Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Alas, another short and sweet for you today.

I'm in the middle of handling some major neighborhood projects, and my free time has dwindled down to nada.

However, I bring you some super-foxyness to tide you over, rover:

This is what my mornings are looking like these days.

Damn that Crazy, Sexy Life woman.

Yea, I'd rather have a hot, fat biscuit and some gravy too, but I sure do FEEL good.

Super foxy new pulls from Meccanthropologie.

Swoon yer ass off, my pretties. They're mine, allll mine.

The ultimate Fox.

I wanted to run away with him and live in his cozy foxhole and drink tea and eat cakes all day.

Damn the juice and damn the health - tea and cakes for everyone!

PS  Happy Leap Day.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I love Ruth.

I am shamelessly stealing content from over at    THE GRACKLE.

It's one of my favorite blogs and one that I peek at most days.

I found this little jewel over there the other day and simply cannot help but re-post it as it is soooooo hilarious and adorable.

I've been so busy over here that I've not even had a chance to download pictures, must less yak about them.  Whine. Whine.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did;  I have a feeling you will.

My favorite line: "I'm sorry to make you jealous, but I haven't been in a supermarket in at least 14 years."

Long Live Ruth!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Food

I gotta be honest.

I really don't like "This Moment."

It's a relief to not have to find something to yak about, but I'm always slightly disappointed to just get a picture.  Sometimes I even feel resentful that all I'm getting is a damn picture.

It's better than nothing, but I'd rather have something!

Words! Words!  I need words like I need color!

So ... I'm gonna try a Friday Food thang.

I've been wanting to talk at length about food, and food budgeting, and meal planning, but my head explodes every time I try to get my thoughts in order.

My food budget is out of control and I've got to try to find a way to make a budget,  meal plan, and stick with it.  

It seems so simple.  Make a plan, shop, eat.

Never happens.

We're all guilty of falling off the wagon; it's not just me.  

We have a taco problem around here.  I think it's safe to say that we buy tacos out every single day.  Now, sometimes this is just a bean and cheese taco for $1.25, but it's the habit that's the problem.  You know what I  mean?

OK, well, I digress because I just have talk more about that in depth and it's not a good morning for that.

SO, for now,  ... Friday Food:  a recipe that I tried, liked, and would make again.

Let's start with a creation of my own:

Risotto with stir fried tempeh.  Sauteed with spinach and topped with a lentil mix.


Do not make it.

Fortunately, there is another option ...

THE best butter beans, ever, and a baked portobello cap.  (You can spell it either way, I know you're wondering.)


Some people call these lima beans.  I think limas and butter beans are the same thing,  right?  The bag says lima, so let's go with that.  But when you go to Luby's (all you southerners know what I'm talking about here), they're gonna call 'em butter beans.

The trick to the fantabulous butter bean is to soak and cook them in vegetable broth!

Now some people sort the beans, and rinse them off, and all that crap, but, as you can imagine, I skip this step.  I just dump the bag o' beans in a big pot.

Get yourself some very high quality veggie broth like Pacifica and pour it over the beans.  For this recipe I do use Pacifica and not my own homemade broth.  The beans do take on the flavor of the broth so, you want to make sure the blend is really good and I leave that to the "experts." You want to fully cover them by about an inch or two.  Now turn up the heat until the juice boils rapidly.  Boil for 2 or 3 minutes, then take the beans off the stove, put a lid on it (don't forget this), and let them sit for a couple of hours.

Then, pour off all that juice.  (Use a colander and save the juice for something else.  You can always put it in your homemade veggie broth.)  Now, cover the beans again with more veggie juice, bring them to a boil for just a minute or two, then turn the heat way down and simmer, partially covered, for, oh, 45 minutes or until soft and puffy.  Just keep poking them - you'll know when they're done.

I like mine heavily salted, but don't do this until after they are cooked.  I don't know why, but the old wives will tell you that so just do it.   Little pepper won't  hurt either.


