Friday, July 3, 2009

Life is too short

"Rehearsal is over. The curtain is up. The play has begun. You're on."

Marianne Williamson

Reflecting on what that means to me. Sometimes it means taking a good hard look and making some tough decisions. And sometimes, grace comes in and makes it easier to flow with the changes. Hoping for the latter.

Lots to do in this world. Too much to hang out in never never land with people that dont support your vision. "Do or die" I dont know who said that but I've always repeated it. It's "do or die" at age 35 for me.
One more quote I heard recently is " Attraction is 90 percent action"

So whatever it is you need to do, go do it!

I'm going to try to do the same. Do you know any more quotes in this vein? Love to hear them in comments.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Hallalujah~ We had rain today! Only a little bit but it was the kind you can smell. And there was real live thunder. I hope it gets all hot and muggy just the way Houston is supposed to be midsummer in July. And Ahhhh can you hear the garden. It's happy.
These are kind of random pictures, I had a quiet day - working on some things for etsy and for gifting. Did a little job searching - soooo fun (not)
I pulled this cilantro and basil from my garden and will probably make my go-to tomato jalopeno basil angel hair garlic pasta. I' make it more than anything on the planet except for maybe scrambled egg whites. Chez Melissa.
And this below is my kitchen. Nose right in... I am always curious about other crafty people's living spaces and kitchens, and work areas. So I'm going to post more every week. I like color - can you tell!? I love the way the bar wraps around so that I can watch the living room. It makes me feel like I'm a part of whatever is going on there while I'm cooking - which is a lot!
And this is new, I took down an old picture I was tired up and framed my favorite fabric. It's My Mona Maria.

Monday, June 29, 2009

No one normal ever made history

"New Deal, New Day" - That's what my infamous old boss used to say. So a new week!

But first I wanted to reflect a moment on something that has very little to do with this blog, except maybe "in spirit" category.

Like most, I was very moved by the passing of MJ - Michael Jackson. It seems that his public personal had become such a clique. And he seemed so darned Wierd!
But I read an interesting article this morning by an author that I respect tremendously, James Arthur Ray. He refelcted on the genius of a man stating "No one normal every made history." To quote Howard Gardener, he said that there are eight types of intelligence and that only two are tested in school, linguistic and mathematical. And that "the greater the depth, the less the span." If you are extremely brilliant in one area you are less likely to be brilliant in others. Michael Jackson's brilliance in music and choreography are his legacy. I for one light up every time one of his songs plays.

James Ray offers up a beautiful prayer.

"May you find the peace in the next life that you rightfully deserve. You made a positive difference. You leave a lasting legacy. While few understood you, you ignited our spirit and touched our emotions with your upbeat message and music. Your gifts will continue to play in our minds and hearts forever'" -James Ray

I'll always be dancing to Thriller~m

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pizza Night

This was actually pizza night a couple weeks ago.
I'm not very chatty today but wanted to get back into the habit of posting daily.

Garden of Heat

Here's a peak at what s growing in the garden in 105 degree heat with no rain for 60 days straight.

And yet, God is good! I am most excited about these little watermelons! Arent they the cutest? I counted 9 baby ones this morning.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I got impossibly excited about the "perfect" sales position at the "perfect" company. I didnt sleep a wink last night , felt euphoric on the way to my interview. And had a rejection letter in my email by the time I came home. Am more disturbed by "how good I felt" about this than the actual rejection.

This was a cream of the crop job....does that mean I am not cream of the crop?

Or maybe God has different intentions for my talents. I am having a good cry, and trying to go into faith. My dad will recommend I "get angry," fight back.
I will find my ground and move forward once I find my footing..... for now...feel like hidin out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Genevieve Gail thanks for posting this video. It made my day! I was actually a little down in the tuesday dumps before I watched this.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ninfa's green Sauce

I just read from Homesick Texan that Houston is the only city that serves up green sauce...can that be? I guess I assumed my whole life that the whole world fed their babies this stuff. So Now I have to go ahead and post the recipe even before I make it so that all ya'll in Dallas or Tempe, Kansas City, Seattle or New York can poke around to find some tomatillos.

Ninfa’s Green Sauce Ingredients:

3 medium-sized green tomatoes, coarsely chopped (you can substitute yellow if you can’t find green ones, but never use red)

4 tomatillos, cleaned and chopped

1 to 2 jalapenos, stemmed and coarsely chopped

3 small garlic cloves

3 medium-sized ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced

4 sprigs cilantro1 tsp. of salt

1 1/2 cups of sour cream

Combine chopped tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapenos and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil (tomatoes provide the liquid), reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.Remove from heat and let cool slightly.Place tomato mixture with the avocados, cilantro and salt in food processor or blender and blend until smooth.Pour into a bowl and stir in sour cream.Makes 4 to 5 cups

This recipe is Ninfa's, but I found it on gorgeous Homesick Texan's website. She has awesome Texan faves. I think she lives in NY now, which makes sense...homesick!

