad, right?

On the LEFT ~ Fels-Naptha
 There were still some faint clay spots but overall the uniform seemed brighter and whiter.

On the RIGHT ~ hydrogen peroxide mix
A very valiant effort here for sure, but there is still a large area where orange stain is still faintly visible.
Not terrible but... 

To be fair, the hydrogen peroxide & Dawn did have the worst of the two uniforms.

On a whole, I would have to say that the 
Fels-Napth won this round for me.

A brighter white with little to no effort.

So what do you think?

My Laundry Recipe

  • 1/3 bar Fels-Naptha (Ivory, Zote or Purex)
  • 1/2 c. Washing Soda
  • 1/2 c. Borax Powder

Grate bar & put in pan. 
Add 6 c. water & heat till it melts.
Add soda & borax, stir till dissolved.
Remove from heat.
Pour 4 c. HOT water into 5 gallon bucket.
Now add soap mixture & stir.
Then add 1 gallon plus 6 cups & stir.

Let sit for 24 hours & let gel.

Use 1/2 c. per load of laundry.

I can't call any of these 
but they are by far a better choice than some of the alternatives while getting the job done well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Knocking Off Some Rust

I am happy to say that I have finally started having moments of feeling HUMAN again.

It pains me to admit that I have been struggling for so long.
When I don't feel like I have anything positive to share or talk about, I tend to go underground.
Not the healthiest place for me to be...

isolation is NOT pretty!

So, I am pulling out my tool belt and knocking the rust off some of my old reliable tools.

Time to take care of ME!
I started journaling & meditating again, getting more sleep and listening to my body.
And I am trying to listen to more 

Finally my health has taken a drastic turn.
I started seeing a new doctor several months ago that has challenged me to make some aggressive med changes.
I won't lie, it is like WWIII inside my body.
But, I am determined to continue this journey of

I will stop
SHOULDING on myself...
and accept exactly who & where I am at this very moment.
I wasn't able to see the big picture.
What is that expression?
I couldn't see the forest for the trees. 
Acceptance is a POWERFUL thing
and not feeling like crap doesn't suck either!

Removing some of the clutter from my head, creates a ripple effect... 

I can actually sit in my rocking chair, enjoy the view and be inspired.

I found my tattered koi flag that has been MIA for a long time & got it hung as well as some new baskets.

 I re-strung one of my favorite wind chimes yesterday and Bill made a nice brass addition to catch the wind.
 My handy welder husband, seeing my long awaited motivation...
fixed this metal stand to help feed my inspiration.
I know that this may seem very insignificant,
but this is something my youngest brother Pauly gave me.
And it means a lot to me.

Last weekend was the first time in a VERY long time that I got my hands in the dirt.
Only to have my chickens mow it down in less than a day, leaving only stems. 
A week later... I see signs of recovery.
 It is blatantly obvious to me how much my husband has missed the happy, healthy, motivated me.
After seeing the swiss chard massacre,
he finally made sure those gals of mine couldn't get out of the run anymore.
How many years did I bug him about that?

 With the ladies locked up tight, I found a nice cool place to put my very sad kale plants...
in hopes that I might be able to harvest even in the heat of the summer.
Now lets see if I can weed this poison ivy patch.
 I got to cross one more thing off my list of things that I had been meaning to get around to...
a little pruning & transplanting

 Mother of Thousands
 This was a first for me...
it bloomed and kept blooming almost all winter til spring.
I understand this is pretty rare when it is kept as an indoor plant.
I wish that I had gotten a picture of it while it was in full bloom.

 I brought Mary's Japanese Maple out front...
I just can't pull the trigger and put it in the ground.

I do need to get it into a bigger pot if I am not going to put it in the ground.
 I found a new place for an old friend.
I planted this peony 16 or 17 years ago
and it has been sorely neglected.
I can't even remember the last time it bloomed.
Let's see if I can give this baby some TLC.

I have never grown this or even eaten it before.
But I am ready to step outside of the box and try something new.
I am excited!

 Sweet Potatoes!
Bill surprised me and put these in for me.
He isn't a fan...
so I know that they were planted with love.

 False Indigo
I absolutely LOVE this plant!
It is one of those plants that I got several years ago that I knew nothing about.

I got one for each side of the outdoor bathroom/shower.
And I am soooo... glad I did.
They were gangly and didn't do much for a few years.
Then out of the blue...
they just came into their own.

