Weekly Photo Challenge: Intricate


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I have had quite a week.  I saw Bob Dylan, had babies, found a new favorite watering hole, and got a bottle tree.  While I’ve still not entirely recovered from all this excitement, I knew exactly what photo I would post for this week’s challenge.

It’s always interesting when you go back through all your pictures and find patterns you didn’t entirely realize were there.  I know I like miniatures and macro, but I am finding that I also like intricate patterns where there seem to be done.


This bucket of crayons from a craft store was the picture I knew I was going to post.


I always like the sight of a freshly filled jar of new Qtips. One of life’s little pleasures.


A perfectly aligned store display; rows neat and bright colors are always… SQUIRREL.


This is one of my favorite pictures. Beautiful and fresh, delicate and intricate.

Hope your Saturday is as beautiful as mine is making out to be.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo

challenge: “Intricate.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion


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This week’s Photo Challenge theme is Motion.  I knew right away which photos I would be posting.  We had what seemed like quite a bit of snow this winter.  Coe and I both LOVED it now that we live right by Shelby Farms.  I wasn’t sure which one of us would be more tired after our outings, but she quickly told me that while she may be a little more senior, she could kick my ass on any given snow day.


This is the epitome of a girl on the go!





We tromped around for hours finding creeks we didn’t know were there.




I think she knows I’m writing about the park because she has started staring at me with the pre-walk eagle eye.  off we go…

Spring has sprung…


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I know it has been ages since I have posted and it hasn’t been for lack of wanting, thinking, or trying.  I’ve started no less than a dozen posts and just haven’t found the right words, the right feeling, or the right mood.

This morning, that changed.  Clearly, since I’m here.  I’ve mentioned before how hard this move has been, but today I woke feeling like the old Lula; motivated and creative.  I’ve got a pot of soup simmering on the stove and other ingredients sitting at the ready for the next project.

I have moved, yet again, since we were last together.  Pipes bursting in a freeze forced that on me, but it really was for the best.  I now live on the edge of a ginormous park where Coe and I walk several times daily.  We have a new boarder, unlike the last unwanted roomies, this one is a delightful change.  She also has at least one bun in the oven and living in a little bird house on my patio.

Carolina Wren


Ginger kitty isn’t happy she has been banished from our patio for awhile, but she’ll get over it.


I’ll soon be posting a collage of photos from the last few months (MONTHS?!!).  I’ve been going through and sorting them.  A few great gems-  food, new friends, holidays, snow, family, and a wedding…

Enjoy your beautiful weekend, wherever it may find you.  Coe and I are off for our first walk of the day.

They’re creepy and they’re crawly…


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And they clearly missed the memo. My last house, they generally abided by the rules. Stay out there, stay up there… You get to live. Come down here… Die.

There are spiders everywhere! If I unpack a box and toss it in the carport to breakdown later, mere minutes later, there a big black spider taking up residence. They dash across the living room floor.

The worst was the tiny one in my car last weekend. I’m certain the people in the cars around me thought I was having a seizure. All the while I was batting and flailing at the minuscule monster, I kept thinking of NPR’s Car Talk. There was a story about a woman who was trying to sell her car CHEAP and the man looking at it couldn’t figure out what could be so wrong for her to walk away from a perfectly good car.

At least Ginger is finding some pleasure in her new toys. She certainly is not earning her keep by keeping them at bay.

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Happy Halloween! 🎃

settling in


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I may never move again…

Unless it’s to New Orleans, DC, or a tropical beach paradise. I’ve had such a hard time getting involved in anything outside of work and meeting folks. The last time I moved to a new city I had just graduated college and had a few friends in the same town. Starting from scratch is hard work. I’ve really had a difficult time staying positive.

Part of why I haven’t posted much… Nobody likes a whiner.

This past weekend we moved into our new house!! I have my bed. (Win!!) The living room is my most chaos free zone (less furniture, it was easier to set up). IMG_2302-0.JPG
We are swimming in a sea of strategically placed boxes. I have a path through the kitchen. The mover really messed me and hid my dishes in an unmarked box.


I learned from my neighbor I’m on a rails to trails project called the Green Line. Not only do we have a lovely neighborhood for our morning walk, we now have easy access to nice long walks on the weekends without getting in the car.