Projects on the horizon

I am working sporatically on my dresses. I tend to work naturally in phases from one project to another.
Thing I have my eye on in June:

1. Making a cool rug from old T shirts.
2.Making Ninfa's salsa...this recipe from "Homsick Texan" comes from the Houston Chronicle..a reliable source...And if you arent from Houston, you HAVE to make this. Seriously you dont know what you are missing. I was born and raised on this stuff. I want to make it NOW...but I spent 4 HOURS at the pool for first day of summer vacation today and I'm a little Rose'.
3.Wanting to research how to get involved in either a community garden or in helping others with overflow from my garden. Just the thing to inspire me to rip up the rest of my yard. I'm practical like that. I would love to feed the world!
4.I heard from Organic Magazine about putting a vegetable garden in the FRONT yard, to bring neighbors together...pretty radical notion in my little corner of the BURBS... but one I am considering for next year. Researching Seglia's top edible landscaping ideas from
5. Want a composter, even though the Cowboy thinks they are a pain in the Arsh.
6.Make no kneed bread.
7.Grow black berries and citrus trees next year. And grape vines: do a little experimental wine making.

I would just love to have my own little organic farm and organic herb farm...and add to it vineyard with winery in the hill country. I would loooooove to have my own winery in the hill I would drink all the wine though!

Happy birthday mama

I meant to upload this yesterday but I spent the day shopping with my grandmommy and mama. Walmart and Hancocks! Granny lives in assisted living and low and behold, since we have all been buying patterns, she wanted to buy a sewing machine! She has had many in her life, and My mom was against it, for practical reasons ( she is 91). Granny is a fighter though. And she was hell bent. (I love that about her) (smile) even though it makes it hard on mom sometimes. Mom talked her into this cute little version that she can lift easily.
Now that school is out I can drive Heavy C over and we'll help her get it all set up...
I made this garden apron for mom's birthday. I modeled these instructions from Sew Simple magazine that Lindamade created.
It was really the most fun project I've done in a long while. I added fabric yoyo's to the pocket and mom wanted places for two tools, so I added more belt loops. Heather Baily has an awesome tutuorial on how to make the yoyo's - more fun than you've ever had and addicting! And the best part! I used my FAT jeans!!! So no gaining the weight back! Take that fat jeans. I have lost 17 lbs since the beginning of the year and have 20 more to go...happily making progress. So get out your fat jeans and cut em up!
And happy first day of summer break!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

On the verge

Garden update....
Everything in my backyard garden is either in bloom, about to produce a fruit or squash or is a green tomato!! Grow! You cant rush nature. But I feel like I have been waiting for eons. I still claim that even though I got a late start, this year is my Victory garden. I water every morning and every night since it has been so hot and dry in Houston. Normally we get more rain this time of year. I have been trying to get The Cowboy to tell me what is in his secret ancient fertlizer miracle called Tea Manure.... But he protects that recipe like it's war secrets. He is "tweaking" it now. I told him he could test it on me. He barely waters his garden, the dirt looks like it is hard clay, and the stuff grows like it's from another planet. GIANT zucchini's, GIANT squashes and more peppers than you've ever seen! I'm going to get to the bottom of that recipe....He recently told me to research sea salt.....I dont know if that's a decoy or not. You think???

"Give According to the need"

One of the things my mom models for me is "give according to the need" as she says. ....I guess I needed this!

At my mom's barn bash this weekend for her birthday in the hillcountry I caught up with one of her dearest friends who brought me many wonderful of which is this old Mexican teapot! It's so me! And it wasnt even my birthday! I love the turquois, and the strangeness of this old clay pot! I like it when people "get" me.

My mom's friends are like aunts to me...showing me the way. I appreciate their beauty and the lessons they have learned so that I can go on and learn my own lessons. (smile)

This flock of women are truly a blessing in my life. And there are more who couldnt make the day...I love them too.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dress update, new prejects

It really was true! The patterns at Joanne's were really only a dollar this past weekend! I went with my mom and granny on Memorial Day. I got this dress to sew inspired by Africankelli. I also picked up this dress. These patterns were normally 16.95 at Joanne's. Do the math. So I dont feel bad that I also picked up this skirt pattern and this "Go Green" Tote pattern to make for friends.
I am going to use my stash for the totes. The baige, pink paisley faric is for the long flowy dress. And the bright is for a little skirt. Now if I can just get "little".
Granny (91) bought a pattern for a cute purse..try to get pic of that soon. The sewing machine may be a little much for her so mom and I are going to help. She will do plenty of supervising, so I think that means I need to keep the seem ripper handy if I know her. Love you granny!