 Star Jasmine
This is what I see & SMELL when I take my showers now.
I am not one of those people that takes a shower EVERY day but when this stuff is in bloom...
I could take two or three.
The smell 
is intoxicating

Bill's red potatoes...

My cousin gave this to me several years ago.
I repotted it a couple times since then.
I finally got this baby in the ground last fall.
Woo hoo...
it is a happy tree.
Tons of big beautiful blooms!

Gardening is ONE of the many things that I do to feed my soul...
It is so nice to know that a rusty tool works just as well as a shiny brand new one.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


I started this post a while back...
and couldn't get around to posting it.
So I am going to do my best to wrap it up.
Then start FRESH.

Where do I start?

I can start by saying that Mary got herself some

New Glasses
and it is official, 
she has to wear glasses full-time now.  
She is farsighted and has a astigmatism that she comes by honestly.
Sorry Mary...
My mom had it, and so do I.
But, she LOVES her new "Poindexter's"

I am glad because she needs them for her...

New Classes
We traded in the homeschool curriculum for the lockers and hallways of 
Manteo High School.

After much back and forth we finally decided that it would be the best decision for 
our family
at this point in our life to travel down a new path.

Not for the choices we made 4 years ago or the one we made over the summer.

Two days after registering her for school...
she tried out for a

New Sport

I think it was a great way for her to get her feet wet before starting school.
Also it forced her to step up her exercise regiment and food choices.
 Not to mention...
 it got me out of the house for a different view and jump started a new routine for myself.

Last February we had to find a...

New Barn.

This was very scary for us at first.

But we have fallen in love with our new family at 
L & L Farms

 and have settled right in.
They built a new riding arena last spring

And few months ago we set up a full jump course.
They have taken us in as part of the family.
And we couldn't be any happier.

now I know this post has been sitting for a while.
It almost time to start my seeds for this summer's bounty.

Bill's Babies

He was so proud!
We only got three this year.
But man, where they delicious

Okay, so that is what I had in the "draft"
before the demise of first, my PC
the laptop.
All this went down just before Mary started back to school.

I am just going to say it..
This is when
my panic started to set in.

How would Mary keep up with all her classwork?
How would I know what was going on without physically going in to speak with her teachers.

Dashed also, were my illusions of getting my greengourd  going full throttle.
Heck, without a computer, tablet or even a smartphone I couldn't even start things at a snail's pace.

So, not exactly the way I imagined this new adventure to begin.
Around the same time my computers went on the fritz
my washing machine decided that it wanted human assistance to manually switch between all it's cycles.

Let me tell you, not much else is getting done while you are standing over this baby manually switching each cycle.
I am no pioneer's wife.
Hanging the wash on a clothesline is one thing
but washing everything by hand in a 5 gallon bucket without even a washboard
is for the birds!

I wish I could tell you that I just rolled with the punches
but that is not how my story unfolds.
I slipped not so comfortably back into some old unhealthy habits.
My food went Helter Skelter,
then my emotional state of mind followed.

It was as if all my fears of sending Mary back to public school were coming to fruition. 
Because just when I thought things couldn't get much worse...
Murphy's Law went into effect.

Since we opted to send Mary out of district, riding the bus is not an option.
We have to take her to school.
So you know what happened next, right?

ole Bessie broke down!
And the day after she broke down, 
Bill's motorcycle broke down.
(which is our only other form of transportation)
we had the weekend to at least get the bike running again.

So, for the next two weeks while the truck was in the shop...
Mary and Bill had some wet chilly rides to and from school and work.

I sunk even deeper into my isolation.

I am a very spiritual person
and I 
WAS aware that even though things seemed to be conspiring against us, 
God was still looking out for us!
However, the gap between my mind and spirit was as wide as the Grand Canyon.

There was and still is,
so much more going on that I won't even go into right now.

Life continued to rush by while I held my breath.
Fear and depression had taken over my life.

I am not exactly sure when or even HOW things shifted for me.
But I give thanks to God that they have.

I know that I did not just wake up one morning and discover my life was no longer mine.
It has taken years of erosion to form this landscape I call my life.
The GOOD as well as the bad.

Acceptance is key! 
I don't have to LIKE who or where I am.

Today I am moving forward
with peace
and acceptance.

I am not alone
I am 
Masterpiece in transition!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I am ...

I am slowly pulling myself out of my isolation.
I WILL be back in the sun soon!

Don't give up on me...