Baked Portobello Caps

However many Portobello mushroom caps you're going to use.  One per person.
1 lbs of small mushrooms sliced or chopped up.  You can use baby portobellas or any kind really.  Get fancy, if you like, with some shitake or oyster shrooms. (You need one large handful of raw small shrooms per big mushroom cap.)
Fresh spinach
Some garlic
Some olive oil
Smoke seasoning
Some feta cheese 
Panko (Panko is just a type of bread crumbs.  I find mine in the baking aisle down by the cornmeal and stuff.  I highly recommend using it instead of bread crumbs in this recipe.  It's very inexpensive and really does taste different than the regular crumbs you make yourself.)

Preheat oven to 450
Slice the stem off the big mushroom  caps and save for them homemade veggie broth.  To be honest, I just slice them up and use them, but I think most people do not.
Take a butter knife and gently scrape the gills of the underside of the portobello caps.
Chop up some garlic really fine and mix it with some olive oil in a bowl and brush that mixture all inside the bottom of the caps.  You can just use your fingers. Give them a little salting to boot.  (You know that the bottom is the side that is like a cup, not the top that is round and flat, right?)

Sautee your spinach in a large skillet with some olive oil and garlic.  Spinach gives off a lot of water, so don't add any to the pan.  Just the bit of oil and the garlic.  You need a lot of spinach as it cooks down into nothing so, plan on THREE BIG handfuls of raw spinach per cap.  So, if you're making two caps, you'll need 6 handfuls of raw spinach.  Strain the spinach a bit in a colander  when you're finished so it's not too watery.

Next, saute all your little chopped or sliced mushrooms in some olive oil and some garlic.  I like to add a splash of Smoke seasoning to this mixture, but you don't have to. But you should.  Just a couple of shakes, don't go crazy with it.

(You could saute the mushrooms first, and then add the spinach to the same pan and cook it too, but I don't.)

Once the spinach and little shrooms are all cooked, put a big blog of each into each mushroom cap and spread them around.

Sprinkle (or douse, like me) the top o' that mixture with feta cheese.

Then sprinkle (or douse, like me) the top of that with Panko.

Put on a cookie sheet and bake for, oh, 10 minutes or until filling is hot and Panko is golden brown.


These two things were fantastic together.

Lemme know how it goes!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Green and Orange and HELP.

Back in APRIL, I decided to paint my kitchen cabinets.

Yes, that is 10 months ago.  As in, almost a year.

I got what I thought was the hard part done:  WHY?
(That was so long ago there was a different font to read by.  EEK!)

I finally got them back and up on Monday.  

Yea, as in, 4 days ago Monday.

They sat on my patio  (swelling and shrinking and shrinking and swelling) for several months.  Then there was the evil CLIFF who totally f'd me over.  Then there was more patio sitting.  Then there was Mark who got the job done.

And now there is a lot of green.  

A tease.

A tease of green and orange!

Thar she blows.

Really, really green.  

I am loving it.  I am really, really loving the green soooo much.  And it is a lot of green to love, lemme tell ya.

It's very vintage-looking in here now even with the modern glass tile, and I'm digging it. 

I had no idea the this color would make the kitchen look so vintage, but it did and I'm glad. 

I'm finding myself moving back to vintage again.  

No matter how hard I try to get clean and modern, I've just got to have some vintage in my world.

Shall we compare the green to the white?

Before (which I'm posting after the after).

You know, I liked the white too.  It was just that it was so ... white.

I seriously have a color problem.  I just cannot leave well enough alone.  Must paint.

Also, too, as well, that white was such a crap job (I've ranted about this enough) that they could not be cleaned at all.  AT ALL.  The dude left them at basically primer with just a cursory coat of almost flat on them.  Suckkkkkked.  Dog hair would stick to them even.  Blech.

No mas, my pretties.  Super slick mofo high-gloss finish now.

And, because I like to keep things simple and uncluttered ...
(That is a joke, in case you didn't get it.)