Spiritual abundance morning

"Thank You God. Thank God for the many blessings, gifts and abundance that form your life. Keep a gratitude or a Thank You God journal and record all of the things that you are grateful for. Noticing and recording gratitude opens your heart up to receive more."
I keep reading stories in the Houston Chronicle about "Life after the layoffs"...and while it's much more good has come of it for me than bad. I have everything I need. I have found I do not need so much "stuff". I never realized how much I spent before on..what?..nothing really. I appreciate the simpler things in life. I asolutely LOVE picking my son up from school. It is a luxury I have never had as a single mom. I was always the first to drop him off at day care and the last to pick him up rushing through traffic. While I look forward to working again, I look forward to a different kind of work. More of service to others.
I think people needed to slow down...maybe as we pick up again, we'll do things in a better way. I appreciate the slow down. I dont ever want to go that fast again. I want to have time to be creative, time to learn new skills, time to listen to my son talk. Having a cup of coffee sitting in my herb garden...checking on my tomato vines..time to sew a pretty dress...and time to wear it on a date. I want to write and publish a couple of books...

Everything happens for a reason. And I am grateful for this time, for the love in my life, for my church, my family. And for all of the inspiring women on the a simpler, prettier version of life.

Ten things I love
1.pretty fabric
2.15 tomatos about to "turn" in my garden
3.the smell of coffee brewing
4.a new pattern
5.a fresh project
6.finishing a knitted scarf
7.trecking to the pool with my son grandmother's temper, she's got spirit mom's love
10. everything about basil

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dont forget

Dont forget the giveaway! Post your recipe for chicken quarters and a side dish by 10 pm tonight!

Sew a summer dress

Have you ever sewn clothes before? I was inspired by Africankelli who is sewing this dress by Cynthia Rowley I am going to attempt it myself because it is so cute!! If you go to Joanne's this pattern (all their Simplicity patterns) are only a dollar this weekend! If you want to sew along let me know. If you want to sew along, step one: Find a pttern this week and some fabric.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Giveaway Peak

Tutorial to follow giveaway.
It's easy and fun! And I always like to make useful things. I have so loved making and giving away the fruits of my talents. So much more than store bought. I have had some time recently to reconnect, learn new skills ( sewing, blogging, making recipes and trying new ones, and experimenting in my garden). There is so much else I want to do... it's all about the journey. I am so grateful to all the women on the internet who have inspired me to be more. And to be more not only for me, but for my son, my family, my friends...and who knows what friends I will make on the internet, and whose lives I might inspire.

Fresh from the garden bliss

A must have in my neighborhood on Memorial day is the chips and salsa. I'm trying to will enough tomatos to turn red so as to make it fresh from the garden.

Here is my VERY simple from the garden, tried and true and beloved Texas salsa recipe...gulf coast style. Use fresh whenever possible.
Melo's Gulf Coast Salsa
two or three tomatos
two fresh jalopenos
a few sprigs of cilantro
LOTS of lime to taste, I use two, sometimes three (this is key)
one onion
one or two ( I usually add just one) clove garlic
I put all my ingrediants in a little cuisine art mini chopper I bought from Walgreens ( too easy!)
Or you can chop everything up very finely for more of a pico
For flair I sometimes add a mango (which I am going to do for this Memorial day weekend.) Just make sure to add enough jalopeno to offset the sweetness of the mang0.
I will post Frank the Tank's margarita recipe this Sunday. It's perfect. As well as his colorado mojito with fresh mint magic. oh I can taste it now!
FYI Frank the Tank is my boyfriend and in his college days he bartended. Trust me this boy knows his way around the tequila. Even if he is a Colorado boy. And a cuban. ( mojito, mojito, mojito)
I also plan to serve up some guacamole, bacon wrapped jalopeno with cream cheese stuffed inside, grilled chicken quarters, chili lime corn on the cobb, and home made ice cream and brownies for desert.
Here is my challenge:
( Melo GIVEAWAY) I need a recipe for the chicken ( I bought four leg quarters "great for the grill") and I also need some kind of potato cheesy side dish that my son will eat. Please leave any suggestions in the comments section. I will be drawing a winner this Sunday! This prize is one of my ultra cute grocery bag dispensers that I sew from my label Choclate Tamales. Lord knows some of ya'll have grocery bags tucked all kinds of places...mmhmmmm. You know who you are.. so help me out and melo out!
Good luck!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Manifest new floors

Ok I have a 7 year old who used to be a toddler and a dog.... And well it doesnt make sense that the builder of my house put carpets in the dining room!!! Where all kinds of stuff spills... sippy cups, juice, milk, wine.... sippy cups, red wine....
So about 9 months ago one night when my son was at Papo Bill's house, I impulsively ripped it out. And then I was going to install would floors myself but never got around to it because my job ate my lunch every day and I was tired all the time.... now I have a lot of time, no job.... how to manifest these floors. My mom had the perfect solution! porch paint. Kind of like stained concrete but a little less cool. Anyway, it solved the problem and I can always harwood floor right over it. And I can have people over again. Whew! And it's juice and WINE resistant
This is the before.... you can see it's concrete...not pretty.

Lovely walnut brown. This porch paint is really sticky and thick an oil based so it goes on really well on the concrete. It couldnt have been easier really. Two hour project. I didnt even use the whole can. Only needed one coat!

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