I’ve been looking at different ways to volunteer as a way of getting out and meeting folks. This past weekend I volunteered at the Cooper Young Regional Brewfest. I’d found a Mississippi beer that’s quite tasty and when I checked out their website I found the beer-fest.

I don’t have internet access at the house yet. I’ve been doing everything on my phone (so I hope all these photos look ok and sorry the formatting looks so wonky)

Now that we are settling in and the funk seems to be lifting, I’ll be back to to posting more. I’ve mostly decided to stick with my anti-Facebook stance. I think I’m willing to do it, then fb creeps me out again.

Thanks friends for all the cheerleading and support y’all have sent my way. It’s been a huge help!


I’m on a roller coaster


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I’ve started half a dozen posts. Each one tells a different story and has a different emotional bent. My emotions and thoughts about this move have changed every 15 minutes. One minute I’m sobbing uncontrollably, the next I’m laughing, and the next I’m bored.


I’ve been ready for a change for awhile and I know once I get settled in a space I can call my own and make a few friends I’ll be ok with this. In the mean time though… This transition is a little tough.

I’ve never had a training course with my employer that has not made me feel like a complete dunce. This is no exception. Once I’ve finished all the horrible training classes and moved into whatever the new job has been, I’ve be able to feel successful. This class is truly the worst class I’ve ever taken. The instructors are disorganized and don’t know the topics they are teaching. How can you expect me to be successful if I am not being taught by someone successful? Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. I’m in the middle of that adage.

That in itself has made this move even more stressful. What has made it bearable are my new neighbors. I’ve met a couple of other professional folks who are also in limbo. We’ve been meeting for dinner and drinks to commiserate about our respective jobs.


Ginger is making sure I plenty of snuggles. Coe makes sure I get out for a walk every day. I’m sure I’ll look back on this time and forget how horrible this part feels. In the meantime, pass the beer nuts.





I’m taking suggestion on where to find good cocktails in Memphis!

So long, Farewell…


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The last three months have been a tumultuous whirlwind. The topper came about a week and a half ago when I got a job offer in MEMPHIS with less than three weeks to report for my first day!

I have the most amazing friends and family here in Portland. I am leaving connections I’ve spent all of my adult life building and nurturing. This move truly is bittersweet. So many things have had to happen in such a small window and all of them have magically fallen into place. I know I have a guardian angel who is looking out for me.

I’ve been remiss in telling you about my slowing healing. I am not a patient patient and this shoulder injury has been a colossal nuisance! This move would have been a tremendous nightmare, and really, impossible without the help of my friends and family.

I know this move is the right thing for me at this time. I’m starting a new chapter. I’ve purged 80% of all my belongings. I had a lot of crap! There are some things I still can’t bear to part with. My new mantra going forward is if I do not have a specific, immediate use for an item, I will not buy it.

But really, I have been in Portland all of my adult life. Almost 25 years!! I never thought I’d be here this long. Being from the south, I’ve always looked at things a little differently from my west coast counterparts. The first year I was in Oregon, I was always over dressed. I went through my hippy/hiking/no shaving phase. I am not covered in tattoos, though I do have my next one picked out. Now I find myself wanting to be more of a girl. Which is funny because I have never been a girly-girl. I’ve wandered off topic…

Thank you Portland. Thank you friends. I am going to miss you so much.

Stay tuned for how this new chapter unfolds.


left of center


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I know I’ve been AWOL lately. I don’t have any good recipes to share. No cocktails, no new restaurants, no exotic vacation stories. I just have one story. I got hit by a car.

I dislocated and fractured my right shoulder when I was hit by a car while walking across the street. Other than this one (gargantuan) injury I didn’t have another bruise on me. I am beyond grateful that this wasn’t worse.  My right arm has been in a sling for over a month now, the bruises have faded a little, and I have officially hit the point where I’m over this. But I’m fairly certain I’ve got a long way to go before this is over.  Ginger kitty has been taking very good care of my lap.  Coe drew the short straw since it’s my frisbee throwing arm that’s out of commission, but she’s trying to be understanding.

We regularly encounter things in our day-to-day lives that test us on so many levels. This month’s test has been how to function with one hand. I had no idea how inhospitable the world was to lefties until that’s all I have to use.  A few of things that are a little challenging to me these days are washing my face, putting in contact lenses, spreading butter on toast, brushing my teeth, putting on deodorant, operating a computer mouse, opening a wine bottle, using my camera, putting on a belt, swiping my debit card… I think you get the picture. I’m up the proverbial creek with the wrong paddle.