Mis-matched knobs.

Super green cabinets and mis-matched knobs from Anthropologie - KACHOW!

"Unfortunately," I do not have enough pulls and need to go get more.  Woohoo!

(I was going to show you some picture of the ones I want, but the Anthropologie site is being all bossy and whatnot ... won't let me post them.  Pffft.)

This kitchen is turning into color madness.

FinnigantheCurious will probably live in a super modern, totally white codo devoid of all color and muss.  I'll be sneaking over to his pad with patchwork dish towels and crap.

Um, yea, so what else?  

Another picture?

Now ...

here's where I need help.

Where to put the knobs?!

There are so many examples of where to put pulls, but apparently no one uses knobs anymore so I have no idee where to place them.

From what I can tell, it seems that the the most popular way is to put the knobs close to the bottom on the top cabs, and close to the top on the bottom cabs. 

But I just don't know.  

And look over there on the right drawer.  It's got a glass blue knob right in the center, where it should be, but where I am going to put the knob that goes on the door below?   If I put it centered, under the top one, it will look silly.  If I place it up towards the top, but closer to the dishwasher, where it should be, won't that look weird and off compared to the one above?

Tell me what you think because I'm befuddled on this and I am SO not redoing a bunch of holes.  So not.

If you're not completely bored by now, there's more to come!

I even put liner on all the shelves.

My bff Mo is having her house remodeled and she is getting her kitchen cabinets to.ta.lly redone what with them being painted all inside and out.  

I was so fired up on the thought of that, but knew I could not possibly paint the inside of mine so,  I decided I would line them all with some delightful contact paper stuff.   

You know, something cool, but on the cheap.  

So I found this ...

Now, these are the times that I wish I was a fancy blogger and I could send a friendly little email to those nice folks at Chic Shelf Paper and HINT that I sure would like to use this paper and I would be happy to TALK about it if I just happened to get some of it free.  

Or something like that.

Alas, I just got overwhelmed at how much it would cost, and the plethora of choices, and blah blah blah before you know it I was at Lowe's buying some cheap crap that looks kinda OK.  

It's not hard to put in at all so I might, at some point, go back and put in this dream stuff, but I'm fine for now. 

 It's actually kinda sweet and grandma-looking ...

Not so bad, huh?

I can live with it.

OK, last thing to end the post that never ends ... some orange love.

I had a little Etsy accident.

It was just a tiny accident at less than $20.  With shipping, you know.

Is that ME or whut?

La, la, la long, long post is now finito.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


The computer has taken over and we are now in malfunction mode.

No pictures.

Well, I could give you some old pictures, but I wanna show you the green and the orange.

Hopefully, tomorrow.

Fingers crossed.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Camping, Eartha, and The 70s.

I spent the entire day yesterday washing clothes and cleaning up muddy paw prints from every possible surface in my home (including my bed).  

We didn't take the dog with us on this trip - they just got babysat.  

Rain + dogs + no one home full-time = EEwwwww.

Here are some scenes from camping to tide you over until tomorrow when, again, I shall have nothing to talk about except laundry and cleaning.  

Welllll, there might be one little surprise.  

OH! Maybe two little surprises actooally.  One is green and one is orange.  

But, wait, there's more!

After the camping pictures, you've got to click over to the other two blogs I listed at the bottom. 

That'll give you something to do instead or your own laundry or, heaven forbid, actual work at your job!


It is such a wonderful thing to unplug for a few days and get ones feet wet and dirty.  The Mother calls us all, does she not? 

But enough of that smarmy stuff.


I am telling you that I have laughed out loud SO many times whilst reading her blog.   

Big old guffaws and snorts coming out of me.  LOVE that.

I want to be her best friend.  Maybe marry her.  Be a bridesmaid at her wedding, at the very least.  We're perfect together because she hates to drive and I can drive anything, anywhere, anytime.  I can drive, I tell ya.

Be sure to scroll down to the Gay/Werewolf/Valentine smut post.  OH. MAH. GAWD, y'all.

The other blog is THIS SORTA OLD LIFE

My friend, Rita, had me in complete and total APOPLEXY yesterday with her 70s mismatched plate collection post.  

I am now, literally, obsessed with finding 70s flower plates.  

Yep, I am totally ripping off her idea and making it my own.  Giving her full credit, of course, but I am doing it.  

I'm going to Savers today.

When (and if) I finish the laundry.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mary Ann.

Today is my mama's birthday.

I wish I knew what to say to help you understand how dear she is to me.

Right there, that word, dear.  That doesn't even begin to describe what she is to me.

She is my home.  Always, always my home.  My compass.  My north.

In my deepest, darkest hours I still long to be with her the most. 

Her humor, oh, her humor - it is the stuff of legend.  I cannot begin tell you how many times I have found myself doubled over with laughter, tears running down my face, unable to breathe when she's on a roll.  Whenever people tell me that I am funny, I think to myself, Pffft ... you should meet my mama.

She's kind of shy, but goes out of her way to tell perfect strangers nice things.  She'll stop a woman in the store to tell her that she loves her hair cut.  She has a special way of knowing which woman needs to hear that, if you know what I mean.
It's her damn fault that I love to read so much.  We have insatiable reading appetites.  She loves murder mysteries, I love other stuff.  One of my very favorite things to do is sit quietly with my mother and read.

We love to drive around and look at houses and gardens.   

She used to love to travel and taught me the value of it.  The older we get, the less we like to travel, but we both know we're adventurers at heart.

I got her hair.  We have the world's best hair.  I can say that because I had nothing to do with it.  I also got her gorgeous widow's peak.   I wish I'd gotten her hands, they're petite and graceful and beyond lovely.

One of my favorite memories of my mother is sitting with her every night while she rolled her hair on little brush rollers.  She had a giant, orange enamelware bowl that she kept all the rollers and pins in.  I would hand her the pins after she got the roller in.  We called them curlers, not rollers.  (Mama, where is that bowl?)

She let me be in beauty pageants when I was young even though she abhorred them.  (How's that for a switch?)

She made us listen to Tom Lehrer when we were children.  It made us smart and funny, like her.

She used to salt her beer.  She'd let us put the salt in; it was so magical.

She "made" my daddy put in a swimming pool when we were little.  I still dream of that pool and I wake up feeling so deliriously happy.

She was the most fabulous dresser you've ever seen.  Just look at that photo from her in Paris back in the 50's.  Yea, Paris in the 50's.  She was Vogue incarnate in Beaumont, Texas.  If there had been Ebay when she finally got rid of all those shoes and dresses, I would be a rich woman today.  I still dream about her closet.  I mean that I literally dream about it.  In my dreams I'm always looking through her closet and it's like a rack in the halls of Vogue, but then I realize that they're all so small and I can't possibly fit in to any of them.  Sad face.  Not so hard to figure out, huh?

I love my mama more than anything in the world.

I'm going to see her today and it feels like spring in my heart just knowing that I will get to bury my face in her neck in less than 24 hours.

If my son loves me even the tiniest sliver of how much I love my mama, I am going to be floating in love.  Floating above that which is regular and earthly.

Oh, mama, Happy Birthday.

I love you more than the Universe times a gazillion and then some.


Your baby, Michele

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My rebuttal.

This has been going around Pinterest and Facebook for weeks and weeks now.

To each his own.  


But I feel compelled to offer up some different thoughts.

I know there are so many of us out there who don't feel this way at all.
I dedicate this to all of you.
To all of you, but most of all to the children.

(Click on it to enlarge.)


If you like this, I ask that you Pin it and/or post it to your Facebook page.

I think there needs to be another side to the story.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

DAY 3.

Today is our last day of our 4-day screen fast.

I'm totally surprised we made it this far, honestly.  Heee.  

I'm having severe Pinterest withdrawal.  Severe.