My handwriting currently looks like that of a third-grader. Please don’t ask me to sign anything or even write anything very quickly. I can’t even type very quickly. Siri and I are now BFFs ;) , actually Siri wrote this blog post for me.

I have worked so hard all my life to be independent and self-sufficient. This accident has chucked all of that out the window. Though I’m really proud of how proficient I have become with one hand. Some things have taken a little extra creativity and everything I do takes 2 to 3 times longer than it normally would. I’ve never been very good at asking for help but this has absolutely changed that. There are just some things you cannot do with one hand.  My girlfriends have gone well above and beyond the call of duty!

I really miss cooking. Y’all know how much I cook and bake. I don’t usually eat much processed food but not being able to cook has meant a lot more frozen meals. It took me several weeks to figure out how to cut a sandwich with only one hand. I’m not sure I will ever master chopsticks as a lefty.

I’m trying to stay as positive as possible and recognize the good things.  Though, some days this is easier said than done.  I’ve kind of come up with a little mantra… I am resourceful, I am resilient, and I am grateful.

compliments always make a girl feel good


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This time of year is especially brutal at work. Customers are angry, coworkers are grumpy, and it hasn’t stopped raining in months.  I think I’ve mentioned before we don’t have a dress code at work. This leaves what folks show up in to great interpretation.  I usually dress business casual most days, the days I feel the shittiest are the days I dress the nicest. What makes a girl feel better than having folks compliment you all day?  Today a gal came up to me and said “why are you so dressed up?”  My response was “so you’ll say that!”  she laughed. she knew where I was coming from!

This year, even dressing for success isn’t helping my psyche. I realized I needed people tell me how fabulous I’ve done at something, even if it isn’t my job, so I decided to bake treats for my work peeps.

I made three different scones: bacon cheddar, toffee chocolate chip, and vanilla oat.  The bacon cheddar and the toffee chocolate chip are the same King Arthur recipe just with different add-ins. The vanilla oat scone has been running around in my head for about a year (Hi, I’m the world’s greatest over-thinker).  I cannot tell you how many scone recipes I have book marked, but I have a scone I’m trying to emulate. This morning, I finally pulled the trigger and I’m delighted with how it turned out.

In all of my baking exploration, I’ve learned what I like in a scone and I’ve learned how different ingredients make the final product. I know I like an egg in my scone (without the egg, it’s really just a biscuit.) Super cold butter is a must.  Mixing dry ingredients plus the butter in my food processor gives me a good, even distribution of ingredients and a tender, flaky crumb.

I started with a King Arthur recipe as my jumping off point, but made enough variations I’m calling this my own. It came out perfectly; simple and delicious, not too sweet. Hopefully some of the gals will give their thoughts here.

Here’s what I did:
Add the following dry ingredients plus butter to the food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup  brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) butter
then add
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats and pulse two more times

In another bowl, mix
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 egg
1 tablespoon (generous) vanilla

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined.  Dump out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a jelly roll pan with a silpat.  Using your hands work dough into one one disk then divide into two.  Shape into two rounds, about 3/4-1″ tall.  Using a bench scraper, cut each round into 8 wedges.  Separate the wedges from the circle, leaving about an inch between each wedge.

Bake at 400* for about 20-25 minutes, until scones are golden and edges appear done.  The centers will seem a little soft, but when it cools, they will be perfect and tender.

13458182214_30a48640a5_zThe picture ain’t pretty and I didn’t take pictures along the way, but they were tasty.  Even got me a marriage proposal.  I’ll call this a win, my psyche sure will!

worms on a plane


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doesn’t quite have the makings of a hit movie, but depending on your bug issues, might be just as gross.

I don’t know if this a phenomenon everywhere, but here, one of the signs of spring are worms everywhere.


My morning walk is in the dark, so it’s kind of like doing a tap dance to not step on the squishy fellas.


This is on the playground at the school near my house. Coe is oblivious and just walks right over them. click the picture for a really good view, be sure to look for the worm tracks in the sand.


The most amazing thing is how LONG some of them are.


This is the same fella as above, but look closely, he has a friend.

Here’s to spring!  Non-stop sunshine cannot get here soon enough for me.  Though, I did have to mow my lawn today.  I’m putting that in the exercise column.


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