Normally I would give you some Valentine love, but all you get is a recap of how we spent our screen-free day yesterday.  

We made a Galaxy Shirt inspired by a tutorial I saw on Pinterest.  I would give you the link, but if I go over to Pinterest there will be no turning back.




Old, dark shirt.  Spray it with bleach.

Spray some more. 

Get crazy and even dab some on.

Drips are good.

Glob on some white fabric paint.

Mess up a big spot and call it a nebula.

Look super cute and when they ask where you got it, tell them you made it.

Tell them you made it even if they don't ask.

Checked on our hot dog mummy experiment.

We blatantly stole this idea from our friend Gus who did it as his science fair experiment this year.

RAD idea Gus!  Come on over and let's compare shriveled up dawgs, dawg.

I made the best beans I have ever made in my entire life times a million.


Lima beans extraordinaire.

Recipe later.  If I remember. 

Made Valentines.

We got the family ones out in the mail last week.  (Barely.)  These just wrapped up this evening.

We bought plastic swords at the liquor store and Finn stabbed a pile of gumdrops on to them.  Then we made, "Be Mine Or Else" tags for them.

That's me:  the mama who goes to the booze store for my kid's Valentines.

Take that Hallmark.

We'll be hand-delivering tomorrow for extra sweetness.

Eat a lot of chocolate today; it's good for you, dammit.


Monday, February 13, 2012


We're on a self-imposed screen fast over here at The Wabi-Sabi House.

I'll explain more on Wednesday when we're finished.

We did agree that I could do my blog posts, and we did finally "have" to use the computer to check the weather (what happened to getting weather updates from the radio, I ask you?  We waited HOURS!)

We'll be finished on Wednesday morning so I'll just be posting the most cursory of things until then.

Tick-tock.  Tick-Tock.

Here's what we did this weekend:

We found a stash of chikkin eggs in the shed.

TWELVE eggs.  

We divvied them amongst the beasts.

We had a breakfast fire!

I highly recommend this.

(See the dirt ground?  We got all that mulch raked up and now it's almost ready for plantinnnnggggg!!! weeeeeeee)

Spray painted the new outdoor chandelier.

(Thanks to Jennifer and Bradley for the recycle!)

Played Monopoly (and played, and played, and played ... )

Built the first stage of the Mindstorm Robot.  Very exciting!!

(We did have to use the computer to program the machine, but we had agreed on that ahead of time.  Well worth it too.  These things are FUN.)

Um, did I mention that we played Monopoly?

Mixed magic potions and poison concoctions.

We also cooked, read, took walks and bike rides (brrrr), played lots of Nerf and, every now and then, got a little bit bored.

And guess what? 

We LOVED it.

All of us.

My kid saying he likes not being on the computer is like the Pope saying he really enjoys a good steak on Friday.  

Heeeeee Hawwwww.

More pictures tomorrow.

La, la, la.

Friday, February 10, 2012

This Moment.

Inspired by Soulemama.
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

FinnigantheCurious and I were "forced" to make a quick stop in Goodwill Tuesday night as our Thai food order was not quite ready.

I found some flower love ...

Strawberry napkins!

That is some old-fashioned strawberry love.  Love, love, love them.

Two for $1.99!

I couldn't pass up this tablecloth thingee at $1.99 ...

It's so old that it feels like a handkerchief.

Super, super soft like buttah.

I also got some thriftiness at HEB, of all places ...

Flower Power Plates!

Can you tell I have a case of Springitis?

ONE dollar for these dinner plates!

I bought all they had.  I think I got about 10.  I wanted more.

The young girl checking me out seemed slightly horrified when I asked if there were any more.

I have a feeling that her house has a lot of black and white, maybe even some zebra print  action.

Anyway, I have no shame over my flower power obsession.

Oh, and so many of you asked about the 7-Up machine.

We couldn't go yesterday after all, but we're going out this afternoon with Jackdaddy.

Here it tis:

I did realize that it holds cans instead of bottles and that might be a deal-breaker for me, but not sure yet.

(OK, so actually Jackdaddy realized it, but so what?)

I simply cannot resist the UNCola logo lure!

Think about that today, Missy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Chickens love buttermilk.

 So do cattens.  (That's Finn's name for a cat that is still sort of a kitten.)

LOOK at Lanell's face over there on the right.  

She is so irritated.  (She's always irritated about something.)

And, DUH.

I forgot to show my new orange pretty when I did my orange post last week.

Isn't it adorable?

Have I told you that I grew up with cookware like this?  YES!  I did.

My mama was such a beacon of fabulousness.  

All our cookware was this super orange enamelware from Japan.  

I only have one skillet left from my childhood (bad Mama, bad bad!), but I am thinking about, maybe, just maybe, starting to add some pieces here and there.

Ebay, glorious Ebay has tons of it.

Mmmm.  Since my kitchen cabinets are going to be back tomorrow (TOMORROW!!), and they are going to be that dreamy olive green, well, I'm just thinking how fabulous olive and orange go together.

I think I will.  Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

PS Can I just tell you that FinnigantheCurious and I are off to look at a 7-Up machine from the 70s?  Finn wanted to set the alarm he was so thrilled.   Hee hee.  I'll let you know.

Monday, February 6, 2012

East Austin Succulents / Tillery Street Plant Co.

Well, what with it being all spring here (I know you northerners find this hard to believe, but it's true), my thoughts, alongside every other gardener in town, have turned to EL JARDIN.

Now, I also know that we are probably going to get one, possibly two, very ugly freezes yet.  That's just the way Mother Nature works here in Texas.  She's tricky.

But none of us can resist.  

I'm crazy excited to get started on my new ginormous succulent bed.

I got all those damn cement pieces moved in (whew).  I still need to move some things out (blech) like a defunct little bird bath and some downed wood (critter habitat), but after that ... the fun part!

I've  already mentioned East Austin Succulents before, but I'm gonna give you a big old honkin' tour today.  

Get ready for a lot of pictures.  

I can't stop taking picture when I go there.  

I can't stop feeling a little panicked about winning the lottery when I'm there too. 

There are actually two nurseries on this one funky east side property:  East Austin Succulents and Tillery Street Plant Co..  

Eric Pedley runs EAS and Jon Hutson runs Tillery Street. 

(Both cuteashell, by the way.)  

(Not that I care, I'm just sayin'.)

Um, so, you know you're on to something fabulous as soon as you walk up ...

Isn't that door just fantastic?

Orangeliciousness! And oh the font, the font, the font.  Swoon.

And then ...

 Mecca beckons.

Oh, there's more.  More, more, more my pretties.

I'm just going to tantalize you with pictures now.

Prepare to be tantalized within an inch of your succulenticus lifeicus.

Uh, yea, and that's just the East Austin Succulent side.

Now, check out the love on the Tillery Street Plant Co. side ...

 The world's best office.

This piece was made by Jon's wife.  

Do not buy it.  I want it.   It's mine.  I mean it. Next paycheck. 

A swing from The Red Swing Project, of course.

Of course, of course, of course because everything here is just so wonderful and fabulous.

I know every gardener has their favorite spot;  this one is mine.

I care very much about customer service and these guys are really on top of that.  

They're friendly, and helpful, and really glad to have your business.

Me likee.

The nurseries are located at 701-801 Tillery Street on Austin's east side.

East Austin Succulents can be reached at (512) 947-6531

Tillery Street Plant Co. can be reached at (512) 567-1090

I hope you pop over for a visit because I really, really really want them to stay in business and also because I think you'll really, really, really love it there.

Bring the kids too, there's room to roam.

It's a happy place, fo sho!

PS In the name of full disclosure, Eric styled me with some freebies, but only because he is really sweet and I was gushing all over the place about everything and telling him I was going to blah, blah, blog about it all.  I planned this blog post before he lined the old pockets.  Cha-ching!